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But I cannot pretend to detail all induced him to take the early and that pious and intelligent mothers zealous part which he has taken, in may do--and that pious sisters, recommending the institution of who will act a mother's part, may such Societies, as that at whose insometimes domto train the infant stance he now addresses you. mind to heavenly aspirings, and to The influence of the sex is, and the love of virtuous action. Point ought to be, great, in ways almost me to an instance of very early and innumerable. But their agency, in eminent piety, which might not be first forming the minds and habits clearly traced to this source, and of children and youth, is, and must you will show me such an instance be, nearly exclusive. Till the woas my reading and observation hi- men of India, therefore, are raised therto, have never furnished. from that state of ignorance and de
Nor does maternal influence, in gradation, in which they have been favour of piety and virtue, termi- sunk for ages past, the diffusion of nate with the infant, or early years Christianity in that country cannot of children. A mother's influence be general and lasting. To produce is of the utmost consequence-very this effect, we must—at least till often it is greater than any other the time shall arrive when “a nainfluence through the whole of tion shall be born in a day”-look youth, and even to a more advanced for a generation to arise, which well age.
The young man, or young wo- instructed Christian mothers shall man, on whom the counsels, prayers, have helped to form, and on which and tears of a pious mother have well informed Christian women, lost their commanding effect, has shall exert all their natural and inindeed reached the threshold of calculable influence. hopeless perdition.
3. Christian women may show I have spoken of early religion, their love to the Saviour, and probut in reading the history of the mote his cause, in a variety of inchurch, both by inspired and unin- stances of a private nature, at which spired penmen, it is worthy of re- we can do little more than glance. mark, how often the matured and They may devise, and suggest, and eminent religion of the most distin- recommend schemes of benevolence guished men, and all their exten- and piety, the execution of which sive usefulness, has been plainly, must chiefly be left to men.-Havand sometimes confessedly, the fruit ing as deep an interest as the other and product of a mother's goodness sex, in the proper choice, settleand care, early begun and long con- ment, and support of a minister of tinued. Nor is this wonderful. Ro- the gospel, and in all the concerns man virtue and ambition, was often of a Christian church and congretraceable to the same powerfully gation, it is reasonable, that on these operative cause; and its effects in subjects their opinions and wishes the production of modern sages and should be regarded, and that, with heroes, has sometimes been equally modesty and discretion, they should conspicuous. To the nursery, Chris- be made known to those, on whom tian friends—to the nursery, both the active ordering of such concerns the Church and the State must look, must ultimately depend. There for their best support; for those who seems to be no reasonable doubt, are destined to become their firm- that it was the office of the deaconest pillars, and their brightest orna- nesses--for such a description of ments.
females there certainly was in Allow the speaker to say, before the primitive church, to distribute leaving this part of his subject, that Christian charities, in a discreet the leading ideas which have just and beneficial manner; to visit, inbeen thrown out, were those which struct, and console the poor, the sick, and the afflicted; to converse office-endearing their people to in private with all who might seek them exceedingly, and rendering their counsel on the concerns of them doubly willing to spend and their souls; and especially with per- be spent in their service. These sons of their own sex, in cases in things are good and acceptable to which a community of sex might in- God; and in these, let women, who vite to an increased freedom of love their Saviour, be careful to communication. There is no evi- abound. dence that these deaconnesses were 4. Christian women, who are enever formally or officially appoint- gaged in the teaching of children ed. Their services seem to have and youth, may express their love been perfectly voluntary at first, to their Saviour, and manifest a and afterwards, when found to be commendable zeal in his service, useful, to have received the encour by the instruction of those comagement and approbation of the mitted to their care, in the elemenapostles, and other ministers of the tary principles of revealed truth; church. In all these ways, then, by endeavouring to impress that the door of duty is as fully open to truth on the hearts and consciences the Christian women of this age, as of their tender charge ; and by conto those in the days of the apostles. stantly imploring for them, in earAnd as there are some with us who
nest prayer, the special blessing of are willing to enter upon, and to God their Heavenly Father. That perform to a considerable extent, these are duties proper for female the services that have been speci- teachers, is as clear as that it is fied, so would to God, that their right for them to be teachers at all. number were increased a hundred- For no instruction is so important fold.
