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of their children, nor do they ever endeavour to screen their partiality under the hypocritical title of charity. It is not uncommon, indeed, to see the most unprincipled and unrepentant profligate, both anxious and watchful to instil into his children the highest principles of religion and virtue.
I cannot quit this paragraph without noticing your expression as against us-" senseless cant."— Cant! This is too bad. Did you never hear the old saying, that "those who live in glass houses should not throw stones." I have carefully avoided this offensive word, nor should I have noticed it even now, but that I think it a good opportunity to define the meaning of the word, in its popular signification, as well as that of the term saint, as used ironically. By the term cant, then, we mean to express that sort of pompous and wordy declamation, of which you appear so fond, composed for the most part of, perhaps, ill or misapplied texts, and wandering into discursive rhapsodies, where any definite meaning cannot, or cannot without great difficulty,. be traced. The word saint is used to imply a person whose religion, whether real or unreal, is so strongly tinctured with vanity, as to lead him to obtrude his pretensions ostentatiously or unseasonably in general society; and is intended mainly, not as condemnation of any means by which goodness may be produced, however unnecessary;
but as a reproof for violating the tacit compact of society, and as tending to produce assumption of superiority, recrimination,-in short, for being disagreeable.
Your picture of women is well drawn, and for the most part true. A well merited compliment— "Sweet lovely woman, thou wast made to temper man; we should be brutes without thee." But would not you, Sir, if you could prevail upon women to act upon the letter of your rule, (for in the spirit they for the most part answer their designation well), be destroying a large portion of the reforming charm you would eulogise, and be in danger of giving them, in the eyes of their reprobate husbands, the character alluded to by Burns, when he says jestingly,
The companion of a man of the world, must be a woman of the world, if she means to preserve her due influence; and must maintain, as most of our leading females, indeed, do, a far higher character than seems to have entered into your conceptions. They should, indeed, be all you describe; but this is not enough; would they accomplish the useful course
that is set before them, they must add to their intrinsic virtues, good taste, tact, and judgment, the results of experience, to be acquired, not by flying from those gaieties which you would represent as snares and temptations, but by encountering and subduing in the ball-room, the evil which would equally assail them, at even greater advantage, in their boudoir. Their principles of religion rendering them watchful against danger, their purity of mind, almost insensible to its presence, although not the less alive to its actual obtrusion.
Thus, exerting, (as they do) a moral influence over society, checking by their presence, what would be its natural tendency to demoralization, if left to men alone, by offering to the youth of the other sex a charming, and at the same time ennobling mixture of sensual and intellectual enjoyment, in lieu of that debasing sensuality, in which it would otherwise take refuge from ennui1; affording, at the same time, recreation and experience to their daughters, shewing an object for the cultivation of graces and accomplishments, but checking an over valuation of them, and gradually and safely inuring their faculties to meet and conquer those trials to which all must be more or less exposed,
1 As good food, with temperance, enables the body to pursue its daily labours, and resist infection, so does religion with the mind. But intemperance in either case is weakness.
expanding their minds, and fitting them for that extended sphere of usefulness to which they may be destined.
That vanity and frivolity, in some degree, pollute the saloons of fashion, it were idle to deny. Alas, where will they not intrude; is the very Church sacred from them. But to the proof-the fact! Is there more vanity, jealousy, and real dissipation to be found in the balls and parties of the leading circles of society, than round the tea-table of a country town? Are the leaders of female ton remarkable only for arrogance and vanity? I do most positively deny it, and affirm that, taken as a body, they are as good in private life, and infinitely more useful in public, than the strictest conformity to your rules could render them. And if you imagine that sincere, real, and useful Christianity, is incompatible with a rational participation in the ordinary gaieties of fashionable life, you know little of our women, and underrate sadly the pervading power of the religion you would advocate.
Surely, surely, Sir, we have real sins enough, (p. 338), without being so unmercifully taken to task for an idle word, as if we habitually made a grave boast of the innocence of our youth. If a good-natured old fellow does talk of " innocent young people," even if mistaken in those to whom he applies the term-What then? He is mistaken,
that's all. The young ones have not believed him, and are neither better nor worse for it; this really is making a mountain of a molehill. You then go on with some generally good preachment, all I have to object to in which, has already been objected to so often, that farther repetition may well be spared. I will merely remark upon your contrast of "regeneration" and "reformation," that the one, of course, implies perfection, whilst the other, in its popular signification, is indefinite as to its degree, it means no more than amendment. By just as much as the practice of any individual falls short of perfection, by just so much it is imperfect; and I don't think you will find a nominal among us hardy enough to deny this. Your charge, then, is still one of individual imperfection, and is nothing to the opinions of our portion of the Church.
We now come to p. 348; and here, Sir, it is, with renewed regret, an excellent discourse upon humility scarcely out of your mouth, that I find you again at your old work of unmeasured abuse and uncharitable assumption. Is nobody to be allowed an opinion but yourself? and are you not required to form your opinion of others charitably? You really seem to me to go very near to advocating supererogation; and I think our Saviour's charge against the Pharisees, in the first part of it, not inapplicable to you. Are you to sit in