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weaknesses; and in which the turpitude of all
the vices a man himself commits, is done away
by his candour in tolerating all the vices com-
mitted by others.*

But the part of the system the most fatal to
that class whom I am addressing is, that .even
in those works which do not go all the length of
treating marriage as an unjust infringement on
liberty, and a tyrannical deduction Som gene,
ral happiness; yet it commcmly happens that

* It is to be lamented that ■ome, even of those mora
virtuous novel writers, who inUnd to espouse the cause
of reli^^on, jet exhibit such fkJse views of it. I luTe
lately seen a work of some merit in this way, which was
meritoriously designed to expose the impieties of the
new i^ilosophy. But the wnter betrayed bis own ira-
perlbct knowledge of the Christianity he was delendinf,
by roakiM his hero, whom he proposed as a pattern



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the hero or heroine, who has puticalarly ¥1010.
ted the letter of the seventh commandment, and
oootinoee to live in the allowed violation of its
spirit, is painted as so amiable, and so benevo-
lent, so tender or to brave ; and the temptation
is represented as so trrftts<t6(e, (for aU these
^ philosophers are fatalists) the predominant and
' cherished sin is so filtered and defected of its
pollations, and is so sheltered and sorroanded,
and relieved with shining qualities, that the in-
nocent and impressible joong reader is brought
to lose all horror of the awful crime in question,
in the oompUcenc^ she feels for the engaging
virtues of the criminal.

There is another object to which I would di-
rect the exertion of that power of female influ-
ence of which I am speaking. Those ladies
who take the lead in societj, are loudly called
upon to act as the guardians of the public taste,
as well as of the public virtue. They are called
upon, therefore, to oppose with the whole weight
of their influence, the irruption of those swarms
of publications now daily issuing from the banks
of the Danube, which, like their ravaging pre-
decessors of the darker ages, though with far
other and more fatal arms, are overrunning ci-
vilised society. Those readers, whose purer
taste has been formed on the correct models of
the old classic school, see with indignation and
asionishmeBt the Huns and Vandals once more
. overpowering the Greekp and Romans. They
behold our minds, with a r^etrograde but rapid
motion, hurried back to the reign of * chaos and
old night,* by distorted and unprincipled compo-
^sitions, which, in spite of strong flashes of geni-
*us, unite the taste of the Goths with the morals
ofBagsbot;*

Gorgoni aad Hydrat, and Chimeras dire !
Th^e compositioos terrify the weak, and amaze
and enchant the idle ; while they disgust the
discerning, by wild and misshapen superstitions,
in which, with that consistency which forms so
striking a feature of the new philosophy, those
who most earnestly den^ the immortality of the
soul, are roost eager to introduce the machinery

f^ fl^lOStS.

The writings of the French infidels were some
^ears ago circulated in England with uncommon
industry^ and with some effbct : but the plain
sense and good principles of the far greater part
of our countrymen, resisted the attack, and rose
superior to the trial. Of the doctrines and prin-
ciples here alluded to, the dreadful consequen-
ces, not only in the unhappy country where they
originated, and were almost universally adopted,
bat in every part of Europe ;vhere they have
been received, have been such as to serve as a
beacon to surrounding nations, if any warning
can piesei 'f e them from destruction. In this
country the subject is now so well understood,
that every thing which issues fVom the French
press is received with jealousy; and a work, on
the first appearance of its exhibiting the doc-
trines of Voltaire and his associates, is rejected
With indignation.

* Tbe m wsp a s s r s annonnee that Schiner'a tragedy of
Jie Robbery, wUch inflaicied the younc nobility of Oer*
fliany to enlist tbemfelves into a band of hii^hwaytnen
10 rob in the forests of Bohemia, li now acting in En-
flacd by persons of quality !



