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by Dr. John Thomas
As the woman had so wilfully sought the gratification of her flesh, when the Lord God passed sentence upon her He made it the ground of her punishment.
"I will," said He, "greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children: and thy desire shall be subject to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee".
This being her portion as the consequence of sin, the reverse would have been her condition, so long as her animal nature should have continued unchanged, if she had remained obedient.
She would have brought forth children without pain, and would have had fewer of them; nor would she have been deprived of that equality she enjoyed in the garden, and consequently she would have escaped that degradation she has experienced in all the countries of the world.
The punishment, however, was not inflicted simply as an individual sorrow.
The pain was personal, and the subjection likewise; but the multiplication of woman's conception became necessary from the altered circumstances of things; which were then being constituted for the ensuing seven thousand years.
In the wax divinely instituted between the seeds of the Serpent and the Woman, there would be a great loss of life.
The population of the world would be greatly thinned; besides which great havoc would be made by pestilence, famine, and the ordinary diseases of the flesh.
To compensate this waste, and still to maintain an increase, so that the earth might be filled, necessitated that part of woman's punishment involved in the multiplication of the conception, which is a great domestic calamity under the Serpent-dominion of sin.
We hear much in some parts of the world of the political rights and equality of women with men; and of their preaching and teaching in public assemblies.
We need wonder at nothing which emanates from the unenlightened thinking of sinful flesh.
There is no absurdity too monstrous to be sanctified by unspiritualized animal intellect.
Men do not think according to God's thinking, and therefore it is they run into the most unscriptural conceits; among which may be enumerated the political and social equality of women.
Trained to usefulness, of cultivated intellect and with moral sentiments purified and ennobled by the nurture and admonition of the Lord's truth, women are "helps meet" for the Elohim; and much too good for men of ordinary stamp.
The sex is susceptible of this exaltation; though I despair of witnessing it in many instances till "the Age to come".
But, even women of this excellency of mind and disposition, were it possible for such to do so, would be guilty of indiscretion, presumption, and rebellion against God's law, in assuming equality of rank, equality of rights, and authority over man, which is implied in teaching and preaching.
It is the old ambition of the sex to be equal to the gods; but in taking steps to attain it, they involved themselves in subjection to men.
Preaching, and lecturing, women are but species of actresses, who exhibit upon the boards for the amusement of sinful and foolish men.
They aim at an equality for which they are not physically constituted; they degrade themselves by the exhibition, and in proportion as they rise in assurance, they sink in all that really adorns a woman.
The law, which forms a part of the foundation of the world, says to the woman, "He shall reign over thee".
The nature of this subjection is well exhibited in the Mosaic law.
A daughter being yet in her youth in her father's house, could only make a vow subject to his will.
If he held his peace, and said nothing for or against, she was bound by her word; but if when he heard it, he disallowed it, she was not bound to perform; and the Lord forgave the failure of the vow.