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secret prayer escaping in silence from her lips, and heard perhaps only at the throne of God.”
2. Let me urge you to follow Jesus, and devote yourselves to God, from the consideration that in doing so, you will be imitating the example of thousands and tens of thousands of your sex, whose piety caused them to be beloved and useful upon earth, and who now, surrounding the throne of God, will rejoice if you acquire their temper, and prepare to mingle in their society. This discourse has already presented to you examples drawn from the gospels. I may
add to what I have said, that even the death of our Lord did not bound the expressions of the love of these pious women, since they came to the tomb to embalm his sacred body. Their piety was attested and rewarded by our Lord, when he made them the first witnesses of his resurrection, and, as one expresses it, “ the apostles, even to the apostles.” And if we descend from the apostolic age to those which immediately succeeded, how many thousand females could we show you, displaying the fervour of their devotion, by exulting on the rack and in the flames; and, notwithstanding the delicacy of their sex, and the timorousness of their nature, rising superior to all the cruelties which men or devils could invent! And in no single period which has intervened between those primitive times and the present, have there been wanting numberless bright examples, in every situation in life, of illustrious females who shonc as lights in the world. These have now received their crown; they behold that Jesus whom they loved, and they rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. But they still extend their sensibilities and their views to this world, and they rejoice at the conversion of every sinner. Think, then, with what a crowd of witnesses you are surrounded. They invite you to be followers of them, as they have been followers of Christ, and to unite yourselves with those among us (and, blessed be God, there are such) who live as though they must live for ever; that at last you may all join in one common choir, and through eternity swell the hymn of praise to the blessed Saviour.
3. Let me urge you to serious piety, from a consideration of your obligations to Christ and his religion. I do not here speak of those great obligations that are common to you and the other sex, an offer of forgiveness, of holiness, and of heaven. But I ask, what has given your sex that respectability which it possesses in Christian lands?
Look round the world; you will in vain endeavour to find a single nation, unenlightened by the gospel, where women are not considered either as slaves of passion, or beasts of labour. It is the gospel alone, which, by teaching our common origin, our common redemption, and our common destination, has elevated you to the rank of rational beings, and fellow-heirs of eternity. Shall not the Saviour, then, and his gospel, to which you are so much indebted, have your gratitude and
4. Let me urge you from a consideration of your several relations in life. Are you a mother? Look at your children, and let a regard to them urge you to serious piety. Your influence over them not only commences sooner than that of the father, but also endures for a longer time. There is no moment in which the son wishes to shake off the authority of a mother. The great majority of the pious unite in declaring that their first serious impressions were the result of maternal advice and instruction. Over your
daughters your influence is still more extensive than over your sons. You are their chief confidant, guide, and example. They will mould themselves upon your manners, and adopt your sentiments; and though you cannot renew their hearts, yet it depends more upon you than upon the whole world besides, whether hereafter they shall be blessings or curses to the community, and, in the unseen world, angels or fiends.
For their sakes, then, follow Jesus. Do not think it sufficient properly to instruct them, while your example does not concur with your instructions. No, no, miserable mother! you may give your offspring the most wise and pious instructions; but you
have no reason to hope they will be blest while
beyou scorn and despise them. In vain do you represent religion as the chief concern, if your conduct proves that the world, in some of its forms of fascination, is the object of your idolatry, they will probably imitate your example; they will be the heirs of sorrow, but the blood of their souls will be required at your
hands. Are you a wife? If your husband be pious, you continually wound his heart. Charms, and accomplishments, and external morality, and tender love to him, and the discharge of all domestic duties, cannot render him happy, while he knows that you are unprepared for the eternal world ; and that if death should surprise you in your present condition, there must be an everlasting separation. Is he unholy? Your piety may save him. Touched by your example, and having blessings drawn upon him by your prayers,
may by you be plucked from everlasting ruin. Many a glorified spirit in heaven, many a happy believer upon earth, recalls, with adoring gratitude to God, the conduct of the pious wife that awakened his attention to religion, and led him to the Redeemer.
Are you a daughter? Ah! if your parents are indeed pious, you know not the agonies of their hearts, while they look upon you, whom nature and grace have taught them to love as themselves, and discern in you no evidences of real religion. Their closet witnesses their tears before God for you. In their familiar intercourse they express the sorrows of their heart for you. Turn unto the Lord, if you
would give them joys greater than those that all your tenderness towards them has been able to bestow. And if, unhappily, they should be unholy, (wo, wo to such parents, who, neglecting their own souls, are ruining those of their children!) concur not with them in their conduct. Seek from God true religion. You may be the instruments of the spiritual and everlasting life of your parents. If they have hitherto neglected their Saviour, they may be affected by the example of your youthful piety, and you may be the means of plucking a careless father, or ungodly mother, from everlasting agonies.
Look in like manner over all the other relations you sustain, as friend, companion, acquaintance; and you
will find them all present motives to piety. From these considerations, then, as well as from the deeply solemn remembrance that they are sinful creatures, who need a pardon; accountable creatures, who must be judged; beings destined to immortal joy or misery; let all females follow Jesus, not with tears, (he no longer needs them,) but with gratitude, love, trust, and obedience.
LIFE OF CHRIST.
LUKE xxiii. 33.
And when they were come to the place that is called Cal
vary, there they crucified him.
Paul, the greatest of the apostles, determined to know nothing except Christ crucified; and even Moses and Elias, when they descended from the abodes of bliss and appeared on the mount of transfiguration, conversed of the decease which the Saviour was to accomplish at Jerusalem. Did each one of you then, my brethren, possess the wisdom and piety of the apostles, the extended capacities and the ardent zeal of glorified immortals, I could find no properer subject on which to address you, than the sufferings of Jesus; I could do nothing of moreçimportance than to elevate the cross in your presence, and show you the mighty Redeemer extended upon it.
The sacrifice of his Saviour, is an object which the Christian should never suffer to escape from his remembrance : it should at all times be the theme of his meditations, for it is the source of all his comforts, the foundation of all his hopes, the most powerful in