EPISTLES OF PETER AND JOHN.
1 Peter iii.
1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
3 Whose adorning, let it not be that out, ward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel.
Woman's influence is most clearly set forth by all the Apostles in meek submission to their husbands and to all the Church ordinances and discipline. A reverent silence, a respectful observance of rules and authorities was their power. They could not aid in spreading the gospel and in converting their husbands to the true faith by teaching, by personal attraction, by braided hair or ornaments. The normal beauty of a sanctified heart would be manifested by a meek and quiet spirit, valuable in the sight of God as well as their husbands, and do far more to fix their affections and to secure their esteem than the studied decoration of fashionable apparel. Woman's love of satins, of velvets, of laces, and of jewels, has its corresponding expression in man's love of wealth, of position, and his ambition for personal and family aggrandizement.
There is much talk of the poor and the needy, especially during political campaigns. In the autumn of 1896, when the workingman's interests formed the warp and woof of every speech, three thousand children stood in the streets of New York City, for whom there was no room in the schoolhouses and no play-grounds; and yet thousands of dollars were spent in buying votes. Large, well-ventilated homes for those who do the work of the world, plenty of schoolhouses and play- grounds for the children of the poor, would be much more beneficial to the race than expensive monuments to dead men, and large appropriations from the public treasury for holidays and convivial occasions to honor men in high places.
The Apostles having given such specific directions as to the toilets of women, their hair, ornaments, manners and position, in the Church, the State and the home, one is curious to know what kind of honor is intended for this complete subordination. Man is her head, her teacher, her guardian and her Saviour. What Christ is to him, that is he to the weaker vessel. It is fair to infer that what he has done in the past he will continue to do in the future. Unless she rebels outright, he will make her a slave, a subject, the mere reflection of another human will.
E. C. S.
2 John i.
1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children,
5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.
6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments.
12 Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink; but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.
Some critics conjecture that the Church at Jerusalem is meant by the "elect lady," and the one at Ephesus by her elect sister. Others suppose that an eminent and honorable Christian woman was intended by the "elect lady," and that some other Christian woman, well known in the Church, was intended by her elect sister. The aged Apostle wrote this short letter to this lady, who was a person of rank, hence he did not scruple to give to her the title of honor. He assured her children of his deep interest in their welfare. The word lady was always used in addressing, or speaking of one who was an acknowledged superior. In their travels about the country the Apostles especially enjoyed the hospitality of families of rank. Though democratic in their principles, they were susceptible to the attractions of wealth and of culture.
E. C. S.