Proverbs 31:10
Who can find a wife of noble character? She is far more precious than rubies.
Sermons
The Words of LernuelE. Johnson Proverbs 31:1-31
A Good WifeMemoir of J. Stuart Blackie.Proverbs 31:10-27
A Helpful WifeProverbs 31:10-27
A Noble Woman's Picture of True WomanhoodHomilistProverbs 31:10-27
A Soothing VoiceC. Lamb.Proverbs 31:10-27
A Virtuous WomanProverbs 31:10-27
An Industrious WifeJ. B. F. Tinling.Proverbs 31:10-27
Beautiful HandsChristian TreasuryProverbs 31:10-27
Far Above RubiesW. J. Woods, B.A.Proverbs 31:10-27
Homely AttainmentsProverbs 31:10-27
NeedleworkProverbs 31:10-27
Religion for Every Day -- Our WivesGeorge Bainton.Proverbs 31:10-27
The Excellent WomanW. E. Griffis.Proverbs 31:10-27
The Excellent WomanD. J. Burrell.Proverbs 31:10-27
The Model WomanRobert Tuck, B.A.Proverbs 31:10-27
The Nobility of WomanhoodA. Rowland, LL.B.Proverbs 31:10-27
The Prophecy of Lemuel's MotherA Woman's Sermon to Women.Proverbs 31:10-27
The Virtuous Woman as a WifeR. F. Horton, D.D.Proverbs 31:10-27
The Worth and Work of WomanRichard Glarer.Proverbs 31:10-27
Woman's WorkStopford A. Brooke, LL.D.Proverbs 31:10-27
Christian WomanhoodW. Clarkson Proverbs 31:10-31
The Virtuous HousewifeE. Johnson Proverbs 31:10-31

I. HER INFLUENCE IN THE SPHERE OF HOME. (Vers. 10-22.)

1. Her exceeding worth. (Vers. 10-12.) A costly treasure not everywhere to be found; no commonplace blessing: an ornament and a joy above all that earth affords of rare and beautiful. A treasure on which the heart of the possessor ever dwells with delight.

"Continual comfort in a face, The lineaments of gospel books." She is the rich source of revenue to her husband in all good things.

"All other goods by fortune's hand are given;
A wife is the peculiar gift of Heaven."


(Pope.) If women be good, said Aristotle, "the half of the commonwealth may be happy where they are." "The greatest gift of God is a pious, amiable spouse, who fears God, loves his house, and with whom one can live in perfect confidence" (Luther).

2. The picture of her domestic industry. (Vers. 13- 22.) It is an antique picture, the form and colouring derived from ancient custom; but the general moral effect is true for all times. The traits of the housewifely character are:

(1) The personal example of diligence. She is seen from day to day spinning at her loom, the chief occupation of women in ancient times. She is an early riser (ver. 15).

(2) Her unrelaxing energy. (Ver. 17.) She has no idle hour; her rest is in change of occupation.

(3) Her personal attention to business. (Vers. 16, 18.) Whether examining land with a view to invest her savings in purchase and cultivation, or inspecting goods, her mind is in all she does She is not slothful in business, but glowing In spirit, and all that she does is done with heart.

(4) Her benevolence. Her thrift is not of the odious form which begins and ends with home, and breeds a sordid miserliness out of hard won gains. Her open hand outstretched to the poor (ver. 20) is one of the most winning traits in the picture. She has no lack of good herself, and always something over for the needy.

(5) Her care both for comfort and for ornament. (Vers. 21, 22.) Both the very spheres of woman's activity. But she observes their true order. Her first thought is for the health of her household; she provides the warm "double garments" against the winter's snow. Her leisure is occupied with those fine works of artistic needlework by which elegance and beauty are contributed to the scene of home. Refinement adorning comfort, - this is the true relation. In finery without solid use and comfort there is no beauty nor worth.

