Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Giving Thanks for the Puritans

16 Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of heaven: the cankerworm spoileth, and fleeth away.
17 Thy crowned are as the locusts, and thy captains as the great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges in the cold day, but when the sun ariseth they flee away, and their place is not known where they are.
18 Thy shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria: thy nobles shall dwell in the dust: thy people is scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them.
19 There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?--Nahum ch. 3, KJV, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Nahum+3&version=KJV, opened 29 Nov. 2016

Thanksgiving Day in the [u]nited States is not just a day to give thanks to God for one’s blessings, but a celebration of the Puritans who settled New England.  For those areas of the Union that have ties to Yankeedom, the Northeastern States and those westward that were settled by their kin, that makes some sense.  But for those who have no ties to the Puritans, especially those in the South who have a Thanksgiving Day tradition that precedes the Puritans’, they should look for other days and use other customs to celebrate an annual day of thanksgiving to God (preferably a Divine Liturgy in an Orthodox church), which does not include the soft brainwashing of Puritan and Indian figurines, cornucopias, and so on that are meant to make them forget their own traditions and identify with the Puritans’ instead.

Thanksgiving services were routine in what became the Commonwealth of Virginia as early as 1607,[11] with the first permanent settlement of Jamestown, Virginia holding a thanksgiving in 1610.[8] In 1619, 38 English settlers arrived at Berkeley Hundred in Charles City County, Virginia. The group's London Company charter specifically required "that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned... in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God."[12]  . . .

But why grumble about the Puritans?  Because their delusional ideology about being God’s chosen people has wrought, and continues to work, great evils in the world.

Were they really deluded, though?  Let us see.

St Theophan the Recluse (+1894) said of delusion (called here by the Russian word ‘prelest’),

 . . .

     It is evident from these words of Isaac the Syrian that what we call prelest proper exists when a man starts trying to live above his capabilities. Without having cleansed himself of passions, he strives for a life of contemplation and dreams of the delights of spiritual grace. Thus the wrath of God befalls a man; because he thinks too highly of himself, God's grace is withdrawn from him and he falls under the influence of the evil one who actively begins to tickle his vainglory with lofty contemplation and [spiritual] delights...

    Briefly, the difference between "general prelest" and prelest in the particular sense of the word can, on the basis of the above. be expressed thus. General prelest is forgetting and not noticing one's sinfulness. That which we call prelest proper is attributing to oneself righteousness when it does not actually exist. If a man thinks he is righteous, then his righteousness is not divine, but diabolical, foreign to the grace of God and to humility. One should recall the famous saying of Abba Poemen the Great: "I prefer a man who sins and repents to one who does not sin and does not repent. The first has good thoughts, for he admits that he is sinful. But the second has false, soul-destroying thoughts, for he imagines himself to be righteous" (Bp. Ignatius, Patericon, 75).

Source:  http://www.roca.org/OA/66-68/66n.htm, opened 29 Nov. 2016 (thanks to Cristian for this link)

So, then, did the Puritans exhibit a vainglory with regard to their righteousness?  Looking at the diary of an outstanding ensample of a Puritan, Cotton Mather, we would have to say Yes.

 . . . Mather appears consumed with the idea of his own personal importance to God.

The idea appears in the frequently expressed wish that he be allowed to perform some outstanding service for the Lord (Richard Weaver, ‘Two Diarists’, In Defense of Tradition, Ted Smith III, ed., Liberty Fund, 2000, p. 723).

Prof Weaver provided some outtakes from Mr Mather’s diary that show this all too well (p. 724):

 . . .

On this day I received an Assurance from the Lord, that I should yett live to do some great Service for him.

 . . .

On this Day, prostrate in the Dust, on my Study-floor and melted into Tears of Joy, I received fresh Assurances, that the Spirit, of the Lord Jesus Christ, would fill mee marvellously, and gloriously, and that Hee would quickly employ mee in eminent Services for His Interests.

In the entry for March 4, 1698, he reported that “the Spirit and the Angel of the Lord” appeared and gave to him, in a way that he could not utter, the following assurance:

That I shall serve my Lord Jesus Christ, yett exceedingly; and, more particularly, that I am quickly to do a special Service of great Consequence for the Name of my Lord Jesus Christ, which, as yett I know not what it is.

Sadly, the marks of ghostly (spiritual) delusion are very evident in these diary entries.  May God forgive Mr Cotton and grant rest to his soul where the saints repose.

But even more unfortunate is that this exalted view of his specialness was not limited to himself but typified the greater part of the Puritan leod (people) in New England, who considered it their destiny as the New Israel (as they saw themselves) to build the New Jerusalem, the ‘shining city on a hill’, which would usher in Christ’s millennial reign on earth.

Because of their exceptional purity, they are to be counted as justified in shedding oceans of blood in wars of righteousness against the Southern people, Native Americans, Philippines, Japanese, Germans, Afghans, Syrians, etc., etc. 

One of their latest battlefields is the Donbass region of the Ukraine: 

It is good that the culprit is correctly identified - ‘the Yankees’.  All eight videos may be viewed here:

It is here that Southerners must be very careful.  Their own experiences with slavery have made them susceptible to a kind of meddling of their own, desiring a world where those who are fit to govern rule over those they consider unfit.

