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they are required to read the pure and solemn marriage service on so many disorderly and forced occasions, of what are known by the name of “ Parish Weddings:" their short but true history is this :
A woman, who, by appearances, is likely to become chargeable to the parish, is called upon to swear to the father: it may be, that aware of this matter, he has absconded; a warrant is issued out against him, and he is apprehended; if the culprit cannot give security, or indemnify the demands of the parish, nor consents to marry the woman, to gaol he must go! if afterward he becomes pliable in confinement, he must remain there till a license is procured; then the dismal wretch, reeking from his prison and the fumes of drink, under the vigilant eye of an overseer, or the constable, is safely guarded with his teeming partner to the sacred altar, and for what? for the purpose of holy matrimony? rather let it be said, what in reality
is the fact, that it is done with the express design of ridding one parish from a probability of charge, and throwing it elsewhere!
If such kind of disreputable marriages, rather of civil obligation than of voluntary act, were permitted to be ratified by some other legal contract, the intention of them would be equally answered, and what is of greater consideration, the pure and awful service of the church, so differently intended, would be rescued from that gross pollution and barefaced ridicule, to which, at present, it is so notoriously exposed,
Such a distinction of ceremony in solempizing honourable propensities, and in merely legalizing those that were otherwise, might moreover have a salutary tendency to dispose those that were concerned, to resort to church, before appearances hindered them from receiving in it, the more honourable badge of matrimony; but which yet exposed them to the coercions of another form of engagement.
Those of suitable condition in life, who refused to atone by wedlock, as much as possible, for the crime of seduction, ought, beyond the parochial demands, to pay a fine to the state, for the injury which its public morals had sustained.
Imperfect as may be these hints, they are thrown out with much humanity and diffidence; with a view of preventing the increase of illegitimate children, who are very undeservedly the objects either of scoff or neglect, and tog frequently of both. These suggestions however, are principally intended to check the licentious growth of Female Şeduction!
IN all animals that are capable of giving tokens of pride, the advances of it may be seen, nearly in regular progression, according to their utility and comeliness in the work of creation. Man, who is the most excellent of all, has consequently the greatest share: not that he is proud as a species, but only as an individual; he does not gratify himself in this passion, by making a comparison of his superiority with other orders of animals, but only as it applies to his fellow creatures.
Pride, which has its origin from inordinate self-esteem, betrays itself on different occasions, with endless variety of shape: if it be considered as the antagonist of meanness and the exciting cause of generous and heroic deeds; it is not the business of the moralist, when the effects of that passion are salutary to the interests of mankind, to examine with severity the principles which produced them : it is only when pride is not duly balanced by other affections, and so becomes the engine of oppression and injustice; it is the abuse of pride which calls for the scourge of reproof; then indeed it becomes a most formidable vice, and of such a peculiar nature, that those who feel it strongest in themselves are the most intolerant of it in others.
So much did this sort of pride reign among the first Philosophers, that they could easily discern it in each other, but would not acknowledge the existence of it in themselves; hence Diogenes said, “ I tread upon Plato's