Изображения страниц

In fine, the authority assumed by the female episcopacy in the church, is more unjust and more tyrannical, than that which the female usurps in the domestic circle, when she degrades her husband and seizes the reins of government over the family. The one is a breach of civil order; the other is a breach of the laws of God's house. And there is a degree of guilt attached to crimes of this last kind, which throws a frightful shade of aggravation and infamy over them. And can a man of spirit submit to this infamous usurpation? On the poor hen-pecked sufferer we bestow our sympathy, as on a martyr for the rights of man. In his degradation his will is not stained by any acquiescence in the tyrannical encroachments of his help-mate. But the silence and the complacent submission of the society, to this public encroachment on the civil and religious rights of man, present the matter in a different point of light. We feel not so much the yearnings of sympathy for the hen-pecked martyr struggling occasionally for his rights. We feel all the virtuous indignation of the man and the christian against men who have sold their birth-right, and yielded up their powers to the dominion of the petticoat!Oh the times! Oh the manners! Can this age that has been enriched by every work of taste; that has elevated every branch of science to such a proud eminence; that has produced so many men of learning and refinement; so many orators in church and in state; whose labours are diffusing among all ranks in society, the most correct views of man's natural rights; such love of order, piety, and religion: Can this age bear the presumptuous opinions of them who would bring back on us the mysticism and folly of the dark ages, when bearded men listened to prating girls; and professors resigned their chairs to doating old women!

We call on every man of science and friend to literature in the society, to exert himself in correcting the vitiated taste of men; who even for their amusement can listen to the incoherent effusions of illiterate females! We call on every virtuous and amiable lady in the society, to use all her influence in taking away this scandal to man—this reproach to the sex! We call on every man of spirit and independence to set his face against this insult on his dignity and prerogative; this outrage to the laws of God and of nature! And oh! ye hen-pecked, and far from peace

[ocr errors]

and comfort, gladly would we aid you in regaining your lost paradise, out of which your ambitious Eves have so wantonly turned you! Make one effort more, we beseech you, to make them feel their proper station in society. But alas! no-words will not do it. Arguments cannot. Distraction can be restrained only by force. And none but the brutish can apply force to arguments, especially where the fair are concerned. I give up the case, therefore, as hopeless. Alas! and we have lived to see the day when those evils reign that made the most patient of the fathers groan. "Alii discunt, proh pudor! a feminis quod homines doceant-Scribimus indocti, doctique poemata passimHanc garrula anus, hanc delirus senex, hanc sophista verbosa præsumunt, lacerant, docent, antequam discant."* We have lived to see the day when these female phenomena have ceased to excite surprise or interest! The novelty is gone; and with it that burning shame that was on the cheeks of our fathers, when they were first compelled to witness the intrusion on their prerogative, and on delicacy and decency! The wonderment of the mob has subsided into a leering stare! And the thing is become a matter of perfect indifference to the orderly and the polished; to the magistrate, to the pastor, and to the prelate. Oh ye grave Roman senators, who arrested the solemn business of the commonwealth, in order to consult the oracle what alarming events the appearance of a female in your forum to plead her own cause, might portend to the city;† the stoutest of you had" stood aghast with speechless trance"-had you witnessed what our eyes beholdfemales mounting the rostrum, and declaiming in the assemblies of the people—had you witnessed grave men and even prelates, and even pastors, and even the united wisdom of the people in the halls of the state and the congress, sitting down under the prophecyings of mother Juliana, and the refreshings of a petticoated preacher! Proh tempora! Proh mores!‡ **** Old

Hierony. tom. iii. 7.


This has been literally exemplified in the congress, and in our state

legislatures. The mother Julianas of the day have been invited to en

lighten our congress, from the speaker's seat. And a few years ago the legislature of New Jersey postponed the business of the commonwealth, to sit down under the "divine refreshments" of a reverend mother Deborah, who occupied the speaker's seat with infinite grace!

pope Gregory XI. groaned forth the lugubrious words in his last hours...... "Ah! let no man listen after me, to the prophecyings of a woman—of a Catharine De Sens !" Helen fired a Troy after ten years bloody trials and sorrows! This prophetess kindled a fire that blazed in church and state during fifty-one revolving years !




