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but falsehood or obstinacy: you commend as often as you can ;Xyou reprove only when you must;xand
do it to purpose, with moderation and temper, but with solemnity and firmness, till you have carried your point. You are at pains to excite honest emulation : you take care to avoid every appearance of partiality ; to convince your dear charge, that they are all dear to you, that superior merit alone can entitle to superior favour, that you will deny to none of them what is proper, but that the kindest and most submissive will be always preferred. At times, you even partake in their innocent amusements, as if one of them, that they may love you as their friend, while they revere you as their parent. In graver hours you insinuate knowledge and piety by your conversation and example, rather than by formal lectures and awful admonitions. And finally, to secure as far as possible the success of all, you dedicate them daily to God, with the most fervent supplications for his blessing. Thus you show yourself a conscientious and a judicious mother at the same moment; and in that light I view you with veneration. I honour you as sustaining a truly glorious character on the great theatre of humanity. Of the part you have acted I look forward to the consequences, direct and collateral, future and re* mote. Those lovely plants which you have reared I see spreading, and still spreading, from house to house, from family to family, with rich increase of fruit. I see you diffusing virtue and happiness through the human race; I see generations yet unborn rising up to call you Blessed! I worship that providence which has destined you for such usefulness, for such felicity. I pity the man that is ! charmed with the image of so much excellence
image which, in one degree or another, has been realized by many women of worth and understanding in every age : I will add, an image which, when realized, cannot fail of being contemplated with peculiar delight by all the benevolent spirits of heaven, with the Father and Saviour of the world at their head! and are there, among
men, any that will presume to depreciate such women, to speak of them with an air of superiority, or to suggest that your sex are not capable of filling the important spheres of life?
To quote the words of an old writer : “ mankind is the pupil and disciple of female in“ stitution : the daughters till they write women, « and the sons till the first seven years be past; the 66 time when the mind is most ductile, and prepa“ red to receive impression, being wholly in the
care and conduct of the mother.” Alas! fair country-women, why are not more of you struck with such considerations? Why, ye daughters of Britain, are so many of you insensible to those brightest glories of your sex? Where is your love for your native country, which, by thus, excelling, you might so nobly serve? where your emulation of those Heroic Women, that have in ancient days graced this happy. land ? How long will you be ainbitious of flaunting in French attire, of fluttering about with the levity of that fantastic people! When will you be satisfied with the simplicity of elegance, and the gracefulness of modes. ty, so becoming in a nation like this, supported by trade, polished by taste, and enlightened by true religion? Say, when will you relinquish delusive pursuits, and dangerous pleasures, the gaze of fools, and the flattery of libertines, for the peace
ful and solid study of whatever can adorn your nature, do honour to your country, reflect credit on your profession of christianity, give joy to all your connexions, and confer dignity on Womankind?
ON MODESTY OF APPAREL.
1 TIM. ii. 8, 9.
1 zuill--that women adorn themselves in Modest Apparel.
LET me recall the attention of my female friends to a subject that concerns them highly. I hope that hitherto I have said nothing unkind. I would not rob your sex of a single advantage they possess froin nature, providence, or legitimate custom. I would not rob you of the smallest ornament that Judgment has put on, that Prudence allows, or that Decency warrants. On the contrary, I would willingly add to your allurements: I want to see you yet more engaging, to see you still more completely adorned. Superfluous, unbecoming, and unavailing decorations, it is true, I would persuade you to renounce ; but it should be only in order to make room for such as will improve beauty where found, or supply its place where wanting.
Your consequence in the creation I fear not to acknowledge : I feel it all. You have already heard me assert it. I will assert it ever, by plead. ing your cause against ignorance, prejudice, and malice. Only take care, my dear clients, not to hurt it yourselves. Remember how tender a thing a woman's reputation is, how hard to preserve, and when lost how impossible to recover ; how
frail many, and how dangerous most, of the gifts you have received; what misery and what shame have been often occasioned by abusing them! I tremble for your situation. Suffer me again to put you on your guard. My text, you have seen, has nothing in it really severe : St. Paul is, in fact, a better friend to women than has been commonly supposed : he seems to have understood perfectly what became them, and to have consulted their interests more truly than the most passionate of their admirers. While these, by corrupting or misleading you whether with or without design, would lessen your influence, and obstruct your felicity; he would effectually contribute to both, by inculcating every thing that can make you at once more amiable and more happy.
What I am now to offer will turn on the ornament he firsts mentions.
« I will that women " adorn themselves in Modest Apparel”-in Modest Apparel, as opposed to that which is Indecent, and to that which is Vain: distinctions, whereof the theory, I must confess, it is in many cases not easy, and in some perhaps not practicable, to settle with precision ; such a powerful influence in those matters have custom and the opinion of the world. But in this instance, as in others where the passions are concerned, the strictest casuist will, I presume, be generally the safest. The zeal of the ancient Fathers on such subjects carried some of them far ; farther, I doubt, than the relaxation of modern manners would well bear. Were a young woman now a days, from a peculiar -sense of the sacredness and refinement of female virtue, to appear with any very singular severity in her dress, she would hardly, I fear, escape the charge of affectation ; a charge, which every pru