THE RIB RESTORED: OR, The Honour of MARRIAGE. A SERMON Preached in Dionis-Back-Church, occasioned by a Wedding, the 5. day of June, 1655.

By RICHARD MEGGOT, Preacher of the Word, to the Parish of Ford in Sussex.

MARK 10.6,7.

But from the beginning of the Creation, God made them Male and Female: for this cause shall a Man leave his Father and Mo­ther, and cleave to his Wife.

Chrysost. tom. 1.


Agellius l. 1. c. 6.

Quoniam ita natura tradidit, ut nec cum illis (uxoribus) satis commodè, nec sine illis ullo modo vivi possit: saluti perpetuae, potiùs quàm brevi voluptati consulendum.

LONDON, Printed by J. G. for NATH: WEBB, and WIL: GRANTHAM, at the Black-Bear in St. Paul's Church-yard, neer the little North door of Pauls, 1656.

To the VVorshipfull John Bayles of Wilbey, in the County of Suffolke, Esquire. Grace and Peace.

Worthy Sir,

THe Publication of this crude discourse, is a sufficient argument how incapable I am to resist friends importunities. I am not insen­sible, that there are too many defects in it, and I know those of maturer & better seasoned judgements, may finde more: But they that are the most judicious, are the least censorious. Wherfore upon a supposition that I might be prevailed with, to wave such things as these, yet notwithstanding I might have reasons e­now to oppose all entreaties; I will not repeat what I have so often urged upon this occasion, viz. My just desire of a close re­tirement, and naturall aversion, from any thing that might draw many eyes upon me. Besides all this, I have often reflected (with a more than common disturbance) upon the miserale disease, and distemper of the age we live in; the generality of men among us being compounded of Opinion and Passion, as of a Soule and Body: what one approveth, another disliketh; what one affecteth, another distasteth. It is very sad, but it is too true, a Spirit of giddinesse and distraction is gone out upon the Inhabitants of this dis-joynted Nation; and what the Angell of the Lord said to Hagar concerning Ishmael, is true of each particular Division and Separation; their hand is against e­very Man, and every Mans hand is against them: Gen. 16.12. each by an uncharitable partiality inveighing against, and condemning of every one but themselves. And thus pre [...]udice, a low and sinfull prejudice, unworthy of Men, much more of Christians, is the ascendant upon most mens Spirits. And they that are the most obscure, no question taste, but those that are most pub­lick, shall be sure to drinke a double portion of this bitter cup. But woe to him that maketh the Crosse a stumbling block. As we should not doe the least evill, that the greatest good may come of it, that being to distrust Gods power, as if he could not effect[Page]it; so neither should we refraine from the least good, for the greatest evill that may come of it, that being to distrust his good­nesse, as if he would not divert it.

Sir, Your Daughter was the occasion, that emboldneth me to make you the Patron of this Sermon. I must confesse, I could have wished that my libamina, the first-fruits of my labours to the world, had been something more generally usefull for the building up of Soules in their most holy Faith, and promoting of the power of godlinesse: this reacheth onely the particular duties of the Husband and the Wife. But these indeed are ma­ny, and exceeding weighty. The Spaniard hath a proverb, There is more required in Marriage, than two paire of Legs in one paire of Sheets. It is not to be attempted with a bruitish and sensuall minde. O that all that are tyed in this sacred knot, would consider in good earnest, and lay to heart what it is the Lord requireth of them! I should thinke my selfe exceeding happy, and account it a mercy to give thankes for, Evening, Morning, and at Noon: might it please the Al­mighty, to accompany with his blessing, these weake endeavours of the unworthiest of all the labourers in his Vineyard, to make them instrumentall for the rectifying and remedying those dan­gerous abuses in choosing of those vile miscariages that are too frequent in living with this relation.

The seed I sowed in that Judicious Auditory, that was assem­bled upon this occasion was good, (O that it might bring forth much fruit!) pardon the hand that cattered it, it was unskil­full. I then drew a Copy, (O that all whom it may concerne, that now shall look on it, would write after it!) not excepting at the unhandsomnesse, but pondering the usefulnesse of it. These are the hopes and prayers of

Your affectionate Nephew to serve you in the Lord, Richard Meggot.

Errata. p. 6. l. 37. r. infructuosa p. 15. l. 20. r. will p. 16. marg. l. 9. r. filiorum

THE RIB RESTORED: OR, The Honour of Marriage.

GEN. 2.18.

And the Lord God said, It is not good that the Man should be alone, I will make him an help meet for him.

WHen the stately structure of this materiall World first started out of nothing, at the call of the first Being; the method of the Creation proceeded commonly by Twins and Paires. If you look upon the Universe, there is a Heaven and an Earth; If upon the Hea­vens, there is a Sun and Moon; If upon the Earth, there is a Sea and Land; If upon the Time, there is a Day and Night; If upon the Seasons, there is a Winter and Summer; If upon the Creatures, there is a Male and Female; If upon our Na­tures, there is a Soule and Body: finally, if upon our selves compounded, the Flowers and Pinacles of corporeall existen­cies.[Page 2] The Lord God said, it is not good that the Man should be alone, I will make him an help meet for him.

My text is the Banes of Matrimony; the first, that ever was published: where Adam is asked thrice in once by the Blessed Trinity: None can shew any lawfull cause why he and Eve should not be joyned together: there is one why they should: for, The Lord God said, It is not good, &c.

division In which words you may be pleased to observe these three generalls,

  • 1. An Introduction.
  • 2. An Assertion.
  • 3. A Resolution.

The Introduction is full of transcendent Majesty, And the Lord God said.

The Assertion confirmes an experimentall verity, It is not go [...]d that the Man should be alone.

The Resolution testifieth an unwearied bounty, I will make him an help meet for him.

general 1 The first of these is the Introduction, And the Lord God said.How the Almighty here spake, whether eternally, in his owne decrees; or Syllabically by the use of instruments; or Miraculously, by the revelation of Angels; or Internally in the mind of man; or supernaturally by any other meanes, were a question not more intricate than unseasonable for this assembly: wherefore following S. Augustine's counsell,Augustin. in Gen. ad littram. quo­modo non est quod quaeramus, sed potiùs quid dixerit intelliga­mus, to enquire not so much how he spake, as what he spake. I shall wholly wave it, entreating your attention to the two remaining parts of my text, whereof the former is the

general 2 Assertion. It is not good that the Man should be alone: wherein take notice of these two particulars;

  • 1. The Subject, Man alone.
  • 2ly. The Praedicate, It is not good.

particular 1 I will begin first, with the first of these, taking a brief view of the Subject, Man alone.