Psalm xix. 7.-.

תורת יהיה תמימה משיבת נפש עדות יהיה נאמנה מתבימת פתי:..

THE sectary and the polemic often find themselves in a situation trying to the most stubborn virtues. But no force of temptation can be alleged in extenuation of dishonesty and treachery. The man who flatters the loveliness of truth, at the moment that his hand wields the poniard of the assassin, is, to say the least, sunk to the lowest degree of literary depravity.

In the infidel world, the most noted of this class were Herbert and his copyers, down to Hobbes. They professed to venerate the scriptures, and they aimed a blow at their existence. In the christian world, the cardinals Bellarmine and Hosius were their associates in this crime. These advocated the divinity of the scriptures, but avowed that the written word, though useful, was not necessary. Nay, the lips of Hosius asserted, "that the interests of the church had been better consulted, had revelation not been committed to writing."*

The Friends are their companions in arms, and rivals in zeal. They differ only in the object of their design. The infidel has assailed the honour and dignity of the holy scriptures, in order to exalt to divine honours the light of reason; the cardinals to elevate the tradition of the Fathers; the Friends the revelations of their "light within."

When Herbert and Hosius qualify their rude attack on the holy scriptures, by professions of veneration for their sanctity, we must question their sincerity, or insult our own understandings. The truth is, they acted on the maxim of the catholic courts, who worship the vicar of Christ, but hesitate not to wage bloody wars against the man and his court. They praise the

Turret. Loc. ii. quæst. 2. sect. 1. Bernh. de Moore, tom. i. p. 128.
Herb. Relig. Laic. p. 28.

sacred scriptures, but it is only to prepare the way for a systema to which they made revelation yield the honours of its divinity and loveliness!

Of the same nature are the professions of veneration which blazon the pages of the early Friends. They admit the scriptures to be holy and useful: they insist that they ought to be read and believed" where they are known:" that they are the only fit outward judge of controversies."*


But they do insist that they are inferior to their perfect rule "the light within ;" and it is in supporting the proof of this principal article of their creed, that they have been carried forth into such intemperate sallies of zeal against the holy scriptures.

The "scriptures," say they, "are the dead letter," while their "light" is made "the living rule." "Ye doat on the scriptures without," said Parnell ; and to the question, may I not read the Bible? the oracle gave this laconic answer-" Read thine own heart."§"The gospel is preached in every creature by the light of God in their consciences." "No command of the scriptures is any farther binding on a man, than as he finds a conviction in his own conscience." "That which is spoken from the spirit of truth in any," (and "the spirit" and "the light," in their nomenclature, are synonymous terms) "is of as great authority as the scriptures; yea, and greater."** Penn insists that their revelations and the scriptures are " of the same family ;" but admits that the " scriptures are the elder brother;"tt and yet this elder brother has but a meagre honour rendered to him. For Penn maintains that the Bible cannot be the rule of faith and morals. "They are not such a rule as ought to be plain, proper and intelligible." And, as if inspired by the spirit of Bellarmine, he throws out the most disingenuous insinuation against their authen


* Penn vol. ii. p. 815, 896. And the "London Epistles" are now pretty orthodox. The following is modern. " We believe the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be of divine original; and give full credit to the historical facts as well as doctrines therein delivered." See the Quaker notes in the American edit. of Mosheim's Eccles. Hist. vol. iv.


† See Penn vol. ii. p. 66. + "Christ Exalted," p. 3. § See StalS. Fisher's "Light of Christ," sect. 20. ¶ Penn vol. ii. p. 253. Burroughs' Works, folio, P. 47. **Whitehead's "Truths Def.” p. 7, and quoted by Penn, vol. ii. p. 674, and Snake, &c. edit. 2, p. 107. tt Vol. ii. p. 331.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »