Juſtified, Proved and Allowed of by the
All ſuch as ſpeak by the Spirit and Power of the
And how women were the firſt that preached
the Tidings of the Reſurrection of Jesuus,
and were ſent by Christ’s Own
Command, before He aſcended
to the Father, John
London, Printed in the Year, 16671667.
Womens Speaking Juſtified, Proved and Allowed by the Scriptures.
Whereas it hath been an Objection in the minds of many, and ſeveral times hath been objected by the Clergy, or Miniſters, and others, againſt Womens ſpeaking in the Church; and ſo conſequently may be taken, that they are condemned for medling in the things of God; the ground of which Objection, is taken from the Apoſtles words, which he writ in his firſt Epiſtle to the Corinthians, chap.chapter 14. verſ.verse 34, 35. And alſo what he writ to Timothy in the firſt Epiſtle; chap.chapter 2. chap.chapter 11, 12. But how far they wrong the Apoſtles intentions in theſe Scriptures, we ſhall ſhew clearly when we come to them in their courſe and order. But firſt let me lay down how God himſelf hath manifeſted his Will and Mind concerning women, and unto women.
And firſt, when God created Man in his owne Image: in the Image of God created he them, Male and Female: and God bleſſed them, and God ſaid unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply: And God ſaid, Behold, I have given you of every Herb, ;c; Gen. 1. Here God joyns them together in his own Image, and makes no such diſtinctions and differences as men do; for though they be weak, he is ſtrong; and as he ſaid to the Apoſtle, His Grace is sufficient, and his ſtrength is made manifeſt in weakneſs, 2 Cor. 12. 9. And such hath the Lord choſen, even the weak things of the world, to confound the things which are mighty; and things which are deſpiſed, hath God choſen, to bring to nought things that are, 1 Cor. 1. And God hath put no ſuch difference between Male and Female as men would make.
It is true, The Serpent that was more subtile then any other Beaſt of the Field, came unto the Woman, with his Temptations, and with a lie: his ſubtilty diſcerning her to be more inclinable to hearken to him, when he ſaid If ye eat, your eyes ſhall be opened: and the woman ſaw that the Fruit was good to make one wiſe, there the temptation got into her, and ſhe did eat, and gave to her Husband, and he did eat alſo, and A2 ſo 4 A2v 4 ſo they were both tempted into the tranſgreſſion and diſobedience; and therefore God ſaid unto Adam, when that he hid himself when he heard his voice, Hast thou eaten of the Tree which I commanded thee that thou ſhouldeſt not eat? and Adam ſaid, The Woman which thou gaveſt me, ſhe gave me of the Tree, and I did eat. And the Lord ſaid unto the Woman, What is this that thou hast done? and the Woman said, The Serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. Here the Woman ſpoke the truth unto the Lord: See what the Lord ſaith, verſverse. 15. after he had pronounced Sentence on the Serpent; I will put enmity between thee and the Woman, and between thy Seed and her Seed; it ſhall bruise thy head, and thou ſhalt bruise his heel, Gen. 3.
Let this Word of the Lord, which was from the beginning, ſtop the mouths of all that oppoſe Womens Speaking in the Power of the Lord; for he hath put enmity between the Woman and the Serpent; and if the Seed of the Woman ſpeak not, the Seed of the Serpent ſpeaks; for God hath put enmity between the two Seeds, and it is manifeſt, that thoſe that speak againſt the Woman and her Seeds Speaking, ſpeak out of the enmity of the old Serpents Seed; and God hath fulfilled his Word and his Promiſe, When the fulneſs of time was come, he hath ſent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the Law, that we might receive the adoption of Sons, Gal. 4.4, 5.
Moreover, the Lord is pleaſed, when he mentions his Church, to call her by the name of Woman by his Prophets, ſaying, I have called thee as a Woman forſaken, and grieved in Spirit, and as a wife of Youth, Isa. 54. Again, How long wilt thou go about, thou back-ſliding Daughter? For the Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, a woman ſhall compaſs a Man, Jer. 31. 22. And David, when he was ſpeaking of Chriſt and his Church, he saith, The Kings Daughter is all glorious within, her cloathing is of wrought Gold; ſhe ſhall be brought unto the King: with gladneſs and rejoycing ſhall they be brought; they shall enter into the Kings Pallace. Pſal. 45. And alſo King Solomon in his Song, where he speaks of Chriſt and his Church, where ſhe is complaining and calling for Chriſt, he ſaith, If thou knoweſt not, O thou faireſt among women, go thy way by the footſteps of the Flock, Cant. 1.8.c.5.9. And John, when he ſaw the wonder that was in Heaven, he ſaw a woman clothed with the Sun, and the Moon under her feet, and upon her head a Crown of twelve Stars; and there appeared another wonder in Heaven, a great red Dragon ſtood ready to devour her Child: here the enmity appears that God put between the woman and the Dragon, Revelations 12.5 A3r 5
Thus much may prove that the Church of Chriſt is a woman, and thoſe that ſpeak againſt the womans ſpeaking, ſpeak againſt the Church of Chriſt, and the Seed of the woman, which Seed is Chriſt; that is to ſay, Thoſe that ſpeak againſt the Power of the Lord, and the Spirit of the Lord ſpeaking in a woman, ſimply by reaſon of her Sex, or becauſe ſhe is a Woman, not regarding the Seed, and Spirit, and Power that ſpeaks in her; ſuch ſpeak againſt Chriſt, and his Church, and are the Seed of the Serpent, wherein lodgeth the enmity. And as God the Father made no ſuch difference in the firſt Creation, nor never ſince between the Male and the Female, but alwayes out of his Mercy and loving kindneſs, had regard unto the weak. So alſo, his Son, Chriſt Jeſus, confirms the ſame thing: when the Phariſees came to him, and asked him, if it were lawful for a man to put away his Wife? he anſwered and ſaid unto them, Have you not read, That he that made them in the beginning, made them Male and Female, and ſaid, For this cauſe ſhall a Man leave Father and Mother, and ſhall cleave unto his Wife, and they twain ſhall be one fleſh, wherefore they are no more twain but one fleſh; What therefore God hath joyned together, let no man put asunder, Mat. 19.
