Let us start with an example of Calvinist Work Ethic (or something like it):
The labouring man will take his rest long in the morning; a good piece of the day is spent afore he come at his work; then he must have his breakfast, though he have not earned it at his accustomed hour, or else there is grudging and murmuring; when the clock smiteth, he will cast down his burden in the midway, and whatsoever he is in hand with, he will leave it as it is, though many times it is marred afore he come again; he may not lose his meat, what danger soever the work is in. At noon he must have his sleeping time, then his bever in the afternoon, which spendeth a great part of the day; and when his hour cometh at night, at the first stroke of the clock he casteth down his tools, leaveth his work, in what need or case soever the work standeth.
-James Pilkington, Bishop of Durham, ca. 1570 whose words were cited by Juliet B. Schor:
Pre-industrial workers had a shorter workweek than today's
from The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure, by Juliet B. Schor
Let us look a bit further on him, by the wiki:
James Pilkington ("bishop")
Farrer, William; Brownbill, J., eds. (1911), "Rivington", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5 (British History Online), retrieved 2010-06-04.
Pilkington, James (1912), The History of the Pilkington family and its branches, from 1066 to 1600 (Third ed.), Liverpool: C. Tinley & Co. Ltd, retrieved 2010-06-21(Note: author issued caveat re: 1st & 2nd Ed).
He became the first Protestant Bishop of Durham from 1561 until his death in 1576.
On the death of Edward VI in 1553 the line of succession fell to Queen Mary I, a Roman Catholic, intent on restoring England to the Church of Rome. During her reign, Pilkington escaped the Marian persecutions in England by fleeing to the continent, ensuring his survival. Whilst he was there many protestants were persecuted and executed in England. James Pilkington went to Zürich, Geneva, Basel, and Frankfurt where he educated local protestant children and associated with the leaders of the protestant cause in Europe raising support for Princess Elizabeth. He returned to England in 1559 after the death of Queen Mary knowing the line of succession went to Queen Elizabeth I.
The bishop and his family had fled to London dressed as beggars in 1569 at the time of the Rising of the North led by Charles Neville, 6th Earl of Westmorland and Thomas Percy, 7th Earl of Northumberland. They plotted to overthrow Elizabeth I and reinstate Roman Catholicism. The city of Durham, the seat of the bishop, was not strongly fortified and the rebel earls entered the city on 14 November, with three hundred horsemen, "where they rent and trampled underfoot the English bibles and Books of Common Prayer". They celebrated Mass in Durham Cathedral and issued a proclamation claiming that their intention was to restore the Catholic religion, but not to unseat Queen Elizabeth.
The rising had popular support in the region and an army of 1000 on horse and 6000 on foot was raised. The rising, which was plotted at Brancepeth and Raby Castles failed. Brancepeth and Raby were confiscated but the bishop was not allowed to profit by these forfeitures, which he claimed by right of his Palatinate. There were 700 rebels listed for execution. Those who were not executed were mostly pardoned, though a few escaped from the country or were banished. An Act of attainder passed in 1571 outlawed 56 of the principal rebels. People who could not afford individual pardons were included in large numbers of "group pardons" issued on 25 April 1570 and listed in the Calendar of Patent Rolls. At the time of Northern Rising he was in London and the queen did not allow him to profit by the forfeitures which followed, his claim being set aside 'for that time.'
We are far from today's ecumenical climate. In Spain, such books would at the time have been burned. We can however note one thing: the common man was not for Pilkington. Perhaps because Pilkington was not for the common man. Perhaps his teachers in Protestantism were not so either.
But the common man was as yet Christian and had a Higher Concern: Calvinism, since denying the Real Presence (and Anglicanism in Pilkington's version certainly did that as much as Presbyterian Calvinism), was against God. The books trod down by the Catholics may be considered these days as a marvel of the English language. They were considered by Catholics those days as a blasphemous insult to the repeated though invisible miracle of Transsubstantiation and its effect: the Real Presence of Christ in the Host on the altar or Tabernacle.
But let us now look also on somewhat lower issues, like how they stood to the common man.
