A Christian Survey of World History

New Humanism or Medieval Period, I


*This is an unedited and unoffical print version of R.J. Rushdoony’s lecture.

R.J. Rushdoony: 00:03 God Our Heavenly Father, we come to thee [inaudible 00:00:12] of all thy blessings [inaudible 00:00:16]. We thank thee [inaudible 00:00:17]. To you Our Father we come again to study the things that [inaudible 00:00:19]. Give us grace to see thy hand in times past, times present, and times to come. Knowing that indeed the government is on thy shoulders [inaudible 00:00:34]. In Jesus’ name. Amen. Our subject tonight is the New Humanism or the Medieval Period. We dealt with the frontier era or the so-called “Dark Ages” last time, and it is important for us to recognize that the significance of the Fall of Rome was enormous. It was the collapse of urban civilization. Cities disappeared. There were towns here and there, but cities disappeared. Moreover, in spite of many claims by various people that they had a great history, the greatness of the peoples of Europe developed subsequently as a result of Christianity.

R.J. Rushdoony: 01:36 The Germanic and other tribes who took over Europe at that time were, we would have to say, savages. Now, it is commonplace now to claim that the Germanic tribes were advanced peoples and very noble, but we know from the records of that time that many of the Germanic tribes practiced cannibalism.

R.J. Rushdoony: 02:04 Now, this is not something you read about very often, but they did, which tells us how backward and savage they were. Their ability to do things was very meager and limited. The Visigoths, for example, began to imitate some of the people they conquered and farmed, but their lack of any sound knowledge of farming led them very quickly to exhaust the soil and lay waste the country.

R.J. Rushdoony: 02:38 Then too, the people lived a very hand-to-mouth kind of existence. For example, here from a French scholar, he says concerning what happened after the Fall of Rome, “Many a province was reduced to desolation by the movements of troops at war, all of them barbarians. Even although not in very large numbers. Those who were for the Goths were pursued by Byzantium, while those who were with the Byzantines in their turn paid dearly for it.” During such times of catastrophe worse even then what had been called the “great invasion”, the links that held a society together got broken.

R.J. Rushdoony: 03:25 Families were torn apart. Cities, even Rome, ruined, looted, abandoned. Weeds invaded the untilled soil. Peasants from Emilia and Roman Compagna, bereft of everything, came and died in the Picenum, where they had hope to survive. Many also died in Tuscany. In the Apennines, the mountaineers made their bread from acorns and fell victims to scurvy. People ate metals, dogs, rats, excrement. In Rome the too numerous dead lay around unburied. Even the vultures found nothing to eat, for the corpses, reduced to skeleton, had no more flesh for them to feed on.

R.J. Rushdoony: 04:21 Now, this was the condition of Europe. I said last week how the monks were the ones who built up civilization. Men coming together who had dedicated themselves wholly to the service of God. They established the monasteries, where they worked. They very quickly created wealth just by their labor. They became the source of charity, and wealth flowed in waves through the hands of the clergy and the monks, because people began to give to them.

R.J. Rushdoony: 05:12 They very quickly became like a state, each monastery with a wide radius of influence. They would buy up land as they accumulated wealth, and the serfs, because serfdom comes from Roman times, they would free the serfs and very often give them land. The amount of charity they gave away was enormous, so that the work of the monks was a tremendous factor in making civilization possible.

R.J. Rushdoony: 05:56 Then of course Charlemagne did a great deal to make their work possible throughout the North of Europe. Very often you read some very ugly things about Charlemagne because they tell us how vicious he was in giving the Saxons their choice, finally, between lining up at the side of the river and going in in huge numbers, thousands upon thousands to be baptized, or else putting their head down on a block and having it chopped off. They of course chose to be baptized.

R.J. Rushdoony: 06:41 Why did Charlemagne do this? Well, he was dealing with the Saxon peoples, a very savage people that believed in human sacrifice and in every kind of unspeakable abomination, and every time he went in and conquered them, he no sooner got out of the country than they would rebel and go back to their pagan practices like the natives in the jungles of Africa.

