Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

so far as character and spirit are concerned, such union with a particular natural orthan simply to make them change places ganization, as to have wrought into it from for a time in the order of society, confining first to last the same particularity, as a nethe male sex to the employments of the cessary part of its own constitution. It is nursery and kitchen, and throwing open to one of the great merits of Schleiermacher the female sex the active walks of business, again, to have perceived and asserted, with politics and trade. The difference, as we proper force, the claims of the individual may all easily see, is original and constitu- over against the authority of the universal tional, and in this view co-extensive in full and absolute, as a permanent element in with the entire range of our common life. the constitution of man. The question beIt shows itself in the character even of the fore us then, according to this view, is alinfant, as soon as it begins to discover any ready answered. The multiplication of the signs of character whatever. The tastes race will not extend, it is true, over into and tendencies of the boyish nature are pe- the other world, and with this must come culiar to it as such, from the first hour of to an end also the present significance of its activity in the nursery, clearly distin- the sexual relation as concerned in that obguishing it from the nature of the girl. ject; our whole present physical state inl'he distinction reigns throughout all the deed being but the transient process by sports of childhood, and accompanies the which our being is destined to emerge entire subsequent development of the hereafter into a higher order of existence. spirit, onward and upward to mature age. In that higher state, we are told, they shall [t prevails in full force over the whole neither marry nor be given in marriage, broad range of middle life, imparting to it but resemble in this respect the angels ts highest interest and value in a moral in heaven. The family constitution, in its view. Finally, it ceases not in the decay strict sense, though it be the basis of all of bodily vigor and beauty, induced by old morality in its process of revelation, beige itself, but reaches forward still, with longs only to the present order of things, i radiant light that grows only more mel- and will not be continued in the complete low as it is less tinged with the coloring of kingdom of God. But we may not supsense, far down into the vale of years ; pose, that the vast and mighty distinction Covering thus in truth the universal tract in our nature, out of which this radical conof our mortal existence, from the mystery stitution now springs will come to an end of the womb to the still more impenetrable in the same way. Entering as it does into ind solemn mystery of the grave. the life of the entire person, it cannot be

Nor can the distinction possibly termi- overthrown by the simple elevation of our iate here. It has been made a question mortal individuality into the undying ndeed, whether the difference of sex ex- sphere of the spirit. On the contrary, it ends to the other world ; and it is charac- may be expected rather to appear now uneristic of the Hegeliar way of thinking in der its most purely ethical, and for that particular, that it allows but little room for reason its highest also and richest form. ny such supposition, having a tendency In Christ Jesus, there is neither male nor Llways to merge the individual in the gen- female, as there is also neither Jew nor ral, and to make men mere passing ex- Greek; not however by the full obliteration implifications of humanity. But this view of all such differences, but only through verthrows in the end the doctrine of a their free harmonious comprehension in a uture state altogether ; since without the form of consciousness, that is deeper than listinctions of individual nature, as some- their opposition, and able thus to reconcile hing continued over from the present life, them in an organic way. It is on the backhere can be no sense of personal identity, ground of such universal unity precisely, 10 true resurrection, or other-world con- that the differences stand out after all in ciousness, in any form. It lies in the very the clearest delineation which their nature onception of our being as we have here admits. There will be races and nationallescribed it, that its individual distinctions ities, and temperaments, strongly marked in hould reach throughout the whole man in heaven, no doubt, as we find them here in

permanent and enduring way. Person- course of sanctification upon the earth. lity cannot be evolved at all, except in And so there will be, not in the flesh, but in the spirit, the difference of sex there too. | head and breast, the show of the skin, the Humanity, made forever complete in the expression of the face, the tone of the new creation, will comprise in itself still, voice, the bearing and carriage of the peras the deep ground tone of its universal or- son, all are comprehended in the same reignganic harmony, the two great forms of ex- ing universal distinction. So also in the istence in which it was comprehended at case of the several great systems of which the beginning, when God created man, we life is composed; the action of the liver, are told, male and female, after his own lungs and brain is subjected to correspondimage. In this view, it involves no ex- | ing modification. In man, the arterial and travagance to extend the idea of sex even cerebral systems prevail ; in woman, the to the angels themselves, although they venous and ganglionic; creating a pre ponneither marry nor are given in mar- derance of irritability in the first case, and riage.

