P. 28 Obedience,is so much demanded in the female character, that many persons have conceived it was the one virtue called for in woman, as it must be deemed by all t o be such in a child. If a man, as the guide and head of woman, were himself a perfect creature, this would, unquestionably, be true; but as a being, accountable to her Creator, and endowed by him with reason, - unqualified and implicit obedience to a creature like herself, liable to many errors, cannot, consistently, be required. It is, however, certain, that in whatever situation of life a woman is placed , from her cradle to her grave, a spirit of obedience and submission, pliability of temper, and humility of mind, are required from her; and the most highly-gifted cannot quit the path thus pointed out by habit, nature, and religion, without injury to her own character. Modesty, which may be termed the inherent virtue, and the native grace, of woman, - which she may be exhorted to retain, but will seldom be entreated to acquire, - renders obedience, in general, easy and habitual to her, especially at that period of life, when she is placed under paternal care, and "the yoke is easy, - the burden Light." There are, however, gay and buoyant spirits, haughty and self-willed minds, even among the softer sex, that are not otherwise ill-disposed, who feel obedience a difficult task, and are ready to question the wisdom, or analyse the rights, of "all in authority over them." To such I would urge this virtue as a religious duty, if they could not submit to it as "a reasonable service. I would beseech them, as females called to self-control and meekness, to obey, "for conscience' sake," in every case where conscience itself did not utter the command, "hitherto shalt thou go but no further."
Biblical Expectations of a Wife
Pp.42-44 To the wife the word of God speaks thus: "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church. Therefore, as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands, in everything." Eph. 5:22-24. "Let the wife see that she reverence her husband." Eph. 5:33
Here we should particularly notice that virtue on which the admonition principally turns, namely, submission. A virtue so prominently commended, certainly merits particular attention.
It need not surely be necessary to observe, that the superiority which the Scriptures give to the man over the woman is not that of a master over a slave. The precepts enforced on the husband are of such a kind, as to show that the superiority with which he is invested is founded in reason and maintained by love. God has not required from the woman the submission of a slave, but a reasonable and advantageous submission; such as a man of good sense knows it becomes him to receive, and an affectionate wife will yield with pleasure. Some women, however, consider every thing of this kind as the relinquishing of all self-defence. Mistaken creatures! It is their best security, as well as one of their loveliest ornaments. 1 pet. 3:4. Like polished armor, it is both beauty and defense.
P. 10 Suppose your husband has wantonly, or even outrageously, offended you; do not reject his first offer of reconciliation,- that is the moment of softened feeling, - of self-reproach,- of mental humiliation, - it is also, of a jealousy of these feelings being seen, and unappreciated. Do not make the moment of reconciliation the time of canvassing the degree of error, or the effect of that error; a woman's tact will enable you, at an early opportunity, to let him know the misery you have endured, without giving rise even to a passing unkindness. On any occasion of misunderstanding, especially avoid that miserable chattering recapitulation of past follies or faults, (real or imaginary) of which some women , one would think, kept a catalogue, to make it available for their own misery, and the irritation of their husbands, - thus laying the foundation of constant and permanent quarrels.
Pp. 10-11 Do not be discouraged by even a repetition of the same conduct, however improper; all dispositions cannot be changed by a single effort: persevere, and his mind, if not absolutely callous to human feelings and affections, must be soon impressed with the conviction that he is making a wreck of your happiness, - that the greatest patience will wear away,- and that he will, by a reiteration of violence, destroy your health, or transform the treasure he has possessed - the being he must love and honor, into the most abject and deplorable of all God's creatures - an irritable shrew- a domestic scold. Yes, let me entreat you, by the hopes of your own happiness, - as you desire the welfare of your children, (if you are blest with any,)- by the love you yet bear you husband, - to try the conduct I have proposed, and to believe that the time of his regret and contrition, of self-humiliation, is the time for you to confirm your influence - not by an intemperate exertion of your power, but by your persuasive mildness.
P. 28 NATURE, reason, and religion declare that man shall be vested with the controlling power. When two persons differ upon a subject which must be decided one must give way. You have in your marriage vow sworn to "obey:" this is a difficult lesson for a proud spirit to learn, but, when learned, is the most active principle in the production of woman's happiness. It is useless to attempt an evasion of this duty by assuming to yourself abilities superior to those of your husband; for, as Mr. Jay observes, "you should not marry a fool: you may be deceived as to piety, you cannot as to sense." A woman's power in the married state should arise from the influence of character and conduct, and not be the result of obstinacy and opposition: in the former case, it will be attended with every happiness of which the married state is susceptible; in the latter, with most of the intellectual miser to which human nature is heir.
Wife's Duty--obedience, submission
pg 12 What is in that solemn moment pledged to the object who receives at the altar, a woman's plightful faith? Do you not promise to obey, to serve, love, and honour him? To comfort him in sickness and in health, and to forsake all others for him alone?
After a vow thus made, the duties of a wife, like her affections, must be unalienable. No longer seeking individual enjoyment, her pleasures must spring from participation, and her happiness be the reflected bliss arising from sharing the peace of another. Her cares also , reposing in another bosom, are divested of half their thorns, and her comforts, springing from the same cause, are multiplied in enjoyment, and sweet in remembrance.
The matrimonial duties are reciprocal - they consist on mutual forbearance and mutual offices of love and kindness. Those of a wife are the most strongly enforced, for to her's are added by Divine command, that of obedience also. Obedience! start not at the word which generally sounds so harsh to a female ear, but rather ask yourself if it be difficult to pay it to the commands of affection, to the wishes of tenderness, to the looks of love? May no other obedience be ever exacted from you; but remember, that the matrimonial path is not, any more than another, strewn with thornless roses; and if fate should decree that some of them are to be pointed at our bosom, recollect also that religion, fortitude, and patience will blunt their edge, although they may not be able to heal entirely the wounds inflicted by them.
pgs 25-28 .... "A skillful anatomist could still distinguish the sexes, at any age, by a mere hast inspection of an arm or a face, after the lapse of a thousand successive generations." (we already have the rest of this)
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