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strike ; And if the man cannot endure her talking, how can
she endure his striking? But this Caution contains a Duty
in it which none prevaricates, but the meanest of the people,
Fools and Bedlams, whose kindness is a Curse, whose govern-
ment is by chance and Violence, and their families are Herds
of talking Cattel,

Sic alternos rejicit cursus
Alternus Amor, sic aslrigens
Bellum discors exulat oris.
HcEC Concordia temper at ccquis
Elementa modis, tct pugnantia
Vicibus cedant Iiumida siccis,
Jungantque fidem frigora Jlammis.

The Marital Love is infinitely removed from all possibility of
such rudenesses : it is a thing pure as Light, sacred as a
Temple, lasting as the World ; Amicitia, gtice desinere potuit,
nunquam vera fnit, said one ; that love, that can cease, was
never true : it is o/AtXia, so Moses call'd it ; it is eovoia, so S.
Paul ; it is ^iXoVrj?, so Homer ; it is ^iKo^pocrvvr], so Pbitarch;
that is, it contains in it all sweetness, and all society, and
felicity, and all prudence, and all wisdom. For there is
nothing can please a man without Love, and if a man be


The Marriage Ring.


weary of the wise discourses of the Apostles, and of the inno-
cency of an even and a private Fortune, or hates peace or a
fruitful Year, he hath reaped Thorns and Thistles from the
choicest Flowers of Paradise ; For nothing can sweeten felicity
itself, but Love ; but when a man dwells in love, then the Breasts
of his Wife are pleasant as the droppings upon the hill of
Hcrnioii, her Eyes are fair as the light of Heaven, she is a
Fountain sealed, and he can quench his thirst, and ease his
cares, and lay his sorrow down upon her lap, and can retire
home as to his sancluar)' and refecflory, and his gardens of
sweetness and chast refreshments'". No man can tell but he
that loves his children, how many delicious accents make a
mans heart dance in the pretty conversation of those dear
pledges : their childishness, their stammering, their little
angers, their innocence, their imperfe6lions, their necessities
are so many little emanations of joy and comfort to him that
delights in their persons and society ; but he that loves not
his Wife and Children, feeds a Lioness at home, and broods a
nest of Sorrows ; and Blessing itself cannot make him Happy ;
so that all the Commandments of God injoyning a man to
love his wife, are nothing but so many Necessities and Capa-
cities of joy. She that is lo-Jd is safe, and he that loves is joy-
ful. Love is a union of all things excellent ; it contains in it.
Proportion and Satisfadlion, and Rest and Confidence ; and I
wish that this were so much proceeded in, that the Heathen
themselves could not go beyond us in this Vertue, and its
proper, and its appendant happiness. Tiberius Gracchus chose
to die for the safety of his Wife ; and yet methinks to a
Christian to do so, should be no hard thing ; for many Ser-
vants will die for their Masters, and many Gentlemen will die
for their Friend ; but the Examples are not so many of those
that are ready to do it for their dearest Relatives, and yet

K 2 some

* Felices
ter i2^
Quos ir-

niis. Su-
solvet a-
mor die.

The Marriage Ring.

some there have been. Baptista Fregosa tells of a Neapolitan,
that gave himself a slave to the Moors, that he might follow
his Wife, and Dominicns Catalusius, the Prince of Lesbos,
kept company with his Lady when she was a Leper, and these
are greater things than to die.

But the Cases in which this can be required are so rare

and contingent, that holy Scripture instances not the duty in

this particular ; but it contains in it that the Husband should

nourish and cherish her, that he should refresh her sorrows

and intice her fears into confidence and pretty arts of rest ;

For even the Fig-trees that grew in Paradise had sharp

pointed Leaves, and Harshnesses fit to mortifie the too forward

lusting after the Sweetness of the Fruit. But it will concern

the Prudence of the Husbands love to make the Cares and

Evils as simple and easie as he can, by doubling the Joys and

UxorU A6ls of a careful friendship, by tolerating her Infirmities,

^toUaT (because by so doing, he either cures her, or makes himself

opus est, ^gj-jgr) by fairly expounding all the little traverses of society

and communication, by taking every thing by the right handle.


