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and shame, as to congratulate themselves on an infidel wife, or an infidel mother. It is without doubt a truth, that there are more pious women in the world than pious men, and that their piety is of a higher order. Nor is this difficult to account for, from the peculiarities of the female character and condition. The fact that she lives in her affections; that she is formed to be confiding; that she is separated from the grosser snares of the world; that she is not unaccustomed to submission; and that God “ hath chosen her in the furnace of affliction,” are all in keeping with the abounding grace of God to her sex. When piety is engrafted upon woman's loveliness, I know of nothing so lovely. It is a mantle that covers all her faults and foibles, more than they are veiled even by her beauty. The sweetest emblem of piety, selected by the sacred writers, is woman. She is “the daughter of Zion;” a high-born progeny, attired from heaven's wardrobe, “coming up from the wilderness leaning upon her Beloved.” Piety makes her everything she can be this side heaven. It elevates and beautifies her when the charms of personal beauty are fled; it supplies her with resources of joy, when the adulations of earth have become faint, its affection cold, and its trials sewere; it sanctifies the infirmities of age, and gives her bright anticipations when the bloom and flower of earthly hope languish and decay. It hallows all her domestic virtues, makes her toil pleasant and her self-denial welcome, and carries along with it its own reward. It makes her the better wife, stimulating her husband in his spiritual career, and rejoicing with him as he goes; or if he has not entered upon that career, restrains him from the paths of sin and death, allures him to heavenly wisdom, and by discretion, love, tenderness, sympathy and prayer, it brings him within the fold of God. And does it not make her the better mother ? Of all the untold millions that are now in heaven, how many, think you, are there, whose conversion is to be attributed to the counsels, the solicitude, the prayers, the tears, the ever-stimulated, ever-hoping faith of her that bare them 2 As a daughter, a sister, or even a faithful and pious servant, how much has piety done for woman, and what dews of Hermon has it distilled upon her path ! In her own unostentatious and retired department, how has she scattered seeds of mercy, which have sprung up, and been cherished, and transplanted to scatter their fragrance under purer and brighter skies! Piety is essentially the same thing both in man and woman; yet in woman it has her own beautiful and womanly characteristics. Woman's love and woman's tenderness adorn it. It has her meek-eyed humility and her robe of cheerfulness. It blends her timidity and her confidence. It has her cautious delicacy and all the refinement of her manners. It has her nobleness and her instinctive abhorrence of all that is mean and grovelling. It has her unsleeping watchfulness, her patient toil, her self-denying devotement, and her angel ministrations. And while it has her shrinking fears, it has also her unchanging faithfulness and unshrinking valor. Woman, if she cannot contend for Christ, can die for him. The pages of history do not record finer exemplifications of Christian fortitude and valor, than are furnished by the noble doing, brave daring, and patient suffering of woman. Apathy does not belong to her; stoical indifference forms no part of her nature; a calculating policy finds no place in her warm bosom. It is not she who consults with flesh and blood, when God calls her to advance with an undaunted heart and a firm, undeviating step to the torture, or the death. Flattery cannot move her then; nor is she dismayed by cruel mockings; nor is she confounded before the envenomed tongue of man; nor does desertion leave her deserted. Man's vigilance sleeps when his Saviour lies prostrate. Man's love hesitates, and falters when his Saviour is crowned with thorns. Man denies him, and man betrays. Woman's heart is faithful.
“Not she, with treach’rous kiss, her Saviour stung,
We honor woman, and hold that she is to be honored. We would give her “the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.” “Giving honor to the wife,” and because she is the weaker and more dependent, is an obligation delightfully in keeping with the dignified spirit, and sweet charities of the Sacred Volume. She has trials enough to bear, arising from the delicacy and dependence of her condition, not to be called on to encounter disesteem or reproach. She has no security but in the magnanimity of the stronger sex; and that man deserves to be held in very low estimation, who himself cherishes low. and mean thoughts of woman. I not only look help suspecting that he had a bad mother, or that he has a bad wife, or that in his associations with the female sex, he has been unfortunate, if not vi. cious. The history of nations and of men instructs stand abreast with their treatment of woman. Man is never free, where woman is a slave; and where she is degraded, in vain may you search for a cultivated and polished community. Degrade woman, and you degrade her offspring, and in every view make man more degraded. Nature herself inflicts the penalty; the retribution is sure to be felt in unfailing accuracy and full measure. The records of the past, and a careful inspection
of the present, show nothing more clearly, than that just in the proportion to woman's advancement is man the more exalted, virtuous, and happy. One of the first rays of light that broke upon the night of the dark ages, was the gallant and heroic deportment of the stronger toward the weaker sex, which was fostered by the laws of chivalry; while from that day to this, not only have the social and moral culture of the nations of Europe been progressive with the culture of the female mind and heart, but the peculiarity of their national character has received its impress from the peculiarity of that culture, and from the degree in which woman has been allowed to retain her own womanly character and station. The Creator honored her by making her his last and fairest work. Her Saviour honored her; man might not share the honor, even of his lowly incarnation. If she was dishonored by her first transgression, she has this honor, that the Incarnate One was the “woman's seed.” It would be no small gratification to exemplify these general observations by a reference to some of the more distinguished of women whose names live on the pages of secular and Christian biography, had we time for such a reference. Though the biography of woman is not often written, for the obvious reason that she seeks not the public eye; yet, such is the redundance of materials for fe