For the better understanding whereof, you must know, Man may be taken under three considerations. [Page 3]

  • Universally.
  • Particularly.
  • Indefinitely.

consideration 1 First Universally, as including every man, each singular indi­viduall without exception: but in this sense it must not be ad­mitted here, for that would make the meaning of the words to be, It were not good for any Man to be alone; but the Apo­stle telleth you, 1 Cor. 7. of being alone in a single life, 'tis good for a Man so to be;1 Cor. 7.26. and in the 19. of S. Matthew, you reade of Eunuchs that have made themselves so for the Kingdome of Heavens sake,Mat. 19.12. Eunuchs [...]. Chrys. in loc. [...], &c. Chrysostome expoundeth it, not with Origen, by dismembring their bodyes, but with continence by suppres­sing their desires: an action so farre from being condemned, that it is advised, ver. 12. [...], He that is able to re­ceive it, let him receive it. To this purpose is that observa­tion of St. Cyprian, Cum adhuc rudis mundui & inanis est, copia foecunditatis ge­neratur, propaga­mur ac cresci­mus ad hu­mani generis augmentum; cum jam refer­tus est orbis & mundus impletus; qui capere cont [...]nentiam possunt, spadonum more viventes castrantur ad regnum. Cyprian. lib. de H [...]b. Virg. prima Dei sententia crescere & genera­re praecepit, secunda continentiam suasit: in the beginning of the World, when it was un-inhabited, Matrimony was com­manded, Gen. 1.28. Increase and Multiply: in processe of time, when more peopled, continency was commended, 1 Cor. 7.1. It is good for a Man not to touch a Woman. Good according to the Bifariam crit ei bonum esse soli, nempè & honestum licitumque & utile ac commodum, &c. Zanchius lib. 1. cap. 1. de Hom. creat. School­men two wayes; first it is good, that is, it is lawfull; there is no indispensable obligation laid on us, engaging us to Marry: and then secondly, it is good, that is, it is profitable; by it is avoided the cares of the World, the 1 Cor. 7.28. [...], the trouble in the flesh: So that you must not understand it U­niversally, when you heare, It is not good that the Man should be alone. But then Etiam Judaei qui praeceptum esse viris [...] aiust, uno ore concedunt tamen dispensatum esse cum iis qui assiduo legis studio vacare volunt, aliàs etiam immunibus ab acriori carnis stimulo. Maimon. cap 15. Halach, Iskoth.

consideration 2 2ly. Man may be taken particularly and singularly for the first man: and if you so understand it here, the meaning of the[Page 4]words will be, It is not good that Adam should be alone; Alone, that is, conjuge destitutus cùm animantes caeterae conjugatae sint, (as Tremellius in locum. Tremel. paraphraseth it) without a companion, without a woman, when all the other creatures had their mates and e­quals. You may have read (perhaps) of one who for his perverse and froward disposition, was called [...], a hater of mankinde & company; but he was an Hetroclite, a Monster in nature: Man is a [...]. Aristot. Ethic. lib 8. cap. 14. sociable creature, to whom a continuall solitarinesse could not but be exceeding tedious. Imagine our first Parent in the midst of Paradise, of that flourishing Eden, where he wanted nothing, either for use or pleasure. Suppose him Lord of the Mannor of the Earth, and his table furnished with the Cattell on a thousand hills; where he had the Beasts of the field for his obedient servitors, and the Fowles of the Aire for a consort of wilde Musitians; in so much that his eyes were satisfied with seeing, and all his sen­ses feasted with enjoying: even in such a condition, to have no converse, but with the birds and brutes, to have no ac­quaintance, but with the Mountaines and Rivers; to be al­wayes desolate without any associate, could not but abate his contentment, but leaven his happinesse: you easily per­ceive it, God graciously foresaw it. It is not good that the Man should be alone.

consideration 3 3ly. Man may be taken indefinitely, as comprehending mankinde in generall, including not onely Adam, but his po­sterity. This exposition is sufficiently warranted by the A­postles Position, Heb. 13.4. Marriage is honourable in all, Heb. 13.4. not only Cùm disertè Apostolus con­jugium honora­tum esse dicat, quid sentiendum est de illâ Hie­ronymi sententiâ, qui Matrimonium non inter bona, sed inter mi [...]ùs mala numerat? Beza. in loc. [...], but [...], not only lawfull but Honourable: in so much that the Romanists reckon it among their Sacra­ments, and Cùm Ma­trimonium per sensibilia signa sanctitatis [...]emedium contra peccatum homini exhibeit, sacramentum est. Aquinas Sup. 3. Quaest. 2. Art. 1. Matrimonium quod in fide Christi contrahitur habet, quod gratiam conferat ad ca operanda adjuvantem quae in Matrimonio requiruntur. Idem. Sup. 3. Q. 42. Art. 3. Aquinas will have it conferre gratiam, conferre grace on those that enter into it. Wherefore (by the way) I cannot but wonder why sometimes they are so much upon the other extreame, to vilifie and disparage it, as that Pope Siri­cius, [Page 5]who writing to the Bishops of Spaine, calleth it Zanchius tom. 4. in 7. praecep­tum. carnis pollutionem & immunditiem, the pollution and defilement of the flesh: but now I remember me, S. Paul maketh it one of the characters of them that should depart from the Faith, 1 Tim. 4 3. that they should forbid to Marry. What shall we call that pollution that was instituted before Quem libet hominem cui non est uxor, minimè esse hominem: cùm etiam in scripturâ di­catur masculum & saeminam creavit cos & vocavit nomen corum, Adam seu hominem. R. Eliezer dixit in Gem. Bab. qui­cunque negligie praeceptum de multiplicatione humani generis habendum esse veluti Homicidam. corrupti­on? or impiety that was ordained in the state of Innocen­cy? It was the [...], &c. Chrysost. in Gen Hom. 21. Greek Fathers descant upon Gen. 5.22. that in the same verse the Holy Ghost saith of Enoch, that he walked with God, and begat Sons and Daughters, to teach us (saith he) [...], &c. that Matrimony and Piety are not inconsistent: For though if you consider it absolutely, Man alone may be good; yet if relatively, It is not good that the Man should be alone; which leadeth me to the second Particular of this second Ge­nerall, from the subject, Man alone, to the praedicat, it is not good that he should so be, It is not good, &c.

particular 2 It is not good. 'Tis a knowne distinction among the Moral­lists, of a three-fold good, honestum, utile, jucundum,

  • Honest.
  • Pleasant.
  • Profitable.

In regard of the first of these, all is good that is not sinne: In respect of the two latter, it is here meant, It is not good. Wherefore the Septuagint have aptly translated the Hebrew, [...] not by [...], but [...], and Mercer hath well explained it, non est commodum, utile, expediens: Mercerus in Gen. it is not convenient, expedient: if you will, It is not so good that the Man should be alone.

An assertion whereof, according to the fancies of divers writers, I meet with divers reasons. Rabbi Salmo's glosse is, It is not good, R. Salom. as in regard of Gods honour, who is a jealous[Page 6]God, least if there were but one man in the world, to whom all the Creatures paid their homage, it should be thought there were two Gods, Adam should be accounted the God of Earth, and Jehovah the God of Heaven; but this is but the froth of a Rabbin's braines: if there were no Man (pray) who should thinke so?

It is not good (saith Pererius) in respect of the Angels,Pererius in loc. Quorum diminutio ob ruinam malorum spirituum supplemen­to hominum resarcienda erat: whose number in Heaven being lessened by the apostasie of them that Jude 6. kept not their first stations, was to be supplyed by the Heb. 12.23. Spirits of just men made perfect, and because there must be such, It is not good, &c.

It is not good (saith Gerard)Gerard. in loc. if you look upon Mans nature, and disposition, which being sociable, could not without irk­somenesse beare such a constant solitarinesse, as to be alwayes without company.

