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degree of virtne that shall be necessary to afford a passport to her society. The extent of this influence has, perhaps, never been fully tried; and, if the character of our sex is not better, it is to be confessed that it is, in no trifling degree, to be ascribed to the fault of yours. If all the favour of woman were given only to the good ; if it were known that the charms and attractions of beauty, and wisdom, and wit, were reserved only for the pure ; if, in one word, something of a similar rigour were exerted to exclude the profligate and abandoned of our sex from your society, as is shown to those, who have fallen from virtue in your own,-how much would be done to re-enforce the motives to moral purity among us, and impress on the minds of all a reverence for the sanctity and obligations of virtue!
The influence of woman on the moral sentiments of society is intimately connected with her influence on its religious character; for religion and a pure and elevated morality must ever stand in the relation to each other of effect and cause. The heart of woman is formed for the abode of Christian truth; and for reasons alike honourable to her character and to that of the gospel. From the nature of Christianity, this must be so. The foundation of evangelical religion is laid in a deep and constant sense of the presence, providence, and influence of an invisible Spirit, who claims the adoration, reverence, gratitude, and love of his creatures. By man, busied as he is in the cares, and ab
sorbed in the pursuits, of the world, this great truth is, alas! too often and too easily forgotten and disregarded; while woman, less engrossed by occupation, more 6 at leisure to be good," led often by her duties to retirement, at a distance from many temptations, and endued with an imagination more easily excited and raised than man's, is better prepared to admit and cherish, and be affected by, this solemn and glorious acknowledgment of a God.
Again; the gospel reveals to us a Saviour, invested with little of that brilliant and dazzling glory, with which conquest and success would array him in the eyes of proud and aspiring man; but rather as a meek and magnanimous sufferer, clothed in all the mild and passive gražes, all the sympathy with human wo, all the compassion for human frailty, all the benevolent interest in human welfare, which the heart of woman is formed to love; together with all that solemn and supernatural dignity, which the heart of woman is formed peculiarly to feel and to reverence. To obey the commands, and aspire to imitate the peculiar virtues, of such a being, must always be more natural and easy for her than for man.
So, too, it is with that future life which the gospel unveils, where all that is dark and doubtful in this shall be explained; where penitence shall be forgiven, and faith and virtue accepted; where the tear of sorrow shall be dried, the wounded bosom of bereavement be healed; where love and joy shall be uni
clouded and immortal. To these high and holy visions of faith I trust that man is not always insensible; but the superior sensibility of woman, as it makes her feel, more deeply, the emptiness, and wants of human existence here, so it makes her welcome, with more deep and ardent emotions, the glad tidings of salvation, the thought of communion with God, the hope of the purity, happiness, and peace of another and a better world.'
In this peculiar susceptibility of religion in the female character, who does not discern a proof of the benignant care of Heaven of the best interest of man? How wise it is, that she, whose instructions and example must have so powerful an influence on the infant mind, should be formed to own and cherish the most sublime and important of traths! The vestal flame of piety, lighted up by Heaven in the breast of woman, diffuses its light and warmth: over the world ;-—and dark would be the world, if it should ever be extinguished and lost.
Is often seen thy beauty to abide ;.
That in the thickets of the woodbine hide:
With hum of bees around, and from the side Of woody hills some little bubbling spring,
Shining along through banks with harebells dyed; And many a bird to warble on the wing, When morn her saffron robe o'er heaven and earth
O love of loves ! to thy white hand is given
Of earthly happiness the golden key; Thine are the joyous hours of winter's even, When the babes cling around their father's knee;
And thine the voice that on the midnight sea Melts the rude mariner with thoughts of home,
Peopling the gloom with all he longs to see. Spirit! I've built a shrine; and thou hast come, And on its altar closed for ever closed thy plume!
ADVANTAGES OF DECISION OF CHA
RACTER. One signal advantage possessed by a mind of this character is, that its passions are not wasted. The whole amount of passion of which any mind, with important transactions before it, is capable, is not more than enough to supply interest and energy to its practical exertions; and, therefore, as little as possible of this sacred fire should be expended in a way that does not augment the force of action. . But nothing can less contribute to vigour of effort, than protracted anxious fluctuation, intermixed with resolutions decided and revoked, while yet nothing causes a greater expense of feeling. The heart is fretted and exhausted by being subjected to an alternation of contrary excitements, with the ultimate mortifying consciousness of their contributing to no end.
The long wavering deliberation, whether to perform some bold action of difficult virtue, has often cost more to feeling than the action itself, or a series of such actions, would have cost; with the great disadvantage, too, of being relieved by none of that invigoration which, to the man in action, would have sprung from the spirit of the action itself, and have renovated the ardour which it was expending. A person of decisive character, by consuming as little passion as possible in dubious musings and abortive resolutions, can secure its utmost value and use, by throwing it all into effective operation.
Another advantage of this character is, that it exempts from a great deal of interference and persecution, to which an irresolute man is subjected. Weakness, in every form, tempts arrogance; and a man may be allowed to wish for a kind of character with which stupidity and impertinence may not make so free. When a firm, decisive spirit is recognised, it is curious to see how the space clears around a man, and leaves himn room and freedom. The disposition to interrogate, dictate, or banter, preserves a respectful and polite distance, judging it not unwise to keep the peace with a person of so much energy. A conviction that he understands and that he wills with extraordinary force, silences the conceit that intended to perplex or instruct him, and intimidates the malice that was disposed to attack him. There is a feeling, as in respect to fate, that the decrees of so inflexible a spirit must be right, or that, at least, they will be accomplished.
But not only will he secure the freedom of