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No Men Allowed

Here's a story about the Christians, the denomination that merged with the Congregationalists in 1931. They are an endlessly interesting group of people, and in the early days they harbored more than few odd characters.

In 1856 two itinerant Christian preachers published an account of their travels in the Palladium, one of their early journals. They were working their way through small towns in eastern Canada, and came across one little outpost with an unusual story:

Here, 30 years ago, was a Christian church of 25 members, 24 of whom were females.

In these days of "woman's rights," curiosity may enquire how this female organization succeeded. We believe that it was regarded as an excellent and spiritual church; and that they maintained regular church discipline, is inferred from the fact that they excluded the only male member from the fellowship of their fraternity for unworthy conduct.

That this act of expulsion was performed under the direction of an enlightened christian conscience, and not on account of any want of social qualities in the sisterhood, is sufficiently clear from the fact, that although they were all then comparatively young and nearly all unmarried, "caring only for the things of the Lord," they have long since been transferred, as they deserved to be, to the most important positions of domestic responsibility. With a few exceptions, these "sisters of charity" are controlling, as far as good women would wish to do, important and extensive house-hold interests.

I think this means that most of those feisty young ladies settled down and got married, but never ended up as doormats. We don't know what happened to the hapless son of Adam they excommunicated, or why they still referred to their meeting as a "fellowship" once he was gone.



excerpt from "Our Journey in Canada", Christian Palladium, vol. 25, no. 11 (July 19, 1856), p.170

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