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“Sanctified by faith that is in me;" "purifying their hearts by faith;” “this is the victory that overcometh the world, even your faith.” What do these declarations mean, other than what James intends when he speaks of “ faith without works” being “ dead?” The fact is, that James agrees with all the Scriptures in teaching, that a sanctifying faith justifies, and all the Scriptures agree with James in teaching, that a justifying faith sanctifies.
A. J. M.
Though it is a truth that the woman was first in the transgression, yet it cannot justly be advanced as a matter of reproach against her, since nobly has she been made, in the arrangements of Providence, to retrieve the error, by giving birth to the Saviour of the world, and proving the helpmeet of man in his waywardness and woes, when not subjected by him to degradation, contumely, and neglect. From whom has he received the purest, the most substantial, and enduring friendship, uncorrupted by prosperity, and unweakened by misfortune, free from caprice, and unaccompanied with selfishness? Who has most patiently borne with his failings, readily overlooked his faults, and kindly ministered to his wants? Whose has been the hand prompt to relieve his cares, the voice eager to respond to his call, and the form hovering with untiring footstep around his bed in his hours of pain ? Who has clung to him the closer as the storm of calamity has raged around him the wilder, and been faithful by his side when the companions of his success have vanished as it has fled? There is but one answer to these questions, and that is-woman!
In the economy of human life, woman was evidently designed by the Creator to occupy a station as important, though not so obtrusive, and to exert an influence as powerful and extensive, though not so obvious, as man. Her physical constitution, and mental temperament indicate this; for though inferior to him in brute force, full compensation has been given her in the character and variety of her endowments. Gracefulness of form, beauty of feature, acuteness of perception, vivacity of spirit, and keen sensibilities; qualities which she possesses in a degree which man cannot boast, more than amply repay a deficiency of physical power; and seem to intimate that, instead of ranking a little lower in the scale of being than man, an equal place has been given her by Providence. But the pride and prejudice of man have frequently operated to keep woman from the station to which she is entitled by the appointment of God and her own capabilities. Conscious of the possession of greater animal strength, he has been apt to extend his superiority to mental character ; and has often looked down upon the externally feebler sex as feebler in other respects—as beings of an inferior grade. Bitter to them have been the consequences of this vain and vulgar error. It has led to an unequal distribution of parental attention ; it has aggrandized the brother at the expense of the sister ; it has deprived the female of that amount of educational care which has been expended upon the male ; and intellectual deficiency, solely caused by neglect, has been charged upon her as the law of her nature. It is folly to expect to reap where we have not sown, and to gather where we have not strawed ; it is equally unjust to denounce the land as barren, which has never been brought under cultivation ; yet similar folly and injustice were dealt out in by-gone ages to woman, who was denied the advantages enjoyed by man, and then had to encounter obloquy, because she did not rival him in improvement.
