Page images

.::CHAP. XI.

of the duties of Husband and wife, I

Shall first speak of the Duties common to beth,

and then more particularly of thofe that belong co cach of them severally,

They owe to each other Faithfulneffe.

Helpfulmeffe. I. Love. There ought to be a firm and invi, olable. love between them; grounded on Gods Ordinance and their own Covenant (and not meerly on natural or civil respects ) and being so neerly, united, and made one fejh, they should have but one beart. They should have the greateft tendernesse, and kindneß for each other imaginable, If any unkindnesle should at any time happen to arise between them, they should never sleep in displeasure ; but both readily agree to a speedy reconcilement: The Sun should not go down on their wrath, Love muft/weeten all their speeches, car. riage, and actions towards each other. 'Tis love will make all the duties of a married life easie, and all the cumbers and croßes, tolerable. This love must for measure, exceed and surpase their love to any other creature. There must be between them both the love of goodwill, desiring heartily


[ocr errors]


the welfare of each other, and the love of complacency, delighting in each other. Want of love betwee n man ard wife is no mean fin

II. Faithfulnesse, and that of several forts.

1. That of the bed. They must keep themselves pure & chast from all strange embraces; and wich the greatest abhorrence deceft any motion or temt. tation that way. They must not embrace the bolom of a stranger, Prov.5.20. They must be constant to each other, and confident of each other. Feslousie is the pasport of love.

2. They must keep each ochers secrets.
3. Conceal each others infirmities,

4. Be faithful to each other in the mannaging their worldly affairs.

5. If any difference arise, not let it take vext: for jars concealed are half reconciled ; whereas if they be once divulged', 'uis a double labour to make up she breach, and stop the mouths of people abroad.

III. Helpfulnesse. They are to be mutuali helpers each to other, both in spiritual and tempoqalihings.

1. They should endeavour to help one anorber ox towards Heaven; to promote and encrease knoiriedge and Holines in each others fouls ; defogning 10 meet together, and live toget ber for ever in Hess ver. They should pray together and for each other, u Per.3.7. They should faithfully, wisely, and lovingly admonish 'one another of any failings


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

they discern in each ocher. This is ( of all other) the truest and most valuable love. Nay indeed, How can it be said, they do love at all, if they can contentedly let each other run on in a course chat will bring them to eternal misery. True love is foul love : And if the love of Husband and Wife be chus grounded in Religion, and Piety, and a care of each others fouls, it will make their lives a kind of Heaven upon earth. 'Twill prevent those contentions, heart burnings and brawls lo fatal co many Families. They will like Zachary and Elizabeth, labour to walk before the Lord blameleffe: They will endeavour to plant Relizion in their family, and be examples of Piety, prudence and goodnesle to chose among



they live.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

2. They are to be mutual helpers to each osher in natural and civil respects. They are co comfort and cherish one another boch in health and sickneffe, in prosperity and adversity: They are to advise and affijt each other in a right governing their Family, and in a prudent mannaging their estate and worldly affairs: And in 2 word, they are to endeavour to make their paffage through this world as comfortable to each ocher as they

So much in general, for the duties common to both.

I now come to speak more particularly of the duties belonging to cach of them severally. And

[ocr errors]

firft, of the duties of the Husband.

1. The first duży chc Husband owes to his Wife, is love. How great this love should be, the Apostle intimates by the

fimilitudes he uses in this matter. The one of that Christ bears to his Church, Eph.5.25. Husbands love your Wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave himself for it. The other, of that a man bears to himself, v.31. Let every one of you in particular, fo love his wife even as himfelf. Now every one knows and feels how he loves himself. A mans love to himself, hach these properties,

1. 'Tis cordial, without diffimulation. Many aman feigns love and friendship co others, bet no body is insincere and falfe in his love to bimself : Such a love should a man bear to his wife. As Fonathans heart was knit to David, Sim. 18.1. And he loved him as his own foul; so ought the Husband to love his Wife. The Apostle tels us, 1 Cor. 13-5. Charity is not easily provoked. True, fervent, cordial love is long suffering, and beareth with many infirmities and weakneßes, and covereth a multitude of offences, 1 Pet. 4. 8.

2. 'Tis constant. 'Tis so natural, nothing can make it cease : Though å man hath been handsom, and is by facknesse become deformed; though he bath been healthy, and is become fickly; though he hath been patient, and is now grown cholerick; yet he still loves himself: So, no accidental change or defeat should leffen a mans love to bis Wife.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]


'Tis very tender. How tenderly does a man treat himself when fick ? If he have a fore eie How careful is he ofic? Such ought a mans affection be to his Wife; expreffing ic self in a teno der regard of her, in ficknesse, as well as health. The man ought to look upon his wife as the ten. derer part of himself, or (as the Apostle phrases it) as the weaker vessel, 1 Pet. 3. 7. Which must not be a sanse of contempt, but rather of respect and regard: And the more weak she is in respect of any sicknesse, or the like, so much the more tender care ought he to have of her. No manever hared his own flesh, (faies che Apostle) but nowrisheth and cherisheth it, Eph.5.29. The Husband therefore mast not do any thing that may be hurtful or grievous to his wife, no more than he would cut and gafh his own flesh. For my part,

1 know no Law of God or man, that allows the Husband a power to beat his Wife: He is indeed to govern her ; but he is to do it by wife, loving, amiable counsel, not by stripes. The civil Law is Arict against it, Cod.s. And among Heathens, we read not of any, except such as were mad or drunk, practifing this unnatural cruelty. The Husband therefore should mannage that authority ånd superiority which God hath given him over his wife, wisely, mildly, amiably. He should remember, all Governmext is ordained by God for the good of the whole, and not the pleasure only of the Governour: Therefore. all barshnefle and


« PreviousContinue »