II. FURTHER TRAITS AND DETAILS OF THE PICTURE, (Vers. 23-31.)

1. She reflects consideration on her husband. Her thrift makes him rich; her noble character gives him additional title to respect. His personality derives weight from the possession of such a treasure, the devotion of such a heart. Her business capacity, her energy, and the quiet dignity of her life and bearing; the mingled sense and shrewdness, charm and grace of her conversation (vers. 24-27); - are all a source of fame, of noble self-complacency, of just confidence to the man who is blessed to call her "mine."

2. Her life and work earn for her perpetual thanks and benedictions. (Vers. 28, 29.) Her children, as they grow up, bless her for the inestimable boon of a mother's care and love. She has revealed to them God; and never can they cease to believe in goodness so long as they recollect her. She basks in the sunshine of a husband's constant approved. "Best of wives!" "Noblest of women!" is the thought ever in his heart, often on his lips.

3. It is religion which gives enduring worth and immortality to character, (vers. 30, 31.) Beauty is a failing charm or a deception of the senses. But religious principle gives a spiritual beauty to the plainest exterior. Being and doing from religious motives, to religious ends, - this is a sowing for eternal fruits. And the works of love for God's sake and man's fill the air with fragrance to the latest end of time, and are found unto praise, honour, and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. - J.







Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
There was never yet a woman who did not wish to have some part in the choice of her son's wife; and the mother of king Lemuel was no exception to the rule. She knew the kind of woman that would make him happy, and she contrived, by some means, to instil the knowledge into the heart of her son. It is a fact, which should ever be before the minds of mothers, that their sons are naturally disposed to love and revere them. This should make all mothers walk warily, and lead them to the source of every good, so that, having sat at the Master's feet and learned of Him, they may go back to their children with His Spirit shining through their eyes, and guiding alike their thoughts, emotions, and actions. The question with which this panegyric begins is rather a startling one. "Who can find a virtuous woman?" Were good women scarce then? and are they rare now? Devoted women, unselfish women, domesticated women, are not too easily discovered. Where a woman's heart is true, and her hands are gentle, where her voice is kind and her eyes far-seeing, where she lives not to herself nor to the world, but to the little circle whose happiness she makes, or to the God who has chosen her lot, there is the virtuous woman of whom the wise man spoke. Nothing so damps the ardour and joy of a man or his children as an incompetent, faulty woman at the head of the household; and nothing can be a greater source of strength than the woman who gives an impulse to all that is good and right, and checks the evil by a significant look or a softly-spoken word. Good women are wanted everywhere.

(A Woman's Sermon to Women.)

The figures of women which pass across the pages of the Old Testament have so much nobility and so much character that even the slight sketches of them in the Bible have always impressed the imagination, and awakened the art of mankind. There is that in the New Testament woman which, in the past, has lifted womanhood into the worship of the world, and in the present has been the foundation of all that has been given to her, and of all that she has won for herself. In this chapter is the image of the perfect wife, done in poetry. The woman here has the attributes of wisdom, for strength and honour clothe her, and her future is secured by it. Her common speech is full of it, and the wisdom of speech is love. So wise is she that trust is safe in her. Her wisdom wins love for her; her children bless her, and her husband praises her. She is the active manager of business as well as of the household. She has her own prosperity, her own work in life; and her charities, which are many, are her own. This is the Jewish ideal of womanhood, yet the Jew of the Old Testament fails to find any ideal for womanhood beyond wifehood and motherhood. Only portions of this belong to the notions which women have in England of wifehood and home. Each class of society — according to the amount of money it can allot to the household — has its own separate ideal of the function of wives and mothers. In every case loveliness and loving-kindness and wisdom and the making of the beautiful, and the adornment of life should be by women combined with work. There is an inexhaustible capacity in women for this twofold life, and for complete success in it; but the idea of it is not as yet justly conceived, and there is no steady education for it. A thousand prejudices stand in the way of such a conception, and of the individual and free effort that it needs. The working class girls find their work so heavy and so long, that they have not strength of body or leisure of soul to learn what belongs to wifehood and motherhood, There is scarcely any class so neglected, so overworked, so put upon by others, so worn out before they are thirty years old. But there are thousands of women who can never marry and never have a home. If they cannot be mothers, let them have the means to be eager, living, and active women, able to work for one another, and for the world; able to invent new work and new spheres of work, fitted for womanhood's special aims and powers, and for the advance of the cause of humanity. This earth should be a fitting place and home for humanity. It is not that now, and one of the reasons, and it may be the most important of them all, is the imprisonment of the energy of womanhood, both by men and by themselves, in a narrow individualism.

