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In educating the children of her own sex, the mo. ther seems to be more than an “help meet” firman. The trust chiefly, if not entirely, devolves on her:' and where could it be deposited so well? The knowledge she has of herself, experience of the world, and maternal affection, are all she needs to qualify her for this arduous undertaking. A mother only can enter into the feelings, and weaknesses, and necessities of a young female, entering on an unkno'vn, varying, tem. pestuous, dangerous ocean ; for she remembers how she herself felt and feared, what she needed, and bow she was relieved, and assisted, and carried through. And to a mother only can a young female impart the numberless, nameless anxieties which every step she takes in life necessarily excite. When she converses with her mother, it is only thinking aloud. A mother's conduct is the loveliest pattern of virtue, and the hope of a mother's applause is, next to God's, the most powerful motive to imitate it. The superiority of lemale to male youth in respect of moral, whatever be the case as to intellectual improvement, is clearly deducible from the larger share wbich the mother has in the education of the one, than of the other. And the more liberal and enlarged spirit of the limes we live in, procuring for the female world a more liberal and rational education, is daily evincing to what an equality of intellectual endowment they are capable of rising, and thereby of, in all respects, fulfilling the design of the Creator, who said in the beginning, “ I will make for man“ an help meet for him.”
I now proceed to mention a second most important respect, in which it is the ubvious intention of Providence that woman should be “ an help meet” for man, namely, the care and management of his worldly estate.
In a paradisaical state man did not, and in what is improperly called the state of nature, he could not long continue. In the former, there was labur, in
far above rubies. The heart of her husband dotb safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool and flax, and workeih willingly with her havds. She is like the merchant ships, she bringeth her food from afar. She riseih also while it is yet night, and giveth meet to her bousehold, and a portion to ber maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands sbe planteth a vineyard. She girdeth bar loins with strengih, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that ber merchandize is good: her candle goeth vot out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaft. She stretcheth out her band to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the show for her household : for all her bonsehold are cloaihed with scarlet. She maketh berself coverings of tapestry: her cloathing is silk and purple. her bus' and is known in the gates when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketi fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto ibe inerchant. Strength and honor are her cloathing: and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth ber mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
She looketh well to the ways of her houselwuld, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuous. ly, but thou excellest them all. Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain . but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates,” Prov. xxxi. 10....31.
A third respect in which God intended that woman should be “ an help meet" for man, is the care of his health, and every thing connected with it; his tranquillity of mind, bis temper, his character and reputation : willout which the greatest vodily vigor will
quickly decay and sink, and life will cease to be a bles
It is pleasant to bave a companion in solitude, an assistant in labor, a fellow-partaker in joy. But hu. man life contains varieties painful, as well as pleasant. Sorrow, aud, pail, and solicitude, and di appointment enter into the history of man: and he is but half provided for the voyage of life, who has found an assuciale for bis happier days only ; while for his months of darkness and distress no sympathizing partner is prepared, no“help meet" is found.
The pro!ident care of the Almighty meets every wish and want of man ; and in bestowing upou him a companion for youth, a sharei in felicity, a partner in propert!, he was securing tor bim, at a distance, a friend in age, a solace in affiction, a partner in want...." a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."
If a man's worilly estate, whether it be much or little, is wisely managed, one foundation of bea!ib and confort is laill; and she who is thus habitually employed, may be considered as administering a perpetual medicine or cordial to ber husband. But no prudence of foresight can hard off the attack of disease, or pre. vent the stroke of calamity, affluence cannot purchase release from pam, nor tendemess cool the fever in the blood. But the sufferer is not lelt destitute. Thire is one ear into which he can pour out all his heart; there is one banı ever ready to relieve bim ; “ one lite bound up in bis hite'.” And as enjoyment derived all its relista from participation, so misery loses all its anguish in the bosom of syimpathy and kindness. The spirit of penitence is inferior only to unsullied mnocence; and next to the blessing of unimpaired health, and uninterrupted comfort, is the consolation of .ickness alleviated, and comfort restored, by the gentle language and engaging offices of love. What :ball I say? Is there nut, perbaps, in the restoration of repenting guilt, and in the suspension of woe, by the assidyity of affection, a peculiar satisfaction, and a delight, which perfect innocetice and perfect health could not possibly have known ?
The regular tempera:ure of a man's body, is however, only one ingredient in the cup of health. “An belp meet for him” will be anxious to preserve a sound mind in a sound budy; will endeavor to prevent or to dispel paintul reflection; will remove disquieting objects; will present smiling images; will watch the ebbing and flowing of passion, will bear and forbear, and, like the best of things, “ will overcome evil with good.”
She will likewise consider herself as entrusted with the care of bis good name. His reputation is her brightest ornament; his bonor is her joy, and a crown of rejoicing. If he is disgraced, she is degraded. Every instance of inisconduct in her, she knows, glances at him; and therefore to support bis dignity is a powerful motive with her to act wisely and well. She reflects, that not only by gross deviations from duty in the wife, does he husband suffer in character, but that levity, indiscretion, carelessness in her, are an imputation upon bis understanding, and, in the opinion of the world, incessantly upbraid him with the choice he has made, of "an help meet for bim. As she would therefore compassionately nurse his body in pain and sickness; and prudenily study and watch bis temper, amidst the conflict of contending passions, so to approve herself what God and nature meant her to be, she will guard his tame, the life of bis life, as“ ber precious eye," and thus, in every thing relasing both to mental and bodily healtlı, to private comfort and public estimation," she will do bim good, and not evil, all the days of her life."
But there is somewhat still dearer, still more sacred to a man ihan children or property, than health or reputatiou, somewhat wbich, neglected, forfeited, lost, it “will protit bim nothing to gain even the whole world ;" and in the securing and indig of wisich, who is so
qualified to minister and assist as her, whom the Father of mercies gave bim, to be “ an help meet for him ” I mean,
IV. The salvation of the immortal soul. This is indeed a personal concern; an interest which cannot be transferred or communicated. The good-will of another cannot impart it; the remissness of another cannot defeat it : to God, his great Master, bere, every man standeth or falleth, for “
every one must give account of himself to God.” But, is it not obvious, that example, that reason, that co-operation, possess a mighty influence toward promoting or obstructing personal piety, growth in grace, meetness for the kingdom of heaven? Is the man impressed with the worth, with the danger of his own soul; does he feel“ the powers of a world to come;" is bis mind turned to devotion ; is the love of God shed abroad in his heart? How will such impressions be fixed and strengthened, by endeavoring to communicate them to a beloved object, and by receiving back the impression, heightened and improved, from that object? How much more exalted and affecting is a sense of divine goodness, when it is beheld embracing more than one! when it is seen conferring immortality, eternity, on virtuous human affections ! what a live coal applied to devotion, when the solitary my Father and my God is changed into the social our Father, and our God! How is the hope of glory ennobled, extended, ani. mated by the prospect of participation ! “ Here am I, Holy Father, with her whom thou gavest me, to be an help meet for me. We were one in interest and affection; one in the faith of the gospel, and the practice of piety ; o'r prayers ascendied in one stream of incense, and
every gift of thy providence and grace was multiplied and sweetened to each by being bestowed on the other. sweet were our labors of love to our joint offspring ; Sweet our united efforts to improve the bounty of our common parent; sweet the sympathies of kindred