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Title: The Woman's Bible.
       Part I. Comments on Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and 
               Deuteronomy. 
       Part II. Comments on the Old and New Testaments from Joshua
                to Revelation.

Author: Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Release Date: February, 2006 [EBook #9880]
[Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule]
[This file was first posted on October 27, 2003]

Edition: 10

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII

*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE WOMAN'S BIBLE. ***




Produced by Carrie Lorenz and John B. Hare




THE WOMAN'S BIBLE.


PART I.



Comments on Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.


"In every soul there is bound up some truth and some error, and each
gives to the world of thought what no other one possesses."--Cousin.




1898.




By


Elizabeth Cady Stanton





REVISING COMMITTEE.


"We took sweet counsel together."--Ps. Iv., 14.


Elizabeth Cady Stanton,

Lillie Devereux Blake,

Rev. Phebe A. Hanaford,

Matilda Joslyn Gage,

Clara Bewick Colby,

Rev. Olympia Brown,

Rev. Augusta Chapin,

Frances Ellen Burr,

Ursula N. Gestefeld,

Clara B. Neyman,

Mary Seymour Howell,

Helen H. Gardener,

Josephine K. Henry,

Charlotte Beebe: Wilbour,

Mrs. Robert G. Ingersoll,

Lucinda B. Chandler,

Sarah A. Underwood,

Catharine F. Stebbins,

Ellen Battelle Dietrick,[FN#1]

Louisa Southworth.



[FN#1]  Deceased.




FOREIGN MEMBERS.


Baroness Alexandra Gripenberg, Finland,

Ursula M. Bright, England,

Irma Von Troll-Borostyant, Austria,

Priscilla Bright Mclaren, Scotland,

Isabelle Bogelot, France





COMMENTS

ON

GENESIS, EXODUS, LEVITICUS, NUMBERS AND DEUTERONOMY,



By

Elizabeth Cady Stanton,
Lillie Devereux Blake,
Rev. Phebe Hanaford,
Clara Bewick Colby,

Ellen Battelle Dietrick,
Ursula N. Gestefeld,
Mrs. Louisa Southworth,
Frances Ellen Burr.





PREFACE.


So many letters are daily received asking questions about the Woman's
Bible,--as to the extent of the revision, and the standpoint from which
it will be conducted--that it seems best, though every detail is not as
yet matured, to state the plan, as concisely as possible, upon which
those who have been in consultation during the summer, propose to do
the work.


I. The object is to revise only those texts and chapters directly
referring to women, and those also in which women are made prominent by
exclusion. As all such passages combined form but one-tenth of the
Scriptures, the undertaking will not be so laborious as, at the first
thought, one would imagine. These texts, with the commentaries, can
easily be compressed into a duodecimo volume of about four hundred
pages.


II. The commentaries will be of a threefold character, the writers in
the different branches being selected according to their special
aptitude for the work:

1. Two or three Greek and Hebrew scholars will devote themselves to
the translation and the meaning of particular words and texts in the
original.

2. Others will devote themselves to Biblical history, old manuscripts,
to the new version, and to the latest theories as to the occult meaning
of certain texts and parables.

3. For the commentaries on the plain English version a committee of
some thirty members has been formed. These are women of earnestness and
liberal ideas, quick to see the real purport of the Bible as regards
their sex. Among them the various books of the Old and New Testament
will be distributed for comment.


III. There will be two or more editors to bring the work of the
various committees into one consistent whole.


IV. The completed work will be submitted to an advisory committee
assembled at some central point, as London, New York, or Chicago, to
sit in final judgment on "The Woman's Bible."


As to the manner of doing the practical work:

Those who have been engaged this summer have adopted the following
plan, which may be suggestive to new members of the committee. Each
person purchased two Bibles, ran through them from Genesis to
Revelations, marking all the texts that concerned women. The passages
were cut out, and pasted in a blank book, and the commentaries then
written underneath.

Those not having time to read all the books can confine their labors
to the particular ones they propose to review.

It is thought best to publish the different parts as soon as prepared
so that the Committee may have all in print in a compact form before
the final revision.



E. C. S.

August 1st, 1895.





INTRODUCTION.


From the inauguration of the movement for woman's emancipation the
Bible has been used to hold her in the "divinely ordained sphere,"
prescribed in the Old and New Testaments.

The canon and civil law; church and state; priests and legislators;
all political parties and religious denominations have alike taught
that woman was made after man, of man, and for man, an inferior being,
subject to man. Creeds, codes, Scriptures and statutes, are all based
on this idea. The fashions, forms, ceremonies and customs of society,
church ordinances and discipline all grow out of this idea.

Of the old English common law, responsible for woman's civil and
political status, Lord Brougham said, "it is a disgrace to the
civilization and Christianity of the Nineteenth Century." Of the canon
law, which is responsible for woman's status in the church, Charles
Kingsley said, "this will never be a good world for women until the
last remnant of the canon law is swept from the face of the earth."

The Bible teaches that woman brought sin and death into the world,
that she precipitated the fall of the race, that she was arraigned
before the judgment seat of Heaven, tried, condemned and sentenced.
Marriage for her was to be a condition of bondage, maternity a period
of suffering and anguish, and in silence and subjection, she was to
play the role of a dependent on man's bounty for all her material
wants, and for all the information she might desire on the vital
questions of the hour, she was commanded to ask her husband at home.
Here is the Bible position of woman briefly summed up.

Those who have the divine insight to translate, transpose and
transfigure this mournful object of pity into an exalted, dignified
personage, worthy our worship as the mother of the race, are to be
congratulated as having a share of the occult mystic power of the
eastern Mahatmas.

The plain English to the ordinary mind admits of no such liberal
interpretation. The unvarnished texts speak for themselves. The canon
law, church ordinances and Scriptures, are homogeneous, and all
reflect the same spirit and sentiments.

These familiar texts are quoted by clergymen in their pulpits, by
statesmen in the halls of legislation, by lawyers in the courts, and
are echoed by the press of all civilized nations, and accepted by woman
herself as "The Word of God." So perverted is the religious element in
her nature, that with faith and works she is the chief support of the
church and clergy; the very powers that make her emancipation
impossible. When, in the early part of the Nineteenth Century, women
began to protest against their civil and political degradation, they
were referred to the Bible for an answer. When they protested against
their unequal position in the church, they were referred to the Bible
for an answer.

This led to a general and critical study of the Scriptures. Some,
having made a fetish of these books and believing them to be the
veritable "Word of God," with liberal translations, interpretations,
allegories and symbols, glossed over the most objectionable features of
the various books and clung to them as divinely inspired. Others,
seeing the family resemblance between the Mosaic code, the canon law,
and the old English common law, came to the conclusion that all alike
emanated from the same source; wholly human in their origin and
inspired by the natural love of domination in the historians. Others,
bewildered with their doubts and fears, came to no conclusion. While
their clergymen told them on the one hand, that they owed all the
blessings and freedom they enjoyed to the Bible, on the other, they
said it clearly marked out their circumscribed sphere of action: that
the demands for political and civil rights were irreligious, dangerous
to the stability of the home, the state and the church. Clerical
appeals were circulated from time to time, conjuring members of their
churches to take no part in the anti-slavery or woman suffrage
movements, as they were infidel in their tendencies, undermining the
very foundations of society. No wonder the majority of women stood
still, and with bowed heads, accepted the situation.

Listening to the varied opinions of women, I have long thought it
would be interesting and profitable to get them clearly stated in book
form. To this end six years ago I proposed to a committee of women to
issue a Woman's Bible, that we might have women's commentaries on
women's position in the Old and New Testaments. It was agreed on by
several leading women in England and America and the work was begun,
but from various causes it has been delayed, until now the idea is
received with renewed enthusiasm, and a large committee has been
formed, and we hope to complete the work within a year.

Those who have undertaken the labor are desirous to have some Hebrew
and Greek scholars, versed in Biblical criticism, to gild our pages
with their learning. Several distinguished women have been urged to do
so, but they are afraid that their high reputation and scholarly
attainments might be compromised by taking part in an enterprise that
for a time may prove very unpopular. Hence we may not be able to get
help from that class.

Others fear that they might compromise their evangelical faith by
affiliating with those of more liberal views, who do not regard the
Bible as the "Word of God," but like any other book, to be judged by
its merits. If the Bible teaches the equality of Woman, why does the
church refuse to ordain women to preach the gospel, to fill the offices
of deacons and elders, and to administer the Sacraments, or to admit
them as delegates to the Synods, General Assemblies and Conferences of
the different denominations? They have never yet invited a woman to
join one of their Revising Committees, nor tried to mitigate the
sentence pronounced on her by changing one count in the indictment
served on her in Paradise.

The large number of letters received, highly appreciative of the
undertaking, is very encouraging to those who have inaugurated the
movement, and indicate a growing self-respect and self-assertion in the
women of this generation. But we have the usual array of objectors to
meet and answer. One correspondent conjures us to suspend the work, as
it is "ridiculous" for "women to attempt the revision of the
Scriptures." I wonder if any man wrote to the late revising committee
of Divines to stop their work on the ground that it was ridiculous for
men to revise the Bible. Why is it more ridiculous for women to protest
against her present status in the Old and New Testament, in the
ordinances and discipline of the church, than in the statutes and
constitution of the state? Why is it more ridiculous to arraign
ecclesiastics for their false teaching and acts of injustice to women,
than members of Congress and the House of Commons? Why is it more
audacious to review Moses than Blackstone, the Jewish code of laws,
than the English system of jurisprudence? Women have compelled their
legislators in every state in this Union to so modify their statutes
for women that the old common law is now almost a dead letter. Why not
compel Bishops and Revising Committees to modify their creeds and
dogmas? Forty years ago it seemed as ridiculous to timid, time-serving
and retrograde folk for women to demand an expurgated edition of the
laws, as it now does to demand an expurgated edition of the Liturgies
and the Scriptures. Come, come, my conservative friend, wipe the dew
off your spectacles, and see that the world is moving. Whatever your
views may be as to the importance of the proposed work, your political
and social degradation are but an outgrowth of your status in the
Bible. When you express your aversion, based on a blind feeling of
reverence in which reason has no control, to the revision of the
Scriptures, you do but echo Cowper, who, when asked to read Paine's
"Rights of Man," exclaimed "No man shall convince me that I am
improperly governed while I feel the contrary."

Others say it is not politic to rouse religious opposition.

This much-lauded policy is but another word for cowardice. How can
woman's position be changed from that of a subordinate to an equal,
without opposition, without the broadest discussion of all the
questions involved in her present degradation? For so far-reaching and
momentous a reform as her complete independence, an entire revolution
in all existing institutions is inevitable.

Let us remember that all reforms are interdependent, and that whatever
is done to establish one principle on a solid basis, strengthens all.
Reformers who are always compromising, have not yet grasped the idea
that truth is the only safe ground to stand upon. The object of an
individual life is not to carry one fragmentary measure in human
progress, but to utter the highest truth clearly seen in all
directions, and thus to round out and perfect a well balanced
character. Was not the sum of influence exerted by John Stuart Mill on
political, religious and social questions far greater than that of any
statesman or reformer who has sedulously limited his sympathies and
activities to carrying one specific measure? We have many women
abundantly endowed with capabilities to understand and revise what men
have thus far written. But they are all suffering from inherited ideas
of their inferiority; they do not perceive it, yet such is the true
explanation of their solicitude, lest they should seem to be too self-
asserting.

Again there are some who write us that our work is a useless
expenditure of force over a book that has lost its hold on the human
mind. Most intelligent women, they say, regard it simply as the history
of a rude people in a barbarous age, and have no more reverence for the
Scriptures than any other work. So long as tens of thousands of Bibles
are printed every year, and circulated over the whole habitable globe,
and the masses in all English-speaking nations revere it as the word of
God, it is vain to belittle its influence. The sentimental feelings we
all have for those things we were educated to believe sacred, do not
readily yield to pure reason. I distinctly remember the shudder that
passed over me on seeing a mother take our family Bible to make a high
seat for her child at table. It seemed such a desecration. I was
tempted to protest against its use for such a purpose, and this,
too, long after my reason had repudiated its divine authority.

To women still believing in the plenary inspiration of the Scriptures,
we say give us by all means your exegesis in the light of the higher
criticism learned men are now making, and illumine the Woman's Bible,
with your inspiration.

Bible historians claim special inspiration for the Old and New
Testaments containing most contradictory records of the same events, of
miracles opposed to all known laws, of customs that degrade the female
sex of all human and animal life, stated in most questionable language
that could not be read in a promiscuous assembly, and call all this
"The Word of God."

The only points in which I differ from all ecclesiastical teaching is
that I do not believe that any man ever saw or talked with God, I do
not believe that God inspired the Mosaic code, or told the historians
what they say he did about woman, for all the religions on the face of
the earth degrade her, and so long as woman accepts the position that
they assign her, her emancipation is impossible. Whatever the Bible may
be made to do in Hebrew or Greek, in plain English it does not exalt
and dignify woman. My standpoint for criticism is the revised edition
of 1888. 1 will so far honor the revising committee of wise men who
have given us the best exegesis they can according to their ability,
although Disraeli said the last one before he died, contained 150,000
blunders in the Hebrew, and 7,000 in the Greek.

But the verbal criticism in regard to woman's position amounts to
little. The spirit is the same in all periods and languages, hostile to
her as an equal.

There are some general principles in the holy books of all religions
that teach love, charity, liberty, justice and equality for all the
human family, there are many grand and beautiful passages, the golden
rule has been echoed and re-echoed around the world. There are lofty
examples of good and true men and women, all worthy our acceptance and
imitation whose lustre cannot be dimmed by the false sentiments and
vicious characters bound up in the same volume. The Bible cannot be
accepted or rejected as a whole, its teachings are varied and its
lessons differ widely from each other. In criticising the peccadilloes
of Sarah, Rebecca and Rachel, we would not shadow the virtues of
Deborah, Huldah and Vashti. In criticising the Mosaic code, we would
not question the wisdom of the golden rule and the fifth Commandment.
Again the church claims special consecration for its cathedrals and
priesthood, parts of these aristocratic churches are too holy for
women to enter, boys were early introduced into the choirs for this
reason, woman singing in an obscure corner closely veiled. A few of
the more democratic denominations accord women some privileges, but
invidious discriminations of sex are found in all religious
organizations, and the most bitter outspoken enemies of woman
are found among clergymen and bishops of the Protestant religion.[FN#2]



[FN#2]  See the address of Bishop Doane, June 7th, 1895, in the closing
exercises of St. Agnes School, Albany.



The canon law, the Scriptures, the creeds and codes and church
discipline of the leading religions bear the impress of fallible man,
and not of our ideal great first cause, "the Spirit of all Good," that
set the universe of matter and mind in motion, and by immutable law
holds the land, the sea, the planets, revolving round the great centre
of light and heat, each in its own elliptic, with millions of stars in
harmony all singing together, the glory of creation forever and ever.



Elizabeth Cady Stanton.





THE BOOK OF GENESIS.

CHAPTER I.



Genesis i: 26, 27, 28.



26 And God said, Let us make man in our image after our likeness:
and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl
of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every
creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth 27 So God created man in
his own image, in the image of God created he him: male and female
image, created he them.

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and
multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion
over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every
living thing that moveth upon the earth.


Here is the sacred historian's first account of the advent of woman; a
simultaneous creation of both sexes, in the image of God. It is evident
from the language that there was consultation in the Godhead, and that
the masculine and feminine elements were equally represented. Scott in
his commentaries says, "this consultation of the Gods is the origin of
the doctrine of the trinity." But instead of three male personages, as
generally represented, a Heavenly Father, Mother, and Son would seem
more rational.

The first step in the elevation of woman to her true position, as an
equal factor in human progress, is the cultivation of the religious
sentiment in regard to her dignity and equality, the recognition by the
rising generation of an ideal Heavenly Mother, to whom their prayers
should be addressed, as well as to a Father.

If language has any meaning, we have in these texts a plain
declaration of the existence of the feminine element in the Godhead,
equal in power and glory with the masculine. The Heavenly Mother and
Father! "God created man in his own image, male and female." Thus
Scripture, as well as science and philosophy, declares the eternity
and equality of sex--the philosophical fact, without which there could
have been no perpetuation of creation, no growth or development in the
animal, vegetable, or mineral kingdoms, no awakening nor progressing in
the world of thought. The masculine and feminine elements, exactly
equal and balancing each other, are as essential to the maintenance of
the equilibrium of the universe as positive and negative electricity,
the centripetal and centrifugal forces, the laws of attraction which
bind together all we know of this planet whereon we dwell and of the
system in which we revolve.

In the great work of creation the crowning glory was realized, when
man and woman were evolved on the sixth day, the masculine and feminine
forces in the image of God, that must have existed eternally, in all
forms of matter and mind. All the persons in the Godhead are
represented in the Elohim the divine plurality taking counsel in regard
to this last and highest form of life. Who were the members of this
high council, and were they a duality or a trinity? Verse 27 declares
the image of God male and female. How then is it possible to make woman
an afterthought? We find in verses 5-16 the pronoun "he" used. Should
it not in harmony with verse 26 be "they," a dual pronoun? We may
attribute this to the same cause as the use of "his" in verse 11
instead of "it." The fruit tree yielding fruit after "his" kind instead
of after "its" kind. The paucity of a language may give rise to many
misunderstandings.

The above texts plainly show the simultaneous creation of man and
woman, and their equal importance in the development of the race. All
those theories based on the assumption that man was prior in the
creation, have no foundation in Scripture.

As to woman's subjection, on which both the canon and the civil law
delight to dwell, it is important to note that equal dominion is given
to woman over every living thing, but not one word is said giving man
dominion over woman.

Here is the first title deed to this green earth giving alike to the
sons and daughters of God. No lesson of woman's subjection can be
fairly drawn from the first chapter of the Old Testament.


E. C. S.



The most important thing for a woman to note, in reading Genesis, is
that that portion which is now divided into "the first three chapters"
(there was no such division until about five centuries ago), contains
two entirely separate, and very contradictory, stories of creation,
written by two different, but equally anonymous, authors. No Christian
theologian of to-day, with any pretensions to scholarship, claims that
Genesis was written by Moses. As was long ago pointed out, the Bible
itself declares that all the books the Jews originally possessed were
burned in the destruction of Jerusalem, about 588 B. C., at the time
the people were taken to Babylonia as slaves too the Assyrians, (see II
Esdras, ch. xiv, V. 21, Apocrypha). Not until about 247 B. C. (some
theologians say 226 and others; 169 B. C.) is there any record of a
collection of literature in the re-built Jerusalem, and, then, the
anonymous writer of II Maccabees briefly mentions that some Nehemiah
"gathered together the acts of the kings and the prophets and those of
David" when "founding a library" for use in Jerusalem. But the earliest
mention anywhere in the Bible of a book that might have corresponded to
Genesis is made by an apocryphal writer, who says that Ezra wrote "all
that hath been done in the world since the beginning," after the Jews
returned from Babylon, under his leadership, about 450 B. C. (see II
Esdras, ch. xiv, v. 22, of the Apocrypha).

When it is remembered that the Jewish books were written on rolls of
leather, without much attention to vowel points and with no division
into verses or chapters, by uncritical copyists, who altered passages
greatly, and did not always even pretend to understand what they were
copying, then the reader of Genesis begins to put herself in position
to understand how it can be contradictory. Great as were the liberties
which the Jews took with Genesis, those of the English translators,
however, greatly surpassed them.

The first chapter of Genesis, for instance, in Hebrew, tells us, in
verses one and two, "As to origin, created the gods (Elohim) these
skies (or air or clouds) and this earth. . . And a wind moved upon the
face of the waters." Here we have the opening of a polytheistic fable
of creation, but, so strongly convinced were the English translators
that the ancient Hebrews must have been originally monotheistic that
they rendered the above, as follows: "In the beginning God created the
heaven and the earth. . . . And the spirit of God (!) moved upon the
face of the waters."

It is now generally conceded that some one (nobody pretends to know
who) at some time (nobody pretends to know exactly when), copied two
creation myths on the same leather roll, one immediately following the
other. About one hundred years ago, it was discovered by Dr. Astruc, of
France, that from Genesis ch. i, v. 1 to Genesis ch. ii, v. 4, is given
one complete account of creation, by an author who always used the term
"the gods" (Elohim), in speaking of the fashioning of the universe,
mentioning it altogether thirty-four times, while, in Genesis ch. ii,
v. 4, to the end of chapter iii, we have a totally different narrative,
by an author of unmistakably different style, who uses the term "Iahveh
of the gods" twenty times, but "Elohim" only three times. The first
author, evidently, attributes creation to a council of gods, acting in
concert, and seems never to have heard of Iahveh. The second attributes
creation to Iahveh, a tribal god of ancient Israel, but represents
Iahveh as one of two or more gods, conferring with them (in Genesis ch.
xiii, V. 22) as to the danger of man's acquiring immortality.

Modern theologians have, for convenience sake, entitled these two
fables, respectively, the Elohistic and the Iahoistic stories. They
differ, not only in the point I have mentioned above, but in the order
of the "creative acts;" in regard to the mutual attitude of man and
woman, and in regard to human freedom from prohibitions imposed by
deity. In order to exhibit their striking contradictions, I will place
them in parallel columns:


ELOHISTIC. --- IAHOISTIC.

Order of Creation: --- Order of Creation:
First--Water. --- First--Land.
Second--Land. --- Second--Water.
Third--Vegetation. --- Third--Male Man, only.
Fourth--Animals. --- Fourth--Vegetation.
Fifth--Mankind; male and female. --- Fifth--Animals.
 --- Sixth--Woman.

In this story male and female man are created simultaneously, both
alike, in the image of the gods, after animals have been called into
existence. --- In this story male man is sculptured out of clay,
before any animals are created, and before female man has been
constructed.

Here, joint dominion over the earth is given to woman and man, without
limit or prohibition. --- Here, woman is punished with subjection to
man for breaking a prohibitory law.

Everything, without exception, is pronounced "very good." --- There is
a tree of evil, whose fruit, is said by Iahveh to cause sudden death,
but which does not do so, as Adam lived 930 years after eating it.

Man and woman are told that "every plant bearing seed upon the face of
the earth and every tree. . . To you it shall be for meat." They are
thus given perfect freedom. --- Man is told there is one tree of which
he must not eat, "for in the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely
die."

Man and woman are given special dominion over all the animals-"every
creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." --- An animal, a
"creeping thing," is given dominion over man and woman, and proves
himself more truthful than Iahveh Elohim. (Compare Genesis chapter ii,
verse 17, with chapter iii, verses 4 and 22.)



Now as it is manifest that both of these stories cannot be true;
intelligent women, who feel bound to give the preference to either, may
decide according to their own judgment of which is more worthy of an
intelligent woman's acceptance. Paul's rule is a good one in this
dilemma, "Prove all things: hold fast to that which is good." My own
opinion is that the second story was manipulated by some Jew, in an
endeavor to give "heavenly authority" for requiring a woman to obey the
man she married. In a work which I am now completing, I give some facts
concerning ancient Israelitish history, which will be of peculiar
interest to those who wish to understand the origin of woman's
subjection.


E. B. D.



Many orientalists and students of theology have maintained that the
consultation of the Gods here described is proof that the Hebrews were
in early days polytheists--Scott's supposition that this is the origin
of the Trinity has no foundation in fact, as the beginning of that
conception is to be found in the earliest of all known religious nature
worship. The acknowledgment of the dual principal, masculine and
feminine, is much more probably the explanation of the expressions here
used.

In the detailed description of creation we find a gradually ascending
series. Creeping things, "great sea monsters," (chap. I, V. 21, literal
translation). "Every bird of wing," cattle and living things of the
earth, the fish of the sea and the "birds of the heavens," then man,
and last and crowning glory of the whole, woman.

It cannot be maintained that woman was inferior to man even if, as
asserted in chapter ii, she was created after him without at once
admitting that man is inferior to the creeping things, because created
after them.


L. D. B.





CHAPTER II.


Genesis ii, 21-25.



21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he
slept; and be took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh thereof.

22 And the rib which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman,
and brought her unto the man.

23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh:
she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man.

24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall
cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh.

25. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not
ashamed.


As the account of the creation in the first chapter is in harmony with
science, common sense, and the experience of mankind in natural laws,
the inquiry naturally arises, why should there be two contradictory
accounts in the same book, of the same event? It is fair to infer that
the second version, which is found in some form in the different
religions of all nations, is a mere allegory, symbolizing some
mysterious conception of a highly imaginative editor.

The first account dignifies woman as an important factor in the
creation, equal in power and glory with man. The second makes her a
mere afterthought. The world in good running order without her. The
only reason for her advent being the solitude of man.

There is something sublime in bringing order out of chaos; light out
of darkness; giving each planet its place in the solar system; oceans
and lands their limits; wholly inconsistent with a petty surgical
operation, to find material for the mother of the race. It is on this
allegory that all the enemies of women rest their battering rams, to
prove her inferiority. Accepting the view that man was prior in the
creation, some Scriptural writers say that as the woman was of the man,
therefore, her position should be one of subjection. Grant it, then as
the historical fact is reversed in our day, and the man is now of the
woman, shall his place be one of subjection?

The equal position declared in the first account must prove more
satisfactory to both sexes; created alike in the image of God--The
Heavenly Mother and Father.

Thus, the Old Testament, "in the beginning," proclaims the
simultaneous creation of man and woman, the eternity and equality of
sex; and the New Testament echoes back through the centuries the
individual sovereignty of woman growing out of this natural fact. Paul,
in speaking of equality as the very soul and essence of Christianity,
said, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free,
there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."
With this recognition of the feminine element in the Godhead in the Old
Testament, and this declaration of the equality of the sexes in the
New, we may well wonder at the contemptible status woman occupies in
the Christian Church of to-day.

All the commentators and publicists writing on woman's position, go
through an immense amount of fine-spun metaphysical speculations, to
prove her subordination in harmony with the Creator's original design.

It is evident that some wily writer, seeing the perfect equality of
man and woman in the first chapter, felt it important for the dignity
and dominion of man to effect woman's subordination in some way. To do
this a spirit of evil must be introduced, which at once proved itself
stronger than the spirit of good, and man's supremacy was based on the
downfall of all that had just been pronounced very good. This spirit of
evil evidently existed before the supposed fall of man, hence woman was
not the origin of sin as so often asserted.


E. C. S.



In v. 23 Adam proclaims the eternal oneness of the happy pair, "This
is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh;" no hint of her
subordination. How could men, admitting these words to be divine
revelation, ever have preached the subjection of woman!

Next comes the naming of the mother of the race. "She shall be called
Woman," in the ancient form of the word Womb-man. She was man and more
than man because of her maternity.

The assertion of the supremacy of the woman in the marriage relation
is contained in v. 24: "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his
mother and cleave unto his wife." Nothing is said of the headship of
man, but he is commanded to make her the head of the household, the
home, a rule followed for centuries under the Matriarchate.


L. D. B.





CHAPTER III.



Genesis iii: 1-24.



1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which
the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said,
Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the
trees of the garden:

3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden,
God hath said Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest
ye die.

4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof then your eyes
shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it
was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise,
she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat and gave also unto her
husband with her; and he did eat.

7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were
naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

8 And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in
the cool of the day; and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the
presence of the Lord God amongst the trees in the garden.

9 And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid,
because I was naked; and I hid myself.

11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of
the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat?

12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she
gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

13 And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast
done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

14 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done
this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the
field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the
days of thy life:

15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy
seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise his
heel.

16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy
conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children: and thy desire
shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice
of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee,
saying, Thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake; in
sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou
shalt eat the herb of the field;

19. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return
unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and
unto dust shalt thou return.

20. And Adam called his wife's name Eve: because she was the mother of
all living.

21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins
and clothed them.

22 And the Lord God said, Behold the man is become as one of us, to
know good and evil; and now, let he put forth his hand, and take also
of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever;

23 Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to
till the ground from whence he was taken.

24 So he drove out the man: and he placed at the east of the garden of
Eden cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the
way of the tree of life.


Adam Clarke, in his commentaries, asks the question, "is this an
allegory?" He finds it beset with so many difficulties as an historical
fact, that he inclines at first to regard it as a fable, a mere symbol,
of some hidden truth. His mind seems more troubled about the serpent
than any other personage in the drama. As snakes cannot walk upright,
and have never been known to speak, he thinks this beguiling creature
must have been an ourang-outang, or some species of ape. However, after
expressing all his doubts, he rests in the assumption that it must be
taken literally, and that with higher knowledge of the possibilities of
all living things, many seeming improbabilities will be fully realized.

A learned professor in Yale College,[FN#3] before a large class of
students, expressed serious doubts as to the forbidden fruit being an
apple, as none grew in that latitude. He said it must have been a
quince. If the serpent and the apple are to be withdrawn thus
recklessly from the tableaux, it is feared that with advancing
civilization the whole drama may fall into discredit. Scientists tells
us that "the missing link" between the ape and man, has recently been
discovered., so that we can now trace back an unbroken line of
ancestors to the dawn of creation.



[FN#3]  Daniel Cady Eaton, Professor of Botany.



As out of this allegory grows the doctrines of original sin, the fall
of man, and woman the author of all our woes, and the curses on the
serpent, the woman, and the man; the Darwinian theory of the gradual
growth of the race from a lower to a higher type of animal life, is
more hopeful and encouraging. However, as our chief interest is in
woman's part in the drama, we are equally pleased with her attitude,
whether as a myth in an allegory, or as the heroine of an historical
occurrence.

In this prolonged interview, the unprejudiced reader must be impressed
with the courage, the dignity, and the lofty ambition of the woman. The
tempter evidently had a profound knowledge of human nature, and saw at
a glance the high character of the person he met by chance in his walks
in the garden. He did not try to tempt her from the path of duty by
brilliant jewels, rich dresses, worldly luxuries or pleasures, but with
the promise of knowledge, with the wisdom of the Gods.

Like Socrates or Plato, his powers of conversation and asking
puzzling questions, were no doubt marvellous, and he roused in the
woman that intense thirst for knowledge, that the simple pleasures of
picking flowers and talking with Adam did not satisfy. Compared with
Adam she appears to great advantage through the entire drama.

The curse pronounced on woman is inserted in an unfriendly spirit to
justify her degradation and subjection to man. With obedience to the
laws of health, diet, dress, and exercise, the period of maternity
should be one of added vigor in both body and mind, a perfectly natural
operation should not be attended with suffering. By the observance of
physical and psychical laws the supposed curse can be easily
transformed into a blessing. Some churchmen speak of maternity as a
disability, and then chant the Magnificat in all their cathedrals round
the globe. Through all life's shifting scenes, the mother of the race
has been the greatest factor in civilization.

We hear the opinion often expressed, that woman always has, and always
will be in subjection. Neither assertion is true. She enjoyed unlimited
individual freedom for many centuries, and the events of the present
day all point to her speedy emancipation. Scientists now give 85,000
years for the growth of the race. They assign 60,000 to savagism,
20,000 to barbarism, and 5,000 to civilization. Recent historians tell
us that for centuries woman reigned supreme. That period was called the
Matriarchate. Then man seized the reins of government, and we are now
under the Patriarchate. But we see on all sides new forces gathering,
and woman is already abreast with man in art, science, literature, and
government. The next dynasty, in which both will reign as equals, will
be the Amphiarchate, which is close at hand.

Psychologists tell us of a sixth sense now in process of development,
by which we can read each other's mind and communicate without speech.
The Tempter might have had that sense, as he evidently read the minds
of both the creature and the Creator, if we are to take this account
as literally true, as Adam Clarke advises.


E. C. S.



Note the significant fact that we always hear of the "fall of man,"
not the fall of woman, showing that the consensus of human thought has
been more unerring than masculine interpretation. Reading this
narrative carefully, it is amazing that any set of men ever claimed
that the dogma of the inferiority of woman is here set forth. The
conduct of Eve from the beginning to the end is so superior to that of
Adam. The command not to eat of the fruit of the tree of Knowledge was
given to the man alone before woman was formed. Genesis ii, 17.
Therefore the injunction was not brought to Eve with the impressive
solemnity of a Divine Voice, but whispered to her by her husband and
equal. It was a serpent supernaturally endowed, a seraphim as Scott and
other commentators have claimed, who talked with Eve, and whose words
might reasonably seem superior to the second-hand story of her
companion nor does the woman yield at once. She quotes the command not
to eat of the fruit to which the serpent replies "Dying ye shall not
die," v. 4, literal translation. In other words telling her that if the
mortal body does perish, the immortal part shall live forever, and
offering as the reward of her act the attainment of Knowledge.

Then the woman fearless of death if she can gain wisdom takes of the
fruit; and all this time Adam standing beside her interposes no word of
objection. "Her husband with her" are the words of v. 6. Had he been
the representative of the divinely appointed head in married life, he
assuredly would have taken upon himself the burden of the discussion
with the serpent, but no, he is silent in this crisis of their fate.
Having had the command from God himself he interposes no word of
warning or remonstrance, but takes the fruit from the hand of his wife
without a protest. It takes six verses to describe the "fall" of
woman, the fall of man is contemptuously dismissed in a line and a half.

The subsequent conduct of Adam was to the last degree dastardly. When
the awful time of reckoning comes, and the Jehovah God appears to
demand why his command has been disobeyed, Adam endeavors to shield
himself behind the gentle being he has declared to be so dear. "The
woman thou gavest to be with me, she gave me and I did eat," he whines--
trying to shield himself at his wife's expense! Again we are amazed
that upon such a story men have built up a theory of their superiority!

Then follows what has been called the curse. Is it not rather a
prediction? First is the future fate of the serpent described, the
enmity of the whole human race--"it shall lie in wait for thee as to
the head" (v. 15, literal translation). Next the subjection of the
woman is foretold, thy husband "shall rule over thee," v. 16. Lastly
the long struggle of man with the forces of nature is portrayed. "In
the sweat of thy face thou shalt eat food until thy turning back to the
earth" (v. 19, literal translation). With the evolution of humanity an
ever increasing number of men have ceased to toil for their bread with
their hands, and with the introduction of improved machinery, and the
uplifting of the race there will come a time when there shall be no
severities of labor, and when women shall be freed from all oppressions.

"And Adam called his wife's name Life for she was the mother of all
living" (V. 20, literal translation).

It is a pity that all versions of the Bible do not give this word
instead of the Hebrew Eve. She was Life, the eternal mother, the first
representative of the more valuable and important half of the human
race.


L. D. B.





CHAPTER IV.



Genesis iv: 1-12, 19, 21.



1. And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and
said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.

2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep,
but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the
fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.

4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the
fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering.

5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was
very wroth, and his countenance fell.

6 And the lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy
countenance fallen?

7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted: and if thou doest
not well, sin lieth at the door: and unto thee shall be his desire, and
thou shalt rule over him.

8 And Cain talked with Abet his brother: and it came to pass, when
they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and
slew him.

9. And the Lord said unto Cain, where is Abel thy brother? And he said
"Am I my brother's keeper?"

10. And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brothers blood
crieth unto me from the ground.

11. And now art thou cursed from the earth which hath opened her mouth
to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand.

12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto
thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

19. And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was
Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.

23 And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, hear my voice, ye
wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech.


One would naturally suppose that Cain's offering of fruit indicated a
more refined and spiritual idea of the fitness of things than Abel's of
animal food. Why Cain's offering was rejected as unworthy does not
appear.

There is something pathetic in Eve's joy and faith at the advent of
her first-born: "Lo I have a man child from the Lord." She evidently
thought that Cain was to be to her a great blessing. Some expositors
say that Eve thought that Cain was the promised seed that was to bruise
the serpent's head; but Adam Clarke, in estimating woman's reasoning
powers, says, "it was too metaphysical an idea for that period." But as
that is just what the Lord said to Eve, she must have had the capacity
to understand it. But all speculations as to what Eve thought in that
eventful hour are vain. Clarke asserts that Cain and Abel were twins.
Eve must have been too much occupied with her vacillating joys and
sorrows to have indulged in any connected train of thought. Her grief
in the fratricidal tragedy that followed can be more easily
understood. The dreary environments of the mother, and the hopeless
prophesies of her future struggling life, banished to a dreary,
desolate region, beyond the love and care of her Creator, is revenged
on her children. If Adam and Eve merited the severe punishment
inflicted on them, they should have had some advice from the Heavenly
Mother and Father as to the sin of propagating such an unworthy stock.
No good avails in increasing and multiplying evil propensities and
deformities that produce only crime and misery from generation to
generation. During the ante-natal period the mother should be held
sacred, and surrounded with all the sweetest influences that Heaven and
earth can give, loving companionship, beautiful scenery, music and
flowers, and all the pleasures that art in its highest form can produce.

As the women at this period seem to be myths, no one takes the trouble
to tell from whence they came. It is sufficient that their husbands
know, and it is not necessary that the casual reader should. The
question is often asked, whom did Cain marry? Some expositors say that
Adam and Eve had other sons and daughters living in different parts of
the planet, and that they married each other.

There seems to have been no scarcity of women, for Lamech, Cain's
great grandson, took unto himself two wives. Thus early in the history
of the race polygamic relations were recognized. The phraseology
announcing the marriage of Lamech is very significant.

In the case of Adam and Eve the ceremony was more imposing and
dignified. It was declared an equal relation. But with the announcement
of Lamech's, he simply took two wives, Adah and Zillah. Whether the
women were willingly captured will ever remain an open question. The
manner in which he is accustomed to issue his orders does not indicate
a tender relation between the parties.

"Hear my voice: ye wives of Lamech, and hearken unto my speech!"

As the wives made no reply, it shows that they had already learned
that discreet silence is the only security for domestic happiness.

Naamah the sister of Tubal Cain was supposed to be the wife of Noah.
Her name in Hebrew signifies the beautiful or the gracious. Jewish
doctors say her name is recorded here because she was an upright,
chaste woman, but others affirm the contrary because "the whole world
wandered after her." But the fact that Naamah's beauty attracted the
multitude, does not prove that she either courted or accepted their
attentions.

The manner in which the writer of these chapters presents the women so
in conflict with Chapters i and v, which immediately precede and
follow, inclines the unprejudiced mind to relegate the ii, iii and iv
chapters to the realm of fancy as no part of the real history of
creation's dawn.

The curse pronounced on Cain is similar to that inflicted on Adam,
both were to till the ground, which was to bring forth weeds
abundantly. Hale's statistics of weeds show their rapid and widespread
power of propagation. "A progeny," he says, "more than sufficient in a
few years to stock every planet of the solar system." In the face of
such discouraging facts, Hale coolly remarks. "Such provisions has the
just God made to fulfil the curse which he promised on man."

It seems far more rational to believe that the curses on both woman
and man were but figments of the human brain, and that by the
observance of natural laws, both labor and maternity may prove great
blessings.

With all the modern appliances of steam and electricity, and the new
inventions in machinery, the cultivation of the soil is fast coming to
be a recreation and amusement. The farmer now sits at ease on his
plough, while his steed turns up the furrows at his will. With
machinery the sons of Adam now sow and reap their harvests, keep the
wheels of their great manufactories in motion, and with daily
increasing speed carry on the commerce of the world. The time is at
hand when the heavy burdens of the laborer will all be shifted on the
shoulders of these
tireless machines. And when the woman, too, learns and obeys the laws
of life, these supposed curses will be but idle dreams of the past. The
curse falls lightly even now on women who live in natural conditions,
and with anaesthetics is essentially mitigated in all cases.

When these remedial agents were first discovered, some women refused
to avail themselves of their blessings, and some orthodox physicians
refused to administer them, lest they should interfere with the wise
provisions of Providence in making maternity a curse.


E. C. S.





MYTHS OF CREATION.


Nothing would be more interesting in connection with the "Woman's
Bible" than a comparative study of the accounts of the creation held by
people of different races and faiths. Our Norse ancestors, whose myths
were of a very exalted nature, recorded in their Bible, the Edda, that
one day the sons of Bor (a frost giant), Odin, Hoener, and Loder, found
two trees on the sea beach, and from them created the first human pair,
man and woman. Odin gave them life and spirit, Hoener endowed them with
reason and motion, and Loder gave them the senses and physical
characteristics. The man they called Ask, and the woman Embla. Prof.
Anderson finds in the brothers the threefold Trinity of the Bible. It
is easy to fancy that there is some philological connection between the
names of the first pair in the Bible and in the Edda. Perhaps the
formation of the first pair out of trees had a deep connection with the
tree of life, Ygdrasil, which extended, according to Norse mythology
throughout the universe, furnishing bodies for mankind from its
branches. It had three great roots, one extending to the nebulous
world, and this was constantly gnawed by the serpent Nidhug. There was
nothing in the Norse mythology that taught the degradation of woman,
and the lay of Sigdrifa, in the Edda, is one of the noblest conceptions
of the character of woman in all literature.

North American Indian mythology has the human race born of the earth,
but the writer cannot learn that women held an inferior place. Among
the Quiches the mothers and fathers of old slept in the waters, covered
with green, under a limpid twilight, from which the earth and they were
called out by a mighty wind. The Algonkins believed the human family
were the children of Michabo, the spirit of the dawn, and their supreme
deity. In their language the words earth, mother and father were from
the same root. Many tribes claim descent from a raven, symbolizing the
clouds; others from a dog, which is the symbol of the water goddess.

Dr. and Madame Le Plongeon relate that in their discoveries among the
buried remains of the Mayas in Yucatan, everything marks a very high
state of civilization. In one of the exhumed temples they found
pictures on the walls, which seem to be a combination of the stories of
the Garden of Eden and Cain and Abel. The Serpent was always the royal
emblem, because the shape of Yucatan is that of a serpent ready to
spring. It was the custom among the Mayas for the oldest son of the
king to be a priest, and the second son to marry the oldest daughter.
The pictures represent that the oldest son in this particular case was
dissatisfied with this arrangement, and wanted to marry the sister
himself. To tempt her he sends a basket of apples by a messenger. He
stands watching the way in which the present is received, and the
serpent in the picture (indicating the royal family), makes it
curiously suggestive of the temptation of Eve. The sister, however,
rejects the present, and this so enrages the elder brother that he
kills the younger, who accordingly is deified by the Mayas. The image
of Chacmohl was discovered by the Le Plongeons, and is now in the
possession of the Mexican Government. Perhaps these brothers were
twins, as the commentator says Cain and Abel were, and that gave rise
to the jealousy.

Nothing can surpass in grandeur the account in the first chapter of
Genesis of the creation of the race, and it satisfies the highest
aspirations and the deepest longings of the human soul. No matter of
what material formed, or through how many ages the
formative period ran, or is to run, the image of God is the birthright
of man, male and female. Whatever the second chapter may mean, it
cannot set aside the first. It probably has a deep spiritual
significance which mankind will appreciate when cavilling about the
letter ceases. To the writer's mind its meaning is best expressed in
the words of Goethe:--- "The eternal womanly leads us on."


C. B. C.





CHAPTER V.



Genesis v: 1, 2.



1. This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God
created man, in the likeness of God made he him.

2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their
name Adam, in the day when they were created.


Here we have the first account of the dual creation verified. Man and
woman a simultaneous creation, alike in the image of God.

The dual relation, both in the Godhead and humanity, is here again
declared, though contradicted in the intervening chapters. In this and
the following chapters we have a prolix statement of the births,
deaths, and ages in the male line. They all take wives, beget sons, but
nothing is said of the origin or destiny of the wives and daughters;
they are incidentally mentioned merely as necessary factors in the
propagation of the male line.

The men of this period seem to have lived to a ripe old age, but
nothing is said of the age of the women; it is probable as child-
bearing was their chief ambition, that men had a succession of wives,
all gathered to their fathers in the prime of life. Although Eve and
her daughters devoted their energies to this occupation, yet the entire
credit for the growth of the race is given to Adam and his male
descendants. In all this chapter the begetting of the oldest son is
made prominent, his name only is given, and the begetting of more "sons
and daughters" is cursorily mentioned. Here is the first suggestion of
the law of primogeniture responsible for so many of the evils that
perplexed our Saxon fathers.


E. C. S.



Genesis vi: 1-8, 14-22.



1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the
earth, and daughters were born unto them,

2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair,
and they took them wives of all which they chose.

3 And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for
that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty years.

4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that,
when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare
children to them, the same became mighty men which were as of old, men
of renown.

5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and
that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil
continually.

6 And it repented the Lord that he had made them man on the earth, and
it grieved him at his heart.

7 And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the
face of the earth; both man and beast, and the creeping thing, and the
fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

13 And God said unto Noah,

14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the
ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.

15 And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of; The length of
the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits
and the height of it thirty cubits.

16 A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou
finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side
thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.

17 And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth,
to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven,
and everything that is in the earth shall die.

18 But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come
into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives
with thee.

19 And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt
thou bring in to the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be
male and female.

20 Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every
creeping thing of the earth, after his kind; two of every sort shall
come unto thee, to keep them alive.

21 And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt
gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.

22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.


The Jews evidently believed the males the superior sex. Men are called
"the sons of God," women "the daughters of men." From the text it would
seem that the influence of the wives was not elevating and inspiring,
and that the sin and misery resulting from their marriages, all
attributed to the women. 'This condition of things so discouraged the
Creator that he determined to blot out both man and beast, the fowls of
the air and the creeping things on the earth. How very human this
sounds. It shows what a low ideal the Jews had of the great first
cause, from which the moral and material world of thought and action
were evolved.

It was in mature life, when chastened by the experiences and trials of
her early day, that Seth was born to Eve. It was among the descendants
of Seth that purer morals and religion were cultivated. Intermarriage
with the descendants of Cain had corrupted the progeny, perplexed the
Creator, and precipitated the flood.

The female of each species of animal was preserved; males and females
all walked into the ark two by two, and out again in equal and loving
companionship. It has been a question with critics whether the ark was
large enough for all it was supposed to contain. Commentators seem to
agree as to its capacity to accommodate men, women, children, animals,
and the food necessary for their preservation. Adam Clarke tells us
that Noah and his family and the birds occupied the third, story, so
they had the benefit of the one window it contained.

The paucity of light and air in this ancient vessel shows that woman
had no part in its architecture, or a series of port holes would have
been deemed indispensable. Commentators relegate all difficulties to
the direct intervention of Providence. The ark, made by unseen hands,
like a palace of india rubber, was capable of expanding indefinitely;
the spirit of all good, caused the lion and lamb to lie down peaceably
together. To attribute all the myths, allegories, and parables to the
interposition of Providence, ever working outside of his own inexorable
laws, is to confuse and set at defiance human reason, and prevent all
stimulus to investigation.

In several following chapters we have the history of Abram and Sarah,
their wanderings from the land of their nativity to Canaan, their
blunders on the journey, their grief at having no children, except one
son by Hagar, his concubine, who was afterwards driven from their door,
into the wilderness. However, Sarah in her old age was blessed with a
son of her own, which event gave them great joy and satisfaction. As
Sarah did not possess any of the heroic virtues, worthy our imitation,
we need not linger either to praise or blame her characteristics.
Neither she nor Abraham deemed it important to speak the truth when any
form of tergiversation might serve them. In fact the wives of the
patriarchs, all untruthful, and one a kleptomaniac, but illustrate the
law, that the cardinal virtues are seldom found in oppressed classes.


E. C. S.



A careful study of the Bible would alter the views of many as to what
it teaches about the position of women. The trouble is too often
instead of searching the Bible to see what is right, we form our
belief, and then search for Bible texts to sustain us, and are
satisfied with isolated texts without regard to context, and ask no
questions as to the circumstances that may have existed then but do not
now. We forget that portions of the Bible are only histories of events
given as a chain of evidence to sustain the fact that the real
revelations of the Godhead, be it in any form, are true. Second, that
our translators were not inspired, and that we have strong presumptive
proof that prejudice of education was in some instances stronger than
the grammatical context, in translating these contested points. For
instance, the word translated obey between husband and wife, is in but
one instance in the New Testament the word used between master and
servant, parent and child, but is the word that in other places is
translated defer. The one instance states Sarah obeyed Abram. Read that
history and you will find that in both instances in which she obeyed,
God had to interfere with a miracle to save them from the result of
that obedience, and both Abram and Sarah were reproved. While twice,
once by direct command of God, Abram obeyed Sarah. You cannot find a
direct command of God or Christ for the wife to obey the husband.

It was Eve's curse that her desire should be to her husband, and he
should rule over her. Have you not seen her clinging to a drunken or
brutal husband, and read in letters of fire upon her forehead her
curse? But God did not say the curse was good, nor bid Adam enforce it.
Nor did he say, all men shall rule over thee. For Adam, not Eve, the
earth was to bring forth the thorn and the thistle, and he was to eat
his bread by the sweat of his brow. Yet I never heard a sermon on the
sin of uprooting weeds, or letting Eve, as she does, help him to bear
his burden. It is when she tries to lighten her load that the world is
afraid of sacrilege and the overthrow of nature.


C. B. C.



In the story "of the sons of God, and the daughters of men"--we find a
myth like those of Greek, Roman and Scandinavian fable, demi-gods love
mortal maidens and their offspring are giants. Then follows the
traditional account of some great cataclysm of the last glacial epoch.
According to the latest geological students, Wright, McGee and others;
the records of Niagara, the falls of St. Anthony and other glacial
chasms, indicate that the great ice caps receded for the last time
about seven thousand years ago; the latest archeological discoveries
carry our historical knowledge of mankind back nearly four thousand
years B. C., so that some record of the mighty floods which must have
followed the breaking of great glacial dams might well survive in the
stories of the nations.

Abram who came from Ur of the Chaldees brought with him the Chaldean
story of the flood. At that time Ur, now a town fifty miles inland, was
a great seaport of the Persian gulf. Their story of the flood is that
of a maritime people; in it the ark is a well built ship, Hasisadra,
the Chaldean Noah takes on board not only his own family, but his
neighbors and friends; a pilot is employed to guide the course, and
proper provision is made for the voyage. A raven and a dove are sent
out as in the biblical account, and a fortunate landing effected.


L. D. B.





CHAPTER VI.



Genesis xxi.



1 And the lord visited Sarah as he had said.

2. For Sarah bare Abraham a son in his old age.

3 And Abraham called the name of his son whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.

5 And Abraham was a hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born
unto him.

6 And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear
will laugh with me.

9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had home
unto Abraham, mocking.

10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her
son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even
with Isaac.

11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight.

12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight;
in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in
Isaac shall thy seed be called.

13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because
he is thy seed.

14 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a
bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder,
and the child, and sent her away; and she departed, and wandered in the
wilderness of Beer-sheba.

15 And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under
one of the shrubs.

17 And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off: for
she said, let me not see the death of the child. And she lifted up her
voice, and wept.

17 And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to
Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear
not, for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.

18 Arise, lift up the lad, and bold him in thine hand: for I will make
him a great nation.

19 And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water: and she went,
and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.

20 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness,
and became an archer.

21 And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a
wife out of the land of Egypt.


The great event of Isaac's birth having taken place, Sarah is
represented through several chapters as laughing, even in the presence
of angels, not only in the anticipation of motherhood, but in its
realization. She evidently forgot that maternity was intended as a
curse on all Eve's daughters, for the sin of the first woman, and all
merry-making on such occasions was unpardonable. Some philosophers
consider the most exalted of all forms of love to be that of a mother
for her children. But this divine awakening of a new affection does not
seem to have softened Sarah's heart towards her unfortunate slave
Hagar. And so far from Sarah's desire being to her husband, and Abraham
dominating her, he seemed to be under her control, as the Lord told him
"to hearken to her voice, and to obey her command." In so doing he
drives Hagar out of his house.

In this scene Abraham does not appear in a very attractive light,
rising early in the morning, and sending his child and its mother forth
into the wilderness, with a breakfast of bread and water, to care for
themselves. Why did he not provide them with a servant, an ass laden
with provisions, and a tent to shelter them from the elements, or
better still, some abiding, resting place. Common humanity demanded
this much attention to his own son and the woman who bore him. But the
worst feature in this drama is that it seems to have been done with
Jehovah's approval.

Does any one seriously believe that the great spirit of all good
talked with these Jews, and really said the extraordinary things they
report? It was, however, a very cunning way for the Patriarchs to
enforce their own authority, to do whatever they desired, and say the
Lord commanded them to do and say thus and so. Many pulpits even in our
day enforce their lessons of subjection for woman with the same
authority, "Thus saith the Lord," "Thou shalt," and "Thou shall not."


E. C. S.



Genesis xxiii.



1 And Sarah was a hundred and seven and twenty years old.

2 And Sarah died in Kirjath-arba; the same is Hebron in the land of
Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.

3 And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spake unto the sons
of Heth, saying,

4 I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a
burying place with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.

5 And the children of Heth answered Abraham, saying unto him.

6 Hear us, my lord: thou art a mighty prince among us: in the choice
of our sepulchres bury thy dead; none of us shall withhold from thee
his sepulchre.

7 And Abraham stood up, and bowed himself to the people of the land.

8 And he communed with them, saying, If it be your mind that I should
bury my dead out of my sight, hear me, and entreat Ephron the son of
Zohar.

9 That he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he hath, which is
in the end of his field; for as much money as it is worth.

14 And Ephron answered Abraham, saying unto him.

15 My lord, hearken unto me: the land is worth four hundred shekels of
silver; what is that betwixt me and thee? bury therefore thy dead.

16 And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron
the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth,
four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant.

19 And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the
field of Machpelah before Mamre.

20 And the field, and the cave that is therein, were made sure unto
Abraham for a burying place by the sons of Heth.


It is seldom that the age and death of any woman, are recorded by the
sacred historian, but Sarah seems to have been specially honored, not
only in the mention of her demise and ripe years, but in the tender
manifestations of grief by Abraham, and
his painstaking selection of her burial place. That Abraham paid for
all this in silver, "current money with the merchant," might suggest to
the financiers of our day that our commercial relations might be
adjusted with the same coin, especially as we have plenty of it.

If our bimetallists in the halls of legislation were conversant with
sacred history, they might get fresh inspiration from the views of the
Patriarchs on good money.

Some critics tell us that there was no coined money at that time; the
Israelites had no written language, no commerce with neighboring
tribes, and that they could neither read nor write.

Whilst we drop a tear at the tomb of Sarah, we cannot recommend her as
an example to the young women of our day, as she lacked several of the
cardinal virtues. She was undignified, untruthful, and unkind to Hagar.
But our moral standard differs from that of the period in which she
lived, as our ideas of right and wrong are not innate, but depend on
education. Sarah probably lived up to the light that was in her.


E. C. S.



The cruelty and injustice of Abraham and Sarah, as commented on by
Mrs. Stanton, doubtless stand out much more prominently in this
condensed account than their proper proportions to the motives which
actuated the figures in the drama. If we take any part of the story we
must take it all, and remember that it had been promised to Abraham
that of Ishmael a great nation should be born. Whether this was an
actual revelation from God, or a prophetic vision that Abraham had, or
is interpolated by the historian to correspond with the actual facts
that transpired, in either case the firm belief that no harm could come
to Ishmael, must be taken into account when estimating the motives
which led Abraham and Sarah, for doubtless Abraham told Sarah of his
vision, to send Hagar and her son off into the wilderness; just as much
as the firm belief that the promise of God with regard to his seed
would be fulfilled made Abraham, a little afterward, prepare to offer
up his son Isaac.

Abraham loved and honored his wife very greatly, probably admiring
equally her beauty and strength of character. Abraham was ten years
older than Sarah and we read that he was seventy-five years old when he
started from Haran for the land of Canaan. Some time after this driven,
by famine, he went down into Egypt, and here when she must have been at
least seventy years of age the Egyptians saw that she was very fair,
and the princes of Pharaoh so praised her beauty to their royal master
that he sent and took her for his wife. The same thing happened when
she was ninety years old, when she was seized by Abimelech, king of
Gerar. In both cases they told, not a lie, but a half truth, for Sarah
was Abraham's half sister, it being then the custom for children of the
same father by different mothers to marry. Abraham's deceit was brought
about by cowardice, while Sarah connived at the fraud for love of her
husband, being besought to do so to save his life. Perhaps, too, she
might have been amenable to the gracious tribute to her beauty that
Abraham gave in making the request.

Sarah's strength of character is shown all through her history.
Wherever she is mentioned the reader is made to feet that she is an
important part of the narrative, and not merely a connecting link
between two generations. In this story she carries her point, and
Abraham follows her instructions implicitly, nay, is even commanded by
God to do so.

Notwithstanding that Abraham mourned Sarah so sincerely, within three
years after she died, and when at the ripe age of a hundred and forty
years, he married again and the six children he begat by Keturah he
took quite as a matter of course, although half a century before, when
told that a son should be born to him, he laughed incredulously.
Abraham had his failings, some of which are shared by the moderns, yet
doubtless he was a moral giant compared with other men of the land from
which he came and of the nations around him. As such he was chosen as
the founder of a race whose history should promulgate the idea of the
one true God. Certainly the descendants from this remarkable trio have
retained their own peculiar characteristics and have ever been
worshippers at the shrine
of Jehovah.

A singular fact may be mentioned here that Mrs. Souvielle in her book
"The Sequel to the Parliament of Religions," has shown that from
Midian, one of the sons of Keturah, came Jethro or Zoroaster.

Western thinkers are so matter-of-fact in their speech and thought
that it might not have occurred to them that the true value of this
story of Sarah and Hagar, like that of all else, not only in our own
Bible but in the scriptures of other faiths, lies in the esoteric
meaning, had it not been for Paul, that prince of occult philosophers,
who distinctly says, according to the old version, that it is an
allegory; according to the revised, that it contains an allegory: "for
these women are two covenants," one bearing, children unto bondage, the
other unto freedom. It is our privilege, Paul goes on to teach, to be
children of the free woman, but although we are this by birthright, yet
there has to be a personal appreciation of that fact, and an effort to
maintain our liberty. The mystical significance of this allegory has
never been elucidated in reference to the position of woman, but it may
well be considered as establishing her claim, not only for personal
freedom, but for the integrity of the home. Acting according to the
customs of the day, Sarah connived at her own degradation. Later, when
her womanly dignity was developed by reason of her motherhood, she saw
what should be her true position in her home, and she made her rightful
demand for unrivalled supremacy in that home and in her husband's
affections. She was blessed of God in taking that attitude, and was
held up to the elect descendants of Abraham nearly 1660 years later by
the Apostle Peter as an example to be imitated. And these later women
are to be Sarah's daughters, we are told, if like her, they "are not
afraid with any amazement," or as the new version hath it, if they "are
not put in fear by any terror."

Even as mere history the life and character of Sarah certainly do not
intimate that it was the Divine plan that woman was to be a
subordinate, either in person or in her home. Taken esoterically, as
all ancient Oriental writings must be to get their full significance,
it is an inspiration to woman to-day to stand for her liberty. The
bondwoman must be cast out. All that makes for industrial bondage, for
sex slavery and humiliation, for the dwarfing of individuality, and for
the thralldom of the soul, must be cast out from our home, from
society, and from our lives. The woman who does not claim her
birthright of freedom will remain in the wilderness with the children
that she has borne in degradation, heart starvation, and anguish of
spirit, only to find that they are Ishmaels, with their hand against
every man. They will be the subjects of Divine care and protection
until their destiny is worked out. But she who is to be the mother of
kings must herself be free, and have surroundings conducive to
maintaining her own purity and dignity. After long ages of freedom
shall have eradicated from woman's mind and heart the thought habits of
the slave, then will she be a true daughter of Sarah, the Princess.


C. B. C.



Abraham has been held up as one of the model men of sacred history.
One credit he doubtless deserves, he was a monotheist, in the midst of
the degraded and cruel forms of religion then prevalent in all the
oriental world; this man and his wife saw enough of the light to
worship a God of Spirit. Yet we find his conduct to the last degree
reprehensible. While in Egypt in order to gain wealth he voluntarily
surrenders his wife to Pharaoh. Sarah having been trained in subjection
to her husband had no choice but to obey his will. When she left the
king, Abraham complacently took her back without objection, which was
no more than he should do seeing that her sacrifice had brought him
wealth and honor. Like many a modern millionaire he was not a self-made
but a wife-made man. When Pharaoh sent him away with his dangerously
beautiful wife he is described as, "being rich in cattle, in silver and
in gold," but it is a little curious that the man who thus gained
wealth as the price of his wife's dishonor should have been held up as
a model of all the patriarchal virtues.


L. D. B.





CHAPTER VII.



Genesis xxiv.



37 And my master made me swear, saying, Thou shall not take a wife to
my son of the daughters of the Canaanites in whose land I dwell.

38 But thou shalt go unto my fathers house, and to my kindred, and
take a wife unto my son.

39 And I said unto my master, Peradventure the woman will not follow me.

40 And he said unto me, The Lord, before whom I walk, will send his
angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my
son of my kindred, and of my father's house:

42 And I came this day unto the well, and said, O Lord God of my
master Abraham, if now thou do prosper my way which I go:

43 Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass,
that when the virgin cometh to draw water, and I say to her, Give me, I
pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink:

44 And she say to me, Both drink thou, and I will also draw for the
camels: let the same be the woman whom the Lord hath appointed out for
my master's son.

45 And before I had done speaking in mine heart behold Rebekah came
forth with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down unto the
well, and drew water: and I said unto her; Let me drink, I pray thee.

46 And she made haste, and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and
said, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: so I drank, and she
made the camels drink also.

47 And I asked her, and said, Whose daughter art thou? And she said,
The daughter of Bethuel Nabor's son, whom Malcah bare unto him: and I
put the earring upon her face, and the bracelets upon her hands.

49 And now, if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me:
and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.

50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said. The thing proceedeth from
the Lord: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good.

51 Behold, Rebekah is before thee; take her, and go, and let her be
thy master's son's wife, as the Lord hath spoken.

53 And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold,
and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah; he gave also to her brother and
to her mother precious things.

56 And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing the Lord hath
prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master.

57 And they said, we will call the damsel and inquire at her mouth.

58 And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this
man? And she said, I will go.

59 And they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse and
Abraham's servant, and his men.

61 And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the
camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah and went his
way.

63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he
lifted up his eyes, and saw, and behold, the camels were coming.

64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she lighted
off the camel.

65 For she had said unto the servant, What man is that walketh in the
field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore
she took a vail, and covered herself.

66 And the servant told Isaac all things that be had done.

67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took
Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was
comforted after his mother's death.


Here is the first account we have of a Jewish courtship. The Women
seem quite as resigned to the custom of "being taken" as the men "to
take." Outside parties could no doubt in most cases make more judicious
selections of partners, than young folks themselves under the glamour
of their ideals. Altogether the marriage of Isaac, though rather
prosaic, has a touch of the romantic.

It has furnished the subject for some charming pictures, that decorate
the galleries in the old world and the new. "Rebekah at the well," has
been immortalized both on canvas and in marble. Women as milk-maids and
drawers of water, with pails and pitchers on their heads, are always
artistic, and far more attractive to men than those with votes in their
hands at the polling booths, or as queens, ruling over the destinies of
nations.

In fact, as soon as man left Paradise, he began by degrees to roll off
of his own shoulders all he could of his curse, and place it on woman.
Why did not Laban and Bethuel draw the water for the household and the
cattle. Scott says that Eliezer had attendants with him who might have
saved Rebekah the labor of drawing water for ten camels, but he would
not interfere, as he wished to see whether she possessed the virtues of
industry, affability and cheerfulness in being serviceable and
hospitable.

It was certainly a good test of her patience and humility to draw
water for an hour, with a dozen men looking on at their case, and none
offering help. The Rebekahs of 1895 would have promptly summoned the
spectators to share their labors, even at the risk of sacrificing a
desirable matrimonial alliance. The virtue of self-sacrifice has its
wise limitations. Though it is most commendable to serve our fellow-
beings, yet woman's first duty is to herself, to develop all her own
powers and possibilities, that she may better guide and serve the next
generation.

It is refreshing to find in the fifty-eighth verse that Rebekah was
really supposed to have some personal interest and rights in the
betrothal.

The meeting of Isaac and Rebekah in the field at eventide is charming.
That sweet restful hour after the sun had gone down, at the end of a
long journey from a far-off country. Rebekah must have been in just the
mood to appreciate a strong right arm on which to rest, a loving heart
to trust, on the threshold of her conjugal life. To see her future
lord for the first time, must have been very embarrassing to Rebekah.
She no doubt concealed her blushes behind her veil, which Isaac
probably raised at the first opportunity, to behold the charms of the
bride whom the Lord had chosen for him. As Isaac was forty years old at
this time, he probably made a most judicious and affectionate husband.

The 67th verse would be more appropriate to the occasion if the words
"took Rebekah" had been omitted, leaving the text to read thus: "And
Isaac brought her into his mother's tent, and she became his wife, and
he loved her." This verse is remarkable as the first announcement of
love on the part of a husband at first sight. We may indulge the hope
that he confessed his love to Rebekah, and thus placed their conjugal
relations on a more spiritual plane than was usual in those days. The
Revising Committees by the infusion of a little sentiment into these
ancient manuscripts, might have improved the moral tone of our
ancestors' domestic relations, without falsifying the important facts
of history. Many ancient writings in both sacred and profane history
might be translated into more choice language, to the advantage of the
rising generation. What we glean in regard to Rebekah's character in
the following chapter shows, she, too, is lacking in a nice sense of
honor.

With our ideal of the great first cause, a God of justice, wisdom and
truth, the Jewish Lord, guiding and directing that people in all their
devious ways, and sanctioning their petty immoralities seems strangely
out of place; a very contradictory character, unworthy our love and
admiration. The ancient Jewish ideal of Jehovah was not an exalted one.


E. C. S.



This romantic pastoral is most instructive as to the high position which
women really held among the people whose religious history is the
foundation of our own, and still further substantiates our claim that
the Bible does not teach woman's subordination. The fact that Rebekah
was drawing water for family use does not indicate lack of dignity in
her position, any more than the household tasks performed by Sarah. The
wives and daughters of patriarchal families had their maid-servants just
as the men of the family had their man-servants, and their position
indicates only a division of responsibility. At this period, although
queens and princesses were cooks and waiters, kings and princes did not
hesitate to reap their own fields and slay their own cattle. We are told
that Abraham rushed out to his herd and caught a calf to make a meal for
the strangers, and that while he asked Sarah to make the cakes, he
turned over the calf to a man servant to prepare for the table. Thus the
labor of securing the food fell upon the male sex, while the labor of
preparing it was divided between both.

The one supreme virtue among the patriarchs was hospitality, and no
matter how many servants a person had it must be the royal service of
his own hands that he performed for a guest. In harmony with this
spirit Rebekah volunteered to water the thirsty camels of the tired and
way-worn travellers. It is not at all likely that, as Mr. Scott
suggests, Eliezer waited simply to test Rebekah's amiability. The test
which he had asked for was sufficiently answered by her offering the
service in the first place, and doubtless it would have been a churlish
and ungracious; breach of courtesy to have refused the proffered
kindness.

That the Jewish women were treated with greater politeness than the
daughters of neighboring peoples we may learn from the incident
narrated of the daughters of Jethro who, even though their father was
high priest of the country were driven away by the shepherds from the
wells where they came to water their flocks. Of all outdoor occupations
that of watering thirsty animals is, perhaps, the most fascinating, and
if the work was harder for Rebekah than for our country maidens who
water their animals from the trough well filled by the windmill she had
the strength and the will for it, else she would have entrusted the
task to some of the damsels of whom we read as her especial
servants and who, as such, accompanied her to the land of Canaan.

The whole narrative shows Rebekah's personal freedom and dignity. She
was alone at some distance from her family. She was not afraid of the
strangers, but greeted them with the self-possession of a queen. The
decision whether she should go or stay, was left wholly with herself,
and her nurse and servants accompanied her. With grace and modesty she
relieved the embarrassment of the situation by getting down from the
altitude of the camel when Isaac came to meet her, and by enshrouding
herself in a veil she very tactfully gave him an opportunity to do his
courting in his own proper person, if he should be pleased to do so
after hearing the servant's report.

It has been the judgment of masculine commentators that the veil was a
sign of woman's subject condition, but even this may be disputed now
that women are looking into history for themselves. The fashion of
veiling a prospective bride was common to many nations, but to none
where there were brutal ceremonies. The custom was sometimes carried to
the extent, as in some parts of Turkey, of keeping the woman wholly
covered for eight days previous to marriage, sometimes, as among the
Russians, by not only veiling the bride, but putting a curtain between
her and the groom at the bridal feast. In all cases the veil seems to
have been worn to protect a woman from premature or unwelcome
intrusion, and not to indicate her humiliated position. The veil is
rather a reflection upon the habits and thoughts of men than a badge of
inferiority for women.

How serenely beautiful and chaste appear the marriage customs of the
Bible as compared with some that are wholly of man's invention. The
Kamchatkan had to find his future wife alone and then fight with her
and her female friends until every particle of clothing had been
stripped from her and then the ceremony was complete. This may be
called the other extreme from the veil. Something akin to this appears
among our own kith and kin, so to speak, in modern times. Many
instances of marriage en chemise are on record in England of quite
recent dates, the notion being that if a man married a woman in this
garment only he was not liable for any debts which she might previously
have contracted. At Whitehaven, England, 1766, a woman stripped herself
to her chemise in the church and in that condition stood at the altar
and was married.

There is nothing so degrading to the wife in all Oriental customs as
our modern common law ruling that the husband owns the wife's clothing.
This has been so held times innumerable, and in Connecticut quite
recently a husband did not like the gowns his wife bought so he burned
them. He was arrested for destruction of property, but his claim was
sustained that they were his own so he could not be punished.

As long as woman's condition, outside of the Bible, has been as
described by Macaulay when he said: "If there be a word of truth in
history, women have been always, and still are over the greater part of
the globe, humble companions, play things, captives, menials, and
beasts of burden," it is a comfort to reflect that among the Hebrews,
whose records are relied on by the enemies of woman's freedom to teach
her subjection, we find women holding the dignified position in the
family that was held by Sarah and Rebekah.


C. B. C.





CHAPTER VIII.



Genesis xxv.



1 Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.

2 And she bare him Zimran and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and
Ishbak, and Shuah.

5 And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.

6 But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave
gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, unto
the east country.

7 And these are the days of the years of Abraham's life which be
lived, a hundred and three score and fifteen years.

8 Then Abraham gave up the ghost.

9 And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the grave of Machpelah.

10 The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth; there was
Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife.

21 And Isaac entreated the Lord for his wife, and Rebekah his wife
conceived.

24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled she bore twins. I

27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the
field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.

28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison; but
Rebekah loved Jacob.

29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was
faint.

30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red
pottage, for I am faint; therefore was his name called Edom.

31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.

32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die; and what profit
shall this birthright do to me?

33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him; and he
sold his birthright unto Jacob.

34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat
and drink, and rose up, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his
birthright.


