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Re: [Covenanted Reformation] women at their duties

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  • Soles
    For those that have time to read this first day of 2003...I think Calvin s comments on verses 6 and 7 of his discourse on the 22 chapter of Deuteronomy: first
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 1, 2003
      For those that have time to read this first day of 2003...I think Calvin's comments on verses 6 and 7 of his discourse on the 22 chapter of Deuteronomy: first delivered Friday the 3rd...of January 1556.... will add to this topic ....Calvin gives forth how men should view women nursing or doing their duties....I have bolded that line below....the whole sermon can be found at www.truecovenanter.com
      1. When thou goest abroad and findest a birds nest in a tree or on the grounde, and young birdes or egges therein, & the dam sitting vpon her young or vpon the egges: thou shalt not take the dam with her young birdes:
      2. But thou shalt let the dam goe, & take the young ones to thy selfe, that it may goe well with thee, and that thou maist prolong thy dayes.

      Now Moses addeth, That if a man find a birds-nest, he may take the young ones, but he must let go the dam, when she broodeth her eggs or her young ones. At the first sight this seemeth not worthy to be set down in God’s Law. For were there no greater & necessarier things to speak of than young birds? Why doth not God say rather that if a man see a mother nursing of her child, he shall not trouble her, but rather succour her and help her, and in any wise beware that he touch her not, for that were a hurting of the infant which is a silly innocent soul. Why doth not God speak after that manner? What needed it to go say that a man should let a Bird alone when she broodeth her young? Hereby he meant to express the better, how greatly he abhorreth all cruelty. For if he cannot bear with it when it extendeth but to the little birds; shall a man escape unpunished when he falleth to hurting the image of God himself, that is to say when he offereth wrong to another man? So then let us mark that in speaking of little birds, GOD hath much better declared his meaning, than if he had spoken simply of men. For it is all one as if he had said, Accustom yourselves in such wise to be kind-hearted, and to do no deed of cruelty, as that even the little birds may feel it. Not only practice you it among yourselves; but also when ye see a little Bird, consider thus with yourselves: no, our Lord, to inure us the better to uprightness and reason; will have us to give some proof and witness of it even towards the creatures which cannot complain of us. A young bird hath no tongue to crave reason at our hands, or to attempt an action against us. Yet notwithstanding, albeit that (to our seeming) there is no account to be made of them, neither is uprightness to be used but among {775:B} men: yet for all that God will have us willing to frame our affections the better thereby; that when we come to deal with our neighbors, we may be restrained by it to say, What? It is not lawful for us to be cruel to the Birds: and how may we then be cruel to such as are of our own kind, in whom we see the image of God imprinted? Thus ye see what we have to remember in the first place, where our Lord speaketh so of little Birds.

