Page images

endeavouring to improve in this holy employment, which gives us such fatisfaction in the house of God? But remember, that the heart in singing should accompany the voice; and that if you sing those sacred compositions without due attention, you will receive no advantage. Endeavour to impress your souls with a due fenfe of the subject; elevate your hearts to God; and then sing with the voice of melody, and the soul

of praise.

5. With respect to your conversation, fomething was hinted before: of this you must be especially careful, as well as to avoid all peřtness to your Superiors : and you will be so, if your hearts are truly changed. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth Speaketh. Loose, vain, and vicious conversation, as it will be highly offensive to your benefactors, and is immediately contrary to the rules of the house, fo will it be uneasy and displeasing to yourselves, if you sincerely feel and lament the sad effects of loose, yain, and vicious living. Let then no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouths ; no profane, loose, wicked words, no profanation of the holy name of God, Jesus, &c. Never suffer yourselves to trifle with the name of the Almighty, wantonly, without meaning, or on frivolous occasions ; or to use any thing tending to an oath, as, Upon my foul, I hope to be saved, &c. but endeavour to purify your lips from all appearance


of evil. When you converse together, let it at least be innocent: if it be possible, we could wish it might be edifying; and an attendance to the Rules above given, will enable you to make it fo. But,for God's sake, never be so abandoned and detestable, as to glory in your shame ; as to repeat those infamous scenes, which should cover your faces with confusion; and which, if you glory in them, unrepenting, will be produced at the last day, before all the world, to your unspeakable horror, and be the means to sink you for ever into the bottomless pit of endless misery

You must not conceive, that by entering into this House your business is done, and your Salvation secured ; this would be a fatal mistake. The life of a Christian is a continued warfare and we have enemies, powerful enemies within, as well as without, to encounter and subdue. The sad corruption of our nature is the great cause of our misery ; and, as long as you bear this mortal flesh about you, you will be subject to temptations and infirmities. You must resolve, therefore, and endeavour to vanquish all the evil desires and predominant luits of the flesh, and must labour to keep under your corrupt affections: this is required of every Christian, but peculiarly of you, who, in a life of penance for sensual enormities, should be par



[ocr errors]


ticularly careful to subdue the evil propensity of the Aesh.

Tempérance and early rising are friends, no less to health and prosperity, than to virtue and piety; and we have no doubt but you will be careful to observe both, as well upon religious as temporal motives, Desirous to mortify all your evil and corrupt affections, you will be diligent in the use of all proper 'means *, and in every respect, will endeavour "to subdue your worst

'' enemy, the enemy within : following the example of St. Paul, I keep under my body, and bring it into fubje&tion ; left that by any means, when I have preached to others, I m; self should be a caft away :” and if so great an Apoftle, and so eminent a Saint, found this necessary for him, how much more necessary thirik you, is it for you for you, who like that Apoftle, are monuments

, of the mercy,--may you be eternal imonuments of the long-suffering mercy of Christ Jesus our Lord !

Such are the general Heads of Advice we have thought proper to give you : for immediate directions, either as to religious or temporal con

* Amongst which Fafting must be particularly recommended, as a Duty of indispensable Obligation ; and as a neceffary branch of real mortification. See St. Matt. vi. 16, 17, 18.


cerns, you will always have access to our Chaplain and Matron, who will be glad and ready to succour and affist you with their best counsel, in every particular that shall respect your welfare. We have said only what we expect from you in the general ; and have neither enlarged on your Duty as Christians, or as Inhabitants of this House ; since, for the former, we have appointed regular instructions from the pulpit ; for the latter, we have instituted a general plan of conduct, with which we expect you to comply ; and, in so doing, you will secure to yourfelves our favourable notice : which, (tho' a blessing much to be prized by you) will be but small in comparison of that loving kindness of God, and that protection of his providence, wherewith, for Christ's sake, he will infallibly

bless you.

Once more let us remind you, that we have no intention, either to receive into this house, or to detain in it, any whose inclinations are averse to its important design, namely," their own present and eternal happiness." We seek only your good; and on your commendable behaviour, shall be inclined to continue you till such time as you may be put into an

into an ability to procure your livelihood properly. Yet that tender concern we have

: for your welfare, will always incline us seriously to remonstrate with you, and, with the gentleness of parental affection, to admonish you, if ever, thro' mistaken notions, you should be so wretchedly wayward, and ignorant of your own true interest, as to desire a removal hence, with no visible appearance of good success, with no probability but of returning again with the swine to wallowing in the mire, and of plunging again deeper and deeper into wretchedness and misery.

ever, * There is nothing, one would imagine, which must affect the mind, especially a female mind, equal to that contempt and neglect to which the loss of reputation, and a state of prostitution subjects them. They can never be admitced into the

And in all such cases, nay, whenever you find a gleam of the least discontent arising in your hearts, cast back

your eyes, and reflect upon what you were, upon what you must be, if you leave these friendly walls, and return to vice.

Reflect upon the foul, dead in trespasses and fins, a stranger to its God, and loft to happiness : upon the body polluted with iniquity, condemned to the foul drudgery of lust, and to its deplorable consequences, Shame and Disease ! Reflect upon yourself, banished from all true peace, a krånger to solid comfort, abhorred by the thinking and the virtuous *, despised and hated even by the most abject and vicious : caft

company of any of their own sex, who are worthy to be conversed with: all the virtuous must forsake and fly from them : they are neglected and despised by all ; and even those who use them have no true value for them, but the greateít hatred. O miserable situation! ye daughters of shame, re. Alect and return !


« PreviousContinue »