And from the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man, He made a woman and brought her to him.
I. GOD CAN CHANGE ANYTHING INTO WHAT FORM HE PLEASETH.
I. HUMAN SOCIETY MUST SPRING OUT OF SOMETHING HIGHER THAN ANIMAL LIFE AND MAN'S MERE EARTHLY POSITION. The deep sleep, the Divine manipulation of maws fleshly frame, the formation of the new creature, not out of the ground, but out of man, the exclamation of Adam, This is another self, my bone and my flesh, therefore she shall be called woman, because so closely akin to man - all this, whatever physical interpretation we give to it, represents the fact that companionship, family life, mail's intercourse with his fellow, all the relations which spring from the fleshly unity of the race, are of the most sacred character. As they are from God, and specially of God's appointment, so they should be for God.
II. There, in home life, torn off, as it were, from the larger sphere, that it may be THE NEW BEGINNING OF THE NEW WORLD TO US, should be the special recognition of God, the family altar, the house of man a house of God.
III. The Divine beginning of human life is the foundation on which we build up society. THE RELATIONS OF THE SEXES WILL BE PUREST AND NOBLEST the more the heart of man unfolds itself in the element of the heavenly love. - R.
The Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam.
The Protoplast.How profound is the mystery of sleep! It is one of those riddles of familiar life of which we know so little; about which thought will occupy itself and fancy speculate. Sleep has been beautifully spoken of by the Germans as the "twin brother of death"; and really the more earnestly we regard the subject, the more we see the likeness which has given rise to the observation. But sleep was born in the garden of paradise, ere its beauty faded and its glory grew dim; death sprung into existence amid the gloom and sorrow of a darkened world. Sleep came to man as a blessing: death as a curse. Strong as is the resemblance, there are points where it fails; but, since the Fall, sleep has become more like death; since the resurrection of Christ, death has become more like sleep. We who have sinned — in our sleep "die daily"; we who are redeemed — in our death "sleep in Christ." I think we have every reason to receive the words of the text as a record of the first sleep. Whether, as the nights of Eden came round in their starry and cloudless beauty, they brought to the first man the repose of sleep, alternating with his pleasant occupation of keeping and dressing the garden, I cannot tell; but I think the first sleep was not of this character; it has something special and peculiar in it, occurring by the direct interposition of the Creator. "The Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept." What a blessed sleep it proved! The first sleep has been succeeded by the troubled, diseased, and pain-fraught slumbers of a fallen race; and for us the mystery is mingled with fearfulness. I purpose to say a few words on the four kinds of sleep which naturally suggest themselves to the mind while musing on the subject of somnolency.
I. THE DEEP, OR DREAMLESS SLEEP, of which the first sleep was peculiarly the type and pattern. The physical condition of this sleep appears to be simply this, that the senses, tired from use, or acted upon by some influence from without, refuse to do their office, and cease to give to the soul intelligence of the external world. It is remarkable to think how, in such a sleep, all those functions of the body which are necessary to it as an organic structure, and which are generally performed without the soul's recognition, or particular notice, such as the pulsation of the heart, the circulation of the blood, the digestion of our food, go on uninterruptedly: but just those parts of our system which are the especial channels of communication between outward things and the reasoning, immaterial essence are affected. Surely there is a fearfulness in sleep. The soul, unconscious of its fleshly companion, exists in some strange state of suspension, hid in the hollow of its Creator's hand, and overshadowed by His covering wings. It is not with the present world of realities; nor with the past world of memory; nor with the future world of promise; but, held in life by the Preserver of men, and compassed about with Divine power, it waits the body's fitness to be used again. Such a state, indeed, is inconceivable; we can only refer the fact to the infinite and wonder working operation of God. It is the current supposition that the dreamless sleep is common at the present day. I have long had my doubts, however, whether since the Fall, men have ever slept this sleep. So completely do I look upon dreaming as one of the strongest physical effects of the Fall, I am inclined to think it always accompanies slumber, except when vision takes its place; and that what we imagine to be a dreamless sleep is only one in which our dreams are unremembered when we wake. This is somewhat confirmed by the fact of forgotten dreams being suddenly recalled to the mind, by some circumstance occurring hours or days after. It is very seldom indeed that we retain a recollection of what we have dreamed, immediately on awaking: the recall to the mind of the impressions it has received in sleep is generally incidental, and brought about by some connection with waking thoughts.
II. THE SLEEP OF DREAMS. It is no uncommon thing to pursue a long and connected train of thought in sleep. The Bible is full of instances of God's speaking by this mode to His servants; and although we live in the days of gospel light, and not in the days of Urim and Thummim, dream and vision, shall we positively affirm that God never now by the instrumentality of dreams communicates warning and strength to His Church? Shall we altogether slight and scorn the testimony of John Newton concerning his dream of the ring? I think not. And yet let us not be idle, superstitious observers of dreams, they are but the "divers vanities" of a fallen nature. If they weigh with us and depress our minds, let us carry them to God; if they afford us comfort in a time of sorrow, let us bless Him who useth the weak and the dishonourable things of this world to show forth His praise.
III. THE MESMERIC, OR ARTIFICIAL SLEEP.
IV. THE TRANCE, OR SLEEP OF VISION.
II. THOUGH GOD BE PLEASED TO MANIFEST HIS WORKS TO MEN, THAT THEY MAY BEHOLD THEM; YET THE MANNER HOW THEY ARE WROUGHT IS USUALLY HIDDEN FROM THEIR EYES.
