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"I W YORK PUBLC LIRRARY PREFACE.
1b0976 A AS DOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1848,
By S. W. BENEDICT, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States,
for the Southern District of New York.
Aware of the delicacy and the difficulties of the subject before us, and also of the jealous sensitiveness of those whose welfare is sought, great care has been taken, in our plainness of speech, that obvious and important truths only should be presented. Fidelity to the sex, to the world, and to God, would allow nothing less.
Is not a note of admonition called for; and could it with safety be longer delayed ? Although the inquiry, Who shall first sound the alarm, was often made, it has long remained unanswered, because of the anathemas sure to follow from every unreflecting, ungrateful delinquent :“Wounded birds are sure to flutter.” Yet it is believed that no good, sensible, intelligent, exemplary woman will demur, or take exceptions to this effort; while those needing reproof, cannot innocently be pleased so long as they remain blind to their own and the world's best interests.
Many of the arguments in this work apply as appropriately to man, guilty of like sinful and shameful desects, everywhere to be seen, as to woman. But with him we have, at present, nothing to do.
29 X 283
We are not the first, nor the greatest, who have ven tured to expose the evils complained of, evidences of which may be seen all through the inspired volume. Neither have we exceeded in “ severity of truth,” amount of disapprobation, or zeal for reform, those who have gone before us. And, since the days of inspiration, many choice spirits, revered names, and strong, popular pens have dropped here and there a word, most fully sustaining the positions here laid down, exposing the guilt in terms significant and ample to have changed the conduct of those for whose benefit they have been spoken, had not the god of this world possessed almost entire control over their bodies, their intellects, and their hearts. Pass not then, hastily, sentence of condemnation. Institute first, the inquiry with modest, becoming solicitude, “Lord is it I ? Is it I?"
It gives us pleasure to say that this work has not been prosecuted and consummated, alone, by coarser hands, sterner thoughts, and colder hearts; but the best services, the warmest and deepest sympathies, of one of nature's most practical, sensible, gifted, and competent daughters have been bestowed, while collecting much, and putting together most of these materials, that they might be as perfect, unexceptionable, and interesting as possible. It ought, however, to be added, that since the manuscript underwent changes in arrangement—abbreviation,-with additions of thoughts and extracts, after her labors had ceased, she should not be held responsible for its defects.
That it may, imperfect and unpretending as it is, under the Divine guidance, and by the Spirit of all Truth, be favorably introduced into thousands of families in this and other lands, instructing, reforming, and blessing wherever it goes, is the sincere