I am unwilling to tyre you with tracing the conceits of the severall expositors I have met with; to pitch upon some­thing I conceive most probable and profitable, take an ac­count of it in these three particulars.

particular 1 First, it is not good in respect of mankinde, which then would not be propagated. Wherefore the Roman HistorianFlorus, l 1. c. 1. relating their ravishing of the Sabine women, would excuse it with this reason, res erat unius aet [...]tis populus virorum, with­out them mankinde would fayle from the earth and perish. Upon this account among the Spartans, there was a paena [...], and Plato de leg. lib. 6. Plato in his Lawes would have every one that refused to Marry after the 35. yeare of his age, punished both in his Estate and Honour: In this regard the Plut. Amat. elegant Mo­rallist stiles Wedlock, [...], an helper of us mortals; if not the individuall, yet the species to immortality: for as by the fate of humanity, one generation passeth away; so by the fruit of Matrimony, another genera­tion cometh.

particular 2 2ly. It is not good in regard of the Church, which then would not be increased: & Christi mors (it is Carthusian's note) esset infructuosus, Carthusianus in loc. the death of Christ would have been lesse fruitfull, and laid downe for a meaner purchase.[Page 7]Had Adam been alwayes alone, there would have been no Church Militant, no chosen Generation, no holy Nation, no royall Priesthood, no peculiar people unto God, zealous of good workes, no gathering of Saints together, no assemblies and multitudes to tune Hosannahs and Hallelujahs; and all those happy, happy soules, that have tasted the goodnesse, the converting and sanctifying goodnesse of the Lord in the land of the living, would then have had no beeing. And then

particular 3 3ly. It is not good in regard of the Glory of God, which then would not have been so much manifested; had all man­kinde but Adam slept in their first Chaos, obscured in the dark, and barren wombe of nothing; those two eminent and resplendent attributes of his Mercy and Justice, that glister and sparkle in the Crownes and flames of the elect and re­probate, had been more concealed and clouded: there would have been no vessells of Honour in the everlasting mansions, no children of wrath in the consuming Tophet: he would not have been glorified by the one, nor upon the other: the Sheep on the right hand had been strangers to his surmount­ing goodnesse, and the Goates on the left hand been unac­quainted with his avenging justice.

And thus I have briefly shewn you how in regard of God, of the Church, of our selves, It is not good that the Man should be alone.

objection But perhaps you will aske me (with the Manichees) what then meaneth S. Paeul. 1 Cor. 7.1. It is good for a man not to touch a woman? doe the Old Testament and the New con­tradict each other?

I know this is a day for Roses and Violets, and as much as may be, I will decline the thornes of all ominous controver­sies, onely take a short Answer to take off the objection in these three distinctions.

answer 1 First, Moses speaketh of Man when Innocent, the Apostle of him when corrupted; and you know that which before sinne was a conveniency, by sinne may be made a misery; this being that, which will turne bread into stones, and fishes into Serpents.

answer 2 2ly. You must take notice of a publick, and a private good:[Page 8]in regard of the proper good of some particular persons, it may be good for a man not to touch a woman, in respect of the common good of mankinde, It is not good that the Man, &c.

answer 3 3ly. There is a permanent and a temporary, if you will, an absolute and relative good: a temporary good looketh onely upon the present condition, and as such a good the Apostle commendeth a single life, in regard of the persecutions in his time: let him be his owne expositor, 1 Cor. 7.26. I suppose that this is good for the present distresse: a permanent good hath respect to a continuall duration, and so you have seen this of my Text is true, It is not good that the Man should be alone.

To winde up this in a word of Application, that may come home to all.

application 1 First, It is not good that the man should be alone. It is not good. This is the cause why he will make him an helpe. God makes goodnesse the ground of his actions, Oh that we could learne to imitate him. It is Musculus's observation upon the place, Non dicit Nolo &c.Musculus in loc. God doth not say, I will not that the man should be alone, but it is not good. The Almighty that hath none to controll him, none that can say unto him, what dost thou? confineth himselfe to the eternall Law of goodnesse: and what; shall Man, vain Man, that must give an account for all that he shall doe, minde no­thing in his actions, but the phantastick dictates of his owne corrupted will? Learne (my beloved) I beseech you, in all your proceedings, to make God your patterne; to commune with your owne hearts, and consult with your selves, of what you goe about, not onely whether it be profitable, or whe­ther it be honourable, or whether it be pleasant, but also whether it be good or no. Were this question the preface to all our undertakings, it would be a curb and bar to hold and bridle us from rash enormities. Then the Hypocrite would leave off his close dissemblings, the intemperate his excesse of Riot, the Swearer his customary Oathes, the Wanton his enchanting dalliance, the Gallant his superfluous vanities, yea all of us our particular infirmities and impieties, because they are not good.

[Page 9] application 2 2ly. It is not good that the Man should be alone. If you look back upon the beginning of the verse, you will finde it was the Lord God said so; Deus ille est, qui antequam nos nihil minùs co­gitemus quàm de uxore, praparat, as Z [...]nc. l. 1. c 1. de cre [...] hom. you read not of Mans complaining: learne we then hence, how good a God we have that is sen­sible of our condition, hath a Heb. 4.15. Mat. 6.30,31. feeling of our infirmities, and taketh notice of all our wants, not onely before we mention them, but before we know them. It is our Saviours argu­ment to his Disciples, to trust in him, in the 6. Ch. of St. Mat. Take no thought what ye shall eate, or what ye shall drinke, or what ye shall put on, ver. 31. for your Heavenly Father know­eth that you have need of these things. He knoweth. Oh how may we cleave and cling to his providence, that thus thinketh of what may be good for us, before we think of it our selves; and not onely thinketh of it, but provideth it! What he saith here of Adam, he speaketh daily by his providences, to his Saints and Servants, my Servant such a one wanteth this and this, I know it. It is not good that my Servant such a one, be so and so, I see it. O what a comfort and cordiall is it to a faithfull Soule, to meditate that thy God is ac­quainted with, and taketh notice of all the burdens thou groanest under, all the necessities that oppresse thee, all the miseries that afflict thee: yea and withall remember, he is no bare spectator, he hath not onely eyes to see thee, but he hath hands to help thee. And so I am fallen upon the third and last Generall of my Text, when God saw, It was not good that the Man should be alone; he resolveth, I will make him an help.

general 3 Which leadeth me from the Assertion, It is not good, to the Resolution, I will make. I will make him an help meet for him.

Wherein take notice of these three particulars;

  • 1. The Agent.
  • 2. The Act.
  • 3. The Circumstance.

  • The Agent, I will make.
  • The Act, An help.
  • The Circumstance, Meet for him.

I will touch on each, beginning first with the Agent, I will make.

[Page 10] particular 1 The Greek Translators have it in the Plurall, [...], the Originall (to which our Translation accords) in the Sin­gular number, [...] I will make, which hath occasioned a question among the Learned.

question Why in the making of the Man and Woman, the num­ber is altered: in the 27. verse of the 1. Chapter, at the Cre­ation of Man the expression is in the Plurall number, Let us make; here at the forming of the Woman in the Singular, I will make.

answer Not to spend time in repeating the niceties of some criti­call heads, we will satisfie our selves with that ample and so­lid reason of Paraeus, Paraeus in loc. ut eundem se unum & plures esse decla­ret, to reveale to us the Mystery of the Blessed Trinity. To shew that in the one God there is three persons: in one place it is said, Let us make. To convince us that in the three persons there is but one God; in another place he saith, I will make.

