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and the sentiments of a depraved world. This contrast seldom appears in a stronger light than it does on the subject of which we are now speaking. In the codes of modern infidelity and licentiousness, as well as among uncivilized nations, woman is exhibit. ed as the mere servile instrument of convenience or

pleasure. In the volume of Revelation she is represented as the equal, the companion, and the help-meet of man. In the language of worldly taste, a fine woman, is one who is distinguished for her personal charms, and polite accomplishments. In the language of Scripture, she is the enlightened and virtuous mistress of a family, and the useful member of society. The woman who is formed on the principles of the world, finds no enjoyment but in the circles of affluence, gayety, and fashion. The woman who is formed on the principles of the Bible goeth about doing good: she visiteth the fartherless and the widows in their affliction: she stretcheth forth her bands to the poor, yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. The one dresses with elegance, and shines in the dance: the other opens her mouth with wisdom; in her tongue is the law of kindness, and her most valued adorning is not gold, or pearls, or costly array; but good works, and the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit. The hours of the one are divided between routs, and assemblies, and visiting, and theatres, and cards: the other looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. "The business of the one is pleasure; the pleasure of the other is busiThe one is admired abroad; the other is beloved and honored at home." Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and be praiseth her. Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.

From these representations of sacred writ, and from many others of similar import, it is manifest, that the ornament and the duty of the female sex, are as appropriate as they are important; and that they

pertain especially to the relations which they bear as wives,-as mothers, --as domestic companions, and... · as members of society. On each of these relations, an extensive field of enquiry opens to our view; but it is only possible to take a very rapid glance at each, in the order in which they have been mentioned.

I. How interesting and important are the duties devolved on females as wives! On their temper and deportment, more than those of any other individuals, it depends, whether their husbands be happy or miserable; whether the households over which they preside be well ordered and regular, or neglected and wretched; whether the property of their partners be wisely and economically applied, or carelessly and ignobly squandered; in a word, whether peace, affection, order, and plenty, reign in their dwellings, or waste, confusion, discord, and alienation disgrace them. Females have been often honored with the title of angels. If it be ever proper to apply such an appellation to a daughter of a fallen race, there is sure. ly no mortal to whom it so properly applies, as a pru. dent, virtuous, and amiable wife, the counsellor and friend of her husband; who makes it her daily study to lighten his cares, to sooth his sorrows, and to augment his joys; who like a guardian angel, watches over his interests, warns him against dangers, comforts him under trials; and by her pious, assiduous, and attractive deportment, constantly endeavors to render him more virtuous, more useful, more honor ed and more happy. The blessings which such a woman is capable of conferring on her partner, and through him, on society, are more numerous and die versified than a yolume would be sufficient to display. In how many instances have we known wives of this character become the means of winning their unbelieving husbands to the obedience of the faith! Wherv this is the case, who can estimate the greatness of the hlessing? Like the light of day, it pours its benig


influence upon each member of the favored domestic circle; and ever permanent in its effects, reaches through eternal ages.

II. No less numerous and weighty are the duties devolved on females as MOTHERS. Children, during the first years of their lives, are necessarily committed almost entirely to the care of mothers. And the impressions which are then made on their tender minds, generally decide their character and destiny, not only for this life, but also for that which is to come. In that soft and plastic season, when the temper, the principles and the habits are formed; when the heart is deeply impressed; when the conscience is tender, when the whole character is ductile; when almost everything but the regeneration of the heart may be said to be within the power of a parent to bestow; and when even the attainment of this greatest of all gifts has a closer connection with parental faithfulness than is generally imagined--- This is empathatically, the period of the maternal empire. Her's is the delightful, the all-important task, to watch over the infant years of her offspring ; to guard them from the thousand dangers to which they are ex. posed; to form a sound mind in a sound body; to whisper in their listening ears, the sentiments of virtue and piety; and to prepare them for living to God, to their country, and to themselves.

On this ground, I have no scruple in avowing my conviction, that in the whole business of education, - THE MOTHER IS THE MORE IMPORTANT PARENT, It may, perhaps, without extravagance be said, that to the female sex pre-eminently belongs the mighty task, so far as it depends on human agency, of forming the beads and hearts of the great mass of mankind. то them it belongs to render their families the nurseries either of heaven or hell. Their enlightened fidelity or their criminal negligence, will, under God, decide the character of those future citizens, on whose virtues

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the whole interests of the commonwealth will depend; of those legislators on whose wisdom the character of our laws must rest; of those magistrates, with whose learning and correct principles the whole fabrick of public justice must stand or fall; and of those ministers of the gospel, on whose orthodoxy and piety the salvation of millions, speaking after the manner of men, may be suspended. It is thus that maternal faithfulness or negligence goes to the root of social happiness. It is thus that mothers may be the means of transmitting blessings or calamities, of incalculable extent, to distant generations.

III. EVERY DOMESTIC RELATION which females sustain, may be considered as opening to them an appropriate and important sphere of duty. Great and permanent usefulness in domestic life is by no means confined to wives and mothers. The female who sustains neither of these honorable and interesting relations, may yet be eminently useful. How much may every Daughter, by uniformly dutiful and affectionate conduct towards her parents, promote the happiness of the whole household to which she belongs; and by her example contribute to the improvement of all around her! How much solid good may every Sister daily accomplish, by diligently employing her talents, in assisting to educate her youn. ger brothers and sisters, in promoting the regularity, order, and comfort of the family, of which she is a member, and in recommending at once, by her whole deportment, the wisdom of economy, the sweetness of benevolence, and the purity of holinsss? Nay, how much may every female servant contribute to the advantage of the family in which her lot is cast! It was a little maid in the house of Naaman, the Syrian, that directed her master to the prophet of the Lord, by whom his leprosy was healed, and by whose ministry he became a convert to the true religion.

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And were the history of many families laid open to our view, how often should we see the pious language and holy example of some inferior domestic made a blessing to nyore than one of those whom she served !

Every female, then, who, in whatever capacity, makes a part of any domestic establishment, whether she preside as its head, or serve as its humblest menial, has it in her power to do good, to an extent which it is the prerogative of Omniscience alone to estimate. She has means and opportunities of usefulness peculiar to her sex and station. Means and

opportunities which, if faithfully improved, cannot fail, acccording to the divine promise, to produce a rich result of blessing. The tongue of eloquence indeed may never pronounce her eulogium, nor the pen of history record her deeds. But in the • heraldry of heaven,' in which to be good is better than to be great, and to be useful than to shine, she may hold a place more illustrious and honorable than many of those who have wielded the sceptre of empire, and filled the world with the thunder of their fame.

IV. Females have set before them a wide and appropriate field of useful activity, AS MEBERRS OF SOCIETY. Let no woman imagine that she has nothing to do beyond the sphere of her own household. In every walk, and in every hour of life, she may be contributing something to the purity, the order, and the happiness of the community to which she belongs. The influence of the female character in forming public taste, and public manners, is incalculable. It has been felt and acknowledged in all ages. Of this ininfluence, every woman, whatever be her talents or her station, possesses a share ; and by her whole de. portment is conferring either a benefit or an injury on society. It is in the power of women, by constantly exhibiting the dignity of virtue, and the ata tractions of piety, to repress the impertinence, to

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