III. GOD TAKES CARE OF US, AND PROVIDES FOR US, EVEN WHILE WE SLEEP, AND THINK NOT ON OUR OWN AFFAIRS. And this as —
1. He can do because He neither slumbers nor sleeps (Psalm 121:3, 4). So,
2. He doth —(1) To manifest His care over us, that our hearts may rest upon Him.(2)And to convince us that the means by which we are supported are not from ourselves, when we have no hand in those works which are done, not only without our help, but without our knowledge.
IV. GOD DELIGHTS TO VARY HIS WAYS IN ALL HIS OPERATIONS. Matter is sometimes rude and unprepared, sometimes fitted for the effect to be produced, as seeds to produce herbs and plants. And so are His ways of working sometimes by means, sometimes without: sometimes by means agreeable, otherwise by contraries. All this He doth to manifest —
1. His infinite wisdom (Psalm 104:24).
2. His almighty power, appearing in this, that He ties Himself to no means nor manner of working, but brings to pass anything by what way He pleaseth; so that the effect appears not to depend upon any means, but only upon the power of Him that worketh all in all.
3. That He may entice us by such variety, to search into His ways as His works are sought out by those that have pleasure therein (Psalm 3:2).
V. GOD'S WAYS AND WORKS ARE ORDINARILY FULL OF HOLY INSTRUCTIONS.
VI. THE WIFE MUST BE NEITHER HER HUSBAND'S LORD NOR VASSAL.
VII. A WIFE IS, OR SHOULD BE, A STRONG HELPER TO HER HUSBAND.
VIII. GOD REQUIRES NOTHING OF US, NOR DOTH ANYTHING UNTO US, THAT MAY HURT US, OR UNDO US. Let nothing be grievous unto us that God either commands or lays upon us; remembering —
1. That He may do with His own what He will.
2. And yet He hates nothing which He hath made.
3. And He can and will not fail to restore unto us abundantly, whatsoever we seem to lose, either in doing, or suffering by His appointment, that He may be no man's debtor.
IX. GOD TAKES NOTHING FROM US BUT HE TAKES CARE TO RECOMPENSE IT UNTO US, SOME WAY OR OTHER.
X. IT IS USUAL WITH GOD TO LEAVE WITH US NEAR AND LIVELY REMEMBRANCES BOTH OF HIS MERCIES TO US AND OF OUR DUTIES.
(J. White, M. A.)
II. GOD IS EXACT AND PERFECT IN ALL THE WORKS THAT HE UNDERTAKES.
III. WOMEN, AS WELL AS MEN ARE GOD'S OWN WORKMANSHIP.
IV. GOD HATH ALLOWED BUT ONE WIFE TO ONE MAN.
V. THOUGH ALL THINGS BE MADE FOR MAN, YET HE CAN HAVE NO INTEREST IN ANYTHING UNTIL GOD HIMSELF BESTOW IT ON HIM. Yea, when God hath put men's estates into their hands, yet our Saviour directs us to beg our allowance out of them from God, for the portion of every day.
1. Because all that we have or use is God's, who only sends them to us for our use, reserving the propriety of all to Himself.
2. That we may use all according to His direction, and not according to our own lusts.
3. That we may upon the better grounds expect His blessing upon that which we use, without which it cannot profit us.
VI. EVERY CHILD OF GOD MUST DESIRE TO RECEIVE HIS WIFE FROM GOD'S HAND.
1. By making choice of such a person, as is of His family, with whom He may converse as an heir with him of the grace of life.
2. Labouring to gain her by warrantable ways, prayer, advice, and mediation of godly friends, holy conferences, and godly propositions, not by carnal allurements, deceitfulness, enticements, or violent importunities.
3. And aiming at a right end therein, rather our increase in piety, and the propagation of an holy seed, than the advancing ourselves in our outward estates: remembering —
1. That God only (who looks not as man on the outward appearance, bit seeth the heart) is able to direct us in our choice.
2. That it lays upon us a strong engagement to make an holy use of marriage, when we thus lay the foundation of it in His fear.
3. That it sweetens all the crosses which we may meet with in a married life; being assured, that if they fall upon us by His hand, they shall by Him be so sanctified unto us, that they as all things else, shall work together to our good.
(J. White, M. A.)I. GOD'S BLESSINGS OUGHT TO BE ENTERTAINED AND EMBRACED BY US WITH A HOLY REJOICING AND THANKFULNESS. This rejoicing must be —
1. In God, and not in ourselves; not so much that it is well with us, as that God's honour, in His mercy and truth, is manifested and advanced thereby.
2. And performed with fear and trembling (Psalm if. 11); and infinite abasement of ourselves before Him, upon the apprehension of our own unworthiness, of so great favours, after David's example (2 Samuel 7:18). And —
3. May be publicly testified when God's favours are eminent and public, and especially when the Church is any way concerned in them: whence David, being a public person, promiseth a public thanksgiving in the congregation for those mercies, which though they lighted on Him, yet redounded to the benefit of his people also.
