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amined and rejected, upon, we conceive, good grounds, we take it that “Society” is an Institution of God, coeval with man, adapted to his nature as his nature to it, and so fitted to it that it is not only merely the best, but the only condition for him to exist in.
The Family always existent.—The IIome its realization in Space and Time.-
Heathen notions of its institution. The feeling that the Law makes it.Man's nature. Nature of Society, and the express Law of God. These, not mere legislation cause it.-Pretty fables about marriage.—Natural feeling of unity.-Doctrine of the Roman Law.—Common-Law Doctrine.Doctrine of the Scriptures.-Conclusions: 1st, Law does not make marriage; 2d, Marriage is no Sacrament, but a Mystery ; 3d, All bound to marriage, except, first, it is wrong for them to marry--secondly, for a religious motive.
WIIEREVER, as we have shown, Man appears, there Society appears, simultaneously as it were, and coeval with his existence. Man as made was one, it is true, at first, but afterwards, when “the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone," from his flesh and bones was made a partner for him. And since then, man as born has always come into Society-he has been born into it. And this society made up of a pair, a Man and a woman living together—a Husband* and a wife. This pair, with their offspring, constitute the Family. Their dwelling is called the Home.
Hence result a multitude of relations of Persons of Husband to Wife—of Wife to Husband—of Parents to Children of Children to Parents-of Brothers to Sisters-of Sisters to Brothers. All these manifestly are relations between Persons in Society, and that Society composed of these Persons is the Family.
And again, owing to the Nature of man, which is a nature in Space and Time, this Society, the Family, has a place of inhabitation, a dwelling to itself exclusive, in which only the one Family dwells, or ought naturally to dwell, the Home: and the Society therein is, as it were, set apart from the rest of the world by visible and tangible limits; defined by them to be, although composed of many members and many relations naturally, still One only. One by exclusion of others from without; one by union of interests and feelings and mutual aid within ; one by authority and by love. A oneness of organization with manifoldness of members and relations and affections. There is authority there, in the authority of the Father. And there also naturally exists the unity of love, represented in all its possible relations, and flowing, as it were, from one fountain, the Mother.
*“House-band”-the union of the house. † Wife from "Weiben,” to weave or unite.
We come now to examine into the nature of this Society, and the Affections that are in the heart towards it. “ The Home,"? we have entitled this book, “and its Affections.”
And first, the question is, Whence comes it? How was it organized? Whence its . Laws? This I conceive a question worth noting, but not worth examining. I see the man that was made by the hand of God, by him brought into Societybut all men that are born, born into a family. The Family, I Bee, by the most ancient of histories--the Bible to have been instituted of God. I then, as a plain matter of fact, take it for granted that it was so: that for one man and one woman to live together as Husband and Wife all their days, that this was the original institution. That those who lived otherwise were not they who lived as at first, but they who broke off and diverged from the original institution. Heathens* may say,
“First men crawled out from the earth, a brute and dumb class of animals, fighting with fists and nails for acorns and wild fruits, then with cudgels, and then with arms which necessity invented. Then their rude cries they gradually formed into articulate language; and lawgivers came, who taught them marriage and instructed them in law."
* Quum prorepserunt primis animalia terris,
Mutum ac turpe pecus, glandem atque cubilia propter,
Hor. Sat. lib. i. 3.
This is the heathen view entirely. The Christian is, that marriage was the Original State, and Language a Divine gift,* and Lawt a thing natural to man from his own Reason and from the nature of Society and of God; and that if men were found in a state such as above described, it was because they had sunk voluntarily into it.
But to resume: Men, asked any questions with regard to the Family when they are possessed with this Heathen notion, will answer, the Law makes it so; taking it for granted unwittingly that the Law could make it otherwise.
But with regard to Marriage, does not the Law enact it? Does it not inflict penalties upon those who shall transgress this enactment? and thereby first cast the Family into a precise and definite shape, and then by its action so retain it?
Granting that it does all this—all this will not be to constitute it, but only to protect, guarantee, and define it, by the consent and legislative power of the nation. If the thing be “right,"I then legislation sanctioning it is good; but if it be not “right," then no legislation can make it so.
The foundation, then, of the Family, and its Law, I seek in the Nature of Man and of Society, and in the express Law of God. These are they that make and constitute the Law of Marriage and the Law of the Family; and human legislation is good 80 far as it expresses and reflects these.