In savage life, the notion of the inferiority of woman almost universally obtains; and hard is the lot of the Indian's bride, who has to rear his wigwam and paddle his canoe, while the hardy master of both sits and smokes at his ease. He first partakes of the meal which she has prepared; he couches nearest to the fire which she has kindled; though the weakest and the most helpless of the two, all the heavier burdens and the more irksome offices of existence are unceremoniously cast upon her, while complaint is met with brutality, and cheerful submission with cold indifference. Even to the land of spirits, the same degradation of the sex is extended in the imagination of the savage, for his highest idea of immortality is that of being still a free and lordly hunter, roaming at his pleasure through boundless and well-stocked prairies, having all the tedious drudgery he may require performed for him by woman. In civilized communities also, unenlightened by the doctrines, and uninfluenced by the spirit of revelation, whether Pagan or Mohammedan, the same unjust line of distinction has been drawn between the sexes. It is true, that in the young and more healthy days of Greece and Rome, the matrons of the people were treated with peculiar respect; but nothing like a rightful share of the privileges due to them as social and intellectual beings was allotted ; and, owing to the neglect of female education, and the subsequent degeneracy of the men, woman soon sunk beneath her proper level, and such nurses of rising virtue in the commonwealth as the mother of the Gracchi ceased to be. A stranger to the discipline of virtue, and to mental training in early life, and without domestic peace in her matronly career, who can wonder if but few examples of female excellence are to be met with in the annals of Greek and Roman fame? And this was treated as a radical fault of nature, instead of being regarded as the legitimate result of unfavourable circumstances; it was deemed the sign of an inferior caste ; and accordingly woman was debarred from her rightful station in society, deprived of the possibility of assuming the prerogatives, and acquiring the accomplishments of her sex, and was doomed by man to
be the victim of his caprice, the slave of his wishes, and the instrument of his voluptuousness.*
But among the people favoured with the revealed will of God, the dignity and importance of woman were recognised ; a remembrance of her high destiny as the helpmeet of man and not his vassal, originally unfolded at the creation of the primal pair, was maintained in the patriarchal and Mosaic theology; the law of marriage was deemed a sacred bond indissoluble save through infidelity; and the hope cherished for ages that the Messiah would be of woman born, together with the
* The Roman women were perhaps, upon the whole, superior to those of Greece, but the history of the latter people presents some beautiful examples of female virtue and worth in the provinces and islands, when the Phyrnes and Aspasias disgraced the larger cities. If Rome can furnish a Cornelia, who, in default of the jewels which were worn by others, pointed to her children as her jewels; Greece can show a Bocotian woman, who refused to adorn her person with ornaments, saying, that her husband was her ornament. The Greek inscriptions found by Dr. Clarke in the island of Cos, convey to us a very favourable idea of the state of society there, when the private virtues of the women were deemed worthy of public honours.
" THE SENATE AND PEOPLE HAVE HONOURED SUETONIA THE ELDEST DAUGHTER or CAIUS, WHO HAS LIVED CHASTELY AND WITH DECORUM, BOTH ON ACCOUNT OF HER OWN VIRTUE, AND THE BENEVOLENCE SHE HAS SHOWN TOWARDS HER FATHER."
“THE PEOPLE ERECT ANAXINACA, DAUGHTER OF EUDEON, WIFE OF CHARMYLUS, ON ACCOUNT OF HER VIRTUE, AND CHASTITY, AND BENEVOLENCE TOWARDS HER HUSBAND.”
The inscriptions discovered in Asia Minor by Mr. Fellows in 1838, show that the domestic affections were fondly cherished by many of the Asiatic Greeks ; and it is pleasing to meet with such records of parental and filial love, among a people who were " without God," and exposed to the debasing influence of a vicious mythology. Between Thyatira and Pergamos.
ΑΥΤΟΙΣ " Onesimus, the father, and Chryseis, the mother, made this tomb) for their sweetest child Polychronius, for the sake of remembrance, and for themselves.” On a sarcophagus at Ilos in Lycia.
ENEKA * Midi (son or daughter) of Sarpedon * * * * to a (sweet) mother; Timarchus, and Sarpedon, the sons of Pheredes, to their grandmother, from love and affection." N. S. VOL, V.
