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the provider is the master or higher power, and makes terms ; and woman, in her own turn, is the governing spirit when she is the provider.
But it will be said, in reply to this, that we have been speaking of those who fulfil their normal function in society; whereas, in consequence
of the condition of society at present, a large propor. tion of women never attain to that state; and that as a fact, even though all women were willing, and all men were compelled, to enter into the relationship of marriage, there would not be a possi. bility of putting all women in such circumstances as to fulfil their normal function; for women greatly exceed men in number. Besides, many husbands are so worthless, or worse than worthless, that even in actual marriage a large portion of the burden of providing for housekeeping falls to the female, and this makes the balance harder against her. From this it is often argued that, the case being 80 hard against woman, the subjection to dependency to wbich she is doomed is an unjust burden and ought to be removed.
I shall admit the fact that women outnumber men, and that marriage, as things are at present, is an impossibility even for all those who are willing to accept of the duties and responsibilities of matronage ; but I deny and oppugn the conclusion sought to be drawn from that fact as relevant in the case, and maintain that this is all the more a reason why women should value the subjection which they are now privileged to enjoy, and should fear the ensnaring independence which is held out to them as an alluring boon.
I appeal to the greater life-value of women as a proof that their case is one of less hardship than they themselves suppose or their advocates affirm. This fact appears in every insurance office table; and even in the provisions made by Government it has been found necessary to act upon the fact; so that “ women, because they are usually longer livers than men, must pay more than men.” Now this fact proves that, with all their “subjection,” they are better off than men; inasmuch as, by being allowed to remain in the quiet havens of life, they have an extended measure of life. In this case “subjection” is proved by statistics to be absolutely beneficial, and that which is beneficial ought by no means to be discontinued ; at least, not till something more beneficial has been discovered and can be got in place of it.
The present arrangement of society in which women are "subject,” as it is called, necessitates that, as a general rule, the income of a man should be of such an amount as to afford a fair means, according to his station, of being able to marry with fair ability to defray the expense of the minimum of cost implied by that in the station he occupies. Wages are arranged to meet the present state of social life; but suppose we increase the struggle for existence by bringing into the labour market half as much again of a supply as is required, what sball we accomplish by that? We shall increase competition and lower wages ; we shall increase competition and lower the life-average of the community of both sexes; for it is
exposure to constant labour and care, accident, trial, and difficulty, that the low life-value of the male is due. Of these, when women come to take part, they would lessen their life-average for the same reasons; but as competition would be heightened and income lowered, the struggle for life would be intensified, and women would be sure to gain a loss. Income would no longer be arranged on the principle of giving wages such as would afford a minimum of ability to achieve wedded life, but would be arranged on the prin. ciple of supplying, in return for the requisite labour, only such a sum as would support que life ; so that the condition of woman would be most injuriously affected by the abolition of the so-called subjection in which she now lives, inasmuch as labour, which is now the accidental condition of her life, would become the normal, and if she performed any of the functions of her sex, it would be without, as a general rule, any of those amenities and safeguards which now fall to her share. As soon as women enter into com. petition with men, wages decrease--weaving and agricultural labour prove this—as do also the low salaries of copying-clerks and shopmen, where female competition is possible.
This so-called subjection of women is their safeguard. The desire to preserve them in their sphere of happy assiduity amidst the cares of home, has induced men to exert and over-exert themselves that they might gain the means of preserving their comfort. The wars of Europe, the accidents of mines, the necessities of commerce, the active colonization of the early portion of this century, have thioned the male population aud disarranged the balance of the sexes. To restore this balance, a cessation for some time of some portion of the accidentally superfluous feminity of the western nations, is requisite. Such abstention would speedily affect the balance. But women have opposed the restoration in two ways--both bad. Iustead of consenting to abstinence, some of them have sought to attain sexual relations without securing conjugal ties, and so bave led the way to many males remaining in bachelorhood who would otherwise, in all likelihood, have undertaken the responsibilities of marriage life. Every such person thus becomes a destroyer of the chances of many of her sex from attaining the condition of matron. hood. No anti-marriage association could. so powerfully affect society to increase the disparity of numbers in regard to marriage. ability, as that allurement practised by those who proffer certain of the privileges of marriage for hire of a merely temporary and temporal sort." In defence of tbeir own sex, and in deference to their own interests, the female portion of society are deeply interested in arranging that sexuality shall as little as possible be exercised in a manner unguarded by marriage-ties, responsibilities, and pro. vidence. I doubt if the advocates for the removal of the subjection of women have noticed the incidence of lust-hiring on the condition of woman question, or have duly considered the likelihood of its greater prevalency if the subjection were abolished.
