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A SPECIAL CHAPTER FOR YOUNG WOMEN.
Advice upon this subject is very much needed. I am assured that it is
a subject not often talked of in families--at least, as it ought to
be--nor is it much alluded to in the pulpit, and the result is that
young people commonly get their notions about it from those only a
little older than themselves, and who therefore know but little more
than they do, or from those who form their opinions from the abuse
they see of it and so hold degrading and unworthy ideas respecting it.
Sometimes all that is known about it amounts to this, that it is a
delightful thing to be married.
It is quite true that it often is, and always ought to be, delightful;
still, you know it is frequently the reverse. You cannot, then, be too
cautious in the matter.
Nothing can be more orderly, right, proper, and holy than marriage. It
is not, however, quite so simple an affair as you may fancy. Every
good thing (and this is one of the best) requires some effort to
obtain it, and unless you take the right course you must not expect to
You may often see a young woman who, from not entertaining correct
views on the point, is certainly taking a wrong course, her endeavors
being rather to make what she considers a good match than by acquiring
kind and orderly habits to qualify herself to become worthy of a
That the best things are liable to the greatest abuses is notorious,
and from the lamentable fact that marriage is often abused we may
fairly infer its pre-eminent worth. In truth, there is nothing more
valuable. It is, then, highly injurious to entertain low notions
respecting it, and men who indulge in loose conversation on the
subject are likely at the same time to think meanly of women. Beware
of them, and if you hear them expressing such opinions in your
presence, withdraw from them at once as unworthy of your company.
Never fear but they will respect you the more for the rebuke.
Of course you are looking forward to settling happily, and will do
your best for that purpose. On this let me remark that all happiness
(that is, all that is genuine, and therefore worthy of the name) comes
from connection with the one great source of all good, and He has
freely and fully provided all the means necessary for our being happy,
both here and hereafter. He has placed each of us where it is best for
us to be, and in the circumstances that are best for us at the time,
and this applies to you and to me now. Howsoever much appearances may
be to the contrary, He cares as much for each of us as if we were the
sole objects of His care. It is only by doing our duty in humble
dependence on His assistance, which He never withholds, that we can be
happy. It behooves you, then, to consider well what is your duty, in
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