For one thing, it can be noted that neither Roman Catholicism nor Calvinism at the time were specifically into Negro Slavery, as can be seen by the curse of Chanaan, comments on both sides. But for another one can note that Calvin has a more critical mentality of common men than the Haydock comment (and thus also of their freedoms):
|Genesis chapter 9
|20.And Noah began to be an husbandman. I do not so explain. the words, as if he then, for the first time, began to give his attention to the cultivation of the fields; but, (in my opinion,) Moses rather intimates, that Noah, with a collected mind, though now an old man, returned to the culture of the fields, and to his former labors. It is, however, uncertain whether he had been a vine-dresser or not. It is commonly believed that wine was not in use before that time. And this opinion has been the more willingly received, as affording an honorable pretext for the excuse of Noah’s sin. But it does not appear to me probable that the fruit of the vine, which excels all others, should have remained neglected and unprofitable. Also, Moses does not say that Noah was drunken on the first day on which he tasted it. Therefore, leaving this question undetermined, I rather suppose, that we are to learn from the drunkenness of Noah, what a filthy and detestable crime drunkenness is. The holy patriarch, though he had hitherto been a rare example of frugality and temperance, losing all self-possession, did, in a base and shameful manner, prostrate himself naked on the ground, so as to become a laughingstock to all. Therefore, with what care ought we to cultivate sobriety, lest anything like this, or even worse, should happen to us? Formerly, the heathen philosopher said, that ‘wine is the blood of the earth; and, therefore, when men intemperately pour it down their throats, they are justly punished by their mother. Let us, however, rather remember, that when men, by shameful abuse, profane this noble and most precious gift of God, He himself becomes the Avenger. And let us know, that Noah, by the judgement of Gods has been set forth as a spectacle to be a warning to others, that they should not become intoxicated by excessive drinking. Some excuse might certainly be made for the holy man; who, having completed his labor, and being exhilarated with wine, imagines that he is but taking his just reward. But God brands him with an eternal mark of disgrace. What then, do we suppose, will happen to those idle-bellies and insatiable gluttons whose sole object of contention is who shall consume the greatest quantity of wine? And although this kind of correction was severe, yet it was profitable to the servant of God; since he was recalled to sobriety, lest by proceeding in the indulgence of a vice to which he had once yielded, he should ruin himself; just as we see drunkards become at length brutalized by continued intemperance.
|Ver. 20. A husbandman. Hebrew, literally "a man of the earth." (Haydock) --- To till, perhaps with a plough, which he is said to have invented. (Menochius)
|Ver. 21. Drunk. Noe by the judgment of the fathers was not guilty of sin, in being overcome by wine; because he knew not the strength of it. (Challoner) --- Wine, Though vines had grown from the beginning, the art of making wine seems not to have been discovered; and hence Noe's fault is much extenuated, and was at most only a venial sin. (Menochius) --- His nakedness prefigured the desolate condition of Christ upon the cross, which was a scandal to the Jews, and foolishness to the Gentiles. But by this folly we are made wise; we are redeemed, and enjoy the name of Christians. Sem and Japheth represent the multitude of believers, Cham and Chanaan the audacity and impudence of all unbelievers. (St. Augustine, contra Faust. xii. 24; City of God xvi. 2; St. Cyprian, ep. 63.[62.?] ad Cæcil.) (Worthington) --- Like the Manichees, modern heretics are very free in condemning many innocent actions of the Patriarchs. (Haydock)
|22.And Ham, the father of Canaan. This circumstance is added to augment the sorrow of Noah, that he is mocked by his own son. For we must ever keep in memory, that this punishment was divinely inflicted upon him; partly, because his fault was not a light one; partly that God in his person might present a lesson of temperance to all ages. Drunkenness in itself deserves as its reward, that they who deface the image of their heavenly Father in themselves, should become a laughingstock to their own children. For certainly, as far as possible, drunkards subvert their own understanding, and so far deprive themselves of reason as to degenerate into beasts. And let us remember, that if the Lord so grievously avenged the single transgression of the holy man, he will prove an avenger no less severe against those who are daily intoxicated; and of this we have examples sufficiently numerous before our eyes. In the meanwhile, Ham, by reproachfully laughing at his father, betrays his own depraved and malignant disposition. We know that parents, next to God, are most deeply to be reverenced; and if there were neither books nor sermons, nature itself constantly inculcates this lesson upon us. It is received by common consent, that piety towards parents is the mother of all virtues. This Ham, therefore, must have been of a wicked, perverse, and crooked disposition; since he not only took pleasure in his father’s shame, but wished to expose him to his brethren. And this is no slight occasion of offense; first, that Noah, the minister of salvation to men, and the chief restorer of the world, should in extreme old age, lie intoxicated in his house; and then, that the ungodly and wicked Ham should have proceeded from the sanctuary of God. (295) God had selected eight souls as a sacred seed, thoroughly purged from all corruption, for the renovation of the Church: but the son of Noah shows, how necessary it is for men to be held as with the bridle of God, however they may be exalted by privilege. The impiety of Ham proves to us how deep is the root of wickedness in men; and that it continually puts forth its shoots, except where the power of the Spirit prevails over it. But if, in the hallowed sanctuary of God, among so small a number, one fiend was preserved; let us not wonder if, at this day, in the Church, containing a much greater multitude of men, the wicked are mingled with the good. Nor is there any doubt that the minds of Shem and Japheth were grievously wounded, when they perceived in their own brother such a prodigy of scorn; and, on the other hand, their father shamefully lying prostrate on the ground. Such a debasing alienation of mind in the prince of the new world, and the holy patriarch of the Church, could not less astonish them, than if they had seen the ark itself broken, dashed in pieces, cleft asunder, and destroyed. Yet this cause of offense they alike overcome by their magnanimity, and conceal by their modesty. Ham alone eagerly seizes the occasion of ridiculing and inveighing against his father; just as perverse men are wont to catch at occasions of offense in others, which may serve as a pretext for indulgence in sin. And his age renders him the less excusable; for he was not a lascivious youth, who, by his thoughtless laughter, betrayed his own folly, seeing that he was already more than one hundred years old. Therefore, it is probable, that he thus perversely insulted his father, for the purpose of acquiring for himself the license of sinning with impunity. We see many such at this day, who most studiously pry into the faults of holy and pious men, in order that without shame they may precipitate themselves into all iniquity; they even make the faults of other men an occasion of hardening themselves into a contempt for God.
