We find two somewhat relevant ideas expressed in these documents for Kinists :
1. How the failure to render obedience to natural fathers also degrades the ability to honor kings and the commonwealth. Likewise, the mistreatment of children or servants tends to the mistreatment of kindred. Vice-versa is also true. In the dismantling of ethno-nations we might note how the delegitimization of a father’s office reciprocately subverts those similar offices based on federal, family, and patriarchal forms. Thus questions of ordered assembly, people, and ethnos cannot be separated from matters of patriarchy as all are mutual reinforcing.
2. How the second clause, “you shall live long in the land”, ties together the idea of parents and land which, of course, leads to a familiar-state and doctrine of kin-propriety.
This post will unfurl over time, collating various catechist and homiletic summaries on the fifth commandment from 1535-1640 in the Church of England. From the expositions on the fifth commandment, we garner a definition or at least notion of ‘household’, both large and small, a necessary building-block for elaborating kinism.Secondly, we will try to drudge up those expositions which further mention lateral kindred commitments, a sparsity exposition-wise, rather than merely with our ‘betters’.
When thinking about pre-modern kingdoms, it’s important to picture many households betrothed to a great one. These troths are not necessarily identical, but many are negotiated with divers privileges. This mental picture has help me understand the relation of provincial churches the an Imperial Crown, not every church or ‘house’ having the same constitution or ceremony (article 34). An example might be the Scottish Kirk to the English Church. Spiritual and natural arrangement often overlapped or were relatively identical, so what applied to one often did the other.
Collection of Private Devotions Bishop John Cosin
In the section for Honor thy father and thy mother, Cosin outlines our responsibilities to fathers, both natural and spiritual. But he also includes a dimension not usually spoken of reserved for charity with inferiors of the same house.
Duties of the Fifth Commandment
1. To love, honor, and obey our father and mother with all lowliness and reverence.
2. To succor, help, and serve them at their need.
3. In like manner, faithfully to serve, honor, and humbly obey the king; to reverence his sacred power, and his sovereign authority over us.
4. To live by his laws and commandments, according to God’s blessed word and ordinance, and not at our own pleasure, to do what we will.
5. To live in an orderly and quiet subjection to the king’s subordinate magistrates; to our husbands, masters, tutors, and governors, with all fidelity.
6. To submit ourselves lowly and reverently to them that our our spiritual guides and fathers, the prelates, and priests of God’s church.
7. Finally, to carry ourselves meekly to all, and humbly to them that be our betters in any kind or degree whatsoever; not denying them their due love and regard that be our inferiors or under our authority.
Offenders Against the Fifth Commandment:
1. They that disobey the lawful commands of their father or mother.
2. They that neglect, or despise, or grieve their persons.
3. They that murmor, mutiny, rebel, and dishonor the king, either by denying reverence to his person, or obedience to his laws, or due maintenance to his state.
4. They that are undutiful to their husbands, masters, and governors, in such matters as be within their power and authority.
5. They that neither reverence the persons, nor obey the precepts, nor care for the authority of their ecclesiastical governors.
6. They that give offence by disregarding of any, specially of them that are more aged and better than themselves.
7. They that are unthankful to their benefactors.
8. They that neglect to give unto their wives, their children, their kindred, their neighbors, or any their inferiors, that love and regard which severally belongs unto them.
Notice article eight, where “kindred” might be understood as the extended household if not kinsmen. The context eliminates children, neighbors, or other inferiors that are already mentioned. We may also refer to the 1928 Prayer Book’s prayer for Our Country (when the WASP center was both populous and secure) which uses the term ‘kindred’ as equivalent to ethnos or race, “Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues” (p. 36). This suggests charity’s lateral dimension. Fifth commandment injunctions usually focus upon our obligations to “betters”, but there is also a responsibility of the master to subordinates and kinsmen. Dean Nowell calls this the “other part” of the command. Elaborating further upon these notions, for the private household, the fifth commandment requires the master to care for his servants as well as those connected to the wider body of the manor (visitors, cousins, strangers, and businessmen). For the secular King, it would not differ but the concept expanded to greater kindred and feal households, namely, those dignities and manors where men have sworn, contracted, or betrothed themselves to a greater prince in some fashion. This is where we begin to touch upon the idea of ‘nation’, its roots and origins stemming from the old Anglo-Latin ‘house’. The Latin term, paterfamilias, comes to mind as the “father of the family” or the “owner of the family estate”. The Wiki definition gives us insight into the Anglo-Latin idea: “The Roman household was conceived of as an economic and juridical unit or estate: familia originally meant the group of the famuli (the servi or serfs and slaves of a rural estate) living under the same roof. This meaning later expanded to indicate the familia as the basic Roman social unit, which might include the domus (house or home) but was legally distinct from it – a familia might own one or several homes. All members and properties of a familia were subject to the authority of a pater familias: his legal, social and religious position defined familia as a microcosm of the Roman state”. This would be true with the Anglo and Norman states as well.
