Thursday, November 18, 2010

William Farel on Marriage

"God created woman to be a help meet for man, especially in the holy state of matrimony. To help is the aim of love. Marriage binds the parties to a strict outward union; but how much more should it promote that unity of spirit which rests upon affection and true friendship! We clearly see in those married persons who live according to the Divine law, how the affection of the one sympathizes with the comfort or discomfort of the other. The man rejoices in the welfare of his wife, and the woman in the welfare of her husband. Her sorrows trouble him; while she not only grieves for his sufferings, but, if her spouse be absent, joy departs till he returns to her. What sacrifices are too great for her to make, if he is ill; and what will he regard as too great, if he can thereby restore health to her? So strong is their love, that they would with joy endure for each other the sharpest sufferings. To those who wish to make progress in every virtue, what opportunities for the performance of the most sacred duties does this state present! What joy is felt, when progress is made in true goodness, and how it stirs up to constant and mutual improvement! If anything unpropitious occurs, how does the most active and tender sympathy develop itself! So true it is, that the duties of love cannot be performed in any state so completely as in that of holy matrimony. He, who himself 'is love' instituted, honored, and commanded it; but he who was a murderer from the beginning, and hatred itself, has (as far as lay in his power) annulled, disgraced, and forbidden it."

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