Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

speak this by permission, and not of commandinent.” This is truly Christian! truly primitive! If a man wants to fast and pray, he may lend his wife to another for the wbile! Well done, little crooked Saint Paul! Truly you were all things to all men! and to all women too! After laying down many contradictory regulations as to fornication, apon which be has written like an ignorant and snivelling fool that knew not the passion, he states his reasons to be at verse 29, because « the time is short.That is, the time before Jesus Christ was to come. The coming of Jesus Christ is one of those matters that has been and will be long looked for and not come at last. This and the restoration of the Jews to a city that their ancestors bad not the merit even of founding, form two of the great bumbugs which amuse or distract rather the Christians of Europe and America.

There is nothing further very serious to be found in this Epistle, save at ebap. xi. where Paul complains, that they occupied their time in Church with eating and drinking even to drunkenness! These were jolly primitives! He says, at verse zl, “ For in eating every one taketh before other his owo supper; and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the Church of God, and sbame them that bave not? What-shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise

It seems that some of these primitives, who had nothing to eat, were aunoyed, “ sbamed," to see others eating and drinking to excess in Church time. The houses of Gaius and Chloe must have resembled our little country pothouses, wbere the coblers, and tent-inakers, and tailors, meet with their bread and cheese, or animal food, in their bands or their bats, and so chat over their morsels upon the news and scandal of the day. We may suppose something like the following to bave bappened in one of the primitive churches.

I say, Mrs. Chloe, please to draw us another pint, a little milder than the last. Come neighbours: “Here's to the cause of Jesus Christ and the Gospel of Uncircumcision.” Bravo Crispus (Crispin !) that's righteous.--Maister Gaius fill my pint, will ye? To be sure, Timothy. Saint Paul needed not to have advised me to drink no more water. No, no, pot whilst I can get wine. Now then, Crispus, (Crispin) and fellow primitives all—“ Here's, Saint Paul for ever, who makes every thing easy to our consciences, so that we stick to his Gospel and his Jesus Christ.”—Well said young Tim!

[ocr errors]

you Dot.

[ocr errors]

How' is your old grandmother Lois ? Very well. And your mother Eunice? Very well, thank the Lord and Saint Paul.

-Ah! they were both mighty thick with our Apostle when he was here. Our women never show such an abundance of grace as when the Apostles' are about them. I say, come Titus, give us a hymn.-Let us sing to the praise and glory of God, a verse from the Gospel according to Saint Watts.

Now by the bowels of my God,
His sharp distress, bis sore complaints,

By his last groans, his dying blood,

I charge my soul to love the saints. Bravo! Titus, that's right Christian! Now Sister Phæbe, let us hear your pretty mouth warble the praises of our crucified God.-Lord! Brother Fortunatus! it is so long since that I was saluted with a holy kiss, that the spirit doth not move me to sing; but I will try to praise and love my God. (Phæbe sings.)

Thý sacred flesh our souls have eat,
'Tis living bread we thank thee Lord;

And here we drink our Saviour's blood;.
We thauk thee Lord, 'tis gen'rous wine.

Mingled with love the Fountain flowed

From that dear bleeding heart of thine. Very pious, very pious, Sister Phæbe. The Lord or Saint Paul will reward thee, when he comes: though, by the by, our d postle seems more attached to Thecla, than to any other one of our Sister Saints.--Ab! (cries Phæbe) sister Thecla, methinks, is no better than she should be. But, to be sure, as the Apostle said in his first Epistle, chap. ix. ver. 5, he had the same right “ to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord and Cephas.” And even our blessed Saviour, as tradition tells us, did not spurn the company of Mary Magdaleu and the merry folks at Cana: so it behoveth all Christians to be charitable on this head. -For my part (cries Priscilla) I had rather bear Saint Paul preach than have one of his holy kisses: my Aquila is not a little bald, bollow-eyed, crookednosed, and crooked thighed man. I declare to God, that I should bate a man with crooked thighs: even though he were a saint and an apostle. Ah! Lord! (shuddering) it must be like a crab creeping about one! And I have no notion, that this little holy cripple should interfere about our marriages and marriage rites! I declare, that ratber than suffer this, I will go back to the delightful worship of Venus. But this is not a Christian act of our Apostle; for his master did not see any sin ip adultery ; but told an adulteress, when caught in the very fact, to go her way and sin no more. This was charitable and God-like. He even took the Devil out of Mary Magdalen seven times; and though this be a figure of speech, we, Corinthian women, are not so dull in these matters, but that we can understand them! Let Saint Paul look after his Mistress Thecla, and if he cannot spoil her virginity, why, e'en let her keep it, so long as she can “contain herself” and bear the company and the love of such a defective man. By the love of God, if we catch Saint Paul again at Corinth, we Corinthian Christian women will scratch his bald pate, and finally thimble-pie his little cerebellum, as we sit together making tents again.

