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shown that as a consequence of her being deprived of political rights, she is oppressed by class legislation, and in no part of the civilized world more so than in Christian, Republican America. Instead of it being a republican form of government to her, it is an hereditary aristocracy, which governs her by unjust, unequal and oppressive laws, without her consent.
We have shown, on entering the marriage relation, that woman loses her identity—the law no longer recognises her as a human being, but as a kind of fictitious being, merged in another, not entirely dead, but just respiration enough to keep her in existence! Instead of receiving protection from government, she is delivered over, in a great measure, to the tender mercies of a poor, feeble, sinful individual like herself.
Thus saith the Lord, “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man,” thus making her an execration. It has created her an abject, dependent creature, taking from her an inherent and inalienable right, and one that distinguishes man from the beast, a right to property, even what she might earn by her own labour. The law will protect the husband in exacting the personal labour of his wife, and pocketing the proceeds; thus constituting her a slave.
Man would denounce the old heathen law that created the husband a domestic judge, having the power of life and death over the wife. Expatiate on the rights and privileges that women now enjoy! What a privileged portion of the community women are in the United States of America! We have shown that women are governed by the heathen law, modified in the days of feudalism, a semibarbarous age. The husband still sits as judge over the hourly actions of his wife, with the power in his hands of depriving her of her liberty, in case of “ gross misbehaviour,” himself being judge and jury in his own case; thus she is deprived of her liberty or without due process of law," a gross violation of a constitutional guarantee. The husband is a constituent part of the sovereignty that makes the laws to govern the wife in her life, liberty, and the distribution of property,—thus it is truly a modification of the old heathen law; and a great deal worse respecting the distribution of property. We shudder at the idea of the Hindoo custom of females being immolated on the husband's funeral pile ; but we have shown that the ordeal through which widow's have to pass, is a modification of the same abhorrent custom. Although the widow is not burned on the funeral pile, yet she has to pass through a scene of degradation and pecuniary oppression which is calculated to act as a fiery trial to her sensibilities. It is intended that she should walk mournfully all her days after her husband's exit-all her comforts are to be buried in his grave.
If a man dies intestate, instead of the widow taking his place, emerged from her legal tomb, as the surviving head of the family, her property is wrested from her, and a portion of it is dealt out to her as if she were a salaried domestic,-her apportionment, perhaps, entirely inadequate for her support, although she might have been the principal agent in acquiring it. Even in case she had no children, the husband's relations come in as legal heirs for twothirds of the real estate ; thus she is forced, in many instances, to labour for her own support, and if unable to labour, she is thrown on the cold charities of an unfeeling world. Supposing men were treated in this manner, how vociferous would be their complaints; they would do more than complain.
The sneers and frowns of men deter many women from avowing their sentiments on this question. Women of the United States in particular, are very sensitive when assailed by ridicule and sarcasm. To be accused of appearing out of their sphere, is excruciatingly painful. Their sphere of action is so circumscribed, and hence this sensitiveness; they revolve in an egg-shell, and if any of them appear a hair's-breadth out of their prescribed orbit, they are assailed with so much virulence, contumely, and vulgar sarcasm, that it is only some daring spirits who will attempt it. What! a woman out of her sphere to investigate the laws by which she is governed, and speak of their justice, or injustice! Most astonishing !
A great many women take no interest in this question. They care nothing about it, and of course know nothing about it; nor do they wish to know any thing about it.
They intrench themselves behind their own insignificance, and consider themselves as having no responsibility for their country's weal or wo, or their own weal or wo, in a political point of view. They say that it is men's business, and give as a reason, perhaps, that their husbands disapprove of women meddling with politics; thus making their husbands their conscience-keepers. There are others who stand aloof, from conscientious scruples; they have been taught “that it is only man who is clothed with dominion, and has a right to rule, that woman was made in subjection to the man, and should not profess to be his equal,—that“ woman was made for man's use, help, and comfort ; that man is to woman a kind of secondary god !"_" that God is man's law, man hers, and it is her duty to know no more.”
