« הקודםהמשך »
Why should theft by force from a woman cease to be a crime because it is committed by the very person in all the world who has pledged himself to "love her, comfort her, honour and keep her in sickness and in health”? Oh, is it not a mockery of justice and humanity to give a husband immunity who robs his wife of her earnings, and thus give a licence to pillage ?
It cannot but be the right of every human being whom God has made responsible to Himself, as the Great Sovereign, to make the most of, and do to the best with, that nature within the measure of its capabilities, and considering the circumstances in which it is placed in so far as these circumstances are inevitable.
It is a woman's right to be a woman, but that certainly does not imply that she should be denuded of her rights as a human creature, which she essentially is, and only by an inseparable accident a
Has she not a right to a share of all human rights, as well as a right to all the consideration arising from her accidental disparity? Why should she be condemned to impersonality and impecuniosity because she is a woman? Has she not her nature to develop, her ability to put to usury, her own way to make towards whatsoever of perfectibility lies in her; and has she not a right to protection against the false and forced dependence, to which, by man-made law, she is subdued ! On what principle can it be that men claim the inheritance of the whole earth as theirs by entails and Salic laws, keep the entire means of gaining a livelihood as a fund divisible among themselves, to which one half of the human race—and that one not less needful of food, raiment, and homeshall have no access or claim except as paupers, that is, dependentsfor those who perforce must accept of the benevolence of others, in whatever capacity it may be received, are in reality nothing else than paupers—or pets, both terms and things equally hateful to a free mind and an independent nature.
And is not everything done by man against woman in the most tyrannous manner A mother is not allowed the guardianship of her own child-unless it is inconvenient for the father to support it, and then it is thrown as a burden upon her; or unless it will gratify his evil nature to force her to maintain it, and then he will pay, if compelled by law, the smallest amount of money on wbich the life of the child can be supported for its keep-the mother being compelled to act as nurse and guardian without fee or reward. A wife is not mistress either of her own person, property, or prospects ,-unless the law has been previously invoked to tie up the hands of her husband. Her daily life must be bounded and regulated by his desires, her nature must be narrowed down to his, her prospects must have no prevision: for all that she may hope, wish, or desire, may be perilled by her husband's cruelty, desertion, criminality, folly, thoughtlessness—of all the consequences of which she must have her full share, and bear it without grumble or complaint.
In all stages of civilization there has been a control exercised by men over women which is tyrannous, unjust, and unseriptural. Yet there is a subjection of women which is scriptural, natural, and reasonable. The affirmative article by L. A. J. is headed by an extract from J. S. Mill, in which that writer asserts that the legal subordination of one sex to the other is wrong in itself, and that it ought to be replaced by a principle of perfect equality, ad. mitting no power or privilege on one side nor disability on the other. If this extract be compared with the scriptures which we shall presently adduce, it will be seen at a glance that the teachings of J. S. Mill and those of the Bible on the subjection of women are perfectly opposite to each other. By all, therefore, who admit that the Scriptures are a rule of faith and practice, the dictum of J. S. Mill must be acknowledged to be heterodox.
We are equally desirous with L. A.J. that in the solemnization of matrimony there should be no requirement from the woman of a promise to serve or obey. Also we should be glad to see all seducers more heavily punished for the crime of seduction. Moreover, we should not object to see the personal property of a wife placed at her own disposal, and made to be not usable by the husband irrespective of her wishes. We should also fully approve of a law which should make the husband liable to divorce on the proof of adultery, in a single case, on his part. Yet, after allowing all this, we maintain that the subjection of women ought not to be discontinued.
An appeal to the Bible on the question now being debated is all that is really requisite to determine whether the affirmative or negative thereof be the truth ; and its teachings on the subject are so definite and explicit that their purport and tendency can hardly be disputed. To them we shall first appeal.
When the penalty of disobedience was pronounced upon Eve she was told by her Maker that her husband should rule over her (Gen.
We here see that the subjection of woman is a divine ap pointment, as may be further seen from 1 Cor. ii. 3, 8, 9.
“ The head of the woman is the man,” is the express declaration of Scrip ture. The man was first formed, then the woman was made from him, and for him, and not the man for the woman, to be subservient to her, for she was not in being when he was created. How farthese teachings of Scripture accord with the doctrines advanced by J. S. Mill, that the subordination of one sex to the other is wrong in itself, and that it ought to beprivilege on one side nor disability equality admitting no power or replaced by a principle of perfect on the other, we shall leave with the readers of the British Contra. versialist to determine for themselves. In Ephes. v. 22, 23, 24;. 1 Tim. ii. 11, 12, 13; Titus ii. 5; and 1 Pet. ii. 1, we have directions and precepts given to Christian women, in which obedience to
their husbands is enjoined upon them. These scriptures, therefore, yet further establish our argument.