(Stopford A. Brooke, LL.D.)

The chief points commended in the description may be impressed if we deal with woman's love, work, care, charity, speech, and praise.

I. HER LOVE. Shown not in professions and demonstration of affection merely, but in trying to occupy faithfully her place. It is far better to show love than merely to speak it. So God wants to see our love to Him in its signs.

II. HER WORK. Kinds of work for women differ according to their condition in society; but every woman should have her work. A woman's work is first the feeding and tending of her household; beyond this she may be able to work so as to earn. Show how much there is that young women can do towards a living in these days. All should try to be independent.

III. HER CARE. In the ruling of her household; finding for each member work, food, and appropriate clothing. Watching that nothing is either wasted or lost, and everything made the best of.

IV. HER CHARITY. Caring for the poor, and distributing of her abundance to them. How important, as an example to the children, is a generous, charitable mother!

V. HER SPEECH. Always prudent and kindly. Never gossiping, never slandering, never hasty or passionate. Ever firm but gentle. See how often otherwise good characters are spoiled by the unbridled tongue.

VI. HER PRAISE.. It comes from her husband, from her children, and even from her God. "Supreme love to God, which is religion, is that which generates, animates, and adorns all other virtues of character."

(Robert Tuck, B.A.)

By a virtuous woman is meant one who is characterised by a number of positive virtues and excellences, and chiefly by piety, or the fear and love of God. Illustrate this subject by the life of "Carmen Sylva," Queen of Roumania.

I. THE WORTH OF WOMAN. "Far above rubies." Let a man ask himself what would be the worth to his heart, to his home, to his children, to society, of such a woman as is described here — the ideal woman of God's Word, the woman that every woman would be if she only feared God, loved His Word, imbibed His Spirit, and moulded her character upon His most blessed teachings.

1. Consider the worth of such a woman as a daughter. This is the first relationship in life woman is called to fulfil. Who can estimate her worth to her parents, or to her brothers and sisters? She is not wilful, headstrong, passionate, selfish; but humble, respectful, dutiful, affectionate. The foundation of true womanly worth is piety, the fear and love of God. Without true religion the character has no basis. Where that is found we may expect all the virtues to flourish into beauty.

2. The worth of such a woman as a wife. Here is an elaborate description of her housewifely care and prudence, and industry, and economy, and the blessed effects of all this on the happiness of her husband's heart and home, and on his character, reputation, and prosperity. Oh, that young men would look for piety in their wives! Nothing like that to govern their tongues, and to sweeten their tempers, and to make them amiable, pure, and true.

II. THE WORK OF WOMAN. Home is her sphere, and her work is to make home happy. Some women think their work is to reform and regenerate the world. So it is, but the proper sphere for their reforming work is not in the publicities of the world, but in the privacies of the home, in their little children's nurseries, and by the side of the domestic hearth. I hold the worth of unmarried women in high esteem. They are of the greatest value to society, and especially to the Church of God. No single woman need pine in ennui for want of useful occupation.

(Richard Glarer.)

The Bible, which is the great reservoir of the rights of man is also the storehouse of the rights of woman. Woman's Magna Charta is the Word of God. It teaches us to honour woman; it warns every man that if he degrades woman he degrades himself, and that everywhere man rises as he lifts woman up. This text is a woman's estimate of what woman should be. All the parts that women have contributed to the Bible are poems; this is no exception.

