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which the prophets and Moses did say should come; that Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles. And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said, with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning coth make thee mad. But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness. For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely : for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner. King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. Then Agrippa said unto Paul, almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds. And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor and Bernice, and they that sat with them. And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, this man doeth nothing worthy of death, or of bonds. Then said Agrippa unto Festus, this man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Cæsar.
EXTRACT FROM XIV. CHAPTER OF JOB. Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. His days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass; turn from him that he may rest, till he shall accomplish, as an hireling, his day. For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant. But man dieth and wastetta away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?
CHARACTER OF A CHRISTIAN MOTHER. What a public blessing, what an instrument of the most exalted good, is a virtuous Christian mother! It would require a far other pen than mine to trace the merits of such a character. How many, perhaps, who now hear me, feel that they owe to it all the virtue and piety that adorn them; or may recollect at this moment some saint in heaven, that brought them into light to labor for their happiness, temporal and eternal! No one can be ignorant of the irresistible influence which such a mother possesses, in forming the hearts of her children, at a season when nature takes in lesson and example at every pore. Confined by duty and inclina. tion within the walls of her own house, every hour of her life becomes an hour of instruction; every feature of her conduct a transplanted virtue. Methinks I behold her encircled by her beloved charge, like a being more than human, to which every mind is bent, and every eye directed; the eager simplicity of infancy inhaling from her lips the sacred truths of religion, in adapted phrase and familiar story; the whole rule of their moral and religious duties simplified for easier infusion. The countenance of this fond and anxious parent, all beaming with delight and love, and her eye raised occasionally to heaven in fervent supplication for a blessing on her work. O! what a glorious part does such a woman act on the great theatre of humanity; and how much is that mortal to be pitied, who is not struck with the image of such excellence! When I look to its consequences, direct and remote, I see the plants she has raised and cultivated spreading through the community with the richest increase of fruit. I see her diffusing happiness and virtue through a great portion of the human race. I can fancy generations yet unborn rising to prove, and to hail her worth. I adore that God who can destine a single human creature to he the stem of such extended and incalculable benefit to the world.
CHARACTER OF A CHRISTIAN WIFE. In the character of a wife we find a virtuous woman equally existing for the happiest purposes. Nothing is more true than what the Apostle has asserted, that a christian wife is the salvation of her husband. For surely, if anything can have power to wean a man from evil, it is the living image of all that is perfect, constantly before his eyes, in the person whom, next to God, he must be assured has his present and future felicity most at heart; who joins to the influence of her example the most assiduous attention to please; who knows, from the experience of every hour, where his errors and vices may be assailed with any prospect of success; who is instructed, by the close study of his disposition, when to speak and when to be silent; who watches and distinguishes that gleam of reflection which no eye can perceive but her own; who can fascinate by the mildness and humility of her manner, at the moment she expostulates and reproves; who receives him with smiles and kindness, even when conscience smites him the most with a sense of his neglect and unworthiness; who has always a resource at hand in his difficulties, and tender apologies to reprieve him from him. self; and a gracious presentiment ever on her lips, that the day will come when he will know how to value the advantages of good conduct, and the unruffled serenity of virtue. Yes, my brethren, the ministry of such a woman is daily found to work the reformation of our sex, when all other resources fail; when neither misfortune, nor shame, nor the counsels of friendship, nor the considerations of hell or heaven have any more ef. fect than the whistling of the elements. How zealous
ly should we therefore labor to diffuse such characters through the people.
CHARACTER OF A LIBERTINE. A man born for the disaster of the sex; whose brutal and ungovernable passions, mastering every senti. ment of pity and generosity in his soul, urge him to deeds beyond the very reach of atonement! Nay, the very recollection of which is often so intolerable to himself, as to require the habit of banishing even reason itself, to mitigate the horror of his feelings. And what aggravates beyond expression the enormity of such guilt, is, that where ordinary means are insufficient to the accomplishment of its diabolical pirposes, it can veil itself in the deepest hypocrisy ; can appeal even to heaven to witness the purity of its intentions; have recourse to the most horrid profanation of vows and promises ; steal an artless creature into perfect reliance on its honor; lead her to her fall, as the innocent and unsuspecting lamb is conducted to the sacrifice; riot for a while on the polluted ruin: then leave her, like a tender blossom blasted in its spring, either to droop in si. lent melancholy to the grave, or rush from despair into the depths of infamy, and revenge her wrongs on the community.
Christians, why is this execrable cast of men so lit. tle reprobated in the world ? To be formidable and ir. resistible in this way has ever been a kind of glory. The more public and notorious they are, the more pride in their steps, the more elevated their brows. There are degrees of guilt you would spurn from your presence, and blush to hold the most distant intercourse with. A man convicted, even in mean and dishonorable actions, is avoided like a pestilence. But from what society, what intercourse, what intimacy, is the libertine by profession excluded ? To the scandal of all decency, religion and morals, from few. Nay, it would almost seem that the infamous title he bears was no
small recommendation. For what impression does an allusion to his pursuits usually excite but that of mer. riment and laughter? This goes to confirm and encourage, instead of appalling him; brings complacency into his heart, not the blush of shame into his cheek. When so few turn from him with disgust and horror, has he not a right to conclude that he is engaged in a career which the world approves ? And yet what is he in fact but one of the greatest pests a community can be cursed with; whose whole life has no other object but to convert it into a scene of calamity and vice? Who is known to make charity, yes, sacred charity, the pander of his foul appetites; will open his hand with profusion to the necessitous, in order to shut their eyes on the seduction of their children ; who respects not rights that are rigorously respected by very barbarians; would dishonor the family of his host or friend with the same indifference that he would that of the meanest of human creatures; and be as ready to meet, that is, to imbrue his hands in the blood of the father or brother of his victim, as he was to destroy the chief source of their pride and happiness forever.' Alas! how many unfortunate parents, after the fatal dishonor of a child, have never raised their heads more, nor passed a moment of remaining life, but in counting the pulsations of a broken heart.
No woman ever voluntarily surrendered the blessing of a fair name. The sensitive plant shrinks not more instinctively from the touch, than the nature of woman from defilement. The love and pride of purity are still entwined with her being, and the last breath of virtue ever consecrated to the fair state from which she falls. Often, in the midst of the most thoughtless and headlong course of vice, will the tear of sad recollection steal down into the empoisoned cup. Though, generally, she may be found to evince a detestation of the modest and virtuous part of her sex, it is not, believe me, that happy distinction from which she recoils, but from the objects that too strongly remind her of her own infamy and degradation,