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John Bramhall on Renouncing our Merits

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John Bramhall, in His Lordship’s answer to M. de la Milletierre, on the value of our merits at the hour of our death:

‘It is an easy thing for a wrangling sophister to dispute of Merits in the schools, or for a vain orator to declaim of Merits out of the pulpit; but when we come to lie upon our death-beds, and present ourselves at the last hour before the tribunal of Christ, it is high time both for you and us to renounce our own merits, and to cast ourselves naked into the arms of our Saviour. That any works of ours (who are the best of us but “unprofitable servants”; which properly are not ours but God’s own gifts; and if they were ours, are a just debt due unto Him, setting aside God’s free promise and gracious acceptation) should condignly by their own intrinsical value deserve the joys of Heaven, to which they have no more proportion than they have to satisfy for the eternal torments of Hell; – this is that which we have renounced, and which we ought never to admit.’

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Many of those who consider Israel before Saul to have been a theocracy of the papal type show no awareness of these words of Moses, in Deuteronomy: ‘Moses commanded us a law, even the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob. And he was king in Jeshurun, when the heads of the people and the tribes of Israel were gathered together.’ With Aaron as high priest but Moses the prophet-king as shepherd of Israel, the constitution clearly appears more Ghibelline than Guelf; nor do I see any evidence to the contrary. Incidentally, Moses’s statement here is biblical support not merely for kingship but for an integral monarch, not alienated from the power of the people but sitting in the midst of the elders and the tribes.

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Knowledge Without the Fear of God

Jeremy Taylor, in ‘Via Pacis: A short Method of Peace and Holiness’, on the subordinate place of knowledge:

‘What availeth knowledge without the fear of God? A humble ignorant man is better then a proud scholar, who studies natural things, and knows not himself. The more thou knowest, the more grievously thou shalt be judged: Many get no profit by their labour, because they contend for knowledge, rather then for holy life; and the time shall come, when it shall more avail thee to have subdu’d one lust, then to have known all mysteries.’

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Slavery Abolished by the Gospel’s Restoration

Abraham Kuyper in Pro Rege 2, on the abolition of slavery by the impulse of the gospel:

‘We owe the abolition of slavery exclusively to Christ’s dominion in the family. Neither Christ nor his apostles ever demanded that every converted slaveholder immediately release all his slaves. We find no command in Scripture by which the rights applying in those times were either attacked or overturned. The slavery that already existed was allowed to continue under the gospel. But the gospel did penetrate the master-servant relationship; from this position, it went on to sanctify this relationship spiritually and to elevate it by appealing to masters to honor their slaves not only as their fellow human beings but also as their brothers in Christ. With this, the gospel created a situation in which the slave-master relationship gradually came to an end, out of an impulse that the gospel carried within itself.’

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Bourgeois Secure Freedom

Carl Schmitt, in The Concept of the Political:

‘The bourgeois is an individual who does not want to leave the apolitical riskless private sphere. He rests in the possession of his private property, and under the justification of his possessive individualism he acts as an individual against the totality. He is a man who finds his compensation for his political nullity in the fruits of freedom and enrichment and above all in the total security of its use. Consequently he wants to be spared bravery and exempted from the danger of a violent death.’

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Respect is not always earned. It can be lost – a magistracy, for instance, forfeited by tyranny or gross neglect – but respect often exists by nature even before it has, in strict terms, been earned. Even faithfulness is not a matter of strict merit, but rather of duty and love.

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I stand with the oppressed citizens of this country, who have endured the globalists’ hatred for decades, who labour under their tyranny, who have suffered them long enough.

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The Need for National Prejudice

Joseph Marie comte de Maistre in Against Rousseau: On the State of Nature and On the Sovereignty of the People (McGill-Queen’s Press, 1996), 87:

‘Nothing is so important to [man] as prejudices. Let us not take this word in a bad sense. It does not necessarily mean false ideas, but only, in the strict sense of the word, opinions adopted before any examination. Now these sorts of opinions are man’s greatest need, the true elements of his happiness, and the Palladium of empires. Without them, there can be neither worship, nor morality, nor government. There must be a state religion just as there is a state policy; or, rather, religious and political dogmas must be merged and mingled together to form a complete common or national reason strong enough to repress the aberrations of individual reason, which of its nature is the mortal enemy of any association whatever because it produces on divergent opinions.’