|Ver. 23. Neither ought we to be so quick-sighted in discovering the faults of any: which we often represent as real, when they are only apparent. (Haydock)
|25.Cursed be Canaan (298) It is asked in the first place, why Noah instead of pronouncing the curse upon his son, inflicts the severity of punishment, which that son had deserved, upon his innocent grandson; since it seems not consistent with the justice of God, to visit the crimes of parents upon their children? But the answer is well known; namely that God, although he pursues his course of judgments upon the sons and the grandchildren of the ungodly, yet in being angry with them, is not angry with the innocent, because even they themselves are found in fault. Wherefore there is no absurdity in the act of avenging the sins of the fathers upon their reprobate children; since, of necessity, all those whom God has deprived of his Spirit are subject to his wrath. But it is surprising that Noah should curse his grandson; and should pass his son Ham, the author of the crime, over in silence. The Jews imagine that the reason of this was to be traced to the special favor of God; and that since the Lord had bestowed on Ham so great an honor, (299) the curse was transferred from him to his son. But the conjecture is futile. Certainly, to my mind, there is no doubt that the punishment was carried forward even to his posterity in order that the severity of it might be the more apparent; as if the Lord had openly proclaimed that the punishment of one man would not satisfy him but that he would attach the curse also to the posterity of the offender, so that it should extend through successive ages. In the meantime, Ham himself is so far from being exempt, that God, by involving his son with him, aggravates his own condemnation.
Another question is also proposed; namely, why among the many sons of Ham, God chooses one to be smitten? But let not our curiosity here indulge itself too freely; let us remember that the judgments of God are, not in vain, called “a great deep,” and that it would be a degrading thing for God, before whose tribunal we all must one day stand, to be subjected to our judgments, or rather to our foolish temerity. He chooses whom he sees good, that he may show forth in them an example of his grace and kindness; others he appoints to a different end, that they may be proofs of his anger and severity. Here, although the minds of men are blinded, let every one of us, conscious of his own infirmity, learn rather to ascribe praise to God’s justice, than plunge, with insane audacity, into the profound abyss. While God held the whole seed of Ham as obnoxious to the curse, he mentions the Canaanites by name, as those whom he would curse above all others. And hence we infer that this judgment proceeded from God, because it was proved by the event itself. What would certainly be the condition of the Canaanites, Noah could not know by human means. Wherefore in things obscure and hidden, the Spirit directed his tongue.
Another difficulty still remains: for since the Scripture teaches that God avenges the sins of men on the third and fourth generation, it seems to assign this limit to the wrath of God; but the vengeance of which mention is now made extends itself to the tenth generation. I answer, that these words of Scripture are not intended to prescribe a law to God, which he may not so far set aside, as to be at liberty to punish sins beyond four generations. The thing to be here observed is, the comparison instituted between punishment and grace; by which we are taught, that God, while he is a just avenger of crimes, is still more inclined to mercy. In the meantime, let his liberty remain unquestioned, to extend his vengeance as far as he pleases.
A servant of servants shall he be. This Hebraism signifies that Canaan shall be the last, even among servants: as if it had been said, ‘Not only shall his condition be servile, but worse than that of common servitude.’ (300) Yet the thunder of this severe and dreadful prophecy seems weak and illusory, since the Canaanites excelled in strength and in riches, and were possessed of extensive dominion. Where then is this servitude? In the first place, I answer, that though God, in threatening men, does not immediately execute what he denounces, yet his threats are never weak and ineffectual. Secondly, that the judgments of God are not always exhibited before our eyes, nor apprehended by our carnal reason. The Canaanites, having shaken off the yoke of servitude, which was divinely imposed upon them, even proceeded to grasp at empire for themselves. But although they triumph for a time, yet in the sight of God their condition is not deemed free. Just as when the faithful are iniquitously oppressed, and tyrannically harassed by the wicked, their spiritual liberty is still not extinct in the sight of God. It behaves us then to be content with this proof of the divine judgment, that God promised the dominion of the land of Canaan to his servant Abraham, and at length devoted the Canaanites to destruction. But because the Pope so earnestly maintains that he sometimes utters prophecies, — as did even Caiaphas, (John 11:51,) — lest we should seem to refuse him everything, I do not deny that the title with which he adorns himself was dictated by the Spirit of God, ‘Let him be a servant of servants,’ in the same sense that Canaan was.
[The following seems to be a later comment by some much later editor of the Calvin Commented Bible:]
Cursed be Canaan!
A servant of servants he shall be to his brethren.