In these verses we have the account of Abraham's second marriage, and
the birth of several sons. It does not seem clear from the text whether
Keturah was a legal wife, or one of the Patriarch's numerous
concubines. Clarke inclines to the latter idea, on account of Abraham's
age, and then he gave all that be had to Isaac, and left Keturah's sons
to share with those of other concubines, to whom he gave gifts and sent
them away from his son Isaac to an eastern country. Abraham evidently
thought that the descendants of Isaac might be superior in moral
probity to those of his other sons, hence he desired to keep Isaac as
exclusive as possible. But Jacob and Esau did not fulfill the
Patriarch's expectations. Esau in selling his birthright for a mess of
pottage, and Jacob taking advantage of his brother in a weak moment,
and overreaching him in a bargain, alike illustrate the hereditary
qualities of their ancestors.



Genesis xxvi.



6 And Isaac dwelt in Gerar.

7 And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he said, She is
my sister; for he feared to say, She is my wife; lest, said he, the men
of the place should kill me for Rebekah; because she was fair to look
upon.

9 And Abimelech called Isaac, and said Behold, or a surety she is thy
wife; and how saidst thou, She is my sister? And Isaac said unto him,
Because I said, Lest I die for her.

11 And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, He that toucheth this
man or his wife shall surely be put to death.

34 And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the
daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the
Hittite;

35 Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.


The account of the private family affairs of Isaac and Rebekah; their
partiality to different sons; Jacob, aided and abetted by his mother,
robbing his elder brother of both his birthright and his father's
blessing; the parents on one of their eventful journeys representing
themselves as brother and sister, instead of husband and wife, for fear
that some potentate might kill Isaac, in order to possess his beautiful
wife; all these petty deceptions handed down from generation to
generation, show that the law of heredity asserted itself even at that
early day.

Abraham through fear denied that Sarah was his wife, and Isaac does
the same thing. The grief of Isaac and Rebekah over Esau, was not that
he took two wives, but that they were Hittites. Chapter xxvii gives the
details of the manner that Jacob and his mother betrayed Isaac into
giving the blessing to Jacob intended for Esau. One must read the whole
story in order to appreciate the blind confidence Isaac placed in
Rebekah's integrity; the pathos of his situation; the bitter
disappointment of Esau; Jacob's temptation, and the supreme wickedness
of Rebekah in deceiving Isaac, defrauding Esau, and undermining the
moral sense of the son she loved.

Having entirely undermined his moral sense, Rebekah fears the
influence of Jacob's marriage with a daughter of the Hittites, and she
sends him to her own people, to find a wife in the household of her
uncle Laban. This is indeed a sad record of the cruel deception that
Jacob and his mother palmed off on Isaac and Esau. Both verbal and
practical lying were necessary to defraud the elder son, and Rebekah
was equal to the occasion. Neither she nor Jacob faltered in the hour
of peril. Altogether it is a pitiful tale of greed and deception.
Alas! where can a child look for lessons in truth, honor, and
generosity, when the mother they naturally trust, sets at defiance
every principle of justice and mercy to secure some worldly advantage.
Rebekah in her beautiful girlhood at the well drawing water for man and
beast, so full of compassion, does not exemplify the virtues we looked
for, in her mature womanhood. The conjugal and maternal relations so
far from expanding her most tender sentiments, making the heart from
love to, one grow bountiful to all, seem rather to have narrowed hers
into the extreme of individual selfishness. In obedience to his
mother's commands, Jacob starts on his journey to find a fitting wife.
If Sarah and Rebekah are the types of womanhood the Patriarchs admired,
Jacob need not have gone far to find their equal.

In woman's struggle for freedom during the last half century, men have
been continually pointing her to the women of the Bible for examples
worthy imitation, but we fail to see the merits of their character,
their position, the laws and sentiments concerning them. The only
significance of dwelling on these women and this period of woman's
history, is to show the absurd ity of pointing the women of the
nineteenth century to these as examples of virtue.


E. C. S.



Keturah is spoken of as a concubine in I Chronicles i, 32. As such she
held a recognized legal position which implied no disgrace in those
days of polygamy, only the children of these secondary wives were not
equal in inheritance. For this reason the sons of Keturah had to be
satisfied with gifts while Isaac received the patrimony. Notice the
charge of Abimelech to his people showing the high sense of honor in
this Philistine. He seems also in the 10th verse to have realized the
terrible guilt that it would have been if one of them had taken
Rebekah, not knowing she was Isaac's wife. With all Rebekah's faults
she seems to have had things her own way and therefore she did not set
any marked example of wifely submission for women of to-day to
follow. Her great error was deceiving her husband to carry her point
and this is always the result where woman is deprived in any degree of
personal freedom unless she has attained high moral development.


C. B. C.





CHAPTER IX.



Genesis xxix.



1 Then Jacob went on his journey, and came into the land of the people
of the east.

3 And he looked, and behold a well in the field, and lo, there were
three flocks of sheep lying by it; for out of that well they watered
the flocks; and a great stone was upon the well's mouth.

3 And thither were all the flocks gathered, and they rolled the stone
from the well's mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the stone again
upon the well's mouth in his place.

4 And Jacob said unto them, My brethren, whence be ye? And they said,
Of Haran are we.

5 And he said unto them, Know ye Laban the son of Nahor? And they
said, we know him.

6 And he said unto them, Is he well? And they said, He is well: and
behold Rachel his daughter cometh with the sheep.

9 And while he yet spake with them, Rachel came with her father's
sheep: for she kept them.

10 And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban
his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban, his mother's brother, and
Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and
watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother.

11 And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice and wept.

12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's brother, and that he
was Rebekah's son: and she ran and told her father:

13 And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his
sister's son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed
him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things.

14 And Laban said to him, Surely thou art my bone and my flesh. And he
abode with him the space of a month.

15 And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother, shouldst
thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be?

18 And Jacob loved Rachel: and said, I will serve thee seven years for
Rachel thy younger daughter.

19 And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I
should give her to another man, abide with me.

20 And Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed unto him
but a few days, for the love he had to her.

21 If And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are
fulfilled.


Jacob's journey to the land of Canaan in search of a wife, and the
details of his courtship, have a passing interest with the ordinary
reader, interested in his happiness and success. The classic ground for
the cultivation of the tender emotions in these early days, seems to
have been near a well, where the daughters of those who were rich in
flocks and herds found opportunities to exhibit their fine points in
drawing water for men and cattle. From the records of these interesting
events, the girls seemed ready to accept the slightest advances from
passing strangers, and to give their hands and hearts as readily as
they gave a drink of water to the thirsty. Marriage was as simple a
contract as the purchase of a lamb, the lamb and the woman having about
an equal voice in the purchase, though the lamb was not quite as ready
to leave his accustomed grazing ground. Jacob loved Rachel at first
sight, and agreed to serve Laban seven years, but when the time expired
Laban did not keep his agreement, but insisted on Jacob taking the
other sister, and serving seven years more for Rachel. Jacob submitted,
but by the knowledge of a physiological law of which Laban was
ignorant, he revenged himself, and obtained all the strongest and best
of the flocks and herds. Thus in their business relations as well as in
family matters, the Patriarchs seem to have played as sharp games in
overreaching each other as the sons of our Pilgrim Fathers do to-day.
In getting all they could out of Laban, Jacob and Rachel seem to have
been of one mind.

A critical study of the Pentateuch is just now agitating the learned
classes in Germany. Bonn is an ancient stronghold of theological
learning, and two of the professors of its famous university have
recently exhibited a courage in Biblical criticism and interpretation
which has further extended the celebrity of the school, if it has not
added to its repute for orthodoxy. In a course of lectures held during
the university holidays, addressed to and largely attended by pastors,
they declared the Old Testament history to "be a series of legends, and
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob mythical persons." Israel, they declared, was
an idolatrous people, Jehovah being nothing more than a "God of the
Jewish Nation." This radical outbreak of criticism and interpretation
has aroused considerable attention throughout Germany, and a
declaration against it and other teachings of the kind has been signed
by some hundreds of pastors and some thousands of laymen, but so far it
has produced no effect whatever on the professors of Bonn, and there is
no prospect of its doing so. It is fortunate for the faith thus
assailed that the critical and rhetorical style of the ordinary German
professor is too heavy for export or general circulation. So that the
theories of Messrs. Graef and Meinhold are not likely to do the faith
of the Fatherland any particular harm. That country has always been
divided into two classes, one of which believes nothing and the
other everything, the latter numerically preponderant, but the former
exceeding in erudition and dialectic--a condition of things quite
certain to continue and on which a few essays more or less in
destructive criticism can produce little effect.


E. C. S.



Mrs. Stanton's statements concerning the undeveloped religious
sentiment of the early Hebrews cannot be criticized from the orthodox
standpoint as in this account, where the God of Abraham is represented
as taking an active personal interest in the affairs of the chosen
people, they did not trust wholly to Him, but kept images of the gods
of the neighboring tribes in their houses, Laban feeling sorry enough
over their loss to go seven days' journey to recover them while his
daughter felt she could not leave her father's house without taking the
images with her as a protection.

The faults of Laban, of Jacob and of most of his sons are brought out
without any reserve by the historian who follows the custom of early
writers in stating things exactly as they were. There was no secrecy
and little delicacy in connection with sexual matters. It may, however,
be noticed that while this people had the same crude notions about
these things that were common to other nations, yet every infraction of
the Divine law of monogamy, symbolized in the account of the creation
of woman in the second chapter of Genesis, brings its own punishment
whether in or out of the marriage relation. When one or another people
sinned against a Jewish woman the men of the family were the avengers,
as when the sons of Jacob slew a whole city to avenge an outrage
committed against their sister. Polygamy and concubinage wove a thread
of disaster and complications throughout the whole lives of families
and its dire effects are directly traceable in the feuds and
degeneration of their descendants. The chief lesson taught by history
is danger of violating, physically, mentally, or spiritually the
personal integrity of woman. Customs of the country and the cupidity
of Laban, forced polygamy on Jacob, and all the shadows in his life,
and he had no end of trouble in after years, are due to this. Perhaps
nothing but telling their stories in this brutally frank way would make
the lesson so plain.

If we search this narrative ever so closely it gives us no hint of
Divinely intended subordination of woman. Jacob had to buy his wives
with service which indicates that a high value was placed upon them.
Now-a-days in high life men demand instead of give. The degradation of
woman involved in being sold to a husband, to put it in the most
humiliating way, is not comparable to the degradation of having to buy
a husband. Euripides made Medea say: "We women are the most unfortunate
of all creatures since we have to buy our masters at so dear a price,"
and the degradation of Grecian women is repeated--all flower-garlanded
and disguised by show--in the marriage sentiments of our own
civilization. Jacob was dominated by his wives as Abraham and Isaac had
been and there is no hint of their subjection. Rachel's refusal to move
when the gods were being searched for, showed that her will was
supreme, nobody tried to force her to rise against her own desire.

The love which Jacob bore for Rachel has been through all time the
symbol of constancy. Seven years he served for her, and so great was
his love, so pure his delight in her presence that the time seemed but
as a day. Had this simple, absorbing affection not been interfered with
by Laban, how different would have been the tranquil life of Jacob and
Rachel, developing undisturbed by the inevitable jealousies and
vexations connected with the double marriage. Still this love was the
solace of Jacob's troubled life and remained unabated until Rachel died
and then found expression in tenderness for Benjamin. "the son of my
right hand." It was no accident, but has a great significance, that
this most ardent and faithful of Jewish lovers should have deeper
spiritual experiences than any of his predecessors.


C. B. C.





CHAPTER X.



Genesis xxix, xxxi.



18 And Jacob loved Rachel; and said I will serve thee seven years for
Rachel thy younger daughter.

19 And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I
should give her to another man; abide with me.

20 And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him
but a few days, for the love he had to her.

21 And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are
fulfilled.

22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place and made a
feast.

23 And it came to pass in the evening that be took Leah his daughter,
and brought her to him.

26 And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the
younger before the firstborn.

27 We will give thee Rachel also thou shalt serve with me yet seven
other years.

28 And Jacob did so, and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.

29 And it came to pass, when Rachel had borne Joseph, that Jacob
said unto Laban, Send me away, that I may go unto my mine own place,
and to my country.

26 Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served thee, and
let me go; for thou knowest my service which I have done thee.

17 Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon camels;

18 And he carried away all his cattle, and all his goods which he had
gotten, the cattle of his getting, which he had gotten in Padan-aram,
for to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan.

19 And Laban went to shear his sheep; and Rachel had stolen the images
that were her father's

20 And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that he told
him not that he fled;

22 And it was told Laban on the third day, that Jacob was fled.

23 And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven
days' journey; and they overtook him in the mount Gilead.


While Laban played his petty deceptions on Jacob, the latter proved
himself in fraud and overreaching fully his match. In being compelled
to labor fourteen years for Rachel instead of seven, as agreed upon, he
amply revenged himself in getting possession of all Laban's best
cattle, availing himself of a physiological law in breeding of which
Laban was profoundly ignorant.

The parting of Jacob and Laban was not amicable, although they did not
come to an open rupture. Rachel's character for theft and deception is
still further illustrated. Having stolen her father's images and hidden
them under the camel's saddles and furniture, and sat thereon, when her
father came to search for the images, which he valued highly, she said
she was too ill to rise, so she calmly kept her seat, while the tent
was searched and nothing found, thus by act as well as word, deceiving
her father.

Jacob and his wives alike seemed to think Laban fair game for fraud
and deception. As Laban knew his images were gone, he was left to
suspect that Jacob knew where they were, so little regard had Rachel
for the reputation of her husband. In making a God after their own
image, who approved of whatever they did, the Jews did not differ much
from ourselves; the men of our day talk too as if they reflected the
opinions of Jehovah on the vital questions of the hour. In our late
civil war both armies carried the Bible in their knapsacks, and both
alike prayed to the same God for victory, as if he could be in favor of
slavery and against it at the same time.

Like the women, too, who are working and praying for woman suffrage,
both in the state legislature and in their closets, and others against
it, to the same God and legislative assembly. One must accept the
conclusion that their acquaintance with the Lord was quite as limited
as our own in this century, and that they were governed by their own
desires and judgment, whether for good or evil, just as we are; their
plans by day and their dreams by night having no deeper significance
than our own. Some writers say that the constant interposition of God
in their behalf was because they needed his special care and attention.
But the irregularity and ignorance of their lives show clearly that
their guiding hand was of human origin. If the Jewish account is true,
then the God of the Hebrews falls far short of the Christian ideal of a
good, true manhood, and the Christian ideal as set forth in the New
Testament falls short of our ideal of the Heavenly Father to-day. We
have no fault to find with the Bible as a mere history of an ignorant,
undeveloped people, but when special inspiration is claimed for the
historian, we must judge of its merits by the moral standard of to-day,
and the refinement of the writer by the questionable language in which
he clothes his descriptions.

We have often wondered that the revising committees that have gone
over these documents so often, should have adhered so closely to such
gross translations. Surely a fact related to us in coarse language, is
not less a fact when repeated in choice, words. We need an expurgated
edition of most of the books called holy before they are fit to place
in the hands of the rising generation.

Some members of the Revising Committee write me that the tone of some
of my comments should be more reverent in criticising the "Word of
God." Does any one at this stage of civilization think the Bible was
written by the finger of God, that the Old and New Testaments emanated
from the highest divine thought in the universe? Do they think that all
the men who wrote the different books were specially inspired, and that
all the various revising committees that have translated, interpolated,
rejected some books and accepted others, who have dug round the roots
of the Greek and Hebrew to find out the true meaning, have one and all
been watched and guided in their literary labors by the great spirit of
the universe, who by immutable law holds the solar system in place,
every planet steadily moving in its own elliptic, worlds upon worlds
revolving in order and harmony?

These great object-lessons in nature and the efforts of the soul to
fathom the incomprehensible, are more inspiring than any written page.
To this "Word of God" I bow with reverence, and I can find no language
too exalted to express my love, my faith, my admiration.

To criticise the peccadilloes of Sarah, Rebekah and Rachel does not
shadow the virtues of Deborah, Huldah and Vashti; to condemn the laws
and customs of the Jews as recorded in the book of Genesis, does not
destroy the force of the golden rule and the ten commandments. Parts of
the Bible are so true, so grand, so beautiful, that it is a pity it
should have been bound in the same volume with sentiments and
descriptions so gross and immoral.


E. C. S.





CHAPTER XI.



Genesis xxxv.



8 But Deborah Rebekah's nurse died, and she was buried beneath Beth-el
under an oak; and the name of it was called Allonbachuth.

9 And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padan-aram,
and blessed him.

10 And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: Thy name shall not be
called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his
name Israel.

16 And they journeyed from Beth-el; and there was but a little way
to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labor.

17 The midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou, shalt have this son also.

18 And it came to pass as her soul was in departing (for she died),
that she called his name Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin.

19 And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is
Beth-lehem.

20 And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of
Rachel's grave unto this day.


Why Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, should be interjected here does not
appear. However, if all Isaac's and Jacob's children had been intrusted
to her care through the perils of infancy, it was fitting that the
younger generation with their father should pause in their journey and
drop a tear to her memory, and cultivate a tender sentiment for the old
oak tree at Bethel.

There is no manifestation of gratitude more beautiful in family life
than kindness and respect to servants for long years of faithful
service, especially for those who have watched the children night and
day, tender in sickness, and patient with all their mischief in health.
In dealing with children one needs to exercise all the cardinal
virtues, more tact, diplomacy, more honor and honesty than even an
ambassador to the Court of St. James. Children readily see whom they
can trust, on whose word they can rely.

In Rachel's hour of peril the midwife whispers sweet words of
consolation. She tells her to fear not, that she will have a son, and
he will be born alive. Whether she died herself is of small importance
so that the boy lived. Scott points a moral on the death of Rachel. He
thinks she was unduly anxious to have sons, and so the Lord granted her
prayers to her own destruction. If she had accepted with pious
resignation whatever weal or woe naturally fell to her lot, she might
have lived to a good old age, and been buried by Jacob's side at last,
and not left alone in Bethlehem. People who obstinately seek what they
deem their highest good, ofttimes perish in the attainment of their
ambition. (Thus Scott philosophizes.)

Jacob was evidently a man of but little sentiment. The dying wife
gasps a name for her son, but the father pays no heed to her request,
and chooses one to suit himself. Though we must admit that Benjamin is
more dignified than Ben-oni; the former more suited to a public
officer, the latter to a household pet. And now Rachel is gone, and her
race with Leah for children is ended. The latter with her maids is the
victor, for she can reckon eight sons, while Rachel with her; can
muster only four. One may smile at this ambition of the women for
children, but a man's wealth was estimated at that time by the number
of his children and cattle; women who had no children were objects of
pity and dislike among the Jewish tribes. The Jews of to-day have much
of the same feeling. They believe in the home sphere for all women,
that wifehood and motherhood are the most exalted offices. If they are
really so considered, why does every Jew on each returning Holy Day say
in reading the service, "I thank thee, oh Lord! that I was not born a
woman!"? And if Gentiles are of the same opinion, why do they consider
the education of boys more important than that of girls? Surely those
who are to fill the most responsible offices should have the most
thorough and liberal education.

The home sphere has so many attractions that most women prefer it to
all others. A strong right arm on which to lean, a safe harbor where
adverse winds never blow, nor rough seas roll, makes a most inviting
picture. But alas! even good husbands sometime die, and the family
drifts out on the great ocean of life, without chart or compass, or the
least knowledge of the science of navigation. In such emergencies the
woman trained to self-protection, self-independence, and self-support
holds the vantage ground against all theories on the home sphere.

The first mention we have of an aristocratic class of Kings and Dukes,
is in the line of Cain's descendants.



Genesis xxxvi.



18 And these are the sons of Aholibamah, Esau's wife: duke Jeush, duke
Jaalam, duke Korah: these were the dukes that came of Aholibamah the
daughter of Anah Esau's wife.


The name Aholibamah has a suggestion of high descent, but the
historian tells us nothing of the virtues or idiosyncrasies of
character, such a high-sounding name suggests, but simply that she was
the daughter of Anah, and the wife of Esau, and that she was blessed
with children, all interesting facts, which might have been intensified
with a knowledge of some of her characteristics, what she thought, said
and did, her theories of life in general. One longs all through Genesis
to know what the women thought of a strictly masculine dynasty.

Some writers claim that these gross records of primitive races, have a
deep spiritual meaning, that they are symbolical of the struggles of an
individual soul from animalism to the highest, purest development of
all the Godlike in man.

Some on the Revising Committee take this view, and will give us from
time to time more exalted interpretations than the account in plain
English conveys to the ordinary mind.

In my exegesis thus far, not being versed in scriptural metaphors and
symbols, I have attempted no scientific interpretation of the simple
narration, merely commenting on the supposed facts as stated. As the
Bible is placed in the hands of children and uneducated men and women
to point them the way of salvation, the letter should have no doubtful
meaning. What should we think of guide posts on our highways, if we
needed a symbolical interpreter at every point to tell us which way to
go? the significance of the letters? and the point of compass indicated
by the digital finger? Learned men have revised the Scriptures times
without number, and I do not propose to go back of the latest Revision.


E. C. S.





CHAPTER XII.



Genesis xxxix.



1 And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar an officer of
Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the
Ishmaelites, which bad brought him down thither.

2 And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he
was in the house of his master, the Egyptian.

4 And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made
him overseer over his house and all that he had he put into his hand.

7 And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife
cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she solicited him.

8 But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master
wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all
that he hath to my hand.

9 How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?

10 And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he
hearkened not unto her, and she caught him by his garment, and he left
his garment in her hand and fled.

13 And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in
her hand and was fled forth,

14 That she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them,
saying, See, he hath brought in a Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in
unto me, and I cried with a loud voice:

15 And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and
cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled.

16 And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home.

17 And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew
servant which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me:

18 And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he
left his garment with me, and fled out.

19 And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife,
that his wrath was kindled.

20 And Joseph's master took him; and put him into the prison, a place
where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.

211 But the Lord was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him
favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

22 And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the
prisoners that were in the prison; and whatever they did there, he was
the doer of it.


Potiphar's wife surpasses all the women yet mentioned in perfidy and
dishonor.

Joseph's virtues, his dignity, his honor, go far to redeem the
reputation of his ancestors, and the customs of his times. It would
have been generous, at least, if the editor of these pages could have
given us one woman the counterpart of Joseph, a noble, high-minded,
virtuous type. Thus far those of all the different nationalities have
been of an ordinary low type. Historians usually dwell on the virtues
of the people, the heroism of their deeds, the wisdom of their words,
but the sacred fabulist dwells on the most questionable behavior of the
Jewish race, and much in character and language that we can neither
print nor answer.

Indeed the Pentateuch is a long painful record of war, corruption,
rapine, and lust. Why Christians who wished to convert the heathen to
our religion should send them these books, passes all understanding. It
is most demoralizing reading for children and the unthinking masses,
giving all alike the lowest possible idea of womanhood, having no hope
nor ambition beyond conjugal unions with men they scarcely knew, for
whom they could not have had the slighest {sic} sentiment of
friendship, to say nothing of affection. There is no mention of women
except when the advent of sons is announced. When the Children of
Israel go down into Egypt we are told that the wives of Jacob's sons
were taken too, but we hear nothing of Jacob's wives or concubines,
until the death and burial of Leah is incidentally mentioned.
Throughout the book of Genesis the leading men declare from time to
that the Lord comes to them and promises great fruitfulness. A strange
promise in that it could only be fulfilled in questionable relations.
To begin with Abraham, and go through to Joseph, leaving out all
conjugal irregularities, we find Abraham and Sarah had Isaac, Isaac and
Rebekah had Jacob and Esau. Jacob and Rachel (for she alone was his
true wife), had Joseph and Benjamin. Joseph and Asenath had Manassah
and Ephraim. Thus giving the Patriarchs just seven legitimate
descendants in the first generation. If it had not been for polygamy
and concubinage, the great harvest so recklessly promised would have
been meagre indeed.



Genesis xli.



45 And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him
to wife Asenath the daughter of Potar-pherah priest of On. And Joseph
went out over all the land of Egypt.

46 And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king
of Egypt.

50 And unto Joseph were born two sons, before the years of the famine
came: which Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah priest of On bare unto
him.

51 And Joseph called the name of the first-born Manassah: For God,
said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house.

52 And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused
me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.


This is all we ever hear of Asenath, that she was a good woman,
probably worthy of Joseph, it is fair to infer, for had she been
otherwise her evil deeds would have been recorded. A few passing
remarks where ever we find the mention of woman is about all we can
vouchsafe. The writer probably took the same view of the virtuous woman
as the great Roman General who said "the highest praise for Caesar's
wife is that she should never be mentioned at all."

The texts on Lot's daughters and Tamar we omit altogether, as unworthy
a place in the "Woman's Bible." In the remaining chapters of Genesis,
the brethren of Joseph take leave of each other; the fathers bless
their sons and grandsons, and also take leave of each other, some to go
to remote parts of the country, some to die at a ripe old age. As
nothing is said of their wives and daughters, the historian probably
knew nothing of their occupations nor environments. Joseph was a
hundred and ten years old when he died. They embalmed him according to
the custom in Egypt, and put him in a coffin, and buried him in the
land of his fathers, where his brethren had promised to take his bones
after death to rest with his kindred at last.


E. C. S.



The literal translation of the first verse of chapter xxxix of Genesis
is as follows:

"And Joseph was brought down to Egypt, and Potiphar, Pharaoh's eunuch,
chief of the cooks, an Egyptian bought him of the Ishmaelites who
brought him down."

These facts which are given in Julia Smith's translation of the Bible
throw a new light on the story of Joseph and the woman who was
Potiphar's wife only in name.


L. D. B.






THE BOOK OF EXODUS.


CHAPTER 1.



Exodus i.



1 Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into
Egypt: every man and his household came with Jacob.

2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah,

3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin,

4 Dan, and Naphtali, Gad and Asher.

5 And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy
souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already.

15 And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the
name of the one was Shiphrah and the name of the other Puah.

16 And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew
women, and they bare a son, then ye shall kill him; but if it be a
daughter, then she shall live.

17 But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt
commanded them, but saved the men children alive.

18 And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them,
Why have ye done this thing and have saved the men children alive?

19 And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are
delivered ere the midwives come in unto them:

20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people
multiplied, and waxed very mighty.

21 And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made
them houses.

22 And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born
ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.


The Book of Exodus or the Departure, so called because of the escape
of the children of Israel from the land of Egypt, and their wanderings
in the wilderness for forty years, are herein recalled.

The unparalleled multiplication of the children of Israel renewed
Pharaoh's anxiety especially as the Israelites were very large and
strong as compared with the Egyptians, and their numbers were computed
to double every fourteen years. Hence their multitude and power grew
more formidable day by day in the eyes of the Egyptians, though they
feared their presence, yet as their labors added greatly to the wealth
of the nation, they were unwilling to let them go. Pharaoh hoped by
making their daily tasks much harder and killing all the male children
at birth, they, would be so crippled and dispirited that there would be
no danger of rebellion against his government.

For a list of the seventy souls, turn to Genesis, chapter xlvi, where
Dinah, Jacob's daughter, and Sarah, Asher's daughter, are mentioned
among the seventy souls. It is certainly curious that there should have
been only two daughters to sixty-eight sons. But perhaps the seventy
souls refer only to sons, and the daughters are merely persons, not
souls. It is not an uncommon idea with many nations that women have no
souls. A missionary to China tells of a native who asked him why he
preached the Gospel to women. "To save their souls, to be sure." "Why,"
said he, "women have no souls." "Yes they have," said the missionary.
When the thought dawned on the Chinaman that it might be true, he was
greatly amused, and said, "Well, I'll run home and tell my wife she has
a soul, and we will sit down and laugh together." We find at many
points that the Bible does not reckon women as souls. It may be that
because there is no future for them is the reason why they punish them
here more severely than they do men for the same crimes. Here it is
plainly asserted that all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob
were seventy in number. The meaning conveyed may be that the man
supplies the spirit and intellect of the race, and woman the body only.
Some late writers take this ground. If so, the phraseology would have
been more in harmony with the idea, if the seventy souls had emanated,
Minerva-like, from the brain of father Jacob, rather than from his
loins.

The children of Israel multiplied so rapidly that Pharaoh became
alarmed, lest the nation should become mightier than the Egyptians, so
he ordered all the males at birth to be slain. To this end he had a
private interview with the midwives, two women, Shiphrah and Puah, and
laid his commands upon them. But they did not obey his orders, and
excused themselves on the ground that the Jewish women seldom needed
their services. Here we have another example of women who "feared God,"
and yet used deception to accomplish what they deemed right.

The Hebrew God seemed to be well pleased with the deception, and gave
them each a house for their fidelity in saving the lives of
his chosen children. Such is the plain English of the story. Origen
ascribes a deep spiritual meaning to these passages, as more recent
writers and speakers do, making the whole Bible a collection of symbols
and allegories, but none of them are complimentary to our unfortunate
sex. Adam Clarke says if we begin by taking some parts of the
Scriptures figuratively we shall soon figure it all away. Though the
midwives in their comfortable homes enjoyed the approbation of God,
Pharaoh was not to be thwarted by their petty excuses, so he ordered
his own people to cast into the river every Jewish boy that was born.
We are so accustomed to the assumption that men alone form a nation,
that we forget to resent such texts as these. Surely daughters in
freedom could perpetuate family and national pride and honor, and if
allowed to wed the men of their choice, their children would vindicate
their ancestral dignity. The greatest block to advancing civilization
all along the line has been the degradation of woman. Having no
independent existence, no name, holding no place of honor or trust,
being mere subjects in the family, the birth of a son is naturally
considered more important than a daughter, as the one inherits because
of sex all the rights and privileges denied the other.

Shiphrah and Puah, Aben Ezra tells us, were probably at the head of
their profession, and instructed others in the science of obstetrics.
At this time there were five hundred midwives among the Hebrews. This
branch of the profession was, among the Egyptians, also in the hands of
the women. Statistics show that the ratio of deaths among mothers and
children at birth was far less than when under male supervision
exclusively.

Moses spent the first forty years of his life in Egypt, the next forty
with Jethro his father in law, and the next forty wandering in the
wilderness. One writer said the Lord must have buried Moses, and no one
ever knew where. There is no record of the burial place of Moses. As
his life had been surrounded with mysteries, perhaps to verify his
providential guidance in that long journey in the wilderness, he chose
to surround his death also with mystery, and arranged with members of
the priesthood to keep his last resting place a profound secret. He was
well versed in all the law and mythology of the Egyptians, and intended
the people should no doubt think that Jehovah had taken the great
leader to himself. For the purpose of controlling his followers in that
long journey through the wilderness, he referred all his commands and
actions to Jehovah. Moses declared that he met him face to face on
Mount Sinai, veiled in a cloud of fire, received minute instructions
how to feed and conduct the people, as well as to minister to their
moral and spiritual necessities. In order to enforce his teachings, he
said the ten commandments were written on tablets of stone by Jehovah
himself, and given into his hands to convey to the people, with many
ordinances and religious observances, to be sacredly kept. In this way
the Jewish religion and the Mosaic code were established.

As these people had no written language at that time, and could
neither read nor write, they were fitting subjects for all manner of
delusions and superstitions. The question naturally suggests itself to
any rational mind, why should the customs and opinions of this ignorant
people, who lived centuries ago, have any influence in the religious
thought of this generation?


E. C. S.





CHAPTER II.



Exodus ii.



1 And there went a man of the house of Levi and took to wife a
daughter of Levi.

2 And the woman bare a son: and when she saw that he was a goodly
child, she hid him three months.

3 And when she could not longer hide him she took for him an ark of
bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child
therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink.

4 And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.

5 And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the
river; and her maidens walked along by the river's side: and when she
saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it.

6 And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe
wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the
Hebrews' children.

7 Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter, Shall I go and call to
thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?

8 And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called
the child's mother.

9 And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and
nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the
child, and nursed it.

10 And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter,
and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said,
Because I drew him out of the water.

15 But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of
Midian: and he sat down by a well.

16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and
drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock.

17 And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and
helped them, and watered their flock.

18 And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that
ye are come so soon to day?

19 And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the
shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock.

20 And he said unto his daughters, And where is he? why is it that ye
have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread.

21 And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses
Zipporah his daughter.

22 And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershon: for he
said, I have been a stranger in a strange land.


The account of the birth of Moses, his mother's anxiety in protecting
him from the wrath of Pharaoh, and the goodness of the king's daughter,
make altogether an interesting story, and is almost the first touch of
sentiment with which the historian has refreshed us; a pleasant change
from the continued accounts of corruption, violence, lust, war and
petty falsehood, that have thus far marked the history of this people.
The only value of these records to us is to show the character of the
Jewish nation, and make it easy for us to reject their ideas as to the
true status of woman, and their pretension of being guided by the hand
of God, in all their devious wanderings. Surely such teachings as
these, should have no influence in regulating the lives of women in the
nineteenth century. Moses' conduct towards the seven daughters of the
priest at the well, shows that there were some sparks of chivalry here
and there in a few representative souls, notwithstanding the contempt
for the sex in general. These Hebrew wooings and weddings were
curiously similar, alike marked for the beauty and simplicity of the
daughters of the land, the wells, the flocks, the handsome strangers,
the strong, active young men who will prove so helpful in cultivating
the lands. The father-in-law usually gets the young husband completely
under his thumb, and we hear nothing of the dreaded mother-in-law of
the nineteenth century. If we go through this chapter carefully we will
find mention of about a dozen women, but with the exception of one
given to Moses, all are nameless. Then as now names for women and
slaves are of no importance; they have no individual life, and why
should their personality require a life-long name? To-day the woman is
Mrs. Richard Roe, to-morrow Mrs. John Doe, and again Mrs. James Smith
according as she changes masters, and she has so little self-respect
that she does not see the insult of the custom. We have had in this
generation one married woman in England, and one in America, who had
one name from birth to death, and though married they kept it. Think of
the inconvenience of vanishing as it were from your friends and,
correspondents three times in one's natural life.

In helping the children of Israel to escape from the land of Egypt the
Lord said to Moses:



Exodus iii.



19 And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not
by a mighty hand.

20 And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders
which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go.

21 And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians:
and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty:

22 But every woman shall borrow of her neighhour, and of her that
sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and
raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters;
and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.


The role assigned the women, in helping the children of Israel to
escape in safety from bondage, is by no means complimentary
to their heroism or honesty. To help bear the expenses of the journey,
they were instructed to steal all the jewels of silver and gold, and
all the rich raiment of the Egyptian ladies. The Lord and Moses no
doubt went on the principle that the Israelites had richly earned all
in the years of their bondage. This is the position that some of our
good abolitionists took, when Africans were escaping from American
bondage, that the slaves had the right to seize horses, boats, anything
to help them to Canada, to find safety in the shadow of the British
lion. Some of our pro-slavery clergymen, who no doubt often read the
third chapter of Exodus to their congregations, forgot the advice of
Moses, in condemning the abolitionists; as the Americans had stolen the
African's body and soul, and kept them in hopeless bondage for
generations--they had richly earned whatever they needed to help them
to the land of freedom. Stretch the principle of natural rights a
little further, and ask the question, why should women, denied all
their political rights, obey laws to which they have never given their
consent, either by proxy or in person? Our fathers in an inspired
moment said, "No just government can be formed without the consent of
the governed."

Women have had no voice in the canon law, the catechisms, the church
creeds and discipline, and why should they obey the behests of a
strictly masculine religion, that places the sex at a disadvantage in
all life's emergencies?

Our civil and criminal codes reflect at many points the spirit of the
Mosaic. In the criminal code we find no feminine pronouns, as "He,"
"His," "Him," we are arrested, tried and hung, but singularly enough,
we are denied the highest privileges of citizens, because the pronouns
"She," "Hers" and "Her," are not found in the constitutions. It is a
pertinent question, if women can pay the penalties of their crimes as
"He," why may they not enjoy the privileges of citizens as "He"?


E. C. S.





CHAPTER III.



Exodus iv.



18 And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father in law, and said
unto him, let me go, I pray thee, and return unto my brethren which are
in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive. And Jethro said to Moses,
Go in peace.

19 And the Lord said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for
all the men are dead which sought thy life.

20 And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and
he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his
hand.

21 And the Lord said unto Moses, when thou goest to return into Egypt,
see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in
thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the
people go.

22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my
son, even my firstborn:

23 And I say unto thee, let my son go, that he may serve me: and if
thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy
firstborn:

24 And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the Lord met him,
and sought to kill him.

25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and circumcised her son.

26 So he let him go.


When Moses married Zipporah he represented himself as a stranger who
desired nothing better than to adopt Jethro's mode of life, But now
that he desired to see his own people, his wife has no choice but to
accompany him. So Moses took his wife and his sons and set them on an
ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt.

The reason the Lord met them and sought to kill the son, was readily
devined by Zipporah; her son had not been circumcised; so with woman's
quick intuition and natural courage to save the life of her husband,
she skillfully performed the necessary operation, and the travellers
went on their way rejoicing. The word circumcision seems to have a very
elastic meaning "uncircumcised lips" is used to describe that want of
power to speak fluently, from which Moses suffered and which he so
often deplored.

As in every chapter of Jewish history this rite is dwelt upon it is
worthy of remark that its prominence as a religious observance means a
disparagement of all female life, unfit for offerings, and unfit to,
take part in religious services, incapable of consecration. The
circumcision of the heart even, which women might achieve, does not
render them fit to take an active part in any of the holy services of
the Lord. They were permitted to violate the moral code of laws to
secure liberty for their people, but they could not officiate in any
of the sacraments, nor eat of the consecrated bread at meals. Although
the Mosaic code and customs so plainly degrade the female sex, and
their position in the church to-day grows out of these ancient customs,
yet many people insist that our religion dignifies women. But so long
as the Pentateuch is read and accepted as the Word of God, an undefined
influence is felt by each generation that, destroys a proper respect
for all womankind.

It is the contempt that the canon and civil law alike express for
women that has multiplied their hardships and intensified man's, desire
to hold them in subjection. The sentiment that statesmen and bishops
proclaim in their high places are responsible for the actions of the
lower classes on the highways. We scarce take up a paper that does not
herald some outrage committed on a matron on her way to church, or the
little girl gathering wild flowers on her way to school; yet you cannot
go so low down in the scale of being as to find men who will enter our
churches to desecrate the altars or toss about the emblems of the
sacrament; because they have been educated with some respect for
churches, altars and sacraments. But where are any lessons of respect
taught for the mothers of the human family? And yet as the great factor
in the building of the race are they not more sacred than churches,
altars, sacraments or the priesthood?

Do our sons in their law schools, who read the old common law of
England and its commentators, rise from their studies with higher
respect for women? Do our sons in their theological seminaries rise
from their studies of the Mosaic laws and Paul's epistles with higher
respect for their mothers? Alas! in both cases they may have learned
their first lessons of disrespect and contempt. They who would protect
their innocent daughters from the outrages so common to-day, must lay
anew the foundation stones of law and gospel in justice and equality,
in a profound respect of the sexes for each other.


E. C. S.





CHAPTER IV.



Exodus xii.



12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will
smite all the firstborn in tile land of Egypt, both man and beast: and
against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.

18 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye
are: and when I see that blood, I will pass over you, and the plague
not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

43 And the Lord said unto Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of
the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof:

44 But every man's servant that is bought for money, when thou hast
circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof.

45 A foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof.

46 In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of
the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone
thereof.

47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it.

48 And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the
passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let
him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the
land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof.


In commemoration of this promise of the Lord's to pass over their
homes in executing vengeance on the Egyptians, and of the prolonged
battles between Jehovah and Moses on the one side, and Pharaoh and his
Cabinet on the other, the Jews held an annual feast to which all
circumcised males were summoned. The point of interest to us is whether
women were disqualified, not being circumcised, or whether as members
of the congregation they could slip in under the provision in the 47th
verse, and enjoy the unleavened bread and nice roast lamb with the men
of their household. It seems from the above texts that this blessed
feast of deliverance from bondage must have been confined to males,
that they only, could express, their joy and gratitude. But women were
permitted to perform a subordinate part in the grand hegira, beside
carrying their respective infants they manifested their patriotism by
stealing all the jewels of gold and silver, all the rich silks and
velvets from their Egyptian neighbors, all they could carry, according
to the commands of Moses. And why should these women take any part in
the passover; their condition remained about the same under all
dynasties in all lands. They were regarded merely as necessary factors
in race building. As Jewish wives or Egyptian concubines, there was no
essential difference in their social status.

As Satan, represented by a male snake, seemed to be women's counsellor
from the beginning, making her skillful in cunning and tergiversation,
it is fair to suppose that they were destined to commune with the
spirit of evil for ever and ever, that is if women have souls and are
immortal, which is thought to be doubtful by many nations. There is no
trace thus far that the Jews believed in a future state, good or bad.
No promise of immortality is held out to men even. So far the promise
to them is a purely material triumph, "their seed shall not fill the
earth."

The firstborn of males both man and beast are claimed by the Lord as
his own. From the general sentiment expressed in the various texts, it
is evident that Satan claims the women as his own. The Hebrew God had
very little to say in regard to them. If the passover, the lamb and the
unleavened bread, were necessary to make the males acceptable in
religious services, the females could find no favor in the eyes of
either God or man.

In most of the sacrifices female animals are not accepted, nor a male,
born after a female by the same parent. Males are the race, females
only the creatures that carry it on. This arrangement must be
providential, as it saves men from many disabilities. Men never fail to
dwell on maternity as a disqualification for the possession of many
civil and political rights. Suggest the idea of women having a voice in
making laws and administering the Government in the halls of
legislation, in Congress, or the British Parliament, and men will
declaim at once on the disabilities of maternity in a sneering
contemptuous way, as if the office of motherhood was undignified and
did not comport with the highest public offices in church and state. It
is vain that we point them to Queen Victoria, who has carefully reared
a large family, while considering and signing all state papers. She has
been a pattern wife and mother, kept a clean court, and used her
influence as far as her position would admit, to keep peace with all
nations. Why should representative American women be incapable of
discharging similar public and private duties at the same time in an
equally commendable manner?


E. C. S.





CHAPTER V.



Exodus xviii.



1 When Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father in law, heard of
all that God had done for Moses, and for Israel his people, and that
the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt;

2 Then Jethro, Moses' father in law, took Zipporah, Moses' wife, after
he had sent her back.

3 And her two sons; of which the name of one was Gershom; for he said,
I have been an alien in a strange land:

4 And the name of the other was Eliezer: for the God of my father,
said he, was mine help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh;

5 And Jethro, Moses father in law, came with his sons and his wife
unto Moses into the wilderness, where he encamped at the mount of God:

6 And he said unto Moses, I thy father in law Jethro am come unto
thee, and thy wife, and her two sons with her.

7 And Moses went out to meet his father in law, and did obeisance,
and kissed him, and they asked each other of their welfare; and they
came into the tent.

8 And Moses told his father in law all that the Lord had done unto the
Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel's sake, and all the travail
that had come upon them by the way, and how the Lord delivered them.


After a long separation the record of the meeting between Moses and
his wife Zipporah I,; very unsatisfactory to the casual reader. There
is some sentiment in the meeting of Jethro and Moses, they embraced and
kissed each other. How tender and beautiful the seeming relation to a
father in law, more fortunate than the mother in law in our time.
Zipporah like all the women of her time was hustled about, sent forward
and back by husbands and fathers, generally transported with their sons
and belongings on some long-suffering jackass. Nothing is said of the
daughters, but the sons, their names and their significance seem of
vital importance. We must smile or heave a sigh at all this injustice,
but different phases of the same guiding principle blocks woman's way
to-day to perfect liberty. See the struggle they have made to gain
admittance to the schools and colleges, the trades and professions,
their civil and political rights. The darkest page in history is the
persecutions of woman.

We take note of these discriminations of sex, and reiterate them again
and again to call the attention of women to the real source of their
multiplied disabilities. As long as our religion teaches woman's
subjection and man's right of domination, we shall have chaos in the
world of morals. Women are never referred to as persons, merely as
property, and to see why, you must read the Bible until you also see
how many other opportunities for the exercise of sex were given to
men, and why the single one of marriage to one husband was allowed to
women.

In all the directions given Moses, for the regulation of the social
and civil life of the children of Israel, and in the commandments on
Mount Sinai, it is rarely that females are mentioned. The regulations
are chiefly for males, the offerings are male, the transgressions
referred to are male.

When the Lord was about to give the ten commandments to the children
of Israel he gave the most minute directions as to the preparatory
duties of the people. It is evident from the text that males only were
to witness Moses' ascent to Mount Sinai and the coming of the Lord in a
cloud of fire.



Exodus xix.



12 And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take
heed to yourselves, that ye go not up in to the mount, or touch the
border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to
death..

13 There shall not a hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or
shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the
trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.

14 And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified
the people; and they washed their clothes.

16 And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come
not at your wives.

The children of Israel were to sanctify themselves for this great
event. Besides a thorough cleaning of their persons and clothes, they
were to have no affiliations or conversations with women for the space
of three days. The Hebrew laws regulating the relations of men and
women are never complimentary to the latter.

This feeling was in due time cultivated in the persecutions women
endured under witchcraft and celibacy, when all women were supposed to
be in collusion with the spirit of evil, and every man was warned that
the less he had to do with the "daughters of men" the more perfect
might be his communion with the Creator. Lecky in his History of
Rationalism shows what women endured when these ideas were prevalent,
and their sufferings were not mitigated until rationalism took the
place of religion, and reason trumphed {sic} over superstition.


E. C. S.





CHAPTER VI.



Exodus xv.



20 And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in
her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with
dances.

21 And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath
triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the
sea.


After many previous disappointments from Pharaoh, the children of
Israel were permitted to start from Egypt and cross the Red Sea, while
Pharaoh and his host in pursuit, were overwhelmed in the waters.

Then Moses and the children of Israel expressed their gratitude to the
Lord in a song, comprising nineteen verses, while Miriam and the women
expressed theirs in the above two. Has this proportion any significance
as to the comparative happiness of the men and the women, or is it a
poor attempt by the male historian to make out that though the women
took part in the general rejoicing, they were mutinous or sulky. We
know that Miriam was not altogether satisfied with the management of
Moses at many points of the expedition, and later on expressed her
dissatisfaction. If their gratitude is to be measured by the length of
their expression, the women were only one-tenth as grateful as the men.
It must always be a wonder to us, that in view of their degradation,
they ever felt like singing or dancing, for what desirable change was
there in their lives--the same hard work or bondage they suffered in
Egypt. There, they were all slaves together, but now the men, in their
respective families were exalted above their heads. Clarke gives the
song in metre with a chorus, and says the women, led by Miriam,
answered in a chorus by themselves which greatly heightened the effect.



Exodus xvi.



23 And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, To
morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord: bake that which
ye will bake to-day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which
remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.

29 See, for that the Lord hath given you the sabbath, therefore he
giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man
in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.

30 So the people rested on the seventh day.


In these texts we note that the work of men was done on the sixth day,
but the women must work as usual on the seventh. We see the same thing
to-day, woman's work is never done. What irony to say to them rest on
the seventh day. The Puritan fathers would not let the children romp or
play, nor give their wives a drive on Sunday, but they enjoyed a better
dinner on the Sabbath than any other day; yet the xxxi chapter and 15th
verse contains the following warning:


15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of
rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he
shall surely be put to death.


As the women continued to work and yet seemed to live in the flesh, it
may refer to the death of their civil rights, their individuality, as
nonentities without souls or personal responsibility.

A critical reading of the ten commandments will show that they are
chiefly for men. After purifying themselves by put ting aside their
wives and soiled clothes, they assembled at the foot of Mount Sinai. We
have no hint of the presence of a woman. One commandment speaks of
visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children. There is an
element of justice in this, for to talk of children getting iniquities
from their mothers, in a history of males, of fathers and sons, would
be as ridiculous as getting them from the clothes they wore.

"Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work." With the majority of
women this is impossible. Men of all classes can make the Sabbath a day
of rest, at least a change of employment, but for women the same
monotonous duties must be performed. In the homes of the rich and poor
alike, most women cook, clean, and take care of children from morning
till night. Men must have good dinners Sundays above all other days, as
then they have plenty of time in which to eat. If the first born male
child lifts up his voice at the midnight hour, the female attendant
takes heed to his discontent; if in the early morning at the cock
crowing, or the eventide, she is there. They who watch and guard the
infancy of men are like faithful sentinels, always on duty.

The fifth commandment will take the reader by surprise. It is rather
remarkable that the young Hebrews should have been told to honor their
mothers, when the whole drift of the teaching thus far has been to
throw contempt on the whole sex. In what way could they show their
mothers honor? All the laws and customs forbid it. Why should they make
any such manifestations? Scientists claim that the father gives the
life, the spirit, the soul, all there is of most value in existence.
Why honor the mother, for giving the mere covering of flesh. It was not
her idea, but the father's, to start their existence. He thought of
them, he conceived them. You might as well pay the price of a sack of
wheat to the field, instead of the farmer who sowed it, as to honor the
mother for giving life. According to the Jewish code, the father is the
great factor in family life, the mother of minor consideration. In the
midst of such teachings and examples of the subjection and degradation
of all womankind, a mere command to honor the mother has no
significance.


E. C. S.





CHAPTER VII.



Exodus xxxii.



1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the
mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said
unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this
Moses, the man that brought us up out of land of Egypt, we wot not what
is become of him.

2 And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are
in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and
bring them unto me.

And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their
ears, and brought them unto Aaron.

And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving
tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy
gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made
proclamation, and said, To-morrow is a feast to the Lord.

6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings,
and brought peace offerings, and the people sat down to eat and to
drink, and rose up to play.

7 And the Lord said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people,
which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted
themselves.


So tired were the children of Israel waiting at the foot of Mount
Sinai for the return of Moses, that Aaron to pacify them made a golden
calf which they worshipped. To procure the gold he took the jewelry of
the women young and old, men never understanding how precious it is to
them, and the great self-sacrifice required to part with it. But as the
men generally give it to them during courtship, and as wedding
presents, they feel that they have a vested right therein for
emergencies.

It was just so in the American Revolution, in 1776, the first delicacy
the men threw overboard in Boston harbor was the tea, woman's favorite
beverage. The tobacco and whiskey, though heavily taxed, they clung to
with the tenacity of the devil-fish. Rather than throw their luxuries
overboard they would no doubt have succumbed to King George's
pretensions. Men think that self-sacrifice is the most charming of all
the cardinal virtues for women, and in order to keep it in healthy
working order, they make opportunities for its illustration as often as
possible. I would fain teach women that self-development is a higher
duty than self-sacrifice.

The pillar of cloud for day and light for night, that went before the
children of Israel in the wilderness, was indeed a marvel. It was an
aqueous cloud that kept them well watered by day, and shadowed from the
heat of the sun; by night it showed its light side to the Israelites,
and its dark side to whatever enemy might pursue them. It is supposed
that about 3,200,000 started on this march with 165,000 children. They
carried all their provisions, cooking utensils, flocks, herds and all
the gold, silver, precious stones and rich raiment that they borrowed
(stole) of the Egyptians, besides the bones of the twelve sons of
Jacob. It is said the Israelites spent forty years wandering in the
wilderness, kept there because of their wickedness, though they might
have accomplished the journey in a few weeks. They disobeyed the
commandments given them by Moses, and worshipped a golden calf, so they
journeyed through deep waters, woe and tribulation. Fire was always a
significant emblem of Deity, not only among the Hebrews but many other
ancient nations, hence men have adopted it as a male emblem. They talk
of Moses seeing God; but Moses says: "ye saw no manner of similitude on
the day the Lord spoke unto me on Mount Horeb out of the cloud of fire."


E. C. S.





CHAPTER VIII.



Exodus xxxiv.



12 Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the
inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in
the midst of thee;

13 But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down
their groves:

14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, who is a jealous
God.

15 Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and
they go after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one
call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice;

16 And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters
go after their gods, and make thy sons go after their gods.

23 Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the
Lord God, the God of Israel.

24 For I will cast out the nations before thee, and enlarge thy
borders; neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up
to appear before the Lord thy God thrice in the year.

25 Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither
shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left unto the
morning.

26 The first of the first fruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the
house of the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's
milk.


The Jews did not seem to have an abiding faith in the attractions of
their own religion. They evidently lived in constant fear lest their
sons and daughters should worship the strange gods of other nations.
They seem also to have had most exaggerated fears as to the influence
alien women might exert over their sons. Three times in the year all
the men were to appear before the Lord. Why the women were not
commanded to appear has been a point of much questioning. Probably the
women, then as now, were more conscientious in their religious duties,
and not so susceptible to the attractions of alien men and their
strange gods.

If the Lord had talked more freely with the Jewish women and impressed
some of his wise commands on their hearts, they would have had a more
refined and religious influence on the men of Israel. But all their
knowledge of the divine commands was second hand and through an
acknowledged corrupt medium.

"Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk." After all the
learning critics have bestowed on this passage, the simple meaning, says
Adam Clarke, seems to be this: Thou shalt do nothing that may have a
tendency to blunt thy moral feelings, or teach thee hardness of heart.
Even human nature shudders at the thought of taking the mother's milk to
seethe the flesh of her own dead lamb. With all their cruelty towards
alien tribes and all their sacrifices of lambs and kids, there is an
occasional touch of tenderness for animal life among the Hebrews that is
quite praiseworthy.



Exodus xxxvi.



22 And they came, both men and women, as many, as were willing
hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets,
all jewels of gold; and every man offered an offering of gold unto the
Lord.

23 And every man, with whom was found blue, and purple, and scarlet,
and fine linen, and goats hair, and red skins of rams, and badgers'
skins, brought them.

25 And all the women that were wise hearted did spin with their hands,
and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and
of scarlet, and of fine linen.

26 And all the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun goats'
hair.


Women were always considered sufficiently clean to beg, work and give
generously for the building and decoration of churches, and the support
of the priesthood. They might always serve as inferiors, but never
receive as equals.

Great preparations were made for building the Tabernacle, and all the
willing hearted were invited to bring all their ornaments and all
manner of rich embroideries, and brilliant fancy work of scarlet, blue
and purple. As usual in our own day the Jewish women were allowed to
give generously, work untiringly and beg eloquently to build altars and
Tabernacles to the Lord, to embroider slippers and make flowing robes
for the priesthood, but they could not enter the holy of holies or take
any active part, in the services.

Some women in our times think these unhappy Jewesses would have been
much "wiser hearted" if they had kept their jewelry and beautiful
embroideries to decorate themselves and their homes, where they were at
least satellites of the dinner pot and the cradle, and Godesses {sic} at
their own altars. Seeing they had no right inside the sacred Temple, but
stood looking-glass in hand at the door, it would have indicated more
self-respect to have washed their hands of all that pertained to male
ceremonies, altars and temples. But the women were wild with enthusiasm,
just as they are to-day with fairs and donation parties, to build
churches, and they brought such loads of bric-a-brac that at last Moses
compelled them to stop, as the supply exceeded all reasonable demand.
But for the building of the Tabernacle the women brought all they deemed
most precious, even the most necessary and convenient articles of their
toilets.



Exodus xxxviii.



8 And he made the laver of brass, and the foot of it of brass, of
the looking glasses of the women assembling at the door of the
tabernacle of the congregation.


The men readily accepted the sacrifice of all their jewelry, rich
laces, velvets and silks, their looking glasses of solid precious
metal. These being made of metal could be used for building purposes.
The women carried these with them wherever they went, and always stood
with them in hand at the door of the Tabernacle, as they were the
doorkeepers standing outside to watch and guard the door from those not
permitted to enter.

An objective view of the manner these women were imposed upon,
wheedled and deceived with male pretensions and the pat use of the
phrase "thus saith the Lord," must make every one who reads indignant
at the masculine assumption, even at this late day.


E. C. S.



At every stage of his existence Moses was indebted to some woman for
safety and success. Miriam, by her sagacity, saved his life. Pharaoh's
daughter reared and educated him and made the way possible for the high
offices he was called to fill; and Zipporah, his wife, a woman of
strong character and decided opinions, often gave him good advice.
Evidently from the text she criticised his conduct and management as a
leader, and doubted his supernatural mission, for she refused to go out
of Egypt with him, preferring to remain with her sons under her
father's roof--Jethro, a priest of Midian. After the destruction of
Pharaoh's host, when the expedition, led by Moses seemed to be an
assured success, she followed with her father to join the leader of the
wandering Israelites. (Chapter xviii, 2.)

In the ordinances which follow the ten commandments, exact judgment
and cruel punishment are ordained alike for man and
woman; life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand and
foot for foot (Chapter xxi, 23).

In pronouncing punishments, woman's individuality and responsibility
are always fully recognized, alike in the canon and civil laws, which
reflect the spirit of the Mosaic code.



Exodus xxii.



21 Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were
strangers in the land of Egypt.

22 Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child.

23 If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I
will surely hear their cry;

24 And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword, and
your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless:

This special threat against those who oppress the widow and the
fatherless, has a touch of tenderness and mercy, but if the vengeance
is to make more widows and fatherless, the sum of human misery is
increased rather than diminished. As to the stranger, after his country
has been made desolate, his cities burned, his property, cattle, lands
and merchandise all confiscated, kind words and alms would be but a
small measure of justice under any circumstances.

In closing the book of Exodus, the reader must wonder that the faith
and patience of the people, in that long sorrowful march through the
wilderness, held out as long as it did. Whether fact or fiction, it is
one of the most melancholy records in human history. Whether as a mere
work of the imagination, or the real experience of an afflicted people,
our finer sentiments of pity and sympathy find relief only in doubts of
its truth.


L. D. B.





THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS.


CHAPTER I.



Leviticus iv, vi.



22 When a ruler hath sinned and somewhat through ignorance, against
any of the commandments of the Lord his God concerning things which
should not be done, and is guilty.

23 Or if his sin, wherein he hath sinned, come to his knowledge; he
shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a male without blemish:

27 And if any one of the common people sin through ignorance, while
he doeth somewhat against any of the commandments of the Lord
concerning things which ought not to be done, and be guilty:

28 Then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female
without blemish, for his sin.

24 And this is the law of the meat offering: the sons of Aaron shall
offer it before the Lord, before the altar.

15 And he shall take of it his handful, of the flour of the meat
offering, and of the oil thereof, and all the frankincense which is
upon the meat offering, and shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet
savour, even the memorial of it, unto the Lord.

18 All the males among the children of Aaron shall eat of it. It shall
be a statute for ever in your generations concerning the offerings of
the Lord made by fire: every one that toucheth them shall be holy.


There seems to have been some distinction of sex even in the offerings
of male and female animals. For rulers, priests and people of
distinction male animals were required, but for the common people a
female lamb or goat would do. There is a difference of opinion among
writers as to the reason of this custom, some say because all female
animals were considered unclean, others that the females were too
valuable for wholesale slaughter. Farmers use the male fowls for the
table because the hens are too valuable producing eggs and chickens.
The fact has some significance, though Adam Clarke throws no light on
it, he says--"the whole sacrificial system in this book refers to the
coming sacrifice of Christ; without this spiritual reference, the
general reader can feel no spiritual interest in this book" For burnt
offerings males were required, but for peace offerings and minor sins
the female would answer.

As the idea of sacrifice to unknown gods, was the custom with all
nations and religions, why should the Jewish have more significance
than that of any other people. For swearing, an offence to ears polite,
rather than eternal justice, a female creature or turtle dove might be
offered.

The meat so delicately cooked by the priests, with wood and coals in
the altar, in clean linen, no woman was permitted to taste, only the
males among the children of Aaron. Seeing that the holy men were the
cooks, it seems like a work of supererogation to direct them to clean
themselves and their cooking utensils. Perhaps the daughters of Israel
were utilized for that work.

It is clearly shown that child-bearing among the Jews was not
considered a sacred office and that offerings to the Lord were
necessary for their purification, and that double the time was
necessary after the birth of a daughter.

In several of the following chapters the sins of men and women are
treated on equal grounds, hence they need no special comments. In
reading many of these chapters we wonder that an expurgated edition of
these books was not issued long ago. We trust the volume we propose to
issue may suggest to the next Revising Committee of gentlemen the
propriety of omitting many texts that are gross and obscene, especially
if the Bible is to be read in our public schools.



Leviticus x.



12 And Moses spake unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar,
his sons that were left, Take the meat offering that remaineth of the
offerings of the Lord made by fire, and eat it without leaven beside
the altar: for it is most holy.

13 And ye shall eat it in the holy place, because it is thy due, and
thy sons' due, of the sacrifices of the Lord made by fire: for so I am
commanded.

14 And the wave breast and heave shoulder shall ye eat in a clean
place; thou, and thy sons, and thy daughters with thee: for they be thy
due, and thy sons' due, which are given out of the sacrifices of peace
offerings of the children of Israel.


Why the daughters cannot eat with the sons in the thirteenth verse and
may in the fourteenth we cannot conjecture. We notice, however, that
where the sons eat alone is called a "holy place," where the daughters
eat with them it is called simply a "clean place." We are thankful,
however, that in the distribution of meats the women come in
occasionally for a substantial meal in a
clean place.

All the directions given in the eighteenth chapter are for men and
women alike, for all nations and all periods of human development. The
social habits and sanitary conditions prescribed are equally good for
our times as when given by Moses to the children of Israel. The virtue
of cleanliness so sedulously taught cannot be too highly commended.


E. C. S.





CHAPTER II.



Leviticus xix.



3 If ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my
sabbaths: I am the Lord your God.

20 If And whosoever cohabits with a bondmaid, betrothed to a husband,
and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged:
they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.

21 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the Lord, unto the
door of the tabernacle of the congregation, even a ram for a trespass
offering.

22 And the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the
trespass offering before the Lord for his sin which he hath done: and
the sin which he hath done shall be forgiven him.


By what possible chance the mother is mentioned first here, it is
difficult to conjecture, but we do see the cruel injustice of the
comparative severity of the punishment for man and woman for the same
offence. The woman is scourged, the man presents the priest with a ram
and is forgiven.



Leviticus xx.



9 If For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be
surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood
shall be upon him.

21 And if a man shall take his brother's wife, it is an unclean thing:
he hath uncovered his brother's nakedness; they shall be childless.

27 A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a
wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with
stones; their blood shall be upon them.


Clarke remarks that all language that tends to lessen respect for
father or mother, is included in this judgment. In this chapter we have
still further directions for race and family purity. I suppose in the
21st verse we have that stumbling-block in the British Parliament
whenever the deceased wife's sister's bill comes up for passage. Here,
too, those who in times past have persecuted witches, will find
justification for their cruelties. The actors in one of the blackest
pages in human history, claim Scripture authority for their infernal
deeds. Far into the eighteenth century in England, the clergy dragged
innocent women into the courts as witches, and learned judges
pronounced on them the sentence of torture and death. The chapter on
witchcraft in Lecky's History of Rationalism, contains the most
heartrending facts in human history. It is unsafe to put unquestioned
confidence in all the vagaries of mortal man. While women were
tortured, drowned and burned by the thousands, scarce one wizard to a
hundred was ever condemned. The marked distinction in the treatment of
the sexes, all through the Jewish dispensation, is curious and
depressing, especially as we see the trail of the serpent all through
history, wherever their form of religion has made its impress. In the
old common law of our Saxon fathers, the Jewish code is essentially
reproduced. This same distinction of sex appears in our own day. One
code of morals for men, another for women. All the opportunities and
advantages of life for education, self-support and self-development
freely accorded boys, have, in a small measure, been reluctantly
conceded to women after long and persevering struggles.



Leviticus xxii.



12 If the priest's daughter also be married unto a stranger, she may
not eat of an offering of the holy things.

13 But if the priest's daughter be a widow, or divorced, and have no
child, and is returned unto her father's house, as in her youth, she
shall eat of her father's meat: but there shall no stranger eat thereof.


These restrictions on the priests' daughters would never be tolerated
by the priests' sons should they marry strangers. The individuality of
a woman, the little she ever possessed, is obliterated by marriage.



Leviticus xxiv.



10 And the son of an Israelitish woman, whose father was an
Egyptian, went out among the children of Israel: and this son of the
Israelitish woman and a man of Israel strove together in the camp;

11 And the Israelitish woman's son blasphemed the name of the LORD,
and cursed. And they brought him unto Moses: (and his mother's name was
Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan:)


The interesting fact here is that a woman is dignified by a name, the
only one so mentioned in the book of Leviticus. This is probably due to
the fact that the son's character was so disreputable that he would
reflect no lustre on his father's family, and so on his maternal
ancestors rested his disgrace. If there had been anything good to tell
of him, reference would no doubt have been made to his male progenitors.



Leviticus xxvi.



26 And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall
bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread
again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied.

29 And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your
daughters shall ye eat.


There could be no greater punishment in ordinary life than for ten
women to bake in one oven. As every woman would necessarily look at her
pies and cakes two or three times, that would involve a frequent
looking in, which might make the contents heavy as lead. A current of
cold air rushing in too often, would wreck the most perfect compound.
But perhaps heavy bread was intended as part of the punishment of the
people for their sins. Some commentators say that the labors of the ten
women are symbolical of the poverty of the family. When people are in
fortunate circumstances, the women are supposed, like the lilies of the
valley, to neither toil nor spin, but when the adverse winds blow they
suddenly find themselves compelled to use their own brains and hands or
perish.

The 29th verse at last gives us one touch of absolute equality, the
right to be eaten. This Josephus tells us really did occur in the
sieges of Samaria by Benhadad, of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, and also
in the last siege of Jerusalem by the Romans.


E. C. S.



Amid the long list of directions for sacrifices and injunctions
against forbidden actions, chapter xii gives the law of purification,
not only degrading motherhood by the observance of certain ceremonies
and exclusion from the sanctuary, but by discriminating against sex,
honoring the birth of a son above that of a daughter.

According to the Levitical law, the ewe lambs were not used for
sacrifice as offerings to the Lord, because they were unclean. This was
an idea put forth by the priests and Levites. But there was a better and
more rational reason. To sacrifice the ewes was to speedily deplete the
flocks, but beyond a certain number needed as sires for the coming
generation, the males could be put to no better use than to feed the
priests, the refuse of the animal, the skin, feet, etc., constituted the
sacrifice to the Lord.

Bishop Colenso, in his remarkable work on the Pentateuch, gives the
enormous number of lambs annually sacrificed by the Hebrews. A certain
portion of the flocks were assigned to the priests, who were
continually provided with the best mutton.


L. D. B.





THE BOOK OF NUMBERS


CHAPTER I.



Numbers i.



And the Lord spake unto Moses in tire wilderness of Sinai, saying,

2 Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel,
after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of
their names, every male by their polls:

3 These are those which were numbered of the children of Israel by
the house of their fathers: all those that were numbered of the camps
throughout their hosts were six hundred thousand and three thousand and
five hundred and fifty.


In this chapter Moses is commanded to number the people and the
princes of the tribe, males only, and by the houses of their fathers.
As the object was to see how many effective men there were able to go
to war, the priests, the women, the feeble old men and children were
not counted. Women have frequently been classified with priests in some
privileges and disabilities. At one time in the United States the
clergy were not allowed to vote nor hold office. Like women, they were
considered too good to mingle in political circles. For them to have
individual opinions on the vital questions of the hour might introduce
dissensions alike into the church and the home.

This census of able bodied men still runs on through chapter ii, and
all these potential soldiers are called children of their fathers.
Although at this period woman's chief duty and happiness was bearing
children, no mention is made of the mothers of this mighty host, though
some woman had gone to the gates of death to give each soldier life;
provided him with rations long before he could forage for himself, and
first taught his little feet to march to tune and time. But, perhaps,
if we could refer to the old Jewish census tables we might find that
the able bodied males of these tribes, favorites of Heaven,
had all sprung, Minerva-like, from the brains of their fathers, and
that only the priests, the feeble old men and the children had mothers
to care for them, in the absence of the princes and soldiers.

However, in some valuable calculations of Schencher we learn that
there was some thought of the mothers of the tribes by German
commentators. We find in his census such references as the following:
The children of Jacob by Leah. The children of Jacob by Zilpah. The
children of Jacob by Rachel. The children of Jacob by Bilhah. But even
this generous mention of the mothers of the tribe of Jacob does not
satisfy the exacting members of the Revising Committee. We feel that
the facts should have been stated thus: The children of Leah, Zilpah,
Rachel and Bilhah by Jacob, making Jacob the incident instead of the
four women. Men may consider this a small matter on which to make a
point, but in restoring woman's equality everywhere we must insist on
her recognition in all these minor particulars, and especially in the
Bible, to which people go for their authority on the civil and social
status of all womankind.


E. C. S.





CHAPTER II.



Numbers v.



1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

2 Command the children of Israel. that they put out of the camp every
leper, and every one that hath an issue, and whosoever is defiled by
the dead:

3 Both male and female that they defile not their camps.

4 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

12 If any man's wife go aside, and commit a trespass against him.

14 And the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and she be defiled: or if
she be not defiled:

15 Then shall the man bring his wife unto the priest, and he shall
bring her offering for her, the tenth part of an ephah of barley meal;
he shall pour no oil upon it, nor put frankincense thereon; for it is
an offering of jealousy.

17 And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of
the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take,
and put it into the water:

18 And the priest shall set the woman before the Lord and uncover the
woman's head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which is
the jealousy offering, and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter
water that causeth the curse:

19 And the priest shall charge her by an oath, and say unto the woman,
if thou hast not gone aside be thou free from this bitter water that
causeth the curse:

20 But if thou hast gone aside, and if thou be defiled.

21 Then, the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing,
and the priest shall say unto the woman, The Lord make thee a curse and
an oath among they people.

24 And he shall cause the woman to drink the bitter water that causeth
the curse.

25 Then the priest shall take the jealousy offering out of the woman's
hand, and shall wave the offering before the LORD, and offer it upon
the altar:

26 And the priest shall take an handful of the offering, even the
memorial thereof, and burn it upon the altar, and afterward shall cause
the woman to drink the water.

27 And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to
pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her
husband, that if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her
husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her,
and become bitter.

28 And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be
free.


At the first blush it seems very cruel for the Jewish God to order the
diseased and unfortunate to be thrown out of the camp and left in the
wilderness. But commentators suggest that they must have had a
sanatorium near by where the helpless could be protected. Though
improbable, still the suggestion will be a relief to sensitive souls.
This ordinance of Moses probably suggested the first idea of a
hospital. The above account of the unfortunate wife was called "trial
by ordeal," of which Clarke gives a minute description in his
commentaries. It was common at one time among many nations, the women
in all cases being the chief sufferers as in the modern trials for
witchcraft. If the witch was guilty when thrown into the water she went
to the bottom, if innocent she floated on the surface and was left to
sink, so in either case her fate was the same. As men make and execute
the laws, prescribe and administer the punishment, "trials by a jury or
ordeal" for women though seemingly fair, are never based on principles
of equity. The one remarkable fact in all these social transgressions
in the early periods as well as in our modern civilization is that the
penalties whether moral or material all fall on woman. Verily the
darkest page in human history is the slavery of women!