I will make. It is an expression that carrieth in it a double Emphasis;

emphasis 1 First, I will make. I that made Man. I will make Man an help. And so it holdeth forth to us the inexhaustible good­nesse of our God, [...], &c. Ch [...]ysost. in Gen. Hom. 14. [...], he heapeth mercies upon mercies, and crowneth one blessing with another, day unto day sheweth forth his good­nesse. What is our life but a renewing of favours, a succes­sion of loving kindnesse? Where is the Man, the Woman whose private experience cannot speak abundantly to this particular? What a constant variety of love hath thy Soule and mine been fed with? his wayes are not as our wayes. From men the more we have, the lesse we must expect, but He is unwearied in the emanations of his bounty: with him one mercy is but the earnest of another, a first the Herauld and forerunner of a second. In this was David confident, 1 Sam. 17.37. The Lord (saith he) that delivered me from the paw of the Lyon, and out of the paw of the Bear, he will de­liver me out of the hand of this Philistine. He made no que­stion, but he that had done so much, would yet doe more.[Page 11]O that you would all goe and doe likewise. Upon this ac­count henceforward (my Brethren) learne to trust him. Let former experience encourage you to a future confidence. Why feare ye, O ye of little Faith? Mat. 8.26. Why should we distrust this God, when we have so little cause for it? Trust him with thy Body, trust him with thy Soul, trust him for Tem­poralls, trust him for Aeternalls, trust him for this life, trust him for a better. He is the same yesterday, to day, and for ever, Heb. 13.8. he doth not repent him of his kindnesse, but increase it. That is a first consideration, I. I that made Man, I will make him an help. And then

emphasis 2 2ly. There is another thing observable in this expression, I will make him an help. It must be I, I per se I, though Man wants an help, yet Man cannot help his wants: It must come from God, I will make.

It is he that maketh all our comforts and enjoyments. What hast thou that thou hast not received? 1 Cor. 4.7. What hast thou that is not of his making? Survey thy selfe what thou hast, and art, and speak if thou canst find any thing (except corrup­tion, which is but a privation) that is not of his making. Thou art a Man, a Woman, a rationall Creature: he might have made thee an Ant, a Worm, a Serpent. Thou hast a plentifull and large subsistence; he might, and for ought thou knowst, may make thee a wanderer from door to door. Hast thou any Spirituall blessings? they have all the same Author: Job 24.14. 1 Tim. 4.2. Hast thou a soft heart? surely that is of his making: it was as hard, harder than the neather Mill-stone. Hast thou a tender con­science? Revel. 18.2. Isa. 1.21. Jam. 1.17. surely that is of his making; it was seared with a hot Iron. Hast thou a gracious Soule? surely that is of his ma­king: it was a sinke of filthinesse. And to allude to that of the Prophet, Esay 1.21. Thus is the Harlot become a faith­full City. So true is that of S. James, Chap. 1. ver. 17. Every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights. All our springs are in him, and all our streames are from him.

[Page 12] application To close up this suitably to the present occasion.

Hath God undertaken and promised to make Helps meet for us? Then that I may speake a word in due season) take this advice along with you: when you looke out for an Help; choose a Help, choose a Wife of Gods making: I doe not mean only of his forming, (so are all the daughters of Adam) but of his reforming. Choose one that is Religious, Virtu­ous, Pious. In the 6. Chapter of Genesis, ver. 2. we reade that The Sonnes of God saw the Daughters of Men that they were faire, and they took them Wives of all which they chose. Gen. 6.2. That is too common. Oh that it were inverted, that the Sonnes of Men would see after the Daughters of God! These are faire indeed. If you look into the manners of the world, you may quickly see how much need there is of such an Exhortation:Non ego il­lam mihi dotem duco esse quae dos dicitur; sed sedatam cupidi­nem, deûm me­tûm & parentum amorem & cog­natûm concor­diam. Plautus Amphitr. Portion and Proportion, Wit and Wealth, Beauty and Dowry, these Men aime at, but who takes care for Piety? wanton Dinah, subtill Delilah, scorn­ning Michol shall be courted, if so qualified; but if not, were she as obedient as Sarah, as devout as Hannah; as well affected as Lydia, she is contemned and slighted. I speak not but that it is lawfull, yea expedient to make these our subordinate ends, but they must not be our only ends. Hagar and Sarah may dwell together, but remember the Mistresse have the upper hand. I may apply here the words of our Sa­viour to the Pharisees in another case. Mat. 23.23. These things ought ye to have done, but not to have left the other undone. Seek ye first the kingdome of God, and the righteousnesse thereof. Phil. 2.5. Let this minde be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who in taking the Spouse he will betroth unto himself for ever, look­eth not at the 1 Pet. 3.3,4. outward adorning, but the inward beauty, the hidden man of the heart. He that bringeth God for an Hus­band, his Spirit for a Dowry, and Heaven for a Joynture; accounteth them most worthy, that are most Holy: Be ye therefore Ephes 5.1. followers of God as deare Children. It is worth your taking notice of, that it was the expresse command of the Lord to the Children of Israel, Deut. 7.3. Deut. 7.3. that they[Page 13]should make no Marriages with the Canaanites. Thy Daughter (saith God there) shalt thou not give unto his Sonne, nor his Daughter shalt thou take unto thy Sonne. [...] à Lapan loc. Tantùm vetatur hîc, ne misceant connubia cum Chananaeis quamdiu manent Ido­lolatrae; naem si convertantur, &c. These are the words of La­pide upon that Text; They were forbidden to marry, because they were Idolatrous, and might seduce them from the Lord their God: therefore, procul hinc, procul ite profanae: Rom 15.5. these things were written for our instruction. Nothing maketh this relation so happy as Religion. This is the Salt that sea­soneth it, this is the Diademe that crowneth it, this is the per­fume that sweetneth it. It is a witty observation of the Cabbalists, Buxtorfius. that if the word [...] which signifieth GOD, be ta­ken out of the words, [...] and [...], which signifie Man and Woman, there remaineth nothing but [...] which signifieth fire. Indeed when God, the love and feare of God, is out of the Man and Woman, the Husband and Wife, there will be little or nothing but fire; nothing but the fire of Passion in the Mans heart, nothing but the fire of Pride in the Womans: and this will quickly kindle the fire of con­tention between both. Let this caution then be in all thy thoughts; let it be such a one that hath Grace in Gods eyes, that shall finde Grace in thy eyes. Foelices ter & ampliùs! How happy are such Marriages! they are like that of John 2.2. Cana in Galilee, where Christ is at the wedding: in such a con­tract, you may see triumphant the welcome labour of love, the masculine delicacies of friendship, the genuine blessings of society, the obliging union of hands and hearts. He that chooseth his Wife onely for her forme, her Facies, non ux­or amatur. fancy maketh; he that chooseth her for her wealth, her covetousnesse ma­keth; but he that chooseth her for her Grace, her God ma­keth: and if she be thus of his making, assure thy selfe she will be indeed an Help. Which leadeth me on to my

particular 2 2. Particular of this last Generall, from the Agent, I will make, to the Act, I will make him an Help.

An Help. Julian whose accursed wit was never in its ele­ment, but when blaspheming, scoffed at this place of Scri­pture, Cyril. objecting it should have been, I will make him an [Page 14]hinderer: for so she proved, being the occasion of our fall and ruine.

