Women’s Ministry: The view from 1852

by | Oct 28, 2011 | 06 Articles, Ministry

Since I’ve been blogging on the Why Have a Women’s Ministry, I found this quote from a book published in 1852 interesting.

My Dear Young Friend:

A clergyman will, of course, have much and constant occasion to be in the company of females.  They form a most interesting and active part of every church.  Many things may be accomplished by their pious agency, which could scarcely be attained in any other way.  And happy, indeed, is that minister of the gospel, who, by wisdom, fidelity, prudence, and Christian delicacy, is enabled to conciliate the esteem, and to acquire and maintain the unlimited confidence of his female parishioners, and of other persons of worth of that sex, with whom he may be called in Providence to associate.

He who fails of doing this, cannot either be very acceptable or very useful; while he who succeeds in attaining it, not only possesses one of the most valuable pledges of permanent popularity, but also enjoys the advantages for doing good of the richest kind.

The female part of every congregation have, in general, an influence, which, while it cannot be defined, cannot, at the same time, be resisted.  And, for the most part, this influence, I believe, is as just in its ultimate award, as it is sovereign in its sway.

From “Letter 12: Female Society, Marriage, etc.” in Letters on Clerical Manners and Habits:  Addressed to A Student in the Theological Seminary at Princeton NJ  by Samuel Miller, published 1852.

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Photo: “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat.