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identified; the influence which this has on the parties is incalculable, either for weal or for wo. The influence of husband and wife, thus united, is vastly extended, and their duties increased. Each one may be considered, in some measure, to possess the benefit of whatever gifts God has bestowed on both, and each has in a great degree, the influence of both; hence the responsibility is increased in civil society, as well as in the domestic circle.
Woman holds an important station in society, as one of the heads and governors of the family. She can give tone to the character of both the husband and the family. “Her husband is known in the gates.” How particular she should be, in common with man, to cultivate those faculties which qualify her for her arduous and important trusts. She need not conceal herself behind her insignificance, because she is generally taught that she is a mere subordinate in the family, and has no responsibility but what the husband sees proper. She should remember that God holds her responsible, as much for the well-being of the family, and the duties arising out of that organization, as the husband; that is, if she is permitted to do her duty, and has corresponding qualifications. Both husband and wife ought to exert themselves, as if the whole well-being of the family depended on each individual. So acted the virtuous woman, whose character we have delineated in Proverbs. Woman's dignified position, in the family relation, should make her scorn, if no higher motive operate, to be a useless and prodigal member of the household, a mere drone on her husband's exertions;—although our moral and theological teachings are calculated to produce this effect.
One great and important duty which generally devolves on heads of families, is the rearing and educating of children: in this capacity, the woman has it in her power to make her influence felt for good, or bad, throughout every ramification of society. As to family government, we consider it a theocracy. God has given special directions for the management of the family, apportioned the physical labour of both husband and wife. The husband's duty is to provide for the family, and He has also given directions for the wife. The physical labour of both being apportioned, by no means excludes the co-operation of the other in each department. As to their moral duties, there is no distinction. As to chil
dren, the child being incapable of conducting itself, God elects its parents, or some others standing in the same moral relation, and says, Bring up this child for me, that is, “ in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” He gives direct precepts or laws, for the regulation of the parents; there are some blanks to be filled up, as to the choice of means. But the outlines of parental and family government are legibly written, and are a model in miniature for all governments, man and woman being appointed joint executors.
OBJECTIONS CONSIDERED. “ Be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ, and all ye
are brethren.” Matt. xxiii. 8. CHRIST always retains the appellation of Master to himself. There is no aristocracy, or hereditary nobility; nor does any nobility whatever exist in Christ's kingdom, and in it there is no dignitary of higher grade than servant. “There are neither lords many, nor gods many in his kingdom.” Notwithstanding, this principle is legibly written in the gospel of Christ, so that “ he may run that readeth it;" yet there is a portion of his followers who profess to be seated on His kingly throne, wielding his sceptre over a portion of their fellow-disciples, and representing their commission to be sealed and endorsed by Him. The one we have allusion to, is the authority the husband is supposed to be invested with over the wife, and is found recorded in Ephes. v. 22, 24. It is as follows: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own 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, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”
We believe that head and king, or law-giver, are generally if not almost universally considered synonymous ; and we know Christ, as king and law-giver, rules the church absolutely, both temporally and spiritually. Now, here are a power and authority supposed to be delegated to the husband, exceeding any other power ever delegated to any human authority-exceeding any power ever claimed by the pope.
The authority is one of momentous responsibility. If ever there was an infallible chair promised to the sons of men, here is an extreme case for its use. No wonder Milton represents Eve as saying to Adam,
“My author and disposer, what thou bid'st
Unargued I obey; so God ordains.
Is woman's happiest knowledge and her praise !" Thus she must serve the creature instead of the Creator. Man usurps the throne of God. Milton's character of Eve is much admired, and our theological ethics correspond with it, with few exceptions.
Milton represents Eve to be liberally endowed with the spirit of her station. She is well aware that ignorance must be a prominent constituent part of her character. She says, “ to know no more is woman's happiest knowledge and her praise." It is both her duty and her interest to be ignorant. A slave should not have much knowledge; it would only make him unhappy in his chains. Knowledge being power, it is a dangerous element when on the side of vassals in all despotisms.
We will now proceed to examine this authority, which purports to be of such gigantic dimensions; whether its foundation is firm or tottering. Truth never loses by inquiry ; there is no opinion worth holding which will not bear investigation. The husband is the head of the wife, which is supposed to be the foundation of his ruling.