Again, Chriſt J eſus, when he came to the City of Samaria, where Jacobs Well was, where the Woman of Samaria was; you may read, in John 4. how he was pleaſed to preach the Everlaſting Goſpel to her; and when the Woman ſaid unto him, I know when the Meſſiah cometh, (which is called Chriſt) when he cometh, he will tell us all things; Jesus saith unto her, I that ſpeak unto thee am he; This is more than ever he ſaid in plain words to Man or Woman (that we read of) before he ſuffered. Alſo he ſaid unto Martha, when ſhe ſaid, ſhe knew that her Brother ſhould riſe again in the laſt day, Jeſus ſaid unto her, I am the Reſurrection and the Life: he that believeth on me, though he were dead, yet ſhall he live; and whoſoever liveth and believeth ſhall never die. Believeſt thou this? ſhe anſwered, Yea, Lord, I believe thou art the Chriſt, the Son of God. Here ſhe manifeſted her true and ſaving Faith, which few at that day believed ſo on him, John 11. 25, 26.
Alſo that Woman that came unto Jeſus with an Alabaſter Box of very precious Oyntment, and poured it on his Head as he ſat at meat; it’s manifeſted that this Woman knew more of the ſecret Power and Wiſdom of God, then his Diſciples did, that were filled with indignation againſt her; and therefore Jeſus ſaith, Why do ye trouble the Woman? for ſhe hath wrought a good work upon me; Verily, I ſay unto you, Whereſoever this Goſpel ſhall be preached in the whole World, there ſhall alſo this 6 A3v 6 this that this Woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her, Matt. 26. Mark. 14. 3. Luke ſaith further, She was a ſinner, and that ſhe ſtood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to waſh his feet with her tears and did wipe them with the hair of her head, and kiſsed his feet, and annointed them with Oyntment. And when Jeſus ſaw the Heart of the Phariſee that hath bidden him to his houſe, he took occaſion to ſpeak unto Simon as you may read in Luke 7. and he turned to the woman, and ſaid, Simon, seest thou this Woman? Thou gaveſt me no water to my feet, but ſhe hath waſhed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head: Thou gaveſt me no kiſs, but this Woman, ſince I came in, hath not ceaſed to kiſs my Feet: My Head with Oyl thou didſt not annoint, but this Woman hath annointed my Feet with Oyntment: wherefore I ſay unto thee, her ſins, which are many, are forgiven her, for ſhe hath loved much, Luke 7. 37. to the end.
Alſo there was many women wich followed Jeſus from Galilee, miniſtring unto him, and ſtood a far off when he was Crucified, Mat. 28. 55. Mark 15. Yea even the women of Jeruſalem wept for him, inſomuch that he ſaid unto them, Weep not for me, Ye Daughters of Jeruſalem, but weep for your ſelves, and for your Children, Luke 23. 28.
And certain Women which had been healed of evil Spirits and Infirmities, Mary Magdalen, and Joanna the Wife of Chuza, Herods Stewards Wife, and many others which miniſtred unto him of their ſubſtance, Luke 6. 2, 3.
Thus we ſee that Jeſus owned the Love and Grace that appeared in Women, and did not deſpiſe it, and by what is recorded in the Scriptures, he received as much love, kindneſs, compaſsion, and tender dealing towards him from Women, as he did from any others, both in his life time, and alſo after they had exerciſed their cruelty upon him, for Mary Magdalene, and Mary the Mother of Joſes, beheld where he was laid: And when the Sabbath was paſt, Mary Magdalen, and Mary the Mother of James, and Salom, had brought ſweet ſpices that they might annoint him: And very early in the morning, the firſt day of the week, they came unto the Sepulchre at the riſing of the Sun, And they ſaid among themſelves who ſhall roll us away the ſtone from the door of the Sepulchre? And when they looked, the ſtone was rolled away for it was very great: Mark 16. 1, 2, 3, 4.Luke 24. 1, 2. and they went down into the sepulchre, and as Matthew saith, The Angel rolled away the ſtone, and he ſaid unto the Women, Fear not, I know, whom ye ſeek, Jeſus which was Crucified 7 A4r 7 Crucified: he is not here, he is riſen, Mat. 28. Now Luke ſaith thus: that there ſtood two men by them in ſhining apparel, and as they were perplexed and afraid, the men ſaid unto them, He is not here; remember how he ſaid unto you when he was in Galilee, That the Son of Man muſt be delivered into the hands of ſinful men, and be crucified, and the third day riſe again, and they remembered his words, and returned from the Sepulchre, and told all theſe things to the eleven, and to all the reſt.
