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INTRODUCTION.

In this book, the author has sought to contemplate woman precisely as the inspired pen has represented her, so far as she has arisen to view in the divine history of God's providential and gracious dispensations to mankind, and so far as that pen may have sketched more didactically her true position and duties.

In pursuance of this plan, careful attention has been given to all the more prominent female characters of the Holy Scriptures, and to whatever lights and shades the unerring pen has left upon their names for the instruction of posterity. Of this department of the divine Book, as of all the rest, may it be said, that it was given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the child of God may be perfect. The author deems it just to himself to add, that in attempting to throw himself back amid Scripture characters and Scripture times, he has aimed to keep his eye steady upon recorded facts and incidents, and has forborne, as he hopes,

all undue license of the imagination, and all those dreams of which it may be said that “there is no light in them.” He has endeavored to write a sober and faithful book--such as, in its plan and execution, in its sentiment and diction, shall do no harm, and may accomplish some good. He is not disposed to conceal, that whatever other benefit may arise out of his humble effort, he has hoped, by these brief sketches concerning various interesting characters of the Bible, to attract the eyes of his fair readers more intently toward that blessed volume, and the priceless treasures of wisdom and knowledge therein contained.

That these aims will insure the approval of the good and virtuous, the author entertains no doubt. To what extent the means he has used for the accomplishment of his object are pertinent and promising, is herewith respectfully submitted to heir candid judgment.

WOMEN OF THE BIBLE.

Eur.

Alas for her who was the first and eldest of her sex! Mournful and sad are the associations that cluster around her name. We think of deception, and of the hateful deceiver. We think of the birth of sin,--and the flight of innocence, holiness, peace, and love, from this new-created and beautiful world. We think of paradise lost, on which the sun and stars shall shine no more. We think of the fearfulness of the divine curse-of pain and sorrow-of dying and of death. It is true, there arises a bow upon the awful cloud. There is a whisper of hope heard amid the thunders of this earliest storm of earth. Under that cold and long eclipse, and amid the heaving, and crushing, and dying, and those " signs of woe that all is lost,” may be seen a gleam of holy light coming from afar. Yet the mystic ray reveals no release from the fatal wreck. It tells that death has arrived—that paradise must henceforth be sought in other worlds, and that, too, by long and painful struggles with the enemy of righteousness. .

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