R.J. Rushdoony: 07:12 Finally, he took advantage of the fact that they were inclined to be superstitious and they were afraid of the god of Charlemagne and his power, and they felt that if the water of baptism were sprinkled upon them they would then have the wrath of that god against them if they violated his laws. So Charlemagne figured that’s the way to get them. Line ’em and give ’em their choice of being baptized or getting their head chopped off.

R.J. Rushdoony: 07:41 Well, they chose to be baptized and then they were afraid of the God of the Christians since they had been baptized in His name that His wrath would be upon them if they went back to human sacrifices and all their pagan practices. Now, that’s how he civilized them. And they became a great people as a result of Charlemagne’s work. Charlemagne himself was of a Germanic tribe. Charlemagne is the French form of Carl the Great. He was one of the Germanic tribes who had settled in what we call France and had long previously been converted.

R.J. Rushdoony: 08:25 Now, the frontier era, the so-called Dark Ages, really ended with the Crusades and the beginning of the Crusades. The Crusades began with a call to go out and conquer the Holy Land from the unbelievers, and Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont preached a sermon in 1095 summoning the faithful all over Europe to go to the Holy Land instead of fighting each other.

R.J. Rushdoony: 09:14 To quote from his sermon, “And so we bid you brethren, refrain your murderous hands from killing your brethren. As soldiers of the faith, turn your hand against foreign nations and under Jesus Christ your leader, as a Christian army, an army invincible better than the Israelites of old, ye shall do battle for your Jerusalem and attack and expel the Turks there, who are worse than the Jebusites.

R.J. Rushdoony: 09:41 Let it be a noble thing with you to die for Christ in that city where Christ died for you. If it should happen that you die first, consider that as dying on the way provided that Christ shall find you in his army. God pays the penny whether for the first or for the sixth hour. It is a horrible thing, horrible indeed, that you should raise violent hands against Christians, but a singular good thing to wield the sword against Saracens because it is a charity to lay down our lives for the brethren.

R.J. Rushdoony: 10:15 Be not anxious for the morrow. Be sure that they who fear God lack nothing, nor do they that love him truly. The wealth of your enemies shall be yours. Ye shall plunder their treasures. Ye shall either return home victorious or red with your own blood. Ye shall win the eternal reward. You have to serve a captain whose bread cannot fail and whose pay never runs short. Life is short and labor is but life that brings you the crown that fadeth not away.

R.J. Rushdoony: 10:46 Let us say then with the authority of the prophets, “Gird thee with thy sword upon thy thigh O thou most mighty men. And gird yourselves and be valiant men, for it is better for us to die in battle then to look upon the evils of our nation and the holy place. Let not yourselves therefore be softened by the seductive attractions of women or of your own affairs, and so prevented from going. And let not the hardships that you will have to endure deter you from staying.

R.J. Rushdoony: 11:17 And you my brethren and fellow bishops, my fellow priests and joint heirs with Christ, make this known among the churches committed to your charge and preach the way to Jerusalem everywhere with open mouth. Let them confess their ignorance of their sinful ways and confidently implore from Christ forgiveness.

R.J. Rushdoony: 11:36 You who are going shall have us for your bedesmen. Let us have you for our warriors on behalf of the people of God. It is our part to pray and your part to take up arms against the Amalekites. We like Moses will lift up on wearied hands in prayer to heaven. And you brave warriors draw and wield the sword against Amalek. Amen.” Well, of course the Crusades or anything with the idealistic thing that he hoped they would be once they got into action. And very quickly the men who went, went because they figured there were realms to conquer there, and if they couldn’t conquer them from the Moslems, they would conquer them from the Christians. And so the conduct of the Crusaders was sometimes as bad as that of the Moslems. And it was an ugly, protracted thing that lasted over several centuries.

R.J. Rushdoony: 12:37 Here is a complaint from some of the Eastern Christians, the Greek church, which was the church of Byzantium and of other areas. “How then shall the church of the Greeks, however troubled with afflictions and persecutions, return to the unity of the church and to devotion to the apostolic see?” This is their answer when they’re told to unite with them. “When they have seen in Latins nothing but an example of perdition, so that now and quite rightly, they detest them more than dogs, where the Latins who are believed to have sought not the things that are their own, but the things that are of Christ, died at the swords which they should have used against the heathen and the blood of Christians. Spared neither religion, age or sex, committed incest, adultery and fornication before the eyes of men, and exposed married women and even virgins dedicated to God, to the lewd lusts of youth.