The offering by the priest to secure her freedom was of the cheapest
character. Oil and frankincense signifying grace and acceptableness
were not permitted to be used in her case. The woman's head is
uncovered as a token of her shame, the dust from the floor signifies
contempt and condemnation, compelling the woman to drink water mixed
with dirt and gall is in the same malicious spirit. There is no
instance recorded of one of these trials by ordeal ever actually taking
place, as divorce was so easy that a man could put away his wife at
pleasure, so he need not go to the expense of even "a tenth part of an
ephah of barley," on a wife of doubtful faithfulness. Moreover the
woman upon whom it was proposed to try all these pranks might be
innocent, and the jealous husband make himself ridiculous in the eyes
of the people. But the publication of these ordinances no doubt had a
restraining influence on the young and heedless daughters of Israel,
and they serve as landmarks in man's system of jurisprudence, to show
us how far back he has been consistent in his unjust legislation for
woman.


E. C. S.





CHAPTER III.



Numbers xii.



And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian
woman whom he had married.

2 And they said, Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he
not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it.

3 (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon
the face of the earth.)

5 And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud and stood in the
door of the tabernacle and called Aaron and Miriam, and they both came
forth.

6 And He Said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I,
the Lord, will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak
unto him in a dream.

8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in
dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold:
wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my Servant Moses?

9 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them: and he departed.

10 And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam
became leprous, white as snow; and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and
behold, she was leprous.

11 And Aaron said unto Muses. Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not
the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have
sinned.

13 And Moses cried unto the Lord, saving Heal her now, O God, I
beseech thee.

15 And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people
journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again.


Here we have the first mention of Moses's second marriage, but the
name of the woman is not given, though she is the assigned cause of the
sedition. Both Aaron and Miriam had received a portion of the prophetic
genius that distinguished Moses, and they naturally thought that they
should have some share in the government, at least to make a few
suggestions, when they thought Moses made a blunder. Miriam was older
than Moses, and had at this time the experience of 120 years. When
Moses was an infant on the River Nile, Miriam was intrusted by his
parents to watch the fate of the infant in the bulrushes and the
daughter of Pharaoh in her daily walks by, the river side. It was her
diplomacy that secured the child's own mother for his nurse in the
household of the King of Egypt.

It is rather remarkable, if Moses was as meek as he is represented in
the third verse, that he should have penned that strong assertion of
his own innate modesty. There are evidences at this and several other
points that Moses was not the sole editor of the Pentateuch, if it can
be shown that he wrote any part of it. Speaking of the punishment of
Miriam, Clarke. in his commentaries says it is probable that Miriam was
chief in this mutiny; hence she was punished while Aaron was spared. A
mere excuse for man's injustice; had he been a woman he would have
shared the same fate. The real reason was that Aaron was a priest. Had
he been smitten with leprosy, his sacred office would have suffered and
the priesthood fallen into disrepute.

As women are supposed to have no character or sacred office, it is
always safe to punish them to the full extent of the law. So Miriam was
not only afflicted with leprosy, but also shut out of the camp for
seven days. One would think that potential motherhood should make women
as a class as sacred as the priesthood. In common parlance we have much
fine-spun theorizing on the exalted office of the mother, her immense
influence in moulding the character of her sons; "the hand that rocks
the cradle moves the world," etc., but in creeds and codes, in
constitutions and Scriptures, in prose and verse, we do not see these
lofty paeans recorded or verified in living facts. As a class, women
were treated among the Jews as an inferior order of beings, just as
they are to-day in all civilized nations. And now, as then, men claim
to be guided by the will of God.

In this narrative we see thus early woman's desire to take some part
in government, though denied all share in its honor and dignity.
Miriam, no doubt, saw the humiliating distinctions of sex in the Mosaic
code and customs, and longed for the power to make the needed
amendments. In criticising the discrepancies in Moses's character and
government, Miriam showed a keen insight into the common principles of
equity and individual conduct, and great self-respect and self-
assertion in expressing her opinions--qualities most lacking in ordinary
women.

Evidently the same blood that made Moses and Aaron what they were, as
leaders of men, flowed also in the veins, of Miriam. As daughters are
said to be more like their fathers and sons like their mothers, Moses
probably inherited his meekness and distrust of himself from his
mother, and Miriam her self-reliance and heroism from her father.
Knowing these laws of heredity, Moses should have averted the
punishment of Miriam instead of allowing the full force of God's wrath
to fall upon her alone. If Miriam had helped to plan the journey to
Canaan, it would no doubt have been accomplished in forty days instead
of forty years. With her counsel in the cabinet, the people might have
enjoyed peace and prosperity, cultivating the arts and sciences,
instead of making war on other tribes, and burning offerings to their
gods. Miriam was called a prophetess, as the Lord had, on some
occasions, it is said, spoken through her, giving messages to the
women. After their triumphal escape from Egypt, Miriam led the women in
their songs of victory. With timbrels and dances, they chanted, that
grand chorus that has been echoed and re-echoed for centuries in all
our cathedrals round the globe. Catholic writers represent Miriam "as a
type of the Virgin Mary, being legislatrix over the Israelitish women,
especially endowed with the spirit of prophecy."



Numbers xx.



Then came the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, into
the desert of Zin in the first month: and the people abode In Kadesh;
and Miriam died there, and was buried there.

Eusebius says her tomb was to be seen at Kadesh, near the city of
Petra, in his time, and that she and her brothers all died in the same
year, it is hoped to reappear as equals in the resurrection.


E. C. S.





CHAPTER IV.



Numbers vi.



1 And the Lord said unto Moses,

2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say, When either man or woman
shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, unto the Lord.

5 All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come
upon his head; until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth
himself unto the Lord, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the
hair of his head grow.

The Nazarites, both men and women, allowed their hair to grow long, as
the hair of the Nazarine was a token of subjection, the man to God, the
woman to man. St. Paul no doubt alluded to this custom when he said the
woman ought to have power upon her head, that is, wear her hair and
veil and bonnet in church as a proof of her subjection to man, as he is
to the Lord. The discipline of the church to-day requires a woman to
cover her head before entering a cathedral for worship.

The fashion for men to sit with their heads bare in our churches,
while women must wear bonnets, is based on this ancient custom of the
Nazarine. But as fashion is gradually reducing the bonnet to an
infinitesimal fraction it will probably in the near future be dispensed
with altogether. A lady in England made the experiment of going to the
established church without her bonnet, but it created such an agitation
in the congregation that the Bishop wrote her a letter on the
impropriety and requested her to come with her head covered. She
refused. He then called and labored with her as to the sinfulness of
the proceedings, and at parting commanded her either to cover her bead
or stay away from church altogether. She choose the latter. I saw and
beard that letter read at a luncheon in London, where several ladies
were present. It was received with peals of laughter. The lady is the
wife of a colonel in the British army.



Numbers xxv.



6 And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto
his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses and all the
congregation of the children of Israel.

7 And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest,
saw it, he rose and took a javelin in his hand;

8 And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both
of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman.

14 Now the name of the Israelite that was slain, even that was slain
with the Midianitish woman, was Zimri, the son of Salu, a prince of a
chief house among the Simeonites.

15 And the name of the Midianitish woman that was slain was Cozbi, the
daughter of Zur: he was head over a people, and of a chief house in
Midian.


Some commentators say the tie between Zimri and Cozbi was a
matrimonial alliance, understood in good faith by the Midianitish
woman. He was a prince and she was a princess.

But the Jewish law forbade a man going outside of his tribe for a
wife. It was deemed idolatry. But why kill the woman. She had not
violated the laws of her tribe and was no doubt ignorant of Jewish law.
Other commentators say that Zimri was notorious at the licentious
feasts of Baal-poer and that the Midianitish women tempted the sons of
Israel to idolatry. Hence the justice of killing both Zimri and Cozbi
in one blow. It is remarkable that the influence of woman is so readily
and universally recognized in leading the strongest men into sin, but
so uniformly ignored as a stimulus to purity and perfection. Unless the
good predominates over the evil in the mothers of the race, there is no
hope of our ultimate perfection.


E. C. S.



The origin of the command that women should cover their heads is found
in an old Jewish or Hebrew legend which appears in literature for the
first time in Genesis vi. There we are told the Sons of God, that is,
the angels, took to wives the daughters of men, and begat the giants
and heroes, who were instrumental in bringing about the flood. The
Rabbins held that the way in which the angels got possession of women
was by laying hold of their hair; they accordingly warned women to
cover their heads in public, so that the angels might not get
possession of them. It was believed that the strength of people lay in
their hair, as the story of Samson illustrates. Paul merely repeats this
warning which he must often have heard at the feet of Gamaliel, who was
at that time Prince or President of the Sanhedrim, telling women to
have a "power (that is, protection) on their heads because of the
angels:" I Corinthians, chapter xi, verse 10. "For this cause ought the
woman to have power on her head because of the angels." Thus the
command has its origin in an absurd old myth. This legend will be found
fully treated in a German pamphlet--Die paulinische Angelologie und
Daemonologie. Otto Everling, Gottingen, 1888.

If the command to keep silence in the churches has no higher origin
than that to keep covered in public, should so much weight be given it,
or should it be so often quoted as having Divine sanction?

The injunctions of St. Paul have had such a decided influence in
fixing the legal status of women that it is worth our while to consider
their source. In dealing with this question we must never forget that
the majority of the writings of the New Testament were not really
written or published by those whose names they bear. Ancient writers
considered it quite permissible for a man to put out letters under the
name of another, and thus to bring his own ideas before the world under
the protection of an honored sponsor. It is not usually claimed that
St. Paul was the originator of the great religious movement called
Christianity, but there is a strong belief that he was divinely
inspired. His inward persuasions, and especially his visions appeared
as a gift or endowment which had the force of inspiration; therefore,
his mandates concerning women have a strong hold upon the popular mind,
and when opponents to the equality of the sexes are put to bay they
glibly quote his injunctions.

We congratulate ourselves that we may shift some of these biblical
arguments that have such a sinister effect from their firm foundation.
He who claims to give a message must satisfy us that he has himself
received such message.


L. S.





CHAPTER V.



Numbers xxvii.



1 Then came the daughters of Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of
Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of
Manasseh, the son of Joseph; and these are the names of his daughters:
Mahiah, Noah, and Hogiah, and Milcah, and Tirzah.

2 And they stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and
before the princes and all the congregation, by the door of the
tabernacle of the congregation, saying,

3 Our father died in the wilderness, and he was not in the company of
them that gathered themselves together again at the Lord in the company
of Korah.

4 Why should the name of our father be done away from among his
family, because he hath no son? Give us therefore a possession among
the brethren of our father.

5 And Moses brought their cause before the Lord.

6 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

7 The daughters of Zelophehad speak right thou shalt surely give them
a possession of an inheritance among their father's brethren; and thou
shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them.

8 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saving, If a man
die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto
his daughter.

9 And if he have no daughter, then ye shall give his inheritance unto
his brethren.

10 And if he have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto
his father's brethren.

11 And if his father have no brethren, then ye shall give his
inheritance unto his kinsman that is next to him of his family, and he
shall possess it; and it shall be unto the children of Israel a statute
of judgment, as the Lord commanded Moses.


The respect paid to the daughters of Zelophehad at that early day is
worthy the imitation of the rulers in our own times. These daughters
were no doubt fine-looking, well-developed women, gifted with the power
of eloquence, able to impress their personality and arguments on that
immense assemblage of the people. They were allowed to plead their own
case in person before the lawgivers, the priests, and the princes, the
rulers in State and Church, and all the congregation, at the very door
of the tabernacle. They presented their case with such force and
clearness that all saw the justice of their claims. Moses was so deeply
impressed that he at once retired to his closet to listen to the still
small voice of conscience and commune with his Maker. In response, the
Lord said to him: "The daughters of Zelophehad speak right, if a man
die and leave no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto
his daughters." It would have been commendable if the members of the
late Constitutional Convention in New York had, like Moses, asked the
guidance of the Lord in deciding the rights of the daughters of the Van
Rensselaers, the Stuyvesants, the Livingstons, and the Knickerbockers.
Their final action revealed the painful fact that they never thought to
take the case to the highest court in the moral universe. The daughters
of Zelophehad were fortunate in being all of one mind; none there to
plead the fatigue, the publicity, the responsibility of paying taxes
and investing property, of keeping a bank account, and having some
knowledge of mathematics. The daughters of Zelophehad were happy to
accept all the necessary burdens, imposed by the laws of inheritance,
while the daughters of the Knickerbockers trembled at the thought of
assuming the duties involved in self-government.

As soon as Moses laid the case before the Lord, He not only allowed
the justice of the claim, but gave "a statute of judgment," by which
the Jewish magistrates should determine all such cases in the division
of property in the land of Canaan in all after ages.

When the rights of property were secured to married women in the State
of New York in 1848, a certain class were opposed to the measure, and
would cross the street to avoid speaking to the sisters who had prayed
and petitioned for its success. They did not object, however, in due
time to use the property thus secured, and the same type of women will
as readily avail them selves of all the advantages of political
equality when the right of suffrage is secured.


E. C. S.



The account given in this chapter of the directions as to the division
or inheritance of property in the case of Zelophehad, and his daughters
shows them to be just, because the daughters are to be treated as well
as the sons would be; but the law thereafter given, apparently suggested
by this querying of Zelophehad's daughters in reference to their
father's possessions is obviously unjust, in that it gives no freedom to
the owner of property as to the disposition of the same after his death,
i. e. leaves him without power to will it to any one, and leaves
unmentioned the female relatives as heirs at law. Only "brethren" and
"kinsman" are the words used, and it is very plain that only males were
heirs, except where a man had no son, but had one or more daughters.
"The exception proves the rule."


P. A. H.





CHAPTER VI.



Numbers xviii.



11 And this is thine; the heave offering of their gift, with all the
wave offerings of the children of Israel: I have given them unto thee,
and to thy sons and to thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever:
every one that is clean in thy house shall eat of it.

19 All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of
Israel offer unto the LORD, have I given thee, and thy sons and thy
daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: it is a covenant of salt
for ever before the LORD unto thee and to I thy seed with thee.


The house of Aaron was now thoroughly confirmed in the priesthood, and
the Lord gives minute directions as to the provisions to be made for
the priests. The people then, as now, were made to feel that whatever
was given to them was given to the Lord, and that "the Lord loveth a
cheerful giver." That their minds might be at peace and always in a
devout frame, in communion with God, they must not be perplexed with
worldly cares and anxieties about bread and raiment for themselves and
families. Whatever privations they suffered themselves, they must see
that their priests were kept above all human wants and temptations. The
Mosaic code is responsible for the religious customs of our own day and
generation. Church property all over this broad land is exempt from
taxation, while the smallest house and lot of every poor widow is taxed
at its full value. Our Levites have their homes free, and good salaries
from funds principally contributed by women, for preaching denunciatory
sermons on women and their sphere. They travel for half fare, the
lawyer pleads their cases for nothing, the physician medicates their
families for nothing, and generally in the world of work they are
served at half price. While the common people must be careful not to
traduce their neighbors lest they be sued for libel, the Levite in
surplice and gown from his pulpit (aptly called the coward's castle)
may smirch the fairest characters and defame the noblest lives with
impunity.

This whole chapter is interesting reading as the source of priestly
power, that has done more to block woman's way to freedom than all
other earthly influences combined. But the chief point in this chapter
centers in the above verses, as the daughters of the Levites are here
to enjoy an equal privilege with the sons. Scott tells us "that
covenants were generally ratified at an amiable feast, in which salt
was always freely used, hence it became an emblem of friendship."
Perhaps it was the purifying, refining influence of this element that
secured these friendly relations between the sons and daughters of the
priesthood on one occasion at least. From the present bitter, turbulent
tone of our Levites, I fear the salt we both manufacture and import
must all have lost its savor.


E. C. S.





CHAPTER VII.



Numbers xxii.



21 And Balsam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went
with the princes of Moab.

22 And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the
Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding
upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.

23 And the ass saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his
sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and
went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.

24 But the angel of the Lord stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall
being on this side, and a wall on that side.

25 And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she thrust herself unto
the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall: and he smote her
again.

26 And the angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow
place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.

27 And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she fell down under
Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a
staff.

28 And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam,
What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?

29 And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me; I would
there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.

30 And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou
hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do
so unto thee? And he said, Nay.

31 Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of
the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he
bowed down his bead, and fell flat on his face.

32 And the angel of the Lord said unto him, Wherefore hast thou
smitten thine ass these three times? Behold, I went out to withstand
thee, because thy way is perverse before me:

33 And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless
she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her
alive.

34 And Balaam, said unto the angel of the Lord, I have sinned; for I
knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it
displease thee, I will get me back again.


The chief point of interest in this parable of Balaam and his ass, is
that the latter belonged to the female sex. This animal has been one of
the most remarkable characters in literature. Her virtues have been
quoted in the stately cathedral, in the courts of justice, in the
editorial sanctum, in both tragedy and comedy on the stage, to point a
moral and adorn a tale. Some of the fairest of Eve's daughters bear her
baptismal name, and she has been immortalized in poetry and prose.
Wordsworth sends her with his Peter Bell to enjoy the first flowers of
early spring. To express her love of the beautiful "upon the pivot of
her skull she turned round her long left ear" while stolid Peter makes
no sign--

"A primrose by a river's brim
A yellow primrose was to him,
And it was nothing more."

The courage and persistence of the ass has made her as famous in war
as in literature. She is a marked feature everywhere in military
stations, alike in the camp and the field, and her bray always in the
minor key, gives a touch of pathos to the music of the band! The ass
accompanied Deborah and Barak when they went to fight their great
battle, she has gone with pioneers in all their weary wanderings, and
has taken an active part in the commerce of the world, bearing the
heaviest burdens though poorly fed and sheltered. At one time this
animal voted at three successive elections in the state of New York.
The property qualification being $250, just the price of a jackass, Ben
Franklin facetiously asked "if a man must own a jackass in order to
vote, who does the voting, the man or the jackass?" It so happened once
that the same animal passed into the hands of three different owners,
constituting all the earthly possessions of each at that time and thus
by proxy she was represented at the polls. Yet with this world-wide
fame, this is the first time the sacred historian has so richly endowed
and highly complimented any living thing of the supposed inferior sex.
Far wiser than the master who rode her, with a far keener spiritual
insight than he possessed, and so intensely earnest and impressible,
that to meet the necessities of the occasion, she suddenly exercised
the gift of speech. While Balaam was angry, violent, stubborn and
unreasonable, the ass calmly manifested all the cardinal virtues.
Obedient to the light that was in her, she was patient under abuse, and
tried in her mute way to save the life of her tormentor from the sword
of the angel. But when all ordinary warnings of danger proved
unavailable, she burst into speech and opened the eyes of her stolid
master. Scott, who considers this parable a literal fact, says in his
commentaries, "The faculty of speech in man is the gift of God and we
cannot comprehend how we ourselves articulate. We need not therefore be
surprised that the Lord made use of the mouth of the ass to rebuke the
madness of His prophet, and to shame him by the reproof and example of
a brute. Satan spoke to Eve by a subtle male serpent, but the Lord
chose to speak to Balaam by a she ass, for He does not use enticing
words of man's wisdom, but works by instruments and means that men
despise."

Seeing that the Lord has endowed "the daughters of men" also with the
gift of speech, and they may have messages from Him to deliver to "the
sons of God," it would be wise for the prophets of our day to admit
them into their Conferences, Synods and General Assemblies, and give
them opportunities for speech.

The appeal of the meek, long suffering ass, to her master, to remember
her faithfulness and companionship from his youth up, is quite pathetic
and reminds one of woman's appeals and petitions to her law-givers for
the last half century. In the same language she might say to her
oppressors, to fathers, husbands, brothers and sons, have we not served
you with faithfulness; companions from your youth up; watched you
through all your infant years; and carried you triumphantly through
every danger? When at the midnight hour or the cock crowing, your first
born lifted up his voice and wept, lo! we were there, with water for
his parched lips; a cool place for his aching head; or patiently for
hours to pace with him the chamber floor. In youth and manhood what
have we not done to add to your comfort and happiness; ever rejoicing
in your triumphs and sympathizing in your defeats?

This waiting and watching for half a century to recover our civil and
political rights and yet no redress, makes the struggle seem like a
painful dream in which one strives to fly from some impending danger
and yet stands still. Balaam, unlike our masters, confessed that he had
sinned, but it is evident from his conduct that he felt no special
contrition for disobedience to the commands of his Creator, nor for his
cruelty to the creature. So merely to save his life he sulkily retraced
his steps with a determination still to consider Barak's propositions.
Whether he took the same ass on the next journey does not
appear.

It must have been peculiarly humiliating to that proud man, who
boasted of his eyes being open and seeing the vision of the Almighty,
to be reproved and silenced by the mouth of a brute. As the Lord
appeared first to the ass and spake by her, he had but little reason to
boast that his eyes were opened by the Lord. The keen spiritual insight
and the ready power of speech with which the female sex has been
specially endowed, are often referred to with ridicule and reproach by
stolid, envious observers of the less impressible sex.


E. C. S.





CHAPTER VIII.



Numbers xx.



1 And Moses spake unto the heads of the tribes concerning the children
of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the Lord hath commanded.

2 If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul
with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all
that proceedeth out of his mouth.

3 If a woman also vow a vow unto the Lord, and bind herself by a bond,
being in her father's house in her youth;

4 And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound
her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her; then all her vows
shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall
stand.

5 But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth, not any
of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she had bound her soul, shall
stand; and the Lord shall forgive her, because her father disallowed
her.

6 And if she had at all a husband, when she vowed, or uttered aught
out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul;

7 And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her in the day that
he heard it; then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she
bound her soul shall stand.

8 But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it, then
he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with
her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect; and the Lord
shall forgive her.

9 But every vow of a widow, and of her that is divorced, wherewith
they have bound their souls, shall stand against her.

13 Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband
may establish it, or her husband may make it void.

14 But if her husband altogether hold his peace at her from day to
day; then he establisheth all her vows, or all her bonds, which are
upon her he confirmeth them, because he held his peace at her in the
day that he heard them.

15 But if he shall any ways make them void after that he hath heard
them; then he shall bear her iniquity.

16 These are the statutes, which the Lord commanded Moses, between a
man and his wife, between the father and his daughter, being yet in her
youth in her father's house.

A vow is a religious promise made to God, and yet in the face of such
a definition is placed the authority of husband and father between the
woman and her God. God seems thus far to have dealt directly with women
when they sinned, but in making a religious vow, or dedication of
themselves to some high purpose, their fathers and husbands must be
consulted. A man's vow stands; a woman's is always conditional. Neither
wisdom nor age can make her secure in any privileges, though always
personally responsible for crime. If she have sufficient intelligence
to decide between good and evil, and pay the penalty for violated law,
why not make her responsible for her words and deeds when obedient to
moral law. To hold woman in such an attitude is to rob her words and
actions of all moral character. We see from this chapter that Jewish
women, as well as those of other nations, were held in a condition of
perpetual tutelage or minority under the authority of the father until
married and then under the husband, hence vows if in their presence if
disallowed were as nothing. That Jewish men appreciate the degradation
of woman's position is seen in a part of their service in which each
man says on every Sabbath day, "I thank Thee, oh Lord, that I was not
born a woman!" and the woman meekly responds, "I thank Thee, oh Lord,
that I am what I am, according to Thy holy, will."

The injunction in the above texts in regard to the interference of
fathers is given only once, while the husband's authority is mentioned
three times. If the woman was betrothed, even the future husband had
the right to disallow her vows. It is supposed by, some expositors that
by a parity of reason minor sons should have been under the same
restrictions as daughters, but if it were intended, it is extraordinary
that daughters alone should have been mentioned. Scott, in extenuating
the custom, says: "Males were certainly allowed more liberty than
females; the vows of the latter might be adjudged more prejudicial to
families; or the sons being more immediately under the father's tuition
might be thought less liable to be inveigled into rash engagements of
any kind."


E. C. S.



Woman is here taught that she is irresponsible. The father or the
husband is all. They are wisdom, power, responsibility. But woman is a
nonentity, if still in her father's house, or if she has a husband. I
object to this teaching. It is unjust to man that he should have the
added responsibility of his daughter's or wife's word, and it is cruel
to woman because the irresponsibility is enslaving in its influence. It
is contrary to true Gospel teaching, for only, in freedom to do right
can a soul dwell in that love which is the fulfilling of the law.

The whole import of this chapter is that a woman's word is worthless,
unless she is a widow or divorced. While an unmarried daughter, her
father is her surety; when married, the husband allows or disallows
what she promises, and the promise is kept or broken according to his
will. The whole Mosaic law in this respect seems based upon the idea
that a woman is an irresponsible being; and that it is supposed each
daughter will marry at some time, and thus be continually under the
control of some male--the father or the husband. Unjust, arbitrary and
debasing are such ideas, and the laws based upon them. Could the
Infinite Father and Mother have give them to Moses? I think not.


P. A. H.





CHAPTER IX.



Numbers xxxi.



9 And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives,
and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all
their flocks, and all their goods.

10 And they burnt all their cities wherein they dwelt, and all their
goodly castles with fire.

12 And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto
Moses and Eleazar the priest, and unto the congregation of the children
of Israel, unto the camp at the plains of Moab, which are by Jordan
near Jericho.

14 And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the
captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from
the battle.

15 And Moses said unto them, have ye saved all the women alive?

16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel. through the counsel of
Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor. and
there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord.

17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every
woman that hath known man.

18 But all the women children, that have not known a man keep alive
for yourselves.

25 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying.

26 Take the sum of the prey that was taken, both of man and of beast,
thou, and Eleazar the priest, and the chief fathers of the congregation:

32 And Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the Lord commanded Moses.

32 And the, booty, being the rest of the prey which the men of war had
caught, was six hundred thousand and seventy thousand and five thousand
sheep,

33 And threescore and twelve thousand beeves.

34 And threescore and one thousand asses.

35 And thirty and two thousand persons in of women that had not known
man.


It appears from the enumeration here of the booty, that the Israelites
took in this war against the Midianites seventy-two thousand beeves,
six hundred and seventy-five thousand sheep, sixty-one thousand asses
and thirty-two thousand women virgins, beside the women and children
killed, (as they said) by God's order. The thirty-two thousand women
and women children were given to the soldiers and the priests. Why
should the social purity societies in England and America who believe
in the divine origin of all Scripture object to the use of women
children by their statesmen and soldiers when the custom was permitted
to the chosen people of Israel? True, the welfare of the priests,
lawgivers and soldiers was carefully guarded in selecting for them the
purest of the daughters of the Midianites.

Surely such records are enough to make the most obstinate believer
doubt the divine origin of Jewish history and the claim of that people
to have been under the special guidance of Jehovah. Their
claim to have had conversations with God daily and to have acted under
His commands in all their tergiversations of word and action is simply
blasphemous. We must discredit their pretensions, or else the wisdom of
Jehovah himself. "Talking with God," at that period was a mere form of
speech, as "tempted of the devil" was once in the records of our
courts. Criminals said "tempted of the devil, I did commit the crime."
This chapter places Moses and Eleazar the priest, in a most unenviable
light according to the moral standard of any period of human history.
Verily the revelations in the Pall Hall Gazette a few years ago, pale
before this wholesale desecration of women and children. Bishop Colenso
in his exhaustive work on the Pentateuch shows that most of the records
therein claiming to be historical facts are merely parables and
figments of the imagination of different writers, composed at different
periods, full of contradictions, interpolations and discrepancies.

He shows geologically and geographically that a flood over the whole
face of the earth was a myth. He asks how was it possible to save two
of every animal, bird and creeping thing on both continents and get
them safely into the ark and back again to their respective localities.
How could they make their way from South America up north through the
frigid zone and cross over the polar ices to the eastern continent and
carry with them the necessary food to which they had been accustomed,
they would all have perished with the cold before reaching the Arctic
circle. While the animals from the northern latitudes would all perish
with heat before reaching the equator. What a long weary journey the
animals, birds and fowls would have taken from Japan and China to Mount
Ararat. The parable as an historical fact is hedged with
impossibilities and so is the whole journey of forty years from Egypt
to Canaan; but if we make up our minds to believe in miracles then it
is plain sailing from Genesis to the end of Deuteronomy, Both Ezra and
Jeremiah are said to have written the last book of the Pentateuch, and
some, question whether Moses was the author of either. Bishop Colenso
also questions the arithmetical calculations of the historians in
regard to the conquest of the Midianites, as described in the book of
Numbers.


E. C. S.



But how thankful we must be that we are no longer obligated to
believe, as a matter of fact, of vital consequence to our eternal hope,
each separate statement contained in the Pentateuch, such for instance,
as the story related in Numbers xxxi!--where we are told that a force
of twelve thousand Israelites slew all the males of the Midianites,
took captive all the females and children, seized all their cattle and
flocks, (seventy-two thousand oxen, sixty one thousand asses, six
hundred and seventy-five thousand sheep,) and all their goods, and
burnt all their cities, and all their goodly castles, without the loss
of a single man,--and then, by command of Moses, butchered in cold
blood all the women, except "the women-children and virgins, to be
given to the priests and soldiers."

They amounted to thirty-two thousand, mostly, we suppose, under the
age of sixteen. We may fairly reckon that there were as many more under
the age of forty, and half as many more above forty, making altogether
eighty thousand females, of whom, according to the story, Moses ordered
forty-eight thousand to be killed, besides (say) twenty thousand young
boys. The tragedy of Cawnpore, where three hundred were butchered,
would sink into nothing, compared with such a massacre, if, indeed, we
were required to believe it.

The obvious intention of Moses, as shown in these directions, was to
keep the Jewish race from amalgamation. But the great lawgiver seems to
have ignored the fact, or been ignorant of it, that transmission of
race qualities is even greater through the female line than through the
male, and if they kept the women children for themselves they were
making sure the fact that in days to come there would be Jewish
descendants who might be Jews in name, but, through the law of
heredity, aliens in spirit. The freedom of the natural law will make
itself evident, for so-called natural law is divine.


P. A. H.



Zipporah the wife of Moses was a Midianite, Jethro her father was a
priest of some sagacity and consideration. When he met Moses in the
desert he gave him valuable advice about the government of his people,
which the great lawgiver obeyed.

The sons of Zipporah and Moses, Gershon and Eliezer, were therefore of
Midianite blood, yet Moses sent an army of twelve thousand armed for
war; a thousand of each tribe, with orders to slay every man. If the
venerable Jethro was still alive he must have been murdered by his
grandsons and their comrades. This is a most extraordinary story. If
after the men, women and male children were all killed, thirty thousand
maidens and young girls still remained, the Midianites must have been
too large a tribe to have been wholly destroyed by twelve thousand
Israelites, unless the Jewish God fought the battle.


L. D. B.





CHAPTER X.



Numbers xxxii.



1 And the chief fathers of the families or the children of Gilead drew
near, and spake before Moses, and before the princes, the chief fathers
of the children of Israel:

2 And they said, The Lord commanded my lord to give the land for an
inheritance by lot to the children of Israel: and my lord was commanded
by the Lord to give the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother unto his
daughters.

3 And if they be married to any of the sons of the other tribes of the
children of Israel, then shall their inheritance be taken from the
inheritance of our fathers, and shall be put to the inheritance of the
tribe whereunto they are received; so shall it be taken from the lot of
our inheritance.

4 And when the jubilee of the children of Israel shall be, then shall
their inheritance be put unto the inheritance of the tribe whereunto
they are received:

5 And Moses commanded the children of Israel according to the word of
the Lord, saying, The tribe of the sons of Joseph hath said well.

6 ......the Lord doth command concerning the daughters of Zelophehad,
saying, Let them marry to whom they think best; only to the family of
the tribe of their father shall they marry.

7 So shall not the inheritance of the children of Israel remove from
tribe to tribe: for every one of the children of Israel shall keep
himself to the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers.

8 And every daughter, that possesseth an inheritance in any tribe of
the children of Israel, shall be wife unto one of the family of the
tribe of her father, that the children of Israel may enjoy every man
the inheritance of his fathers.

10 Even is the Lord commanded Moses, so did the daughters of Zelophehad:

11 ...... and were turned unto their father's brothers' sons.


In a former chapter there was a sense of justice shown towards the
daughters of Zelophehad, but here a new complication arises. The uncles
of these girls had their eyes on the property and perhaps feared that
their sons had not found favor in the eyes of their cousins, as they
might have seen and admired some fine looking young men from other
tribes. So the crafty old uncles moved in time to get a statute passed
that would compel daughters to marry in the tribe of their fathers and
got a direct command from the Lord to that effect, then the young
women, compelled to limit their predilections, married their cousins,
setting the laws of heredity quite aside; property in all ages being
considered of more importance than persons. Thus, after making some
show of justice in giving the daughters of Zelophehad the inheritance
of their fathers, the Israelites began to consider the loss to their
tribe, if peradventure the five sisters should marry into other tribes
and all this property be transferred to their enemies.

They seemed to consider these noble women destitute of the virtue of
patriotism, of family pride, of all the tender sentiments of
friendship, kindred and home, and so with their usual masculine
arrogance they passed laws to compel the daughters of Zelophehad to do
what they probably would have done had there been no law to that
effect. These daughters were known by the euphonious names of Mahlah,
Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah and Noah, and they all married their father's
brothers' sons. Cousins on the mother's side would probably have been
forbidden.

If Moses, as the mouthpiece of God, aimed to do exact justice, why did
he not pass an ordinance giving property in all cases equally to sons
and daughters.


E. C. S..



Moses gave what appears to be, in the light of this Christian era, a
just judgment when he decided that the daughters of Zelophehad should
inherit their father's property, but he gave as the law of inheritance
the direction that "if a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause
his inheritance to pass unto his daughter;" thus, as I think, unjustly
discriminating between women who have brothers and women who have none,
and he goes on further to deal unjustly with women when he directs that
the daughters of Zelophehad marry so that the inheritance justly
awarded them should not go out of the family of the tribe of their
fathers.

"Let them marry to whom they think best," and those words seemingly
recognize their righteous freedom. But immediately he limits that
phrase and informs the five women they must only marry in their
father's tribe, and were limited also to their father's family. The
result was that each married her own cousin. If this was contrary to
physiological law, as some distinguished physiologists affirm, then
they were compelled by the arbitrary law of Moses to break the law of
God.


P. A. H.





THE BOOK OF DEUTERONOMY.


CHAPTER I.



Deuteronomy i.



3 And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on
the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of
Israel, according unto all that the Lord had given him in commandment
unto them;

6 The Lord our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long
enough in this mount:

7 Turn you, and take your journey, and go to the mount of the
Amorites, and unto all the places nigh thereunto, in the plain, in the
hills, and in the vale, and in the south, and by sea side, to the land
of the Canaanites, and unto Lebanon, unto the great river, the river
Euphrates.

8 Behold, I have set the before you: go in and possess the land which
the Lord sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give
unto them and to their seed after them.

10 The Lord your God hath multiplied you, and, behold, ye are this day
as the stars of heaven for multitude.


This book contains an account of what passed in the wilderness the
last month of the fortieth year, which is supposed to be written by
Ezra, as the history is continued several days after the death of
Moses. Moses' farewell address to the children of Israel is full of
wisdom, with a touch of pathos. This had been a melancholy year with
the Hebrews in the death of Miriam, Aaron and Moses. The manner in
which this people were kept wandering up and down on the very verge of
the land of Canaan because they were rebellious does seem like child's
play. No wonder they were discouraged and murmured. It is difficult
from the record to see that these people were any better fitted to
enter the promised land at the end of forty years than when they first
left Egypt. But the promise that they should be as numerous as the
stars in the heavens, according to Adam Clarke, had been fulfilled. He
tells us that only three thousand stars can be seen by the naked eye,
which the children of Israel numbered at this time six hundred thousand
fighting men, beside all the women and children. Astronomers, However,
now estimate that there are over seventy-five million stars within the
range of their telescopes. If census takers had prophetic telescopes,
they could no doubt see the promises to the Hebrews fully realized in
that one line of their ambition.



Deuteronomy ii.



34 And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the
men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to
remain.


Though the women were ignored in all the civil affairs and religious
observances of the Jews, yet in making war on other tribes they thought
them too dangerous to be allowed to live, and so they killed all the
women and children. The women might much better have helped to do the
fighting, as it is far easier to die in the excitement of the
battlefield than to be murdered in cold blood. In making war on
neighboring tribes, the Jewish military code permitted them to take all
the pure, virgins and child women for booty to be given to the priests
and soldiers, thus debauching the men of Israel and destroying all
feelings of honor and chivalry for women. This utter contempt for all
the decencies of life, and all the natural personal rights of women as
set forth in these pages, should destroy in the minds of women at
least, all authority to superhuman origin and stamp the Pentateuch at
least as emanating from the most obscene minds of a barbarous age.



Deuteronomy v, vi.



16 Honour thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath
commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well
with thee, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

17 Thou shalt not kill.

18 Neither shalt thou commit adultery.

19 Neither shalt thou steal.

20 Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour.

21 Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's wife, neither shalt thou
covet thy neighbour's house, his field, or his manservant, or his
maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour's.

2 That thou mightest fear the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes
and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy
son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.


The best commentary on these texts is that no Revising Committee of
Ecclesiastics has found it necessary to make any suggestions as to whom
the commandments are addressed. Suppose we reverse the language and see
how one-sided it would seem addressed only to women. Suppose this were
the statement. Here is a great lawgiver and he says: "Thou art to keep
all God's commandments, thou and thy daughters and thy daughter's
daughters, and these are the commandments: 'Thou shalt honor thy mother
and thy father.' 'Thou shalt not steal nor lie.' 'Thou shalt not covet
thy neighbor's husband, nor her field, nor her ox, nor anything that is
thy neighbor's.'"

Would such commandments occasion no remark among Biblical scholars? In
our criminal code to-day the pronouns she, her and hers are not found,
yet we are tried in the courts, imprisoned and hung as "he," "him" or
"his," though denied the privileges of citizenship, because the
masculine pronouns apply only to disabilities. What a hustling there
would be among prisoners and genders if laws and constitutions,
Scriptures and commandments, played this fast and loose game with the
men of any nation.



Deuteronomy iv.



5 Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord
my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to
possess it.

6 Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your
understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these
statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding
people.

7 For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them,
as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for?

8 And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments
so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?


Adam Clarke in his comments on chapter iv, says, "there was no form of
worship at this time on the face of the earth that was not wicked and
obscene, puerile and foolish and ridiculous, except that established by
God himself among the Israelites, and every part of this taken in its
connection and reference may be truly called a wise and reasonable
service. Almost all the nations of the earth manifested in time their
respect for the Jewish religion by copying different parts of the
Mosaic code as to civil and moral customs."

As thoughtful, intelligent women, we question all this: First.--We see
no evidence that a just and wise being wrote either the canon or civil
laws that have been gradually compiled by ecclesiastics and lawgivers.
Second.--We cannot accept any code or creed that uniformly defrauds
woman of all her natural rights. For the last half century we have
publicly and persistently appealed from these laws, which Clarke says
all nations have copied, to the common sense of a more humane and
progressive age. To-day women are asking to be delivered from all the
curses and blessings alike of the Jewish God and the ordinances he
established. In this book we have the ten commandments repeated.


E. C. S.





CHAPTER II.



Deuteronomy vii.



1 When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou
goest to possess it and hath cast out many nations before thee.

2 Thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no
covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:

3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt
not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.

4 For they will turn away thy son from following me.

5 But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and
break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their
graven images with fire.

6 For thou art a holy people.

7 The Lord did not set his love upon you, not choose you, because ye
were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all
people:

8 But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath
which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out
with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from
the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.


With the seven nations that God cast out, the children of Israel were
commanded to make no covenants, nor matrimonial alliances lest they
should fall into idolatry. As men are more given to wandering in
strange countries than women these injunctions are intended specially
for them. Adam Clarke says, the heart being naturally inclined to evil,
the idolatrous wife would more readily draw aside the believing
husband, than the believing husband the idolatrous wife. That being the
case, could not the believing wife with her subtle influence have
brought over the idolatrous husband? Why should she not have the power
to convert to one religion as well as another, especially as there was
no choice between them. There could not have been anything worse than
the Jewish religion illustrated in their daily walk and conversation,
as described in their books, and if the human heart naturally inclined
to evil, as many converts might have been made to the faith of Moses as
to any other.

With this consideration it is plain that if the Jews had offered women
any superior privileges, above any other tribe, they could have readily
converted the women to their way of thinking. The Jewish God
seems as vacillating and tempest-tossed between loving and hating his
subjects as the most undisciplined son of Adam. The supreme ideal of
these people was pitiful to the last degree and the appeals to them
were all on the lowest plane of human ambition. The chief promise to
the well-doer was that his descendants should be as numerous as the
sands of the sea.

In chapter ix when rebellion at Horeb is described, Aaron only is
refered to, and in chapter x when his death is mentioned, nothing is
said of Miriam. In the whole recapitulation she is forgotten, though
altogether the grandest character of the three, though cast out of the
camp and stricken with leprosy, in vengeance, she harbors no
resentment, but comforts and cheers the women with songs and dances,
all through their dreary march of forty years.



Deuteronomy x.



18 He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and
loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.

19 Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land
of Egypt.



The sacred fabulist has failed to give us any choice examples in which
the Jews executed just judgments for widows or fatherless girls; on the
contrary in all their dealings with women of all ranks, classes and
ages they were merciless and unjust.

As to the stranger, their chief occupation was war and wholesale
slaughter, not only of the men on the battlefield, but of innocent
women and children, destroying their cities and making their lands
desolate. A humane person reading these books for the first time
without any glamour of divine inspiration, would shudder at their
cruelty and blush at their obscenity.

Those who can make these foul facts illustrate beautiful symbols must
have genius of a high order.



Deuteronomy xii.



18 But thou must eat them before the Lord thy God in the place which
the Lord thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and
thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy
gates: and thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God in all that them
puttest thine hands unto.

19 Take heed to thyself that thou forsake not the Levite as long as
thou livest upon the earth.


If women have been faithful to any class of the human family it has
been to the Levite. The chief occupation of their lives next to
bearing children has been to sustain the priesthood and the churches.

With continual begging, fairs and donation parties, they have helped
to plant religious temples on every hill-top and valley, and in the
streets of all our cities, so that the doleful church bell is forever
ringing in our ears. The Levites have not been an unqualified blessing,
ever fanning the flames of religious persecution they have been the
chief actors in subjugating mankind.


E. C. S.





CHAPTER III.



Deuteronomy xiii.



6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy
daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine
own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods,
which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;

7 Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh
unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even
unto the other end of the earth;

8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall
thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou
conceal him:

9 But thou shalt surely kill him: thine hand shall be first upon him
to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.


Here is the foundation of all the terrible persecutions for a change
of faith so lamentable among the Jews and so intensified among the
Christians. And this idea still holds, that faith in the crude
speculations of unbalanced minds as to the nature of the great first
cause and his commands as to the conduct of life, should be the same in
the beginning, now and forever. All other institutions may change,
opinions on all other subjects may be modified and improved, but the
old theologies are a finality that have reached the ultimatum of
spiritual thought. We imagine our religion with its dogmas and
absurdities must remain like the rock of ages, forever.



Deuteronomy xv.



6 And thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God, thou, and thy son,
and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the
Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless,
and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the Lord thy God
hath chosen to place his name there.

14 And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy
daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the
stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates.

15 Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto the Lord thy God in
the place which the Lord shall choose.

16 Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord
thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened
bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles.


In the general festivities women of all ranks were invited to take part,
but three times a year Moses had something special to say to the men;
then women were not allowed to be present. We have no instance thus far
in the Jewish economy of any direct communication from God to woman. The
general opinion seemed to be that man was an all-sufficient object of
worship for them, an idea not confined to that period. Milton makes his
Eve with sweet humility say to Adam, "God thy law, thou mine."

This is the fundamental principle on which the canon and civil laws
are based, as well as the English classics. It is only in the galleries
of art that we see the foreshadowing of the good time coming. There the
divine artist represents the virtues, the graces, the sciences, the
seasons, day with its glorious dawn, and night with its holy mysteries,
all radiant and beautiful in the form of woman. The poet, the artist,
the novelist of our own day, are more hopeful prophets for the mother
of the race than those who have spoken in the Scriptures.


E. C. S.



Deuteronomy xvii.



1 Thou shalt not sacrifice unto the Lord thy God any bullock or sheep,
wherein is blemish, or any evil favouredness: for that is an
abomination unto the Lord thy God.

2 If there be found among you, man or woman that hath wrought
wickedness in the sight of the Lord thy God, in transgressing his
covenant:

3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the
sun, or the moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not
commanded;

4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and inquired
diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such
abomination is wrought in Israel:

5 Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman unto thy gates
and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.


This is certainly a very effective way of strengthening religious
faith. Most people would assent to any religious dogma, however absurd,
rather than be stoned to death. As all their healthy tender lambs and
calves were eaten by the priests and rulers, no wonder they were so
particular to get the best. To delude the people it was necessary to
give a religious complexion to the sacrifices and to make God command
the people to bring their choicest fruits and grains and meats. It was
very easy for these accomplished prestidigitators to substitute the
offal for sacrifices on their altars, and keep the dainty fruits and
meats for themselves, luxuries for their own tables.

The people have always been deluded with the idea that what they gave
to the church and the priesthood was given unto the Lord, as if the
Maker of the universe needed anything at our hands. How incongruous the
idea of an Infinite being who made all the planets and the inhabitants
thereof commanding his
creatures to kill and burn animals for offerings to him. It is truly
pitiful to see the deceptions that have been played upon the people in
all ages and countries by the priests in the name of religion. They are
omnipresent, ever playing on human credulity, at birth and death, in
affliction and at the marriage feast, in the saddest and happiest
moments of our lives they are near to administer consolation in our
sorrows, and to add blessings to our joys. No other class of teachers
have such prestige and power, especially over woman.


E. C. S.





CHAPTER IV.



Deuteronomy xviii.



9 When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth
thee, thou shalt not learn the abominations of those nations.

10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or
his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an
observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,

11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or
a necromancer,

12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord.


One would think that Moses with his rod taking the children of Israel
through the Red Sea, bringing water out of a rock and manna from
heaven, going up into a mountain and there surrounding himself with a
cloud of smoke, sending out all manner of pyrotechnics, thunder and
lightning, and deluding the people into the idea that there he met and
talked with Jehovah, should have been more merciful in his judgments of
all witches, necromancers and soothsayers. One would think witches,
charmers and necromancers possessing the same power and manifesting
many of the same wonders that he did, should not have been so severely
punished for their delusions. Moses had taught them to believe in
miracles. When the human mind is led to believe things outside the
realm of known law, it is prepared to accept all manner of absurdities.
And yet the same people that ridicule Spiritualism, Theosophy and
Psychology, believe in the ten plagues of Egypt and the passage of the
children of Israel through the Red Sea. If they did go through, it was
when the tide was low at that point, which Moses understood and Pharaoh
did not. Perhaps the difficulty is to be gotten over in much the same
way as that employed by the negro preacher who, when his statement,
that the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea on the ice, was
questioned on the ground that geography showed that the climate there
was too warm for the formation of ice, replied: "Why, this happened
before there was any geography!" The Jews, as well as the surrounding
nations, were dominated by all manner of supernatural ideas. All these
uncanny tricks and delusions being forbidden shows that they were
extensively practised by the chosen people, as well as by other nations.



Deuteronomy xx, xxi.



14 But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is
in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself;
and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the Lord thy God
hath given thee.

15 When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the Lord
thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them
captive,

11 And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire
unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife;

12 Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave
her head, and pare her nails;

13 And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and
shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a
full month: and after that she shall be thy wife.

14 And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt
let her go whither she will: but thou shalt not sell her at all for
money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast
humbled her.

15 If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they
have borne him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the
firstborn son be hers that was hated:

16 Then it shall be, when he maketh his son to inherit that which he
hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the
son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn:

17 But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by
giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the
beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.


All this is done if the woman will renounce her religion and accept
the new faith. The shaving of the head was a rite in accepting the new
faith, the paring of the nails a token of submission. In all these
transactions the woman had no fixed rights whatever. In that word
"humbled" is included the whole of our false morality in regard to the
equal relations of the sexes. Why in this responsible act of creation,
on which depends life and immortality, woman is said to be humbled,
when she is the prime factor in the relation, is a question difficult
to answer, except in her general degradation, carried off without her
consent as spoils of war, subject to the fancy of any man, to be taken
or cast off at his pleasure, no matter what is done with her. Her sons
must be carefully guarded and the rights of the first-born fully
recognized. The man is of more value than the mother in the scale of
being whatever her graces and virtues may be. If these Jewish ideas
were obsolete they might not be worth our attention, but our creeds and
codes are still tinged with the Mosaic laws and customs. The English
law of primogeniture has its foundation in the above text. The position
of the wife under the old common law has the same origin.

When Bishop Colenso went as a missionary to Zululand, the horror with
which the most devout and intelligent of the natives questioned the
truth of the Pentateuch confirmed his own doubts of the records.
Translating with the help of a Zulu scholar he was deeply impressed
with his revulsion of feeling at the following passage: "If a man smite
his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand, he
shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two,
he shall not be punished: for he is his money." Exodus xxi: 20, 2 1. "I
shall never forget," says the Bishop, "the revulsion of feeling, with
which a very intelligent Christian native, with whose help I was
translating these last words into the Zulu tongue, first heard them as
words said to be uttered by the same great and gracious Being, whom I
was teaching him to trust in and adore. His whole soul revolted against
the notion, that the Great and Blessed God, the Merciful Father of all
mankind, would speak of a servant or maid as mere 'money,' and allow a
horrible crime to go unpunished, because the victim of the brutal usage
had survived a few hours!"

Though they had no Pentateuch nor knowledge of our religion, their
respect for the mother of the race and their recognition of the
feminine element in the Godhead, as shown in the following beautiful
prayer, might teach our Bishops, Priests and Levites a lesson they have
all yet to learn.



EVENING PRAYER.



"O God, Thou hast let me pass the day in peace: let me pass the night
in peace, O Lord, who hast no Lord! There is no strength but in Thee:
Thou alone hast no obligation. Under Thy hand I pass the day! under Thy
hand I pass the night! Thou art my Mother, Thou my Father!"

Placing the mother first shows they were taught by Nature that she was
the prime factor in their existence. In the whole Bible and the
Christian religion man is made the alpha and omega everywhere in the
state, the church and the home. And we see the result in the general
contempt for the sex expressed freely in our literature, in the halls
of legislation, in church convocations and by leading Bishops wherever
they have opportunities for speech and whenever they are welcomed in
the popular magazines of the day.


E. C. S.





CHAPTER V.



Deuteronomy xxiv.



1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass
that she find no favour in his eyes, then let him write her a bill of
divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.

2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another
man's wife.

3 And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of
divorcement, and giveth it in her hand and sendeth her out of his
house: or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife;

4 Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to
be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before
the Lord: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin which the Lord thy
God giveth thee for an inheritance.

5 When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war,
neither shalt he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at
home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.


All the privileges accorded man alone, are based on the principle that
women have no causes for divorce. If they had equal rights in law and
public sentiment, a large number of cruel, whiskey drinking and profane
husbands, would be sued for divorce before wives endured one year of
such gross companionship.

There is a good suggestion in the text, that when a man takes a new
wife he shall stay at home at least one year to cheer and comfort her.
If they propose to have children, the responsible duties of parents
should be equally shared as far as possible. In a busy commercial life,
fathers have but little time to guard their children against the
temptations of life, or to prepare them for its struggles, and the
mother educated to believe that she has no rights or duties in public
affairs, can give no lessons on political morality from her standpoint.
Hence the home is in a condition of half orphanage for the want of
fathers, and the State suffers for need of wise mothers.

It was customary among the Jews to dedicate a new house, a vineyard
just planted, or a betrothed wife to the Lord with prayer and
thanksgiving, before going forth to public duties. This idea is
enforced in several different chapters, impressing on men with families
that there are periods in their lives when "their sphere is home"
their primal duty to look after the wife, the
house and the vineyard.



Deuteronomy xxv.



5 If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no
child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger:
her husband's brother shall take her to wire.

6 And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed
in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out
of Israel.

7 And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his
brother's wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, my husband's
brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will
not perform the duty of my husband's brother.

8 Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and
if she stand to it, and say, I like not to take her:

9 Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the
elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot.


I would recommend these texts to the consideration of the Bishops in
the English House of Lords. If a man may marry a deceased brother's
wife, why not a deceased wife's sister? English statesmanship has
struggled with this problem for generations, and the same old
platitudes against the deceased wife's sister's bill are made to do
duty annually in Parliament.



Deuteronomy xxviii.



56 The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure
to set the sole of her foot upon ground for delicateness and
tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward her husband of her bosom, and
toward her son, and toward her daughter, and toward her children which
she shall bear; for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly
in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee
in thy gates.

64 Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy
ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the
flocks of thy sheep.

68 And the Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the
way whereof I spake unto thee, thou shalt see it no more again: and
there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and
no man shall buy you.


This is addressed to men as most of the injunctions are, as to their
treatment of woman in general. In enumerating the good things that
would come to Israel if the commandments were obeyed, nothing is
promised to women, but when the curses are distributed, woman comes in
for her share. Similar treatment is accorded the daughters of Eve in
modern days. She is given equal privileges with man, in being
imprisoned and hung, but unlike him she has no voice in the laws, the
judge, the jury, nor the manner of exit to the unknown land. She is
denied the right of trial by her own peers; the laws are made by men,
the courts are filled with men; the judge, the advocates, the jurors,
all men!

Moses follows the usual ancient idea that in the creation of human
life, man is the important factor. The child is his fruit, he is
the soul. The spirit the vital spark. The woman merely the earth that
warms and nourishes the seed, the earthly environment. This
unscientific idea still holds among people ignorant of physiology and
psychology. This notion chimes in with the popular view of woman's
secondary place in the world, and so is accepted as law and gospel. The
word "beget" applied only to men in Scripture is additional enforcement
of the idea that the creative act belongs to him alone. This is
flattering to male egoism and is readily accepted.


E. C. S.



In the early chapters of this book Moses' praises of Hebrew valor in
marching into a land already occupied and utterly destroying men, women
and children, seems much like the rejoicing of those who believe in
exterminating the aboriginees in America. Evidently Moses believed in
the survival of the fittest and that his own people were the fittest.
He teaches the necessity of exclusiveness, that the hereditary traits
of the people may not be lost by intermarriage. Though the Israelites,
like the Puritans, had notable foremothers as well as forefathers, yet
it was not the custom to mention them. Perhaps the word fathers meant
both, as the word man in Scripture often includes woman. In the preface
by Lord Bishop Ely, to what is popularly known as the Speaker's Bible,
the remark is made that "whilst the Word of God is one, and does not
change, it must touch at new points the changing phases of physical,
philological and historical knowledge, and so the comments that suit
one generation are felt by another to be obsolete." So, also, it is
that with the higher education of women, their wider opportunities and
the increasing sense of justice, many interpretations of the Bible are
felt to be obsolete, hence the same reason exists for the Woman's
Commentary, which is already popularly known as the Woman's Bible.

Deuteronomy is a name derived from the Greek and signifies that this
is the second or duplicate law, because this, the last book of the
Pentateuch, consists partly in a restatement of the law,
as already given in other books. Deuteronomy contains also, besides
special commands and advice not previously written, an account of the
death of Moses. Johnson's Universal Cyclopedia states that "the
authority of this book has been traditionally assigned to Moses, but,
of course, the part relating to his death is not supposed to be written
by himself, and indeed the last four chapters may have been added by
another hand." DeWette declares that Moses could not have been the
author. He not only points to the closing chapters as containing proof,
but he refers to the anachronisms in earlier chapters, and insists that
the general manner in which the Mosaic history is treated belongs to a
period after the time of Moses. And Rev. John White Chadwick in his
"Bible of To-day" declares that "Prophetism created Deuteronomy." He
speaks of Malachi, the last of the Prophets, as the first to mention
the Mosaic law, and says that in the eighth century before Christ there
was no Mosaic law in any modern sense. The Pentateuch in anything like
its present form was still far in the future. Deuteronomy more than a
hundred years ahead. Leviticus and Numbers nearly three hundred. * * *
The book of Deuteronomy was much more of a manufacture than any
previous portion of the Pentateuch. * * * Not Sinai and Wilderness, but
Babylon and Jerusalem, witnessed the promulgation of the Levitical law.
Its priest was Ezra and not Aaron; but who was its Moses the most
patient study is not likely ever to reveal. The roar of Babylon does
not give up its dead. It would seem as if the Rev. Dr. George Lansing
Taylor shared some of these ideas when, in his poem at the centennial
of Columbia College, he said:


"Great Ezra, Artaxerxes' courtly scholar--
Doctor, ere old Bologna gave that collar,
A ready scribe in all the laws of heaven,
From Babylon ascends, to Zion given,
Armed with imperial power and proclamation,
To rear God's house and educate a nation.

As editor for God, the first in story,
He crowns the editorial chair with glory.
Inspired to push Jehovah's mighty plan on
He lays its corner-stone, the Bible canon.
His Bible college, Bible publication,
Convert the city, crown the Restoration,
And fix the beacon date for History's pages
The chronologic milestone of the ages."


This chapter of Deuteronomy in the solemnity and explicitness of its
blessing and cursings must produce a deep impression on those who are
desirous of pursuing a course which would promote personal and national
prosperity. Reading chapter xix and remembering the history of the Jews
from Moses to this day I reverently acknowledge the sure word of
prophecy therein recorded. Chapter xxx also has high literary merit.
Its euphony is in accordance with its solemn but encouraging warnings
and promises. It touches the connection divinely ordained and eternally
existing between life and goodness, death and sin, emphasizing the
apostolic injunction, "cease to do evil, learn to do well." This
chapter, giving the last directions of Moses and intimations of his
departure from earth, is one of deep interest. How the Lord
communicated to him that his end approached does not appear, but deeply
impressed with the belief, he naturally called together Joshua and the
Levites and gave his final charge. Whether fact or fiction this
farewell is deeply interesting. The closing chapters, containing the
"song of blessing," comes to all lovers of religious poetry as the swan
song of Moses. Though doubting its authorship, one may enjoy its beauty
and grandeur. Chapter xxxiv narrates the death of Moses:


"By Nebo's lonely mountain,
On this side Jordan's wave."


It tells briefly the mourning of the children of Israel over their
great leader's departure and affirms the appointment of Joshua, the
son of Nun, as his successor, and fitly closes the
valuable collection of writings called the Pentateuch.

Since I have proposeed the elimination of some of the coarser portions
of Deuteronomy, I wish to add the testimony of Stevens in his
"Scripture Speculations," as to the general morality of this ancient
code. "Barbarous as they were in many things, childish in more, their
laws are as much in advance of them as of their contemporaries,--were
even singular for humanity in that age, and not always equaled in ours.
We forget that there were contemporary nations which justified
stealing, authorised infanticide, legalized the murder of aged parents,
associated lust with worship. None of these blots can be traced on the
Jewish escutcheon. By preventing imprisonment for debt, Moses
anticipated the latest discovery of modern philanthropy. * * * Even the
mercy of Christianity was foreshadowed in his provision for the poor,
who were never to cease out of the land; the prospered were to lend
without interest, and never to harden their heart against a brother.
The hovel of the poor was a sanctuary, and many a minute safeguard like
the return of the debtor's garment at nightfall, to save him from
suffering during the chilliness of the night, has waited to be brought
to light by our more perfect knowledge of Jewish customs." But that the
Scriptures, rightly interpreted, do not teach the equality of the
sexes, I must be permitted to doubt. We who love the Old and New
Testaments take "Truth for authority, and not authority for truth," as
did our sainted Lucretia Mott, whose earnest appeals for liberty were
often jewelled, as were Daniel Webster's most eloquent speeches, with
some texts from the old Hebrew Bible.


P. A. H.





CHAPTER VI.


THE PENTATEUCH.



The primal requisite for the more accurate understanding of the Bible
is its translation from the past to the present tense. It has been
studied as history, as the record of a remote past whose truth it has
been well-nigh impossible to verify. It should be studied as a record
of the present, the present experience of the individual and the race
which is to ultimate in the perfect actualization of generic
possibilities.

Like the tables of stone the Bible is written on both sides; or it has
a letter which is its exterior and an interior spirit or meaning. The
history which constitutes its letter illustrates those principles which
constitute its meaning. The formless must be put into form to be
apprehended. Mistaking the form for that substance which has been
brought to the level of human apprehension by its means, is the error
which constitutes the basis of dogmatic theology. Error in a premise
compels error in conclusions. It is no wonder that woman's true
relation to man and just position in the social fabric has remained
unknown. A Moses on Pisgah's height is needed to-day to see and declare
this promised land; and he must be revelator, first, to women
themselves, for they especially need enlightenment upon the true nature
of the Bible.

So long as they mistake superstition for religious revelation, they
will be content with the position and opportunities assigned them by
scholastic theology. They will remember and "keep their place" as thus
defined. Their religious nature is warped and twisted through
generations of denominational conservatism; which fact, by the way, is
the greatest stumbling block in the path of equal suffrage to-day, and
one to which the leaders of that movement have seemed unaccountably
blind.

Thus woman's strongest foes have been of her own sex; and because her
sense of duty and religious sentiment have been operative
according to a false ideal, unintentionally women have been and will
continue to be bigoted until they allow a higher ideal to penetrate
their minds; until they see with the eye of reason and logic, as well
as with the sentiment which has so long kept them the dependent class.
The Bible from beginning to end teaches the equality of man and woman,
their relation as the two halves of the unit, but also their
distinctiveness in office. One cannot take the place of the other
because of the fundamental nature of each. The work of each half in its
own place is necessary to the perfect whole.

The man has more prominence than the woman in the Bible because the
masculine characters in their succession represent man as a whole--
generic man. The exterior or male half is outermost, the interior or
female half is covered by the outer. One is seen, the other has to be
discerned, and can be discerned by following the harmonious relativity
between the two halves of the unit. There is a straight line of ascent
from the Adam to the Christ, within which is the straight line of
ascent from the Eve to the Mary. The book of Genesis is the substance
of the whole Bible, its meaning is the key to the meaning of the whole;
it is the skeleton around which the rest is builded. If the remainder
of the Old Testament were destroyed its substance could be
reconstructed from Genesis. As the bony structure of the physical body
is the framework which is filled in and rounded to symmetrical
proportions by the muscular tissue, so Genesis is the framework which
is symmetrically rounded and filled by the other books, which supply
the necessary detail involved in basic principles.

The first chapter of Genesis is not the record of the creation of the
world. It is a symbolical description of the composite nature of man,
that being which is male and female in one. The personal pronoun "He"
belongs to his exterior nature; and the characters which illustrate
this nature and the order of its development are men. The pronoun "She"
belongs to the interior nature, and all characters--fewer in number--
which illustrate it, are women. "Male and female created he them." The
second chapter describes the nature and origin of the visible world,
the nature and origin of the soul, their relation to each other and to
this dual being. With the third chapter begins the symbolical
illustration of the soul's existence--of its continuity of existence
which is unbroken till its highest possibilities are actualized, till
all the inherent capabilities of the dual being are fully manifested.

The leading characters of Genesis--Adam, Enos, Noah, Abraham, Isaac,
Jacob and Joseph--seven in number, represent the seven chief stages of
the soul's existence which follow each other like the notes in the
musical scale. It is our own experience that is there portrayed, both
present and prospective. What we as individuals, and nations are now
going through in our efforts for betterment, is told in the story of
Genesis. More than this, the clue to assured betterment is found there
also. This experience is on two lines which are always distinct but
never separate--the male and the female. These are indissolubly bound
together "from the beginning," the same principles, necessitating the
same moral standards and spiritual ideals, and governing both. The
largest measure of our individual and national perplexities and
sufferings has come from the ignorant straining apart of that which
"God hath joined together" and which we can not successfully and
permanently "put asunder."

The remaining four books of the Pentateuch, supply the detail
beginning between the Adam and Noah of Genesis, rounding out that part
of the skeleton. The Exodus from Egypt under the leadership of Moses,
represents the soul's growth out of purely sense-consciousness by the
help of spiritual perception. Moses is the personification of this
faculty inherent in and operative from the eternal ego, the dual being,
which is "the Lord" of the Bible. The Old Testament presents the outer
or masculine nature of this "Lord" as the Jehovah. The New Testament
presents the inner or feminine nature as the Virgin.

The children of Israel according to their tribes, represent the
ranging characteristics or parts which make up the soul of self-
consciousness. They are the "chosen people" because when the
soul sees with its spiritual insight as well as with its sensuous
outsight, it can, if it will, choose between the two as guides. Their
experiences in the wilderness are what we are passing through to-day;
for there is now a people who have made this choice and are following
the higher leader in their work for the human race, which is the only
satisfactory way of working for themselves. But this leader--spiritual
perception--cannot put the soul in possession of its promised land--a
higher state of existence or quality of self-consciousness. It sees the
higher and leads in its direction; but understanding of fundamental,
therefore unvarying and always applicable, principles is necessary for
that realization which Is the attainment of the higher, or its
possession.

Moses' death before crossing Jordan illustrates this limitation, which
is also the limitation of earnest reformers to-day. They can see for us
and point out that which awaits them; but they can never take those
others "into the land." They must travel on their own feet.

Joshua, as the leader after Moses, is the personification of this
understanding. He is Moses' sepulchre, for Moses is buried in him.
Spiritual insight develops understanding which is its continuity. Hence
the continuation of experiences under Joshua the "Saviour" through whom
the soul takes "possession" of its higher state. In the "wilderness" of
transition from the old to the new, mistakes occur which mar their
consequences. In this illustration of the Pentateuch, Miriam "speaks
against" Moses, is stricken with leprosy and "set without the camp,"
and the people cannot journey till all is "brought in again."

Woman's intellectual development after ages of repression, has
resulted with many of the sex, in an agnosticism which, at first
liberal, has grown to be a dogmatic materialism. She "speaks against"
spiritual insight and its revelations. In forsaking her dogmas and
creeds she has forsaken religion. She is to be "brought in again"--
brought to see that religion is of the soul and is individual; while
dogma and doctrine are from the sensuous out-side alone. The one tends
to true freedom, the other generates bondage. Broadly, women of to-day
are of two classes; those who are still held by the conservatism of
creeds, and those who have gone to the other extreme through the
exhilaration of intellectual activity. Both classes must meet upon a
common ground, recognition of fundamental principles and effort to
apply them--before the New Testament can become the practical ethical
standard.

An outline of a subject so vast and profound as the nature and meaning
of the Pentateuch, must necessarily be more or less unsatisfactory. It
cannot be detached from the rest of the Bible which is a complete
organic body. Its meaning is consecutive and harmonious with first
premises, from beginning to end. The obvious inconsistencies and
absurdities involve only its letter, which may or may not be true as
history without affecting the truth of the book itself which lies in
its meaning.

The projectors of "The Woman's Bible" must not avoid the whirlpool of
a masculine Bible only, to split upon the rock of a feminine Bible
alone. This would be an attempt to separate what is intensely joined
together and defeat the end desired. The book is the soul's guide in
the fulfilling of its destiny--that destiny which is involved in its
origin; and the soul, in sleep, is sexless. Its faculties and powers
are differentiated are masculine and feminine.

If the question is asked--"What is your authority for this view of the
Bible?" the answer is "I have none but the internal evidence of the
book itself. When joined it is self-evident truth, requiring no
external authority to give it support."


U. N. G.





APPENDIX.



As the Revising Committee refer to a woman's translation of the Bible
as their ultimate authority, for the Greek, Latin and Hebrew text, a
brief notice of this distinguished scholar is important:

Julia Smith's translation of the Bible stands out unique among all
translations. It is the only one ever made by a woman, and the only
one, it appears, ever made by man or woman without help. Wyclif, "the
morning star of the Reformation," made a translation from the Vulgate,
assisted by Nicholas of Hereford. He was not sufficiently familiar with
Hebrew and Greek to translate from those tongues. Coverdale's
translation was not done alone. In his dedication to the king he says
he has humbly followed his interpreters and that under correction.
Tyndale, in his translation, had the assistance of Frye, of William
Roye, and also of Miles Coverdale. Julia Smith translated the whole
Bible absolutely alone, without consultation with any one. And this not
once, but five times--twice from the Hebrew, twice from the Greek and
once from the Latin. Literalness was one end she kept constantly in
view, though this does not work so well with the Hebrew tenses. But she
did not mind that. Frequently her wording is an improvement, or brings
one closer to the original than the common translation. Thus in I.
Corinthians viii, 1, of the King James translation, we have: "Knowledge
puffeth up, but charity edifieth." Julia Smith version: "Knowledge
puffs up and love builds the house." She uses "love" in place of
"charity" every time. And her translation was made nearly forty years
before the revised version of our day, which also does the same.
Tyndale, in his translation nearly three hundred and seventy-five years
ago, made the same translation of this word; but Julia Smith did not
know that and never saw his translation. This word "charity" was one of
the words that Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor of England, charged
Tyndale with mistranslating. The other two words were "priest" and
"church," Tyndale calling priests "seniors," and church,
"congregation." Both Julia Smith and the revised version call them
priests and church. And he gives the word, "Life" for "Eve" "And Adam
will call his wife's name Life, for she was the mother of all living."

One more illustration: "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea
in the days of Herod the king, behold there came wise men from the east
to Jerusalem." King James translation. "Now when Jesus was born, etc.,
behold there came wise men from the sunrisings to Jerusalem." Julia
Smith version. She claims to have made a perfectly literal
translation, and according to the verdict of competent authorities,
Hebrew scholars who have examined her Bible, she has done so. Her work
has had the endorsement of various learned men. A Hebrew professor of
Harvard College (Prof. Young) called on her soon after her Bible was
issued and examined it. He was much astonished that she had translated
o correctly without consulting some learned man. He expressed surprise
that she should have put the tenses as she did. She said to him: "You
acknowledge that I have translated according to the Hebrew idiom?" He
replied: "O yes, you have translated literally." That was just what she
aimed at, to get an exact literal translation, without regard to
smoothness. She received many letters from scholars, all speaking of
the exact, or literal translation. Some people have criticised this
feature, which is the great merit of the book.

