The Feminine Ideal of Christianity Luke 1:49. I

George Matheson
1898 The Biblical World  
THE history of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is the history of the struggle between two idealsthe masculine and the feminine. It begins with the strife between the woman and the serpent in the primeval dawn, and it ends with the conflict between the woman and the dragon in the Apocalypse. Each age repeats the battle under a new name. all are but the various forms in which the same problem presents itself. Christ's conquest of the world is the conquest of the male by the female
more » ... e female element-the seed of the woman bruising the head of the serpent. It is not correct to speak of the elevation of woman as one of the effects produced by Christ. It is not an effect at all; it is the cause of all effects. It is not one change amongst many; it is the root of all the social and moral changes which have marked the transition from the old life into the new. Christianity has given to the world a new ideal of heroism, and that ideal is the woman as distinguished from the man. It is not that she has taken her own place in society; she has taken my place in society. When an ideal gets possession of the world, it never occupies part of the world; it rules all round. It must be everywhere, if it is anywhere. It touches the current of all events; it modifies the course of every stream. Its effect is felt from the center to the circumference. The whole morality of an age depends on whether its ideal be male or female-the bearing down or the bearing up of a burden. Let us take one of the cases which at first sight would seem most remote from the subject -drunkenness.
doi:10.1086/472293 fatcat:hs67bf7tsndd7hyd2d4drvjhga