« PrécédentContinuer »
tion: "intra limites disciplinæ;" so Tertullian expresses it. Πάντα μὲν τῷ ἀνδρὶ πειθομένη, ὡς μηδὲν, ἄκοντος ἐκείνου, πράξαι ποτὲ, πλὴν ὅσα εἰς ἀρετὴν καὶ σοφίαν διαφέρειν νομίζεται· so Clemens Alex ": " In all things let the wife be subject to the husband, so as to do nothing against his will; those only things excepted, in which he is impious or refractory in things pertaining to wisdom and piety."
But in this also there is some peculiar caution. For although in those things which are of the necessary parts of faith and holy life, the woman is only subject to Christ, who only is and can be Lord of consciences, and commands alone where the conscience is instructed and convinced: yet as it is part of the man's office to be a teacher, and a prophet, and a guide, and a master; so also it will relate very much to the demonstration of their affections to obey his counsels, to imitate his virtues, to be directed by his wisdom, to have her persuasion measured by the lines of his excellent religion: οὐχ ἧττον δὲ σεμνὸν ἀκούσαι γαμετῆς λεγούσης, ἀνὴρ σύ μοι ἐσσὶ καθηγητὴς καὶ φιλόσοφος καὶ διδάσκαλος τῶν καλλίστων καὶ θειоTárшv" It were hugely decent," saith Plutarch, "that the wife should acknowledge her husband for her teacher and her guide;" for then when she is what he please to efform her, he hath no cause to complain if she be no better: rà dè τοιαῦτα μαθήματα πρῶτον ἀφίστησι τῶν ἀτόπων τὰς γυναῖκας ; "his precept and wise counsels can draw her off from vanities ;" and, as he said of geometry, that, if she be skilled in that, she will not easily be a gamester or a dancer, may perfectly be said of religion. If she suffers herself to be guided by his counsel, and efformed by his religion; either he is an ill master in his religion, or he may secure in her and for his advantage an excellent virtue. And although in matters of religion the husband hath no empire and command, yet if there be a place left to persuade, and entreat, and induce by arguments, there is not in a family a greater endearment of affections than the unity of religion: and anciently 'it was not permitted to a woman to have a religion by herself:' "Eosdem quos maritus, nosse Deos et colere solos uxor debet," said Plutarch. And the rites which a woman performs severally from her husband, are not pleasing to God; and therefore Pomponia Græcina, because she entertained a
u Stromat. 7.
stranger religion, was permitted to the judgment of her husband Plantius: and this whole affair is no stranger to Christianity, for the Christian woman was not suffered to marry an unbelieving man; and although this is not to be extended to different opinions within the limits of the common faith: yet thus much advantage is won or lost by it; that the compliance of the wife, and submission of her understanding to the better rule of her husband in matters of religion, will help very much to warrant her, though she should be mispersuaded in a matter less necessary; yet nothing can warrant her in her separate rites and manners of worshippings, but an invincible necessity of conscience, and a curious infallible truth; and if she be deceived alone, she hath no excuse; if with him, she hath much pity, and some degrees of warranty under the protection of humility, and duty, and dear affections; and she will find that it is part of her privilege and right to partake of the mysteries and blessings of her husband's religion. Γυναῖκα γαμετὴν μετὰ νόμους ἱεροὺς συνελθοῦσαν ἀνδρὶ κοινωνὸν ἁπάντων εἶναι, χρημάτων τε καὶ ἱερῶν, said Romulus: "A woman by the holy laws hath right to partake of her husband's goods, and her husband's sacrifices, and holy things." Where there is a schism in one bed, there is a nursery of temptations, and love is persecuted and in perpetual danger to be destroyed; there dwell jealousies, and divided interests, and differing opinions, and continual disputes', and we cannot love them so well, whom we believe to be less beloved of God; and it is ill uniting with a person, concerning whom my persuasion tells me, that he is like to live in hell to eternal ages.
2. The next line of the woman's duty is compliance, which St. Peter calls," the hidden man of the heart, the ornament of a meek and a quiet spirit," and to it he opposes 'the outward and pompous ornament of the body;' concerning which, as there can be no particular measure set down to all persons, but the proportions were to be measured by the customs of wise people, the quality of the woman, and the desires of the man; yet it is to be limited by Christian modes
Quis deditus autem
Usque adeò est, ut non illam, quam laudibus effert,
1 Pet. iii. 4.
Juven. Sat. 6. 181.
ty, and the usages of the more excellent and severe matrons. Menander in the comedy brings in a man turning his wife from his house, because she stained her hair yellow, which was then the beauty.
Νῦν δ ̓ ἕρπ ̓ ἀπ ̓ οἴκων τῶνδε· τὴν γυναῖκα γὰρ
Cleric. p. 258.
