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words are arrogance; whose general demeanour, unless when they are propitiated by adulation, or soothed by submission, is big with insolence and scorn! How shall we express our horror at those female furies that, lost to decency and every mild feeling of their sex, can abandon themselves to “ all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, “ and evil speaking, and all malice !"
66 It is “ better, says Solomon, to dwell in the corner of “ the house-top, than with a brawling woman in a " wide house;" he might have added, or in a magnificent palace. In so doing, he would have probably spoken from experience ; since it may be presumed that some of those eastern ladies, who had by their beauty enslaved the unhappy monarch, were willing now and then by their tongues to convince him of their prerogative. The saying of the son of Sirach, on the same subject, is yet stronger, as well as more ironical.“ A loud crying woman, says he, “ and a scold, shall be sought out to drive “ away the enemy.” That spirited writer satirizes the female vices in general with great freedom ; but there is scarce any of them which he more frequently or more severely exposes, than this of unquietness and ill temper.
When a woman of such dispositions enters into the nuptial state, what wretchedness can equal his to whose lot she falls ? To be tied for life to a being, whom neither reason can convince, nor patience win, nor any thing conquer but main force ; a domestic plague, a bosom fiend, from whom only her death or his own can deliver him-mysterious Providence! who can unfold the reasons of thy procedure, when such is the portion of a good man; who, mild himself and amiable, would have given
and received peculiar felicity, had he been connected with some gentle female ?
But let it be remembered, that violence is not necessary to constitute ill temper. Obstinacy alone will do it. Let me conjure you, by all that is dear and lovely, to guard against that. Be assured there is not a man living, whose affection it does not chill, let him be otherwise ever so warm an admirer. There may be those who, during the short reign of beauty, will support it. But that being over, and the fascination of appetite dissolved, a disputatious, perverse, and stubborn female, will always offend; and, where there is any manhood left, will often provoke to a dangerous degree. In the mean time, every one who is not in love will be disgusted; nor can any charm of understanding, or of person, compensate in a woman the want of soft compliance, and meek submission. These the men are taught by nature, by education, and by custom, to consider as your duty, and their right ; neither will they be easily brought to dispense with it. Some of them you may subdue ; but you can persuade none of them into a different system. If yet, after all, you will place your glory in despotic rule instead of kind attraction, choosing rather to tyrannize over dastardly slaves under the form of husbands, than to influence those husbands as tender friends ; what can we say, but that we pity them much, and you more? For the idea of a little paltry power assumed without title, and exercised without discretion, to give up the worthiest triumphs of your sex, how mean and how miserable ! 6 Tell “ it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of “ Askelon ; lest the daughters of the Philistines re"joice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised tri“umph.”
ON FEMALE MEEKNESS.
1 PET. iii. 3,
Those adorning, let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting
the hair, aindl of wearing of gold, or of pretting on of apparel : but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a Meek and Quiet Spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
As a friend to your sex, I cannot forbear lamenting, that so many of them should lose their consequence, by building it on qualities insufficient to support it.
Dress and show will never long capti-, vate any but superficial minds. The reign of youth and beauty is necessarily short. Mere vivacity may amuse in a girl, but in a woman cannot give lasting delight; and trifling accomplishments are all too feeble to fix the heart. Yet such things, I am sorry to say it, are the only sources from whence the generality of young women at present seek to derive their power. In this pursuit the unmeaning applause, or momentary admiration of a few, is supposed to found a superior and permanent importance with ali. What are the effects? From that moment, female softness is forgotten ; christian condescension is held mean; humility, the parent of almost every excellence, is utterly despised; and hence a perpetual aim at proud dominion, instead of that obsequious majesty ascribed by the poet to innocent Eve-an aim, indeed, frequently thwarted in these her daughters, and, when successful, pro
ductive of a triumph always disgusting to us her sons---Hence to an unnatural compound of conceited allurement and affected prudery, in place of those genuine attractions which are attendant on modesty and sweetness : hence, to say no more, rivalship in figure, and quarrels for conquest, without end. How often, alas, have we seen these things disgrace the single state ! - Nor need we wonder, that from habit they are often carried into the conjugal ; with this difference, that the folly and presumption, be fore diffused and practised on all, are now, per. haps, concentered and turned upon the husband. Would you, rey dear charge, avoid a conduct so indecent and unhappy? Would you secure, in both conditions, an influence equally just and amiable? To all other virtues and attainments befitting your sex, learn to join meekness. Meekness is followed with every honour, while she arrogates
Female Meekness the better part of man, kind have always conspired to crown with never-fa, ding wreaths of love and of praise. It is thine, thou fair form, to command by obeying, and by yielding to conquer.
In the family of religion, “ many daughters have done virtuously, but thou ex. 4 cellest them all.'
The merits of this most lovely grace I have en. gaged to display. Its importance in the married state I mentioned in the close of my last discourse. Let me press that consideration, and then proceed.
In the passage from which we have taken our text, the apostle exhorts christian women to be in subjection to their own husbands, adding, as motive which deserved their regard, “that if any “ obey not the word, they also without the word “ may be won by the conversation of the wives, " while they behold your chaste conversation, cou“ pled with fear ;" and so he goes on to recommend
that meek and quiet spirit, which ought to be their principal ornament. With relation to the particular case by him supposed, his meaning evidently is, that those his female disciples might, by a pious and exact deportment, full of sweetness and moderation, gain their husbands over to a religion which they had not yet embraced, but which they would be no longer able to resist, when they beheld and experienced its happy effects on the tempers and manners of their wives. To every excellent woman, that in this way has been instrumental to save a soul from death, we may address, though in a lower sense, those words which were spoken by. Gabriel to the Virgin Mary on a great occasion, “ Hail, thou " that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: “ blessed art thou among women.'
I cannot do justice to this part of my argument without remarking, that there is reason to fear much of the worthlessness of many married men, as well as much of the unhappiness both of them and their partners, must be imputed to the turbulent passions, or uncomplying humours of the latter. Such is the sameness of the matrimonial state on one hand, such its cares on the other, and, it is but fair to add, such the indisposition of numbers of men to be long delighted ; that, to preserve the attachment of a husband unimpaired, the utmost attention and the mildest complacence are commonly requisite on the side of the woman.
" E'en in the happiest choice, where fav'ring heav'n
ver in the husband may be lost :