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mother, commences from the moment she has | In truth, the mother's influence over the the prospect of being a mother; and the care child, as it begins earlier, so it is of much of her own health is, thenceforth, the first longer duration than the father's. The son, duty which she owes to her child.* From having become a man, or approaching to that that moment too she becomes in a peculiar state, begins to feel uneasy under the resense “ an help meet" for man, as being the straints of paternal authority; he longs to depositary and guardian of their most precious shake the yoke from off' his neck; he pants joint concern. How greatly is her value now for independence he must obtain it. But enhanced ! Her existence is multiplied, her what ingenuous young man ever felt a moduration, is extended. A man-child is at length ther's yoke galling, or longed for emancipaborn into the world; and what helper so meet tion from the silken fetters in which her genfor the glad father in rearing the tender babe, tle fingers had entangled his soul! In the as the mother who bare him. There are of perfection of understanding, in the plenitude fices which she, and only she, can perform ; of power, in the self-gratulation of indepenthere are affections which she, and only she, dence, to her milder reason he still submits, can feel ; there are difficulties which she, and her unassuming sway he readily acknowonly she, can surmount. Nature has here ledges, and, independent on all things else, he so happily blended the duty with the recom- feels he cannot do without the smiles of mapence, that they cannot be distinguished or ternal approbation, the admonitions of materseparated. In performing every act of ma- nal solicitude, the reproofs of maternal tenderternal tenderness, while she tends and nou- ness and integrity. rishes the body of her infant, she is gradually Whatever be the dispositions, whatever the and insensiblý informing his mind. His very faculties of the child, whether earlier or later first expressions of look, voice, and gesture, in life, the business neither of father not are expressions of the important lessons which masters can proceed wisely and well, withhis mother has already taught him, attach- out the co-operation of the mother. Who ment, gratitude, a sense of obligation and de- knows so well as she, the road to the underpendence. Hitherto she is the sole instructer, standing, the road to the heart? Who has and " a stranger intermeddleth not with her still like her, to encourage the timid and rejoy." The dawning of reason appears; the press the bold? Who has power and address solicitude of a father awakes; what a task is like a mother's, to subdue the stubborn and imposed upon him! Who is sufficient for it? confirm the irresolute? Who can with such But he is not left to perform it alone. The exquisite art draw out, put in motion, and diLord God has provided him “ an help meet rect ordinary or superior powers; place goodfor him," one prompted by duty, drawn by ness in its fáirest and most attractive light, affection, trained by experience, to assist him and expose vice in its most hideous and forin the
bidding form? In the case of those persons Delightful task! To rear the tender thought, who have unhappily grossly deviated from To teach the young idea how to shoot,
the path of virtue, how many have been stopTo pour the fresh instruction o'er the mind, To breathe th' enlivening spirit, and to fix
ped, converted, brought back, by consideraThe generous purpose in the glowing breast. tions of maternal feelings—shame, and sorThomson. Spring, 1748.
row, and regret; and by the recollection of In the more advanced stages of education, early lessons, and principles, and resolutions. after the pupil is removed from under the Havir been “trained up, when a child, in maternal wing, of what assistance to the fa- the way wherein he should walk,” the man ther, of what importance to the child, are the calls it to remembrance in old age, approves delicate ideas and the tender counsels of ait, returns to it, and "departs from it" no wise and virtuous woman! Read “the words of king Lemuel, the prophecy which his
In educating the children of her own sex, mother taught him,"+ and judge whether a the mother seems to be more than “an help mother may be an useful “ help,” in instruct- meet” for man. The trust chiefly, if not ening a son, a grown son, and that son a prince. tirely, devolves on her: and where could it
* The instructions given to the wife of Manoah, and be deposited so well? The knowledge she mother of Samson the Nazarite, (Jud. xiii. 4.) • Now, has of herself, experience of the world, and strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing," are not maternal affection, are all she needs to quabranch of political economy, and intended to serve local ther only can enter into the feelings, and merely arbitrary injunctions adapted to a particular lify her for this arduous undertaking. A momending to those who have the prospect of being mothers, male, entering on an unknown, varying, temnature, reason, and experience, which unite in recom- weaknesses, and necessities of a young fething which, affecting the frame of their own body or pestuous, dangerous occan; for she remeni mind, may communicate an important, a lasting, per: bers how she herself felt and feared, what haps indelible impression to the body or mind of their she needed, and how she was relieved, and the first stage of education for their children. The ne assisted, and carried through. And to a mo glect of it is frequently found productive of effects which ther only can a young female impart the wo future culture is able to alier or rectify. Proy. xxxi. 1-9.