Julia Smith was led to make the translation at the time of the Miller
excitement in 1843, when the world was to come to a sudden termination;
when the saints were preparing their robes for ascension into the
empyrean, and wicked unbelievers (the vast majority) were to descend as
far the other way. She and her family were much interested in Miller's
predictions, and she was anxious to see for herself if, in the original
Hebrew text of the Bible there was any warrant for Miller's
predictions. So she set to work and studied Hebrew, having previously
translated the New Testament, and also the Septuagint from the Greek.
So absorbed did she become in her work that the dinner bell was
unheeded, and she would undoubtedly have many times gone to bed both
dinnerless and supperless had not the family called her off from her
work. Once a. week she met with the family and a friend and neighbor,
Miss Emily Moseley, to read over and discuss what she had translated
during the week. This practice was kept up for several years. When she
came to publish the work, (the manuscripts of which had lain in the
garret some twenty-five or thirty years) the cashier of the Hartford
bank, where the sisters had kept their money, told her she was very
foolish to throw away her money printing this Bible; that she would
never sell a copy. She told him it didn't matter whether she did or
not; that she was not doing it to make money; that she found more
satisfaction in spending her money in this way than in spending it all
on dress. Thanks to our more enlightened age, this translation did not
meet with the opposition the early translators had to contend with. The
scholars of those days thought learning should be confined to a select
few; it was, in their view, dangerous to put the Bible into a language
the common people could understand, especially women. Here is what one
Henry de Knyghton, a learned monk of that day, said: "This Master John
Wiclif hath translated the gospel out of Latin into English, which
Christ had intrusted with the clergy and doctors of the Church that
they might minister it to the laity and weaker sort, according to the
state of the times and the wants of men. But now the gospel is made
vulgar and more open to the laity, and even to women who can read, than
it used to be to the most learned of the clergy and those of the best
understanding." To say nothing of reading the Bible, what would this
learned man have thought of a woman translating it, and five times at
that! It would seem as if the bare suggestion must have stirred his dry
bones with indignation.

King James appointed fifty-four men of learning to translate the
Bible. Seven of them died and forty-seven carried the work on. Compare
this corps of workers with one little woman performing the Herculean
task with without one suggestion or word of advice from mortal man!
This Bible is ten by seven inches, and is printed in large, clear
type. There are two styles of binding, cloth and sheepskin. The
cloth binding was $2.50 at the time it was issued and while Julia Smith
lived, and the other was $3.00, but as they are getting scarcer the
price may have gone up. They will be a rarity in the next century and
will be much sought after by bibliomaniacs, to say nothing of scholars
who will want it for its real value. Julia Smith had the plates of her
Bible preserved, but where they are now is more than I know. It was
published by the American Publishing Company, of Hartford, in 1876.

Julia Evelina Smith, of Glastonbury, Conn., was one of five sisters of
a somewhat notable family, the father and mother both having strong
traits of character and marked individuality. The mother, Hannah
Hickok, was a fine linguist and mathematician. She once made an almanac
for her own convenience, almanacs being rather scarce in those days.
She could tell the time of night whenever she happened to awake by the
position of the stars. She was an omnivorous reader and a great
student, and in those days before the invention of stoves, her father,
in order to allow her the requisite retirement to gratify her studious
tastes, built her a small glass room. In the days of the Abby and Julia
Smith excitement, when they refused to pay their taxes, some writer was
so wicked as to say that Julia Smith's grandfather shut her mother up
in a glass cage. Seated in this glass enclosure, placed in a south
room, with the sun's rays beating down upon her, as upon a plant in a
conservatory, she could pursue her studies to her heart's content. She
was an only child and adored by her father; and so much did she think
of him that in his last illness, when she was away at school, she rode
four hundred miles on horseback in order to see him before he died.

Julia Smith's father, the Rev. Zephaniah H. Smith, a graduate of Yale,
was settled in Newtown, Conn., near South Britain, where he married
Hannah Hickok. He preached but four years, resigning his position on
the ground that the gospel should be free; that it was wrong to preach
for money--ideas promulgated by the Sandemanians of those days, the
followers of Robert Sandeman, a Scotchman, who organized the sect in
England and in this country, it having originated with his father-in-
law, John Glas, the sect being called either Glassites or Sandemanians,
the former being given the preference in Scotland and England. The
ideas of these people were followed out by the Smith family, and at
Abby and Julia Smith's funeral, as at the funerals of those who had
gone before them, there was no officiating minister and no services.
Simply a chapter of the Bible was read, and one or two who wished, made
remarks. On a fly-leaf of the Bible Julia Smith read every day was
written the request that she should be buried by her sisters in
Glastonbury, and with no name on the tombstone but that of her own
maiden name. This request was followed out. The names of the Smith
sisters are so unique, and inasmuch as they have never been known to be
printed correctly, it may not be out of place to give them here,
preceding them by those of their parents, making a short family record
for future reference:


Zephaniah H. Smith, born August 19, 1758. Died February 1, 1836.

Hannah Hickok, born August 7, 1767. Died December 27, 1850

They were married May 31, 1756.



DAUGHTERS OF THE ABOVE


Hancy Zephina, born March 16, 1787. Died June 30, 1871.

Cyrinthia Sacretia, born May 18, 1788. Died August 19, 1864.

Laurilla Aleroyla, born November 26, 1789. Died March 19, 1857.

Julia Evelina, born May 27, 1792. Died March 6, 1886.

Abby Hadassah, born June 1, 1797. Died July 23, 1878.


Julia was educated at Mrs. Emma Willard's far-famed seminary at Troy,
New York. Abby, the youngest of the family, was the one who added to
their fame, when, in November, 1873, at a town meeting in Glastonbury,
she delivered a speech against taxation without representation. She had
just attended the first Woman's Congress in New York, and on her way
back said she was going to make a speech on taxation; that she should
apply to the authorites {sic} to speak in town hall on town meeting
day. She and Julia owned considerable property in Glastonbury and their
taxes were being increased while those of their neighbors (men) were
not. She applied to the authorities, but they would not let her speak
in the hall, so she spoke from a wagon outside to a crowd of people.
This speech was printed in a Hartford paper (the Courant) and was
copied all over the country, and the cry: "Abby Smith and her cows" was
caught up everywhere. Abby Smith's quaint, simple speeches attracted
attention, and the sale of the cows at the sign-post aroused sympathy,
and from that time on their fame grew apace. The hitherto light mail-
bags of Glastonbury came loaded with mail matter from all quarters for
the Smith sisters. And this continued for some years, or till the death
of Abby in 1878, which was followed by the marriage of Julia the
following spring, and the discontinuance of the sale of the cows at the
public sign-post. She married Mr. Amos A. Parker, both being eighty-
seven years of age. Julia Smith sold the old family mansion in
Glastonbury and bought a house at Parkville, Hartford. She died there
in 1886 and her husband died in 1893, nearly one hundred and two years
of age.


F. E. B.





Advertisements from original, Vol. 1



EIGHTY YEARS AND MORE

BEING THE REMINISCENCES OF

ELIZABETH CADY STANTON.

(1815-1897.)


This new work by our distinguished countrywoman is a 12mo of 475 pp.,
complete in one volume, cloth bound, with eleven portraits. Price $2.00.


I Dedicate This Volume To

Susan B. Anthony,

My Steadfast Friend For Half A Century.



CONTENTS.

Chapter.


I.

Childhood.


II.

School Days.


III.

Girlhood.


IV.

Life at Peterboro.


V.

Our Wedding journey.


VI.

Homeward Bound.


VII.

Motherhood.


VIII.

Boston and Chelsea.


IX.

The First Woman's Rights Convention.


X.

Susan B. Anthony.


XI.

Susan B. Anthony (Continued).

XII.

My First Speech Before a Legislature.


XIII.

Reforms and Mobs.


XIV.

Views on Marriage and Divorce.


XV.

Women as Patriots.


XVI.

Pioneer Life in Kansas--Our Newspaper, "The Revolution."


XVII.

Lyceums and Lecturers.


XVIII.

Westward Ho!


XIX.

The Spirit Of '76.


XX.

Writing "The History of Woman Suffrage."


XXI.

In the South of France.


XXII.

Reforms and Reformers in Great Britain.


XXIII.

Woman and Theology.


XXIV.

England and France Revisited.


XXV.

The International Council of Women.


XXVI.

My Last Visit to England.


XXVII.

Sixtieth Anniversary of the Class of 1832--The Woman's Bible.


XXVIII.

My Eightieth Birthday.



PREFACE

The interest my family and friends have always manifested in the
narration of my early and varied experiences, and their earnest desire
to have them in permanent form for the amusement of another generation,
moved me to publish this volume. I am fully aware that its contents have
no especial artistic merit, being composed partly of extracts from my
diary, a few hasty sketches of my travels and people I have met, and of
my opinions on many social questions.

The story of my private life as the wife of an earnest reformer, as an
enthusiastic housekeeper, proud of my skill in every department of
domestic economy, and as the mother of seven children., may amuse and
benefit the reader.

The incidents of my public career as a leader in the most momentous
reform yet launched upon the world--the emancipation of woman--will be
found in "The History of Woman Suffrage."

New York City, September, 1897        Elizabeth Cady Stanton.


Mrs. Stanton in this book, in her inimitable way, relates anecdotes
of, and experiences with, a number of the leading women, statesmen,
authors, and reformers of the last sixty years. The following are a few
names selected at random from the

INDEX OF NAMES.

Beecher, Rev. Henry Ward.
Bradlaugh, Hon. Charles, M. P.
Bright, Hon. Jacob M. P.
Bright, Hon. John, M. P.
Browning, Robert.
Bryant, William Cullen.
Curtis, George William.
Cobbe, Frances Power.
Clarkson, Thomas.
Charming, Rev. William Ellery.
Carlisle, Lord and Lady.
Byron, Lady.
Cushman, Charlotte.
Dana, Charles A.
Douglass, Frederick.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo.
Fry, Elizabeth.
Fuller, Margaret.
Garrison, William Lloyd.
George, Henry.
Grant, General Ulysses S
Greeley, Horace.
Grevy, President Jules.
Holmes, Oliver Wendell.
Hyacinthe, Pere.
Ingersoll, Robert G.
Kingsley, Canon Charles.
Krapotkine, Prince.
Lowell, James Russell.
Martineau, Harriet.
Mill, John Stuart.
Mott, Lucretia.
O'Connell, Daniel.
Owen, Robert Dale.
Parker, Rev. Theodore.
Parnell, Hon. Charles Stuart, M. P.
Phillips, Wendell.
Seward, Governor William H.
Shelley, Percy Bysshe.
Smith, Hon. Gerrit.
Stanton, Hon. Henry B.
Stepniak.
Stone, Lucy.
Stowe, Harriet Beecher.
Sumner, Hon. Charles.
Whittier, John G.
Willard, Emma.
Willard, Frances E.



See Press Comments on following pages.

This book will be sent, mail prepaid, on receipt of price, by

European Publishing Company,

W Broad Street, New York City.



PRESS COMMENTS.

It is a very readable book.--Albany Times-Union.

The Reminiscences are delightful.--The Louisville Dispatch.

The tale is as interesting as any romance or drama.--N. Y. Mail and
Express.

A bright, entertaining tale, and one which contains much valuable
information.--N. Y. Herald.

We know of no other autobiography which will command more profound
interest.--The Rocky Mountain News.

It is the life story of a genuine American woman and will excite wide
interest.--The Minneapolis Tribune.

A breezy narrative of a long and active life, told with spirit and
humor.--The Woman's Journal.

Every sentence in this book would serve as a text for a chapter were
merited amplification practicable.--Ithaca Journal.

The book is illustrated with a number of excellent portraits of the
author, and is full of interest.--New London Day.

A well written account of a long and busy life. A highly interesting
biography and a delightful book, which is well worth reading.--N. Y.
Evening World.

A human document of no small interest and value. A straightforward and
piquant story of a noteworthy personality.--The Chicago Tribune.

A combination of several kinds of charm. It is frankly personal. It is
impossible not to wish there had been very much more of each chapter.
--N. Y. Evening Sun.

It is unexpectedly amusing, as well as instructive, some of the
author's experiences being narrated in a most realistic and delightful
manner.--Washington Post.

Two chapters of this interesting autobiography are devoted to Miss
Susan B. Anthony, the friend and fellow-laborer in the field of Woman's
Rights with Mrs. Stanton.--Jeannette L. Gilder in N. Y. Sunday Journal.

It is a book well worth reading and shows what one woman may do with a
purpose and a will back of it. The personal part of the Reminiscences
are of much interest, and force admiration for the tactful, courageous
and able woman.--Pittsburg Post.

It is one of the most important books of the year, Particularly to the
women of this country. It is absorbingly interesting. The trouble that
the reader encounters is that he finds it hard work to lay the book
down.--Boston Daily Advertiser.

The story of the life of this great American woman will be read with
much interest in many homes. It is a book of much artistic merit and
her Reminiscences cannot be other than interesting. The book throughout
is delightfully entertaining--Troy Times.

A most charming and interesting picture of a wife, mother and a
friend. Every one who has seen or heard of this leader of the woman
question of the century will rejoice that such a book has been given to
the world.--Boston Investigator.

It is not principally the record of her public career as a leader in
the movement for the emancipation of woman, but rather the story of her
private life which is set forth in this volume. Especially interesting
are those reminiscences that deal with the author's early days.--N. Y.
Sun.

This book abounds in interesting experiences. The style is simple and
amusing, showing the writer possessed of a keen sense of humor and the
fitness of things, as well as justice. It is particularly interesting
to women whether they sympathize with the views of the writer or
otherwise.--Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable book and never lacking in interest. It
will be an inspiration for American girls to read its chapters. She
gives graphic pictures. The volume contains several fine portraits. The
book is racy and pleasing, whether the reader agrees with the author in
all things or not.--Chicago Inter-Ocean.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton's recollections, covering eighty years, easily
come first in the array of new noteworthy books, because of the
surprise they will afford the public, having been almost unheralded;
because of the impressive and protracted public career of the author;
because of her inflexible devotion to and sincerity in a cause long
unpopular, and because, moreover, Mrs. Stanton is an American. This is
a most interesting volume.--N. Y. Times.



Eighty Years and More.

Being the Reminiscences of ELIZABETH CADY STANTON. Complete In one
volume. 12mo, 475 pp. Cloth, eleven portraits. Price $2.00.

PRESS COMMENTS--(Continued).

The story of Mrs. Stanton's life is one which interests many thousands
in this country, and which will also be read with interest in other
lands, for her reputation as a reformer and writer is international;
her strong personal characteristics give to this autobiographical work
a charm of its own. It contains some of the most entertaining
reminiscences that have been given to the public. It is a book which is
sure to be widely read.--Worcester Spy.

The personal element is the fascinating part of the book which holds
one's attention and keeps him reading to the end. It is a bright,
breezy, and radical turn-the-world-upside-down book. We do not like its
religious tone. We do not like the author's occult theosophy. We do not
like her sociology, with its good word for the windmill logic of the
speculative Bellamy. We do not like her views of marriage and divorce.
But when all is said, and with all these wide differences lying between
us to qualify our enjoyment of this book, we have enjoyed it much. Mrs.
Stanton is a first-rate raconteuse and fills her pages with amusing
recitals and brilliant encounters--N. Y. Independent.

TO WOMAN SUFFRAGE CLUBS: We will supply Clubs with single copies of
this book at $2 per copy, postage prepaid. We will forward five (5)
copies of this book to any address, express charges prepaid, on the
receipt of six dollars ($6.00).

We Wish An Agent In Every Woman Suffrage Club. Correspondence with
those who desire to become Agents solicited.





SPEECHES, LETTERS AND MISCELLANEOUS WRITINGS

OF

ELIZABETH CADY STANTON.


12mo, 500 pp., cloth, five portraits. Price $2.00.

This work will be similar in style and binding to Eighty Years and
More, will contain valuable editorial notes by Theodore Stanton, A. M.,
and will be published in January, 1899.

New York

European Publishing Company

And Paris





THE WOMAN'S BIBLE.

COMPLETE IN TWO PARTS.



REVISING COMMITTEE.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
Rev. Phebe A. Hanaford.
Clara Bewick Colby.
Rev. Augusta Chapin.
Mary Seymour Howell.
Josephine K. Henry.
Mrs. Robert G. Ingersoll.
Sarah A. Underwood.
Catharine F. Stebbins.
Ellen Battelle Dietrick.
Ursula N. Gestefeld.
Lillie Devereux Blake.
Matilda Joslyn Gage.
Rev. Olympia Brown.
Frances Ellen Burr.
Clara B. Neyman.
Helen H. Gardener.
Charlotte Beebe Wilbour.
Lucinda B. Chandler.
Louisa Southworth.
Baroness Alexandra Gripenberg, Finland.
Ursula M. Bright, England.
Irma von Troll-Borostyani, Austria.
Priscilla Bright McLaren, Scotland.
Isabelle Bogelot, France.



PART I.

A 12mo, 160 pp. paper. Third American and Second English Edition.
Twentieth Thousand. Price 50 Cents.

It contains Comments on Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and
Deuteronomy, by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lillie Devereux Blake, Rev.
Phebe A. Hanaford, Clara Bewick Colby, Ellen Battelle Dietrick, Ursula
N. Gestefeld, Louisa Southworth, Frances Ellen Burr.


PART II.

A 12mo, 217 pp. paper. First American Edition, Ten Thousand. Price 50
Cents.

It contains Comments on The Old and New Testaments from Joshua to
Revelation, by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Louisa Southworth, Lucinda B.
Chandler, Anonymous, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Rev. Phebe A. Hanaford, Clara
B. Neyman, Frances Ellen Burr, Ellen Battelle Dietrick, and Letters and
Comments in an Appendix, by Rev. Antoinette Brown Blackwell, Mary A.
Livermore, Frances E. Willard, Mrs. Robert G. Ingersoll, Irma von Troll-
Borostyani, Mrs. Jacob Bright, Rev. Phebe A. Hanaford, Anonymous, Susan
B. Anthony, Edna D. Cheney, Sarah A. Underwood, Dr. Elizabeth
Blackwell, Josephine K. Henry, Ursula N. Gestefeld, Catharine F.
Stebbins, Alice Stone Blackwell, Matilda Joslyn Gage, E. T. M.,
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and others, and the resolution passed by the
National-American Woman Suffrage Association, repudiating "The Woman's
Bible," together with the discussion thereon.

See Press Comments on The Woman's Bible on next page.



PRESS COMMENTS

ON THE

WOMAN'S BIBLE

The comments are right up to date.--Cincinnati Tribune.

The most humorous book of the year.--The Hartford Seminary Record.

Of all possible books this is perhaps the most extraordinary possible.
--The Week, Toronto, Canada.

A very clever analysis of passages relating to the sex.--Public
Opinion, N. Y. City.

The new Woman's Bible is one of the remarkable productions of the
century.--Denver News.

A unique edition of the Scripture. An extraordinary presentment of
Holy Writ!--Denver Times.

The work is unique. Its aim is to help the cause of woman in her
battle for equality.--Beacon, Akron, Ohio.

Robert G. Ingersoll is the only person on earth capable of a work
equal to Mrs. Stanton's sensation, "The Woman's Bible."--Chicago Times-
Herald.

The attack of the new woman on the King James Bible will be observed
with interest where it does not alarm. But let "The Woman's Bible" and
the truth prevail. It may be that Lot himself was turned into a pillar
of salt.--Chicago Post.

It has come at last, as it was bound to come--the emancipated woman's
Bible. The wonder is it has been delayed so long. This is not a
blasphemous book.--The Egyptian Gazette, Alexandria, Egypt.

The "new woman" has broken out in a fresh direction and published "The
Woman's Bible." In it the conduct of Adam, the father of the race, is
described as "to the last degree dastardly."--Westminster Budget,
London, Eng.

One of the most striking protests devised by woman for the purpose of
showing her rejection of the conditions under which our mothers lived.
It is evidently the mission of "The Woman's Bible" to exalt and dignify
woman.--The Morning, London, Eng.

We have read some of the passages of the commentary prepared for "the
Woman's Bible" by that very accomplished American woman and Biblical
student, Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton. They are a great deal more
satisfactory than many of the comments upon the same texts that we have
read in other and more pretentious Commentaries. Mrs. Stanton's
interpretative remarks are shrewd and sensible--Editorial N. Y. Sun.

Of man-made commentaries on the Bible we have had sufficient to stock
a library and yet they have left room for this commentary by women.
These revisers have proved the need of an intelligent examination of
the Scriptures from the woman's point of view. The lady commentators
are not wanting in a sense of humor--the quality in which biblical
critics of the male sex are usually unhappily deficient. There is much
that is very funny and very interesting in this new commentary upon the
Bible.--The Daily Chronicle, London, Eng.

The Standard says, "The Sisterhood of Advanced Women has taken a bold
step towards emancipation. It has long groaned under certain
implications of servitude contained in a few passages of Scripture, and
has, therefore, determined to abolish these disabilities by publishing
'The Woman's Bible.'" It is not only the type that is new. New readings
of old passages are given, and the volume contains suggestions to show
that the verses about women's inferiority really mean the opposite of
the ordinary acceptation. In it Eve is rather praised than otherwise
for having eaten the apple. It is pointed out that Satan did not tempt
her with an array of silks and satins, and gold watches, or even a
cycling costume--the things which some people think most seductive to
her descendants--but with the offer of knowledge; a man being of such a
lethargic and groveling nature that a similar lofty ambition never
entered his mind. Besides, if the fruit was not to be eaten, Eve should
have been informed of the fact at first hand, and not through an
agent.--Pall Mall Gazette, London, Eng.


The above books will be sent, mail prepaid, on receipt of price, by

European Publishing Company,

68 Broad Street, New York City.





THE WOMAN'S BIBLE

PART II


COMMENTS ON THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS

FROM

JOSHUA TO REVELATION


"OH! Rather give me commentators plain,
Who with no deep researches vex the brain;
Who from the dark and doubtful love to run.
And hold their glimmering tapers to the sun."

--The Parish Register.



1898.



The Bible in its teachings degrades Woman from Genesis to Revelations.



REVISING COMMITTEE.

"We took sweet counsel together."-Ps. Iv., 14.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton,
Rev. Phebe A. Hanaford,
Clara Bewick Colby,
Rev. Augusta Chapin,
Ursula N. Gestefeld,
Mary Seymour Howell,
Josephine K. Henry,
Mrs. Robert G. Ingersoll,
Sarah A. Underwood,
Ellen Battelle Dietrick,[FN#4]

Lillie Devereux Blake,
Matilda Joslyn Gage,
Rev. Olympia Brown,
Frances Ellen Burr,
Clara B. Neyman,
Helen H. Gardener,
Charlotte Beebe Wilbour,
Lucinda B. Chandler,
Catharine F. Stebbins,
Louisa Southworth.



[FN#4]  Deceased.



FOREIGN MEMBERS.

Baroness Alexandra Gripenberg, Finland,

Ursula M. Bright, England,

Irma Von Troll-Borostyani, Austria,

Priscilla Bright Mclaren, Scotland,

Isabelle Bogelot, France.






COMMENTS ON THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS

FROM

JOSHUA TO REVELATION, BY

Elizabeth Cady Stanton,

Ellen Battelle Dietrick,
Louisa Southworth,
Lucinda B. Chandler,
Anonymous,

Matilda Joslyn Gage,
Frances Ellen Burr,
Rev. Phebe A. Hanaford,
Clara B. Neyman.




APPENDIX.


LETTERS AND COMMENTS BY

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Josephine K. Henry, Frances E. Willard, Eva A.
Ingersoll, Mary A. Livermore, Irma von Troll-Borostyani, Mrs. Jacob
Bright, Rev. Antoinette Brown Blackwell, Anonymous, Rev. Phebe A.
Hanaford, Ednah D. Cheney, Sarah A. Underwood, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell,
Alice Stone Blackwell, Ursula N. Gestefeld, E. M., Matilda Joslyn Gage,
Sarah M. Perkins, and Catharine F. Stebbins.



Resolution

Of

National-American Woman Suffrage Association repudiating "The Woman's
Bible," and Speech of Susan B. Anthony.



Dedicated To The Memory Of

Ellen Battelle Dietrick,

In Whose Death We Lost The Ablest Member Of Our Revising Committee.



PREFACE TO PART II.

The criticisms on "The Woman's Bible" are as varied as they are
unreasonable. Both friend and foe object to the title. When John Stuart
Mill wrote his "Subjection of Woman" there was a great outcry against
that title. He said that proved it to be a good one. The critics said:
"It will suggest to women that they are in subjection and make them
rebellious." "That," said he, "is just the effect I wish to produce."
Rider Haggard's "She" was denounced so universally that every one read
it to see who "She" was. Thus the title in both cases called attention
to the book.

The critics say that our title should have been "Commentaries on the
Bible." That would have been misleading, as the book simply contains
short comments on the passages referring to woman. Some say that it
should have been "The Women of the Bible;" but several books with that
title have already been published. The Rev. T. DeWitt Talmage says:
"You might as well have a 'Shoemakers' Bible'; the Scriptures apply to
women as we'll as to men." As the Bible treats women as of a different
class, inferior to man or in subjection to him, which is not the case
with shoemakers, Mr. Talmage's criticism has no significance.


"There's nothing so becomes a man,
As modest stillness and humility."


Another clergyman says: "It is the work of women, and the devil." This
is a grave mistake. His Satanic Majesty was not invited to join the
Revising Committee, which consists of women alone. Moreover, he has
been so busy of late years attending Synods, General Assemblies and
Conferences, to prevent the recognition of women delegates, that he
has had no time to study the languages and "higher criticism."

Other critics say that our comments do not display a profound
knowledge of Biblical history or of the Greek and Hebrew languages. As
the position of woman in all religions is the same, it does not need a
knowledge of either Greek, Hebrew or the works of scholars to show that
the Bible degrades the Mothers of the Race. Furthermore, "The Woman's
Bible" is intended for readers who do not care for, and would not be
convinced by, a learned, technical work of so-called "higher criticism."

The Old Testament makes woman a mere after-thought in creation; the
author of evil; cursed in her maternity; a subject in marriage; and all
female life, animal and human, unclean. The Church in all ages has
taught these doctrines and acted on them, claiming divine authority
therefor. "As Christ is the head of the Church, so is man the head of
woman." This idea of woman's subordination is reiterated times without
number, from Genesis to Revelations; and this is the basis of all
church action.

Parts I. and II. of "The Woman's Bible" state these dogmas in plain
English, as agreeing fully with Bible teaching and church action. And
yet women meet in convention and denounce "The Woman's Bible," while
clinging to the Church and their Scriptures. The only difference
between us is, we say that these degrading ideas of woman emanated from
the brain of man, while the Church says that they came from God.

Now, to my mind, the Revising Committee of "The Woman's Bible," in
denying divine inspiration for such demoralizing ideas, shows a more
worshipful reverence for the great Spirit of All Good than does the
Church. We have made a fetich of the Bible long enough. The time has
come to read it as we do all other books, accepting the good and
rejecting the evil it teaches.


"There lives more faith in honest doubt,
Believe me, than in half the creeds."


Hon. Andrew D. White, formerly President of Cornell University, shows
us in his great work, "A History of the Warfare of Science with
Theology," that the Bible, with its fables, allegories and endless
contradictions, has been the great block in the way of civilization.
All through the centuries scholars and scientists have been imprisoned,
tortured and burned alive for some discovery which seemed to conflict
with a petty text of Scripture. Surely the immutable laws of the
universe can teach more impressive and exalted lessons than the holy
books of all the religions on earth.


ELIZABETH CADY STANTON.

January, 1898.





THE BOOK OF JOSHUA.



Joshua ii.



1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy
secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and
came into a harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged there.

2 And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men
in hither to-night of the children of Israel to search out the country.

3 And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men
that are come to thee which are entered into thine house: for they be
come to search out all the country.

4 And the woman took the two men, and hid them and said thus, There
came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were.

5 And it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate when it
was dark, that the men went out; whither the men went I wot not; pursue
after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them.


This book gives an account of the final entrance of the children of
Israel into the Promised Land. Joshua was the successor of Moses, and
performed the same miracle in parting the waters of the Jordan that
Moses did to enable his people to pass through the Red Sea. He was
seven years fighting his way into the land of Canaan, where he spent
the closing years of his life in peace.

There is mention of two women only in this book, though a casual
reference is again made to the daughters of Zelophehad, as described in
a former chapter.

In saving the spies from their pursuers, Rahab made them promise that
when Jericho fell into the hands of Joshua, they would save her and her
kinsmen. From the text, it seems that Rahab fully understood the spirit
of her time, and with keen insight and religious fervor, marked
characteristics of women, she readily entered into the plans of the
great general of Israel.

Rahab was supposed to have been a great sinner, her life in many
respects questionable; but seeing that victory was with the Israelites,
she cast her lot with them. From the text and what we know of humanity
in general, it is difficult to decide Rahab's real motive, whether to
serve the Lord by helping Joshua to take the land of Canaan, or to
save her own life and that of her kinsmen. It is interesting to see
mat in all national emergencies, leading men are quite willing to avail
themselves of the craft and cunning of women, qualities uniformly
condemned when used for their own advantage.

There is no more significance, as one of our critics says, in
commentating on the myths of the Bible than on Aesop's fables. The
difference, however, is this: that in the latter case we admit that
they were written by a man; while in the former, they are claimed to
have been inspired by God. Though at variance with all natural laws, it
is claimed that our eternal salvation depends on believing in the
plenary inspiration of the myths of the Scriptures; as the "higher
criticisms," written by learned scholars and scientists, are not
familiar to women, our comments in plain English may rid them of some
of their superstitions.

Though the injustice to woman is the blackest page in sacred history,
the distinguished Biblical writers take no note of it whatever. Even
Hon. Andrew D. White, though he devotes several pages of his work to
the statue of Lot's wife in salt, vouchsafes no criticism on the
position of Lot's wife in the flesh, nor of Lot's outrageous treatment
of his daughters. The wonder is that women themselves should either
believe that such unholy proceedings were inspired by God, or make a
fetich of the very book which is responsible for their civil and social
degradation.



Joshua x.



11 And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in
the going down to Beth-horon, that the Lord cast down great stones from
heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died
with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the
sword.

12 Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up
the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of
Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the
valley of Ajalon.

13 And the Sun stood still, and the Moon stayed, until the people had
avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book
of Jasher? So the Sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted
not to go down about a whole day.

14 And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the Lord
hearkened unto the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel.


According to the sacred fabulist, Joshua surpassed Moses in the
wonders which he performed. In taking the city of Jericho, as
recorded in Chapter viii., he did not use the ordinary enginery of war,
but told his soldiers to blow a simultaneous blast upon their trumpets,
while all the people with united shouts should produce such a violent
concussion of the air as to bring down the walls of the city. He not
only subsidized the atmosphere to overpower his enemies, but he
commanded the sun and the moon to stand still to lengthen the day and
to lighten the night until this victory was complete.

It seems that the Lord was so well pleased with Joshua's refined
military tactics that he suspended the laws of the vast solar system to
vindicate the superior prowess of one small tribe on the small planet
called the earth. The Lord also resorted to more material and forcible
means, sending down tremendous hailstones from heaven, and thus with
one fell blow destroyed more of his enemies than the children of Israel
did with the sword.

There are no events recorded in secular history that strain the faith
of the reader to such a degree as the feats of Joshua. Moses, with his
manna and pillar of light in the wilderness and his dazzling
pyrotechnics on Mount Sinai, fades into insignificance before these
marvellous manifestations by Joshua, with the Canaanites, Jericho, and
the sun and moon under his feet. Though teaching the people that all
these fables are facts, still the Church condemns prestidigitators,
soothsayers, fortune tellers, Spiritualists, witches, and the
assumptions of Christian Scientists.



Joshua xv.



16 And Catch said, He that smiteth Kirjathesepher and taketh it, to
him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife.

17 And Othniel, the son of Kenez, the brother of Caleb, took it; and
he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife.

18 And it came to pass, as she came unto him, that she moved him to
ask of her father a field: and she lighted off her ass; and Caleb said
unto her, What wouldest thou?

19 Who answered, Give me a blessing; for thou hast given me a south
land; give me also springs of water. And he gave her the upper springs,
and the nether springs.


In giving Achsah her inheritance it is evident that the judges of
Israel had not forgotten the judgment of the Lord in the case of
Zelophehad's daughters. He said to Moses, "When a father dies leaving
no sons, the inheritance shall go to the daughters. Let this henceforth
be an ordinance in Israel." Very good as far as it goes; but in case
there were sons, justice demanded that daughters should have an equal
share in the inheritance.

As the Lord has put it into the hearts of the women of this Republic
to demand equal rights in everything and everywhere, and as He is said
to be immutable and unchangeable, it is fair to infer that Moses did
not fully comprehend the message, and in proclaiming it to the great
assembly he gave his own interpretation, just as our judges do in this
year of the Lord 1898.

Achsah's example is worthy the imitation of the women of this
Republic. She did not humbly accept what was given her, but bravely
asked for more. We should give to our rulers, our sires and sons no
rest until all our rights--social, civil and political--are fully
accorded. How are men to know what we want unless we tell them? They
have no idea that our wants, material and spiritual, are the same as
theirs; that we love justice, liberty and equality as well as they do;
that we believe in the principles of self-government, in individual
rights, individual conscience and judgment, the fundamental ideas of
the Protestant religion and republican government.


E. C. S.





THE BOOK OF JUDGES.


CHAPTER I.



Judges i.



19 And the Lord was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of
the mountain: but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley,
because they had chariots of iron.



Judges ii.



6 And when Joshua had let the people go, the children of Israel went
every man unto his inheritance to possess the land.

7 And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the
days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great
works of the Lord, that he did for Israel.

8 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being a
hundred and ten years old.


This book, supposed to have been written by Samuel the Prophet, covers
a period of 300 years. During all of this time the children of Israel
are in constant friction with the Lord and neighboring tribes, never
loyal to either. When at peace with the Lord, they are fighting with
their neighbors; when at peace with them, worshiping their gods and
giving them their daughters in marriage, then the Lord is angry, and
vents His wrath on them. Thus, they are continually between two fires;
now repenting in sackcloth and ashes, and now, with the help of the
Lord, blessed with victories.

Life with them was a brief period of success and defeat. It seems that
the Lord, according to their ideas, had His limitations, and could not
fight tribes who had iron chariots.

What could iron chariots be in the way of that Great Force which
creates cyclones, hurricanes and earthquakes, or the pyrotechnics of a
thunderstorm. How little these people knew of the Great Intelligence
behind the laws of the universe, with whom they pretended to talk in
the Hebrew language, and from whom they claimed to have received
directions as to their treatment of women?

In the opening of this book Joshua still governs Israel. After his
death, the Lord raised up a succession of judges, remarkable for
their uprightness and wisdom; but they found it impossible to keep the
chosen people in the straight and narrow path. The children of Israel
did not learn wisdom by experience. They tired of a rigid code of
morals, of a mystical system of theology, and of the women of their own
tribe. There was a fascination in the manners and the appearance of a
new type of womanhood which they could not resist. There should have
been some allowance for these human proclivities. If the Jews of our
day had followed this tendency of their ancestors and intermarried with
other nations, there would have been by this time no peculiar people to
persecute.

The most important feature of this book is the number of remarkable
women herein described; six in number, Achsah, Deborah, Jael,
Jephthah's daughter, Delilah, and two whose names are not mentioned--
she who slew Abimelech, and the concubine of a Levite, whose fate was
terrible and repulsive. There are many instances in the Old Testament
where women have been thrown to the mob, like a bone to dogs, to pacify
their passions; and women suffer to-day from these lessons of contempt,
taught in a book so revered by the people.


E. C. S.



The writer of the Book of judges is unknown. Professor Moore, of
Andover Theological Seminary, supposes that the author used as a basis
for his work an older collection of tales wherein the heroes of Israel
and the varying fortunes of the people were related, and which, like
all good tales, pointed a moral. In all Jewish literature is to be
found the same moral--namely, that the prime cause of all of the evils
which befell the Jewish people was unfaithfulness to Jehovah.
"Adherence to the written law brings God's favor, while disobedience is
followed by God's wrath and punishment."

It is not obedience to the inner truth of the individual soul that is
made the spring of action, but obedience to an external authority, to a
book, to a prophet, to a judge or to a king. In judges, to woman in
various ways is given an exalted position; she is not the abject slave
or unclean vessel, the drudge, the servile sinner, the
nonentity, as depicted in other parts of the Bible.

Woman has at no time of the world's history maintained the high
position which she commands to-day in the hearts of the best and most
enlightened; but there were stages when her independence was an assured
fact. With Christianity came the notion of man's dual nature; the
physical was looked upon as sinful; this earth was merely preparatory
for a life beyond. Woman, as the mother of the race, was not honored
and revered as such, the monastic idea being considered more God-like,
she was made the instrument of sin. To be born into this life was not a
blessing so long as ascetism ruled supreme.

The Bible has been of service in some respects; but the time has come
for us to point out the evil of many of its teachings. It now behooves
us to throw the light of a new civilization upon the women who figure
in the Book of judges. We begin with Achsah, a woman of good sense.
Married to a hero, she must needs look out for material subsistence.
Her husband being a warrior, had probably no property of his own, so
that upon her devolved the necessity of providing the means of
livelihood. Great men, heroic warriors, generally lack the practical
virtues, so that it seems befitting in her to ask of her father the
blessing of a fruitful piece of land; her husband would have been
satisfied with the south land. She knew that she required the upper and
the nether springs to fertilize it, so that it might yield a successful
harvest.


C. B. N.





CHAPTER II.



Judges iv.



4 And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, judged Israel at
that time.

5 And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah, between Ramah and Beth-
el in Mount Ephraim; and the children of Israel came up to her for
judgment.

6 And she sent and called Barak, the son of Abinoam, out of Kedesh-
naphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the Lord God of Israel commanded,
saying, Go and draw toward Mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand
men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun?

7 And I will draw unto thee, to the river Kishon, Sisera the captain
of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will
deliver him into thine hand.

8 And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go;
but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go.

9 And she said, I will surely go with thee; notwithstanding the
journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honor; for the Lord
shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went
with Barak to Kedesh.

10 And Barak called Zebulon and Naphtali to Kedesh; and he went up
with ten thousand men at his feet; and Deborah went up with him.


Some commentators say that Deborah was not married to a man by the
name of Lapidoth, that such a terminology is not customary to the name
of a person, but of a place. They think that the text should read,
Deborah of Lapidoth. Indeed, Deborah seems to have had too much
independence of character, wisdom and self-reliance to have ever filled
the role of the Jewish idea of a wife.

"Deborah" signifies "bee;" and by her industry, sagacity, usefulness
and kindness to her friends and dependents she fully answers to her
name. "Lapidoth" signifies "lamps." The Rabbis say that Deborah was
employed to make wicks for the lamps in the Tabernacle; and having
stooped to that humble office for God's service, she was afterward
exalted as a prophetess, to special illumination and communion with God
--the first woman thus honored in Scripture.

Deborah was a woman of great ability. She was consulted by the
children of Israel in all matters of government, of religion and of
war. Her judgment seat was under a palm tree, known ever after as
"Deborah's Palm." Though she was one of the great judges of Israel for
forty years, her name is not in the list, as it should have been, with
Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah. Men have always been
slow to confer on women the honors; which they deserve.

Deborah did not judge as a princess by any civil authority conferred
upon her, but as a prophetess, as the mouthpiece of God, redressing
grievances and correcting abuses. The children of Israel appealed to
her, not so much to settle controversies between man and man as to
learn what was amiss in their service to God; yet she did take an
active part in the councils of war and spurred the generals to their
duty.

The text shows Barak hesitating and lukewarm in the last eventful
battle with Sisera and his host. He flatly refused to go unless Deborah
would go with him. She was the divinely chosen leader; to her came the
command, "Go to Mount Tabor and meet Sisera and his host." Not
considering herself fit too lead an army, she chose Barak, who had
already distinguished himself. He, feeling the need of her wisdom and
inspiration, insisted that she accompany him; so, mounted on pure white
jackasses, they started for the field of battle. The color of the
jackass indicated the class to which the rider belonged. Distinguished
personages were always mounted on pure white and ordinary mortals on
gray or mottled animals.

As they journeyed along side by side, with wonderful insight Deborah
saw what was passing in Barak's mind; he was already pluming himself on
his victory over Sisera. So she told him that the victory would not be
his, that the Lord would deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman. It
added an extra pang to a man's death to be slain by the hand of a
woman. Fortunately, poor Sisera was spared the knowledge of his
humiliation. What a picture of painful contrasts his death presents--a
loving mother watching and praying at her window for the return of her
only son, while at the same time Jael performs her deadly deed and
blasts that mother's hopes forever! What a melancholy dirge to her must
have been that song of triumph, chanted by the army of Deborah and
Barak, and for years after, by generation after generation.

We never hear sermons pointing women to the heroic virtues of Deborah
as worthy of their imitation. Nothing is said in the pulpit to rouse
their from the apathy of ages, to inspire them to do and dare great
things, to intellectual and spiritual achievements, in real
communion with the Great Spirit of the Universe. Oh, no! The lessons
doled out to women, from the canon law, the Bible, the prayer-books and
the catechisms, are meekness and self-abnegation; ever with covered
heads (a badge of servitude) to do some humble service for man; that
they are unfit to sit as a delegate in a Methodist conference, to be
ordained to preach the Gospel, or to fill the office of elder, of
deacon or of trustee, or to enter the Holy of Holies in cathedrals.

Deborah was a poetess as well as a prophetess, a judge as well as a
general. She composed the famous historical poem of that period on the
eventful final battle with Sisera and his hosts; and she ordered the
soldiers to sing the triumphant song as they marched through the the
{sic} land, that all the people might catch the strains and that
generations might proclaim the victory.



Judges iv.



18 And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my
Lord, turn in to me: fear not. And when he had turned in unto her into
the tent, she covered him with a mantle.

19 And he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to
drink: for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him
to drink, and covered him.

20 Again he said unto her, Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall
be, when any man doth come and inquire of thee, and say, Is there any
man here? that thou shalt say, No.

21 Then Jael, Heber's wife, took a nail of the tent, and took a hammer
in her hand and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his
temples, and fastened it into the ground; for he was fast asleep and
weary. So he died.

22 And behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and
said unto him, Come, and I will show thee the man whom thou seekest.
And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the nail
was in his temples.


The deception and the cruelty practised on Sisera by Jael under the
guise of hospitality is revolting under our code of morality. To decoy
the luckless general fleeing before his enemy into her tent, pledging
him safety, and with seeming tenderness ministering to his wants, with
such words of sympathy and consolation lulling him to sleep, and then
in cold blood driving a nail through his temples, seems more like the
work of a fiend than of a woman.

The song of Deborah and Barak, in their triumph over Sisera, has been
sung in cathedrals and oratorios and celebrated in all time for its
beauty and pathos. The great generals did not forget in the hour of
victory to place the crown of honor on the brow of Jael for
what they considered a great deed of heroism. Jael imagined herself in
the line of her duty and specially called by the Lord to do this
service for his people.

Nations make their ideal gods like unto themselves. At this period He
was the God of battles. Though He had made all the tribes, we hope, to
the best of His ability; yet He hated all, the sacred fabulist tells
us, but the tribe of Israel, and even they were objects of His
vengeance half the time. Instead of Midianites and Philistines, in our
day we have saints and sinners, orthodox and heterodox, persecuting
each other, although you cannot distinguish them in the ordinary walks
of life. They are governed by the same principles in the exchanges and
the marts of trade.


E. C. S.



Judges v.



Then sang Deborah and Barak, the son of Abinoam, on that day, saying,

2 Praise ye the Lord for the avenging of Israel, when the people
willingly offered themselves.

3 Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I will sing unto
the Lord; I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel.

4 Lord, when thou wentest out of Seir, when thou marchedst out of the
field of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, the clouds
also dropped water.

5 The mountains melted from before the Lord even that Sinai from
before the Lord God of Israel.

6 In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the
highways were unoccupied and the travellers walked through byways.

7 The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until
that I, Deborah, arose, that I arose a mother in Israel.


The woman who most attracts our attention in the Book of judges is
Deborah, priestess, prophetess, poetess and judge. What woman is there
in modern or in ancient history who equals in loftiness of position, in
public esteem and honorable distinction this gifted and heroic Jewish
creation? The writer who compiled the story of her gifts and deeds must
have had women before him who inspired him with such a wonderful
personality. How could Christianity teach and preach that women should
be silent in the church when already among the Jews equal honor was
shown to women? The truth is that Christianity has in many instances
circumscribed woman's sphere of action, and has been guilty of great
injustice toward the whole sex.

Deborah was, perhaps, only one of many women who held such high and
honorable positions. Unlike any modern ruler, Deborah dispensed justice
directly, proclaimed war, led her men to victory, and glorified the
deeds of her army in immortal song. This is the most glorious tribute
to woman's genius and power. If Deborah, way back in ancient Judaism,
was considered wise enough to advise her people in time of need and
distress, why is it that at the end of the nineteenth century, woman
has to contend for equal rights and fight to regain every inch of
ground she has lost since then? It is now an assured fact that not only
among the Hebrews, but also among the Greeks and the Germans, women
formerly maintained greater freedom and power.

The struggle of to-day among the advanced of our sex is to regain and
to reaffirm what has been lost since the establishment of Christianity.
Every religion, says a modern thinker, has curtailed the rights of
woman, has subjected her to man's ruling; in emphasizing the life
beyond, the earthly existence became a secondary consideration. We are
learning the great harm which comes from this one-sided view of life;
and by arousing woman to the dignity of her position we shall again
have women like Deborah, honored openly and publicly for political
wisdom, to whom men will come in time of need.

Genius knows no sex; and woman must again usurp her Divine prerogative
as a leader in thought, song and action. The religion of the future
will honor and revere motherhood, wifehood and maidenhood. Asceticism,
an erroneous philosophy, church doctrines based not upon reason or the
facts of life, issued out of crude imaginings; phantasms obstructed the
truth, held in check the wheel of progress. Let our church women turn
their gaze to such characters as Deborah, and claim the same
recognition in their different congregations.

The antagonism which the Christian church has built up between the
male and the female must entirely vanish. Together they will slay the
enemies--ignorance, superstition and cruelty. United in every
enterprise, they will win; like Deborah and Barak, they will clear the
highways and restore peace and prosperity to their people. Like
Deborah, woman will forever be the inspired leader, if she will have
the courage to assert and maintain her power. Her aspirations
must keep pace with the demands of our civilization. "New times teach
new duties."

God never discriminates; it is man who has made the laws and compelled
woman to obey him. The Old Testament and the New are books written by
men; the coming Bible will be the result of the efforts of both, and
contain the wisdom of both sexes, their combined spiritual experience.
Together they will unfold the mysteries of life, and heaven will be
here on earth when love and justice reign supreme.


C. B. N.



Judges viii.



30 And Gideon had three score and ten sons: for he had many wives.

31 And his concubine that was in Shechem, she also bare him a son,
whose name he called Abimelech.



Judges ix.



52 And Abimelech came unto the tower, and fought against it, and went
hard unto the door of the tower to burn it with fire.

53 And a certain woman cast a piece of a millstone upon Abimelech's
head, and all to break his skull.

54 Then he called hastily unto the young man, his armour-bearer, and
said unto him, Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, A
woman slew him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died.


Abimelech destroyed the city of Thebez, drove all the people into a
tower and then tried to set it on fire, as he had done in many places
before in his war on other tribes; but here he lost his life, and at
the hand of a woman, which was considered the greatest disgrace which
could befall a man. Commentators say that as Sisera and Abimelech were
exceptionally proud and lofty, they were thus degraded in their death.
Sisera was spared the knowledge of his fate by being taken off when
asleep; but Abimelech saw the stone coming and knew that it was from
the hand of a woman, an added pang to his death agony. He had no
thoughts of his wicked life nor his eternal welfare, but with his dying
breath implored his armor-bearer to thrust him through with his sword,
that it might not be said that he was slain by the hand of a woman.

Abimelech had three score and ten brethren. It is said that his mother
roused his ambition to be one of the judges of Israel. To attain this
he killed all his brethren but one, who escaped. He enjoyed his
ill-gotten honors but a short space of time. We find many such stories
in the Hebrew mythology which have no foundation in fact.



Judges xi.



30 And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou shalt
without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands,

31 Then it shall be that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my
house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon,
shall surely be the Lord's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.

33 And he smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, even
twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great
slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children
of Israel.

34 And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his
daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances; and she
was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.

35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and
said, Alas, my daughter! thou has brought me very low, and thou art one
of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and
I cannot go back.

36 And she said unto him, My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth
unto the Lord, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of
thy mouth; forasmuch as the Lord hath taken vengeance for thee of thine
enemies, even of the children of Ammon.

37 And she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me: let me
alone two months, that I may go up and down upon the mountains, and
bewail my virginity, I and my fellows.


A woman's vow, as we have already seen, could be disallowed at the
pleasure of any male relative; but a man's was considered sacred even
though it involved the violation of the sixth commandment, the
violation of the individual rights of another human being. These loving
fathers in the Old Testament, like Jephthah and Abraham, thought to
make themselves specially pleasing to the Lord by sacrificing their
children to Him as burnt offerings. If the ethics of their moral code
had permitted suicide, they might with some show of justice have
offered themselves, if they thought that the first-born kid would not
do; but what right had they to offer up their sons and daughters in
return for supposed favors from the Lord?

The submission of Isaac and Jephthah's daughter to this violation of
their most sacred rights is truly pathetic. But, like all oppressed
classes, they were ignorant of the fact that they had any natural,
inalienable rights. We have such a type of womanhood even in our day. If
any man had asked Jephthah's daughter if she would not like to have the
Jewish law on vows so amended that she might disallow her father's vow,
and thus secure to herself the right of life, she would no doubt have
said, "No; I have all the rights I want," just as a class of New York
women said in 1895, when it was proposed to amend the constitution of
the State in their favor.

The only favor which Jephthah's daughter asks, is that she may have
two months of solitude on the mountain tops to bewail the fact that she
will die childless. Motherhood among the Jewish women was considered
the highest honor and glory ever vouchsafed to mortals. So she was
permitted for a brief period to enjoy her freedom, accompanied by young
Jewish maidens who had hoped to dance at her wedding.

Commentators differ as to the probable fate of Jephthah's daughter.
Some think that she was merely sequestered in some religious retreat,
others that the Lord spoke to Jephthah as He did to Abraham forbidding
the sacrifice. We might attribute this helpless condition of woman to
the benighted state of those times if we did not see the trail of the
serpent through our civil laws and church discipline.

This Jewish maiden is known in history only as Jephthah's daughter--
she belongs to the no-name series. The father owns her absolutely,
having her life even at his disposal. We often hear people laud the
beautiful submission and the self-sacrifice of this nameless maiden. To
me it is pitiful and painful. I would that this page of history were
gilded with a dignified whole-souled rebellion. I would have had
daughter receive the father's confession with a stern rebuke, saying:
"I will not consent to such a sacrifice. Your vow must be disallowed.
You may sacrifice your own life as you please, but you have no right
over mine. I am on the threshold of life, the joys of youth and of
middle age are all before me. You are in the sunset; you have had your
blessings and your triumphs; but mine are yet to come. Life is to me
full of hope and of happiness. Better that you die than I, if the God
whom you worship is pleased with the sacrifice of human life. I
consider that God has made me the arbiter of my own fate and all my
possibilities. My first duty is to develop all the powers given to me
and to make the most of myself and my own life. Self-development is a
higher duty than self-sacrifice. I demand the immediate abolition of
the Jewish law on vows. Not with my consent can you fulfill yours."
This would have been a position worthy of a brave woman.


E. C. S.



The ideal womanhood portrayed by ancient writers has had by far too
much sway. The prevailing type which permeates all literature is that
of inferiority and subjection. In early times Oriental poets often
likened woman to some clear, flawless jewel, and made them serve simply
as ornaments, while, on the other hand, they were made subordinate by
the legislation of barbarous minds; and men, because of their selfish
passion, have inflicted woe after woe upon them. Ancient literature is
wholly against the equality of the sexes or the rights of women, and
subordinates them in every relation of life.

The writings of the Bible, especially the Old Testament, are no
exception to this rule. The reference, "The sons of God and daughters
of men," while it admits of many interpolations, legendary or mythical
as it may be, portrays the real animus of the Scriptures. To what
extent the sentiment of the Hebrews favored sons rather than daughters,
and the injustice of this distinction is fully exemplified by the
stories of Abraham and Isaac, and of Jephthah and his daughter. Abraham
was commanded by his God to sacrifice his son Isaac, after the manner
of the Canaanites, who often slew their children and burnt them upon
their altars in honor of their deities. But when all was made ready for
the sacrifice an angel of Jehovah appeared, the hand of Abraham was
stayed, and a ram was made a substitute for the son of promise.

The conditions were quite different in the case of Jephthah and his
daughter. The Israelites had been brought very low in their contest
with the Ammonites, and they chose the famous warrior, Jephthah, to
lead them against their foe, who with warlike zeal summoned the hosts
to battle. The risk was enormous, the enemy powerful, and the general,
burning for victory, intent on securing the assistance of the Deity,
made a solemn and fatal vow.

In the first case it was a direct command of God, but means were found
to revoke this explicit command with regard to a son; in the second
case it was only a hasty and unwise promise of a general going to war,
and the prevailing sentiment of the age felt it unnecessary to evade
its fulfillment--the victim was only a girl. The unhappy father must
sacrifice his daughter!

What a masculine coloring is given to the rest of the narrative: "A
maiden who did not mourn her death, but wandered up and down the
mountain mourning her virginity." So much glamor has been thrown by
poetry and by song, over the sacrifice of this Jewish maiden, that the
popular mind has become too benumbed to perceive its great injustice.
The Iphigenias have been many and are still too numerous to awaken
compassion. We must destroy the root of this false and pernicious
teaching, and plant in its place a just and righteous doctrine.

What women have to win for the race is a theory of conduct which shall
be more equitable. The unalterable subserviency of woman in her natural
condition can never be overcome and social development progress so long
as there is a lack of distributive justice to every living soul without
discrimination of sex.


L. S.





CHAPTER III.



Judges xiii.



And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites,
whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren.

3 And the angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman, and said unto
her, Behold now, thou art barren; but thou shalt conceive, and bear a
son.

4 Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong
drink, and eat not any unclean thing:

5 For, lo, thou shalt bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head:
for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God; and he shall begin to
deliver Israel out of the hands of the Philistines.

6 Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came
unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of
God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he
me his name:

7 But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt bear a son; and now drink no
wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child
shall be a Nazarite to God to the day of his death.

8 Then Manoah entreated the Lord, and said, O try Lord, let the man of
God which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we
shall do unto the child that shall be born.

9 And God hearkened to the voice of Manoah: and the angel of God came
again unto the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah her husband
was not with her.

10 And the woman made haste, and ran, and shewed her husband, and said
unto him, Behold, the man hath appeared unto me, that came unto me the
other day.

11 And Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man, and
said unto him, Art thou the man that spakest unto the woman? And he
said, I am.

12 And Manoah said, Now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order
the child, and how shall we do unto him?

13 And the angel of the Lord said unto Manoah, Of all that I said unto
the woman let her beware.


We come now to a very interesting incident, giving proof of the
remarkable knowledge which the writers had of some intrinsic laws and
the power of transmission which, even to-day, are known and adhered to
only by a very small minority of wise, thoughtful mothers. However, the
wife of Manoah, the future mother of Samson, is visited by an angel,
giving her instructions as to her way of living during pregnancy. It
appears that the writer was acquainted with some pre-natal influences
and their effect upon the unborn.

We are just now beginning to investigate the important problem of
child culture. Many good thoughts have been given on this subject by
earnest thinkers. A knowledge of these important laws of life will
do away with the most harassing evils and sins which human flesh is
heir to. Intelligent, free mothers will be enabled to forecast not only
the physical, but also the psychical, traits of their offspring. How
and why this once recognized knowledge was lost we know not. We may,
however, rightly infer that so long as woman was not the arbiter of her
own destiny she had no power to make use of this knowledge. Only the
thoughful, {sic} independent wife can administer the laws and the rules
necessary for her own wellbeing and that of her offspring. Freedom is
the first prerequisite to a noble life.

Observe how simple and trustful the relation is between this husband
and wife. Manoah is thoughtful and ready to unite with his wife in all
that the angel had commanded. There is no trace of disunion or of
disobedience to the higher law which his wife had been instructed to
follow. To her the law was revealed, and he sustained her in its
observance. Mark, however, one difference from our interpretation of
to-day, and how the omission of it worked out the destruction of the
child. All the injunctions received were of a physical nature; strength
of body and faith in God were to be the attributes through which Samson
was to serve his people. The absence of moral traits is very evident in
Samson; and this is the reason why he fell an easy prey to the wiles of
designing women. It was not moral, but physical heroism which
distinguished Samson from his combatants. Vengeance, cruelty, deceit,
cunning devices were practised not only by the Philistines, but
likewise by the Nazarite.

The angel who appeared to Manoah's wife was probably her own inner
sense, and the appearance is to be understood rather as a figure of
speech than as an actual occurrence, although there may have been, as
there are to-day, people who were so credulous as to believe that such
things actually occurred. The angel who whispers into our ears is
knowledge, foresight, high motive, ideality, unselfish love. A
conscious attitude towards the ideal still unattained, a lofty standard
of virtue for the coming offspring, an intelligent, pure fatherhood,
and a wise, loving motherhood must take the place of a mysterious,
instinctive trust--the blind faith of the past. C. B. N.

One would suppose that this woman, so honored of God, worthy to
converse with angels on the most delicate of her domestic relations,
might have had a name to designate her personality instead of being
mentioned merely--as the wife of Manoah or the mother of Samson. I
suppose that it is from these Biblical examples that the wives of this
Republic are known as Mrs. John Doe or Mrs. Richard Roe, to whatever
Roe or Doe she may belong. If she chance to marry two or three times,
the woman's identity is wholly lost. To make this custom more
ludicrous, women sometimes keep the names of two husbands, clinging
only to the maiden name, as Dolly Doe Roe, ignoring her family name,
the father from whom she may have derived all of her talent. Samson's
wife had no name, nor had the second woman on whom he bestowed his
attentions; to the third one is vouchsafed the name of Delilah, but no
family name is mentioned. All three represented one type of character
and betrayed the "consecrated Nazarite," "the canonized judge of
Israel."

It would be a great blessing to the race, if parents would take heed
to the important lesson taught in the above texts. The nine months of
ante-natal life is the period when the mother can make the deepest
impression in forming future character, when she has absolute power for
weal or for woe over the immortal being. Locke, the philosopher, said,
"Every child is born into the world with a mind like a piece of blank
paper, and we may write thereon whatever we will;" but Descartes said,
"Nay, nay; the child is born with all its possibilities. You can
develop all you find there, but you cannot add genius or power."
"Nascitur, non fit," although our learned blacksmith, Elihu Burritt,
always reversed this motto. E. C. S.

No body of ecclesiastics has taught the message of the angel of the
Lord to Manoah's wife as a message of direction from the Lord to save
the race from the disastrous results of strong drink and impure food.
And although the degree of enlightenment attained shows that science
and the instructions of the angel to Manoah's wife agree, this
knowledge does not protect the unborn child from the effects of the
use by the mothers of to-day of wine, strong drink and
unclean food.

Could the light which reveals to the mother what would be a saving
power to her child, be followed carefully by both herself and the
father during ante-natal life, the race would more rapidly be brought
to the full stature of its destined perfection. Not only is physical
endowment available to the child through the wholesome sustenance of
the mother, but the qualities of the higher nature may also be
transmitted, and moral grandeur be an inheritance equally with grand
physical powers.

The theological teaching that has made human nature depraved and cut
off from the divine source of all perfection, has hindered the
development of the higher faculties of understanding. It has led to a
misapprehension of the creative power of parenthood. From the idea that
the creation of humanity was finished "in the beginning," and that man
fell from his high estate as the image of God, has resulted a
demoralized race. The instruction of the angel to Samson's mother, was
in accord with the dominant spirit that wrought the victories of Israel
over enemies, and the reign of physical force that characterized the
people of that age.

The woman, having had no experience of motherhood, had not been
subject to the deep soul-stirring that belongs to the mystery of life
in a developed womanhood. Nor did that experience evidently transmit to
Samson a high degree of moral strength. He was but a well developed
physical organism, which the spirit of life could act through without
limitation. He consorted with the harlot, but it was the woman whom he
loved who succeeded in wringing from him the secret of his strength,
and thus the possibility of delivering him to his enemies.

In the relation of women to this man of might there is illustrated the
dominant characteristics of the purely animal man. The father of
Samson's first wife gave her to another man after Samson had gone in
anger to his father's house, and when he returned and proposed to
resume his conjugal relations, this father proposed that he should take
the younger sister, who "was fairer than she."

It is a significant suggestion of the quality of the relation that
Samson's first wife (who had also no name of her own) and Delilah,
whom he loved, were both more loyal to their own people, and had more
regard for them, than for the man to whom they had been "given."


L. B. C.



Judges xiv.



1 And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the
daughters of the Philistines.

2 And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have
seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now
therefore get her for me to wife.

3 Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman
among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou
goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said
unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.


So the father and the mother, much against their wishes, went down to
Timnath and secured for Samson the desired wife. He conformed to the
custom of the Philistines; and on the occasion of the nuptial
solemnities he made a great feast, and invited thirty young men to join
in the festivities, which lasted seven days. These feasts were
enlivened with interesting discussions, stories and riddles. Samson
propounded one, with promises of valuable gifts to those who guessed
the riddle: "Out of the eater came forth meat, out of the strong came
forth sweetness."

It seems that on one occasion, being attacked by a lion, Samson,
without any weapon of defense, tore the lion to pieces. Passing the
vineyard some time after, he went in to see if the lion still rested
there; and lo! the skeleton was a hive of bees. He partook freely of
the honey and carried some to his parents. Being proof against the
lion's paws, he had no fear of the bees. Day after day passed, and the
young men could not guess the riddle. So they persuaded the wife to
coax him for the answer, with promises of silver if she succeeded, and
threatenings of wrath if she failed. So, with constant weeping and
doubts of his love, she at last worried the answer out of him, with
promises of secrecy.

As soon as Samson saw that he was betrayed he sent his wife back to
her father's house, who gave her at once to one of the leaders at the
festivities. As Samson loved the woman, he forgave her, and sought to
bring her back to his own home. The father informed him that he had
already given her to another, and that he might have the younger
daughter, if he chose, who had far more grace and beauty.

The commentators say that it was very generous in Samson to make this
concession, as he was the party offended. But Samson was himself a
riddle and a paradox of a man. "He saw something in her face which
pleased him well." "He that in the choice of a wife is guided by his
eye, and governed by his fancy, must afterwards blame himself if he
find a Philistine in his arms." It is a great calamity that even able
men are so easily influenced by weak and wicked women to do what they
know is dangerous; and yet they feel it a disparagement to follow the
advice of a good wife in what is virtuous and praiseworthy.

Samson was most unfortunate in all his associations with women. It is
a pity that the angel who impressed on his parents the importance of
considering everything that pertained to the physical development of
the child, had not made some suggestions to them as to the formation of
his moral character. Even his physical prowess was not used by him for
any great purpose. To kill a lion, to walk off with the gates of the
city, to catch three hundred foxes and to tie them together by their
tails two by two, with firebrands to burn the cornfields and the
vineyards--all this seems more like the frolics of a boy, than the
military tactics of a great general or the statesmanship of a judge in
Israel.

Samson does not seem to have learned wisdom from experience in his
dealings with women. He foolishly trusted another woman, "whose face
pleased him," with the secret of his great strength, which she, too,
worried out of him with tears and doubts of his affection. For the
betrayal of his secret the Philistines paid her eleven hundred pieces
of silver.

In the last act of this complicated tragedy, it is said that Samson at
his death killed more people than in all his life before. After Delilah
betrayed him into the hands of the Philistines, they put out his eyes,
and left him to grind in the prison house. As was their custom, they
brought him out to make sport for the people assembled in a spacious
building. As his hair had begun to grow, he braced himself against the
door posts, overturned the building, and killed all of its occupants,
and himself, gladly ending his own sad life.

The name Delilah is fitly used to describe those who with flattery
bring destruction on those whom they pretend to love. Many a strong man
has been slain by this type of designing woman. Commentators do not
agree as to whether Delilah was an Israelite or a Philistine, probably
the latter, as Samson seemed to be more pleased with the women of that
tribe than with those of his own. One hesitates to decide which is most
surprising--Samson's weakness or Delilah's wickedness.


E. C. S.



The writer of the Book of Judges would fail in his endeavor to present
a complete picture of his time, did he omit the important
characteristic of a woman and her influence upon man therein portrayed.

In Delilah, the treacherous, the sinister, the sensuous side of woman
is depicted. Like Vivian, in the Idyls of King Arthur, Delilah uses--
nay, abuses--the power which she had gained over Samson by virtue of
her beauty and her personal attractions. She uses these personal gifts
for a sinister purpose. They serve her as a snare to beguile the man
whose lust she had aroused.

What a lesson this story teaches to men as well as to women! Let man
overcome the lust of his eyes and prostitution will die a natural
death. Let woman beware that her influence is of the purest and
highest; let her spiritual nature be so attractive that man will be
drawn toward it. Forever "the eternal womanly draweth man" onward and
upward. Soul unity will become the rule when the same chastity and
purity are demanded of the sexes alike. Woman's chastity is never
secure as long as there are two standards of morality.


C. B. N.



"Colonial days" is the felicitous term given by Rev. Dr. Lyman Abbott to
the period of nearly three centuries following the campaign against the
inhabitants of Canaan, when the Israelites took possession of their
land. The Book of, Judges is a record of those "colonial days;" and they
are described also in the first part of the book which bears the name of
the prophet Samuel. During those Hebrew "colonial days," as Dr. Abbott
states, "there was no true Capital--indeed, no true Nation. There were a
variety of separate provinces, having almost as little common life as
had the American colonies before the formation of the Constitution of
the United States. In war these colonies united; in peace they separated
from each other again."

But in one thing they were united. They clung to the teachings of
their great law-giver, Moses, and emphasized a belief in one righteous
God. Whether expressed by priestly ritual or in prophetic declaration,
the truth was clearly revealed that the Jews were a people who
worshiped one God, and that they accorded to Him the attribute of
righteousness. He was a sovereign, but a just one. And to this belief
they clung tenaciously, believing themselves justified in conquering
the nations about them, because their God was the only ruler.

The Book of Judges contains the record of many harrowing events; but
what besides savagery can be expected of a warring people whose Deity
is invoked as the "God of battles," and who believed themselves
Divinely commissioned to drive other tribes from off the face of the
earth! The book is as sensational as are our newspapers; and if each
chapter and verse were illustrated as are the papers of what is termed
the "New journalism," they would present an appearance of striking and
painful similarity.

The fate of Adoni-besek, an example of retributive justice; the
treacherous act of the left-handed Ehud, causing the death of the fat
King Eglon of Moab; the inhospitable cruelty--or cruel inhospitality--
of Jael, the wife of Heber, whose hammer and nail are welded fast in
historical narration with the brow of the sleeping guest, Sisera, the
captain of Jabin's army; the famous exploits of Gideon who, if he was a
superior strategist and warrior, gave little evidence, by his seventy
sons, of his morality according to Christian standards; the death of
Abimelech, which was half suicidal lest it should be said that a
woman's hand had slain him; these, and more also of the same sort,
leave the impression on the mind that those "colonial days" of the
Hebrew nation were far from days of peace or of high morality; and the
record of them is certainly as unfit for the minds of children
and of youth as are the illustrated and graphic accounts of many unholy
acts which are to found in our daily newspapers.

General Weyler, in his Cuban warfare, has, in many respects, a
prototype in General Gideon, and also in General Jephthah, "a mighty
man of valor" and "the son of a harlot," as the author of the Book of
Judges declares him to have been. We deprecate the savage butchery of
the one--what ought we to say of the renown of the others? War is
everywhere terrible, and "deeds of violence and of blood" are sad
reminders of the imperfections of mankind. The men of those "colonial
days" were far from being patterns of excellence; and the women
"matched the men," in most instances. Deborah, as a "mother in Israel,"
won deserved renown, so that her song of victory is even now rehearsed,
but it is a query that can have but one answer, whether her anthem of
triumph is not a musical rehearsal of treacherous and warlike deeds,
unworthy of a woman's praise?

In the Book of judges Delilah appears, and if the mother of her strong
lover, Samson, was not a perfect woman, in the modern sense, she has
helped to make some readers feel that the law of heredity is a revealer
of secrets, and that the story of the angel of the Lord may be received
with due caution. The name "Delilah" has become a synonym for a woman
tempting to sin, and the moral weakness and physical strength of Samson
show the power of heredity. But whether the stories should be in the
hands of our youth, without sufficient explanation and wise
commentaries, is a question which coming days will solve to the extent
of a wise elimination. Solemn lessons, and those of moral import, are
given in the Book of Judges; yet, as a whole, the book does not leave
one with an exalted opinion of either the men or the women of those
days. But it certainly gives no evidence that in shrewdness, in a wise
adaptation of means to ends, in a persistent effort after desired
objects, in a successful accomplishment of plans and purposes, the
women were the inferiors of the men in that age. They appear to have
been their equals, and occasionally their superiors.


P. A. H.





THE BOOK OF RUTH.



Ruth i.



1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there
was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem--Judah went to
sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife
Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion. And they came
into the country of Moab, and continued there.

3 And Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was left, and her two
sons.

4 And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one
was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelt there about
ten years.

5 And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was
left of her two sons and her husband.

6 Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from
the country of Moab; for she had heard in the country of Moab how that
the Lord had visited his people in giving them bread.

7 Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two
daughters in law with her.

8 And Naomi said unto her daughters in law, Go, return each to her
mother's house;

The Lord deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and
with me.

10 And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy
people.

14 And they lifted up their voice, and wept: and Orpah kissed her
mother in law; but Ruth clave to her.

15 And he said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her
people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law.

16 And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee: for whither thou
goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people
shall be my people, and thy God my God:

19 So they two went until they came to Beth-lehem. And it came to
pass, when they were come to Beth-lehem, that all the city was moved
about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?

20 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the
Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.

21 I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: why
then call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and
the Almighty hath afflicted me.

22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law,
with her.


Commentators differ as to the exact period when this book was written
and as to the judge who ruled Israel at that time.

It must have been, however, in the beginning of the days when the
judges ruled, as Boaz, who married Ruth, was the son of Rahab, who
protected the spies in Joshua's reign. Some say that it was in the
reign of Deborah. Tradition says that the "Messiah was descended from
two Gentile maidens, Rahab and Ruth, and that Ruth was the daughter of
Eglon, King of Moab; but this is denied, as Boaz, whom Ruth married,
judged Israel two hundred years after Eglon's death. However widely the
authorities differ as to Ruth's genealogical tree, they all agree that
she was a remarkably sincere, refined, discreet maiden, a loving
daughter and an honored wife."

Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, is severely criticised by Biblical
writers for leaving his people and his country when in distress and
seeking his fortune among the heathen Moabites, thus leading his sons
into the temptation of taking strange wives. They say that the speedy
deaths of the father and the sons were a proof of God's disapprobation.
Naomi manifested such remarkable goodness and wisdom as a widow, that
one wonders that she did not use her influence to keep her husband in
his native land to share the trials of his neighbors.

The tender friendship between Ruth and Naomi, so unusual with a mother-
in-law, has been celebrated in poetry, in prose and in art the world
round. The scene between Naomi and her daughters in parting was most
affectionate. As soon as Naomi decided to return to her own country,
her daughters assisted her in making the necessary preparations. Ruth
secretly made her own, having decided to go with Naomi to the land of
Judea.

When the appointed day arrived, mounted on three gray jackasses, they
departed. A few miles out Naomi proposed to rest by the roadside and to
say farewell, and, after thanking them for all the love and kindness
they had shown her, advised them to go no farther, but return to their
home in that land of plenty. She told them frankly that she had no home
luxuries to offer, life with her would for them be poverty and
privation in a strange land, and she was not willing that they should
sacrifice all the pleasures of their young lives for her. Sad and
lonely with the loss of their husbands, parting with Naomi seemed to
intensify their grief. United in a common sorrow, the three women stood
gazing in silence into each other's faces, until Naomi, with her usual
self-control and common sense, again pointed out to them all the
hardships involved in the change which they proposed.

Her words made a deep impression on Orpah. She hesitated, and at last
decided to abide by Naomi's advice; but not so with Ruth. Naomi had a
peculiar magnetic attraction for her, a charm stronger than kindred,
country or ease. Her expressions of steadfast friendship in making her
decision were so tender and sincere that they have become household
words. She said: "Entreat me not to leave thee; for whither thou goest
I will go, and where thou lodgest I will lodge; thy people shall be my
people, and thy God my God; where thou diest will I die, and there will
I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death
part thee and me." (These words are on a bronze tablet on the stone
over the grave of Robert Louis Stevenson at Samoa.)

Having bade farewell to Orpah, they journeyed together and made a home
for themselves in Bethlehem. Naomi owned a small house, lot and spring
of water on the outskirts of the town. After a few days of rest, Ruth
said to Naomi, I must not sit here with folded hands, nor spend my time
in visiting neighbors, nor in search of amusement, but I must go forth
to work, to provide food and clothes, and leave thee to rest. As it was
the season for the wheat and barley harvests, Ruth heard that laborers
were needed in the fields. It was evident that Ruth believed in the
dignity of labor and of self-support. She thought, no doubt, that every
one with a sound mind in a sound body and two hands should earn her own
livelihood. She threw her whole soul into her work and proved a
blessing to her mother. So Naomi consented that she might go and glean
in the fields with other maidens engaged in that work.

When Naomi was settled in Bethlehem she remembered that she had a rich
kinsman, Boaz, whose name means strength, a man of great wealth as well
as wisdom. Ruth was employed in the field of Boaz; and in due time he
took note of the fair maiden from Moab. In harvest time he needed many
extra hands, and he came often among the reapers to see how the work
went forward. He heard such good accounts of Ruth's industry, dignity
and discretion that he ordered his men to make her work as easy as
possible, to leave plenty for her to glean and to carry home in the
evening. This she often sold on the way, and bought something which
Naomi needed.

Naomi and Ruth enjoyed their evenings together. Naomi did not spend
the day in idleness either. She had her spinning-wheel and loom to
make their garments; she worked also in her garden, raising vegetables,
herbs and chickens; and they talked over their day's labor as they
enjoyed their simple supper of herb tea, bread and watercresses. Their
menu was oft times more tempting, thanks to Ruth's generous purchases
on her way home. Being busy, practical women, their talk during the
evening was chiefly on "ways and means;" they seldom rose to the higher
themes of pedagogics and psychology, subjects so familiar in the clubs
of American women.


E. C. S.



Ruth ii.



1 And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of
the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.

2 And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field,
and glean cars of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And
she said unto her, Go, my daughter.

4 And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem . . .

7 And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers
among the sheaves: so she came.

8 Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to
glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by
my maidens: . . . . It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast
done unto thy mother-in-law since the death of thine husband; and how
thou hast left thy father and thy mother.

19 And her mother-in-law said unto her, Where hast thou gleaned
to-day? and where wroughtest thou? blessed be he that did take knowledge
of thee . . . . And Ruth said, the man's name is Boaz . . . . And Naomi
said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen.


It was a custom among the Israelites, in order to preserve their own
line, that the nearest kinsman should marry the young widow on whom
their hopes depended. So when Naomi remembered that Boaz was her
kinsman, and that as age made marriage with her undesirable, Ruth would
be the proper person to fill her place. With great tact on their part
Naomi's wishes were accomplished.

Boaz was the son of Salmon and Rahab, and according to the Chaldee was
not only a mighty man in wealth but also in wisdom, a most rare and
excellent conjunction. Boaz was of the family of Elimelech, of which
Ruth, by marriage, was a part also. Moreover, as she had adopted the
country of Naomi and was a proselyte to her faith, her marriage with
Boaz was in accordance with Jewish custom. Naomi was told by the spirit
of prophecy, says the Chaldee, that from her line should descend six
of the most righteous men of the age, namely, David, Daniel, his three
compeers and the King Messiah.

Commentators say that Boaz was probably himself one of the elders, or
the aldermen, of the city, and that he went up to the gates as one
having authority, and not as a common person. They say that Ruth was
neither rich nor beautiful, but a poor stranger, "whose hard work in
the fields" had withered her "lilies and roses." But Boaz had heard her
virtue and dignity extolled by all who knew her. The Chaldee says,
"house and riches are the inheritance from fathers; but a prudent wife
is more valuable than rubies and is a special gift from heaven." Boaz
prized Ruth for her virtues, for her great moral qualities of head and
heart. He did not say like Samson, when his parents objected to his
choice, "her face pleaseth me."

In narrating the story of Ruth and Naomi to children they invariably
ask questions of interest, to which the sacred fabulist gives no
answer. They always ask if Ruth and Naomi had no pets when living
alone, before Obed made his appearance. If the modern historian may be
allowed to wander occasionally outside of the received text, it may be
said undoubtedly that they had pets, as there is nothing said of cats
and dogs and parrots, but frequent mention of doves, kids and lambs, we
may infer that in these gentle innocents they found their pets. No
doubt Providence softened their solitude by providing them with
something on which to expend their mother love.



Ruth iv.



1 Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there; and, behold,
the kinsman of whom Boaz spoke came by; unto whom he said, He, such a
one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down.

2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down
here.

3 And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the
country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother
Elimelech's:

4 And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the
inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem
it, redeem it; but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may
know; for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee.
And he said, I will redeem it.

5 Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi,
thou must buy it also of Ruth the wife of the dead, to raise up the
name of the dead upon his inheritance.

6 And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine
own inheritance; redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot.


Boaz was one of the district judges, and he held his court in the town
hall over the gates of Bethlehem. The kinsman who was summoned to
appear there and to settle the case readily agreed to the proposal of
Boaz to fill his place, as he was already married. He was willing to
take the land; but as the widow and the land went together, according
to the Jewish law of inheritance, Boaz was in a position to fill the
legal requirements; and as he loved Ruth, he was happy to do so. Ruth
was summoned to appear before the grave and reverend seigniors; the
civil pledges were made and the legal documents duly signed. The
reporter is silent as to the religious observances and the marriage
festivities. They were not as vigilant and as satisfying as are the
skilled reporters of our day, who have the imagination to weave a
connected story and to give to us all the hidden facts which we desire
to know. Our reporters would have told us how, when and where Ruth was
married, what kind of a house Boaz had, how Ruth was dressed, etc.,
etc., whereas we are left in doubt on all of these points.

The historian does vouchsafe to give to us further information on the
general feeling of the people. They all joined in the prayer of the
elders that the Lord would "make the woman that is come into thine
house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of
Israel;" they prayed for Boaz that he might be more famous and
powerful; they prayed for the wife that she might be a blessing in the
house, and the husband in the public business of the town; that all of
their children might be faithful in the church, and their descendants
be as numerous as the sands of the sea.

In due time one prayer was answered, and Ruth bore a son. Naomi loved
the child and shared in its care. But Ruth said: "The, love of Naomi is
more to me than that of seven sons could be." Naomi was a part of
Ruth's household to the day of her death and shared all of her luxuries
and her happiness.

The child's name was Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David.
The name Obed signifies one who serves. The motto of the Prince of
Wales is (ich dien) "I serve." It is to be hoped that Obed was more
profoundly interested in the problems of industrial economics than the
Prince seems to be, and that he spent a more useful and practical life.
If the Bethlehem newspapers had been as enterprising as our journals
they would have given us some pictorial
representations of Obed on Naomi's lap, or at the baptismal font, or in
the arms of Boaz, who, like Napoleon, stood contemplating in silence
his firstborn.

Some fastidious readers object to the general tenor of Ruth's
courtship. But as her manners conformed to the customs of the times,
and as she followed Naomi's instructions implicitly, it is fair to
assume that Ruth's conduct was irreproachable.


E. C. S.





BOOKS OF SAMUEL.


CHAPTER I.



1 Samuel i.



1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim, of mount Ephraim,
and his name was Elkanah.

2 And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name
of the other Peninnah; and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no
children.

3 And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to
sacrifice unto the Lord of hosts in Shiloh.

4 And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his
wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions:

5 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah; but
Peninnah mocked her.

7 And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the
Lord; so she provoked her, therefore she wept, and did not eat.

8 Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and
why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to
thee than ten sons? Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the
temple of the Lord.

10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and
wept sore.

11 And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed
look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and wilt give unto me a man
child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life.

17 Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace; and the God of Israel
grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him. And she bare a
son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of
the Lord.

26 And she said, O my lord, as thy soul liveth, I am the woman that
stood by thee here, praying unto the Lord.

27 For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition
which I asked of him.

28 Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord, as long as he liveth.


These books contain the history of the last two of the judges of
Israel. Eli and Samuel were not as the rest, men of war, but priests.
It is uncertain who wrote these books. Some say that Samuel wrote the
history of his times, and that Nathan the Prophet continued it.
Elkanah, though a godly man, had sore family trials, the result of
having married two wives, just as Abraham and Jacob did before him. It
is probable that Elkanah married Hannah from pure love; but she had no
children, and as at that time every man had great pride in building up
a family, he married Peninnah, who bare him children, but in other
respects was a constant vexation.

Peninnah was haughty and insolent because she had children, while
Hannah was melancholy and discontented because she had none, hence
Elkanah had no pleasure in his daily life with either. He had a
difficult part to act. Hoping much from the consolations of religion,
he took his wives and children annually up to the temple of the Lord in
Shiloh to worship. Being of a devout spiritual nature, he thought that
worshiping at the same altar must produce greater harmony between his
wives. But Penninah {sic} became more peevish and provoking, and Hannah
more silent and sorrowful, weeping most of the time. Elkanah's love and
patience with Hannah was beautiful to behold. He paid her every
possible attention and gave her valuable gifts.

Appreciating his own feelings, he said to her one day in an exuberant
burst of devotion, "Am I not more to thee than ten sons?" He made peace
offerings to the Lord, gave Hannah the choice bits at the table, but
all his delicate attentions made Hannah more melancholy and Peninnah
more rebellious. He and Hannah continued to, pray earnestly to the Lord
to remove her reproach, and their prayers were at last answered.

Eli was presiding at the temple one day when he noticed Hannah in a
remote corner wrestling in prayer with the Lord. Though her manner was
intense, and her lips moved, he heard no sound, and inferred that she
was intoxicated. Hannah, hearing of his suspicion, said, that naught
but the debauchery of his own sons could have made such a suspicion
possible. But Eli made atonement for his rash, unfriendly censure by a
kind of fatherly benediction. With all these adverse winds in this
visit to Shiloh, Elkanah must have felt as if his family had been
possessed by the spirit of evil. When the sons of God come "to present
themselves before the Lord, Satan will be seen to come also." Peninnah
behaved worse during these religious festivities because she saw more
of Elkanah's devotion to Hannah. Hannah became more sad because she was
losing faith in prayer. "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick."

An endless discord in the harmony of the family joys was a puzzling
problem for the sweet tempered Elkanah. But the ever-turning wheel of
fortune brought peace and prosperity to his domestic altar at last.
Hannah bore a son and named him Samuel, which signifies
"heard of the Lord," or given by the Lord. Hannah was very modest in
her petition; she said, "O Lord, give me a son," while Rachel said,
"give me children."

The one sorrow which overtopped all others with these Bible women was
in regard to children. If they had none, they made everybody miserable.
If they had children, they fanned the jealousies of one for the other.
See how Rebekah deceived Isaac and defrauded Esau of his birthright.
The men, instead of appealing to the common sense of the women, join in
constant prayer for the Lord to do what was sometimes impossible.

Hannah in due time took Samuel up to the temple at Shiloh. In
presenting Samuel to Eli the priest she reminded him that she was the
woman on whom he passed the severe comment; but now she came to present
the child the Lord had given to her. She offered three bullocks, one
for each year of his life, one for a burnt offering, one for a sin
offering and one for a peace offering. So Hannah dedicated him wholly
to the Lord and left him in Shiloh to be educated with the sons of the
priests. Although Samuel was Hannah's only child and dearly loved, she
did not hesitate to keep her vow unto the Lord.



I. Samuel ii.



11 And Elkanah went to Ramah to his house. And the child did minister
unto the Lord before Eli the priest.

18 But Samuel ministered before the Lord, being a child, girded with a
linen ephod.

19 Moreover his mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him
from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the
yearly sacrifice.

20 And Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife. And they went unto their own
home.

21 And Hannah bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel
grew before the Lord.


The historians and commentators dwell on the fact that Hannah made her
son "a little coat," and brought one annually. It is more probable that
she brought to him a complete suit of clothes once in three months,
especially trousers, if those destined to service in the temple were
allowed to join in any sports. Even devotional genuflections are severe
on that garment, which must have often needed Hannah's care. Her virtue
and wisdom as a mother were in due time rewarded by five other
children, three sons and two daughters.

And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. Saul was made king
at the request of the people. The ark of the Lord fell into the hands
of the Philistines. This event, with the death of Eli and his sons, had
most tragic results, viz., in the killing of thirty thousand people and
the death of the wife of Phinehas, who was said to have been a woman of
gracious spirit, though the wife of a wicked husband. Her grief for the
death of her husband and father-in-law proved her strong natural
affection, but her much greater concern for the loss of the ark of the
Lord was an evidence of her devout affection to God. Her dying words,
"the glory has departed from Israel," show that her last thought was of
her religion. She named her son Ichabod, whose premature birth was the
result of many calamities, both public and private, crowning all with
the great battle with the Philistines. Samuel was the last judge of
Israel. As the people clamored for a king, Saul was chosen to rule over
them. The women joined in the festivities of the occasion with music
and dancing.



1 Samuel xviii.



6 And it came to pass when David was returned from the slaughter of
the Philistines that the women came out of all the cities of Israel,
singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tabrets and instruments of
music.

7 And the women answered one another a--, they played, and said, Saul
hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.

8 And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said,
They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have
ascribed but thousands; and what can he have more than the kingdom?


It was the custom among women to celebrate the triumphs of their
warriors after a great battle in spectacular performances. Decked with
wreaths, they danced down the public streets, singing the songs of
victory in praise of their great leaders. They were specially
enthusiastic over David, the chorus, "Saul hath killed his thousands,
but David his ten thousands," chanted with pride by beautiful maidens
and wise matrons, stirred the very soul of Saul to deadly jealousy, and
he determined to suppress David in some way or to kill him outright. It
is not probable that any of these battle hymns, so much admired,
emanated from the brain of woman; the blood and thunder style shows
clearly that they were all written by the pen of a warrior, long after
the women of their respective tribes
were at rest in Abraham's bosom.

David was a general favorite; even the Philistines admired his courage
and modesty. The killing of Goliath impressed the people generally that
David was the chosen of the Lord to succeed Saul as King of Israel.

But on the heels of his triumphs David's troubles soon began. Saul was
absorbed in plotting and in planning how to circumvent David, and
looked with jealousy on the warm friendship maturing between him and
his son Jonathan.


17 And Saul said to David, Behold my elder daughter Merab; her will I
give thee to wife: only be thou valiant for me, and fight the Lord's
battles. For Saul said, Let not mine hand be upon him, but let the hand
of the Philistines be upon him.

18 And David said unto Saul, Who am I? and what is my life, or my
father's family in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?

19 But it came to pass at the time when Merab, Saul's daughter, should
have been given to David, that she was given unto Adriel, the
Meholathite, to wife.

20 And Michal, Saul's daughter, loved David: and they told Saul, and
the thing pleased him.

21 And Saul said, I will give him her, that she may be a snare to him,
and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him. Wherefore Saul
said to David, Thou shalt this day be my son in law in the one of the
twain.

22 And Saul commanded his servants, saying, Commune with David
secretly, and say, Behold the king hath delight in thee, and all his
servants love thee: now therefore be the king's son-in-law.

24 And Saul's servants spake those words in the ears of David. And
David said, Seemeth it to you a light thing to be a king's son-in-law,
seeing that I am a poor man, and lightly esteemed?

28 And Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David, and that
Michal, Saul's daughter, loved him.


Saul thought if he could get David to marry his daughter he would make
her a snare to entrap him. He promised David his daughter, and then
married her to another to provoke him to some act of violence, that he
might have an excuse for whatever he chose to do. But when Saul offered
to give him Michal, David modestly replied that he belonged to a humble
shepherd family and was not worthy to be the son-in-law of a king.

In due time David did marry Michal, who loved him and proved a
blessing rather than a snare. On one occasion when Saul had made secret
plans to capture David, Michal with her diplomacy saved him. Saul
surrounded his house with guards and ordered them to kill David the
moment he appeared in the morning. Michal, seeing their preparations,
knew their significance, and at night, when all was still, she let
David down through a window and told him to flee. In the morning, as
David did not appear, they searched the house. Michal told them that
David was ill and in bed. She had covered the head of a wooden image
with goat's hair and tucked the supposed David up snug and warm. The
guards would not wake a sick man in order to kill him, and they
reported what they saw to Saul, but he ordered them to return and to
bring David, sick or well.

When Saul found that he had escaped, he was very wroth and upbraided
Michal for her disrespect to him. Though she had saved the man she
loved, yet she marred her noble deed by saying that David would have
killed her if he suspected she had connived with her father to kill
him. But alas! the poor woman was between two fires--the husband whom
she loved on one side, and the father whom she feared on the other.
Most of the women in the Bible seem to have been in a quandary the
chief part of the time.

Saul made a special war on the soothsayers and the fortunetellers,
because they were divining evil things of him. But losing faith in
himself and embittered by many troubles, be went to the witch of Endor
to take counsel with Samuel, hoping to find more comfort with the dead
than with the living. The witch recognized him and asked him why he
came to her, having so cruelly persecuted her craft. However, she
summoned Samuel at his request, who told him that on the morrow, in the
coming battle with the Philistines, he and his sons would be slain by
the enemy. When the witch saw Saul's grief and consternation she begged
him to eat, placing some tempting viands before him, which he did, and
then hastened to depart while it was yet dark, that he might not be
seen coming from such a house. Commentators say it was not Samuel who
appeared, but Satan in the guise of the prophet, as he especially
enjoys all psychical mysteries. Josephus extols the witch for her
courtesy, and Saul for his courage in going forth to the battle on the
next day to meet his doom.

The poet says that the heart from love to one grows bountiful to all.
This seems to have been the case with David as he adds wife to wife,
Michal, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess. His
meeting with Abigail in the hills of Carmel was quite romantic.

She made an indelible impression on his heart, and as soon as her
husband was gathered to his fathers David at once proposed and was
accepted. Though the women who attracted David were "beautiful to look
upon," yet they had great qualities of head and heart, and he seemed
equally devoted to all of them. When carried off captives in war he
made haste to recapture them. Michal's steadfastness seems questionable
at one or two points of her career, but the historian does not let us
into the secret recesses of her feelings.

David's time and thoughts seem to have been equally divided between
the study of government and social ethics, and he does not appear very
wise in either. His honor shines brighter in his psalms than in his
ordinary, everyday life.


E. C. S.





CHAPTER II.



1 Samuel xxv.



2 And there was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and
the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand
goats: and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.

3 Now the name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail;
and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful
countenance: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings.

4 And David heard in the wilderness that Nabal did shear his sheep.

5 And David sent out ten young men, and David said unto the young men,
Get you up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name:

6 And thus shall ye say to him that liveth in prosperity, Peace be
both to thee, and peace be to thine house, and peace be unto all that
thou hast.

8 . . . Give, I pray thee, whatsover cometh to thine hand unto thy
servants.

10 And Nabal said, Who is David? and--who is the son of Jesse?

11 Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have
killed for my shearers, and give unto men, whom I know not whence they
be?

12 So David's young men came and told him all these sayings.

13 And David said unto his men, Gird ye on every man his sword; and
David also girded on his sword: and there went up after David about
four hundred men; and two hundred abode by the stuff.

14 But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, saying,
Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our
master; and he railed on them.

18 Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two
bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of
parched corn, and a hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cases
of figs, and laid them on asses.

23 And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass,
and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground.

25 Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even
Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is
with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom
thou didst send.

32 And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which
sent thee this day to meet me:

35 So David received of her hand that which she had brought him, and
said unto her, Go up in peace to thine house;

38 And it came to pass about ten days after, that the Lord smote
Nabal, that he died.

39 . . . And David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him
to wife.

41 And Abigail hasted, and arose, and rode upon an ass, with five
damsels of hers that went after her; and she went after the messengers
of David, and became his wife.


The chief business of the women in the reigns of Kings Saul and David
seems to have been to rescue men from the craft and the greed of each
other. The whole interest in this story of Nabal centres in the tact of
Abigail in saving their lives and possessions from threatened
destruction, owing to the folly and the ignorance of her husband. His
name, Nabal, signifying folly, describes his character.

It is a wonder that his parents should have given to him such a name,
and a greater wonder that Abigail should have married him. He inherited
Caleb's estate; but he was far from inheriting his virtues. His wealth
was great; but he was a selfish, snarling cynic. Abigail's name
signifies "the joy of her father;" but he could not have promised
himself much joy in her, caring more for the wealth than for the wisdom
of her husband. Many a child is thus thrown away--married to worldly
wealth and to nothing else which is desirable. Wisdom is good with an
inheritance; but an inheritance without wisdom is good for nothing.
Many an Abigail is tied to a Nabal; but even if they have her
understanding they will find it hard enough to fill such a relation.

David and his men were returning from Samuel's funeral through the
wilderness of Paran and were in sore need of provisions, and knowing
that Nabal had immense wealth, and, moreover, that it was the season
for sheep shearing, David thought that he would be happy to place the
king under obligations to him, and was surprised to find him so
disloyal. Abigail, however, appreciated the situation, and by her
courtesy and her generosity made amends for the rudeness of her
husband. She did not stop to parley with him, but hastened to meet the
king with the needed provisions. She wasted no words of excuse for
Nabal, but spoke of him with marked contempt. Her conduct would have
shocked the Apostle who laid such stress on the motto, "Wives, obey
your husbands." "What little reason we have to value the wealth of this
world," says the historian, "when such a churl as Nabal abounds in
plenty, while such a saint as David suffers want."

David sent to him most gracious messages; but he replied in his usual
gruff manner, "Who is David, that I should share with him my riches?
What care I for the son of Jesse?" The servant did not return to Nabal
with David's outburst of wrath nor his resolution of vengeance; but he
told all to Abigail, who made haste to avert the threatened danger. She
did what she saw was to be done, quickly. Wisdom in such a case was
better than weapons of war.

Nabal begrudged the king and his retinue water; but Abigail gave them
two casks of wine and all sorts of provisions in abundance. She
met David on the march big with resentment, meditating the destruction
of Nabal. But Abigail by her humility completely disarmed the king.
With great respect and complaisance she urges him to lay all of the
blame on her; and to attribute Nabal's faults to his want of wit, born
simple, not spiteful. Abigail puts herself in the attitude of a humble
petitioner.

David received all that Abigail brought him with many thanks. It is
evident from the text that she gave to him many of the delicacies from
her larder. Ten days after this Nabal died. David immediately sent
messengers to Abigail asking her to be his wife. She readily accepted,
as David had made a deep impression on her heart. So, with her five
damsels, all mounted on white jackasses, she accompanied the messengers
to the king and became his wife.

The Hebrew mythology does not gild the season of courtship and
marriage with much sentiment or romance. The transfer of a camel or a
donkey from one owner to another, no doubt, was often marked with more
consideration than that of a daughter. One loves a faithful animal long
in our possession and manifests more grief in parting than did these
Hebrew fathers in giving away their daughters, or than the daughters
did in leaving their family, their home or their country.

We have no beautiful pictures of lovers sitting in shady groves,
exchanging their tributes of love and of friendship, their hopes and
fears of the future; no temples of knowledge where philosophers and
learned matrons discussed great questions of human destiny, such as
Greek mythology gives to us; Socrates and Plato, learning wisdom at the
feet of the Diametias of their times, give to us a glimpse of a more
exalted type of womanhood than any which the sacred fabulists have
vouchsafed thus far.



2 Samuel iii.



2 And unto David were sons born 'n Hebron: and his firstborn was
Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess:

3 And his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite;
and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of
Geshur:

4 And the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth,
Shephatiah the son of Abital;

5 And the sixth, Ithream, by Eglah David's wife. These were born to
David in Hebron.


The last is called David's wife, his only rightful wife, Michal. It
was a fault in David, say the commentators, thus to multiply wives
contrary to Jewish law. It was a bad example to his successors. Men who
make the laws should not be the first to disobey them. None of his sons
was famous, but three were infamous, due in part to their father's
nature and example.


14 And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was
girded with a linen ephod.

15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord
with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.

16 And as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal
Saul's daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and
dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.

20 Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter
of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of
Israel to-day, who uncovered himself in the eyes of his servants, as
one of the vain fellows.

21 And David said unto Michal, It was before the Lord, which chose me
before thy father.


Michal, like Abigail, does not seem to have been overburdened with
conjugal respect. She was so impatient to let the king know how he
appeared in her sight that she could not wait at home, but went out to
meet him. She even questions the wisdom of such a parade over the ark,
and tells the king that it would have been better to leave it where it
had been hidden for years.

Neither Michal nor Abigail seem to have made idols of their husbands;
they did not even consult them as to what they should think, say or do.
They furnish a good example to wives to use their own judgment and to
keep their own secrets, not make the family altar a constant
confessional.



2 Samuel xi.



2 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his
bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house, and saw a woman
washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.

3 And David sent and inquired after her. And one said, Is not this
Bath-she-ba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?

4 And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him.

6 And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab
sent Uriah to David.

7 And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him how Joab
did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered.

9 And Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the
servants of his lord, and went not down to his house.

14 And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to
Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah.

15 And he wrote in the letter saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of
the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and
die.

16 And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned
Uriah unto a place where he knew that
valiant men were.

26 And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there
fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite
died also.

16 And when the wife of Uriah heard that her husband was dead, she
mourned for her husband.

27 And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his
house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that
David had done displeased the Lord.


This book contains but little in regard to women. What is worthy of
mention in the story of Bath-sheba is finished in the following book.
David's first vision of her is such a reflection on his honor that,
from respect to the "man after the Lord's own heart," we pass it in
silence.

David's social ethics were not quite up to the standard even of his
own times. It is said that he was a master of his pen as well as of his
sword. His poem on the death of Saul and Jonathan has been much praised
by literary critics. But, alas! David was not able to hold the Divine
heights which he occasionally attained. As in the case of Bath-sheba,
he remained where he could see her; instead of going with his army to
Jerusalem to attend to his duties as King of Israel and general of the
army, he delegated them to others. Had he been at his post he would
have been out of the way of temptation. He used to pray three times a
day, not only at morning and evening, but at noon also. It is to be
feared than on this day he forgot his devotions and thought only of
Bath-sheba.

Uriah, the husband of Bath-sheba, was one of David's soldiers, a man
of strict honor and virtue. To get rid of him for a season, David sent
him with a message to one of the officers at Jerusalem, telling him
that in the next battle to place Uriah in the front rank that he might
distinguish himself. Uriah was a poor man and tenderly loved his wife.
He little knew the fatal contents of the letter which he carried. When
Joab received the letter, he took it for granted that he was guilty of
some crime and that the king wished him to be punished. So Joab obeyed
the king and Uriah was killed. In due time all this was known, and
filled the people with astonishment and greatly displeased the Lord.

It is to be hoped that he did not commune with God during this period of
humiliation or pen any psalms of praise for His goodness and mercy. He
married Bath-sheba, and she bore him a son and called his name Solomon.
But this did not atone for his sin. "His heart was sad, his soul," says
a commentator, "was like a tree in winter which has life in the root
only."



2 Samuel xii.



And the Lord sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said
unto him: There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other
poor.


2 The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds;

3 But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had
bought and nourished: and it grew up together with him, and with his
children: it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay
in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.

4 And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take
of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man,
but took the poor man's lamb and dressed it.

5 And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said
to Nathan, As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall
surely die:

6 And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing.

7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God
of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out
of the hand of Saul;

9 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil
in his sight? Thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and
hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword
of the children of Ammon.

10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house;
because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the
Hittite to be thy wife.


And the Lord said unto Nathan the Prophet, David's faithful friend,
"Go thou and instruct and counsel him." Nathan judiciously gives his
advice in the form of a parable, on which David gives his judgment as
to the sin of the chief actor and denounces him in unmeasured terms,
and says that he should be punished with death--"he shall surely die."
David did not suspect the bearing of the fable until Nathan applied it,
and, to David's surprise and consternation, said, "Thou art the man."

Uriah the Hittite had but "one little ewe lamb," one wife whom he
loved as his own soul, while King David had many; yet he robbed Uriah
of all that he had and made him carry his own message of death to Joab,
the general of the army, who gave to him the most dangerous place in
the battle, and, as the king desired, he was killed.

When the king first recalled Uriah from the field, Uriah went not to his
own house, as he suspected foul play, having heard that Bath-sheba often
appeared at court. Both the king and Bath-sheba urged him to go to his
own house; but he went not. Bath-sheba had been to him all that was pure
and beautiful in woman, and he could not endure even the suspicion of
guilt in her. He understood the king's plans, and probably welcomed
death, as without Bath-sheba's love, life had no joy for him. But to be
transferred from the cottage of a poor soldier to the palace of a king
was a sufficient compensation for the loss of the love of a true and
faithful man.

This was one of the most cruel deeds of David's life, marked with so
many acts of weakness and of crime. He was ruled entirely by his
passions. Reason had no sway over him. Fortunately, the development of
self-respect and independence in woman, and a higher idea of individual
conscience and judgment in religion and in government, have supplied
the needed restraint for man. Men will be wise and virtuous just in
proportion as women are self-reliant and able to meet them on the
highest planes of thought and of action.

No magnet is so powerful as that which draws men and women to each
other. Hence they rise or fall together. This is one lesson which the
Bible illustrates over and over--the degradation of woman degrades man
also. "Her face pleaseth me," said Samson, who, although he could
conquer lions, was like putty in the hands of women.


E. C. S.





BOOKS OF KINGS.


CHAPTER I.



1 Kings i.



11 Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bath-sheba the mother of Solomon,
saying, Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth
reign. Go . . . unto King David, and say unto him, Didst thou not swear
unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign
after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? Why then doth Adonijah reign?

15 And Bath-sheba went in unto the king. . . . And the king said, What
wouldst thou?

17 And she said unto him, Thou swarest unto thine handmaid, saying,
Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon
my throne.

18 And now, behold, Adonijah reigneth.

22 And lo, while she yet talked with the king, Nathan the prophet also
came in.

21 And Nathan said, My lord, O king, hast thou said, Adonijah shall
reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne?

28 Then King David answered and said, Call me Bath-sheba. And she came
and stood before the king.

29 And the king sware, and said, As the Lord liveth, that bath
redeemed my soul out of all distress,

30 Even as I sware unto thee by the Lord God of Israel, saying,
Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon
my throne in my stead; even so will I certainly do this day.

31 Then Bath-sheba bowed with her face to the earth, and did reverence
to the king, and said, Let my lord, King David, live for ever.

32 And King David said, Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the
prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And they came.

33 The king also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your
lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring
him down to Gihon:

34 And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there
king over Israel: and blow ye with the trumpet, and say, God save King
Solomon.


These books give an account of David's death, of his successor
Solomon, of the division of his kingdom between the kings of Judah and
of Israel, with an abstract of the history down to the captivity.

Neither the king nor Bath-sheba knew that Adonijah was making
preparations to be crowned king the moment when he heard of David's
death. He made a great feast, inviting all the king's sons except
Solomon. He began his feast by a show of devotion, sacrificing sheep and
oxen. But Nathan the Prophet warns the king and Bath-sheba. In his
anxiety he appeals to Bath-sheba as the one who has the greatest concern
about Solomon, and can most easily get an audience with the king. He
suggests that Solomon is not only in danger of losing his crown, but
both he and she of losing their lives.

Accordingly, Bath-sheba, without being announced, enters the presence
of the king. She takes no notice of the presence of Abishag, but makes
known the object of her visit at once. She reminds the king of his vow
to her that Solomon, her son, should be his successor to his throne.
Nathan the Prophet is announced in the audience chamber and tells the
king of the preparations that Adonijah is making to usurp the crown and
throne, and appeals to him to keep his vow to Bath-sheba. He reminds
him that the eyes of all Israel are upon him, and that David's word
should be an oracle of honor unto them. He urged the king to immediate
action and to put an end to all Adonijah's pretensions at once, which
the king did; and Solomon was anointed by the chief priests and
proclaimed king.

Adonijah had organized a party, recognizing him as king, as if David
were already dead; but when a messenger brought the news that Solomon
had been anointed king, in the midst of the feast their jollities were
turned to mourning.

Nathan's visits to the king were always welcome, especially when he
was sick and when something lay heavy on his heart. He came to the
king, not as a petitioner, but as an ambassador from God, not merely to
right the wrongs of individuals, but to maintain the honor of the
nation.

As David grew older he suffered great depression of spirits, hence his
physicians advised that he be surrounded with young company, who might
cheer and comfort him with their own happiness and pleasure in life. He
was specially cheered by the society of Abishag, the Shunammite, a
maiden of great beauty and of many attractions in manner and
conversation, and who created a most genial atmosphere in the palace of
the king. Bath-sheba's ambition for her son was so all absorbing that
she cared but little for the attentions of the king. David reigned forty
years, seven in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem.



1 Kings ii.



Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged
Solomon his son, saying,


2 I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and show
thyself a man.

It is a great pity that David's advice could not have been fortified
by the honor and the uprightness of his own life. "Example is stronger
than precept."



1 Kings iii.



16 Then came there two women unto the king, and stood before him.

17 And the one woman said, O my lord. I and this woman dwell in one
house: and I was delivered of a child.

19 And it came to pass the third day after, this woman was delivered
also:

19 And her child died in the night; because she overlaid it.

20 And she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while
thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child
in my bosom.

21 And when I rose in the morning it was dead; but when I had
considered it, behold, it was not my son.

22 And the other woman said, Nay; but the living is my son, and the
dead is thy son. And this said, No; but the dead is thy son, and the
living is my son. Thus they spake before the king.

24 And the king said, Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword
before the king.

25 And he said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the
one, and half to the other.

26 Then spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, and
she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it.
But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it.

27 Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child, and in
no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof.

28 And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and
they feared the king for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to
do judgment.


This case was opened in court, not by lawyers, but by the parties
themselves, though both plaintiff and defendant were women.
Commentators thing that it had already been tried in the lower courts,
and the judges not being able to arrive at a satisfactory decision,
preferred to submit the case to Solomon the King. It was an occasion of
great interest; the halls of justice were crowded, all waiting with
great expectation to hear what the king would say. When he said, "bring
me my sword," the sages wondered if he intended to kill the parties, as
the shortest way to end the case; but his proposition to kill only the
living child and give half to each, showed such an intuitive knowledge
of human nature that all were impressed with his wisdom, recognizing at
once what the natural feelings of the mother would be. Solomon won
great reputation by this judgment. The people feared his piercing eye
ever after, knowing that he would see the real truth through all
disguises and complications.


E. C. S.



In Bath-sheba's interview with David one feature impresses me
unfavorably, that she stood before the king instead of being seated
during the conference. In the older apostolic churches the elder women
and widows were provided with seats--only the young women stood; but in
the instance which we are considering the faithful wife of many years,
the mother of wise Solomon, stood before her husband. Then David, with
the fear of death before his eyes and the warning words of the prophet
ringing in his ears, remembered his oath to Bath-sheba. Bath-sheba, the
wife of whom no moral wrong is spoken, except her obedience to David in
the affairs of her first husband, bowed with her face to the earth and
did reverence to the king.

This was entirely wrong: David should have arisen from his bed and
done reverence to this woman, his wife, bowing his face to the earth.
Yet we find this Bible teaching the subservience of woman to man, of
the wife to the husband, of the queen to the king, ruling the world
to-day. During the recent magnificent coronation ceremonies of the Czar,
his wife, granddaughter of Victoria, Queen of England and Empress of
India, who changed her religion in order to become Czarina, knelt
before her husband while he momentarily placed the crown upon her brow.
A kneeling wife at this era of civilization is proof that the
degradation of woman continues from the time of Bath-sheba to that of
Alexandria.

In 1 Kings ii. 13-25, we have a record of Solomon's treatment of that
mother to whom he was indebted not only for his throne, but also for
life itself. Adonijah, who had lost the kingdom, requested Bath-sheba's
influence with Solomon that the fair young Abishag should be given to
him for a wife. Having lost his father's kingdom, he thought to console
himself with the maiden.

19 So Bath-sheba therefore went unto King Solomon to speak unto him
for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto
her, and sat down on his throne and caused a seat to be set for the
king's mother; and she sat on his right hand.

All very well thus far; and the king, in his reception of his mother,
showed to her the reverence and the respect which was due to her. Thus
emboldened, Bath-sheba said:


20 I desire one small petition of thee; say me not nay. And the king
said unto her, Ask on, my mother; for I will not say thee nay.

21 And she said, Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah, thy
brother, to wife.

But did King Solomon, who owed both throne and life to his mother,
keep his word that he had just pledged to her, "Ask on, my mother; for
I will not say thee nay?"

No indeed, for was she not a woman, a being to whom it was customary
to make promises for the apparent purpose of breaking them; for the
king, immediately forgetting his promise of one moment previously,
cried out:

22 And why dost thou ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? ask for
him the kingdom also: for he is mine elder brother.

23 Then King Solomon sware by the Lord, saying, God do so to me, and
more also, if Adonijah have not spoken this word against his own life.

24 Now therefore, as the Lord liveth, who hath established me, and set
me on the throne of David my father, and who hath made me an house, as
he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death this day.


Solomon was anxious to give credit to the Lord instead of his mother
for having set him on the throne, and also to credit him with having
kept his promise, while at the very same moment he was breaking his own
promise to his mother. And this promise-breaking to women, taught in
the Bible, has been incorporated into the laws of both England and the
United States--a true union of Church and State where woman is
concerned.

It is only a few years since that a suit was brought in England by a
wife against a husband in order to compel the keeping of his ante-
nuptial promise that the children of the marriage should be brought up
in the mother's religious faith. Having married the woman, this husband
and father found it convenient to break his word, ordering her to
instruct the children in his own faith, and the highest court in
England, that of Appeals, through the vice-chancellor, decided against
her upon the ground that a wife has no rights in law against a husband.
While a man's word broken at the gaming table renders him infamous,
subjecting him to dishonor through life, a husband's pledged word to
his wife in this nineteenth century of the Christian era is of no more
worth than was the pledged word of King Solomon to Bath-sheba in the
tenth century before the Christian
era.

The Albany Law journal, commenting upon the Agar-Ellis case, declared
the English decision to be in harmony with the general law in regard to
religious education--the child is to be educated in the religion of its
father. But in the case of Bath-sheba, Solomon's surprising acrobatic
feat is the more remarkable from the reception which he at first gave
to his mother. Not only did Solomon "say her nay," but poor Adonijah
lost not only wife, but life also, because of her intercession.

This chapter closes with an account of Solomon's judgment between two
mothers, each of whom claimed a living child as her own and the dead
child as that of her rival. This judgment has often been referred to as
showing the wisdom of Solomon. He understood a mother's boundless love,
that the true mother would infinitely prefer that her rival should
retain her infant than that the child should be divided between them.

However, this tale, like many another Biblical story, is found
imbedded in the folk-lore-myths of other peoples and religions. Prof.
White's "Warfare of Science and Theology" quotes Fansboll as finding it
in "Buddhist Birth Stories." The able Biblical critic, Henry Macdonald,
regards the Israelitish kings as wholly legendary, and Solomon as
unreal as Mug Nuadat or Partholan; but let its history be real or
unreal, the Bible accurately represents the condition of women under
the Jewish patriarchal and the Christian monogamous religions.


M. J. G.





CHAPTER II.



1 Kings x.



1 And when the Queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning
the name of the Lord, she came to prove him with hard questions.

2 And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that
bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was
come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.

3 And Solomon told her all her questions.

4 And when the Queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom, and the
house that he had built,

5 And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the
attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cup-bearers,
and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the Lord; there
was no more spirit in her.

6 And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine
own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom.

7 Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had
seen it; and, behold, the half was not told me; thy wisdom and
prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard.

9 Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighteth in thee, to set thee
on the throne of Israel.

10 And she gave the king a hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of
spices very great store, and precious stones: . . .

13 And King Solomon gave unto the Queen of Sheba all her desire,
whatsoever she asked. So she turned and went to her own country.


In the height of Solomon's piety and prosperity the Queen of Sheba
came to visit him. She had heard of his great wealth and wisdom and
desired to see if all was true. She was called the Queen of the South,
supposed to be in Africa. The Christians in Ethiopia say to this day
that she came from their country, and that Candace, spoken of in Acts
viii., 27, was her successor. She was queen regent, sovereign of her
country. Many a kingdom would have been deprived of its greatest
blessing if the Salic law had been admitted into its constitution.

It was a great journey for the queen, with her retinue, to undertake.
The reports of the magnificence of Solomon's surroundings, the temple
of the Lord and the palace for the daughter of Pharaoh, roused her
curiosity to see his wealth. The reports of his wisdom inspired her
with the hope that she might obtain new ideas on the science of
government and help her to establish a more perfect system
in her kingdom. She had heard of his piety, too, his religion and the
God whom he worshiped, and his maxims of policy in morals and public
life. She is mentioned again in the New Testament ill Matthew xii., 42.
She brought many valuable presents of gold, jewels, spices and precious
stones to defray all the expenses of her retinue at Solomon's court, to
show him that her country was worthy of honor and of respect.

The queen was greatly surprised with all that she saw, the reality
surpassed her wildest imagination. Solomon's reception was most cordial
and respectful, and he conversed with her as he would with a friendly
king coming to visit from afar. This is the first account which we have
in the Bible of a prolonged rational conversation with a woman on
questions of public policy. He answered all her questions, though the
commentators volunteer the opinion that some may have been frivolous
and captious. As the text suggests no such idea, we have a right to
assume that her conduct and conversation were pre-eminently judicious.
Solomon did not suggest to the queen that she was out of her sphere,
that home duties, children and the philosophy of domestic life were the
proper subjects for her consideration; but he talked with her as one
sovereign should with another.

She was deeply impressed by the elegance of his surroundings, the
artistic effect of his table, and the gold, silver and glass, the skill
of his servants, the perfect order which reigned throughout the palace,
but more than all with his piety and wisdom, and his reverence when he
went up to the temple to worship God or to make the customary offering.
She wondered at such greatness and goodness combined in one man. Her
visit was one succession of surprises; and she rejoiced to find that
the truth of all that she had heard exceeded her expectations. She is
spo
ken of in Psalms lxxii., 15, as a pattern for Solomon.

E. C. S.



1 Kings xi.



1 But King Solomon loved many strange women, together with the
daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites,
Zidonians and Hittites:

2 Of the nations concerning which the Lord said unto the children of
Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto
you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods:
Solomon clave unto these in love.

3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred
concubines:

4 It came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away
his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord
his God.


This is a sad story of Solomon's defection and degeneracy. As the
Queen of Sheba did not have seven hundred husbands, she had time for
travel and the observation of the great world outside of her domain. It
is impossible to estimate the ennui a thousand women must have suffered
crowded together, with only one old gentleman to contemplate; but he
probably solaced their many hours with some of his choice songs, so
appreciative of the charms of beautiful women. It is probable that his
little volume of poems was in the hand of every woman, and that Solomon
gave them occasional recitations on the imaginative and emotional
nature of women. We have reason to believe that with his wisdom he gave
as much variety to their lives as possible, and with fine oratory,
graceful manners and gorgeous apparel made himself as attractive as the
situation permitted.


E. C. S.



There have been a great number of different views held in regard to
the Queen of Sheba, both in reference to the signification of the name
"Sheba," and also in relation to the country from which this famous
personage made a visit to Solomon. Abyssinia, Ethiopia, Persia and
Arabia have each laid claim to this wise woman. Menelik, the present
king of the former country, who so effectually defeated Italy in his
recent war with that country, possesses the same name as, and claims
descent from, the fabled son of this wise woman and of the wise king
Solomon, one of whose numerous wives, it is traditionally said, she
became. Ethiopia, the seat of a very ancient and great civilization,
and whose capital was called Saba; Persia, where the worship of the sun
and of fire originated; and Arabia, the country of gold, of
frankincense and of myrrh, also claim her. It is to the latter country
that this queen belonged.

Whether we look upon the Bible as a historical work, a mythological
work, or, as many now do regard it, as "A Book of the Adepts, written
by Initiates, for Initiates," a record of ancient mysteries hidden to
all but initiates, the Queen of Sheba is a most interesting character.

The words Sab, Saba, Sheba, all have an astronomical or astrological
meaning, signifying the "Host of Heaven," "The Planetary System." Saba,
or Sheba, was especially the home of astronomical wisdom; and all words
of this character mean wise in regard to the stars. The wisdom of Saba
and of the Sabeans was planetary wisdom, the "Sabean language" meaning
astronomy, or astrology, the latter being the esoteric portion of the
science. At the time of the mysteries, astrology was a sacred or secret
science, the words "sacred" and "secret" meaning the same thing. Among
the oldest mysteries, when all learning was confined to initiates, were
those of Sabasia, whose periodic festivals of a sacred character were
so extremely ancient that their origin is now lost.

Solomon, also, whether looked upon as a historical or a mythical
character, is philologically shown to have been connected with the
planetary system, Sol-Om-On signifying "the sun." It is singular to
note how closely the sun, the moon and the stars are connected with
ancient religions, even that of the Jewish. In the Old Testament the
new moon and the Sab-bath are almost invariably mentioned together. The
full moon also possessed a religious signification to the Jews, the
agricultural feasts taking place at the full moon, which were called
Sab-baths. Even in the Old Testament we find that Sab has an
astronomical or astrological meaning, connected with the planetary
system.

The Sabeans were an occult body, especially devoted to a study of the
heavens; at their head, the wisest among them, the chief astronomer and
astrologer of the nation, the wisest person in a nation of wisdom, was
that Queen of Sheba, who visited that other planetary dignitary,
Solomon, to prove him with hard astronomical and astrological questions.

There is historic proof that the city of Saba was the royal seat of
the kings of Arabia, which country, Diodorus says, was never conquered.
Among ancient peoples it bore the names of "Araby the Happy,"
"Araby the Blest." It was a country of gold and spices whose perfume
was wafted far over the sea. All cups and utensils were of the precious
metals; all beds, chairs and stools having feet of silver; the temples
were magnificently adorned; and the porticoes of even the private
houses were of gold inlaid with ivory and precious stones.

Among the presents carried by the Queen of Sheba to Sol-Om-On were the
famous balsam trees of her country. The first attempt at plant
acclimatizing of which the world has record was made with this tree by
the magnificent Pharaoh, Queen Hatasu, of the brilliant eighteenth
Egyptian dynasty. A thousand years before she of Sheba, Queen Hatasu,
upon her return from a naval expedition to the Red Sea, carried home
with her twelve of these trees in baskets of earth, which lived and
became one of the three species of sacred trees of Egypt.

Arabia was the seat of Eastern wisdom, from which it also radiated to
the British Isles of Europe at the time of the Celtic Druids, with whom
Sabs was the day when these lords of Sabaoth rested from study and gave
instructions to the people. As previously among the Jews, this day of
instruction became known as one of rest from physical labor, Sab-bath
and rest becoming synonymous. Seven being a sacred number among
initiates, every seventh day was devoted to instruction. When a
knowledge of the mysteries became lost, the words "Sab-bath," "rest"
and "seven" began to have a very wrong meaning in the minds of people;
and much injury has been done to the world through this perversion.

But later than Druidical times, Arabian wisdom made the southwestern
portion of the European continent brilliant with learning, during the
long period of the Christian dark ages, a time when, like the Bourbons
of later date, Christians learned nothing, a time when no heresy arose
because no thought was allowed, when there was no progress because
there was no doubt.

From these countrymen of the Queen of Sheba, the Spanish Arabs,
Columbus first learned of a world beyond the Pillars of Hercules.
Architecture rose to its height in the beautiful Alhambra, with its
exquisite interlaced tracery in geometric design; medicine
had its profound schools at various points; poetry numbered women among
its most famous composers; the ballad originated there; and the modern
literature of Europe was born from a woman's pen upon the hearth of the
despised Ishmaelite, whose ancestral mother was known as Hagar, and
whose most brilliant descendant was the Queen of Sheba.

Nowhere upon the earth has there existed a race of improvisatores
equal to the daughters of that despised bondwoman, the countrywoman of
the Queen of Sheba. As storytellers the world has not their equal.
Scherezade is a name upon the lips of Jews, of Gentiles, of Mohammedans
and of Christians. A woman's "Thousand and One Nights" is famous as a
combination of wit, wisdom and occultism wherever the language of
civilization is spoken. With increasing knowledge we learn somewhat of
the mysteries of the inner, higher life contained in those tales of
genii, of rings and of lamps of wondrous and curious power. The race
descended from Hagar, of which the Queen of Sheba is the most brilliant
reminder, has given to the world the most of its profound literature,
elegant poetry, art, science and occultism. Arabia is the mother of
mathematics; from this country was borrowed our one (1) and our cipher
(0), from which all other notation is evolved.

Astronomy and astrology being among the oldest sciences, the moon
early became known as "the Measurer," her varied motions, her influence
upon the tides, her connection with the generative functions, all
giving her a high place in the secret sciences. While in a planetary
sense the Queen of Sheba has in a manner been identified with the moon,
as Sabs, she was also connected with the sun, the same as Solomon and
the serpent. When Moses lifted up the brazen serpent in the wilderness
it was specifically a part of sun worship. The golden calf of Aaron was
more closely connected with moon worship, although the serpentine path
of both these bodies in the heavens identified each with the serpent.

The occult knowledge which the Jews possessed in regard to those
planets was borrowed by them from Egypt, where for many ages the sun
and the moon had been studied in connection with their movements in
the zodiac. In that country these serpentine movements were
symbolized by the uroeus, or asp, worn upon the crown above the head of
every Pharaoh. So closely was the Jewish religion connected with
worship of the planetary bodies that Moses is said to have disappeared
upon Mount Nebo, a word which shows the mountain to have been sacred to
the moon; while Elijah ascending in a chariot of fire is a record of
sun worship. When the famous woman astronomer and astrologer, Queen of
Sheba, visited the symbolic King Solomon, it was for the purpose of
proving him with hard planetary questions and thus learning the depth
of his astronomical and his astrological knowledge, which, thanks to
the planetary worship of the Jews, she found equal to her own.

We are further told that Solomon, not content with a princess from the
royal house of Pharaoh as wife, married seven hundred wives, all
princesses, besides taking to himself three hundred concubines. It is
upon teachings of the Old Testament, and especially from this statement
in regard to Solomon, that the Mormons of Utah largely base their
polygamous doctrines, the revelations of Joseph Smith being upon the
Solomon line. Yet the Mormons have advanced in their treatment of women
from the time of Solomon. While the revelations of Joseph Smith
commended plural marriages, the system and the name of concubinage was
entirely omitted, each woman thus taken being endowed with the name of
"wife."

The polygamy of New York, of Chicago, of London, of Paris, of Vienna
and of other parts of the Christian world, like that of Solomon's three
hundred, is a system of concubinage in which the woman possesses no
legal rights, the mistress neither being recognized as wife, nor her
children as legitimate; whereas Mormon polygamy grants Mormon respect
to the second, the third, and to all subsequent wives.

The senility of old men is well illustrated in the case of Solomon,
despite Biblical reference to his great wisdom, as we learn that when
he became "old" he was led away by "strange" women, worshiping strange
gods to whom he erected temples and offered sacrifices. To those who
believe in the doctrine of re-incarnation, and who look upon the Bible
as an occult work written in symbolic language, Solomon's reputed
"wives" and "concubines" are regarded as symbolic of
his incarnations, the wives representing good incarnations and the
concubines evil ones.


M. J. G.



1 Kings xvii.



8 And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying,

9 Arise, get thee to Zarephath, and dwell there: behold, I have
commanded a widow there to sustain thee.

10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of
the city, behold, the widow was there gathering sticks: and he called
to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water and a morsel of
bread.

12 And she said, I have not a cake, but a handful of meal in a barrel,
and a little oil in a cruse; and I am gathering sticks, that I may
dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.

13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said:
but make me thereof a little cake first, and after make for thee and
for thy son.

14 For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not
waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord
sendeth rain upon the earth.

15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she,
and he, and her house, did eat many days.

16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail.

17 And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman
fell sick; and there was no breath left in him.

18 And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man
of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to
slay my son?

19 And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he carried him up and
laid him upon his own bed.

20 And he cried unto the Lord and said, O Lord my God, hast thou also
brought evil upon the widow by slaying her son?

21 And be stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto
the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul
come into him again.

22 And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child
came into him again, and he revived.

23 And Elijah took the child and delivered him unto his mother, and
said, See, thy son liveth.

24 And the woman said, Now I know that thou art a man of God.


The history of Elijah the prophet begins somewhat abruptly, without
any mention of father, of family or of country. He seems, as it were,
suddenly to drop from the clouds. He does not come with glad tidings of
joy to the people; but with prophecies of a prolonged famine, in which
there shall be neither rain nor dew to moisten the earth, until King
Ahab and his people repent of their sins. Elijah himself was fed by
ravens in a miraculous manner, and later by a poor widow who had only
just enough in her larder to furnish one meal for herself and her son.
Here are a series of complications enough to stagger the faith of the
strongest believer in the supernatural. But the poor widow meets him at
the gates of the city as directed by the Lord, improvises bread and
water, takes him to her home and for two years treats him with all the
kindness and the attention which she would naturally give to one of
her own kinsmen. "Oh! woman, great is thy faith," exclaimed the
prophet. Women are so easily deluded that most of the miracles of the
Bible are performed for their benefit; and, as in the case of the witch
of Endor, she occasionally performs some herself.

The widow believed that Elijah was "a man of God," and that she could
do whatever he ordered; that she could get water, though there had been
a drought for a long time; that although she had only a handful of meal
and a little cruse of oil, yet they would increase day by day. "Never
did corn or olives in the growing," says Bishop Hall, "increase as did
that of the widow in the using." During the two years in which she
entertained the prophet, she enjoyed peace and prosperity; but when she
supposed that her son was dead, her faith wavered; and she deplored her
kindness to the prophet, and reproved him for bringing sorrow upon her
household. However, as the prophet was able to restore him to life, her
faith was restored also.

This is the first record which we have of the restoration of the dead
to life in the Bible; and it is the first also of any one ascending
into heaven "in a chariot of fire with horses of fire." Probably Elijah
knew how to construct a balloon. Much of the ascending and the
descending of seers, of angels and of prophets which astonished the
ignorant was accomplished in balloons--a lost art for many centuries.
No doubt that the poor widow, when she saw Elijah ascend, thought that
he went straight to heaven, though in all probability he landed at
twilight in some retired corn field or olive grove, at some distance
from the point where his ascent took place.

The question is often asked where the ravens got the cooked meat and
bread for the prophet. Knowing their impelling instinct to steal, the
Creator felt safe in trusting his prophet to their care, and they
proved themselves worthy his confidence. Their rookeries were near the
cave where Elijah was sequestered. Having keen olfactories, they smelt
the cooking of dainty viands from afar. Guided by this sense, they
perched on a fence near by where they could watch the movements of the
cook, and when her back was turned they flew in and seized the little
birds and soft shell crabs and carried them to Elijah, halting by the
way only long enough to satisfy their own imperative hunger.

Jezebel was Elijah's greatest enemy; yet the Lord bade him hide in her
country by the brook Cherith, that he might have plenty of water. The
Lord hid him so that the people should not besiege him to shorten the
drought. So he was entirely alone with the ravens, and had all his time
for prayer and contemplation. When removed from the care of the ravens,
the Lord did not send him to the rich and the prosperous, but to a poor
widow, who, believing him a man of God, ministered to his necessities.
She did not suggest that he was a stranger to her and that water cost
money, but hastened to do whatever he ordered. She had her recompense
in the restoration of her son to life. In the prophet's struggle with
God for this blessing to the widow, the man appears to greater
advantage than does the Master.

It appears from the reports in our metropolitan journals that a
railroad is now about to be built from Tor to the summit of Mount
Sinai. The mountain is only accessible on one side. A depot, it is
said, will be erected near the spot where a stone cross was placed by
the Russian Empress Helena, and where, according to tradition, Moses
stood when receiving the commandments. The railroad will also pass the
cave in which the prophet Elijah remained in hiding while fleeing from
the priest of Baal.



1 Kings xxi.



And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had
a vineyard, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.


2 And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, because it
is near unto my house: and I will give thee the worth of it.

3 And Naboth said to Ahab, The Lord forbid that I should give the
inheritance of my fathers unto thee.

4 And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the
word which Naboth had spoken to him. And he laid him down upon his bed,
and turned away his face, and would eat no bread.

5 But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy
spirit so sad?

6 And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth, and said unto
him, Give me thy vineyard for money; and he answered, I will not.

7 And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom
of Israel? arise, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the
vineyard of Naboth.

8 So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal,
and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his
city.

9 And she wrote in the letters, saying,

Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people:

10 And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness
against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then
carry him out, and stone him, that he may die.

11 And the men of his city did as Jezebel had sent unto them.

12 They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people.

13 And there came in two men and sat before him: and the men witnessed
against him, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they
carried him forth and stoned him with stones, that he died.

14 Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is dead.

15 And it came to pass, when Jezebel beard that Naboth was dead, she
said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard.


Jezebel, the daughter of the king of the Zidonians and the wife of
Ahab, is generally referred to as the most wicked and cruel woman on
record; and her name is the synonym of all that is evil. She came
honestly by these characteristics, if it is true "that evil
communications corrupt good manners," as her husband Ahab was the most
wicked of all the kings of Israel. And yet he does not seem to have
been a man of much fortitude; for in a slight disappointment in the
purchase of land he comes home in a hopeless mood, throws himself on
his bed and turns his face to the wall. According to the text, Jezebel
was equal to the occasion. She not only infused new life into Ahab, but
got possession of the desired land, though in a most infamous manner.
The false prophetess spoken of in Rev. ii., 20, is called Jezebel. She
was a devout adherent and worshiper of Baal and influenced Ahab to
follow strange gods. He reigned twenty-two years without one worthy
action to gild his memory. Jezebel's death, like her life, was a
tragedy of evil.


E. C. S.



All we know about Jezebel is told us by a rival religionist, who hated
her as the Pope of Rome hated Martin Luther, or as an American A. P. A.
now hates a Roman Catholic. Nevertheless, even the Jewish historian,
evidently biassed against Jezebel by his theological prejudices as he
is, does not give any facts whatever which warrant the assertion that
Jezebel was any more satanic than the ancient Israelitish gentleman, to
whom her theological views were opposed. Of course we, at this stage of
scientific thought, know that Jezebel's religion was not an admirable
one. Strangely enough, for a religion, it actually made her intolerant!
But to Jezebel it was a truth, for which she battled as bravely as
Elijah did for what he imagined to be eternal verity. The facts,
admitted even by the historian who hated her, prove that,
notwithstanding her unfortunate and childish conception of theology,
Jezebel was a brave, fearless, generous woman, so wholly devoted to her
own husband that even wrong seemed justifiable to her, if she could
thereby make him happy. (In that respect she seems to have entirely
fulfilled the Southern Methodist's ideal of the pattern wife absorbed
in her husband.) Four hundred of the preachers of her own faith were
fed at her table (what a pity we have not their opinion of their
benefactor!). Elijah was the preacher of a new and rival religion,
which Jezebel, naturally, regarded with that same abhorrence which the
established always feel for the innovating. To her, Elijahism doubtless
appeared as did Christianity to the Jews, Lutheranism to the Pope, or
John Wesleyism to the Church of England; but in the days of the
Israelites the world had not developed that sweet patience with heresy
which animates the Andover theologians of our time, and Jezebel had as
little forbearance with Elijah as had Torquemada with the Jews or
Elizabeth with the Puritans.

Yet, to do Jezebel justice, we must ask ourselves, how did the
assumedly good Elijah proceed in order to persuade her of the
superiority of his truth? It is painful to have to relate that that
much overestimated "man of God" invited four hundred and fifty of
Jezebel's preachers to an open air exhibition of miracles, but, not
satisfied with gaining a victory over them in this display, he pursued
his defeated rivals in religion, shouting, "Let not one of them
escape!" and thus roused the thoughtless mob of lookers-on to slaughter
the whole four hundred and fifty in cold blood! Jezebel had signalized
her advent as queen by slaying Israelitish preachers in order to put
her own preachers in office. Elijah promptly retaliated at his earliest
opportunity.

It seems to me that it would puzzle a disinterested person to decide
which of those savage deeds was more "satanic" than the other, and to
imagine why Jezebel is now dragged forth to "shake her gory locks" as a
frightful example to the American women who ask for recognized right to
self-government. I submit, that if Jezebel is a disgrace to womankind,
our dear brethren at any rate have not much cause to be proud of
Elijah, so, possibly, we might strike a truce over the character of
these two long-buried worthies. It may be well, though, to note here
that the now most offensive epithet which the English translators
attached to Jezebel's name, originally signified nothing more than that
she was consecrated to the worship of a religion, rival to that which
ancient Israel assumed to be "the only true one."


E. B. D.





CHAPTER III.



2 Kings iv.



1 Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the
prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou
knowest that thy servant did fear the Lord: and the creditor is come to
take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.

2 And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what
hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not anything
save a pot of oil.

3 Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbors,

4 And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door and shalt pour
out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full.

5 So she shut the door and poured out.

6 And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto
her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a
vessel more. And the oil stayed.

7 Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the
oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.


The first Book of Kings had an illustrious beginning in the glories of
the kingdom of Israel when it was entirely under King David and in the
beginning of the reign of Solomon; but the second book has a melancholy
outlook in the desolation and division of the kingdom of Israel and of
Judea. Then Elijah and Elisha, their prophets, instructed the princes
and the people in all that would come to pass, the captivity of the ten
tribes, the destruction of Jerusalem, and the good reigns of Josiah and
of Hezekiah.

This book contains the mention of four women, but only in a
perfunctory manner, more to exhibit the accomplishments of the prophet
Elisha than his beneficiaries. He raises the dead, surpasses our
Standard Oil Company in the production of that valuable article of
commerce, cures one man of leprosy and cruelly fastens the disease on
his servant for being guilty of a pardonable prevarication. Only one of
the women mentioned has a name. One is the widow of a prophet, whom
Elisha helps to pay off all her debts; for another he intercedes with
the Lord to give her a son; another, is the little captive maid of the
tribe of Israel; and the last a wicked queen, Athaliah, who sought to
kill the heir apparent. She rivalled Jezebel in her evil propensities
and suffered the same tragic death.

As the historian proceeds from book to book less is said of the
mothers of the various tribes, unless some deed of darkness is called
for, that the men would fain avoid, then some Jezebel is resurrected
for that purpose. They are seldom required to rise to a higher moral
altitude than the men of the tribe, and are sometimes permitted to fall
below it.



2 Kings iv.



8 And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a
great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread.

9 And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is a
holy man of God.

10 Let us make a little chamber on the wall.

11 And it fell on a day that, he came thither; and he turned into the
chamber, and lay there.

12 And he said to Gehazi his servant, Call this Shunammite. And she
came and stood before him. And he said, Thou shalt embrace a son. And
she said, Nay, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid.

17 And the woman bare a son.

18 And when the child was grown, he went out to his father to the
reapers.

19 And said, My head, my head! And he said to a lad, Carry him to his
mother.

20 And when he had brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till
noon, and then died.

21 And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and
shut the door upon him, and went out.

24 And she saddled an ass, and said to her servant, Drive; slack not
thy riding, except I bid thee.

25 So she went unto the man of God to Mount Carmel.

32 And when Elisha was come into the house, behold the child was dead.

33 He went in and shut the door and prayed unto the Lord.

34 And lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his
eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his bands; and he stretched
himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm.

35 Then he walked to and fro; and went up, and stretched upon him; and
the child sneezed seven times, and opened his eyes,

36 And he called Gehazi, and said, Call this Shunammite. So he called
her. And when she was come in unto him, he said, Take up thy son.

37 Then she fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground, and
took up her son.


Elisha seems to have had the same power of working miracles which
Elijah possessed. In his travels about the country he often passed the
city of Shunem, where he heard of a great woman who was very hospitable
and had a rich husband. She had often noticed the prophet passing by;
and knowing that he was a godly man, and that he could be better
entertained at her house than elsewhere, she proposed to her husband to
invite him there. So they arranged an apartment for him in a quiet part
of the house that he might have opportunities for worship and
contemplation.

After spending much time under her roof, he naturally desired to make
some recompense. So he asked her if there was anything that he could do
for her at court, any favor which she desired of the king. But
she said "no," as she had all the blessings which she desired, except,
as they had great wealth and no children to inherit it, she would like
a son. She had probably heard of all that the Lord had done in that
line for Sarah and Rebecca and the wives of Manoah and Elkanah; so she
was not much surprised when the prophet suggested such a contingency;
and she bare a son.

In due time, when the son was grown, he was taken suddenly ill and
died. The mother supposed that, as by a miracle he was brought into
life, the prophet might raise him from the dead. Accordingly, she
harnessed her mule and hastened to the prophet, who promptly returned
with her and restored him to life. She was a very discreet and
judicious woman and her husband had always entrusted everything to her
management. She was devout and conscientious and greatly enjoyed the
godly conversation of the prophet. She was known in the city as a great
and good woman. Though we find here and there among the women of the
Bible some exceptionally evil minded, yet the wise and virtuous
predominate, and, fortunately for the race, this is the case in the
American Republic to-day.



2 Kings v.



1 Now Naaman, captain of the hosts of the king of Syria, was a great
man with his master, and honorable, because by him the Lord had given
deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man of valor, but he was a
leper.

2 And the Syrians had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a
little maid, and she waited on Naaman's wife.

3 And she said unto her mistress, Would my lord were with the prophet
that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.

4 And one went in and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the
maid that is of the land of Israel.


Naaman, a Syrian general and prime minister, was a great man in a
great place. He was happy, too, in that he had been serviceable to his
country and honored by his prince. But alas! he was a leper. It was
generally supposed that this was an affliction for evil doing, but
Naaman was an exceptionally perfect man.

A little maid from Israel had been carried captive into Syria and
fortunately was taken into the family of the great general, as an
attendant on his wife. While making the wife's toilet they no doubt
chatted quite freely of what was going on in the outside world. So the
little maid, sympathizing with her master in his affliction, told the
wife there was a prophet in Israel who could cure him of his leprosy.
Her earnestness roused him and his wife to make the experiment. But
after loading his white mules with many valuable gifts, and taking a
great retinue of soldiers to dazzle the prophet with Syrian
magnificence, the prophet did not deign to meet him, but sent word to
him to bathe in the river Jordan. Even a letter from the king did not
ensure a personal interview. So the general, with all his pomp, went
off in great wrath. "Are not," said he, "the rivers of Damascus, Abana
and Pharpar, greater than the Jordan? Cannot all the skill in Syria
accomplish as much as the prophet in Israel?" However, the little maid
urged him to try the river Jordan, as he was near that point, so he did
and was healed.



2 Kings viii.



Then spake Elisha unto the woman, whose son he had restored to life,
saying, sojourn wheresoever thou canst for a famine shall come upon the
land seven years.


2 And the woman arose, and did after the saying of the man of God:

3 And it came to pass at the seven years' end, that the woman returned
out of the land of the Philistines: and she went forth to cry unto the
king for her house and land.

4 And the king talked with Gehazi saying, Tell me, I pray thee, all
the great things that Elisha bath done.

5 And it came to pass, as he was telling the king how he had restored
a dead body to life, that, behold, the woman cried to the king for her
house and land. And Gehazi said, My lord, O king, this is the woman,
and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to life.

6 And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king
appointed unto her a certain officer, saying, Restore all that was
hers, and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the
land, even until now.


In due time her husband died; and there was a famine; and she went for
a season to the land of the Philistines; and when she returned she
could not recover her possessions. Then Elisha befriended her and
appealed to the king; and she was reinstated in her own home.

Elisha was very democratic. He had his servant sleep in his own
chamber and consulted him in regard to many important matters. Gehazi
never forgot his place but once, when he ran after the great Syrian
general to ask for the valuable presents which the prophet had
declined. Both Elijah and Elisha preferred to do their missionary work
among the common people, finding them more teachable and superstitious.
Especially is this true of woman at all periods. In great revival
seasons in our own day, one will always see a dozen women on the
anxious seat to one man, and the same at the
communion table.



2 Kings xi.



And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she
arose and destroyed all the seed royal.


2 But Jehosheba, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and
stole him from among the king's sons which were slain; and they hid him
and his nurse.

3 And he was with her hid in the house of the Lord six years. And
Athaliah did reign over the land.

12 And Jehoiada, the priest brought forth the king's son, and put the
crown upon him; and they made him king, and anointed him; and they
clapped their hands, and said, God save the king.

