Christ Is Risen, Even in Sri Lanka

More than 200 killed in deadly Easter attacks on Sri Lanka churches and hotels (see also attack in Munich). May the Lord justify his holy martyrs of Sri Lanka before men on the Last Day, as he has justified them before God.

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Jesus, King of Israel, Saviour of the Nations by the Cross

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Sermon, Sunday Next Before Easter (Palm Sunday), on John 12.12–36.

Peace be to you, brethren. Today, David and the pastor are in the Holy Land, so I am preaching instead. But let our hearts follow them and other pilgrims to the Holy Land, back to the events of Palm Sunday 2000 years ago, things that by the Holy Spirit are alive to those who believe and bring them peace.

Today, the King of Israel rides to Jerusalem. Today, the prophecy of Zechariah is fulfilled. Today, the disciples do not understand, but they will. The King of Israel has come to claim his own, and his own is all the nations of the earth, and all the nations of the earth will be taught by his disciples, that they may look upon the one lifted up on the Cross, and in his blood be saved.

As the pilgrims are gathered for the feast of the Passover, to remember how God led all Israel out of Ægypt, Jesus comes into Jerusalem seated on a young ass. O daughter of Zion, fear not! he says silently. Why does the daughter of Jerusalem fear? Because of Israel’s enemies, oppressing the people of God. But God has said through his prophet, ‘I will encamp about mine house because of the army, because of him that passeth by, and because of him that returneth: and no oppressor shall pass through them any more: for now have I seen with mine eyes.’ The Lord has promised, and he delivers: fear not, he says to his people, because thy King cometh unto thee, just, and having salvation. Israel is freed from fear, because the one who is just, the one who saves, is here. This is what Jesus shouts without a word, because he rides in on an ass’s colt.

But anyone can claim to be the Lord’s Anointed King by doing what the people suppose that the Christ will do; not everyone can make good on this claim. Many kings have inscribed their names and been erased by history; many kings have set themselves up and crumbled into the dust. I can proclaim myself king, and no one will believe it. Or many false messiahs have called themselves kings, whom God has destroyed. But Jesus, without speaking, has the testimony of others, bearing witness that he called Lazarus out of his grave and raised him from the dead; and by this the people have reason to hope that he is the promised King to deliver Israel.

Do you even dare to hope for a king who can raise the dead? This Jesus has done what the people have barely dared to hope. The people feel the longing of their hearts. They come to meet Jesus. By the testimony of the Pharisees who hate Jesus, the whole world has gone after him. The people see Jesus, joy of man’s desiring, because he has exceeded what man by his own imagination is able to hope. Perhaps they do not know by what nature can tell them, but by the revelation of the prophets they dare to hope.

And there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast and said, Sir, we would see Jesus. Do you see what kind of king Jesus is? Here he is, the King of Israel, here to free his people Israel from the oppression of the heathen, of the Phœnicians in Tyre and Sidon, of the Philistines in Ashkelon and Gaza and Ekron; and yet here come the Greeks, conquerors of the nations, desiring to see this King of Israel. If a foreign king is come to his own people, what is that to you? You may like the spectacle of a king’s procession, you may be glad for the people of another country that their king will deliver them from their enemies, but do you ask to see this king yourself? There are kings, and then there are kings like this. Let the prophet Zechariah declare to you what kind of king Jesus is: ‘And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.’ He makes wars to cease for his people, and to the nations he speaks peace. Once all authority in heaven and on earth is given to him, his dominion stretches from sea to sea. Is this the desire of nations, the king you have waited for, and the king who satisfies the longings of the hearts of your friends? Was your heart made for him?

Jesus came to make the whole earth his kingdom, the kingdom of reconciliation between enemies, of peace and justice. If Jesus is the king of your heart, think of your parents, your grandparents, your aunts and uncles, your friends. These are made by God, and sinners before him; remembered with God, and sinners before him; beloved of God, and sinners before him. Think of their hopes and dreams, and their need to be just and to have justice done for them, an extraordinary justice that can raise the dead from hell. For Israel needs no ordinary saviour, and the earth needs no ordinary lord. We have ourselves anointed a thousand false messiahs; the world has seen various ordinary messiahs, such as Cyrus the Great; but the universe can be put together again by only one extraordinary messiah, begotten of the Father before all worlds. We need, and our loved ones need, a king of miracles. Do they know – do you know – the peace that comes from the justice of Jesus the anointed King of Israel?

And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. How fitting it is that such a man should be glorified! Not the son of Joseph, or even the Son of David, but the Son of Man, who was the root and the flower of the kingly line to inherit the earth, in whom the meek are to inherit the earth. For this he was sent from heaven, for this born of the Virgin Mary, for this now arrived in the holy city: that he should be glorified. This was the hour that he arrived, because it was the hour when he would lay down everything to receive glory from the Father. And this he did for you, that you might partake of his glory and by the Holy Spirit give glory to God. It was time. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. Do you hear what he says? This was the way of glory when the hour had arrived. There was but one way for the Son of Man to be glorified. The corn of wheat, who contains the entire life of the wheat, and without whom there is no wheat to speak of, and through whom the life of all worlds was made and sustained, that same seed must first fall into the ground and die. The Son of Man, who is come to bring life and peace to all nations by his reign, must first die. Yes, Jesus must die. We must look for his glory in his death; we must find our glory in the Cross. The Cross is how Jesus was to be glorified, and the Cross is how he is glorified. Even now, do not men die wondrous deaths in the sign of the Cross? For the sake of him who first died on it, do they not forsake all things and glory in the sign of the Cross? Is the Cross not now the sign dæmons fear, because of the one who has used it to break their power? Yes, in the Cross all nations are being reconciled today, and men that hated God and each other come to peace. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

If any man serve Jesus, let him follow Jesus; and where Jesus is, there shall also his servant be: if any man serve Jesus, him will the Father honour. If Jesus came to save his people Israel and extend God’s kingdom from Israel all the way to the ends of the earth, this is where his Church is too, bringing the nations to peace. To be sure, there are Christians – or men who bear that name – who in the name of freedom bring men to bondage, who in the name of life bring men to death. If the Church is what Scripture says it is, then those who are washed by baptism are called to condemn such blasphemies and call men to account by the word of God. Because God is love, he is willing to kill every last bit of sin in us, just as Jesus was destroyed on the Cross. The Pharisees of our time will complain that the world has gone to meet Jesus, because of the power he shows in the lives of those he has baptized. This power is available and promised to you if you are willing. Walk while you have light to see. Have you decided to enter Jesus’s service by submitting to baptism? Then follow him, and you will be where he is, and the Father will honour you just as he has glorified Jesus.

