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The true strengthening produced by the increased reception of the influx of the Divine presence, or the laying on “ of the right hand of the Son of Man," raises man upon his feet; and hence thanksgiving and praise to God, whether in hymns, psalms, anthems, or adoring glorification in speech, is most properly and effectually done in a standing posture, in which all the powers of mind and body can unite in the active worship of the Lord from joy of heart and soul.
It is pleasant and useful to hear what women have to say on what is called the women's question, although any questions affecting women's interests are as important to men as to women, whose interests are the same. The series of papers on what women have done for the world, the first of which appears in the present number, will no doubt do justice to the fairer half of God's crowning work of creation. Yet as certain female writers, who assume the championship of their sex, consider, and not untruly, that as they have a cause to maintain, they are entitled to at least a respectful hearing. Mrs. Maria G. Gray, in an article in the Fortnightly Review entitled “Men and Women,” treats of the condition of women in the past and up to the present day; the causes which have made it what it was and is; and discusses the question whether the welfare of society requires and justifies the continuance of the old state of things, or demands the introduction of more equal relations between the sexes. The universal history of women, the writer contends, has been one of more or less, subjugation to men, under whatever forms of chivalry, courtesy, or even idolatry it may have been disguised. It seems impossible, she admits, to account for a fact so universal and so persistent under every variety of time and circumstance, except by admitting a real inferiority in the sex. It is not very clear in what the writer considers this inferiority to consist, except it be in physical power, since she maintains that there is no evidence to show that the inferiority of the woman amounts to actual deficiency in any of the qualities belonging to the man.
The subjection of women to men cannot, we think, be accounted for on the muscular theory. It is not physical force that makes man the undisputed lord of creation. It is his mental supremacy. If women have been and still are held in a state of subjection to men, it must be because they are inferior to them in some mental faculty in which power resides. Otherwise women either would never have been in a state of subjection or would have long since effected their own emancipation. That which is called a state of subjugation is no doubt woman's natural condition, but that which is natural cannot be hurtful, but, on the contrary, must be beneficial. Among the lower animals the male is stronger than the female, but he uses his greater strength in guiding, aiding, and protecting his feebler mate. So would it be with the male and female of the human race if, like the inferior creatures, they were in the true order of their creation. There would be no desire of subjugation on the one part, and no sense of subjection on the other. What is it that produces this relative condition of the sexes? The writer does not enter deeply into the ground of the distinctive character of the sexes.
Whatever difference there is between them she considers to be one of degree rather than of kind. “ There should just be that degree of inferiority in the one which precludes conflict and ensures the unquestioned predominance of the other essential to the progress of all. The difference between the man and the woman is like the difference between the right hand and the left. The left can be trained to do equally well what is done by the right, and with lefthanded people does it better ; but the right has, as a rule, just that slight superiority which prevents any hesitation which shall be used.” The notion that the difference between men and women is one of degree, not of kind, is the error which underlies all false views and wrong action in regard to the relation of the sexes. Women are different from men, but are not inferior to them. If men excel women in some respects, women excel men in others not less important. The fact is, they were made to be peers as well as pairs. Each embodies one of the two great elements that unitedly constitute humanity. These essentials of humanity are love and wisdom. Men are forms of wisdom, women of love. It would occupy too much space to enter into the particulars of this distinction. We need only say that man is not loveless wisdom, nor is woman wisdomless love; but these in the sexes are the inverse and the complements of each other. Wisdom is in man what love is in woman, and love is in man what wisdom is in woman. The sexes are related by a double tie and united by a double band. Masculine wisdom unites with feminine love, and feminine wisdom unites with masculine love. We need have no fear that this distinction will ever be obliterated. Nature will assert her claim, and maintain her own laws. If women suffer it will be from the neglect or abuse of those laws.
Yet there is much in Mrs. Gray's paper that we cordially agree with. There is no reason to believe that the condition of women generally, compared with that of men, is an unfair or unhappy one. But there can be no doubt that they still labour under some disabilities which ought to be removed. Whether the exercise of the franchise would add to their dignity and happiness and to the welfare of the State is a question on which there may be difference of opinion. Mrs. Gray thinks it would at least influence legislation on matters affecting women's interests. Whether they should become legislators is a remote question. Women are now entitled to sit on school boards, and none are more popular candidates. This is a sphere in
which their womanly wisdom may be usefully employed. The London University has opened its doors for their admission, so that they can take degrees in art and science, and pass into the professions. If society were in a right state women would be in no danger of suffering from or being tempted through their poverty. In the present state of society, in which women greatly preponderate in number, and cannot all marry, many must qualify themselves for some useful employment to enable them to live. Some not unnaturally aspire to the higher prizes in life. And some there are who cultivate the higher branches of knowledge, and even engage in professional studies from the pure love of the pursuit. In all this it seems only right that women should have a fair field if no favour. If there be any excess of feminine zeal in this direction, it will correct itself. Persons and things find their level. Women's rights and wrongs is not a new question. According to Pepys the subject was discussed by ladies with even more' zeal though with less success in the reign of Charles II. than it has been in the reign of Queen Victoria. A considerable change for the better has taken place in the condition of society since that time, and there is now a better prospect for the success of any proper movement for promoting the improvement and bettering the condition of women. Nothing but true religion can give woman her true place in either the social or domestic scale, in the Church or in the State. Christianity has done more than aught else to raise women from a degrading subjection; and so far as Christian principles, as now restored and exalted in the teachings of the Church of the Lord's Second Advent, become restored and exalted in the minds and hearts of men, so far will the relations between men and women be those of true equality, reciprocal help, and mutual happiness.
