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THE CHRISTIAN FATHER'S PRESENT,” &c. &c.
* Behold! how good and how pleasant it is, for brethren to dwell together in unity.
" It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even
THIRD AMERICAN EDITION.
PUBLISHED BY CHARLES XOAG,
The substance of the following chapters, was delivered by the Author, in a course of sermons which followed a series of expository lectures on the epistle to the Ephesians. The consecutive method of preaching, which he principally uses, is attended, he thinks, with this, among many other advantages, that it brings under the review of a minister, many subjects which would otherwise be overlooked; affords an opportunity for the introduction of some topics, which, from their peculiarity, seem to require such a way of access to the pulpit; and also furnishes an apology, for the discussion of others, which the fastidiousness of modern delicacy has almost excluded from the range of pastoral admonition. On entering upon the first branch of relative duties, the author was so much under the influence, perhaps improperly, of this excess of refinement, and felt so much the difficulty of making a public statement of the duties of husbands and wives, that he had determined at one time, to relieve himself from the embarrassment, by merely reading large extraets from Mr. Jay's beautiful sermon on this subject. After he had preached two discourses, and thus discharged, as well as he was able, this rather perplexing task, he received a numerously signed petition from many husbands and their wives, belonging to his congregation, requesting that they might be permitter
to read in print, the statement of their mutual obligations, which they had heard delivered with so much fidelity and impartiality from the pulpit. Instead of being limited by this request, the Author has gone beyond it, and sent forth the whole series of relative duties; thus furnishing a manual of advice, in which all the members of the household may find something appropriate to the peculiarity of their circumstances.
It is an unquestionable truth, that if a man be not happy at home, he cannot be happy any where ; and the converse of the proposition is no less true, that he who is happy there, need be miserable no where. “It is the place of all the world I love most," said the interesting Au:hor of the Task, when speaking of home. And he may be felicitated who can say the same. Any attempt, however feeble, to render the domestic circle what it ever should be, a scene of comfort, is at least benevolent. Nor is this a hopeless effurt ; for he who has the Bible in his hand, and speaks as the oracles of God, can disclose at once, and in few words, the important secret. The principles of greatest consequence to mankind, whether we refer to science or to morals, lie not buried deep in gloom and mystery, but are to be found, like the manna of the Israelites, upon the surface of things. The secret of happiness lies folded up in the leaves of the Bible, and is carried in the bosom of religion. The Author knows of no other way to felicity, and therefore does not profess to teach any other.
Let the two parties in wedded life, be believers in Christ Jesus, and partake themselves of the peace that passeth understanding; let them, when they become a father and a mother, bring up their children in the fear of God; and as a master and a mistress, be diligent and successful in instructing their servants in the principles of religion, and if happiness is to be found upon earth, it will be enjoyed within the hallowed circle of a family, thus united by love, and sanctified by grace.
The Author does not deny, that much of worldly comfort may be, and often is enjoyed in some families,