II. WE MAY AND SHALL KNOW AS MUCH OF GOD'S WAYS AND WORKS AS CONCERNS US, FOR THE DIRECTING AND QUICKENING OF US UNTO OUR DUTIES. As —
1. That they are the works of His own hand (Psalm 64:9).
2. And those wrought in righteousness, mercy, and truth.
3. And for His only glory (Proverbs 16:4); and for our good, unto which all things work together (Romans 8:28); that men may fear, and trust in Him (Psalm 64:10).
III. IT IS CONSENT THAT MUST MAKE THE MARRIAGE BETWEEN MAN AND WIFE.
IV. EVEN THE BEST AMONGST MEN NEED TO BE MINDED BOTH OF THEIR DUTY AND CONDITION EVERY WAY.
(J. White, M. A.)
The Protoplast.I. THE POSITION AND DESTINY OF WOMAN.
1. Her position is inferior and subordinate. If the Scripture speaks plainly on any point, it most unequivocally asserts the superiority of man over the woman, both in his nature and in the sphere which by Divine appointment he is to occupy. How strange, then, it is, that our day should have given birth to so many schemes for raising her to the level of him, unto whom the supremacy has been so distinctly given. Even in innocence we have seen that woman was not man's equal: Eve, in her unsullied purity, was content to take a lower place than Adam, and to serve him according to God's ordinance. Experience confirms the truth stated in the Word of God — the inferiority of the female character. That woman's physical strength is less than that of man, is almost universally acknowledged. In all cases where power and daring are required, the work is given to man. From scenes of terror and danger woman instinctively shrinks, and man instinctively shields her. If it be said that the historic page records instances of her passing through them with undaunted mien; if the name of a Joan of Arc be cited as a witness to disprove my statement, I only answer, that the exception proves the rule. Is it not equally true, that woman's mental strength is less than that of man? Should it be urged, again, that the name of a De Stael, a De Genlis, or a Somerville certifies the possibility of the highest masculine mind being enshrined in a female form — if I admitted this — I would say, again, the exception proves the rule: but while I do not deny that a woman of the noblest and most exalted intellect may be superior to men of ordinary talent around her, I do not hesitate to say she is inferior, in her greatness, to a man of the highest genius. Compare woman at her best estate, with man at his best estate, and the disparity will tell itself strikingly. There has been no Isaac Newton in the ranks of the weaker sex. According to the woman's nature, God has appointed her position in the world. She is "not to teach"; she is "not to usurp authority over the man"; she is to be in "subjection," and "under obedience."
2. Her destiny is to occupy the next rank to him who was made "a little lower than the angels"; to share with him the government of the animal world; to stand by his side in all the life of the present; to give herself unto him, with all her powers, and all her affections; to sacrifice herself for him, with her peculiar devotedness and concentration of purpose; to draw near unto him when the society of his fellow man would be insupportable; and to speak to him when the voice of his fellow man would be jarring and discordant; to sympathize with him in the hour of sorrow; to cheer him in the hour of sickness; to re-animate him in the hour of listlessness; to aid him in the hour of difficulty; to encourage him in the hour of temptation: to be, in fact, his companion, his comfort, his cooperator, his friend. But, moreover, this destiny, under a dispensation of redemption, is to participate with him the blessings and privileges of the New Covenant — to share with him the duties and hopes of an inner and spiritual life; to receive with him the gift of immortality; to hold with him the title deeds of an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in the eternal heaven. Surely there is nothing necessarily degrading in such a lot! All the ignominy and misery attached to it have been the effect of the woman's sin, and the woman's curse. We may say, in conclusion, using the apostle's words, "Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord."
II. THE PREPARATION NECESSARY FOR WOMAN'S WORK.
1. As a most important self-discipline, I would mention, first, that progressive cultivation of the mind which is carried on when the time for compulsory study is passed. There has been no mistake so fatal to the elevation of female character as the idea, that when the rubicon of the eighteenth year is crossed, a life of so-called pleasure, that is, a life of idleness and dissipation, is to succeed a life of mental application.
2. A woman's preparation for her office is greatly brought about by an experience of suffering. Sorrow, sanctified and sacred sorrow, gives the finest touches to her character. It produces in her that exquisite refinement of feeling, that acute susceptibility, that deep sympathy, for which woman is so distinguished.
III. Woman's WORK itself. After all I have written, will it be thought strange if I say, that its nature may be expressed in one comprehensive word — ministration! It must be remembered that we are not considering woman in her direct relations to God as His creature, but in her direct relations to man as his help. In this point of view, her work may be regarded as consisting in ministration to man. In mental ministration, or a service unto his mind. In corporeal ministration, or a service unto his body. In spiritual ministration, or a service unto his spirit.
1. Mental ministration. Woman, as we have seen, meets man, not upon the footing of a passive slave, but of an intelligent assistant. It is her office to share his intellectual pursuits, and to aid him in his researches after natural knowledge and scientific truth. How is she to do this? By bringing her mind to bear upon his; by laying its treasures before him; by entering with appreciation and interest into the details of the discoveries of his genius, or even of the speculations of his imagination; by communicating to him her thoughts on the high and mysterious subjects which engage his attention.
2. Corporeal ministration. It is a woman's province to provide for man the trifles of life, things which contribute greatly to his comfort, and which are yet unworthy to engage much of his time and attention. The constitution of her nature is such, that household arrangements do not have with her that harassing effect on the mind, which is so peculiarly felt by one who would devote himself wholly to higher and more important matters. It is her office then to surround man with little luxuries; to give him little pleasures; to let him feel that he has cared for nothing, and yet has wanted nothing in the domestic economy of each successive day.
