Joseph McKee.

Responsibility as applied to the professions and callings of daily life. A sermon preached ... in ... Newark, N.J. ... [also a sermon from The American National Preacher v. 30. an address to the young online

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Online LibraryJoseph McKeeResponsibility as applied to the professions and callings of daily life. A sermon preached ... in ... Newark, N.J. ... [also a sermon from The American National Preacher v. 30. an address to the young → online text (page 7 of 7)
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unwise. And while I say this, I certainly do not agree with the old
Poets, who always associate women with the spindle and the distaff.
Far from it. The realm of mind is hers as much as it is man's. And in
that realm she has, within this century, achieved glorious triumphs.

But it is in the realm of the affections that her gra,ndest triumphs are
to be achieved. The heart is hers. Home is her kingdom. The fire-
side and the table are hers by right. She is a queen there. And if she
have high talent, or genius, or like Mrs. Wordsworth, so quiet and gen-
tle, and yet strong, because goodness is her strength, that her whole
vocabulary is as Lamb said of her, " Ood Uess yon,'^ she will rule a wider
empire than ever Zenobia did, or the serpent of the Nile did, and have
a wider influence for glory, honor and immortality than all the Aspasias
and Corinnas of all the ages.

This indeed seems to be true of the most distmguished female writers
of our own times. For example, Mrs. Opie teaches the sinfulness of war
and falsehood. Miss Howit, Miss Mitford, Miss Cook, and I may add all
the distinguished women of the present time, are in the most earnest
sympathy with the poor and the unfortunate. Their works bubble up
and run over, with a pure true love for humanity, and a right womanly
trust in virtue, and a hoping earnest piety. Nor are literaiy pursuits
inconsistent with the domestic virtues. It does not follow that because
a woman is a highly intellectual woman she should be deficient in good
housewifery, any more than because a man is a lawyer, or a doctor, or a
clergyman, he should neglect his duties as the head of a hotisehold. Hear
what one who has been for centuries called the Wise Man, says of the
true woman : " Strength and honor are her clothing. She stretches out
her hand to the poor. She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and in her
tongue is the law of kindness. She looketli well to the ways of her
household. She eateth not the bread of idleness. Favor is deceitful
and beauty is vain ; Ijut a woman that feareth the Lord she shall be
praised. Let her own works praise her in the gates."

But I leave this whole subject of domestic duty to your mothers,, who
will direct you better than I can.

Second — While I therefore urge upon you domestic duties, I do just
as earnestly urge upon you Intellectual Duties. Because you have got


rid of lessons and prescribed studies, that does not free you from the
duty you owe yourselves, as young women who have laid a fair academic
foundation, to go on. In fact you are precisely fitted for that. We are
really at school all our life-time. In school we can but lay foundations.
The building is the afterwork.

Now as I said before, I hope none of you will turn out Flora McFlim-
seys, whose literature is the novel, whose industry is beau-catching, or
the animus of whose life is gossip and sarcasm. You have accomplished
here much ; and much has been accomplished by the school ; far more
than appears on the surface. Your teachers have done their duty faith-
fully, fully and conscientiously, neither fearing nor flattering their
scholars or the public. If the young peoj)le of their class do well., they
thanh God and take courage. If they do not, they have the high con-
sciousness they have themselves been faithful to their trust. And hence
it is we speak with such perfect unreserve to you when we are disap-
pointed either in your industry or your deportment.

The general industry of the school has, I think, been faithful and
continuous during the past year. To say that all the school has made
equal progress would not be true. Differences of cai^ability, genius,
temperament, and even health, create differences of successful study.
But all have been as industrious as could reasonably be expected. I
have been more than gratified with the interest manifested by the more
advanced scholars of the First Class in their classical studies. Three
books of Vu'gil, all Horace, and the best orations of Cicero have been
read, in addition to all the other studies, of the year. But those who
have read Horace should not stop here. You should read " Cicero^s
Offices,''^ '■'■ De Natwa Deorum,'''' and " TAe Tusculum Questions,'''' — the
most valuable manuals of ethics and sound morals in any language.

