« PreviousContinue »
committed to her care ought to be The Rev. Andrew Reed, the writer her chief concern.
of the paper on Christian Female Many of the female members of Agency, lately_read before the Christian churches, especially those Congregational Union, when referof them who reside in our large ring to the modern service of woman towns, are regularly employed in in the church says, 'How limited is the mill, the warehouse, or the work. the present sphere of service ordiroom. When engaged in their daily narily open in our churches to pious work they have the opportunity of females who desire to be useful.' much free intercourse with those In answer to this lamentation we who work with them, and are con- venture to affirm that wherever or sequently able to exert considerable whenever the Christian woman influence upon the minds of the desires to be useful she need not thoughtless and irreligious. It may, search long for a sphere in which indeed, appear very difficult to pre. she may labour successfully for serve undeviating, consistency of God. Earnest piety, firmness of character when, perhaps the majority purpose, and moral courage and of persons with whom the Christian painstaking will be the means of female associates are utterly desti- removing many obstacles to useful. tute of sympathy with true religion. ness at which the careless and the But she must not forget that even timid would stand appalled. here she may labour devotedly and Female agency in the Sabbathsuccessfully in the service of her school has hitherto proved invaluLord. Her consistent deportment, able. The pastor's wife has often her continued amiability of temper, found that she can shew her deep her kind and considerate attention sympathy with her husband in his to the wants of her fellow work work and greatly aid him therein, women, her well-timed words of (if her freedom from domestic cares advice and caution, her earnest en- permit her to do so) by giving in. deavours to win them to righteous struction to elder scholars, and by ness and truth, and her efforts to encouraging with her genial friend. secure their attendance at the house ship those who are engaged with her of God may prove incalculably in the same work. The Sabbath. beneficial if only her heart be school is a sphere, also, in which steadily set upon the work of Christ. well educated females may promote We would urge her, therefore, not the spiritual good of the members only carefully to abstain from all of their own sex who on account of appearance of evil, so that her their humble station in life have no good may not be evil spoken of, opportunities except on the Lord'sbut also seriously to ask herself how day of receiving religious instrucshe can best serve the cause of tiou. There is a powerful motive Christ in the sphere in which she to work with diligence in the is placed and in which the greater Sabbath · school arising from the part of her life is spent. Much consideration that, in innumerable must yet be done that the claims of instances, the instruction there given Christianity may be recognized in is almost the only right instruction the various places of employment many of the children receive, no to which our fellow-men and women attention whatever being paid, at are continually resorting. There is home, to their mental or moral iman important work in this particular provement. To render female field for woman to accomplish. Let agency in the school more efficient her then, in obedience to the will of we need not surely insist upon the her Lord promptly arise and do it. importance of the cultivation of
We shall now direct your attention personal religion. In connection to woman's work in connection with with this (the greatest of all qualifithe various philanthropic institutions cations for Christian usefulness) belonging to the Christian church. there are also many other qualifica
Woman's Work in Connection with the Church.
