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persuaded to seek this pardon without delay. Hesitate no longer in a matter of such importance. Cry to God, in fervent prayer, to enable you to exercise faith in his Son Jesus Christ. Give no rest to your mind until
you find redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of all your sins. Having found this, gratitude and love will arise in your hearts, and influence your temper and conduct ; so that you will constantly feel an anxiety to abound in the fruits of righteousness. “Every spiritual and relative duty will then become pleasing, and be esteemed a privilege; and it will be your highest ambition to have“ a conscience void of offence both toward God and toward men."
THE DUTIES OF A Wife, Mother, and Mistress
OF A FAMILY.
MARK, CHAPTER XIV. VERSE 8.
She hath done what she could.
THE best actions of religious persons have frequently a bad construction put upon them by carnal men. We have a striking exemplification of this, in the treatment which the woman, to whom the text refers, experienced. Infinitely indebted to the Redeemer, she felt her heart filled with gratitude towards him. Such were the affectionateemotions by which she was influenced, that she was constrained to give some external testimony of the sincerity of her attachment to him. “ She brought an alabasterbox of ointment of spikenard, very precious, and poured it on his head.” By this conduct she immediately incurred the censure of some who were present. She became indeed an object of their bitter indignation, and was pronounced guilty of extravagance and waste. But the Saviour knew her motive. To him all hearts were open. He beheld with approbation the godly simplicity by
which she was actuated. Immediately there. fore he vindicated her from the calumnious charge, and honoured her conduct with high commendations. “She hath wrought,” said he, “a good work on me.”-"She hath done what she could.”_" Verily I say unto you, wheresoever this Gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of, for a me. morial of her." Since love to the Saviour ought to influence every part of our deportment; and since it concerns us to do, like this woman, what we can for him, I apprehend that the assertion which I have selected for our text may, without impropriety, be accommodated to the discussion of several female duties, which are well calculated to glorify the Redeemer. The duties to which I allude are those which are incumbent upon -A Wife, a Mother, and a Mistress of a Family.
Every female whobears all, or any of these honourable characters, ought certainly so to conduct herself, that it may be said of her, “ She hath done what she could” in the discharge of the important duties which devolve upon her. Making this application of the text, I shall beg leave to point out,
1. The duty of a Wife.
I begin with remarking that it ought to be
said of every wife," she hath done what she could” in cultivating personal holiness. No family duties can be properly observed if personal religion be neglected. Every wife ought to make it her principal concern to be united by faith to the great husband of the church, the Lord Jesus Christ ;-to be a party in that mystical union, which subsists between the Saviour and his people, and of which the marriage contract is a pleasing emblem. In other words, it is of essential importance that she be joined to the Lord in one Spirit. That faith which causes the affections to centre in the Redeemer, and which produces all the fruits of holiness, ought always to be in lively exercise in her · heart, and manifested in her outward deportment. Now, if the Redeemer, my female friends, were to speak his sentiments on this particular, respecting each of you who are wives, could he point to you individually, and say, “She hath done what she could, in cultivating personal holiness ;-in exercising faith in me-in manifesting a supreme love to my name—and in attending to the concerns of her soul, as the one thing needful; Would he assert“She hath done what she could,” in withdrawing from the hurry of family affairs to supplicate grace from above, to examine into her spiritual state, and to obtain, if possible, higher attainments in the divine life? This attention to personal holiness, is the first and most importantbranch of duty which is incumbent upon you as wives. May he, therefore, whose eyes are continually upon you, have to say at last, respecting each of you, “She hath done what she could,” in attending to personal religion !
The next duty of a wife, which I shall mention, is an exemplification of sincere affection towards her husband. In illustrating the duty of a husband, it was observed, that one branch of it consisted in an undivided affection, and a decided preference toward his wife. And since the female is generally considered as possessed of the more tender feelings, it certainly is a duty equally in. cumbent upon her, to manifest an uninterrupted and decided affection toward her husband. A confirmation of this sentiment, is beautifully exhibited in the union which subsists between Christ and his people. -This union is compared to that alliance which is formed between the husband and the wife. Christ, however, is represented in it not only as loving his people as their husband; but also as requiring to be loved by them supremely. And hence they can say, " The love of Christ constraineth us.” This is a most pleasing proof that it becomes a wife to exercise a sincere and decided affection towards her partner.
Does the Saviour require his people to love him supremely ? Will he allow no rival to be in