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with the welfare of the whole. This is the case when an indivi-, dual is set upon gratifying his passion for personal ease, pleasure, and emolument; and declines all active and painful exertions for the general good. Such conduct may involve the whole house in ruin : it will however most certainly prove a great obstruction to its happiness. On the contrary, if the maxim we have laid down be regarded, and individuals are disposed to deny themselves for the sake of others, and to exert all their ability to promote their welfare; the general fund of happiness will be augmented, and the opposite evils resulting from a selfish teinper prevented.

But to give effect to this maxim something further is neces. sary than coolly proving its reasonableness. We must endeavour to inspire one another with a generous benevolent spirit. Social feelings are exquisitely soft and pleasing. Happy man whose bosom glows with love to all his fellow-creatures, especially those to whom he is thus nearly allied ! How can a human heart be an utter stranger to this passion! How can the several members of a family be indifferent to each other's welfare ! How can any one be so entirely wrapt up in himself, as to prefer a little personal gratification to the content and happiness of the whole ! Such a temper as this is base to the last degree. It is totally inconsistent with all idea of friendship. It is inimical to all social connections. And it renders a man utterly unworthy of all the benefits of society. He who is of this cast is rather a brute than a man, and is rather to be shunned with horror than tolerated by candour.

But it were easy to prove, strange as it may seem at first view, that public interest is in effect private interest: that is, public interest is the aggregate sum of private interest. He therefore who studies the welfare of the whole, studies the welfare of every part, and of consequence his own welfare. And by pursuing his own welfare, in this connection with that of others, he is much more likely to secure his object than if his attention were wholly fixed to himself. Besides, the personal good he thus gains is mightily enhanced in its value by its being intermingled with the general good. How sweet and enlivening to an ingenuous mind those joys which are shared in common with others ! The force of this argument, addressed you see to self-interest, every one must feel. Let parents then and children, brothers and sisters, masters and servants, be persuaded all of them to look not on their own things, as the apostle expresses it, but also on the things of others a. Forego, Sirs, this and the other advantage of a private kind for the good of the whole, and depend upon it you will in the end be the gainers thereby.

2. Let the affairs of the family be conducted with regularity, and every one not only know his proper station but be contented with it.

As tranquillity, peace, contentment, and happiness are ideas intimately connected with friendship, so whatever tends to promote these pleasures is of use to strengthen and confirm the band of domestic union. In all societies there are businesses of various kinds to be transacted. Every one has his department of service, and upon a due attention to it depends not only the prosperity of the whole, but the comfort of every individual. So it is in families. To the master it belongs to superintend the general interests of the house, and to enforce obedience to its laws and orders. The office of the mistress is to look after her household affairs, and see every thing conducted with prudence and economy. The children have each of them their duty, and the servants theirs. No one should invade the province of another, but all know the part they have to act; how this and that business is to be done, and the fit season for it. And as Providence has destined every one to his proper

station in the family, pointing out to each his duty by the age, character, abilities, and rank he holds; so every one should make up his mind to his particular station, not envying those above him, or carrying it haughtily towards those beneath him. Matters thus conducted, the affairs of the house will go on smoothly and prosperously, each will have his share of tranquillity and pleasure, and so the happy union of the whole every day acquire additional firmness. Thus order will beget peace, peace contentment, contentment happiness, and happiness, union and love.

A house divided against itself, says our Saviour, cannot stand b. But what is it that creates division ? Not merely the fiercer passions of malevolence and resentment. Sedition, in these lesser as well as larger communities, is often the fruit of mal-administration in those whose business it is to govern, and of sloth and discontent in those whose duty it is to obey. If no order is observed in a family, and none are disposed to attend regularly to their duty, who can wonder that in this lawless state of domestic society the seeds of discontent and peevishness should spring up, and before it is long ripen into animosity, faction, and ruin?-And this leads me,

6 Matt. xii. 25.

a Phil. ii. 4.

.

3. To inculcate the great duty of every one's endeavouring to get

the due command of his temper. Self-government is of the last consequence to the welfare of society in general, and to a man's own personal honour and happiness in particular. But we are here speaking of it in reference to domestic peace and friendship. Suppose self-conceit and obstinacy to prevail in a family, how tremendous must be the effect ! Each one, fully persuaded he is right, will at all events have his way. The master angrily insists that the children and servants shall in every instance submit; and they again, losing sight of the duty they owe the master, think it hard that their will should not in this or that case be complied with. Their will is opposed—they rebel-and what is the result? Can we be at a loss one moment to determine ? The spark kindles into a flame, the flame spreads through the house, and, if prudence and good-nature do not immediately interpose to check its progress, a total and terrible conflagration ensues.

