16-18th c. Collection
Women’s Ordination
Structure: -“Women’s Ordination” … -“In Persona Christi” … -“Baptism by Women” … 1542, Thomas Becon, A Potation for Lent (1542) -“A man having a learned, wise, discreet, silent, close, and faithful ghostly father, which loveth the penitent no less than a natural father doth his child, why should he fear to declare unto him the secrets of his heart? […] The prophet Malachy saith: ‘The lips of a priest keep knowledge; and men shall seek the law at his mouth: for he is a messenger of the Lord of hosts.’ (Mal. ii.)” 1559, John Aylmer, An harborowe for faithful and trewe subiectes (1559) -prov: -prov: -“in [the Church, Queen Elizabeth] hath thauthority and ouersight but not the function and practise as we se in the common welth of the Iewes. First betwixt Aaron and Moises. Moises comptrolled Aaron, but yet he executed not Araons office, he offred no incense nor sacrifice ordinarely, he medled not with tharke, nor any such thing as belonged to the priesthode, he ware not the garments, he ministred not the sacraments -“those that be preachers, must be no mylke soppes,* no white lyuered gentle∣men, that for the frowning and cloudy countenaunce of euery man in authoritie, will leaue his tackle and crie Peccaui. They must be of such nature, as the Poet saieth of Crito, in vultu grauitas, in verbis sides.* They may not be afrayed to rebuke the proudest, no not kynges and quenes so farfurth as the two tables rea∣cheth. As we see in Samuel, Nathan, Elie, Ihon Bab∣tist, and many other. They may not stoupe to euery mans becke, and study to please man more thē God. If heresies arise, they must haue their tooles ready to mete with thaduersary and to ouerthrowe hym: whiche he can not haue, onles he haue trauay led in many sciences, harde and redde much, which thinges because they be huswyues) women can not haue cō∣monly, and therfore they be vnmete hereunto. Yea God knoweth so be many mē to: for it is not inough for a man to tell a fayre tale in the pulpit, and when he commeth downe is not able to defende it. If prea∣thers and spirituall ministers be suche: where be we when we come to handgripes, (They must not only florishe, but they must know their quarter strookes, and the waye how to defende their head, their head Christe I saye, and his crosse. And specially in these dayes, wherin Sathan spiting the happy grouthe and grenes of Gods field, soweth tares and fytches of he∣resies and sectes continually, to choke or to empayre the good corne if it may be. VVhat ennemies haue we of the Papistes? vnlearned thinke you? nay, who so encountreth with them, had nede haue his harnes wel bucked to hym, or he may chaūce to take a wipe: I would they were aswel mynded, as they be learned. VVhat saye you nowe to the Arrians? whiche suer, are lyke to enfect the best heads in Europe (I meane the Italyans) if God prouide not remedy. Shall it be easy thynke you for euery man to ioyne with them? I can not tell howe simple they be. But one man of that sect so distourbed a whole vniuersitie in Ger∣many, that all the learned men there, and the Prince him self,* was not hable to scrape out that he had wic∣kedly grauen. The Swingfieldians, the Maioranes, the Pelagians, the froward freewyll men, the Adia∣phoristes, the Osdrianistes, thenewe Marcionistes, the Anabaptistes, with infinite other swarmes of Sa∣tanistes, do you thinke that euery pulpit man wyll be hable to aunswer them. I pray God there be many that can. I saye therfore because there is so muche re∣quired in a spirituall minister: that all men bee not mete for the office. And therfore that with good rea∣son women bee debarred from it.” 1574, John Whitgift, The defense of the aunsvvere to the Admonition (1574) -“Women may not speake ordinarily in the congregation, nor chalenge any suche function vnto themselues” -“This Canon in Gratian de conse. Disti. 4. is thus reported: Mulier quamuis docta & sancta, viros in comuentu docere, vel aliquos baptizare non praesumat, nisi necessitate cogent〈1 line〉 Let not a woman, although learned and godly, presume to teache men in an assembly, or to baptise any, excepte necessitie constrayne. So that the Canon inhibiteth women to preache or to baptise in the open Churche and publike assemblies.” 1587, John Bridges, A defence of the gouernment established in the Church of Englande (1587) -“When as the Apostle afterwarde permitteth not vnto a woman, that she should speake in the Church, that is, in the common assembly 14. g. 34. & the reasons which he bringeth why they ought to be couered, it is manifest inough that they appertaine to euery one of the women that are conuersant in the publike assemblie of the Church.” -“The vncomlynes that S. Paule reprooueth, was, that women should preach in the Church as ver. 34.35.” -“Haue not [the Roman Catholics] confessed, pag. 59. that whome soeuer God hath instituted to be minister of his worde, him also hath hee made to bee minister of the sacrament, and that, it pertayneth to him to deliuer the seale, which deliuereth the writinges? Looke then, whether this come not néerer to the permission of women to baptize, yea, and to minister the communion, than any thing that they can gather of vs.” 1591?, Sutcliffe, of Ecclesiastical Discipline (1591?) -“Ch. 6: The office […] of the pretended ruling Widdowes, is handled by Doctor Sutcliffe.” 