Category Archives: Ethics

For the People, Against Feminist Alienation

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Since men and women are natural and complementary parts of a whole family, to set them against each other is a crime against nature, displaying the curse of God. Hence, to have women’s interests alienated in politics from those of their husbands is as wrong as it is unnatural, seeing as women are by nature part of a whole ordained by God.

An international bourgeoisie waging class war against the people, in contrast, is an unnatural part of any nation, a usurious excrescence upon the natural, and is therefore rightly deprived and broken by the people, whom we may call the proletariat, acting for themselves in concert with other nations against a common enemy. Therefore nations that so join themselves in a common struggle with other nations, while keeping themselves whole and entire, have not aided and abetted an enemy, as traitors who hold power may claim; but rather they have given help abroad to those who would destroy their lives at home, meeting oppression with sabotage, and unjust violence with just. In doing what is natural and just, they are not at all to be compared to those who would politically cleave apart husband and wife, for they exercise a divine right.

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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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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.’

Aside

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 … Continue reading

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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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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.’

Aside

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. … Continue reading

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?

A Heart of Hope

A gentle heart that, deep in thought, is veiled
In philosophic pondering I now
Perceive, where notes Romantic once exhaled
Their longing spirit in a total vow.
And my own heart is warmed to hear this other,
In silent sounds awakened from the past,
Remembrance of a dream’s sweet, pensive brother,
Desiring peace and beauty that will last.
I’ll drink to that; the honey that you poured
For me I’ll drain, and raise another glass
To songs that won’t be conquered by the sword
Indiff’rent to the dew upon the grass.
Where heart lies open to another heart,
That world will never end, nor shall our part.

Refuse the Image

O set a watch, O set a watch
Over my lips. I see the deep
State with its eunuch-poison botch

The soul of man, to make us cheap
And free to be ourselves and not
Ourselves when in the mirror’s leap.

O liberty! which by a plot
Doth forge my roboself
In autostep to bleed and clot –

All for the worn and weary shelf
To be replenished for the show
Of life imagined by a Guelf,

Whose totalizing vision’s woe,
Inflicted now upon us all,
He casts as rapture to forgo

If we would reckon it a fall
Of recollection to espouse
A people’s death as its halal.

New popery, new deadly vows,
A votive for new Antichrist.
Imperium it disavows.

Ha! we at thirty shekels priced
Shall be delivered to the priest,
Our natural spirit neatly sliced

And our right reason softly leased,
For quiet safety’s sake,
To the seductions of the Beast.

Of usury now let God shake
The heavens and the cursed earth,
And swiftly of this cursed ache.

Tell me how much your faith is worth
When desolating idols come
To cut off Israel’s second birth,

When to exact their token sum,
They will demand apostasy:
A pinch of incense, just a crumb

For loyalty. O Maccabee,
Resist in battle for your hearts
The terms that ‘for the gospel’ see

Smooth comfort for the ruling parts
In halls of pow’r, and not for poor
And broken reeds in ‘bigot’ carts;

For those despisers of the pure
Who worship sea-beasts, not for those
That trust the word of God is sure.

By this clear sign, whom YHWH chose
(When all are passing through the fire)
Is shown against his false-friend foes.

O Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,
That we may love him who hath saved
And doth our living faith require;

To turn from images depraved
And serve the living Christ with fear,
His justice in our hearts engraved.

Love rises up, sometimes austere
Against the image on the plain,
Waiting for God soon to appear.

Meanwhile these precepts here remain:
To live is Christ, to die is gain.

Aside

Are there Christian mutual funds that, like Amana and other Islamic mutual-fund trusts, are not involved in usury? Or have Christians treated it as a foregone conclusion that, in a capitalistic world œconomy, avoiding usury is neither morally necessary nor … Continue reading

Acts29 and Radically Diverse Churches

Manosphere blogger Dalrock criticizes Matt Chandler’s vision for the Acts29 Network. Three of the values named – planting churches that plant churches, being known for holiness and humility, and earnestly proclaiming the gospel and seeking conversion – are good and godly, for which God bless Acts29. But Mr Chandler’s third hope for Acts 29 is ‘that we might boldly and unapologetically become a radically diverse crowd over the next few years’. In pursuing this agendum, especially with the commitments they have implied, I think Acts29 and the Gospel Coalition are not wise. May the Lord enlighten us.

The Church itself is meant to be diverse, for the Lord intends – and will surely accomplish! – that it encompass all nations. And indeed the biblical vision of ethnic and racial harmony is that, in Christ, there should be intercourse among the nations, that all these parts of the Church catholic should recognize that they already belong to one Body: If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? Yet God has so created man, and the Church embodying man’s redemption, that not everyone is an eye, nor everyone a foot. Though fitted together, the peoples of the earth are, like the parts of a natural human body, to be distinct but not separate.