I. THE DOMESTIC QUALITIES OF WOMAN. The question of the text is indeed a warning that the kind of woman about to be described is a model not always attained. It is not every woman whose price is "far above rubies." In ancient times the women made the garments which their husbands wore. We call the unmarried woman a "spinster"; and the word wife means a "weaver." It is the woman who keeps the house together. This is the description which a woman gives of a woman's domestic qualities. She must be wife, she must be lady, she must be housekeeper.

II. THE PERSONAL QUALITIES OF THE MODEL WOMAN. It is said that she is strong. As far as her strength is the result of careful and conscientious attention to the laws of health, it deserves to be described as a virtue, and a virtue that ought to be cultivated. If the future race of men is to be strong, the present race of women must first he strong. Then she is industrious. She not only saves the money others have entrusted her with, and uses it well, but she uses her own energy until she sells her own merchandise, and her industry increases her possessions till they become such that the watch-lamp has to be lighted that at night they may be secure. Strong and industrious, she could afford to be generous. But though she is generous, she is provident. She is also elegant, a lover of beauty Ruskin says, "A woman's first duty is to please, and a woman who does not please has missed her end in life." She is beautiful in her speech. She should take an interest in everything that interests every man in the house. She is kind, but orderly. She keeps discipline.

III. LOOK AT HER REWARD. "Her husband praiseth her." "Her children call her blessed." The sweetest, daintiest, purest blossoms of a woman's heart will only flourish when she is praised by him she loves best. This is the true reward of the true woman. Her character is the secret of her power and her reward.

(W. J. Woods, B.A.)

1. The person inquired after. A virtuous woman is a woman of strength. Though the weaker vessel, yet made strong by wisdom and grace and the fear of God. A woman of spirit, who has the command of her own spirit, and knows how to manage other people's, one that is pious and industrious, and a helpmeet for a man. A woman of resolution.

2. The difficulty of meeting such an one. Good women are very scarce, and many that seem to be so do not prove so.

3. The unspeakable value of such an one, and the value which he that hath such a wife ought to put upon her, showing it by his thankfulness to God, and his kindness and respect to her, whom he must never think he can do too much for.

( Matthew Henry.)

To the young womanhood it may be said — Your capability to fulfil the offices of womanhood will be proportioned to your worth of character, and to the use you have made, or are prepared to make, of your opportunities. Earnestness of life is the only passport to satisfaction in life.

I. AS A WIFE, REALISE YOUR INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY. The husband is the head of the household; but a wife's position does not imply inferiority. She is her husband's companion in life and for life, to be regarded by him as his equal. The husband is the bread-winner, the wife is the bread-keeper and distributor. In all the affairs of domestic life the wife should maintain her position and influence. She should insure her authority by proving her ability to do what the office of a wife demands. Never for a moment permit your husband to feel that he may not trust the concerns of home to your care. Act in such a way that instinctively he will know his property, his honour, his happiness, are safe in your hands.

II. CULTIVATE ALL WOMANLY EXCELLENCES. Strengthen and enlarge the best side of life, by developing everything in you that is good. There are certain virtues essential to the ideal wife. Be thoughtful. Be industrious. Be restful. Be loving. A sublime self-forgetfulness lies at the bottom of every noble life, and of every great service wrought for human good. Homely and commonplace as this ideal may seem, it will demand all your resources. What has been urged cannot be attained without time, judgment, care, patience, and the constant aid of Divine grace in adaptation.

(George Bainton.)

Homilist.
I. MARK HER CONDUCT AS A WIFE. Here is inviolable faithfulness. The husband trusts her character and her management. Here is practical affection. Genuine wifely love seeks the good of her husband, is constant as nature. Here is elevating influence. Her words have inspired her husband with honourable ambitions, and her diligence and frugality have contributed the means by which to reach his lofty aims. Here is merit acknowledged. There are men who are incapable of appreciating the character or reciprocating the love of a noble wife. Blessed is the man who has found s wife approaching this ideal!