But, to take off this cavill; in a word, briefly you must know, that though she was so, this must be attributed to Satans temptation, and Eve's transgression, not Divine in­stitution.Ambrosius. God created her for an help.

[...] By the way observe, she must be no more; adjutrix, non Domina; a Helper, not a Ruler: Let her remember the station where she is placed, the sphere wherein she must act, not affecting dominion, but yielding submission, considering her Makers intention in her Creation: non è vertice (as Hie­rome excellently)Hieronymus. sed è late [...]e; not of the head, that she may not be proud, and claime superiority; but of the side, that she may be an Help content with an equality.

An Help not for generation onely, as some would have it, qui ad generationem restringunt, non satis considerant quid sit conjugium, saith Calvin upon my Text;Calvinus in lo­cum. they that restraine it so strictly, doe not well weigh what Marriage meaneth. The word the Holy Ghost maketh use of, to describe her by, is of a much larger extent, [...] the Targum rendereth it by [...], I will make him a prop, an upholder: the Septuagint [...], I will make him an assistant, an aide, an help: so she was intended: so she must demeane her selfe in these following particulars:

particular 1 First an Helpe she must be in Piety. Thus the Apostle Peter, 1 Pet. 3.1,7. as he exhorteth Husbands to dwell with their Wives, as men of knowledge; so likewise Wives to win their Hus­bands by their conversations: haec erat [...]n paradiso potissima causa foeminae, &c. saith a Learned and Pious expositor upon my Text:Parae. in loc. this was her chiefest help in Paradise, that Man and she might be companions in their Devotions. And (O) that Man and Wife were so still! this would make the whole Earth an Eden, a Garden of God; then every House would be a private Bethel, and every Family a Church in Epitome. O how good, and how pleasant a thing it is for the wedded to live together in Piety! when they take sweet counsell to­gether, and goe to the House of God in company! when by a reciprocall assistance, sustaining and leaning upon one ano­ther,[Page 15]they walke hand in hand together! But Moses had his Zipporah, and Abigail had her Nabal: many a good Husband hath a vaine Wife; and many a godly Wife hath a carnall Husband: thus many are disturbed, if not corrupted. All you therefore, whom God hath joyned together, labour what in you lyeth, to promote and edifie; dare not, however dare not to leaven and seduce each other. If you love, shew it, O shew it in that noble and Christian affection, that ge­nerous and sublimated passion, that is tender of the better part. Husbands, will ye suffer your Wives, the Wives of your bosomes to destroy themselves, and never tell them of it? where is your love to them? Wives can you see your Husbands, the Husbands of your vowes, without hope, with­out Christ, without God in the world, and take no notice of it? where is your care for them? O let your indulgence reach to the Soules of one another! For what knowest thou O Wife (to speak the language of the Apostle, 1 Cor. 7.16) whether thou shalt save thy Husband? or how knowest thou O Man, whether thou shalt save thy wife? 1 Cor 7.16. doe that, and you wilt doe a courtesie indeed, for which (as instruments) in the world to come, you will thank each other with joyfull lips. On the other hand, consider how sad and dolefull a thing it will be at the great account, to see the Husband and the Wife loading each other with black and tragicall execrations for their silent advancing of their mutuall ruine: to heare them indicting and accusing one another at the tribunall of God, to heare the Woman cry, the Man, the Man; to heare the Man say, the Woman, the Woman that thou gavest to be with me, she tempted me, and I did sinne. Consider the woe that belongeth to those by whom such offences come.

particular 2 2ly. A help she must be in her progeny, in the breeding and nurtering of her off spring, that so her children may be Gods children: that those which he shall give to her by pro­creation, she may labour to give back to him by education. Thus Hannah doth with Samuel, 1 Sam. 1.11. 1 Sam. 1.11. she voweth a vow, that if the Lord will give her a Son, by bearing him; she will returne that Sonne to the Lord, by serving him. Grace, though Parents cannot be the Authors to confer it, yet they[Page 16]may be the meanes to P [...]ov. 22.6. promote it. And how much are they all concerned in it, to phes. 6 4. bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord? this is the commendatory testimo­niall God giveth of Abraham, Gen. 18.19. I know that he will command his children, and his houshold after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord. G [...]n. 18.19. Maximus est thesaurus quem parentes filiis relinquunt, as the Father pithily, It is the best Portion they can give them living, the best Legacy they can bequeath them dying. Quantum putas [...]x [...]etaris adj [...] ­er boris parenti­bus, & maximè ma [...]bus, quae majori circa fi­lios solent affectu mov [...]ri, cùm vi­dent vitam fitio­rum, virtutum tramite relicto, vagari per d [...]via vitiorum? Bern. de passione do n [...]c. 30. [...], Plut. de l. educ. Remember your children have a long journey to goe, from Earth to Heaven: O let them set out be­times in the morning, least they should be benighted. It was St. John's praise, that he followed Christ when he was young; It was Timothie's happinesse, that he knew the Scriptures from a childe. Our Saviour biddeth his Disciples Mat. 19.14. suffer little children: doe you doe something more, help your lit­tle children to come unto him. Difficulter era [...]ur quod rudes anni perbiberunt: lanarum conchylia quis in pristinum candorem rev [...]at, &c. Hieron. Ep. 7. ad Laetam de inst. filia. And what Dives would have done for his Brethren when it was too late, doe you doe for your children in the accepted time; warne them that they come not into the place of torment. Provide for their Soules as well as their Bodyes, as knowing those tender plants will either be fewell for Tophet, or a nursery for Hea­ven.

particular 3 3ly. A help she must be in society. Aristotle calleth man, [...],Arist. Ethic. l. 8 c. 1. an affectionate creature, that delighteth in friendship: now the Womans behaviour should be such, as to encrease this delight, and requite this affection, that the new-borne love may not be blasted before it is rooted; that it may never be disturbed by contention, nor destroyed by aversation. I reade in Junoni nupti­ [...]lirem divinam cùm ficerent è victimá f [...]l ex­emptum post [...] ­ram [...]bjicere, moris fuit receptissimi: innuen [...]e (opinor) ejus, quisquis fuit, autore, bilem prorsus iramve à conjugali sequestrandam jucunditate Coel Rhodig. Ant. lect. l. 28. c. 21. Rhodiginus, that it was a custome, when they sacrificed, [...], to the Goddesse of [Page 17]Marriages, to take out the Gall and fling it behinde the Al­tar, to shew there should be no Gall or anger, no Strife or Bitternesse in the conjugall relation: there must be no pro­voking of one another here, but onely to good works. Basil Hom. 7. Hexameron. Ba­sil urgeth it by way of up braiding, to quarelling, and bitter Husbands, that Nature hath taught even the Viper to cast up his poyson, when he joyneth with his Female. Surely they are worse then Vipers, who for the reverence of this Sacred Union, will not abstain from all Rancor and Venome; things the maritall Love must be so farre from: this must be pure as Light, sacred as a Temple, lasting as the World. It is the highest degree of Friendship, the strictest cord of Amity, and this maketh every breach and jar by so much the more culpable. Learne therefore to beare with infirmities, and passe by each others saylings. The antients in their Ma­ritall Hieroglyphicks, used to paint Mercury standing by Venus, to signifie, that by faire language, and sweet entrea­ties, the mindes of each other should be united. Love is not more full of passion, when it is wholly blinde, than it is of discretion, when it will sometimes winke: This will cover a multitude of sinnes.1 Pet. 4.8.