eager desire to have the honour of such an alliance, contributed to elevate the Jewish female in public esteem, and to bring out her virtues as she experienced careful training and respectful attention. It is impossible to read the Old Testament, without perceiving the value set upon woman by God in his dispensations to the chosen people ; nor is there anything that more strongly distinguished them from the surrounding nations of paganism, while obedient to his precepts, than the estimation in which she was held; and just in proportion as the spirit and practice of idolatry prevailed among them, was she degraded from her noble office of being the companion and the friend of man, to that of being his tool, his victim, or his plaything. The home of Solomon became a harem, and he who penned the beautiful description of the virtuous woman in his proverbs, regarded the sex as fit only to minister to his guilty pleasures, when he departed from the pure faith of his fathers, and contaminated himself with the idolatries of the neighbouring tribes. Christianity dealt with woman in the same just and righteous manner as Judaism. It removed the obscurity which silly vanity or vicious passions in all pagan countries had thrown around her; it exalted her to the same level with man, and placed her by his side, an equal being, a dignified companion, and a trusted friend; it commanded the same deference, tenderness, and consideration to be shown her, as that which her hardier associate had long enjoyed; and there is no feature of that wonderful revolution accomplished by its influence in the Gentile world, more prominent than the rescue of the sex from their previous state of depression, and their investiture with the influence and honour they deserve and may demand. Who can think of the association of our Lord with the sisters of Bethany, or with the Zebedean mother by the sea of Galilee, or with Joanna in Herod’s household, or with the weeping suppliant for her daughter from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, or with Mary, the first human being whom he saw when alive from the dead, without perceiving that in his esteem man had no native mental or moral superiority over woman, and that he proclaimed her right, by his marked attentions, to be admitted to an equal fellowship in the privileges of social life, and in the hopes of glorious immortality ?
Under the early dispensation of the Spirit, the capabilities of woman for high and holy services were recognised ; and her agency was commanded and approved by the inspired founders of the church. The most successful advocate of the faith of Christ the world ever saw; the greatest human benefactor of the souls of men that ever lived; he who preached the gospel from Jerusalem round about unto Illyricum, and moved the mind of nations, and stirred the surface and heart of society by his labours ; recurs to the help which he received from Christian women with an emphasis which shows that he put no mean value upon it. He mentions “Phebe, a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea, a succourer of many and of myself also;" he greets Priscilla as a helper in Christ Jesus; he salutes “Mary who bestowed much labour upon uus ;" he memorialises the unfeigned faith of the maternal ancestry of Timothy; and the charges that are given to the “elder women as mothers, the younger as sisters," and the “widows indeed,” illustrate the consideration in which they are held by the Maker of all, and the powerful influence they can wield. There are many notices in the history of the life and labours of the apostles, brief and apparently hurried, yet expressive, which serve to indicate the just and gracious aspect assumed by Christianity towards the females of our race. When numbering the believers at Berea, the writer takes care to mention, and mentions first, the “honourable women which were Greeks," as well as the “men not a few;" at Thessalonica also, among those who had the truth addressed to them, and who embraced it, the “chief women not a few” are specified; and the peculiar and impartial attitude of the word of life to both sexes, was beautifully signified when Paul, Silas, Timothy, and Luke, stood outside the walls of Philippi, on the banks of the Macedonian river: “And on the Sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, to a place where prayer is wont to be made, and Fe sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.”
From the corruption of Christianity, soon after the age of the apostles, both man and woman suffered ; and became degraded into the automaton inhabitants of the monastery and the nunnery, or into the secret practisers of deadly sin, under the disguise of superior sanctity. There was indeed a period during that corruption, when women had a large share of external respect, and had their names emblazoned with distinction. In the court, the castle, the tournament, and even the battle-field, their presence was imperative; and mailed barons knelt in homage at their feet, and received the reward of skill and courage at their hands. But this was attention by which neither party was greatly honoured, for the lady of the knight had only the poor claim of personal beauty to prefer for such notice, and the hero of a hundred fights was the slave of a creature of little substantial excellence, and worshipped a perfection which had no existence, save in his own excited imagination. But the age of chivalry does not deserve to be derided; it was better than the preceding one ; it prepared the way for civilisation ; its institutions were fantastic enough, but still harmless things when compared with the degrading catalogue of man's pleasures; and existing in a barbarous period, we may look at them as wild flowers upon the untilled land, better than thorns and thistles; they contained expressions of that respect for woman which is the sure foundation of her influence, and of public virtue. Just as the age of chivalry terminated, that of the reformation commenced, and as sound Protestantism has prevailed, both sexes have been taught, that their highest adorning is to imbibe the spirit, and practise the precepts of the Gospel ; that