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conscious of their power, and not backward in turning it to account. But there are noble objects to be effect. ed by the exertion of their powers, and unfortunately, ladies, who are often unreasonably confident where they ought to be diffident, are sometimes capriciously diffi. dent just when they ought to feel where their true im. portance lies; and, feeling, to exert it. To use their boasted power over mankind to no higher purpose than the gratification of vanity or the indulgence of pleasure, is the degrading triumph of those fair victims to luxury, caprice, and despotisni, whom the laws and the religion of the voluptuous prophet of Arabia exclude from light, and liberty, and knowledge, and it is humbling to reflect, that in those countries in which fondness for the mere persons of women is carried to the highest excess, they are slaves; and that their moral and intellectual degradation increases in direct proportion to the adora. tion which is paid to mere external charms.

But I turn to the bright reverse of this mortifying scene; to a country where our sex enjoys the blessings of liberal instruction, of reasonable laws, of a pure religion, and all the endearing pleasures of an equal, social, virtuous, and delightful intercourse : I turn with an earnest hope, that women, thus richly endowed with the bounties of Providence, will not content themselves with polishing, when they are able to reform with enter. taining, when they may awaken ; and with captivating for a day, when they may bring into action powers of which the effects may be commensurate with eternity.

In this moment of alarm and peril, I would call on them with a “warning voice," which would stir up every latent principle in their minds, and kindle every slumbering energy in their hearts ; I would call on them to come forward, and contribute their full and fair pro. portion towards the saving of their country. But I would call on them to come forward, without departing from the refinement of their character, without derogat. ing from the dignity of their rank, without blemishing the delicacy of their sex: I would call them to the best and most appropriate exertion of their power, to raise the depresssed tone of public morals, and to awaken the

drowsy spirit of religious principle. They know too well how arbitrarily they give the law to manners, and with how despotic a sway they fix the standard of sash. ion. But this is not enough; this is a low mark, a prize not worthy of their high and holy calling. For, on the use which women of the superior class may be disposed to make of that power delegated to them by the courtesy of custom, by the honest gallantry of the heart, by the imperious control of virtuous ailections, by the habits of civilized states, by the usages of polished society ; on the use, I say, which they shall hereafter make of this influence, will depend, in no low degree, the well-being of those states, and the virtue and happiness, nay perhaps the very existence of that society.

At this period, when our country can only hope to stand by opposing a bold and noble unanimity to the most tremendous confederacies against religion, and order, and governments, which the world ever saw; what an accession would it bring to the public strength, could we prevail on beauty, and rank, and talents, and virtue, confederating their several powers, to come forward with a patriotism at once firm and feminine for the general good! I am not sounding an alarm to female warriors, nor exciting female politicians : I hardly know which of the two is the most disgusting and unnatural character. Propriety is to a woman what the great Roman critic says action is to an orator ; it is the first, the second, the third requisite. A woman may be knowing, active, witty, and amusing; but without propriety she cannot be amiable. Propriety is the centre in which all the lines of duty and of agreeableness meet. It is to character what proportion is to figure, and grace to attitude. It does not depend on any one perfection ; but it is the result of general excellence. It shews itself by a regular, orderly, undeviating course; and never starts from its sober orbit into any splendid eccentricities; for it would be ashamed of such praise as it might extort by any aberrations from its proper path. It renounces all commendation but what is characteristic; and I would make it the criterion of true taste, right principle, and genuine feeling, in a woman, whether she would be less touched with all the flattery of romantic and exaggerated panegyric than with that beautiful picture of correct and elegant propriety, which Milton draws of our first mother, when he delineates

“ Those thousand decencies which daily flow
“ From all her words and actions."

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Even the influence of religion is to be exercised with discretion. A female Polemic wanders almost as far from the limits prescribed to her sex, as a female Machi. avel or warlike Thalestris. Fierceness has made almost , as few converts as the sword, and both are peculiarly ungraceful in a female. Even religious violence has human tempers of its own to indulge, and is gratifying itself when it would be thought to be serving God. Let not the bigot place her natural passions to the account of Christianity, or imagine she is pious when she is only pas. sionate. Let her bear in mind that a Christian doctrine is always to be defended with a Christian spirit, and not make herself amends by the stoutness of her orthodoxy for the badness of her temper. Many because they defend a doctrine with pertinacity, seem to fancy that they there. by acquire a kind of right to withhold the obedience which should be necessarily involved in the principle.

