صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

than men.

position of error and priestly delusion. But since it has been proven to a demonstration, confirmed by daily experience, that not all ladies can marry, how can woman fulfil her destination as a wifo? How are we to determine who is to marry, and who remain single? Should we decide this by lot? I would by no means deny, that where ladies have been piously educated, this method is fruitful in good results. Still I am of the opinion, that it conflicts with the nature of conjugal love. But even granting that such a method could be universally introduced and carried out, it still remains an undisputed fact, that many men can never acquire a competency to support a family, within the marriageable period of life; and still further it has been ascertained to a certainty, that more women reach the age of maturity

Now what is to be done with the surplus of young ladies, if they are all providentially destined to marry? "Must they not fail, by an unalterable necessity, to fulfil their mission or attain their destination? Or rather can that be the universal destination of the sex, which some are destined never to reach? The whole matter therefore amounts to this ; that all young ladies who will not or can not marry, whose parents cannot bequeathe to them a competent fortune, or who are convinced of the evanescent character of all mere earthly good; that all such should either be so trained and educated as not to be dependant on the uncertain support of wedded life or any other accidental event, even at the risk of earning their own support by serving others; or they should be provided with a place of refuge, that would shelter them from the severities of want; a place for the protection of their life and innocence, for the securing and preserving of her eternal salvation; in short a place of genial retirement, where, untrammeled by adverse social influences, she might cultivate and complete the ornaments and graces of a spiritual bride. The latter is very much needed, and is doubtless preferable for the higher classes of society. What are such places of educational retreat but-I will not say nunneries, lest I provoke the hatred of prejudice and the suspicion of honest inquiry-charitable female institutions, analogous to nunneries, free from their corrupt objectionable features ?

If men only would have had sufficient experience and discernment when they abolished convents with indiscriminate fury! Had not many dukes and lords been personally interested in the confiscation of the property of these institutions ! Nay, if the lords of those days had only been as wise as Napoleon, who saw that the Sisters of Charity would be of incalcu-" lable service in the maintenance of almshouses, and therefore he speedily re-established such convents. Had this been the case they would not have proceeded so rashly in the abolition of these quiet institutions, but rather would have reformed and improved them, and thus have prevented the necessity of their total abolition. What are some of our higher female institutions but such as I have just described-protestant nunneries, purged from the dross of papal inventions? It is true, at least so far as my observation extends, they have been considerably secularized; the mere natural mental powers are cultivated at the expense of the moral and the eternal. The head is trained instead of the heart-fancy in preference to the affections. Beyond doubt such schools, seminaries, nunneries, or whatever else you may choose to call them, to be successful, must have christianity as the principle and basis of all true nurture, and the standard of all their regulations; their ultimate aim and end; and the object of all the care, labor and rest of their inmates must be religion. Not simply a cold contemplative Christianity, which amuses the head while it famishes the heart; but a practical living christianity, which worketh by love.

For example, in Prussia there are many among the higher classes, filling official stations, members of Councils, &c. These often can give their daughters nothing but an education. Many of these ladies can never marry. Especially since the industrial interests of one common fatherland have been so much promoted. What shall they do? They will be very loathe to live as the hired servants of others, however refined and respectable that service may be. What a noble, generous provision it would be for the maintenance and comfort of such ladies, if such a protestant institution would gradually be established in every Province ? How many unhappy marriages might thus be prevented, which are productive of naught but misery in this life, and endless woe in the life to come! Marriages to which pious and polished young ladies are forced to consent so as to evade the want of unprotected single-life, and escape a doom so painful to the pride and predjudice of their sex. How nobly they could thus treat with their suitors with a will untrammeled by the ominous threatenings of the future, and fearlessly profess their disposition or indisposition to marry! This would be a work, worthy of a noble German princess, in which her generous beneficence might soothe and solace many a heart, sorrowful with the forebodings of want. Thus you observe, by explaining and illustrating these two points, I have replied to

If any

the main part of your doubts and scruples, and I humbly trust that I have also removed them.

Shall I seriously defend myself against a charge, which you positively declare to be unusual, and which you prefer with a certain fearful humidity ? viz, that my view about the destination of woman is pietistic, which you aver is apparent even from the manner in which I express it ; and that it reminds you of those well-known Moravian hymns about “the Sweet Heavenly Bridegroom.” I will reply to this in a very few words. It is not necessarry for any lady to know whether there are different parties and sects in theology, rationalists, superrationalists, orthodox or any other.

