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spectfully of those holy women who were baptized with the Holy Ghost. “Do my prophets no harm," is the command of God. “Call none common or unclean," which God has sanctified, or set apart for any work. “Go up, thou bald head, go up, thou bald head,” might be thought a small matter. Go up, thou covered head, go up, thou covered head, is said of the New Testament prophetesses, as an emblem of their degradation. “Came the word of the Lord out from men only?" It was said to our Saviour,“Out of Galilee ariseth no prophet;" but they were mistaken, for Jonah was of Galilee. And there have prophetesses appeared among women, and the instrumentality of many women is kept on scripture record, when many valuable sayings and doings of male preachers have sunk into oblivion, even a majority of the apostles of our Lord after his ascension.
The “inferior sex” is commentators' distinguishing epithet for woman, the mother of mankind!! They represent her imbecile in mind, a subordinate being in the human family, not entitled to the rights of man. Man, appointed by God to be her king and lawgiver!-writers and speakers generally represent her in this character,-sex neither confers superiority nor inferiority. “God is no respecter of persons.” One would suppose the sex who gave birth to the Lord, of glory stood pre-eminent in honour. But our Saviour informs the woman that was nothing compared with hearing the word of God and keeping it. Luke xi. 27, 28. The sex in the aggregate who hear the word of God most, and keep it, is the superior. “As to wisdom, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.” Job xxviii. 28. The sex in the aggregate who fear the Lord most, and depart from evil most, have the most wisdom and understanding. " By their fruits ye shall know them.” We leave it to our brethren to make the estimate for themselves.
THE OPINIONS OF A RECENT WRITER ON WOMAN'S STANDING,
We have already said, that the views of our popular commentators, on woman's standing in the human family, are the standards of public opinion among a great majority of those who claim for themselves the title of orthodox, and are the standards of public opinion on woman's standing with a great majority of all creeds, and of those who have no religious creed. But recent writers and speakers succeed better on this question than our commentators; as they do not involve themselves in the labyrinth of difficulties, in which commentators have involved themselves in endeavouring to reconcile 1 Cor. xi. chap., with the xiv.; and 1 Tim. ii. 11, 14. They do not say one word about woman's inspiration, at the outset of the New Testament dispensation, nor any thing about their active agency at that period in the spread of the gospel; excepting, “in her appropriate sphere, pouring out tea, or baking cakes, or washing shirts, or darning stockings.”
For illustration, we will give some extracts from an article which appeared in the Evangelical Repository, under the caption of, “An inquiry into the meaning of 1 Cor. xi. 10,” over the signature of R. (see extract;) “For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head, because of the angels.” He says, “In this passage it is proposed to ascertain, 1st. What we are to understand by the woman having power over her head, 2d. The reason given by the apostle in support of this, because of the angels.”
He substitutes the word “over" for on, which entirely changes the features of the text. Do not suspect him for Catholicism, he is only metamorphosing scripture a little in order to suit his opinions. He proceeds to say, “ But one opinion we believe is entertained concerning the meaning of the 1st (veil,) namely, that it signifies a token of subjection to the man; as, in ancient times it was customary for the woman in eastern countries to manifest this by wearing a
veil upon her head. This custom must have had a very early origin. Abimelech, king of Gerar, refers to it when he reproves Sarah for passing herself off as an unmarried woman; behold he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all others. So when Rebekah first saw Isaac, and the servant informed her that he was her betrothed husband, it is said she took a veil and covered herself; and travellers tell us that such is the custom in eastern countries to this day.”
Now we ask, is there one word of scripture proof in what R. has said, going to prove that wearing the veil was a token of subjection to the man. He tells us “in ancient times it was customary_travellers tell us that such is the custom.”
Now, here is an important principle endeavoured to be established on the traditions of men.” We say, a highly important principle. The wearing a veil is of no importance in and of itself; but does it establish the fact that the wife by the law of God is considered the husband's slave? Nay, lower than a slave, for no other authority on earth requires its vassals to carry a badge of subjection to it.
