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LADIES'

REPOSITORY.

FOR MAY 1852.

WOMAN—THE SOCIAL REFORMER. guest by suddenly crowning him with chaplets

of flowers, and anointing or perfuming him with MATT. xxvi. 13 : There shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of

odors; and from her home Mary had brought an her.

alabaster box of sweetest perfume, spikenard,

and not only on the head of Jesus, but also on LEAVING Jerusalem, crossing the brook Ked- his feet, as he reclined on the couch in the eas. ron, and ascending the mountain of Olives, our

tern manner of sitting at the table, she poured Savior pursued his way for the last time to Beth

the precious perfume. It may be she felt his any. He drank in repose from its rural beauty royalty, or it may be it was a simple impulse, and quietness, and freshening joy came over his acting in a common way, to speak her reverence spirit from the tender and hallowed associations for Jesus beyond her own home. She was a of the place. Situated but two miles from Jeru

woman of a contemplative nature; her religion salem, at the foot of Olivet on the western side,

seems to have been mostly meditative; but she Bethany was his retreat from the busy city, and

was now abroad; she was in society ; she saw in the peace of the household of Martha and

too little attention paid to him, as when Martha Mary and Lazarus, be found forgetfulness of the was troubled about much serving, though Jesus wily priests and proud pharisees of the metropo- would rather the more time should be given to lis. He was conscious that the hour of his death social converse; and the value of her meditative was near, but yet he gave no gloom to his coun- religion then showed itself, for notwithstanding enance, nor did he act in the least the recluse. the mighty throng of curious eyes-notwithde was, with his disciples, to be a guest at the standing the interpretation that jealous minds house of Simon the leper, one of the many who might put upon the deed-notwithstanding the nad known his healing power, and doubtless a jeers of unsympathizing souls, she stood behind 'elative of the family he so much loved, for we her Lord, broke the alabaster box, pure as her ind Martha serving, and Mary and Lazarus own heart, and the odorous liquid dropped upon present at the feast.

the sacred locks of the dear head of Christ, and It was a memorable evening. Never more on those feet that went so swiftly to the grave hould he thus gather at the social board, and with her to bring back the brother to her home. ret no allusion was made to that fact but india

Once Martha was reproved, now Mary must ectly in a vindication of the tender devotion of be, but not by the same voice. The spirit of he gentle Mary. The presence of Jesus there

Judas was shown, and he led the disciples in vas soon known, and great multitudes came

crying out, “ To what purpose is this waste? around the house, not for the sake of Jesus only, For this ointment might have been sold for but because of Lazarus who sat at the supper, an much, and given to the poor.” His mean moobject of peculiar interest as one who had known

tive is revealed by John; but the act itself was the mystery of death. While Mary aided Mar

a fearful revelation of a want of Christian sentitha in serving at the feast, her heart was prompt- ment. Humbled, and awaiting the word of Jeed to a deed she could not forbear performing. sus, stood Mary. Her deed was but an act of It may

be that the observing and carious multi- her woman's nature. To have osed the spiketude were too much engrossed with the sight of

nard in the dressing of her own dark locks would him who was raised froin the dead, and dearly not have been deemed waste, nor to have emas she loved him, she loved the Power that rais.

ployed it at some festival that welcomed a prince. ed him more. It was no uncommon thing to

Jesus came to her relief as soon as he underattract concentrated attention to an illustrious stood the talk of his disciples, seeing Mary noVOL. XI.

51

ved from the serenity that had marked her coun

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tenance when she came in. Why trouble ye rior attraction; every tie is consecrated; every the woman? for she hath wrought a good work affection is made heavenly; every sympathy die upon me. For ye have the poor always with vine. But let those who imagine that Woman you; but me ye have not always.” And then belongs only to the Home, who make her mere- || with ineffable tenderness, he appropriated the ly a divinity at the domestic shrine,-let such react to his coming death, as he had doubtless member that Jesus spake his most cloquent woord done in his own thoughts at the time of anoint- of a Woman's act in society, and predicted its ing, which will account for his not understand- fame co-extensive with the proclamation of his ing more readily what was going on among the Gospel,—" there shall also this, that this woman ( disciples who rebuked Mary. “ For in that she hath done, be told for a memorial of her." bath poured this ointment on my body, she did To speak of Woman as a Social Reformer, is it for my burial. Verily I say unto you, where- very distressing to many. All they think of is soever this Gospel shall be preached in the whole woman “sitting by the fireside of the heart, world, there shall also this, that this woman feeding its name," all the work of preparation hath done, be told for a memorial of her." for so doing being accomplished out of sight, and !

Mary was vindicated. At home, when she “modest stillness and humility” being traits of felt the prompting of duty, she sat at Jesus' feet character never associated with the stern requito learn the lessons of duty and eternal life. sitions of repulsive and laborious duties. Hov When abroad, and the same prompting to an act much poets have sung of Woman as a sort of was felt, she laid aside her meditative character, caged bird, to please with the beauty and every and gave a social, as she had given a domestic movement of its wings,-wings to be expanded token of her high reverence and deep love for only within the cage,-and to delight with its Christ. We know not how much of a struggle music and charm to sleep with its cooing. The she made,--doubtless it was not small, to do in pulpit too often describes the sarne tender cbar. the sight of the great throng what she did do, acter,-a quiet, contemplative religionist, subbut the act of beautiful sentiment was perform- missive to the commands of others, never roting ed. Jesus felt it. Under no other token of res. in the church or in the society; but yet tracts pect did he seem so absorbed and lost to what may be distributed, levees and tea parties and was around him, and of no other act did he say fairs may be held, and a thousand things dove what he said of that. Co-extensive with his in society, in public, if money is the result. And Gospel should its fame be. Mary's memorial so in political life,- woman ought not to trouble : should be set up where he, the memorial of God, herself about politics though politics produce ber should be proclaimed; and we fulfil the word of chief troubles, and men in power and men seekthe Master as now we speak of how gentle, med- ing power, think more of woman's plaudit than itative, retiring, humble, and timid Woman of the vote given or sought. "I do not like to while true to Home, may yet be, and ought to

have woman meddle with politics," said Napobe, the Social Reformer.