Qui tollit ' . • V r i' •" 1 • i_ u

vitium, (as Plutarch s expression is) for there is nothing but may be

Tommo- mis-interpreted, and yet if it be capable of a fair construftion,

1^'"ibi it is the Office of Love to make it.

sese me- "Or' av Ti Xehj, ypr) hoKelv, Kav arj Xeyv,
liorem , „

facit. - Ka/CTTOl'etl'


kv TO ^vvovTi, TTjOO? X'^P''^ fieWt) "Keryeov.
Love will account that to be well said, which it may be was
not so intended ; and then it may cause it to be so, another

3. Hither also is to be referred that he secure the Interest
of her Vertue and Felicity by a fair Example ; for a Wife to a
Husband is a Line or Superficies, it hath Dimensions of its


The Marriage Ring. 29

own, but no Motion or proper affedlions ; but commonly puts
on such images of vertues or vices as are presented to her by
her Husband's Idea: and if thou beest vicious, complain not
that she is infe£led that lies in thy bosom ; the interest of whose
love ties her to transcribe thy Copy, and write after the Cha-
ra6lers of thy manners. Paris was a man of Pleasure, and
Helena was an Adulteress, and she added Covetousness upon
her own account. But Ulysses was a prudent man, and a
wary counsellor, sober and severe ; and he efformed his Wife
into such imagery as he desir'd ; and she was Chast as the
Snows upon the mountains. Diligent as the fatal Sisters,
always Busie, and always Faithful, yXaJcro-af \iXv dpy-qv, x^'pa
8' elx'^v ipydrqv, she had a lazy tongue, and a busie hand.

4. Above all the instances of Love, let him preserve Kai d^i-
towards her an inviolable Faith, and an unspotted Chastity, poiVi Tin
for this is the Marriage Ring, it ties two hearts by an eternal ^ ^'"''
band ; it is like the Cherubims flaming sword, set for the
guard of Paradise ; he that passes into that garden, now that
it is immur'd by Christ and the Church, enters into the shades
of death. No man must touch the forbidden Tree, that in the
midst of the garden, which is the tree of Knowledge and
Life. Chastity is the security of Love, and preserves all the
Mysteriousness like the secrets of a Temple. Under this
Lock is deposited security of Families, the union of Affecflions,
the repairer of accidental Breaches.

- ■ Kai o"(^ aKpLTa veiKea \vaw

E('? evvrjv dvecraaa 6/j,(j)6rjvai (fiiXorrjTt.

This is a Grace that is shut up and secur'd by all arts of
Heaven, and the defence of Laws, the locks and bars of
Modesty, by honour and reputation, by fear and shame, by
interest and high regards ; and that contract that is intended


30 The Marriage Ring.

to be for ever, is yet dissolved, and broken by the violation of
this ; nothing but Death can do so much Evil to the holy rites
of Marriage, as Unchastity and breach of Faith can. The
shepherd Gratis falling in love with a She-goat, had his brains
beaten out with a Buck as he lay asleep ; and by the Laws of
the Roiuafis, a man might kill his Daughter, or his Wife, if he
surprised her in the breach of her holy Vows, which are as
sacred as the threads of Life, secret as the privacies of the
Sanduary, and holy as the society of Angels. Nullce sunt
inimicitice nisi avioris accrbce, and God that commanded us
to forgive our Enemies, left it in our choice, and hath not
commanded us to forgive an adulterous Husband or a Wife ;
but the offended parties Displeasure may pass into an eternal
Separation of Society and friendship. Now in this Grace it is
fit that the Wisdom and severity of the man should hold forth
a pure Taper, that his Wife may, by seeing the beauties and
transparency of that Crystal, dress her mind and her body by
the light of so pure reflexions ; It is certain he will expect it
from the modesty and retirement, from the passive nature and
colder temper, from the humility and fear, from the honour
and love of his Wife, that she be pure as the Eye of Heaven:
and therefore it is but reason that the wisdom and nobleness,
the love and confidence, the strength and severity of the man
should be as holy and certain in this grace, as he is a severe
exaftor of it at her hands, who can more easily be tempted by
another, and less by her self.

These are the little Lines of a mans Duty, which like
threads of Light from the body of the Sun do clearly describe
all the regions of his proper Obligations. Now concerning
the womans diUy, although it consists in doing whatsoever her
Husband commands, and so receives Measures from the rules
of his Government, yet there are also some lines of life


The Marriage Ring. 31

depifted upon her hands, by which she may read and know
how to proportion out her duty to her Husband.

