« AnteriorContinuar »
that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God,” Heb. xii. 1, 2. “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure,” 1 John iii. 2, 3.
.And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone: I will make him an help meet for him.—GEN. ii. 18.
THE holy scriptures always exhibit the most simple and the justest view of every subject which they treat. And what subject of importance to man do they not treat? The God who made us what we are, formed man after a model, destined him for a special situation, and to fulfil a specific purpose. His faculties, his relations, his duties, his demands, his delights, were all, from the beginning, present to the eye of his Creator; and corresponding arrangement and provision were made by Him, who seeth the end from the commencement, and who exactly adjusts all, according to number, weight, and measure. The perfection of the works of God, is a beautiful and gradual progress toward perfection: from inanimate to vegetative, from vegetative to animal, from animal to rational nature; each approaching to, bordering upon each, but every one circumscribed by a boundary which it cannot pass, to disturb and confound the province of another. The scale of being, as to this globe, was complete when God had “created man in his own image.” But social existence was not perfect till it pleased God to draw man out of solitude, by making him “an helpmeet for him.” This simply, yet clearly, unfolds woman's nature, station, duty, use and end. This raises her to her proper rank and importance, and instructs her how most effectually to support them; this forbids her to aspire after rule, for her Maker designed her as “an helper;” this secures for her affection and respect, for how is it possible to hate or despise what God and nature have renderedessential toourhappiness? If the intention of the Creator, therefore, is attended. to, the respective claims and duties of the sexes are settled in a moment, and an end is put to all unprofitable discussion of superiority and inferiority, of authority and subjection, in those whose destination, and whose duty it is, to be mutually helpful, attentive and affectionate. The female character and conduct have frequently presented themselves in the course of the history of the Patriarchs. And indeed, how can the life of man be separated from that of woman? their amiable qualities and praise-worthy actions have been occasionally pointed out, and unreservedly, though without adulation, commended: their faults and follies have been, with equal freedom, exposed and censured. But in the instances referred to, female conduct has undergone only an accidental and transient review, in detached fragments, and as supplementary to, or producing influence on, the conduct of man. The pencil of inspiration, however, having introduced persons of the gentler sex into its inimitable compositions; and these not always thrown into the back-ground or placed in the shade, but sometimes springing forward into the light, and glowing in all the brilliancy of colouring, I have been induced, with trembling steps, to follow the heavenly guide; and to follow up the fainter sketches of a Sarah, a Rebekah, a Rachel, a Miriam, with the more finished portraits “of Deborah, the wife of Lapidoth,” “Ruth the Moabitess,” and “Hannah,” the mother of Samuel the prophet. In order to introduce these with greater advantage, I