Another implication of the fifth commandment is the idea of a community that is governed by superiors and is otherwise an ‘ordered’ one. The catechism of 1573 lists some qualities that might make a person a ‘superior’: the dignity of title (‘worship’), the degree of learning, reverence toward age, and wealth at disposal. Those who possess a ‘superior’ charge, including princes of kindreds, do so by the ordination of God, all such offices having their source from a common “fount” . The master of a house, or patriarch, would be one such “fount”, possessing duties and responsibilities according to the order or justice assigned by God. The rule of master over servant is compared to parents over ‘good’ children. The honor given to natural parents is our first lesson in civic duty, i.e., honoring the prince. Likewise, our charity inclined toward the rearing of children is the same principle by which men govern estates. Therefore, we should note the troubles which befall a nation when duties to natural parents are cast-off. The catechism also asks us to consider the second clause of the fifth commandment, “thou shall live long in the land”. Evidently the principle goes beyond the Jews in Canaan, says Nowell, but Gentiles too according to the universal nature of families and nations. Not only the blessings of country but the lots and boundaries assigned to Israel are normative. Thus, this second half of the command associates land and inheritance with families, having consequence upon territorial ethno-nations.
Nowell’s Catechism 1573:
S. The second table beginneth thus: ‘Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee’. M. What is meant in this place by this word Honor?
S. The honor of parents containeth love, fear, and reverence, and consisteth as in the proper work and duty of it, in obeying them, in saving, helping, and defending them, and also feeding and relieving them if ever they be in need.
M. Doth the law extend only to parents by nature?
S. Although the very words seem to express no more yet we must understand that all those to whom any authority is given, as magistrates, ministers of the church, schoolmasters; finally, all they that have any ornament, either of reverent age, or of wit, wisdom, or learning, worship, or wealthy state, or otherwise be our superiors, are contained under the name of fathers; because the authority both of them and of fathers come out of one fountain.
M. Out of what fountain?
S. The only decree of the laws of God, by which they are become worshipful and honorable, as well as natural parents. For from thence they all, whether they be parents, princes, magistrates, or other superiors, whatsoever they be, have all their power and authority; because by these it has pleased God to rule and govern the world.
M. What is meant by this, that he calleth magistrates, and other superiors, by the name of parents?
S. To teach us that they are given us of God, both for our own and public benefit, and also by example of that authority, which of all other is naturally least grudged at, to train and inure the mind of man, which of itself is puffed with pride, and lot to be under other’s commandment, to the duty and obedience toward magistrates. For by the name of parents, we are charged not only to yield to and obey magistrates, but also to honor and love them. And likewise, on the other part, superiors are taught so to govern their inferiors, as a just parent useth to rule over good children.
M. What meaneth that promise which is added to the commandment?
S. That they shall enjoy long life, and shall long continue to insure and stedfast possession of wealth, that give just and due honor to their parents and magistrates.
M. But this promise seemeth to belong peculiarly to such Jews as be kind to their parents.
S. It is no doubt, that that which is by name spoken of the land of Canaan, pertaineth only to the Jews. But, for as much as God is Lord of the whole world, what place soever he giveth us to dwell in, the same he promiseth and assureth us in this law that we shall keep still in our possession.