But let us not on account of this victory re-
pose in confident security. The modem apos-
ties of infidelity and immorality, little less inde-
fatigable in dispersing their pernicious doctrines
than the first apostles were m propagating Gos-
pel truths, have indeed changed their weapons,
but they have by no means desisted from the
attack. To destroy the principles of Christiani-
ty in this island, appears at the present moment
to be their grand aim. Deprived of the assist
unco of the French press, they are now attempt
ing to attain their olnect under the close and
more artificial veil of German literature. Con
scions that religion and morals will stand or fat)
together, their attacks are sometimes levelled
against the one, and sometimes a^inst the other.
With strong occasional professions of genera]
attachment to both of these, they endeavour to
interest the feelings of the reader, sometimes in
fevour of some one particular vice, at other times
on the subject of some one objection to revealed
reliffion. roetry as well as prose, romance as
well as history, writings on philosophical as well
as on political subj|ects, have thus been employ-
ed to instil the principles of TUuminismf while
incredible pains nave been taken to obtain able
translations ot every book which was supposed
likely to be of use in corrupting the heart or mis-
leading the understanding. In many of these
translations, certain bolder passages, which,
though well received in Grermany, would have
excited disgust in ESngland, are wholly omitted,
in order that the mind may be more certainly,
though more slowly, prepared fbr the full effect
of the same poison to be administered in a strong-
er degree at another period.

I«et not thoso to whom these pages are ad*
dressed deceive themselves, by supposing this
to be a fable ; and let them inquire most seri-
ously whether I speak truth, in asserting that
the attacks of infidelity in Great Britain are at
this moment principally directed against the fe-
male breast Conscious of the influence of wo-
men in civil society, conscious of the ef!ect
which fbmale infidelity produced in France,
they attribute the ill success of their attempts in
this country to their having been hitherto chiefly
addressed to the male sex. They are now sedo-
loosly labouring to destroy the religious princi-
ples of women, and in too many instances have
fatally succeeded. For this purpose, not only
novels and romances have been made the vehi.
cles of vice and infidelity, but the same allure-
ment has been held out to the women of on?
country, which was employed by the first phi-
losophists to the first sinner — Knowledge. Lis
ten to the preeepte of the new German enlight-
eners, and you need no longer remain in that
situation in which Providence has placed you !'
Follow their example, and you shall be pernnit-
ted to indulge in all those gratifications which
custom, and not religion luis tolerated in the
male sex.

liCt us jealously watoh every deepening shade
in the change of manners ; let us mark every
step, however inconsiderable, whose tendency is
downwards. Corruption is neither stationary
nor retrograde ; and to have departed fVom mo-
desty, simplici^, and truth, is already to have
made a progress. It is not only awfnll? true.



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THE WORKS OF HANNAH MORE.



that since the new principle! hare been afloat,
teomen have been too eagerly inqoisitive after
these monstrous compositions; biit it b tme
also, that with a new and offensive renunciation
of their native delicacy, many women tf charac-
ter r. ake little hesitation in avowing their fami-
liarity with works abounding with principles,
sentiments, and descriptions, * which should not
be so much as named among thentL By allow-
ing their minds to come in contact with such
contagious matter, they are irrecoveraUj taint-
ing them ; and by acknowledging that they are
actually conversant with such corruptions (with
t whatever reprobation of the author they mav
qualify their perusal of the book) they are exci-
ting m others a most mischievous curiosity for
the same unhallowed gratification. Thus they
are daily diminishing in the young and timid
those wholesome scruples, by which, when a ten-
der conscience ceases to be intrenched, all the
subsequent stages of ruin are gradually &cili-
tated.

We have hitherto spoken only of the German
writingB ; but because there are multitudes who
seldom read, equal pains have been taken to
promote the same object through the medium
of the stage : and this weapon is, of all others,
that against which it is, at the present moment,
the most important to warn the more inconsi-
derate of my countrywomen.

As a specimen of the German drama, it may
not be unseasonable to offer a few remarks on
the admired pky of the Stranger* In this piece
the character of an adtUtrest, which, in all peri-
ods of the world, ancient as well as hiodern, in
ail countries, heathen as well as christian, has
hitherto been held in detestation, and has never
been introduced but to be reprobated, is for the
first time presented to our view in the most
[leasing and fascinating oc^ours. The heroine
is a woman who forsook a husband the most
affectionate and the most amiable, and lived for
some time in a criminal commerce with her
seducer. Repenting at length of her crime, she
buries herself in retirement — ^The talents of the
poet during the whole piece are exerted in at-
tempting to render this woman the object not
only of the compassion and forgiveness, but of
the esteem and affection of the audience. The
injured husband, convinced of his wifb*s repent-
ance, forms a resolution which every man of
true feeling and christian piety will probably ap-
prove. He forgives her offence, and promises
her through life, hb advice, protection and for-
tune, together with every thing which can alle-
viate the misery of her condition, but refuses to
replace her in the situation of hb wife ! But
thb is not sufficient for the German author. His
efforts are employed, and it is to be feared but
too successfully, in making the audience consi-
der the husband as an unrelenting savage, while
they are led by the art of the poet anxiously to
wbt^ to see an adultress restored to that rank of
women who have not violated the most solemn
covenant that can be made with man, nor dis-
obeyed one of the most positive laws which has
been enjoined by God.

