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and therefore requires it to be solemnized by her ministers, and offers the three following arguments, not less divine than physical, for the adoption of wedlock:
First, “ It was ordained for the procreation of children, to be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and to the praise of his
Secondly, “ It was ordained, for a remedy against sin, and to avoid fornication, that such persons as have not the gift of continency, might marry, and keep themselves undefiled members of Christ's body."
Thirdly, “ It was ordained, for tỉe mutual society, help, and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other, &c."*
As · As the strength and glory of a kingdom consist in the multitude-of-its-subjects, matrimony ought to be particularly encouraged.
* Vide Form of Marriage.
Among the Lacedemonians and other ancient nations, it was usual to allow portions from the public treasury for the encouragement of wedlock; hence likewise it was, that among the Romans, privileges and immunities were granted to the poor parents of three children.
But the second point in which our church views the design of marriage is, as a remedy against sin: and here indeed is a very strong argument for its early celebration; “ That such persons us have not the gift of continency might marry."
If the knowledge of a disease be requisite
to the cure; it is necessary to know and acknowledge the passions, that we may thè better govern them. Philosophers who have written on these subjects are so divided in opinion, that reason hath not been able to reconcile their difference. Some of them have been satisfied with describing passions to us; but in showing their causes and effects, have omitted to teach us how to cure them: they have been more careful to make us know the poison than acquaint us with the antidote,
To deny to nature her feelings, were to overthrow the whole fabric of man: it is no more dishonourable for her to fear a danger, tó hope for a good, or strengthen herself against evil, than it is to see by the organs of the eye, or to hear by those of the ear. We are not required to extinguish our passions, but only duly to balance them; rightly have they been termed the gales of life, and
it is our concern that they do not rise into a tempest.
St. Augustine observes, '* Thạt a virtue is the habit of a well governed mind.” It is but to moderate our affections, and they will be changed into virtues; for when love and hatred, which are the sources of all other passions, shall be wisely and justly guided, they will become excellent virtues, and be trained into wisdom, temperance, fortitude, and justice. Is it not then unfair, nay even barbarous, to affect to smother some passions, which, under proper restraint, have such affinity to virtue? Is it not injustice and ingratitude to mistake the advantages which we have received from Nature? and since the Almighty has commanded the sexes in an orderly way to propogate their species; it becomes a crime* to resist this law of nature and of God.
• In one of the Romish Canons of the Council of Trent, is to be seen this very extraordinary anat hema :
· In my succeeding Essay on Seduction, i shall advert to the melancholy consequences which are, alas! but too frequently produced, where these ardent desires are peremptorily checked by the ill judged bashfulness of the child, or the fierce authority of the parent ,
The time of marriage unquestionably must depend on the peculiar circumstances of constitution and climate: but for a general principle of action, early marriages seem advisable.
- What is designed as a reinedy against any particular evil, should be exercised before that evil has triumphed, or by habit is become incorrigible: besides, early marriage gives more time, more health, and better spi
“ If any one shall say, that the state of matrimony is to be preferred before the state of virginity ur celibacy; and that it is better and more happy to marry than to continue in virginity and celibacy; Let him be accursed,"