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Before me was an ill-clothed man
Bent on his crutches low;
His pace was very slow.
His was a piteous case ;
Were on that miner's face.
A hole exploding in his work
Before he could withdraw, Crashed round him with a thunder-roar,
And shattered him like straw: His limbs were broken in the blast,
His manhood bruised away, And life to him was life no more
From that eventful day.
We met-I spoke of birds and flowers,
Which God to man had given, And how the blossoms never fade
On the green hills of heaven; When such a shout from that pale form
Rose the white clouds above, Linked with the Saviour's hallowed name,
As listening angels love.
Oh, could the infidel have seen
His face glow bright with fire,
Swept high his golden lyre,
Upon the lonely moor
He'd doubt His word no more.
The heights with hallelujahs rang ;
Methinks I hear them still,
With freights of good and ill.
Of such a low estate,
Has past the golden gate.
He had no earthly heritage
To fill his life with joy;
Which blight cannot destroy.
How many souls there be,
Can set the shackled free.
2 Homely Homily for young Married People,
ON THE DUTIES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES,
“For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh. Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”—Matt. xix. 5, 6.
PROPOSE in this paper to consider the duties of
married persons to each other and to their children, according to what we learn on these
subjects from the Holy Scriptures. In these particular situations of life we cannot gain instruction from the example of our Saviour, as He did not appear to us in the character of a husband or a father; but in the words of my text He expresses, in the strongest manner possible, His approbation of the sacred engagement of marriage; and His apostles particularly explain the duties which belong to it. Paul says, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it."1 Peter, who was himself a married man, directs the wife “to be in subjection to the husband," and the husband to “dwell with the wife, giving honour to her, as unto the weaker vessel ;” and “ as being heirs together of the grace of life.” And John, in the Book of Revelation, sets the dignity of marriage in the strongest light, when he speaks of the union of Christ and His Church under that title.
Ephesians V. 22, 25.
It is indeed the glory of the Christian religion, that while it checks every approach to vice, and condemns even a thought that is impure, it sanctifies all the virtuous affections of our nature; it connects every relation of life with our duty to God; it bids us perform for His sake all those kind offices which even natural affection would lead us to perform for our own; while it sweetens the enjoyment, and lessens the sorrows, of love and friendship, by the hope which it gives of an eternal union with those who were most dear to us on earth. To the sacred institution of marriage we owe the greatest blessings which this imperfect state affords, and to it we owe many of the virtues which will lead us to heaven. It was not good for man to be alone even in Paradise, and therefore our gracious God formed " helpmeet for him.”
This world affords no happiness equal to that of two pious and virtuous minds, united for ever by the sacred vow which they made in the presence of God, as well as by faithful and pure love, constantly endeavouring to make each other happy in this life, and joining in the practice of the duties which lead to still greater happiness in the next. Every act of kindness is then as much their pleasure as it is their duty. Every word and action which contributes to the happiness of the object of their love, returns with interest into their own bosoms. Their tempers regulated, and their conduct secured by religion, no quarrels, no jealousies will disturb their peace. Their interest being for ever united, their greatest pleasure is to assist each other. With what delight will she prepare his cheerful fire and comfortable meal, and meet him with smiles of duty and affection! If he be sick, she is his nurse; if he be distressed, she is his comforter. Surrounded by smiling, healthy, happy children, with what transports will they unite in forming their infant minds to piety and virtue! If they live together to a good old age, from such children they may expect support and comfort; and even when the hour of trial comes, and death calls the husband from the wife, or the wife from her husband, through the anguish of that dreadful moment they will still hear a voice which tells them not to sorrow as those who have no hope; and they will look forward to an eternal union in a happier world.
Such should be the happiness of the marriage state ; but I am very sorry to say that it is not often thus; and I will endeavour to point out the faults which prevent it.
In the first place, if we expect happiness in marriage, we must be careful in our choice. Be not guided by the eye, by the fancy of a moment, but inquire into the real character of the person with whom you are to pass your life. Has she been educated by virtuous parents, or has she by any other means been instructed ? Has she been accustomed to honest industry and frugality? Has she been free from vice, and does she dislike the company of bad people? Is she respected and beloved by those who are good? and, above all, has she a just sense of her duty towards God? These are points upon which every prudent person would wish to be satisfied, before an engagement is made which only death can dissolve. When that engagement is to be made, let each of the parties reflect on the solemn nature of it. In the awful presence of God, they are to make a vow which binds them to the end of life. Let no man-let no woman -dare to make that vow without a firm resolution to perform it. That vow is recorded in heaven, and the performance of it will be required at the judgment-seat of God.
Secondly, do not expect too much from each other. We are all poor, weak, sinful creatures, and require that indulgence from our friends which we all hope from our Creator. We are too apt to think that the object of our love is to be without faults, and we are out of humour when we are disappointed; but we should not form such expectations. The best of us are often in the wrong, and true love will bear with faults which do not come from the heart. A man may be off his guard, and speak hastily; but a gentle and tender wife will not contradict him in the moment of anger or illhumour. Should he even be guilty of greater faults, however she may grieve at it, she will not reproach him, but make use of a more favourable time to lead him back to virtue. Let her always remember that she has promised obedience; and that God Himself has given the husband power over the wife. But the gentle influence of a virtuous and beloved wife is very great over every heart which is not hardened in vice. Let her endeavour to preserve that influence, by constant good temper, by neatness and industry. Let her always try to make him happy at home, as the best way to prevent his going into bad company abroad.
Let the husband never forget what he owes to the friend of his heart, to the wife of his bosom. Let him guard her from every danger, let him tenderly watch over her happiness, let him be indulgent to little faults, and let him love and cherish her virtues. Women in general are disposed to be grateful and affectionate ; and a man who deserves their love will seldom fail to preserve it, especially if he have a proper sense of religion. Let each consider the other as their best friend, from whom they should never have any secrets, and of whom they should never complain to any other person. It is not possible that we can be perfectly happy in this world ; there will be moments of discontent and disappointment; but they who are guided by a sense of duty will always be ready to take the first steps towards reconciliation, and to sacrifice their pride to their love.
Thirdly, never dispute about trifles. If constant attention were paid to this, it would seldom happen that two wellmeaning and good people could be unhappy. They must think alike in most matters, if both seek the rule of their conduct in the law of God; but trifles, which are not worth disputing over, often destroy the peace of a family. To guard against this should be the business of both, but particularly of the wife, whose duty it is to yield in everything which is not wicked.
Fourthly, never dispute before your children. This is a very common fault, and it is the ruin of all proper authority. If one parent is to encourage and humour a child, while the