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have crowned her with the highest meed of praise, and has sunk into oblivion whither praise reacheth not! But to us Death is no "perishing." I believe in the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.” Verily, she shall be saved in her child-bearing. These noble traits of character, these noble deeds of womanly and Christian daring performed in the recesses of her family, not once, not twice, but as the habit of a life, educate a woman's spirit, and lift it up to heroism, quite as really--and, surely, far more after the example of Christ—than courage on the battle-field exalts a man. And that with these domestic virtues were combined faith, and charity, and holiness, I fully believe. One who was in Darmstadt, and in a position to know more, perhaps, than most, during the past summer,

declares that the late Princess had emancipated herself (to God give the glory) from any doubts that the free-thinking of some in Germany might have stirred within her, and was a sincere believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. And if we ask if St. Paul's grand quality of sobriety were present in her, surely the secret of her success in the sick room was this Christian selfrestraint ; the secret of her influence and power in her family and, in society was not merely her intelligence, and her true affection, but this proportioning, this harmonising virtue, apart from which intelligence and affection may alike run to seed.

“She shall be saved in child-bearing, as she continued in faith and charity and holiness, with sobriety;" for the day of the Second Advent will soon dawn, and characters like hers, not destroyed, but ripened as well by the frost of

a short adversity as by the sunshine of an even life, shall in that day be gathered as good seed into the garner of our God.

Women, go forth to imitate her good example ! and men, do ye reverence more than heretofore the grace of God which is found in daughter, mother, sister, wife.

G

82

SERMON IX.

The Business Woman.

ACTS XVI. 14, 15.

AND A CERTAIN WOMAN, NAMED LYDIA, A SELLER OF PURPLE, OF THE CITY OF THYATIRA, WHICH WORSHIPPED GOD, HEARD US: WHOSE HEART THE LORD OPENED, THAT

SHE ATTENDED TO THOSE THINGS WHICH WERE SPOKEN

OF PAUL.

AND WHEN SHE WAS BAPTIZED, AND HER HOUSEHOLD, SHE BESOUGHT US, SAYING, “IF YE HAVE JUDGED ME TO BE FAITHFUL TO THE LORD, COME INTO MY HOUSE, ABIDE THERE.' AND SHE CONSTRAINED US."

AND

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MERCHANT," says Ecclesiasticus, “shall hardly keep himself from doing wrong; and It is sometimes said of us preachers, that we preach only to men; or, at most, only to “human nature.”

an huckster shall not be freed from sin.” Yet it may be done. “ As a nail,” says the same wise man, " sticketh fast between the joinings of the stone sin stick close between buying and selling." Yet, by God's grace, a tradesman may keep himself upright. Lydia, I take it, is an example of this.

so doth

I now address myself to women ; and of them, to women engaged either as principals or assistants in shops.

I. Lydia was a seller of purple; possibly a dyer as well. She was a foreigner from Asia, settled in Europe ; born at Thyatira, she lived at Philippi.

(i.) We may consider trade under its two departments : the buying or producing, and the selling department. I can well believe that Lydia had her fair share of the worry' of business ; she had to get together, as best she could, from the merchants, the ingredients which went to make her dye; taking a journey possibly once a year to Thyatira, across the stormy Ægæan Sea, to make her purchases. She had to purchase from others, traders with Egypt, perhaps, the fine linen yarn to be dyed. She had to superintend all the minute arrangements of the dye-house ; and sometimes to find that, with all her care, the beautiful purple which should have come out fit for an Emperor's robe, was, owing perhaps to the fraud of the merchant, or to the negligence of some of her dependents, quite spoilt and unsaleable. The cares of a manufacturer, liable to all manner of risks, no doubt were hers.

And then, as a foreigner, an Asiatic, domiciled at Philippi, she would be subject to the suspicion and petty cheating by the natives to which foreigners are ever liable; and probably would have to contend with a native competition not always generous.

(ii.) But she had not only the manufacturing and the mercantile part of her business to look to: as a “seller of purple” she had all the worry which customers cause the

tradesman. have seen it stated somewhere that a very appreciable fraction of inmates of our lunatic asylums comes from the class of smaller traders. And the reason assigned is the constant worry to which they were subjected, partly owing to some of them endeavouring to carry on business with too small a capital, and, consequently feeling the pressure of the delay of their customers in settling their accounts; but partly also from the constant strain upon their minds in being perpetually called off from one thing to another, and not being able to call a minute their own, but being, at the bidding of any customer, bound to leave whatever they are about whenever the shop-bell rings. Something of this, I doubt not, Lydia felt.

The only remedy for the irritability which such constant interruptions cause is, I believe, to cultivate the Christian habit of patience, such patience as our Saviour showed when His discourses were interrupted by the cry of some sufferer seeking to be healed ; or when, at the close of a very hard day of teaching or of debate, just as He was retiring at sunset for prayer and for rest, whole multitudes would bring their sick in numbers to receive that attention to their cases which is so uninteresting usually to spectators, so engrossing to themselves.

II. But you will notice the trade in which Lydia was engaged, and which we have no reason to believe she quitted after becoming a Christian; she was a seller of purple. Now, “purple,” whether we understand by it a brilliant dye or a gorgeous robe, was no necessary of life ; it was eminently a luxury—a thing for a king, or, at least, for only the richer classes to purchase. I think we have some clue here as to how far articles of fancy or of luxury

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