as that which relates to our eternal Here too we must mention those well being; and which therefore kind and gratifying attentions, and ought never to be omitted, by those some most substantial services,
to whom the education of youth is which Christian women may pri- entrusted. The schools of female vately render to Missionaries, and teachers, moreover, are wholly comto the Ministers of Christ in gene- posed, either of youth of their own ral. Holy women “ministered of sex, or of those of the other who are their substance” to their Saviour, but little advanced beyond the age in the days of his flesh. Our text of infancy. Blessed be God, the duitself, is but the record of one such ty here contemplated, has, we have illustrious instance. And the apos- reason to believe, been more fretle Paul had been deeply indebted, quently and carefully performed of for personal kindnesses and ser- late, than at some former periods. vices, to another Mary. “ Greet Schools under female instruction, Mary (said he) who bestowed much have been opened and closed with labour on us." The Missionaries prayer; and in them religious knowof the present day, owe a large part ledge has been acquired, and reliof their comforts to their Christian gious duty inculcated, in the whole sisters. And the settled pastors in course of a useful and ornamental nearly all our churches, would, I education. am confident, be ready to testify, But what shall we say of Sabbath that the kind services and atten- Schools? We say, without reserve, tions which they and their families that they appear to be among the hapreceive, from the pious women of piest devices of Christian ingenuitheir several charges, are among ty, in an age of Christian enterprise, the greatest and most grateful alle for carrying instruction and piety viations of the anxious cares, and into the families of the poor, the laborious exertions, of their arduous ignorant and the vicious; and of VOL. IV.-Ch, Adv.
thus extending the blessings of the then should any object to this saGospel to a very large portion of cred communion of sisterhood, in every community, which had be- which devout women mingle their fore, even in Christian lands, been prayers and their praises their almost entirely neglected. In the prayers for each other, for their instruction of these schools, pious husbands, for their children, and and benevolent females, without for the church of God ? Verily, we any other earthly reward than that believe that these female offerings which they find in doing good, have come up as sweet incense, before taken a most active and efficient the throne of a prayer-hearing God; part. In some regular Christian and that often, in the most signal congregations, as well as in other manner, he returns to the offerers places, they are the only instructers answers of peace. of these schools; and in every In the absence of a husband, the place, so far as my knowledge ex- wife becomes the head of the famitends, their exertions have kept full ly, and ought to maintain family pace with those of their fellow la- prayer. Let her do it without a bourers, of the other sex'; and in form, if she can do it thus, with certain places, have far outgone freedom; but let her not scruple to them. God has remarkably smiled use a form, rather than to omit the on those concerned in this blessed duty:-Spirit of my sainted mother! work. Numbers of them have been If I shall be so happy as to join
thee visited with his special grace, and in thy celestial abode, shall I not been added to his church on earth— thank thee there, for the family with numbers of those in whose prayers which in my early years, conversion their labours have been and in the absence of a praying fainstrumental : and doubtless it will ther, I heard from thy hallowed be with peculiar delight, that the lips ! Well
I recommend teachers and the taught will meet, what I know to be practicableand rejoice together, in the church what I know to be profitable. The triumphant above. Let every Chris- obligation to pray with their housetian woman be, as far as she can, holds is statedly incumbent on withe patroness and promoter of Sab- dows, unless a pious son, or other bath Schools.
inmate, will assume the service. 5. Christian women may mani- Christian women too, especially fest their love to their Saviour, to if they have prayerless husbands, his cause, and to communion with ought frequently to pray with their himself, by associations for prayer children, by themselves apart. among themselves; and by keeping That husband must be without feelup the worship of God in their ing, as well as without religion, who households, in the absence of a would not rather rejoice at this, male head of the family. We have than regard it with displeasure. not time for extended argument, on
6. Christian women may testify the propriety of what is here stated their love to their Saviour, and their as female duty. We only remark, desire to extend the benefits of his that it interferes in no respect, redemption, by taking part in a vawith what has been shown to be di- riety of ways, in missionary convinely prohibited. The supposition cerns. “ Have we not power (says is, that in female prayer meetings, St. Paul) to lead about a sister, a women only meet with women. In wife, as well as other apostles, and the devotional exercises carried on as the brethren of the Lord and Ce. in such circumstances, there is phas.” Here, we believe, is a comsurely no ground for the charge of plete scriptural warrant, for misarrogant assumption, or of any sionaries to be attended by their trespass on female decorum. Why wives. Some of the apostles--the
original and inspired missionaries activity, and to an extent, which were plainly so attended. Nor, are worthy of the highest praise. when missionaries go forth by fami- In several instances, within the lies, or companies, is there any knowledge of the speaker, the entransgression of female delicacy or ergy, perseverance, and success of decorum, if unmarried women ac- Christian women, in cultivating company them. Often they are still these fields of pious usefulness, under the guardianship of fathers, have reproved the more sluggish efor brothers, and always under the forts of men. It was reserved for protection of men of the fairest and the age in which we live, and it is purest character. The services of among the indications, as we hope, unmarried women may be, as they of a better age approaching, that fehave often been, of the very highest male agency should be called on, to importance, in missionary opera- take part in almost every plan and tions.
