163. The more frequently a vice is indulged the greater its tyranny. Hence, the older a sin the stronger its sway over the moral character, the more blinding its effect upon the intellect, and the less likely is it to be recognized as a sin. Now we must consider the first sin of the human race, its longest indulged vice. This sin will be the chief characteristic of Antichrist, when he comes. He “opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4, R. V.)
164. The first indulged temptation,—that is, Adam’s wilfully indulged sin (Eve repented), was to be “as God” (Genesis 3:5, R. V.; “gods” is incorrect, for Adam, as yet, had heard of but one God to envy). What must have been the inevitable result of Adam’s continuing to indulge the desire to be “as God?” These two already had equal dominion over all the earth; so Adam, in his desire to be “as God,” had no one else to be “as God” to, but to Eve. He would wish, therefore, to extend his dominion by subjugating Eve to his rule. This is precisely what God warned Eve against, if she for a moment, in the weakness of affectionate attachment, turned away to Adam. But we infer Eve did this, with the predicted result.
165. The sin of the male in loving the pre-eminence began so early in the world’s history, and has prevailed so persistently, as to gain respectability,…
Over and over, Jesus Christ rebuked this sin in His disciples, but the rebuke seemed to fall on uncomprehending ears. Matthew 18:1-5, Mark 9:33-37, Luke 14:8-11, and Luke 20:46 should all be read before we proceed further. This was the last sin among His Twelve that Jesus rebuked when on earth, Luke 22:24-27. In these passages there is not a hint that the duty is to be limited to one sex. So far as the teaching of Jesus Christ is concerned, it seems to matter little whether it be the sin of woman exalting herself over man, or man over woman; it is not the sex which is rebuked, but the sin itself. Jesus does not speak merely with reference to man’s attitude towards man, but man’s attitude towards all. In Christ “there is neither bond nor free.” “Ye know that they . . . exercise lordship . . . But among you it shall not be so.” Matthew 20:25-26, Mark 10:42, etc., are rules for the future Church, not merely for the Twelve.
166. Strange to say …, we are all able to see the hatefulness of a woman’s attempt to exercise government over her husband, but beyond that point our moral sense has become dulled. Because the government of a man over his wife is customary, it seems natural and quite proper to us. Modesty, meekness, humility, become woman; these virtues became Jesus Christ; but as to men in general, there are doubts with many as to these being virtues at all in them.
167. The third chapter of Genesis, rightly translated and interpreted, reveals to us the fact that lordship of the husband over the wife, which began when man sinned, was Satanic in origin. Knowing this, and the strong force of a long-indulged habit, it need not surprise us if we discover that men have gone to their Bibles (as they did on the slavery question), to find warrant for what they were already doing, not to find a clue as to what they should do.