What do we say of the popish church founding doctrines on the “traditions of men ?" It is entirely supposititious that the power on her head was a veil. A veil in no other place is denominated power. A veil is very seldom mentioned in scripture as a part of woman's dress; there is not the least intimation given that it was a token of subjection. The wearing of a veil can have no definite language; it was worn by a married woman. Gen. xxiv. 65. And an unmarried woman. Ruth iï.15. By prostitutes. Gen. xxxviii. 15. And as an ornament. Is. iii. 23. And Moses put a veil on his face because of its brightness. Exod. xxxiv. 33. And it is only conjectured that Abimelech referred to it when he reproved Sarah for "passing herself off as an unmarried woman.” There is no hint given that she represented herself as an unmarried woman by not wearing a veil. Abraham represented her as his sister," and she said of him, He is my brother.” Abraham had prayed her, long before, thus to represent herself. Gen. xii. 13. Abimelech said that Abraham was a covering of the eyes to her. Abraham was her husband, so she was not to look on any other man, nor any other man on her. Matt. v. 28. She stipulated this on her
part in the marriage covenant, and Abraham was pledged for her protection to the utmost of his ability, so that she need not tell any more lies about it:“thus she was reproved.” Job says, “I made a covenant with mine eyes, why then should I think upon a maid?” Job xxxi.1. The above are the only places in scripture where a veil is spoken of as a part of woman's dress, and in none of them can it be tortured into an emblem of subjection to the man.
R. tells us that Rebekah took a veil and covered herself. But is it said that she did it in token of subjection to the man? This is the only question at issue. Or does it say in any other portion of scripture that the wife wore a veil in token of subjection to the husband? The law of Moses was given long after that period. Moses goes into minute detail both as to domestic, ecclesiastic, and civil duties. And there is not one word mentioned respecting the wife wearing a veil in token of the power and authority of the husband. This is sufficient proof of itself to rebut all “ travellers”” stories about women wearing veils, in token of the power and authority of the husband. If it had been said that Rebekah put on a veil to show that she placed herself under Isaac's, protection, it would have been a little more like the duty of a husband. From the history of the times it is plain, that it was unsafe in heathen countries for a woman to appearabroad excepting she was under the special protection of a husband, whom they knew was pledged to protect her person, and her honour, at the risk of his life. And bad as the heathen were at that day, they seemed to have a sacred regard for the right of every husband to his wife. For it is plain, it was only the husband's rights they respected, not the right that the woman had to her personal safety, honour and virtue. And that they respected the husband's rights is evidenced by them in the case of Abraham and Isaac, as they both denied their wives. Genesis xx. 5, xxvii. 7. It is possible, that married women wore some kind of distinguishing badge, when they went from home. Call it a veil, if you please, to show they were under the protection of a husband. The spouse complains that the keepers of the walls took away her veil. Songs v.7. She lost the sensible assurance of her husband's protection. And Rebekah might have veiled herself, to show that she claimed Isaac's protection, or she might have veiled herself through modesty, to conceal her embarrassment, as her situation was rather peculiar-But is it said, she veiled herself to show her husband's power and authority over her? or is it said in any part of scripture that the wife wore a veil to show her husband's power and authority over her? “To the law and to the testimony,” we appeal for decision on this question. Whether the wife wore a veil or not, has nothing to do with the decision of this question. The apostle, in the scripture we have under consideration, has no reference to marriage-be was regulating the personal appearance of men and women when they publicly officiated in the church
- some were married, and some were unmarried. It is a pity we had not a pattern of the veil Deborah wore, to show subjection to the man, when judging Israel forty years. Would it not give the wearer a dignified appearance-or a pattern of the veil Abigail wore when she was on her mission? David said God sent her, hence the pattern of her veil would have the sanction of scripture, or the pattern of the veil that mother Sarah herself wore, to show the power and authority of her husband, when she told Abraham to cast out the bond-woman and her son. The latter would be a perfect pattern, as she is the example for her daughters. Is it not remarkable that Moses demeaned himself by wearing this degrading garment, which our teachers tell us betokened inferiority and subjection, and was only worn by vassals? Could he not haye worn a mask, or any thing else, that would have concealed his face except a veil?
We will here insert a note, which will show that there is more than one opinion entertained concerning the meaning of the power on her head. All do not agree that it was a veil at all, or that it signified a token of subjection to the man. “Note, Power, a sign of subjection, would not be called power, exousia, therefore some think it a female ornament of braids set with jewels, see Wolf; others a veil, but denoting the superiority of the married over the maiden, her inferior in dignity among the Jews, also in the East, and in Europe, which her name domina,mistress, (Mrs.) indeed implies. Thus the Septuagint calls Sarah's veil, Gen. xx. 16, the honour of her face. Comp. Virg. Æn. vii. 814. Bishop Middleton refers it to the power or license the veil gave the wearer to appear in public.” See note in Comprehensive Commentary