1593, Richard Bancroft, A suruay of the pretended holy discipline (1593) -“Whether there ought to be women Deacons in euery reformed Church?” -“CHAP. XIX. Of certaine widdowes, which are made Church officers” -“pretended ruling Widdowes” 1590s, Richard Hooker, Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity (1590s) -Preface, iii.13: “much labour has been bestowed to win and retain towards false causes them whose judgments are commonly weakest by reason of their sex. And although not “women laden with sins,” as the apostle Saint Paul speaketh, […] yet it is reasonable that a cause will more easily prevail where there is the least ability of judgment. This explains the booming industry in making more proselytes of the female sex, for that they are deemed apter to serve as instruments in the cause. A woman by reason of her eagerness will more diligently draw her husband, children, servants, friends and allies toward her views; as well as due to her natural inclination for pity” [adapted] (prov-”their sex”) -Book III, ix.2: “All our controversie in this cause concerning the orders of the Church is, what particulars the Church may appoint. That which doth find them out is the force of man’s reason. That which doth guide and direct his reason is first the general law of nature, which law of nature and the moral law of Scripture are in the substance of law all one” -Book V, lxii.2: “To make women teachers in the house of God were a gross absurdity, seeing the Apostle has said, ‘I permit not a woman to teach,’ and again, ‘Let your women in churches be silent.’ Those extraordinary gifts of speaking with tongues and prophesying, which God at that time did not only bestow upon men, but on women also, made it the harder to hold them confined with private bounds. Whereupon the Apostle’s ordinance was necessary against women’s public admission to teach. […] Therefore Clement extends this apostolic constitution to baptism. ‘For,’ says he, ‘if we have denied them leave to teach, how should any man dispense with nature and make them ministers of holy things, seeing this unskillfulness is a part of the impiety of the Greeks, who for the service of women goddesses have women priests?’ ” -Book V, 77: “Of the power given unto men to execute that heavenly office; of the gift of the holy Ghost in ordination; and whether conveniently the power of the order may be sought or sued for” … “Ministerial power is a mark of separation, because it severeth them that have it from other men that maketh them a special order consecrated unto the service of the most high in things wherewith others may not meddle. They’re difference therefore from other men is in that they are a distinct order.” -Book V, 78.2: “Seeing therefore we receive the adoption of sons by their ministry whom God hath chosen out for that purpose, […] what better title could there be given them than the reverend name of Presbyters or fatherly guides?” … “A Presbyter according to the proper meaning of the New Testament is “he unto whom our Saviour Christ hath communicated the power of mystical procreation” 1600s?, Lancelot Andrewes, “Of the Holy Ghost” Sermon (1600s?) -incredibly strong pro-clerical language -“Among the three gifts of the Spirit, “Andrewes calls this gift [ordination] the most proper ([f]or most kindly it is for the Spirit to be inspired, to come … in manner of breath), and ‘of greatest use’ (because it is needed ‘so oft as we sin’). ‘In both the other, … the spirit did but come, but light upon them. In this It comes, not upon them, but even into them, intrinsically. It is insufflavit, It went into their inward parts; and so made them indeed Thepneustous, men inspired by God, and that within’ ” 1600s?, Lancelot Andrewes, Sermon (1600s?) “in ordination therefore, ministers are made ‘sunergous’, that is, co-operatores, workers together with him, as the Apostle speaketh, to the work of salvation both of themselves and others… a ministry which is exercised therefore ‘en prosopoi tou Christou’, ie. IN THE PERSON OF CHRIST” -prov: Andrewes, Certain Sermons no. 4; in Works 5:89-91 Richard Montagu -women cant be supreme governors in cases ecclesiastical -prov: An answer to an impertinent pamphlet (1641) -“But you alleadge the fact of the woman of Samaria, at which a man may wonder at; the woman of Samaria went and told the Samaritans what Christ sayd to her; Ergo, a lay man may publikely preach the Gospell; … [this] may better be applyed to women than to men, and if you are of that minde, then you shall heare the judgement of Divines in that point” -“The Ministery of the Church is not to be committed unto women, but to men. Ursin. Cat. pag. 588. Eng. Our Saviour Christ hath joyned the preaching of the Word, and the administration of the Sacraments togetle; and this S. Paul knew by the Commandement, of Christ, whereupon it follows, that as women may not baptise, so they may not preach. Cart. Rep. to Whitgift.” -prov: 1653, Henry Hammond, Paraphrase and Annotations on the New Testament (1653) -solid 2-page discourse on ancient deaconesses, ancient ordinations, and how women deaconesses received benediction NOT ordination - 1674, George Keith, The Woman-preacher of Samaria (1674) -fragment: -“Come hither all you Men Preachers […], who cry out against Women’s Preaching, and Speaking, and say, Women ought not to Preach, There should not be Women Preachers, They should keep them to the Affairs within the House, and not meddle with our holy Function” -prov: 1680, Elkanah Settle, The Female Prelate: being the history of the life and death of Pope Joan. A tragedy (1680) -prov: Francis Grey, “The System of English Ecclesiastical Law” (1723) -“Q. What does the Church of England hold as