It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the Mother of James, and the other Women that were with them, which told theſe things to the Apoſtles, And their words ſeemed unto them as idle tales, and they believed them not. Mark this, ye deſpiſers of the weakneſs of Women, and look upon your ſelves to be ſo wiſe: but Chriſt Jeſus doth not so, for he makes uſe of the weak: For when he met the women after he was riſen, he ſaid unto them, All Hail, and they came and held him by the Feet, and worſhipped him, then ſaid Jeſus unto them, Be not afraid, go tell my Brethren that they go into Gallilee, and there they ſhall ſee me, Mat. 28. 10.Mark 16. 9. And John saith, when Mary was weeping at the Sepulchre, that Jeſus ſaid unto her, Woman, why weepeſt thou? what ſeekeſt thou? And when ſhe ſupposed him to be the Gardiner, Jeſus ſaith unto her, Mary; she turned her ſelf, and ſaith unto him, Rabboni, which is to ſay maſter: Jeſus ſaith unto her, Touch me not, for I am not yet aſcended to my Father, but go to my Brethren, and ſay unto them I aſcend unto my Father, and your Father, and to my God, and your God, John 20. 16, 17.
Mark this, you that deſpiſe and oppoſe the Meſſage of the Lord God that he ſends by women, what had become of the Redemption of the whole Body of Man-kind, if they had not believed the Meſſage that the Lord Jeſus ſent by theſe women, of and concerning his Reſurrection? And if theſe women had not thus, out of the tenderneſs and bowels of love, who had received Mercy, and Grace, and fo rgiveneſs of ſins, and Virtue, and Healing from him, which many men alſo had received the like, if their hearts had not been ſo united and knit unto him in love, that they could not depart as the men did, but ſat watching, and waiting, and weeping about the Sepulchre untill the time of his Reſurrection, and ſo were ready to carry his Meſſage, as is manifeſted, elſe how ſhould his Diſciples have known, who were not there?
Oh! bleſsed and glorified be the Glorious Lord, for this may all the whole body of mankind ſay, though the wiſdom of men, that never knew 8 A4v 8 knew God, is alwayes ready to except againſt the weak; but the weakness of God is ſtronger than men, and the fooliſhness of God is wiſer then men.
And in Act. 18. you may read how Aquila and Priſcilla took unto them Apollos, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly; who was an eloquent man, and mighty in the Scriptures: yet we do not read that he deſpiſed what Priſcilla ſaid, because ſhe was a Woman, as many now do.
And now to the Apoſtles words, which is the ground of the great Objection against Womens ſpeaking: And firſt, 1 Cor. 14. let the Reader ſeriouſly read that Chapter, and ſee the end and drift of the Apoſtle in ſpeaking theſe words: for the Apoſtle is their exhorting the Corinthians unto charity, and to deſire Spiritual gifts, and not to ſpeak in an unknown tongue, and not to be Children in underſtanding, but to be Children in malice, but in underſtanding to be men; and that the Spirits of the Prophets ſhould be ſubject to the Prophets, for God is not the Author of Confuſion, but of Peace: And then he ſaith, Let your Women keep ſilence in the Church, &c.
Where it doth plainly appear that the women, as well as others, that were among them, were in confuſion, for he ſaith, How is it Brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a Pſalm, hath a Doctrine, hath a Tongue, hath a Revelation, hath an Interpretation? let all things be done to edifying. Here was no edifying, but all was in confuſion ſpeaking together: Therefore he ſaith, If any man ſpeak in an unknown Tongue, let it be by two, or at moſt by three, and that by courſe, and let one Interpret, but if there be no Interpreter, let him keep ſilence in the Church. Here the Man is commanded to keep ſilence as well as the woman, when they are in confuſion and out of order.
But the Apoſtle ſaith further, They are commanded to be in Obedience, as alſo saith the Law; and if they will learn anything, let them ask their Husbands at home, for it is a ſhame for a Woman to ſpeak in the Church.