Blessed be Jehovah, the God of Shem!
And let Canaan be their servant.
May God enlarge Japheth,
And may he dwell in the tents of Shem;
And let Canaan be their servant. —Prael. 4
The adoption of some differences of reading has been suggested by later critics. It has been especially observed, that the first hemistich is a broken or short line, and does not correspond with the next in length or rhyme. And on the authority of the Arabic version, (see Walton’s Polyglott,) many learned men would thus fill up the line —
“Cursed be Ham, the father of Canaan.”
They would also, on the same authority, alter the fourth and sixth lines, by inserting the word “father,” thus —
“And let the father of Canaan be their servant.”
Yet such alterations are not lightly to be made in the sacred text; and it seems highly probable, that the addition in the Arabic version was intended for nothing more originally than a paraphrase to explain the translator’s view of the passage. The reader is referred to Caunter on the Poetry of the Pentateuch, for further information respecting the poetical character of these verses; and to Bishop Newton’s Dissertations, No. I., for its prophetical application. Some excellent remarks, of a practical kind, will be found in Bishop Hall’s contemplations. — Ed.
|Ver. 25. Cursed be Chanaan. The curses, as well as the blessings, of the patriarchs were prophetical: and this in particular is here recorded by Moses, for the children of Israel, who were to possess the land of Chanaan. But why should Chanaan be cursed for his father's fault? The Hebrews answer, that he being then a boy was the first that saw his grandfather's nakedness, and told his father Cham of it; and joined with him in laughing at it: which drew upon him, rather than upon the rest of the children of Cham, this prophetical curse. (Challoner) --- Theodoret, q. 57. The children of Sem executed this sentence, in exterminating many of the Chanaanites under Josue. (Worthington) --- They perished for their own wickedness, which God foresaw, and revealed to Noe. Cham was severely punished by this denunciation of his children's misery. See Milton, xi. 754. xii. 27; Deuteronomy ix. 4. (Haydock)
|II THessalonians 3
|He now proceeds to the correcting of a particular fault. As there were some indolent, and at the same time curious and prattling persons, who, in order that they might scrape together a living at the expense of others, wandered about from house to house, he forbids that their indolence should be encouraged by indulgence, (700) and teaches that those live holily who procure for themselves the necessaries of life by honorable and useful labor. And in the first place, he applies the appellation of disorderly persons, not to those that are of a dissolute life, or to those whose characters are stained by flagrant crimes, but to indolent and worthless persons, who employ themselves in no honorable and useful occupation. For this truly is ἀταξία, (disorder, (701)) — not considering for what purpose we were made, and regulating our life with a view to that end, while it is only when we live according to the rule prescribed to us by God that this life is duly regulated. Let this order be set aside, and there is nothing but confusion in human life. This, also, is worthy to be noticed, lest any one should take pleasure in exercising himself apart from a legitimate call from God: for God has distinguished in such a manner the life of men, in order that every one may lay himself out for the advantage of others. He, therefore, who lives to himself alone, so as to be profitable in no way to the human race, nay more, is a burden to others, giving help to no one, is on good grounds reckoned to be ἄτακτος, (disorderly.) Hence Paul declares that such persons must be put away from the society of believers, that they may not bring dishonor upon the Church.
6Now we command you in the name. Erasmus renders it — “by the name,” as if it were an adjuration. While I do not altogether reject this rendering, I, at the same time, am rather of opinion that the particle in is redundant, as in very many other passages, and that in accordance with the Hebrew idiom. Thus the meaning will be, that this commandment ought to be received with reverence, not as from a mortal man, but as from Christ himself; and Chrysostom explains it in this manner. This withdrawment, (702) however of which he speaks, relates — not to public excommunication but to private intercourse. For he simply forbids believers to have any familiar intercourse with drones of this sort, who have no honorable means of life, in which they may exercise themselves. He says, however, expressly — from every brother, because if they profess themselves to be Christians they are above all others intolerable, inasmuch as they are, in a manner, the pests and stains of religion.
Not according to the injunction — namely, that which we shall find him shortly afterwards adding — that food should not be given to the man that refuses to labor. Before coming to this, however, he states what example he has given them in his own person. For doctrine obtains much more of credit and authority, when we impose upon others no other burden than we take upon ourselves. Now he mentions that he himself was engaged in working with his hands night and day, that he might not burden any one with expense. He had, also, touched somewhat on this point in the preceding Epistle — to which my readers must have recourse (703) for a fuller explanation of this point.