The perfect understanding of these theories is not essential for the salvation of any christian. This is only for those who study theology, and whose business it is to prepare and examine candidates for church membership and for the office of the ministry. If a lady's faith, love and hope centre in Jesus Christ; if she loves Him supremely, loves Him with all that sincerity, purity and fervor of devotion with which a bride loves her earthly bridegroom, “she has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her,” and her salvation, will be temporally and eternally secure. are disposed to stigmatize this view as Moravian, mystical, or pietistic, they may do so. By this they only expose their practical ignorance of the religion of our Saviour, which is based upon faith, hope, and charity, whose very life and animating principle is a pure fervent and holy love. Nor can such persons have the faintest conception of the true nature of woman, whose spiritual and religious life is predominantly a life of feeling; the brightest ornaments of whose delicate constitution are chastity in feeling and love, which like a tender exotic, cannot endure exposure. If any wish to disturb the serene flow of her affectionate heart by cold soulless speculations; if they wish to lure her into the abyss of disputed religious opinions and controversies ; if they wish to degrade the beautiful and noble, through the voice of obsolete terms and technicalities, they commit an act as base as it is wicked; they cruelly hurl a brand of hell into the sanctuary of woman's heart, decrade the sex, and lead her to a cross-road, which either conducts her into domestic misery, or into the nameless haunts of vice and degradation. A well-informed, educated woman, who does not love Christ above all things, is simply an educated heathen, with the hopes and fears of a heathen ; but a woman who believes nothing, hopes nothing, and loves nothing but the

tangible, sensual, and visible, to whatever class or condition o society she may belong, she is to all intents and purposes a child of the devil!

When I say therefore that a young lady should be educated for a spirtual bride, I mean that this is the highest and holiest end of her hopes and longings, of her life and endeavors, which can be proposed to her either in this or the future world. If you would denounce this glorious destination of woman as uneral and fanciful, by simply branding it with odium of “pietism,” you at once wantonly rend to pieces and scatter the matchless wreath of woman's worth, and ungratefully disown the priceless pearl of her true nobility.

FATHER, THY WILL BE DONE.

Though dark and heavy sorrow

Doth cast on thee its spell,
And gloomy seems the morrow,

Remember, “All is well."
Though grief doth hover o'er thee,

And dark clouds haunt thy sun,
Keep this sweet prayer before thee,

"Father, thy will be done."
Though when life's bark seemed, freighted

With happiness for thee,
And with bright hopes elated

Thy heart with joy may be.
Afflictions dark clouds lower,

And grieve thy heart doth stun,
Then pray in that sad hour,

“Father, thy will be done."
And when earth's sorrows round thee

Have fallen thick and fast:
When ties which long have bound thee

So fondly to the past.
All sundered are, yet always

Whatever to thee may come,
Submissive and resigned, pray

“Father, thy will be done."
Whatever, in life's pathway

May come ; of good or evil,
Confiding, thy fond heart, may

Bond to thy Father's will.
And when sadly thou dost grieve,

When all seems dark, yet one
Comfort's left for thee to breathe,

“Father, thy will be done."

L.

ESTHER—THE ORPHAN QUEEN:

OR GOD'S CARE FOR HIS PEOPLE.

BY R. P. THOMAS.

Young, beautiful, retired and humble;
Yet, the model Queen-true philanthropist,

And devoted servant of the Most High. From the elevation of Esther to the throne as Queen, we are hurried on, with the rapidity of a moving panorama, to another scene in the picture, whose dark, stirring

events, we cannot help but believe Providence had raised her up especially to control. She had long been honored with a seat upon the royal chair of state, or decked with her jeweled coronet, ere a most nefarious scheme and diabolical plot was concocted by the wicked Haman for the extirpation of all her people and kindred within the King's dominions. Unable to bear with proper humility and dignity the honor with which King Ahasuerus had promoted him, Haman now finds opportunity to give free scope to the play of his haughty, passionate and domineering spirit. Like too many similarly circumstanced, he was actuated by the false notion, that to tyrannise most is to rule the best. But—as is always true of such characters-he betrayed in this a heartless disposition, as well as a brainless head. To vent his spleen upon the poor and defenceless Mordecai, because, forsooth, he refused to bow before him, as did his other cringing vassals, and do him reverence, detracted far more from his dignity as a ruler, than it added to his fame, by the supposed maintenance of his supreme authority. The yielding to the temptationonly of force with contracted minds—of making so much account of paltry things, is a full half surrender to the deepest dyed acts of cowardice and meanness. Haman's thinking it scorn to lay violent hands on Mordecai alone, and seeking to involve all the Jews of the kingdom in destruction on account of his offence, was only another evidence of the intolerable pride that filled his heart, and of the importance he had presumptuously attached to his official character, as second only in authority to the kingship itself. Yet, by falsehood and flattery, he had so bewitched the king as to gain his consent to let him take vengeance upon those, whom he had now come to despise with all the bitter hatred and contempt of an Amalekite to the Israel of God. Accordingly, the bloody edict went forth, bearing the signet of the monarch, that all the Jews, both young and old, young women and children, should perish on the same day, in one general massacre and bloodshed. Surely no act of cruelty

« السابقةمتابعة »