We will first examine what functions the head is represented in scripture to exercise in the human system. Second : is the head in scripture represented as governing the body, or has it the exclusive attribute to govern? Third : does Christ execute the office of king of the church in his mystical character as head ? First, the head of the individual. The metaphor is taken from the head in the natural body. When the human body is made a figure in scripture, it is evidently the functions the different members exercise in the animal economy that is spoken of, 1 Corin. xii. 14, 26, and has nothing to do with ruling, nor the moral or intellectual faculties. The mouth is the avenue by which the whole body is supported. How would the mouth nourish the body if the stomach would always reject the food, or not digest it? God has established a law of sympathy in the human system, by which one part is in obedience and subject to the other. The whole body may be said to be subject to the mouth, as on it the whole depends for nourishment. The husband is the nourisher and cherisher of the wife,“ the head from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment,” Colos. ii. 19. There is no other organization on earth, composed of different individuals, like the one we have under consideration; where two are so closely united as to constitute but one individual. Second : is the head in scripture represented as governing the body, or has it the exclusive attribute to govern? The head is never represented in scripture as ruling the individual; nor has it the attribute to rule, according to scripture figure. Mr. Henry says, when commenting on Ephes. v. 22, “The head in the natural body, being the seat of reason and the fountain of sense and motion, is more excellent than the rest of the body. God has given the man the pre-eminence, and a right to direct and govern by creation.” That is, every man has a right by creation to rule every woman. He should have proved this by the fifth commandment“Honour thy father and thy mother;" and he adds, “generally, too, the man has what he ought to have, a superiority in wisdom and knowledge.” Another stab at the intellect. He locates the intellect in the head, and leaves woman a senseless trunk, to be governed as a ship by the helm wherever the governor listeth. Can a creature thus circumstanced be an accountable being ? If governing themselves is to be a criterion, we do not think that our brethren show themselves, in the aggregate, any better qualified for governing than females.
Now all this assumption of Mr. Henry is wholly gratuitous, and not founded on one declaration of scripture. In no place in Divine Revelation is the head represented to be the seat of reason. When the seat of the intellect is spoken of, its location is uniformly the heart. (We have no idea of going into a phrenological discussion, for the purpose of
deciding where the intellectual faculty is located, but just follow scripture figures as we find them.) Solomon's wisdom is spoken of as being located in his heart, 1 Kings iii. 9, and xii. 4, 29. And wisdom located in the heart, Prov. xvi. 23, Hosea viii. 11. And when Nebuchadnezzar was bereft of reason, and driven from the society of men, it is said, “that his heart was made like the beasts,” Dan. v. 21.
Again: wisdom is represented as being located in the heart, John xii. 40. We could multiply examples, but we deem it unnecessary. It may be asked, when Christ is spoken of as head of the church, would it be supposed that wisdom would be located in the heart ? Wisdom is not the attribute that is brought into requisition when Christ personates the husband, or mystical head of his church, as the apostle has not left us to conjecture in what character Christ stands as head in this connexion. He says in his mystical character, (verse twenty-second,) it is love, condescension, sympathy, benevolence, and the other social graces, which are brought into exercise. The heart is the great fountain of the vital Auid, with its thousands of tributaries and distributors circulating through the whole system, carrying life and vigour to every part. Hence the heart is a very appropriate figurative location for wisdom, as it is designed for a direction for the whole man. Third : does Christ execute the office of king of the church in his mystical character as head? In no place in scripture is Christ spoken of as ruling the church in connexion with his headship. It is passing strange, that, if it is the “ prominent trait” in the character of his headship to rule, ruling was not mentioned in connexion. In all places, where he is spoken of as exercising the functions of head of the church, the idea of nourishment is held out, or head of influences, Ephes. iv. 15, 16, and v. 29, Colos. ii. 19. We know that Christ is head over all things to the church, which is his body, Ephes. i. 22, 23. But are these all things his body ?—these principalities and powers, whether good or bad ? Certainly not. The exercise of the two headships is quite different. Authority is a thing. The head of a thing will not answer for the head of a person : the organizations are different, and every organization is governed by its own laws, and must be supported by its own appropriate aliment. We are well