Here the Apoſtle clearly manifeſts his intent; for he ſpeaks of women that were under the Law, and in that Tranſgreſſion as Eve was, and ſuch as were to learn, and not to ſpeak publickly, but they muſt firſt ask their Husbands at home, and it was a ſhame for ſuch to ſpeak in the Church: And it appears clearly, that ſuch women were ſpeaking among the Corinthians, by the Apoſtles exhorting them from malice and ſtrife, and confuſion, and he preacheth the Law unto them, and he ſaith, in the Law it is written, With men of other tongues, and other lips, will I ſpeak unto this people, verſ.verse 21.And 9 B1r 9
And what is all this to Womens Speaking? that have the Everlaſting Goſpel to preach, and upon whom the Promiſe of the Lord is fulfilled, and his Spirit poured upon them according to his word, Acts 2. 16, 17, 18. And if the Apoſtle would have ſtopped ſuch as had the Spirit of the Lord poured upon them, why did he ſay juſt before, If any thing be revealed to another that ſitteth by, let the firſt hold his peace? and you may all propheſie one by one. Here he did not ſay that ſuch Women ſhould not Propheſie as had the Revelation and Spirit of God poured upon them, but their Women that were under the Law, and in the Tranſgreſſion, and were in ſtrife, confuſion and malice in their ſpeaking, for if he had ſtopt Womens praying or propheſying, why doth he ſay: Every man praying or propheſying having his head covered, dishonoureth his head; but every Woman that prayeth or propheſieth with her head uncovered, diſhonoureth her head? Judge in your ſelves, Is it comely that a Woman pray or propheſie uncovered? For the Woman is not without the Man, neither is the Man without the Woman, in the Lord, 1 Cor. 11. 3, 4, 13.
Alſo that other Scripture, in 1 Tim. 2. where he is exhorting that Prayer and Supplication be made every where, lifting up holy Hands without wrath and doubting; he ſaith in the like manner alſo, That Women muſt adorn themſelves in modeſt apparel, with ſhamefaſtneſs and ſobriety, not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearl, or coſtly array; He ſaith, Let Women learn in ſilence with all ſubjection, but I ſuffer not a Woman to teach, nor to uſurp authority over the Man, but to be in silence; for Adam was firſt formed, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the Woman being deceived was in the tranſgreſſion.
Here the Apoſtle ſpeaks particularly to a Woman in Relation to her Husband, to be in ſubjection to him, and not to teach, nor uſurp authority over him, and therefore he mentions Adam and Eve: But let it be ſtrained to the utmoſt, as the oppoſers of Womens Speaking would have it, that is, That they ſhould not preach nor ſpeak in the Church, of which there is nothing here: Yet the Apoſtle is ſpeaking to ſuch as he is teaching to wear their apparel, what to wear, and what not to wear; ſuch as were not come to wear modeſt apparel, and ſuch as were not come to ſhamefaſtneſs and ſobriety, but he was exhorting them from broidered hair, gold, and pearls, and coſtly array; and ſuch are not to uſurp authority over the Man, but to learn in ſilence with all ſubjection, as it becometh Women profeſſing Godliness with good works.
And what is all this to ſuch as have the Power and Spirit of the Lord BJeſus10B1v10 Jeſus poured upon them, and have the Meſſage of the Lord Jeſus given unto them? muſt not they ſpeak the Word of the Lord because of these undecent and unreverent Women that the Apoſtle ſpeaks of, and to, in theſe two Scriptures? And how are the men of this Generation blinded, that bring theſe Scriptures, and pervert the Apoſtles Words, and corrupt his intent in ſpeaking of them? and by these Scriptures, endeavour to ſtop the Meſſage and Word of the Lord God in Women, by contemning and deſpising of them. If the Apoſtle would have had Womens ſpeaking ſtopt, and did not allow of them, why did he entreat his true Yoak-fellow to help thoſe Women who laboured with him in the Goſpel? Phil. 4. 3. And why did the Apoſtles joyn together in Prayer and Supp lication with the Women, and Mary the Mother of Jeſus, and with his B rethren, Acts 1. 14. if they had not allowed, and had union and fellowſhip with the Spirit of God, wherever it was revealed in Women as well as others? But all this oppoſing and gainſaying of Womens Speaking, hath riſen out of the bottomleſs Pit, and ſpirit of Darkneſs that hath ſpoken for theſe many hundred years together in this night of Apoſtacy, since the Revelations have ceaſed and been hid, and ſo that spirit hath limited and bound all up within its bond and compaſs, and ſo would ſuffer none to ſpeak, but ſuch as that ſpirit of Darkneſs, approved of, Man or Woman.