to the Necessity of Ordination ? -A. That it is not lawful for any Man to take upon him the Office of publick Preaching, or ministering the Sacraments in the Congregation, before he be lawfully call’d, and sent to execute the same.” 1724, William Burkitt, Expository Notes, with Practical Observations on the New Testament (1724) -by Anglican divine; famous, highly commended; LENGTHY commentaries on NT, w/ passionate lengthy defenses of differences between sexes; in clothing, demeanor; definitely in preaching -“But I would have you know…” -prov: 1760s?, Samuel Johnson -“Sir, a woman’s preaching is like a dog’s walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.” IN PERSONA CHRISTI John Jewel, An expositio[n] vpon the two epistles of the apostle S. Paul to the Thessalonians (1584) -anything useful here? -“The seruant and messenger of God must so speake, as God speaketh. God speaketh déeply, and to the heart. He launceth the spirit, and woundeth the inward parts.” -“… God saith, Turne vnto me, & ye shal be •…aued. Againe, Thou disobedient Israel, returne, saith the Lord, and I wil not let my wrath fall vpon you. So must the minister of God, he must •…hew foorth the mercie of God, & not hide his iudgements. He hath the Lords busines in band, he maie not do it negligently. A flatterer maketh it his greatest care to please men, hée séeketh their fauor, he feareth to displease, and dareth not speake that that will be euill taken.” -“… Nothing is so requisite in the steward of God, as that he be found faithful, and that he speake those things whereunto the Lord hath sent him, boldly. That they kéepe not backe the message giuen them of God, nor feare to doe their errand, for anie malice of men. Who is it (saith Saint Peter) that wil harme you, if you follow that which is good? notwithstanding, Blessed are yee, if yee suffer for righteousnesse sake: yea, feare not their feare, neither be troubled.” -“For ye remember, brethren, our labour and trauaile: for wee laboured day and night, because wee woulde not be chargeable vnto any of you, and preached vnto you the Gospel of God… You are witnesses, and GOD, howe holilie, and iustlie, and vnblameablie wee behaued our selues among you that beleeue.” -“I might haue required meate and drinke, & other thinges necessarie, at your hands. For who féedeth a flocke, and eateth not of the milke of the flocke? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruite thereof? who goeth a warfare at any time of his owne cost? who mousleth the mouth of the ore, that treadeth out corne? we plant the vineyarde of the Lorde of hoastes. Wee féede Christes flocke. We goe to warfare, and stande in the watch & defence of your safetie. We are the poore oxen, that treade out the corne, which wil féede you to saluation. We are your seruaunts, we labour to doe you good, we are ordained to minister in the Church of God.” -“They that are called to this seruice, must not thinke it ynough, that they serue God, as men of other trades doe. For princes, and al sortes of people owe seruice and homage vnto God, to serue him in holinesse & righteousnesse al the dayes of their life. This seruice of godly conuersation, and obedience, must ministers also most carefully performe. But the especial seruice, which belongeth to their calling, is to carrie the arke of the couenaunt before their people, to doe their message truely when they are sent. To teach, to instruct, to erbort, to comfort, to rebuke in season and out of season: to plant, to wéede, to graffe, to shrid, to holde vp their handes and to pray for the people. To doe this seruice for kings, for subiectes, for rich, for poore, for the wise, for the simple: for the godly, and for the wicked: to establish them, and comfort them touching their fai•…h.” -“Wee come not to you in our owne name. We haue charge to preach ye gospell to al nations. Therefore we speake vnto you in ye name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We shewe you the way that you may walke in it: we declare vnto you the wil of God, that you may be saued. ” -“He telleth Timo•…hie, The elders that rule well, are worthie of double honour, specially they which labour in the worde and doctrine. Reuerence them, and loue them. Loue them for your owne sakes: you haue life and comforte by them. Honour them for their office sake. They are your fathers, they haue begotten you in Christ, they carrie the keyes of the kingdome of heauen. They are the Stewards of Gods house, and the disposers of his mysteries. Honor them and loue them for Gods sake. He hath sent them, and hath put his word in their mouth.” -“The godly preachers, sit also in the tēple of god: they are ye ministers of Christ, & disposers of the secretes of God. There they expound the Scriptures, and she we the good and acceptable wil of God. There they exhort, & teach, and reproue, and correct, and instruct the people in righteousnesse.” 