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I shall not repeat what I have there said on this subject; and shall only observe, that, from the view I have given of your natural character and place in society, there arises a certain propriety of conduct peculiar to your sex. It is this peculiar propriety of female manners of which I intend co give you my sentiments, without touching on those general rules of conduct, by which men and women are equally bound.
While I explain to you that system of conduce which I think will tenit most to your honour and happiness, I shall, at the same time, endeavour to point out those virtucs and accomplisirments which render you most respectable and most amiable in the eyes of my owu SEX.
of your sex, is very
Religion is rather
THOUGH the duties of Religion, strictly speak.
ing, are equally binding on both sexes; yet cer. in differences in their natural character and eduution, render some vices in your sex particularly dious. The natural hardness of our hearts, and rength of our passions, inflamed by the uncon. olled licence we are too often indulged with in ar youth, are apt to render our manners more ssolute, and make us less susceptible of the nner elings of the heart. Your superior delicacy, your
desty, and the usual severity of your education, eserve you, in a great measure, from any tempta. -n to those vices to which we are most subjected.
c natural softness and sensibility of your dispo aons particularly fit you for the practice of those ties where the heart is chiefly concerned. S, along with the natural warmth of your imagi. lon, renders you peculiarly susceptible of the lings of devotion. There are many circumstances in your situation t peculiarly require the supports of religio, ble you to act in them with spirit and propriety. ur whole life is often a life of suffering. You not plunge into business, or dissipate yourselves
leasure and riot, as men too often do, when Eer the pressure of misfortunes. You must
It spoils the temper, effect on the heart.
Avoid all books, an to shake your faith ont which should serve to on which your hopes ness depend.
Never indulge yourse
I wish you to go ao
Be punctual in the
ce, unknown and unpitied.
must often put on a face of serenity and cheer ess, when your hearts are torn with anguishi, or ing in despair. Then your only resourc
usolations of Religion. It is chiefly owing to e, that you bear domestic misfortunes better than do. Eat you are sometimes in very different circuiin. ces, that equally require the restraints of religion. natural vivacity, and perhaps the natural vanity
of your sex, is very apt to lead you into a dissipated state of life, that deceives you, under the appearance i of innocent pleasure; but which in reality wastes your spirits, impairs your beslu, wekens all the superior faculties of your minds, and ctten sullies your repotations. Religion, by checking this dissi. pation, and rage for pleasure, enables you to draw more happiness, even from those very sources of amusement, which, when too frequently applied to, are often productive of satiety and disgust.
Religion is rather a matter of sentiment than reasoning. The important and interesting articles of faith are suficiently plain. Fix your attention on these, and do not meddle with controversy. If you get into that, you plunge into a chaos, from which you will never be able to extricate yourselves. It spoils the temper, and, I suspect, has no good effect on the heart.
Avoid all books, and all conversation, that tend to shake your faith on those great points of religion, which should serve to regulate your conduct, and on which your hopes of future and eternal happiness depend.
Never indulge vourselves in ridicule on religious subjects; nor give countenance to it in others, by seeming diverted with what they say. This, to people of good breeding, will be a sufficient check,
I wish you to go a farther than the Scriptures for your religious opinions. Embrace those you find clear y revealed. Never perplex yourselves about such as you do not understand, but treat them with silent and becoming reverence I would advise you to read only such religious books as are addressed to the heart; such as inspire pious and devout affections, such as are proper to direct you. in your conduct;-and not such as tend to entangle you in the endless maze of opinions and systems.
Be punctual in the stated performance of your private devotions, morning and evening.--If you have any sensibility or imagination, this will esta. blish such an intercourse between you and the Supreme Being, as will be of infinite consequence
to you in life. It will communicate au habitual cheerfuluess to your tempers, give a firmness and steadiness to your virtue, and enable you to go through all the vicissitudes of human life with propriety and dignity.
I wish you to be regular in your attendance on public worship, and in receiving the communion.
ng to interrupt your public or private devotions, except the performance of some active duty in life, to which they should always give place. -In your behaviour at public worship, observe an exemplary attention and gravity.
That extreme strictness which I recommend to you in these duties, will be considered by many of your acquaintance as a superstitious attachinent to forms; but in the advices I give you on this and other subjects, I have an eye to the spirit and manners of the age. There is a levity and dissipation in the present manners, a coldness abd listlessness in whatever relates to religion, which cannot fail to infect you, unless you purposely cultivate in your minds a contrary bias, and the devotional taste habitual.
Avoid all grimace and ostentation in your religious duties. They are the usual cloaks of by. pocrisy; at least, they shew a weak and van mind.
Do not make Religion a subject of common conversation in mixed coinpanies. When it is intro
ed, rather seem to decline it. At the same time, never suffer any person to insult you by any foolish ribaldry on your religious op shew the same resentment you woul
entment you would naturally do on being offered any other persona
ered any other personal insult. But the surest way to avoid this, is by a modest reserve
we subject, and by using no freedom with others about their religious sentiments, Cultivate an enlarged charity for all
larged charity for all mankind, nowever they may differ from you in their religio opinions. That difference may probably a causes in which you had no share, an you can derive no merit.
Shew your regard
The best effect of yo
Do not confine your
Women are greatly
your religious opinions; but
Ice may probably arise from
"e, and from whick
Shew your regard to Religion, by a distinguishe ing respect to all its ministers, of whatever persuae sion, who do not by their lives dishonour their profession: but never allow them the direction of your conscientes, lest they taint you with the narrow spirit of their party.
The best effect of your religion will be a diffusive humanity to all in distress.--Sel apart a certain proportion of your income as sacred to charitable purposes. But in this, as well as in the practice of every other duty, carefully avoid ostentation. Va. nity is always defeating her own purposes. Fame is one of the natural rewards of virtue: do not pursue her, and she will follow you.
Do not confine your charity to giving money. You may have many opportunities of shewing a tender and compassionate spirit where your money is not wanted. There is a false and unnatural refinement in sensibility which makes some people shun the sight of every object in distress. Never indulge this, especially where your friends or acquaintances are concerned. Let the days of their misfortunes, when the world forgets or avoids them, be the season for you to exercise your humanity and friendship. The sight of human misery softens the heart, and makes it better; it checks the pride of liealth and prosperity; and the distress it occa. sions, is amply compensated by the consciousness of doing your duty, and by the secret endearment which nature has annexed to all our sympathetic sorrows.
Women are greatly deceived, when they think they recommend themselves to our sex by their indifference about religion. Even those men who are theinselves unbelievers, dislike infidelity in you. Every man who knows human nature, connects a religious taste in your sex with softness and sen. sibility of heart; at least, we always cousider the want of it as a proof of that hard and masculine spirit, which, of all your faults, we dislike the most. Besides, men consider your religion as one of their principal securities for that female virter