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to God alone. Such natural rights, involving duties or obligations commensurate with them, we recognize as implanted in the nature of man. But nowhere do we find in the human constitution a right of voting bound up with his other rights; nowhere an obligation to vote, or to take an active part in civil government; although Plato and Aristotle and other philosophers long ago observed that man's nature is configured to the civil state and the condition of civil obligation.

To make the right of suffrage, or any other political right, absolute and grounded on first principles, is to fall into the error of the radical theorists and revolutionists of France, in opposition to the sound English doctrine recently affirmed by Matthew Arnold, “that all political rights are created by law, and are based on expediency and are alterable as the public advantage may require.” The same sound doctrine is expressed by an American writer: “No political right is absolute and of universal application. Each has its conditions, qualifications, and limitations. It is in the concrete and not in the abstract, that rights prevail in every sound and wholesome society. They are applied where they are applicable. Government by doctrines of abstract right, of which the French Revolution set the Example and bore the fruits, involves enormous danger and injustice.” And yet it is upon this false and dangerous doctrine, claimed to be the foundation stone of all our institutions, that the woman suffrage movement is avowedly based. “The strength of the woman suffrage movement in the United States," says one of its leading advocates, "lies in this, that every axiom, every position claimed originally as applicable to American men, proves on reflection to be applicable to women also. If there is any principle on which all our institutions rest in the popular mind, it is the right of every adult person, not laboring under special natural disqualification, to take part in the government of the country.” Such a right nowhere exists, or ever did exist, save in the brains of theorists. If this be the principle on which our institutions rest in the popular mind, it is by the same sophistry of radicalism that once made slavery to be the corner stone of the Republic, and State rights paramount over the sovereignty of the nation. The sooner the popular mind is dispossessed of such doctrines, before their fruits are ripened into revolutions, the better for our peace and safety.


Rights, as we have said, are always correlative and commensurate with duties. A right to vote implies the duty to vote, and this carries with it in a free government the right to be elected to office, and a participation in all the duties and responsibilities of government. Indeed this is the avowed aim of the female suffragists, to open the whole sphere of politics and gov. ernment to women equally with men. This is the issue fairly before us, and a graver and mightier one, or one more fraught with peril to society, to the family, and most of all to woman herself, it is impossible to conceive. And this leads us to say further,

3. The claim for woman suffrage rests upon a radically false conception of the relations and duties of the sexes.

If there is any law written in nature's boldest and most legi. ble hand and stamped indelibly on the human constitution, it is that which assigns different spheres and duties to the two

Woman is made to be the complement and help-mate, not the rival of man. To the man is given physical strength, executive force, mastership, leadership,—in a word, headship in the family, in the field, and in the State. Hence government is his prerogative by nature. To the woman is given a finer and more delicate organization, not inferior but different in kind and quality, fitting her as manifestly for private and domestic life, and its not less responsible duties. To deny or ignore this law is to deny the plainest facts, and to fly in the face of nature itself. Nature and reason, no less than Scripture, declares man to be the “head of the woman " and of the family, and for the same reason he is the proper head and ruler of the State. The fact of female sovereigns and their often successful reigns, argues nothing against this, since every one knows that the real governing power in England and other female sovereignties is behind the throne, and is male, and not female. The equality of the sexes, in the only sepse in which the term can be properly used, is perfectly consistent with subordination of rank and place, as even theology teaches in the doctrine of the Trinity, where the Son is subordinate and obedient to the Father, yet one with Him in all divine attributes.

This whole movement for female suffrage, is, at least in its motive and beginning, a rebellion against the divinely ordained position and duties of woman, and an ambition for independence and the honors of a more public life; as if any greater and diviner honor could be given to woman than those which God has assigned her; as if the sanctities of home and the sacred duties of wife and mother, with all their sacrifices, were not a higher sphere and a truer glory—a glory she shares with the world's Redeemer—than the vulgar publicity of the polls and hustings, or even the Senate and the bar.