1611, Authorized King James Bible -2 Cor. ii. 10: “en prosopoi tou Christou” -translated as “in the person of Christ”; contrasts w/ prior English translations which studiously avoided that: 1600s?, Lancelot Andrewes, Sermon (1600s?) “in ordination therefore, ministers are made ‘sunergous’, that is, co-operatores, workers together with him, as the Apostle speaketh, to the work of salvation both of themselves and others… a ministry which is exercised therefore ‘en prosopoi tou Christou’, ie. IN THE PERSON OF CHRIST” -prov: Andrewes, Certain Sermons no. 4; in Works 5:89-91 Bartholomew Parsons, Honos & onus levitarum. Or, tithes vindicated to the presbyters of the gospel in a sermon preached at an archidiaconall visitation at Marleborough (1637) -feel free to cut all this down -STRONG IN PERSONA CHRISTI LANGUAGE -“since wee are Ambassa­dours for Christ; let us in Christs stead pray our people to be reconciled to GOD, 2 Cor. 5.20. shew all the coun­sels of Christ to the houshold of faith, Act. 20.27. Since we are watchmen set over the house of GOD, let us take heed unto our flocks; watching night and day, in sea­son and out of season, for the Soules committed to our charge, Heb. 13.17. For if all ought to watch, (saith Bernard) much more ought the shepheards. If he so laboureth and watch who feedeth Labans sheepe, (saith St. Basil); with what labour, and what watch­ings ought he to bestirre himselfe, who feedeth GODS sheepe. Since we are GODS stewards, let us give to every one of his houshold their portion in due season, Luk 12.42. For if hee who provideth not for them of his owne house, the bread that perisheth, Joh. 6.27. hath denyed the saith, and is worse than an Infidell, 1 Tim. 5.8. Much more is hee to bee accounted so, who provi­deth not for those of GODS house, the bread that in­dureth to eternall life. The rulers slacknesse is their charges wrong. Since we are sowers▪ let us go forth to sowe, Mat. 13.3. not to reap only: since planters, 1 Cor. 3.6. let us ingraft in the minds of the faithfull, that word which is able to save their soules, Jam. 1.21. Since waterers, let us water those tender plants, that are plan­ted in the courts of the LORD; and let it not be our fault that the LORDS field should seeme to be cursed with the curse of the mountaines of Gilboa, upon which neither dew nor raine fell, 2 Sam. 1.21. Since builders in the house of GOD, let us so build up the houshold of faith upon Christ Jesus the corner stone, that they may grow unto an holy temple in the Lord, Eph. 2.21. Since men of GOD, let us quit our selves like men, 1 Cor. 16.13. preach the word, bee instant, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine, 2 Tim. 4.1, 2. Since the salt of the earth, let us have salt in our selves, Mark 9.50. and let all our speech be so seasoned with salt, that it may minister grace to our hearers, Col. 4.6. Since Mes­sengers of the LORD of Hosts, let our lips preserve knowledge, Mat. 27. let us bring glad tidings of good things to our auditors, Rom. 10.15. And since wee are labourers in his vine-yard, let us goe into it; and that not only to feed there, but also and much more to labour, Mat. 20.4. Let us not be dumbe dogges, such as cannot, or will not barke; and who have need that Christ should cast out of them that dumbe divell, Luk 11.14. nor dead [Page 29]idols, who have mouthes, and speake not. Psal. 115.5. Nor Pastors derived by Antiphrasis, a non pascendo, from not feeding or of pascor pasceris, to be fed only: For when they do not feed, but are fed themselves, they are not derived from pasco, to feed; but from pascor, to be fed. Let not those complaints light upon us which Saint Bernard darted out against the Clergy of his time, saying, that they were in habit Clergy men; in follow­ing after gaine, men of the world; but in work, neither: that they laboured not as other men; but whereas all states of men have some labour, and some pleasure, that they by a new cunning dividing betweene these, have chosen that which is delightfull in every thing, and re­jected that which is displeasing. Let the Pope onely take this privilege to himselfe, that though he draw mil­lions of soules after him to hell, yet no man may presume to say to him; Sir, why dost thou doe so. But let us take heed unto our selves, to reading, or exhortation and doctrine, that we may save our selves, and them that heare us, 1 Tim. 4.26.” -“But above all things, let mee put you in minde of one thing, that wee bee not onely such as have the light of knowledge, but such also as are indued with the fire of zeale; that our lips may not only preserve knowledge, but also (that which the LORD requireth in the Tribe of Levi, Mal. 2.6, 7.) that we may walke with GOD in peace and equity; that we may weare upon our breast­plates, not only the Vrim of light and knowledge, but also the Thummin of integrity and good conversation, Exod. 28.30. that we may alwaies enter into the san­ctuary of the LORD with our golden bells, the sound of preaching; and Pomegranates, the fruit of good living, (as St. Gregory interpreteth it) mingled together, Exod. 28.33, 34. that we who teach others, may teach our selves, Rom. 2.21. who preach to others, may not our selves be cast-awayes, 1 Cor. 9.27. For it belongeth to [Page 30]GODS Priests, not only to teach, but also to do the laws that they may not only teach their people and flocke committed to them with words, but also with exam­ples. This is the best harmony of all, when the Priests minde, hand, and tongue agree. But on the other side, it is nothing to preach the truth, if the heart disa­gree from the tongue: Nay, if we could speak with the tongue of men, should be so skilfull in Oratory, that we could at our pleasure lift up, advance, amplifie, ex­tenuate, and as it were by an inchanting power of elo­quence, turne any thing into what shape and habite wee would; and so subtile in disputing, that we could worke any thing out of any thing: if wee could speake with the tongue of Angels, (if there were any angels tongues, for the words are to be understood hyper­bolically) if we had prophecy, the gift of interpreting the Scriptures, and knew not some few, but