Their minister never mentions any thing about women being “ nursing mothers ” to the church in the character of queens, or one of the sovereign people. And, indeed, you might attend Sabbath after Sabbath at a great part of the preaching, and not know there were such beings in the world as women; they appear to be of very little help, use, or comfort, to man. No duty is assigned them as coworkers with man; of course, they have no duty to perform, unless it is “ to be obedient to their husbands." These nursing-mother queens were in olden times,-Esther, perhaps, was one; but, under the Christian dispensation, there is no such duty called for from women in the United States, as one of the sovereign people, or their minister will tell them.
If woman has no moral right to political action, it would have been morally wrong for Esther, or any other woman, to act in a political capacity; but there are a goodly number of women in the United States, and they are increasing in number, who consider themselves man's equal, his companion, and co-worker, and consider it their duty to exert themselves to the utmost for the glory of God and the good of mankind, in every way in which it would be lawful for man to exert his faculties; and would willingly be nursing mothers, to nurture good morals and true religion, were they permitted to exercise their natural rights. The sneers and sarcasms of either men or women would fall powerless at their feet.
They know that sarcasm and ridicule are only resorted to for want of better arguments. Another class of females consider themselves as household conveniences, or gilded toys, only made to please men; and they know the way to please a great majority of men is, to acknowledge themselves inferior beings, and the acknowledgment of this is one of the greatest ornaments of the female sex. Hence they consider it feminine and pretty to abjure all such use of their faculties as would make them co-workers with man, and they do this to increase their power in some of their own favourite schemes, for they are taught from high places that their “power is always greatest in concession.” This low, obsequious disposition in woman, is one of the effects of the fall, as well as the domineering spirit in man-“Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” It is a despicable pitiful thing to hear a woman representing herself as lower in the scale of creation than man, having fewer rights; thus dishonouring her Creator, who made her a little lower than the angels, and crowned her with glory and honour, and set her over the works of His hands equally with man, clothed with a nature which is honoured by union with the Godhead, and woman the connecting link. Yes, we say, this is a sinful voluntary humility. Why this gratuitous self-abasement? Human nature was not created by piecemeal. We ought to know the dignified rank in which God has placed us, and our consequent responsibility.
One reason why women are oppressed and divested of their rights is, that a great many women voluntarily abandon their rights, even some of those who are qualified to maintain them; but women cannot voluntarily abandon their natural rights without incurring guilt, because these rights impose duties. Does not woman feel that she is degraded by being divested of her rights, which our nation has declared mankind are entitled to, and to be placed in the same category with idiots, or the insane, or those who have forfeited their rights by flagitious crimes, such as robbers, malefactors, and other gross offenders ? On women themselves, in a great measure, rests, in this enlightened age, the degradation to which they are subjected. We do not suppose that women will obtain their rights without a struggle, and a great effort between moral and physical power. But the promise is, “ As thy days, so shall thy strength be.”' God has given them a moral power when they have right on their side, which far outweighs any extra physical force with which man is endowed. Are women too degraded to have any aspirations after a higher and better condition? “Who would be free themselves, must strike the blow.” Let women rise, in the majesty of their womanhood, and assert their rights, and we have no doubt they will be placed in a position in which they could perform their duty as “nursing mothers” to the people of God, in the character of queens, or a constituent part of the sovereignty of the United States of America.
THE BANEFUL CONSEQUENCES RESULTING FROM THE FALSE
POSITION OF WOMAN.
« Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them, and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” Heb. xiii. 3.
We have reviewed woman's standing in the three grand divisions of society, namely, in the family, in the church, and in the state, and we find women a proscribed, degraded class in these three divisions of society, by existing usages or by legal enactments, all arising out of the supposed husbandly authority. According to a great part of our theological and moral teachings, sanctioned by the civil law, she is called, with some modifications, to the same obedience to her husband in the family, as the slave. She is debarred from speaking in the church, or congregated promiscuous assemblies, because it would be inconsistent with that reverence and obedience she owes her husband-it being always considered her duty to abstain from any thing that would indicate that she considered herself intellectually and morally his equal. She is deprived of having a voice in making the laws