And ſo here hath been the miſery of theſe laſt Ages paſt, in the time of the Reign of the Beaſt, that John ſaw when he ſtood upon the Sand of the Sea, riſing out of the Sea, and out of the Earth, having ſeven Heads and ten Horns, Rev. 13. In this great City of Babylon, which is the woman that hath ſitten ſo long upon the Scarlet-coloured Beaſt, full of names of Blaſphemy, having ſeven Heads and ten Horns; and this Woman hath been arrayed and decked with gold, and pearls, and precious ſtones; and ſhe hath had a golden Cup in her hand, full of Abominations, and hath made all Nations drunk with the Cup of her Fornication; and all the world hath wondred after the Beaſt, and hath worſhipped the Dragon that gave power to the Beaſt; and this woman hath been drunk with the blood of the Saints, and with the blood of the Martyrs of Jeſus; and this hath been the woman that hath been ſpeaking and uſurping authority for many hundred years together: And let the times and ages paſt teſtifie how many have been murdered and ſlain, in Ages and Generations paſt; every Religion and Profeſſion (as it hath been called) killing and murdering one another, that would not joyn one with another: And thus the Spirit of Truth, and the Power of 11 B2r 11 of the Lord Jeſus Chriſt hath been quite lost among them that have done this; and this mother of Harlots hath ſitten as a Queen, and ſaid, She should ſee no ſorrow, but though her dayes have been long, even many hundred of years, for there was power given unto the Beaſt, to continue forty and two months, and to make war with the Saints, and to overcome them; and all that have dwelt upon the earth have worſhipped him, whoſe names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world.
But bleſſed be the Lord, his time is over, which was above twelve hundred Years, and the darkneſs is paſt, and the night of Apoſtacy draws to an end, and the true light now ſhines, the morning-Light the bright morning Star, the Root and Off-ſpring of David, he is riſen, he is riſen, glory to the higheſt for evermore; and the joy of the morning is come, and the Bride, the Lambs Wife is making her ſelf ready, as a Bride that is adorning for her Husband, and to her is granted that ſhe ſhall be arrayed in fine linnen, clean and white, and the fine linnen is the Righteouſneſs of the Saints: the Holy Jeruſalem is deſcending out of Heaven from God, having the Glory of God, and her light is like a Jaſper ſtone, clear as Chriſtal.
And this is that free Woman that all the Children of the Promise are born of; not the Children of the bond-woman, which is Hagar, which genders to strife and to bondage, and which answers to Jerusalem which is in bondage with her Children; but this is the Jerusalem which is free, which is the Mother of us all; And so this bond-woman and her children, that are born after the flesh, have persecuted them that are born after the Spirit, even untill now; but now the bond-woman and her Seed is to be caſt out, that hath kept so long in bondage and in ſlavery, and under limits; this bond-woman and her brood is to be caſt out, and our Holy City, the New Jerusalem, is coming down from Heaven, and her Light will shine throughout the whole earth, even as a Jasper stone, clear as Christal, which brings freedom and liberty, and perfect Redemption to her whole Seed; and this is that woman and Image of the Eternal God, that God hath owned, and doth own, and will own for evermore.
More might be added to this purpoſe, bo th out of the Old Teſtament and New, where it is evident that God made no difference, but gave his good spirit, as it pleased him both to Man and Woman, as Deborah, Huldah, and Sarah. The Lord calls by his prophet Iſaiah, Hearken unto me, ye that follow after Righteouſneſs, ye that ſeek the Lord, look unto the Rock B2 from 12 B2v 12 from whence ye were hewen, and to the hole of the Pit from whence ye were digged; look unto Abraham your Father, and to Sarah that bare you, for the Lord will comfort Sion, &c. Isa. 5. And Anna the Propheteſs, who was a Widow of fourſcore and four years of age, which departed not from the Temple, but ſerved God with faſtings and prayers night and day, ſhe coming in at that inſtant, (when old Simeon took the Child Jeſus in his arms, and) ſhe gave thanks unto the Lord, and ſpake of him to all them who looked for Redemption in Jerusalem, Luke 2. 36, 37, 38. And Philip the Evangeliſt, into whoſe houſe the Apoſtle Paul entered, who was one of the Seven, Acts 6. 3. He had four Daughters which were Virgins, that did propheſie, Acts 21.
And ſo let this ſerve to ſtop that oppoſing Spirit that would limit the Power and the Spirit of the Lord Jeſus, whose Spirit is poured upon all fleſh, both Sons and Daughters, now in his Reſurrection; and ſince that the Lord God in the Creation, when He made man in his own Image, he made them male and female; and ſince that Chriſt Jeſus, as the Apoſtle ſaith, was made of a Woman, and the power of the Higheſt overſhadowed her, and the holy Ghoſt came upon her, and the holy thing that was born of her, was called the Son of God, and when he was upon the Earth, he manifeſted his love, and his will, and his mind, both to the Woman of Samaria, and Martha, and Mary her Siſter, and ſeveral others, as hath been ſhewed; and after his Reſurrection also manifeſted himſelf unto them firſt of all, even before he aſcended unto his Father. Now when Jeſus was Riſen, the firſt day of the week, he appeared firſt unto Mary Magdalene, Mark 16. 9. And thus the Lord Jeſus hath manifeſted himſelf and his Power, without reſpect of Perſons; and ſo let all mouths be ſtopt that would limit him, whoſe Power and Spirit is infinite, that is pouring it upon all fleſh.
And thus much in anſwer to theſe two Scriptures, which have been ſuch a ſtumbling block, that the miniſters of Darkneſs have made ſuch a mountain of; But the Lord is removing all this, and taking it out of the way.