numberless, nameless anxieties which every
step she takes in life necessarily excite. surplus, for the evil day which may come. When she converses with her mother, it is No man ever prospered in the world, without only thinking aloud. A mother's conduct is the consent and co-operation of his wife. Let the loveliest pattern of virtue, and the hope him be ever so frugal, regular, industrious, of a mother's applause is, next to God's, the intelligent, successful —all goes for nothing, most powerful motive to imitate it. The su- if she is profuse, disorderly, indolent, or unperiority of female to male youth in respect faithful to her trust. His farm prospers, his of moral, whatever be the case as to intellec- barn is filled with plenty, "the floors are full tual improvement, is clearly dedueible from of wheat, the fats overflow with wine and the larger share which the mother has in the oil," his cattle increase, he is waxing rich. education of the one, than of the other. And His neighbour's commerce thrives, his plants the more liberal and enlarged spirit of the were well laid; Providence smiles; the wings times we live in, procuring for the female of every wind are wafting to his door, gold, world a more liberal and rational education, and silver
, and precious things. The talents is daily evincing to what an equality of in- of a third are procuring for him reputation, tellectual endowment they are capable of ri- and distinction, and honour, and wealth. How sing, and thereby of, in all respects, fulfilling came they all to fail? Who opened the door, the design of the Creator, who said in the and let poverty rush in as an armed man? beginning, “ I will make for man an help The thing speaks for itself. The design of meet for him."
Heaven is defeated; the parties were I now proceed to mention a second most equally yoked;" the "help" found for these important respect, in which it is the obvious men was not "an help meet" for them. Skill intention of Providence that woman should was counteracted by carelessness; the fruits be “an help meet" for man, namely, the of diligence were scattered about by the hand care and management of his worldly estate. of dissipation; the labours of a year perished
In a paradisaical state man did not, and in, in the sitting of an evening; “by much slothwhat is improperly called, the state of nature, fulness the building decayed, and through he could not long continue. In the former, idleness of the hands, the house dropped there was labour, imposed not as a burden or through.” a punishment, but bestowed as a privilege But “ O how good a thing it is, and how and a source of delight. The help of woman pleasant," when the gracious intentions of enhanced the value of that privilege, and im- God and nature are fulfilled? With what proved that delight: and even in paradise, spirit and perseverance does a man labour in the attention of Eve to the disposal of the his vocation, when he knows that his earnfruits of his labour, must have been to the ings will be faithfully disposed, and carefully man, an exquisite accession to the pleasure improved! With what confidence will be of enjoying them. The arrangement which resort to his farm, to his merchandise, fly her taste and care had made, constituted the over land, over the seas, meet difficulty, charm of the repast. In a state of uncultivated meet danger, if he has the assurance, that nature, the subsistence of the day is man's ob- he is not spending his time and strength for ject. He has no idea of “ much goods laid up nought and in vain; that all is well and safe for many years." But the society and as- at home; that indulgent Heaven has crowned sistance of his rude companion are necessary all his other blessings, with that of “an help to give a relish to “what he took in hunting;" meet for him," a discreet manager of his and “the burden and heat of the day," he estate, a fellow-labourer with him, from incheerfully encounters, in the prospect of the terest
, from affection, from a sense of duty, refreshment and repose of the evening; and in “ doing justly," in seconding the goodness even the hut in the desert exhibits the ac- of Divine Providence, in making fair provicomplishment of the Creator's purpose, wo- sion for the time to come, in “providing man “an help meet" for man, managing his things honest in the sight of all men!" I scanty portion with discretion, and doubling conclude this branch of my subject, with a it by participation.
portrait drawn by the pencil of inspiration; As the state of society advanced, new ideas may Heaven propagate the resemblance. of property must have been produced. The • Who can find a virtuous woman? for labour of to-day began to look forward ; “ to her price is far above rubies. The heart of morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow.'