Jesus himself said, at the hour of his glorification, ‘Now is my soul troubled’; but he refused to say, ‘Father, save me from this hour,’ because for this cause he was come to this hour. To accept glory is to accept the Cross; to embrace the glory of the kingdom is to embrace the blessed Cross in which that kingdom is found. Do you wish to see glory? Think what you will say to your friends when everything that the faith demands is something society calls hateful, when the obedience to God is called hatred of the human race, when love is hate speech. Will you dare to speak, just as Israel dared to hope that her divine king was come at last? Think what you will say when you get expelled from a school, fired from a job, divorced by a spouse, because you stood up for what God taught and did not deny that he had forbidden the one juicy fruit in the garden. Your soul may be troubled, and it may be hard to believe God’s peace is still with you to defend you from your enemies. Do you say, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? When we ask for the Lord’s kingdom to come, when we ask for his kingdom to overcome our oppressors, we ask for his will to be done, not ours. Not ‘Father, save me from this hour,’ but ‘Father, glorify thy name.’ Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.

When God promises glory, and when glory is hidden, you may miss it. Think what God’s voice will elicit. The Lord speaks out of the clouds, and you may think it was thunder. Thunder it is, but not only thunder. For those who have no ears to hear, the voice of God himself may be just a rumbling, a rumour of a rolling, random and roiling; but for those who are listening, God speaks. This voice is not for Jesus, who already knows, but for you. God promises to honour you if you trust him with your life. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

Think how God has already honoured you by sending down his only-begotten Son to die in your place. You may have missed this neon sign as you drove by, but let us come back to it and see what it says. Already, before you ever trusted him, before you were even born, Jesus went to Jerusalem to die for your sins and defeat all the enemies that threatened to drag your life down to the pit of hell. He went trusting in God, and God so honoured him that by his resurrection even his death on a cross of shame became a death on a cross of glory. Before you were ever conceived by your mother, the Father in heaven had conceived of a way to become your Father, and the Son had fulfilled the plan. All your troubles, and all the troubles of your people, you can send to the Cross of Christ. Jesus has come to be the deliverer of all, of every nation on earth. Every nation will be saved, and indeed has been saved, by the shame that Jesus the king of Israel took upon himself to win the Father’s glory. This is the miraculous king, who turns lead into gold, wounds into gems. Your shame, if you entrust it to him, will become your glory, just as his shame became his glory, so that his riding toward his death was his entrance into his hour of glory. This is what he promised, that you would share in his glory if you joined him and stayed with him. We see that the Father fulfilled his promise to Jesus, to glorify his Name in him. Not only do we see that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, but much more do we see that God raised Jesus from the dead with a body imperishable. The question, then, is not whether you should dare to trust him with your life: the question to ask is whether you should dare not to trust him with your life. If the Son of God has already died for you, do you think he will fail to honour his promise to you?

All men are being drawn to Jesus by the Cross on which he was lifted up, and through this Cross has come the destruction of Israel’s enemies, and deliverance from the hands of all that hate us. You have heard about the Son of Man, and all the world must hear from your mouth. He is the saviour of Israel; he is the desire of nations; he saves by the Cross, to the glory of his Father. The world is being judged, and the world is being saved. Choose to walk in Jesus while you can still see, that by the Holy Spirit you may share in the glory of his kingdom, which is an everlasting kingdom that holds all the world in it. Go to the king, go to the king of miracles, go to the king who is God. Amen.

Let us pray.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who, of thy tender love towards mankind, hast sent thy Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, to take upon him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of his great humility; Mercifully grant, that we may both follow the example of his patience, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Advantages of the English Reformation over Others?

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I am not sure a comparison between Cranmer and Hooker’s gradual approach and the Continental Reformers’ approach to the reformation of the Church is a fair one. The English Reformation already had the benefit of Reformers and Protestant states on the Continent with which to make alliances and unite as feasible in common cause. Whereas the Continent was rife with civil wars in both the Empire and France, England being peripheral to Europe could better afford to reform its part of the Church without being overrun by invaders. Thanks to English naval strength after the destruction of the Spanish Armada, even the existential threats faced by England for the next centuries seem more often to have been about the prospect than about the reality of being overrun by popish armies and (as ‘God Save the King’ originally said) popish tricks.

Nevertheless, the English Reformation does seem to have worked with the existing commonwealth in ways that the Continental Reformers seem not have done. The first vernacular piece of liturgy, the Litany, was introduced in 1544, and the Sarum Mass (in Latin) was retained until 1549, long after Protestant doctrine had begun to leaven English society in sermons and official statements of church doctrine. Even the 1549 Book of Common Prayer, though Reformed in its doctrinal basis, was so written that Bishop Gardiner was able to claim it plausibly for unreformed doctrine; and only upon that challenge, and with the advice of Bucer, Vermigli, and others for a clearer statement, did Cranmer put together the 1552 Book of Common Prayer. Even at this pace, the 1549 Book of Common Prayer sparked revolts in Devon and Cornwall; still less could a more sudden change have hoped to avoid convulsing the nation. Because of this politic pace and the place of the Prayer Book in reformation, Englishmen retained their old loyalty to the Church as such rather than to what appeared to be the doctrine of some particular men, which in my judgement remains a great asset today.

Indeed, a great deal of the Sarum mass and offices was not in itself unconscionable, but only relatively conducive to beliefs and practices that were unconscionable. These forms of services were, in other words, adiaphora: in themselves indifferent, though in need of alteration according to the freedom of the Church to frame services toward ædification according to the general teaching of Scripture. The concept of things indifferent in worship was recognized by the Continental Reformers, of course, since they were themselves able to accept local differences in worship and even to defend England’s forms as acceptable for a Reformed church. All the same, England’s emphasis on treating these adiaphora prudently has lent itself to an easily understood sense that no new church was forged in the Reformation, only a cleansing made of the extant Church. On the popular level, I think, such an understanding is necessary, especially in times when the world is changing fast; strangely, perhaps, this kind of careful conservatism helps the Church adapt to changes in the world because its members understand the organism as one that has survived through challenging times with its life and biblical witness intact.

God’s Love in a Stillborn Child’s Life

Not having attended many funerals recently, I do not well remember a particular passage of Scripture I have seen used with a tender sense of the circumstances and to good effect. But I did last year attend a viewing for the death of a child who had been born dead, though I was unable to attend the funeral itself. I did not get to hear the funeral sermon, but I think in the preacher’s position I might have chosen Ecclesiastes 11.5 as the sermon text:

As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.

The wording of this verse alone leads us to think of both the stillborn baby girl herself and the child’s mother in whose womb her bones grew. Rather than speaking of a child and a womb only, this verse bids the hearer attend to the relationship between the mother and the child. This relationship, of both mind and body, of living soul and living soul, is what the mother has had cut off in death, and through her all the mourners. With a child who was born dead, there is not a full life from which to draw examples and testimonies of the Lord’s work, yet in the very relationship of the mother and her child we feel that work of the Holy Spirit. The kingly Preacher speaks of bones growing in a womb, as an incarnation of the relationship between the child and her who was with child, and invites us to feel that concretely: bones and womb. This was no mere shadow of the imagination, but someone who was intimately within the life, within the very body, of the one who lost a part of herself and delivered a child born dead.