in the second a similar preponderance of We are now prepared to notice more sensibility; conditioning thus througbout particularly, though of course still only in their different capabilities and tendencies, the most general way, the constitutional and indicating with sure necessity the character of the two sexes in a compara- different spheres in which they are aptive view. The case requires of course, as pointed to move. In the next place, with already intimated, a glance at the simply the purely corporeal or somatic difference physical side of our nature, in the first now stated, corresponds also the inward or place, and then at its moral or spiritual side psychical region of what must still be dein which only the first comes finally to its nominated our physical nature. This is full human significance and force. So includes the whole natural consciousness, the timately interwoven however are these two product directly of our animal organization spheres of existence, that no full view can as such, which the true spirit within us is be had of one apart from the other, and it required to raise into its own native sphere is only in their union at last that we are of freedom, that it may become the resenabled to complete properly the compari- ture, subsequently, of its own life. Such son we have in hand.

consciousness, from the start, is not the The physical difference of the sexes is same thing in man that it is found to be not limited by any means, in the first place, in woman. Sensation and perception, feelto any particular organs and functions of ing and affection, appetite and tendency, our simply corporeal structure, but extends inclination and desire, are all modified by to the body as a whole. This is in no the power of sex. The whole inward and sense a mechanical composition merely of outward nature, harmonionsly constructed various parts, outwardly fitted together, in each case within itself, is comprehended but a living whole pervaded throughout in the same distinction, and carried always with the presence of a common principle in the same direction. Man is characterand constitution. It is not possible, accord-ized by superior strength and activity, ingly, that a peculiarity so broad and deep while woman is more delicately tender and as that of sex should appear as something passive. Thought predominates in man, adventitious and accidental only, in some in woman, taste and feeling. All goes to particular parts of the general organization, indicate that man is formed to exercise suwithout affecting the rest. It must im- thority and protection, and to wresue both press itself, more or less clearly, upon the physically and spiritually with the sur whole. This we find, accordingly, to be rounding world ; while woman is led by the case in fact. Both anatomically and her whole nature, rather, to cultivate a physiologically considered, the whole body spirit of submission and dependence, and is made to participate in the sexual charac- finds her proper sphere in the retireme ter. Man and woman are so completely of the house and family. We are in die different in their whole organization that, way, however, conducted over to a si as it has been remarked, no single part of higher apprehension of the difference under the one could be properly substituted for consideration. It is only as nature pusses the corresponding part of the other. Bones upwards, as its constitution here requires muscles, the turn of the limbs, general it to do, into the sphere of the spark, cha:

and bulk, the conformation of the the full sense and force of the distinctioa thus sublimated by the ethical process is the same time participates more largely in brought finally into full view.

the character of passive necessity and deIn this character the difference is no pendence, as the law by which nature is longer natural, simply, but in the fullest ruled. The personality of man is more sense moral. Personality unites in itself vigorous and concentrated, and, if we may the presence of a spiritual universal life, use the expression, more thoroughly and which is strictly and truly the fountain of completely personal, than the personality of its own activity in the form of intelligence woman; showing him clearly thus to be and will, and a material organization as the centre and bearer properly of the the necessary medium and basis of its reve- human nature as a whole. This implies lation. In this revelation, the spirit, while no inferiority on the part of woman; it must remain always the centre of the she is just as complete and noble in whole person, with the power to assert its her own sphere as man can possibly be own proper primacy, is notwithstanding in his ; and this sphere is just as necescapable of being acted upon and intluenced sary as the other also to the true perfecin very various measures by the power of tion of human life. It lies, however, in the nature, as brought to bear upon it through nature of the case, that this life should the organism of the body. In proporbe, not a dualism, but an inward unity; tion, at the same time, to the independence and that the distinction, therefore, in which it may be urged and enabled to assert in its it starts, reaching as it does into the perown sphere, will be the strength and force sonal consciousness itself, should be so orof the personality thus brought into view. dered, nevertheless, as to return in upon Now it results from the whole peculiarity itself again to a common personal ground. of her organization, as already described, The relation of the sexes, then, requires that and so of course lies also in the proper pur- their two-fold constitution, dividing as it pose and destiny of her sex, that woman does the proper wholeness of humanity, should possess less of this independence should be supported at least as a single than man.

