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your craving thirst for happiness, to the Eternal Fountain, you are still standing unsatisfied by the broken cisterns that hold no water? You allow your thoughts and affections to dwell on the outward; you do not cultivate the principle of faith.
• Very like, you will say ; “I know this well; but how am I to do this ? Show me the way.” They who strive after the highest must begin with the nearest. Go to your husband, and ask his help, and seek to aid him in the same great purpose of a perfect understanding between you. You must tell him all that is in your heart; you must turn it inside out to him. You must be perfectly true yourself, and you must insist upon truth from him in return. You must confess to your husband every weakness and sin of your own, as well as tell him every fault you find in him, and every pain that he gives you. You must pour out into his bosom every hope, every fear, every trembling doubt, every mysterious longing that you can find words, or sighs, or tears to communicate; just as you would to God himself.
Do not answer,
“My husband is so reserved that I cannot speak to him on these subjects; he never speaks to me upon them.” Speak to him,
then, of the pain that he gives to you by his
What is it you love in him? It is his soul. O, can you bear to be a stranger to that ? and can you be happy when he is a stranger to yours? No! your heart answers, No! This is the secret of your discontent, dear Fanny. Do not heed the little cares, the little vexations, the little faults, that every day brings with it. The little and the great troubles of life are excellent exercises of our faith and patience, if we will only so view them; and the mutual errors and failings of friends, if, instead of trying to hide, there is a determined purpose to cure them, will bind them more closely together. If our hearts are perfectly united in one holy desire, beyond and above all those paltry trials and vexations, then the real and the unreal things of life become distinctly understood, and take their right place in our affections, and have only their just influence upon our happiness. But if, on the contrary, the thoughts and affections dwell in the transient circumstances of life, then all the imperfections, within and without, acquire a power, if it were only from their number, that becomes at last irresistible; and when the soul awakes, it finds itself a prisoner. I have for some time, dear Fanny, feared that these enemies to your peace were gaining a dangerous power over your happiness, and that thus, instead of finding in your husband, as you might, a helper to your virtue, a true friend of your soul, you will make him another cause of evil, and, eventually, of almost hopeless misery to you.
Dearest Fanny, I well know I give you pain. I know that, to a common and uninterested observer, all that I have said would seem superfluous, and not warranted by the occasion ; but I think I can read your soul better than any one else, and I know that it is only faithful love that bids me speak as I do. For some time past, I have perceived, as I thought, that your happiness wanted the foundation which only perfect truth and religious trust can give. Love between married people must be like St. Paul's description of charity — bearing, believing, hoping, and enduring all things; it must never fail; like charity, too, it must be built on faith and hope, and thus become the greatest of the three, because it is the full expression and perfect manifestation of all, I fear
“0, what a sermon ; she promised me a letter!” But I know you will forgive me, even if you think I am tiresome and
you will say,
SKETCHES OF MARRIED LIFE.
disagreeable; and that you will continue to love me; so I will set you a good example, and be not faithless, but believing. Ever your faithful and loving friend,
“I have touched the highest point of all my greatness."
A few days after Amy had written to Fanny, she noticed that, when her father returned from the counting-house, he looked much agitated, and immediately retired, saying he should not take
“Are you not well, father?" asked Amy, anxiously, as she followed him to his room. “Does your head ache ?”
Something worse than the headache is the matter.”
6 What is it, father?” said Amy, tenderly. “ Have you any other pain ?”
“ Yes, child, I have; and, what is worse, it is a pain that will go to the grave with me, and help to carry me there."
6. Father! dear father! what is it? I did not know of any thing to make you unhappy. Why did not you tell me of it before ?
What can it be ?"