We know not which way the wind wends, and we know not how the child grew bones and how the child died: the wind that blew was the Holy Spirit, who gave and took away. We know not his works, but we know that he lovingly knit together the bones of the child that now is dead. The Preacher tells us that we cannot make the Spirit’s way ourselves, but we can observe – even without seeing – the care with which he put together the body of the beautiful child who died even before she ever saw the light of day. It mattered not to the Spirit, as it might matter to us, how long the child would live to use her bones; the Spirit knew the child would die and gave her the gift of bones, that she might show a childlike love before that love was even born. This is the Spirit to whose love we entrust the baby and all the love she ever gave and received.

It is a pleasant thing for the eyes to behold the sun; but the days of darkness are many, and in those days we have nothing to trust but the one who gave us both light and darkness. The Preacher says,

Cast thy bread upon the waters:
for thou shalt find it after many days.
Give a portion to seven, and also to eight;
for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.

Everything can change, and everything did change for the mother and her baby girl. Yet God, in the child’s life and death, showed in the darkness a patience and a love that the mother could only feel but could not see. This God judges what the eyes of man do not see, and because of his righteous judgement he knows our sorrow, knows it better than we. But this same righteous judgement, who judges what our eyes cannot see and took the child away from the sorrow of sin, calls us all to remove that sorrow from our hearts and put away evil from our flesh. He calls us to know his love in the valley dark as the womb, that we may feel his tender warmth in the darkness of the womb.

Against Speaking of ‘Balance’ in God

If ‘balance’ were a useful resolution to the antinomies of the unchangeable character of God, then we could balance the oneness (unity) of God and the threeness (trinity) of God by holding dogmatically that God is two.

Stillness in Companionship with the Bereaved

In companionship with the bereaved, as Alan D. Wolfelt says in Companioning the Bereaved: A Soulful Guide for Caregivers, a most meaningful principle is being still; it is not about frantic movement forward. This is something I have yet to learn well, even though I acknowledge its truth. We might fruitfully compare the mourning of death with the mourning of sin; and this not only because the wages of sin is death, but also because many people today are averse to mourning of both kinds. It is far harder to sit with an awareness of one’s own sin, and to acknowledge that things are not all right, than to strain forward toward God-knows-what; the same is true when one feels a piece of his heart broken by the death of one he loves. Who wants to own himself incapable of righting something wrong with him, and to acknowledge his own dependence on someone to save him? Much rather would he say it pro forma, to ease his own feeling of the moment enough to just move on. Even he who does so by reason, then, is loath to sit with the thought, and with the feeling, to sit on the ground with the truth about himself. We fear being crushed by the truth, and yet we need the truth to open our hearts to the purifying love of Christ, and this truth is what the Holy Ghost whispers in the stillness of Mount Sinai.

Yet the Chinese once knew that nothing but time, dedicated time, would be sufficient. Mourning for the dead cannot be hurried. In the idealized past, a Chinese scholar-official whose father or mother died would take leave from his post and mourn for three years, eating nothing but gruel, avoiding delights of the world, and every now and then wailing in a shack behind his house. For other relatives, within the five degrees of mourning, he would do similarly, though for a shorter time and with finer sackcloth. The ritual was systematic, even if it was an ideal to which not everyone would practically attain. We may not do exactly the same, but we may practise these things in spirit as much as we can.

To our loss, Christian Chinese seem to have given these things up. Perhaps in the rush to modernize by the latest Western standards, and to leave the old behind, we have forgotten the wisdom of the ancient paths. To be ruled by someone else’s race, rather than to be like the pole star, fixed in the heavens, is to forget where God is. What does God say? ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’ To cease from striving, to know one’s abjection and yet to rest in God’s love, is to find the presence of the God who has always been here. This is the presence we share with those who have lost those they have loved, and this is the presence we desire them to know with us, and us with them. Man fears time, and time fears the pyramids; but after all things have passed away, even the pyramids, do we not find our value in being loved by God, and in loving him? When we give ourselves the space to mourn, and when we give others the space to wear sackcloth and mourn for three years upon the death of a parent – to turn their harps to mourning, and their organs into the voice of them that weep – we show respect for their pain, that they may allow themselves to acknowledge in their hearts, and before the face of God, what they have lost and how desperate they are for God. To dwell in the moment is good. We live in light of the Resurrection, and because of it we are justified, but to God the time of death is real as well. To see the light of Christ in the midst of the valley of the shadow of death is not to be out of that valley, but to be encamped there and dwell in the hope of God’s healing and deliverance; for we walk by faith, not by sight. For this reason we cling to the holy Cross. We pause in the unresolved dissonance. By putting on sackcloth for our own mourning, we are not forgetting the grace of Christ and turning back to pagan sorrow, but we are remembering the meaning of mourning as those who are doomed to die and mourn with hope. Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison.

Latin, a Dead Language? Sed Contra, Says a 1989 Abstract

This 1989 Czech article, ‘Stitny’s Translation of the Athanasian Creed’, has its abstract in Latin.

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If the image is too small to read, here is the abstract:

Symbolum Athanasianum, quod in divino officio ecclesiae catholicae occurrit, verisimiliter ultimis decenniis XIII. saeculi una cum Psalterio et undecim canticis solitis bohemice primo versum est, ut Psalterium Wittenbergense (W) dimidio XIV. saeculi exaratum testatur. Quae versio paulisper revisa etiam in primigenia biblia bohemica Dresdensi (D) seu Lescoveciana dicta circa annum 1370 exarata (a. 1914 deleta) legebatur necnon magis retractata in Psalterio Podiebradensi (P) ex anno 1396 conservata est. Altera versio omnino diversa dimidio XIV. saeculi translata in Psalterio sic dicto Clementino (K), tertia denique ultimis decenniis eiusdem saeculi confecta optime in biblia Boscovicensi (B) circa annum 1415 scripta ad nos pervenit. Cum Thomas de Štítný libellum De fide, spe et caritate ad liberos suos erudiendos scriberet, qui in collectaneo dicto Clementino ex anno 1376 inest (Š), Symbolum Athanasianum denuo ipse vertit nec versionibus pridem translatis usus est; verisimiliter enim Psalterium, Evangeliarium (de quo in LF 94, 1971, 263–270 tractatur), bibliam bohemice versam non possidebat, quae omnia ad usum monacharum translata erant.

Who says Latin is a dead language?

Wrestling to Prove God’s Perfect Will in the Shadow of Death

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As Esther Acolatse tells us in ‘Embracing and Resisting Death’, the 12th chapter of Living Well and Dying Faithfully, Spirit-filled patience is very different from either fatalistic resignation or ‘stoic’ attitudes. The Bible shows us many examples of contending with God and wrestling with him to understand what is on his heart, and what he would place upon ours. A fatalistic attitude says that whatever appears to be happening is God’s fixed will and cannot be changed; but a Christian trust in divine providence knows that, though God is the same yesterday and today and for ever, and in him there is no shadow of turning, he is pleased from æternity to draw us into the ‘changes of mind’ he has already determined, that we may participate in the unfolding of his glorious will. Dr Acolatse names the example of Hezekiah, King of Judah, who was sick unto death and told by the prophet Isaiah that he would die, but because of his prayers was that same day granted another 15 years. Likewise Jacob, who feared death and wanted assurance of God’s blessing, wrestled with the Angel of the LORD; and likewise David, contending in the Psalms; and likewise many other saints. From their examples, we know that God wants us to pour out our hearts to him, not merely to accept as given what appears to be our fates today. He is, in other words, a God who loves us not just generally and universally but also individually and personally, a God who engages with us on those terms, a God who wants us to learn to know him and love him increasingly.