R.J. Rushdoony: 13:45 It was not enough to seize the wealth of emperors and to dash to pieces the spoils of princes and of humbler folk. They must lay violent hands upon the treasures of churches, and worst of all, their furniture, stripping the silver ornamentation of the altars, breaking them to pieces and violating the sanctuaries and carrying off the crosses and relics.”

R.J. Rushdoony: 14:11 At one time, the Crusaders actually sacked Constantinople, the capital of Byzantium. The Crusades were a very ugly thing in many respects, but they marked the beginning of the strictly medieval period … If we use that term.

R.J. Rushdoony: 14:35 Now, there are a number of errors with regard to the Middle Ages. One is to see it as a church dominated and church oriented period. It was not an era controlled or created by the church, although the church waged constant war to try to gain control of Christian society. Again, it is seen as a period of stagnation, as though it were dead and things were stagnant. On the contrary, it was a period of tremendous vitality and initiative. In those days people thought nothing about traveling all the way across Europe into China. Then, as though it were a period dominated by old men, old monks, old priests, and so on, on the contrary, never in the history of the world has it been more dominated by youth. In fact, the number of people who in their 20s were the powerful figures throughout the Medieval Period is enormous. We must not see it as stagnant or aged or church oriented.

R.J. Rushdoony: 15:56 However, there were three great powers each seeking to dominate the Christian civilization that had developed over the previous centuries during the so-called Dark Ages or the frontier era. First of all, there was the church. The church very definitely was seeking to dominate every institution progressively as Rome gained more and more power over the other areas. Originally, of course the various churches were independent of Rome. The church in England was not under Rome until the council of Whitby went through royal power. It was controlled. It was captured.

R.J. Rushdoony: 16:46 Now, the claims of the church were very clearly set forth by Pope Boniface in his bull, Unam Sanctam in 1302. This sets forth the idea of the church dominating everything. This is what Boniface said. “We are obliged by the faith to believe and hold, and we do firmly believe and sincerely confess that there is one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, and that outside this Church there is neither salvation nor remission of sin. In which Church there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism.

R.J. Rushdoony: 17:39 At the time of the flood, there was one ark of Noah, symbolizing the one Church. This was completed in one cubit and had one, namely Noah, as helmsman and captain, outside which all things on earth we read were destroyed. Of this one and only Church there is one body and one head, not two heads like a monster. Namely, Christ, and Christ’s vicar is Peter, and Peter’ successor, for the Lord said to Peter, “Feed my sheep.” My sheep, he said in general, not “these” or “those” sheep. Wherefore He is understood to have committed them all to him.

R.J. Rushdoony: 18:20 Therefore, if the Greeks or others say that they were not committed to Peter and his successors, they necessarily confess that they are not of Christ’s sheep, for the Lord says ‘In John there is one fold and one shepherd.’

R.J. Rushdoony: 18:37 We learn from the words of the Gospel that in this Church and in her power are two swords, the spiritual and the temporal.” And he goes on to develop this point, that both Church and state are entirely under the Pope, so that the Pope must rule the governments of Europe as well as all the churches. Moreover, what he was doing, as were the other popes, was to say that the Kingdom of God and the Church are identical.

R.J. Rushdoony: 19:14 Now, according to scripture, the term “Kingdom of God” means everything. God’s rule in church, in state, in school, in family, in business and every area. So that wherever God rules in the hearts of men, there is the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God cannot be equated with the Church. The Church is simply one aspect of the Kingdom of God. Moreover, the attitude of the papacy increasingly became that the church is an extension of the Incarnation. That is, a part of Jesus Christ Himself and His Incarnation. Now, at the same time, they developed the doctrine of the merits of the saints, or rather they picked it up from the Pharisees, and Judaism, which still had it in their midst.

