Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

verse

296; Reflections on our obligations not to offend others. . sect. bers was actuated by them! not seeking his own things, but those II. of others ; not pursuing his own interest, but that of many, that

they may be saved ! Yea, how happy would each particular per. 23 son be, in such a wise and tender care of the whole, beyond 24-29 what the most eager and successful pursuit of a separate in.

terest can render him!

Let us endeavour to steer in the due medium, between the opposite extremes of an excessive scrupulosity, and a presumptu.

ous rashness; and attend to the various distinguishing circum25.27 stances which will demand a correspondent difference of con.

duct, in things which may seem to an inattentive eye much the

same : not thinking that attention and caution needless, by which 31 the glory of our God, and the edification of our brethren, may be

promoted. We may expose ourselves in consequence of this tenderness of conscience, to inconveniences, straits, and con.

tempt; but let us commit all our concerns to that Divine Provi. 26-28 dence which extends itself to all its works ; and rejoice to think,

that the earth is the Lord's, and all its fulness : out of which he will not fail to furnish necessary supplies to those who fear him, and are thus solicitous to preserve a conscience void of offence before him. But while we are strictly cautious ourselves, let us not be rash and severe in our censures of others, who stund, or fall, to their own master, and who may in some instances have reasons, to us unknown, for a conduct most different from ours.

O! that Divine grace may teach us all to govern our whole 31 lives by this extensive important maxim , that whether we eat,

or drink, or whatsoever we do, we pursue the glory of God! Let us dignify and sanctify all the common actions of life, by performing them from these high and holy motives ; and so turn

ing them into sacrifices of devotion and love. Then shall we 32 not only avoid giving offence to others, but shall conduct our

selves in such a manner, as shall make us burning and shining lights in the world, and extend our sphere of usefulness far beyond that of our personal converse, and perhaps beyond the date of our precarious abode in this transitory world.

Thus glorifying our heavenly Father on earth, and finishing the work he hath given us to do, we may hope through his grace

in Christ, to be glorified with him above, and to be brought to a Chap. brighter image of that Saviour, who has set us so perfect an exxi. 1 ample of the temper and conduct here recommended, which

even the blessed apostle Paul followed only with unequal steps.

The apostle blames an indecency in the church of Corinth;

297

Cor.

SECT. XXI. The apostle sets himself to reform some indecencies which had crept into the church of Corinth ; and particularly that of women prophesying with their head uncovered. 1 Cor. XI. 2-16. 1 Cor. XI. 2.

1 CORINTHIANS XI. 2. Now I praise I HAVE just now exhorted you, my breth. sect. W you, brethren, I ren, to imitate me, as I endeavour to copy xxi. that you remember the example of our bless me in all things, and,

er the example of our blessed Lord. And while keep the ordinances, I am giving you such an exhortation, I ought 1.2 as i delivered them to express my satisfaction in seeing many of to you.

you so ready to comply with it. I praise such
of you therefore, that in all things you are mind-

ful of me, and strenuously retain the charges I 3 But I would have gave, as I committed (them) to you. But as to 3 you know, that the your inquiring concerning the manner in which head of every man is. Christ: and the head women should deliver any thing in public, of the woman, is the when they are by a Divine impulse called to do man ; and the head it ; I would have you to know, in order to regof Christ, is God.

ulate your judgment and conduct aright, that
Christ is the head of every man ; so that every
Christian should often recollect the relation in
which he hath the honour to stand to him, as
an engagement to observe the strictest deco-
rum in his whole behaviour. And if the dif-
ferent sexes be compared, the head of the wo.
man [is] the man ; to whom therefore she ought
to pay a reverent respect, as in the Lord. And
the head of Christ [is] God : Christ, in his me-
diatorial character, acts in subordination to the
Father, who rules by him, and hath constituted
him Sovereign of all worlds, visible and invisia
ble. And as the Father's glory is interested
in the administration of Christ, so is the glory
of Christ in some measure interested in the
conduct and behaviour of those men whose
more immediate head he is ; and I may add, of

those women whose heads such men are. 4 Every man pray. Now, upon this principle, I may say, in ref- 4 ing, or prophesying, erence to the usages which prevail at this time

in your country ; every man, praying or proph-
esying, in a public assembly, whether he give
forth inspired psalms or hymns, or utter pre-

dictions, or common instruction ; if he do it VOL. 4,

[ocr errors]