The idea of paternal obedience as hinge to longevity in the land is iterated in the Homily on Good Order. What was formerly coveted passes into dispossession, murder, and theft. Also, notice how the homily closely approximates ‘vocation’ for estate, saying,
“Every degree of people in their vocation, calling, and office, hath appointed to them their duty and order: some are in high degree, some in low; some Kings and Princes, some Inferiors and Subjects; Priests and Laymen, Masters and Servants, Fathers and Children, Husbands and Wives, Rich and Poor: and every one hath need of the other: so that in all things is to be lauded and praised the goodly order of God; without the which no house, no city, no commonwealth, can continue and endure, or last. For, where there is no right order, there reigneth all abuse, carnal liberty, enormity, sin, and Babylonical confusion. Take away Kings, Princes, Rulers,, Magistrates, Judges, and such estates of God’s order; no man shall ride or go by the highway unrobbed; no man shall sleep in his own house or bed unkilled; no man shall keep his wife, children, and possessions in quietness: all things shall be common: and there must needs follow all mischief and utter destruction both of souls, bodies, goods, and commonwealths” (The Homilies, p. 72)
Of this ‘Godly Order’ each man has his vocation. Of particular interest might be those householders, natural fathers, and gentlemen that make up estates. Edward VI’s 1553 Primer gives prayers for each state. Of householders is expected the godly rising of servants and assignment of vocation, the implications for nation being the ‘largest house’,
“To have children and servants is thy blessing, O Lord, but not to order them according to thy word deserveth thy dreadful curse: Grant therefore, that as thou hast blessed me with an household, so I may diligently watch, that nothing be committed of the same that might offend thy fatherly goodness, and be an occasion of turning thy blessing into cursing; but that so many as thou hast committed to my charge, may eschew all vice, embrace all virtue, live in thy fear, call upon thy holy name, learn thy blessed commandments, hear thy holy word, and avoiding idleness, diligently exercise themselves every one in his office, according to their vocation and calling, unto the glory of they most honourable Name. Amen” (p. 465-66)
The primer exhorts Parents to instruct children for the peace of neighbors. Obviously this touches upon their longevity in the land, for the commodity of neighbor is made by godly example and correction, “Thou shalt reprehend thy brother when he sinneth, lest his offence come over all men” p. 482. Of Fathers and Mothers says,
“The fruit of the womb and the multitude of children is thy gift and blessing, O Lord God, given to this end that they may live to thy glory, and the commodity of their neighbor. Forasmuch therefore, as thou of thy goodness hast given me children, I beseech thee give me also grace to train them up even from their cradles in thy nurture and doctrine, in thy holy laws and blessed ordinances, that from their very young age they may know thee, believe in thee, fear, love, and obey thee, and diligently walk in thy commandments all the days of their life, unto the praise of thy glorious name: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” p. 462
But the nation is for naught unless civilized by Gentlemen. In Edward’s primer ‘Gentlemen’ correspond to nobility or specially titled people. Again, while commodity and charity is the goal of the nation, this is not at the expense of necessary order. The primer admits charity does not negate an ordering of men according to gifts. Ideally speaking, the latter would compose the aristocracy and especially the royal council. Of Gentlemen the prayer reads thusly,
“Albeit whatsoever is born of flesh is flesh, and all that we receive of our natural parents is earth, dust, ashes, and corruption, so that no child of Adam hath any cause to boast himself of his birth and blood, seeing we have all one flesh and one blood, begotten into sin, conceived in uncleanness, and born by nature the children of wrath; yet forasmuch as some for their wisdom, godliness, virtue, valiantness, strength, eloquence, learning and policy, be advanced above the common sort of people unto dignities and temporal promotions, as men worthy to have superiority in the christian commonwealth, and by this means have obtained among the people a more noble and worthy name: We most entirely beseech thee, from whom alone cometh the true nobility to so many as are born of thee and made thy sons through faith, whether they be rich or poor, noble or unnoble, to give a good spirit to our superiors, that as they be called gentle men in mane, so they may shew themselves in all their doings gentle, courteous, loving, pitiful and liberal unto their inferiors; living among them as natural fathers among their children, not polling, pilling, and oppressing them, but favoring, helping, and cherishing them; not destroyers, but fathers of the commonality..they afore shewing gentleness to the common people, may receive gentleness again at thy merciful hand…” p. 457-8.
An earlier catechism, the 1543 Necessary Doctrine, likewise compares the duties of princes to those of natural parents. Civility is thus dependent upon the idea of family, and since all forms of authority have a natural basis, the subversion of one tends to undermine the others.The distortion of nation, like the distortion of marriage by homosexual union, adds to a total weakening. Anyway, the close relation should be recognized along with the two-fold trouble leveling agitation causes. The prelacy not only invests clergy but all kinds of fathers. For this reason James I said, “no bishop, no king”.