But the character of a consistent Christian is as care. fully to be maintained, as that of a fiery disputant is to be avoided ; and she who is afraid to avow her princi. ples, or ashamed to defend them, has little claim to that honourable title. A profligate, who laughs at the most sacred institutions, and keeps out of the way of every thing which comes under the appearance of formal in. struction, may be disconcerted by the modest, but spirit.

rebuke of a delicate woman, whose life adorns the doctrines which her conversation defends : but she who administers reproof with ill-breeding, defeats the effect of her remedy. On the other hand, there is a dishonest way of laboring to conciliate the favour of a whole company, though of characters and principles irrecon. eilably opposite. The words may be so guarded as not

to shock the believer, while the eye and voice may be so accommodated, as not to discourage the infidel. She who, with a half earnestness, trims between the truth and the fashion; who, while she thinks it creditable to defend the cause of religion, yet does it in a faint tone, a studied ambiguity of phrase, and a certain expression in her countenance, which proves that she is not displeased with what she affects to censure, or that she is afraid to lose her reputation for wit, in proportion as she advances her credit for piety, injures the cause more than he who attacked it; for she proves, either that she does not believe what she professes, or that she does not reverence what fear compels her to believe. But this is not all : she is called on not barely to repress impiety, but to excite, to encourage, and to cherish every tendency to seri. ous religion.

Some of the occasions of contributing to the general good which are daily presenting themselves to ladies, are almost too minute to be pointed out. Yet of the good which right-minded women, anxiously watching these minute occasions, and adroitly seizing them, might accomplish, we may form some idea by the ill-effects which we actually see produced, through the mere levity, carelessless, and inattention (to say no worse) of some of those ladies, who are looked up to as standards in the fashionable world.

I am persuaded if many a one, who is now dissemi. nating unintended mischief, under the dangerous notion that there is no harm in any thing short of positive vice, and under the false colours of that indolent humility, " What good can I do ?” could be brought to see in its collected force the annual aggregate of the random evil she is daily doing, by constantly throwing a little casual weight into the wrong scale, by mere in considerate and unguarded chat, she would start from her self-compla. cent dream. If she could conceive how much she may be diminishing the good impressions of young men; and if she could imagine how little amiable levity or irreligion makes her appear in the eyes of those who are

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older and abler, (however loose their own principles may be) she would correct herself in the first instance, from pure good nature; and in the second, from world. ly prudence and mere self-love. , But on how much higher principles would she restrain herself, if she habit. ually took into account the important doctrine of conse. quences ; and if she reflected that the lesser but more habitual corruptions make up by their number, what they may seem to come short of by their weight : then perhaps she would find that, among the higher class of women, inconsideration is adding more to the daily quan. tity of evil than almost all other causes put together.

There is an instrument of inconceivable force, when it is employed against the interests of Christianity. It is not reasoning, for that may be answered; it is not learn. ing, for luckily the infidel is not seldom ignorant; it is not invective, for we leave so coarse an engine to the hands of the vulgar; it is not evidence, for happily we have that on our side. It is RIDICULE, the most deadly weapon in the whole arsenal of impiety, and which becomes an almost unerring shaft when directed by a fair and fashionable hand. No maxim has been more readily adopted, or is more intrinsically false, than that which the fascinating eloquence of a noble skeptic of the last age contrived to render so popular, that 6 ridicule is the test of truth.” It is no test of truth itself; but of their firmness who assert the cause of truth, it is indeed a severe test. This light, keen, missile weapon, the irres. olute, unconfirmed Christian will find it harder to with. stand, than the whole heavy artillery of infidelity united.

A young man of the better sort, having just entered upon the world, with a certain share of good disposition's and right feelings, not ignorant of the evidences, nor destitute of the principles of Christianity; without part. ing with his respect for religion, he sets out with the too natural wish of making himself a reputation, and of standing well with the fashionable part of the female world. He preserves for a time a horror of vice, which makes it not difficult for him to resist the grosser corrup. tions of society; he can as yet repel profaneness; nay,

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