About the same time that thb first attempt at
representing an adultress in an exemplary light
was made by a German dramaf bt, which forms



an isra in manners, a direct vindication of adol
tery was for the first time attempted by a woman
a professed admirer and imitator of the Grerman
suicide Werter. The female Wetter, as ahe b
styled by her biographer, asserts in a work en-
titled, * The Wronss of Women,* that adultery
is justifiable, and that the restrictions pbced oo
it by the laws of England, constitute one of the
Wronp of Women,

This Ic^s me to dwell a little longer on this
most destructive cbss in the whole wide range
of modem corrupters, who effect the most des-
perate work of the passions without so much as
pretending to ur^ their violence, in extenuation
of the guilt of mdulging them. Tliey solicit
thb ver^ indulgence with a sort of cold blooded
speculation, and invite the reader to the most
unbounded gratifications, with all tJiC saturnine
coolness of a geometrical calculation. Theirs
is an iniquity rather of phlegm than of spirit :
and in the pestilent atmosphere they raise about
them, as in the infernal climate described by
Milton—

The parcbinf air*
Burns fh)re, and frost performs th* d&cti of fire.

Thb oool, calcubting, intellectual wickedness
eats out the very heart and core of virtue, and
like a deadly mildew blights and shrivels the
blooming promise of the human spring. Its be-
numbing touch communicates a torpid sluggish-
ness which paralyses the soul. It descants on
depravitv as gravely, and details its grossest acts
as frigidly as if its object were to aUay the tu-
mult of the passions, while it is letting them
loose on mankind, by * plucking off the muzxle
of present restraint and future accountableness.*
The system b a dire infusion, compounded of
bold impiety, brutish sensuality, and exqubite
folly, which creeping fatally about the heart,
cheeks the moral circulation, and totally stops
the pulse of goodness by the extinction of the
vital principle : thus not only choking the stream
of actual virtue, but drying up the very fountain
of future remorse and remote repentance.

The ravages which some of the old offenders
against purity made in the youthful heart, by
the exercise of fervid but licentious imagination
on the passions, resembled the mischief effected
by floods, cataracts, and volcanos. The desola-
tion indeed was terrible, and the ruin was tre-
mendous ; yet it was a train which did not tn
faUibly preclude the possibility of recovery. The
country, though deluged, and devastated, was
not utterly put beyond the power of restoration.
The harvests indeed were destroyed, and all was
wide sterility. But though the crops were lost^
the 9eed9 of vegetation were not absolutely era-
dicated ; so that, afler a long and barren blank,
fertility might finally return.

But theheart once infected with this newly
medicated venom, subtile though sluggish in its
operation, resembles what travellers relate of
that blasted spot the dead sea, where those de-
voted cities once stood, which fer their pollutions
were burnt with fire from heaven. It continues
a stagnant lake of putrifying waters. No whole-

♦ • When the north wind bloweth it devouretb the
mountains, and bnmeth the wildeme», and consnDMU
the grass as fireT Eccles. zl. 90.



