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tion is not inferior to his, but is its indispensable and worthy complement; and it is, we think, scarcely more reasonable to imagine that the mental power of the human race would be increased by converting this complement into that of which it was intended to supply the deficiencies, than to conceive that an electric battery could be doubled in force by removing the copper and substituting an equivalent amount of zinc, or the virtue of the atmosphere increased by changing all the hydrogen into oxygen.
And while we should anticipate from the adoption of Mr. Mill's views an irreparable intellectual loss to the human race, on the practical side the damage would, as it seems to us, be no less grievous. The relative amount of the duties which are now looked upon as peculiar to either sex would of course, under the new state of things, remain the same, and would equally as before demand attention. But the admission of the female sex to the functions and occupations of men, on becoming to any extent a practical reality, would necessarily entail the diversion of a portion of that sex from the pursuits which have hitherto been considered as its peculiar province; and the deficiency thereby created, as well as the fact that there would otherwise be a surplus amount of agency for the performance of what we will call the masculine duties, would require that a corresponding number of men should devote themselves to feminine duties. The result would, in our opinion, be a great deterioration in the manner in which both sets of duties would be performed. At present the two sets are kept distinct, and one part of the human race is from early childhood destined and educated for a public, and the other for a private and domestic life. But what Bhall the education of our children be under Mr. Mill's system? Shall boys and girls alike be brought up with a view to the contingency of their filling either position? Then their education and training must needs be either lamentably colourless or flagrantly inconsistent; and when it is completed, they will prove, it may be, in a condition to fill either station of life tolerably, but assuredly neither well. Or shall this boy and that girl be brought up for public life, while another boy and another girl are educated for domestic duties? But how, in that case, shall the particular fitness of the children for the life to which they are thus arbitrarily destined be, in their tender years, ascertained; and if mistake in that respect could be avoided, how shall we so regulate the course of the affections, that a domestic man shall be wedded to a woman whose vocation is of the public and active character, and a man destined for public life select a wife who is capable of discharging the duties of home?
These considerations remind us that we have as yet made no
comment upon the views put forth by Mr. Mill on that most important of all social institutions—marriage.
"Marriage," he tells us, "is not an institution designed for the select few." He admits that, in the present state of things, "the natural motives which lead to a voluntary adjustment of the united life of two persons, in a manner acceptable to both, do, on the whole, except in unfavourable cases, prevail." He readily admits "that numbers of married people, even under the present law (in the higher classes of England probably a great majority), live in the spirit of a just law of equality." And yet because, forsooth, the power of the husband over the wife is sometimes abused, Mr. Mill would upset the whole of the relations between married persons, and introduce the element of anarchy into every family. Marriage is to become a mere partnership on equal terms; and, for the sake of avoiding disputes, Mr. Mill suggests that the peculiar departments in which husband and wife should reign supreme might be settled before the marriage. Of course, the partnership must be carried on under the joint name of the two partners; for that the family should be known by the surname of the husband alone, would be a lingering badge of a condition of slavery wholly incompatible with the spirit of freedom which would then pervade society. We wonder that Mr. Mill has not carried his argument further, and denied the propriety of allowing parents to have authority over their children on the ground of its not unfrequent abuse. But this he distinctly disclaims; this is a point to which even the school of modern thought has not yet arrived. Meanwhile, equality in marriage is defended on account of its abstract justice. The change proposed by Mr. Mill would secure the advantage of having "the most universal and pervading of all human relations regulated by justice instead of injustice." Now, it is easy to talk of justice in the abstract, but not always so easy to ascertain its limits in particular cases. Upon the question before us, however, Mr. Mill has pointed out where he would have us ascertain the requirements of justice. It is from a source to which we may resort with implicit confidence. He speaks of "the law of justice" as "also the law of Christianity."
In appealing to the teaching of Christianity, Mr. Mill is aware that he must meet some preconceived notions with respect to the drift of that teaching, which are the very reverse of favourable to the views which he advocates. Referring to the duty, as it is commonly considered, of submission on the part of the wife to the husband, Mr. Mill says:—
"The Church, it is very true, enjoins it in her formularies, but it would be difficult to derive any such injunction from Christianity. We are told that St. Paul said, 'Wives, obey your husbands;' but he also said, 'Slaves, obey your masters.' It was not St. Paul's business, nor was it consistent with his object, the propagation of Christianity, to incite any one to rebellion against existing laws. The apostle's acceptance of all social institutions as he found them, is no more to be construed as a disapproval of attempts to improve them at the proper time, than his declaration, 'The powers that be are ordained of God,' gives his sanction to military despotism, and to that alone, as the Christian form of political government, or commands passive obedience to it. To pretend that Christianity was intended to stereotype existing forms of government and society, and protect them against change, is to reduce it to the level of Islamism or of Brahminism."
Having thus, as he thinks, refuted the notion, that the positive teaching of Christianity contains anything opposed to the equality which he would establish between husband and wife, Mr. Mill appeals, in support of that equality, to the general principle of the equality of human beings, which, according to him, "is the theory of Christianity, but which Christianity will never practically teach while it sanctions institutions grounded •on an arbitrary preference of one human being over another." We fear that if the predominance of the husband over the wife in the married state is such an arbitrary preference as Mr. Mill alludes to, he must make up his mind to Christianity never teaching the equality of human beings. Mr. Mill, when he wrote this part of his Essay, can hardly have had before him the writings of the Apostle to whose teaching he refers, or he would not, we think, have ventured to dismiss the subject without offering some explanation of that remarkable passage in the Epistle to the Ephesians, which, while it points to a mystery which far transcends the limits of our present finite knowledge, grounds upon that mystery very plain and intelligible teaching on the subject of the relations between husband and wife.
"Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church; and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore, as the Church is subject unto Christ, sp let the wives be to their own husbands in everything."
If Mr. Mill's views are really, as he would make them out to be, in accordance with the teaching of Christianity, then our religion teaches us either that the relations between the Church and her Divine Lord and Master are to change as the ages roll on, and are, with the progress of human development, to approach more and more nearly to terms of equality—a proposition to be rejected as blasphemous by every Christian—or that, whereas in the earlier period of man's history marriage has been, to use the words of Mr. Birks, "a figure of the h:ghest mystery of the Gospel, and a type and earnest of the coming glory of the Church, the bride of Christ, in the day of the resurrection,"* this is not its ultimate or perfect form, and it can never rise to its true dignity until it has sunk to something merely earthly and secular!
Inasmuch as we entirely dissent from these views on the institution of marriage—inasmuch as we are unwilling to come to the conclusion, that, except for the purpose of perpetuating the race, all distinction of sex in human beings is meaningless, and ought to be disregarded, and that in all the affairs of life men and women should be mixed together without distinction or discrimination—to question, in short, the wisdom of the Almighty in having created difference of sex at all, when He might have ordained a means of propagating mankind independently of such a useless institution—inasmuch, lastly, as we look upon an identification of the two sexes as no less practically dangerous than it is theoretically false, we feel constrained to give an emphatic and uncompromising negative to the proposition which Mr. Mill has in his Essay submitted for our acceptance.
In Spirit and in Truth: an Essay on the. Ritual of the New Testament. London: Longmans. 1869.
This is a Eoman Catholic treatise, written by a pervert. We notice it because the title gives no indication of this, and the book does not issue from the house of any accredited Roman Catholic publisher. Unwary persons, therefore, might be misled. It professes to treat of " Ritualism proper, and the topics immediately connected with it." The author further professes to consider the character, origin, and formation of Catholic ritual; not, however, in their fulness, but in their relation to the New Testament, (p. 25). "Protestants, who are as 'opposed to Ritualism as the Bereans were to a crucified Messiah,' are ostentatiously invited to search the Scriptures of the New Testament to see whether these things be so;" and the author ventures to assure them that "it has ever been the custom in the Catholic Church to smooth the way towards the acceptance of her teaching by answering from Scripture the arguments which were derived from Scripture against her." (p. 17.) All this seemed so fair and plausible, that our curiosity was fairly roused, and submitting to the author's guidance, we went upon our search. His mode of conducting it is peculiar. Dismissing Anglican Ritualists with the contempt they usually receive from their Romish brethren, he proceeds to take up the gauntlets thrown down by a number of Dissenters. His chief antagonist is Dr. Vaughan (not he of Doncaster), also a Dr. White, Dr. Cumming, Lola Montez, the Author of " Liber Librorum," and of " Ecce Homo." With these curiously selected representatives of Protestantism he carries on a running controversy. Into this we do not care to enter. We turned over his pages eager to find the instances of Ritualism in the New Testament upon which a theory might be grounded. As explained in dictionaries. Ritualism is "custom, or customary observance, customary ceremony." We are afraid our readers will hardly believe us serious when we quote from among his instances our Lord's writing on the ground when the Pharisees wished to stone the adulteress; his cursing and withering up the fruitless fig-tree; his lifting up his hands to bless at the Ascension; the injunction to the disciples to shake the dust off" their feet, which we are told they literally did; our Lord's taking the dead maiden by the hand, and touching the leper, His kneeling in prayer, raising up His eyes to heaven, and so on. We are furthermore told that the scenes at the Nativity, the Transfiguration, and on Mount Calvary, were instances of Ritualism. We have no wish needlessly to say a harsh thing; but when reading such idle stuff, we could not help thinking what poor creatures, intellectually, Rome must now be recruited with.
• "Church and State," p. 283. We character of the ordinance of marriage,
commend to our readers some excellent and the danger of degrading it into a
remarks in this recent work of Sir. mere secular institution. Birks (pp. 282—285), on the sacred
Even the author, however, seems very soon to have had more than enough of this, and to be in some measure conscious of its absurdity; for the bulk of the volume is devoted to a controversy about Tradition and the Canon of Scripture, which seems a very favourite topic with Romish controversialists, and an attempt to prove that without tradition we could get no satisfactory information about, or authority for, Baptism and the Lord's Supper, with a further explanation why so little is said about Ritualism in the New Testament; so that we could not help coming to the conclusion, that whatever the author may have been in his Protestant state, he is now himself fairly bewildered and muddled, and could only bewilder any one who attempted to read his lucubrations.
There is, in addition to this, the usual amount of declamation and clap-trap about the contrast of Romish and Protestant services. A passage is quoted (p. 77) from Cardinal Wiseman's description of the "Quarant' Ore." In it we are told:—"Look at the body of the church! No pews, no benches, or other incum