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of perfect and indissoluble friendship, in which you are to carry your affection for each other beyond the grave, that you may so live in virtue and holiness here, that you may live hereafter in that state, “ where there will be no marrying nor giving in marriage, but you will be as angels of GOD in heaven.”
Study, therefore, to correct whatever is amiss in your respective tempers and dispositions, that may
your mutual love and peace, and hinder your progressive virtuous improvements. Be severe censors of yourselves : and exact not too much one from the other ; but bear with each other's infirmities. None are faultless, but all are to endeavour to reform and improve themselves. Cultivate in yourselves, and in each other, the knowledge and practice of virtue and true religion, as the only foundation of present comfort and future hopes. Study the scriptures, and the precepts and example of Jesus Christ, who alone hath satisfied us of the existence of eternal life. Be not cxtravagant in your expectations from the world; for, though it be filled with many innocent joys and pleasures, it is not, nor is
it intended to be, a place of unmixed prosperity and enjoyment; but a transitory scene of trial and improvement for a better and more enduring state.
Another great end of marriage is the better ordering of families and the more religious and virtuous education of children. This is a matter of the highest moment. For families are the nurseries and schools, in which the successive generations of men are to be instructed, and fitted for their different stations and employments in life. It is in the seminaries of domestic life, that each learns to bear his part in all relative duties, and to be helpful to others : to become good citizens, useful magistrates ; faithful husbands, virtuous wives ; patterns of all that is excellent and worthy in every relation. Of a number of families united, nations are composed : and of all of them together, the whole community of mankind. And as these little seminaries are well tutored and governed, or neglected; nations, and the world at large, are happy or miserable.
Be careful, therefore, to set an example of piety and virtue yourselves; and then
you may, with authority, require those who belong to you to follow it. Let the GOD of heaven be acknowledged and worshipped each day in your families. Keep a strict watch over all who depend upon you ; and suffer no vice to go unreproved. By this domestic care, and religious discipline, you may be a blessing to your family, your neighbours, and your country; and will be approved by almighty God, and ranked with prophets and apostles in that future world, where, we are told, that “those, who have wisely instructed, shall shine like the splendour of the firmament; and those, who have made many righteous, like the stars for ever and ever. Dan. xii. 3.
THE THANKSGIVING OF
WOMEN AFTER CHILD-BIRTH.
ç The woman, at the usual time after ber delivery,
kneeling down, the minister shall say unto ber;
FORASMUCH as it hath pleased almighty GOD, of his goodness, to give you a safe deliverance, and to preserve you in the great danger of child-birth; give, therefore, hearty thanks unto him, and say ;
Part of psalın cxvi. I REJOICE, because JEHOVAH hath heard the voice of my prayer.
2 I will call upon him as long as I live, because he bath inclined his ear unto mc.
3 The snares of death surrounded me, and thi toils of the grave surprised me :
4 When I found trouble and heaviness, I called upon the name of JEHOVAH; Saying, O Jur.OVAH! I besecch thee, deliver my lite.
5 JEHOVAH is gracious and righteous ; yea, our God is merciful.
6 JEHOVAH preserveth the simple; I was brought very low, and he saved me.
7 Return then unto thy rest, o my soul! since JEHOVAH hath been gracious unto thee.
8 For my life is delivered from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling ; that I may walk before thee in the land of the living.
9 What return shall I make unto JEHOVAH for all his kindness to me?
10 I will receive the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of Jehovah.
11 I will pay my vows unto JEHOVAH, before all his people now present.
Now unto JEHOVAH, immortal, invisible, the only GOD;
Be honour and glory, through the gospel of Jesus Christ, for ever. Amen.
Or, psalm cxxvII. UNLESS JEHOVAH build the house, their labour is but lost wbo build it.
2 Unless Jehovah keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.