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fluence upon their condition. It was, in fact, the regeneration of one half of the human race. The life, liberty, talents, and virtues of mankind were doubled, as it were, by this wonderful moral renovation. New vigor was imparted to benevolence, and a new charm given to social life; a new spring to the energies of the human mind, and a new and celestial character to the religion of the world. While Christianity was accomplishing these benefits for the female sex, Mahometanism arose from the corruptions, which began to obscure and deprave it, and formed, at the same time, a contrast to the effects of the pure, original religion of Jesus. As the religion of Mahomet extended and established itself in Asia, it sealed forever the domestic slavery and relative degradation of women; while under the influence of Christianity, even in its degenerating form, the sex continued to ascend to the condition, which they now enjoy in Europe.
In fine, when we compare the condition of your sex, even under the present partial reign of (the christian faith, with their condition under the best form of paganism, it is not difficult to admit, that the gospel ought to have the honor of this renovation. There may be those, however, who are inclined to attribute these favorable changes to what they would call the influence of philosophy. If by this word is meant a philosophy unenlightened by the gospel, the facts we have already adduced sufficiently refute the claim; for the progress of women, in the course of pagan refinement, was uniformly found to be from slavery to licentiousness. On this subject, we, at least, may be satisfied with that memorable acknowledgement of Rousseau, “that philosophy has not been able to do any good, which religion could not have done better; and religion has done much which philosophy could not have done at all. Or if by philosophy be meant the best modes of thinking which have prevailed in the most enlightened part of Christendom, or that mental cultivation to which modern Europe has attained, we must first determine what Christianity has done for all the true and sound philosophy which now exists, before we pretend to ascribe to the latter alone those blessings of modern times, which are comprised under the general name of civilization.
THE FEMALE PILGRIM.
WHITHER goest thou, Pilgrim Stranger,
Passing through this darksome vale ? Know'st thou not 't is full of danger,
And will not thy courage fail ?
Pilgrim thou dost justly call me,
Wandering o'er this waste so wide; Yet no harm will e'er befall me,
While I'm blest with such a Guide.
Such a guide ! no guide attends thee;
Hence for thee my fears arise ; If a guardian power befriends thee,
"T is unseen by mortal eyes.
Yes, unseen; but still, believe me,
Such a Guide my steps attends ; He'll in every strait relieve mé,
He from every harm defends.
Pilgrim! see that stream before thee,
Darkly winding through the vale ; Should its deadly waves roll o'er thee,
Would not then thy courage fail ? No! that stream has nothing frightful;
To its brink my steps I'll bend; Thence to plunge will be delightful;
There my pilgrimage will end.
While I gazed, with speed surprising,
Down the stream she plunged from sight; Gazing still, I saw her rising,
Like an angel, clothed with light.
THE FOLLY OF PRIDING OURSELVES
UPON HUMAN ESTEEM.
The excessive value which we may be inclined to put upon human estimation, must be diminished, whenever we seriously examine ourselves in the following manner. For what am I now esteemed? Perhaps for the very quality of which I possess the least. The world sees me only in public, when I am all upon my guard, when I have put on my most showy and agreeable dress, when I have taken pains to conceal the deformities of my heart, and to patch up the imperfections of my
understanding. But when I retire into my closet, I see at once, that I have been flattered. This man's attention I won by affected complaisance; another's complacency I secured by luckily coinciding with his peculiar passion or prejudice. As to my talents, one man mistook my silence for wisdom; another, my fluency for knowledge; one was caught by some superficial display of my wit; another formed his conclusions of my powers from my accidental superiority to him in a particular instance. As to my disposition, no man knows how many passions prey upon me in secret; how many contests there are going on between malevolence and fear, between hatred and politeness;