To trust in him with all our hearts, then, and not to lean upon our own understandings, is not merely to resign ourselves to what we lack the power to change, but to learn and (says the Apostle) prove what ‘that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God’ is, and to know in the depths of our hearts that it is indeed good. This discernment, this experiential proving, requires that we be ‘transformed by the renewing of [our] mind’. This mind to be renewed here is a single mind, but it is a mind that belongs to the Church that presents its bodies as one living sacrifice, one body in Christ. The patience here to be worked on, as a field is worked, is not of one person only, but of all together. If I am to fight against a sickness the devil has brought upon me to trouble me, my fight must be one with the fight the Church fights against ‘the world, the flesh, and the devil’. My battle is not mine alone. I fight under the banner of Christ, with all his angels and saints. And if it be the Lord’s loving will that the Church be built up by my dying with full trust and assurance of the Resurrection at the Last Day, when Christ will surely heal me and raise my body incorruptible, then let that be the understanding that I and the rest of the Church come to together, by the spiritual wisdom that passes all understanding.

Leading a Dying Patient to Expressing Forgiveness, Thanks, Love, and ‘Goodbye’

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Though the American 1928 Book of Common Prayer’s Order for the Visitation of the Sick is intended for to be used by ordained ministers, it contains much that can be used by laymen. The psalm selections – from Psalms 3, 43, 77, 138, and 103 – evoke thoughts of forgiveness, thanks, love for others, and committing others to God. For one example, we might begin with a look at the selection of Psalm 3 there printed:

LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise against me.
Many one there be that say of my soul, There is no help for him in his God.
But thou, O LORD, art my defender; thou art my worship, and the lifter up of my head.
I did call upon the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill.
I laid me down and slept, and rose up again; for the LORD sustained me.
Salvation belongeth unto the LORD; and thy blessing is upon thy people.

Already in the first psalm printed there is thanksgiving to God: against ‘the[m] that rise against me’, the Psalmist says, ‘O LORD, art my defender; thou art my worship, and the lifter up of my head.’ The psalm also mentions the whole people of God: ‘Salvation belongeth unto the LORD; and thy blessing is upon thy people.’ God’s blessing to the one who prays Psalm 3 is a blessing ‘upon thy people’. When a patient is praying this psalm with his loved ones, within the bosom of the Church, I think he remembers that God sustains him through the communion of the Holy Ghost among all God’s people; the same is true of those who are praying with him. The very act of praying together, in the words of the Holy Ghost, in identification with Christ who prayed these same psalms, leads the patient and his loved ones to show gratitude to each other. They feel in the depths of their souls what others have done for them in the very act of praying, and the end of the psalm becomes a time when the patient’s thankfulness toward his loved ones, and their thankfulness for him, overflows in thanks for what they have done for each other and what they been for each other.

‘Many one there be that say of my soul, There is no help for him in his God,’ but those who are there are not those enemies. Instead, they are there to confess that there is help for the patient in his God, and their hearts are joined together in this confession. Were there times when the patient and his loved ones afflicted each other, as enemies afflicted the Psalmist and said (in word or in deed) that there was no help for him? The psalm can be a wonderful way to reflect on that pain, asking forgiveness and offering forgiveness in hope of the Resurrection (‘I laid me down and slept, and rose up again’). Now, those who are gathered by the patient’s side are those who love him, and he has the opportunity then to express his own love as well.

This is also one reason the Prayer Book provides for the Communion of the Sick, that the patient may receive communion together with his family and other loved ones. Those who come to receive the Holy Communion are exhorted,

Ye who do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins, and are in love and charity with your neighbours, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in his holy ways; Draw near with faith, and take this holy Sacrament to your comfort; and make your humble confession to Almighty God, devoutly kneeling.

When the patient and his loved ones hear this exhortation together, confess their sins together before God, receive the Lord’s absolution together, and hear his comfortable words together, they have a manifest occasion to reconcile right then and there, knowing that ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.’ Asking forgiveness of each other and extending it to each other at exactly that time is not in the rubrics of the liturgy; but that time is a time for the power of the gospel, declared boldly by a priest in the Absolution and Comfortable Words, to penetrate into the relationships between the dying patient and his loved ones. Who knows? It may even be a time for the patient to experience the healing of seeing two of his sons or daughters reconcile when old wounds have kept them apart. Not all of us, of course, are priests with the authority to administer Holy Communion and pronounce absolution for it; but merely declaring our intent to take it together and readying ourselves for it together has great potential for experiencing what Psalm 3 says, that ‘salvation belongeth unto the LORD.’

When the patient is dying and knows it, the last verse in Psalm 3 also draws out the sentiments of ‘goodbye’: the loved ones, knowing that ‘salvation belongeth unto the LORD,’ can begin to commend the patient’s soul to God, and the patient can give his blessing to his loved ones as if he is giving God’s blessing. Rather than Isaac’s blessing of Jacob, marred by trickery and favouritism, it can be a time of true blessing for all who share in the faith of Christ and confess that God sustains and saves them.

When God raises the dead, then, this prayer will be answered in full, and the now dying patient will be restored to incorruptible health: ‘Hear us, Almighty and most merciful God and Saviour; extend thy accustomed goodness to this thy servant who is grieved with sickness. Visit him, O Lord, with thy loving mercy, and so restore him to his former health, that he may give thanks unto thee in thy holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.’

How Death Clarifies Life

monet-waterlilies

Le bassin aux nymphéas, Claude Monet (1919).

Aristotle, Althusius, and Donne, each in his own way, teach what a Chinese person knows in his heart to be true: that one man in himself is incomplete. When I think about things I want to accomplish in life, I see how limited a lifetime I have to accomplish things, but I also see how much God can take what he has done through me and make it bear fruit a hundredfold. Indeed, no person’s work is complete, or can be fulfilled, apart from others. Without successors, of blood or of spirit, who can have any legacy beyond living memory, and whose legacy means anything apart from the lives it continues to touch? Knowing that the very meaning of my life is contingent on others also reminds me that, by God’s purpose and according to God’s hidden ways, many of the things that have mattered most to me about my life will continue to unfold in others’ lives beyond my imagining; for from the start the idea was God’s, and the same God who has begun to build will surely finish what he has set out to build. Even if I haven’t planned for my own death within the next decade, if it does happen, then God has planned for it.

