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which proceed from kindness and compassion in general. When such dispositions predominate, let it be observed, in the first place, that they are ingenious to discover, and diligent to improve, those ways and means of beneficence, which pass unregarded by the giddy and unfeeling. Many of you, my honoured audience, have it not in your power, through the obscurity of your situation, and the straitness of your circumstances, to indulge the generous propensions of your nature. While thou. sands of your sex are inflamed with the emulation of beauty, or agitated by the conflict of rivalship, or miserable because they cannot be gratified with such an article of show, or admitted into such a party of pleasure ; you are sighing, because not able more extensively to succour indigence, or more effectually to comfort sorrow.
Your sighs, beloved, are heard in heaven ; your wishes are registered there under the head of Virtues; the wil. ling mind is accepted now and shall be recompensed at the resurrection of the just; your least good deed shall not be forgotten by him, who marked and applauded the widow's mite. “ Whosoever shall “ give to drink” unto a follower of Jesus " of cold water only, in the name of a disciple,
verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose 11 his reward.” You shall be estimated by the largeness of your hearts, not by the size of your fortunes. “ The liberal soul, that deviseth liberal " things,” that executes what it can, and stops only where it must, or rather goes on panting and praying for that happiness to the human race, which it cannot have the joy of imparting ;-how honourable in the sight of God!
Let me remind you farther of what ought also to solace you amidst all your kind cares. Human happiness is made up of many. little ingredients,
with a few principal ones ; and next to religion, those in reality contribute to it most largely, who give the greatest consolation by their sympathy, and the greatest pleasure by their friendship. Friendship and sympathy, when thoroughly awake, are constantly employed in numberless pleasing services, and amiable attentions, to which language cannot appropriate names; but which the heart of the person obliged feels, and which rebounds with redoubled light on the heart of the person obliging, I go farther and say, that the very idea of your being disposed to oblige is obligation ; because it is in itself agreeable, and we are indebted to every one that supplies us with an agreeable idea.
Who has not likewise remarked, that in doing benevolent things there is, both as to the time and the manner, a propriety which gives inestimable value even to the least ? The manner, in par. ticular, is of marvellous effect. A charitable action gracefully done is twice done. To some people one would be willing to owe almost every thing, so handsomely do they confer a kindness; while from others a favour, for the opposite reason, is a load. But who so capable of delighting by the manner, yet more than by the deed itself, as lovely young woman, whose words, and smiles, and softness, are, to the last of these, what a beautiful symphony and judicious accompaniment in music are to a well managed voice ?
But, in truth, the advantages which your sex and age afford you in this divine employment of doing good, are not to be expressed. Would to God your zeal were but in proportion to it !-Forgive ine, Protestants, if on this occasion I remark with concern, how far many
you are outdone by multitudes in the church of Rome, especially
amongst her female votaries. Their frequent visits to the abodes of misfortune and pain, of poverty and sickness, their gentle ministrations to the sufferers, their stooping so meekly to the meanest offices of compassion, offices of which the most distant thought would shock the false refinement of a gay lady, have to me, I must own, notwithstanding all the errors of their faith, still placed thein in a point of light highly respectable and engaging. Who can help me to a reason, why a practice so christlike is not adopted in this country, where the gospel is professed in so much purity? are we afraid of being thought to embrace the doctrine of merit by good works, entertained in that church? It cannot be, amongst those who have learnt the truth as it is in Jesus. None surely was ever more self-denied on this head than St. Paul; yet St. Paul was a flame of charity. In his doctrine, and in his conduct, grace and virtue, faith' and good works, went hand in hand, inseparable and triumphant. Ah ye
fair ones of Britain, who doať on the parade of public assemblies, and sail along in the full blown pride of fashionable attire, of which the least appendage 'or circumstance must not be discomposed; thoughtless of human wo; insensible to modest worth at that moment pining in many a solitary residence of want-ye gaudy flutterers, “ with hard hearts under soft raiment;" how much more brilliant and beautiful would ye appear in the eye of saints and angels, were ye now and then to exchange those scenes of selfish splendour for the gloomy dwellings of wretchedness, in order to light" then up by your pity and beneficence! I blush for many of my country women, possessed of fortune, who have never yet learnt its noblest and happiest use ; in whose ears the circulated whisper of a well-dressed crowd admiring their appearance, is a more grateful sound than the praise of widows and orphans sharing their bounty ; who prefer the empty breath of adulation to the blessings of them that were ready to perish.
God be thanked, there are exceptions. Among the rest I recollect, with peculiar pleasure, one lady of rank, whose name is never mentioned by those who know her, without calling up the image of charity; who having no family of her own, has adopted the indigent and deserving ; whose whole life, not a short one, has been devoted to munificence : who, in a word, seems to regard her wealth merely as a fund deposited in her hands by the Almighty, to be laid out with the strictest faithfulness for the god'ike purpose of making thousands happy: Exalted creature ! how -honourable, independent of thy birth; how blessed, to understand so well the destination of riches! A rare, and, as it should seem from this circumstance, a difficult science ! Justly might the poet exclaim,
i The rich must labour to possess their own,
“But some, great souls! and touclid with warinth
" divine, “ Give gold a price, and teach its beams to shine. *** All boarded treasures they repute a load; " Nor think their wealth their own, till well bestow d?"
Amongst the properties of the Virtuous Woman, in that celebrated passage formerly surveyed, it is said, “ She stretcheth forth her hand to the poor, " and reacheth her hand to the needy:” On which it has been remarked, that after her industry for the acquiring of wealth is described, her liberality is next mentioned, as being the principal use she made of it, and precedes her providing scarlet for her household, or fine linen and purple for herself. What shall we call those women, who either never think of the poor at all, or never till they have first sacrificed to superfluity and pride?
Where are those female penitents of this land, that, like her of Judea, convert the instruments of their former folly and extravagance into matter of humiliation and piety ; that consecrate, so to speak, the spoils of Vice, by offering them at the feet of their Saviour, while they prostrate themselves there in deep contstion ? you have always with you; and by showing mercy to them you may at once show your respect for him, and help to help to ensure mercy
It is worthy your observation, that in the list of female names recorded in scripture with renown, that of Tabitha stands marked with a particular note of approbation, as “a disciple who was full of Good Works, and alms which she did.”
What a glorious memorial! And what additional honour does it receive from the account immediately following ! This excellent woman dies. An apostle is in the neighbourhood. He is sent for in haste ; he arrives; he is conducted to the chamber of the deceased. Her female friends stand by him“ weep
ing and showing him the coats and garments