leon to Madame de Stael, who was feared by

him more than he feared all the men of France. “O! say what deed so lifted thy sweet name, “Sire,” was the reply, “it is natural while wo

Mary, to that pure, silent place of fame? men are losing their heads that they should wish One lowly offering of exceeding love."

to know the reason why.” She kept liberty

alive while the Despot sought to crush out its The sweet odor of that perfume went out, through life, and he was not easy till he sent Talleyrand lattice and door, upon the evening air; the night with the message that it was reported Madame breeze caught it and bore it far and wide; it

De Stael intended to leave France and that ber mingled its fragments with every wiod of heav

passports were ready. en, and through these eighteen centuries it has

What means this continual talk of the Influendured, and to night it comes floating around

ence of Woman, the admission that the world's us freshening our thoughts with reverence for

character is of her moulding, and that she must her gentleness of spirit and heroism of character.

be true to her mission as, under Christ and Jesus did every thing to sanctify the Home.

Christianity, the chief regenerator of society ; To the face of Infancy, in the cradle, his words

and yet when she attempts to look into these have given a holier beauty than even maternal statements for herself, and mark out how she love had ever seen there before ; and in the light will or would work to obey the moral demand, of his religion every domestic duty has a supe- nothing but jests and jeers, misrepresentations

ness, of the

and vulgar inuendoes, are the returns she re- metry and order of the home, and yet the public ceives from the secular and religious press, the eye shall see a beauty. pulpit and the conversations of cliques of the The Bible gives all honor to the social influton; yes and many times from those who are

ence of woman; and when we look into Chris. bleeding because that is not done which heroic

tianity as unfolded in the biographies of Jesus spirits would attempt to do. Littleness of mind

and the epistles of his followers, we find Woman is seen in nothing better than in a disposition to

no mean personage amid the list of Social Re. take hold of the most vulnerable part of an op- formers, -"last at the cross and earliest at the ponent's position, that which can most easily

grave,”-and Paul's “true yoke-fellow" is exbe turned into ridicule, forgetting, in the boorish

horted to "help those women that labored with laugh, the impregnable points in the stand ta

him in the Gospel.” And when it is said that ken. If a comprehensive reform, embracing all

the noise and contentions, the strife and bitterthat is demanded by all the various minds in

world outside of Home, is not terested, then the cry is, “ They go too far.” If

fitting for Woman, let it be remembered also, it one thing is attempted at a time, why then the

is not fitting for Man. Whatever is opposed to cry is, “They don't go far enough !" and so the

the development of the Christian virtues and gradog-in-the-manger leaves the poor servant that

ces, is equally opposed to the highest good of Man has borne the burden of the day to starve, or

as of Woman. Virtue, religion, belongs to husuffer in hunger and weakness.

man nature, not to males or females as such. The fact is, there is no apology needed for any

When Eve was created, she and the man were deliberate attempt to direct public attention to

called by one name,-Gen. v. 2,-it was Adam the Wrongs or Rights of woman, other than the

who called the woman Eve; and grandly going apology that comes from the course of the pub- back to this unity of nature, the Apostle declares lic press. Woman is exalted to any desirable

“there is neither male nor female in Christ Je. degree of angelhood and superior influence over

sus,”— they are one, as Jew and Gentile, bond the destinies of society; man, it is said, is really

and free. When looked at in the light of the ruled by her; as though this was a set off to the

great demands on our moral nature, what is the theoretical claim of man's authority over wo

difference between the ideal of a perfect man man; but when this power is to be used for her

and the ideal of a perfect woman? The only self, then the cry is loud and wild, or a smoth

real question is of Spheres; these are made, in ered scorn expresses itself in ridicule and jests,

one sense, but not the highest sense, by customs, and Napoleon is still afraid of a single woman

usages, degrees of refinement and civilization, speaking for liberty and right. It never seems

by the necessities of times and seasons; and it to enter the minds of these objectors that the

is this that gives so grotesque a picture of WoHome, to which they devote Woman, is affected

man as seen in history, or now by acquaintance by the character of Society; that as much hero.

with the various customs of widely separated ism is many times needed to deal with difficul.

nations; ties in the Home as is needed by man in the world of trade and business; and that religious “Crushed by the savage, fettered by the slave,” sensibility, retiring gentleness, and the stillness But served and honored by the good and brave.” of modesty, are not the only qualities required by the exigencies of domestic life, but energy

History, nor what exists of laws or customs, most heroic, strength most enduring, patience

cannot furnish the true answer respecting the undying, and resolution firm as the rooted trunk

spheres for Woman. Character, talent, genius, of the oak. When David prayed for the daugh

the demands of the inevitable circumstances ters of Israel, he did not choose the figure of a

with which she may be environed, dictate what vine that leans on a support, or any thing that

she should be, how she should act, what she betokened only grace and symmetry, but he

should devise, where she should follow and prayed that they might be “ as corner stones,

where she should lead. polished after the similitude of a palace,"—the

It is a doctrine of the New Jerusalem Church foundations of strength, yet beautiful to the

that all souls make for themselves spheres, in sight. The true strength of woman's noblest which, from moral necessity, they live and move character is perfectly compatible with the most

and have their being. The idea has its root in winning gentleness; she may hold up the sym- nature, in absolute truth, however we might dif

fer respecting its applications. There are wo

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