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dence of a divine call, must it exclude woman in so far as it shall appear from the word of God that her sex disqualifies her.
The question then is, How far does woman's sex act as a disqualification? From what offices, if any, does it exclude her?
(1.) She is inhibited from entering the ministry of the gospel. The subject of public preaching by women has been a fruitful source of disturbance in the church. There has scarcely been a century of the Christian era in which there has not arisen some gifted, brilliant, or consecrated woman, possessing talents of such a character that if found in one of the other sex they would, humanly speaking, have ensured success in the ministry of the word. In one of the letters of Sir Thomas Buxton, the great British philanthropist, referring to the ministry of Priscilla Gurney, the Quakeress, he says: "I deem her as perfect a speaker as I ever heard. The tone of her voice, her beauty, the singular clearness of her conception, and, above all, her own strong conviction that she was urging the truth,—and truth of the utmost importance,— the whole constituted a species of ministry which no one could hear, and which, I am persuaded, no one ever did hear, withont a deep impression."
There can be no doubt that in many cases woman possesses the natural gifts and the spiritual graces requisite to a public preacher of the word; but it is equally clear that " he that shutteth and no man openeth" has effectually closed the door of the ministry against her. There are certain passages of Scripture that settle the matter so authoritatively as to leave us in no doubt; and it is a noteworthy fact that these passages are from the pen of the apostle who makes most of woman's work in the church; who alludes so gratefully to the "faithful women who labored with me in the gospel;1' who sent messages of affection to "Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labor in the Lord," and to "the beloved Pcrsis, which labored much in the Lord." Surely if the door of the ministry could have been thrown open to woman, he who set such store by her labors would have been the first to recognize her right and to avail himself of her services in this office. It will only be necessary to refer to two passages in the writings of the apostle. We quote them in full:
"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak: but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." (1 Cor. xiv. 34, 35.)
"Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I Buffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman, being deceived, was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety." (1 Tim. ii. 11-15.)
It will be observed that in each of these cases we have a distinct and specific enactment. It is not a mere passing allusion, or an incidental reference. We are not left to inferences from the apostle's reasoning upon other subjects. He lays down a definite law. He utters an inspired and authoritative command. Women, he says, must keep silence in the churches. They are not permitted to speak. It is a shame for them to speak in the church. He does not suffer a woman to teach. She must be in silence in the public assembly. She must learn in silence with all subjection. She may not even ask publicly for information, but must wait and ask her husband at home. If it is a violation of the law of sex-relation which God has ordained, and therefore a shameful thing, for a woman to open her lips in public religious services, even to ask a question for her own information, upon what possible ground can one advocate her right to preach?
To break the force of these passages two different lines of argument have heen pursued. First, it has been maintained that the words "speak" and "teach" do not refer to public preaching,and therefore cannot be construed as prohibiting that which was not in the apostle's mind when he wrote. Thus we are reminded that the word in the original translated "speak" in the passage from Corinthians is not either of the two words generally employed to denote the public preaching of the gospel, but a word whose literal meaning is talking, and that all the apostle meant was to prohibit the Corinthian women from interrupting the public assemblies with light, incoherent or frivolous questions and remarks. Thus Barclay, in his celebrated "Apology for the Quakers," says in defense of the right of women to preach," Neither think we that of Paul (1 Cor. xiv. 34), to reprove the inconsiderate and talkative women among the Corinthians, who troubled the church of Christ with their unprofitable questions, anyway repugnant to this doctrine." One or two considerations will show how groundless this explanation is. In the first place, the word XaXelv is frequently used in the New Testament to indicate preaching in its most public and solemn forms. It is translated preach in numerous passages, as Mark ii. 2; Acts viii. 25; xi. 19; xiv. 25; xvi. 6, etc. It is used of public preaching in an indefinite number of others, as "It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you." (Matt. x. 20.) "He spake many things unto them in parables." (Matt. xiii. 3.) "Go stand and speak in the temple." (Acts v. 20.) "While Peter yet spake.'3 (Acts x. 44.) "We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery." (1 Cor. ii. 7.) "To speak the mystery of Christ." (Col. iv. 3.) "These things speak and exhort." (Tit. ii. 15.) "If any man speak let him speak as the oracles of God." (1 Pet. iv. 11.) These are only specimens taken from an immense number of similar passages. Let any man take the context in this epistle and