 . . . With the collapse of the Confederacy and the subsequent collapse of slavery in Cuba and Brazil, the South’s half-subdued imperialist tendency ripened into an ideology that sought to justify European world conquest.  . . .

 . . . Later in the century the antebellum stirrings, previously stronger in the North than in the South, became a loud all-American shout:  The white race had a historic responsibility to rule the world, civilize the heathens of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and rightfully put them to work for the master race.  When the Confederacy and slavery went down, this new racism, already popular in the North, directly served late nineteenth-century imperialist ideology (Fox-Genovese and Genovese, The Mind of the Master Class, Cambridge UP, 2005, pgs. 223-4).

But the South does not need yet another shameful and unnecessary Northern inbringing (i.e., racist worldwide imperialism) to go along with Jim Crow and Fundamentalism.  We understand the need to guard against the globalists’ desire to merge all ethnic groups into some spineless mongrel race that would have no will to resist their machinations.  But it does not follow from that need that Western Europeans must rule over all the world, especially considering that much of what they have given it since the Great Schism of 1054 (when the Bishop of Rome left the Orthodox Church to start his own, the Roman Catholic) has been heresy, plundering of nations’ wealth, political revolution, and so on.  Deep repentance and mourning, rather than bossing others around, ought to be the West’s focus for a very long time.

What she needs therefore is a return to the contented, non-imperial, hearth-loving, Christ-loving mindset of her fore-Schism Orthodox fathers and mothers in England and elsewhere, in particular, that of her Patron Saint, King Ælfred the Great, from whose Wessex and surrounding lands in rural southern England comes much of the foundation of Southern culture.  Father Andrew Phillips, in his sermon given on the day of the commemoration of the dead who fell defending England from the Normans at Hastings 950 years ago (27 Oct. 2016), beworded what should be the South’s task very well:

 . . .

950 years ago, on this very spot, King Harold son of Godwin, the last English King of England, prayed before giving battle to the invader. The latter had a Papal blessing to invade, conquer and forcibly introduce feudal enslavement through castles and knights. This was all in order to bring the Church in England into line with his revolutionary, newly-invented Western European religion, which had already been enforced elsewhere.

The new religion had replaced Christ, making Him unnecessary as Head of the Church, and claimed that the absolute authority of the Holy Spirit now proceeded from its Papal head. For island England was a latecomer to this new religion and the Norman invasion was merely part of a far broader process of subjugation throughout Western Europe that was later to lead to invasion of the Holy Land, called the First Crusade, and determine the pattern of future Western history.

 . . .

Today we have gathered to commemorate the some 7,000 men who died in the Battle. They died defending their and our homeland and their and our English Orthodox Christian culture that was in communion with the rest of the Orthodox Christian world. These were real people, they had wives, children and grandchildren, they were flesh and blood, mind and soul, they had names – some of them we know. They died fighting for the culture that had been resurrected in the ninth century by King Alfred from the ruins of the Viking attacks. Let us not forget that Alfred, also called ‘the Lawgiver’ and ‘England’s Darling’, is the only figure in English history to be called ‘the Great’.

Alfredian culture restored Old English Church Civilization, which had been so faithfully recorded by St Bede the Venerable in England’s seventh and eighth century Golden Age. Alfredian culture meant first defeating and then Christianizing pagans, defending towns, rebuilding churches and monasteries, establishing laws, sending alms to the Patriarch of Jerusalem and translating the works of the Church Fathers. King Alfred restored this culture so well that as a result, after his repose, the tenth century became through his descendants the age of the national unity of England and the Silver Age of Church culture, unmatched in its splendour in Western Europe.

However, in the eleventh century the Vikings attacked England again and again and the last Vikings, the Normans, or Northmen, finally destroyed England as it had been, leaving us today with only vestiges of a once great Civilization, as we can see in the remaining books and manuscripts of the School of Winchester, the English capital. These are the rags of a once magnificent and precious raiment of gold and jewels, part of the Old Christian Europe. Today we who are conscious of all this have as our task to tell others these truths which are either hidden from or else indifferent to most.

Today, Orthodox Christian Civilization has its spiritual centres not Canterbury or Winchester, Lindisfarne or Iona, but elsewhere in the east. It is therefore our task to refound spiritual centres here, however modest they may be, for we belong in spirit to this Civilization and keep faith with its values. We live in our spiritual oases here with our heritage of Augustine, Audrey, Cuthbert, Hilda, Theodore, Bede, Edmund, Alfred, Edward, Dunstan, Alphege and all who are present here in their icons. Now we can at the very least pray for the souls who gave up their lives for the Faith, for the King and for England, as well as for the Universal Church, and take inspiration from them.

In the sleep of the blessed grant, O Lord, eternal repose, to the souls of those who fell for the Faith on Senlac Field, King Harold, Princes Leofwyn and Gyrth, Alfwig, Abbot of Winchester, Leofric, Abbot of Peterborough, Deacon Eadric, Aelfric of Huntingdon, Thurkill of Kingston, Godric of Fyfield, Esegar of Middlesex, Hakon, Breme, and all the King’s men, and grant them Eternal Memory!

Not to Yankee culture, nor to after-Schism Western European culture, then, but to Orthodox culture ought the South to conform herself.


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð!

Anathema to the Union!

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