A further Addition in Anſwer to the Objection concerning Women keeping ſilent in the Church; For it is not permitted for them to ſpeak, but to be under obedience; as alſo ſaith the Law, If they will learn anything, let them ask their Husbands at home, for it is a ſhame for a Woman to ſpeak in the Church: Now this as Paul writeth in 1 Cor. 14. 34. is one with that of 1 Tim. 2. 11. Let Women learn in ſilence, with all ſubjection.
To which I ſay, If you tie this to all outward Women, then there whe re many Women that were Widows which had no Husbands to learn of, and many were Virgins which had no Husbands; and Philip had four Daughters that were Prophets; ſuch would be deſpiſed, which the Apoſtle did not forbid: And if it were to all Women, that no Woman might ſpeak, then Paul would have contradicted himſelf; but they were ſuch Women that the Apoſtle mentions in Timothy, That grew wanton, and were buſie-bodies, and tatlers, and kicked againſt Chriſt: For Chriſt in the Male and in the Female is one, and he is the Husband, and his Wife is the Church, and God hath ſaid, that his Daughters ſhould Propheſie as well as his Sons: And where he hath poured forth his Spirit upon them, they muſt propheſie, though blind Prieſts ſay to the contrary, and will not permit holy Women to ſpeak.
And whereas it is ſaid, I permit not a Woman to ſpeak, as ſaith the Law: but where Women are led by the Spirit of God, they are not under the Law, for Chriſt in the Male and in the Female is one; and where he is made manifeſt in Male and Female, he may ſpeak, for he is the end of the Law for Righteouſneſs to all them that believe. So here you ought to make a diſtinction what ſort of Women are forbidden to ſpeak, ſuch as were under the Law, who were not come to Chriſt, nor to the Spirit of Propheſie: For Hulda, Miriam, and Hanna, were Prophets, who were not forbidden in the time of the Law, for they all propheſied in the time of the Law: as you may read, in 2 Kings 22. what Hulda ſaid unto the Prieſt, and to the Ambaſſadors that were ſent to her from the King, Go, ſaith ſhe, and tell the Man that ſent you to me, Thus ſaith the Lord God of Iſrael, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and on the Inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the Book which the King of Judah hath read, becauſe they have forſaken me, and have burnt Incence to other Gods, to anger me with all the works of their hands: Therefore my wrath ſhall be kindled againſt this place, and ſhall not be quenched. But to the King of Judah, that ſent 14 B3v 14 ſent you to me to ask counſel of the Lord, ſo ſhall you ſay to him, Thus ſaith the Lord God of Iſrael, Becauſe thy heart did melt, and thou humbleſt thy ſelf before the Lord, when thou heardeſt what I ſpake againſt this place, and againſt the Inhabitants of the ſame, how they ſhould be deſtroyed; Behold I will receive thee to thy Father, and thou ſhalt be put into thy Grave in peace, and thine eyes ſhall not ſee all the evil which I will bring upon this place. Now let us ſee if any of you blind Prieſts can ſpeak after this manner, and ſee if it be not a better Sermon then any of you can make, who are againſt Womens ſpeaking? And Iſaiah, that went to the Propheteſs, did not forbid her Speaking or Propheſying, Isa. 8. And was it not propheſied in Joel 2. that Hand maids ſhould Propheſie? And are not Hand-maids Women? Conſider this, ye that are againſt Womens Speaking, how in the Acts the Spirit of the Lord was poured forth upon Daughters as well as Sons. In the time of the Goſpel, when Mary came to ſalute Elizabeth in the Hill Country of Judea, and when Elizabeth heard the ſalutation of Mary, the Babe leaped in her Womb, and ſhe was filled with the Holy Spirit; and Elizabeth ſpoke with a loud voice, Bleſsed art thou amongſt Women, bleſsed is the fruit of thy Womb; whence is this to me, that the Mother of my Lord ſhould come to me? for lo, as ſoon as thy Salutation came to my ear, the Babe leaped in my Womb for joy, for bleſſed is ſhe that believes, for there ſhall be a performance of thoſe things which were told her from the Lord. And this was Elizabeths Sermon concerning Chriſt, which at this day ſtands upon Record: And then Mary ſaid, My ſoul doth magnifie the Lord, and my Spirit rejoyceth in God my Saviour, for he hath regarded the low eſtate of his Hand-maid: for behold, from henceforth all Generations ſhall call me bleſſed; for he that is mighty, hath done to me great things, and holy is his Name; and his Mercy is on them that fear him, from Generation to Generation; he hath ſhewed ſtrength with his Arm; he hath ſcattered the proud in the imaginations of their own hearts; he hath put down the mighty from their Seats, and exalted them of low degree; he hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he hath ſent empty away: He hat h holpen his Servant Iſrael, in remembrance of his mercy, as he ſpake to his Father, to Abraham, and to his Seed forever. Are you not here beholding to the Woman for her Sermon, to uſe her words to put into your Common Prayer? and yet you forbid Womens Speaking. Now here youu may ſee how th eſe two women propheſied