But when human legislation upon any point opposes these, and says that it shall not be so, but otherwise, then human legislation fails. Mohammed permitted and enacted polygamy-and Nature starts up and says, “Nay, it shall not be: polygamy, the allotment of many wives to one man, cannot be the Law of a Nation, for only one woman throughout a nation shall be born for one man.” And thence throughout the nation that human law is wholly inoperative as a law, that is, as an universal rule of life; and the only effect is tolerated licentiousness among the rich and great, and a decay of principle among the poor, and a decrease of happiness and prosperity in the nation.*
* See an essay on the Divine Origin of Language, in Magee on the Atonement.
+ See Hooker, first book of the Ecclesiastical Polity.
| Right-rectum, ruled—that is, by the inner law of man's moral being; and by the external law of God corresponding to it, wherever and however revealed.
If Law be according to the nature and being of Man and according to the Law of God, then it is Right, and sanctions that which is Right; but if it be not “right,” “ruled," that is, according to the Eternal measure of immutable and unchangeable morality, then it is not so good. The will of God externally—the Nature of Man internally,—as interpreted by the Universal Reason in Society,—these are the measure of all human legislation. And these always and for ever agree.
Having so digressed, we shall, for a while, leave the legal consideration of “Marriage,” the “Family," and the “Home," and go to the Ethical consideration, that which examines not its Laws under Legislation, but its foundations in the nature of man, and in the Law of God.
Now with regard to nature, we find the feelings of the oneness and exclusiveness of the marriage so prevalent among men from the beginning, that it gave rise to many pretty and interesting fables. “ The soul of man and woman,” says one ancient Greek fable, “was originally one; it was then divided by Jove into two portions, half to one body, and half to the other; and hence the one soul, with instinctive patience, seeks its lost half, and will wander over the world for it, and, if united with it, shall be happy, if not, miserable.”
Behold a theory which at one blow accounts for all travelling and emigration, a: well as all happiness and unhappiness of the marriage tie, and yet expressing sufficiently the sense the author of it had of the Spiritual Harmony of Marriage.
“Behold," say the Cabalists—those Jewish retailers of absurd philosophy and foolish wisdom—“man was originally one, both soul and body, the “Ish Kadmon,' or primitive created being, and then God separated them, and man fell!" a most absurd and ridiculous notion, and yet showing the sense these strange philosophers had of the intimate relation of unity which the Masculine character bears to the Feminine.
* It is, I believe, a well ascertained Statistical fact, that the population of Turkey--the exclusively Turkish population-has not increased during the last two or three centuries; and that this is owing exclusively to the legal toleration of Polygamy.
Strange fables, these, and yet bearing witness to the natural fact of unity brought about and realized by the marriage tie.
In fact, through all time antecedent to Christ, the fables of all nations, extravagant as they may be, still bear witness to the feeling and persuasions of an union the most intimate between the parties, an union of Body, Soul, and Spirit as effectual as if they had actually become one body, one soul, one spirit. And this persuasion and universal sentiment assumes manifold forms, some amusing and ridiculous, and some interesting and even sublime, according to the nature and temper of the narrators.
And in philosophic earnestness and truth, when we examine the nature of Man and of Woman, we shall find that one is, as it were, the complement and counterpart of the other, that which renders it perfect; so that in the natural quest to feel and determine what would be the perfection of humanity, we should have to combine and unite the various attributes and qualities of both minds, the Masculine and the Feminine, and would find that all qualities of the one nature would, as it were, combine with and perfect those of the other.
For instance, the intellect of man, being intellect, is still a very different thing in nature from the intellect of woman, but so different as to correspond to and complete it. And when we come to imagine the height and perfection of intellect, not barely great intellect, but the utmost degree and topmost summit of all greatness of mental power, then we naturally fall into a combination of both. We unite the tenderness, the grace, the delicacy of the Female Intellect, with the boldness, and strength, and robustness of the Masculine Mind; and we find this combination actually to exist in Shakspeare, Dante, Homer, in the men of the highest reach always, but not in men of second-rate powers.
And when we look at these faces of the loftiest genius, then shall we see the tenderness of the female countenance uniting itself with the strength of the masculine; as may easily be seen in the portrait of Dante, of Shakspeare, or even of Milton.
In the same way, if we take the whole nature—the Conscience, the Reason, the Affections, the Will, the Understanding-in the case of all these, they are the same in both sexes; but in one there is a certain quality we call “Masculine,” and in the other, a quality we call “Feminine," and one is supplementary, as it were, to the