Imágenes de páginas

funds have thus been raised for eight am sure there is not one here but would years, a subscription has lately been acquiesce in this, if he knew the value opened for repairing the fabric, to which of this female as a wife for more than Dissenters are contributing.

50 years. I must mention the obligaTue Jax JUBILEE.-We have given

tions the public are under to her (if I already (ante p. 94) a considerable por

have been enabled to serve my generation of Mr. Jay's sermon on this occa

tion); and how much she has raised her sion, which was preached on Sunday Jan.

sex in my estimation; how much my 31. On the following Tuesday, a public

church and congregation owe to her breakfast was given to this venerable

watchings over its pastor's health, whom minister, by the ladies of his congrega

she has cheered under all his trials, and tion, after which he was presented with

reminded of his duties, while she ani

mated him in their performance; how a purse containing £650. In presenting it, the Chairman remarked—“I wish the

often she has wiped the evening dews sainted Wilberforce were here to testify

from his forehead, and freed him from his esteem for you. Though not inti- |

interruptions and embarrassments, that mately acquainted with that great man,

he might be free for his work. How I had the pleasure of having three inter

much also do my family owe to her; and views with him, in one of which, you,

what reason have they to call her Sir, were the subject of conversation.

blessed! She is, too, the mother of Speaking of you Sir, he said, “There is

another mother in America, who has one thing in Jay (for he spoke fami

reared thirteen children, all of whom are liarly) that I love. I love him because

walking with her in the way everlasting." he is uniform in consistency, uniform in

A pillar has also been erected in the humility. I remember him when he

Chapel with this inscription :-" To was a young man, when the tide of po

| record the goodness of God to this pular applause which set in upon him

Church and congregation, and to their was enough to turn any man's head.

minister, the Rev. William Jay, who on But he always kept his course; I never

Jan. 30, 1841, completed a happy and saw him in the least inflated by it; he

useful pastorate of fifty years, this pillar shook it off as the lion shakes the dew |

was erected.-Not unto us, O Lord, not from his mane. Dear Jay! I love Jay!"

,,", unto us, but unto Thy name, give glory.”' . In addressing the assembly, Mr. Jay

RESIGNATION.- Our esteemed corres

pondent, the Rev. T. Applegate, has resaid, referring to the gift—" I feel gratified with the insectarian nature of the

signed his pastoral charge at Kingsbridge. boon, towards which Churchmen and |

SionCHAPEL, ASHBOURNE.-OnThurs. Dissenters, and various religious bodies,

| day, Jan. 14, a tea meeting was held in have contributed. From the rank and

this place, in aid of the expenses of reoffice of some of the contributors ir Church

| pairing; 364 persons were present, and and State, it might be expected that some

spent an evening pleasing and profitable. more distinct acknowledgment should be

Several very interesting and important made of their liberality. I am willing to

addresses were delivered. render them the praise that is their due.

STANDING ARMIES.- A paper read on But I have been inost affected with the

the 2nd of January last before the offerings of the poor of my flock. There

| Statistical Society of Paris, gives the folis nothing which will remain so long en

| lowing among other particulars respectgraven on the fleshly table of my heart,

ing the present state of the great nations.

Population. Military Force. as the circumstance of a poor woman

Great Britain, 23,400,000 125,000 giving a sixpence to one of my deacons,

or including its and adding, “Oh that it were a thousand Colonies, 143,185,000 805,500 pounds! There is only one thing more. Navy 20,000 (Turning to Mrs. Jay.) I take this purse,

Marines 10,000

34,150,000 480,000 and present it to you, Madam--to you,

Marincs 45,000 Madam, who have always kept my purse, Russia,

56,800,000 800,000 and therefore it is that it has been so well Large Navy. kept. Considerit entirely sacred--for your Austria, 32,500,000 280,500 pleasure, your use, your service, your comfort. I feel this is unexpected by


12,500,000 200,000

Navy good you, but it is perfectly deserved by you. | United States. 11.900,000 7,000 Mr. Chairman, and Christian friends--I 'Navy good.

[ocr errors]




APRIL, 1841.