And in particular places this natural order means that trying to become ‘a radically diverse crowd’ is often misplaced. For the diversity of the earth to work rightly, a hand or an eye, even while subservient to the needs of the whole body, has also to maintain its identity as a hand or an eye. To turn a cold shoulder to those of other nations is a sin; to bar a Black man from entering on the mere basis of his Blackness is abhorrent. But racial integration, or its appearance in the political mythology of America, has not stopped the breakup of Black communities, nor has it led Black and White American Christians to embrace their brotherhood. Rather, the end of segregation has sometimes done little more than destroy Black businesses serving their local Black communities and tear at the social fabric of Black America. Many Black Americans have called for stronger Black families and neighbourhoods, including Black churches. Locally, rather than trying to be ethnically diverse in itself, a mostly White congregation may do better to accept and even to embrace being largely White, and to affirm that God honours its cultural Whiteness, but make a real effort – such as has often not been made – to comfort and support existing historically Black churches in their work. What is most ædifying?

I used to think that a local church’s ideal form was a microcosm of the catholic Church which approached the diversity of the heavenly kingdom as a whole, but I have since changed my mind. Even in those days, I valued for the sake of the Chinese community those churches in the United States which held Lord’s Day services in Chinese and allowed Chinese parents to bring up their children in their own language and some form of their own culture. The microcosm is not in every assembly of the Church, for naturally men will meet with men, and women with women, and others with those who are in certain ways like themselves. In such homosociality there is nothing unseemly. More than in this temple or that, however, the local church is the visible expression of the Church in a place, the Church visible in every part of the commonwealth. And it is in the space of the commonwealth that the Church shows forth the gospel’s catholicity – for it is indeed a call to everyone – and the righteousness of God in every part of life. The Church, as a royal priesthood, is bound to welcome all sinners to the love of God; but the form of welcome is not the obliteration of either self or other, nor must it destroy the natural inheritance also given by God.

To have fellowship, to testify against the alienation caused by sin, humanity in the gospel must also affirm the natural gifts that God has kept for us and even developed in history by the wisdom of his providence. Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. No less, the fathers who begot us and the mothers who nursed us we are not free to despise, nor to forsake; throughout all generations, our descent from Adam through Noah and our children and children’s children are witness to God’s keeping us, to his love for us and our kind beyond the womb and beyond the grave. It is in our particular inheritances that we recognize our common humanity, and in the particular saving acts of God that we see the grace of God shown to all mankind. To rejoice in the particular glories of our own line’s recognition of God’s law is to give thanks for our creation, præservation, and all the blessings of this life; only in this position can we bless him for the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ. Grace does not destroy nature.

That said, it is a sickness when Christian congregations are bound more by homophily than by the gospel of Christ. If the spirit be not of love but of unconcern, it is a sickness unto death, the spirit of silent schism. The Church gathers not as a social club but as the witness of Christ to the nations, and if it does otherwise it grieves the Holy Spirit. When affluent White Christians do ‘urban ministry’ looking for ‘diversity’, with no regard either for God’s work in Black Christians already working in the same place or for the plight of poorer Whites in Appalachia, they seek to please men and not God. Believing that theirs is the Lord’s work, they have neglected certain men for the sake of their own itch, and they have set up an image in the sanctuary of the Lord, to whose gold they have bowed at the trumpet. The Lord purge them, that tried by his Spirit they may become pure gold. For the love of the Lord is pure and perfect, and his people are merciful by his eye. Let them not be deceived who refuse to welcome those to church who are unlike themselves, and let them not be deluded who think the idol of diversity will sanctify the Church.

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A Carol for the Feast of St Stephen

Performed by Magpie Lane.

Saint Stephen was a holy man
Endued with heavenly might,
And many wonders he did work
All in the people’s sight;
And by the holy Spirit of God,
Which did his heart inflame,
He spared not, in every place,
To preach God’s holy Name.

O man, do never faint nor fear,
When God the truth shall try;
But mark how Stephen, for Christ’s sake,
Was a-willing for to die.

Before the elders he was brought,
His answer for to make,
But they could not the spirit withstand
Whereby this man did speak.
While this was told, the multitude
Beholding him aright,
His comely face began to shine
Most like an angel bright.

Then Stephen did put forth his voice,
And he did first unfold
The wond’rous works which God had wrought
E’en for their fathers old;
That they thereby might plainly know
Christ Jesus should be he
That from the burden of the law
Should quit us frank and free.

But, oh! quoth he, you wicked men,
Which of your fathers all
Did not the prophets persecute,
And keep in woeful thrall?
But when they heard him so to say,
Upon him they all ran,
And there without the city gates
They stoned this holy man.

There he most meekly on his knees
To God did pray at large
Desiring that he should not lay
This sin unto their charge;
Then yielding up his soul to God,
Who had it dearly bought,
He lost his life, and his body then
To the grave was seemly brought.