As to his saying, that he had not eaten any one’s bread for naught, he assuredly would not have done this, though he had not labored with his hands. For that which is due in the way of right, is not a thing that is gratuitous, and the price of the labor which teachers (704) lay out in behalf of the Church, is much greater than the food which they receive from it. But Paul had here in his eye inconsiderate persons, for all have not so much equity and judgment as to consider what remuneration is due to the ministers of the word. Nay more, such is the niggardliness of some, that, though they contribute nothing of their own, they, envy them their living, as if they were idle men. (705) He, also, immediately afterwards declares that he waived his right, when he refrained from taking any remuneration, by which he intimates, that it is much less to be endured, that those, who do nothing, shall live on what belongs to others. (706) When he says, that they know how they ought to imitate, he does not simply mean that his example should be regarded by them as a law, but the meaning is, that they knew what they had seen in him that was worthy of imitation, nay more, that the very thing of which he is at present speaking, has been set before them for imitation.
|Ver. 6. Charge, or declare; or by the Greek, we command. --- In the name of our Lord. This may signify a separation by excommunication. (Witham) --- That you withdraw, &c. St. Chrysostom upon this place, St. Augustine, Theophylactus, and others understand St. Paul as speaking of a kind of excommunication. But St. Chrysostom on ver. 13. and 14. seems to restrain its meaning to a prohibition for the guilty to speak to any body, unless they spoke to him, if their conversation tended to exhort him to repentance. Theophylactus likewise remarks that this punishment was formerly much dreaded, though now not in use.
|Verses 8 and 9
|Ver. 8. Burthensome. By the Greek, he understands those who being idle, and not keeping themselves employed, lead a disorderly life. (Witham)
Ver. 9. If I, to whom you are indebted for the preaching of the gospel, have yielded my claims, unwilling to receive any thing from you, and even labouring with my own hands for the necessaries of life, how are those to be borne with who do nothing, and yet will be supported at another's expense? for St. Paul had witnessed amongst them some of this idle disposition. (Estius)
|10He that will not labor. From its being written in Psalms 128:2 —
Thou art blessed, eating of the labor of thy hands,
also in Proverbs 10:4,
The blessing of the Lord is upon the hands of him that laboreth,
it is certain that indolence and idleness are accursed of God. Besides, we know that man was created with this view, that he might do something. Not only does Scripture testify this to us, but nature itself taught it to the heathen. Hence it is reasonable, that those, who wish to exempt themselves from the common law, (710) should also be deprived of food, the reward of labor. When, however, the Apostle commanded that such persons should not eat, he does not mean that he gave commandment to those persons, but forbade that the Thessalonians should encourage their indolence by supplying them with food.
It is also to be observed, that there are different ways of laboring. For whoever aids (711) the society of men by his industry, either by ruling his family, or by administering public or private affairs, or by counseling, or by teaching, (712) or in any other way, is not to be reckoned among the idle. For Paul censures those lazy drones who lived by the sweat of others, while they contribute no service in common for aiding the human race. Of this sort are our monks and priests who are largely pampered by doing nothing, excepting that they chant in the temples, for the sake of preventing weariness. This truly is, (as Plautus speaks,) (713) to “live musically.” (714)
|Ver. 10. Not work. By prying with curiosity into other men's actions. He that is idle, saith St. Chrysostom, will be given to curiosity. (Witham) --- The apostles, like our Lord, were fond of introducing popular saying or axioms. Another, and not unlike the former, is found in one of the Jewish rabbies, Zeror:
Qui non laboraverit in Prosabbato, nè edat in Sabbato.
|11We hear that there are some among you. It is probable that this kind of drones were, as it were, the seed of idle monkhood. For, from the very beginning, there were some who, under pretext of religion, either made free with the tables of others, or craftily drew to themselves the substance of the simple. They had also, even in the time of Augustine, come to prevail so much, that he was constrained to write a book expressly against idle monks, where he complains with good reason of their pride, because, despising the admonition of the Apostle, they not only excuse themselves on the ground of infirmity, but they wish to appear holier than all others, on the ground that they are exempt from labors. He inveighs, with good reason, against this unseemliness, that, while the senators are laborious, the workman, or person in humble life, does not merely live in idleness, (716) but would fain have his indolence pass for sanctity. Such are his views. (717) In the mean time, however, the evil has increased to such an extent, that idle bellies occupy nearly the tenth part of the world, whose only religion is to be well stuffed, and to have exemption from all annoyance (718) of labor. And this manner of life they dignify, sometimes with the name of the Order, sometimes with that of the Rule, of this or that personage. (719)
But what does the Spirit say, on the other hand, by the mouth of Paul? He pronounces them all to be irregular and disorderly, by whatever name of distinction they may be dignified. It is not necessary to relate here how much the idle life of monks has invariably displeased persons of sounder judgment. That is a memorable saying of an old monk, which is recorded by Socrates in the Eighth Book of the Tripartite History — that he who does not labor with his hands is like a plunderer. (720) I do not mention other instances, nor is it necessary. Let this statement of the Apostle suffice us, in which he declares that they are dissolute, and in a manner lawless.