with his concordance go through the list of references under the word "speak," including such as "speaking in the Spirit," "speaking with tongnes," "speaking mysteries," etc., and he will see how far the apostle is here from referring to inconsiderate or indecorous talking in the pews. But further, it is evident that the prohibition of the apostle proceeds upon the principle, not that the thing forbidden is wrong in itself, but that it is wrong to be done by a woman. If we should concede to our opponents what they claim, but what is not very gallant towards the sex whose rights they are so sedulously guarding, that the women were the chief or even the exclusive offenders in this supposed disturbance of public worship, this would not account for the apostle's peculiar language. Under those circumstances he might be expected to say "Let your women keep silence in the churches," but why should he add, "for it is not permitted unto them to speak V Notice the force of the " unto them," which clearly limits the prohibition to women. If the apostle had been speaking of indecorous talking or disorderly interruption of public discourse, which would have been as improper in a man as in a woman, he would have said "let your women keep silence for it is not permitted any one to talk in church." As the language now stands it clearly implies that it is only women who are forbidden to talk; that men, as far as the apostle's authority goes, have a right to babble as much as they please. The same thing applies to the clause, "It is a shame for women to speak in the church." Why "for women," and not" for any one?" Is it not evident that the apostle refers to something which it is right for a man to do, but which is wrong for a woman—something which is wrong from sex-relation—and therefore not inconsiderate questioning or interruption of speakers, which would be as wrong for men as for women, but that which is implied in the constant use of the word "speak," namely, the public preaching of the word, which to a man is permitted under proper circumstances, but to a woman—never?
The advocates of this theory have still greater difficulty in bringing their minimizing interpretation to bear upon the passage in Timothy, " I suffer not a woman to teach;" for, leaving out of view the fact that the words "teach and preach" are associated all through the New Testament as the representatives of the two great phases of the public ministry of the word, indoctrinating in the truth and urging to the acceptance of salvation, it is only necessary to examine the context to see that in every instance in which the apostle uses the word in his Epistles to Timothy he refers exclusively to the ministry of the word: "These things command and teach;" "these things teach and exhort;" "faithful men who shall be able to teach others also." This is evidently the kind of teaching to which the apostle refers when he says, " I suffer not a woman to teach." As far as his inspired authority is law, woman is by her sex incapacitated for the gospel ministry.
The second line of argument, intended to break the force of these texts, admits that the apostle had reference to public speaking or preaching of women, but contends that the prohibition was local and temporary, growing out of a due respect for the social laws and customs then in vogue, which made it disreputable for a woman to appear in any way conspicuous in public assemblies, but of no authority now when these social customs, and the scandal to the church which would have arisen from a violation of them, are alike numbered with the things of the past. We are told that the apostle's words had reference only to "the present necessity," and that it would be a great and cruel wrong to hold our noble Christian women of the present day under the bondage of social customs that with paganism have happily passed away.
But there is not a line in all that the apostle has written to indicate that his prohibitions grew out of deference to social customs or usages of society that were local and temporary. On the contrary, the reasons he gives for forbidding women to speak and to teach are of universal application, and as binding upon women in the United States in the nineteenth century as they were upon women in Corinth in the first century of the Christian era. In both the passages quoted above the reasons are grounded in the original and divinely constituted relationship between the sexes, which requires that the woman shall always maintain towards the man a relation of subordination incompatible with her assumption of the role of a public preacher or expounder of the word. In the first passage quoted, the apostle merely alludes to this original and universal law of sex-relationship, when he says, "For they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law/' meaning by "the law" the Old Testament Scriptures. In the first passage, therefore, the apostle enjoins silence, not out of deference to social customs, but in distinct recognition of a subordination enjoined of God in his inspired word. In the second passage, the apostle enters still more specifically and minutely into the reasons. He not only states that public teaching by woman is contrary to the law of subordination as revealed in the Old Testament; but he goes further, and gives us an inspired explanation of the grounds of that subordination. These grounds are two: first, "Adam was first formed, then Eve," the creation of the woman after the man and avowedly as an helpmeet for him, showing the order of- subjeofcion and the sphere of subordination" in which her life-work was to be done; second, "Adam was not deceived, but