When I consider bucket lists, then, I think each of these events, each of these experiences, is a way of exploring a facet of who I am in God’s sight, and who God has been, is now, and will be in my life. But life is always full of surprises, and in each surprise I experience one aspect of dying. No one, dying a natural death, knows exactly when he will die: he knows only that he will die. If God has cut straight through my plans and intentions so many times, and in so doing brought good things I could never have known otherwise, then I think the same is true of death. I do not know, but he knows. This, I think, is how death clarifies life. Each surprise is, in microcosm, like death. It breaks the images we see on the face of the water, and we see that something we were looking at was a mirage. If living an abundant life means being open to surprises and responding to them, then so does dying an abundant death: both require a willingness to trust God – or, for those who do not know God, to at least basically trust that unknown – and to learn. In learning, we learn to know him.

A Few Reflections on Not Dying Suddenly

Stanley Hauerwas says, in the foreword to John Swinton and Richard Payne’s book Living Well and Dying Faithfully: Christian Practices for End-of-Life Care,

At one time, Christians feared the kind of death we say we want in answer to the question ‘How to [sic] you want to die?’ They feared a sudden death because that meant they had lost the opportunity to prepare to face God. They wanted time to be reconciled with those whom they had wronged, the church, and, most of all, with God. Like us, they loved life and did not want to die, but death did not determine their dying. Their dying was determined by their confidence in the love of God.

When I see the words sudden death, I think of the Litany’s petition for God to deliver us from sudden death. That my paternal grandfather was spared from a sudden death, in fact, has blessed me probably far more than I can tell in this life. It was as he struggled with liver cancer, in 1999 and 2000, that he came to know the Lord as our former pastor came to visit him and talk with him. Having stayed over at that pastor’s house when my brother was born, I knew that my grandfather had gotten to experience some of the love of Christ from outwith our own family, and it was wonderful to know that the pain of cancer had actually brought my grandfather, a long resister of the gospel, to the arms of Christ. And I myself, in Stanford Hospital, got to share something with my grandfather that I would never have experienced had he not had the time to get ready to die. The last time I ever saw him, before flying back to Virginia, there were some grapes on the table, but he couldn’t eat them because he could no longer take the skins. I peeled the skins for him, and in doing so I got to do more for him than I could ever have done before. We had not spent all that much time together before then, in the first 10 years of my life, but that event alone did more to bring us closer together than anything before or since.

When he died, I grieved, but I also felt greatly at peace about it, because I was sure he was with the Lord. I think, too, this experience is why my grandfather’s was the first funeral of which I had any specific memories (it was a beautiful funeral, too), and why I still feel the desire to go up to Mountain View Cemetery, in the Oakland hills, every time I go to the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s also why I feel that my own death, whenever the Lord has chosen for it to be, is something for which the Lord will surely have made me ready.

Dort and the Prayer Book on the Salvation of Baptized Infants

Christening of Victoria, Princess Royal.

On infants who are baptized and die in infancy, the Synod of Dort (1619) and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer are agreed: there is no reason to doubt, and every reason to believe on the basis of God’s word, that God has chosen them to be saved.

The Canons of Dort confidently explain,

Since we are to judge of the will of God from his word (which testifies that the children of believers are holy, not by nature, but in virtue of the covenant of grace, in which they, together with the parents, are comprehended), godly parents have no reason to doubt of the election and salvation of their children whom it pleaseth God to call out of this life in their infancy.

Canons of Dort 1.17.

The Book of Common Prayer says likewise,

It is certain, by God’s word, that children which are baptized, dying before they commit actual sin, are undoubtedly saved.

Publick Baptism of Infants, Book of Common Prayer (1662).

Whether or not you agree with John Davenant (who was influential at the Synod of Dort) that this is because baptism remits the guilt of original sin from infants, the Prayer Book states the general doctrine that baptized children dying in infancy are undoubtedly saved. This is not to deny that God may save – that the Spirit may regenerate – some or even all of those who die in infancy unbaptized: on such infants, whose cases God’s word does not make certain, Dort and the Prayer Book are respectfully silent. Neither is this claim of both the Synod of Dort and the English Prayer Book denied by the Westminster Confession of Faith (1646), which says elect infants are saved by Christ through the Spirit:

Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit, who worketh when, and where, and how he pleaseth: so also are all other elect persons who are uncapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.

WCF 10.3.

That all baptized infants dying in infancy are counted among this elect of God is reasonable to suppose, and expressly taught by the Synod of Dort; who else is elect is unknown. The Westminster Confession’s intent here seems to be to extend its affirmation of the regeneration of others who are elect but cannot possibly be outwardly called to salvation by the ministry of the word. Let the Reformed therefore not suppose that, on baptism, the Book of Common Prayer teaches anything contrary to Reformed orthodoxy. The teaching that baptized infants are (in their own manner) saved may seem strange to some, but it has the warrant of Scripture and is the common understanding of the Reformed.

What Is Money For? (Ezra Pound)

By Ezra Pound, 1939.

We will never see an end of ructions, we will never have a sane and steady administration until we gain an absolutely clear conception of money. I mean an absolutely not an approximately clear conception.

I can, if you like, go back to paper money issued in China in or about A.D. 840, but we are concerned with the vagaries of the Western World.

FIRST, Paterson, the founder of the ‘Bank of England’, told his shareholders that they would profit because ‘the bank hath profit on the interest of all the moneys which it creates out of nothing’.

What then is this ‘money‘ the banker can create ‘out of nothing’?

(1) Measure of Price

Let us be quite clear.

MONEY IS A MEASURED TITLE OR CLAIM.

That is its basic difference from unmeasured claims, such as a man’s right to take all you’ve got under war-time requisition, or as an invader or thief just taking it all.

Money is a measure which the taker hands over when he acquires the goods he takes. And no further formality need occur during the transfer, though sometimes a receipt is given.

The idea of justice inheres in ideas of measure, and money is a measure of price.

(2) Means of Exchange

Money is valid when people recognise it as a claim and hand over goods or do work up to the value printed on the face of the ‘ticket’, whether it is made of metal or paper.

Money is a general sort of ticket which is its only difference from a railway or theatre ticket. If this statement seems childish let the reader think for a moment about different kinds of tickets.

A railway ticket is a measured ticket. A ticket from London to Brighton differs from one for London to Edinburgh. Both are measured, but in miles that always stay the same length. A money ticket, under a corrupt system, wobbles. For a long time the ‘public’ has trusted people whose measure was shifty.

Another angle. Theatre tickets are timed. You would probably not accept a ticket for Row H, Seat 27, if it were not dated. When six people are entitled to the same seat at the same time the tickets are not particularly good. (Orage asked: ‘Would you call it inflation, if there were a ticket for every seat in the house?’)

You will hear money called a ‘medium of exchange’, which means that it can circulate freely, as a measure of goods and services against one another, from hand to hand.

(3) Guarantee of Future Exchange

We will have defined money properly when we have stated what it is in words that cannot be applied to anything else and when there is nothing about the essential nature of money that is omitted from our definition.