Her life springs more immedi- | personality from a common basis, on one ately and directly from nature, even under side or the other. The general nature, acits true ethical form. There is a specific cordingly, is made to centre in man; and difference, in this view, between the per- woman, taken in symbolic vision from his sonality of the sexes, taking up into itself side, while she forms the necessary comand completing the sense of all differences plement of his being, comes to her full in a lower sphere. It resolves itself, ulti- spiritual development, and gains her true mately, we may say, into this, that the uni- native freedom and independence, only by versal side of our common humanity pre- seeking in him the central support which vails in man, and its individual side in she lacks in herself, and bringing her whole woman. Self-consciousness in man runs consciousness thus into profound union readily into the general form of thought, with his life, as the inmost and deepest disposing him for comprehensive observa- ground of her own. tion, speculation and science: in woman, it With such natural and personal differtakes more the character of feeling, which ence, the sexes are designated from the is always something single, closely coupled start to different spheres of life, and have with fancy and art; her thoughts are her widely different missions to fulfil in the soown inward states and impressions mainly, cial system. Neither the duties of the man, and the product immediately of the out- on the one hand, nor his virtues and perward occasions from which they grow. So fections on the other, are the same in geneagain self-activity in man takes naturally ral that belong to woman; and so also the the broad character of will, carrying him vices which most dishonor the one are not forth into the open world, involving him always of parallel turpitude for the other. in business and conflict on the arena of Man's vocation is to go forth into the world, public life; while with woman it is exer- to wrestle with nature as its rightful lord cised more in the form of impulse and de- and master, to make bis understanding and sire, falls more fully within the flow of will felt on the general course of life. The nature as embodied in her own particular forest-felling axe, the soil-subduing plough, organization, and for this very reason at the mason's hammer and the joiner's saw,

the wand of judgment, the sceptre of au- | always deep, and at the same time true to thority, and the sword of war, belong nature. “Let your women keep silent in properly to his hand, and to his alone. the churches: for it is not permitted unto Business, politics, outward enterprise, them to speak; but they are commanded learning and science, are all comprised in to be under obedience, as also saith the law. his legitimate domain. Woman, on the And if they will learn anything, let them other hand, finds her true orbit

, as we have ask their husbands at home: for it is a already said, in the quiet retreats of pri- shame for women to speak in the church." vate and domestic life. ller highest glory So again : “Let the woman learn in silence and greatest power are comprehended in with all subjection. I suffer not a woman the sacred names of wife and mother. She to teach, nor to usurp authority over the is not indeed shut out from society, in a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was wider view. On the contrary, she is fitted first formed, then Eve. And Adam was to exert the largest influence in the social not deceived, but the woman being desphere, strictly taken, as distinguished ceived, was in the transgression." from that of business and science; but it The order of society, springing as it is always under her domestic character does from the sexual relation first of all, only, and in virtue of her peculiar consti- imperiously requires that the sition in tution, as representing the individual side which it holds should be sacredly regardof the world's life, rather than that which ed and preserved, throughout the whole is general and universal. The moment she economy of life. All that serves to neuaffects to overstep this limit, by the per tralize it, or to thrust it out of sight, should sonal assumption of public and general be reprobated as an agency unfriendly to functions, in which she can have no part the best interests of the human race. properly, except through the medium of Civilization and culture, morality and rethe other sex, she makes herself weak, and ligion, while they call for the free interforfeits her title to respect. The popular course of the sexes, as polar sides of one platform, the rostrum, the pulpit, are in and the same social constitution, call no terdicted to her nature, no less than the less clearly at the same time for their conbattle-field and the crowded exchange. stant distinction and separation in all that All public primacy is unsuitable to her sex ; pertains to inward character and outward nor is it easy to see, certainly, how the life. They need a different education. The “monstrous regimen of women,” as de accomplishments which adorn the one are nounced by the old Scottish Elijah in his not those that most become the other. It memorable " Blast," should not be as fair is not without reason, that they are rean object of indignation and scorn, when quired to distinguish themselves in their seated on the throne, as it is felt to be in outward dress. “Doth noteren nature itself all inferior stations.* Christianity here is teach you,” says the apostle, “that if a

man have long hair it is a shame unto him.

