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cares, and sorrows, inseparably connected with those honourable, endearing, and affectionate relations.
As for the sorrows of the marriage state, it is impossible, my dear Sir, not to observe, that by far the greater part are brought upon those who endure them, by their negligence, or their ungovernable tempers ; or by the indulgence of some vicious propensity; and that consequently they must le considered as avoidable evils. Whatever miseries are endured, by persons whose passions are not kept in subjection by the restraints of reason and religion ; ought not to be charged to the account of the marriage state. For as Dr. Johnson justly remarks : • The general folly of mankind is the cause of general complaint. What can be expected but disappointment, and repentance, from a choice made in the immaturity of youth, in the ardour of desire, without judgment, without foresight, without enquiry after confornity of opinions, similarity of manners, rectitude of judgment, or purity of sentiment.
« Such is the common process of marriage. A youth and maiden meeting by chance, or brought together by artifice,
exchange glances, reciprocate civilities, go home and dream of one another.Having little to divert attention, or diversify thought, they find themselves uneasy when they are apart, and therefore conclude that they should be happy together. They marry; and discoverwhat nothing but voluntary blindness before had concealed : they wear out life in altercations, and charge nature with cruelty.
It must, perhaps, be allowed, that there are but few very happy matches; but then it is manifest that the fault is not in the institution itself; for that is evidently adapted to increase our felicity. The reason must therefore be sought for, either in the improper motives, which influence persons in the choice of a companion for life: or else, in the want of suitable dispositions, to enjoy the pleasures, and to endure with dignity the sorrows of the marriage state.
Some of the causes of unhappiness in the marriage state are described by Dr. Watts, in his beautiful poem entitled, “ FEW HAPPY MATCHES."- I will take the liberty to transcribe it for your perusal :--
Say, mighty Love, and teach my song, To whom thy sweetest joys belong,
And who the happy pairs : Whose yielding hearts, and joining hands, Find blessings twisted with their bands,
To soften all their cares?
As custom leads the 'way:
And be as blest as they.
Can mingle hearts and hands :
With oziers for their bands,
Can the d ar bondage bless :
Or none besides the bass.
The rugged and the kten:
With firebrands ty'd between.
for love abbors the sight:
Two kindest souls, alone must meet,
And feeds their mutual loves :
And cupids yoke the doves. You, my dear Sir, will agree with me, that there are many sorrows experienced by some who are married, which are not to be attributed to the marriage state: but are to be traced to the tempers, and habits of such persons' minds. They would have been unhappy in any condi. tion: yet they may certainly find their misery greatly increased, by their being united to those with whom they are almost perpetually disagreeing. It has been well observed :
• Happy, the youth that finds the bride
The sweetest joy of life !
And chain'd t'eternal strife.'
you speak of the sorrows of the marriage state, I suppose all such as I have inentioned to be excluded from your mind :- and that you desire to consider such only, as necessarily arise out of the connexion subsisting between married people,
It is the appointment of the Author of our existence, (and doubtless for wise and gracious purposes) that, in every possible condition, our pleasures and enjoy. ments should have their opposite perplexities and sorrows, God has set one thing over against the other.'-No woman can enjoy the pleasures experienced by themother, when the infant draws its nourishment from her breast, and smiling strokes her with its tender hand, without first enduring the pangs of labour.
The season of pregnancy, is frequently attended with painful circumstances; in which it is impossible for the tender husband not to partake of those sympathetic feelings, which awaken the most anxious solicitude for the partner of his cares and pleasures. The critical hour of her travail, often occasions such painful and distressing apprehensions for her safety, as none can form any conception of, but those who have experienced them.
But the wisdom of inspiration inforins us, that, “It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to the house of feasting; for that is the end of all men, and the liv. ing will lay it to his heart: and that sor. row is better than laughter, for, by the