R.J. Rushdoony: 20:21 Now, in 1343, you have the doctrine of the treasury of merits defined by the Vatican. To quote, “The only begotten Son of God who was made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, not by the blood of goats and calves but by His own blood, entered once for all into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. Not by corruptible gold and silver, but by the precious blood of his own very lamb, incontaminate and immaculate. He redeemed us. On the altar of the cross, He the innocent was sacrificed, and as is well known, shed no mere drop of blood, though that because of its union with the Word, would have sufficed for the redemption of the whole human race, but copiously poured forth such a stream that from the soles of His feet to the crown of his head, now health was found in Him.

R.J. Rushdoony: 21:25 Thence, in order that the compassion shown by so great an effusion might not be rendered useless, vain, or superfluous, He acquired a treasury for the Church militant, desiring as a pious Father to lay up a treasury for His sons. That so there might be an infinite treasury for mankind, that those who make use of it might be made friends of God.

R.J. Rushdoony: 21:52 This treasure He entrusted to Blessed Peter, who bears the keys of Heaven, and to his successors and vicars on Earth, to be dispensed to the faithful for their salvation, and for proper and reasonable causes. Sometimes for entire and sometimes for partial remission of the penalty due for temporal sins, to be applied out of compassion to persons who are truly penitent and have made their confession.

R.J. Rushdoony: 22:20 As an aid to the accumulation of this treasure, contribution is known to have been made by the merits of the Blessed Mother of God and all the elect from the righteous man to the last, and we should not fear its consumption or diminution, as well because of the infinite merits of Christ as aforesaid, as also because the greater the number of those who turn to righteousness by means of its application, so much the more increases the accumulation of merit.”

R.J. Rushdoony: 22:53 Now, what he said there was that when Christ died on the cross it was such a wonderful work that it starred up so much merit in Heaven, like a treasury in a bank. And of course, the Virgin Mary starred up a lot of merit, and all the Saints from the first man on has starred up merit, so it’s there in the bank of Heaven, and all you need to do is to ask that some of these merits be applied to your credit when you’ve sinned. And the Church, through Peter and the Pope, will apply these merits to your credit, you see.

R.J. Rushdoony: 23:35 If you’ve sinned, you ask, “Well, I’ve got three adulteries and one theft to my credit. Will you put so many merits from Peter and Christ and the Mother of God to my credit?” Now, you can see what was developing. The Church was steadily forsaking the Gospel. Now, the state was a second institution seeking to control civilization in this era. The state also said in the form of the Holy Roman Empire, that it was the Kingdom of God on Earth. It quarreled with the Church because both Church and state were saying “We represent God and Christ. We are the extension of the Incarnation.” The Emperor Frederick II for example, the Hohenstaufen’s, said that God and the Emperor are one, so that he identified himself with God and Christ just as surely as Innocent III, who was the Pope at that time said he was Christ’s representative and vicar on Earth, and when he spoke, God was speaking through him. The third agency or institution that claimed power was the university. In particular, the University of Paris at this period. The university claimed to be a law unto itself, as Reason Incarnate, as it were. It was at this time you had the beginnings of the doctrine of academic freedom develop. The idea that the university and the professor is a law unto himself and that no one can control him, because the university is above Church and state and beyond the punishment of either. It is Reason Incarnate. Divine reason manifest on Earth.

R.J. Rushdoony: 25:48 So you had three institutions claiming they were beyond the law, virtually God on Earth. And Dr Nisbet, one of the few really outstanding sociologists of our day, who was at the University of California at Riverside until this year and is now at Arizona, has said that the University today is the last medieval institution in our midst, and the students are in the process of destroying it. And he is right, of course.

R.J. Rushdoony: 26:26 Now, at the same time you had also the revival of Aristotle’s philosophy. Instead of the Word of God, revelation, you had natural law instead of God’s law and you had reason as prior to revelation, so that because for Aristotle man is a rational, political animal, man was not seen as a religious preacher but as a political animal. A rational political animal, to be defined in terms of the state rather than in terms of God. Moreover, reason was the means of understanding everything in this world, and all you used revelation for was things connected with the other world. Really, you didn’t try to understand creation in terms of the Bible.