13 And when Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people,
she came into the temple of the Lord.

14 And hen she looked, behold, the king stood by a pillar; and she
rent her clothes and cried, Treason, treason.

20 And they slew Athaliah with the sword beside the king's house.

21 Seven years old was Jehoash when he began to reign.


Never was royal blood more profusely shed, and never a meaner ambition
than to destroy a reigning family in order to be the last occupant on
the throne. The daughter of a king, the wife of a king, and the mother
of a king, should have had some mercy on her family descendants.
Personal ambition can never compensate for the loss of the love and
companionship of kindred. Such characters as Athaliah are abnormal,
their lives not worth recording.



2 Kings xxii.



11 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book
of the law, that he rent his clothes.

12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest,

13 Go ye, inquire of the Lord for me, and for the people, and for all
Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is
the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our fathers
have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto
all that which is written concerning us.

14 So Hilkiah the priest, and the wise men went unto Huldah the
prophetess, the wife of Shallum keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt
in Jerusalem in the college); and they communed with her.

15 And she said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Tell the
man that sent you to me.

16 Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and
upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the
king of Judah hath read:

17 Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other
gods.

18 But to the king of Judah which sent you to inquire of the Lord,
thus shall ye say to him,

19 Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself
before the Lord, when thou heardest what I spake against this place,

20 Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou
shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see
all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the
king word again.


The greatest character among the women thus far mentioned is Huldah
the prophetess, residing in the college in Jerusalem. She was a
statesman as well as a prophetess, understanding the true policy
of government and the Jewish system of jurisprudence, able not only to
advise the common people of their duties to Jehovah and their country,
but to teach kings the sound basis for a kingdom. Her wisdom and
insight were well known to Josiah the king; and when the wise men came
to him with the "Book of the Law," to learn what was written therein,
Josiah ordered them to take it to Huldah, as neither the wise men nor
Josiah himself could interpret its contents. It is fair to suppose that
there was not a man at court who could read the book; hence the honor
devolved upon Huldah. Even Shallum her husband was not consulted, as he
occupied the humble office of keeper of the robes.

While Huldah was pondering great questions of State and Ecclesiastical
Law, her husband was probably arranging the royal buttons and buckles
of the household. This is the first mention of a woman in a college.
She was doubtless a professor of jurisprudence, or of the languages.
She evidently had other gifts besides that of prophecy.

We should not have had such a struggle in our day to open the college
doors had the clergy read of the dignity accorded to Huldah. People who
talk the most of what the Bible teaches often know the least about its
contents. Some years ago, when we were trying to establish a woman's
college, we asked a rich widow, worth millions, to contribute. She said
that she would ask her pastor what she ought to do about it. He
referred her to the Bible, saying that this book makes no mention of
colleges for women. To her great surprise, I referred her to 2 Kings
xxii. Both she and her pastor felt rather ashamed that they did not
know what their Bible did teach. The widow gave $30,000 soon after to a
Theological Seminary, being more interested in the education of boys
and in the promulgation of church dogmas, creeds and superstitions,
than in the education of the Mothers of the Race in the natural
sciences.

Now, women had performed great deeds in Bible times. Miriam had helped
to lead Israel out of Egypt. Deborah judged them, and led the army
against the enemy, and Huldah instructed them in their duties to the
nation. Although Jeremiah and Zephaniah were prophets at this time, yet
the king chose Huldah as the oracle. She was one of the ladies of the
court, and resided in the second rank of buildings from the royal
palace. Marriage, in her case, does not appear to have been any obstacle
in the way of individual freedom and dignity. She had evidently outgrown
the curse of subjection pronounced in the Garden of Eden, as had many
other of the Jewish women.

There is a great discrepancy between the character and the conduct of
many of the women, and the designs of God as set forth in the
Scriptures and enforced by the discipline of the Church to-day. Imagine
the moral hardihood of the reverend gentlemen who should dare to reject
such women as Deborah, Huldah and Vashti as delegates to a Methodist
conference, and claim the approval of God for such an indignity.

In the four following books, from Kings to Esther, there is no mention
of women. During that long, eventful period the men must have sprung,
Minerva-like, from the brains of their fathers, fully armed and
equipped for the battle of life. Having no infancy, there was no need
of mothers. As two remarkable women flourished at the close of one
period and at the dawn of the other, we shall make no record of the
masculine dynasty which intervened, satisfied that Huldah and Vashti
added new glory to their day and generation--one by her learning and
the other by her disobedience; for "Resistance to tyrants is obedience
to God."


E. C. S.





THE BOOK OF ESTHER.



Esther i.



2 In those days when King Ahasuerus sat upon the throne in the palace
at Shushan,

3 In the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes
and his servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes
of the provinces being before him:

4 When he shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honor of
his excellent majesty many days.

5 And when these days were expired, the king made a feast unto all the
people that were present in Shushan the palace, both unto great and
small, seven days, in the court of the garden;

6 Where were white, green and blue hangings, fastened with cords of
fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble: the beds
were of gold and silver, upon a pavement of red, and blue, and white,
and black marble.

7 And they gave them drink in vessels of gold, and royal wine in
abundance.

9 Also Vashti the queen made a feast for the women in the royal house.

10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine,
he commanded:

11 To bring Vashti the queen with the crown royal, to shew the people
and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on.

12 But the queen Vashti refused to come: therefore was the king very
wroth.

13 Then the king said to the wise men,

15 What shall we do unto the queen Vashti according to the law?

16 And Memucan answered, Vashti the queen hath not done wrong to the
king only, but also to all the people that are in the provinces of the
king.

17 For this deed shall come abroad unto all women, so that they shall
despise their husbands. The king Ahasuerus commanded Vashti the queen
to be brought in before him, but she came not.

18 Likewise shall the ladies of Persia and Media say this day unto all
the king's princes, which have beard of the deed of the queen.

19 If it please the king, let there go a royal command from him, and
let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, That
Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the king give her
royal estate unto another that is better than she.

20 And when the king's decree shall be published throughout his
empire, all the wives shall give to their husband's honor, both to
great and small.

21 And the saying pleased the king and the princes; and the king did
accordingly to the word of Memucan:

22 For he sent letters into all the provinces, that every man should
bear rule in his own house.


The kingdom of Ahasuerus extended from India to Ethiopia, consisting
of one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, an overgrown kingdom which
in time sunk by its own weight. The king was fond of display and
invited subjects from all his provinces to come by turns to behold his
magnificent palaces and sumptuous
entertainments.

He gave two great feasts in the beginning of his reign, one to the
nobles and the princes, and one to the people, which lasted over a
hundred days. The king had the feast for the men spread in the court
under the trees. Vashti entertained her guests in the great hall of the
palace. It was not the custom among the Persians for the sexes to eat
promiscuously together, especially when the king and the princes were
partaking freely of wine.

This feast ended in heaviness, not as Balshazzar's with a handwriting
on the wall, nor like that of Job's children with a wind from the
wilderness, but by the folly of the king, with an unhappy falling out
between the queen and himself, which ended the feast abruptly and sent
the guests away silent and ashamed. He sent seven different messages to
Vashti to put on her royal crown, which greatly enhanced her beauty,
and come to show his guests the majesty of his queen. But to all the
chamberlains alike she said, "Go tell the king I will not come; dignity
and modesty alike forbid."

This vanity of a drunken man illustrates the truth of an old proverb,
"When the wine is in, the wit is out." Josephus says that all the court
heard his command; hence, while he was showing the glory of his court,
he also showed that he had a wife who would do as she pleased.

Besides seven chamberlains he had seven learned counsellors whom he
consulted on all the affairs of State. The day after the feast, when
all were sober once more, they held a cabinet council to discuss a
proper punishment for the rebellious queen. Memucan, Secretary of
State, advised that she be divorced for her disobedience and ordered
"to come no more before the king," for unless she was severely
punished, he said, all the women of Medea and of Persia would despise
the commands of their husbands.

We have some grand types of women presented for our admiration in the
Bible. Deborah for her courage and military prowess; Huldah for her
learning, prophetic insight and statesmanship, seated in the college in
Jerusalem, where Josiah the king sent his cabinet ministers to consult
her as to the policy of his government; Esther, who ruled as well as
reigned, and Vashti, who scorned the Apostle's
command, "Wives, obey your husbands." She refused the king's orders to
grace with her presence his revelling court. Tennyson pays this tribute
to her virtue and dignity:


"Oh, Vashti! noble Vashti!
Summoned forth, she kept her state,
And left the drunken king to brawl
In Shushan underneath his palms."


E. C. S.



The feast, with the preliminary exhibition of the king's magnificent
palace and treasures, was not a social occasion in which the king and
the queen participated under the same roof. The equal dignity of woman
and of queen as companion of the king was not recognized. The men
feasted together purely as a physical enjoyment. If there was any
intellectual feature of the occasion it is not recorded. On the seventh
day, when appetite was satiated and the heart of the king was merry
with wine, as a further means of gratifying sensual tastes and
exhibiting his power, the king bethought him of the beauty of the queen.

The command to the chamberlains was to bring Vashti. It was such an
order as he might have sent to the jester, or to any other person whose
sole duty was to do the king's bidding, and whose presence might add to
the entertainment of his assemblage of men. It was not an invitation
which anywise recognized the queen's condescension in honoring the
company by her presence.

But Vashti refused to come at the king's command! An unprecedented act
of both wife and queen. Probably Vashti had had previous knowledge of
the condition of the king when his heart was merry with wine and when
the physical man was under the effects of seven day's conviviality. She
had a higher idea of womanly dignity than placing herself on exhibition
as one of the king's possessions, which it pleased him to present to
his assembled princes. Vashti is conspicuous as the first woman
recorded whose self-respect and courage enabled her to act contrary to
the will of her husband. She was the first "woman who dared."

This was the more marked because her husband was also king. So far as
the record proves, woman had been obedient to the commands of the
husband and the father, or, if seeking to avoid them, had sought
indirect methods and diplomacy. It was the first exhibition of the
individual sovereignty of woman on record. Excepting Deborah as judge,
no example had been given of a woman who formed her own judgment and
acted upon it. There had been no exhibition of a self-respecting
womanhood which might stand for a higher type of social life than was
customary among men.

Vashti was the prototype of the higher unfoldment of woman beyond her
time. She stands for the point in human development when womanliness
asserts itself and begins to revolt and to throw off the yoke of
sensualism and of tyranny. Her revolt was not an overt act, or a
criticism of the proceedings of the king. It was merely exercising her
own judgment as to her own proceeding. She did not choose to be brought
before the assembly of men as an exhibit. The growth of self-respect
and of individual sovereignty in woman has been slow. The sequence of
Vashti's refusal to obey the king suggests at least one of the reasons
why the law has been made, as it has down to the present day, by men
alone. Woman has not been consulted, as she is not consulted to-day
about any law, even such as bears especially upon herself, but was and
is expected to obey it.

The idea of maintaining the respect of women and of wives by
worthiness and by nobility of character and of manner, had not been
born in the man of that day. The husband was to be held an authority.
His superiority was his power to command obedience.

"And when the king's decree which he shall make shall be published
throughout all his empire, all the wives shall give to their husbands
honour, both great and small."

King Ahasuerus was but a forerunner of the more modern lawmaker, who
seeks the same end of male rulership, by making the wife and all
property the possession of the husband. That every living soul has an
inherent right to control its life and activities, and that woman
equally with man should enjoy this opportunity, had not dawned
upon the consciousness of the men of the times of Ahasuerus.

Vashti stands out a sublime representative of self-centred womanhood.
Rising to the heights of self-consciousness and of self-respect, she
takes her soul into her own keeping, and though her position both as
wife and as queen are jeopardized, she is true to the Divine
aspirations of her nature.


L. B. C.



Esther ii.



After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased, he
remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against
her.


2 Then said his servants, Let there be fair young virgins sought for
the king:

3 And let him appoint officers in all the provinces that they may
gather together the fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace,

4 And let the maiden which pleaseth the king be queen instead of
Vashti. And the thing pleased the king; and he did so.

5 Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was
Mordecai.

7 And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter;
for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and
beautiful; whom Moredcai {sic}, when her father and mother were dead,
took for his own daughter.

8 So it came to pass, when the king's commandment was heard, and when
many maidens were gathered together, that Esther was brought also unto
the king's house.

11 And Mordecai walked every day before the court of the women's
house, to know how Esther did, and what should become of her.

17 And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained
grace and favour in his sight; so that be set the royal crown upon her
head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.

18 Then the king made a great feast, even Esther's feast; and he made
a release to the provinces, and gave gifts, according to the state of
the king.


Esther was a Jewess, one of the children of the captivity, an orphan
whom Mordecai adopted as his own child. She was beautiful, symmetrical
in form, fair in face, and of rare intelligence. Her wisdom and virtue
were her greatest gifts. "It is an advantage to a diamond even to be
well set." Mordecai was her cousin-german and her guardian. It was said
that he intended to marry her; but when he saw what her prospects in
life were, and what she might do as a favorite of the king for his own
promotion and the safety of his people, he held his individual
affection in abeyance for the benefit of his race and the safety of the
king; for he soon saw the dishonest, intriguing character of Haman,
whom he despised in his heart and to whom he would not bow in passing,
nor make any show of respect. As he was a keeper of the door
and sat at the king's gate, he had many opportunities to show his
disrespect.

He discovered a plot against the king's life which he revealed to
Esther, that, in due time, secured him promotion to the head of the
king's cabinet. But in the meantime Haman had the ear of the king; and
to revenge the indignities of Mordecai, he decided to slay all the Jews
throughout all the provinces of the kingdom, and procured an edict to
that effect from the king, and stamped with the king's signet ring the
letters that he sent by post into all the provinces. The day was set
for this terrible slaughter; and the Jews were fasting in sack-cloth
and ashes.

The king loved Esther above all the women and had made her his queen.
She was not known at court as a Jewess, but was supposed to be of
Persian extraction. Mordecai had told her to say nothing on that
subject. Ahasuerus placed the royal crown upon her head, and solemnized
her coronation with a great feast, which Esther graced with her
presence, at the request of the king. She profited by the example of
Vashti, and saw the good policy of at least making a show of obedience
in all things. Mordecai walked up and down past her door many times a
day; and through a faithful messenger kept her informed of all that
transpired, so she was aware of the plot Haman had laid against her
people. So she made a banquet for the king and Haman, and told the king
the effect of his royal edict and letters sent by post in all the
provinces stamped with his ring. She told him of Mordecai's
faithfulness in saving his life; that she and Mordecai were Jews, and
that it was their people who were to be slain, young and old, women and
children, without mercy; that their possessions were to be confiscated
to raise the money which Haman promised to put into the royal treasury,
and that Haman had already built a gallows thirty feet high on which
Mordecai was to be hanged.

Haman trembled in the presence of the king, who ordered him to be
hanged on the gallows which he had prepared for Mordecai; and the
latter was installed as the favorite of the king. The family and the
followers of Haman were slain by the thousands, and the Jews were
filled with gladness. The day appointed for their destruction was one
of thanksgiving. They appointed a certain day in the last
month of the year, just before the Passover, to be kept ever after as
the feast of Purim, one of thanksgiving for their deliverance from the
vengeance of Haman. Purim is a Persian word. It is not a holy day
feast, but of human appointment. It is celebrated at the present time,
and in the service the whole story is told. It is to be regretted that
this feast often ends in gluttony.

One commentator says that the Talmud states that in the feast of Purim
a man may drink until he knows not the difference between "cursed be
Haman" and "blessed be Mordecai." If the Talmud means that he may drink
the wine of good fellowship until all feelings of vengeance, hatred and
malice are banished from the human soul, the sentiment is not so
objectionable as at the first blush it appears. There is one thing in
the Jewish service worse than this, and that is for each man to stand
up in the synagogue every Sabbath morning and say: "I thank thee, O
Lord, that I was not born a woman," as if that were the depth of human
degradation. It is to be feared that the thanksgiving feast of the
Purim has degenerated in many localities into the same kind of a
gathering as the Irish wake.

In the history of Esther, those who believe in special Providence will
see that in her coming to the throne multitudes of her people were
saved from a cruel death, hence the disobedience of Vashti was
providential. A faith "that all things are working together for good,"
"that good only is positive, evil negative," is most cheerful and
sustaining to the believer. I have always regretted that the historian
allowed Vashti to drop out of sight so suddenly. Perhaps she was doomed
to some menial service, or to entire sequestration in her own
apartments.


E. C. S.



The record fails to state whether or not the king's judgment was
modified in regard to Vashti's refusal to appear on exhibition when his
wrath abated. But the decree had gone forth, and could not be altered;
and Vashti banished, no further record of her fate appears. The
king's ministers at once set about providing a successor to Vashti.

The king in those days had the advantage of the search for fair young
virgins, in that he could command the entire collection within his
dominions. The only consideration was whether or not the maiden
"pleased" him. There is no hint that the maiden was expected to signify
her acceptance or rejection of the king's choice. She was no more to be
consulted than if she had been an animal. Her position as queen was but
an added distinction of her lord and master.

Esther, the orphaned and adopted daughter of Mordecai the Jew, was the
favored maiden. She was "fair and beautiful." The truth of the historic
record of the men of those days is indisputable. Down to the present
the average man sums up his estimate of woman by her "looks." Is she
fair to look upon is the criterion. Esther was destined to play an
important part in the salvation of her people from the destructive
purposes of Haman, who had been "set above all the princes who were
with him." This young woman, who had been crowned by her royal master
because she "pleased" him, was called upon by the peril of her people,
whom Haman was seeking to destroy, to place her own life in jeopardy,
by venturing to obtain audience with the king, without having been
summoned into his presence.

When Esther received from Mordecai the assurance, "Think not with
thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house more than all the
Jews," he asked, "Who knoweth, whether thou art come to the kingdom for
such a time as this?" then this young woman rose to the extremity of
the situation. She exercised a high degree of wisdom and courage, and
bade them return Mordecai this answer:

Go gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast
ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day; I also
and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king,
which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.--Vs. 15,
16.

She prepared herself thus by fasting to receive and to exercise the
power of spirit. Her high purpose was only equalled by her unfaltering
courage and entire self-abnegation. Vashti had exercised
heroic courage in asserting womanly dignity and the inherent human
right never recognized by kingship, to choose whether to please and to
obey the king. Esther, so as to save her people from destruction,
risked her life.

This King Ahasuerus, who, according to the record, was only a man of
selfish purposes, delighting in power and given to the enjoyment of his
passions, was the legal lord and master of two women, each
distinguished by a nobility of character well worthy of the distinction
of queen. Their royalty was of a higher order than that of sceptres and
of crowns. While we rejoice in the higher manhood which the centuries
have evolved, we are in this hour reminded of the dominating
disposition of King Ahasuerus and the habits of those times. A
distinguished man and a scholar in this closing nineteenth century
claims that "the family is necessarily a despotism," and that man is
the "ruler of the household."

Women as queenly, as noble and as self-sacrificing as was Esther, as
self-respecting and as brave as was Vashti, are hampered in their
creative office by the unjust statutes of men; but God is marching on;
and it is the seed of woman which is to bruise the head of the serpent.
It is not man's boasted superiority of intellect through which the
eternally working Divine power will perfect the race, but the
receptiveness and the love of woman.


L. B. C.





THE BOOK OF JOB.



Job i.



There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man
was perfect and upright, and one that feared God.


2 And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.

3 His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand
camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and
a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the
men of the east.

4 And his sons feasted in their houses; and sent and called for their
three sisters to eat with them.

6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves
before the Lord, and Satan came also.

7 And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Satan answered,
From going to and fro in the earth.

8 And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job,
that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man.

9 Then Satan answered, Doth Job fear God for nought?

10 Hast not thou made a hedge about him, and about his house, and
about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his
hands.

11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he
will curse thee to thy face.

12 And the Lord said unto Satan, all that he hath is in thy power:
only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from
the presence of the Lord.

14 And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were
ploughing, and the asses feeding beside them:

15 And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have
stain the servants.

16 There came another, and said, fire is fallen from heaven, and hath
burned up the sheep.

17 There came also another, and said, The Chaldeans fell upon the
camels, and have carried them away.

18 There came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were
eating and drinking.

19 And, behold there came a great wind and smote the four corners of
the house, and it fell upon, the young men, and they are dead.

20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell
down upon the ground, and worshiped.



Job ii.



9 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity?
curse God and die.

10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women
speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we
not receive evil?



Job xlii.



11 Then came there unto him his brethren, and his sisters, and they
that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in
his house: and they comforted him over all the evil that the Lord had
brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every
one an earring of gold.

12 So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning;
for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a
thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.

13 He had also seven sons and three daughters.

15 And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of
Job; and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren.

16 After this lived Job a hundred and forty years.

17 So Job died, being old and full of days.


The Book of Job opens with an imaginary discussion between the Lord
and Satan as to the true character of Job. Satan hates him because he
is good, and envies him because he is a favorite of the Lord, who
expresses unbounded faith in his steadfastness to
religious principles. Satan replies that Job is all right in
prosperity, when surrounded with every comfort; but stripped of his
blessings, his faith in a superintending Providence would vanish like
dew before the rising sun. The Lord said, "You may test Job. I give you
permission to do your worst and to see if he will not remain as true in
adversity as he is in prosperity."

The Book of Job is an epic poem, an allegory, to show the grand
elements in human nature, enabling mortals to rise superior to all
trials and temptations, to the humiliations of the spirit, and to
prolonged suffering in the flesh. Though illustrated in the personality
of a man, yet the principle applies equally to the wisdom and the
virtue of woman. The elements of Job's goodness and greatness must have
existed in his mother. But little is said of women in this book; and
that little is by no means complimentary. Job's wife's name was Dinah;
some commentators say that she was the daughter of Jacob. Satan uses
her as the last and most subtle influence for the downfall of his
victim. Between the two forces of good and of evil, the triumph of the
spiritual nature over the temptations of the flesh, the god-like in the
human, was thoroughly proven. Job is represented as a great man. He has
wealth, inflexible integrity and a charming family life, seven sons and
three daughters, immense herds of oxen, sheep, asses, camels, and
servants without number.

The spirit of evil, to test his faithfulness, strips him of all his
possessions. In one day Job's houses were destroyed, his lands made
desolate, his cattle stolen and his children carried off in a
whirlwind. Job was stunned by these calamities. He put on sackcloth,
shaved his head, as was the custom, and calmly accepted the situation;
and his faith in the goodness of God remained. Then the spirit of evil,
to test him still further, afflicted him with a terrible disease,
loathsome to endure and pitiful to behold. His three friends, Eliphaz,
Bildad and Zophar, mocked him in his misery.

His last affliction was the disgust of his wife. She ridiculed his
faith in God, and scoffed at his piety, as Michal did at David. She was
spared to be his last tempter when all his comforts were taken away.
She bantered him for his constancy, "Dost thou still maintain thy
confidence in the God who has punished thee? Why dost thou be so
obstinate in thy religion, which serves no good to thee? Why truckle to
a God who, so far from rewarding thy services with marks of his favor,
seems to take pleasure in making thee miserable and scourges thee
without any provocation? Is this a God to be still loved and served?
'Curse God and die.'" She urges him to commit suicide. Better to die at
once than to endure his life of lingering misery.

Deserted by wife, by friends, and, seemingly by God, too, Job's faith
wavered not. The spirit of evil had done its worst. Man had proven his
Divine origin, himself the incarnation of the great Spirit of Good; and
now that Job had proved himself superior to all human calamities, he is
restored to health; and all his earthly possessions are returned
fourfold.

Nothing more is said of his first wife, but his ten children are
restored. The names of his three daughters are significant, though not
euphonious: Jemima, the day, because of Job's prosperity; Kezia, a
spice, because he was healed, and Karen-Happuch, plenty restored. God
adorned them with great beauty, no women being so fair as were the
daughters of Job. In the Old Testament we often find women praised for
their beauty; but in the New Testament we find no notice of physical
charms, not even in the Virgin Mary herself. Job gave to his daughters
an equal inheritance with his sons. It is pleasant to see that the
brothers paid them marked attention, and always invited them to their
dinners, and that his ten children were reproduced just as his flocks
and his herds had been.

Much more sympathy has been expressed by women for the wife, than for
Job. Poor woman, she had scraped lint, nursed him and waited on him to
the point of nervous exhaustion--no wonder that she was resigned to see
him pass to Abraham's bosom. Job lived one hundred and forty years.
Some conjecture that he was seventy years old when his calamities came
upon him, so that his age was doubled with his other blessings. Whether
Dinah lived to cheer Job's declining years, or whether she was lured by
Satan to his kingdom, does not appear; but he is supposed to have had a
second wife, by the name of Sitis--the probable mother of the second
brood.


E. C. S.





BOOKS OF PSALMS, PROVERBS, ECCLESIASTES

AND

THE SONG OF SOLOMON.



PSALMS.



Psalms xlv.



9 Kings' daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right
hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.

10 Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget
also thine own people, and thy father's house;

11 So shall the King greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord;
and worship thou him.

12 And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift: even the rich
among the people shall entreat thy favour.

13 The King's daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of
wrought gold.

14 She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needlework: the
virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.

15 With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter
into the King's palace.


This book is supposed to have been written by David, the son of Jesse,
called the sweet psalmist of Israel. He had a taste for the arts, a
real genius for poetry and song. Many of the poems are beautiful in
sentiment and celebrated as specimens of literature, as are some
passages in Job; but the general tone is pessimistic. David's old age
was full of repinings over the follies of his youth and of his middle
age. The declining years of a well-spent life should be the most
peaceful and happy. Then the lessons of experience are understood, and
one knows how to bear its joys and sorrows with equal philosophy. Yet
David in the twilight of his days seemed to dwell in the shadows of
despair, in sackcloth and ashes, repenting for his own sins and
bemoaning the evil tendency of men in general. There is a passing
mention of the existence of women as imaginary beings in the Psalms,
the Proverbs, and The Song of Solomon, but not illustrated by any
grand personalities or individual characters.



Psalms ii.



To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came
unto him, after he had gone in to Bath-sheba.


1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving-kindness:
according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my
transgressions.

2 Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.


David's treatment of Uriah was the darkest passage in his life; and to
those who love justice it is a satisfaction to know that his conscience
troubled him for this act to the end of his days. We are not told
whether Bath-sheba ever dropped a tear over the sad fate of Uriah, or
suffered any upbraidings of conscience.



PROVERBS



ix., 13 A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth
nothing.

xi., 16 A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.

xiv. Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it
down with her hands.

xvii., 25 A foolish son is a grief to his father and bitterness to her
that bare him.

xix., 14 House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a
prudent wife is from the Lord.

xxi., 9 It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a
brawling woman in a wide house.

xxi., 19 It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a
contentious and an angry woman.

xxvii., 15 A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious
woman are alike.

xxx., 21 For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which
it cannot bear:

22 For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with
meat;

23 For an odious woman when she is married; and a handmaid that is
heir to her mistress.

xxxi., 10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above
rubies.

11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her.

12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands
she planteth a vineyard.

20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor.

21 She is not afraid of the snow; for all her household are clothed
with scarlet.

22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and
purple.

23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders
of the land.

24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it.

26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of
kindness.

28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and
he praiseth her.

29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth
the Lord, shall be praised.


With these pen pictures of the foolish, contentious wife contrasted
with the more gracious woman, surely every reader of common sense will
try to follow the example of the latter. A complaining woman is worse
than a leaky house, because with paint and putty you can stop the
dropping; but how can one find the source of constant complaints?

Heretofore Biblical writers have given to us battles, laws, histories,
songs; now we have in Solomon's writings a new style in short,
epigrammatic sentences. The proverb was the most ancient way of
teaching among the Greeks. The seven wise men of Greece each had his
own motto on which he made himself famous. These were engraved on stone
in public places. Thus the gist of an argument or a long discussion may
be thrown into a proverb, in which the whole point will be easily seen
and remembered.

Solomon's idea of a wise woman, a good mother, a prudent wife, a
saving housekeeper and a successful merchant, will be found in the
foregoing texts, which every woman who reads should have printed,
framed and hung up at her family altar. As Solomon had a thousand women
in his household, he had great opportunity for the study of the
characteristics of the sex, though one would naturally suppose that
wise women, even in his day, preferred a larger sphere of action than
within his palace walls. Solomon's opinion of the sex in general is
plainly expressed in the foregoing texts.

Solomon is supposed to have written his Song when he was young,
Proverbs in middle life, and Ecclesiastes when he was old. He gave
admirable rules for wisdom and virtue to all classes, to men, to women
and to children, but failed to practise the lessons which he taught.



ECCLESIASTES.



This book, written in Solomon's old age, is by no means comforting or
inspiring. Everything in life seems to have been disappointing to him.
Wealth, position, learning, all earthly possessions and acquirements
he declares alike to be "vanity of vanities and
vexation of spirit." To one whose life has been useful to others and
sweet to himself, it is quite impossible to accept these pessimistic
pictures of human destiny.



Eccles. ii.



I said in mine heart, I will prove thee with mirth; therefore enjoy
pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.


4 I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards:

5 I made me gardens and orchards.

7 I had great possessions above all that were in Jerusalem before me:

8 I gathered me also silver and gold and particular treasures: I gat
me men singers and women singers, and musical instruments.

10 And whatsover mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld
not my heart from any joy.

13 Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth
darkness.

14 The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in
darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them
all.


This constant depreciation of human dignity and power is very
demoralizing in its influence on character. When we consider the
struggles of the race from savagism to civilization, all the wonderful
achievements, discoveries and inventions of man, we must feel more like
bowing down to him as an incarnation of his Creator than deploring his
follies like "a poor worm of the dust." The Episcopal service is most
demoralizing in this view. Whole congregations of educated men and
women, day after day, year after year, confessing themselves "miserable
sinners," with no evident improvement from generation to generation.
And this confession is made in a perfunctory manner, as if no disgrace
attended that mental condition, and without hope or promise of a change
from that unworthy attitude.



Eccles. vii.



26 And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares
and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from
her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.

28 One wise man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all
those have I not found.

29 Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but
they have sought out many inventions.


Solomon must have had a sad experience in his relations with women. Such
an opinion is a grave reflection on his own mother, who was so devoted
to his success in the world. But for her ambition he would never have
been crowned King of Israel. The commentators vouchsafe the opinion that
there are more good women than men. It is very kind in some of the
commentators to give us a word of praise now and then; but from the
general tone of the learned fabulists, one would think that the Jezebels
and the Jaels predominated. In fact, Solomon says that he has not found
one wise woman in a thousand.



THE SONG OF SOLOMON.



The name of God does not appear in this Song, neither is the latter
ever mentioned in the New Testament. This book has no special religious
significance, being merely a love poem, an epithalamium, sung on
nuptial occasions in praise of the bride and the groom. The proper
place for this book is before either Proverbs or Ecclesiastes, as it
was written in Solomon's youth, and is a more pardonable outburst for
his early days than for his declining years. The Jewish doctors advised
their young people not to read this book until they were thirty years
old, when they were supposed to be more susceptible to spiritual
beauties and virtues than to the mere attractions of face and of form.

The Church, as an excuse for retaining this book as a part of "Holy
Scriptures," interprets the Song as expressive of Christ's love for the
Church; but that is rather far-fetched, and unworthy the character of
the ideal Jesus. The most rational view to take of the Song is, it was
that of a luxurious king to the women of his seraglio.


E. C. S.





BOOKS OF ISAIAH AND DANIEL, MICAH AND MALACHI.


ISAIAH.



The closing books, of the Old Testament make but little mention of
women as illustrating individual characteristics. The ideal woman is
used more as a standard of comparison for good and for evil, the good
woman representing the elements of success in building up the family,
the tribe, the nation, as a devout worshiper of the God of Israel; the
wicked woman, the elements of destruction in the downfall of great
cities and nations. As woman is chosen to represent the extremes of
human conditions she has no special reason to complain.

The Prophets sum up the graces of the "daughters of men" in the
following texts:



Isaiah iii.



16 Moreover the Lord saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty,
and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and
mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet:

19 In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling
ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like
the moon,

19 The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers,

20 The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and
the tablets, and the earrings,

21 The rings, and nose jewels,

22 The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples,
and the crisping pins,

23 The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails.


Before the sacred canon of the Old Testament was written there were
Prophets who took the place of Bibles to the Church. It is said that
God himself spake to the children of Israel from the top of Mount
Sinai, but that it was so terrible they entreated the Lord ever after
to speak to them through men. So ever after he did communicate with
them through Prophets and Angels. Isaiah was of the royal family;
he was nephew to King Uzziah. The Prophet in the above texts reproves
and warns the daughters of Zion and tells them of their faults. He does
not like their style of walking, which from the description must have
been much like the mincing gait of some women to-day.

The Prophet expressly vouches God's authority for what he said
concerning their manners and elaborate ornamentation, lest they should
be offended with his criticisms. If the Prophets could visit our stores
and see all the fashions there are to tempt the daughters of to-day,
they would declaim against our frivolities on the very doorsteps, and
in view of the Easter bonnets, at the entrance to our churches. The
badges which our young women wear as members of societies, pinned in
rows on broad ribbons, the earrings, the bangles, the big sleeves, the
bonnets trimmed with osprey feathers, answer to the crisping pins, the
wimples, the nose jewels, the tablets, the chains, the bracelets, the
mufflers, the veils, the glasses and the girdles of the daughters of
Zion. If the Prophets, instead of the French milliners and dressmakers,
could supervise the toilets of our women, they would dress in far
better taste.



DANIEL.



The name of this Prophet in Hebrew was "Da##il,"[FN#5] which
signifies "the judgment of God." His Chaldean name was Bethshazzai. He
was of the tribe of Judah of the royal family. Josephus calls him one
of the greatest of the Prophets.



[FN#5]  Redactor's note. Text was illegible.



Daniel v.



Belshazzar the king made a great feast and commanded to bring the
golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out
of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king and his princes,
his wives and his concubines, might drink therein.


3 Then they brought the golden vessels, . . . and praised the gods of
gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.

5 In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over
against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall: and the king saw
the part of the hand that wrote.

6 Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled
him, so that his knees smote one against another.

7 The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and
the soothsayers. And the king spoke, and said to the wise men of
Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew
me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have
a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the
kingdom.

8 Then came in all the king's wise men: but they could not read the
writing, nor make known the interpretation thereof.

10 Now the queen came into the banquet house, and said, O king, live
forever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee.

11 There is a man in thy kingdom in whom is the spirit of the holy
gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom,
like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom Nebuchadnezzar thy
father made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans and
soothsayers; . . . now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the
interpretation.

13 Then was Daniel brought in; and he said, I will read the writing
unto the king.

25 And this is the writing that was written, Mene, Mene, Tekel,
Upharsin.

26 This Is The Interpretation Of The Thing: Mene; God Hath Numbered
Thy Kingdom, And Finished It.

27 Tekel; Thou Are Weighed In The Balance, And Art Found Wanting.

28 Peres; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.

29 Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet,
and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation
concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.

20 In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.


Historians say that Cyrus was at this time besieging the city and knew
of this feast, and took this opportunity to make his attack and to slay
the king.

In the midst of the consternation at the feast the queen entered to
advise Belshazzar. It is supposed that this queen was the widow of the
evil Merodach, and was that famous Nitocris whom Herodotus mentions as
a woman of extraordinary prudence and wisdom. She was not present at
the feast, as were the king's wives and concubines. It was not
agreeable to her age and gravity to dissipate at night; but tidings of
the consternation in the banquet hall were brought to her, so that she
came and entreated him not to be discouraged by the incapacity of the
wise men to solve the riddle; for there was a man in his kingdom who
had more than once helped his father in emergencies and would no doubt
advise him. She could not read the writing herself; but she said, let
the Prophet Daniel be called. The account she gives of the respect
Nebuchadnezzar had for him, for his insight into the deepest mysteries,
and of his goodness and wisdom, moved the king to summon Daniel into
his presence.

Daniel was now near ninety years of age, and for a long time had not
been in court circles; but the queen dowager remembered him in the
court of the king's father. She reminded her son of the high esteem in
which he was held by his father. The interpretation which
Daniel gave of these mystic characters was far from easing the king of
his fears. Daniel being in years, and Belshazzar still young, he took
greater liberty in dealing plainly with him than he had with his
father. He read the warning as written on the wall:

"Thou hast been weighed in the balance and found wanting, and thy
kingdom is divided and rent from thee."

Although the exposition of the handwriting was most discouraging, yet
the king kept his promise, and put on Daniel the scarlet gown and the
gold chain.



MICAH.



Micah ii.



9 The women of my people have ye cast out from their pleasant houses;
from their children have ye taken away my glory forever.



Micah vii.



6 For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against
her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law.

Here the Israelites are rebuked for their cruel treatment of their own
people, robbing widows and selling children into slavery. Family life
as well as public affairs seems to have become unsettled. The contempt
and the violation of the laws of domestic duties are a sad symptom of
universal corruption.



MALACHI.



Malachi ii.



11 Judah hath profaned the holiness of the Lord which he loved, and
hath married the daughter of a strange god.

14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between
thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt
treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.

15 That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your
spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.


These Israelites were always violating the national law which forbade
them to marry strange women. The corruption of the nation began, say
the historians, with the intermarriage of the "sons of God"
with the "daughters of men," meaning, I suppose, those of the tribes
who had a different religion, "He that marries a heathen woman is as if
he made himself son-in-law to an idol." They put away the wives of
their own nation, and, as was the fashion at one time, married those of
other nations. This spoiled the lives of the daughters of Israel. They
were uncertain as to their social relations, family, right to their
children, and support in their old age, as a paper of divorce could be
given to them at any time. The denunciations of the Prophets had no
great weight in matters where strong feeling and sound judgment
conflicted.

Charming women, of the Hittites and of the Midianites, with their
novel dress, manners and conversation, attracted the men of Israel.
They could not resist the temptation. When the strongest man and the
wisest one are alike led captive, there is no significance in calling
woman--"the weaker sex."

Though few women appear in the closing tragedies of the Old Testament,
yet the idiosyncrasies of the sex are constantly used to point a moral
or to condemn a sin.


E. C. S.





THE KABBALAH.



The Bible is an occult book, and a remarkable one. About all creeds
and faiths this side of Pagandom go to it for their authority. Read in
the light of occult teachings, it becomes something more than the old
battle ground of controversy for warring religions. Occultism alone
furnishes the key to this ancient treasury of wisdom. But to turn now
to another point, it may be well to call the attention of the readers
of The Woman's Bible to a few quotations from MacGregor Mathers'
"Kabbalah Unveiled," which has been pronounced by competent authorities
the work of a master hand. This work is a translation of Knorr Von
Rosenroth's "Kabbalah Denudata."

The Kabbalah--the Hebrew esoteric doctrines--is a system of teachings
with which only the very learned attempt to wrestle. It is claimed to
have been handed down by oral tradition from angelic sources, through
Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, the Seventy Elders, to David and to
Solomon. No attempt was made to commit this sacred knowledge to
writing, till, in the early centuries of the Christian era (authorities
differ widely as to the date) the pupils of Rabbi Simeon ben Joachi put
his teachings into writing; and this in later ages became known as the
"Zohar," or "Book of Splendor." Around the name of this Rabbi Simeon
ben Joachi, as one scholarly writer puts it, "cluster the mystery and
the poetry of the religion of the Kabbalah as a gift of the Deity to
mankind." The Zohar, which is only a part of the Kabbalah, is the great
store-house of the esoteric teaching of the ancient Hebrews.

Returning to the quotations referred to above, MacGregor Mathers in
his preface says: "I wish particularly to direct the reader's attention
to the stress laid by the Kabbalah on the feminine aspects of the
Deity, and to the shameful way in which any allusion to these has been
suppressed in the ordinary translations of the Bible, also to the
Kabbalistical equality of male and female."

Referring to the Sephiroth (the ten Kabbalistical attributes of God),
Mr. Mathers says:

"Among these Sephiroth, jointly and severally, we find the development
of the persons and the attributes of God. Of these, some are male and
some are female. Now, for some reason or other, best known to
themselves, the translators of the Bible have carefully crowded out of
existence and smothered up every reference to the fact that the Deity
is both masculine and feminine. They have translated a feminine plural
by a masculine singular in the case of the word Elohim. They have,
however, left an inadvertent admission of their knowledge that it was
plural in Genesis iv., 26: 'And Elohim said: Let US make man.'

"Again (v., 27), how could Adam be made in the image of the Elohim,
male and female, unless the Elohim were male and female also? The word
Elohim is a plural formed from the feminine singular ALH, Eloh, by
adding IM to the word. But inasmuch as IM is usually the termination of
the masculine plural, and is here added to a feminine noun, it gives to
the word Elohim the sense of a female potency united to a masculine
idea, and thereby capable of producing an offspring. Now we hear much
of the Father and the Son, but we hear nothing of the Mother in the
ordinary religions of the day. But in the Kabbalah we find that the
Ancient of Days conforms himself simultaneously into the Father and the
Mother, and thus begets the Son. Now this Mother is Elohim."

The writer then goes on to show that the Holy Spirit, usually
represented as masculine, is in fact feminine. The first Sephira
contained the other nine, and produced them in succession. The second
is Chokmah (Wisdom), and is the active and evident Father to whom the
Mother is united. The third is a feminine passive potency called Binah
(Understanding), and is co-equal with Chokmah. Chokmah is powerless
till the number three forms the triangle.

"Thus this Sephira completes and makes evident the supernal Trinity.
It is also called AMA, Mother, the great productive Mother, who is
eternally conjoined with the Father for the maintenance of the
universe in order. Therefore is she the most evident form in whom we
can know the Father, and therefore is she worthy of all honor. She is
the supernal Mother, co-equal with Chokmah, and the great feminine form
of God, the Elohim, in whose image man and woman were created,
according to the teaching of the Kabbalah, equal before God. Woman is
equal with man, not inferior to him, as it has been the persistent
endeavor of so-called Christians to make her. Aima is the woman
described in the Apocalypse (ch. 12)."

"This third Sephira is also sometimes called the Great Sea. To her are
attributed the Divine names, Alaim, Elohim, and Iahveh Alhim; and the
angelic order, Arhlim, the Thrones. She is the supernal Mother as
distinguished from Malkuth, the inferior Mother, Bride and Queen. . . .
In each of the three trinities or triads of the Sephiroth is a dual of
opposite sexes, and a uniting intelligence which is the result. In
this, the masculine and feminine potencies are regarded as the two
scales of the balance, and the uniting Sephira as the beam which joins
them."

In chapter viii. we read: "Chokmah is the Father, and Binah is the
Mother, and therein are Chokmah (Wisdom) and Binah (Understanding),
counterbalanced together in most perfect equality of Male and Female.
And therefore are all things established in the equality of Male and
Female; if it were not so, how could they subsist? . . . In their
conformations are They found to be the perfections of all things--
Father and Mother, Son and Daughter. These things have not been
revealed save unto the Holy Superiors who have entered therein and
departed therefrom, and have known the paths of the Most Holy God, so
that they have not erred in them, either on the right hand or on the
left."

In a note in regard to Chokmah and Binah the author says: "Chokmah is
the second and Binah is the third of the Sephiroth. This section is a
sufficient condemnation of all those who wish to make out that woman is
inferior to man."

The Kabbalah also speaks of the separation of the sexes as the cause
of evil, or as the author puts it in a note: "Where there is unbalanced
force, there is the origin of evil." Further on it is written: "And
therefore is Aima (the Mother) known to be the consummation of
all things; and She is signified to be the beginning and the end. . . .
And hence that which is not both Male and Female together is called
half a body. Now, no blessing can rest upon a mutilated and defective
being, but only upon a perfect place and upon a perfect being, and not
at all in an incomplete being. And a semi-complete being cannot live
forever, neither can it receive blessing forever."

The following is the author's comment upon the above: "This section is
another all-sufficient proof of the teachings maintained throughout the
Kabbalah, namely, that man and woman are from the creation co-equal and
co-existent, perfectly equal, one with the other. This fact the
translators of the Bible have been at great pains to conceal by
carefully suppressing every reference to the feminine portion of the
Deity, and by constantly translating feminine nouns by masculine. And
this is the work of so-called religious men!"

A learned Jewish Rabbi, with whom the writer is acquainted, says:
"Those who write on the Bible must be very careful when they come to
speak of the position of woman to make a clear distinction between the
Old and the New Testaments. In the Old Testament, except in the second
chapter of Genesis, woman occupies a true and a dignified position in
society and in the family. For example, take the position of Sarah, of
the Prophetess Miriam, the sister of Moses, and Deborah the Prophetess.
They all exemplify the true position of woman in the Old Testament.
While Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles, and the chief writer in the
New Testament, condemned woman to silence in the Church and to strict
obedience to her husband, making her thereby inferior to the man, the
Old Testament gave free scope to the development of the Holy Spirit in
woman. To intensify this teaching upon the position of woman, we find
even the voice of the Deity telling Abraham: 'Whatever Sarah tells
thee, thou shalt hearken unto her voice,' showing that woman in her own
home was the guiding power." In regard to another point this Rabbi
says: "The learned Jewish Rabbis of modern times do not take the rib
story literally. And this may be said of many of the olden times."

The Kabbalah and its learned expositors may be said to be "the
throbbing heart" of the Jewish religion, as was graphically said of the
mystic teachings of another occult fraternity. And in view of the
Kabbalah's antiquity, and the fact that it is the fountain head of the
body of the Old Testament teachings, these quotations as to the real
Kabbalistic teachings in regard to woman, or to the feminine aspects of
the Deity, are of first-class importance in such a book as "The Woman's
Bible." In Kabbalistic teachings "there is one Trinity which comprises
all the Sephiroth, and it consists of the crown, the king and the
queen. . . . It is the Trinity which created the world, or, in
Kabbalistic language, the universe was born from the union of the
crowned king and queen."

The rib story is veiled in the mystic language of symbolism. According
to occult teachings, there was a time before man was differentiated
into sexes--that is, when he was androgynous. Then the time came,
millions of years ago, when the differentiation into sexes took place.
And to this the rib story refers. There has been much ignorance and
confusion in regard to the real nature of woman, indicating that she is
possessed of a mystic nature and a power which will gradually be
developed and better understood as the world becomes more enlightened.
Woman has been branded as the author of evil in the world; and at the
same time she has been exalted to the position of mother of the Saviour
of the world. These two positions are as conflicting as the general
ideas which have prevailed in regard to woman--the great enigma of the
world.

Theological odium has laid its hand heavily upon her. "This odium," as
a Rev. D. D. once said to the writer, "is a thing with more horns, more
thorns, more quills and more snarls than almost any other sort of thing
you have ever heard of. It has kindled as many fires of martyrdom; it
has slipnoosed as many ropes for the necks of well-meaning men; it has
built as many racks for the dislocation of human bones; it has forged
as many thumbscrews; it has built as many dungeons; it has ostracised
as many scholars and philosophers; it has set itself against light and
pushed as hard to make the earth revolve the other way on its axis, as
any other force of mischief of whatever name or kind."

And that is the fearful thing with which woman has had to contend.
When she is free from it we may be assured that the dawn of a new day
is not far off. And among the indications pointing that way is the fact
that the Bible itself has been "under treatment" for some time. What is
known as the "Higher Criticism" has done much to clear away the clouds
of superstition which have enveloped it.

One of the latest works on this line is "The Polychrome Bible"--the
word meaning the different colors in which the texts, the notes, the
dates, the translations, etc., are printed for the sake of simplifying
matters. Prof. Paul Haupt, of Johns Hopkins University, is at the head
of this great work, ably assisted by a large corps of the best Biblical
scholars in the world. It is not to be a revision of the accepted
version, but a new translation in modern English. The translation is
not to be literal except in the highest sense of the word, viz., "to
render the sense of the original as faithfully as possible." There are
to be explanatory notes, historical and archaelogical illustrations of
the text, paraphrases of difficult passages, etc. In short, everything
possible is to be done to simplify and to make plain this ancient book.
The contributors have instructions not to hesitate to state what they
consider to be the truth, but with as little offence to the general
reader as possible. This work has been pronounced the greatest literary
undertaking of the century--a work which will prepare the way for the
coming generation to give an entirely new consideration to the
religious problem. It was begun in 1890, and will probably not be
completed before 1900.

Another important work, small in actual size but big with
significance, has just been issued in England under the title of "The
Bible and the Child." It is not, as its name might imply, a book for
children, but it is for the purpose of "showing the right way of
presenting the Bible to the young in the light of the Higher
Criticism." Its eight contributors are headed by Canon F. W. Farrar, of
England, and includes a number of noted English divines. An English
writer outside of the orthodox pale says: "It is one of the most
extraordinary books published in the English language. It is small; but
it is just the turning-scale to the side of common sense in matters
religious. The Church has at last taken a step in the right direction.
We cannot expect it to set off at a gallop; but it is fairly ambling
along on its comfortable palfrey."

The advance is all along the line; and we need not fear any retrograde
movement to the past. Canon Farrar says that the manner in which the
Higher Criticism has progressed "is exactly analogous to the way in
which the truths of astronomy and of geology have triumphed over
universal opposition. They were once anathematized as 'Infidel;' they
are now accepted as axiomatic." When an official of the Church of
England of the high standing of Canon Farrar comes out so boldly in the
interest of free thought and free criticism on lines hitherto held to
be too sacred for human reason to cross, it is one of the "signs of the
times," and a most hopeful one of the future.

And now that we are coming to understand the Bible better than to
worship it as an idol, it will gradually be lifted from the shadows and
the superstitions of an age when, as a fetich, it was exalted above
reason, and placed where a spiritually enlightened people can see it in
its true light-a book in which many a bright jewel has been buried
under some rubbish, perhaps, as well as under many symbolisms and
mystic language--a book which is not above the application of reason
and of common sense. And with these new lights on the Bible, it is
gratifying to know at the same time that the stately Hebrew Kabbalah,
hoary with antiquity, and the fountain source of the Old Testament,
places woman on a perfect equality in the Godhead. For better authority
than that one can hardly ask.

We are nearing the close of a remarkable century, the last half of
which, and especially the last quarter, has been crowded with
discoveries, some of them startling in their approximation to the
inner, or occult world--a world in which woman has potent sway. The
close of this century has long been pointed to by scholars, by writers
and by Prophets, within the Church and out of it, as the close of the
old dispensation and the opening of the new one. And in view of the
rapid steps which we are taking in these latter years, we can almost
feel the breath of the new cycle fan our cheeks as we watch the
deepening hues of the breaking dawn.


F. E. B.





THE NEW TESTAMENT.



"Great is Truth, and mighty above all things."--1 Esdras, iv., 41.



Does the New Testament bring promises of new dignity and of larger
liberties for woman? When thinking women make any criticisms on their
degraded position in the Bible, Christians point to her exaltation in
the New Testament, as if, under their religion, woman really does
occupy a higher position than under the Jewish dispensation. While
there are grand types of women presented under both religions, there is
no difference in the general estimate of the sex. In fact, her inferior
position is more clearly and emphatically set forth by the Apostles
than by the Prophets and the Patriarchs. There are no such specific
directions for woman's subordination in the Pentateuch as in the
Epistles.

We are told that the whole sex was highly honored in Mary being the
mother of Jesus. Surely a wise and virtuous son is more indebted to his
mother than she is to him, and is honored only by reflecting her
superior characteristics. Why the founders of the Christian religion
did not improvise an earthly Father as well as an earthly Mother does
not clearly appear. The questionable position of Joseph is
unsatisfactory. As Mary belonged to the Jewish aristocracy, she should
have had a husband of the same rank. If a Heavenly Father was
necessary, why not a Heavenly Mother? If an earthly Mother was
admirable, why not not {sic} an earthly Father? The Jewish idea that
Jesus was born according to natural law is more rational than is the
Christian record of the immaculate conception by the Holy Ghost, the
third person of the Trinity. These Biblical mysteries and
inconsistencies are a great strain on the credulity of the ordinary
mind.


E. C. S.



Jesus was the great leading Radical of his age. Everything that he was
and said and did alienated and angered the Conservatives, those that
represented and stood for the established order of what they believed
to be the fixed and final revelation of God. Is it any wonder that they
procured his death? They had no power to put him to death themselves,
and so they stirred the suspicions of the Roman authorities.

We owe the conquest of Christianity to two things. First, to Paul.
Christianity never would have been anything but a little Jewish sect if
it had not been for Paul. And the other thing is--what? The conquest
over death. It was the abounding belief of the disciples that Jesus was
alive, their leader still, though in the invisible, which made them
laugh in the face of death, which made them fearless in the presence of
the lions in the arena, which made them seek for the honor and glory of
martyrdom, and which gave them such conquest over all fear, all sorrow,
all toil, as can come only to those who believe that this life is
merely a training school, that death is nothing but a doorway and that
it leads out into the eternal glories and grandeurs beyond.

I think that the doctrine of the Virgin birth as something higher,
sweeter, nobler than ordinary motherhood, is a slue on all the natural
motherhood of the world. I believe that millions of children have been
as immaculately conceived, as purely born, as was the Nazarene. Why
not? Out of this doctrine, and that which is akin to it, have sprung
all the monasteries and the nunneries of the world, which have
disgraced and distorted and demoralized manhood and womanhood for a
thousand years. I place beside the false, monkish, unnatural claim of
the Immaculate Conception my mother, who was as holy in her motherhood
as was Mary herself.

Another suggestion. This thought of Jesus as the second person of an
inconceivable trinity, a being neither of heaven nor earth, but between
the two; a being having two natures and one will; a being who was
ignorant as a man, and who suffered as a man, while he knew everything
as God and could not suffer as God--this conception is part of a scheme
of the universe which represents humanity as ruined and lost and
hopeless, God as unjust, and man as looking only to a fearful judgment
in the ages that are to be. I believe that thousands of people have
lived since the time of Jesus as good, as tender, as loving, as true, as
faithful, as he. There is no more mystery in the one case than in the
other, for it is all mystery. Old Father Taylor, the famous Methodist
Bethel preacher in Boston, was a Perfectionist, and when he was asked if
he thought anybody had since lived who was as good as Jesus, he said:
"Yes; millions of them." This is Methodist authority.

What made Jesus the power he was of his time? In the first place,
there was an inexplicable charm about his personality which drew all
the common people to him, as iron filings are drawn by a magnet. He
loved the people, who instinctively felt it, and loved him. Then there
was his intellectual power of speech. Most of the sayings of Jesus are
not original in the sense that nobody else ever uttered any similar
truths before. Confucius, six thousand years before Jesus, gave
utterance to the Golden Rule. And then there was the pity, the
sympathy, the tenderness of the man. And then he had trust in God--
trust in the simple Fatherhood of God, that never could be shaken.
Jesus taught us, as no one else has ever done it, the humanness of God
and the divineness of man, so that, standing there eighteen hundred
years ago, he has naturally and infallibly attracted the eyes, the
thought, the love, the reverence of the world.

When it is dark in the morning, and before the sun rises, there are
high peaks that catch the far-off rays and begin to glow, while the
rest of the world still lies in shadow. So there are mountainous men,
not supernatural, but as natural as the mountains and the sun--
mountainous men who catch the light before our common eyes on the
plains and in the valleys can see it, who see and proclaim from their
lofty heights far-off visions of truth and beauty that we as yet cannot
discern.


ANON.





THE BOOK OF MATTHEW.


CHAPTER I.



Matthew i.



16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus,
who is called Christ.

17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen
generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are
fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto
Christ are fourteen generations.


Saint Matthew is supposed to be distinguished from the other Apostles
by the frequency of his references to the Old Testament. He records
more particulars of Jesus than the others do, far more of his birth,
his sayings and his miracles.

There has been much difference of opinion among writers of both sacred
and profane history as to the paternity of Jesus, and whether he was a
real or an ideal character. If, as the Scriptures claim, he descended
from heaven, begotten by the Holy Ghost, the incarnation of God
himself, then there was nothing remarkable in his career, nor
miraculous in the seeming wonders which he performed, being the soul
and the centre of all the forces of the universe of matter and of mind.
If he was an ideal character, like the gifted hero of some novel or
tragedy, his great deeds and his wise sayings the result of the
imagination of some skilful artist, then we may admire the sketch as a
beautiful picture. But if Jesus was a man who was born, lived and died
as do other men, a worthy example for imitation, he is deserving of our
love and reverence, and by showing us the possibilities of human nature
he is a constant inspiration, our hope and salvation; for the path,
however rough, in which one man has walked, others may follow. As a God
with infinite power he could have been no example to us; but with human
limitations we may emulate his virtues and walk in his footsteps.

Some writers think that his mother was a wise, great and beautiful
Jewish maiden, and his father a learned rabbi, who devoted much time
and thought to his son's education. At a period when learning was
confined to the few, it was a matter of surprise that as a mere boy he
could read and write, and discuss the vital questions of the hour with
doctors in the sacred temples. His great physical beauty, the wisdom of
his replies to the puzzling questions of the Pharisees and the
Sadducces, his sympathy with the poor and the needy, his ambition for
all that is best in human development, and his indifference to worldly
aggrandizement, altogether made him a marked man in his day and
generation. For these reasons he was hated, reviled, persecuted, like
the long line of martyrs who followed his teachings. He commands far
more love and reverence as a true man with only human possibilities,
than as a God, superior to all human frailties and temptations.

What were years of persecution, the solitude on the mountain, the
agonies on the cross, with the power of a God to sustain him? But
unaided and alone to triumph over all human weakness, trials and
temptation, was victory not only for Jesus but for every human being
made in his image.



Matthew ii.



1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod
the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen
his star in the cast, and are come to worship him.

3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all
Jerusalem with him.

4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests together, he demanded
of them where Christ should be born.

5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea:

8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently
for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word.

9 And they departed; and lo, the star, which they saw in the east,
went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child
with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they
had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and
frankincense, and myrrh.

12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to
Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

13 And the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying,
Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt;
for Herod will seek to destroy him.

14 And he arose, and departed into Egypt;

19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in
a dream to Joseph

20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into
the land of Israel.


These sages were supposed to be men of great learning belonging to a
sect called Magians, who came from Arabia. There was a general
feeling that the king of the Jews was yet to be born, and that they
were soon to see the long expected and promised Messiah. Herod was
greatly troubled by the tidings that a child had been born under
remarkable circumstances. The star spoken of was supposed to be a
luminous meteor the wise men had seen in their own country before they
set out on their journey for Bethlehem, and which now guided them to
the house where the young child was. Notwithstanding the common
surroundings, the wise men recognizing something more than human in the
child, fell down and worshiped him and presented unto him the most
precious gifts which their country yielded. Some have supposed that the
frankincense and the myrrh were intended as an acknowledgment of his
deity, as the gold was of his royalty.

To defeat the subtle malice of Herod, who was determined to take the
child's life, Joseph was warned in a dream to flee into Egypt with the
child and his mother. The wise men did not return to Herod as
commanded, but went at once to their own country.



Matthew ix.



18 Behold, there came a certain ruler, saying, My daughter is even now
dead; but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.

19 And Jesus arose and followed him.

2 And behold, a woman, which was diseased twelve years, came behind
him, and touched the hem of his garment:

21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I
shall be whole.

22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter,
be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was
made whole from that hour.

23 And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, * * *

24 He said, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And
they laughed him to scorn,

25 But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the
hand, and the maid arose.



Matthew xiv.



3 For Herod had laid hold on John, and put him in prison for Herodias'
sake, his brother Philip's wife.

4 For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her.

5 And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude,
because they counted him as a prophet.

6 But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced
before them, and pleased Herod.

7 Whereupon he promised to give her whatsoever she would ask.

8 And she being before instructed of her met, Give me here John
Baptist's head in a charger.

9 And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's sake he
commanded it to be given her,

10 And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison.

11 And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and
she brought it to her mother.

12 And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and
went and told Jesus.


Josephus says that Herodias was niece both to her former husband,
Philip, and to Herod, with whom she at this time lived. Herod had
divorced his own wife in order to take her; and her husband Philip was
still living, as well as the daughter Salome, whom he had by her. No
connection could be more contrary to the law of God than this. John,
therefore, being a prophet and no courtier, plainly reproved Herod, and
declared that it was not lawful for him to retain Herodias. This
greatly offended Herod and Herodias, and they cast John into prison,
Herodias waited her opportunity to wreak her malice on him, counting
John's reproof an insult to her character as well as an interference
with her ambition.

At length when Herod celebrated his birthday, entertaining his nobles
with great magnificence, the daughter of Herodias danced before them
all, with such exquisite grace as to delight the company, whereupon
Herod promised her whatever she desired, though equal in value to half
his kingdom. Salome consulted her mother, who urged her to demand the
head of John the Baptist. By the influence of Herodias, Herod, contrary
to his own conscience, was induced to put John to death, for he feared
him as a righteous man.

It must have been a great trial to the daughter, who might have asked
so many beautiful gifts and rare indulgences, to yield all to her
wicked mother's revenge. But these deeds were speedily avenged. It is
said that Salome had her head cut off by the ice breaking as she passed
over it. Herod was shortly after engaged in a disastrous war on account
of Herodias, and was expelled from his territories; and both died in
exile, hated by everybody and hating one another.


L. C. S.



In regard to the charge against Herodias, which is current among
theological scandal-mongers, there is not a moderately intelligent jury
of Christendom (if composed half of men and half of women) which, after
examining all the available evidence, would not render a verdict in her
favor of "Not Guilty." The statement that She "paid the price of her
own daughter's debasement and disgrace for the head of John the
Baptist," is an assertion born wholly of the ecclesiastical, distorted
imagination. Not even a hint, much less an iota of proof, to
warrant such an assertion, is found anywhere in history--sacred or
profane. While some anonymous writer of the early Christian centuries
did put in circulation the charge that John the Baptist was put to
death at the instigation of Herodias (without implicating her
daughter's character, however), Josephus, on the contrary, explicitly
declares that his death was wholly a political matter, with which the
names of Herodias and her daughter are not even connected by rumor.
Says Josephus: "When others came in crowds about him (John the
Baptist), for they were greatly moved by hearing his words, Herod, who
feared lest the great influence John had over the people might put it
into his power and inclination to raise a rebellion (for they seemed
ready to do anything he should advise), thought it best, by putting him
to death, to prevent any mischief he might cause. . . . Accordingly he
was sent a prisoner, out of Herod's suspicious temper, to Macherus, the
castle I before mentioned, and was there put to death."

Now, the jury must remember that Josephus was born in Jerusalem about
38 A. D., that he was an educated man and in a position to know the
facts in this case, owing both to his prominent position among the Jews
and to his study of contemporaneous history. But that, on the other
hand, the anonymous writers who bring Herodias' name into the
transaction, are not traceable further back than the fourth century of
our era, and that even they do not bring any charge against her
character as a mother.


E. B. D.



Matthew xv.



21 Then Jesus departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.

22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan cried unto him, saying, Have mercy
on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with
a devil.

23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples besought him to
send her away.

24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of
the house of .Israel.

25 Then came she and worshiped him, saying, Lord, help me.

26 But he said, It is not meet to take the children's food, and to
cast it to dogs.

27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which
fall from their master's table.

23 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith:
be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from
that very hour.


Peter had a house in Capernaum; and his wife's mother lived with them;
and Jesus lodged with them when in that city. It is hoped
that his presence brought out the best traits of the mother-in-law, so
as to make her agreeable to Peter. As soon as Jesus rebuked the fever,
she was able without delay to rise and to wait on Jesus and his
disciples. These displays of the power of Christ in performing
miracles, according to the text, are varied, in almost every
conceivable way of beneficence; but he wrought no miracles of
vengeance, even the destruction of the swine was doubtless intended in
mercy and conducive to much good--so say the commentators. He not only
healed the sick and cast out devils, but he made the blind to see and
the dumb to speak.

The woman of Canaan proved herself quite equal in argument with Jesus;
and though by her persistency she tired the patience of the disciples,
she made her points with Jesus with remarkable clearness. His patience
with women was a sore trial to the disciples, who were always disposed
to nip their appeals in the bud. It was very ungracious in Jesus to
speak of the Jews as dogs, saying, "It is not meet to take the
children's food, and to cast it to dogs." Her reply, "Yet the dogs eat
of the crumbs which fall from the master's table," was bright and
appropriate. Jesus appreciated her tact and her perseverance, and
granted her request; and her daughter, the text says, was healed.

We might doubt the truth of all these miracles did We not see so many
wonderful things in our own day which we would have pronounced
impossible years ago. The fact of human power developing in so many
remarkable ways proves that Jesus's gift of performing miracles is
attainable by those who, like him, live pure lives, and whose blood
flows in the higher arches of the brain. If one man, at any period of
the world's history, performed miracles, others equally gifted may do
the same.



Matthew xx.



20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons,
worshiping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.

21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant
that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the
other on the left, in thy kingdom.


Zebedee, the father of James and of John, was dead; and he was not so
constant a follower of Christ as his wife; so she is mentioned
as the mother of Zebedee's children, which saying has passed into a
conundrum, "Who was the mother of Zebedee's children?" Scott in his
commentaries gives her name as Salome. Whatever her name, she had great
ambition for her sons, and asked that they might have the chief places
of honor and authority in his kingdom. Her son James was the first of
the Apostles who suffered martyrdom. John survived all the rest and is
not supposed to have died a violent death.

A mother's ambition to lift her sons over her own head in education
and position, planning extraordinary responsibilities for ordinary men,
has proved a misfortune in many cases. Many a young man who would be a
success as a carpenter would be a failure as the governor of a State.
Mothers are quite apt to overestimate the genius of their children and
push them into niches which they cannot fill.



Matthew xxii.



23 The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no
resurrection and asked him,

24 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his
brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.

25 Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had
married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his
brother:

26 Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh.

27 And last of all the woman died also.

28 Therefore in the resurrection, whose wife shall she be of the
seven? for they all had her.

29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the
Scriptures, nor the power of God.

30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in
marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.


Jesus reminded the Sadducees that marriage was intended only for the
present world, to replenish the earth and to repair the ravages which
death continually makes among its inhabitants; but as in the future
state there was to be no death, so no marriage. There the body even
would be made spiritual; and all the employments and the pleasures pure
and angelic. The marriage relation seems to have been a tangled problem
in all ages. Scientists tell us that both the masculine and feminine
elements were united in one person in the beginning, and will probably
be reunited again for eternity.


E. C. S.





CHAPTER II.



Matthew xxv.



1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which
took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:

4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh;
go ye out to meet him.

7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our
lamps are gone out.

9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so, lest there be not enough for
us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were
ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to
us.

12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.


In this chapter we have the duty of self-development impressively and
repeatedly urged in the form of parables, addressed alike to man and to
woman. The sin of neglecting and of burying one's talents, capacities
and powers, and the penalties which such a course involve, are here
strikingly portrayed.

This parable is found among the Jewish records substantially the same
as in our own Scriptures. Their weddings were generally celebrated at
night; yet they usually began at the rising of the evening star; but in
this case there was a more than ordinary delay. Adam Clarke in his
commentaries explains this parable as referring chiefly to spiritual
gifts and the religious life. He makes the Lord of Hosts the
bridegroom, the judgment day the wedding feast, the foolish virgins the
sinners whose hearts were cold and dead, devoid of all spiritual
graces, and unfit to enter the kingdom of heaven, The wise virgins were
the saints who were ready for translation, or for the bridal
procession. They followed to the wedding feast; and when the chosen had
entered "the door was shut."

This strikes us as a strained interpretation of a very simple parable,
which, considered in connection with the other parables, seems to apply
much more closely to this life than to that which is to come, to the
intellectual and the moral nature, and to the whole round of human
duties. It fairly describes the two classes which help to make up
society in general. The one who, like the foolish virgins, have never
learned the first important duty of cultivating their own individual
powers, using the talents given to them, and keeping their own lamps
trimmed and burning. The idea of being a helpmeet to somebody else has
been so sedulously drilled into most women that an individual life,
aim, purpose and ambition are never taken into consideration. They
oftimes do so much in other directions that they neglect the most vital
duties to themselves.

We may find in this simple parable a lesson for the cultivation of
courage and of self-reliance. These virgins are summoned to the
discharge of an important duty at midnight, alone, in darkness, and in
solitude. No chivalrous gentleman is there to run for oil and to trim
their lamps. They must depend on themselves, unsupported, and pay the
penalty of their own improvidence and unwisdom. Perhaps in that bridal
procession might have been seen fathers, brothers, friends, for whose
service and amusement the foolish virgins had wasted many precious
hours, when they should have been trimming their own lamps and keeping
oil in their vessels.

And now, with music, banners, lanterns, torches, guns and rockets fired
at intervals, come the bride and the groom, with their attendants and
friends numbering thousands, brilliant in jewels, gold and silver,
magnificently mounted on richly caparisoned horses--for nothing can be
more brilliant than were those nuptial solemnities of Eastern nations.
As this spectacle, grand beyond description, sweeps by, imagine the
foolish virgins pushed aside, in the shadow of some tall edifice, with
dark, empty lamps in their hands, unnoticed and unknown. And while the
castle walls resound with music and merriment, and the lights from every
window stream out far into the darkness, no kind friends gather round
them to sympathize in their humiliation, nor to cheer their loneliness.
It matters little that women may be ignorant, dependent, unprepared for
trial and for temptation. Alone they must meet the terrible emergencies
of life, to be sustained and protected amid danger and death by their
own courage, skill and self-reliance, or perish.

Woman's devotion to the comfort, the education, the success of men in
general, and to their plans and projects, is in a great measure due to
her self-abnegation and self-sacrifice having been so long and so
sweetly lauded by poets, philosophers and priests as the acme of human
goodness and glory.

Now, to my mind, there is nothing commendable in the action of young
women who go about begging funds to educate young men for the ministry,
while they and the majority of their sex are too poor to educate
themselves, and if able, are still denied admittance into some of the
leading institutions of learning throughout our land. It is not
commendable for women to get up fairs and donation parties for churches
in which the gifted of their sex may neither pray, preach, share in the
offices and honors, nor have a voice in the business affairs, creeds
and discipline, and from whose altars come forth Biblical
interpretations in favor of woman's subjection.

It is not commendable for the women of this Republic to expend much
enthusiasm on political parties as now organized, nor in national
celebrations, for they have as yet no lot or part in the great
experiment of self-government.

In their ignorance, women sacrifice themselves to educate the men of
their households, and to make of themselves ladders by which their
husbands, brothers and sons climb up into the kingdom of knowledge,
while they themselves are shut out from all intellectual companionship,
even with those they love best; such are indeed like the foolish
virgins. They have not kept their own lamps trimmed and burning; they
have no oil in their vessels, no resources in themselves; they bring no
light to their households nor to the circle in which they move; and
when the bridegroom cometh, when the philosopher, the scientist, the
saint, the scholar, the great and the learned, all come together to
celebrate the marriage feast of science and religion, the foolish
virgins, though present, are practically shut out; for what know they
of the grand themes which inspire each tongue and kindle every
thought? Even the brothers and the sons whom they have educated, now
rise to heights which they cannot reach, span distances which they
cannot comprehend.

The solitude of ignorance, oh, who can measure its misery!