A wise woman should not paint. A studious gallantry in clothes cannot make a wise man love his wife the better". Εἰς τοὺς τραγῳδοὺς χρήσιμ ̓, οὐκ εἰς τὸν βιὸν, said the comedy; "Such gaieties are fit for tragedies, but not for the uses of life:" "Decor occultus, et tecta venustas," that is the Christian woman's fineness; the hidden man of the heart,' sweetness of manners, humble comportment, fair interpretation of all addresses, ready compliance, high opinion of him and mean of herself".
Ἐν κοινῷ λύπης ἡδονῆς τ ̓ ἔχειν μέρος, ‘Το partake secretly, and in her heart, of all his joys and sorrows,' to believe him comely and fair, though the sun hath drawn a cyprus over him; for as marriages are not to be contracted by the hands and eye, but with reason and the hearts; so are these judgments to be made by the mind, not by the sight: and diamonds cannot make the woman virtuous, nor him to value her who sees her put them off then, when charity and modesty are her brightest ornaments.
Οὐ κόσμος, οὐκ, ὦ τλήμον, ἀλλ ̓ ἀκοσμία
Φαίνοιτ ̓ ἂν εἶναι σῶν μαργαρίτης φρενῶν, &c.
And, indeed, those husbands that are pleased with indecent gaieties of their wives, are like fishes taken with ointments and intoxicating baits, apt and easy for sport and mockery, but useless for food; and when Circe had turned Ulysses's companions into hogs and monkeys, by pleasures
a Qaid juvat ornato procedere, vita, capillo,
Nec sinere in propriis membra nitere bonis?
b Malo Venusinam, quàm te, Cornelia mater
Juven. Sat. 6. 167.
e Πρῶτα μέν γε τοῦθ ̓ ὑπάρχειν· κἂν ἄμορφος ᾖ πόσις, χρὴ δοκεῖν εὔμορφον εἶναι τῇ γενοῦν κεκτημένῃ· οὐ γὰς ὀφθαλμὸς τὸ κρίνειν ἐστὶν ἀλλὰ νοῦς.
and the enchantments of her bravery and luxury, they were no longer useful to her, she knew not what to do with them; but on wise Ulysses she was continually enamoured. Indeed, the outward ornament is fit to take fools, but they are not worth the taking; but she that hath a wise husband, must entice him to an eternal dearness by the veil of modesty and the grave robes of chastity, the ornament of meekness and the jewels of faith and charity; she must have no fucus but blushings, her brightness must be purity, and she must shine round about with sweetnesses and friendship, and she shall be pleasant while she lives, and desired when she dies. If not,
Κατθανοῦσα δὲ κείσεαι,
Οὐδέ τις μνημοσύνα σέθεν έσσεται,
Her grave shall be full of rottenness and dishonour, and her memory shall be worse after she is dead: ' after she is dead';' for that will be the end of all merry meetings; and I choose this to be the last advice to both.
3. "Remember the days of darkness, for they are many;" the joys of the bridal-chambers are quickly past, and the remaining portion of the state is a dull progress, without variety of joys, but not without the change of sorrows; but that portion that shall enter into the grave, must be eternal. It is fit that I should infuse a bunch of myrrh into the festival goblet, and, after the Egyptian manner, serve up a dead man's bones at a feast: I will only shew it, and take it away again; it will make the wine bitter, but wholesome. But those married pairs that live, as remembering that they must part again, and give an account how they treat themselves and each other, shall, at that day of their death, be admitted to glorious espousals; and when they shall live again, be married to their Lord, and partake of his glories, with Abraham and Joseph, St. Peter and St. Paul, and all the married saints.
Θνητὰ τὰ τῶν θνητῶν, καὶ πάντα παρέρχεται ἡμᾶς·
'All those things that now please us shall pass from us, or we from them;' but those things that concern the other life, are
d Brunck. Anal. T. 2. p. 342..
permanent as the numbers of eternity: and although at the resurrection there shall be no relation of husband and wife, and no marriage shall be celebrated but the marriage of the Lamb; yet then shall be remembered how men and women passed through this state which is a type of that, and from this sacramental union all holy pairs shall pass to the spiritual and eternal, where love shall be their portion, and joys shall crown their heads, and they shall lie in the bosom of Jesus, and in the heart of God to eternal ages. Amen.
APPLES OF SODOM; OR, THE FRUITS OF SIN.
What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.-Romans vi. 21.
THE Son of Sirach did prudently advise concerning making judgments of the felicity or infelicity of men; "Judge none blessed before his death; for a man shall be known in his children." Some men raise their fortunes from a cottage to the chairs of princes, from a sheep-cote to a throne, and dwell in the circles of the sun, and in the lap of prosperity; their wishes and success dwell under the same roof, and Providence brings all events into their design, and ties both ends together with prosperous successes; and even the little conspersions and intertextures of evil accidents in their lives, are but like a feigned note of music, by an artificial discord making the ear covetous, and then pleased with the harmony into which the appetite was enticed by passion, and a pretty restraint; and variety does but adorn prosperity, and make it of a sweeter relish, and of more advantages; and some of these men descend into their graves without a change of for
Eripitur persona, manet res.
• Ecclus. xi. 28.