R.J. Rushdoony: 27:28 You see, this is the same attitude that some of the liberals in the Church today have. You use science and reason to understand creation, so you become an evolutionist, because the Bible speaks only about God and about Heaven. Well, if that’s all the Bible talks about, it doesn’t really talk about anything, because what it tells us about God is about God Incarnate, God revealing Himself in history, in the natural world. So of course they end up ultimately with the death of God when they take that tack.

R.J. Rushdoony: 28:10 Now, I’m going to read again at some length from a document of the period with commentaries by Eilene Power in a book which was published a few years ago in 1924 first. It’s called Medieval People. In the 1300s we have a document, a very interesting one. It’s a husband who is away very often on business. He’s a businessman who travels a great deal. Whenever he’s away on business he writes a long letter to his wife to educate her. Well, why would he have to educate his wife? Well, she asked for it. It was a very happy, very affectionate marriage. She was just 15 years old. He was over 60.

R.J. Rushdoony: 29:17 Now, that seems rather shocking to us today, but that was surprisingly common at that time. Surprisingly common. She came from a very good family, but her parents and relatives were dead and she was an orphan. And he had married her. Now, this was not unusual. Once in a while you could find an old man who’d do this who’d be a stinker and stipulate in his will that she could not remarry. But what they very often did was to take a good girl and marry her an elder widower and prepare her to manage their estate and find a good husband.

R.J. Rushdoony: 30:03 So here is this couple, very much in love, and he is writing these letters at her request to educate her, and meanwhile he’s also preparing her for a second husband. Because he says, “I’m not going to be around forever and I want you to do me the honor of making a wise choice when you remarry. Someone who can manage my estate well.” This is a very practical attitude, and you cannot understand the Middle Ages … And this is why I picked this to read at some length … If you don’t realize there was this strong vein of down-to-earth practicality. And this is why you had these marriages. Very commonly. No one thought anything about it. It was assumed that “Well, he’s marrying her because he wants a good woman to handle his estate, look around for a fine young man who can manage it with him to the greater glory of God.”

R.J. Rushdoony: 31:15 Now, let’s see … He writes,

R.J. Rushdoony: 31:22 “You being of the age of 15 and in the week that you and I were wed, did pray me that I would please to be indulgent to your youth and your small and ignorant service mewards, until that you should have seen and learned more, the hastening whereof you did promise me to set all care and diligence, praying me humbly in our bed as I remember, that for the love of God I would not correct you harshly before strangers nor before our own folk, but that I would correct you each night or from day to day in our chamber and show you the unseemly or foolish things done in the day or days past, and chastise you if it pleased me. And then you would not fail to amend yourself according to my teaching and correction, and would do all in your power according to my will, as you said.

R.J. Rushdoony: 32:21 And I thought well of, and praise and thank you for, what you said to me, and I have often remembered it since. And know Dear Sister” … That was the term used in those days very commonly between husband and wife … “That all that I know you have done since we were wed up to this day, and all that you should do hereafter with good intent has been and is done and well hath pleased, pleases, and shall please me. For your youth excuses you from being very wise and will still excuse you in everything that you do with good intent to please me.

R.J. Rushdoony: 33:06 And know that it does not displease, but rather pleases me that you should have roses to grow and violets to care for and that you should make chaplets and dance and sing, and I would well that you should so continue among our friends and those of our estate, and it is but right and seemly thus to pass the time of your feminine youth, provided that you desire and offer not to go to the feasts and dances of too great lords, for that is not seemly for you nor suitable to your estate nor mine.”

R.J. Rushdoony: 33:41 In other words, we’re well-to-do, but don’t get any social pretensions. Enjoy yourself, but not with social ambitions.

R.J. Rushdoony: 33:52 Then Eileen Powers adds, “Meanwhile, he has not forgotten her request that he would teach and correct her in private, and so he writes a little book at her request, but it was a big book before he had finished, to show her how to comfort herself. For he is sorry for this child who has for so long had neither father nor mother and who is far from kinswomen who might counsel her, having ‘me only’ he says, ‘for whom you have been taken from your kinfolk and from the land of your birth.’ He has often deliberated the matter, and now here is ‘an easy general introduction’ to the whole art of being a wife, a housewife, and a perfect lady.