II. HER MANAGEMENT AS A MISTRESS. Notice her industry. Diligence in useful pursuits should be the grand lesson in all female education.

III. HER BLESSEDNESS AS A MOTHER. In the spirit, the character, and the lives of her children she meets with an ample reward for all her self-denying efforts to make them good and happy. Her children's lives are a grateful acknowledgment of all her kindness, and in their spirit and conversation she reaps a rich harvest of delight.

IV. HER GENEROSITY AS A NEIGHBOUR. Her sympathies are not confined to the domestic sphere. They overflow the boundary of family life — they go forth into the neighbourhood.

V. HER EXCELLENCE AS AN INDIVIDUAL. She was vigorous in body; elegant in her dress; dignified and cheerful in her bearing; devout and honoured in her religion. Religion was the spirit of her character, the germ from which grew all the fruits of her noble life.

(Homilist.)

She is a wife. The modern conception of a woman as an independent person, standing alone, engaged in her own business or profession, and complete in her isolated life, is not to be looked for in the Book of Proverbs. It is the creation of accidental circumstances. However necessary it may be in a country where the women are largely in excess of the men, it cannot be regarded as final or satisfactory. In the beginning it was not so, neither will it be so in the end. If men and women are to abide in strength and to develop the many sides of their nature, they must be united. It is not good for man to be alone; nor is it good for woman to be alone. There are some passages in the New Testament which seem to invalidate this truth. The advocates of celibacy appeal to the example of Christ and to the express words of St. Paul. But the New Testament, as our Lord Himself expressly declares, does not abrogate the eternal law which was from the beginning. And if He Himself abstained from marriage, and if St. Paul seems to approve of such an abstention, we must seek for the explanation in certain exceptional and temporary circumstances; for it is precisely to Christ Himself in the first instance, and to His great apostle in the second, that we owe our loftiest and grandest conceptions of marriage. There was no room for a personal marriage in the life of Him who was to be the Bridegroom of His Church; and St. Paul distinctly implies that the pressing troubles and anxieties of his own life, and the constant wearing labours which were required of the Gentile apostle, formed the reason why it was better for him, and for such as he, to remain single. At any rate the virtuous woman of the Proverbs is a wife; and the first thing to observe is the part she plays in relation to her husband. She is his stay and confidence.

(R. F. Horton, D.D.)

In this final chapter of Proverbs we have celebrated in poetic numbers the wife and mother in practical life. Each age has its own ideal. Study this ideal in outline and in detail. Strength, energy, activity, is here the main thought. Foresight, industry, and business capacity are desired. A virtuous woman is a woman with virtue; that is vim, strength. The virtuous woman is virile without being masculine. The virtuous woman, whose price is above rubies, is, like the ideal man, to walk after the law of God in every footstep of life, as well as in every lengthened path of continued duty. Love to God creates a holy ambition. It spurs her on to be what Jehovah intended our first mother to be — a true helpmeet. Full of the detail of daily industry and household management, she is yet far-sighted. Methodical, wise-hearted, kindly in discipline, her household moves like the order of the heavenly bodies. Woman's strength may be in her tongue, even more than in her arms and hands. This edged tool, growing sharper by constant use, must be consecrated, else it will kill more than cure. The secret and spring of such a character as that of the virtuous woman is the fear of the Lord. This fear — reverence mingled with love — is a well-spring of life. Watered by this stream, all fair flowers of grace, and fruits of character grow.

(W. E. Griffis.)

Three things concerning woman as she is portrayed in the Proverbs.

1. Her power both for good and evil is emphasised. She is recognised as important in the social structure.

2. Her position, as portrayed here, gives us a high estimate of the life of the Jews as a nation. You can always tell a nation's character from the character of its women.