I. The first is Obedience; which because it is nowhere
enjoyned that the man should exa6l of her, but often com-
manded to her to pay, gives demonstration that it is a
voluntar}'^ Cession that is required, such a Cession as must
be without coercion and violence on his part, but upon fair
inducements, and reasonableness in the thing, and out of love,
and honour on her part. When God commands us to love
him, he means we should obey him ; This is love that ye keep
my Commandments, and, If ye love me (said our Lord) keep
my Commandments : Now as Christ is to the Church, so is
Man to the Wife : and therefore obedience is the best instance
of her Love ; for it proclaims her Submission, her Humility,
her Opinion of his wisdom, his preeminence in the family,
the Right of his priviledge, and the Injunftion imposed by
God upon her Sex, that although in sorrow she bring forth
children, yet with love and choice she should obey. The mans
aiithority is love, and the i^'omans love is obedience ; and it was
not rightly observed of him that said, when the woman fell,
God made her timorous that she might be rul'd, apt and easie
to obey ; for this obedience is no way founded in fear, but in
love and reverence. Receptee reverentice est, si mulier viro c. aiia, Dc
subsit, said the Law ; unless also that we will add, that it is Ma/ri,,,.
an effect of that Modesty which like Rubies adorn the necks
and cheeks of Women. Pudicitia est, pater, eos magnifcare. ptautus in
qui nos socias sumpserunt sibi, said the Maiden in the Comedy :
It is modesty to advance and highly to honour them, who
have honoured us by making us to be the companions of
their dearest excellencies ; for the Woman that went
before the man in the way of Death, is commanded to
follow him in the way of Love ; and that makes the Society


32 The Marriage Ring.

to be perfe6l, and the Union profitable, and the Harmony

Inferior Matrona suo sit, Sexte, marito ;
Non aliter fijint fcBviina virque pares.

For then the Soul and Body make a perfeft Man, when the
Soul commands wisely, or rules lovingly, and cares profitably,
and provides plentifully, and condu6ls charitably that Body
which is its partner and yet the inferior. But if the Body
shall give Laws, and by the violence of the appetite, first
abuse the Understanding, and then possess the superior
portion of the Will and Choice, the body and the soul are
not apt company, and the man is a fool and miserable. If
the Soul rules not, it cannot be a Companion ; either it must
govern, or be a slave ; Never was King deposed and suffered
to live in the state of Peerage and equal Honour, but made
a Prisoner, or put to death ; and those women, that had rather
lead the blind than follow prudent guides, rule fools and easie
men than obey the powerful and wise, never made a good
society in a house : a wife never can become equal but by
obeying ; but so her power while it is in minority, makes up
the authority of the man integral, and becomes one govern-
Gen. 5. 2. ment, as themselves are one man. Male and Female created
he them, and called their name Adam, saith the holy Scripture ;
they are but One : and therefore the several parts of this one
man must stand in the place where God appointed, that the
lower parts may do their ofiices in their own station, and
promote the common interest of the whole. A ruling Woman
is intolerable.

Juvenal. Faciunt graviora coa^lce

Iinperio sexus


The Marriage Ring. 1}^

But that's not all ; for she is miserable too : for,

Ta Sevrepeia Trjv •yvval/ca Bel \iyeiv

Trjp B' r'jiye/jLOViav rmv oXcov tov dvBp exeiv.

It is a sad calamity for a Woman to be joyned to a Fool
or a weak person ; it is like a guard of Geese to keep the
Capitol, or as if a flock of Sheep should read grave Leftures
to their Shepherd, and give him orders where he shall conduct
them to pasture. O vere Plwygic?, neque enim P/nygcs, It is
a curse that God threatned sinning persons, Dcvoratiim est
robur eorum, falli stmt quasi mulieres. Effozniinati domina- Esay 3. 4.
bnnttir eis. To be ruled by weaker people ; SoOXov yiv^a-dai,
Trapa(f)povovvTo^ SecnTOTov, to have a fool to ones Master, is
the fate of miserable and unblessed people : and the Wife can
be no ways Happy, unless she be governed by a prudent
Lord, whose Commands are sober counsels, whose Authority
is paternal, whose Orders are provisions, and whose Sentences
are charity.

