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When other days shall come,
Sleeps in her narrow home.
That mother sought a pledge of love,
The holiest for her son;
She chose a goodly one :
The parting hour should come,
In an eternal home.
Sweet incense to her memory.
Laugh that fond faith to scorn,
That he from youth hath borne,
A parent's blessing on her son
Goes with this holy thing ;
Must to the other cling.
INCENTIVES TO DEVOTION. Lo! the unlettered hind, who never knew To raise his mind excursive to the hights Of abstract contemplation, as he sits On the green hillock by the hedge-row side, What time the insect swarms are murmuring, And marks, in silent thought, the broken clouds, That fringe, with loveliest hue, the evening sky, Feels in his soul the hand of nature rouse The thrill of gratitude, to him who formed The goodly prospect; he beholds the God Throned in the west; and his reposing ear Hears sounds angelic in the fitful breeze That floats through neighboring copse or fairy brake, Or lingers, playful, on the haunted stream.
Go with the cotter to his winter fire,
Thus the poor rustic warms his heart with praise
And Castaly enchastened with its dews,
Oh! I would walk
H. K. WHITE.
LESSON CIII. WOMAN'S INFLUENCE ON CHARACTER. The domestic fireside is the great guardian of society against the excesses of human passions. When man, after his intercourse with the world, where, alas ! he finds so much to inflame him with a feverish anxiety for wealth and distinction-retires, at evening, to the bosom of his family, he finds there a repose for his tormenting cares.
He finds something to bring him back to human sympathies. The tenderness of his wife, and the caresses of his children, introduce a new train of softer thoughts and gentler feelings. He is reminded of what constitutes the real felicity of man; and, while his heart expands itself to the influence of the simple and intimate delights of the domestic circle, the demons of avarice and ambition, if not exorcised from his breast, at least, for a time, relax their grasp. How deplorable would be the consequence, if all these were reversed; and woman, instead of checking the violence of these passions, were to employ her blandishments and charms to add fuel to their rage! How much wider would become the empire of guilt! What a portentous and intolerable amount would be added to the sum of the crimes and miseries of the human race !
But the influence of the female character on the virtue of man, is not seen merely in restraining and softening the violence of human passions. To her is mainly committed the task of pouring into the opening mind of infancy its first impressions of duty, and of stamping on its susceptible heart the first image of its God. Who will not confess the influence of a mother in forming the heart of a child ? What man is there, who cannot trace the origin of many of the best maxims of his life to the lips of her who gave him birth ? How wide, how lasting, how sacred, is that part of woman's influence! Who that thinks of it, who that ascribes any moral effect to education, who that believes that any good may be produced, or any evil prevented by it, can need any arguments to prove the importance of the character and capacity of her, who gives its earliest bias to the infant mind?
There is yet another mode by which woman may exert a powerful influence on the virtue of a community. It rests with her, in a pre-eminent degree, to give tone and elevation to the moral character of the age, by deciding the degree of virtue that shall be necessary to afford a passport to her society. If all the favor of woman were given only to the good; if it were known that the charms and attractions of beauty, and wisdom, and wit, were reserved only for the pure; how much would be done to re-enforce the motives to moral purity among us, and impress on the minds of all, a reverence for the sanctity and obligations of virtue!
The influence of woman on the moral sentiments of society, is intimately connected with her influence on its religious character; for religion, and a pure and elevated morality, must ever stand in the relation to each other of effect and cause. The heart of woman is formed for the abode of Christian truth; and for reasons alike honorable to her character, and to that of the gospel. From the nature of Christianity this must be so. The foundation of evangelical religion is laid in a deep and constant sense of the presence, providence, and influence of an invisible Spirit, who claims the adoration, reverence, gratitude, and love of his creatures. By man, busied as he is in the cares, and absorbed in the pursuits, of the world, this great truth is, alas! too often, and too easily forgotten and disregarded; while woman, less engrossed by occupation, more “at leisure to be good,” led often, by her duties, to retirement, at a distance from many temptations, and endowed with an imagination more easily excited and raised than man's, is better prepared to admit and cherish, and be affected by, this solemn and glorious acknowledgment of a God.
Again: the gospel reveals to us a Savior, invested with little of that brilliant and dazzling glory, with which conquest and success would array him in the eyes of proud and aspiring man; but rather as a meek and magnanimous sufferer, clothed in all the mild and passive graces, all the sympathy with human woe, all the compassion for human frailty, all the benevolent interest in human welfare, which the heart of woman is formed to love; together with all that solemn and supernatural dignity, which the heart of woman is formed peculiarly to feel and to reverence. To obey the commands, and aspire to imitate the peculiar virtues, of such a being, must always be more natural and easy for her than for man.
So, too, it is with that future life which the gospel unvails. where all that is dark and doubtful in this shall be explained; where penitence, and faith, and virtue shall be accepted ; where the tear of sorrow shall be dried, the wounded bosom of bereavement be healed; where love and joy shall be unclouded and immortal. To these high and holy visions of faith, I trust that man is not always insensible; but the superior sensibility of woman, as it makes her feel more deeply the emptiness and wants of human existence here, so it makes her welcome, with more deep and ardent emotions, the glad tidings of salvation, the thought of communion with God, the hope of the purity, happiness, and peace of another and a better world.
In this peculiar susceptibility of religion in the female character, who does not discern a proof of Heaven's benignant care of the best interest of man? How wise it is, that she, whose instructions and example must have so powerful an influence on the infant mind, should be formed to own and cherish the most sublime and important of truths! The vestal flame of piety, lighted up by Heaven in the breast of woman,