Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

on this passage. So we see all do not agree that it was a veil, or that it was worn as a token of the subjection of the woman to the power and authority of the man. The latter is the question at issue. The probability is, that the women had appeared with their hair dishevelled, as Mr. Scott intimates, and the apostle recommends some kind of head-dress to keep the hair decently tired, not decked with gold, or pearls, or costly array, for pompous, or fantastical show; and this opinion is strengthened by what the apostle says: “If the woman be not covered, let her be shorn.” If she did not keep her hair decently tired, let her cut it off altogether. Would not this place man and woman upon a level?

R. says, “Now the veil was an acknowledged token of the subjection of the woman to the power and authority of the man.” The apostle says, “If she has her head shorn or shaven, she may dispense with this veil,” as R. pleases to call it. Where would the acknowledged token of subjection to the man be then? He says, “The same word, by a very easy transition, came to signify both veil and power. So that the apostle here says, that the woman ought to have power on her head when she appeared in their public religious assemblies, thus acknowledging that her husband had power over her.” Where is the proof that power and veil were synonymous? R. keeps it out of view, that the apostle was there regulating the costume of women when performing public exercises. And the probability is that the majority of those who officiated in public had no husbands. Philip had four daughters, who were virgins, that did prophesy or preach, and,“On the daughters, and on the hand-maids, was the Spirit to be poured out.” Would a veil have shown that they were under the power and authority of their husbands? R. says, “It is likely he, the apostle, had heard that some of the Corinthian women had appeared in their assemblies having thrown aside their veils. And however harmless this might appear to us, yet being interpreted by the language of custom at that day, it said that they considered their husbands as having no authority over them. And they had fallen into this opinion, it is likely, from a mistaken notion of the nature of Christianity, as if it were intended to abrogate all distinctions, and place men and women upon a level.Indeed, place man and woman“upon a level!” And why not? Is there

either male or female in Christ Jesus?” Does not the apostle say, “That he that loveth his wife, loveth himself?” Is not himself “upon a level” with himself? Let us see the practical bearing of this doctrine, that man and woman are not “upon a level.” Man has a natural right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; but woman has not these rights, because she is not upon a level” with man. Where is the line of demarkation to be drawn when they are “ level?? If she has less rights in one respect, why not in another? Is he loving his neighbour as himself, when he is promulgating such doctrine? Or is this the doctrine of Christianity?

Let us examine a little farther into the language of this veil. It is represented as making very “easy transitions." Let us see if it does not transmute the wife into a slave. The veil is represented to be the emblem of the husband's authority according to the custom of that day. Now, civil and family governments, in heathen lands, in that day, were despotic; both wife and children were accounted the husband's and father's slaves, equally with those who came under that denomination. (As the oppression of women has always been a striking feature in Moloch's kingdom.) It is deemed unnecessary to describe slavery, for, alas! we are too well acquainted with its blighting and brutifying regulations. But in addition to what authority the slave-holder has in our country, the slave-holder of that day had the power of life and death, and he had the same power over his wife and children. See Evangelical Repository, vol. 1st, No.4, page 180. See Roman Antiquities, by Alexander Adam, page 500.

The apostle is represented as reproying wives for appearing in the religious assemblies without their veils, which, if worn and construed according to the customs of that day, would sanction the husband's authority, which was the same as the slave-holder's of that period. Now this being true, may not our Southern States resound with acclamations, loud huzzas for the additional proof of the scripture authority of their patriarchal institution, and its consequent perpetuity. This document of R's. would entitle him to the honourable character of “a northern man with southern principles.” Or it might turn out to be a good anti-slavery document. We believe it would, if their wives were involved in the category. The chivalry of the south is too magnanimous to brook the idea of their wives going about in the style of a slave. White women, in some of the slave states, enjoy more rights than in the free states, as we have already shown.