But now concerning the Measures and Limits of this
Obedience, we can best take accounts from Scripture ; iv
iram-l, saith the Apostle, m a/i things; nt Domino, as to ///^ Ephes. 5.
Lord ; and that's large enough ; as unto a Lord, iit Ancilla '
Domino, So S. Hierome understands it, who neither was a
friend to the sex nor to marriage ; But his mistake is soon
confuted by the Text ; It is not ut Dominis, be subjeft to
your Husbands as unto Lords, but W9 tw Kvpiw, that is, in all
religion, in reverence and in love, in duty and zeal, in faith
and knowledge ; or else tos tw Kvp'ua may signifie, Wives be
subje6l to your Husbands, but yet so, that at the same time
ye be subje6l to the Lord. For that's the measure of h> wavrl,
in all things ; and it is more plain in the parallel place. oJ?
o.vr\K(.v iv Kvpio), as it is fit in the Lord: Religion must be Coi. 3. 18.
the Measure of your obedience and subjection : intra limitcs

1- disciplina,

34 The Marriage Ring.

disciplines, so Tertullian expresses it. iravra ju-ev tw avhpl
ireLBofievr), cJs jinySev a/covros eKeivov, Trpa^ai iroTC, irXrjv ocra ets
stromal.'], apevriv KoX ao(f)Cav 8t,a(f>ep£Lv vofiC^eTai, so Clemens Alex. In
all things let the Wife be subjeft to the Husband, so as to
do nothing against his will ; those only things excepted, in
which he is impious or refra6lory 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 subjefl to Christ, who
only is and can be Lord of consciences, and commands alone
where the conscience is instru6led and convinced : yet as it is
part of the mans 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 affe6lions to obey his Counsels, to imitate
his Vertues, to be direcfted by his Wisdom, to have her Per-
swasion measured by the lines of his excellent Religion, ov^
■^TTOv Se arejjivov aKOvaai ya/ierijs XeyovcTT^s, ^Avep, av jxol icrcrl
KaOrjyrjT'^'i koI <^iXoo"o^os kol SiSacr/caXos twv KaWCcrTov koi
OeLOTaroiv, 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 : to. Se rotaOra
\La.dr)p.aTa. ■npunov d<f>LcrTrjcn t<ov oLTOTTOiv ra? yvvatKa? ; his
precept and wise counsels can draw her off from vanities ;
and, as he said of Geometry, that if she be skill'd in that, she
will not easily be a Gamester or a Dancer, may perfeftly be
said of Religion. If she suffers her self 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 Vertue. And although in matters of
Religion the Husband hath no Empire and Command, yet if


The Marriage Ring. 35

there be a place left to perswade, and intreat, and induce by
arguments, there is not in a family a greater Endearment of
Affe61;ions than the Unity of Religion : and anciently it was not
permitted to a Woman to have a Religion by her self Eosdem
quos tnaritus nosse Deos & colere solos tixor debet, (said
Plutarcli). And the rites which a woman performs severally
from her Husband are not pleasing to God ; and therefore
Pomponia GrcEcina, because she entertain'd a stranger Re-
ligion, was permitted to the judgment of her Husband
PlatUins : And this whole affair is no stranger to Christianity,
for the Christian woman was not suffered to marry an Un-
believing man ; and although this is not to be extended to
different Opinions within the limits of the common Faith : yet
thus much advantage is wone 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 mis-
perswaded 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 proteftion of humility, and duty, and dear affections ;
and she will find that it is part of her Priviledge and Right to
partake of the mysteries and blessings of her Husband's
Religion. VwoIko. yaixeTrji> /xero. vo^x-ov; lepovs crvveXOovcrav

dvBpl KOLvcjvov wnavTOiv eXvaL ^p7)[j,dTa)V re »cai Upwv, q^^^-^ dcJitus auum

said Romuhis. A Woman by the holy Laws hath ^y- ''*'' "''./"''""' '{:

' J lam quam lauawus cj-

right to partake of her Husbands Goods, and her /''•''

,,, . ,. ,,,, liorreat, inque dies stp-

Husbands Sacrifices, and holy thmgs. Where u-nh odcrit /wHs?
there is a Schism in one Bed, there is a Nursery of ""^^"^ "* '

temptations, and Love is persecuted and in perpetual danger

F 2 to

,6 The Marriage Ring.

to be destroyed ; there dwell Jealousies, and divided Inte-
rests, 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 perswasion tells me, that he is like to live in Hell to
eternal ages.