R.J. Rushdoony: 34:42 One characteristic reason, apart from his desire to help her and to be comfortable himself, for he was set in his ways, he gives for his trouble and recurs to from time to time, surely the strangest ever given by a husband for instructing his wife, he is old, he says, and must die before her, and it is positively essential that she should do him credit with her second husband. What a reflection upon him if she accompanied his successor to Mass with the collar of her cotte crumpled or if she knew not how to keep fleas from the blankets or how to order a supper for 12 in Lent! It is charcteristic of the Menagier’s,” the husband’s, “reasonableness and solid sense that he regards his young wife’s second marriage with equanimity. One of his sections is headed, ‘That you should be loving to your husband, whether myself or another, by the example of Sarah, Rebecca, Rachael. And wife, you remember your promise to me to take the order of widowhood, as you may be the’ …

R.J. Rushdoony: 35:59 No. Excuse me. I’m quoting out of context here.

R.J. Rushdoony: 36:03 The plan of the book in three sections containing 19 principal articles is most exhaustive. The first section deals with religious and moral duties. In the words of the husband, “The first section is necessary to gain for you the love of God and the salvation of your soul, and also to win for you the love of your husband. And to give you in this world that peace which ought to be had in marriage. And because these two things, to wit the salvation of your soul and the comfort of your husband, are the two things most chiefly necessary, therefore are they here placed first.”

R.J. Rushdoony: 36:47 Then follows a series of articles telling the lady how to say her morning prayer when she rises, how to bear herself at church and in what form to make her confession to the priest, together with a long and somewhat alarming [inaudible 00:37:02] upon the seven deadly sins, which had assuredly never entered into her sweet little head to commit, and another on the corresponding virtues.

R.J. Rushdoony: 37:12 The greater part of the section deals with the all important subject of a wife’s duty to her her husband. She is to be loving, humble, obedient, careful, and thoughtful for his person. Silent regarding his secrets, and patient if he be foolish and allow his heart to stray toward other women. The whole section is illustrated by a series of stories culled from the Bible, from the common stock of anecdotes, and most interesting of all, from the husband’s own experience.

R.J. Rushdoony: 37:51 At one point, he gives instructions how to mend, air, and clean dresses and furs, get out grease spots, keep fleas out of the house, look after wine and superintend the management of a farm. Because he had a fair sized estate. It involved a great many kinds of work, and she had to learn how to manage all these things.

R.J. Rushdoony: 38:18 At one point, he breaks off, addressing his wife thus. “Here I will leave you to rest or to play and will speak no more to you. And while you disport yourself elsewhere I will speak to Master John the steward, who looks after our possessions, so that if there is anything wrong with any of our horses, whether for the plow or for riding, or if it is necessary to buy or exchange a horse, he may know a little of that it behooves him to know in this matter.” There are some pages of advice on the good points of a horse for the steward so she could turn this over to him and give him his instructions for his steward how to deal with horse trading. Because he doesn’t figure that she’s going to learn too much there.

R.J. Rushdoony: 39:15 Then the third section of his book. This is written over a long period of time as a series of letters when he’s on a sales trip. It was intended to contain three parts. First of all, a number of parlor games for indoor amusement. You see, he thinks of everything. Secondly, a treatise on hawking, the favorite outdoor amusement of ladies. And thirdly, a list of amusing riddles and games of an arithmetical kind. Unfortunately, he never finished this section of the book, but there’s a great deal of interesting material. There’s hardly any area of life that he did not touch. He was also very particular on how she was to dress. “Know ear sister, that if you wish to follow my advice, you have great care and regard for what you do and I can afford to do according to our state. Have a care that you be honestly clad, without new devices, without too much or too little frippery, And before you leave your chamber and house, take care first that the collar of your shift and of your blanchet, cotte, and surcotte do not hang out one over the other as happens with certain drunken, foolish, or witless women who have no care for their honor or for the honesty of their estate or their husbands, and who walk with roving eyes and head horribly reared up like a lion, with hair straggling out of there wimples and the collars of their shifts and cottes crumpled the one upon the other and who walk mannishly and bear themselves uncouthly before folk without shame.”

