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Ob fortunate, ob bappy day,

When a new bousebold finds its birth Among the myriad bomes of eartb!

For two alone -- whose needs must be
Each other's own best company -
Is spread the table, round and small.
And though on polisbed silver sbine
The evening lamps, yet more divine
Tbe light of love shines over all-
Of love that says not mine and thine,
But OURS for ours is thine and mine.

Around that table, wider grown,
Like pebble into water thrown,

Dilates that ring of ligbt.

PREFACE.

THE CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE CEREMONY has been for some years out of print. I was unwilling that another edition of it should issue until I should have made upon it certain alterations and additions. The result is this, in effect, new book with a changed name. The changes will sufficiently appear in the body of the text as well as in the notes. More than twenty years' further study of the Holy Word, of the great Rituals, of the History of the Church and of Christendom, has modified my earlier judgment, especially in regard to the position which the Christian Church must hold concerning the indelibility of her own function.

The Preface to the former edition has been omitted. An Introduction which should lead to a clearer comprehension of the argument has been written. The whole text has been carefully revised, enlarged, and corrected to date. Two more Appendices have been added; one upon a point which has been much discussed since the publication of the former edition, and the other upon a now burning question infinitely important in all ages and always new.

J. F. B. HARTFORD, CONN.,

September, 1900.

INTRODUCTION.

In this self-trusting, restraint-hating, bond-breaking age, when the true meaning of Liberty is so widely ignored and so often misunderstood, it need not be said that the conception of the Marriagetie, as most generally current among the masses of men to-day, has not escaped a certain degree of obscurity, not to say falsity; and with the spread of the democratic sentiment in all lands and the increasing exaltation of the individual, both this obscurity and this misunderstanding, even under our brightening Christian civilization, appear rather to be deepening than clearing away.

It seems therefore necessary to observe here that there are three aspects of Marriage, each of which in its sphere is very real and very true, and has its own important bearing on the nature of the engagement and the indelibility of the union. These aspects are, that which appears from the 1 point of view of the State; that which appears from the point of view of the Church; and that which appears from the point of view of Personal! Sentiment, or natural Love, so-called.

The first of these has regard mainly, if not exclusively, to the legitimacy of children, to the suc

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