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■ome blade erer more shoots up ; the air is ao
tainted fiiat no Hying thing subsists within its
influence. Near the sulphureous pool the verj
principle of being is annihilated. All b death,

Deatb, anrepealaMe, eternal death 1

But let us take oomfi>rt, These projects are
not yet generally realized. These atrocious
principles are not yet adopted into comin9n
practice. Though corruption seems with a
confluent tide to be pouring in upon us from
every quarter, yet there is still lefl among us a
discriminating judgment Clear and strongly
marked distinctions between right and wrong
still subsist While we continue to cherish this
, sanity of mind, the case is not desperate.
Though that crime, the growth of which al-
ways exhibits the most irrefragable proof of the
dissoluteness of public manners ; though that
erime, which cuts up order and rirtue by the I
roots, and violates the sanctity of vows, is aw-
fully increasing,

*Tin senates seem,
Pnt purpnaes of empire lets convened
Tban to rcleaw tte adoirress firom ber bonds :

yet, thanks to the surviving efficacy of a holy
religion, to the operation of virtuous laws, and
to tho energy and unshaken integrity with
which these laws are nour administered ; and,
most of all, perhaps, to a standard of morals
which continues in force, when the principles
which sanctioned it are no more ; this crime, in
the female sex at least, is still held in just ah-
horrencc. If it be practised, it is not honoura-
ble; if it be committed, it is not justified; we
do not yet affect to palliate its turpitude ; as yet
it hides its abhorred head in lurking privacy ;
and reprobation hitherto follows its publicity.

But ea your exerting your influence, with
just application and inereasing energy, may in
no small degree, depend whether this corruption
shall still continue to be resisted. For the abhor-
rence of a practice will too probably diminish, of
which the theory is perused with enthusiasm.
Front admiring to adopting, the step is short, and
the progress rapid ; and it is in the moral as in
the natural world ; the motion, in the case of
minds as well as of bodies, is accelerated as they
approach the centre to which they are tending.

O ye to whom this address is particularly di-
rected ! an awful charge is, in this instance,
oommitted to your hands ; as you discharge it
or shrink from it, you promote or injure the ho-
noar of your daughters and the happiness of
jTour sons, of both of which you are the deposi-
tories. And, while you t^solutely persevere in
making a stand against the encroachments of
tliis crime, suffer not your firmness to be shaken
by that affectation of charity, which is growing
into a general substitute for principle. Abuse
not so noble a ^ualit^ as Christian candour, by
misemployinsr it in instances to which it does
not apply. Pity the wretched woman you dare
not countenance ; and bless Him who has * made
yoQ to differ.* If unhappily she be your rela-
tion or friend, anxiously watch for the period
when she shall be deserted by her betrayer;
and see if, by your Christian omces, she can be
snatched frem a perpetuity of rice. But if,

Vol. I X



thiough the Divine blessing on youi patient en
deavours, she should ever be awakened to re'
morse, be not anxious to restore the forlorn pent-
tent to that society against whose laws she has
BO grievously ofiended ; and remember that her
soliciting such a restoration, furnishes but too
plain a proof that she is not the penitent your
partiality would believe ; since penitence is
more anxious to make its peace with heaven
than with the world. Joyfully would a truly
contrite spirit commute an. earthly for an ever-
lasting reprobation! To restore a criminal to
public society, is perhaps to tempt her to repeat
her crime, or to deaden her repentance for hav-
ing oommitted it, as well as to insult and to in-
jur^ that society ; while to restore a strayed soul
to God will add lustre to your Christian charac-
ter, and brighten your eternal crown.

In the mean time, there are other evils, ulti-
mately perhaps tending to this, into which we
are faJlin|r, through that sort of fiishionable can-
dour, whioh, as was hinted above, is among the
mischievous characteristics of the present day ;
of whioh period perhaps it is not the smallest
evil, that vices are made to look so like virtues
and are so assimilated to them, that it requires
watchfulness and judgment sufficieBt to analyzt
and discriminate. There are certain women ot
good fashion who practice irre^rularities not con-
sistent with the strictness of virtue ; while their
good sense and knowledge of the world make
them at the same time keenly alive to the value
of reputation. They want to retain their indul-
gences, without quite fbrfeitinjr their credit;
but finding their fiune fast declining, they cling,
by flattery and marked attentions, to a few per-
sons of more than ordinary character ; and thus,
till they are driven to let go their hold, continue
to prop a falling fkme.

