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bent duty; and influence others, by our example, to the like moderation, and strict regard to their respective offices.'
In the third chapter our author proceeds to a particular consideration of relatives duties; and as the matrimonial relation is the root of all others, he begins with the duties of the married state, treating first of those of the husband. But as it is impossible to know what his duty is, or what sort of behaviour may reasonably be expected from him, without fixing in general, what rank he holds, what character and office in society; he endeavours to state this matter distinctly, in a chain of connected and dependent propofitions, and then proceeds to explain his duty, to the wife, more distinctly, reducing all the chief branches of it to the following heads, viz. love; fidelity ; convenient and decent accommodation, according to his rank and circumstances in life; respect; defence against injuries; the improvement of her mind, as far as there are opportunities for it, in religion and virtue, and the knowledge which is best suited to her character ; and inviolate union. All these branches he largely confiders, and fully explains.
Before the doctor enters upon a distinct consideration of the duties of the wife, he takes notice of several bad dispositions that are obstacles in the way of our receiving instruction, of our acquiring just notions of the principles, and fulfilling the obligations of social and relative duties. One of these is, our treating points of morality, for the most part, as subjects of mere amusement and curiosity. And the more important the duties are, says he, and especially, if they are any way of a nice and fingular kind, or but rarely discussed, the stronger are the workings of this fatal habit of vain curiosity; the greater ascendency does it gain over the mind, the more does it captivate and inflave it, 'till by degrees, it grows to be the chief principle that directs its views, and suspends, if it does not utterly destroy, the impression of every juster and more ingenuous motive.
• And this is no more, than what we find by experience, to be the present course of nature, in all other parallel cases; with respect, I mean, to wrong habits, and passions indulged to excess; where the stronger is always getting head, and extending its encroachments upon the weaker principle, till the latter is wholly swallowed up, and centered in it. The application of this remark is very easy to be made, to the particular subject, which I am now explaining: and the necessity of restraining this idle trifling temper, and being governed by more rational and worthy views (if we would
either improve in the knowledge of our duty, or find ourselves properly disposed, upon all occasions to practise it) must be obvious to every common understanding.'
He observes likewise, by way of introduction, that there is something very remarkable in the manner in which the new testament states the reciprocal duties of husbands and wives, as well as in the copiousness and strength, with which they are recommended and enforced. St. Paul, he tells us, in explaining the duty of the husband, insists chiefly on love and its attendant offices, but when he fets before us a summary of the duties of wives, love is not distinctly mentioned in it, and feldom, if at all, inculcated in direct terms, in any passage of the new Testament; though it be an unalterable tie of nature, and ever binding on the wife, as much as on the husband. The reasons of pressing the duty of love so strongly upon the husband, the Doctor tells us are plain; because generally, the affections of men are not so easily and strongly engaged, as those of the other sex; and, if they do not enter into marriages merely from prudence, and worldly considerations, are sooner apt to decline, and fink from their first height and ardour, into a more indifferent and cool regard ; and because, while there is a cordial and lively affection in the husband, all the other parts of his conjugal duty will follow of course.
There was little occasion, he observes, to inculcate the. duty of love upon wives, it being a point in which they are not so liable to fail; but that there
fubftantial fons for enforcing submission as the capital and leading article of their duty ; not so much as it is the root of all others, but as the foundation, on which objections and difficulties may arise, and breaches of mutual affection. He refers us to experience as a proof that subjection is irksome and grievous to both sexes, who are not only fond of an universal equality, or at least each, of being brought on a level with all others, that are nearest their own situation and rank of life, but aspire, through vanity and immoderate self flattery, to a preheminence. To press submission, therefore, as the chief duty of the subordinate part, and love, to temper the authority and rigour of the superior, he says must be proper in all moral systems, and especially in institutes of divine morality.
After this preliminary introduction, he proceeds to difcourse more largely on the several branches of the duty of wives, which he reduces to the following heads, viz. Subs mission, love, fickelity, prudence, frugality, meekness, and
modesty. What is advanced on the head of fidelity, both as it is a duty of the husband and of the wife, is well worthy the perusal of every reader that would have his mind impressed with a becoming sense of the malignity of adultery, the most infamous and cruel of all immoralities. Our worthy author has distinctly specified the peculiar aggravations that attend this crime, both on the side of the husband and that of the wife. The chief things, says he, which enhance and swell the guilt of a violation of conjugal fidelity, in the female sex, are those which follow.
* First, that the gracious parent of the whole family of mankind (for both males and females are equally his offspring and the care of his indulgent providence) that he, I say, in the case of the woman, has been pleased to im-. plant, and temper with her very constitution, an ingenuous mode;ły, that is shocked at the thought of all indecent freedoms, and gross impurities ; and particularly shy and fearful (more so here, than in most other respects) of any attacks, that may be made either on her virgin chastity, or conjugal honour. In consequence of her greater modesty, nature has also endued her, with a more quick and lively sense of mame. And from this root it is, that she feels more bitter agonies of confusion and remorse, in the first prospect of being publickly exposed, than is generally found to spring either from the principle of honour, or the passion of shame, in men. Add to this, that these, as to their degree at least, peculiar ingredients in female natures, are afiifted, strengthened, and guarded yet more, by the manner of their education : which, when it is careful and prudent, is more close and reserved, and more restrained to all, even the lowest, points of decency, than is for the most part, that of the other fex.
