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Letter to Bro. John Thomas From a Sister
Regarding: The Wearing of Jewelry



Vol. X, No. 6, June 1860, page 133

Respected Brother: --

..Is it lawful for those who have been sanctified by the New or Abrahamic Covenant, dedicated by the inestimably precious blood of Jesus, to decorate their "vile bodies" with gold and silver ear-rings and finger-rings, and so forth? I do not inquire for myself; for I neither do nor intend to wear them; but for the benefit of those professing godliness who do.

Please consider these points as soon as you possibly can. You may think them difficulties that ought to be settled in their own locality. And so they ought. But expositions and exhortations from those who have a more comprehensive, and therefore better knowledge of the Bible, may serve to put to silence those who are causing divisions.

I remain yours in the One Hope of the Gospel and of the not far distant appearing of Christ.

Sarah Potter
Chicksaw Co., Iowa
August 22, 1859

In relation to Sarah's daughters wearing metal trinkets, or bedizzening themselves with flashly ornaments, the best reply that can be given is in the words of the apostle, that "women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with modesty and sobriety; not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.-- 1 Tim. ii. 9; "whose adorning," says Peter, "let it not be that outward of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves. -- 1 Peter iii. 3. Nothing looks so indicative of a vulgar mind and grovelling instincts as a load of flash jewelry dangling upon a woman's exterior. It argues the wearer's consciousness of the utter worthlessness of the hidden man of the heart, and of the necessity of putting the symbols of worth upon the outside. The lower we descent in the scale of civilization the more pleased do we find the natural man with exterior ornamentation. The more empty his head, the more childish his delights. The savage paints his face, sticks feathers in his hair, and is in ecstasies with colored cut glass in the form of beads, or sparkling in brass, or copper washed in gold. All this becomes him well, because he is an uncultivated barbarian, and a mere creature of fleshly instincts. But for men and women professing godliness, we expect indications of a superior order of things within. If we see a pearl necklace upon her neck; or a pencil case hanging from a chain where it is rendered utterly useless for writing; and upon divers fingers of her hands ring piled upon ring in gross profusion, we are not reminded of any latent godliness within. On the contrary, we are rather prompted to inquire, Of what dark age of the world is this jeweller's show-block in crinoline the type? A sensible man despises such sham; how much more contemptible then must it appear to God! He looks to the jewelry of the hidden man of the heart, and if He find that well and highly adorned, He counts that daughter of his family a jewel of His heart. It is truly nonsensical for women professing godliness to follow the fashions of the daughters of Belial. It is all very well for those whose instincts are grovelling, and their brains addled by trashy literature, to decorate their inglorious and perishing mortalities with cheap and gaudy trumpery. It finds employment for the industrious and ingenious mechanic and artisan. But Christian women have attained to a more exalted position in the intellectual and moral universe of God, and ought, therefore, to be the subjects of too divine a consciousness to trick themselves out in the glittering peddlery of a wandering Jew. Then let them put the trash away, and they will fulfil the exhortations of the apostles; and if they care at all to do so, in so doing they will commend themselves to the approval of the

EDITOR (John Thomas)
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come
Page 135
March 13, 1860