Women's Best Ornament
Let me urge upon my female readers, especially those who are in youth, the importance of taking loftier and better views of life than those taught by the vain world.
It is a sad thing to see so many of the young and fair, whose life is most a blank--I will not say a blot--whose keen susceptibilities, whose noble powers, whose deep affections, whose precious time is lavished only upon dress and gayety, and fashionable visiting; who wear the bright apparel of the butterfly, and are as light and graceful, and as useless too; whose conversation finds no higher or more improving subject than the idle gossip of the day, the last party, or the never failing topic--dress; whose reading is the miserable trash inundating every community, and enervating and dissipating the minds of our youth; whose life seems to be an aimless, frivolous life; and who, as they flit by us on their airy wings, provoke the inquiry: "For what were these pretty creatures made?"
I pray you, take loftier views of life than these. While I would not draw you from the rational pleasures of society, nor bring one gloomy cloud upon your youthful sky, I still would plead for some serious hours, some industrious moments; some time apportioned to the culture of the mind, the enriching of the memory with stores of useful knowledge. I would plead that the capacities and aspirations of the immortal part receive some ministration, and that the moral faculties be cultivated and stimulated, and the generous impulses of the soul be expanded in labors for the best good of those around you.
Be assured there is no beauty like that of goodness--there is no power like that of virtue; personal beauty may attract the admiration of the passing hour, but it is the richer beauty of moral worth, the loveliness of the soul, that commands the deepest reverence, and secures the most enduring affection. Even men who have no religion themselves, but who are men of good judgment, and whose opinions worth the most respect admire a lady most, who displays in her character the "beauty of holiness."
If there is one sight more than any other, in this world of sin and sorrow, which combines all the elements of beauty, of nobleness, and of worth, it is that of a young and lovely female, whose youth and beauty, whose depth and richness of affection, and whose powerful influence on human hearts, are all consecrated to the cause of truth and holiness, laid as an humble offering at the Savior's feet! Such a being is, indeed, worthy of the reverence and admiration of every true and noble heart; she will command it, even when the light of her beauty is quenched, and the flower of her loveliness is faded.
But if there is a sad, heart-breaking sight on earth, it is that of one gifted with all the charms which nature lavished upon her daughters, selling them upon the altar of vanity or fashion, and starving the soul on the unmeaning flattery of a vain & hollow-hearted world; running a giddy round of gayety, frivolity, and dissipation; laying up in the future a cheerless and forsaken old age, and a miserable, remorseful eternity.
Oh, what is woman? What her smile,
Her lips of love, her eyes of light?
What is she, if those lips revile
The lowly Jesus? Love may write
His name upon her marble brow,
And linger in her curls of jet:
The light spring flowers may meekly bow
Before her trend; and yet -- and yet
Without that meeker grace, she'll be
A lighter thing than vanity.