A married man falling into misfortune is more apt to retrieve his situation in the world than a single one, chiefly because his spirits are soothed and retrieved by domestic endearments, and his self-respect kept alive by finding that although all abroad be darkness and humiliation, yet there is a little world of love at home over which he is a monarch.
A good wife is heaven's last, best gift to man, - his gem of many virtues, his casket of jewels; her voice is sweet music, her smiles his brightest day, her kiss the guardian of his innocence, her arms the pale of his safety, her industry his surest wealth, her economy his safest steward, her lips his faithful counsellors, her bosom the softest pillow of his cares.
The private devotions and secret offices of religion are like the refreshing of a garden with the distilling and petty drops of a waterpot; but addressed from the temple, they are like ram from heaven.
Meditation is the tongue of the soul and the language of our spirit; and our wandering thoughts in prayer are but the neglects of meditation and recessions from that duty; according as we neglect meditation, so are our prayers imperfect, - meditation being the soul of prayer and the intention of our spirit.
The Lord's Prayer is short and mysterious, and, like the treasures of the Spirit, full of wisdom and latent senses: it is not improper to draw forth those excellencies which are intended and signified by every petition, that by so excellent an authority we may know what it is lawful to beg of God.
When we pray for any virtue, we should cultivate the virtue as well as pray for it; the form of your prayer should be the rule of your life; every petition to God is a precept to man. Look not, therefore, upon your prayers as a method of good and salvation only, but as a perpetual monition of duty. By what we require of God we see what he requires of us.