Friendship is the generous offspring of wisdom, humanity, and religion. It is a plant of tender growth, and must be cultivated with attention and care. The sharp winds of frowardness and self-will, if not guarded against, will nip it in the bud. Sincere and prudent friends, therefore, will see it their interest to submit to one another in many points wherein their judgments differ. They will submit upon the wise and salutary principle, that, though the measure is wrong, the inconvenience of it had better be endured than a good understanding hazarded. And ought not such reasoning to prevail in families? Should not every member of the house be disposed to submit to the opinion and inclination of the rest, sensible that the consequence of obstinately adhering to his own pleasure, may be infinitely detrimental to the happiness of the whole ? As a habit of yielding is truly glorious to him who has acquired it, so

it is fruitful of the most noble and happy consequences to those about him. It effectually prevents disunion, and draws the silken knot of friendship so close that no art can unloose it. The frequent sacrifice of pique and ill-humour, if mutual, will beget such passionate love to one another as no attempt from the demon of discord can subdue. The children will love even to distraction the parents that can now and then relax their authority, and yield, or at least seem to yield, to their opinions and persuasions. Such conduct too will bind servants, ingenuous servants I mean, more firmly to their master's interest than the strongest cords of rigour and authority. But at the same time it should be carefully remembered, that the age, character, and station of those who preside, entitle their opinion upon every matter to greater respect than that of any inferior. Indeed the peace of a family requires in most cases an absolute submission to their opinion, when such submission is insisted on. And I may add, that the mistaken opinion of superiors, in most instances, ought rather to be acquiesced in than the authority of the house disputed, its order deranged, and its tranquillity invaded.

If then there be any thing desirable and important in domestic union, let us be persuaded, each one of us, to restrain, correct, and subdue our natural tempers. Let us take pains to that end. Let us guard against every expression of peevishness and fretfulness, and particularly the rugged ill-natured efforts of obstinacy and self-will. Let us consider with ourselves the real glory we shall gain by submitting, the great utility of every act of self-denial to the purpose of meliorating our tempers, and the essential service we shall render our families by our meekness and forbearance.—The last particular of advice to be proposed is,

4. To make religion our grand object.

The favourable aspect which religion bears to domestic friendship must strike the most superficial observer. Nor do I know where to begin or where to end, when I attempt to display its excellencies in their reference to the matter before us. It teaches us, that God is love, that man was formed for society, that disunion is one of the main evils resulting from our apostacy, that our Saviour came down from heaven to reconçile us not only to God but to one another, to create peace on earth and good-will among men, to break down the middle wall of partition between us, and to make those, who had been strangers and foreigners to each other, fellow-citizens and members of the household of God. These great truths it holds up to our view, possessing us of every possible argument to dissuade us from wrath, bitterness, and malevolence, and of every imaginable motive to dispose us to the practice of forbearance, gentleness, and love. It remonstrates against our angry passions, and pleads with our tender and social feelings, by the bowels of Christ and all that matchless love which induced him to endure the greatest evils, in order to restore to us this the greatest good, friendship. It presents us with the noblest examples of families in earlier and later times, which have been rendered truly happy, and have acquired no small honour, by paying a due attention to its sacred dictates. It leads us into the tents of the aneient patriarchs, the colleges of the Israelitish prophets, and the habitations of the primitive Christians; and exhibits therein such pleasing scenes of domestic simplicity, concord, and love, as cannot fail of charming every heart that possesses the least degree of sensibility. And having thus entertained us here on earth in the houses of a Lazarus at Bethany, a Priscilla and Aquila at Corinth, an elect Lady, and an hospitable Gaius; it conducts us to the fair mansions above, where God the Father dwells, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named; where Christ the elder brother of the house appears in all his glory, and where the general assembly and church of the first-born are all united in the sweet bands of domestic friendship-bands which neither sin nor Satan shall ever tear asunder.

Do we then wish to enjoy this inestimable blessing in the tents Providence has pitched for us here on earth ? Let us welcome the noble guest I have been describing into our hearts, give him the most cheerful entertainment there, and suffer him never to depart thence. To the sceptre of religion let us oblige all our angry, self-willed, and discordant passions to bow, to its authority let us render uncontrolled obedience, and its favour let us cultivate as the chiefest good. So will peace be within our walls, and prosperity within our dwellings. And so will our friends and neighbours, while they are the wit

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