3. Spiritual ministration. Woman, as redeemed from the Fall, is a fellow heir with man of the grace of life. She is to walk with him in that narrow path which leads to the heavenly land, and much of her companion's progress therein depends instrumentally upon her own. Many a man has been hindered in the perfecting of holiness by the burden of a woman who has forgotten to do him service in the best and highest sense. The task of a Christian female is a very glorious one. She is to be the "help" of the servant of God. Living with man, and bound to him by some close tie, it is her part to assist him in the devotion of all his energies to his Creator's glory; to aid him in his renunciation of the world, by showing that she is contented with the lot of God's children; to aid him in his liberality to those who are in need by proving that she looks upon money given unto the poor as lent to the Lord, and that she is willing to wait for the redemption of His bond; to aid him in the establishment of righteous authority in his household, by respecting his rule herself; to aid him in his obedience to duty's call, even when it leads him into the midst of danger, by counting his life less dear to her than his fulfilment of the will of God.
IV. The RECOMPENSE attending woman's work. A few brief words will suffice for this last division of our subject. The highest recompense of woman consists in the honour and the joy of being employed for God, in the way of His own appointment. The creature's blessedness is connected with the consciousness of filling the place assigned by Jehovah's unerring wisdom, and of fulfilling His holy will. In proportion to a woman's greatness of mind, will be her satisfaction in the thought that she is occupying the station which God intended for her, and that she is accomplishing the service to which He has called her. Moreover, the work of ministration is its own reward. In drawing a woman out of self, in bringing her into sympathetic union with another; in giving her occupation and interest all the days of her life on earth; it is itself a means of happiness. Still God has permitted a further recompense to wait upon a female's fulfilment of her sacred office. For a married woman there is a peculiarly rich and sweet reward. It is beautifully set before us by Solomon, as a husband's trust, and a husband's praise. "The heart of her husband cloth safely trust in her" (Proverbs 31:11).
1. His permission, allowance, and grant, for that Adam might thankfully acknowledge the benefit as coming from God, God Himself brought her. This bringing was the full bestowing her upon him, that they should live together as man and wife.
2. His institution and appointment of marriage as the means of propagating mankind.
3. For the greater solemnity and comely order of marriage. Adam did not take her of his own head, but God brought her to him. This honour and special favour God vouchsafeth mankind above all other creatures; He Himself, in His own person, maketh the match, and bringeth them together.
4. To dispense His blessing to them. The woman was created on the sixth day, as appeareth (Genesis 1); and it is said that when He had "created them male and female, He blessed them" (ver. 28). He doth enlarge things here, and explaineth what there He had touched briefly. When He had made the woman, He brought her to the man, and blessed them both together; showing thereby that when any enter into this estate, they should take God's blessing along with them, upon whose favour the comfort of this relation doth wholly depend.
5. For a pattern of providence in all after times. It is worth the observing, that Christ reasoning against polygamy, from ver. 24, compared with Matthew 19. God having abundance of the spirit, as the prophet speaks (Malachi 2:15), brought the woman to one man, though there was more cause of giving Adam many wives for the speedier peopling of the world, than there could be to any of his posterity. The point which I shall insist on is this: — That marriages are then holily entered into, when the parties take one another out of God's hands.
I. I will show you in what sense they are said to take one another out of God's hands.
II. Why this is so necessary to be observed.
I. For the first, THEY TAKE ONE ANOTHER OUT OF GOD'S HANDS TWO WAYS.
1. When His directions are observed.
2. When His providence is owned and acknowledged.
3. When His directions in His word are observed; and so —(1) As to the choice of parties.(2) As to consent of parents.(3) As to the manner of procuring it, that they labour to gain one another by warrantable, yea, religious ways, that we may lay the foundation of this relation in the fear of God; not by stealth, or carnal allurements, or violent importunities, or deceitful proposals, but by such ways and means as will become the gravity of religion; that weanedness and sobriety that should be in the hearts of believers; that deliberation which a business of such weight calls for; and that reverence of God, and justice that we owe to all; that seriousness of spirit, and that respect to the glory of God with which all such actions should be undertaken (Colossians 3:17).(4) Especially clearing up our right and title by Christ. Meats, drinks, marriage, they are all sanctified by the word and prayer, and appointed to be received by thanksgiving of them that believe and receive the truth (1 Timothy 4:3-5).(5) For the end. The general and last end of this, as of every action, must be God's glory (1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17). A Christian's second table duties and first table duties should have on them HOLINESS TO THE LORD. All the vessels of Jerusalem must have God's impress. More particularly our increase in godliness and the propagation of the holy seed must be aimed at.
2. When His providence is owned and acknowledged. It is the duty of them that fear God to own Him upon all occasions, especially in such a business. Heathens would not begin such a business without a sacrifice. There is a special providence about marriages. God claimeth the power of match-making to Himself, more than He doth of ordering any other affairs of men — "Riches and honours are an inheritance from our fathers; but a good wife is from the Lord" (Proverbs 19:14).
II. WHY IS THIS SO NECESSARY A DUTY? It doth in a great measure appear from what is said already. But farther —
1. It will be a great engagement upon us to give God all the glory of the comfort we have in such a relation, when you do more sensibly and explicitly take one another out of God's hands.