tions, intellectual and moral, to members numbered six hundred, which we cannot now refer. Permit and it is now still larger.' That us, however, to express our fear district visitation may be consistently that preparation for the duties of and successfully carried out, deep the class is often culpably neglected sympathy with the families visited and, as an inevitable result, the at- in their spiritual wants and regutention and interest of the class larity in visiting them are especially cannot be sustained, the scholars required. The visitor must also receive but little benefit, and those speak kindly, listen willingly, and duties which should be discharged with as much patience as possible with pleasure become burdensome to the relation of the various tales both to the teacher and the taught. of sorrow which may be told her, Though we are treading here upon give counsel and advice in a loving what some would regard as for- and by no means dictatorial spirit, bidden ground, yet we would direct the troubled and anxious suggest that a little time taken from to the true source of peace, and lay the favourite pursuits of music, especial stress upon the importance embroidery or fancy work, and spent of immediate attention to the subject in the careful study of the Sunday of personal religion. lesson would be all that would be further avail herself of the numerous needed, in many cases, to enable opportunities given her of inviting the female teacher to go to her work those persons to attend the house of with pleasure, and to assure herself God, who have been hitherto living in that in communicating religious in- entire neglect of the privileges of struction, self - improvement, and religious worship. Thus the female usefulness are indissolubly united. visitor may become a very valuable
When district - visitation, (con- help to the minister and the church. nected or otherwise with tract dis. Caution is needed by many who tribution) can be regularly and are employed in this department of thoroughly prosecuted the good Christian work. They ought to take accruing to the church will be likely beed lest they needlessly give offence to prove incalculable. A striking by the proposal of questions coninstance of success in this depart- nected with family matters. We ment of Christian work is given in know some very assiduous female the paper
from which we have visitors who not only excite disgust already quoted : 'One Church,' says by their patronising airs, but by the writer, 'whose increase was most foolish inquisitive questions respectrapid and most remarkable possessed ing the income of the various the services of a band of young un. members of the family, and absurd married women of deep piety, good and ill-timed remarks upon their station, and rare intelligence, who mode of living, render their visits under the close direction of the a nuisance, and leave the house pastor, were appointed by the church under the well-merited contempt of as visitors of the church districts. every sensible member in it. These young ladies were devoted to There are yet other kinds of their work, daily spent several hours Christian work in which the Chris. in it, and some of them bestowed tian female may be employed. their wealth as well as time. They In many of our large towns usually real and prayed in the Monthly Dorcas Meetings have families, and conversed practically proved valuable agencies for affordon religious duty and experience. ing temporal relief to the poor conThey cared for the sick and sad, nected with the congregation or attached the young, cheered the living in the surrounding district. aged, and were a most powerful By regular attendance, and by active instrumentality for extensive good. participation in the duties of such The church had only been in ex. societies the Christian woman will istence three or four years when its often be reminded of the words of our blessed Lord, the poor ye have and increased, and considerable as. always with you. If her work be sistance given her by practical done in a truly philanthropic spirit suggestions directly bearing upon she will not only secure the approval the training of youth, which, in her of Him who recognizes these labours isolated position, would have been of love as done to Himself, but she entirely overlooked. will be encouraged by the thought Considerable difference of opinion that she has become, to some extent, exists respecting the propriety or the means of mitigating human impropriety of females offering privation, and a bond of affection prayer in meetings at which will be formed between her and the members of the other sex are wont destitute objects of her solicitude to assemble. Without expressing, which would not otherwise have any opinion on this matter we may existed. You will, however, unani. nevertheless suggest the propriety mously agree with us when we of the appointment and regular suggest that at such meetings empty continuance of female prayer meetfrivolous conversation ought to be ings wherever practicable. It has carefully avoided. Some of these been so unusual in some churches societies have proved curses to the for females to offer social prayer church rather than blessings, be that something like reproach atcause Christian objects have not taches to the practice. Whilst we always been kept in view, nor a would shrink from advocating the Christian spirit incessantly main departure of woman from her proper tained. How frequently it happens, sphere, and would by no means also, that such efforts to do good induce her to break through the are sadly marred and interrupted wise restrictions suggested by her by an overweening desire of superi, own natural modesty, we cannot ority on the part of individuals, and possibly see why female organizaby the exhibition of petty jealousies tions for prayer should not exist in where mutual sisterly co-operation connection with every church. That is of primary importance.