of Chriſt, and Preached better then all the blind Prieſts did in that Age, and better then this Age alſo, who are beholding to women to make uſe of their words. And ſee in the Book of Ruth, how the women bleſſed her 15 B4r 15 her in the Gate of the City, of whose ſtock came Chriſt. The Lord make the woman that is come into thy Houſe like Rachel and L eah, which built the house of Iſrael; and that thou mayeſt do worthily in Ephrata, and be famous in Bethlehem; let thy houſe be like the houſe of Pharez, whom Tamer bare unto Judah, of the Seed which the Lord shall give thee of this young woman. And bleſſed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a Kinsman, and his Name shall be continued in Iſrael. And alſo ſee in the firſt Chapter of Samuel, How Hannah prayed and ſpake in the Temple of the Lord, Oh Lord of Hoſts, if thou wilt look on the trouble of thy Hand maid, and remember me, and not forget thy Hand-maid. And read in the ſecond Chapte r of Samuel, How ſhe r ejoyced in God, and ſaid, My heart rejoyceth in the Lord; My Horn is exulted in the Lord and my mouth is enlarged over my enemies, becauſe I rejoyce in thy Salvation; there is none holy as the Lord, yea, there is none beſides thee; and there is no God like our God: Speak no more preſumptouſly, let not arrogancy come out of your mouths, for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him enterpriſes are eſtabliſhed; the Bow, and the mighty Men are broken, and the weak hath girded to themſelves ſtrength; they that were full, are hired forth for bread, and the hungry are no more hired; ſo that the barren hath born ſeven, and ſhe that had many Children, is feeble; the Lord killeth, and maketh alive; bringeth down to the Grave, and raiſeth up: the Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich, bringeth low and exalteth, he raiſeth up the poor out of the duſt, and lifteth up the Beggars from the dunghil to ſet them among Princes, to make them inherit the ſeat of Glory; for the Pillars of the earth are the Lords, ; he hath ſet the world upon them; he will keep the feet of his Saints, and the wicked ſhall keep ſilence in darkneſs, for in his own might ſhall no man be ſtrong; the Lords Adverſaries ſhall be deſtroyed, and out of Heaven ſhall he thunder upon them; the Lord ſhall judge the ends of the World, and ſhall give power to his King; and exhalt the Horn of his Anointed. Thus you may ſee what a woman hath ſaid, when old Ely the Prieſt thought ſhe had been d runk, and ſee if any of you blind Prieſts that ſpeak againſt Womens Speaking, can Preach after this manner? who cannot make ſuch a Sermon as this woman did, and yet will make a trade of this Woman and other womens words. And did not the Queen of Sheba ſpeak, that came to Solomon, and received the Law of God, and preached it in her own Kingdom, and bleſsed the Lord God that loved Solomon, and ſet him on the throne of Iſrael, becauſe the Lord loved Iſrael for ever; and made the King to do Equity and Righteouſneſs? And this was the language of the Queen of Sheba. And ſee what glorious expreſſions Queen Heſter uſed to comfort the People of God, which 16 B4v 16 which was the Church of God, as you may read in the book of Heſter, which cauſed joy and gladneſs of heart among all the Jews, who prayed and worſhipped the Lord in all places, who jeoparded her life contrary to the Kings command, went and ſpoke to the King, in the wiſdom and fear of the Lord, by which means ſhe ſaved the lives of the People of God; and righteous Mordecai did not forbid her ſpeaking, but ſaid, If ſhe held her peace, her and her Fathers houſe ſhould be deſtroyed; and herein you blind Prieſts are contrary to Righteous Mordecai.
Likewise you may read how Judith spoke, and what noble acts ſhe did, and how ſhe ſpoke to the Elders of Iſrael, and ſaid, Dear Brethren, ſeeing ye are the honorable ; elders of the People of God, call to remembrance how our Fathers in time paſt were tempted, that they might be proved if they would worship God aright; they ought alſo to remember how our Father Abraham being tryed through manifold tribulations, was found a friend of God; ſo was Iſaac, Jacob, and Moſes, and all they pleaſed God, and were ſtedfaſt in Faith through manifold troubles. And read alſo her prayer in the Book of Judith, and how the Elders commended her, and ſaid, All that thou ſpeakeſt is true, and no man can reprove thy words, pray therefore for us, for thou art an holy Woman, and feareſt God. So theſe elders of Iſrael, did not forbid her ſpeaking, as you blind Prieſts do; yet you will make a Trade of Womens words to get money by, and take Texts, and Preach Sermons upon Womens words; and ſtill cry out, Women muſt not speak, Women must be ſilent; ſo you are far from the minds of the Elders of Iſrael, who praiſed God for a Womans ſpeaking. But the Jezebel, and the Woman, the falſe Church, the great Whore, and tatling women, and buſie-bodies, which are forbidden to Preach, which have a long time ſpoke and tatled, which are forbidden to ſpeak by the True Church, which Chriſt is the Head of; ſuch Women as were in tranſgreſſion under the Law, which are called a Woman