The subjection of women for which we contend is natural as well a3 scriptural. We have the highest authority for asserting that woman is the weaker vessel, and therefore needing protection from
which protection, on the part of man, does of itself necessitate a measure of subjection on the part of woman, and, indeed, is in itself a species of subjection. And, doubtless, married women will still claim to be provided for by their husbands. And is not this their position one of dependence or subjection ? Let a man live continually under the protection of, and on the provision made by, some other man, and see whether or not his position be one of subjection. If women protected and provided for men would they admit that men ought to have an equality in all respects with themselves! We trow not. As to women voting for public officers, or being elected to fill public offices, such as those of guardians of the poor, town councillors, &c., we maintain that it being the place of women to manage the family and superintend the affairs of the household, their time, strength, and talents may find ample scope in attention to their own proper duties, for wbich they are much better capacitated than men. This will also apply to the question of filling with women many other occupations which have been usually attended to by men. Cases are now common in which even married women are employed in factories, in which cases the family and home are neglected, and a complete upsetting of the comforts and happiness of home takes place, many men being driven into evil by the lack of a comfortable home. "In many
instances no real gain accrues from the wages earned by the women, those wages being quite or more than counterbalanced by the waste effected by small children in the absence of the woman from her home. In all grades there are married females who have no qualifications for the position of a housewife. This is a well-known fact. What is greatly needed at the present time is a training of young females in the performance or superintendence of various domestic offices, that they may be qualified to become housekeepers, whereas the opening of so many situations to women tempts both those who should teach and those who need to be taught to neglect the duties of their own proper sphere and to enter one that should be occupied by men. Besides, a line must doubtless be drawn somewhere. If women are to be electors, guardians of the poor, and town coun. sellors, are they also to be members of either or both Houses of Parliament ? °And if not, then inequality and subjection are at once introduced as the lot of women, as must necessarily be the case if women be excluded from any office or position whatever on account of sex.
The raising of women to a perfect equality with men is totally impracticable. Take any instance of a married couple. Differences of opinion, of taste, and of wishes will be sure to exist. The husband cannot convince his wife-the wife cannot convince her hus
band. It is the desire of the wife that the children should be vac. cinated, it is the wish of the husband that they should not. The wife wishes to remove to a home that is more congenial to her taste than the one she now occupies, the husband wishes to remain where be is. The wife desires her husband to make his will in one mode, the husband wishes to make it in another. In such circumstances as these, which are of frequent occurrence, and in which it is im. possible for both parties to attain their desire, which is to submit to the wishes of the other? If the husband to the wife, then there is not equality of the wife with the husband, but the wife's supremacy. If the wife submit to the husband, then there is the subjection of the wife. And if it be admitted that in such cases it is just and reasonable for women to submit to their husbands, to what purpose is it to argue that the subjection of women should be discontinued ?
To take another view of the perfect equality of women with men. Will those who contend for this maintain that the husband should not be responsible for the support of his wife, his children, and his household? Are they willing that this responsibility should be shifted from the husband to the wife? Or do they desire that the responsibility should be shared by the husband and wife equally? If so, would not great inconvenience be caused to creditors by not holding one of the parties alone liable P If the husband be applied to for payment of a debt, and his responsibility be shared by the wife, he may direct application to be made to her. When application is made her, she may refer the creditor back to her husband, and thus be may be tossed about between the parties, and be unable to obtain his just demand from either. The evils attending such a divided responsibility are self-evident. On the other hand, as long as the husband is solely liable, the perfect equality of women with men is an impossibility, and whatever alterations may be made in the law of responsibility for debt, will, we believe, be found to remain perfectly impracticable. Again, it will be found to be quite impossible, in various occupations, for women to fully compete with men, a multitude of occupations being totally unfit for women, and they being liable to various incidents to which men are not subject. Every society must be in a state of disorder without a head, whether it be a nation, a church, or a family. There cannot be perfect equality without disorder, and if the man be not the head of the woman to govern, neither is be the head to provide and protect. If his headship be abolished in the first respect, it is at the same time abolished in the others also.
We believe, therefore, that the subjection of women neither ought to be, nor can be, by any means whatever, discontinued. S. S.
IS THE GOSPEL ADAPTED TO MODERN LIFE?
AFFIRMATIVE ARTICLE. --II.
The question here propounded for debate reads like an admission that the gospel was adapted to the times in which it was first given. But is it adapted to modern times? It is true that
particular features distinguish modern from either mediæval or ancient life. But are the special characteristics of modern life such as cause the gospel to be less or not at all adapted thereto P With the view of answering this question, let us briefly notice some of the more prominent features of modern life.
We nineteenth century personages are living in a state of high civilization. We have amongst up the life of large towns and great cities, with their special sorrows, temptations, and crimes. Ours is a highly commercial age. In most irades a great number of indi. viduals are engaged, all of them earnestly striving for a livelihood. Hence there arises a very close competition in business, this sharp competition leading to a disregard in a very great degree of the interests of others, and presenting temptations to the adulterating of goods, as well as to the practice of short weight and deficient
Modern life is also characterized by the extreme wealth of some and the extreme poverty of otbers, by the possession of large landed estates by a section of the community, while numbers have not even the tenancy of an inch of ground. We also have free trade with extensive and rapid national and international intercommunication, and by these various qualities of modern life the relations of society are much more complicated than in the olden time. Now what is there in modern life to cause the gospel to be not adapted to it ?
We differ from our coadjutor A. A. respecting his assumption that by the word gospel in this debate the Scriptures are meant. Our opponent, F. F. A., is on this point more accurate than A. A. All Scripture is not gospel. The Decalogue, or law of the ten commandments, is a part of Scripture, yet it contains not a particle of gospel, and a great part of Scripture is history. Definitely, the gospel is that part of the word of God which reveals salvation by Jesus Christ, and contains various invitations, encouragements, and promises for those who believe on Him, while it also addresses to the same persons a variety of precepts or commandments. From the fact that many of those who attend the preaching of the gospel disregard its commands, F. F. A. draws the conclusion that the gospel is not adapted to modern life. But the practice by many