all myste­ries; even the whole mystery of godlinesse: and had not some little knowledge, but all; even not only the wise­dome of this world, and the Princes thereof, which come to nought, 1 Cor. 2.6. So that with Solomon wee could speak of plants from the Cedar which is in Li­banus, to the Hyssope which groweth upon the wall: and of beasts, and birds, and creeping things, and fishes▪ 1 King. 4.33. but also the wisedome of GOD hid in a mysterie, and had not charity: not only these excellent gifts are to be accounted nothing, but we our selves are nothing, 1 Cor. 13.1, 2. To such Pharisees who say and doe not, that same song of St. Bernard, not pleasant but profitable, must be sung. It is a monstrous thing to have an high degree, and a base minde; the chiefe seat, and a lewd life; a tongue speaking great words, and an idle hand; much speech, and no fruit; a grave countenance, and a light carriage; a gray head, and an idle heart; a wrinkled face, and a trifling tongue; great authority, and a tottering stability. To grow to an end then, let us so take heed to our selves, that we may live well, and to our doctrine, 1 Tim. 4.16. that we may instruct our peo­ple committed to our charge: Let us so shine as bright stars in the militant Church, (that is in Chrysostomes inter­pretation, Let. us so teach that men may not only hear our words, but also see our good works) that at length wee may shine as bright starres in the triumphant Church for ever and ever, Dan. 12.3. And let us so joint­ly doe, and teach the least, Mat. 5.19. the greatest, all the commandements of GOD, that wee may bee called great in the Kingdome of grace; may be found heirs in the Kingdome of glory, and sit with Christ in his Throne, Rev. 3.21.” BAPTISM BY WOMEN 1574, John Whitgift, The defense of the aunsvvere to the Admonition (1574) -“I tolde you there that the booke of Common prayer doth call it priuate Baptisme, in respect of the place, which is a priuate house, and not in respect of the Minister: whiche euidently appeareth in these wordes, whiche you your selfe alledge in this place, that is, that the Minister is bidde to giue them warning, that they shoulde not baptise the childe at home in their house. &c. but you cannot thereof conclude the meaning of the Booke to be, that women shoulde baptise: for euen in that necessitie, the Curate may be sent for, or some other minister that may sooner be come by.” 1587, John Bridges, A defence of the gouernment established in the Church of Englande (1587) -“Concerning the permitting the administration of Baptisme (in this light of the Gospell) to Women. (Bee it spoken with the reuerence of our Brethren) it is moste vntrue. When as it is not onely giuen customably in the open charge of euery visitation, whether any such thing be done by them, as in the time of the popish darknesse was vsed: but also if anye such thing haue hapned and be found out, the parties that so haue done, are openly punished for the same.” -“Women and lay persons administring baptisme, whose doing we allowe not, neither yet doth our booke allow it, for any such persons to haue done it. Though if it bee done, & be done in such order, that they obserued (both for the matter and the forme) the element of Water, and the wordes that Christ assigneth to be vsed, with other godly prayers at the doing: the Booke (to anoyde all cauilles of Anabaptists) only approueth the substance of the baptism, when it is done: but not such persons to haue done it. Who, (notwithstanding any thing in the book) are worthily punished for their so doing.” -“The vncomlynes that S. Paule reprooueth, was, that women should preach in the Church as ver. 34.35. And therfore I thinke it not amisse to cōsider this point better, specially that which here they lead vs vnto. And at this they quarelled before, pag. 62. and often times threaten kindnes on vs, that we maintaine womens administration of Baptisme. But do not they thēselues (though it be the more strange to sée their dealing therein) euen where they goe about to confute it, a great deale more confirme it, than we doe? Haue not they confessed, pag. 59. that whome soeuer God hath instituted to be minister of his worde, him also hath hee made to bee minister of the sacrament, and that, it pertayneth to him to deliuer the seale, which deliuereth the writinges? Looke then, whether this come not néerer to the permission of women to baptize, yea, and to minister the communion, than any thing that they can gather of vs.” 1604 Hampton Conference -officially forbids baptism by laymen 1667, John Tombes, Theodulia or, a Just Defence of Hearing the Sermons and other Teaching of the present Ministers of England (1667) -“Women are excluded from any Ordinary Ministery of the Word or Sacraments in the Church by the Texts alledged, 1 Cor. 14.34.,  1 Tim. 2.12.,  and from baptizing, Mat. 28.18, 19, 20.,  Ephes. 4.11.” -“it is true that in Q. Elizabeths time Baptism by Women in supposed case of necessity, was in the English Churches either tolerated or allowed; and the like hath been in the Lutheran Churches, and Mr. Hooker in his fifth Book of Ecclesiastical Policy, sect 62. saith somewhat for it; yet since the Conference at Hampton Court in the beginning of King James his reign to the Rubrick of private Baptism in the Common Prayer Book, the words [lawful Minister] were added, which still continue; the Baptism of Women is not allowed by any constitution, nor owned by the present Ministers that I know, and therefore this instance is unjustly here recited.” -prov:

