Saturday, February 14, 2015
To Polly, who has been with me from the beginning--from the summer we courted in Hunter Library to the summer I graduated: lover, wife, mother of my children, mentor, friend, and my favorite Puritan...a woman of singular virtue, prudence, modesty, and piety, and specially beloved and honored of all...I will say nothing of my love to thee and of my longing desires towards thee, thou knowest my heart. ~ John Winthrop to his wife. From Boston, Nov. 29, 1630.
Whence are we to find words enough fully to tell the happiness of that marriage which the church cements...What kind of yoke is that of two believers, partakers of one hope, one desire, one discipline, one and the same service? Both are brethren, both fellow servants, no difference of spirit or flesh; nay, they are truly 'two in one flesh.' Where the flesh is one, one is the spirit too. Together they pray...together perform their fasts; mutually teaching, mutually exhorting, mutually sustaining...equally are they found in the church of God; equally at the banquet of God; equally in straits, in persecutions, in refreshments. Neither hides anything from the other...There is no stealthy singing, no trembling greeting...Between the two echo psalms and hymns; and they mutually challenge each other as to which shall better chant to their Lord. Such things, when Christ sees and hears, he joys. -Tertullian, "To His Wife", c. 207 A.D."