3. The Jewish woman was a wife and mother. She took the place God made for her, and filled it excellently; and in that for any one in any place lies the highest success in life.

I. THE VIRTUE MOST DEALT WITH HERE IS INDUSTRY. Look at this model woman, accepting with a cheerful and masterly mind the place God has given her, bound to do her best to satisfy its conditions, and so destined to genuine content. To work is God's intention for us, and if we have any thought of wishing to live for Him, work will not be to us an episode so disagreeable that we are to escape from it as soon as possible, but rather that for which we are made and that in which we ought to be most at home.

II. THE MODEL WOMAN IS EFFICIENT IN THE MANAGEMENT OF HER HOUSEHOLD. The word "virtuous" refers not so much to purity as to adaptation to the place where God has put her. The meaning is, "Who can find a capable woman?" Her capability is shown in her addressing herself in strength to the exigencies of her place. It requires wisdom to do anything well. The ideal woman uses her good sense to advantage in the management of the home. Nothing is more worthy of one's most acute thought than the inconspicuous duties of the home.

III. THIS IDEAL WOMAN IS FULL OF ENTERPRISE. There is something very homely and natural in this portrait of the thrifty housewife turning an honest penny when occasion offers. This is the overflow of her exuberant interest in the prosperity of her household. Her business enterprise is not a sign of her seeking new interests outside of the home, but on the contrary a sign of her greater devotion to it. Home over everything, everything for the home, is her idea.

IV. THE IDEAL WOMAN IS SYMPATHETIC. She does not forget the poor. Her vigorous mind does not make her a hard, calculating person of business. She is still a woman, full of sympathy for the unfortunate, ready to help the unsuccessful. Back of the calculating mind lies the warm, throbbing heart, thrilled with the highest emotions.

V. THE IDEAL WOMAN IS WISE OF SPEECH. She is the counsellor of the household, giving good advice and teaching them that kindness which is life's truest wisdom. The easy running of home affairs makes a great difference in the happiness of every one. Home is where the character of the children is being formed. The widest empire does not offer a more dignified throne for the exercise of high wisdom than the mother's seat in the home. The results of such a good woman's life are visible. She has a happy husband. She has appreciative children. She has a good name. May God give to many a girlish heart a new dream — not of fair, but of good women, that shall reproduce itself in a strong, gentle, wise life.

(D. J. Burrell.)

Writing of the greatness of Mr. D. L. Moody, Professor Drummond says: "If you were to ask Mr. Moody — which it would never occur to you to do — what, apart from the inspirations of his personal faith, was the secret of his success, of his happiness and usefulness in life, he would assuredly answer, 'Mrs. Moody.'"

Mrs. Henry Clay, the wife of the celebrated American statesman, during her husband's long and frequent absences from home at the seat of government, used to take the reins into her own hands at the farm. She made a practical study of agriculture, oversaw the overseer, and became an oracle among the farmers of the neighbourhood. Preparatory to Mr. Clay's departure from home, she invariably received from him a handsome cheque, which she as regularly restored to him upon his return, with the laconic remark that she found no use for it!

(J. B. F. Tinling.)

A good story is told of the famous plaid, without which Blackie was rarely seen. One day, at Dr. Donald Macleod's house, he said, "When I was a poor man, and my wife and I had our difficulties, she one day drew my attention to the threadbare character of my coat, and asked me to order a new one. I told her I could not afford it just then, when she went, like a noble woman, and put her own plaid shawl on my shoulders, and I have worn a plaid ever since in memory of her loving deed!"

(Memoir of J. Stuart Blackie.)

