Foote, Julia A.J.
|Women in the Gospel|
Thirty years ago there could scarcely a person be found, in the churches, to sympathize with any one who talked of Holiness. But, in my simplicity, I did think that a body of Christian ministers would understand my case and judge righteously. I was, however, disappointed.
It is no little thing to feel that every man's hand is against us, and ours against every man, as seemed to be the case with me at this: time; yet how precious, if Jesus but be with us. In this severe trial I had constant access:. to God, and a clear consciousness that he heard me; yet I did not seem to have that plenitude of the Spirit that I had before. I realized most keenly that the closer the communion that may have existed, the keener the suffering of the slightest departure from God. Unbroken communion can only be retained by a constant application of the blood which cleanseth.
Though I did not wish to pain any one, neither could I please any one only as I was let by the Holy Spirit. I saw, as never before, that the best men were liable to err, and that the only safe way was to fall on Christ, even though censure and reproach fell upon me for obeying his voice. Man's opinion weighed nothing with me, for my commission was from heaven, and my reward was with the Most High.
I could not believe that it was a short-lived impulse or spasmodic influence that impelled me to preach. I read that on the day of Pentecost was the Scripture fulfilled as found in Joel ii. 28, 29; and it certainly will not be denied that women as well as men were at that time pulled with the Holy Ghost, because it is expressly stated that women were among those who continued in prayer and supplication, waiting for the fulfillment of the promise. Women and men are classed together, and if the power to preach the Gospel is short-lived and spasmodic in the case of women, it must be equally so in that of men; and if women have lost the gift of prophecy, so have men.
We are sometimes told that if a woman pretends to a Divine call, and thereon grounds the right to plead the cause of a crucified Redeemer in public, she will be believed when she shows
But the Bible puts an end to this strife when it says: "There is neither male nor female in Christ Jesus." Philip had four daughters that prophesied, or preached. Paul called Priscilla, as well as Aquila, his "helper," or, as in the Greek, his "fellow-laborer." Rom. XV.3; 2 Cor. viii. 23; Phil. ii.5; 1 Thess. iii. 2. The same word, which, in our common translation, is now rendered a "servent of the church," in speaking of phebe (Rom. xix. 1), is rendered "minister" when applied to Tychicuss. Eph vi.21. When Paul said, "Help those women who labor with me in the Gospel," he certainly meant that they did more than to pour out tea. In the eleventh chapter of First Corinthians Paul gives directions, to men and women, how they should appear when they prophesy or pray in pubic assemblies; and he defines prophesying to be speaking to edification, exhoration and comfort.
I may further remaark that the conduct of holy women ids recorded in sscripture ass an example to others of their sex. And in the eary ages of christianity many women were
In looking over these facts, I could see no miracle wrought for those women more than in myself.
Though opposed, I went forth laboring for God, and he owned and blessed my labors, and has done so wherever I have been until this day. And while I walk obediently, I know he will, though hell may rage and vent its spite.