298

Where women prophesied with their head uncovered

sect. with Chis] head covered, acting therein contrary having his head core XXI. to the received rules of decency among us, he ered, dishonoureth

in a degree, dishonours Christ his head,a as be." 1 Cor. in having unworthy his relation to him. And on 5 But every wo.

the other hand, every womun, praying or prophe- man that prayeth, or sying, under such inspiration as above, with prophesieth, with

her head uncovered, Ther] head unveiled, dishonoureth man, who is dishonoureth her her head, by behaving in such a manner as head : for that is ea is indecent in an assembly consisting of so ven all one as if she many men as are usually present on these occa. We sions : for I may say, that it is in this respect the same as if she were shaved : shaving her head is only taking off the natural covering, and exposing it bare ; which is so shameful a thing, that you know it has often been inflicted as a proper kind of punishment, on women of the most abandoned character ; and it is scandalous, that any thing like this should be used in your Christian assemblies; and this too, by persons pretending to extraordinary characters 6 and assistances. I may therefore say, if a wo. 6 For if the won man will not be veiled, let her even be shorn ; but man be not covered,

let her also be shorn: if it be apparently shameful for a woman to have but if it be us her hair shorn, or shaved off, let her keep as for a woman to be faras possible from so disagreeable an appear. shorn or shaven, let ance; and have her head covered with a proper her b

veil, at the times, and in the circumstances of 7 which we now speak. For a man indeed ought 7 For a man in

not to have [his] head covered as being the im- deed ought not to mediate image and glory of God: and made in cover his head, forhis likeness as the first copy of its kind, before im

asmuch as he is the I copy of its kind, before image and glory of woman was created. It is decent therefore, God: but the 'wothat he should appear with the marks of that man is the glory of superiority which he indeed bears : but the the woman should forbear it ; and it is enough to say of her, that she is the glory of the man : to whom God hath done noinconsiderable honour,

a shame

her be covered.

man.

. Every man praying, &c. with his head tation of the custom prevailing in the syn. covered, dishonoureth [his] head.] It was agogues; which therefore the apostle discertainly, (as Dr. Whitby, and others, have approved The women seem to have worn proved,) the custom among the Greeks their hair dishevelled, when praying by and Romans, as well as the Jews, to ap- Divine inspiration ; (which seems to have pear in worshipping assemblies with their been the only case in which they could reg. head covered ; and it is certain the Jewish ularly pray in public :) this made them re. priests wore a kind of turban, when min. semble those pagan priestesses, who pre. istering in the temple. But it seems, that tended to be actuated by their gods ; the the Corinthian men wore a veil, out of re. apostle therefore with great propriety disgard to Pharisaical traditions, and in imi. courages it.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

hot of the woman

which is not agreeable to her state of inferiority: 299

as well as favour, in making so excellent and sect.
amiable a creature for his benefit and comfort. xxi.
Yet still her state of subjection to him should
be remembered, and it is very expedient she si.7.

should appear in public with some tacit ac8 For the man is knowledgment of it. For the man is not, in 8.

woman the first production of his nature, taken out of but the woman of the man.

the woman ; but as we read in the sacred his.

tory, (Gen. ii. 21-23, the woman out of the 9 Neither was the man. Neither (was] the man created for the 9 man created for the sake of the woman, to accommodate and assist woman ; but the wo. man for the man.

o her, but the woman for the sake of the man, that

he might have an help meet for him, which

before he found not in the whole creation. 10 For this cause (Gen. ii. 20.) On this account therefore, as 10 ought the woman to well as for the other reasons I have mentioned have power on her hva

above, the woman ought to have upon [her] head
head, because of the a
angels.

a veil, as a token of her being under the powerb
and subjection of the man : and so much the
rather should she wear it in worshipping as-
semblies, because of the angels, who are espec-
ially present there, and before whom we ought
to be exceedingly careful that nothing pass
which may be indecent and irregular, and un-
like that perfect order and profound humility
with which they worship in the Divine pres.
ence.

