Woman's Work Complementary to, not Hostile to, that of Man - A Great Opportunity in the East for Women of the West - The Awakening of Woman in India - Some Great Missionary Societies with Branches for Women's Work - Qualifications Necessary for Women Missionaries
It has been quaintly said by Matthew 1 Henry-a Bible commentator of a past generation-that when the Almighty made woman and took her out of the man, He carefully considered the operation. He did not take her out of man's head lest she should top him; He did not take her out of the man's foot lest she should be trodden under foot; but He took her out of man's side, and from the part nearest the heart, as a sign that she was to walk beside him, be his companion, and be loved.
Many things will remain neglected, and unless this true complementary condition is realised, friction which is quite unnecessary will be created between the two sexes where competition arises.
Woman's Functions are Complementary to Man's
Woman as complementary to the man develops a subtle influence which is entirely her own. It is an influence to which man will render full tribute. It is an influence which he will honour and by which he will be won.
There is another feature that cannot be left out of sight when approaching the consideration of woman's sphere and work.
There is an unreasoned but sure instinct that is her special gift. She knows, she perceives, and she finds in that knowledge a prophylactic long before the man with his slow but sure reasoning powers has threaded the labyrinths of argument, or weighed the evidences that bring him ultimately to the same conclusion.
All these well-observed facts lead to the conclusion that woman has special equipment for special service, and the road to success lies along a careful survey of those eternal laws of being to which the barest allusion has now been made.
If the lives of women like Queen Victoria, Florence Nightingale, and Elizabeth Fry have suggested and inspired to service as the conventual system has never really succeeded in doing, no less is it true that opportunities such as called out the devotion of those three great women have gone on increasing since their day a hundredfold:
Our duty towards our neighbour has thus received almost an unlimited interpretation. And the woman who believes in Christ, His mission to the world, and His command to His Church to bring Him near to these awakening peoples, cannot but be filled with a Divine discontent.
The Right and the
Wrong Way of
There is a wrong way of doing this work. Charles Dickens has sketched it for us with cruel bluntness in his story of Mrs. Jellyby and her committee work for "Borrio-boola - Gha," while her unfortunate husband and children were left to hate missions with all their souls as they helplessly contemplated the diversion of her maternal instincts from plain domestic duties. It is unfortunate that the immortal pen of Dickens did not convert this blunder and indicate a development of foreign mission enthusiasm that would not have sinned thus against domestic economy.
Nothing was more distinctive of the women who first ministered to Christ, or even among the earliest church workers than
The Right Reverend Ernest Graham Ingham, M.a., D.d., formerly Bishop of Sierra
Photo, J. Russell & Sons the fact that they saw what others were slow to see, and that their ministries were just what only women would think of rendering. Never was there greater need for the spiritual instincts of Christian women and their self-sacrificing devotion than there is now.
It is necessary to deliver foreign missions from the misconceptions and prejudices that are plainly blocking the way. But this will not come until the woman has a clear view herself.
What has really happened? Christ came into this world for three great and well-defined purposes. He came to reveal His Father and His Father's mind. He came to lay a foundation for true progress -of a kingdom that will never pass away.
He came to enlist discipleship. He depends on this discipleship for world wit-n e s s . He promised the Divine endue-ment of His spirit for that great catholic work.
Have disciples done the work committed to them? The plain answer is that they have largely neglected this world work, but nevertheless they have claimed to be possessed b y His spirit, and that owing to this long disobedience the Church-this body of disciples-has fallen out by the way, and become sadly divided and mutually hostile.