He'll get never a Christian woman in Corinth to go under a tent of his making. And again, what business has he to interfere with our hair?

What bas the length or shortness of our hair to do with the Christian religion? Because he is bald, I suppose, our husbands must disfigure their persons, by cutting off their hair? Whoever saw a picture of our God without long hair? Was not the strength of Sampson and the beauty of Absalom in the length of their hair? I wonder if our Lord Jesus ever entered a Barber's Shop, or suffered either of his disciples, male or female, to cut off his divine hair? This Paul saith at chap. xi. ver. 14, of this Epistle, that Nature proclaims it a shame for a man to wear long hair! Why does Nature allow it to grow? Why did pature plant it, if it were a shame to ber? And pray, who could cut Adam's hair? Who could cut hair before Tubal Cain made scis. sors? There is nothing natural about this Saint Paul, and it is clear that he knows nothing about nature. He saith again, that it

a shame for a woman to pray to God uncovered. Why is it a shame? God was not ashamed of aak. ed Eve before she had eaten that odd apple and bad grown ashamed of herself. Then he very modestly made her an apron of fig leaves, but not to cover her head! What does this little great Apostle think that a God cannot see through a veil or a head dress? I admire bis divinity and knowledge of tbings! He tell us, at verses 9, and 10, that as the woman was created for the man, she ought to have power on her head because of the angels! This is a riddle that has not he says:

a little puzzled me! We know what the love of God means, and often feel the influence of this spiritual motion within us; but, bless me, Mrs. Chloe, wbat can these Angels be,'of whose loves we Christian women should beware? I do not tbink that I should be much afraid of their angelical influences, particularly, if they are handsome and all perfection, free from those imperfections which our apostle has about bim. We need not have our beads covered because of Saint Paul!

And now again, this little holy fellow saith in one place, or at chap. ii. ver. 5, that women may pray and prophesy, if they will keep their heads covered : at chap. xiv. ver. 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. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” Now if our little crooked-nosed apostle doth not beat a Cretan at lying and prevarication; then I am no Christian wo. man. -Women not allowed to speak in church! Women not to ask questions from any one but their husbands, and that at home! Pretty life, indeed! Why was the toogne of a woman more finely nerved than that of man, if it were a shame to a woman to speak in public? Why, there is my Aquila, a spruce fellow to be sure, and as strong, as vigorous, as bold, and as noble as an eagle; but his modesty and good sense will not allow him to put himself upon a par with me at public speaking. Had Saint Paul been man enough to marry, he would have learnt better bow to make laws for women: he would have learnt, that when women cannot use their tongues to good effect, their words fly out at the ends of their fingers and scratch men's faces.

And pray, upon what anthority doth he say that man was not made for woman; but woman for the man ? He has cautioned Titus to beware of Jewish fables, and has said, that the story of Abraham and Agar is an allegory. I be

No. 22, Vol. X.

lieve, that the making of Eve out of one of Adam's ribs is an allegory, a fable, or something worse. Let Saint Paul, with his miraculous powers, try if he can make a woman out of a man's rib. Woman is but'a man of another shape, and some of our neighbouring pbilosophers, at Athens, will support the argument, and even show the absolute necessity of woman having been the prior existence. A man could not bring forth a woman; but a woman, by the aid of a God, a Devil, an Angel, or some great or little fish, might have brought forth a man. It is better to believe, as the scripture saith at Genesis chap. i. verses 20, 21, and 22, that our great parent the water hath generated all sorts of animals without a course of sexual production. Water is your only virgin-mother.

And now, fellow Christians, and Primitives all, I bope I have given you a fair specimen of what a woman can do in the way of a sermon, in prophesying and making a revelation to your edification. If ever our little Apostle shows his face among us again, after spending upon himself and Thecla our collection of money for the Saints in Asia, I will eugage to convince him, that the Holy Ghost with the gift of tongues, falleth upon women as well as upon men: and that it is no shame for a woman to be found speaking in all places and upon all occasions. Now to him that made the Holy Ghost, and gave to woman the larger share of influence in all buman and divine matters, be all love, and honour, and happiness, and vigour, world without end. Amen.

Well done Priscilla, I wish Paul had been here to hear your speech, I will hereafter acknowledge your supremacy in words as well as in deeds: come, if you are not too much exhausted, let us have your hymn. (Priscilla sips and sings.)

This soul-reviving wine
Dear Saviour, 'tis thy blood,

We thank that sacred flesh of thine,
For this immortal food.

« AnteriorContinuar »