The wise virgins are they who keep their lamps trimmed, who burn oil
in their vessels for their own use, who have improved every advantage
for their education, secured a healthy, happy, complete development,
and entered all the profitable avenues of labor, for self-support, so
that when the opportunities and the responsibilities of life come, they
may be fitted fully to enjoy the one and ably to discharge the other.

These are the women who to-day are close upon the heels of man in the
whole realm of thought, in art, in science, in literature and in
government. With telescopic vision they explore the starry firmament,
and bring back the history of the planetary world. With chart and
compass they pilot ships across the mighty deep, and with skilful
fingers send electric messages around the world. In galleries of art,
the grandeur of nature and the greatness of humanity are immortalized
by them on canvas, and by their inspired touch, dull blocks of marble
are transformed into angels of light. In music they speak again the
language of Mendelssohn, of Beethoven, of Chopin, of Schumann, and are
worthy interpreters of their great souls. The poetry and the novels of
the century are theirs; they, too, have touched the keynote of reform
in religion, in politics and in social life. They fill the editors' and
the professors' chairs, plead at the bar of justice, walk the wards of
the hospital, and speak from the pulpit and the platform.

Such is the widespread preparation for the marriage feast of science
and religion; such is the type of womanhood which the bridegroom of an
enlightened public sentiment welcomes to-day; and such is the triumph
of the wise virgins over the folly, the ignorance and the degradation
of the past as in grand procession they enter the temple of knowledge,
and the door is no longer shut.



Matthew xxvi.



6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,

7 There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious
ointment, and poured it on his head.

8 But. when his disciples saw it, they said, To what purpose is this
waste?

9 For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the
poor.

10 When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the
woman?

11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.

12 For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it
for my burial.

13 Verily, I say unto you, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached,
there shall also this be told for a memorial of her.



Matthew xxvii.



19 When Pilate was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto
him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have
suffered many things this day in a dream, because of him.

24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a
tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the
multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see
ye to it.

25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on
our children.

55 And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus
from Galilee, ministering unto him;

56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary, the mother of James and
Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children.

61 And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over
against the sepulchre.


It is a common opinion among Christians that the persecutions of the
Jews in all periods and latitudes is a punishment on them for their
crucifixion of Jesus, and that this defiant acceptance of the
responsibility is being justly fulfilled.



Matthew xxviii.



1 In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn came Mary Magdalene
and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord
descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the
door, and sat upon it.

3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye; for I
know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

7 Go quickly and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead;
and behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him.

8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with great joy.

9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them,
saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshiped
him.

10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: tell my brethren that
they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.


Among the witnesses of the crucifixion, this melancholy and untimely
scene, there were some women who had followed Jesus from Galilee and
had waited on him, supplying his wants from their substance. Affection
and anxious concern induced them to be present, and probably they stand
afar off, fearing the outrages of the multitude. Words cannot
express the mixed emotions of true gratitude, reverence, sorrow and
compassion which must have agitated their souls on this occasion. We
find from John, who was also present, that Mary the mother of Jesus was
a spectator of this distressing scene.

When Jesus was brought before Pilate, he was greatly troubled as to
what judgment he should give, and his hesitation was increased by a
warning from his wife, to have no part in the death of that righteous
man; for she had terrifying dreams respecting him, which made her
conclude that his death would be avenged by some unseen power.


E. C. S.





THE BOOK OF MARK.



Mark iii.



31 There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without,
sent unto him,

32 And the multitude sat about him, and said unto him, Behold, thy
mother and thy brethren seek for thee.

33 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren?

34 And he looked round about and said. Behold my mother and my brethren!

35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and
my sister and mother.


Many of the same texts found in the Book of Matthew are repeated by
the other Evangelists. It appears from the text that the earnestness of
Jesus in teaching the people, made some of his friends, who did not
believe in his mission, anxious. Even his mother feared to have him
teach doctrines in opposition to the public sentiment of his day. His
words of seeming disrespect to her, simply meant to imply that he had
an important work to do, that his duties to humanity were more to him
than the ties of natural affection.

Many of the ancient writers criticise Mary severely, for trying to
exercise control over Jesus, assuming rightful authority over him.
Theophylact taxes her with vainglory; Tertullian accuses her of
ambition; St. Chrysostom of impiety and of disbelief; Whitby says, it
is plain that this is a protest against the idolatrous worship of Mary.
She was generally admitted to be a woman of good character and worthy
of all praise; but whatever she was, it ill becomes those who believe
that she was the mother of God to criticise her as they would an
ordinary mortal.



Mark x.



2 And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man
to put away his wife? tempting him.

3 And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you?

4 And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to
put her away.

5 And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your
heart he wrote you this precept.

6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.

7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave
to his wife;

8 And they twain shall be one flesh:

9 what therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.


The question of marriage was a constant theme for discussion in the
days of Moses and of Jesus, as in our own times. The Pharisees are
still asking questions, not that they care for an answer on the highest
plane of morality, but to entrap some one as opposed to the authorities
of their times. Life with Jesus was too short and his mission too stern
to parley with pettifoggers; so he gives to them a clear cut,
unmistakable definition as to what marriage is: "Whoever puts away his
wife, save for the cause of unchastity, which violates the marriage
covenant, commits adultery." Hence, under the Christian dispensation we
must judge husband and wife by the same code of morals.

If this rule of the perfect equality of the sexes were observed in all
social relations the marriage problem might be easily solved. But with
one code of morals for man and another for woman, we are involved in
all manner of complications. In England, for example, a woman may marry
her husband's brother; but a man may not marry his wife's sister. They
have had "a deceased wife's sister's bill" before Parliament for
generations. Ever and anon they take it up, look at it with their opera
glasses, air their grandfather's old platitudes over it, give a sickly
smile at some well-worn witticism, or drop a tear at a pathetic whine
from some bishop, then lay the bill reverently back in its sacred
pigeon-hole for a period of rest.

The discussion in the United States is now in the form of a
homogeneous divorce law in all the States of the Union, but this is not
in woman's interest. What Canada was to the Southern slaves under the
old regime, a State with liberal divorce laws is to fugitive wives. If
a dozen learned judges should get together, as is proposed, to revise
the divorce laws, they would make them more stringent in liberal States
instead of more lax in conservative States. When such a commission is
decided upon, one-half of the members should be women, as they have an
equal interest in the marriage and divorce laws; and common justice
demands that they should have an equal voice in their reconstruction. I
do not think a homogeneous law desirable; though I should like to see
New York and South Carolina liberalized, I should not like to see South
Dakota and Indiana more conservative.



Mark xii.



41 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people
cast money into the treasury; and many that were rich cast in much.

42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she thew in two mites,
which make a farthing.

43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I
say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in than all they
which have cast into the treasury:

44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want
did cast in all that she had, even all her living.


The widow's gift no doubt might have represented more generosity than
all beside, for the large donations of the rich were only a part of
their superfluities, and bore a small proportion to the abundance which
they still had, but she gave in reality of her necessities. The small
contribution was of no special use in the treasury of the Church, but
as an act of self-sacrifice it was of more real value in estimating
character. Jesus with his intuition saw the motives of the giver, as
well as the act.

This woman, belonging to an impoverished class, was trained to self-
abnegation; but when women learn the higher duty of self-development,
they will not so readily expend all their forces in serving others.
Paul says that a husband who does not provide for his own household is
worse than an infidel. So a woman, who spends all her time in churches,
with priests, in charities, neglects to cultivate her own natural
gifts, to make the most of herself as an individual in the scale of
being, a responsible soul whose place no other can fill, is worse than
an infidel. "Self-development is a higher duty than self-sacrifice,"
should be woman's motto henceforward.


E. C. S.





THE BOOK OF LUKE.



Luke i.



5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest
named Zacharias, and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her
name was Elizabeth.

6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the
commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

7 And they had no child; and they both were now well stricken in years.

8 And it came to pass, that, while he executed the priest's office
before God--his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of
the Lord.

11 And there appeared unto him an angel standing on the right side of
the altar of incense.

12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.

13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is
heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt
call his name John.

14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his
birth.

15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink
neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy
Ghost.


Luke was the companion of the Apostle Paul in all of his labors during
many years. He also wrote the Acts of the Apostles.

He was a Syrian, and became acquainted with the Christians at Antioch.
He is called by Paul "the beloved physician."

Luke opens his book with the parentage and the birth of John. His
father, Zacharias, was a priest, and his mother, Elizabeth, was also
descended from Aaron. They were exemplary persons. They habitually
walked in all upright course of obedience to all the commandments. They
had no children, but in answer to their prayers a son was at last given
to them, whose name was John, which signifies "grace, or favor of the
Lord."

While Zacharias ministered at the altar, an angel appeared to him to
tell him of the advent of his son. The vision was so startling that
Zacharias was struck dumb for a season. The same angel appeared soon
after to Mary, the mother of Jesus, with glad tidings of her
motherhood. She and Elizabeth met often during that joyful period, and
talked over the promised blessings. John was born about six months
before Jesus, and is sometimes called his forerunner.
Elizabeth and Mary were cousins on the mother's side.

Soon after the angel appeared to Mary she went in haste to the home of
Zacharias, and saluted Elizabeth, who said, "Blessed art thou among
women; and how comes this honor to me, that the mother of my Lord
should cross my threshold?" Mary replied, "My soul doth magnify the
Lord that he hath thus honored his handmaiden. Henceforth all
generations shall call me blessed."

When Elizabeth's son was born, the neighbors, cousins and aunts all
assembled and at once volunteered their opinions as to the boy's name,
and all insisted that he should be named "Zacharias," after his father.
But Elizabeth said, "No; his name is John, as the angel said." As none
of the family had ever been called by that name, they appealed by signs
to the father (who was still dumb); but he promptly wrote on the table,
"His name is John."



Luke ii.



36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess.

37 And she was a widow of about four-score and four years, which
departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers
night and day.


Anna having lost her husband in the prime of her life, remained a
widow to her death. She resided near the temple that she might attend
all its sacred ordinances. Having no other engagements to occupy her
attention, she spent her whole time in the service of God, and joined
frequent fastings with her constant prayers for herself and her people.
She was employed day and night in those religious exercises, so says
the text; but Scott allows the poor widow, now over eighty years of
age, some hours for rest at night (more merciful than the Evangelist).
She came into the temple just as Simon held the child in his arms, and
she also returned thanks to God for the coming of the promised Saviour,
and that her eyes had beheld him.


41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the
Passover.

42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after
the custom of the feast.

43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child
Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem: and Joseph and his mother knew not
of it.

44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's
journey: and they sought him among their
kinsfolk and acquaintance.

45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem,
seeking him.

46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the
temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and
asking them questions.

47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and
answers.

49 And when they saw him, his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou
thus dealt with us? Behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.

49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not
that I must be about my Father's business?

50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.

51 And he went with them to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but
his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.


These texts contain all that is said of the childhood and the youth of
Jesus, though we should have expected fuller information on so
extraordinary a subject. Joseph and Mary went up to the feast of the
passover every year, and it was the custom to take children of that age
with them. They journeyed in a great company for mutual security, and
thus in starting they overlooked the boy, supposing that he was with
the other children. But when the families separated for the night they
could not find him, so they journeyed back to Jerusalem and found him
in a court of the temple, listening to, and asking questions of the
doctors, who were surprised at his intelligence.

It is often said that he was disputing with the doctors, which the
commentators say gives a wrong impression; he was modestly asking
questions. Neither Mary nor Joseph remembered nor fully understood what
the angel had told them concerning the mission of their child; neither
did they comprehend the answer of Jesus. However, he went back with
them to Nazareth, and was subject to them in all things, working at the
carpenter's trade until he entered on his mission. It was a great
mistake that some angel had not made clear to Mary the important
character and mission of her son, that she might not have been a
seeming hindrance on so many occasions, and made it necessary for Jesus
to rebuke her so often, and thus subject herself to criticism for his
seeming disrespect.



Luke xiii.



11 And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity
eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up
herself.

12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her,
Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.

13 And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made
straight, and glorified God.

14 And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because
that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath day, and said unto the people,
There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come
and be healed, but not on the Sabbath day,

15 The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each
one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and
lead him away to watering?

16 And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan
hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, he loosed from this bond on the
Sabbath day?

17 And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were
ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that
were done by him.


Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath day, and
saw the distress of this woman who attended worship; he called her to
him, and, by the laying on of his hands and by prayer, immediately
restored her; and being made straight, she glorified God before all for
this unexpected deliverance. The ruler of the synagogue, who hated the
doctrines of Jesus and envied the honor, tried to veil his enmity with
pretence of singular piety, telling the people that they should come
for healing other days and not on the holy rest of the Sabbath, as if
the woman had come there on purpose for a cure, or as if a word and a
touch attended with so beneficent an effect could break the Sabbath.
Jesus' rebuke of the malice and hypocrisy of the man was fully
justified.

The Sabbath-day-Pharisees are not all dead yet. While more rational
people are striving to open libraries, art galleries and concert halls
on Sundays, a class of religious bigots are endeavoring to close up on
that day, all places of entertainment for the people. The large class
of citizens shut up in factories, in mercantile establishments, in
offices, and in shops all the week, should have the liberty to enjoy
themselves in all rational amusements on Sunday. All healthy sports in
the open air, music in parks, popular lectures in all the school
buildings, should be encouraged and protected by law for their benefit.



Luke xviii.



2 There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded
man:

3 And there was a widow in that City; and she came unto him, saying,
Avenge me of mine adversary.

4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself,
Though I fear not God, neither regard man;

5 Yet because this widow troubleth me. I will avenge her, lest by her
continual coming she weary me.

6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.

7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto
him, though he bear long with them?


The lesson taught in this parable is perseverance. Everything can be
accomplished by continued effort. Saints hope to acquire all spiritual
graces through prayers; philanthropists to carry out their reform
measures through constant discussion; politicians their public measures
by continued party combat and repeated acts of legislation. Through
forty years of conflict we abolished slavery. Through fifty years of
conflict we have partially emancipated woman from the bondage of the
old common law of England, and crowned her with the rights of full
citizenship in four States in the American Republic.

The condition of the woman in this parable, bowed to the earth with
all her disabilities, well represents the degraded condition of the sex
under every form of government and of religion the world over; but,
unlike her, women still, in many latitudes, make their appeals in vain
at cathedral altars and in the halls of legislation.


E. C. S.



The sentiment concerning the equality of male and female, which Paul
avowed to the Galatians, is perfectly in accord with what "Luke"
reports of Jesus' own custom. It will be remembered that the chief
adherents of Paul accepted only this report (and this only partly) as
worthy of credit; and therein we find the statement that many female
ministers had accompanied Jesus and the male ministers, as they
wandered (in Salvation Army fashion) "throughout every city and village
preaching." It is true that we now find a qualifying passage in
reference to the female ministers, namely "which ministered unto him of
their substance" (Luke, ch. 8, v. 3). But this is, plainly, one of
those numerous marginal comments, made at late date (when all the
original manuscripts had disappeared), by men who had, doubtless, lost
knowledge of women's original equality in the ministry; for Ignatius of
Antioch, one of the earliest Christian writers, expressly affirms that
the deacons were "not ministers of meats and drinks, but ministers of
the Church of God."

Although this is well known, our modern theologians seem to have been
unable to avoid jumping to the conclusion that, whenever women are
mentioned in the ministry, it must be only as ministers of
their substance, either as a kind of commissaries, or, at most, as
kindergarten officials. It is manifestly true that the early Church was
immensely indebted to the benefactions of rich widows and virgin
heiresses for the means of sustaining life in its fellowship. Thecla,
Paula, Eustochium, Marcella, Melanie, Susanna, are but a few of the
women of wealth who gave both themselves and their large fortunes to
the establishment of the ethics of Jesus. Yet Paula's greatest work
(from men's standpoint of great works) is rarely mentioned in
Christendom, and it is significant of the degradation which women
suffered at the hands of the Church that the time came when Churchmen
could not believe that she had performed it, even with Jerome's
acknowledgment confronting them, and consequently erased the word
"sister" accompanying the name Paula, substituting therefor the word
"brother!"

Paula founded and endowed monasteries, won to the Christian cause
allegiance from one of the noblest families of Greece and Rome, and
originated within the monasteries the occupation of copying
manuscripts, to which civilization is indebted for the preservation of
much precious literature; but her most important service to the Church
was her co-labor with Jerome in the great task of translating the
Jewish scriptures from the original Hebrew into Latin. It was Paula who
suggested and inspired the undertaking, furnishing the expensive works
of reference, without which it would have been impossible, and being
herself a woman of fine intellect, highly trained, and an excellent
Hebrew scholar, revised and corrected Jerome's work; then, finally,
assisted by her brilliant daughter, Eustochium, performed the enormous
task of copying it accurately for circulation. It was the least that
Jerome could do to dedicate the completed work to those able
coadjutors, and it is an amazing thing to find Churchmen still
eulogizing Jerome as "author of the Vulgate," without the slightest
reference to the fact that, but for Paula's help, the Vulgate would not
have come into existence. But until men and women return to more
natural relations, until women cast off their false subserviency,
thereby helping men to get rid of their unnatural arrogance, nothing
different from the injustice Christendom has shown Paula can be looked
for.


E. B. D.





THE BOOK OF JOHN.



John ii.



And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the
mother of Jesus was there:


2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.

3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They
have no wine.

4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour
is not yet come.

5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do
it.

7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they
filled them up to the brim.

8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now and bear unto the governor of
the feast. And they bare it.

9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine,
he called the bridegroom.

10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good
wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou
hast kept the good wine until now.


John was distinguished among the Apostles for his many virtues, and
was specially honored as the bosom friend of Jesus.

He is supposed to have lived in the neighborhood of Judea until the
time approached for the predicted destruction of Jerusalem; then he
went to Asia and resided some years in Ephesus, was banished to the
Island of Patmos by the Emperor Domitian, and returned to Asia after
the death of that Emperor. He lived to be a hundred years of age, and
died a natural death, being the only Apostle who escaped martyrdom.
John alone records the resurrection of Lazarus, and many things not
mentioned in the other Gospels.

Probably Mary was related to one of the parties to the marriage, for
she appears to have given directions as one of the family. As Joseph is
not mentioned either on this occasion or afterwards, we may suppose
that he died before Jesus entered into his public ministry. There was
no disrespect intended in the word "woman" with which Jesus addressed
his mother, as the greatest princesses were accosted even by their
servants in the same manner among the ancients. Jesus merely intended
to suggest that no one could command when he should perform miracles,
as they would in any ordinary event
subject to human discretion.

The Jews always kept a great number of water-pots filled with water in
their houses for the ceremonial washing prescribed by law. Commentators
differ as to how much these pots contained, but it is estimated that
the six contained a hogshead. The ruler of the feast was generally a
Levite or a priest; and he expressed his surprise that they should have
kept the best wine until the last.



John iv.



5. Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar.

6 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his
journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.

7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her,
Give me to drink.

9 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)

9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being
a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews
have no dealings with the Samaritans.

10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God,
and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have
asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

27 And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with
the woman, yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou
with her?


As the Samaritans were not generally disposed to receive the Jews into
their houses, Jesus did not try to enter, but sat down by Jacob's well,
and sent his disciples into the town to buy some necessary provisions.
The prejudices against each other were so inveterate that they never
asked for a favor, hence the woman was surprised when Jesus spoke to
her. They might buy of each other, but never borrow nor receive a favor
or gift, nor manifest friendship in any way.

But Christ, despising all such prejudices that had no foundation
either in equity or in the law of God, asked drink of the Samaritan
woman. He did not notice the woman's narrow prejudices, but directed
her attention to matters of greater importance. He told her though she
should refuse him the small favor for which he asked because he was a
Jew, yet he was ready to confer far greater benefits on her, though a
Samaritan. The living water to which Jesus referred, the woman did not
understand.


16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.

17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto
her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:

18 For thou hast had five husbands: and he whom thou now hast is not
thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.

19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.

28 The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city,
and saith to the men.

29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not
this the Christ?

39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the
saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.

40 So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that
he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days.

41 And many more believed because of his own word.


The woman could not understand Jesus' words because she had no
conviction of sin nor desire for a purer, better life; and as soon as
possible she changed the subject of the conversation from her private
life to the subjects of controversy between the Jews and the Samaritans.



John viii.



2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the
people came unto him: and he sat down, and taught them.

3 And the Scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in
adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery,

5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but
what sayest thou?

6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him.
But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as
though he heard them not.

7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said
unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone
at her.

8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience,
went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and
Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

10 He said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no
man condemned thee?

11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I
condemn thee: go, and sin no more.


The Scribes and the Pharisees concocted a plan to draw Jesus into a
snare. They concluded from many of his doctrines that he deemed himself
authorized to alter or to abrogate the commands of Moses; therefore
they desired his opinion as to the fitting punishment for an
adulteress. If he had ordered them to execute her, they would doubtless
have accused him to the Romans of assuming a judicial authority,
independent of their government; had he directed them to set her at
liberty, they would have represented him to the people as an enemy to
the law, and a patron of the most infamous characters; and had he
referred them to the Roman authority, they would have accused him to
the multitude as a betrayer of their
liberties.



John ix.



And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.


2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man,
or his parents, that he was born blind?

3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but
that the works of God should be made manifest in him.


A prevalent idea of the Jews was that, in accord with the ten
commandments, the sins of the parents were visited upon the children.
This is recognized as absolute law to-day; but it by no means follows
that all afflictions are the result of sin. The blindness may have
resulted from a combination of circumstances beyond the control of the
parents. The statement does not disprove the law of transmission, but
simply shows that defects are not always the result of sin.



John xi.



Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of
Mary and her sister Martha.


3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom
thou lovest is sick.

5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.

6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days
still in the same place where he was.

17 When Jesus came, he found that he bad lain in the grave four days
already.

20 Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met
him: but Mary sat still in the house.

21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if then hadst been here, my
brother had not died.

22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God
will give it thee.

23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.

24 Martha saith unto him, 1 know that he shall rise again in the
resurrection at the last day.

25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life:

28 And she went her way, and called Mary her sister, saying, The
Master is come, and calleth for thee.

29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.

32 When Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at
his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother
had not died.

35 Jesus wept.

36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!

41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid.

43 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.

44 And he that was dead came forth.


It appears that Jesus was a frequent visitor at the home of Mary,
Martha and Lazarus, and felt a strong friendship for them. They lived
in Bethany, two miles from Jerusalem. Many Jews came out from the city
to express their sympathy. Martha did not fully understand Jesus; she
considered him as a prophet who wrought miracles by faith
and prayer in the same manner as the ancient prophets.

The grief of Mary, the tears of the Jews, and his own warm friendship
for the sisters, affected Jesus himself to tears and groans. In
appealing to Divine power, Jesus wished to show the unbelieving Jews
that his miracles were performed by influence from above and not by the
spirit of evil, to which source they attributed his wonderful works.
Many who were said to witness this miracle did not believe.

After this Jesus again rested at the home of Mary, where she washed
his feet and wiped them with the hair of her head, and then anointed
him with costly spices from an alabaster box. He then went up to
Jerusalem to attend the passover.



John xx.



The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet
dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the
sepulchre.


2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other
disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away
the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the
sepulchre.

4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter,
and came first to the sepulchre.

5 And he stooping down and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying;
yet went he not in.

6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre,
and seeth the linen clothes lie.

7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen
clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the
sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.

9 For as yet they knew not the Scripture, that he must rise again from
the dead.

10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept,
she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre.

12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the
other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

13 And they say unto her, Woman, Why weepest thou? She saith unto
them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they
have laid him.

14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus
standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.

15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou?
She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou
hast borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take
him away.

16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him,
Rabboni, which is to say, Master.

17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my
Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my
Father, and your Father, and to my God, and your God.

18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the
Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.


Mary appears to have arrived at the sepulchre before any of the other
women, and conversed with Jesus. Though the disciples, in visiting the
tomb, saw nothing but cast-off clothes, yet Mary sees and talks with
angels and with Jesus. As usual, the woman is always most ready to
believe miracles and fables, however extravagant and though beyond all
human comprehension. Several women purposed to be at the tomb at sunrise
to embalm the body.

The men who visited the tomb saw no visions; but all the women saw
Jesus and the angels, though the men, who went to the tomb twice, saw
nothing. Mary arrived at the tomb before light, and waited for the
other women; but seeing some one approaching, she supposed he was the
person employed by Joseph to take care of the garden, so asked him what
had been done to him. Though speaking to a supposed stranger, she did
not mention any name. Jesus then called her by name; and his voice and
his address made him known to her. Filled with joy and with amazement,
she called him "Rabboni," which signifies, "teacher." Jesus said unto
her, "Touch me not."

This finishes the consideration of the four Gospels--the direct
recorded words of Jesus upon the question of purity; and all further
references should harmonize, in spirit, with his teachings, and should
be so interpreted, without regard to contrary assertions by learned but
unwise commentators.


E. C. S.



Is it not astonishing that so little is in the New Testament concerning
the mother of Christ? My own opinion is that she was an excellent woman,
and the wife of Joseph, and that Joseph was the actual father of Christ.
I think there can be no reasonable doubt that such was the opinion of
the authors of the original Gospels. Upon any other hypothesis it is
impossible to account for their having given the genealogy of Joseph to
prove that Christ was of the blood of David. The idea that he was the
Son of God, or in any way miraculously produced, was an afterthought,
and is hardly entitled now to serious consideration. The Gospels were
written so long after the death of Christ that very little was known of
him, and substantially nothing of his parents. How is it that not one
word is said about the death of Mary, not one word about the death of
Joseph? How did it happen that Christ did not visit his mother after his
resurrection? The first time he speaks to his mother is when he was
twelve years old. His mother having told him that she and his father had
been seeking him, he replied: "How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not
that I must be about my father's business?" The second time was at the
marriage feast in Cana, when he said to her: "Woman, what have I to do
with thee?" And the third time was at the cross, when "Jesus, seeing his
mother standing by the disciple whom he loved, said to her: 'Woman,
behold thy son;' and to the disciple: 'Behold thy mother.'" And this is
all.

The best thing about the Catholic Church is the deification of Mary;
and yet this is denounced by Protestantism as idolatry. There is
something in the human heart that prompts man to tell his faults more
freely to the mother than to the father. The cruelty of Jehovah is
softened by the mercy of Mary.

Is it not strange that none of the disciples of Christ said any thing
about their parents--that we know absolutely nothing of them? Is there
any evidence that they showed any particular respect even for the
mother of Christ? Mary Magdalene is, in many respects, the tenderest
and most loving character in the New Testament {sic}. According to the
account, her love for Christ knew no abatement, no change--true even in
the hopeless shadow of the cross. Neither did it die with his death.
She waited at the sepulchre; she hastened in the early morning to his
tomb; and yet the only comfort Christ gave to this true and loving soul
lies in these strangely cold and heartless words: "Touch me not."


ANON.





THE BOOK OF ACTS.



Acts v.



But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a
possession.


2 And kept back a part of the price, and brought a certain part, and
laid it at the apostles' feet.

3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to
the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

4 While it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was
it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine
heart? Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

5 And Ananias bearing the words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and
great fear came on all them that heard these things.

6 And the young men arose and carried him out, and buried him.

7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife not
knowing what was done, came in,

8 And Peter answered her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so
much? And she said, Yea, for so much.

9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to
tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of them which have
buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.

10 Then she fell down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost.


This book is supposed to have been written by Luke about thirty years
after the death of Jesus, as all appendix to the Evangelists. It
contains brief mention of a few women of varied characters and
fortunes. We have the usual number afflicted with religious mysteries,
with the gift of prophecy, and some possessed of the devil, who
promptly comes forth at the commands of Jesus and of his Apostles.

The case of Ananias and Sapphira was very peculiar. This example was
made, not of avowed enemies, but avowed friends. Many expositors say
that Ananias had made a vow to give his estate for the support of the
Christian cause, and that sacrilege was the crime for which he was
punished. He had, from corrupt motives, attempted to impose upon the
Apostles in pretending to give all that he had to the church, while
withholding a good share for himself. He had evidently instructed his
wife to substantiate his assertions. Obedience of one responsible being
to another may ofttimes prove dangerous, even if the command comes from
a husband.



Acts ix.



36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by
interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and
alms-deeds.

37 And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick and died.

38 And as Lydda was night to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that
Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him to come to
them.

39 Then Peter arose and went with them, and they brought him into the
upper chamber, and all the widows stood weeping, and shewing the
garments which Dorcas made.

40 But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and
turning him to the body said, Tabitha, rise. And she opened her eyes:
and when she saw Peter, she sat up.

41 And when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive.


Tabitha was called by this name among the Jews; but she was known to
the Greeks as Dorcas. She was considered an ornament to her Christian
profession; for she so abounded in good works and alms-deeds that her
whole life was devoted to the wants and the needs of the poor. She not
only gave away her substance, but she employed her time and her skill
in laboring constantly for the poor and the unfortunate. Her death was
looked upon as a public calamity. This is the first instance of any
Apostle performing a miracle of this kind. There was no witness to this
miracle. What men teach in their high places, such women as Dorcas
illustrate in their lives.



Acts xii.



12 And he came into the house of Mary the mother of John, whose
surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying.

13 And as Peter knocked at the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named
Rhoda.

14 And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for
gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate.

15 And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed
that it was even so. Then they said, It is an angel.

16 But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door,
and saw him, they were astonished.

17 But he declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the
prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the
brethren.


Herod the king, at this time, killed James, the brother of John, and
cast Peter into prison, and intended to destroy the other Apostles as
soon as he could entrap them. Peter, it is said, escaped from prison by
the miraculous interposition of an angel, who led him to the gate of
one Mary, the sister of Barnabas, where Christians often assembled for
religious worship. Although they often prayed for Peter's deliverance;
they could not believe Rhoda when she said that
Peter stood knocking at the gate.



Acts xvi.



14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of
Thyatira, which worshiped God, heard us; whose heart the Lord opened
unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us,
saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my
house, and abide there.

16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel
possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters
much gain by soothsaying:

17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the
servants of the most high God.

18 And this did she many days. But Paul said to the spirit, I command
thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out
the same hour.

19 And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone,
they caught Paul and Silas,

20 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, these men, being Jews,
do exceedingly trouble our city.

22 And the multitude rose up against them; and the magistrates rent
off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.

23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into
prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely.


Lydia, a native Thyatiran, who at this time resided at Philippi, was a
merchant who trafficked in purple clothes, which were held in great
estimation. She was a Gentile, but was proselyted to the Jewish
religion, believed in the teachings of Paul and was baptized with her
household. She was a person in affluent circumstances; and being of a
generous disposition, was very hospitable. As the Apostles were poorly
accommodated elsewhere, she entertained them in her own house.

The Apostles and their friends on their way to the oratory, where they
went to worship, were met by a female slave who was possessed with a
spirit of divination and uttered ambiguous predictions. She had
acquired great reputation as an oracle or fortune-teller and for making
wonderful discoveries. By this practice she brought her masters
considerable gain and was very valuable to them. When Paul cast out the
evil spirit and restored the maiden to her normal condition of body and
mind, her master was full of wrath, as she was no longer of any value
to him; and he accused Paul before the magistrates. The people were all
stirred with indignation; so they stripped Paul and Silas, scourged
them severely; and, without trial, the magistrates threw them into
prison.



Acts xviii.



After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;


2 And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come
from Italy, with his wife Priscilla, (because that Claudius had
commanded all Jews to depart from Rome,)

3 And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and
wrought: (for by their occupation they were tentmakers).

18 And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took
his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him
Priscilla and Aquila;

24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent
man, and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus.

25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent
in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord,
knowing only the baptism of John.

26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and
Priscilla had heard, they took him and expounded the way of God more
perfectly.


It was an excellent custom of those days for educated people to be
also instructed in some mechanical trade. This served them as an
amusement in prosperity, and was a certain resource in case other
prospects failed. Thus Paul was now prepared to support himself in an
emergency. He was frequently compelled to work with his hands to
provide for his own necessities.

Apollos was a native of Alexandria, in Egypt, a ready and graceful
speaker, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. Coming to
Ephesus, he boldly preached in the synagogue in the presence of Aquila
and of Priscilla; and they seeing his ability, zeal and piety, said
nothing to his disadvantage, though they perceived that his views of
the Christian doctrines were very imperfect. So they sought his
acquaintance and instructed him more fully in the gospel of Jesus. He,
with great humility, received their instructions, for he had never been
much among Christians; and no one knew when or by whom he was baptized.



Acts xxi.



8 And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came
unto Cesarea, and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist,
which was one of the seven; and abode with him.

9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.


Philip, one of the seven deacons in Cesarea, was also an Evangelist, and
had the peculiar honor of having four daughters, all endowed with the
gift of prophecy; and perhaps they gave intimations to Paul of his
approaching trials. With Philip's four daughters, all endowed with the
spirit of prophecy, and Priscilla as a teacher of great principles to
the orators of her time, and one of Paul's chosen travelling companions,
women are quite highly honored in the Book of Acts, if we except the
tragedy of the unfortunate wife who obeyed her husband.



Acts xxiv.



24 And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla,
which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the
faith in Christ.

25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to
come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I
have a convenient season, I will call for thee.


Drusilla was a daughter of that Herod who beheaded James, the brother
of John, and sister to King Agrippa. She was married to the king of the
Emerines, Azizas; but she left her husband and went to live with Felix.
He and Drusilla were curious to hear more authentic accounts of Jesus
and his doctrines. They do not seem to have been much impressed with
the purity of his teachings. Their curiosity did not arise from a love
of the truth, nor from a desire for a higher, better life, but was a
mere curiosity, for which it is probable that Felix was responsible, as
Drusilla doubtless asked her husband at home all she desired to know.


E. C. S.



The Rev. Dr. Edwin Hatch expresses the latest decision of historical
theology concerning Paul, in frankly confessing: "His life at Rome and
all the rest of his history are enveloped in mists from which no single
gleam of certain light emerges. . . . The place and occasion of his
death are not less uncertain than are the facts of his later life. . .
The chronology of the rest of his life is as uncertain as the date of
his death. We have no means of knowing when he was born, or how long he
lived, or at what date the several events of his life took place."
Exactly the same may be said of Peter. The strongest probability is
that Paul and Peter were two obscure men who lived in the latter part
of the first, or beginning of the second century, neither of whom could
have seen the first century Jesus. It can easily be shown that the
Christian Church admitted women into her regularly ordained ministry
during the first two hundred years of Christianity. Whether Bishop
Doane is ignorant of this fact, or whether he is merely presuming upon
women's ignorance thereof, it is impossible to say. But one thing is
clear, and that is, that the time has arrived when all women should be
informed of the true status of their sex in the ministry of the
primitive Church.

The first important truth for them to learn concerning the question is
that there is a missing link of some five hundred years between the
close of that body of literature known to us as the "Old Testament" and
the compilation of that collection of letters, narratives, etc., now
presented to us as the "New Testament." Girls of Christian families are
commonly inoculated in their ignorant, and therefore helplessly
credulous youth, with unquestioning belief that the New Testament was
written in the first century of our era, by disciples who were
contemporary with Jesus, and that Peter and Paul were first century
Christians, the former of whom had personally known and followed Jesus,
while the latter was a convert from Judaism after Jesus' death, never
having seen the teacher himself.

Yet he is, indeed, a very ignorant ecclesiastic, who to-day is not
perfectly well aware that the above belief is pure theory, resting on
nothing more stable than vague conjecture, irresponsible tradition, and
slowly evolving fable. Among scholarly Christian theologians no
questions are now more unsettled than are the queries: Who wrote the
Gospels? In which of the first three centuries did they assume their
present shape? And at what time did Peter and Paul live and quarrel
with each other concerning Christian polity?

As for the passages now found in the New Testament epistles of Paul,
concerning women's non-equality with men and duty of subjection, there
is no room to doubt that they are bare-faced forgeries, interpolated by
unscrupulous bishops, during the early period in which a combined and
determined effort was made to reduce women to silent submission, not
only in the Church, but also in the home and in the State. A most
laudably intended attempt to excuse Paul for the inexcusable passages
attributed to his authorship has been made by a clergyman, who,
accepting them as genuine Pauline utterances, endeavors to show that
they were meant to apply, only to Greek female converts, natives of
Corinth, and that the command to cover the head and to keep silent in
public was warranted, both because veiling the head and face was a
Grecian custom, and because the women of Corinth were of notoriously
bad character. In support of this theory our modern apologist quotes
the testimony of numerous writers of antiquity who denounced Corinthian
profligacy. But, setting aside the fact that the men of Corinth must
always have been, at least, as bad as the women, and that a sorry case
would be made out for Paul, if it were on the score of morals that he
ordered Greek women to subject themselves to such men, there are yet
two serious impediments in the way of this theory. In the first place,
that wealthy and luxurious Corinth to which the writers quoted refer,
was no longer in existence in Paul's time; 146 B. C. it was conquered
by the Romans, who killed the men, carried the women and children into
slavery, and levelled the dwellings to the ground. For a whole century
the site of the once famous city remained a desolate waste, but about
46 B. C. it was colonized by some Roman immigrants, and a Romanized
city, with Roman customs, it was when Paul knew it. Now, not only did
the Roman women go unveiled, mingling freely in all public places with
men (a fact which Paul, as citizen of a Roman province must have
known), but Paul specially commends the Greek woman, Phebe, whom he
endorses as minister of the Church in the Greek city, Cenchrea (a
seaport within a few miles of Corinth), and in Acts, chapter 17, we are
explicitly told that the Greek converts made by Paul, in Greece, were
"chief women," "honorable women."

This is sufficient refutation of the argument of the clergyman who
strives to clear the character of Paul at the expense of the character
of the women of Corinth.


E. B. D.





EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS.



Romans xvi.



I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church
which is at Cenchrea:


2 That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye
assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you; for she hath
been a succourer of many, and of myself also.

3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my helpers in Christ Jesus:

4 Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I
give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.

6 Greet Mary, who bestowed much labor on us.

12 Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the
beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord.

13 Salute Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, and mine.

15 Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas,
and all the saints which are with them.


Cenchrea was the seaport of Corinth, where a separate church was
founded. Phebe was a deaconess, and was probably employed in visiting
the sick and in teaching the women in the doctrines of the Church. She
appears to have been a woman in good circumstances, and probably had
more than ordinary intelligence and education. Even Paul acknowledged
himself under great obligations to her. Aquila and Priscilla had risked
their lives in protecting the Apostles at Corinth and Ephesus. So Paul
sent his affectionate salutations and good wishes to all the women who
had helped to build up the churches and spread the Gospel of
Christianity.

In good works men have always found a reserved force in the women of
their generation. Paul seems to have been specially mindful of all who
had received and hospitably entertained him. The men of our times have
been equally thankful to women for serving them, for hospitable
entertainment, generous donations to the priest hood, lifting church
debts, etc., and are equally ready to remand them to their "divinely
appointed sphere," whenever women claim an equal voice in church creeds
and discipline. Then the Marys, the Phebes, and the Priscillas are
ordered to keep silence and to discuss all questions with their
husbands at home, taking it for granted that all men are logical and
wise.


E. C. S.



Martin Luther had good cause to declare: "There is something in the
office of a bishop which is dreadfully demoralizing. Even good men
change their natures at consecration; Satan enters into them, as he
entered into Judas, as soon as they have taken the sop." But to return
to the primitive Church, a famous Apostle of that simple era was
Priscilla, a Jewess, who was one of the theological instructors of
Apollos (the fellow-minister, or fellow-servant, to whom Paul refers in
his first letter to the Corinthians). There is strong reason to believe
that the Apostle Priscilla, in co-operation with her husband, the
Apostle Aquila, performed the important task of founding the Church of
Rome: for Paul, writing to the Christians, admits that he himself has
not yet visited that city; there is no proof whatever that Peter ever
went to Rome at all (but, on the contrary, much proof that he wished to
confine Christianity to Jewish converts); and yet Paul, hailing
Priscilla by the current term which specially active Apostles and
bishops used in addressing other specially active workers in the
Apostolate, "Helper in Christ Jesus," eulogizes her as one known,
gratefully, by "all the churches of the Gentiles," and recognizes a
Church of Rome as established in Priscilla's own house (see Paul's
letter to the Romans, chapter 16). It is highly probable that that was
the tiny acorn from which has grown the present great oak--the Roman
Catholic Church,--which would profit much by more remembrance and
imitation of the modest and undogmatic women who helped to give it
being and who nursed it through its infancy.

The inability of modern men to comprehend the position of women in the
primitive Church, is strikingly shown in Chalmers' commentary on the
fact that Paul used exactly the same title in addressing Priscilla that
he uses in greeting Urbane, Although conceding that Priscilla had
shared the work of an Apostle in teaching Apollos "the way of God more
perfectly," and, although he knows nothing whatever of Urbane's work,
yet Chalmers unhesitatingly concludes that Urbane's help to Paul must
have been in things spiritual, but that Priscilla's must have been in
regard to things temporal only: and, as Aquila and Priscilla were an
inseparable couple, poor Aquila, too, is relegated to Priscilla's
assumedly inferior position! There is not, however, the slightest
reason for such a conclusion by Chalmers. It is manifestly due to the
modern prejudice which renders the Paul-worshipping male Protestants
incapable of comprehending that "Our Great Apostle," Paul, was as not a
great Apostle at all, in those days, but a simple, self-sent tent-maker
with a vigorous spirit, who gladly shared the "Apostolic dignity" with
all the good women he could rally to his assistance. Chalmers
conjectures that if Priscilla really did help Paul, it must have been
as "a teacher of women and children," even while the fact stares him in
the face that she was a recognized teacher of the man whom Paul
specially and emphatically pronounces his own equal. (Compare Acts,
chap. 18, V. 26, with 1st Cor., chap. 3.)

To one who uses unbiassed common sense in regard to the New Testament
records, there can be no question of women's activity and prominence in
the early ministry. Paul not only virtually pronounces Priscilla a
fellow-Apostle and fellow-bishop (Romans, chap. 16, verses 3-5), but
specially commends Phebe, a Greek woman, as a minister (diakonos),
which, as we have seen, may be legitimately interpreted either
presbyter, bishop, or Apostle. That it was well understood, throughout
the whole Church, that women had shared the labors of the Apostles, is
evidenced by Chrysostom's specific eulogy thereupon. Phebe was the
bishop of the Church in Cenchrea, and that she was both a powerful and
useful overseer in the episcopate, Paul testifies in affirming that she
had not only been a helper to him, but to many others also. (Romans,
chap. 16, verses 1-2.) Addressing that first Church of Rome (which was
in the house of Priscilla and Aquila before Paul, or Peter, or the
barely-mentioned Linus, are heard of in Rome), Paul indicates the
equality of male and female Apostles by mentioning in one and the same
category Priscilla and Aquila, Andronicus and Junia, Mary, "who
bestowed much labor among you," Amphis, Urbane, Tryphena and Tryphosa,
Persis, Julia, Rufus and Hermas.


E. B. D.





EPISTLES TO THE CORINTHIANS.



1 Corinthians vii.



2 Let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own
husband.

3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise
also the wife unto the husband.

10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not
the wife depart from her husband:

11 But if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to
her husband, and let not the husband put away his wife.

12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife
that believeth not: and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not
put her away.

13 And the woman which hath a husband that believeth not, and if he be
pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the
unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children
unclean: but now are they holy.

16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband?
or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?


The people appear to have been specially anxious to know what The
Christian idea was in regard to the question of marriage. The
Pythagoreans taught that marriage is unfavorable to high intellectual
development. On the other hand, the Pharisees taught that it is sinful
for a man to live unmarried beyond his twentieth year. 'The Apostles
allowed that in many cases it might be wise for a man to live
unmarried, as he could be more useful to others, provided that he were
able to live with that entire chastity which the single life required.

The Apostle says that Christians should not marry unbelievers, but if
either should change his or her opinions after, he would not advise
separation, as they might sanctify each other. Scott thinks that the
children are no more holy with one unbelieving parent, than when both
are unbelieving; and he has not much faith in their sanctifying each
other, except in a real change of faith. A union with an unbeliever
would occasion grief and trouble, yet that ought patiently to be
endured, for God might make use of the unbelieving wife or husband as
an instrument in converting the other by affectionate and
conscientious behavior; as this might not be the case, there is no
reason to oppose the dissolution of the marriage.

There are no restrictions in the Scriptures on divorced persons
marrying again, though many improvised by human laws are spoken of as
in the Bible.


E. C. S.



In this chapter Paul laments that all men are not bachelors like
himself; and in the second verse of that chapter he gives the only
reason for which he was willing that men and women should marry. He
advised all the unmarried and all widows to remain as he was. Paul sums
up the whole matter, however, by telling those who have wives or
husbands to stay with them--as necessary evils only to be tolerated;
but sincerely regrets that anybody was ever married, and finally says
that, "they that have wives should be as though they had none;"
because, in his opinion, "he that is unmarried careth for the things
that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but he that is
married careth for the things that are of the world, how he please his
wife."

"There is this difference, also," he tells us, "between a wife and a
virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she
may be holy both in body and spirit; but she that is married careth for
the things of the world, how she may please her husband." Of course, it
is contended that these things have tended to the elevation of woman.
The idea that it is better to love the Lord than to love your wife or
husband is infinitely absurd. Nobody ever did love the Lord--nobody
can--until he becomes acquainted with him.

Saint Paul also tells us that "man is the image and glory of God; but
woman is the glory of man." And, for the purpose of sustaining this
position, he says: "For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of
the man; neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for
the man." Of course we can all see that man could have gotten along
well enough without woman. And yet this is called "inspired!" and this
Apostle Paul is supposed to have known more than all the people now
upon the earth. No wonder Paul at last
was constrained to say: "We are fools for Christ's sake."


ANON.



1 Corinthians xi.



3 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.

4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered,
dishonoureth his head.

5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered
dishonoureth her head.

7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the
image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.

9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of
the angels.

11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the
woman without the man, in the Lord.

13 judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God
uncovered?

14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long
hair, it is a shame unto him?

15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair
is given her for a covering.


According to the custom of those days a veil on the head was a token
of respect to superiors; hence for a woman to lay aside her veil was to
affect authority over the man. The shaving of the head was a
disgraceful punishment inflicted on women of bad repute; it not only
deprived them of a great beauty, but also of the badge of virtue and
honor.

Though these directions appear to be very frivolous, even for those
times, they are much more so for our stage of civilization. Yet the
same customs prevail in our day and are enforced by the Church, as of
vital consequence; their non-observance so irreligious that it would
exclude a woman from the church. It is not a mere social fashion that
allows men to sit in church with their heads uncovered and women with
theirs covered, but a requirement of canon law of vital significance,
showing the superiority, the authority, the headship of man, and the
humility and the subservience of woman. The aristocracy in social life
requires the same badge of respect of all female servants. In Europe
they uniformly wear caps, and in many families in America, though under
protest after learning its significance.

It is certainly high time that educated women in a Republic should
rebel against a custom based on the supposition of their heaven-
ordained subjection. Jesus is always represented as having long,
curling hair, and so is the Trinity. Imagine a painting of these Gods
all with clipped hair. Flowing robes and beautiful hair add greatly to
the beauty and dignity of their pictures.


E. C. S.



The injunctions of St. Paul have had such a decided influence in
fixing the legal status of women, that it is worth our while to
consider their source. In dealing with this question we must never
forget that the majority of the writings of the New Testament were not
really written or published by those whose names they bear. Ancient
writers considered it quite permissible for a man to put out letters
under the name of another, and thus to bring his own ideas before the
world under the protection of an honored sponsor. It is not usually
claimed that St. Paul was the originator of the great religious
movement called Christianity; but there is a strong belief that he was
Divinely inspired. His inward persuasions, and especially his visions,
appeared as a gift or endowment which had the force of inspiration;
therefore, his mandates concerning women have a strong hold upon the
popular mind; and when opponents to the equality of the sexes are put
to bay, they glibly quote his injunctions.

We congratulate ourselves that we may shift some of these Biblical,
arguments that have such a sinister effect from their firm foundation.
He who claims to give a message must satisfy us that he has himself
received such a message. The origin of the command that women should
cover their heads is found in an old Jewish or Hebrew legend which
appears in literature for the first time in Genesis vi. There we are
told that the sons of God, that is, the angels, took to wives the
daughters of men, and begat the giants and the heroes who were
instrumental in bringing about the flood. The Rabbins held that the way
in which the angels got possession of women was by laying hold of their
hair; they accordingly warned women to cover their heads in public so
that the angels might not get possession of
them.

Paul merely repeats this warning, which he must often have heard at
the feet of Gamaliel, who was at that time prince or president of the
Sanhedrim, telling women to have a power (that is, protection) on their
heads because of the angels: "For this cause ought the woman to have
power on her head because of the angels." Thus the command had its
origin in an absurd old myth. This legend will be found fully treated
in a German pamphlet, "Die Paulinische Angelologie und Daemonologie."
Otto Everling, Gottingen, 1883.

If the command to keep silence in the churches has no higher origin
than that to keep covered in public, should so much weight be given it,
or should it be so often quoted as having Divine sanction?


L. S.



1 Corinthians xiv.



34 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.

35 And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at
home: for it is a shame for woman to speak in the church.

The church at Corinth was peculiarly given to diversion and to
disputation; and women were apt to join in and to ask many troublesome
questions; hence they were advised to consult their husbands at home.
The Apostle took it for granted that all men were wise enough to give
to women the necessary information on all subjects. Others, again,
advise wives never to discuss knotty points with their husbands; for if
they should chance to differ from each other, that fact might give rise
to much domestic infelicity. There is such a wide difference of opinion
on this point among wise men, that perhaps it would be as safe to leave
women to be guided by their own unassisted common sense.


E. C. S.





EPISTLES TO THE EPHESIANS AND PHILLIPPIANS.



Ephesians v.



22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head
of the church.

24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be
to their own husbands in every thing.

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church,
and gave himself for it;

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that
loveth his wife loveth himself.

31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall
be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

33 Nevertheless, let every one of you in particular so love his wife
even as himself: and the wife see that she reverence her husband.


If every man were as pure and as self-sacrificing as Jesus is said to
have been in his relations to the Church, respect, honor and obedience
from the wife might be more easily rendered. Let every man love his
wife (not wives) points to monogamic marriage. It is quite natural for
women to love and to honor good men, and to return a full measure of
love on husbands who bestow much kindness and attention on them; but it
is not easy to love those who treat us spitefully in any relation,
except as mothers; their love triumphs over all shortcomings and
disappointments. Occasionally conjugal love combines that of the
mother. Then the kindness and the forbearance of a wife may surpass all
understanding.



Phillippians iv.



2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same
mind in the Lord.

3 And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which
laboured with me in the Gospel, with Clement also, and with other my
fellow-laborers, whose names are in the book of life.

There were women of note at Phillippi who disagreed and caused
divisions in the Church. The Apostle therefore entreated them to make
mutual concessions for the welfare of the Church. The yokefellow
referred to was supposed by some to have been the husband of one of the
women, while others think that he was some eminent minister. But such
mention by the Apostle must have been highly appreciated by any man or
woman for whom it was intended.


E. C. S.





EPISTLES TO TIMOTHY.


CHAPTER I.



1 Timothy ii.



9 In like manner, also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel,
with shamefacedness and sobriety: not with braided hair, or gold, or
pearls, or costly array:

10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the
man, but to be in silence.

13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the
transgression.


The Apostle Paul, though older than Timothy, had travelled much with
him, and was at one time imprisoned with him in Rome. Paul had
converted Timothy to the faith and watched over him as a father. He
often speaks of him as my son, and was peculiarly beloved by him. When
Paul was driven from Ephesus he wrote this epistle to Timothy for his
direction.

It is perhaps not fair to judge Paul by the strict letter of the word.
We are not well informed of the habits of women in his time in regard
to personal adornment. What Paul means by "modest apparel" (supposing
the translation to be correct), we may not precisely understand. Paul
speaks especially of "braided hair." In his time Paul evidently
considered as of account the extreme susceptibility of his sex to the
effect of the garb and adornment of women.

The Apostles all appeared to be much exercised by the ornaments and
the braided hair of the women. While they insisted that women should
wear long hair, they objected to having it braided lest the beautiful
coils should be too attractive to men. But women had other reasons for
braiding their hair beside attracting men. A compact braid was much
more comfortable than individual hairs free to be blown about with
every breeze.

It appears very trifling for men, commissioned to do so great a work
on earth, to give so much thought to the toilets of women. Ordering the
men to have their heads shaved and hair cropped, while the women were
to have their locks hanging around their shoulders, looks as if they
feared that the sexes were not distinguishable and that they must
finish Nature's work. Woman's braids and ornaments had a deeper
significance than the Apostles seem to have understood. Her necessities
compelled her to look to man for sup port and protection, hence her
efforts to make herself attractive are not prompted by feminine vanity,
but the economic conditions of civilization.


E. C. S.



The injunction that women should adorn themselves through good works
was sensible. The Apostle did not imply that this adornment was not
already possessed by women. Neither did he testify that the generations
of men, of Prophets and of Apostles had been objects of the good works
and all the ministrations of self-abnegation, which are required only
of the mothers of men. Comparatively few women, who have fulfilled the
special function which man assigns to them as their chief duty in life,
lack the adornment of good works. In addition to these good works of
motherhood in the family, woman has ministered to the necessities and
the comfort of the sick, the feeble and the poor, through the centuries.

Could Paul have looked down to the nineteenth century with clairvoyant
vision and beheld the good works of a Lucretia Mott, a Florence
Nightingale, a Dorothea Dix and Clara Barton, not to mention a host of
faithful mothers, he might, perhaps, have been less anxious about the
apparel and the manners of his converts. Could he have foreseen a
Margaret Fuller, a Maria Mitchell, or an Emma Willard, possibly he
might have suspected that sex does not determine the capacity of the
individual. Or, could he have had a vision of the public school system
of this Republic, and witnessed the fact that a large proportion of the
teachers are women, it is possible that he might have hesitated to
utter so tyrannical an edict: "But I permit not a woman to teach."

Had the Apostle enjoined upon women to do good works without envy or
jealousy, it would have had the weight and the wisdom of a Divine
command. But that, from the earliest record of human events, woman
should have been condemned and punished for trying to get knowledge,
and forbidden to impart what she has learned, is the most unaccountable
peculiarity of masculine wisdom. After cherishing and nursing helpless.
infancy, the most necessary qualification of motherhood is that of
teaching. If it is contrary to the perfect operation of human
development that woman should teach, the infinite and all wise
directing power of the universe has blundered. It cannot be admitted
that Paul was inspired by infinite wisdom in this utterance. This was
evidently the unilluminated utterance of Paul, the man, biassed by
prejudice. But, it may be claimed that this edict referred especially
to teaching in religious assemblies. It is strikingly inconsistent that
Paul, who had proclaimed the broadest definition of human souls, "There
is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, male or female, but ye are one
in Christ Jesus," as the Christian idea, should have commanded the
subjection of woman, and silence as essential to her proper sphere in
the Church.

It is not a decade since a manifesto was issued by a religious
convention bewailing the fact that woman is not only seeking to control
her property, but claiming the right of the wife to control her person!
This seems to be as great an offence to ecclesiasticism in this hour
and this land of boasted freedom, as it was to Paul in Judea nineteen
centuries ago. But the "new man," as well as the "new woman," is here.
He is inspired by the Divine truth that woman is to contribute to the
redemption of the race by free and enlightened motherhood. He is
proving his fitness to be her companion by achieving the greatest of
all victories--victory over himself. The new humanity is to be born of
this higher manhood and emancipated womanhood. Then it will be possible
for motherhood to "continue in sanctification."

The doctrine of woman the origin of sin, and her subjection in
consequence, planted in the early Christian Church by Paul, has been a
poisonous stream in Church and in State. It has debased marriage and
made both canon and civil law a monstrous oppression to woman. M.
Renan sums up concisely a mighty truth in the following words: "The
writings of Paul have been a danger and a hidden rock--the causes of
the principal defects of Christian theology." His teachings about woman
are no longer a hidden rock, however, for, in the light of science, it
is disclosed to all truth seeking Minds. How much satisfaction it would
have been to the mothers adown the centuries, had there been a
testimony by Mary and Elizabeth recording their experiences of
motherhood. Not a statement by them, nor one about them, except what
man wrote.

Under church law, woman's property, time and services were all at the
husband's disposal. Woman was not rescued from slavery by the
Reformation. Luther's ninety-five theses, nailed upon the church door
in Wittenberg, did not assert woman's natural or religious equality
with man. It was a maxim of his that "no gown worse becomes a woman,
than that she should be wise." A curious old black letter volume,
published in London in 1632, declares that "the reason why women have
no control in parliament, why they make no laws, consent to none,
abrogate none, is their original sin." The trial of Mrs. Anne
Hutchinson, in the seventeenth century, was chiefly for the sin of
having taught men.

To-day, in free America, a wife cannot collect damages for injury to
her person by a municipality. Legally her husband owns her person; and
he alone can collect damages if the wife is injured by any defect or
mishap for which the administration of the municipality is responsible.
This was tested in the Court of Appeals in New York in 1890. The judges
decided that "the time and the services of the wife belong to the
husband, and if she has received wages from him it was a gift." Thus
the spirit and the intent of the church law to make the wife a servant
of the husband, subject to and controlled by him, and engrafted in
common law, is a part of statute law operative in these United States
to-day. Blackstone admits the outgrowth of common law from canon law,
in saying: "Whoever wishes to gain insight into that great institution,
common law, can do so most efficiently by studying canon law in regard
to married women."

Jesus is not recorded as having uttered any similar claim that woman
should be subject to man, or that in teaching she would be a
usurper. The dominion of woman over man or of man over woman makes no
part of the sayings of the Nazarene. He spoke to the individual soul,
not recognizing sex as a quality of spiritual life, or as determining
the sphere of action of either man or woman.

Stevens, in his "Pauline Theology," says: "Paul has been read as if he
had written in the nineteenth century, or, more commonly, as if he had
written in the fifth or seventeenth, as if his writings had no
peculiarities arising from his own time, education and mental
constitution." Down these nineteen centuries in a portion of the
Christian Church the contempt for woman which Paul projected into
Christianity has been perpetuated. The Protestant Evangelical Church
still refuses to place her on an equality with man.

Although Paul said: "Neither is the man without the woman nor the
woman without the man in the Lord," he taught also that the male alone
is in the image of God. "For a man ought not to have his head veiled
forasmuch as he is the image of God; but the woman is the glory of
man." Thus he carried the spirit of the Talmud, "aggravated and
re-enforced," into Christianity, represented by the following appointed
daily prayer for pious Jews: "Blessed art thou, O Lord, that thou hast
not made me a Gentile, an idiot nor a woman." Paul exhibits fairness in
giving reasons for his peremptory mandate. "For Adam was first formed,
then Eve," he says. This appears to be a weak statement for the higher
position of man. If male man is first in station and authority, is
superior because of priority of formation, what is his relation to
"whales and every living creature that moveth which the waters bring
forth, and every winged fowl after his kind," which were formed before
him?

And again, "Adam was not beguiled, but, the woman being beguiled, hath
fallen into transgression." There was then already existing the
beguiling agency. The transgression of Eve was in listening to this
existing source of error, which, in the allegory, is styled "the most
subtle beast of the field which the Lord God hath made." Woman did not
bring this subtle agency into activity. She was not therefore the
author of sin, as has been charged. She was tempted by her desire for
the knowledge which would enable her to distinguish between good and
evil. According to this story, woman led the race out of the ignorance
of innocence into the truth. Calvin, the commentator, says: "Adam did
not fall into error, but was overcome by the allurements of his wife."
It is singular that the man, who was "first formed," and therefore
superior, and to whom only God has committed the office of teaching,
not only was not susceptible to the temptation to acquire knowledge,
but should have been the weak creature who was "overcome by the
allurements of his wife."

But the story of the fall and all cognate myths and parables are far
older and more universal than the ordinary reader of the Bible supposes
them to be. The Bible itself in its Hebrew form is a comparatively
recent compilation and adaptation of mysteries, the chief scenes of
which were sculptured on temple walls and written or painted on papyri,
ages before the time of Moses. History tells us, moreover, that the
Book of Genesis, as it now stands, is the work not even of Moses, but
of Ezra or Esdras, who lived at the time of the captivity, between five
hundred and six hundred years before our era, and that he recovered it
and other writings by the process of intuitional memory. "My heart," he
says, "uttered understanding, and wisdom grew in my breast; for the
spirit strengthened my memory."

With regard to the particular myth of the fall, the walls of ancient
Thebes, Elphantine, Edfou and Karnak bear evidence that long before
Moses taught, and certainly ages before Esdras wrote, its acts and
symbols were embodied in the religious ceremonials of the people, of
whom, according to Manetho, Moses was himself a priest. And the whole
history of the fall of man is, says Sharpe, in a work on Egypt, "of
Egyptian origin. The temptation of the woman by the serpent, the man by
the woman, the sacred tree of knowledge, the cherubs guarding with
flaming swords the door of the garden, the warfare declared between the
woman and the serpent, may all be seen upon the Egyptian sculptured
monuments."

This symbology signifies a deeper meaning than a material garden, a
material apple, a tree and a snake. It is the relation of the soul or
feminine part of man, "his living mother," to the physical and external
man of sense. The temptation of woman brought the soul into the
limitations of matter, of the physical. The soul derives its life from
spirit, the eternal substance, God. Knowledge, through intellect alone,
is of the limitation of flesh and sense. Intuition, the feminine part
of reason, is the higher light. If the soul, the feminine part of man,
is turned toward God, humanity is saved from the dissipations and the
perversions of sensuality. Humanity is not alone dual in the two forms,
male and female, but every soul is dual. The more perfect the balance
in the individual of masculine and feminine, the more perfect the man
or the woman. The masculine represents force, the feminine love. "Force
without love can but work evil until it is spent."

Paul evidently was not learned in Egyptian lore. He did not recognize
the esoteric meaning of the parable of the fall. To him it was a
literal fact, apparently, and Eve was to be to all womankind the
transmitter of a "curse" in maternity. We know that down to the very
recent date of the introduction of anesthetics the idea prevailed that
travail pains are the result of, and punishment for, the transgression
of Mother Eve. It was claimed that it was wrong to attempt to remove
"the curse" from woman, by mitigating her suffering in that hour of
peril and of agony.

Whatever Paul may mean, it is a fact that the women of our aboriginal
tribes, whose living was natural and healthful, who were not enervated
by civilized customs, were not subject to the sufferings of civilized
women. And it has been proven by the civilized woman that a strict
observance of hygienic conditions of dress, of diet, and the mode of
life, reduces the pangs of parturition. Painless child-bearing is a
physiological problem; and "the curse" has never borne upon the woman
whose life had been in strict accord with the laws of life. Science has
come to the rescue of humanity, in the recognition of the truth, that
the advancement as well as the conservation of the race is through the
female. The great Apostle left no evidence that he apprehended this
fact. His audacity was sublime; but it was the audacity of ignorance.

No more stupendous demonstration of the power of thought can be
imagined, than is illustrated in the customs of the Church for
centuries, when in the general canons were found that "No woman may
approach the altar," "A woman may not baptize without extreme
necessity," "Woman may not receive the eucharist under a black veil."
Under canon 81 she was forbidden to write in her own name to lay
Christians, but only in the name of her husband; and women were not to
receive letters of friendship from any one addressed to themselves.
Canon law, framed by the priesthood, compiled as early as the ninth
century, has come down in effect to the nineteenth, making woman
subordinate in civil law. Under canon law, wives were deprived of the
control of both person and property. Canon law created marriage a
sacrament "to be performed at the church door," in order to make it a
source of revenue to the Church. Marriage, however, was reckoned too
sinful "to be allowed for many years to take place within the sacred
building consecrated to God, and deemed too holy to permit the entrance
of a woman within its sacred walls at certain periods of her life."


L. B. C.





CHAPTER II.



1 Timothy iii.



2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant,
sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but
patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

4 One that ruleth well in his own house, having his children in
subjection with all gravity:

5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take
care of the church of God?)

8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given to
much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre.

11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful
in all things.

12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children
and their own houses well.


In this chapter the advice of the Apostle in regard to the overseer or
bishop is unexceptionable. The first injunction that relates to woman
is, that the bishop must be the husband of one wife. Under the present
ideas of Christendom, the inference naturally is that the bishop was
enjoined to be the husband of but one wife. If, as appears probable,
this was an injunction in favor of monogamy, it was a true and
progressive idea established with the foundation of the Christian
Church.

Deacons also are instructed to be the husbands of one wife. "Women in
like manner must be grave, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all
things." It is not clear whether this is spoken for the direction of
women in general in the Church, or for the wives of deacons. The
advice, however, is equally good for either class. The word "sober" in
the old version is rendered "temperate" in the new one. Whether women
in those days were liable to take too much wine does not appear. But
nowhere in the Old or the New Testaments is there an account of
drunkenness by women.

The directions for the conduct of the bishop are explicit. He is to be
"gentle, not contentious," which sets aside much that distinguishes the
masculine nature. In fact, with the exception of the qualification
"apt to teach," before forbidden, the entire list of the necessary
qualities of a bishop is that of womanly characteristics. Temperate,
sober-minded (i. e., not given to trifling speech), orderly, given to
hospitality, no brawler, no striker (this supposedly refers to
pugilistic tendencies), but gentle, not contentious. Every
qualification is essentially womanly.


1 Timothy v.

3 Honour widows that are widows indeed.

4 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to
shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and
acceptable before God.

5 Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God,

6 But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.

8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his
own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an Infidel.

9 Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years,
having been the wife of one man.

10 Well reported of for her good works; if she have brought up
children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints'
feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently
followed every good work.

11 But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax
wanton against Christ, they will marry;

12 Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith.

13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to
house; and not only idle, but tattlers also, and busybodies, speaking
things which they ought not.

14 I will therefore that the Younger women marry, bear children, guide
the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

15 For some are already turned aside after Satan,

16 If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve
them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that
are widows indeed.


No one can be desolate who has a purpose and a sphere of action, with
ability to work. Paul's widow, who was a widow indeed, "continueth in
supplication and prayers night and day." What an existence! Desolate
indeed. Exercising but one faculty of the soul--that of supplication!
Women of this period cannot be too thankful, that the numerous
opportunities for educational and philanthropic work are open to them
in addition to the opportunities to win subsistence in the various
avocations of life.

The widow who was to be enrolled, to be provided for by the Church, must
be three score years old, having been the wife of one man. Whether this
is a repudiation of second marriages, or refers to polyandry, is not
apparent. This obligation of the early Church to provide for women who
had fulfilled the duties of motherhood, ministered to the afflicted,
washed the saints' feet, and diligently followed every good work, is a
recognition of a right principle, and which should be made a part of
social organization.

But he directs that younger women be refused. Paul thought that women
could not be loyal followers of Christ and "desire to marry." Therefore
he desires them all to marry, to bear children and to rule the family.
Another inconsistency of Paul. Having stated as expressly the teaching
of the spirit that the doctrine forbidding to marry was of devils, he
here again claims that when the younger widows desire to, marry they
have waxed wanton against Christ. There is even by Paul one place in
which woman is to be the head. If she may not teach, she may provide
for the physical comfort of her husband and family.

The Apostle accuses women of learning to be idle, going about from
house to house, of being tattlers and busybodies--these young widows,
or unmarried women. What a spectacle the thousands of bread-winning
young and unmarried women of to-day, would be to Paul if he could come
here! And these young women have no time to go from house to house, or
even to fulfill social obligations. And the students in our colleges
and universities, Paul would not find them tattlers or busybodies. What
could the unmarried women of Paul's time do? They had no absorbing
mental pursuit or physical occupation. Perhaps they could not read; and
there was little for them to study. Lacking mental furnishing to noble
ends, they must of necessity deal with trivial matters. What could a
woman do who had no home to care for, no business to attend to, perhaps
nothing to read (if she could read), no social organizations in which
she had a place and part except the religious assemblies in which she
was to be "in quietness," "in silence"?

They were not worthy of condemnation if they were going from house to
house and tattling. The unmarried woman will not lack opportunity for
the dignity of self-support and the ministrations of philanthropy in
the new dispensation. Womanhood and its high possibilities of mind and
of heart are worthy attainments, even though not crowned with self-
elected motherhood. Whether married or unmarried, the highest duty of
every living soul, woman or man, is to seek truth and righteousness;
and the liberty which is of the spirit of truth does not admit of the
bondage of husband and wife,
the one to the other. Freedom to seek soul development is paramount to
all other demands.



1 Timothy i.



2 Too Timothy, my dearly beloved son: grace, mercy, and peace, from
God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee,
which dwelt first in thy grand-mother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and
I am persuaded that in thee also.


Timothy, whom Paul calls his true child in faith, and whom he placed
as overseer, or bishop of the first church at Ephesus, as all
commentators agree, was the child of mixed parentage, his father being
a Greek and his mother a Jewess. It is supposed that his father died in
Timothy's childhood, as no mention is made of him. Timothy, then, was
educated religiously by the teaching and the example of his mother and
his grandmother. Paul expresses with fervent emotion his remembrance of
his "beloved child," and of the unfeigned faith which is in him, and,
"which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois and thy mother Eunice."

After having instructed Timothy to exercise all the gentle virtues
which are feminine and womanly, the Apostle in this acknowledgment that
he was the child of a devout mother and grandmother, discloses a fact
which places in no favorable light his strenuous opposition to woman's
equality in the Church. This mother and grandmother under whose
teaching Timothy had become qualified to receive the important office
of bishop, and whose faithfulness so endeared him to the Apostle, were
required to keep silence in the Church equally with all other women
whose evidence of faith were not so conclusive. There was no
distinction. The ban was placed upon woman solely on the ground of sex.

The Church has only in this nineteenth century partially amended this
record, by establishing the order of deaconesses for women who devote
themselves to good works and to religious teaching. While in the liberal
denominations the pulpit is accessible to woman, it is only in very
recent years that in any evangelistic denomination it has been
permissible for woman to "teach." The priesthood are as unwilling to-day
as was Paul in the first century, that women shall be placed on an
equality in offices of distinction. Perhaps this disposition comes of a
dim, not fully evolved consciousness that, "when the present evolution
of woman is complete, a new world will result; for woman is destined to
rule the world. She is the centre and the fountain of its life," which
the new man has recently announced from his pulpit.

There is no prerogative more tenaciously held by the common man than
that of rulership. There is no greater opposition to woman's equality
in the State than there is in the Church, and this notwithstanding the
fact that the Church and the pulpit are largely sustained by women. The
Church is spiritually and actually a womanly institution, and this is
recognized by the unvarying expression, "Mother Church." Yet man
monopolizes all offices of distinction and of leadership, and receives
the salaries for material support. As the inevitable result, spiritual
life has become so languid as to be ineffectual, and an effort is being
persistently pushed by a portion of the Evangelical Church, a portion,
too, which most strenuously keeps its women silent, to fortify the
Church by the power of civil government.