• So that, when she wilfully degenerates, into the vile character of an adultress, she acts not only against the general dictates of nature, but against the more immediate principles and laws of her own conftitution. She renders herself, to a very high degree, infamous, odious to all the virtuous and chaste of her own sex, pitied and despised by the other ; and in the eye of God, having broken through all the reftraints which he kindly provided to check lawless passion, and preserve her purity unsullied, she must, doubtless, appear, with very foul stains of guilt upon her soul.
. And it will be no wonder, as this is the point, in which, for the reafons above-mentioned, it was moft unnatural in her to err, if afterwards the be found to deviate still farther
and farther, from the first implanted sentiments, and peculiar impulses of her nature, and becomes in the end, utterly hardned against all sense of shame. Her native modesty was intended to be the chief ornament and loveliness (as it has, indeed, many irresistible charms and graces attending it) as well as ordained, for the defence of her sex's honour. This she must have both inwardly felt, and have been convinced of from common experience : and therefore, when by offering violence to nature, and setting all decency at defiance, she breaks through this most engaging and powerful tie, the guilt of her infidility must be hereby greatly, heightened, and rendered more black and unpardonable.
• Another aggravation, of the guilt of an adulterous wife, differing in kind from those already suggested, but derived, as they are, from the particular temperament of the female sex, is this ; that they are, while uncorrupted, apt to be sooner moved, and more shocked, at barbarities, at all gross acts of injustice and outrage. And having this fingular restraint, besides the common principles of humanity, and sense of right, is it possible for them, without an uncommon naughtiness and pravity of heart, to be involved in a course of the most vile and detefted injustice ? of complicated injustice, injustice not only to single persons, but to whole families; by alienating estates from the right heirs ; confounding property; and by accidental discoveries, creating embarrassment in the titles to estates, that have for a long time been peaceably, and without interruption poffeffed ? As these la circumstances, by which the innocent muft necefsarily fuffer, are likely to be, oftner, the consequence of the wifé's than of the husband's infidelity, they may justly be reckoned, another of its heinous and special aggravations.
· Let me add farther, that the injury done, by this particular o ence, is perhaps, beyond that of all others (the case of murder only excepted) irreparable ; and that even the confeffion, and ingenuous acknowledgment of it, will frequently encrease and aggravate the injury, as it will add to the inconsolable affliction, and the piercing agonies of grief, which the kind and tender-hearted husband feels, by leaving him no possible room to doubt of his dishonour, nor consequently the least dawning of hope, to palliate and relieve his misery.
« These last indeed, are mischievous and dreadful circumstances, attending the crime of adultery universally; and ought to have the same weight to deter the husband from the commission of it, as the other contracting party in marriage, to whom they have been directly represented. And
it is an undeniable branch of his duty, likewise, if this capital instance of infidelity be an unpardonable act of guilt in the other sex, carefully to avoid everything, that may be an inducement or provocation to it : every thing that tends to create an aversion to his person, all ill usage that may gradually extinguish love, and inspire deep and settled resentment. He should take care, to maintain a striat watch over all his loose and wandering passions, that he may be a bright, and unexceptionable, example of pure uncorrupted fidelity. For if he violates his own folemn tie (though God may be righteously displeased, and will doubtless, severely punish, and the world may justly censure, the like instance of corruption in the wife) yet he himself, without being quite impudent in vice, in excesses of most unbridled and licentious vice, cannot think that he has any right to complain.
. But let him guard, with the whole collected force of his reason, against the sin and torment of causeless jealousy, ordained by the wise author of nature, to be a perpetual puwishment to itself; because it is a seed, fruitful of every thing mischievous, and of irreconcileable discord. -- A passion, weak, ungenerous, and unmanly, in itself; the utmost dishonour and iujury, that can possible be offered to an innocent and faithful wife ; and which may prompt some of impetuous tempers, and not duly influenced by principles of virtue and religion, to meditate such wild schemes of revenge, as in all probability, no other inordinate passion would have ever engaged them in. It is, therefore, a wife caution, which is given by the son of Syrac in the book of Ecclefiafticus, Be not jealous over the wife of thy bosom, and teach her not an evil lesson against thy felf.
But let me remark here, before I conclude this head, that the passage, just cited, was only designed to intimate, what may be, in fact, the fatal consequence of groundless jealousy; but not in the least to vindicate, or excuse, such extravagant and unnatural resentment in the wife, for any abuse or wrong, which she may have unjustly suffered : for though another fails in his duty, mine is still inviolable. Much less, can his doing me a lesser injury, juftify my
being hurried on, by an ungoverned transport, to the commisfion of a greater. Upon altogether as reasonable a ground, may defamation, and flander, provoke to fraud and robbery, or a violent assault upon my person, though without actual mischief, to premeditated murder itself; as jealousy can urge to adultery,'