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tombs when the bee is busy amid the lime blossoms overhead, the holy words which meet our eye will help us to feel, as Keble says, that—
"Tuneable as their sweet song,
And gentle as the honied flowers
Of thoughts within these hallowed bowers:
of friends with whom we walked of old to the house of God ; of pastors who now only speak to us by their memory; of those dear to us as our own soul, who travel by our side no longer, —let the Word be very nigh us, to pour balm into our wounds, and to bid us follow the faith of the departed; reminding us, when life's changes pain us most, of One who changes not, even "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever."
The testimony of that eminent servant of God,* the Rev. Charles Simeon, proves how useful a pious inscription on a gravestone may be made. "It was in July, 1783," says this excellent and kind man, "I was waiting in Horsleydown churchyard for a corpse, which I was engaged to bury, and for my amusement I was reading the epitaphs upon the tombstones. Having read very many which would have been as suitable for Jews or heathens as for the persons concerning whom they were written, I at last came to one that characterized a Christian :—
'When from the dust of death I rise,
To claim my mansion in the skies,
E'en then shall tins be all my plea—
Jesus hath liv'd and died for me.'" Mr. Simeon proceeds to say, that observing a young woman similarly employed to himself, he called her to him, and drew her special atteution to these simple and touching lines. She told him that she was in great distress; her health was ruined, she could no longer support her own little children, nor the aged mother who also depended upon her. Mr. Simeon conversed with her, tried to turn her eyes to Him who says, " Come unto me all ye who labour and are heavy laden," &c., and asked for her address. He visited her, found her tale as true as it was Bad, and befriended her and her children henceforward in every way. When he had visited this afflicted family twice, the young woman said to him that the interview with him, already described, in the churchyard, had been the means of saving her from committing suicide! Helpless and hopeless though she was, the good man's words comforted and impressed her; she became able to commit her care to God, to know Him as the Father of the fatherless, and the Husband of the widow, and to believe in Jesus as her Saviour. Thirty years after,* speaking of this affecting circumstance, Mr. Simeon said, "If my whole life had been spent without any other compensation than this, my labours had been richly recompensed."
* Soo p. 49 of the Momoirs of the Rev. Charles Simeon, by the Rev. W. Cams, Conon of Winchester Cathedral. Mr. Simeon's practical piety, and sonnd pood sense, enforce every opinion of his in a remarkable manner.
Alas! how many, even Christian people, lose such opportunities of doing goodl How few remember, "A word in season, how good is it I"
In conclusion, our prayer for ourselves and our readers is, that we may get to look on death more and more as did the early Christians, whose sentiments, as expressed by Prudentius in some stanzas of his celebrated funeral hymn, we offer translated for their acceptance.t May we be, as they were, mindful, not only of our mortality, but of onr resurrection—that resurrection which sinners shall not escape, and which saints shall so joyfully hail!
• Over the remains of this venerable servant of God an inscription, suggested by himself, denotes how Christ crucified was the great subject of his teaching and preaching, and the ground of his own hopes for eternity.
t Aurelius Prudentius: "In Exequiis Defunctorum."
O God of living souls, the fount of fire,
Who didst two elements conjoin in one
Man, thine immortal and yet mortal son;
Their mystic knot e'en from the first was tied;
The spirit bridegroom and his fleshly bride.
The word goes forth: 'Return whence first ye came:'
Then into dust dissolves the fleshly frame.
Preparing to abolish death, dost deign
Whereby the limbs they lost may rise again.
What else can mean the fair memorial stone f
Not dead, but given unto sleep alone.
That all its cruel torturing pain unbars
And by its pangs we mount unto the stars.
So too these bodies which death now lays waste,
Shall rise to bloom beneath a better day;
Shall ought in them or feel or fear decay.
"When our wasted frames shall see the true Sun and live." Truly of this blessed hope through Christ we may say, with the excellent Bishop Pearson, "This encourageth all drooping spirits; This sustaineth all fainting hearts; This sweeteneth all present miseries; This lighteneth all heavy burdens; This encourageth in all dangers; This snpporteth in all calamities."
MILL ON THE CONDITION OF WOMEN.
The Subjection of Women. By John Stuart Mill. Second Edition. London: Longmans. 1869.
Among the features which characterize the present age, none is more remarkable than the widespread tendency to look with suspicion on the customs and opinions of former generations, and to call in question principles and institutions which were once fondly imagined to be settled on a firm and abiding basis. The same spirit is rife amongst us which was long ago noted by the poet:—
"Qui fit, Maecenas, ut nemo, quam sibi sortem
but while in the days of Horace it was their individual condition, it is now their political and social state which men regard with discontent. This disease—for such it may fairly be called—may, and no doubt does, by its presence, effect for us a riddance of other long-standing maladies; but at the same time it ought to be narrowly watched and kept in check, as being itself fraught with danger to mankind. "Meddle not," says the wise man, "with them that are given to change"; and while we readily admit that an unreasonable adherence to an old institution, and a mistaken adoption of a new one, are alike evils, we have no hesitation in saying, that of the two the former is in general the less pernicious; involving, as it for the most part does, a merely negative, instead of a positive, injury.