Power on [her] head.] Mr. Locke ac- insnared by the beauty of women; and it knowledges with a modesty which does is more grossly absurd still to suppose with hiin much honour, that he did not under. Tertulliun, (de Vet. Virg $7,) that there stand this text; and many seem to have was any room to apprehend'it could be darkened it, by their attempts to explain a snare to celestial spirits ;(which mistake it. But the chief difficulty does not lie in seemed to be grounded on the wild interthe word power ; which must, to be sure, pretation of Gen. vi. 2, so generally re. be understood of a veil, which married ceived among the fathers) Dr. Whitby women wore on their head, as a token of understands it of evil angels, and thinks subjection to their husband ; (see Gen. it refers to the punishment which Eve inxxiv. 65 ;) and Mr. Godwin, Moses and curred, (Gen. iii. 16,) for hearkening to Aaron, p. 236,) supposes the veil was in the suggestions of Satan. A late ingeni. Hebrew called on, (Radid,) from a root, ous writer by agencv, understands spies ; 779, ( Radad,) which signified subjection; who he supposes came into Christian asso that the veil was, as it were, the habit semblies to make ill natured remarks, and by which a woman shewed she considered so would be glad to blaze abroad any in. herself in subjection; and Chardin ab. decencies they might observe there. (See serves, that the married women in Persia Mr. Gough's Diss. in loc.) I have not room wear a peculiar habit to the very same to canvass all these; but only add in sup. purpose. Chard. Pers. Vol. II. p. 187. It port of the sense, which, as least excepis much more difficult to ascertain the tionable, I have followed, that the presmeaning of that clause, because of the an, ence of angels in religious assemblies is gels. It seems neither reasonable, nor favoured by Eccles. v. 1, 6, and the figdecent, to explain this of young ministers ; ures of Cherubim in the tabernacle and as if they were in peculiar danger of being temple.

woman

300

Nor is it consistent with natural decency. sect. I have treated the matter with a plainness 11 Nevertheless, xxi. and freedom becoming my character: neverthe-neith

nosierthe neither is the man

without the woman, less, let not any hints which I have dropped of neither 10. ☺ the superior dignity of the man be abused, to without the man, in

render him haughty and tyrannical : for it is the Lord.
evident, that the man [is] not without the woman,
nor the woman without the man, in the Lord.
You know that the existence and comfort of
either sex has a dependence upon the other ;
which the genius of the Christian religion re-

quires us to consider, and to behave in a man12 ner correspondent to it. For as the woman 12 For as the won

[was) at first taken from the rib of the mun, man is of the man, ewhom he ought therefore to love as a part of yen so is the man also

by the woman ; but himself, and she to revere him, as under God i thin the source of her being; so also, in the ordinary course of the Divine production, the man [is] by the woman; born, nourished, and in the tenderest years of life educated by her; a circumstance that ought to be ever most tenderly remembered, as a spring of grateful affection and regard. But let me add, that whether in the first creation, or the successive production of human creatures, all things [are) of God; whose constitution ought therefore humbly and obediently to be revered, and all the duties of relative life performed, as for his sake, and to

his glory. 13 But with respect to the particular circumstance 13 Judge in your.

I was speaking of, I may leave you to judge of selves : is it comely yourselves, whether it be, according to the usages,

that a woman pray generally prevailing among us, decent for a ed ? woman to pray to God with that masculine and

confident air which she must have when her 14 head is uncovered: Or rather, doth not the 14 Doth not even

sight immediately shock us, previous to any nature itself teach reasonings upon it in our own mind? So that

in mind? So shot you, that if a man

have long hair, it is nature itself seems to teach you, that on the one a shame unto him? hand, for a man to have long hair solicitously adjusted and artfully adorned, is such a mark

of an effeminate character, as is, on the whole, 15 a disgrace to him ; Whereas, on the other hand, 15 But if a woman

if a woman hath long hair spread over her have long hair, it is shoulders, it is rather a glory to her : for her a glory to her, for

usages unto com o munico pray

unto God uncover

Fudge whether it be decent, &c.] The when they came into public assemblies ;. Grecian women, excepting the heathen as we find in Homer, and many other an. priestesses, used to appear in their deils, cient writers.

« AnteriorContinuar »