particular 4 4ly. A Helpe she must be in her Family, being not onely a Wife, but an Housewife: not a Field-wife like Dinah, nor a Street wife like Thamar, nor a Window-wife, like Jezebel, but an Housewife. Wherefore Phidias when he should draw a Woman, painted her sitting under a Snailes shell, signifying that in her life she should imitate that little Crea­ture, that carrieth the house upon the back of it. And as such you may reade her description at large, Prov. 31. from the 13. to the 28.Prov. 31.13,14,15,16, &c. As in the Heavens there are two Lights, the greater to rule the Day, the lesser to rule the Night; so here on the Earth, there is the Man the greater light, to rule the Publick; the Woman the lesser light, to take care of domesticall affaires. Thus Marriage is called conjugium, from jugum, a yoke; when those that are joyned together, have a reciprocall and relative interest in each others actions, both promoting the same designe, in their severall capacities. Where cattell are yoked together, should one draw, and the [Page 18]other stand still, much more, if the one pull forward, and the other hale backward, they would but tire each other, both must put to their strength proportionably: and so here [...],Aristot. Polit. l. 3. c. 4. the yoke-fellows have each their taske and burthen: the Man must doe his part, by providing industri­ously, the Woman must doe her part, by preserving discreet­ly: the Man must doe his part, not neglecting carelesly; the Woman must doe her part, not wasting prodigally: fi­nally, the Man must doe his part abroad. the Woman must doe her part at home: the Man must doe his part by getting, the Woman must doe her part by saving. I question not but you are acquainted with your particular duties; this is not a place to reade a Lecture of Oeconomicks. I passe on.

particular 5 5ly. And lastly to include all: A Help she must be in all those duties, which in her Contract she hath engaged for, in the presence of God and Men. By solemne protestation she layeth upon her selfe an obligation to performe them, and it will be required at her hands; non tam respiciendum cui juramus, quàm per quem juramus, Lomb. 3. sent. distinct. 39. you stand bound by promise to the most High, and to him shall the vow be per­formed. The wise man telleth you, Eccles. 5.5. Better it is that thou shouldst not vow, then that thou shouldst vow, and not pay. Eccles. 5.5. Forget not thy engagements, and remember to ob­serve them. Quàm gravia vincula sunt vota! It is Ambrose's exclamation, major est contractus fidei quàm pecuniae. Amb. l. 9. in Lu­cam ad cap. 20. You are mistaken that look upon the Matrimoniall vowes, onely as things of custome and formality: know the Heavens heare, and the Earth hearkneth to them; and if they are broken, shall testifie against you for dissembling with the Almighty, and deluding of his Creature, by making promises, which you forget and falsifie.

[Page 19] application 1 That I may draw to a conclusion of this particular.

Doth God call the Woman here an Help? Then this might serve in the first place to correct the unlawful vanity of such, that imploy their wits to vilifie and disparage them; that stuffe their discourses with a Catalogue of their weaknesses, scarce ever mentioning them without a Satyr: whose best language is to give them Cato's periphrasis, that they are ne­cessary evills, condemning the frame of all, for the faults of some; as if it were a consequence, that because some are bad, therefore none are good. Is this their thanks to their Maker, to raile at the worke of his hands? But what Tertullian said of Hereticks, I may say here, detegere est refutare, Many Daughters have done vertuously. Tertul. Prae­script. Prov. 31.29.

application 2 2ly. Is Woman an Help to Man? The Wife an Help to the Husband? Then this may teach Husbands to be Helps to them againe. It is the Poets description of an Husband, [...],Homer. he is to his Wife; Father, Mother, Brother: and great reason for it, unlesse the state of Mariage should be no better than the condition of an Orphan: for she that leaveth all these rela­tions for him, will be a great loser, if she doe not finde them all translated in him. I am afraid Medea's complaint in Eu­ripides may be taken up by too many Wives, [...], &c.Euripides Med. Ambrose hath al­most translated it,Ambros Exhort, ad Virgines. Virgins are with their owne Money sold to misery, and their owne portion is the too deare price of a servile subjection. True it is, the Husband is the 1 Cor 11.3. [...], Phil. in Gen. 3.12. head of his Wife, and so hath dominion over her: but it is such as the Soul hath over the Body, to take care for it and help it. Their help is mutuall; the Soule furnisheth the Body with light and understanding, the Body requiteth the Soul with hands and feet: and so it must be here: she that hath parted with all her helps for thee, she that hath imparted all her help to thee, hath good reason to expect and meet with all help from thee. As the Earth sendeth up all its vapours, and pro­per [Page 20]emissions at the command of the Sunne, and yet requi­reth them againe to refresh her owne need, and they are deposited between them both, in the bosome of a cloud, as a common receptacle; that as they have ascended to coole his flames, so they may descend to make her fruitfull: so are the proprieties of a Wife to be disposed of by her Husband: they serve the interest of both, while they serve the necessi­ties of either. Now she is a part of thy selfe, corporis dimi­dium tui, Gen. 2.23. bone of thy bones, and flesh of thy flesh, and therefore nourish her and cherish her. It is the Apostles consequence, Eph. 5.28,29.Ephes. 5.28,29

application 3 3ly. Is Woman to be an Help to Man? Then let this teach you all whom it may concerne, the end of your conjugall condition. I may say in another sense, then Verus meant it, uxor dignitatis, non voluptatis nomen, Coel. Rhod. Aut. lect. l. 18. c. 13. Wife is not a name of Pleasure, but of Honour: you are to be Helps to those, to whom God hath joyned you: This was Gods end, I will make him an Help. Potuit simpliciter dicere, faciam ei foemi­nam, saith Ferus; he might have said, I will make him a Woman, but he rather maketh choice of a Periphrasis, which speaketh what the Woman should be, she should be an Help. So you are styled: walke worthy of the vocation, wherewith ye are called. Eph. 4.1. I never affected raking of sinkes, or handling sores: but I cannot but tell you, there are too many of your sexe in the world, so farre from deserving their name, that they may more properly be called a Crosse, than as here, an Help. How doe these degenerate from the end, for which God intended them, turning Antipodes to their duty? These are they (L and G.) that have injured you, as the fearfull spyes did Canaan, brought up an evill report of you, and loaded your sexe with such opprobrious Epithets.Num [...] 13 32. Helps to nothing but Vanity, Poverty & discontentment. Jerome some­where hath a quaint deduction from the creating of the Wo­man. E latere desumpta, &c. He lost a Rib for her making, wth weakned him enough: she had need to doe all she can to re­quite him by her helping him. We usually say of Women, they are helplesse Creatures: if they are so, the fault is not in Nature, but in themselves, they were Created to be help­full:[Page 21]or grant (as it is true in many things) they are help­lesse to themselves; this should be the greater argument to incite them, in all they may, to be Helps unto their Hus­bands, de latere sumpta non discedat à latere, saith Augustine, Augustinus. She was taken out of his side; let her not depart from his side, but shew her selfe as much as she was made for, [...] an Help. An Help to promote his Piety, an Help to breed up their Progeny, an Help to sweeten their society, an Help to uphold their Family, finally an Help in her whole duty: then indeed she will be

particular 3 Meet for him, which is the last Particular of this last Ge­nerall, and now cometh forth to crave your attention. I will make him an Help

Meet for him. [...] The Hebrew word is variously ren­dred by Expositors: some translate it, ex adverso ejus, some coram ipso, others astans ei, others commodum ipsi; the sence is almost the same in all, onely the words are different: oc­casioned perhaps by the fulnesse of the expression in the O­riginall, which cannot without some disadvantage be brought into another language. The Septuagint (I think) come as neer as may be, who render it here, [...],70. and in the 20. verse of this Chapter, [...]; I will make him an help, juxta correspondentiam ejus, (as Buxtorfius)Buxtorfius. suitable to him, correspondent and proportionable. [...], saith Chrysostome, Chrysost. [...], &c [...]. God had made Man many helps before he placed him in Paradise, and gave him dominion over the severall Creatures, some whereof were helps to feed him, some to ease him, some to delight him: but among them all there was not a Help [...] that was meet for him, agreeable to his temper, ad­equate to his nature: this is onely to be found in the Woman who is properly adjunctorium simile sibi, as some reade the words, a Help meet, fit for him.

Fit and meet she is, (to look no farther) in these foure par­ti [...]ulars.

particular 1 First, Shee is a Meet Help in regard of her Nature, being a rationall Creature, inspired with such a Soule, and capa­ble[Page 22]of the same enjoyments with her Adam. The Angells were too much above him, the Beasts were as much below him; the one he could not reach to, the other he could not stoop to: but the Woman is a Parallel line that runneth e­quall with him; a competent companion for his severall im­ployments, a convenient partner for his particular engage­ments. She moveth in the same orbe, walketh in the same paths, tendeth to the same center: she is actuated by the same principles, enjoyned the same precepts, made of the same flesh with him. Which is a first particular, wherein she is meet for him, in regard of her nature.

particular 2 2ly. Meet for him she is in regard of her forme, being of a like shape and feature. [...], saith the Philosopher:Aristot. Eudem. l 7. c. 2. likenesse breedeth delight, and every creature by a commanding instinct, asso­ciateth it selfe with those of its own species. Now before the Woman was created, Man was, (as the Psalmist complaineth of himselfe in another case, even as a Pelican in the wilder­nesse, as a Sparrow on the house top, desolate and lonely. Psalm 102.6,7. The rest of the Creatures could goe by paires, Turtles had their Mates, and Males their Females; but Man hath none, he is single and solitary. But though he be so, it is not good he keep so; wherefore that no inconvenience may be unre­medied, that no defect may be unsupplyed, the Lord God provideth, that he shall have an Help that is meet for him.

particular 3 3ly. Meet for him she is in regard of her Affections: she being tender and communicative. Brutes that have nothing but sense to rule them, are onely subject to the fierce and ruder passions, and to them likewise in the most violent ex­tremities: but in Man, the pleasing and soft affections, are both more strong and naturall. No Creature so sublimated in Joy, so prodigall in Love, so generous in both. But before Eve is formed, there is no imployment upon Earth, there is no requitall of these affections; her being bringeth occasion for both: now there is a sweet and ingenuous ex­change of themselves, a defecated and reciprocall delight in one another: nothing that is here before, was capable either of receiving, or returning such noble Emanations: at[Page 23]length she cometh, who in Affections and for affections is meet for him.

particular 4 4ly. Meet for him she is in regard of Discourse, using the same utterance. Apollonius Thyaneus vaunted, that he un­derstood the meaning of Birds and Bruits, by those confused sounds we heare from them: and Gregory telleth us, that the Angells, per sublimes & incognitos modos, Greg. Mor. 2. c. 5. after a hidden and secret manner speak to one another. Certaine it is, that to all society there is required a communicating of their mutu­all purposes, an unveyling and discovering of their severall intentions: and this Adam cannot doe to the Rocks and Trees, to the Fowles and Fishes, he cannot disclose his minde to such things as these: he wanteth one like himselfe, to whom he may unlock his thoughts, and open his Soul. Were there such a one, they might acquaint each other with the secret and private workings, with the dark and curtained mo­tions of their hearts, and such a one is the Woman, who as for other things, so for her discourse likewise is meet for him.

And by this time I suppose you will easily grant me, that of all the helps man had in Paradise, the Woman only was the Help. [...]

That I may now bring up my discourse to you, and with as much hast as may be, draw all to a conclusion: as you have seen that the Woman among the Creatures, so learne to see that the Wife among Women, be an Help that is Meet for you: if she be not; I will assure you, it were better for that Man that he should be alone.

She must be an Help Meet, that is fitly qualified for a Wife; and then she must be an Help meet for him that is fitly qua­lified for his Wife. Of the former of these before, when you heard in what; of the later now, when we are to enquire for whom she must be an Help, she must be meet for

Him. Eve for Adam, every Woman for that particular Man, to whom God shall joyne her. Lev. 19.19. Under the Law, seeds of several sorts were not to be sowed in one ground, Linnen and Woollen were not to be mingled in one Garment, and Cattel of divers kindes were not to gender. Cajetanus. Cajetan thinketh these [Page 24]things are not to be understood Literally; but Symbolically. Not to dispute that, thus much we may learne as to our pre­sent purpose, the method and decency, the order and pro­portion that must be observed in it: to speak in the language of the Apostle, 2 Cor. 6.14. There must be no unequall yoking. 2 Cor. 6.14. It is not sufficient that the Wife be good, but she should be also fit; not enough that she should be vertuous, unlesse she be to that suitable. Husbands and Wives are like Locks and Keyes, they rather break then open, unlesse the Wards are answerable. Divers Men, though in themselves unblame­able, are not fit for some Women; and divers Women, though in themselves commendable, are not fit for some Men. And whence come debates and disagreeings, discontents and jar­ings? are they not from hence? make them fit, and there will be no strife; were they even, there would be no odds. Some Rabbines that held the pre-existency of humane Soules, were of opinion, that in the beginning of the world, Soules were created by paires, Male and Female, and from hence (say they) it came, that Mariages were prosperous, or unsuccesse­full:Menasseb ben. Israol de term. vit. l. 3. sect. 5. he that matched to that person that was created with him was happy; but he that missed her, and was joyned to a­nother, was miserable. Thus much is true of it: without doubt those that are coupled together, and are unmeet, will be no helps. From hence it was, some thinke, came the first use of that Ceremony of the Ring in Weddings, viz. to re­present this fitnesse: that, if it be straiter then the finger, it will pinch; if it be wider, it will fall off; but when it is fit, it neither paineth nor slippeth: And thus it is with the Wife: if she be too little, she pincheth with disgrace; if she be too big, she falleth off by disdaine: they fit the closest both for use and ornament, that are most fit and equall. Wherefore Mariages are called Matches, implying they should be, so, not onely upon a Morall, but as much as may be, upon a Civil account. I cannot stay: take the summe of all in these three particulars. Shee must be meet in

  • 1. Religion.
  • 2. Disposition.
  • 3. Education.

