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the Thoughts of a Husband, drive away, in the Wife, all evil Provocations, and harmful Inten. tions : And as the Vine being but a weak Tree, hath the Wall to fupport it; fo muft the Wife, the weaker Sex, be fupported by the Husband, the stronger ; as the Poet writes :
The fruitful Vine, and virtuous Wife,
Are both for Man's Delight;
And Peace both Day and Night:
And so they both are ftill ;
Unto most dang'rous Ill ;
That these two weaker Things,
The Greatest, even Kings.
Prov. xxxi. 10,–31.
• Who can find a virtuous • Woman} for her Price is far above Rubies. • The Heart of her Husband doth safely trust in • her, fo that he shall have no need of Spoil. She • will do him good, and not evil, all the Days of • her Life. She seeketh Wool, and Flax, and • worketh willingly with her Hands. She is like • the Merchant Ships, she bringeth her Food from • afar. She riseth also while it is yet Night, and
giveth Meat to her Houshold, and a Portion to • her Maidens. She considereth a Field, and • buyeth it: With the Fruit of her Hand the plant• eth a Vineyard. She girdeth her Loins with
Strength, and strengtheneth her Arms. She per• ceiveth that her Merchandise is good : Her Can• dle goeth not out by Night. She layeth her • Hands to the Spindle, and her Hands hold the • Distaff. She stretcheth out her Hand to the : Poor ; yea, the reacheth out her Hands to tbe
Needy. She is not afraid of the Snow for her
Houthold: For all her Houshold are clothed • with Scarlet. She maketh her self Coverings of
Tapestry, her Clothing is Silk and Purple. Her • Husband is known in the Gates, when he fit• teth among the Elders of the Land. She maketh • fine Linen, and selleth it, and delivereth Girdles • unto the Merchant. Strength and Honour are • her Clothing, and she shall rejoice in Time to
come. She openeth her Mouth with Wisdom, • and in her Tongue is the Law of Kindness. • She looketh well to the Ways of her Houshold, « and eateth nat the Bread of Idleness. Her Chil
dren arise up, and call her blessed; her Husband also, and he praiseth her: Many Daughters • have done virtuously, but thou excelleft them • all. Favour is deceitful, and Beauty is vain : • but a Woman that feareth the Lord, she shall • be praised. Give her of the Fruit of her Hands, * and let her own Works praise her in the Gates.?
External Beauty, Shape, and pleafınt Face,
Q. How should Man and Woman be made equal in Marriage ?
A. Let the Man be inferior in State and Birth, and then Marriage makes them equal ; the, the better in Descent and Subllance ; he, the better in Sense and Sex. Solon, the Philosopher, said, upon the Marriage of his Friend's Daughter, that whosoever hath got a good Son-in Law, hath found a Son, or rather better than a Son ; buc he that hath got an evil one, had loft a Daughter.
We find in the Relation of Ifaac's Marriage, an admirable Model of Holiness; where the En. quiry is not after Portion, or Wealth ; but into the Manners and Innocence of the Party, and is andertaken with great Care, and many Prayers, and by the Advice and Mediation of wife and holy Persons. A Reverend Divine advis'd all young Women to learn of Rebeccah, who veil'd her self as soon as the saw Ifaac, to express their Modesty and Shamefacedness, even to their Husbands themfelves, by endeavouring to gain their Hearts, not so much' by their Beauty and Dressing, which Rebeccah might have done, as by their Modesty, and the Holiness of their Manners and Conversation.
Q. How comes it, that the Husband seeks the Wife, and not the contrary, the Wife the Hufband?
A. Because the Man seeks that which he formerly loft, that is, his Rib; which was taken from him, in the forming the Woman out of his Side ; and therefore, when a Man marries a Wife, what doch he but bring back the Rib which he formerly loft ?
Q. Why do the Jews break the Glass in which the Bride and Bridegroom drink?
A. To admonith them, that all Things in this World are transitory, and brittle as Glass; and therefore, they muit be moderate in their Pleasures and Defires.
Q. What Custom had some Grecians in marrying their Daughters?
A. When the Bride was carried Home to her Husband, they used to burn, before the Door, the Axletree of the Coach in which she was brought thither ; giving her to undertand by that Cerenony, that he must refrain her self from gadding abroad, and that being now joined to a Husband, the must frame her self to live and tarry with him, without any Thoughts of Departure.
Marry not for Beauty, without Virtue ; nor for Riches, without good conditions : Solomon, among& many other notable Sentences fit for this Purpose, faith, that 'a fair Woman without • discreet Manners, is like a gold Ring in a Swine's • Snout.' And if you marry for Wealth of her Portion, you will be often told : And if you marry for Beauty, then will your Sorrow be the more increased ; for she will say, She was blind in having thee ; for she might have had Captain such a one; or this Gentleman, or that, or other; so that you'll have no Occasion to ak one bad Word of her in seven Years; for she will give you enough, withoat asking
If you marry a haughty Woman, you ought to have a good Eltate ; for you will find a proud Wife, in a low Station, will be an uncomfortable Companion, and the first, in Adversity, that will lend a helping Hand to your Ruin.
He that marries a proud Wife, is as unhappy as he that hath a rebellious Nation to govern ; for as the latter must grant every Petition of his People, to secure Peace
in his Kingdom ; fo must the former grant every Request of his Wife, to fecure the same in his Family. Pride, in a Wife, makes a Man seem little ; it often compels him to submit, where he has a Right to govern. He that hath a prudent Wife, hath a Guardian Angel by his Side ; but he that hath a proud Wife, hach the
at his Elbow. Pride is the Parent of Iniquity, the Innovator of Vice, the Seed of Rebellion, and the Rise of Faction : Pride loft Mankind his Paradise, the World its Peace, and made a Devil of an Angel.
These three things are well-pleasing in the Sight of God, viz. Concord between Brethren, Love and Charity between Neighbours, and a Man and his Wife agreeing well together.
It would be well it Children would consider the Obligations they owe to their parents, to whom, next to God, they are most indebted. We have more Reason to love them, than they have to love
us: But, 'tis true, they are led by Nature, to be
Unto thy Parents, yield Observance due,
Undertake no Action without Advice from Heaven, asking Counsel of God by Prayer : He blesseth or blastech our Endeavours, according as we own our Dependence upon him, and Engagements to him.
Think it not fufficient that you do not an ill thing; you must not only not do an hard thing to any ; but be kind and charitable, as well as just and honeft ; always endeavoaring to do the utmost Good you can, by a Life of universal Usefulness.
Promise nothing which may prejudice thee .in the Performance; but perform what thou hast promised, tho' it be to thy real Prejudice. A wise Man measures his Promises by his Abilities, and be measures his Performances by his Promises.
Our Thoughts are weak, our Resolutions are too often broken; it must be God that works in us, by the secret Motions of his holy Spirit, to keep us in any thing that is good. Let us, then, earnestly implore the Divine Goodness to guide us, to counsel us, to establish us ; for without him we can do nothing.
The Marks of a true Conversion are admirably well express'd in the Prodigal Son; he sees his Misery and leaves it; he returns to his father, and gives himself to him. Let us also forsake Sin,