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lectual qualifications, and accountability, are never taken into view by a great majority of our teachers. Power and authority are the summit of human greatness. Power and authority are of higher estimation with them than moral attainments. “Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven(!)”
Is the glory of God or the good of the human family promoted by representing woman, the mother of mankind, to be such a degraded, subordinate being? What a pernicious effect it must have, more particularly on a son, to hear his mother represented as chased by authority to every corner of this theatre of action, knowing that all authority is for the good of the governed! Does it not proclaim with trumpet-tongue that she is weak and imbecile, and cannot "take care of herself?"
Woman is forced to put her candle under a bushel. If it be a cardinal Christian duty in her to appear as a being inferior in intellect to man, thus a caste of the most odious kind is established in the human family. She is not only denied the right of giving instruction herself; but has been, and still continues to be, in some denominations, denied a right of choice in those who are to give her spiritual instruction, and to be her spiritual rulers. They have divested her of all official standing in the church, although placed there, according to their own testimony, by the indubitable sanction of God. Diotrephes-like, “They love to have the pre-eminence,” and as a justification of their tyranny, "they prate against her with malicious words.” We solemnly protest against such a combination of effort to subvert female influence and instrumentality. Are the glory of God, and the good or honour of the human family promoted by degrading woman, the mother of mankind? “Is not the man by the woman?”
We cannot think that man acts with such malignant feelings towards woman as his conduct indicates, but he looks upon her as an inferior being, and does not weigh his conduct in the balance of the sanctuary. “Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” Matt. vii. 12.
We have an order established in the human family, professing to be of God's appointment, the most absolute and arbitrary, and encompassed with the most pompous regalia
of any authority in the civilized world, either spurious or lawful. We allude to the husbandly authority. It professes not only to have control of their physical avocations, but the intellect must be fettered, and the tongue palsied in its dread presence, in token of homage.
What authority in the civilized world claims so much servility of its vassals as to say they must always appear lower in intellectual attainments than those in authority; they must not dare to open their mouths to impart any instruction to the caste that sits in authority over them?—thus inflicting an injury on those who might be benefited by their instruction. Not only must they refrain from the exercise of speech and intellect to manifest their servility passively, but they must veil their faces, as an emblem of their vassalage, even when they appear in the character of worshippers at the altars of God. Thus this authority has all the characteristics of Antichrist. Do papists enchain the minds of their vassals, saying, Hitherto shalt thou go, and no farther? This authority does the same. Do papists build“ doctrines on the traditions of men ?” This authority does the same. Do papists make a deity of the mother of our Lord, and other saints? This authority degrades the mother of mankind to deify itself. This aristocracy of sex "exalteth itself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; it sitteth in the temple of God, showing itself that it is God.” It exalteth itself above Christ in the person of his members—it requires members of Christ's mystical body to veil their faces when they appear in the character of worshippers, to show its power and authority over them. Christ says, “Inasmuch as ye have done it to the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." The temple of the Holy Ghost has to be veiled in its presence, in token of subjection to its power and authority.
Such are the teachings from the pulpit and the press in the nineteenth century; these are represented as doctrines of the Christian religion, -that the apostle of the Gentiles wrote fourteen verses of ordinary length, 1 Cor. xi. 3—16, to enforce the duty of the wife's appearing veiled at the altars of God, to show her husband's power and authority over her; an emblem of vassalage which no authority claims in the civilized world. It cannot be construed into any thing
else but man-worship. The custom of wearing the veil is dispensed with, but the authority remains the same, and all women, whether married or not, are placed in the same category. Would not any other authority be hissed off the stage of action that would come forward in Christian, republican, protestant America, in the nineteenth century, and exhibit such principles of arbitrary authority, and enshrined in such pompous regalia ? Thanks to an overruling Providence, this authority is greater in words than in power. Christian liberty is too well understood to permit it to carry out its principles; but as its power diminishes its vain boastings increase. Christ sometimes puts a mark on his servants, or seals them, but it is for their honour and protection. Ezek. ix. 4, Rev. vii. 3. There is another power that marks its vassals, and holds them in bondage that no man may either buy or sell, save those who are thus marked. The authority we have under review is an older member of the same family with the latter; the family resemblance is so striking that it cannot be mistaken. The one is Aholah the younger, the other Aholibah the older; the husbandly authority claiming both temporal and spiritual dominion.
