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The Educated Wife

Some good words for the church, the family, and parents of daughters in particular:

danielalexanderpaynesmall.png    There are also your daughters. They ought to be the objects of your special regard. To educate them in such a manner as to render them fit to do Christian work is the highest duty of the church herself. She can perform none higher, none more beneficial for the community. And whenever a young woman of talents and piety is found, who has aptness for teaching and who is desirous to qualify herself thoroughly for such a work but has not the means to meet the expenses, this church ought to undertake to educate her. Perhaps there is no greater power in a given community than that of educated women. I use the term in its broadest, highest sense, by which I do not mean a smattering, or even excellence in music, instrumental and vocal, in drawing and painting; nor do I mean a mere classical or scientific and mathematical training. But I do mean a Christian education, that which draws our head and heart toward the Cross, and after consecrating them to the cross sends the individuals from beneath the cross with the spirit of him who died upon it, sending them abroad well fitted for Christian usefulness, a moral, a spiritual power, molding and coloring the community, and preparing it for a nobler and higher state of existence in that world where change never comes, unless it be a change from the good to the better and from the better to the best.
   The past, the dark past is gone—I hope forever gone. It was a time when ignorance sat in high places and ruled, when vice was as respected as virtue. The present and the future demands a different spirit and different conduct. The almighty fiat has gone forth. “Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (Dan. 12:4). Hence the future demands educated women in order that there may be educated wives, and consequently educated mothers who will give to the race a training entirely and essentially different from the past. In other words, the future demands wives and mothers who will, like Susannah Wesley, convert the homestead into a schoolhouse, and that schoolhouse into the church where young immortals shall be trained for their heavenward flight. The wants of the race demand such women to descend into the South as educators, to assist in correcting the religious errors of the freedmen and to bridle their wild enthusiasm. These religious errors, the wild enthusiasm of the freedmen, are results of the slavery that had been operating on them and their forefathers for nearly 250 years and cannot be removed in a day, nor by one man, nor by one kind of human agency. The Deity does not operate upon humanity in that fashion. He applies a multitude of instrumentalities and different agencies to civilize and Christianize a race. But of these none are more potent than the educated wife, the educated mother, the educated school-mistress, but educated under the Cross and in the spirit of him who died upon the cross.

—Daniel A. Payne, cited in Thabiti Anyabwile, The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors (Crossway, 2007), 109–110.

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Posted  in: Church History · Daniel A. Payne · Thabiti Anyabwile · The Faithful Preacher
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