2. That we may carry ourselves more holily in our relations, it is good to see God's hand in them. Every relation is a new talent wherewith God intrusteth us to trade for His glory; and to that end we must make conscience to use it.
3. That we may more patiently bear the crosses incident to this state of life if God call us to them. They that launch forth into the world, sail in a troublesome and tempestuous sea, and cannot expect but to meet with a storm before they come to the end of their voyage. The married life hath its comforts, and also its encumbrances and sorrows. Now it will sweeten all our crosses incident to this condition, when we remember we did not rashly enter into it by our own choice, but were led by the fair directure and fair invitation of God's providence; we need not much be troubled at what overtaketh us in the way of our duty, and the relations to which we are called. That hand that sent the trouble will sanctify it, or He will overrule things so that they shall work for our good. If God call us into this estate, He will support us in it.
4. We may with the more confidence apply ourselves to God, and depend on Him for a blessing upon a wife of God's choosing, or a husband of God's choosing. We have access to the throne of grace with more hope, because we have given up ourselves to His direction — "In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths" (Proverbs 3:6).
5. It is a help to make us more ready to part with one another when God willeth it. It is the apostle's direction — "The time is short, it remains that those that have wives be as though they had none" (1 Corinthians 7:29); not so as to be defective in our love to them and care over them; no, there is rather to be an excess than a defect here — "Be thou ravished always with her love" (Proverbs 5:19); but as to a preparation of heart to keep or lose, if God should see fit, to be contented to part with a dear yoke fellow, or at least with an humble submission and acquiescence, when God's will is declared; and somewhat of this must be mingled with all our rejoicings, some thoughts of the vanity of the creature. APPLICATION.
I. Let us seek God by earnest prayer when any such matter is in hand. It is a contempt of God, and a kind of laying Him aside, when we dare undertake anything without His leave, counsel, and blessing; and these are the things we are to seek in prayer.
1. His leave. Adam had no interest in Eve till God brought her to him, and bestowed her on him. Every one of us must get a grant of God of all that he hath; the Lord He possesseth the house that we dwell in, the clothes we wear, the food we eat; and so, in the use of all other comforts, we must have a license from God, and take His leave. God is said to have given David the wives that he had into his bosom.
2. His counsel and direction when the case is doubtful and our thoughts are uncertain — "Lean not to thy own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5). We scarce know duties, certainly we cannot foresee events; therefore a man that maketh his bosom his oracle, his wit his counsellor, will choose a mischief to himself, instead of a comfort and a blessing. Therefore we ought chiefly, and first of all, to consult with God, and seek His direction, for He seeth the heart, and foreseeth events.
3. We ask His blessing. God doth not only foresee the event, but orders it; by His wisdom He foreseeth it, and by His powerful providence He bringeth it to pass. Therefore God, that hath the disposal of all events, when our direction is over, is to be sought unto for a blessing; for every comfort cometh the sooner when it is sought in prayer; and whatever God's purposes be, that is our duty.
II. Advice to persons that are entering into this relation.
1. Negatively. See that God be no loser by the marriage.
2. Positively. Be sure that God be a gainer. These are the two proffers I have to make to you.
1. Negatively. Let not God be a loser; He never intended to give you gifts to His own wrong. Now that will be —(1) He be not the only one and the lovely one of your souls. God must not have an image of jealousy set up; He must still be owned as the chiefest good. A wife is the delight of the eyes, but not the idol of the heart.(2) If you be diverted from the earnest pursuit of heavenly things, either by carnal complacency or distracting cares and worldly encumbrances.(3) God would be a loser if you be less resolute in owning God's truth than you were before. Oh, take heed of daubing in religion! We must hate all for Christ (Luke 14:26).
2. Positively. Let God be a gainer.(1) By your daily praises, and blessing God for His providence, that hath brought you into this relation — "I obtained favour from the Lord."(2) By living to God in this relation, performing the duties thereof so as your converse may be some lively resemblance of the communion between Christ and His Church (Ephesians 5:25-30).(3) By being mutual helps to one another in the best things, by the advancement of piety and godliness. The love of Christ doth not only enforce the husband's duty as an argument, but points forth the right manner of it as a pattern. Christ's love is sanctifying love: so should theirs be, such a love as showeth itself by sincere and real endeavours to bring about one another's spiritual and eternal good. Love one another, "as heirs together of the grace of life" (1 Peter 3:7).