Your studies in history also ought not to stoi3 with our school course.
History is the record of the Divine Providence in the world material and
spiritual. History, Geography, Natural Science and Language have a
two-fold function to subserve.

The one is the discipline of the Attention and Memory — the inuring
of the young mind to habits of active and continuous intellectual eftbrt ;
and the other is the discovery of the Divine Mind in them all as an
invisible force, working &?/ them, and throughi\\Gm, His own vast designs
of Wisdom and Progress throughout the universe, and which is indeed
the most exalted and ennobling of all studies. Your future readings
carried forward with this end, will lift you up into a new realm
of thought and faith. It will bring you into communion with the un-
seen, making the faculties of observation, memory and judgment the


willing instruments of your affections, and God the centre and circumfer-
ence of all your thoughts.

Thirdly — I say to you avoid all affectation. Affectation of Learning
is pedantry, and carries its own condemnation. Aftectation of Refine-
ment is mawkish weakness. Affectation of Wit is but coxcombry. Be
natural. Be aft'able. Remember Horace's rule — " Simplex munditiis.''''

In a word, don't l^e a " frivolous woman., "

" Wliose light head contains
More tongue than wit, more glistening teeth than brains. "

Don't lie a " strong-minded woman, "

" Who, like a steam boiler, holds
Terrific power; most safe when most controlled. "

Nor a ^'■tattling looman,''''

" Whose head is full of tales, in confidence
To her related, at some friend's expense ;
Her tongue so swift to execute and mar,
No snake can cast her venom half so far. "

Nor a '■'■fashionalile woman, "

" A creature like a humming-bird arrayed
Of plumes and perfumes, lace and lacings made. "

In a word don't be a " soft; " don't be a " cynir, ; " don't he a '■'■scold. "
Don't be a " Mistress Mary, always contrary. "

What then ? Be a true woman.

Were your fathers to take my place now in adckessing you, would they
not say to you something like this : My daughters, you know the right ;
have the courage to do it. You are God's — mind, heart and body are
His. Your powers and faculties — intellectual, moral and physical — are
all His gifts. Consecrate them to His service. Present them to Him
a living sacrifice, holy and acceptal^le. Walk with Him.

In all the duties, employments and i)rovidences of life, cultivate a
cheerful, trustful sense of His presence. Be religious, but not Puritanic;
be pious, Ijut not pietistic. Do what is right — not for expediency, but
for its Tightness. Let Truth and Hope and Charity be the vitalizing ele-
ments of your social and religious life. " Keep your souls iJiire as the
temples of Divine Love." Let Prayer be with you a constant aspiration
rather than a fixed and conventional observance. Let it be the mistudied
and reverential expression of Meekness, Patience, Thankfulness and
Obedience. It is the spirit, it is not the letter, that has life. A sigh, a
tear, one glad, honest, grateful exclamation of Gratitude or Penitence or
Hope, is worth an armful of liturgies when the heart is not in them. Be
pure in heart and ye shall see God ; and may his Messing le ever toith you
and upon yon.


One word more. During the six years the school has been in opera-
tion there has been very little serious sickness among its members ; and
I have observed that the most industrious scholars have all of them been
the healthiest. But one of our number has left us for the Higher School
above. She knows more note of Life, and Death, and Immortality, than
any of us. She loved the Divine Master here, and He called her to Him-
self. She did not go alone and friendless into the Unknown Realm.
She had a Saviom- there ; Jesus is His name. And that same Friend is
your Friend. In His name we do this day thank God for our continued
health and lives. How long any of us have to live we know not. God
only knows. But while we do live, let us live so that we too, all of us,
may be fitted to enter the Oreat Scliool of Redeemed Human Souls above,
as scholars whose names are written in the " Lamb's Book of Life.''


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Online LibraryJoseph McKeeResponsibility as applied to the professions and callings of daily life. A sermon preached ... in ... Newark, N.J. ... [also a sermon from The American National Preacher v. 30. an address to the young → online text (page 7 of 7)