Doing nothing. In the Greek participles there is, an elegant ( προσωνομασία) play upon words, which I have attempted in some manner to imitate, by rendering it as meaning that they do nothing, but have enough to do in the way of curiosity. (721) He censures, however, a fault with which idle persons are, for the most part, chargeable, that, by unseasonably bustling about, they give trouble to themselves and to others. For we see, that those who have nothing to do are much more fatigued by doing nothing, than if they were employing themselves in some very important work; they run hither and thither; wherever they go, they have the appearance of great fatigue; they gather all sorts of reports, and they put them in a confused way into circulation. You would say that they bore the weight of a kingdom upon their shoulders. Could there be a more remarkable exemplification of this than there is in the monks? For what class of men have less repose? Where does curiosity reign more extensively? Now, as this disease has a ruinous effect upon the public, Paul admonishes that it ought not to be encouraged by idleness.
|12Now we command such. He corrects both of the faults of which he had made mention — a blustering restlessness, and retirement from useful employment. He accordingly exhorts them, in the first place, to cultivate repose — that is, to keep themselves quietly within the limits of their calling, or, as we commonly say, “sans faire bruit ,” (without making a noise.) For the truth is this: those are the most peaceable of all, that exercise themselves in lawful employments; (722) while those that have nothing to do give trouble both to themselves and to others. Further, he subjoins another precept — that they should labor, that is, that they should be intent upon their calling, and devote themselves to lawful and honorable employments, without which the life of man is of a wandering nature. Hence, also, there follows this third injunction — that they should eat their own bread; by which he means, that they should be satisfied with what belongs to them, that they may not be oppressive or unreasonable to others.
Drink water, says Solomon, from thine own fountains, and let the streams flow down to neighbors. (Proverbs 5:15.)
This is the first law of equity, that no one make use of what belongs to another, but only use what he can properly call his own. The second is, that no one swallow up, like some abyss, what belongs to him, but that he be beneficent to neighbors, and that he may relieve their indigence by his abundance. (723) In the same manner, the Apostle exhorts those who had been formerly idle to labor, not merely that they may gain for themselves a livelihood, but that they may also be helpful to the necessities of their brethren, as he also teaches elsewhere. (Ephesians 4:28.)
|Ver. 12. Eat their own bread, which they work for, and deserve, not that of others. (Witham)
|13And you, brethren. Ambrose is of opinion that this is added lest the rich should, in a niggardly spirit, refuse to lend their aid to the poor, because he had exhorted them to eat every one his own bread. And, unquestionably, we see how many are unbefittingly ingenious in catching at a pretext for inhumanity. (724) Chrysostom explains it thus — that indolent persons, however justly they may be condemned, must nevertheless be assisted when in want. I am simply of opinion, that Paul had it in view to provide against an occasion of offense, which might arise from the indolence of a few. For it usually happens, that those that are otherwise particularly ready and on the alert for beneficence, become cool on seeing that they have thrown away their favors by misdirecting them. Hence Paul admonishes us, that, although there are many that are undeserving, (725) while others abuse our liberality, we must not on this account leave off helping those that need our aid. Here we have a statement worthy of being observed — that however ingratitude, moroseness, pride, arrogance, and other unseemly dispositions on the part of the poor, may have a tendency to annoy us, or to dispirit us, from a feeling of weariness, we must strive, nevertheless, never to leave off aiming at doing good.
OK, first Calvin cries out against friars (begging monks) as if they were whom St Paul censures. One Capuchin is martyred by Calvinists, it is St Fidelis of Sigmaringen. Then, a little later, a "bishop" who was not Presbyterian but Anglican, but yet rather close to the continental Reformers, a pretty clear Puritan if not a Covenanter, is complaining because working men (who were certainly doing more with their hands than he with his) are not working their arse off before eating breakfast.
Could there perhaps be a kind of connexion? For instance, would the last explanation of Calvin, his disagreement with Saint Ambrose and Saint John Chrysostom, his insistance that ingratitude on part of some poor must not discourage "us" from doing good, indicate that Calvin is speaking for pretty well to do burghers? And such as were on top of that likely to find fault with poor people?
|In West-Europa verdween de slavernij grotendeels gedurende de Middeleeuwen, mede door de christianisering en economische oorzaken. Rond de Middellandse Zee was dit niet het geval. Met de Arabische veroveringen was hier zelfs een toename van de slavenhandel te zien. Ook in de rest van Afrika gold dat arbeid schaars was en dat rijkdom werd afgemeten aan het aantal mensen dat men onder zich had. De slavenhandel in Afrika vond dan ook al zeker duizend jaar plaats voordat de Europeanen zich hiermee inlieten. Tot dan was deze echter van bescheiden omvang.
|In Western Europe slavery was to a great part extinguished during the Middle Ages, both because of becoming Christians and from economic causes. Around the Mediterranean this was not the case. With the Arabian conquest a rise in slave trade was here to be seen. Also in the rest of Africa it was valid that workforce (?) was scarce (?) and that riches were measured in the number of men one had under oneself. The slave trade in Africa was thus certainly in place a thousand years before Europeans started to get involved. But till then it was rather of a modest amount. [Is this really also counting the Muslim slave hunt? And correctly so?]
|Men ging vrijwel niet over tot het tot slaaf maken van leden uit de eigen samenleving en in Europa werden de meeste staten te krachtig om daar op grote schaal slaven vandaan te kunnen halen. Dit gold niet voor Afrika, waar bepaalde volken andere samenlevingen makkelijker konden overheersen en tot slaaf maken. De Europeanen sloten dan ook aan bij een al zeker zes eeuwen bestaand netwerk van slavenhandel door moslimhandelaren.