But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory * “ Who would not judge that body to be a monster," says Knox, " where there was no head to her: for her hair is given her for a cor eminent above the rest, but that the eyes were in ering.”. All confusion of the sexes, ! the hands, the tongue and the mouth beneath in removal of the lines and landmarks that show the belly, and the ears in the feet? No less is the true and proper boundary between them, the body of that commonwealth, where a woman is a crime against society of the most seri beareth empire; for either doth it lack a lawful head, as in very deed it doth, or else an idol is ous order. For either sex to forsake its exalted instead of the true head. An idol I call own sphere, and intrude into that which that which hath the form and appearance, but belongs of right only to the other, though lacketh the virtue and strength, which the name

it should be even in the most trivial things and proportion doth resemble and promise. I confess a realm may, in despite of God—he of his merely, is ever something revolting wall own wise judgment so giving them over unto a reason and taste. To be unsexly, in case reprobate mind-exalt up a woman to that monstriferous honor, to be esteemed as head. But impossible it is to man or angel to give unto her see, hath denied to the woman power to Our BRES the propertie

and perfect offices of a lawful head; man, and bath taken away wisdom to assai for the same God that denied power to the hand and providence to foresee, the things that be probit

maak, to the belly to hear, and to the feet to able to the commonwealth"—First Blast

ume, habit, spirit or occupation, is to be between the two sexes in their personal it the same time unnatural and immoral. constitution. It is emphatically the fact

This opposition and distinction, however, of this order, involving as it does a certain is we have already seen, are intended only primacy on the one side and a corresponding o make room for the more perfect union subordination on the other, that makes it of the two interests thus flung asunder. It possible for the union to take that vital, funs because they are different in this way, damental form that is here required. Two nd in proportion also as the difference is strictly co-ordinate personalities could not be Inderstood and respected, that the sexes expected to flow thus into the power of a re capable of entering into the intimate single life. It is because woman has her inion, which lies at the ground of our true and proper centre at last in man, and vhole human life. Physically, psycholo- not in hersell, that it is possible for the rically, and morally, man shows himself to sexes to become not simply one flesh, but le at all points what woman is not. The one mind also and one soul. Her conne is the opposite of the other. But for sciousness thus poised upon the personality bis very reason, the relation is one also of man, is brought to such harmony, and f reciprocal want and supply. Neither freedom, and active force within itself, as ection of the race is complete in its own it could never be advanced to in any other ature, while the defect which exists on way. All this implies no sort of dishonor ach side is met with its proper com- or degradation. It is simply the necessary lement precisely in the comparative ad-form of our general human life itself, antage of the other. Humanity is the whose perfection demands this distinction inity of the two sexes; which, as such, of sexes as something which, to be real at ccordingly can never rest in one apart all, must hold in such proportional relation rom the other, but must seek continually and no other. It is precisely the strength he full conjunction of both, as original, and glory of woman, to be thus dependecessary component sides of its proper ently joined to the personality of man, as onstitution. In the nature of the case, the vine is carried upwards by clinging to can never be satisfied with such conjunc- a trunk more vigorous and rough than its ion, except under the most inward and own, which it serves at the same time piritual form as the power, ultimately, gracefully to ennoble and adorh. Marf a single individual life. The sexes are riage is, indeed, in this view, more signifinade complete only in and through each cant and necessary, we may say, for wother; and this necessarily by such a union man, than it can be held to be for man. It nly as extends to their whole constitution, is the appointed and regular process of her hysical and spiritual, embracing thus the full emancipation from the power of sense ntire inward life full as much as that and nature, over into the sphere of a firm

hich is exhibited outwardly in the sphere and enduring spiritual independence. She f flesh and blood. Each is needed to fill needs it to make her own personality, ut and complete the personality or moral whether as intelligence or will, sufficiently ature of the other, no less than its mate-central and deep, to sustain itself as it ial organization. The qualities of man's should against the force of the surroundpirit require to be softened and refined by ing world. It is by the mighty energy of ommunion with the milder nature of love in this form that she comes at last roman; as she on the other hand needs fully to herself, and is enabled to bring he strength and firmness of his more uni- into clear revelation the true wealth of her ersal life, on which to lean as the stable nature. In a deep sense thus we may rop of her own. The personality of man apply to the case that mystic word of the i enriched and beautified through woman, apostle : “She shall be saved (Ord sexvodon the side of nature; the personality of vias) by child-bearing. Connected as it roman is consolidated and perfected is immediately with the thought of her brough man, on the side of the idea. moral weakness, as exemplified in the fall,

In this view, of course, the union which (1 Tim. ii. 14, 15,) it seems to refer not he case demands, cannot overthrow, but obscurely to the like mystic word of the aust serve rather to establish in full force, curse pronounced against her, Gen. iii. 16, he order we have already found to hold | in consequence of that catastrophe. The

« AnteriorContinuar »