When Aristotle calls money ‘a guarantee of future exchange’ that merely means that it is an undated ticket, that will be good when we want to use it.

Tickets have sometimes stayed good for a century.

When we do not hand over money at once for goods or services received we are said to have ‘credit’. The ‘credit’ is the other man’s belief that we can and will some time hand over the money OR something measured by money.

Purpose of Money

Most men have been so intent on the individual piece of money, as a measure, that they have forgotten its PURPOSE, and they have got into inextricable muddles and confusions regarding the TOTAL amount of money in a country.

A perfectly good hammer is useless to pick your teeth with. If you don’t know what money is FOR, you will get into a muddle when using it, and still more will a government get into a mess in its ‘monetary policy’.

Statally speaking, that is from the point of view of a man or party that wants to govern justly, a piece of money is a ticket, the country’s money is a mass of tickets for getting the country’s food and goods justly distributed.

The job for a man today who is trying to write a pamphlet on money is not to say something new, it is not to think up something or prove a theory, it is SIMPLY to make a clear statement about things that have been known for 200, and often for 2,000 years.

You have got to know what money is FOR.

If you think that it is a man-trap or a means of bleeding the public you will admire the banking system as run by the Rothschilds and international bankers. If you think it is a means of sweating profits out of the public, you will admire the stock exchange.

Hence ultimately for the sake of keeping your ideas in order you will need a few principles.

THE AIM of a sane and decent economic system is to fix things so that decent people can eat, have clothes and houses up to the limit of available goods.

The Value of Money

Take money IN SUCH A SYSTEM as a means of exchange, and then realise that to be a JUST means of exchange it must be MEASURED.

What are you going to use to measure the value of anything? An egg is an egg. You can eat it (until it goes bad). Eggs are not all the same size, but they might serve among primitive people as an approximate measure.

Unterguggenberger, the Austrian monetary reformer, used WORK as a measure, ‘Arbeitswert’, 10 schillings’ worth of work. That was O.K. in a mountain valley where everyone could do pretty much the same kind of work in the fields.

Charlemagne had a grain measure, so many pecks of barley, wheat or rye worth a DENAR, or put it the other way on. The just price of barley was so much the peck.

In 796 A.D. it was 2 denars.

And in 808 A.D. it was 3 denars.

That means that the farmer got MORE denars for the same quantity of barley. And let us hope he could buy more other goods with those denars.

Unfortunately the worth of all things depends on whether there is a real scarcity, enough or more than can be used at a given time.

A few eggs are worth a great deal to a hungry man on a raft.

Wheat is worth MORE in terms of serge in some seasons than in others. So is gold, so is platinum.

A single commodity (EVEN GOLD) base for money is not satisfactory.

STATE AUTHORITY behind the printed note is the best means of establishing a JUST and HONEST currency.

The Chinese grasped that over 1,000 years ago, as we can see from the Tang STATE (not Bank) NOTE.

SOVEREIGNTY inheres in the right to ISSUE money (tickets) and to determine the value thereof.

American interests HIDE the most vital clause in our [American] constitution.

The American government hasn’t, they say, the right to fix prices. BUT IT HAS THE RIGHT TO DETERMINE THE VALUE OF MONEY and this right is vested in Congress.

This is a mere difference in legal formalities and verbal arrangements.

The U.S. Government has the right to say ‘a dollar is one wheat-bushel thick, it is one serge-foot long, it is ten gallons of petrol wide.’

Hence the U.S. Government could establish the JUST PRICE, and a just price system.

The Just Price

Out of barter grew the canonist doctrine of the just price, and a thousands years’ thought from St. Ambrose to St. Antonino of Florence, as to HOW to determine the just price.

Both the Douglas social crediters and modern Catholics POSTULATE the JUST PRICE as a necessary part of their systems. The valid complaint against Douglas is that be didn’t invent and set up machinery for ENFORCING the just price. A priest recently reported to me that the English distributists had about got round to realising that they had no mechanism for instituting and enforcing just price.

Only the STATE can effectively fix the JUST PRICE of any commodity by means of state-controlled pools of raw products and the restoration of guild organisation in industry.

The Quantity of Money

Having determined the size of your dollar, or half-crown or shilling, your Government’s next job is to see that TICKETS are properly printed and that they get to the right people.

The right people are all the people who are not engaged in CRIME, and crime for the duration of this pamphlet means among other things CHEATING the rest of the citizens through the money racket.

In the United States and England there is NOT enough money. There are not enough tickets moving about among the WHOLE people to BUY what they need – EVEN when the goods are there on the counter or going to rot on the wharves.

When the total nation hasn’t or cannot obtain enough food for its people, that nation is poor. When enough food exists and people cannot get it by honest labour, the state is rotten, and no effort of language will say how rotten it is.

But for a banker or professor to tell you that the country cannot do this, that or the other because it lacks money is as black and foetid a lie, as grovelling and imbecile, as it would be to say it cannot build roads because it has no kilometres! (I didn’t invent that phrase, but it is too good to leave idle.)

Roosevelt and his professors were on the right line with their commodity dollar. BUT they hooeyed and smoke-screened and dodged the problem of having ENOUGH TICKETS to serve the whole people, and of keeping those tickets MOVING.

It is the business of the STATE to see that there is enough money in the hands of the WHOLE people, and in adequately rapid EXCHANGE, to effect distribution or all wealth produced and produceable.

Until every member of the nation eats three times a day and has shelter and clothing, a nation is either lazy or unhealthy. If this occurs in a rich state the state’s riches are ‘not fully employed’.

Social Credit

All value comes from labour and nature. Wheat from ploughing, chestnuts from being picked up.

BUT a lot of WORK has been done by men (mostly inventors, well-diggers, constructors of factory plant, etc.) now DEAD, and who therefore can NOT eat and wear clothes.

In respect of this legacy of mechanical efficiency and scientific advance we have at our disposal a large volume of SOCIAL CREDIT, which can be distributed to the people as a bonus over and above their wage packet.

Douglas proposed to bring up the TOTAL purchasing power of the whole people by a per capita issue of tickets PROPORTIONAL to available goods. In England and U.S. today available and desired goods remain unbought because the total purchasing power (i.e. total sum of tickets) is inadequate.

Mussolini and Hitler wasted very little time PROPOSING. They started and DO distribute BOTH tickets and actual goods on various graduated scales according to the virtues and activities of Italians and Germans.

Douglas may object that this is not ‘democratic’ (that is egalitarian) BUT for the monetary scientist or economist the result is the same. The goods are getting distributed.

There is a slightly different angle in the way these different men look on justice. They all agree that deficiency in a nation’s total purchasing power must be made up. Ten or more years ago I said that Mussolini had achieved more than Douglas, because Douglas has presented his ideas as a greed system, not as a will system.

Both Systems, Fascist and Douglasite, differ as the day from night from the degradation of the DOLE, from the infamy of the British system wherein men who are out of jobs are paid money taken from men who do work, and where the out-of-works are rendered progressively UNFIT to work or to enjoy the sensations of living.

