“To The Public” – this letter lays out the purpose of the “Ladies’ Miscellany” as for the “amusement, and as we hope…the instruction of the Ladies of Salem and vicinity.”
This particular paper was published January 6, 1829, one week before the following article: Ladies’ Miscellany, Salem 1829 (2)
Click here for a PDF of the transcription:
TUESDAY NOON, JANUARY 6, 1829
BY A LADY.
View the Christian as taught by religion to subdue the harmful passions of our nature, which are ever spreading sources of wretchedness, within our bosoms. Instead of suffering the serpent revenge to twine around his heart, and nourish itself in the misery of another, he has learned, when he is reviled, to bless; when he is defamed, to suffer. A happy man is he! for in proportion as he yields to the influence of the principles he has embraced, his soul is in harmony within itself, in harmony with all around him, in harmony with the governing principles of the universe. It is like a well-tuned instrument – whatever key is struck, it responds melodious notes.
Follow the Christian further as he enters the dark valley of the shadow of death. Here nature instinctively recoils. But religion takes away the sting of death, adn despoils the grave of its victory. True, the proud precepts of philosophy might have enabled him to meet it with feigned composure; but it is divine religion, alone, which can in reality be the strength of his heart, when heart and flesh fail; hen the silver cord is loosed, and the golden pitcher broken, and the frightened soul, finding that the frail edifice is crumbling, looks out for refuge; if a dark uncertainty hang over its future destiny, it cannot but recoil in agony and horror.
Blessed Religion! light of the world, sole hope of a ruined race; renovating principle, which restores life and beauty where all was corruption and deformity! extend thy benign reign-let thy hopes be embraced, and thy benefits diffused.
The following figurative description of the effects of real and pure religion upon the conduct, was uttered in a sermon of the Rev. Mr. FURNESS, of Philadelphia. Its remarkable aptness and beauty made a strong impression on the mind of one of his hearers, who committed it to paper on his return from church with entire accuracy, as he believes, viz:
“True devotion, like the being whom we worship, is visible only in its effects: in the activity which it prompts us to develope, or the benevolent affections it urges us to exercise. Its existence is proved, not by its being brought forward in its own shape, but by the diligence and uprightness that it aids us to exhibit. Like the rain that cometh down from Heaven, which first hides itself in the bosom of the earth, and then is seen no more, until verdure springs up where it had fallen, the fresh and beautiful witness of its influence, – so religious feeling proves its genuineness and vitality, not by a direct demonstration, but by the beauty in which it clothes the life, the purity it imparts to the lips, the energy and usefulness it gives to the whole character. To carry the illustration still further, it is not those religious emotions that are the most violent, that rushing down with the transient fury of a summer’s shower, pass off and evaporate without satisfying the parched soil – it is not this kind that is the most acceptable; it is rather that species of religious sensibility that is gentle but uniform – that like the faithful dews of every morning, refreshes wherever it is found.”
PLEASURE. – Pleasure is a rose, with which there ever grows the thorn of evil. It is wisdom’s work so carefully to cull the rose, as to avoid the thorn, and let its rich perfume exhale to heaven, in grateful adoration to Him who gave the rose to blow.
THE SCRIPTURES. – If commentators were more intent on simplifying, than amplifying the Scriptures, their comments would be more easily understood, and less room left for diversity of construction. If one commentator gives you his reasons, according to theological education, another will give you a construction totally different, because he has been educated in another school – each one is influenced, if not in a degree bigotted, to the rules, discipline and doctrine of his own particular Church.
TO THE PUBLIC.
We this day commence the regular publication of the LADIES’ MISCELLANY. Without indulging any very sanguine expectations as to the success of this experiment, we have confidence enough to determine us to give it a fair trial. At the end of the year upon which we have entered, it will be ascertained whether a publication devoted to the amusement, and as we hope, in some degree to the instruction of the LADIES OF SALEM and the vicinity, will be sustained by a sufficient degree of patronage to warrant its further continuance. The extremely low rate at which we have engaged to furnish this paper, while it will enable every class of readers to possess themselves of it, will not deter us from using our best endeavours to render it both interesting and useful.
It is hoped that the Literary portion of the community will view our undertaking with a favourable eye, and that they will occasionally exercise their genius and employ their pens in aid of our humble efforts to render the MISCELLANY worthy of the patronage and approbation of the fairer part of creation.
Subscriptions, and payments in advance, received at the Office of the Essex Register, where those persons who have already subscribed, who may not receive their papers, are requested to give notice.
“Ladies’ Miscellany”, The Monitor (January 6, 1829). Salem State Archives, Salem, MA.
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