( T. Manton, D. D..)Hebrews 13:4), "marriage is honourable"; for God hath honoured it Himself. It is honourable for the author, honourable for the time, and honourable for the place. Whereas all other ordinances were appointed of God by the hands of men, or the hands of angels (Acts 12:7; Hebrews 2:2), marriage was ordained by God Himself, which cannot err. No man nor angel brought the wife to the husband, but God Himself (Genesis 2:12); so marriage hath more honour of God in this than all other ordinances of God beside, because He solemnized it Himself. Then it is honourable for the time; for it was the first ordinance that God instituted, even the first thing which He did, after man and woman were created, and that in the state of innocency, before either had sinned: like the finest flower, which will not thrive but in a clean ground. Then it is honourable for the place; for whereas all other ordinances were instituted out of paradise, marriage was instituted in paradise, in the happiest place, to signify haw happy they are that marry in the Lord. As God the Father honoured marriage, so did God the Son, which is called "the Seed of the woman" (Genesis 3:15); therefore marriage was so honoured among women because of this seed, that when Elizabeth brought forth a son (Luke 1:25), she said that "God had taken away her rebuke," counting it the honour of women to bear children, and, by consequence, the honour of women to be married; for the children which are born out of marriage are the dishonour of women, and called by the shameful name of bastards (Deuteronomy 23:2). As Christ honoured marriage with His birth, so He honoured it with His miracles; for the first miracle which Christ did, He wrought at a marriage in Cana, where He turned the water into wine (John 2:8). As He honoured it with miracles, so He honoured it with praises; for He compareth the kingdom of God to a wedding (Matthew 22:2); and He compareth holiness to a wedding garment (ver. 11); and in the 5th of Canticles He is wedded Himself (Song of Solomon 5:9). We read in Scripture of three marriages of Christ. The first was when Christ and our nature met together. The second is, when Christ and our soul join together. The third is, the union of Christ and His Church. These are Christ's three wives. As Christ honoured marriage, so do Christ's disciples; for John calleth the conjunction of Christ and the faithful a marriage (Revelation 19:7). And in Revelation 21:9, the Church hath the name of a bride, whereas heresy is called an harlot (Revelation 17:1). Now it must needs be, that marriage, which was ordained of such an excellent Author, and in such a happy place, and of such an ancient time, and after such a notable order, must likewise have special causes for the ordinance of it. Therefore the Holy Ghost doth show us three causes of this union. One is, the propagation of children, signified in that when Moses saith "He created them male and female" (Genesis 2:22), not both male nor both female, but one male and the other female; as if He created them fit to propagate other. And, therefore, when He had created them so, to show that propagation of children is one end of marriage, He said unto them, "Increase and multiply" (Genesis 1:28); that is, bring forth children, as other creatures bring forth their kind. The second cause is to avoid fornication. This Paul signifieth when he saith, "For the avoiding of fornication, let every man have his own wife" (1 Corinthians 7:8). The third cause is to avoid the inconvenience of solitariness, signified in these words, "It is not good for man to be alone"; as though He had said, This life would be miserable and irksome, and unpleasant to man, if the Lord had not given him a wife to company his troubles. If it be not good for man to be alone, then it is good for man to have a fellow; therefore, as God created a pair of all other kinds, so He created a pair of this kind. We say that one is none, because he cannot be fewer than one, he cannot be less than one, he cannot be weaker than one, and therefore the wise man saith, "Woe to him that is alone" (Ecclesiastes 4:10), that is, he which is alone shall have woe. Thoughts and cares and fears will come to him because he hath none to comfort him, as thieves steal in when the house is empty; like a turtle which hath lost his mate; like one leg when the other is cut off; like one wing when the other is clipped; so had the man been, if the woman had not been joined to him; therefore for mutual society God coupled two together, that the infinite troubles which lie upon us in the world might be eased with the comfort and help one of another, and that the poor in the world might have some comfort as well as the rich; for "the poor man," saith Solomon, "is forsaken of his own brethren" (Proverbs 19:7); yet God hath provided one comfort for him, like Jonathan's armour bearer, that shall never forsake him (1 Samuel 14:7), that is, another self, which is the only commodity (as I may term it) wherein the poor do match the rich; without which some persons should have no helper, no comfort, no friend at all. In Matthew 22, Christ showeth that before parties married, they were wont to put on fair and new garments, which were called wedding garments; a warning unto all which put on wedding garments to put on truth and holiness too, which so precisely is resembled by that garment more than other. Yet the chiefest point is behind, that is, our duties. The duties of marriage may be reduced to the duties of man and wife, one toward another, and their duties towards their children, and their duty toward their servants. For themselves, saith one, they must think themselves like to birds: the one is the cock, and the other is the hen; the cock flieth abroad to bring in, and the dam sitteth upon the nest to keep all at home. So God hath made the man to travel abroad, and the woman to keep home; and so their nature, and their wit, and their strength are fitted accordingly; for the man's pleasure is most abroad, and the woman's within. In every state there is some one virtue which belongeth to that calling more than other; as justice unto magistrates, and knowledge unto preachers, and fortitude unto soldiers; so love is the marriage virtue which sings music to their whole life. Wedlock is made of two loves, which I may call the first love and the after love. As every man is taught to love God before he be bid to love his neighbour, so they must love God before they can love one another. To show the love which should be between man and wife, marriage is called conjugium, which signifieth a knitting or joining together; showing, that unless there be a joining of hearts, and a knitting