It has been argued by advocates of this reform that the social position of woman is different in this age from what it was in the preceding centuries, when woman was deemed and held subordinate to man. “ It is the weakness of the stock arguments against woman suffrage," says Mr. Higginson in the North American Review, “that they are mainly based on the survival of a tradition after social facts are changed. As manners make laws, manners likewise repeal them.'” But it is not social facts or traditional manners on which our arguments are based, but natural constitution and the laws written by the Creator on the nature of the two sexes, to which human laws ought to be conformed. St. Paul, in his chapter on the sub. ordination of woman,—upon which so much shallow sophistry and irreverent wit has been expended, -appeals in his argument chiefly to nature and the original constitution of woman, which no social facts or customs can essentjally change. It is not a social, but a natural fact that woman is shorter in stature, weaker in body, lighter and less forcible and less commanding in voice and movement and all that indicates authority and mastery, than man, notwithstanding a few abnormal exceptions. It is not a tradition, but a scientific fact or law, that the average weight of the brain of woman is one-tenth less than that of man, and differs from it also in structure --indicating not that she is mentally inferior, but that certain spheres of thought and activity are specially adapted, and certain others not adapted to her mental, no less than to her bodily organization.

It is a psychological and not a social or traditional fact, that the logical and judicial faculties are in most women subordinate and inferior in strength to the intuitive and spiritual; that feel. ing enters more largely into her opinions and judgments than the lumen siccum of pure reason,-a fact which in some departments makes her a more true and acute discerner, and in others a more partial and prejudiced observer.

Now this marked difference of organization, both physical and mental, certainly indicates some difference of design and end touching the sphere and functions of the two sexes. What this difference is; which shall be the head, the primordial and governing force in all things pertaining to public and political life; and which shall be the heart, the inward and retired, but not less powerful spiritual force which animates and warms and cheers the domestic and social life; the controller of this interior world within the outer one of business and politics, like the heart in the physical system sustaining, shaping and building the body by its vital chemistry, pouring life and health through all the veins and arteries and so feeding and vitalizing the whole, the head and brain no less than the lowest members,—this surely ought not to be a question in dispute, and cannot be to any level and true.seeing mind. Indeed this ques. tion whether women shall vote, and the issues connected with it, recalls the old fable of the belly and the members. It looks to us like the question, whether the heart shall usurp the function of the head, and assert its right to be at the top instead of at the center of the body; i. e. whether it shall govern and direct the external movements of the man, or animate and vitalize, and so inwardly control, the man himself. In this view there is a look of absurdity in the claim for woman suffrage which has not escaped the notice of some who have written on the subject. Prof. Phelps speaks in bold and convincing language of "the absurdity of thrusting upon one-half of the human race a privilege which they have never asked for, and their desire for which is a thing not proved; the absurdity of imposing upon one-half of the race a duty, the gravest that organized society creates, but which they have no power to defend in an emergency; the absurdity of holding woman to military service, as she must be held if she is to stand on any fair terms of equality with man in the possession of this natural right; the absurdity of the intermingling of the gravest duties of the court room and the senate chamber with those of the

nursery--these and other like things involved in the proposed revolution and its sequences, we claim to have the look of absurdity to the average sense of mankind. Yet they are commonly treated either flippantly or passionately in the attempt at rejoinder; and once and again we are told that the revolution is right because it is right; and it must succeed because it will succeed. We ask for a reverent answer to St. Paul's reason. ing, and we are informed that St. Paul was a bachelor. We ask what to do with the apostle's inspired command to wives, su marked in its distinction from his commands to husbands, and we are reminded that the apostle was a Jew. We urge the impossibility of woman's defending the ballot by force of arms; and we are answered that woman is a slave. We argue the incongruity of the duties of maternity with those of the jurybox and the bar; and we are instructed gravely that men are tyrants, usurpers, brutes. We speak of the dignity of marriage, and the sacredness of motherhood; and we are met with the discovery that woman has a mission.”

4. The reform in question is a violation of woman's truest and deepest instincts, and so is truly a "reform against nature."

It is not implied by this there are not women who delight in publicity and who have a talent for affairs, and even for government and leadership in the State; strong-minded and mas. culine women, as their very presence and boldness of address declare. Such are most of the leaders in this movement, generally single women thrown out of their true sexual relation by the abnormal force and independence of their nature, and seeking to find or make a place for their uncomfortable and irrepressible energies. The very names of some of these leaders give one an inward shudder when thought of in the relation of wife. But these, happily, are exceptions to the sex and do not represent woman as God made her to be, and as most women are. Such, when left to their own womanly instincts, and not forced out of them by sophistry or ambition, disclaim all sympathy with the movement, and would not vote if they could. Not assuming to be wiser than St. Paul, or stronger than nature, they acknowledge the headship of the husband as the ordinance of God, finding in it not tyranny but strength and peace. One of the best and noblest women we ever knew,

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