.” her husband doth safely trust in her, so that The care of posterity arose. Permanency he shall have no need of spoil. She will do must be given to possession. The earth and him good and not evil, all the days of her its produce are parcelled out, men “call their life. She seeketh wool and flax, and worketh lands by their names," " house is joined to willingly with her hands. She is like the house, and field added to field.” But could merchants' ships, she bringeth her food from man do this alone ? No. In vain have his afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, labour and skill provided “bread enough, and and giveth meat to her household, and a porto spare," unless the woman's prudent atten- tion to her inaidens. She considereth a field, tion manage that sufficiency, and lay up that/ and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands
she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her nor tenderness cool the fever in the blood. loins with strength, and strengtheneth her But the sufferer is not left destitute. There
She perceiveth that her merchandize is one ear into which he can pour out all his is good: her candle goeth not out by night. heart; there is one hand ever ready to reShe layeth her hands to the spindle, and her lieve him; “ one life bound up in his life.” hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out And as enjoyment derived all its relish from her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth participation, so misery loses all its anguish forth her hands to the needy. She is not in the bosom of sympathy and kindness
. afraid of the snow for her household: for all The spirit of penitence is inferior only to her household are clothed with scarlet. She unsullied innocence: and next to the blessmaketh herself coverings of tapestry: hering of unimpaired health, and uninterrupted clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is comfort, is the consolation of sickness alleknown in the gates, when he sitteth among viated, and comfort restored, by the gentle the elders of the land. She maketh fine language and engaging offices of love. What linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles shall I say? Is there not, perhaps, in the unto the merchant. Strength and honour restoration of repenting guilt
, and in the are her clothing: and she shall rejoice in suspension of wo, by the assiduity of affectime to come. She openeth her mouth with tion, a peculiar satisfaction, and a delight, wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of which perfect innocence and perfect health kindness. She looketh well to the ways of could not possibly have known? her household, and eateth not the bread of The regular temperature of a man's body idleness. Her children arise up, and call is, however, only one ingredient in the cup her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth of health." An help meet for him” will be her. Many daughters have done virtuously, anxious to preserve a sound mind in a sound but thou excellest them all
. Favour is de- body; will endeavour to prevent or dispel ceitful, and beauty is vain : but a woman painful reflection ; will remove disquieting that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. objects; will present smiling images; will Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let watch the ebbing and flowing of passion
, her own works praise her in the gates."* will bear and forbear, and, like the best of
A third respect in which God intended that beings, “ will overcome evil with good.” woman should be "an help meet” for man, She will likewise consider herself as eniis the care of his health, and every thing trusted with the care of his good name. His connected with it ; his tranquillity of mind, reputation is hep brightest ornament; his his temper, his character, and reputation : honour is her joy, and crown of rejoicing. without which the greatest bodily vigour will If he is disgraced, she is degraded. Every quickly decay and sink, and life will cease to instance of misconduct in her, she knows be a blessing
glances at him; and therefore to support his It is pleasant to have a companion in soli- dignity is a powerful motive with her to act tude, an assistant in labour, a fellow-partaker wisely and well. She reflects, that not only in joy. But human life contains varieties by gross deviations from duty in the wife
, painful, as well as pleasant. Sorrow, and does the husband suffer in character
, but that pain, and solicitude, and disappointment levity, indiscretion, carlessness in her, are an enter into the history of man; and he is but imputation upon his understanding, and, in half provided for the voyage of life
, who has the opinion of the world, incessantly upbraid found an associate for his happier days only; him with the choice he has made, of " an while for his months of darkness and distress help meet for him." As she would therefore no sympathising partner is prepared, no compassionately nurse his body in pain and "help meet” is found. The provident care sickness; and prudently study and watch his of the Almighty meets every wish and want temper, amidst the conflict of contending of man; and in bestowing upon him a com- passions
, so, to approve herself what God and panion for youth, a sharer in felicity, a part-nature meant her to be, she will guard his ner in property, he was securing for him, at fame, the life of his life, “ as her precious a distance, a friend in age, a solace in aftlic-eye," and thus, in every thing relating both tion, a partner in want—" a friend that stick- to mental and bodily health, to private comis eth closer than a brother."
fort and public estimation, “ she will do him If a man's worldly estate, whether it be good, and not evil all the days of her life.". much or little, is wisely managed, one foun But there is somewhat still dearer, stil dation of health and comfort is laid; and she more sacred to a man than children or pron who is thus habitually employed, may be perty, than health or reputation; somewhat considered as administering a perpetual me- which, neglected, forfeited, lost, it will dicine or cordial to her husband. But no profit him nothing to gain even the whole prudence of foresight can ward off the attack world;" and in the securing and promoting of disease, or prevent the stroke of calamity; of which, who is so qualified to minister and affluence cannot purchase release from pain, assist as her, whom the Father of mercies pave
him, to be “an help meet for him?" [meam
* Prov. xxxi. 10^-31.