R.J. Rushdoony: 41:10 Now, one of the things he was saying is, “Don’t let your slip show.”

R.J. Rushdoony: 41:15 “And if one speaks to them about it, they excuse themselves on the ground of their industry and humility, saying that they are so diligent, hardworking and humble that they care not for themselves. But they lie. They care so much for themselves that if they were in an honorable company, never would they be willing that men should wait less upon them than upon the wiser ladies of like lineage with themselves. Nor that they should have fewer salutations, bows, reverences, and speeches than the rest, but rather they desire more. And they are unworthy of it, for they know not how to maintain their own honorable fame. Nay, nor the fame of their husbands and of their lineage, which they bring to shame. Therefore fair sister, have a care that your hair, wimple, kerchief and hood and all the rest of your attire be well arranged and decently ordered. That none who see you can laugh or mock at you, but that all the others may find in you an example of fair and simple and decent array.

R.J. Rushdoony: 42:23 And so on. He gives her advice how to behave in church and how to behave at parties and so on. Now, this I think is too choice to pass up, so I’ll read one more section.

R.J. Rushdoony: 42:44 “Fair sister, that which means beautiful,” fair. “If you have another husband after me, know that you shouldn’t think much of his comfort, for after a woman has lost her first husband she commonly finds it difficult to find another according to her estate. And she remains lonely and disconsolate for a long time. And moreso still if she lose the second. Wherefore cherish the person of your husband carefully, and I will pray you, keep in clean linen, for tis your business. And because the care of outside affairs lies with men, so must a husband take heed and go on common journey hither and thither in rain and wind and snow and hail, now drenched, now dry, now sweating, now shivering, ill-fed, ill-lodged, ill-warmed and ill-bedded.”

R.J. Rushdoony: 43:44 Salesmen’s lot was not too good in those days nor a businessman’s apparently on the road.

R.J. Rushdoony: 43:49 “And nothing harms him because he is upheld by the hope that he has of his wife’s care of him on his return, and of the ease, the joys and the pleasures which she will do to him or cause to be done to him in her presence, to have his shoes removed before a good fire, his feet washed, and to have fresh shoes and stockings, to be given food and drink as soon as he arrives, to be well served and well looked after, well bedded in white sheets and nightcaps, well covered with good furs and assuaged with other joys and amusements, privity to loves and secrets concerning which I am silent. And on the next day, fresh shirts and garments.

R.J. Rushdoony: 44:34 Certainly, fair sister, such service maketh a man love and desire to return to his home and to see his good wife and to be distant with other women. And therefore I counsel you to make such cheer to your husband and all his comings and goings and to persevere therein. And also to be peaceable with him and remember the rustic proverb which says that there be three things which drive the good man from home. To wit, a dripping roof, a smoking chimney, and a nagging woman. Wherefore, Fair Sister, I pray you that in order to keep yourself in love and good favor with your husband, you be unto him gentle, amiable, and debonair.”

Rev. R.J. Rushdoony (1916–2001), was a leading theologian, church/state expert, and author of numerous works on the application of Biblical law to society. He started the Chalcedon Foundation in 1965.  His Institutes of Biblical Law (1973) began the contemporary theonomy movement which posits the validity of Biblical law as God’s standard of obedience for all. He therefore saw God’s law as the basis of the modern Christian response to the cultural decline, one he attributed to the church’s false view of God’s law being opposed to His grace. This broad Christian response he described as “Christian Reconstruction.”  He is credited with igniting the modern Christian school and homeschooling movements in the mid to late 20th century. He also traveled extensively lecturing and serving as an expert witness in numerous court cases regarding religious liberty. Many ministry and educational efforts that continue today, took their philosophical and Biblical roots from his lectures and books.

Learn more about R.J. Rushdoony by visiting: https://chalcedon.edu/founder