The influence of female society was never greater than in the present age of the world. This fact must be most palpable to every dispassionate and well-informed mind, who has made any comprehensive and just observations on the general state of society throughout Christendom. We read frequently indeed of feinales in the apostolic age, and their names are occasionally mentioned with considerable commendation and honour; but let us only contrast for a moment the state of females in the nineteenth century with their condition in the first, and after closing the most authentic and copious memorial of those days, take up the records of the now existing church, and we cannot fail to remark, that the general influence of female society in these latter times transcends that which they wielded at the early outset of Christianity.

If we regard, again, the feudal days of chivalry, we shall find that the scale will still preponderate on the same side. It is indeed granted, that women were regarded and treated then, in many respects, with a far greater degree of deference than at present; but it is also equally certain, that they were as much disregarded and degraded in others; so that if they had more influence in some particulars, their general influence was far inferior. Take away love and romance from the age, and they were mere a cipher. Though in consequence of the prevalence of knight. errantry and gallantry, they were not then as in other ages of the world, treated with harshness and rudeness, yet were they far from being those respectable and influential movers in society which they are at present. They were then looked upon, and looked over, with attention, kindness, and urbanity; but they were not looked up to, as in the present age, with gratitude, complacency and respect.

And to whatever age of the world we direct our eyes, the same face of affairs will still present itself. We frequently, indeed, read in history of illustrious and distinguished women, and that in all departments of society and all conditions of life--in the social and the public, the civil and the military--amongst the poor and the rich, the intelligent and the ignorant. But let us attentively examine these cases, and we shall find them to be exceptions, standing out in striking contrast from the ordinary and regular rule. We find them, for the most part, belonging to the masculine, rather than the feminine, and even often partaking more of the hero than of the heroine. We find them too protruded by peculiar circumstances and accidents and characters. These facts, then, are but exceptions, establishing rather than overturning the general law. They were so many scattered and far distant lights, that only served to render more visible the general darkness, obscurity, and insignificance, which brooded like a dark heavy cloud over the whole female community. They were eloquent appeals on behalf of their claims, but appeals which had but very little weight with the then existing generation. They were facts and prophecies, publishing and predicting what woman might become, and would become, when emancipated and educated, as soon as Christianity and civilization had cast their shield and their sunshine around her; but they were nothing more. They were streams. conducting to the ocean, but they were not the magnificent and munificent ocean itself.

Such is a brief outline of the history of woman nearly ever since human events VOL. XIII.

transpired to be recorded on history's page. And though light and liberty have at length dawned upon her, that light and liberty alas ! are not, like the refreshing air we inhale, or the genial sun that enlightens and enlivens us, universal in exten• siveness. In many lands, woman is still degraded and despised, half unsexed and half unsold. Savages treat her as a slave-as though she were created by God, and born on the earth, but to breathe for man and to perpetuate the species; and in many of their fugitive hordes, the matrons are often known to strangle their female infants—an act, which though evincing the most callous and criminal heart, may be said to be merciful; it being better for the child to see unconscious death, than to grow up in life a slave and a sufferer, conscious alone of degradation, usurpation and misery.

Other nations, again, half civilized and half barbarian, appear to regard woman in nearly the same light, as a mere beast of burden, and as more or less honourable in proportion to the degree of her physical strength and her powers of endurance.

In Mahometan lands, woman probably presents a still more degraded aspect. She is here treated as the mere slave of sensuality-as an article of merchandize in the mart of debauchery. She is here led like, one of the ancient victims, of whom we read in classic times, wreathed in flowers, and surrounded on all sides by dancing and songs of joy, to be immolated ; or, in other words, to be ruined at the altar of licentious passion. Closeted within a harem, and secluded by her lord from the rest of the world, she resembles some fancy ornament, estimated only according to the price of the commodity and the degree of its beauty. The only influence, then, which she appears to exert in those regions, over which the crescent of the false prophet sheds its lurid light, is that of personal appearance and attraction, which is the lowest that can be exercised by rational and intellectual immortals ; and when advancing in age, and her attractions abrade, she is totally disregarded ; and thus she is most slighted, when most requiring attention.