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Recognition and Acknowledgement

One of the best scenes in Cantonese opera, from the 1959 film 《帝女花》 (The Flower Princess). The male protagonist, betrothed to the Ming dynasty princess shortly before the emperor’s suicide before rebel forces, now in the new Qing dynasty recognizes a Daoist nun as his once intended, tries to persuade her to acknowledge their relationship.

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Anticivilization

Julius Evola, in Revolt Against the Modern World (Inner Traditions International, 1995), 350:

‘America too, in the essential way it views life and the world, has created a “civilization” that represents an exact contradiction of the ancient European tradition. It has introduced the religion of praxis and productivity; it has put the quest for profit, great industrial production, and mechanical, visible, and quantitative achievements over any other interest. It has generated a soulless greatness of a purely technological and collective nature, lacking any background of transcendence, inner light, and true spirituality. America has [built a society] in which man becomes a mere instrument of production and material productivity within a conformist social conglomerate.’

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TangCode

The seminal Tang Code (唐律), a pœnal code that has strongly influenced the legal systems of the whole Sinosphere for centuries, is online. Too bad I haven’t the Chinese skills to read it.

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Love Your Personal Enemy

Carl Schmitt in The Concept of the Political:

‘As German and other languages do not distinguish between the private and political enemy, many misconceptions and falsifications are possible. The often quoted “Love your enemies” (Matt. 5:44; Luke 6:27) reads “diligite inimicos vestros,” and not “diligite hostes vestros.” No mention is made of the political enemy. Never in the thousand-year struggle between Christians and Moslems did it occur to a Christian to surrender rather than defend Europe out of love toward the Saracens or Turks. The enemy in the political sense need not be hated personally, and in the private sphere only does it make sense to love one’s enemy, i.e., one’s adversary. The Bible quotation touches the political antithesis even less than it intends to dissolve, for example, the antithesis of good and evil or beautiful and ugly. It certainly does not mean that one should love and support the enemies of one’s own people.’

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Theodore J. Kaczynski on the privileged taking of politically correct offence:

‘When someone interprets as derogatory almost anything that is said about him (or about groups with whom he identifies) we conclude that he has inferiority feelings or low self-esteem. This tendency is pronounced among minority rights advocates, whether or not they belong to the minority groups whose rights they defend. They are hypersensitive about the words used to designate minorities. […] Those who are most sensitive about “politically incorrect” terminology are not the average black ghetto-dweller, Asian immigrant, abused woman or disabled person, but a minority of activists, many of whom do not even belong to any “oppressed” group but come from privileged strata of society. Political correctness has its stronghold among university professors, who have secure employment with comfortable salaries, and the majority of whom are heterosexual, white males from middle-class families.’

Is this a class struggle or an ethnic struggle?

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Ming Wilson in the Princeton Tory, ‘The Redemption of the World: What Music Teaches about Objectivity, Beauty & God’:

‘Considering both undeniable historical opinion and persuasive modern findings, we should not reject a possible bond between objectivity and beauty in music. Doing so would actually require incredible faith despite the evidence. Clearly there exists a power in music to bring a person out of the subjective self, but if we can indeed transcend ourselves, it suggests a standard higher than personal taste. And such an aesthetic standard further begs [sic] the question of its origins.’

Offences’ Debts

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Will God’s forgiveness free me now
From bondage unto man?
Are all my debts to man absolved
According to the plan?

I know his Spirit gives me pow’r,
Upon Christ’s perfect merits,
Without the law to plead his grace;
For whom he loves, inherits.

But what inheritance is worth
Enough my dues to pay?
For if I shun my duties now,
My hope will not appear:

If by my works I see my faith,
Which only justifies,
Then all assurance I dream up
Is nothing but cruel lies.

Could Newton make it up
To those he’d taken slaves?
No, he could only hope in God,
His final judge who saves.

No tears, no groans, no paltry works
Can heal the lashes’ scars;
But Christ, who meekly gave himself,
Will make them like the stars.

And is that treasure not enough
To satisfy all want,
Abundant beyond man’s design,
Your baptism’s full font?

From riches give that he has giv’n,
Incalculable worth,
And weigh not money’s sum but love –
Now have you any dearth?