Besides the evil effects of the competition of the unmarriaged against the marriageable, there has arisen the competition of female against male labour, the consequent reduction of income on the part of the male, and a greater inability to marry with any hope of comfort. To this add the real subjection of women to fashion and form, and you have good reason why the marriage-rate is much less than it should be. What is wanted is the maintenance of a moderate marriage condition, in which the husband shall be expected to earn the livelihood of the household, with all its dependencies, and that due and proper means should be taken to make marriage a necessity to man-or abstinence. There ought to be no female blandishments employed to induce men to keep free from marriage ties that should be regarded as treason to the sex and to society ; neither should there he any competition of female against male in the labour-market. The natural normal position of woman ought to be upheld as the best and the most- happy. All the measures which society has arranged for the preservation of female purity, peace, safety, home-keeping, and happiness, ought to be not only enjoyed, but valued. The agitation for female freedom, independence, and self-assertion, appears to me like the opposition of the paper-kite to the string which held it to the earth instead of letting it soar up to the clear blue sky above it-bent. The string really steadied it and gave it the capacity to catch and profit by the 'breeze to rise and float; but the silly kite desired the string to be cut, that restraint might cease, and that it might fly higher. The string was spapped; but, instead of nobler fortune, it was bedrabbled and destroyed
The forms of life which are opposed by the so-called advocates of women's rights under the designation of the "subjection of women,' are, in my view of the case, society's best efforts for the protection of women ; and I cannot myself see how society would be improved by the introduction of free love and tenure-at-will ins of marriage'; by the increase of competition at work, in professions, in commerce, &c., of female with male; of women-voters and womenchurchwardens, guardians, jurors, &c. We cannot upset nature by Act of Parliament. If we are to have marriages and homes-- if we are to have posterity at all-there must be care of and for them. The mother must be sacred, and the wife freed from every legal responsibility that could interfere with her home-duty. It will be be an evil day for society when bothies or common lodging-houses are the supplanters of homes, and when the usages of society are such as to destroy manly independence and womanly love. If we discontinue the subjection of woman, we must make her independent; but independence is incompatible with home life and home duty. We may quite as well advocate the discontiñuance of sex and of society as the discontinuance of the subjection of woman."
T. F. M.
IS THE GOSPEL ADAPTED TO MODERN LIFE!
By the word "gospel” in the debate now proposed we assume that the Scriptures are meant. There is no evangel which is entitled to pre-eminence such as is implied in the gospel. But as a general phrase the gospel has become of late a term denoting Holy Scripture, God's word, the Bible. This may have arisen from the use of the word in the canor of the Scriptures in various senses, as (1) "the gospel of God, (which He had promised afore by His prophets in the holy scriptures,) concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. i. 1-3); (2) "the gospel of Christ-the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth" (Rom. i. 16); (3) “the word of truth, the gospel of salvation" (Ephes. i. 13) ; (4) "the glorious gospel of the blessed God” (1 Tim. i. 11); (5)“ the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts xx. 24), &c.
That this is an old and accepted usage of the word we may learn from this saying of Wycliffe's,—“All truth is contained in Scripture. We should admit of no conclusion not approved there. There is no court besides the court of heaven. Though there were a hundred Popes, and all the friars in the world were turned into cardinals, yet we could learn more from the gospel than from all that vast multitude.". These quotations, we think, fully justify our intended use of the gospel as a name for the Scriptures.
The word "adapted" ought to give us little trouble. It is not a scriptural word, but it is a common one, and might, for the purpose of this debate, be considered as equivalent to-able to be of any special use in regard to or concerning; more briefly, fit or suitable. The phrase "modern life," again, must signify a state of civilization such as ours,-forms of life and law, social and civic, of the sort now common among us.
On the whole, then, the matter placed before us for consideration appears to be-Are the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, commonly spoken of as the gospel
, or the Bible, capable of being of any special or peculiar use or advantage in the state of civilization to which the nations of our day have attained, and in the condition of mankind as it is now in the chief countries in the West ? Or, more briefly still, Is Christianity an effete and worn-out system, whose beneficiality has been absorbed, and a form of faith which must pass away and give place to something other, if not nobler and higher? It seems strange that such a question should have arisen, and been put before us for investigation; but the increase
of infidelity, and the various forms of philosophy which are starting up into prominence, most probably form a sufficient reason for submitting the claims of Christianity to a new investigation. We confidently believe that out of this new test there shall issue good proof of its vitality.
We may begin our advocacy of the affirmative position that the gospel is adapted to modern life, by quoting, as a prefatory remark, the opening sentence of the lay sermon published by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, on the Bible as the best guide to political skill and foresight, in "The Statesman's Manual :"_“If our whole knowledge and information concerning the Bible had been confined to the one fact of its immediate derivation from God, we should still presume that it contained rules and assistances for all conditions of men under all circumstances, and therefore for communities no less than for individuals." This book which came forth from God-for “ holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost has had many amanuenses though only one Author. The prophets and the apostles, to whom we owe the Scriptures, speak
"As men divinely taught; and better teach
What ruins kingdoms and lays cities flat." Of this book, which contains the wisdom of God, we have it asserted by St. Paul that “whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Rom. xv. 4); and on the faith of Him who spoke as one having authority,
“The first true Gentleman that ever breathed," we have it affirmed “Verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matt. v. 18). Here is evidence of the perpetuity, the ever-abidingness of God's gospel. It can never become obsolete. To use again some words of "Coleridge's, “when we reflect how large a part of our present knowledge and civilization is owing, directly or indirectly, to the Bible; when we are compelled to admit, as a fact of history, that the Bible has been the main lever by which the moral and intellectual character of Europe has been raised to its present comparative height, we should be struck, we think, by the marked and prominent difference of this book from
the works which it is now the fashion to quote as guides and authorities in morals, politics, and history"-your utilitarian Benthams, positivist Comtes, and necessitarian Buckles. If the future is the product, as these men say, of all the past, then Christianity must be adapted to modern life ; for our modern life can be