Thus, in by far the greater part of the world, the condition of the female population is most deplorable ; and it is only where the humanizing arts of civilized and polished life prevail, that she is regarded with that respect and treated with that deference to which her sex is justly entitled. Did I, however, throw out the hint, that she was indebted for her privileges to civilization, education, knowledge and liberty-to the progress of fine arts and of mental refinement ? If I did so, I must retract and retrace. To these she may, indeed, be under somne partial obligation to these she may owe some trifling tribute ; but it is to her Saviour alone, that she will, if true and faithful, acknowledge her obligations, and to Him pay fealty, as He is the sole feoffer, to whom she stands indebted for her present enlarged empire. It is a well established fact, that as Christianity spreads, and her pure spirit pervades and purifies society, woman's sphere of influence is extended. This is the necessary, inevitable consequence of the principles and workings of Christianity; not only in their operations on individuals and families, but also in forming the national tone of society, and establishing the national code of manners. Every thing in the Christian religion tends to this result. The example of our Lord, the lives of the apostles, the biography of apostolic men in every age, and the doctrines, and precepts, and promises of the Gospel,'alike combine to raise woman inthe social scale. Our Saviour, in numerous instances, paid marked attention and took great delight in the company of many individuals of the fair sex. The apostle speaks of the services they rendered the cause of Christianity with signal honour and gratitude. The precepts of the Gospel bid us cherish towards them gentleness, patience and affection : and the doctrines of the Gospel admit them to equal rights and privileges, to equal moral worth and social standing in the Church of Christ, with their Christian brethren, attesting that male and female are all one in Christ. Thus, then, Christianity first burst the galling fetters in which woman was enslaved. And were its cause but to triumph in China, we should soon hail the like happy results ; and woman, in place of being a slave, as she now is in that vast territory, would become what she at present is in this favoured isle of the West-an equal, if not a principal

The very infirmities of woman, through the teachings and influences of Christianity, become her graces; and her dependence and helplessness, otherwise so much



abused, become her most attractive charm : so that those very qualities, which in. dependently of Christianity are made the grounds and means of her humiliation and servitude, become, in its presence and under its patronage, the grounds of her safety, dignity, and happiness.

Thus, then, it is to Christianity principally, if not solely, that woman stands indebted for her superior standing in society; and how can she better consult her own interests or secure her own elevation, than by doing all in her power to befriend that cause, which will most certainly, in return, befriend her own? For in extending the influence of Christianity, whether it be amongst her own sex, or whether it be amongst the other, she will be sure to extend her own; like a successful speculator in trade, who by embarking his capital in some lucrative concern, soon doubles its amount ; or the man in the Gospel, who receives five talents, which, having improved, he augments to ten.

The influence of woman, we repeat, then, was never greater than in the present age of the world : and the chief cause we assign for this fact, is the prevalence and progress of true Christianity in the world. We think this one, out of a hundred collateral arguments, to go to prove the superiority of the Christian faith to every other form of religion that has existed in the world. Three great diverse systems of religion have been countenanced and established in the world : namely--Paganism, Judaism, and Christianity; and if we compare the importance in which woman has been estimated, and the influence she has exerted, under these three principals, we shall find her standing in the positive degree under Paganism, in the comparative degree under Judaism, and in the superlative under Christianity. Christianity, as just stated, raises woman in two ways; namely, by the moral and religious influence it exercises over her own habits, principles and affections, and then, also, by the operation of the same kind of influence on the other sex ; for whilst it renders man more attentive, considerate and indulgent to his help-meet, it makes her appear more attractive and interesting in his estimation. So that supposing Christian principle equally to guide and govern the two, man becomes predisposed and prepared to yield to woman's influence, and she legitimately and beneficially to exercise that influence in controlling his councils and his conduct. It is a well known fact, that the most libertine men select, in preference, the most virtuous women, and that the greatest fiends of our sex will woo the most angelic of the other; thus proving the fact, that unaffected piety is the brightest and richest gem that can adorn the coronet of a lady's character. The influence of woman, female reader, is but temporary, partial and feeble, till she becomes a sincere, consistent and decided Christian. It is then, like Moses coming down from the mount of communion with God, that she can be alone truly styled AN ANGEL ; for otherwise such language must be the most egregious flattery.

Follow, then, most diligently, Christian sisters, this friend of your sex, this safeguard of your character-Christian principle-spiritual loveliness—ardent devotion. They will raise you in society, beyond every other attraction and accomplishment ; promote you in the eyes of men-of those whose opinion you may regard, and of those whose opinion you may despise. They will light you through every labyrinth in the wilderness of life, gild the gloom that will gather around you in a dying hour, and convey you safely over that tempestuous Jordan, through which we must all wade into the haven of promised and settled rest, to reign and rejoice with your Saviour for ever and ever.

