Imágenes de página

which endureth for ever : let your chief pains be bestowed on that part of the human composition which shall flourish in immortal youth, when the world and all that is in it shall disappear, and come no more into mind." A woman that feareth the Lord, she shall “ be praised.”

31, “ Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let “ her own works praise her in the gates.”

The crown which her own hands have thus formed shall be placed upon her head, as it were by general consent, even in this life; and her good deeds, celebrated in the public assemblies, shall diffuse an odour grateful as the smell of Eden, as the cloud of frankincense ascending from the holy altar. When her task is ended, the answer of a good conscience, and the blessings of all around, sweeter than the sweetest music, shall chant her to her repose; till awakened on the great morning of the world, descending angels shall introduce this daughter of Jerusalem into the joy of her Lord.

Such is the female character, and such the importance of forming it by education. Without education it cannot be formed; for we were all born equally ignorant, and are what we are by instruction. Mothers who have not been themselves taught, cannot teach their daughters; and mothers who are poor, cannot pay for having them taught. Such mothers must be therefore assisted; the children of such mothers, who appear now ranged before you, ask the continuance of your good-will and kind assistance, to carry on the work of their education. Be the means of teaching them, and they may teach their children

after them, to the years


many generations. There is no end of the good that may be thus done : the effects of it may be found upon the earth, when our Redeemer shall return to judgement.

A school of this sort, properly managed and conducted—what is it, but a nursery of virtue and true religion, from whence will come forth into the church of God many a modest Rebekah, a devout Hannah, a wise Esther, an industrious Martha, an humble pious Mary; a credit to their own age, and a blessing to posterity.

Such a school is a charity of the most comprehen: sive nature.

It is a charity to the whole nation, to prevent these children from growing up in idleness and vice, to be the burthen and the scandal of a Christian country; and to render them, on the contrary, useful in their stations, and the glory of their times; for such arę industry and goodness, in the cottage, as well as in the palace.

It is a charity to this city, to hinder so many innocent creatures from being tempted to walk the streets, or hide themselves in ill houses.

It is a charity to families ; not only to those poor families out of which these children are taken, but to those good families into which they shall be hereafter transplanted for sober, faithful maid-seryants; and, in time, a charity to their own families, when, by God's blessing, they shall be well disposed of in the world; when, having become happy wives and mothers, they shall govern houses of their own, and bring up their children in the like nurture and fear of the Lord.

That these good effects may be produced, the mothers must be warned not to detain the children at home a moment longer than is absolutely necessary, nor ever let them have a bad example before their eyes when they are there.

And as the success of a school must always depend on the fidelity and diligence of those who are over it, let them remember, that they receive the pay of charity; and that they cannot neglect their duty, with out adding this aggravation to their crime, the abuse of one of the best intended institutions in the world.

But all is at an end at once, unless you are pleased to continue your kind subscriptions and contributions. If you withhold your hands, you pull down your own work. Whatever you give at other times, add something now, severally as you can afford—and add it cheerfully; for God loves cheerfulness in giving, as in every thing else.

Hard hearts and empty hands he does not love. You owe it to his blessing that you are not in want yourselves: of his own do you give him; and how can you bestow it better?-I need not tell the female part of my audience, that, in justice to their sex, they are more especially concerned; since they, I am sure, have not forgotten a striking feature in the picture which has been set before them" She stretcheth out her hand to the

poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy."

[ocr errors]





Be of one mind.


[ocr errors]

The apostle, in this verse, taking leave of his Corinthians, bequeaths to them the same legacy whicla the blessed Jesus bequeathed to all his followers. “ Peace I leave with you,” said the Master; my

peace I give unto you. · Finally, brethren," says this his faithful disciple, -" be of one mind, live in peace, and the God of love and peace shall be with

Such are the conditions upon the performance of which we may hope for the presence of God in the midst of us. He who “ maketh men to be " of one mind in a house," delighteth to dwell in the house where they are so. The spirit of discord resides in the world, that scene of confusion, that mystic Babel. Jerusalem is a city at unity in itself; and is therefore the habitation of " the Prince of Peace."

The nature of that duty, which is here recommended by St. Paul, appears to be sufficiently expressed by the word concord, or unanimity, on which the text is an exact paraphrase, το αυτο φρονείτε,

το αυτο φρονειτε, «Think

“the same thing," or " be of one mind.”

[ocr errors]

And so necessary, indeed, is this agreement found to be for the prosecution of any design, that bad men cannot execute their schemes without a temporary concord, founded, for want of better principles, either upon the mutual interest of all parties, or a fantastical kind of honour, which answers its purpose, if it keep them together, till the deed of darkness be done, and the prey divided. Common robbers and pirates find the necessity of this. Nay, if Satan's kingdom were divided against itself, it must presently fall. But these are combinations and conspiracies against the welfare and happiness of mankind, with wbich therefore we are no farther concerned, than to learn a useful lesson from our enemies, and to rest assured, that the kingdom of our Master must subsist, as all other kingdoms and societies do, by the cultivation of

peace and unity among those who are the subjects of it.

If we take a view of discord at its introduction into the world, we shall find that it was threefold. The first between God and man, occasioned by man's transgression of the divine law, which estranged him from his Maker, whom from thenceforth he feared, as às “ an avenger ready to execute wrath upon him 66 " that had done evil.” The second between man and himself, caused by the accusations of conscience thereupon. The third between man and man, owing to unruly desires and passions, continually interfering, and never to be satisfied. · İn opposition to this threefold discord introduced into the world by the evil spirit, the concord effected in the church by the good Spirit of God is likewise

« AnteriorContinuar »