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The question, which we now propose for consideration is, what rights and duties has God assigned to woman on this theatre of action? We most earnestly and respectfully solicit for it a patient and attentive hearing. We ardently hope that the unpopularity of the title of this work will not prevent its perusal. We desire a reading, if it is only for the purpose of sneering at the contemptible “Woman's Rights Question.” We call this work Woman's Rights, in accommodation to the popular phrase, but human rights may be considered its appropriate title; as there are no rights in the human family, other than human rights. We are not advised that any work, of the character of this which we now present to the public, is extant. Although there are works on the rights and duties of women, we are not aware of any which take a scriptural view of those rights and duties. An exhibition of the question in this aspect, is a desideratum. The purpose to ascertain woman's rights and duties, in the important relations of life from the sacred record, is strictly adhered to throughout the work. Our aim is to demonstrate the equality of the sexes, and their equal obligations and accountability. We present this question in a new phase, and the arguments in its support are new, at least to us. We hope the reader will refer to the Bible for the texts we have cited in support of our arguments, and examine for himself.

A prominent part of what appears in the succeeding pages, was embraced in a correspondence which passed between a Reverend gentleman, of very reputable talents, and our humble self, on the position woman occupies in some of the important relations of life. We were frequently urged by a number of our friends, to give the correspondence to the public, or give publicity to our own views on this question. We did not consider it courteous to give publicity to a private correspondence, nor was there any opportunity open by which we could give our own views on this question through the medium of the press. The opposition that is manifested to the discussion of this question, would debar its admittance into any religious publication, of which we had any knowledge, or to which we could hope for access.

The plan we have adopted, was the only alternative. Nothing but a sense of duty could have overcome our reluctance to appearing as the author of a book. We expect to reap sneers and contumely as our reward, but we have counted the cost, and are invulnerable to this mode of attack. The importance of this question to the well-being of the human family, and its unpopularity, were among the prominent reasons which induced us to take up the subject. When a subject becomes popular, advocates are in abundance. We lay no claim to literary precision, but we have endeavoured to be perspicuous. We send this work abroad, on its mission, under the guidance of Him, who “ hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.”

E. W. Cadiz, Harrison county, Ohio. November, 1849.




Dominion man's predominant propensity. The question we propose for investi-

gation. Our pledge. The importance of the question. Earnest call to the

investigation of this question. The creation of man. The plan of man and

woman's creation laid at the same time, and for the same purpose. Adam

being first formed, what it taught. The creation of woman. Her moral

standing. Their marriage. Strictures on commentators. Adam and Eve

both representatives of their posterity. Their fall. Arraigned before the di-

vine tribunal. Their sentence pronounced. Thy desire to thy husband and

he shall rule over thee, a prophecy, not a precept. Its literal fulfilment in all

ages and countries. Objections against its being a prophecy, answered.

Adam had no commission to rule his wife. No evidence that he did rule her.

He honoured his wife. Our position defined. Woman's equal rights and

equal responsibilities.—Page 13.



Woman's rights in the family relation ascertained by her duties. The marriage

contract equally binding on both man and woman. The personal duties

they owe each other respectively. Either may be first to propose duties.

Either has a right to perform duties of hospitality, or donate to benevolent or

religious purposes. Équal authority in the household and over servants.

Equal duties in the parental relation. God the legislator of the family.

Husband and wife only executive officers. Some thoughts on Prov., xxxi.

chap., from 10th verse. Our position of the standing of husband and wife

defined. The equal authority of husband and wife in the marriage relation.

The utility of our plan. Only three examples of husband and wife differing

in opinion. How settled. The importance of the domestic society. The re-

sponsibility of both husband and wife.-36.



Christ alone master. His disciples all brethren. Head and king popularly con-

sidered synonynious. The husband's supposed authority greater than the
authority claimed by the Pope. Milton's Eve. Thoughts on the metaphor
head. The head never represented in scripture as ruling the body. The head
has not the attribute to rule, according to scripture figure. Wisdom's location,
according to scripture figure. Christ does not govern in the character of head.
The functions Christ exercises in the character of head. The opinion of




Dr. Paley. The magnanimity of republican moral writers anticipated. Dr.

Wayland's Moral Science. The practicability of two living amicably to-

gether with equal authority. The wife's equal responsibility with the hus-

band. God gives our rights. No dignity in sex. Dr. Wayland's opinion

annihilates the woman. The wife's equal headship with the husband in the

family. The wife's duty, as to obedience and submission, the same as the

slave's, according to Wayland. Dr. Wayland more explicit than Dr. Paley.

The husband and slave-holder in the same category. Dr. Wayland's incon-

sistency. Dr. Wayland's theory. Specimens of its practical operation.

Human nature not constituted to possess despotic power. The husband's au-

thority more arbitrary than parent's. The government of a well ordered fa.

mily. Physical coercion and arbitrary power go hand in hand. Nathan's

parable. Woman an alien in the human family. Dr. Wayland's omission.

Woman cannot transfer her liberty by promise. The husband's authority not

calculated to promote peace. Remarks on 1 Peter iii. 1-7. Husband's or

wife's duty in case of dereliction of duty in either. Why the wife is told to

obey the husband. Scripture record of wives acting as freely in family ar-

rangements as husbands. "Woman has to render a final account for all moral

duties in the family the same as man. The ground of the husband's au-

thority. The husband's authority the source of all woman's deprivation of




This portion of scripture gives no moral right to the husband to negative the

wife's vow. Is designed for the protection of the wife. Mr. Henry's opinion.

Ahasuerus's treatment of Esther. Scott's opinion of this passage. Women

not more disposed to make rash vows than men. Examples show that the

wife has the same moral right to give of her pecuniary substance as the hus-

band. The authority claimed for the husband a negative, not a command.-




The importance of the question. Custom and usage all that women have to

depend on. Remarks on the free church of Scotland. Women, generally,
until recently, denied the right of suffrage, Women denied all official stand-
ing, in opposition to scripture example. Duties discharged by deaconesses.
Women's exclusion from official standing predicated on the husband's su.
premacy. I Cor. xiv. 34, 35, considered. Supernatural gifts bestowed on

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