In the November number of Fraser's Magazine, J. A. Froude, under the title of “ A Siding at a Railway,” treats us to an allegory of the journey of life and entrance into the other world. The three classes of railway passengers are the higher, middle, and lower classes of society, while there are saloon carriages for several great persons of high distinction. The train has been long on the road, and the passengers have fared very differently on the way. One evening the journey is brought suddenly to an end by the train running into a siding, and the passengers receive an intimation that their journey for the present is at an end. The description of the surprise, disappointment, and tempers of the travellers in having their journey cut short, their pursuits ended, and their plans frustrated, is a not inaccurate representation of what actually happens with very many on their entrance into the other world, some not even knowing or believing that they have entered on a new stage of existence. But to proceed. All classes are suddenly on a level. A beggar-woman hustles a duchess, as she stands astonished because her maid has left her to carry her own bag. While all are clamouring at their various anxieties with the most naïve frankness, the truth coming fairly out,
whatever it may be, one distinguished-looking lady in deep mourning, with a sad, gentle face, alone is resigned and hopeful. Her husband, it seems, had been stopped not long before at the same station, and she thinks it possible she may meet him again. After the higherclass passengers, in answer to their complaints, have been assured that the affairs they have left unfinished will not suffer, but will rather improve by their detention, the whole company are ordered into a waiting-room, and are told that their luggage is to be examined. And now a strange revolution takes place. Plenty of packages there are, but they have come under a new law of distribution. The third class, who had brought almost nothing with them, are found to have the largest share ; while the innumerable articles that had belonged to the fine ladies and gentlemen are nowhere to be found. When the consternation produced by this discovery has subsided, the third-class passengers are ordered to advance, that their boxes may be opened. The lids fly off, and instead of articles of clothing, money, and jewels, are found samples of the work each man had done in his life, with an account-book, in which is entered the number of days he had laboured, and the kind and amount of useful work he had performed, and on the opposite page the wages he had received, and the share that had been allotted to him of the good things he had helped to produce. Besides his work, so specifically called, there were his actions—his affection for his parents, or his wife and children, his self-denials, his charities, his purity, his truth, his honesty, or it may be ugly catalogues of sins and oaths, and brutality and drunkenness. The first examination is confined to the literal work done for the general good -how much he had contributed, and how much society had done for him in return; and no one is allowed to go any further without a certificate of having passed the test satisfactorily. This ordeal the third-class pass much more easily and rapidly than any of the others. The balance in most instances is found immensely in their favour. The very highest class have in this respect least to show. The middle class have a multitude of articles assigned to them, but when the test is applied most of them are found to be of little value, and to have been paid for far above their deserts. Those only who have done real work are allowed to pass; all others are rejected. Those who fail are at no loss to account for their failure. They give many answers, which came nearly to the same thing. Circumstances have been against them. It is all owing to circumstances. They are to be sent back to give them another chance, and placed in circumstances the opposite of those which have been so unfavourable to them. But the station-master has no hope of their improvement. “They will all be here again in a few years," he says,
" and it will be the same story over again. I have had these very people in my hands a dozen times. They have been tried in all positions, and there is nothing to show, and nothing but complaints of circumstances." Being asked how long this is to last, he says, “ Well, it does not depend upon me. No one passes here who cannot prove that he has lived to some purpose.
Some of the worst I have known are made at last into pigs and geese, to be fatted up and eaten, and made use of in that way. Others have been asses and mules. All animated creatures tend to take the shape at last which suits their character."
Those who have been allowed to pass on the examination of the actual work done are now called up, to account for the quality of the work compared with the talent or faculty of the producer, to see how far he had done his best. While nothing is absolutely worthless, everything—even the highest achievement of the greatest artist or the greatest saint-falls short of absolute perfection. As a rule, it is found that the work which is of most value is that which the doer had regarded as least meritorious, or had altogether forgotten, while that on which he had prided himself most is least worth. One whose work bore inspection better than that of most, passionately exclaimed that although from his earliest years he had known what he ought to do, and had struggled, and bad conquered his grosser faults, the further he had gone, and the better he had been able to do, his knowledge had grown faster than his power of acting upon it, and every additional day that he lived his shortcomings had become miserably plain to him. But even if he could have reached perfection at last he could not undo the past, and the faults of his youth would be witness against him and call for his condemnation. But a high spirit, not subject to infirmity, had done his work for him, and done it perfectly; and if he abandoned all claim on his own account, he might be accepted for the sake of what another had done. The examiner does not accept this plea. “We do not,” he says, “expect impossibilities; and we do not blame you when you have not accomplished what is beyond your strength ; only those who are themselves perfect can do anything perfectly. Human beings are born ignorant and helpless. They bring into the world with them a disposition to seek what is pleasant to themselves, and what is pleasant is not always right. They learn to live as they learn everything else, under teaching and practice. We do not record against a man ‘sins of his youth,' if he has been honestly trying to improve himself. We do not require the same selfcontrol in a child as in a man. We do not require the same attainments from all. Some are well taught, some are ill taught, some are not taught at all. Some have naturally good dispositions, some have naturally bad dispositions. No one has had power to fulfil the whole law,' as you call it, completely. Therefore it is no crime. to him if he fails. We reckon as faults those only which arise from idleness, wilfulness, selfishness, and deliberate preference of evil to good. Each is judged according to what he has received. To do otherwise would be unjust."
On the whole the allegory is excellent. The leading idea is good, and it is well enforced. All religion has relation to life. And a religious life consists essentially in faithfully doing the work that belongs to one's station and calling. Such a life is ordained of God; its work is therefore God's work, and is man's heritage. It is a school