of affections together, it is not marriage in deed, but in show and name, and they shall dwell in a house like two poisons in a stomach, and one shall ever be sick of another. Therefore, first, that they may love, and keep love one with another, it is necessary that they both love God, and as their love increaseth toward Him, so it shall increase each to other. To begin this concord well, it is necessary to learn one another's natures, and one another's affections, and one another's infirmities, because ye must be helpers, and ye cannot help unless you know the disease. Thus much of their duties in general; now to their several offices. The man may spell his duty out of his name, for he is called "the head" (Ephesians 5:23), to show that as the eye, the tongue, and the ear are in the head to direct the whole body, so the man should be stored with wisdom, and understanding, and knowledge, and discretion, to direct his whole family; for it is not right that the worse should rule the better, but the better should rule the worse, as the best rules all. The husband saith that his wife must obey him, because he is her better; therefore if he let her be better than himself, he seems to free her from her obedience, and binds himself to obey her. His first duty is called hearting, that is, hearty affection. As they are hand-fasted, so they must be heart-fasted; for the eye, and the tongue, and the hand will be her enemies if the heart be not her friend. As Christ draweth all the commandments to love, so may I draw all their duties to love,, which is the heart's gift to the bride at her marriage. First, he must choose his love, and then he must love his choice. This is the oil which maketh all things easy. His next duty to love, is a fruit of his love; that is, to let all things be common between them which were private before. The man and wife are partners, like two oars in a boat; therefore he must divide offices, and affairs, and goods with her, causing her to be feared, and reverenced, and obeyed of her children and servants, like himself, for she is an under officer in his commonweal, and therefore she must be assisted and borne out like his deputy; as the prince standeth with his magistrates for his own quiet, because they are the legs which bear him up. Lastly, he must tender her as much as all her friends, because he hath taken her from her friends, and covenanted to tender her for them all. To show how he should tender her, Peter saith, "Honour the woman as the weaker vessel" (1 Peter 3:7). As we do not handle glasses like pots, because they are weaker vessels, but touch them nicely and softly for fear of cracks, so a man must entreat his wife with gentleness and softness, not expecting that wisdom, nor that faith, nor that patience, nor that strength in the weaker vessel, which should be in the stronger; but think when he takes a wife he takes a vineyard, not grapes, but a vineyard to bear him grapes; therefore he must sow it, and dress it, and water it, and fence it, and think it a good vineyard, if at last it brings forth grapes. So he must not look to find a wife without a fault, but think that she is committed to him to reclaim her from her faults; for all are defective. And if he find the proverb true, that in space cometh grace, he must rejoice as much at his wife when she amendeth, as the husbandman rejoiceth when his vineyard beginneth to fructify. So much for husbands. Likewise the woman may learn her duty of her names. They are called goodwives, as goodwife A and goodwife B. Every wife is called a good wife; therefore if they be not good wives, their names do belie them, and they are not worth their titles, but answer to a wrong name, as players do upon a stage. This name pleaseth them well. But besides this, a wife is called a yoke fellow (Philippians 4:3), to show that she should help her husband to bear his yoke, that is, his grief must be her grief; and whether it be the yoke of poverty, or the yoke of envy, or the yoke of sickness, or the yoke of imprisonment, she must submit her neck to bear it patiently with him, or else she is not his yoke fellow, but his yoke; as though she were inflicted upon him for a penalty, like to Job's wife, whom the devil left to torment him when he took away all he had beside (Job 2:9). Beside a yoke fellow, she is called a helper (Genesis 2:18), to help him in his business, to help him in his labours, to help him in his troubles, to help him in his sickness, like a woman physician, sometime with her strength, and sometime with her counsel; for sometime as God confoundeth the wise by the foolish, and the strong by the weak (1 Corinthians 1:27), so He teacheth the wise by the foolish, and helpeth the strong by the weak. Beside a helper, she is called a comforter too; and therefore the man is bid rejoice in his wife (Proverbs 5:18); which is as much to say, that wives must be the rejoicing of their husbands, even like David's harp to comfort Saul (1 Samuel 16:23). Lastly, we call the wife huswife, that is, housewife; not a street wife, like Tamar (Genesis 38:14); nor a field wife, like Dinah (Genesis 34:2); but a housewife, to show that a good wife keeps her house; and therefore Paul biddeth Titus to exhort women that they be "chaste, and keeping at home" (Titus 2:5). Presently after "chaste" he saith "keeping at home," as though home were chastity's keeper. As it becometh her to keep home, so it becometh her to keep silence, and always speak the best of her head. Others seek their honour in triumph, but she must seek her honour in reverence; for it becometh not any woman to set light by her husband, nor to publish his infirmities. For they say, That is an evil bird that defileth her own nest; and if a wife use her husband so, how may a husband use his wife? Because this is the quality of that sex, to overthwart, and upbraid, and sue the preeminence of their husbands, therefore the philosophers could not tell how to define a wife, but call her the contrary to a husband, as though nothing were so cross and contrary to a man as a wife. This is not Scripture, but no slander to many. As David exalted the love of women above all other loves (2 Samuel 1:26), so Solomon mounteth the envy of women above all other envies (Proverbs 21:19). Stubborn, sullen, taunting, gainsaying, out-facing, with such a bitter humour, that one would think they were molten out of the salt pillar into which Lot's wife was transformed (Genesis 19:28). We say not all are alike, but this sect hath many disciples, Doth the rib that is in man's side fret or gall him? No more then should she which is made of the rib (Genesis 2:20). Though a woman be wise, and painful, and have many good parts, yet