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advantage, whether we consider the natural make of their minds, their leisure for acquisition in youth, or their subsequently less exposed mode of life. Their hearts are natu. rally soft and flexible, open to impressions of love and gratitude ; their feelings tender and lively : all these are farourable to the cultivation of a devotional spirit. Yet while we remind them of these benefits, they will do well to be on their guard lest this very softness and ductility lay them more open to the seductions of temptation and error.
They have in the native constitution of their minds, as well as from the relative situations they are called to fill,a certain sense of attachment and dependance, which is pe. culiarly favourable to religion. They feel, perhaps, more intimately, the want of a strength which is not their own, Christianity brings that superinduced strength; it comes in aid of their conscious weakness, and offers the only true counterpoise to it. "Woman, be thou healed of thine in. firmity,” is still the heart cheering language of a gra. cious Saviour,
Women also bring to the study of Christianity fewer of those prejudices which persons of the other sex too often early contract. Men, from their classical education, acquire a strong partialityfor the manners of pagan antiquity, and the documents of pagan philosophy : this, together with the impure taint caught from the loose descriptions of their poets, and the licentious language even of their his. torians, (in whom we reasonably look for more gravity,) often weakens the good impressions of young men, and at least confuses their ideas of piety, by mixing them with so much heterogeneous matter. Their very spirits are embu. ed all the week with the impure follies of a depraved my. thology ; and it is well if even on Sundays they get to hear of the "true God, and Jesus Christ whom he has sent.' While women, though struggling with the same natural corruptions, have commonly less knowledge to un. know, and fewer schemes to unlearn ; they have not to shake off the pride of system, and to disemcumber their minds from the shackles of favourite theories: they do not bring from the porch or the academy any "oppositions of science" to obstruct their reception of those pure doctrines taught on the Mount : doctrines which onght to fiod a readier entrance into minds uninfected with the pride of the school of Zeno, or the libertinism of that of Epicurus.
And as women are naturally more affectionate than fas. tidious; they are likely both to read and to hear with a less critical spirit than men: they will not be on the watch to detect errors, so much as to gather improvement; they have seldom that hardness which is acquired by dealing deeply in books of controversy, but are more inclined to works which quicken the devotional feelings, than to such as awaken a spirit of doubt and skepticism. They are less disposed to consider the compositions they peruse, as ma. terials on which to ground ohjections and answers, than as helps to faith and rules of life. With these advantages, however, they should also bear in mind that their impressions being often less abiding, and their reason less open to conviction, by means of the strong evidences which exist in favour of the truth of Christianity, they ought therefore, to give the more earnest heed to the things which they have heard, lest at any time they should let them slip." Women are also from their domestic habits, in possession of more leisure and tranquillity for religious pursuits, as well as secured from those difficulties and temptations to which men are exposed in the tumult of a bustling world. Their lives are more uniform, less agitated by the passions, the businesses, the contentions, the shock of opinions and of interests while convulse the world.
If we have denied them the talents which might lead them to excel as lawyers, they are preserved from the peril of having their principles warped by that too indiscriminate defence of right and wrong, to which the professors of the law are exposed. If we should question their title to emi. nence as mathematicians, they are happily exempt from the danger to which men devoted to that science are said to be liable; namely, that of looking for demonstration on subjects, which, by their very nature, are incapable of af. fording it. If they are less conversant in the powers of nature, the structure of the human frame, and the knowl. edge of the heavenly bodies, than philosophers, physicians, and astronomers ; they are, however, delivered from the error into which many of cach of these have sometimes fallen, I mean from the fatal habit of resting in second causes, instead of referring all to the first; instead of mak. ing the heavens declare the glory of God, and proclaim his handy work ;" instead of concluding, when they observe, "how fearfully and wonderfully we are made,
marvellous are thy works, O Lord, and that my soul knoweth right well.”
And let the weaker sex take-comfort, that in their very exemption from privileges, which they are sometimes dis. posed to envy, consists their security and their happiness. If they enjoy not the distinctions of public life and high offices, do they not escape the responsibility attached to them, and the mortification of being dismissed from them? If they have no voice in deliberative assemblies, do they not avoid the load of duty connected with such privileges ? Preposterous pains have been taken to excite in women an uneasy jealousy, that their talents are neither rewarded with public honours nor emoluments in life; nor with in. scriptions, statues, and mausoleums after death. It has been absurdlyrepresented to them as a hardship, that while they are expected to perform duties, they must yet be contented to relinquish honours, and must unjustly be compelled to renounce fame while they must sedulously labour to deserve it.
But for christian women'to act on the low views suggest. ed to them by their ill-judging panegyrists; and to look up with a giddyhead and a throbbing heart to honours a n remunerations, so little suited to the wants and capacities of an immortal spirit, would be no less ridiculous than if Christian heroes should look back with envy on the pagan rewards of ovations, oak garlands, parsley crowns, and laurel wreaths. The Christian hope more than reconciles Christian women to these pettyprivations, bysubstituting a nobler prize for their ambition, “the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus ;" by substituting, for that popular and fluctuating voice, which may cry "Hosanna"
crucify” in a breath, that “favour of God which is eternal life.”
If women should lament the disadvantages attached to their sex, that their character is of so delicate a texture as to be sullied by the slightest breath of calumny,
and that the stain is indelible; yet are they not led by that very circumstance more instinctivelyto shrink from all those ir. regularities to which the loss of character is so much ex. pected to be attached ; and to shun with keener circum. spection the most distant approach towards the confines of danger ? Let them not lament it as a hardship, but account it to be a privilege, that the delicacy of their sex impels
them more scrupulously to avoid the very appearance of evil, and that the consciousness of their danger serves to secure their purity, by placing them at a greater distance from the evil itself.
Though it be one main object of this little work, rather to lower than to raise any desire of celebritya in the female heart; yet I would awaken it to a just sensibility to honest fame: I would call on women to reflect that our religion has not only made them heirs to a blessed immortality hereafter, but has greatly raised them io the scale of being here, by lifting them to an importance in society unknown to the most polished ages of antiquity. The religion of Christ has even bestowed a degree of renown on the sex beyond what any other religion ever did. Perhaps there are hardly so many virtuous women (for I reject the long catalogue whom their vices have transferred from oblivion to infamy) named in all the pages of Greek or Roman history, as are handed down to eternal fame, in a few of those short chapters with which the great Apostle to the Gentiles has concluded his epistles to his converts. Of 66 devout and honourable women,” the sacred scriptures record "not a few." Some of the most affecting scenes, the most interesting transactions, and the most touching conversations which are recorded of the Saviour of the world, passed with women. They are the first remarked as having ministered to him of their substance.” Theirs was the praise of not abandoning their despised Redeemer when he was led to execution, and under all the hopeless circumstances of his ignominious death; they appear to have been the last attending at his tomb, and the first on the morning when he arose from it. Theirs was the privilege of receiving the earliest consolation from their risen Lord; theirs was the honour of being first commissioned to an. nounce his glorious resurrection to the world. And even to furnish heroic confessors, devoted saints, and unshrinking martyrs to the Church of Christ, has not been the exclusive honour of the bolder sex.
CONVERSATION.-Hints suggested on the subject.-On
the tempers and dispositions to be introduced in it. Errors to be avoided.-Vanity under various shapes the cause of those errors.
HE sexes will naturally desire to appear to each oth. er, such as each believes the other will best like; their conversation will act reciprocally, and each sex will appear more or less rational as they perceive it will more or less recommend them to the other. It is therefore to be re. gretted, that many men, even of distinguished sense and learning, are so apt to consider the society of ladies, as a scene in which to rest their understandings, rather than to exercise them ; while ladies, in return, are too much ad. dicted to make their court by lending themselves to this spirit of trilling; they often avoid to make use of what abilities they have; and affect to talk below their natural and acquired powers of mind; considering it as a tacit and welcome flattery to the understanding of men, to renounce the exercise of their own.
Now since tastes and principles thus mutually operate, men, by keeping up conversation to its proper standard, would not only call into exercise the powers of mind which women actually possess, but would even awaken in them new cnergies which they do not know they possess; and men of sense would find their account in doing this ; for their own talents would be more highly rated by companions who were better able to appreciate them. And, on the other hand, if young women found it did not often recommend them in the eyes of those whom they might wish to please, to be frivolous and superficial, they would become more sedulous in correcting their own habits : whenever fashionable women indicate a relish for instructive conversation, men will not be apt to hazard what is vain or unprofitable; much less will they ever presume to bring forward what is loose or corrupt, where some sig. nal has not been previously given, that it will be accept. able, or at least that it will be pardoned.
Ladies commonly bring into company minds already