Not only are they a drag on workers, but they are made a drag on all people who are trying to maintain a decent standard of living. The whole scale of values is defiled. Every year sees less sense of SOCIAL VALUE; less sense of having people lead lives which do not harm others; of lives in which some measure and prudence is observed.

There is nothing new in creating money to distribute wealth. If you don’t believe the Emperor Tching Tang issued the first national dividend in B.C. 1766 you can call it something else. It may have been an emergency dole, but the story will at least clear up one muddle. The emperor opened a copper mine and issued round coins with square holes and gave them to the poor ‘and this money enabled them to buy grain from the rich,’ but it had no effect on the general shortage of grain.

That story is 3,000 years old, but it helps one to understand what money is and what it can do. For the purpose of good government it is a ticket for the orderly distribution of WHAT IS AVAILABLE. It may even be an incentive to grow or fabricate more grain or goods, that is to attain abundance. But it is NOT in itself abundance.

Inflation

The term inflation is used as a bogey to scare people away from any expansion of money at all. Real INFLATION only begins when you issue MONEY (measured claims) against goods or services that are undeliverable (assignats of the French Revolution issued against state lands) or issue them in excess of those WANTED. That amounts to saying: two or more tickets for the same seat at the same time, or tickets in London for a theatre performance tonight in Bombay, or for a dud show.

Money can be expended as long as each measured claim can be honoured by the producers and distributors of the nation in the goods and services required by the public, when and where they want them. INFLATION is one danger; STAGNATION is another.

Gesell’s Stamp Scrip

[Silvio] Gesell, the South American monetary reformer, saw the danger of money being hoarded and proposed to deal with it by the issue of ‘stamp scrip.’ This should be a government note requiring the bearer to affix a stamp worth up to 1% of its face value on the first day of every month. Unless the note carries its proper complement or monthly stamps it is not valid.

This is a form of TAX on money and in the case of British currency might take the form of ½d. or 1d. per month on a ten shilling note and 1d. or 2d. on a pound. There are any number of possible taxes, but Gesell’s kind of tax can only fall on a man who has, in his pocket, at the moment the tax falls due, 100 times, at least, the amount of the tax.

Gesell’s kind of money provides a medium and measure of exchange which cannot be hoarded with impunity. It will always keep moving. Bankers could NOT lock it up in their cellars and charge the public for letting it out. It has also the additional benefit of placing sellers of perishable goods at less of a disadvantage in negotiating with owners of theoretically imperishable money.

I am particularly keen on Gesell, because once people have used stamp scrip they HAVE a clear idea about money. They understand tickets better than men who haven’t used stamp scrip. I am no more anxious than anyone else to use a new kind of stamp, but I maintain that the public is NOT too stupid to use postage stamps and that there is no gain in pretending that they are too stupid to understand money.

I don’t say you have to use Gesell’s method. But once you understand WHY he wanted it you will not be fleeced by bank sharks and ‘monetary authorities’ WITHOUT KNOWING HOW you are being fleeced. That is WHY Gesell is so useful as a school teacher. He proposed a very simple way of keeping his tickets moving.

Statal Money

In 1816 Thomas Jefferson made a basic statement that has NOT been properly digested, let alone brought into perspective with various ‘modern proposals’ for special improvements of the present damned and destructive ‘system’ or money racket.

The reader had better FRAME Jefferson’s statement:

… And if the national bills issued be bottomed (as is indispensable) on pledges of specific taxes for their redemption within certain and moderate epochs, and be of proper denominations for circulation, no interest on them would be necessary or just, because they would answer to every one of the purposes of metallic money withdrawn and replaced by them.

Jefferson to Crawford, 1816.

Jefferson’s formula is SOLID. IF the state emits ENOUGH money for valid and justifiable expenses and keeps it moving, circulating, going out the front door and coming in at the tax window, the nation will not suffer stagnation.

The issue of HONEST MONEY is a service, and when the state performs this service the state has a right to a just recompense, which differs from nearly all known forms of tax.

I say ‘when the state issues it,’ because when states are weak or incompetent or their issue inadequate, individuals and congeries of men or localities HAVE quite properly taken over this activity (or have retained it from pre-statal eras), and it is better, it is in fact necessary, that the function of the measure of exchange should be carried on than that it stop or break down altogether.

On the other hand a nation whose measure of exchange is at the mercy of forces OUTSIDE the nation, is a nation in peril, it is a nation without national sovereignty. It is a nation of incompetent idiots drifting to ruin.

Let us repeat.

Sovereignty inheres in the right to ISSUE measured claims to wealth, that is MONEY.

No part or function of government should be under closer surveillance, and in no part or cranny of government should higher moral criteria be ASSURED.

STATAL MONEY based upon national wealth must replace GOLD manipulated by international usurers.

Necessary Safeguards

The sane order in founding a dynasty or reorganising a government is

FIRST to get the results, that is to see that the people are fed and housed.

THEN so to regulate the mechanism of distribution (monetary system or whatever) that it will not fall into decay and be pilfered.

For example J. Q. Adams, one of the American founders, had some nice socialist or statal ideas about reserving the national wealth for educational and ‘higher purposes’. His proposals were UNTIMELY. Jackson opened the land: settlers could go and take quite a bit each, free and gratis. It was timely and useful. BUT no provision was made to prevent the settlers transferring this land WHEN THEY HAD NO FURTHER USE FOR IT and didn’t want to work it themselves. Hence the U.S. land has fallen into great ownership.

The same danger applies to monetary systems as to land settlement.

Set up a perfect and just money system and in three days rascals, the bastards with mercantilist and monopolist mentality, will start thinking up some wheeze to cheat the people. The concession hunter will sprout in some new form as long as dung stinks and humanity produces mental abortions.

John Adams early saw that stock jobbers would replace fat country small squire tyrants.

In the 1860s one of the Rothschilds was kind enough to admit that the banking system was contrary to public interest, and that was before the shadow of Hitler’s jails had fallen ACROSS the family fortunes.

It is this generation’s job to do what was left undone by the early democrats. The guild system, endowing the people by occupation and vocation with corporate powers, gives them the means to protect themselves for all time from the money power.

If you don’t like the guild idea, go get results with some other, but don’t lose your head and forget what clean men are driving at. And don’t lie to yourselves and mistake a plough for a mortgage and vice versa. It is useless to talk of economics or to listen to talk about economics or to read books on the subject until both reader and writer know what they mean by the half-dozen simplest and most necessary terms most frequently used.

An Economic System

The first thing for a man to think of when proposing an economic system is; WHAT IS IT FOR? And the answer is: to make sure that the whole people shall be able to eat (in a healthy manner), to be housed (decently) and be clothed (in a way adequate to the climate). Another form of that statement is Mussolini’s:

DISCIPLINE THE ECONOMIC FORCES
AND EQUATE THEM TO THE NEEDS OF THE NATION.