IV. The salvation of the immortal soul. , ters pride and forgetfulness of God; adverThis is indeed a personal concer; an in-sity only hardens him the more; reason is terest which cannot be transferred or com- perverted, passion has acquired the ascendmunicated. The good-will of another can- ant, the power of habit predominates: but not impart it; the remissness of another can- the Lord God has provided "an help meet for not defeat it: to God, his great Master, here, him.” When public instruction and foreign every man standeth or falleth, for every reproof have failed, the mind is still accessione must give account of himself to God." ble. The unaffected, unostentatious charm But is it not obvious, that example, that rea- of genuine female piety is felt and underson, that co-operation, possess a mighty influ- stood, and becomes efficacious; the silent ence toward promoting or obstructing per- unupbraiding regret of conjugal tenderness sonal piety, growth in grace, meetness for the supplies the place of a thousand arguments, kingdom of heaven? Is the man impressed and forces its way to the heart; "the effecwith the worth, with the danger of his own tual fervent prayer" of a gracious woman soul; does he feel “ the powers of a world " availeth much;" the “ believing wife" to come;" is his mind turned to devotion; draws to the Redeemer, with the cords of is the love of God shed abroad in his heart! love, the unbelieving husband;" she beHow will such impressions be fixed and comes the blessed instrument of “convertstrengthened, by endeavouring to communi-ing the sinner from the error of his way, she cate them to a beloved object, and by receiv- saves a soul from death, she hides a multiing back the impression, heightened and im- tude of sins," and, in the noblest sense of proved, from that object? How much more the word, approves herself “an help meet" exalted and affecting is a sense of divine for man. goodness, when it is beheld embracing more In all these important respects, the origithan one! when it is seen conferring immor- nal design of Eternal Wisdom, in the formatality, eternity, on virtuous human affection of woman, is plain and palpable. To tions! what a live coal applied to devotion, have fulfilled one branch of duty, and even when the solitary my Father and my God, is to have excelled in it, is no exemption from changed into the social our Father and our the obligation of the rest. The duties of life God! How is the hope of glory ennobled, and of religion run in a series, one is linked extended, animated, by the prospect of par- with another, supposes it, cannot be sepaticipation! “Here am I, Holy Father, with rated from it. To no purpose are children her whom thou gavest me, to be an help well educated, if through the indolence, meet for me. We were one in interest and folly, or vice of parents, they are launched affection; one in the faith of the gospel, and into the world in doubtful, dishonourable, the practice of piety; our prayers ascended embarrassed or distressful circumstances. in one stream of incense, and every gift of What is it to me, that my fortune is pruthy providence and grace was multiplied dently and frugally managed, if my person and sweetened to each by being bestowed is neglected, my temper trifled with, my on the other. Sweet were our labours of reputation sacrificed,“ my good name filched love to our joint offspring; sweet our united from me?" And what is the acquisition of efforts to improve the bounty of our com- a world, at the expense of my soul? mon parent; sweet the sympathies of kin Let it be understood and remembered, that dred hearts, in sickness and in health, in every word which has been said of the oblisorrow and in joy, in good and in bad report; gation laid on woman, as “an help meet" but sweeter far the consolations of religion, for man, applies with at least equal propriety the prospect of life and immortality brought and force, to man, as the helper and friend to light by the gospel.” We come together of woman. Does he possess superiority of to " receive the end of our faith, the salvation any kind ? It is evidently intended not to of our souls; as, through grace, we have been oppress, but to support. His greater strength made helpers of each other's faith, let us be, is given for her protection; his more vigoreternally, helpers of each other's joy." ous or profound powers of thought are de
Is the man, unhappily, dead to all sense of signed to be her instructer and guide. Whatreligion; swallowed up of time and sense; ever advantage, real or apparent, each may is his great or only inquiry, “What shall I have above the other, Providence clearly eat, what shall I drink, wherewithal shall I wills to be employed for the benefit of the be clothed ?" Or, more wretched still, is he other. A contention of mutual affection, delivered over" to commit iniquity with beneficence, forbearance, forgiveness, is the greediness," " and to glory in his shame?" only strife which nature, reason, and decency What are the most likely means of awaken- permit to this state and relation. ing him to reflection, of reaching his con We proceed to illustrate female utility science, of melting his heart, of changing and importance in social life, by certain his conduct? Preaching is vain; he turns noted examples from the sacred record. “a deaf ear to the voice of the charmer, May God smile on every attempt to commucharm he never so wisely;" prosperity fos- nicate useful truth. Amen.