they are unscriptural yet remains By some churches Maternal As. to be proved. We believe their sociations are established, the chief establishment and consistent and objects of which are earnest prayer regular continuance would prove for divine aid in the discharge of especially valuable in fostering and the duties of the Christian mother, deepening religious convictions proand mutual conference respecting duced in the Sabbath school, in the best means of prosecuting the promoting the personal piety and daily training of the young. Though Obristian devotedness of the female we have not had the opportunity of members of our respective congre. carefully, watching the operation gations, and in preparing them for and tendencies of such meetings, the exercise of their gifts, when, in we can have no hesitation in recom- other circumstances, the enquiring, mending the establishment of them the suffering, the dying, or the wherever practicable. The work of bereaved may require their sympareligious education is a matter of thy and aid. such vast magnitude and importance There are other departments of that the Christian mother, who is female work at which we shall only intent upon the conscientious per glance. formance of her maternal duties, In many churches females are needs all the sympathy and en appointed to converse with candidates couragement which the friendly of their own sex previouş to their monthly conference and prayer admission to Christian fellowship. meeting are adapted to afford. Her We are compelled to believe that flagging energies will be thereby many such appointments are by no revived, her interest in the spiritual means judiciously made. If they welfare of her children deepened are thought desirable we would
suggest that those persons ought to half of which her efforts are exbe intrusted with work so important pended. She should remember too, who possess much Christian know when presenting motives to liberledge and experience, who are ality, to urge those which will be competent to obtain an adequate most likely to be appreciated, and acquaintance with the religious thus prove effective. Piety, courtesy, character of those with whom they and regularity are also essential are appointed to converse, and who conditions of success in this departare able to present to the church ment of Christian labour. meeting such a report as shall be We must now close our very likely to give satisfaction to every hasty and imperfect sketch of thoughtful and intelligent member woman's work. Spheres may be of it. We frankly assert our con- suggested to your mind in which viction that females should be she may labour successfully for entirely relieved of this part of God which we have overlooked. It Christian work, not because we hold must, however, be borne in mind them to be incompetent for it, but that our paper is intended to be because it does not accord with the suggestive rather than exhaustive, naturally sensitive and retiring dis- | inasmuch as it is utterly impossible position of woman to be prominently to include in so brief a space all the involved in the public enquiries interesting topics to which the conand discussions connected with such sideration of woman's work will appointments.
necessarily give rise. We cannot The church will generally act with conclude our task without the uttergreat wisdom in securing the aid ance of a few sentences on the of the Christian female in the subject of personal responsibility, collection of monies for religious which are intended to be useful to and philanthropic objects. It is all Christian workers, whether male well know to all that her power as a
While the cannon of beggar is irresistible. Hence we think the first Napoleon was proclaiming that churches and the committees sorrow and desolation to every of our various denominational in German home, the distinguished stitutions will continue to act wisely philosopher, Fichte, of the university if they avail themselves as much as of Erlangen, stood before his class possible of female agency in ob- in solemn, unmoved repose. Around taining subscriptions for promoting him, in breathless silence, sat tiers their various objects. We have felt of spell-bound listeners, to hear in grieved and sad when thinking of the thunders of eloquence, far more the incumbus of debt which has lasting than the conqueror's noise, threatened seriously to impede the the scholar's duties epitomized by operations of the Foreign Mission. the scholar himself: To me, he But we now confidently cherish the says, 'for my part is entrusted the conviction that it must and will be culture of my own and following removed, because the right agency is ages. From my labours will proemployed to remove it. Our remarks ceed the course of future generawill apply (perhaps with some ex- tions, the history of nations yet to ceptions) to local as well as more be. To this I am called—to bear general objects. It is well known witness of the truth. My life, my how efficiently collections for church fortune are but of little moment. purposes or for peculiar emergencies I am a priest of the truth. I am in are accomplished by active and her pay. I have bound myself to zealous females connected with the do all things, to venture all things, church and congregation. But we to suffer all things, for her. If I are fully aware that this work may be should be persecuted for her sake, done very carelessly and inefficiently. if I should even meet death in her The collectorought never to overlook service, what great thing is it that the importance of the object on be- | I shall have done? What, but that
which I clearly ought to do?' The (vidually called with a heavenly
Some high or humble enterprise of good
PASSAGES FROM THE TRADITIONS OF THE COVENANTERS.
CHAPTER VII.-THE 'WHIG'S VAULT' AT DUNNOTAR.
CHARLES THE SECOND died in 1685. | most diabolical cruelty. One fine That year and the year preceding lad of ten . was suspended by were among the darkest in the cords tied round his thumbs to annals of the Covenanters. The a beam in his father's kitchen, and period is commonly known as the in the presence of his mother. He killing time,' and not without was ther, held close to a large fire, reason. Many saintly men fell till his eyes were ready to start victims to the blood-thirstiness of from their sockets; and, to complete Claverhouse and his troopers. their barbarity, the troopers next Defenceless women
shot took him out on the green, tied while kneeling together in prayer handkerchief over his eyes, and on the purple heather, and young fired a volley over his head. All children were tortured with the this was done with a view of ex.