if she be a shrew, her trouble. some jarring in the end will make her honest behaviour unpleasant, as her overpinching at last causeth her good housewifery to be evil spoken of. Therefore, although she be a wife, yet sometimes she must observe the servant's lesson: "Not answering again" (Titus 2:9), and hold her peace to keep the peace. Therefore they which keep silence are well said to hold their peace, because silence oftentimes doth keep the peace when words would break it. To her silence and patience she must add the acceptable obedience which makes a woman rule while she is ruled. This is the wife's tribute to her husband; for she is not called his head, but he is called her head. Thus we have shadowed the man's duty to his wife, and the woman's to her husband. After their duties one to another, they must learn their duties to their family. One compareth the master of the house to the seraphim, which came and kindled the prophet's zeal; so he should go from wife to servants, and from servants to children, and kindle in them the zeal of God, longing to teach his knowledge, as a nurse to empty her breasts. Another saith that a master in his family hath all the offices of Christ, for he must rule, and teach, and pray; rule like a king, and teach like a prophet, and pray like a priest (Revelation 5:10). To show how a godly man should behave himself in his household, when the Holy Ghost speaketh of the conversation of any housekeeper, lightly he saith, that "the man believed with all his household" (Acts 16:34; Acts 18:8). As Peter being converted, must convert his brethren; so the master being converted, must convert his servants. Lastly, we put the duty towards children, because they come last to their hands. In Latin children are called pignora, that is, pledges; as if I should say, a pledge of the husband's love to the wife, and a pledge of the wife's love toward the husband; for there is nothing which doth so knit love between the man and the wife as the fruit of the womb. The first duty is the mother's, that is, to nurse her child at her own breasts, as Sarah did Isaac (Genesis 21:7); and therefore Isaiah joined the nurse's name and the mother's name both in one, and called them "nursing mothers"; showing that mothers should be the nurses. The next duty is, "Catechize a child in his youth, and he will remember it when he is old" (Proverbs 22:6). This is the right blessing which fathers and mothers give to their children, when they cause God to bless them too. If these duties be performed in marriage then I need not speak of divorcement, which is the rod of marriage, and divideth them which were one flesh, as if the body and soul were parted asunder. But because all perform not their wedlock vows, therefore He which appointed marriage hath appointed divorcement, as it were taking our privelege from us when we abuse it. As God hath ordained remedies for every disease, so He hath ordained a remedy for the disease of marriage. The disease of marriage is adultery, and the medicine thereof is divorcement. Moses licensed them to depart for hardness of heart (Matthew 19:8); but Christ licenseth them to depart for no cause but adultery. If they might be separated for discord, some would make a commodity of strife; but now they are not best to be contentious, for this law will hold their noses together, till weariness make them leave struggling; like two spaniels which are coupled in a chain, at last they learn to go together, because they may not go asunder. As nothing might part friends, but "if thine eye offend thee, pull it out" (Matthew 5:32); that is, thy friend be a tempter; so nothing may dissolve marriage but fornication (Matthew 19:9), which is the breach of marriage, for marriage is ordained to avoid fornication (1 Corinthians 7:9), and therefore if the condition be broken, the obligation is void.
(Prof. J. G. Murphy.)
And soften the bending spirit's smart;
And to light in this world of sin and pain,
The lamp of love, and of joy again.muller, a word derived from mollior — softer, more tender. In Hebrew ish signifies "man," and the addition of a terminal vowel makes it isha — a woman. In all three of these languages, the words used are also applied to a "wife." In Turkish, however, the name karu — woman — is never applied to a wife; she is called ev, which signifies "house"; while the Armenians call her undanik, or the keeper at home, a word which includes the children; they also call the wife gin, i.e., a woman.
(Things not Generally Known)
PlacesAssyria, Cush, Eden, Euphrates River, Tigris River
TopicsBone, Bringeth, Buildeth, Built, Elohim, Fashioned, Rib
Outline1. The first Sabbath.
4. Further details concerning the manner of creation.
8. The planting of the garden of Eden, and its situation;
15. man is placed in it; and the tree of knowledge forbidden.
18. The animals are named by Adam.
21. The making of woman, and the institution of marriage.
Dictionary of Bible ThemesGenesis 2:22
4006 creation, origin
LibraryThird Day. Holiness and Creation.
And God blessed the Sabbath day, and sanctified it, because that in it He had rested from all the work which God created and made.'--Gen. ii. 3. In Genesis we have the Book of Beginnings. To its first three chapters we are specially indebted for a Divine light shining on the many questions to which human wisdom never could find an answer. In our search after Holiness, we are led thither too. In the whole book of Genesis the word Holy occurs but once. But that once in such a connection as to open …
Andrew Murray—Holy in Christ
Of the First Covenant.
The Disciple, -- Sometimes this Question is Asked, "Since God is Fully Aware of Our...
The Covenant of Works
The Paradise of God
Forasmuch as Each Man is a Part of the Human Race...
Turn Away Thine Eyes from Me, Because they have Made Me to Flee Away; Thy Hair is as a Flock of Goats that Appear from Gilead.
Epistle xiv. To the Count Narses .
Epistle xxxiv. To Eulogius, Bishop.
The Formation of the Old Testament Canon
The Interpretation of the Early Narratives of the Old Testament
Concerning the Condition of Man in the Fall.
Though Ye Know Him Not
The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit as Revealed in his Names.
Sin a Power in Reversed Action.
The Providence of God
The Millennium in Relation to Creation.
The Unjust Steward - Dives and Lazarus - Jewish Agricultural Notes - Prices of Produce - Writing and Legal Documents - Purple and Fine Linen -
Covenanting Adapted to the Moral Constitution of Man.
The Growth of the Old Testament Prophetic Histories
Sovereignty of God in Administration
Death by Adam, Life by Christ
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Genesis 2:22 Commentaries