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Every favourable conclusion, which we have been disposed to form of the influence of christianity on the character of your sex, is confirmed by a survey of modern Europe. Notwithstanding the progress of what is called refinement in nations, wherever religion has been most corrupted, woman is yet most depraved, and shows a more sensible degradation, than our sex. It would be easy to refer you to modern Italy and Spain for illustrations of this but it will be sufficient to confine ourselves to that country, where the dregs of chivalry seem to have settled in the form of gallantry, after the pure spirit of honour had evaporated. In France the female understanding bas been as highly cultivated, as in any part of christendom. There your sex has often dictated the fashions of philosophy and taste, and exercised a sensible sway over the republic of letters; and if, with this high culture of the female imagination, and this invisible influence and authority in criticism, France had also produced the best female instructers of the world, and the purest examples in the walks of domestic usefulness, we should be obliged to relinquish some of the conclusions, which we have already embraced, and acknowledge, that the state of christianity in a country has little to do in the formation of female perfection. But, when we look over the roll of the female writers of France, how often are we compelled to pause, and wonder at their strange union of sentiment and affectation, of moral delicacy and voluptuousness, of philosophy and paradox, of exquisite sensibility and practical unprincipledness; so that there is hardly one of their most celebrated females, whose works you may venture to recommend without reserve, or to read without exception. It may be set down, perhaps, to the prejudices of a protestant education, or to national pride, that, though I am disposed to allow the singular merit and piety

of the celebrated madame Dacier, I could wish, that she had not translated Aristophanes and Anacreon ; and must be allowed to prefer the severer accomplishments of the venerable Mrs. Carter, and even the curious learning and delicate ripeness of that modest prodigy, Elizabeth Smith. I have felt occasional sympathy with the devout and mystical genius of Madame Guyon, but I cannot give to her that homage, which I pay to the angelic vision of Klopstock's wife. I acknowledge the enchanting sensibility of Madame de Sevigné, the practical good sense of Madame de Genlis, the Delphic inspiration of Madame de Stäel, the passionate touches of Madame Cottin; but my admiration, at least of these latter writers, is often clouded with sorrow and disgust. I look in vain for one “sun-clad in perfect purity," and turn for relief to the sound philosophy of Elizabeth Hamilton, or delight myself with the exquisite elegance and hallowed fancy of Mrs. Barbauld, the exuberant diction and evangeli. cal morality of Hannah More, the well-atlempered maxims of the sensible Chapone, the practical saga- . city and miraculous invention of Maria Edgeworth. These names,-except, perhaps, the last, who bas not yet authorized us to class her,-all belong to christianity. They were nourished at the breast of protestantism ; tbey are daughters of the christian family ; and they have breathed, thougb a colder, yet a purer air, than their rivals. It is our glory to belong to the age, which they have illustrated by their genius, and our happiness to believe, that they will light the way for our children to glory, honour and immortality.

With these names I finish this division of my discourse ; and if you are still asked, what christianity has done for your sex, you bave only to repeat these names.

2. You have beard us with so much patience on the past condition and character of your sex, we hope you will not be wearied with what remains of this discourse, in which we intend to explain, what you may and ought to do for cbristianity, which has done so much for you.

Nature, when she endowed you with superiour tenderness of frame and sensibility of mind, directed you to the almost instinctive exercise of the kind and compassionate duties. But christianity, by raising you to a community of rights and interests with the other sex, while it has still left you this sphere of action, has given you, in fact, the government of the world. To you is every where entrusted, in civilized christendom, that precious deposit, the infant's mind; and thus, wbile it has made your example of early and everlasting effect, it has also made the culture of your understandings of infinite importance. Still, it may be doubted, whether i he influence, you have as mothers or as wives, is greater, than that, which you have already exercised, and which your daughters will exercise, in their turn, upon entering the world, awakening the love, and leading away the admiration of our sex. My young friends, who will hereafter give to many homes their charm, or change them into dens of horror, when you know and feel, that christianity is every thing to you, you will make it every thing to us. Think, then, what you may do for pure, rational, unaffected, practical christianity. Is it not worthy of your ambition, instead of countenancing, by your youthful favour, the unprincipled of our sex, to attempt to raise the tone of masculine understanding and morals, and the standard of juvenile accomplishments ?

To ensure these effects, is it not time, that female education were generally directed to a bigher mark, not of accomplishments, as they are called, for of them we have enough, even to satiety, but of intellectual furniture and vigour? Is it not time, that a race of females should be formed, who may practise with intelligence and with confidence on those rules, which

have been given, and those ideas, which have been suggested in the immortal works on education, which we already owe to the extraordinary women of the present age ? Is it not time, that some plan of more liberal and extensive female education were devised to form the mothers of your children's children ; an education, which shall save many a ripening female mind from that feebleness, to which it might otherwise be destined, in this age of vanity and books ; so that women may be more generally furnished with principles, as well as sentiments, with logic, as well as taste, with true knowledge, as well as with a morbid thirst for entertainment; 10 all which, should be superadded a religious fear and love of God and his Son, so that, as they draw toward the close of life, visions of celestial bliss may fill their minds, instead of those vanishing scenes of pleasure, which are now so frequently gliding before their idle fancies?

We look to you, ladies, to raise the standard of character in our own sex; we look to you, to guard and fortify those barriers, which still exist in society, against the encroacbments of impudence and licentiousness. We look to you for the continuance of domestic purity, for the revival of domestic religion, for the increase of our charities, and the support of what remains of religion in our private habits and public institutions.

O, you, who are at the head of families, husbands and wives, you, who entrust each other with your closest secrets and your most important interests, let God be admitted to share your mutual confidence. Where there is no communication of religious sentiment and affection, believe me, the richest spring of social and domestic bliss is unopened and untasted. The subject of religion is one, on which the female mind feels more, perhaps, than on almost any other, a need of the most perfect confidence, in order to develop and keep alive its feelings. The perplexed

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and doubting spirit loves to find a breast, where it can deposite them without fear or sbame; and would to God, that, next to Him, you might always find that confidant at home! Husbands and wives, let not this be the only subject, on which you are ignorant of each other's meditations, or destitute of each other's confidence. Venture to disdain the false maxims and tyranny of the world, and try what religion will aild to your domestic felicity.

Where the gospel is really received by you, as the source of your happiness, and the most important object of your consideration, it will soon be discovered by your cbildren and your families, that you think it so. I have not recommended the duty of family religion, because it is expressly enjoined by Jesus Christ, but because I am sure, that it is the best support of every thing valuable in domes tic life, and because I fear, that the living spirit of religion can hardly be preserved without it. One day, at least, ye mothers, may be selected from the seven, to impress upon your children the idea, that you think them destined for some other world than this. One day, at least, may bring your families on their knees before your Father, your Master, your God, and theirs. What ! shall every thing be left to the public preacber? Ah, how litile can be do! Shall the rising generation know nothing of their God and Saviour, or even of themselves and their destination, but what they may chance to gather from their schoolmasters or their ministers? How is it possible, that your children should not come out into the world ignorant of every thing, which relates to them, as religious beings, if those, who betray the strongest and dearest interest in every thing else, which relates to them, in their health, their establishments, learning and accomplishment, discover no interest in this? How can they avoid the inference--for it lies not very deep-that religion

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