The Left claim that private ownership has destroyed this true purpose of an economic system. Let us see how OWNERSHIP was defined, at the beginning of a capitalist era during the French Revolution.

OWNERSHIP is the right which every citizen has to enjoy and dispose of the portion of goods guaranteed him by the law. “The right of ownership is limited, as are all other rights by the obligation to respect the rights of others. It cannot be prejudicial to the safety, nor to the liberty nor to the existence, nor to the ownership of other men like ourselves Every possession, every traffic, which violates this principle is illicit and immoral.

Robespierre.

Usury

The perspective of the damned XIXth century shows little else than the violation of these principles by demoliberal usuriocracy. The doctrine of Capital, in short, has shown itself as little else than the idea that unprincipled thieves and antisocial groups should be allowed to gnaw into the rights of ownership. This tendency ‘to gnaw into’ has been recognised and stigmatised from the time of the laws of Moses and he called it neschek. And nothing differs more from this gnawing or corrosive than the right to share out the fruits of a common co-operative labour.

Indeed USURY has become the dominant force in the modern world.

Moreover, imperialism is an immense accumulation of money capital in a few countries, which, as we have seen, amounts to 4 or 5 thousand million pounds sterling in securities. Hence the extraordinary growth of a class, or rather a Stratum, of rentiers, i.e, persons who live by “clipping coupons” who take absolutely no part in any enterprise, and whose profession is idleness. The exportation of capital, one of the most essential economic bases of imperialism, still further isolates this rentier stratum from production, and sets the seal of parasitism on the whole country living on the exploitation of the labour of several overseas countries and colonies.

V. I. Lenin,
quoting Hobson in ‘Imperialism, the highest stage of Capitalism’.

Very well! That is from Lenin. But you could quote the same substance from Hitler, who is a Nazi (note the paragraph from ‘Mein Kampf’ magnificently isolated by Wyndham Lewis in his ‘Hitler’) – ‘The struggle against international finance and loan capital has become the most important point in the National Socialist programme; the struggle of the German nation for its independence and freedom.’

You could quote it from Mussolini, a Fascist, or from C. H. Douglas, who calls himself a democrat and his followers the only true democrats. You could quote it from McNair Wilson who is a Christian Monarchy man. You could quote it from a dozen camps which have no suspicion they are quoting Lenin. The only people who do not seem to have read and digested this essay of his are the British Labour Party and various groups of professing communists throughout the Occident.

Some facts are now known above parties, some perceptions are the common heritage of all men of good will, and only the Jewspapers and worse than Jewspapers try now to obscure them. Among the worse than Jewspapers we must list the hired professors who misteach new
generations of young, who lie for hire and who continue to lie from sheer sloth and inertia and from dog-like contempt for the wellbeing of all mankind. At this point, and to prevent the dragging of red herrings, I wish to distinguish between prejudice against the Jew as such and the suggestion that the Jew should face his own problem.

DOES he in his individual case wish to observe the law of Moses?

Does he propose to continue to rob other men by usury mechanism while wishing to be considered a ‘neighbour’?

This is the sort or double-standard which a befouled English delegation tried to enforce via the corrupt League of Nations (frontage and face wash for the worse international corruption at Basel.)

USURY is the cancer of the world, which only the surgeon’s knife of Fascism can cut out of the life of the nations.

Appendix

(Some quotes and observations.)

  1. ‘The banking business is declared a state monopoly,’
    Lenin, Kryienko, Podvoisky, Gorbunov.
    Which, of course, means “all power” to the state.
  2. ‘Discipline the economic forces and equate them to the needs of the nation,’
    Mussolini, Consegna for the year XII.

  3. ‘Problem of production solved, economists prodded on by the state should next solve the problem of distribution.’
    Ibid.

  4. Rossoni, Italian minister, indicates the policy of ammassi, or assemblage of grain with possibilities of a totally different tax system in kind.
    NOTE that extortion has often consisted in forcing men to pay in a substance or via a medium (money) which they have not and which they are forced to obtain at an unjust price.

  5. Bankhead proposed Stamp Scrip in the U.S. Senate, possibly the only 100 per cent honest monetary proposal made in U.S. legislature since American civilisation was destroyed by and after the Civil War (1861–5)

  6. Daladier, whatever his errors, proposed Stamp Scrip in a French Radical Party assembly, possibly the only 100 per cent honest monetary proposal made in that worm-eaten and miserable country since Necker brought in his vermin, and since the Banque de France was riveted on the back of the people.
    These statements should be faced and either verified or disproved.
    A very great and slimy ignorance persists. American concerns hire the Lowest grade of journalists to obscure the public mind. Are we to suppose that neither employer nor writer know that wages are paid in money; that dividends are paid in money; that raw materials and finished products are bought with money?
    As for prize lies there is no ascertainable limit from the ‘Saturday Evening Post’s’ ‘Kreuger is more than a financial titan’ to the daily and hourly pronouncements of the British ‘statesmen’ and press.

On England

So far as I know no 100 per cent honest monetary policy has been officially proposed in the British Parliament since the Bank of England was founded. Nor has any of the larger religious bodies in England come out for common monetary honesty.

Your [British] tax system is an infamy. The farm hand does not eat more because the paintings by Raeburn or Constable are taken out of the Manor House and put in the dealer’s cellar under a black and iniquitous inheritance tax.

The obscuring of the sense of the NATURE of money has destroyed all these fine things USELESSLY. The dismantled Manor House that could be and ought to show a model of how to live, is made a skeleton for NO PURPOSE.

If any hedger or ditcher got a half ounce more beefsteak BECAUSE the Manor House library was sold off and its pictures put up to auction, there might be some justification in taxes. But there is NO justification in taxes as now suffered in Britain.

For Arkansas

‘In Mississippi the average cotton farmer makes four bales of cotton a year worth, at the present market, 42.00 dollars a bale. This is 170 dollars for a year’s work. A daughter of this family averaging 12 dollars a week in a nearby industrial plant earns 624 dollars for a year’s work, over three times the income from the farm.’

– Thus the ‘Commonwealth College Fortnightly’
of Mena, Arkansas. 1 March 1938.

Hence the claims that ‘money isn’t all’ and that ‘it is not exclusively a money problem.’

You could have a just and stable coinage; measured by eggs, by work or by a logarithmic price-index, and that FARMER could STILL get only 42.50 dollars per bale and be unable to grow more cotton per acre.

Will this statement content my bolshevik friends in Arkansas and the gents who think I am concerned SOLELY with money?

I Didn’t Know This Psalm Project Existed

Well, I know now because I was looking for stuff for next Sunday’s worship and came upon these guitar arrangements of the Genevan Psalter.

People Who Don’t Believe the BCP Is Basically All Bible Should See This

By the Rev. Henry Ives Bailey, The Liturgy Compared with the Bible. Here begins the exhortation that immediately follows the opening scriptural sentence of Morning Prayer:

liturgy-compared-with-bible-mp-exhortation

Let him impugn the words of the Prayer Book who dares to deny the truth of Holy Scripture.