THE Design of the ESSAY we are upon, is, To Do Good in the world; and very Particularly, among Younger Persons of the Female Sex; whose Improvement in Piety, would not be too much Studied, if there were much more Study Employ'd than there is upon it.
I am able to say, on the behalf of this Essay, That I have a small Army of Neighbours Importunately calling upon me for it; A good number who tell me, tis pity such Piety shou'd have two Burials; one in the Grave; 'tother in Oblivion: And it is a very allowable thing to gratify their Importunity. But this is a sort of a Thread-bare Apology, which I have no va|lue for; I have cast it off a great while ago. It signifies nothing, if the Things Published upon it, are not for the Service of Mankind. And if they are so, [as, Reader, I hope, what thou hast before thee, will be!] there needs neither That, nor any other Apology at all, for their Publication.
I have not Complemented the Memory of the Deceased Person; or treated her, as a Ba|sil his Julitta, a Nyssen his Pulcheria, a Chrysostom his Pelagia, and a Jerom his Marcella. Nor have I been labouring to make an Addition unto Beverovicius's Catalogue, of, Women that Page [unnumbered] have been Considerable. I have only Shown some of the Garments of Righteousness; I will not so much say, Made by a Younger Dorcas; (only that the Needle-work of her Pen was Employ'd thereupon:) but Worn by her, and Made, I should rather say, by the Good Spirit of Grace, whose internal Raiment of Needle-work, renders the Daughters of the LORD, all Glorious within. The Account, I hope, is Modest; and without Flourish; And every thing in the world for|born, but what was thought might be Ʋseful.
The Lamp found in Tulliola's Tomb, was not of so much use, as that Shining Piety, which is in such Papers, as we find in a little Trunk of a Young Agatha departed from us. We are with a mighty Advantage told, what should be done, when we are at the same time shown, what has been done, in a course of Piety.
The Sorrow on the Death of such a Chri|stian, is marvellously Extinguished, by such Reliques! O Rome, How preferrible to thy boasted Reliques! I had almost said, Every Sorrowful Tear is a sort of a Sadducee.
And the satisfaction of having Done Good, by Exhibiting the Memorials of Piety left by such a Christian, will be an abundant com|pensation, for all the Obloquy, of some En|vious People, who are of another, and a well known Character.
It was a peculiar Honour to Shallum, Neh. III. 12. That he and his Daughters, did more than a little to build up the City of God.