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17. Let all the time that you spend in the society of females BE EMPLOYED AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE IN USEFUL CONVERSATION. When young men of the world converse with females, they commonly, of design, dwell on frivolous subjects, because they suppose no other to be adapted to the capacity of their sex. As this will not be your opinion, if you derive your sentiments from the Bible ; so I trust your practice will be different. Never imagine that to talk on light and vain subjects, is to accommodate yourself to females. They will nei. ther respect nor thank you for the accommodavion. Women are just as capable as others, of comprehending and discussing to advantage, most subjects which ought to be introduced into any company. And there are many subjects of great importance, which they are able to treat in a more striking manner, and with a more delicate touch, than most men. Avail yourself of this fact. Try to turn every mo. ment that you spend in their society to good account, both for yourself, and for them. Especially let Religion, and the great subjects connected with it, form as much as possible, when in their company, the leading topick of conversation. You cannot take a better method, at once, to promote their improvement and your own, and to gain their confidence.
18. Never allow yourself to ADOPT THOSE CONTEMPTUOUS EXPRESSIONS CONCERNING THE FEMALE SEX GENERALLY, which licentious men are so apt to indulge, and which some good men are prone, inconsiderately, to em. ploy. That men who hase liule or no princi. ple themselv-s, an I who have no real acquaintanice with a :y but the most worthless portion of the o her sex, should be fond of throwing out reproaches against the character of women, as a bo'y, is not wonderful. But whend hear a man of knowledge and piety, and, above all, a clergy man, doing this, I generally conclude, either that he is a weak man ; that he has kept bad company ; or that he is revenging some supposed ill treatment from an individual female, or some unhappy connexion or occurrence, in earlier life. Be assured, my young friend, this is foolish conduct. No truly wise man was ever guilty of it. That there is more intellectual culture among men than women, is evident. But that thı re is more native intellectual soundness and justness of mind among the former than the lattir, I do not believe. And that there is, decisively, more moral excelle ce among women in general, in christian countries, than among the other sex, I am deliberately persuaded. If this, or any thing like this, be true, then the practice of speaking slightly of women, is not just in itself ; is not agreeable to the word of
God; and is not adapted to promote the great interests of virtue and piety in the world. It can answer no other purpose than to harden licentiousn ss in its fully; to mislead the young; to depreciate, in the view of many, a most precious part of the church of Christ; and to present an unnecessary obstacle in the way of their usefulness.
19. I have only to add, as a final counsel, growing out of all that has been said on this subject, THAT YOU ENDEAVOUR TO MAINTAIN A CONSTANT AND FIRM INFLUENCE O. THE MINDS OF THE Pluus FEMALES, WHEREVER YOU RESIDE. Depend upon it, this is worth all the care and pains you may take for its attainment. If you lo not stand well with the female portion of yo ir pastoral ch'irge, as I remarked in the introduction to this letter, your prospect of usefulness in the ministry will be very small. If you ask me how the , influence which I recommend shall be gained and preserved? I answer, not hy flattery ; not, by, any indirect or crooked arts ; but by the faithful and able discharge of all your publick duries ; by a private conversation, piire, delicate, and dignified; and by treating your female parishioners with that respectful and appropriate attention which the word of God, and the interests of his kingdom evidently demand. We live in an age in which pious fe
males take a far more active part in promoting the spr: ad of the gospel, than was common half a century ago. Their associations, for a variety of humane and evangelical purposes, you will be prepared, I trust, in common with every enlightened minister of Christ, to patronize and honour. If you do this; if you encourage your own wife,- if you shall be so happy as to have a pious one-to take the lead in every laudable enterprise among her own sex ; and if your own deportment be, in all respects, such as becomes the christian minister and gentleman, I will answer for your acquiring and maintaining as much of the influence of which I speak, as you ought to have, and for your finding it one of the most valuable ausiliaries in the exercise of your ministry.
Let your moderation be known unto all men.
Philip. iv. 5.
DRESS-STYLE OF LIVING-- "ECUNIARY
MY DEAR YOUNG FRIEND,
It may seem, at first view, scarcely necessary, or even proper, in addressing a candidate for the ministry in the Presbyterian church, to dwell on the subjects which appear at the head of this Letter. It is well known that the temporal circumstances of our ministers are very rarely affluent, and seldom even comfortably easy. Much labour, small salaries, and habitual self denial, are, in general, the lot of those who, in our church, aspire to the precious privilege of serving Christ in the ministry of reconciliation.” Why, then, it may be asked, should it be deemed proper to discuss a set of subjects which can be considered as claiming.