But R. has discovered that women are not alone to blame for their flagitious conduct in not wearing their veils. They had a bad prompter. He says, “And here we see that there is nothing new under the sun. As in our day the devil has attempted to turn the greatest question of human rights that ever has been discussed into a question about woman's rights, so at that day he was equally busy, no doubt, in diverting the great questions of Christianity into the same channel, and with the same design toom that he might thus bring odium upon the truth, and excite the prejudice of the world against it on account of its disorganizing revolutionary tendencies." He has now put the saddle on the right horse, “the devil,” who had instigated the Corinthian women to appear in their religious assemblies without their veils. Now it is plain, from what R. says, this was a most atrocious crime. A veil appears to be something of the character of our negro passes-not precisely the same as the negro pass, for the husband's authority is a little strange. The pass is designed for the slave's protection, but the veil is to show that she is a vassal, thus the veil seems to be a substitute for the branding iron. Was not this audaciously wicked, for the Diabolus to instigate the women to go into their religious assemblies without their pass? It was equivalent to saying that they had a right to use their bones and muscles to transport themselves to the house of God, to appear there as worshippers of Him only on their own responsibility, without their husband's leave; thus putting “men and women upon a level.” But the mischievous old apostate is getting worse and worse, as he has attempted “to turn the greatest question of human rights, (anti-slavery question,) that ever has been discussed, into a question about “woman's rights!” Just as if woman's rights were human rights! The devil" had put it into the heads of some women and their allies in the anti-slavery society, that women were persons!

Now, is this not horrible doctrine ? 1st. That women had the power and authority of locomotion to appear in religious

assemblies to worship God without their husbands' leave, (without their veil;) and 2d. That women's rights were human rights; and 3d. That women were persons! And it is very likely that it is through “ the devil's ” suggestions that the veil has been laid aside, as an emblem of the husband's power and authority, thus abrogating all distinctions, “putting men and women upon a level,” abrogating caste. The old serpent did, and is doing, all this, in order to bring odium on the truth, and “excite the prejudice of the world against it,” Christianity," on account of its disorganizing, revolutionary tendencies.”

Now, see the direful consequence of the Corinthian women appearing without their veils, without their pass, or the initials of their masters, even jeopardizing the very existence of Christianity! And is not the notion of man and woman being thus placed “ upon a level,” calculated to create a panic, “ on account of its disorganizing, revolutionary tendencies ?It is sufficient to make the stouthearted stand aghast, trembling for the portending direful catastrophe. Now, what could “the men of the world ” figure in their minds, when they saw wives appearing in Christian, public, religious assemblies without their veils ?but armies of Amazons marching out in hostile array, panoplied for the battle-field, with their banners floating in the breeze, with victory or death inscribed on them, and swords and bayonets gleaming, and the grating sound of the clanking and discharge of musketry, with the roar of heavy artillery, and swords reeking and garments rolled in blood, and the piercing shrieks and heart-rending groans of the wounded and dying!

But the most horrifying feature of this disorganizing revolution would be in the family domicile,-there every man would have to lie with his weapon at his head, because of fear in the night-every man a sentinėl at his own door ; the rustling of a leaf or the fluttering of a bird would strike terror to the heart. But does not - the wicked flee when no man pursueth?" Is not this the promptings of a guilty conscience, or the chimeras of a disordered imagination ? An insurrection of women! Bah! This is the tyrant's old humbug; if he is dethroned, nothing else but rawhead and bloody bones will be the consequence. Women have

made such peaceable slaves, we think it might be safe to give them their liberty; we do not think they would “cut their masters' throats.” Is not this a man of straw of Ri's own creation, without the least shadow of proof, that the prejudices of the world were excited against Christianity, on account of women not wearing their veils?

R, says, “ The interpretation here given to this part of the verse, the reader will see agrees with the declaration with which the apostle sets out in the third verse : "But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God.'”

It is manifestly true, that the apostle in this chapter, of which the portion under consideration is a part, has no reference to the marriage relation. But man was the head, or source, from which woman sprang, and laid obligations on both on that account. The apostle goes to nature for this headship,-every man and woman in the human family stands precisely in the situation there described. According to R.'s reasoning, the mother would be under as much obligation to wear a veil, to show her subjection to the son, as the wife would be to the husband. If this would not have “disorganizing, revolutionary tendencies,” we do not know what would. We must take into view the subject on which the apostle is treating ; he is regulating the personal appearance of men and women when they were officiating in the church. This must be done without any reference to marriage; some who appeared there were unmarried, both men and women. Now, if a man were to officiate with his head uncovered, to evince his headship as husband, how would that answer for a man who was not a husband ? It would not answer for the apostle himself, as he was no husband, and the same may be said respecting a woman. And another reason: neither husband nor wife officiated there in the character of husband or wife; they stood there as ministers of Jesus Christ; nor do they enter into the congregation as ordinary worshippers in the character of husband and wife; and the apostle does not say one word respecting woman that is calculated to lower her in the human family more than man. This is plain from the twelfth verse—“For as the woman is of the man, even so is the

« FöregåendeFortsätt »