John Hooper.

An Answer unto my Lord of Winchester’s Book.

1547. A. D.

“Epiphanius, that great cleric, proves my opinion with strong arguments: If it had been commanded that women should sacrifice to God, or perform any thing ritually in the Church, it especially behoved Mary herself, under the new dispensation, to offer sacrifices, &c ;  but it was not seen fit.  Read the chapter.”

lib. 3. Contra Haereses, Tom 2. c. 79.

[ latin. Si mulieribus praeceptum esset sacrificare Deo, aut regulariter quicquam agere in ecclesia, oportebat magis ipsam Mariam sacrificium perficere in novo testamento, etc; at non placuit.]

“The ministry of Christ’s church chiefly dependeth in the preaching of the gospel and the ministration of the sacraments; and as the preaching of the word is not the office of a woman, no more is the ministration of the sacraments.”

Anthony Scoloker.

A bryefe summe of the Bible.

1549. A. D.

“Let your wives keep silence with all subjection. Suffer not a woman to teach nor to have authority over the man, but for to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, and then Eve. Adam also was not deceived, but the woman was deceived, and hath brought in the transgression. Notwithstanding through bearing of children she shall be saved, if she continue in faith, and in love and in sanctifying with discretion.”

“Let your wives keep silence in the congregation, for it shall not be permitted unto them to speak, but to be under obedience as the law saith: But if they will learn anything let them ask their husbands at home. For it becometh not women to speak in the congregation.”

Alexander Nowell.

A reproof of  ‘ A Proof ’  by Thomas Dorman.

1565. A. D.

“we in all our Sermons and writings of such matters, do make a most clear and evident difference between the functions and offices of princes, civil magistrates, and Priests Ecclesiastical ministers: And neither did we ever teach that [Queen Elizabeth] ought, neither did [she] ever desire, to execute the offices Ecclesiastical of ministering the Sacraments, preaching, excommunicating, absolving, and such like.”

“… she can not, may not, nor will not execute ecclesiastical functions.”

John Whitgift.

“Three Articles” touching Preachers and Other Orders for the Church.

[Official document]

October, 1583. A. D.

Article 5: “That none be permitted to preach, or interpret the Scriptures, unless he be a priest, or deacon at the least”

Thomas Bilson.

The True Difference Between Christian Subjection and Unchristian Rebellion.