Necessary Doctrine and Erudition of Christian Man 1543
“In this commandment, by these words father and mother, is understand not only the natural father and mother which did carnally beget us, and brought us up, but also princes and all other governors, rulers, and pastors, under whom we be nourished and brought up, ordered and guided”
“And as the children by this commandment be bound to honor and obey they parents, according as is afore expressed, so it is implied in the same precept that the parents should nourish and godly bring up their children”
“This commandment also containeth the honor and obedience which subjects owe unto their princes; and also the office of princes towards their subjects. For scripture taketh princes to be as it were fathers and nurses to their subjects. And by scripture it appeareth, that it appertaineth unto the office of princes to see that the right religion and true doctrine of Christ be maintained and taught”
A very early catechism found in a 1535 [Marshall’s] Primer tells us honor is even owed to wretched parents, and we suppose the same applies to unrightful rulers or their unjust people.This truly tests our christian conscience that we must give pray for the spiritual rescue of tyrants or mercy for incorrigible people.
A Goodly Primer 1535
“Against the fourth offendeth he, that is ashamed of the poverty or any other worldly wretchedness or misery of his parents. He that provideth not such things as are necessary for them, as food and raiment. And much more they, which curse, bann, and beat them, which say evil by them, slander them, hate, and disobey them. He that in his heart setteth not much by them for God’s commandment. He that doth not honor them, though they be cruel and unrightful”
Under ‘Good Works’ (p. 72), the chiefmost good for neighbor is evidently, “to be obedient in all things unto kings, princes, judges, and such other officers, as far as they command civil things; that is to say things indifferent, and not contrary unto the commandments of God”. After this, the second greatest good to neighbor is,
“[the next are], to be obedient to father and mother, to provide for our household, both nourishing our family with bodily sustenance, and also to instruct them with the word of God, and so to be their governor, carnal and spiritual.”
At the back of Marshall’s primer is a short catechism, ‘dialogue between Father and Son’, where the high status of the fifth commandment in relation to neighbor is stated, “For our neighbor’s health and profit to serve them, and especially our father and mother, whom next God we ought to honor, to reverence, to obey, to comfort, to help, and to follow their godly monitions and instructions” (p. 221).
The Prayer Book’s Litany takes a contra-negative of children blessing wicked parents. Foolish parents often curse their children, reminding us the corporate, “bodily” aspect of Christ’s salvation, “Remember not, Lord, our offences, nor the offences of our forefathers; neither take thou vengeance upon our sins: Spare us, good Lord, spare thy people, whom thou hast redeemed with thy most precious blood, and be not angry with us forever”. This is much like the covenant language found in St. Luke’s Benedictus, and, of course this is also expressed in the BCP’s decalogue (p. 68), reminding us of our fathers’ covenant with God, invoking blessings according to generations. This latter part is found toward the end of the litany, thus somewhat bracketing it, “O God, we have heard with our ears, and our fathers have declared unto us, the noble works that thou didst in their days, and in the old time before them”. This surely extends beyond the fathers of the old testament into the fathers of the church, especially our protestant-humanist divines and the natural fathers they endued with the blessings of family prayer, making the English home the ‘seminary of the church’.
Indeed, the Reverend George Herbert’s book, The Country Parson, describes the duties of instruction for fathers to children/household, “Those that can read, are allowed times for it, and those that cannot, are taught; for all in his house are either teachers or learners, or both, so that this family is a School of Religion, and they all account, that to teach the ignorant is the greatest alms. Even the walls are not idle, but something is written, or painted there, which may excite the reader to a thought of piety; especially the 101st Psalm, which is expressed in a fair table, as being the rule of a family.” (Country Parson, p. 68).
Cranmer’s Catechism, 1548, is more homiletic than others, offering practical alongside theological insight. Like the 1535, the older counting of the decalogue is still used. Thus, the fifth is referred to as the fourth commandment. There is a detailed explanation why men ought to honor parents, namely, because parents are regents of God. Cranmer reminds not only the many tangible benefits we have received at their hands, but how these offices work in God’s stead helping both body and soul. Throughout the catechism a federal principle of authority is pleaded, and, like Nowell’s, the second clause is discussed. Cranmer not only ties family to property but also native land, “from our parents we have our country”. Nation offers special affections, e.g., “kinsfolk acquaintances and friends”. And like Marshall’s Primer and Dean Nowell, our time in the portion of land alloted by God to us hinges upon obedience or Godly order. The lost of property may be either due to exile or invasion (as with the Jews in Deut 28) and is not treated by Cranmer as indifferent but the consequence of God’s indignation as previously expressed in the second clause.
