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masculine notion that an appearance of holiness is proper to their lowly
station, and a masculine feeling that church-going somehow keeps them
in order, and out of doings that would be less reassuring. When they
exhibit any genuine religious fervour, its sexual character is usually
so obvious that even the majority of men are cognizant of it. Women
never go flocking ecstatically to a church in which the agent of God in
the pulpit is an elderly asthmatic with a watchful wife. When one finds
them driven to frenzies by the merits of the saints, and weeping over
the sorrows of the heathen, and rushing out to haul the whole vicinage
up to grace, and spending hours on their knees in hysterical abasement
before the heavenly throne, it is quite safe to assume, even without an
actual visit, that the ecclesiastic who has worked the miracle is a fair
and toothsome fellow, and a good deal more aphrodisiacal than learned.
All the great preachers to women in modern times have been men of suave
and ingratiating habit, and the great majority of them, from Henry Ward
Beecher up and down, have been taken, soon or late, in transactions
far more suitable to the boudoir than to the footstool of the Almighty.
Their famous killings have always been made among the silliest sort of
women--the sort, in brief, who fall so short of the normal acumen of
their sex that they are bemused by mere beauty in men.
Such women are in a minority, and so the sex shows a good deal fewer
religious enthusiasts per mille than the sex of sentiment and belief.
Attending, several years ago, the gladiatorial shows of the Rev. Dr.
Billy Sunday, the celebrated American pulpit-clown, I was constantly
struck by the great preponderance of males in the pen devoted to the
saved. Men of all ages and in enormous numbers came swarming to the
altar, loudly bawling for help against their sins, but the women were
anything but numerous, and the few who appeared were chiefly either
chlorotic adolescents or pathetic old Saufschwestern. For six nights
running I sat directly beneath the gifted exhorter without seeing a
single female convert of what statisticians call the child-bearing
age--that is, the age of maximum intelligence and charm. Among the male
simpletons bagged by his yells during this time were the president of
a railroad, half a dozen rich bankers and merchants, and the former
governor of an American state. But not a woman of comparable position
or dignity. Not a woman that any self-respecting bachelor would care to
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