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to, but were too timid to have ventured upon without the protection of such unsullied names. Thus these respectable characters, without looking to the generalcon. sequences of their indiscretion, are thoughtlessly em. ployed in breaking down, as it were, the broad fence which should ever separate two very different sorts of society, and are becoming a kind of unnatural link between vice and virtue.
There is a gross deception which even persons of reputation practise on themselves. They loudly con. demn vice and irregularity as an abstract principle; nay, they stigmatize them in persons of an opposite par. ty, or in those froin whom they themselves have no prospect of personal advantage or amusement, and in whom therefore they have no particular interest to toler. ate evil. But the same disorders are viewed without abhorrence when practised by those who in any way minister to their pleasures. Refined entertainments, luxurious decorations, select music, whatever furnishes any delight, rare and exquisite to the senses, these soften the severity of criticism; these palliate sins, varnish over the flaws of a broken character, and extort not pardon merely but justification, countenance, intimacy! The more respectable will not, perhaps, go all the length of vindicating the disreputable vice, but they affect to dis. believe its existence in the individual instance; or, fail. ing in this, they will bury its acknowledged turpitude in the seducing qualities of the agreeable delinquent. Talents of every kind are considered as a commutation for a few vices, and such are made a passport to intro. duce into honourable society characters whom their profligacy ought to exclude from it.
But the great object to which you who are, or may be mothers, are more especially called, is the educatie of your children.
If we are responsible for the us influence in the case of those over whom we have en. mediate control, in the case of our children any responsible for the exercise of
fris, alive a power wide in its extent, indefinite ini and inestimable in its importance. Op
in no small degree the principles of the whole ris. ing generation. To your direction the daughters are almost exclusively committed ; and until a certain age, to you also is consigned the mighty privilege of forming the hearts and minds of your infant sons.
By the blessing of God on the principles you shall, as far as it depends on yon, infuse into both sons and daughters, they will hereafter “ arise and call you blessed.” And in the great day of general account, may every Christian mother be enabled through divine grace to say, with humble confidence, to her Maker and Redeemer, Be. "hold the children whom thou hast given me !"
Christianity, driven out from the rest of the world, has still, blessed be God! a strong hold” in this coun. try. And though it be the special duty of the appoint
watchmen, now that he seeth the sword come upon “the land, to blow the trumpet and warn the people, " which if he neglect to do, their blood shall be re"quired of the watchman's hand :"* yet, in this sacred garrison, impregnable but by neglect, you too have an awful post, that of arming the minds of the rising gen. eration with the shield of faith, whereby they shall be “able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked;" that of girding them with “ that sword of the spirit which is “ the word of God.” If you neglect this your bounden duty, you will have effectually contributed to expel Christianity from her last citadel. And, remember, that the dignity of the work to which you are called, is no less than that of preserving the ark of the Lord.
be u ence ; should perience, to justify th
On the education of women.-The prevailing system tends
to establish the errors which it ought to correct.—Dangers arising from an excessive cultivation of the arts.
It is far from being the object of this slight work to offer a regular plan of female education, a task which has been often more properly assumed by far abler writers; but it is intended rather to suggest a few remarks on the reigning mode, which, though it has had many panegyrists, appears to be defective, not only in a few particulars, but as a general system. There are in. deed numberless honourable exceptions to an observation which will be thought severe ; yet the author questions if it be not the natural and direct tendency of the prevailing and popular system, to excite and promote those very defects, which it ought to be the main end and object of Christian education to remove; whether, instead of directing this important engine to attack and destroy vanity, selfishness, and inconsidera. tion, that triple alliance in league against female virtue; the combined powers of instruction are not sedulously confederated in confirming their strength and establishing their empire ?
If indeed the material substance, if the body and limbs, with the organs aod senses, be really the more valuable objects of attention, then there is little room for animadversion and improvement. But if the immaterialandimmortal mind; if the heart,“ out of which are the issues of life” be the main concern; if the great busines of education be to implant ideas, to communicate knop edge, to form a correct taste and a sound judgmenn. resist evil propensities, and above all, to seize t?
any ourable season for infusing principles and cog, alivé habits; if education be a school to fit us fr
life be a school to fit us for eternity ; if such, I repeat it, be the chief work and grand ends of education, it may then be worth inquiring how far these ends are likely to be effected by the prevailing system.
Is it not a fundamental error to consider children as innocent beings, whose little weaknesses may perhaps want some correction, rather than as beings who bring into the world a corrupt nature and evil dispositions, which it should be the great end of education to rectify ? This appears to be such a foundation truth, that if I were asked what quality is most important in an in. structor of youth, I should not hesitate to reply, such a strong impression of the corruption of our nature, as should insure a disposition to counteract it; together with such a deep view and thorough knowledge of the human heart, as should be necessary for devoloping and control. ling its most secret and complicated workings. And let us remember that to know the world, as it is called, that is, to know its local manners, temporary usages, and evan. escent fashions, is not to know human nature : and where this prime knowledge is wanting, those natural evils which onight to be counteracted will be fostered.
Vanity, for instance, is reckoned among the light and venial errors of youth; nay, so far from being treated as a dangerous enemy, it is often called in as an auxilia. ry. At worst, it is considered as harmless weakness, which snbtracts little from the value of a character ; as a natural effervescence, which will subside of itself, when the first ferment of the youthful passions shall have done working. But those know little of the conformation of the human, and especially of the female heart, who fan. cy that vanity is ever exhausted, by the mere operation of time and events. Let those who maintain this opin. ion look into our places of public resort, and there be. hold if the ghost of departed beauty is not to its last iting fond of haunting the scenes of its
s past pleasures; oul, unwilling (if I may borrow an allusion from atonic mythology) to quit the spot in which the nyed its former delights, still continues to hover
une place, though the same pleasures are no
longer to be found there. Disappointmets indeed may divert vanity into a new direction; prudence may pre. vent it from breaking out into excesses, and age may prove that it is "vexation of spirit ;" but neither dis. appointment, prudence, nor age can cure it ; for they do not correct the principle. Nay, the very disappoint. ment itself serves as a painful evidence of its protract. ed existence.
Since then there is a season when the youthful must cease to be young, and the beautiful to excite admira. tion; to grow old gracefully is perhaps one of the rarest and most valuable arts which can be tanght to woman. It is for this sober season of life that education should lay up its rich resources.
However disregarded they may hitherto have been, they will be wanted now. When admirers fall away, and flatterers become mute, the mind will be driven to retire into iterlf and if it find no entertaininent at home, it will en back again upon the world with increa
Yet forgetting this, do we not seem to edo
ghters, exclusive ly, for the transient per
when it is to ma. turer life we ought
not educate them for a crowd, for its effects,
; to live at home ? for the work you, depend
res ? for show, and not for pa
ternity ? Va
aid of selfishness) is vice, which is some. ; it is not to be at.
indulged in opposition to a single
urmly to be controlled, as an active, a restless, s principle, at constant war with all the Christian graces; which not only mixes itself with all our faults, but insinuates itself into all our virtues too; and will, if not checked effectually, rob our best actions of their reward. Vanity, if I may use the analogy, is, with respect to the other vices, what feeling is in regard to the other senses; it is not con. fined in its operation to the eye, or the ear, or any single organ, but diffused through the whole being, alive