On the other hand, there are not wanting wo-
men of distinction of very correct general con-
duct, and of no ordinary sense and virtue, who
confiding with a high mind on what they too
confidently call the integrity of their own hemrts,
anxious to deserve a good &me on the one hand,
by a life free from reproach, yet secretly too de-
sirous on the other of securing a worldly and
fashionable reputation ; while their general as-
sociates are persons of honour, and their general
resort places of safety ; yet allow themselves to
be occasionally present at the midnight orgies
of revelry and gaming, in houses of no honour-
able estimation ; and thus help to keep up cha-
racters, which without their sustaining hand,
would sink to their just level of contempt and
reprobation. While they are holding out tlib
piank to a drowning reputation, rather, it is tii
to be feared, showing their own strength than
assisting another's weakness, they value them-
selves, perhaps, on not partaking of the worse
parts of the amusements which may be carry
ing on ; but they sanction them by their pre
sence ; they lend their countenance to corrup-
tions they should abhor, and their example to
the young and inexperienced, who are looking
about for some such sanction to justify them in
that to which they were before inclined, but
were too timid to - have ventured upon without
the protection of such unsullied names. Thus
these respectable characters, without looking to



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THE WORKS OF HANNAH MORE.



the gfenertl oonseqnences of their indiscretion,
are thoughtlessly employed in breaking down,
as it were, the broad fence which should ever
separate two very different sorts of society,
and are becoming a kind of onnatural link be-
twcen vice and virtue.

There is a |^ro88 deception which even per-
sons of reputation practise en themselves. They
loudly condemn vice and irre^ularhy as an ab-
stract principle, nay, they stigmatise them in
persons of an opposite party, or in those from
whom they themselves have no prospect of per-
sonal advantage or amusement, and in whom
therefore they have no particular interest to to-
lerate evil, but the same disorders are viewed
without abhorrence when practised by those
who in any way minister to tJUir pleasures. Re-
fined entertainments, luxurious decorations, se-
lect music ; whatever furnishes any delight rare
and exquisite to the sense, these soften the se-
verity of criticism ; these palliate sins ; these
varnish over the flaws of a broken character, and
extort not pardon merely but justification, coun-
tenance, intimacy ! The more respectable will
not, perhaps, ^ all the length of vindicating the
disrepuUble vioe, but they aflfect to disbelieve its
existence in the individual instance ; or, failinp
in this, they will bory its acknowledged turpi-
tude in the seducing qiMdities of the agreeable
delinquent Talents of everv kind are consider-
ed as a commutation for a few vices ; and such
talents are made a passport to introduce into
honourable society, characters whom their pro-
fligacy ought to exclude fVom it

But the great object to which toc, who are or
may be mothers, are more especially called, is
the education of your children. If we are re-
sponsible for the use of influence in the case of
those over whom we have no immediate control,
in the case of our children we are responsible
for the exercise of acknowledged power; a
power wide in itsextent, indefinite in its effects,
and inestimable in its importance. On you do-
pond in no small degree the principles of the
whole rising generation. To your direction the
daughters are almost exclusively committed;
and until a certain age, to you also is consigned
the mighty privilege of forming the hearts and
minds of your in^t sons. To rau Is made over
tho awfully important trust of infusing the first
principles of piety into the tender minds of those
who may be one day called to instruct, not fa-
milies merely, but districts; to influence, not
individuals, but senates. Your private exertions
may at this moment be contributing to the fu-
ture happiness, your domestic neglect, to Uie
future rum of your country. And may you never
forijret, in this your early instruction of your off-
sprmg, nor they, in their future application of
it, that religion is the only sure ground of mo-
rals^ that private principle is the only solid ba-
sis of public virtue. O think that they both may
be fixed or forfeited for ever according to the
use you are now making of that power which
God has delegated to you, and of which he will
demand a strict account By his blessing on
your pious labours may both sons and daughters
hereafler • arise and call you blessed.* And in
the great day of general account, may every
Chrbtian mother Ve enabled through divine



Sace to say, with humble confidence, to her
aker and Redeemer, * Behold the children
whom thou hast given me !*

Christianity, driven out from the rest of the
world, has sliU, blessed be Grod ! a * strong hold*
in this country. And thpugh it be the special
duty of^e appointed * watchman now that he
seeth the sword come upon the land, to blow
the trumpet and warn the people, which if he
neglect to do, their blood shall be required of the
watchman's hand :** yet, in this sacred garri.
son, impregnable but hy rteglect, you too have an
awful post, that of arming the minds of the
rising race with the * shield of faith, whereby
they shall be able to quench the fiery darts of
the wicked ;* * that of girding them with that



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