Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/131

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ers remember that the lectures were prepared exclusively for pastoral use, and not intended for publication, and that they have had to be printed in self-defense against misrepresentation; and this consideration should be borne in mind in their public criticism. It by no means follows that he keeps a private set of opinions for special pastoral application, and for which he is unwilling to be held publicly responsible. He was addressing a class of Christian believers who profess allegiance to Christian doctrine, as expounded by his Church; and he very naturally gave prominence to considerations which would have but comparatively little force with outside multitudes who are not in sympathy with his ecclesiastical views. As to the theological arguments which Dr. Dix brings to bear upon the woman question, we have no interest in them except so far as they strike downward and find their basis in the truth of nature. But with the main fundamental doctrines he lays down as of all-determining influence, we are in cordial agreement.

The last phase of attack upon him is an accusation that his views are not new. The "Pall Mall Gazette" declares that many of the faults of women which he notices are not American but universal, and have been recognized and satirized in all ages; and an American commentator observes that "his views of the character and duties of woman do not differ greatly from those set out in the laws of Manu, which, according to the Hindoo theologians, were drafted thirty millions of years ago."

But when the New York "Evening Post" proceeds to affirm of the cardinal doctrines of Dr. Dix that "they are in fact the views by which every step in the elevation of woman, from the beast of burden of the savage to the mistress of the modern drawing-room, has been contested by conservative or timid males, lay and clerical," it becomes worth while to revert to the author's own statement of them. The following passages from the first Lenten lecture may be fairly taken as the key to the whole exposition:

The place and work of woman in this world arc, then, a place and a work in social life. And her place and work are not those of the man. His work lies outside, hers within. Without her, society could not have existed; without her, it can not last. The fact that in forming society man and woman have distinct parts implies this, that in maintaining and developing their work they shall continue to act in distinct relations to it. Something there shall be which man only can do; something which woman only can do. If she leave her own work and try to take up his, her work will remain undone; for man is not fool enough to try to do hers. And her work is inner rather than outer; it runs in the line of ordering, comforting, and beautifying. Her place is in the home first, and then in general society; and these depend on her for a grace, a help, a harmony, a good ordering, which no one else can give. These considerations give the turn to every thought of ours about woman's work. It is impossible for me to think of it at all, without first thinking of her place in the home. That is her normal, primal seat; thence are derived all true conceptions of her rights, duty, and mission. I know the objections which will arise in your minds: that there are many women without homes or the means to make them; and, again, that, as if by a bitter sarcasm of fate, the world of today is so changed that it often seems as if woman must work the harder of the two in order to support the shiftless man. There are answers to these and similar objections: I shall try to give them by-and-by. But for the present I must leave the subject at this point, adding but one suggestion. I do this earnestly, seriously, and as one would speak of a matter of life or death. Let me then say that, whatever it be in thought, deed, or will that works among us now to break up the home, to make the home-idea mean and contemptible in the eyes of woman, or to unfit her for domestic duties and disgust her with her proper work, whatever now-acts on her high-wrought nature, her ambition, her self love, to turn her steps away from the home life, and inflate her with visions of a career in the public places outside—this, whatever it be, is working against the best interests, the hope, the happiness of the human race.