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mildness, would be thus efficacious in re, claiming a person immersed in the darkness and the immoralities of Paganism; shall it now be without power to detach him who daily beholds it from smaller errors ? Shall not the divine blessing, which heretofore enabled it to do so much, enable it now to do what is less? Its power is neither diminished, nor forsaken of the divine blessing: It labours in secrecy and silence, unobtrusive and unseen. But it is, at this hour, performing its part throughout every quarter of the Christian world, in weaning from prejudices, in dissuading from vice, in fixing the wavering, in softening the obdurate, in rendering virtue and holiness beloved, in diffusing peace and happiness, and in

preparing those on whom it

operates

for higher felicity hereafter. Women appear to be, on the whole, more disposed to religious considerations than men. They have minds more susceptible of lively impresfions. They are less exposed than the other sex to the temptations of open

vice. They

t

CHAP. XII.

ON THE DUTIES OF MATRIMONIAL

LIFE.

Among the most important of the duties peculiar to the situation of a married woman, are to be placed those arising from the influence which she will naturally poss fefs over the conduct and character of her husband. If it be scarcely possible for two persons connected by the ties of common friendship, to live constantly together, or even habitually to pass much time in the fociety of each other, without gradually approaching nearer and nearer in their sentiments and habits ; ftill less probable is it, that from the closest and most attractive of all bands of union a similar effect should not be the result. The effect will be experienced by both parties, and perhaps in an

equal

2

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equal degree. But if it be felt by one in a greater degree than by the other, it is likely to be thus felt by the husband. In female manners inspired by affection, and bearing at once the stamp of modesty and of good sense, example operates with a captivating force which few bosoms can resist. When the heart is won, the judgement is easily persuaded. It waits not for the low process of argument to prove that to be right, which it already thinks too amiable to be wrong. To the fascinating charms of female virtue, when adorned by its highest embellishment, diffidence, the Scriptures themselves bear testimony. St. Peter, addressing himself to married women, some of whom, in those days, had been converted to the Christian religion, while their husbands remained yet in idolatry, speaks in the following

“ Likewise, ye wives, be in sub“ jection to your own husbands ; that if

any obey not the word, they also, with

out the word, may be won by the con“ versation of the wives; while they behold R4

your

ternis :

your chaste conversation coupled with “ fear (t).” To every woman who, in modern times, is unhappy enough to have a husband ignorant of the evidence, uncon+ vinced of the truth, or utterly regardless of the precepts of Christianity, this direction of the Apostle indicates an object which ought to be among the nearest to her heart; and at the same time describes, with an accurate insight into the nature of the human mind, the methods from which, under the superintending control of Providence, the attainment of it is to be expected. But it speaks to married women universally. To every one who discerns in the behaviour of her husband a habit of deviation, in any respect, from the path of Christian rectitude, it speaks the language of instruction and of encouragement. If the example of a wife endearing herself to her husband by “ chaste conversation,” by purity of manners and of conduct,“ coupled with fear," united with modeft respect and unassuming

(t) 1 Peter, iii. 1, 2.

mildness,

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mildness, would be thus efficacious in reclaiming a person immersed in the darkness and the immoralities of Paganism; shall it now be without power to detach him who daily beholds it from smaller errors ? Shall not the divine blessing, which heretofore enabled it to do so much, enable it now to do what is less ? Its power is neither diminished, nor forsaken of the divine blessing. It labours in secrecy and silence, unobtrusive and unseen. But it is, at this hour, performing its part throughout every quarter of the Christian world, in weaning from prejudices, in dissuading from vice, in fixing the wavering, in softening the obdurate, in rendering virtue and holiness beloved, in diffusing peace and happiness, and in preparing those on whom it operates for higher felicity hereafter. Women appear to be, on the whole, more disposed to religious considerations than men. They have minds more susceptible of lively impressions. They are less exposed than the other sex to the temptations of open vice. They

have

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