|One was of course not getting over to making slaves of people from the own community [the wikipedians had not counted on the imperial decree In incertum vagantes, but this was fortunately rendered inoperative by Christian charity and later reinterpreted so a man who was taken for vagrancy had to learn a trade, and if he had to beg despite knowing two, he could continue], and in Europe most states were too strong [not quite always under Carolingians against bandits] for people to catch slaves on great scale from them [ok, those bandits were small scale]. This was not the case in Africa, where ... nations could more easily rule over other communities and make them slaves [because no Christian Empire was fighting the bandits]. The Europeans then joined and surely six centuries there was a network of slave trade through Muslim traders.
|Bovenstaande zaken doen voorkomen alsof hier slechts zakelijke overwegingen speelden. Er was echter wel degelijk een besef dat men hier inging tegen menselijke waarden en normen. Motieven als winstbejag en het verzwakken van de vijand bracht dit besef echter op de achtergrond. Zo ontmoedigde de Rooms-katholieke Kerk aanvankelijk het tot slaaf maken, maar gaf met de Romanus Pontifex uit 1455 toestemming om niet-christenen tot slaaf te maken als missionaire activiteit.
|Above things seem as if here were only objective considerations at play here. It was though, surely, a stand of consciousness taken here against human values and norms. [As so often when there is no Catholic Christianity to protect these.] Motives like greed and weakening of the enemy however brought this (?] consciousness into the background. Thus the Roman Catholic Church started out as discouraging enslavement, but with the [bull] Romanus Pontifex from 1455 agreed one could enslave non-Christians as a missionary activity.
|[First of all Romanus Pontifex (like Dum Diversas three years earlier) is speaking of a very particular situation. Portugal had made conquests in Cabo Bojador and Cabo Chaunar in Morocco and Western Sahara, or was getting that way. The Bull was directed to the Portuguese, not the whole Church. It was about Muslim natives of Morocco and Western Sahara, not about every non-Christian native everywhere outside Europe. Then the missionary effort in slave hunting was precisely a very old Muslim "theological" consideration, dating back to either Mohammed or very shortly after. The Pope was simply telling the Portuguese they could "return the favour", not only on active slave hunters, but also everyone resisting Portuguese rule, as having thereby shown sufficiently clear solidarity with the back then slave hunting rulers of the Moroccan and West Saharian coast. If later Portuguese applied this to the letter to more peaceful blacks in Moçambique and Angola, this was abusive. The Pope back then may have been under the impression that all Africa among blacks was like Cabo Bojador and Cabo Chaunar - and in a Bull directed not to all of the Church but only to one Kingdom or Diocese or whatever, though the Papacy claims ordinarily obedience, it does not claim infallibility. That this was not the Roman Catholic definitive rule for all non-Christians is clear from later Bulls - like Sublimis Deus / Sublimus Dei, 1537 by Pope Paul III - prohibiting the enslavement of Indians. Which were applied by Spain, but applied as if they had not prohibited the importation of black slaves. Even so, in Spanish colonies the slave trade was a matter for specialists somewhat outside the common conscience of the people - like Psychiatry in these later days. Finally, in 1686 the Holy Office - the Inquisition - limited Dum Diversas so that slaves taken in unjust wars must be freed. However, enslaving an enemy and persecutor of the Church - Paul III himself agreed that Henry VIII could be justly enslaved - and especially one also engaging in slave hunt was not seen as a hideous crime.]
[Update Good Friday: "Paul III himself agreed that Henry VIII could be justly enslaved" is from a comment about 1547 - a year in which he died on January 28. Either the comment was made very early that year, or Paul III was saying something about a dead man on what he had merited, or news came late to Rome ... or the story was faked. Sorry for the 39 or more who had already been reading this without the correction.]
|De behandeling van de indianen in de Nieuwe Wereld zorgde in Spanje voor kritische geluiden, vooral door het werk van priester Las Casas die werd gesteund door de invloedrijke Cisneros. Las Casas keerde zich vooral tegen het systeem van encomienda en speelde een belangrijke rol bij de totstandkoming van de Nieuwe Wetten, Las Nuevas Leyes de las Indias. In 1542 werd daarmee de uitbuiting van indianen aan banden gelegd, hoewel dit het gebruik niet volledig kon uitbannen. Het kon ook niet voorkomen dat slaven op grote schaal uit Afrika werden gehaald.
|The treatment of the Indians of the New World provoked critical voices in Spain, especially through the work of the priest Las Casas [was he not even bishop? He went from encomendero to priest to bishop.] which was supported by the influential [Cardinal?! And Inquisitor: Jiménez de] Cisneros [who had already died]. Las Casas especially turned against the system of Encomiendas [which had been introduced precisely to avoid individual enslavement of Indians and was rather like serfhood than like slavery] and played an important role in the enactment of the New Laws, Las Nuevas Leyes de las Indias. In 1542 the exploitation of Indians was thus reduced, though it could not totally ban the usage. It was also impossible to fetch slaves on large scale from Africa [not sure if this was true].