“But of our fathers and mothers, we ought to look for no thanks but without benefits we must honor them, that is to say, we must order ourselves towards them, no otherwise then we would do toward kings, princes, and lords, to whom when we offer any present, we thank not that they be bound to render unto us any great thanks for the same, but we humbly fall on our knees before them, instantly desiring them, that they will vouchsafe to take in good part so small a gift, wherein we declare our goodwill far to pass our ability, and with all reverence we sue unto them, that of their clemency they will accept our good harts and minds. On this fashion we ought to behave ourselves towards our fathers and mothers, and when so ever we be able to do them any pleasure, we must honor them after the said manner, and reverently beseech them, that they will take well in worth such small tokens of our duty and love towards them. For we cannot render unto our fathers and mothers any gift or present so weighty that shall be able to counterpose the kindness which they have deserved at our hands, or can in any part recompense the great goodness and benefits which they have heaped upon without number. “...
“Hitherto you have heard what it is to honor your parents, no hear also the cause why God hath so diligently commanded this thing. Our Lord God hath given us so many benefits by our fathers and mothers that no tongue can worthily express them. For God useth our parents as his means by whom he giveth us life, breath, food, and all things necessary to the maintenance of this life. Therefore we ought to worship them, as the chosen instruments of God. And forasmuch as God himself is invisible to us here in earth, whom we neither see bodily nor hear his voice, therefore he hath appointed our fathers and mothers in his sted to talk with us, and to teach us what we ought to do, and what to eschew. Even as the shoolmaster doth often times commit his scholars to his usher, that he in the schoolmasters absence may teach and govern them, and him they ought to reverence and obey. And as the schoolmaster doth sharply correct and chastiseth those scholars that will not be ruled by his usher, so God will greviously punish those children, that dowith not obey their fathers and mothers. For he hath appointed the to be his deputies adn ushers in the education and governance of his children.’ ...
“And here you must not think that you owe this subjection only to your fathers and mothers, but the same obedience and honor is due also to all them whose help and labor your parents doeth oftentimes use in governing and teaching you. Of which sort is your tutors, schoolmasters, preachers, pastors, and curates, your masers that teach you your crafts, and also the magistrates, and common offices, for the holy scripture doth call all these fathers.” ...
“And beware good children that you despise not your parents, or uncourteously entreat them, because prechance they be simple men, rude, unlearned, poor weak, feable and impotent by the reason of their old age. For of what soever state condition or quality they may be, yet by them God hath given us our life, he hath ordained them to be our governors, and by them he haith given us infinite benefits, wherefore we ought to honor them, obey them, to be willing to ready both to learn and do that which they command us, to eschew those things which they forbid us. “...
“From our parents we have our country (which nothing more is pleasant unto us) and the freedom franchisees and liberties of the city in which we were born. Our parents also leave unto us oftentimes great plenty of riches and lands for our inheritance.”...
“Now good children you have heard what you ought to do, I pray you be willing to perform that thing, which your bounden duty requireth of you. For saint Paul sayeth, that this is the first or cheif commandment hang a promise annexed unto it. For herein God doth promise, that the which do honor his father and mother, shall live a long life, and shall abide in his native country. And he that doth not honor them, shall be driven out of his country, and shall shortly die. And surely this we prove to be true by daily experience. For when children be wanton, wild stiffnecked, stubborn, and refuse to be ruled by their parents and schoolmasters, or do not serve their master truly, when they will not have in reverence their preachers and curates, or do not obey the common rulers, then God scourage them, some with one punishment, some with another… But if perchance these disobedient children escape punishment in their youth, yet when they come to man’s state, and keep houses of their own, then commonly such children do not avoid this threat and indignation of God. For then many times they run into such trouble, that they be compelled to forsake their native country, and to fly into sanctuary, or else to wander into strange regions like banished men, far from their kinsfolk acquaintance and friends, where no man doth help them, trust them, or have pity of them…These and such like pains men do worthily suffer in their age, which in their youth disdained to follow the counsel of their parents.
Wherefore good children, obey your parents and magistrates, then you shall prove wise men, able to help both yourselves and other. Then God shall bless you, that you may long continue in the country wherein you were born and bred, and dwell among your parents, brethern and sisters, friends and acquaintances many years. Then extreme poverty shall not oppress you, whereby you should be compelled to leave your country, neither the rages or perils of war shall drive you out from these, so many and so great benefits God promised to obedient children.”
More soon as I move from authoritative catechisms to sermons of divinity, the next belonging to Joseph Halll’s exposition on the fifth.