in the Revelations. And ſee further how the wiſe Woman cryed to Joab over the Wall, and ſaved the City of Abel, as you may read, 2 Sam. 20. how in her, wiſdom ſhe ſpoke to Joab, ſaying, I am one of them that are peaceable and faithful in Iſrael, and thou goeſt about to deſtroy a City and Mother in Iſrael; Why wilt thou deſtroy the Inheritance of the Lord? Then went the woman to the people in her wiſdom, and ſmote off the head of Sheba, that roſe up againſt David, the Lords Anointed: Then Joab blew the Trumpet, and all the People departed in peace. And this deliverance was by the means of a Womans ſpeaking; but tatlers, and buſie-bodies, are forbidden to preach by the True Woman, whom Chriſt is the Husband, to 17 C1r 17 to the Woman as well as the Man, all being comprehended to be the Church; and ſo in this True Church, Sons and Daughters do Propheſie, Women labour in the Goſpel; but the Apoſtle permits not tatlers, buſie-bodies, and ſuch as uſurp authority over the Man would not have Chriſt Reign, nor ſpeak neither in the Male nor Female; Such the Law permits not to ſpeak, ſuch muſt learn of their Husbands: But what Husbands have Widows to learn of, but Chriſt? And was not Chriſt the Husband of Philips four Daughters? And may not they that learn of their Husbands ſpeak then? But Jezebel, and Tatlers, and the Whore that denies Revelation and Propheſie, are not permitted, which will not learn of Chriſt; and they that be out of the Spirit and Power of Chriſt, that the Prophets were in, who are in the Tranſgreſsion, are ignorant of the Scriptures; and ſuch are againſt Womens ſpeaking, and Mens too, who Preach that which they have received of the Lord God; but that which they have preached, and do preach, will come over all your heads, yea, over the head of the falſe Church, the Pope; for the Pope is the Head of the Falſe Church, and the Falſe Church is the Popes Wife: and ſo he and they that be of him, and come from him, are againſt Womens ſpeaking in the True Church, when both he and the falſe Church are called Woman, in Revel. 17. and ſo are in the Tranſgreſsion that would uſurp authority over the Man Chriſt Jeſus, and his Wife too, and would not have him to Reign; but the Judgement of the great Whore is come. But Chriſt, who is the Head of the Church, the True Woman which is his Wife, in it do Daughters Propheſie, who are above the Pope and his Wife and a top of the them; And here Chriſt is the Head of the Male and Female, who may ſpeak; and the Church is called a Royal Prieſthood; ſo the Woman muſt offer as well as the Man, Rev. 22. 17. The Spirit ſaith, Come, and the Bride ſaith, Come: and ſo is not the Bride the Church? and doth the Church only conſiſt of Men? you that deny Womens ſpeaking, anſwer: Doth it not conſiſt of Women as well as men? Is not the Bride compared to the whole Church? And doth not the Bride ſay, Come? Doth not the Woman ſpeak then? the Husband Chriſt Jeſus, the Amen, and doth not the falſe Church go about to ſtop the Brides Mouth? But it is not poſſible for the Bridegroom is with his Bride, and he opens her Mouth. Chriſt Jeſus, who goes on Conquering, and to Conquer, who kills and ſlays with the Sword, which is the words of his Mouth; the Lamb and the Saints ſhall have the Victory, the true Speakers of Men and Women over the falſe Speaker.C
And you dark Prieſts, that are ſo mad agai nſt Womens Speaking and it’s ſo grevious to you, did not God ſay to Abraham, let it not be grevious in thy ſight, becauſe of the Lad, and becauſe of thy bond-woman? In all that Sarah hath said to thee, hearken to her voice (Mark here) the Husband muſt learn of the Woman, and Abraham did ſo, and this was concerning the things of God, for he ſaith in Iſaac ſhall thy ſeed be called, and ſo Abraham did obey the voice of Sarah, as you may read in Genesis 21. and so he did not ſquench the good that was in his wife, for that which he ſpoke to Abraham was concerning the Church.
And you may read Deborah and Barack, and ſo how a Woman Preacht and sung Judges 5. what glorious triumphing expreſſions there was from a Woman, beyond all the Prieſts Servants, whom Barack did not bid be ſilent, for she Sung and Praiſed God, and declared to the Church of Iſrael, which now the hungry Priests that denyes Womens Speaking makes a trade of her words for a livelyhood.
And in Judges 13. There you may ſee, how the Angel appeared to a Woman, and how the Woman came to her Husband and told him, ſaying, a man of God came to me, whoſe Countenance was like the Countenance of a Man of God, and ſaid that she should Conceive and bare a Son, and again the Angel of the Lord appeared to the Woman, and she made haſt and ran, and shewed her Husband and ſaid unto him, behold, he hath appeared unto me that came unto me the other day, and when the Angel of the Lord was 19 C2r 19 was gon, the Womans Husband ſaid, we should ſurely dye becauſe we had ſeen God, and then you may read how the Woman comforted her Husband again, and ſaid, if the Lord were pleaſed to kill us he would not have shewed us all theſe things, nor would this time have told us ſuch things as theſe, and this was a Woman that taught.