1585. A. D.

“That women may not undertake this charge to feed Christ’s sheep, it was needless to cite Chrysostom.   S. Paul said it before in other words, & we be far from any such folly.”

Hadrian Saravia.

On the Various Degrees of the Ministers of the Gospel.

1590. A. D.

“Although the Apostle forbid a woman to speak in the congregation, yet if she be learned, she may write, and privately instruct her family.”

(latin) “Tametsi in ecclesia apostolus mulierem vetet loqui ;  potest tamen si docta sit scribere, & priuatim domesticos docere.”

-Source: Hadrian Saravia, De Diversis Ministrorum Evangelii Gradibus / Of the diuerse degrees of the Ministers of the Gospell (1590). Original (english): page; Original (latin): page. Cover page.

-Online: De Diversis Ministrorum Gradibus (1590). Google Books.

Thomas Rogers.

The Catholike doctrine of the Church of England.

1607. A. D.

“Though it be in the power of them which have authority in the Church, to appoint Ministers for God’s people: yet may they admit neither [whomever they wish, nor in any manner they wish]”

“This made the Apostles and Elders in the primitive Church [to] describe who were to be chosen, and called. For they are to be Men, not Boys nor women, Men of good behaviour, not incontinent, not given to wine, not strikers, not covetous…”

“In error they remain, who are of opinion, that … women may be Deacons, Elders, and Bishops: the former, the [heretic] Acephalians; the latter, the Pepuzians did maintain.”

John Tombes.

Theodulia or, a Just Defence of Hearing the Sermons and other Teaching of the present Ministers of England.

1667. A. D.

“Women are excluded from any Ordinary Ministery of the Word or Sacraments in the Church by the Texts alledged, 1 Cor. 14.34.,  1 Tim. 2.12.,  and from baptizing, Mat. 28.18, 19, 20.,  Ephes. 4.11.”

“[Since] we find that Philip the Evangelist had four daughters that did prophesie, Acts 29.1., mention is made of the woman praying or prophesying, 1 Cor. 11.5., we cannot exclude them from extraordinary Ministry, when God gives such a gift ;  nor, [since] Priscilla instructed Apollos, Acts 18.26. can we exclude them from private teaching of the most able, if they be fitted thereto.”

Patrick Smith.

A Preservative Against Quakerism.

1732. A. D.

Quest. May not Women, as well as Men, be allowed to preach in the Assemblies of God’s People, if the Spirit move them to it?

Ans. No. Because it is not to be supposed, that the Spirit should move them to it, since St. Paul who was inspired by the Spirit, says expressly, I suffer not a Woman to teach, that is, publickly in the Church, nor to usurp Authority over the Man ;  this being an Act of Power and Authority, and the Woman’s Part being Subjection and Obedience, 1 Tim. 22. 11, 12. And let Women, says he, keep silence in the Churches ;  for it is not permitted to them to speak, nay not so much as to ask Questions there, if they would learn any thing ;  for it is a shame, or a thing indecent, for Women to speak in the Church, 1 Cor. xiv. 34.

Quest. Was it not foretold by Joel, that under the Gospel, Daughters and Handmaids should prophesy, Joel ii. 28 ?  And do we not read of the four Daughters of Philip who prophesied, Acts xxi. 9 ?  and of Women’s prophesying in the Church of Corinth, 1 Cor. xi. 5 ?

Ans. What Joel foretells of Daughters and Handmaids prophesying, had its accomplishment in the Times of the Apostles, to which it did refer, and in which we read of the four Daughters of Philip who prophesied ;  which, since St. Paul forbids Women to speak in the Church, must be understood of their exercising their extraordinary prophetical Gifts, only in a private way ;  or of their foreknowing or foretelling things to come.  And by a Woman’s praying or prophesying in the Church of Corinth, mentioned by St. Paul, when he is giving Rules for the decent Behaviour of private Christians in the Church, with their Heads uncovered, is meant only, their joining as private Members of the Church, in hearing a Prophet pray or prophesy ;  as by what he says, of every Man’s praying or prophesying with his Head uncovered, in the preceding Verse, is to be understood of every Man of the Assembly, of the Hearers as well as the Preachers ;  and as Solomon and all the People, are said to have sacrificed, when it was Solomon only that offered the Sacrifice, and the People were only present and joined therein, 1 Kings viii. 62.  2 Chron. vii. 4.  Or it may be meant, of their praising God, with inspired, or other Psalms, which is fitly joined with Prayer, as the Word is used in other places, 1 Chron. xxv. 1.  For to prophesy, signifies either, to foretell things to come, or to declare the Will of God, or expound the Scripture by Revelation, or to praise God with Hymns or Psalms.  And therefore they that did any of these, were said to Prophesy.