HISTORY OF DEBORAH.
And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time. And she dwelt under
the palm-tree of Deborah, between Ramah and Beth-el, in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.—JUDGES iv. 4, 5.
The unremitting attention paid by a wise the limits of duty, and the sphere of usefuland gracious Providence to the affairs of ness and exertion. men, affords equal matter of wonder and But the great God is pleased to make himgratitude, with the astonishing power and self known, not only by general conformity skill displayed in the first formation of this to established laws, but by occasional deviagreat universe. Let us suppose the care of tion from them. That the sons of men may that Providence for a little while suspended, know, it is according to his high will, that and the world left to itself. Who is not all creatures are, and think, and act. shocked in looking forward to the probable, The history, which this evening comes the certain consequences of that remission ? under our review, exhibits a new thing in Behold instantly the bars of the vast abyss the annals of human nature; asserts the burst asunder, and "hell itself breathing forth sovereignty of the Most High over all perdestruction to mankind.” Behold the prince sons and events; places the female character of the power of the air reigning and raging and importance in a new, a striking, and a without control. Behold chaos and ancient respectable point of view; and thereby adnight resuming their murky empire, and monishes the one sex to think of their own darkness covering the face of the deep; natural general superiority with deference, earth and air confounded; nature convulsed affection, and honour to the manly excellenby the fury of contending elements, unre- cies of the female mind, when cultivated by a strained by law; universal confusion and proper education, directed to a worthy object, wild uproar prevailing.
and roused into exertion by a great and Alas, it is not necessary to state the sup- worthy occasion. Hitherto we have seen position so high. To conceive the wretched- wise and good women, in the retired vale ness of mankind, deprived of the constant, of domestic life, their proper and peculiar superintending care of Heaven, it is needless sphere; Sarah, co-operating in the duties of to let loose the demons of the bottomless pit; hospitality with her venerable lord; Rebekah, it is needless to unbridle the fury of the refreshing the weary traveller and the thirsty ocean, or to assist the roaring winds in blow- camel with water from the well, as they ing up the fire into a hotter flame. Under went on their way; Rachel and the seren the slightest alteration of the established daughters of Jethro tending their father's order of things, all nature languishes. Re- flocks, and making them to lie down under move for a moment the all-ruling, all-sup- the shade at noon; Miriam leading the fesporting hand of the great Father of the tive dance and song, in celebrating the loruniverse, and lo, this fair and fertile region is ing kindness of the Lord, and the triumphs overwhelmed with an inundation, and that is of Israel; and Rahab giving shelter to the burned to one pumice-stone, by the force of persecuted spies, and providing for the safety celestial or subterraneous fire. Here arises, of her father's house. a race all males, like the fabled generation But we are now to contemplate female of warriors which sprung from the serpent's genius and talents forcing their way to pubteeth, armed at all points for mutual destruc- | lic observation, and to everlasting renown: tion and slaughter: and there, a nation of eclipsing masculine sagacity and fortitude; timid, defenceless females, inviting violence the inspirer and the example of generous and insult. But under that uninterrupted patriotism and martial prowess. We are to divine superintendence all goes on well; contemplate feminine warmth and eagerness, there is no schism in the body; every thing under the influence of prophetic inspiration, is found in its place, every thing performs its and blended with the dignity and integrity function. The exactest proportion between of the judgment seat; female spirit, giving male and female births is preserved; the breath to the bloody trumpet of war, directrobuster frame is still found united to the ing the movements of the embattled host, stronger mental, faculties; the delicacy of waking into sacred, poetic rapture, and adaptthe feminine form indicates, to the very eye, ing the joyful strains of victory, to the muthe softer, gentler qualities of the spirit sical sounds of the living lyre. which inhabits it; and nature assigns to each Israel had now enjoyed a blessed repose of