2. The next line of the womans duty is compliance,
which S. Peter calls, the hidden man of the heart, the ornament
1 Pet. i.^. of a meek and a quiet spirit, and to it he opposes the outzmrd
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 Modesty, 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 stain'd her hair yellow, which was then the

Nui' 8' epiT wjT oIkuiv Twi'Se" Ti]v '^vvaiKa 70/3
Ttji* (ra)if)pov' ov Set rd'i T/3/!%a? ^avOa<; -rroielv.

A wise Woman should not paint. A studious gal-

Quid juval ornato proce- .^11 -ati i-

dere, vita, capiiio, lantry m Clothes cannot make a wise Man love his

Tcque pcregrinis vendcre ,-,.^,, ^, \ ov / \

muneribus. Wife the better. Eis rous Tpaywoov<; xPW^'l^^ '^''■^

^""aX.X ""'''"'"' ovK eU Tov /3Cov, said the Comedy, such gaieties are

Nee sinere in propriis ^^ f Tragedies, but not for the uses of Life :

membra mtere boms! o '

Propert. 1. 1. el. 2. Decor occultiis, & tcHa vemtstas, that's the Chris-
tian Womans Fineness, the hidden man of the
^ Vorne'ihmat'e^ ^"'"" ' heart, Sweetness of manners, humble Comport-
''"::uMi^:^c:r'- ment, fair Interpretation of all addresses, ready
Grande superciiimn 6- Compliances, higfh Opinion of him, and mean of

numeras m dote trtum- 1 'or

P'">^- , ^ , her self.

Juven. Sat, 6. ^ . , y 10. >- ■> =f , t

Ev KoivM KvTrr]<; t r)oovr]<; r ej^etv /xe/Dos, 1 o par-

The Marriage Ring. 37

take secretlv, and in her heart of all his joys and

sorrows, to believe him comely and fair, though the J.t^: tV^r? .1^,

Sun hath drawn a Cypress over him, (for as mar- '^''J' '"x^?" ^^op.#,o.; er.aj

J ^ \ t-t; 7e vow K€KTTip.ivr]' ov

riages are not to be contracted by the hands and y^p <5*''aXM« to Kpiv^v
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 vertuous, nor him to
value her who sees her put them off then, when Charity and
Modesty are her brightest Ornaments.

Oil Koa/iov, ovK, (o T\fjfiov, aXX' ciKoafiia

^alvoir av elvai, awv re fiap<y6T7j<; ^pevwv
And indeed those Husbands that are pleased with undecent
Gaieties of their Wives, are like Fishes taken with Ointments
and intoxicating Baits, apt and easie for sport and mockery,
but useless for food ; and when Circe had turned Ulysses's
Companions into Hogs and Monkies, by pleasures and the
inchantments 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 enamour'd. Indeed the out-
ward 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 vail of Modesty, and the grave
Robes of Chastity, the ornament of Meekness, and the jewels
of Faith and Charity ; she must have wo f tuns 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,

KaTdavovcra Be Kelo'eai,

OvBe Tt9 fivqfioavva cridev ecraeTai

Ov yap fj,eTe')^ei<; poBccv twv e« Uiepirji;.

Her Grave shall be full of Rottenness and Dishonour, and her
Memory shall be worse after she is dead : a/ler she is dead :


38 The Marriage Ring.

For that will be the End of all merry Meetings ; and I chuse
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 re-
maining jDortion 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 Myrrhe 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 wholsome. But
those married Pairs that Live, as remembring 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, S. Peter and S. Paul, and all the married Saints.

%v7)ja TO Twv dvrjTwv Kot Trdvra Trapip'^^erai rj/j,d<;'
*Hi/ Se firj, a\X' y/j.€i<i avrd irapep'xofieda.

All those things that now please us shall pass from us, or
we from them ; but those things that concern the other life,
are 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 remembred how Men and Women
pass'd 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 bosome of Jesus,
and in the heart of God to eternal Ages. Amen.



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edition of Heber's mole Works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor, D.D., for which six editions
of the Eniaulos were collated. For the sake of brevity the letters E.-II. are used to indicate

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