And supposing there were Women Prophetesses among the Carinthians then, that did really teach in the Church, by immediate Inspiration ;  and that St. Paul‘s not suffering Women to speak in the Church, were to be understood, with this exception, unless they have a special Command from God, and he immediately inspired ;  yet such extraordinary miraculous Gifts being now ceased, and neither bestowed on Men nor Women, it does not therefore follow, that because there were Women Prophetesses in the Apostles Times, there should be any such now ;  and far less, that Women now should be allowed to exercise the ordinary Office of the Ministry in Preaching in the Assemblies of God’s People, which they were not allowed to do then ;  and which none then did, without being ordained to it, with Prayer and Imposition of Hands, which we never read any Women were.

Edmund Gibson.

A Letter … occasioned by disputing with a Quaker.

1741. A. D.

[W]hence derive you the Authority you give Women to appear in the Work of the Ministry ?  Surely, you will not plead Scripture here ;  it being earnestly prohibited by the Apostle on some of that Sex offering to undertake that Office :   “ Let the Women learn in Silence with all Subjection :  But I suffer not Women to Teach, nor to usurp Authority over the Man, but to be in Silence ; ”  and after these Texts, the Apostle shews, from the Nature of her Creation and Fall, the Unfitness of a Woman’s pretending to direct a Man, whom Nature and Providence have placed over her, to protect her Person, and inform her Understanding.  How a Superiority can be maintained over a Person that we acknowledge our Instructor, I can not conceive ;  Teaching being the greatest Authority that can be assumed, and most exalted Character can be possessed, and therefore always made the Business of Men, under the Old as well as the New Law.

My Friend replied :  Whatever Stress you may put on these Words of the Apostle, I see no Reason for understanding them as spoke of publick Preaching, since in the Words immediately preceding, he was directing the Dress of Women to be plain, and in those following he promises their Preservation in Child-bearing ;  neither of which bear much Relation to the Office of a Minister, and are sufficient Proofs that the Silence here meant was a Silence to the Instruction of the Husband at Home, where Subjection is necessary, to the Preservation of Peace and Economy ;  and that the Apostle did mean no more, is obvious from several other parts of his Epistles.

I answered :  Should these Words be really designed as you interpret them ;  yet will the Preaching of Women remain a flat Contradiction to one of the warmest Declarations this Apostle ever made, and which cannot, with the least Shadow of Reason, be understood in any other Sense than that of an express Prohibition of Women’s Preaching or Praying in Publick Assemblies :  I mean Part of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Corinthians ;  where his Subject being particularly to regulate the Religious Meetings of the Believers, to reform the Abuses that had already crept in among them, and to establish a wholesome Discipline in that Church, he says, immediately after observing that God is not the Author of Confusion, Let your Women keep Silence in the Churches, for it is not permitted unto them to speak ;  and, after shewing the Agreement of this Precept with the Law, and referring Women’s Speech to their Homes, he adds, For it is a Shame for Women to Speak in the Church.

A Letter to a person lately joined with the people call’d Quakers.

1748. A. D.

“ We judge it no Ways unlawful, for a Woman to preach in the Assemblies of God’s People. ”

In this there is a manifest Difference [between Quakerism and Christianity].  For the Apostle Paul saith expressly, Let your Women keep Silence in the Churches :  for it is not permitted unto them to Speak—-And if they will learn any Thing, let them ask their Husbands at home ;  for it is a shame for Women to speak in the Church, 1 Cor. xiv. 34, 35.

Robert Barclay indeed says, “ Paul here only reproves the inconsiderate and talkative Women. ”

But the Text says no such Thing.  It evidently speaks of Women in general.

Again, the Apostle Paul saith to Timothy, Let your Women learn Silence with all Subjection.  For I suffer not a Woman to teach, nor to usurp Authority over the Man, (which Public Teaching necessarily implies) but to be in Silence, 1 Tim. ii. 11, 12.

To this Robert Barclay makes only that harmless Reply ;  “ We think this is not any Ways repugnant to this Doctrine. ”  Not repugnant to this,  “ I do suffer a Woman to teach ! ”  Then I know not what is.

“But a Woman labour’d with Paul in the Work of the Gospel.”  Yea !  but not in the way he had himself expressly forbidden.

“But Joel foretold, your Sons and your Daughters shall prophesy.  And Philip had four Daughters which Prophesied. And the Apostle himself directs Women to Prophesy ;  only with their Heads covered.”

Very Good.  But how do you prove that prophesying in any of these Places means Preaching ?