We have thus established the fact, that female influence is more extensive and energetic now, than in any other previous age of the world ; and we now proceed to observe, that there is no country in the world where this law of modern society is more universal and omnipotent in its rule, than in our own. This statement we find again and again reiterated in all our domestic circles, corroborated by our most respectable writers, as well as confirmed by foreign authors of judgment and repute. Kotzebue, a celebrated German, presents us with the following just estimate of the comparative condition and rank of women in the principal continental countries. Women,” says he, 66 are housewives in Germany, ladies in France, captives in Italy, slaves in Spain, and queens in England.” The British fair are distinguished above all others in the world for the possession of personal beauty, of knowledge, of mind and of moral and religious excellencies. They are more generally edueated, and educated in a superior style ; they are more favoured by the laws and institutes of our land. For example, the Salic law still prevails in France, by which women are adjudged to be unworthy of the throne. And thus, from these and many other causes, the rank of woman is higher here than elsewhere. We have now, too, a young queen upon the throne, and a young princess by her side ; and long may our queen reign, and long may her sex reign too. Let them but reign in minature below, as their Saviour reigns universally and eternally above, for the purposes and ends of order, truth, love, virtue, and happiness. I would not dethrone her : neither, too, would Christianity, nor Christian men. I rejoice in the spread of female influence; for I consider it connected with and conducive to the best interests of religion in the world. It is my firm conviction, and I believe it is an opinion universally entertained, that the mind, the conscience and the heart of woman are more susceptible of good, more tender to what is evil, and more accessible to the instructions and influences of Christianity, than are those of the other sex. This being the case, we think they justly demand and deserve on the part of the Christian Church more consideration, care and culture; for what husbandman would labour and sow on an indifferent soil, whence he could expect bnt a poor harvest, in preference to a soil that was rich ? or what operative would work with an inferior whilst he could obtain a superior utensil? It is a well known fact, that the number of pious women is to that of pious men as seven to one ;* that religion is almost wholly supported and spread by their instrumentality ; that devotion has burned on the altar of woman's heart in places and in seasons, in which not one spark was emitted from the rude and rocky heart of man. What a desirable agency, then, is that of the Female Mission, which seeks to reach that part of human society which is most accessible, to regenerate those who are most easily influenced, and who, when renewed and improved, will be most disposed as well as best qualified to awaken and move to spiritual things the other half of the human family! If we are acquainted with the site of some rich golden mine, and have the means with which to spring and open this inexhaustible bank, are we not alike acting a criminal, unwise and ipjurious part, in suffering it to remain unworked-or in providing but few and feeble miners and means to help us to its treasures ? Not only are we under pressing obligations to countenance this Mission from a regard to the present restoration, instruction and elevation of many thousands of the sex, and the still more important consideration of their eternal salvation, but also from respect to the general good of society and the general progress of true religion in the world ; for woman, who was originally employed by Satan as the instrument to man's temptation, apostacy and ruin, is now, in innumerable instances, an instrument employed by God to his renewal and salvation.

The perversion of female influence was the cause of the fall; but the true use and right direction of that influence is destined, by that God who often turns the instruments of Satan against their employer, so as to rear that very cause they were designed to ruin, to be the harbinger and seed of the holy and happy Millennium, We might easily add many pleasing, and also many painful, and above all many practical remarks on this fruitful theme, so full of interest and of importance; but our limits, upon which we have already trespassed, bid us to forbear; and we now, therefore, leave in silence-silence which is often more eloquent and efficient than speech or writing—the doctrine on the one hand, and the duty on the other,

No Refuge. A time of trial shows a man what shelter he has. A man imagines his shelter will do, till the storm beats on him ; but when the pitiless tempest touches him and drives hard upon him, then doth his poor “ refuge of lies” show itself. Ah! it is one of the most pitiable sights on earth, to see a natural man in deep trouble-in a beating storm without one shelter for his poor uncovered head --Sermons on the Perseverance of the Saints, (Sermon VI.) ly the Rev. J. H. Evans (Thursday Penny Pulpit, Sherwood).

This is the estiinate of President Dwight.

« AnteriorContinuar »