Such being the constitution and circumstances of woman, it is the manifest intention of God that she should be pre-eminent in moral excellence; and, through the influence of this, take a glorious lead in the renovation of the world. This she has to some extent ever done. Let all females of Christian lands consider well their high calling, their solemn responsibility, and their glorious privilege. While many of their sex have proved recreant to their trust, and wasted life in vanity and in vice, others—an illustrious constellation, the holy and the good of ancient time, the mothers and the sisters in Israel, “the chief women, not a few,” of apostolic times, the bright throng, that have since continued to come out from the world, and tread in the steps of Jesus, and lead on their fellow-beings to the kingdom of purity and joy—have proved to us that, as woman was first to fall, so she is first to rise.
Yes; though it is not hers to amass wealth; to aspire to secular office and power; to shine in camps and armies; to hurl the thunders of our navies, and gather laurels from the ocean, or to receive the vain incense offered to public and popular eloquence: yet, hers it is, to be robed with the beauty of Christ; to shine in the honors of goodness; to shed over the world the sweet and holy influences of peace, virtue, and religion; to be adorned with those essential and imperishable beauties, those unearthly stars and diadems, whose lustre will survive, with ever-increasing brightness, when all earthly glory will fade and be forgotten. Come, then; come to your high duty, your glorious privilege—come, and be blessed for ever!
There is nothing so adapted to the wants of woman as religion. She has many trials, and she therefore peculiarly needs support; religion is her asylum, not only in heavy afflictions, but in petty disquietudes. These, as they are more frequent, are perhaps almost as harassing; at least, they equally need a sedative influence, and religion is the anodyne. For it is religion which, by placing before her a better and more enduring happiness than this world can offer, reconciles her to temporary privations; and, by acquainting her with the love of God, leads her to rest securely upon his providence in present disappointment. It inspires her with that true content, which not only endures distress, but is cheerful under it.
Resignation is not, as we are too apt to portray her, beauty bowered in willows, and bending over a sepulchral urn; neither is she a tragic queen, pathetic only in her weeds. She is an active, as well as passive virtue; an habitual, not an occasional sentiment. She should be as familiar to woman as her daily cross; for acquiescence in the detail of Providence is as much a duty, as submission to its result; and equanimity amid domestic irritations equally implies religious principle, as fortitude under severer trials. It was the remark of one, who certainly was not disposed to care for trifles, that “it required as much grace to bear the breaking of a china cup, as any of the graver distresses of life.”