effort for extending the Gospel, or At home, Christian women may, for abating the sufferings, or meliowith entire propriety, not only con- rating the condition of mankind. tribute to missionary funds, when The effect has been wonderful; and founded by others, but form asso- it seems scarcely less wonderful, ciations of their own, for raising that such efficient aid was never funds, to be appropriated by them- brought into action before. selves, to such objects as they may But among all the benevolent as. find themselves most disposed to sociations that have been mentionfavour. To deny them this privi- ed, and to which it seems as if every lege, would be to manifest such in- one who loves either God or man, justice as requires no words to ex- must cordially wish success, there pose.
is not one, that is, in my view, more Even Female Missionary Socie- worthy of the special attention of ti have been formed in our coun- Christian women-not
one that try, and conducted with unim- more appropriately belongs to them peachable propriety and undeniable-than such societies, as that whose utility. While so conducted, who anniversary we this day celebrate. will censure them? Who will not consider its object. It is to deliver rather countenance them, and bid one half of the human species, in them God speed? By the inter- the most populous region of the vention and aid of ministers of the earth, from a state of the deepest Gospel, and of pious and discreet and most complete abjection.laymen, their missionaries may be from a state which exhibits them selected, and missionary services as mere animals; not worthy to be may be assigned and inspected, considered as reasonable and imwithout any trespass on the rights mortal beings; not the fit subjects of men, or the delicacy of women. of intellectual improvement, and of
7. Bible Societies, Tract Socie- religious happiness and hope; not ties, Education Societies, Jews So- the companions of men, on the footcieties, Charity Schools, Orphan ing of intelligence, or of any apAsylums, Widows' Asylums, and proximation to equality; but only all'institutions of a similar charac- as his slaves, and the instruments ter to these, present to Christian but I cannot proceed in the dewomen objects and opportunities scription of their state. It is not for manifesting their love to their of a nature to be described before Saviour and his cause, which they this audience; nor to be may seize and improve, with the thought on by one's self, but at the greatest freedom and advantage. expense of every species of painful And truly they have, in our day, and sickening emotions. I solemnly seized and improved them, with an ask then, if there can be a louder call for humane, for benevolent, for women among them; and it is of Christian exertion, from every one this I am now speaking-Women in whose bosom the feelings of hu- are debased far below their lords manity, benevolence, and Christian and masters, who are themselves compassion, are not “twice dead, debased. They are, of wretched plucked up by the roots”—than and degraded tyrants, the more that which is here made, to lend a wretched and degraded slaves and helping hand, in lifting up these drudges ; or the mere instruments millions on millions of the human of their base sensuality. In the family, from this state of absolute deep of Heathen and Mahomedan bestial ignorance, degradation and abominations, there is “a lower servility, to a state of rationality, deep;" and there it is, that the intelligence, happiness, dignity, and whole female sex with them is the hope of heaven? And if this found. Thanks to God, that those may be asked of every man, who who are trying to bring them rehas the soul of a man, what shall be lief, have some encouraging indicasaid to women, to Christian women, tions of success. A considerable in behalf of their own sex; whose number of the poor natives of Infeelings they must best know, and dia, bave surrendered their female in whose wretchedness and sor- children for education, to the thrice rows they can best sympathize ? blessed missionaries; to the heaDo they occupy themselves in other venly minded men and women who. works of kindness and charity? began, and who are still engaged in And can they neglect this ? Ought this Godlike work, of restoring them not this to be their peculiar, their to the rights of human nature, and favourite object? Ought not the the prospect of eternal felicity. To women of the whole civilized world, have made this good beginning, is to make common cause, in rescuing to have done much. Let but the more than one half of their com- happy effects of female education mon nature, from the condition of be once visible, although it be on a brutes ? Ought not all Christian small scale-let but a few well eduwomen to do this? Yes, they ought cated females, from among the -and bear with me, if you cannot lower casts in India, go forth into think and feel as I do, when I say life, and make their superiority to that I have wondered, and do won- degraded men, as well as to deder, that the known condition of graded women, to be seen and feltwomen in India, and in other re- the certain consequence will be, gions where Heathenism and Ma- that the desire of female education homedanism prevail, bas not ope- will become general and ardent; rated with an electrick force, on and the great object in view, will the whole enlightened part—and be in a train to be reached, as especially on the Christian part- speedily as the nature of the case of the sex, to rouse them to the will permit. To furnish these spemost vigorous action, and to unite cimens of well educated womenthem in a concentration of effort, to and we hope they will be Christian bring out female nature from this women too—in the various parts of horrible abyss of reproach and in India, will indeed require funds famy; and to raise it to the stand- and exertions, a thousand times ing for which it was formed and in- greater than any of which at pretended by the Great Author of our sent we have the knowledge. But being. Heathens and Mahomedans still, the work has been commenced, all together, male as well as female, and is in progress; and we believe are, we know, in a state of awful it to be God's work, and that, under ignorance and wretchedness: but his smiles and benediction, it will there is a speciality in the case of go on and prosper.