There is no suggestion in the teaching of Jesus, as recorded, of
compelling individuals, authorities, or powers, to acknowledge God. The
religion of Jesus is a voluntary acceptance of truth. "God is a spirit,
and they who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth." There
can be no compulsory life of the spirit, quickened by the source of
life, light and love. The masculine idea of compelling a formal
acknowledgment of God by the State is entirely unchristian.

Until the feminine is recognized in the Divine Being, and justice is
established in the Church by the complete equality of woman with man,
the Church cannot be thoroughly Christian. "Honor thy father and thy
mother" is the commandment. The human race cannot be brought to its
highest state until motherhood is equally honored with fatherhood in
human institutions.


L. B. C.





EPISTLES OF PETER AND JOHN.



1 Peter iii.



1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if
any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the
conversation of the wives;

3 Whose adorning, let it not be that out, ward adorning of plaiting
the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge,
giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel.

Woman's influence is most clearly set forth by all the Apostles in
meek submission to their husbands and to all the Church ordinances and
discipline. A reverent silence, a respectful observance of rules and
authorities was their power. They could not aid in spreading the gospel
and in converting their husbands to the true faith by teaching, by
personal attraction, by braided hair or ornaments. The normal beauty of
a sanctified heart would be manifested by a meek and quiet spirit,
valuable in the sight of God as well as their husbands, and do far more
to fix their affections and to secure their esteem than the studied
decoration of fashionable apparel. Woman's love of satins, of velvets,
of laces, and of jewels, has its corresponding expression in man's love
of wealth, of position, and his ambition for personal and family
aggrandizement.

There is much talk of the poor and the needy, especially during
political campaigns. In the autumn of 1896, when the workingman's
interests formed the warp and woof of every speech, three thousand
children stood in the streets of New York City, for whom there was no
room in the schoolhouses and no play-grounds; and yet thousands of
dollars were spent in buying votes. Large, well-ventilated homes for
those who do the work of the world, plenty of schoolhouses and play-
grounds for the children of the poor, would be much more beneficial to
the race than expensive monuments to dead men, and large appropriations
from the public treasury for holidays and convivial occasions to honor
men in high places.

The Apostles having given such specific directions as to the toilets
of women, their hair, ornaments, manners and position, in the Church,
the State and the home, one is curious to know what kind of honor is
intended for this complete subordination. Man is her head, her teacher,
her guardian and her Saviour. What Christ is to him, that is he to the
weaker vessel. It is fair to infer that what he has done in the past he
will continue to do in the future. Unless she rebels outright, he will
make her a slave, a subject, the mere reflection of another human will.


E. C. S.



2 John i.



1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children,

5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new
commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that
we love one another.

6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments.

12 Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper
and ink; but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our
joy may be full.


Some critics conjecture that the Church at Jerusalem is meant by the
"elect lady," and the one at Ephesus by her elect sister. Others
suppose that an eminent and honorable Christian woman was intended by
the "elect lady," and that some other Christian woman, well known in
the Church, was intended by her elect sister. The aged Apostle wrote
this short letter to this lady, who was a person of rank, hence he did
not scruple to give to her the title of honor. He assured her children
of his deep interest in their welfare. The word lady was always used in
addressing, or speaking of one who was an acknowledged superior. In
their travels about the country the Apostles especially enjoyed the
hospitality of families of rank. Though democratic in their principles,
they were susceptible to the attractions of wealth and of culture.


E. C. S.





REVELATION.


CHAPTER I.



Revelation i.



The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto
his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and
signified it by his angel unto his servant John:


2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus
Christ, and of all things that he saw.

3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this
prophecy and keep those things which are written therein: for the time
is at hand.

4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and
peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from
the seven Spirits which are before his throne.


John Morley once said to the priests--"We shall not attack you, we
shall explain you." The Book of Revelation, properly Re-Veilings,
cannot even be approximately explained without some knowledge of
astrology. It is a purely esoteric work, largely referring to woman,
her intuition, her spiritual powers, and all she represents. Even the
name of its putative author, John, is identical in meaning with "dove,"
the emblem of the Holy Ghost, the female principle of the Divinity.

This book came down from old Egyptian "mystery" times, and was one of
the profoundly "sacred" and profoundly "secret" books of the great
temple of Luxor, the words "sacred" and "secret" possessing the same
meaning during the mysteries. All knowledge was anciently concealed in
the mysteries; letters, numbers, astrology (until the sixteenth century
identical with astronomy), alchemy, the parent of chemistry, these, and
all other sciences were hidden from the common people. Even to all
initiates the most important part of the mysteries was not revealed.

It is not then strange that such a profoundly mystic book as
Re-Veilings should be so little understood by the Christian Church
as to have been many times rejected from the sacred canon. It did not
appear in the Syriac Testament as late as 1562. Neither did Luther, the
great reformer of the sixteenth century, nor his coworker, Erasmus,
respect it, Luther declaring that for his part he would as soon it had
not been written; Calvin, also, had small regard for it. The first
collection of the New Testament canon, decided upon by the Council of
Laodicea (A. D. 364), omitted the entire book from its list of sacred
works; Jerome said that some Greek churches would not receive it. The
celebrated Vatican codex in the papal library, the oldest uncial or
Biblical manuscript in existence, does not contain Revelation. The
canon of the New Testament was fixed as it now is by Pope Innocent I.,
A. D. 405, with the Book of Revelation still in dispute.

Its mystic character has been vaguely surmised by the later Church,
which, while claiming to be the exponent of spiritual things, has yet
taught the grossest materialism, and from no part of the Bible more
fully than from Revelation. It asserts a literal coming of Christ in
the literal clouds of heaven, riding a literal horse, while Gabriel
(angel of the moon), with a literal trumpet sounds the blast of earth's
destruction. A literal devil is to be bound for a thousand years,
during which time the saints are to dwell on earth, "every man to have
a farm," as I once heard a devout Methodist declare. "But there will
not be land enough for that," objected a brother. "O, well, the earth
is now two-thirds water, and that will be dried up," was the reply. To
such straits have Christians been driven in their efforts to comprehend
this book.

But during the centuries a few students have not failed to apprehend
its character; the Abbe Constant (Eliphas Levi), declaring it to be one
of the masterpieces of occult science. While for even a partial
comprehension of Re-Veilings, some knowledge of astrology is required,
it is no less true that the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation
demands a knowledge of astrology, of letters, and of numbers, with
their interchangeable values as they were understood by those who wrote
it, "a book written by initiates for initiates." Sir William Drummond
proved that all names of places in the holy land of the Hebrews were
astronomical.

Not only were Hebrew feasts and seasons based upon that science, but
many Christian ones, as Easter and Christmas are due to the same cause.
The festival of St. John the Baptist takes place at the time of the
sun's lowest southern declination, December 22. In like manner the
festival of St. John the Evangelist occurs at midsummer day, when the
sun reaches its highest northern declination. All those church periods
are purely astronomical or astrological in character. The "Alpha" and
"Omega" of Revelation contain profound evolutionary truths,
significative of spirit and of matter, or God unmanifested and
manifested.

The famous seven churches of Asia, to whom this book was largely
addressed, were all astrological and based upon the seven planets of
the ancients. Of these seven churches that of Ephesus stood first. On
the shores of Aegean Sea, it was famous for its magnificent temple to
the moon-goddess Artemis, or Diana. This temple was one of the seven
wonders of the ancient world, nations vieing with each other in their
gifts to add to its splendor. The moon being the emblem or "angel" of
Ephesus, the cry of the multitude when Paul spake there, "Great is
Diana of the Ephesians!" was an astrological recognition of the power
of the moon over human affairs. It is to be noted that none of the
seven churches of Asia received the writings of Paul. In the astrology
of Chaldea, as in that of Asia Minor, the moon was first among the
planets. It must be remembered that the numbers seven and twelve, so
frequently mentioned in Re-Veilings, are of great occult significance
in relation to the earth.

The angel of the church of Smyrna, to whom the second letter was
addressed, was the sun, "the only sun" dying and rising each day; that
of Pergamos, the beneficent Jupiter, who became the supreme god of the
Greek world. The angel of Thyatira, the lovely and loving Venus, by
some deemed the most occult of the planets, sustained her old-time
character for lasciviousness in her connection with that church. The
fiery, warlike Mars, angel of the church of Sardis, called "the Great
King," and Saturn, the angel of the church of Philadelphia, are
astrologically known as malefic planets. Saturn identified with Satan,
matter and time, is for occult reasons looked upon as the great
malefic. The angel of the church of Laodicea,
Mercury or Hermes, the ambiguous planet, is, next to Venus, the most
occult of all the planets; it is, masculine or feminine, the patron of
learning or of thieves, as it is aspected. Most profound secrets
connected with the spiritual interests of the race during the middle
portion of the fifth round are hidden in the letter to the angel of the
church of Laodicea.


M. J. G.



This book is styled the Apocalypse or Revelation, and is supposed to
have been written by John, called the Divine, on the Island of Patmos,
in the Aegean Sea, whither he was banished. Professor Goldwin Smith, in
a recent work entitled "Guesses at the Riddle of Existence," thinks
that we have but little reliable information as to the writers of
either the Old or the New Testaments. In this case the style is so
different from that of John, that the same Apostle could not have
written both books. Whoever wrote The Revelation was evidently the
victim of a terrible and extravagant imagination and of visions which
make the blood curdle.



Revelation ii.



18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write:

19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy
patience.

20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou
sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophet, to teach
and to seduce my servants.

21 And I gave her space to repent; and she repented not.

22 Behold, I will cast her into great tribulation.

23 And I will kill her children and all the churches shall know that I
am he which searcheth the hearts; and I will give unto every one of you
according to your works.


The town of Thyatira lay to the southeast of Pergamos. The epistle to
the church was sent by John, with some commendations; but it was said
that there was a worm at the root of its prosperity, which would
destroy the whole unless it were removed. It is not agreed whether the
expression Jezebel, is to be understood literally or figuratively. From
the reading of some manuscripts it has been thought, that the wife of
the presiding minister was intended, that she had obtained great
influence in the affairs of the church and made a bad use of it; that
she pretended to have prophetic gifts, and
under that sanction propagated abominable principles.

The figurative meaning, however, seems more suited to the style and
the manner of this book; and in this sense it denotes a company of
persons, of the spirit and character of Jezebel, within the church
under one principal deceiver. Jezebel, a Zidonian and a zealous
idolater, being married to the King of Israel (Ahab) contrary to the
Divine law, used all her influence to draw the Israelites from the
worship of Jehovah into idolatry. Satan and woman are the chief
characters in all the frightful visions; and the sacred period of
maternity is made to illustrate some of the most terrible upheavals in
national life, as between the old dragon and the mother of the race.
Whatever this book was intended to illustrate, its pictures are
painfully vivid.


E. C. S.





CHAPTER II.



Revelation xii.



And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the
sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve
stars:


2 And she being with child travailed in birth.

3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red
dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his
heads.

4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and the
dragon stood before the woman to devour her child as soon as it was
born.

5 And she brought forth a man child, that was caught up unto God.

6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place
prepared of God.

13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he was
wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed.


The constellation Draco, the Great Serpent, was at one time ruler of
the night, being formerly at the very centre of the heavens and so
large that it was called the Great Dragon. Its body spread over seven
signs of the Zodiac, which were called its seven heads. So great a
space did it occupy, that, in mystic language, it "drew a third part of
the stars from heaven and cast them to the earth." Thuban, in its tail,
was formerly the pole-star, or "judge of the earth!" It approached much
nearer the true pole than Cynosura, the present pole-star, which is one
and a half degrees distant and will never approach nearer than twelve
minutes, while Thuban was only ten minutes distant.

At an early day serpents were much respected; they were thought to
have more "pneuma" or spirit than any other living thing and were
termed "fiery." For this cause high initiates were called "naga," or
serpents of wisdom; and a living serpent was always carried in the
celebration of the mysteries. During the brilliant eighteenth and
nineteenth Egyptian dynasties, Draco was a great god; but when this
constellation lost its place in the heavens, and Thuban ceased to be
the guiding sidereal Divinity, it shared the fate of all the fallen
gods. "The gods of our fathers are our devils," says an Arabic proverb.
When Re-Veilings was written, Draco had become a fallen angel
representing evil spirituality. By precessional motion the foot of
Hercules rests upon its head, and we find it depicted as of the most
material color, red.

Colors and jewels are parts of astrology; and ancient cities, as
Ectabana, were built and colored after the planets. The New Jerusalem
of Re-Veilings is purely an astrological city, not to be understood
without a knowledge of mystic numbers, letters, jewels and colors. So,
also, the four and twenty elders of Re-Veilings are twenty-four stars
of the Chaldean Zodiac, "counsellors" or "judges," which rose and set
with it. Astrology was brought into great prominence by the visit of
the magi, the zodiacal constellation Virgo, the "woman with a child,"
ruling Palestine, in which country Bethlehem is situated. The great
astronomer and astrologer, Ptolemy, judged the character of countries
from the signs ruling them, as to this day is done by astrologers.

The woman attacked by the great red dragon, Cassiopea, was known as
Nim-Makh, the Mighty Lady. For many centuries, at intervals of about
three hundred years, a brilliant star suddenly appeared in this
constellation, remaining visible a few months, then as suddenly
disappearing. In mystic phraseology this star was a child. It was seen
A. D. 945, A. D. 1264, and was noted by Tycho Brahe and other
astronomers in 1562, when it suddenly became so brilliant that it could
be seen at midday, gradually assuming the appearance of a great
conflagration, then as gradually fading away. Since thus caught up to
the throne of God, this star-child has not again appeared, although
watched for by astronomers during the past few years. The Greeks, who
borrowed so much from the Egyptians, created from this book the story
of Andromeda and the monster sent by Neptune to destroy her, while
Madame Blavatsky says that St. John's dragon is Neptune, a symbol of
Atlantaen magi.

The crown of twelve stars upon the head of the apocalyptic woman are the
twelve constellations of the Zodiac. Clothed with the sun, woman here
represents the Divinity of the feminine, its spirituality as opposed to
the materiality of the masculine; for in Egypt the sun, as giver of
life, was regarded as feminine, while the moon, shining by reflected
light, was looked upon as masculine. With her feet upon the moon, woman,
corresponding to and representing the soul, portrays the ultimate
triumph of spiritual things over material things--over the body, which
man, or the male principle, corresponds to and represents.

"There was war in heaven." The wonderful progress and freedom of
woman, as woman, within the last half century, despite the false
interpretation of the Bible by the Church and by masculine power, is
the result of this great battle; and all attempts to destroy her will
be futile. Her day and hour have arrived; the dragon of physical power
over her, the supremacy of material things in the world, as depicted by
the male principle, are yielding to the spiritual, represented by
woman. The eagle, true bird of the sun and emblem of our own great
country, gives his wings to her aid; and the whole earth comes to help
her against her destroyer.

And thus must Re-Veilings be left with much truth untouched, yet with
the hope that what has been written will somewhat help to a
comprehension of this greatly misunderstood yet profoundly "sacred" and
"secret" book, whose true reading is of such vast importance to the
human race.


M. J. G.



Here is a little well intended respect for woman as representing the
Church. In this vision she appears clothed with the sun, and the moon
under her feet, which denotes her superiority, says the commentator, to
her reflected feebler light of the Mosaic dispensation. The crown of
twelve stars on her head represents her honorable maintenance of the
doctrines of the Church. just as the woman was watched by the dragon,
and her children devoured, so was the Church watched and persecuted by
the emissaries of the Papal hierachy {sic}. The seven heads of the
dragon represent the seven hills on which Rome is built; the ten horns,
ten kingdoms into which the Western empire was divided. The tail of the
dragon drawing a third part of the stars represent the power of the
Romans, who had conquered one-third part of the earth.



Revelation xvii.



3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness; and I saw a
woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy,
having saves heads and ten horns.

4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked
with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in bar
hand.

5 And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great.

18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth
over the kings of the earth.


The woman draped in scarlet, seated on a beast, was the emblem of the
Church of Rome. The beast represents the temporal power by which it has
been supported. These colors have always distinguished the popes and
the cardinals, as well as the Roman emperors and senators. The horses
and the mules were covered with scarlet cloth to answer the
description, and the woman was decked in the brightest colors, in gold
and jewels. No one can describe the pomp, splendor and magnificence of
the Church of Rome. The cup in the woman's hand contained potions to
intoxicate her victims. It was the custom at that time for public women
to have their names on their foreheads, and as they represented the
abominations of social life, they were often named after cities. The
writers of the Bible are prone to make woman the standard for all kinds
of abominations; and even motherhood, which should be held most sacred,
is used to illustrate the most revolting crimes. What picture can be
more horrible than the mother, in her hour of mortal agony, watched by
the dragon with his seven heads and ten horns!

Why so many different revising committees of bishops and clergymen
should have retained this book as holy and inspiring to the ordinary
reader, is a mystery. It does not seem possible that the Divine John
could have painted these dark pictures of the struggles of humanity
with the Spirit of Evil. Verily, we need an expurgated edition of the
Old and the New Testaments before they are fit to be placed in the
hands of our youth to be read in the public schools and in theological
seminaries, especially if we wish to inspire our children with proper
love and respect for the Mothers of the Race.


E. C. S.





APPENDIX.



"Ignorance is the mother of devotion."--Jeremy Taylor.



The following letters and comments are in answer to the questions:

1. Have the teachings of the Bible advanced or retarded the
emancipation of women?

2. Have they dignified or degraded the Mothers of the Race?


Dear Mrs. Stanton:--I believe, as you said in your birthday address,
that "women ought to demand that the Canon law, the Mosaic code, the
Scriptures, prayer-books and liturgies be purged of all invidious
distinctions of sex, of all false teaching as to woman's origin,
character and destiny." I believe that the Bible needs explanation and
comment on many statements therein which tend to degrade woman. Christ
taught the equality of the sexes, and Paul said: "There is neither male
nor female; ye are all one in Christ Jesus." Hence I welcome "The
Woman's Bible" as a needed commentary in regard to woman's position.

Phebe A. Hanaford.



If the suggestions and teachings of the various books of our Bible,
concerning women, are compared with the times in which severally they
probably were written, in general they are certainly in advance of most
contemporary opinion. The hurtful blunder of later eras has been the
setting up of early, cruder standards touching the relations of men and
of women, as moulding influences and guides to broader civilizations.
They cannot be authoritative.

I believe that the Bible's Golden Rule has been the real substratum of
all religions, when fairly applied from their own point of view. But
the broader and more discriminating applications of the rule
theoretically both to men and to women in every relation of life have
made, and necessarily must have made, most of the earlier practical
regulations and teachings, beneficent perhaps in their day, pernicious
in ours when regarded as still authoritative. Interpreted by its
fundamental principles, in the light of its time--not in the fast
increasing light of ours, which, as I understand it, is your
searchlight and that of your collaborators--I have very little quarrel
with the Bible. But neither have I much quarrel with Buddhism, with
Paganism in general, or with any serious religious cult, tested in the
same way.

Turn on the light and so change the point of view. But criticism of
ancient creeds, literatures or morals, to be entirely fair and just.
must be comparative criticism. To be broadly comparative it must
virtually include contemporary and intermediate as well as existing
creeds, literatures or morals. Very sincerely yours,

Antoinette Brown Blackwell.



Like the shield which was gold on one side and silver on the other,
the Bible has two sides or aspects. As travellers approaching the
shield from opposite directions quarrelled over its nature because each
saw only that side which he had approached, people have differed in
their view of the Bible and its influence upon mankind because only one
aspect has been visible to them.

Acceptance of the Bible literally tends to retard the development of
both man and woman, and consequently the establishment of their
highest and best relation to each other, a relation upon
which depends their usefulness to the community. Both the law of Moses
and the teachings of Paul, thus considered, belittle woman more than
they exalt her. While words of praise and promises of future place and
power are not altogether lacking, this is the impression left upon the
mind of the reader who is not able to pass around to the other side and
gain another view.

Exoterically considered, the Bible offers less of the ethical and the
spiritual than of the physical possibilities of woman as the complement
to man; but esoterically considered, it is found to exact the spiritual
possibilities above the rest--above even the like possibilities of the
man. The Bible has been, and will continue to be, a stumbling-block in
the way of development of inherent resources, consequently of the
truest civilization, in proportion to the strength of its exoteric
aspect with the people. It will cease to be a stumbling block and
become a powerful impetus in the desired direction instead, when its
inner meaning becomes revelator, companion and friend.

In the literal rendering of the Bible, woman appears first and above
all as man's subordinate; but this inner meaning shows her first and
above all as the individual equal with him, and afterward his
complement, or what she is able to be for him. Portrayed as the mother
of the Saviour of the world, one woman is exalted above all women when
only physical motherhood is seen; and the consequence has been that one
woman has been worshiped and the sex has been crucified. This one woman
has been lifted above her place; and all women have fallen
correspondingly below it.

Not till "the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the
world" shall pierce with its rays the darkness of the sensuous nature,
will woman's spiritual motherhood for the race, be discerned as the way
of its redemption from that darkness and its consequences. As that
light is uncovered in individual souls the inner meaning of the Bible
will appear, woman's nature as the individual and her true relativity
to man be seen. Then the mistakes which have been ignorantly made will
be rectified, because both sides of the shield will be seen. Men and
women will clasp hands as comrades with a common destiny; religion and
science will each reveal their destiny and prove that truth which the
Bible even exoterically declares that "the woman is the glory of the
man."

Ursula N. Gestefeld.




It is requested that I shall answer two questions:

1. Has the Bible advanced or retarded woman's emancipation?

2. Has it elevated or degraded the Mothers of the Race?

If by "emancipation" is meant the social, legal and political position
of women, and if by the "Bible" the authorized version of the Old
Testament, it would be difficult to prove that the opponents of that
emancipation have not derived their narrow views from many passages in
the Bible. This, however, applies only to the exoteric interpretation,
the weak points of which have been so mercilessly exposed in Part I. of
"The Woman's Bible."

The Divine wisdom whose occult truths form the basis of Judaism, of
Christianity and of all other religions, has nothing to do with the
subjection of sex: and to be fair we must confess that there are many
texts in the exoteric version which proclaim the equality of woman,
notably the first chapter of Genesis. I believe that H. P. Blavatsky
was right when she said of the Bible: "It is a grand volume, a
masterpiece composed of clever, ingenious fables, containing great
verities; but it reveals the latter only to those who, like the
Initiates, have a key to its inner meaning; a tale sublime in its
morality and didactics truly--still a tale and an allegory; a repertory
of invented personages in its older Jewish portions, and of dark
sayings and parables in its later additions, and thus quite misleading
to any one ignorant of its esotericism."

This being the case, the discussion which "The Woman's Bible" raises
is to my judgment somewhat futile. It is said that from Genesis to
Revelation the Bible degrades woman. Does it not, as it stands, equally
in many passages degrade the conception of the Supreme Being? Many
noble and Divine truths have been utterly degraded by the coarse
fallacies of men. All this is so sure to be made clear in the near
future that I am doubtful of the wisdom of laying too much stress on
passages whose meaning is entirely misunderstood by the vast majority
of Christians.

Slowly we see a light breaking. When the dawn comes we shall have a
revision of the Bible on very different lines from any yet attempted.
In the meantime may we not ask, Is there any curse or crime which has
not appealed to the Bible for support? Polygamy, capital punishment,
slavery and war have all done so. Why not the subjection of women? Let
us hold fast that which is good in the Bible and the rest will modify
itself in the future, as it has done in the past, to the needs of
humanity and the advance of knowledge.

London, England.

Ursula Bright.



Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton:--Dear Madam: I have received your letter
and the specimen of "The Woman's Bible" which you have sent me. I have
not had time to examine it minutely; but I have been aware of your
purpose from the beginning. I am afraid that I cannot say anything
which you will wish to print; for I look upon the Bible very
differently from what you do.

I have no superstitious reverence for it, but hold it in high regard
as a valuable collection of very old literature well representing the
thought and the life of a great, earnest people at different periods of
their career. As such, it is full of precious lessons of wisdom and of
sweet and beautiful poetry. I certainly could not endorse Mr. White's
statement; for I have very recently in public lectures spoken of the
great value of this collection as one of the best educators of the
common people in Christendom generally, and especially in Scotland and
the United States. I should say the same, so far as my knowledge
extends, of the Koran and other so-called sacred books.

That the superstitious worship of the Bible as a direct revelation
from God, and the practice of using what is merely the history of human
life as authority for human action now, or as prophecy, has produced or
strengthened great evils in the world I readily admit, and I welcome
all the thorough and searching criticism which can be applied to the
Bible, but nothing is gained by exaggeration. There are noble examples
of woman in the Old Testament of the heroic type, as in the New
Testament of the tender and loving one.

The whole subject of the relations of the sexes is a deep and
difficult one; and the ages have been struggling with it. That woman is
handicapped by peculiarities of physical structure seems evident; and
according to the character of the age these are more or less
unfavorable. Civilization in many instances has emphasized and
increased them to her great disadvantage; but it is only by making her
limitations her powers that the balance can be restored, and in an age
of more intellectual and spiritual superiority this will come to pass.
I read this in the development of woman's life in education, in
industry and in self-support.

I have tried to express my views frankly, although I cannot fully
illustrate them in a brief letter, which is all I have time for at
present. Your own active mind will follow out whatever there is of
value in my thought. Yours very respectfully,

Jamaica Plain, Mass.

Ednah D. Cheney.



The Bible--both the books of the Old Testament and of the New, express
the views in regard to woman which prevailed when those books were
written. The conception in regard to woman was that she was naturally
man's inferior, that her position should be one of subordination, that
she should have no will of her own, except as it was in accord with
that of her father, husband, or master.

The enlightened portions of the world have gradually been outgrowing
these ideas. This progress has constantly been opposed by the influence
of Bible teachings on the subject. The influence of the Bible against
the elevation of woman, like its influence in favor of slavery, has
been great because of the infallibility and the Divine authority with
which the teachings of the Bible have been invested. If the Bible had,
like other books, been judged by its actual merits, in the light of
reason and common sense, its teachings
about woman would have had no authoritative weight; but when millions
have for centuries been brought up to believe that the Bible is an
inspired and infallible revelation from God, its influence has been
mischievous in a thousand ways.

A collection of books which teaches, as from God, that man was made
first for the glory of God, and woman for man simply; that woman was
first to sin, and therefore should be in submission to man; that
motherhood implies moral impurity and requires a sin offering (twice as
much in the case of a female as a male child), must have continued to
keep woman in a degraded condition just in proportion as such ideas
have been believed to be true and inspired by God.

The advancement of woman throughout Christendom has been going on only
where these doctrines have been outgrown or modified through the
influence of science, of skepticism, and of liberal thought generally.
That the Bible does teach that woman's position should be one of
subordination and submission to man, and that through her first came
sin into the world, is indisputable; and I do not see how such
teachings, believed to be direct from God, can be accepted without
retarding woman's progress. Mr. Lecky and others have shown
historically that these Oriental conceptions have distinctly degraded
woman wherever they have prevailed.

What we should naturally expect to have resulted from these
conceptions is shown by experience actually to have been the result of
such teachings, enforced by the authority of Moses and of St. Paul.

The idea of woman's equality with man in all natural rights and
opportunities finds no support in the Bible. The doctrine that there is
neither male nor female, neither bond nor free, in Christ Jesus, had no
practical application to social conditions. It left the slave in
chains, and the woman in fetters. Where the old theological dogmas
respecting woman are the least impaired, woman's condition is the least
hopeful. Where the authority of reason is in the ascendant, or where it
is superseding the authority of book revelations, of creeds and of
churches, woman's position is the most advanced, her rights are the
most completely recognized, her opportunities for
progress the most fully allowed, and her character the most fully
developed.

Sarah A. Underwood.



A solution, in accordance with the fundamental laws of ethics, of the
woman question, which is a part of the great social question, can be
arrived at only by a transformation of the social order of things, made
in conformity with the principle of equal liberty and equal justice to
each and every one.

As a necessary proposition to let this principle be universally
recognized, we must designate the philosophical view of the world,
based upon scientific Materialism, which former, penetrated by the
conviction that the natural doctrine of evolution also retains its
validity with regard to the mental, vital principles of humanity,
believes in the social, political and ethical evolution of human
society, from which progressive evolution the equal claim to all social
relations of the female and the male halves of humanity are inseparable.

As the firmest enemy of modern ethics based upon scientific knowledge
of natural laws, there stands the Christian religion, the outspring of
the Jewish one, which former, resting upon the principle of the
necessary subordination of woman to man, in consequence thereof
energetically combats the attempts for equal rights to both sexes, and,
as far as lies in its power, ever will and must combat the same.

To the influence of the Christian Church upon social conditions we must
in the first instance ascribe that, notwithstanding all advances of
culture, the mental development of the female sex has been
systematically kept back through all these tens of centuries. And not
only for the reason that the Christian religion considers woman as a
creature inferior to man, owing to the legendary eating of the apple by
Eve ("Satan," says St. Augustine, "considered the man to be less
credulous and approachable"), but also--and possibly foremost of all--
for the reason that the Christian Church knows very well that in woman,
intellectually undeveloped, and therefore easy to be led, and ready to
lend a willing ear to priestly promptings, it possesses its most
powerful ally, and knows that it would lose that powerful support as
soon as women, by a thorough mental training, by an elevating education
adapted to their condition of mind and of fortune, would be taken away
from clerical influences.

As a contrast to the lying statement, which falsifies the historical
facts, that the Christian religion has raised the condition of woman,
the Christian Church offers to woman nothing but serfdom. And it is the
first duty of those women who combat for right and liberty to unite in
the fight against religious obscurity, against the powers of darkness
and the suppression resting on the Church, that revolution of the mind
for which the most elevated thinkers of all time have suffered and
fought, and to whose deeds alone we owe all advances in the mental
freeing of humanity and all accomplishments of the awakening
consciousness of justice.

Vienna, Austria.

Irma Von Troll-Borostyani.



My Dear Mrs. Stanton:--I thank you very much for the book which I have
received and shall consider with interest. I respond at once and
heartily to the inquiry with which you have honored me. I consider the
Bible the most wonderful record of the evolution of spiritual life
which our race possesses. The sympathetic justice displayed by the
Christ when he said, "Let him that is without sin cast the first
stone," will be the inspiration of the future for man and for woman
alike.

With cordial remembrance of the past and hope for the future,

I am

Sincerely yours,

Hastings, London, England.

Elizabeth Blackwell.



Since it is accepted that the status of woman is the gauge of
civilization, this is the burning question which now presents itself to
Christendom. If the Bible had elevated woman to her present status, it
would seem that the fact could be demonstrated beyond question; yet
to-day the whole Christian world is on the defensive, trying to prove the
validity of this claim. Despite the opposition of Bible teaching, woman
has secured the right to education, to speak and to print her thoughts;
therefore her answer to these questions will decide the fate of
Christian civilization.

In Genesis the Bible strikes the key-note of woman's inferiority and
subjection; and the note rings true through every accepted and rejected
book which has ever constituted the Bible. In the face of this fact,
the supreme effort of the Christian Church has been to inculcate the
idea that Christianity alone has elevated woman, and that all other
religions have degraded and enslaved her. It has feared nothing so much
as to face the truth.

Women have but to read the Bible and the history of Christianity in
conjunction with the sacred books and the histories of other religions
to discover the falsity of this claim, and that the Bible cannot stand
the light of truth. The Bible estimate of woman is summed up in the
words of the president of a leading theological seminary when he
exclaimed to his students, "My Bible commands the subjection of women
forever."

In an address to the graduating class of a woman's college in England,
Mr. Gladstone, in awarding the diplomas, said: "Young women, you who
belong to the favored half of the human race, enormous changes have
taken place in your positions as members of society. It is almost
terrible to look back upon the state of women sixty years ago, upon the
manner in which they were viewed by the law, and the scanty provision
made for their welfare, and the gross injustice, the flagrant
injustice, the shameful injustice, to which in certain particulars they
were subjected. Great changes are taking place, and greater are
impending." For centuries England has been the light of the Christian
world; yet what an indictment is this against Christian England by the
greatest living defender of the Bible and the Christian religion.

This one statement of Mr. Gladstone at once refutes the claim that the
Bible has elevated woman, and confirms the idea of the president of the
theological seminary. Add to these declarations the true condition of
women to-day, and the testimony that the Bible bears against itself,
and the falsity of the claim that it has elevated woman is at once
established. If Mr. Gladstone acknowledges the "gross, flagrant and
shameful injustice" to woman sixty years ago in Christian England, what
can be said of woman's condition six hundred, or sixteen hundred years
ago, when the Bible held the greatest sway over the human mind and
Christianity was at the zenith of its power, when it was denied that
woman has a soul, when she was bought and sold as the cattle of the
field, robbed of her name, her children, her property, and "elevated"
(?) on the gibbet of infamy, and on the high altar of lust by the
decree of the Christian priesthood?

If it can be proven that during the last thousand years the Christian
clergy, with the Bible in their hands, have pointed out or attempted to
remove one single cruelty or wrong which women have suffered, now is
the opportune time to furnish such proof. Now, to-day, when woman
herself is rising in her mental majesty, and when her wrongs are being
righted, Christianity is dead in the strongest brains and the most
heroic hearts of Europe and of America; and now, when the myth and the
miracle of Bible teaching have lost their hold on the minds of people,
this is the very age when the position of woman is more exalted than it
has ever been since Chrisianity {sic} began.

If even the claim that the Bible has elevated woman to her present
status were true, when the light is turned on to the social, domestic
and religious life of the Christian world, this achievement reflects no
credit on Bible teaching. After nineteen hundred years no woman's
thought has ever been incorporated into the ecclesiastical or civil
code of any Christian land.

Monogamic marriage is the strongest institution of the Christian
system; yet all the men of the Old Testament were polygamists; and
Christ and Paul, the central figures of the New Testament, were
celibates and condemned marriage by both precept and example. In
Christian lands monogamy is strictly demanded of women; but bigamy,
trigamy, and polygamy are in reality practised by men as one of the
methods of elevating women, Largely, the majority of men have one
legal wife; but assisted by a small per cent. of youths and of
bachelors, Christendom maintains an army of several millions of
courtesans. Thousands of wretched women are yearly driven to graves in
the potter's field, while manhood is degraded by deception, by
drunkenness and by disease; and the blood of the innocents cries out
against a system which thus "elevates" woman.

The Bible says that "a tree is known by its fruit;" yet this tree is
carefully pruned, watered, and tended as the "Tree of life" whose
fruit, in the words of Archdeacon Farrar, "alone elevates woman, and
shrouds as with a halo of sacred innocence the tender years of the
child." The Bible records that God created woman by a method different
from that employed in bringing into life any other creature, then
cursed her for seeking knowledge; yet God declares in the Bible: "My
people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." "Because thou hast
rejected knowledge I will reject thee." "Add to your faith virtue, and
to virtue knowledge," and knowledge is the savior of the human race.

Ever since Eve was cursed for seeking knowledge, the priest with the
Bible in his hands has pronounced her the most unnatural, untrustworthy
and dangerous creation of God. She has been given away as a sheep at
the marriage altar, classed with the ox and the ass, cursed in
maternity, required to receive purification at the hands of the priest
for the crime of child-bearing, her body enslaved, and robbed of her
name and of her property.

The ownership of the wife established and perpetuated through Bible
teaching is responsible for the domestic pandemonium and the carnival
of wife murder which reigns throughout Christendom. In the United
States alone, in the eighteen hundred and ninety-seventh year of the
Christian era, 3,482 wives, many with unborn children in their bodies,
have been murdered in cold blood by their husbands; yet the Christian
clergy from their pulpits reprove women for not bearing more children
in the face of the fact that millions of the children who have been
born by Christian women are homeless tramps, degraded drunkards,
victims of disease, inmates of insane asylums or prisons, condemned to
the scaffold, or bond slaves to priests or to plutocrats who revel in
wealth at the expense of women whom it is claimed that the Bible has
"emancipated and
elevated."

"Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive
me." This declaration of the Bible puts the brand of infamy upon every
woman who ever bore a child; and this, it is claimed, elevates the
Mothers of the Race. The wife who places her destiny in the keeping of
the father of her children bestows upon him the wealth of her
affection, who is to bear the blood and the name of her husband to
conquests yet undreamed of, and to generations yet unborn, is by Divine
decree made a fountain of iniquity. Would not men and women rather
pluck their tongues out by the roots than brand with infamy the mothers
who went down into the valley and the shadow of death to give birth to
them?

Place the Bible Trinity of "Father, Son and Holy Ghost" beside the
Homeric trinity, "Father, Mother and Child," and prove that the Bible
has elevated woman. The Homeric conception of woman towers like the
Norway pine above the noxious growth of the Mosaic ideal. Compare the
men and the women of the Bible with the stately figures culled from the
temple of Pagan antiquity. Zipporah denouncing Moses as a "bloody
husband," Abraham sending Hagar and his child into the desert and
pocketing twice over the gains from his wife's prostitution; Lot and
his daughters; Judah and his daughter-in-law, Onan; Yamar, the Levite,
and his concubine; David and Bath-sheba; Solomon in the sewer of
sensualism; Rahab, Aholibah, Mary of Bethlehem, and Mary Magdala.

Place these by the side of the man and the woman, Hector and
Andromache, of the "Iliad," who called upon the immortal gods to bless
their child of love; the virgin Isis with her son Horus; the Vedic
virgin Indrance, the mother of the savior-god, Indra; Devaki and her
Divine child, Chrishna; Hipparchia, Pandora, Protogenia, Cornelia,
Plotina, and a host of the noble and virtuous of Pagan history. Prove
by comparing these with the position of woman in Christendom that woman
owes all that she is to the Bible.

Compare Ruth of the Bible with the magnificent Pagan, Penelope, who
refused the hands of kings, was as true to her love as the star is to
the pole, who, after years of waiting, clasped the old wanderer in
rags to her heart, her husband, her long-lost Ulysses; yet this
Pagan woman lived ten centuries before the laws of Moses and of Christ
were promulgated. While there are millions of Penelopes in Christendom,
there are other millions of women, after centuries of Bible teaching,
who lie outside the pale of motherhood, and even outside of the pale of
swine-hood. Under Bible teaching the scarlet woman is "anathema,
marantha," while the scarlet man holds high place in the Sanctuary and
the State.

The by-paths of ecclesiastical history are fetid with the records of
crimes against women; and "the half has never been told." And what of
the history which Christianity is making to-day? Answer, ye victims of
domestic warfare who crowd the divorce courts of Bible lands. Answer,
ye wretched offspring of involuntary motherhood. Answer, ye five
hundred thousand outcast women of Christian America, who should have
been five hundred thousand blessings, bearing humanity in your
unvitiated blood down the streams of time. Answer, ye mental dwarfs and
moral monstrosities, and tell what the Holy Bible has done for you.

While these answers echo through the stately cathedrals of Bible
lands, if the priest, with the Holy Bible in his hands, can show just
cause why woman should not look to reason and to science rather than to
Scripture for deliverance, "let him speak now, or forever after hold
his peace."

When Reason reigns and Science lights the way, a countless host of
women will move in majesty down the coming centuries. A voice will cry,
"Who are these?" and the answer will ring out: "These are the mothers
of the coming race, who have locked the door of the Temple of Faith and
thrown the key away; 'these are they which came out of great
tribulation and have washed their robes and made them white in the'
fountain of knowledge."

Josephine K. Henry.



My Dear Mrs. Stanton:--To say that "the Bible for two thousand years
has been the greatest block in the way of civilization" is,
misleading. Until the Protestant reformation, the Bible was hidden
from the common people by the hierarchs of the Roman Catholic Church;
and it is only about three centuries that it has been read in the
vernacular.

I cannot agree with you that "the Bible degrades women from Genesis to
Revelation." The Bible, which is a collection of ancient literature,
historic, prophetic, poetic and epistolary, is valuable as showing the
status of woman at the time when the books were written. And the
advice, or the commands, to women given by Paul in the Epistles,
against which there has been so much railing, when studied in the light
of the higher criticism, with the aid of cotemporary {sic} history and
Greek scholarship, show Paul to have been in advance of the religious
teachers of his time.

All these commands that have offended us in the past appear in his
Epistles to the churches in cities of Greece, where marriage was bitter
slavery to women. Paul was aiming to uplift marriage to the level of
the great Christian idea, as he uttered it, in Gal. iii., 28: "There is
neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither
male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." Christianity is
simply the universal fatherhood of God, and the universal brotherhood
of man. And Paul was declaring this in the utterance which I have
quoted. All the unjust distinctions of race and of caste, all the
oppressions of slavery and the degradations of woman were effaced by
the two cardinal doctrines of pristine Christianity; and Paul seems to
have lived up to his teaching.

I cannot say that "Christianity has been the foe of woman." The study
of the evolution of woman does not show this. My later studies have
changed many of my earlier crude notions concerning the development of
woman. She has developed slowly, and so has man; and the history of the
past shows that every activity of man which has advanced him has been
shared by her.

There is so wide a belief among orthodox people, nowadays, in what
Professor Briggs calls "the errancy of the Bible," that I doubt if you
will be attacked, no matter how startling may be your heresies in Part
II. Nobody cares much about heresy in these days; and my desire to
withhold my name from your work, as an endorser, comes from my utter
ignorance of it, and from my belief that I should
disagree with you, judging from your letter before me.

Yours very truly,

M. A. Livermore.



My Dear Mrs. Stanton:--You have sent to me the following questions:
"Have the teachings of the Bible advanced or retarded the emancipation
of women? Have they dignified or degraded the Mothers of the Race?"

In reply I would say, that as a matter of fact, the nations which
treat women with the most consideration are all Christian nations; the
countries in which women have open to them all the opportunities for
education which men possess are Christian countries; coeducation
originated in Christian colleges; the professions and the trades are
closed to us in all except Christian lands; and woman's ballot is
unknown except where the Gospel of Christ has mellowed the hearts of
men until they became willing to do women justice. Wherever we find an
institution for the care and the comfort of the defective or the
dependent classes, that institution was founded by men and women who
were Christians by heredity and by training.

No such woman as Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, with her heart aflame
against all forms of injustice and of cruelty, with her intellect
illumed and her tongue quickened into eloquence, has ever been produced
in a country where the Bible was not incorporated into the thoughts and
the affections of the people and had not been so during many
generations.

I think that men have read their own selfish theories into the Book,
that theologians have not in the past sufficiently recognized the
progressive quality of its revelation, nor adequately discriminated
between its records as history and its principles of ethics and of
religion, nor have they until recently perceived that it is not in any
sense a scientific treatise; but I believe that the Bible comes to us
from God, and that it is a sufficient rule of faith and of practice. I
believe that it is no accident which has placed this Book at the
parting of the ways between a good life and a bad one, and enshrined
it at the centre of the holiest scenes which the heart can know,
placing it in the pastor's hand at the wedding and at the grave, on the
father's knee at family prayer, in the trembling fingers of the sick,
and at the pillow of the dying, making it the hope of the penitent and
the power of God unto salvation of those who sin.

To me the Bible is the dear and sacred home book which makes a
hallowed motherhood possible because it raises woman up, and with her
lifts toward heaven the world. This is the faith taught to me by those
whom I have most revered and cherished; it has produced the finest
characters which I have ever known; by it I propose to live; and
holding to the truth which it brings to us, I expect to pass from this
world to one even more full of beauty and of hope.

Believe me, honored co-worker for the enfranchisement of women,

Yours with sisterly regard,

Frances E. Willard.



Among the letters in reply to the interrogatories propounded are two,
noticeable because they are in such a striking contrast to that of Mrs.
Josephine K. Henry, which immediately precedes them. Their first marked
characteristic is their total lack of facts which are sufficient to
sustain the conclusions therein stated. Conceding for the purpose of
this discussion the truth of Mrs. Livermore's assertions contained in
the first paragraph of her letter, she fails absolutely to show that
the Holy Scriptures have been of any benefit, or have rendered any aid,
to woman in her efforts to obtain her rights in either the social, the
business, or the political world; and unless she is able to present
stronger or more cogent reasons to justify that conclusion than any
which are therein specified, I shall be compelled to adhere to my
present conviction, which is, that this book always has been, and is at
present, one of the greatest obstacles in the way of the emancipation
and the advancement of the sex.

In regard to the letter of the distinguished President of the Woman's
Christian Temperance Union, her position is entirely indefensible and
completely lacking in logical conclusions. Her leading proposition is
in substance that to the extent that the Christian religion has
prevailed there has been a corresponding improvement in the condition
of women; and the conclusion which she draws from that premise is that
this religion has been the cause of this advancement. Before I admit
the truth of this conclusion I must first inquire whether or not the
premise upon which it is based is true; and judging from the fact that
the condition of women is most degraded in those countries where Church
and State are in closest affiliation, as in Spain, in Italy, in Russia
and in Ireland, and most advanced in nations where the power of
ecclesiasticism is markedly on the wane, the inference is obvious that
the Bible and the religion based upon it have retarded rather than
promoted the progress of woman.

But, granting that her premise is true, her conclusion by no means
follows from it. She desires her reader to infer that the existence of
Christianity in certain countries is responsible for the high degree of
civilization which there obtains, and that the improved condition of
women in those countries is owing entirely to the influence of that
religion therein. This is what the logicians would call a non sequitur,
which means a conclusion which does not follow from the premises stated.

It is now a well-settled principle recognized by all writers upon the
science of logic, that the co-existence of two facts does not
necessarily imply that one is the cause of the other; and, as is often
the case, they may have no relation to each other, and each may exist
independently of the other. Many illustrations of this fallacy might be
presented were it necessary to do so; but I will refer to only one of
them. I have heard it asserted that more murders and other crimes are
committed in Christian countries than in any others. Whether this be
true or false, I am not prepared to state; but if it were proven to be
a fact, could one justly contend that the influence of the Bible is in
favor of the commission of crime? Indeed, there would be more reason
for so thinking than there is for the opinion which she holds, as
numerous passages may be found in that volume which clearly justify
both crime and vice.

The truth of the matter is, as Mrs. Stanton, Mrs. Henry, and other
contributors to "The Woman's Bible" have clearly proven, that whatever
progress woman has made in any department of effort she has
accomplished independently of, and in opposition to, the so-called
inspired and infallible "Word of God," and that this book has been of
more injury to her than has any other which has ever been written in
the history of the world.

E. M.



"Have the teachings of the Bible advanced or retarded the emancipation
of women?"


"Have they dignified or degraded the Mothers of the Race?"


There are always two sides to every question. It sometimes happens
that the Christian, the historian, the clergyman, and the devotee, in
their enthusiasm, are long on assertion and short on proof. Turning the
light on the past and present, the writer of this comment asserts "as a
matter of fact that the nations which treat women with the most
consideration are all" civilized nations. If the condition of woman is
highest in Christian civilization, the question arises, Is it
Christianity or civilization which has accorded to women the "most
consideration"? Christianity means belief in the tenets laid down in a
book called the Bible, claimed to be the Word of God. Civilization
means the state of being refined in manners from the grossness of
savage life, and improved in arts and in learning. If civilization is
due entirely to the teachings of the Bible, then, as claimed, woman
owes to Christianity all the "consideration" which she receives.

We claim that woman's advancement is due to civilization, and that the
Bible has been a bar to her progress. It is true that "woman receives
most consideration in Christian nations;" but this is due to the mental
evolution of humanity, stimulated by climate and by soil, and the
intercommunication of ideas through modern invention. All the Christian
nations are in the north temperate zone, whose climate, and soil are
better adapted to the development of the race than any other portions
of the earth. Christianity took its rise in thirty degrees north
latitude. Mohammedanism took its rise in the torrid zone; and as
it made its way north it advanced in education, in art, in science, and
in invention, until the civilization of Moslem Spain far surpassed that
of Christian Europe, and as it retreated before the Christian sword
from the fertile valleys of Spain into the and plains of Arabia it
retrograded, after giving to the world some of the greatest scientific
truths and inventions.

The women of the United States receive "more consideration" and are
being emancipated more rapidly than are the women of Europe; yet, in
Europe, Christianity holds iron sway, while in America the people are
free to accept or to reject its teachings; and in the United States,
out of a population of seventy millions, but twenty-two millions have
accepted it; and a large percentage of these are children, who have not
arrived at the years of discretion, and foreigners from Christian
Europe. The consideration extended to woman does not depend upon the
teachings of the Bible, but upon the mental and material advancement of
the men of a nation. Now if it can be proven that Bible teaching has
inspired men to explore and to subdue new lands, to give to the world
inventions, to build ships, railroads and telegraphs, to open mines, to
construct foundries and factories, and to amass knowledge and wealth,
then the Bible has been woman's best friend; for she receives most
consideration where men have liberty of thought and of action, have
prospered materially, builded homes, and have bank accounts.

The women in the slums of Christian London and New York receive no
more consideration than the women in the slums of Hong Kong or Bombay.
If the nations which give the most consideration to women do so because
of their Christianity, then it logically follows that the more
intensely Christian a class or an individual may be, the greater
consideration will be shown to their women. The most intensely
Christian people in Christendom are negroes; yet it is an
incontrovertible fact that negro women receive less consideration, and
are more wronged and abused, than any class on the earth. The women of
the middle and upper classes in Bible lands receive consideration just
in proportion to the amount of intelligence and worldly goods possessed
by their male relatives, while the pauper classes are abused,
subjected, and degraded in proportion to the ignorance and the poverty
of the men of their class.

The Church is the channel through which Bible influence flows. Has the
Church ever issued an edict that woman must be equal with man before
the canon or the civil law, that her thoughts should be incorporated in
creed or code, that she should own her own body and property in
marriage, or have a legal claim to her children born in wedlock, which
Christianity claims is a "sacrament" and one of the "holy mysteries"?
Has the Church ever demanded that woman be educated beyond the Bible
(and that interpreted for her) and the cook book, or given a chance in
all the callings of life to earn an honest living? Is not the Church
to-day a masculine hierarchy, with a female constituency, which holds
woman in Bible lands in silence and in subjection?

No institution in modern civilization is so tyrannical and so unjust
to woman as is the Christian Church. It demands everything from her and
gives her nothing in return. The history of the Church does not contain
a single suggestion for the equality of woman with man. Yet it is
claimed that women owe their advancement to the Bible. It would be
quite as true to say that they owe their improved condition to the
almanac or to the vernal equinox. Under Bible influence woman has been
burned as a witch, sold in the shambles, reduced to a drudge and a
pauper, and silenced and subjected before her ecclesiastical and
marital law-givers. "She was first in the transgression, therefore keep
her in subjection." These words of Paul have filled our whole
civilization with a deadly virus, yet how strange is it that the
average Christian woman holds the name of Paul above all others, and is
oblivious to the fact that he has brought deeper shame, subjection,
servitude and sorrow to woman than has any other human being in history.

The nations under Bible influence are the only drunken nations on the
earth. The W. C. T. U. will certainly not claim that drunkenness
elevates woman; indeed, its great work for our sex is a splendid
protest against this idea. Throughout Christendom millions of wretched
women wait in suspense and in terror for the return of drunken
husbands, while in heathendom a drunkard's wife cannot be found unless
a heathen husband is being Christianized by Christian whiskey. The
Chinese women have their feet compressed, but, unlike Christian women,
they do not need their feet to give broom drills or skirt dances for
the "benefit of their church." The child-wives of India need to be
rescued and protected, but no more than many adult wives in Bible lands
need protection from drunken and brutal husbands. The heathen wife
seeks death on her husband's funeral pyre, but the Christian wife is
often sent to death by a bullet in her brain, or a knife in her heart.

It is said that "woman's ballot is unknown except where the Gospel of
Christ has mellowed the hearts of men until they became willing to do
women justice." justice through the ballot has been accorded only to
the women of Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, and far away New Zealand.
In these States the people are honest, industrious and law-abiding; but
the "influence of the Gospel of Christ," according to religious
statistics, is so small it would take a search-warrant to find it,
while Utah is full of Mormons and New Zealand is a convict dumping
ground for Christian nations. Is this the extent of justice to women
after the "influence of the Gospel of Christ has mellowed the hearts of
men" for nineteen hundred years?

The fact is that woman has been elevated in spite of Bible influence.
Every effort that woman has made to secure education has been
challenged by popes, bishops, priests, moderators, conferences and
college presidents, yet against all these protests she has battered
down the doors of Christian colleges and is now studying the Bible of
Science in conjunction with the Bible of the Christian religion. With
increasing knowledge woman is founding her faith on reason and
demonstrated truth, instead of taking it second-hand from priest,
parson or presbyter.

Remove from Bible lands the busy brains and hands which have guided
the plow and the locomotive, driven the machinery of the mine, the
foundry, the factory, the home, the mental and the physical labor which
have brought material prosperity, broadened the mind, subdued the
brutal instincts, and humanized the race--remove all these and leave
but the Bible and its influence, and where, let me, ask, would woman be
to-day? Where, indeed, would man be? A crouching and cowering slave to
the Bible doctrine of the Divine right of kings, living as the brutes
of the field, as he did when Bible Christianity was at the zenith of
its power. Wherever in Christian lands man has been a slave, woman has
been the slave of a slave.

Imagine the condition of woman if to-day should be removed from
Christian civilization the school, the steam engine, the smokestack and
the printing press, and leave but the Scriptures, the steeple and the
parson. Would Elizabeth Cady Stantons, Mary A. Livermores and Frances
E. Willards be the products of this strictly Christian civilization?

Christianity has instilled into woman the canting falsehood that the
women of all other religions are degraded and immoral. Through tyranny
and falsehood alone is Christianity able to hold woman in subjection.
To tell her the truth would rend the temple of faith in twain and
strike terror to the heart of the priest at the altar. Nothing but the
truth will set woman free. She should know that Christian England
captures the Hindoo girl to act as a harlot to the British soldier, and
that a Christian chaplain is commanded to see that she performs her
duty. She should know that in Christian Austria the maiden must partake
of the Holy Eucharist before she will be granted a license as a
prostitute. She should know that Christian Europe and America trade
upon the bodies, the hearts and the hopes of millions of wretched
women, victims of ignorance and of poverty, and that the centres, of
Christian civilization are seething cauldrons of immorality,
dissipation and disease, which spread ruin and despair in the shadow of
the loftiest cathedrals and palatial Christian temples.

These things are too shocking for pure Christian women to know, so
they expend their prayers and pelf on the "poor heathen" who have never
heard that Adam ate an apple, or that the whale swallowed Jonah.
Christianity feeds and fattens on the sentiment and the credulity of
women. It slanders the women of India, of China and of Japan that it
may rob the woman of Europe and of America. Dr. Simmons, of the
National Hospital at Yokohama, who has lived in the Orient for thirty-
five years, says:

"The family in Japan is the cornerstone of the nation. The father and
the mother are regarded with reverence. Politeness and self-restraint
are instilled into children, and an uncivil word is rarely heard. The
Japanese are truthful and honest. The wife has equal influence with the
husband; while divorce is rarely heard of in Oriental lands; and laws
are more stringent protecting the chastity of women."

O that women could learn the truth! The laws of the Orient are against
trafficking in young girls, but Christian England, which has an iron
hand on the throat of India and a sword thrust into her heart, carries
on a lively trade in native and foreign women, to be the prey of the
Christian soldier, who makes way for the Christian missionary. Here, in
Christian America, marriageable young women are trotted off to church,
the theatre or the ball, and practically set up for sale in the market
of holy matrimony; and the Christian minister, for a consideration,
seals the "Divine mystery." The Church would indignantly deny that it
is a marriage mart, but denial does not throttle the truth.

Truth makes her way slowly but surely, because the eternities are
hers. Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the greatest liberator of our time,
has, with magnificent courage, pressed into humanity's Thermopylae, and
turned the light on the superstitions which have visited cruelties and
wrongs on woman, and this, too, under a system which claims to extend
"great consideration" to the Mothers of the Race. O women of
Christendom! will ye not seek the truth? Leave the priestly mendicants
who demand your devotion and your dollars, leave to their religion the
heathen women on the banks of the Yangtse-Kiang and the Ganges, and
turn your eyes to millions of your enslaved, toiling, struggling
sisters in Christendom whom it is claimed the Bible has elevated; and
remember that these are the victims upon whom the "glad feet" of the
Gospel have been trampling for two thousand years.

Versailles, Ky.

Josephine K. Henry.



The Christian theory of the sacredness of the Bible has been at the
cost of the world's civilization. Whether we regard the work as
custodian of the profoundest secrets of the "ancient mysteries," a
spiritual book trebly veiled, or as the physical and religious history
of the world in its most material forms, its interpretation by the
Church, by the State, and by society has ever been prejudicial to the
best interests of humanity. Science, art, inventions, reforms of
existing wrongs, all, all have been opposed upon its authority. That
even the most enlightened nations are not yet out of barbarism is due
to the teachings of the Bible.

From "Thou shalt not make any graven image, or any likeness of
anything in heaven above, the earth beneath, or the waters under the
earth," down to "A woman shall not speak in church, but shall ask her
husband at home," the tendency of the Bible has been to crush out
aspiration, to deaden human faculties, and to humiliate mankind. From
Adam's plaint, "The woman gave me and I did eat," down to Christ's
"Woman, what have I to do with thee?" the tendency of the Bible has
been degradation of the divinest half of humanity--woman. Even the
Christian Church itself is not based upon Christ as a savior, but upon
its own teachings that woman brought sin into the world, a theory in
direct contradiction, not alone to the mysteries, but to spiritual
truth. But our present quest is not what the mystic or the spiritual
character of the Bible may be; we are investigating its influence upon
woman under Judaism and Christianity, and pronounce it evil.

Matilda Joslyn Gage.



There is nothing tending to show that the women spoken of in the Bible
were superior to the ones we know. There are to-day millions of women
making coats for their sons; hundreds of thousands of women, true, not
simply to innocent people falsely accused, but to criminals. Many a
loving heart is as true to the gallows as Mary was to the cross. There
are hundreds of thousands of women accepting poverty and want and
dishonor for the love they bear unworthy men; hundreds and thousands--
hundreds and thousands--working day and night, with strained eyes and
tired hands, for husbands and children--clothed in rags, housed in huts
and hovels, hoping day after day for the Angel of Death. There are
thousands of women in Christian England working in iron, laboring in
the fields and toiling in the mines. There are hundreds and thousands
in Europe, everywhere, doing the work of men--deformed by toil, and who
would become simply wild and ferocious beasts, except for the love they
bear for home and child.

We need not go back four thousand years for heroines. The world is
filled with them to-day. They do not belong to any nation, nor any
religion, nor exclusively to any race. Wherever woman is found, they
are found. There are no women portrayed in the Bible who equal
thousands and thousands of known to-day. The women of the Bible fall
almost infinitely below, not simply those in real life, but the
creations of the imagination found in the world of fiction. They will
not compare with the women born of Shakespeare's brain. You will find
none like Isabella, in whose spotless life, love and reason blended
into perfect truth; nor Juliet, within whose heart, passion and purity
met like white and red within the bosom of a rose; nor Cordelia, who
chose to suffer loss rather than show her wealth of love with those who
gilded dross with golden words in hope of gain; nor Miranda, who told
her love as freely as a flower gives its blossom to the kisses of the
sun; nor Imogene, who asked, "What is it to be false?" nor Hermione,
who bore with perfect faith and hope the cross of shame, and who at
last forgave with all her heart; nor Desdemona, her innocence so
perfect and her love so pure that she was incapable of suspecting that
another could suspect, and sought with dying words to hide her lover's
crime.

If we wish to find what the Bible thinks of woman, all that is
necessary to do is to read it. We shall find that everywhere she is
spoken of simply as property--as belonging absolutely to the man. We
shall find that, whenever a man got tired of his wife, all he had to do
was to give her a writing of divorcement, and that then the mother of
his children became a houseless and homeless wanderer. We shall find
that men were allowed to have as many wives as they could get, either
by courtship, purchase, or conquest. The Jewish
people in the olden time were, in many respects, like their barbarian
neighbors.

Anon.



The Bible, viewed by men as the infallible "Word of God," and
translated and explained for ages by men only, tends to the subjection
and degradation of woman. Historical facts to prove this are abundant.
In the dark days of "witchcraft"--through centuries--alleged witches
were arrested, tried in ecclesiastical courts, tortured and hung or
burned at the stake by men under priestly direction, and the great
majority of the victims were women. Eve's alleged transgression, and
the Bible edict in the days of the reputed Witch of Endor, "Thou shalt
not suffer a witch to live," being the warrant and Divine authority for
this awful slaughter of women.

In the days of chattel-slavery in our country, the slave-laws, framed
by men only, degraded woman by making her the defenseless victim of her
slave-master's passions, and then inflicting a cruel stab, reaching the
heart of motherhood, by laws which made her children follow the
condition of the mother, as slaves; never that of the father, as free
women or men. The clergy became slaveholders and defenders of slavery
without loss of priestly position or influence, and quoted "Cursed be
Canaan" as their justification.

The Lord gave the Word, great was the company of those that published
it.--Old version of the Bible, 68th Psalm.

The Lord giveth the Word, and great is the multitude of women who
publish it.--Revised version of the Bible, 68th Psalm.

Here is "a reform" not "against Nature," nor the facts of history, but
is true to the Mother of the Race, to her knowledge of "the Word," to
her desire to promulgate it, to her actual participation in declaring
and proclaiming it. And true to a present and continuous inspiration
and influx of the Spirit, it is giveth, and not "gave," in the past.
And this one recognition of woman as preacher and Apostle forbids the
assertion that woman is degraded from Genesis to Revelation.

The light of a more generous religious thought, a growth out of the
old beliefs, impelled the learned "Committee on Revision" to speak the
truth in regard to the religious character and work of women, and they
have exalted her where before she was "degraded."

This revision is also prophetic of this era, for never were women
doing so excellently the world's work, or, like Tryphena and Tryphosa,
prophesying the light still to come.

Catharine A. F. Stebbins.



The general principles of righteousness and justice laid down in the
Bible have elevated the race in general, the mothers included, and have
aided in securing reforms for women, as well as for other classes. But
the specific texts of Saint Paul enjoining subjection upon women have
undoubtedly been a hindrance.

Alice Stone Blackwell.



1. In my opinion the teachings of the Bible have advanced woman's
emancipation.

Look at the freedom of the Jewish women of the Old Testament--of
Miriam, Deborah, Abigail, Ruth and Esther. In comparison, where were
the Gentile women who knew not God?

2. The teachings of the Bible, particularly the New Testament, have
dignified the Mothers of the Race. Christ was very severe to the men
who were sinners, he called them Scribes and Pharisees and hypocrites,
and pronounced, "Woe be unto you." He even whipped the money changers
out of the temple. But no rebuke to woman ever fell from his lips save
the gentle one to Martha, that she cared too much for her home and her
nice housekeeping. Christ's mission meant the elevation of womanhood.
Compare Christian countries with the heathen countries, and see how
Christianity elevates and heathenism degrades womanhood.

I have studied the questions in the Indian Territory in our own United
States. Under the influence of the Christian missionaries the
Indian woman is an important factor in Church and State. Where the
Gospel of Christ is not preached the women are slaves to the men. In
their long tramps they do not even walk beside their husbands, but
follow behind like dogs. I am aware that small ministers still preach
foolishness, defining "woman's sphere," but the real Biblical
Christianity elevates womanhood.

Sarah M. Perkins.



My Dear Mrs. Stanton:--I regard the Bible as I do the other so-called
sacred books of the world. They were all produced in savage times, and,
of course, contain many things that shock our sense of justice. In the
days of darkness women were regarded and treated as slaves. They were
allowed no voice in public affairs. Neither man nor woman were
civilized, and the gods were like their worshipers. It gives me
pleasure to know that women are beginning to think and are becoming
dissatisfied with the religion of barbarians.

I congratulate you on what you have already accomplished and for the
work you are now doing. Sincerely yours,

Eva A. Ingersoll.



In reading some of these letters and comments I have been deeply
impressed with the difficulty of substituting reason for superstition
in minds once perverted by a false faith. Women have been taught by
their religious guardians that the Bible, unlike all other books, was
written under the special inspiration of the Great Ruling Intelligence
of the Universe. Not conversant with works on science and higher
criticism, which point out its fabulous pretensions, they cling to it
with an unreasoning tenacity, like a savage to his fetich. Though it is
full of contradictions, absurdities and impossibilities, and bears the
strongest evidence in every line of its human origin, and in moral
sentiment is below many of the best books of our own day,
they blindly worship it as the Word of God.

When you point out what in plain English it tells us God did say to
his people in regard to woman, and there is no escape from its
degrading teaching as to her position, then they shelter themselves
under false translations, interpretations and symbolic meanings. It
does not occur to them that men learned in the languages have revised
the book many times, but made no change in woman's position. Though
familiar with "the designs of God," trained in Biblical research and
higher criticism, interpreters of signs and symbols and Egyptian
hieroglyphics, learned astronomers and astrologers, yet they cannot
twist out of the Old or New Testaments a message of justice, liberty or
equality from God to the women of the nineteenth century!

The real difficulty in woman's case is that the whole foundation of
the Christian religion rests on her temptation and man's fall, hence
the necessity of a Redeemer and a plan of salvation. As the chief cause
of this dire calamity, woman's degradation and subordination were made
a necessity. If, however, we accept the Darwinian theory, that the race
has been a gradual growth from the lower to a higher form of life, and
that the story of the fall is a myth, we can exonerate the snake,
emancipate the woman, and reconstruct a more rational religion for the
nineteenth century, and thus escape all the perplexities of the Jewish
mythology as of no more importance than those of the Greek, Persian and
Egyptian.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton.





"THE WOMAN'S BIBLE" REPUDIATED.

At the twenty-eighth annual convention of the National-American Woman
Suffrage Association, held in Washington, D. C., in January, 1896, the
following, was reported by the Committee on Resolutions:

"That this Association is non-sectarian, being composed of persons of
all shades of religious opinion, and that it has no official connection
with the so-called 'Woman's Bible,' or any theological publication."

Charlotte Perkins Stetson moved to amend by striking out everything
after the word "opinion."

Anna R. Simmons moved, as an amendment to the amendment, to omit the
words "the so-called Woman's Bible, or."

This was followed by a long and animated discussion, in which the
following persons participated:

Frances A. Williamson, Helen Morris Lewis, Annie L. Diggs, Carrie
Chapman Catt, Rachel Foster Avery, Henry B. Blackwell, Laura M. Johns,
Elizabeth U. Yates, Katie R. Addison, Alice Stone Blackwell and Rev.
Anna Howard Shaw, speaking for the resolution; and Charlotte Perkins
Stetson, Mary Bentley Thomas, J. B. Merwin, Clara B. Colby, Harriette
A. Keyser, Lavina A. Hatch, Lillie Devereux Blake, Caroline Hallowell
Miller, Victoria Conkling Whitney, Althea B. Stryker, and Cornelia H.
Cary speaking against it.

The President, Susan B. Anthony, left the chair and spoke with much
earnestness against the adoption of the resolution as follows:

"The one distinct feature of our Association has been the right of
individual opinion for every member. We have been beset at every step
with the cry that somebody was injuring the cause by the
expression of some sentiments that differed with those held by the
majority of mankind. The religious persecution of the ages has been
done under what was claimed to be the command of God. I distrust those
people who know so well what God wants them to do to their fellows,
because it always coincides with their own desires. All the way along
the history of our movement there has been this same contest on account
of religious theories. Forty years ago one of our noblest men said to
me: 'You would better never hold another convention than let Ernestine
L. Rose stand on your platform,' because that talented and eloquent
Polish woman, who ever stood for justice and freedom, did not believe
in the plenary inspiration of the Bible. Did we banish Mrs. Rose? No,
indeed! Every new generation of converts threshes over the same old
straw. Twenty-five years ago a prominent woman, who stood on our
platform for the first time, wanted us to pass a resolution that we
were not free lovers; and I was not more shocked than I am to-day at
this attempt. The question is whether you will sit in judgment on one
who has questioned the Divine inspiration of certain passages in the
Bible derogatory to women. If she had written approvingly of these
passages, you would not have brought in this resolution because you
thought the cause might be injured among the liberals in religion. In
other words, if she had written your views, you would not have
considered a resolution necessary. To pass this one is to set back the
hands on the dial of reform. It is the reviving of the old time
censorship, which I hoped we had outgrown.

"What you should do is to say to outsiders that a Christian has
neither more nor less rights in our Association than an atheist. When
our platform becomes too narrow for people of all creeds and of no
creeds, I myself shall not stand upon it. Many things have been said
and done by our orthodox friends that I have felt to be extremely
harmful to our cause; but I should no more consent to a resolution
denouncing them than I shall consent to this. Who is to draw the line?
Who can tell now whether Mrs. Stanton's commentaries may not prove a
great help to woman's emancipation from old superstitions that have
barred her way? Lucretia Mott at first thought Mrs. Stanton had
injured the cause of all woman's other rights by insisting upon the
demand for suffrage, but she had sense enough not to bring in a
resolution against it. In 1860, when Mrs. Stanton made a speech before
the New York Legislature in favor of a bill making drunkenness a cause
for divorce, there was a general cry among the friends that she had
killed the woman's cause. I shall be pained beyond expression if the
delegates here are so narrow and illiberal as to adopt this resolution.
You would better not begin resolving against individual action or you
will find no limit. This year it is Mrs. Stanton; next year it may be
me or one of yourselves who will be the victim.

"Are you going to cater to the whims and prejudices of people who have
no intelligent knowledge of what they condemn? If we do not inspire in
woman a broad and catholic spirit, they will fail, when enfranchised,
to constitute that power for better government which we have always
claimed for them. You would better educate ten women into the practice
of liberal principles than to organize ten thousand on a platform of
intolerance and bigotry. I pray you, vote for religious liberty,
without censorship or inquisition. This resolution, adopted, will be a
vote of censure upon a woman who is without a peer in intellectual and
statesmanlike ability; one who has stood for half a century the
acknowledged leader of progressive thought and demand in regard to all
matters pertaining to the absolute freedom of women."

The Resolution was then adopted by a vote of 53 to 41.

"The Truth shall make you free."--John viii., 32-

THE END.






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------------------------

WOMAN, CHURCH AND STATE.

By Matilda Joslyn Gage.

This is Mrs. Gage's latest and crowning work. It is the book to show
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Address

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Address Free Thought Magazine, 218 E. Indiana St., Chicago, Ill.

------------------------

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THE PACIFIC EMPIRE

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It is devoted to the interests of women and the development of art and
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------------------------

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THE BOSTON INVESTIGATOR

Lemuel K. Washburn, Editor. Ralph Washburn Chainey, Associate Editor.

The Oldest and Most Progressive Reform Journal in the United States.

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