And worketh willingly with her hands
Christian Treasury.
As a young friend was standing with us noticing the pedestrians on the sidewalk, a very stylish young lady passed us. "What beautiful hands Miss — has!" exclaimed our friend. "What makes them beautiful?" "Why, they are small, white, soft, and exquisitely shaped." "Is that all that constitutes the beauty of the hand? Is not something more to be included in your catalogue of beauty?" "What more would you have?" "Are they charitable hands? Have they ever fed the poor? Have they ever carried the necessities of life to the widow and the orphan? Has their soft touch ever smoothed the irritation of sickness and the agonies of pain? Axe they useful hands? Have they been taught that the world is not a playground, or a theatre of display, or a mere lounging-place? Do those delicate hands ever labour? Are they ever employed about the domestic duties of life? Are they modest hands? Will they perform their charities or their duties without vanity? Or do they pander to the pride of their owner by their delicacy and beauty? Are they humble hands? Will their owner extend them to grasp the hand of that old schoolfellow who now must earn her living by her labour? Are they holy hands? Are they ever clasped in prayer or elevated in praise?"

(Christian Treasury.)

She layeth her hands to the spindle
There is a trite but apposite moral in the anecdote told of James I on having a girl presented to him who was represented as an English prodigy because she was deeply learned. The person who introduced her boasted of her proficiency in ancient languages. "I can assure your Majesty," said he, "that she can both speak and write Latin, Greek, and Hebrew." "These are rare attainments for a damsel," said James; "but pray tell me, can she spin?"

She maketh herself coverings of tapestry
Whenever (said Dr. Johnson), whenever chance brings within my observation a knot of young ladies busy at their needles, I consider myself as in the school of virtue; and though I have no extraordinary skill in plain work or embroidery, I look upon their operations with as much satisfaction as their governess, because I regard them as providing a security against the most dangerous insnarers of the soul, by enabling them to exclude idleness from their solitary moments, and, with idleness, her attendant train of passions, fancies, chimeras, fears, sorrows, and desires.

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness
1. Tact is evidently the characteristic of one who "openeth her mouth with wisdom." She is not one whose garrulity proves the truth of the proverb, "In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin," for she has sufficient sense of the seriousness of life to avoid utterances which are idle and thoughtless. Her words are the dictates of that wisdom, the beginning of which is the fear of the Lord. Nor does she merely speak wise words, but, with true wisdom, she recognises that "there is a time to speak and a time to be silent," so that her reproofs and encouragements live long in grateful memories.

2. But authority is quite as important as tact, and this is characteristic of one who has a "law" in her lips. Suppleness in management is of little value unless there be strength behind it. God never meant that women should be always yielding to other people's opinions, or that they should be swayed hither and thither by every passing breeze of emotion. As much as men they need firmness, the royal power of rule, for in the home, in the sick-room, and in the class they have a veritable kingdom in which to exercise authority for God.

3. It must not be forgotten, however, that the authority here spoken of is the law of kindness. Such, in the highest sense, is the authority of Christ over His people. The noblest rule requires, not the display of force, nor the terrors of foolish threats, nor the countermining of a suspicious nature, but the law of kindness, which is obeyed because it evidently springs from love and is enforced by love. Gentlest influences are by no means the feeblest. The spring crocus can be crushed by a stone, but, unlike it, the crocus can push its way up through the stiff, hard soil, until it basks in the sunshine. The light of the sun does not make noise enough to disturb an insect's sleep, but it can waken a whole world to duty. Those who have been able to win or to retain the affection and trust of others exercise a power which angels might desire.

(A. Rowland, LL.B.)

Yes, we agree with that old poet who said that a low, soft voice was an excellent thing in woman. Indeed, we feel inclined to go much further than he has on the subject, and call it one of her crowning charms. How often the spell of beauty is rudely broken by coarse, loud talking! How often you are irresistibly drawn to a plain, unassuming woman whose soft, silvery tone renders her positively attractive. In the social circle how pleasant it is to hear a woman talk in that low key which always characterises the true lady. In the sanctuary of home, how such a voice soothes the fretful child and cheers the weary husband!

(C. Lamb.)

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