We therefore wholly dissent from Mr. Mill when, in the Essay before us, he asserts that, in reference to the condition of women, the burthen of nroof lies on those who uphold the existing.state of things, as against those who, like himself, would impugn it. Of course, as Mr. Mill admits, the state of public opinion upon the subject does, in point of fact, force him to support the views which he advances by positive arguments; but we hold that it does so rightly, and that the advocate of a theory which, as we think, so far from being a natural development, is a total subversion of the relations hitherto established between the sexes of the human race, is bound to adduce conclusive proofs of its truth before he can claim or expect its adoption.
At the outset of the Essay the proposition which is sought to be established is thus stated :—
"That the principle which regulates the existing social relations between the two sexes—the legal subordination of one sex to tho other—is wrong in itself, and now one of the chief hindrances to human improvement; and that it ought to be replaced by a principle of perfect equality, admitting no power or privilege on the one side, nor disability on the other."
Mr. Mill looks upon what he is pleased to call the subjection of women as the one remaining vestige in civilized countries of the sovereignty of physical force, and as a solitary remnant of the institution of slavery—an institution which is the distinctive creature of that sovereignty. While the slavery of the male sex has been abandoned by the nations of civilized Europe, divers reasons have conspired to cause the retention of that of the female sex. But it is a state of things wholly at variance with the principles of personal freedom and individual action which now prevail.
"At present, in the more improved countries, the disabilities of women are the only case, save one, in which laws and institutions take persons at their birth, and ordain that they shall never in all their lives be allowed to compete for certain things. The one exception is that of royalty The social subordination of women
thus stands out an isolated fact in modern social institutions: a solitary breach of what has become their fundamental law: a single relic of an old world of thought and practice, exploded in everything else, but retained in the one thing of most universal interest. It is as if a gigantic dolmen, or a vast temple of Jupiter Olympius, occnpied the site of St. Paul's, and received daily worship, while the surrounding Christian churches were only resorted to on fasts and festivals. This entire discrepancy between one social fact and all those which accompany it, and the radical opposition between its nature and the progressive movement which is the boast of the modern world, and which has successively swept away everything else of an analogous character, surely affords to a conscientious observer of human tendencies serious matter for reflection."
Surely it does; and we wonder that it has not suggested to Mr. Mill's mind the obvious reflection, that possibly, after all, the 'entire discrepancy' and 'radical opposition' may be found to exist more in imagination than in reality.
But to proceed. After pointing out that the condition of women through all the progressive period of human history has been approaching nearer to equality with men, Mr. Mill proceeds to combat the argument, that the nature of the two sexes adapts them to their present functions and position, and renders these appropriate to them.
"Standing," he says, "on the ground of common sense and the constitution of the human mind, I deny that any one knows or can know the nature of the two sexes, as long as they have only been seen in their present relation to one another. If men had ever been found in society without women, or women without men, or if there had been a society of men and women in which the women were not under the control of the men, something might have been positively known about the mental and moral differences which may be inherent in the nature of each. What is now called the nature of women is an eminently artificial thing."
Hence Mr. Mill concludes that no argument can fairly be based upon the existence of alleged natural differences between the sexes against their social and legal equality.
Having thus cleared the ground by dismissing the teaching and experience of past ages as of no value in the discussion of the question, Mr. Mill proceeds to consider more in detail the condition of women as it is, and to state what, in his opinion, it ought to be, in reference to the marriage state, and to the admissibility of both sexes alike to all functions and occupations. With respect to the former subject he says:—
"We are continually told that civilization and Christianity have restored to the woman her just rights. Meanwhile, the wife is the actual bond-servant of her husband: no less so, as far as legal obligation goes, than slaves commonly so-called. She vows a lifelong obedience to him at the altar, and is held to it all through her life by law. Casuists may say that the obligation of obedience stops short of participation in crime, but it certainly extends to everything else. She can do no act whatever but by his permission, at least tacit. She can acquire no property but for him; the instant it becomes hers, even by inheritance, it becomes ipso facto his."
The whole of this statement is highly coloured, and the last clause of it is positively incorrect. Real estate, the only property which, in the strict sense of the term, comes to the wife by inheritance, does not become the property of the husband by devolving upon her. We are not, however, called upon to maintain that the relations between husbands and wives, or generally between men and women, are, in this country and at the present time, absolutely perfect. Even while we write, a