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sacerdotal garments crimsoned with human blood, and hear echoed from the ages, shrieks and groans of the victims of religious hate. They who search for truth with honest purpose and unbiased minds, if that search culminate in doubt or unbelief, are reprobated and despised.
In view of these things, can theology look philosophy in the face, and in arrogant self-sufficiency say: "I am wiser and holier than thou?”
REPLY TO CHAPTER XIII.
Woman's Rights and the Bible-Woman's Condition in Heathen and Pagan
Nations—Mr. Ingersoll's Articles Garbled and Misquoted in the “ Notes”St. Paul and Woman's Rights.
In chapter xiii. we have discussed a subject which raises the Banquo question—woman's rights.
Ingersoll.—“Where will we find in the Old Testament the rights of wife, mother, and daughter defined ?”
Lambert.—“They are found in the warp and woof of the Bible."
As said the preacher: “Beloved, my text is ‘love;' it is found in the book of John, and if you wish to know the chapter and verse, it will do you a great deal of good to read till you find it."
The Father claims that before deciding what woman's rights are, they must be determined rightly and independently of sentiments and feelings. A rather difficult task to undertake; for who can discuss a moral question, or one involving human rights, without sentiments or feelings?
Ingersoll.—“Even in the New Testament she (woman) is told to learn in silence and subjection.”
Lambert.“ Most excellent advice for man, woman, and child. . . . . She (the wife) should, according to Christian law, obey her husband as a superior. Not as if in slavery, but freely, in the same way that the church obeys Christ, her head.”
And how does the church obey Christ? Is it not by absolute subjection to his teachings on subjects of doctrine and morals—in short, to everything he teaches ? Would the Father have the Catholic wife of a Protestant husband practise the same obedience that he here recommends ?
As broadly stated, we should not listen to our teachers in subjection and silence. When we understand not, we would fain ask questions; when we dissent, would modestly express our objections. Not at all times and in all places, it is true, for that would be indecorous; but when circumstances admit and politeness justifies.
Lambert.—“Would you have the learner pert and impertinent ?
I answer—will you exhume mummies and ask us if we can revive them with our breath? Will you make men of straw, and ask us to adopt and defend them as our children ?
No one has attempted to justify pertness nor impertinence. The attempt to defame an adversary, and discredit his argument by imputing to him ideas which he has not expressed, and which any sane man would repudiate, is both wicked and unwise.
I do not believe that Paul intended to be understood as forbidding "private opinion," even among women. He wrote to a church who well understood him, and for its instruction. It is quite possible that certain women in his day, as in ours, when they smelled the aroma of piety, went into “keniption" fits, followed by unseemly demonstrations and encroachments on decorum. Paul wanted “order in meeting,” and entered his protest against religious hysteria. Scripture will never be understood until read by the light of the age in which it was written. Let Mr. Ingersoll stop to do justice to Paul by admitting at least, that he was not a Salvation Army man.
For the first time since beginning this review I have Mr. Ingersoll's essays before me, though I read them when first published. Believing that he was faithfully represented in the “ Notes," at least not misrepresented nor intentionally garbled, I trusted the "Notes," as I was obliged to do, on matters of quotation, etc. Finding I had been misled, finding that Ingersoll's articles were garbled, misquoted, and their meaning obscured, I was obliged, in necessary haste, to review a little, and have inserted a few ideas and excerpts in several preceding chapters. This chapter I rewrite entire. To do justice, I
. quote, somewhat in extenso, what Mr. Ingersoll wrote on the “woman question."
Ingersoll.—"All the languages of the world are not sufficient to express the filth of polygamy. It makes man a beast and woman a slave. It destroys the fireside and makes virtue an outcast. It takes us back to the barbarism of animals, and leaves the heart a den in which crawl and hiss the slimy serpents of loathsome lust. And yet Mr. Black insists that we owe to the Bible the present elevation of woman. Where will we find in the Old Testament the rights of wife, and mother, and daughter defined ? Even in the New Testament she is told to learn in silence with all subjection;' that she 'is not suffered to teach, nor to usurp any authority over the man, but to be in silence.' She is told that the head of
every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.' In other words there is the same difference between the wife and husband that there is between the husband and Christ.
“The reasons given for this infamous doctrine are that ‘Adam was first formed and then Eve;' that Adam was not deceived; but that the woman being deceived was in transgression. These childish reasons are the only ones given by the inspired writers. We are told that ‘a man, indeed, ought
not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is in the image and glory
' have liberated women.”
I here ask whether the Father by taking a splinter from the “sap” of the tree of logic, and testing its strength as if it were the whole tree, has done justice to an opponent ? This process is especially unfair to the great majority of the readers of the “ Notes” who would think themselves contaminated by touching a North American Review containing one of Mr. Ingersoll's articles. No one expects a reviewer to quote the whole book or article he reviews, but he should cite enough of it fairly to reflect the author's meaning
But worse than paucity of quotation follows.
Lambert.—“Moses forbade these abominations (the licen tious modes of worship practised by women at the altars of Venus and Cybele), and for this you accuse him of taking away the 'rights ’ of women.”
What will the reader say when he finds, by reading Mr. Ingersoll's articles, that this is a plain, unvarnished misstatement! And yet such will he find it. O prejudice ! let charity charge to thee what illiberal souls would impute to wilful falsehood.
As to the comparative condition of the Hebrew and heathen