[Page 25]A word of each:

particular 1 First, meet she must be in Religion: what fellowship hath Righteousnesse with unrighteousnesse? and what communion hath light with darknesse? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he, that believeth with an In­fidell? You heard before,2 Cor. 6.14,15 she must have Religion as to her conversation: now know also, she must have the same Reli­gion as to her profession. This exhortation may to some seem needlesse, in this Land we live in, in regard we all wor­ship the same God, and are called by the same name. But when I have sadly pondered, the many Divisions and Distra­ctions, the Schism and Factions, the wide breaches, and the wilde confusions that are among us, whereby the Father is divided against the Son, and the Son against the Father; Luke 12.53. the Mother against the Daughter, and the Daughter against the Mother, saying, Loe here is Christ, and there is Christ: Christ in this Church, and Christ in that Church, and Christ in no Church: this being the juncture, or rather sad dis-juncture of things among us, I say that consideration prevailed with me, to premise this caution, that she be meet in Religion.

particular 2 2ly. Meet she must be in disposition. I have read of an ingenious policy among the Athenians, that before they placed out their Children to any setled course of Life, they brought them into a Room for that end, stored and furnished with all kinde of variety, and narrowly observing, with what there they were most delighted, bred them up accordingly: Pa [...]mam hast ā que tenenti Nate de [...] d [...]xi, t [...]bise peritura reser­vant Pergama, Nas. 1. M [...]t. l. 3. If with Engines, to Manufactures; if with Books, to Lear­ning, &c. First they studied their Tempers, and then they suited their Imployments: something answerable is to be observed, before the entrance into the state of Wedlock. It behooveth thee first to be acquainted with thy selfe well, thy owne propensions, genius, and inclinations; and then with thy choice, whether she be analogicall, and correspondent, then there will be a Pleasure and Sympathy, a Consent and Harmony, constant and uninterrupted: she will be thy pi­cture, and thou wilt be her looking glasse; and you may both enjoy, behold, and cherish your selves in one another: but Fire and Water, if together, are alwayes wrangling, the [Page 26]Fire heateth the Water, and the Water quencheth the Fire: contraries will disturb each other.

particular 3 3ly. Meet she must be in Education. Some of our Euro­pean Nations are so strict in this particular, that it is against their Lawes, for the Commonalty to Marry with the Gen­try; because though other things might be convenient, yet their breeding hath been different: though that be something too rigorous, alwayes to be observed inviolable: yet com­mon prudence, and experience telleth us, that they live most contented that are most equall, there being most unity, where there is most symmetry. If the Wife be too much above her Husband, doe you not commonly see, she either ruineth him with expences, or revileth him with reproaches? If too much below him, it is as usuall; either her former condition ma­keth her too generous, or her present mutation maketh her too imperious. Wherefore let not thy ambition carry thee too much above thy selfe, nor thy indiscretion hurry thee too much below thy selfe: he that reacheth too high may over­straine, he that stoopeth too low may fling downe himselfe; but he that standeth upright, is probably in far lesse danger, either of hurting or falling.

application I will winde up all in a double admonition, the one to Hus­bands, how to choose their Wives; the other to Wives, how to behave themselves towards their Husbands.

admonition 1 First, To Husbands how to choose their Wives As King Porus when Alexander (whose Prisoner then he was) asked him how he would be used, answered in one word, [...], that is, like a King; Alexander again replyed, doe you de­sire nothing more? No, saith he, all things are in [...]. In like manner, in the argument we are now about, it will hold as fully. Is it not good for any of you to be alone, and would you know how to choose an Help upon a civill ac­count? I may answer also in one word, [...], choose her fit, meet for you. The direction is but short, but it is excee­ding emphaticall, and comprehensive: would men but fol­low it, and conforme to it, you would see none of those shamefull anomalies, none of those rash and ridiculous ine­qualities, that are too oft compounded in the conjugall rela­tion. [Page 27]But there are two grand Enemies to all decency and or­der, prudence and proportion; you know they are Money and Fancy; these commit the disturbancies, and are guilty of all the Riots: where either of these is predominant, they will stick at no irregularity, they will wink and swallow even the worst of absurdities. Thus some Fathers will sel their unwilling Children, some Children grieve their indulgent & more expe­rienced Parents: on the one hand, Parents through a sordid covetousness, are tyrants to children, on the other hand chil­dren through an unreasonable wilfulnesse, are disobedient to Parents: the Father commonly looketh only at the Purse, and the Child as usually mindeth nothing but the Person; the one looketh that the party be Rich, the other looketh that they be handsome: it may be neither questioned whether they be meet for thee.

admonition 2 That I may conclude: Let it learn Wives likewise how to behave and demeane themselves with their Husbands, namely as Helps meet for them. In the Civill Law, a Servant is said to be [...] one that sustaineth no person, but is a dependant and adjunct to his Master, to accommodate his will to the will of his Master. The Wife is not the Servant, but companion of her Husband, but yet she is [...] also, one that sustaineth no p [...]rson distinct from her Husband, and therefore must doe all things as is meet for him.

The Man saith of his Wife, when first created, she is bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh; Gen. 2.23. and so the Wife must look upon her Husband, when once they are Married, as bone of her bone, and flesh of her flesh, they are now united: all her promotion, interest, contentment, is joyned to his: both their particu­lars are bound up in one general, and like Hippocrates's twins, they live and dye together. It behoveth her then to remem­ber in all her actions, that nothing is fit for her, that is not meet for him. Let her then (I see I must have done) let her shew her selfe so, in every thing meet for him: meet for his Piety, by her fervent exciting; meet for his Progeny, by her carefull nurturing; meet for his Family, by her provident o­verseeing; meet for his Affections, by her endearing compla­cence; meet for his Will by her sweet compliance; meet for [Page 28]his Disposition, by her prudent observance; meet for his E­state, by her proportionable expences; meet for his Health, by her most tender preserving; meet for his Sickness, by her most diligent resto [...]ing; meet for his Prosperity, by her sober gratulation; meet for his Adversity, by her patient submis­sion: finally, meet in all things, by her dutifull conversation. Those that have such Wives as these, what the Almighty de­creed in my Text for Adam, he hath performed for them: Seeing it was not good that they should be alone, he hath made them helps that are meet for them.

At length (my beloved) my Text is finished, and I should now dismisse you, but casting my eye upon this new-joyn'd paire, the occasion of this dayes solemnity. I cannot let them goe untill they have a blessing: and it shall be that of the people at the wedding of Boaz, Ruth 4 11. The Lord make the Woman that is come into thy House like Rachel, and like Leah, which two did build the house of the Lord. Ruth 4 11. The Lord make her fruitfull as Leah, pleasing as Rachel. The Lord make her like Martha, and like Mary, which two enter­tained our Saviour. The Lord make her like Mary for her Piety, like Martha for her industry.

The Lord make the Man into whose house thou com­est, like Jacob, and like Joseph, which two were fa­mous in their Generations. The Lord make him like Joseph for his constancy, like Jacob for his frugality. The Lord make him like Joshuah, and lik [...] Caleb, which two fought the battells of the Lord. The Lord make him like Joshuah for his zealous service, like Caleb for his other spirit.

The Lord make you both like Abraham, and like Sarah, which two walked with God. The Lord make thee like A­braham for his fidelity & thee like Sarah for her conformity. The Lord make you both like Zachary, and like Elizabeth, which two walked in all well pleasing. I he Lord make thee like Zachary for his holinesse, and thee like Elizabeth for her humble esse: finally to pray for all things in the words of my Text, The Lord make you both mutuall Helps one to a­nother here, and espouse you both unto himselfe for ever.


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