The anti-scriptural opinion, that woman is to divest herself of the exercise of speech and intellect, in congregated assemblies, and that it is her duty to appear as an inferior intellectual being to man, as a tribute due to his sovereignty, is predicated on the apostle's supposed prohibition of women speaking in the church, 1 Corinth. xiv. 34, 35, 1 Tim. ii. 11, 12. The apostle, in these portions of Scripture, had evidently no reference to women preaching, but what he said, was intended to correct some improprieties; and is of use wherever such improprieties occur, either in men or women. He forbids the disturbing of congregated assemblies by proposing irrelevant questions, either for discussion or information. In the twenty-eighth verse of this chapter he orders men to keep silence in the church, if their speaking was not for edification. The apostle, in the fourteenth chapter of 1 Corinth., was regulating the exercise of supernatural gifts; these gifts were bestowed on both men and women indiscriminately. The apostle informs us, that they were given for “the edification of the church, for the work of the ministry”-consequently he would not endeavour to subvert the intention of the Spirit by forbidding those thus gifted from their due exercise. The Spirit speaking by Paul, and the gifts of the Spirit, will not contradict each other, for they are one and the same. .
What puts it past doubt, that the Apostle did not intend to prohibit women from speaking in the church, in a proper manner, is, that he regulated the manner of women speaking in the church, in the same epistle, of which the supposed prohibition is a part, and gave reasons from nature for her so doing. He says, “Nevertheless, neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For, as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God," 1 Cor. xi. 11, 12. All facts and examples of women exercising their talents, agree with this portion of scripture. If a woman is not to speak publicly, lest she should assume an equality with man, the same reason would prevent her from teaching privately, or writing ; no reason can be given why a person may not speak what they would write. The reason why she is debarred from speaking is so broad, that it closes up every avenue by which she can make her talents useful; nor can the prohibition, by any mode of construction, operate on unmarried women at all, for the prohibition is supposed to be predicated on the husband's authority; nor is there any obedience due to any of our fellow-creatures designed to fetter our intellect; it is as much the wife's duty to instruct the husband as it is the husband's duty to instruct the wife, 1 Cor. vii. 16; 1 Pet. iii. 1. Therefore it cannot be true that the husband's authority would prevent her from teaching ; nor is there such an idea held out in scripture, that it would be a breach of the marriage contract for a woman to teach. She is not to assume a magisterial, dictatorial air, thus usurping authority over the man. “If men are afraid to be left in the rear in intellectual improvement, let them hasten onward. They have monopolized intellectual advantages for many centuries. If women can outstrip them, or equal them in intellectual attainments, under all their disadvantages, let them do so. If any class of mankind can obtain intellectual pre-eminence, or equality, it is a sure sign they deserve it. Of all monopolies, a monopoly of knowledge is the worst. Truth monopolized is error, as light when confined becomes darkness.
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From our investigation of scripture on woman's standing, as an intellectual and moral being, our position is, that the Christian religion lays no interdict on woman's exercise of intellect and speech more than on man's, but makes it her imperative duty to cultivate whatever talents God has given her, and make them useful in any capacity in which it would be lawful for man to exercise his talents, or be obnoxious to the charge, and the penalty of the unprofitable servant, who hid his Lord's talent in the earth. There are no monopolies in Christ's kingdom of the exercise of speech or intellect, those ennobling gifts of God to man. Whatever is morally right for a man to do, is morally right for a woman. “There is neither male nor female, for ye are all one in Christ Jesus," Gal. iii. 28. Instead of its being considered woman's duty to make her talent, or talents, useful, it is impressed upon her, as a cardinal duty, to hide them in the earth. “ She is always to be a learner." And she is not even represented as placed there for her benefit, but avowedly placed there to degrade her and exalt the man to a “ secondary god.” It is not because his qualifications are greater, either by gifts or graces, but she is to occupy the novice's seat, to show that she belongs to an inferior, subordinate caste. Are these the principles of Christianity ? We think not. “Would God," said Moses, “ that all the Lord's people were prophets,"_" charity envieth not, charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. Moses was imbued with the right spirit; he was meek and lowly, like his Lord and Master. Christ himself, while on earth, never took state upon himself. Moses was invested with the greatest amount of authority of any mere man that ever appeared on earth, though he was not exalted above measure. He was well aware he was invested with dominion for the good of the governed, not for self-exaltation. His responsibility and accountability he complained bitterly of, Numb. xi. 11, 14. Every person, invested with power and authority, if imbued with the right spirit, will feel his responsibility. Great as Moses' power and authority were, we do not hear that any of the people wore a veil in the tabernacle, or in any other place, to do him homage,--yet we have some in our days invested with higher power and authority than was Moses ; they certainly should feel their tremendous responsibility, but we hear no complaint on that subject.