Womens Speaking Iustified, Proved and
Allowed by the Scriptures.
Margaret Fell, 1667 (Additions to 2d ed.)

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 any thing, let them aske 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.

1

TO which I say, If you tie this to all outward Women, then there where 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.

2.1

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 men, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and on the Inhabitants thereof, even all the ords 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 [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 thyself before the Lord, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the Inhabitatns of the same, how they should be destroyed; Behold I will receive thee to thy Father, and thou shalt be put into the 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?

2.6

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.

2.10

In the time of the Gospel, when Mary came to salute Elizabeth in the Hill Country in 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 spake 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 Savious, 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 hath holpen his Servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spake to his Father, to Abraham, and to his Seed for ever. 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 you may see how these 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.

2.14

And see in the Book of Ruth, how the women blessed [15] her in the Gate of the City, of whose stock came Christ. The Lord make the woman that is come into the House like Rachel and Leah, 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 the Hand maid, and remember me, and not forget thy Hand-maid. And read in the second Chapter of Samuel, How she rejoyced in God, and said, My heart rejoyceth in the Lord; My Horn is exalted in the Lord and my mouth is enlarged over my enemies, because I rejoyce in the 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 presumptuously, let not arrogance come out of your mouth, 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 Beggar from the dunghill 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 exalt the Horn of his Anointed. Thus you may see what a woman hath said, when old Ely the Priest thought she had been drunk, 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.

2.20

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 expression Queen Hester used to comfort the People of God, [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.

3.1

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 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.

3.5

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, [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, 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 Judgment 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 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 aboaut 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 kill[s] and slayes 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.

The End.

POSTSCRIPT

1

AND you dark Priests, that are so mad against Womens Speaking and itís 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 the 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.

2

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 to be silent, for she Sung and Praise 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.

3

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 gon[e], 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.