|[When it came to Indians, Pope St Pius X was in the footsteps of Pope Paul III (however, he did not say that Clémenceau, a new persecutor of the Church, could be enslaved):
ON THE INDIANS OF SOUTH AMERICA
Encyclical of Pope Pius X promulgated on June 7, 1912.
|In tegenstelling tot de mediterrane landen was slavernij in de Republiek, Engeland en Frankrijk vrijwel afwezig. Het was ondenkbaar dat grote groepen slaven verkocht zouden worden in Amsterdam, Londen of Nantes zoals wel gebeurd in Lissabon en Cadiz. Maar hoewel vrijheid een belangrijk begrip was in de Republiek en het misbruik van de indianen door de Spanjaarden als propaganda werd gebruikt, zagen de Nederlanders, maar ook de Engelsen en Fransen, er geen probleem in om buiten Europa in slaven te handelen en deze in te zetten op plantages.
|By contrast with the Mediterranean countries, slavery was in "de Republiek van den Nederlanden", England and France virtually absent. It was unthinkable that great groups of slaves should be sold in Amsterdam, London or Nantes as it was clearly happening in Lisbon and Cádiz. But howevermuch freedom was an important concept in "de Republiek" and the mistreatment of Indians by Spaniards was [in grossly exaggerated form] used as propaganda, the Netherlanders and likewise the English and the French saw no problem in slavetrading outside Europe and to use slaves on plantations.
|Sources from Netherlandish or Dutch wikipedia:
Trans-Atlantische slavenhandel: Slavernij
Trans-Atlantische slavenhandel: Moraliteit
They were translated as best as I could, with my disagreements marked by insertions in square brackets, as well as my completions of incomplete statements.
So, Calvin does not directly encourage enslaving anyone, but he does show such a contempt for both drunkards and sluggards as to encourage a real vilification of the populace, compared with medieval freedoms, and the monks he considered good-for-nothings were far more active than Calvinist clergy in defending the rights of Indians. Whereas Anglican clergy was rather active in enacting poor laws which made poverty a kind of slavery up to when they were abolished. That spirit seems to be coming back in police regulations against busking as i have lately heard.
It seems the one first Bible where instead of Chanaan, ancestor of child sacrificing and Moloch worshipping peoples and nations wiped from certain maps by Joshua, Scipio and Alexander, it was Cham who was cursed to servitude was an Arabic one. Probably in accordance with the Muslim view of what happened. Now blacks are not Chanaanites, but they are Cushites and therefore also Chamites. And Arabs had been chasing Blacks since even before Mohammed. In the present articles on the Nederlandish wikipedia I could not find the statement that the 16th C Calvinist divines rejected the theologeme extending the curse of precisely slavery to blacks whereas those of the 17th C accepted it. That would have explained why the man who became professor in Kiel - a Lutheran - was the first in Germany to say so. But we see even Calvins words:
While God held the whole seed of Ham as obnoxious to the curse, he mentions the Canaanites by name, as those whom he would curse above all others.
So other Chamites, like Cushites (Blacks, Ethiopians) are also cursed? Only less so than Chanaanites? Let us hope at least that by using the word and tense "held" rather than "holds" he did not mean this extends into the New Testament!
I wonder if he got such a thought from Catholic or from Rabbinic tradition. I am not aware to have found it in scholastic sources, and here we have Historia scholastica by Petrus Comestor:
Maledixit autem non filio, sed filio filii, quia sciebat in spiritu filium non serviturum fratribus, sed semen ejus, nec omnes de semine, sed eos, qui de Chanaan descenderant.
But he cursed not the son, but the son of the son, since he knew in his spirit his son would not serve the brothers, but the seed, and not all of the seed, but them who had descended (were to descend) from Chanaan.
De ebrietate Noe, et maledictione Cham. Historia Scholastica
Magistri PETRI COMESTORIS.
So, I clearly think Calvinism did a disfavour to freedom. And a service both to slavery, eradication of Indians and Esquimaux, and persecution of "disorderly" poor people. A disservice which Catholicism did not do them.
But the rioters of Durham fought for something holier than their freedoms: for the right to Worship God His way, as in adoring the Blessed Eucharist. And even for the Worship, beyond their own rights, they fought for the rights of God. Precisely as Catholics in France 1905.
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
hglwrites : A little note on further use conditions
But that is not for the Triduum, let business be till later. It is because I have by practical Calvinists been accused of living the disorderly and unproductive life Calvin encouraged a persecution of.
Update on Easter Day:
I checked the Epistle of Philemon Haydock and Calvin. John Calvin does not much differ in what he objectively states, from Haydock, though he gives more detail. What he does however do is adding a note of contempt for Onesimus before his conversion, and a note of reserve that "true repentance" needs more or less to be checked in such cases, thereby implying St Paul had done so./HGL