      Now let us come to the pith of this Law. It is said, Thou shalt let the Dam go, and only take the young ones to thyself. When a Henbird broodeth her young ones, therein we have an image of a mother’s duty towards her children. And the silly birds do sometimes teach us our lesson, when men and women are so brutish, that GOD is fain to send them to school to the beasts. (Isa. 1.3.) For when as the Prophet Isaiah saith, The Ox knoweth his Master’s stable, and the Ass knoweth his Crib: thereby he meant to put men in mind of their lewdness, and as it were to upbraid them thus, Ye be worse than the brute beasts, therefore go learn of them. For the Ox in knowing his own Crib or stall, doth shew you that you ought to know the Lord your GOD. And seeing he vouchsafeth to gather you into his flock and into his Church, and yet you remain worse than the wild beasts: do ye not shew yourselves to have utterly forgotten the order of nature? Now then, seeing that the birds have such a care of the young ones, surely they may teach men and women their lesson, when they shew themselves to have no care of their Children, as we see some riotous folk do, which care not though they let their wives and Children starve at home, without regard thereof, and in the meanwhile go and spend thrice as much at the tavern as would find their whole house. Again there are mothers that have no care at all of their children, all their seeking is to rid their hands of them, they cannot find in their hearts to take the pains with them: wherein they shew themselves to be utterly void of lovingness and kindness, and to be worse than brute beasts, which teach us our lesson in this behalf. For although the beasts have no further care of their young, than till they be able to shift for themselves: yet are men taught their duty and charge thereby, and what they have to do all the time of their life. Why do not the birds take care for their young ones, furtherforth than till they be able to shift for themselves? Because a bird is not created in the world to be governed by his sire and his dam all the time of his life; He is not bound to that: for he is a reasonless creature. But the case standeth not so with men. For even when they be come to years of liberty, they must still be guided and governed by counsel, and their fathers and mothers must put them in mind of their duty when they have done amiss. This needeth not in the beasts: but yet do the beasts discharge themselves of their duty so long till their young ones be exempted out of their charge. And sith it is so, what shall men do? {776:A} Let us resort to that which is said here, namely, Thou shalt not catch the dam when she sitteth upon he young. And why? I see the dam brooding her young ones, and (as we see) she had rather suffer herself to be eaten with vermin, than forsake her young: she sits there as upon a torture, and she passeth not for it. For why? She hath such a care of her young, that she forgetteth herself for their sakes: If ye demand a reason of it, there is none that we know, but this; it is a natural inclination and moving impressed by God in birds, that when they see their little ones, to their seeming they be dearer to them than their own life. And although it be a painful thing to them to tarry sitting there in such care: yet go they to it with a cheerful courage. Now then we behold this, is it not all one to us as if we saw a picture wherein God shewed us our duty? Let fathers take warning here, to travail earnestly for their children. And as they ought to have a care for the feeding and maintaining of them: so must the mothers also do their diligence in that behalf, assuring themselves that it is an acceptable service to God, when they take such pains in respect that GOD hath bound them to that Condition, and that it behoveth them to yield thereunto, willingly and with a frank and free goodwill. Seeing then that we see an Image of our charge, and God sheweth as it were with his finger, what duty fathers and mothers do owe to their children: shall we go overthrow it, were not that all one as if a Child should go burn his book? When he hath a book bought for him to go to school with, and he teareth it in pieces, shall he not be beaten for it? Then if we burn the book which our Lord sheweth us, and wittingly defeat the order which he hath set in nature, by playing the butchers in killing with our own hands the silly bird, brought thereto by constraint of necessity for the discharge of her fatherly and motherly duty: what will become of us? True it is that God hath given us the birds for our food, as we know he hath made the whole world for us. Yet notwithstanding if we be so cruel that we will not spare the poor birds, even when they be as it were under God’s tuition, employing themselves in his service: is it not a refusing of the grace which he offereth us, in setting before our eyes as in a looking-glass, the duty which we owe towards those whom he hath committed unto us? Yes verily. Insomuch that if we be not besides our wits, and carried with too cruel a rage, we will have pity and compassion upon the poor birds, when we see them yield their life in that sort, to discharge their duty. And in deed, it should seem that men intended to defy God and nature, when they take the dams so upon their little ones. For they be so lean, that they be as it were froth or slime. Now our Lord meant to restrain men, and to shew them that their lusts are altogether out of order. As if he should say, What will ye do? Ye see there is no substance or strength in them. For {776:B} during the time that I take them into my tuition, they be not good for sustenance. Now then if a man be so cruel towards the birds without having regard hereto: surely he will be cruel to his neighbours also. And he that maketh no sticking nor conscience to kill birds in their breeding time, will also cut his neighbor’s throat if he think he may have any gain by it. Thus we see now why our Lord hath told us that he would have the Broodbirds to be in safety though their young ones be taken from them. Hereby we be taught so to use God’s creatures, as the use of them may be orderly, and specially that we may inure ourselves to pity and compassion all our life long. For to that end is this commandment to be referred.

      As I said afore, GOD standeth not upon the birds, to put any great perfection therein: but he meant to teach us by an argument from the lesser to the greater after what manner we ought to behave ourselves towards our neighbours. Therefore if we trouble any man while he is doing his duty, and put him to any vexation under colour that he is busy in discharging himself towards God and towards those to whom he is bound: we be worthy of double blame. If a man disquiet a nurse or a mother in doing her duty towards her child, surely it is double cruelty. The instruction that we must take hereat, is that every of us must strain himself to help his neighbours. When we see them take pains to do the things that God hath enjoined them, we must endeavour to succour them, & no man is to be troubled or molested in that behalf. For if it be not lawful to trouble the birds, what may we do towards them that are joined unto us, as our brethren, as hath been declared heretofore?

      From: Cheryl
      Sent: Wednesday, January 01, 2003 11:30 AM
      Subject: Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Re: Law of Nature

      Dear Frederick,
      I think the reason one hears non christian men and women make disparaging remarks about women who breastfeed in public is because our culture has so perverted the natural function of breasts so that they are seen to be more a play thing for men than a source of comfort and nourishment for babies.  I would be very surprised to hear that they are complaining against Christian women only who breastfeed in public.  They are not making disparaging remarks against the Church per se, but against breastfeeding itself.  The pressure on women in this regard is such that close to 90% of women who start out breastfeeding are no longer doing so by the time their babies are 3 months old.  Thus their little ones are deprived of the means that God designed for their feeding.  Compare this to the rest of the world where breastfeeding usually lasts for up to 3 years and sometimes more.  I see this as  part of the whole anti-baby mentality that our culture has.  The current model of beauty is almost androgenous in her lack of curves, and the ripeness of a pregnant body is disdained or only tolerated in limited fashion.  Childbearing and all the functions that go with it and sustaining the baby are the real offense to most non Christians, and sadly, even among those that name the Name.
      By God's grace I have borne 11 children over the last 22 years and nursed them all.  Initially it was sheer determination that kept me at it with  my first baby in the face of disgust from my mother's generation who all bottlefed because breastfeeding was "disgusting" and bottle feeding didn't "hurt" us.   That only lasted for 6 months before my daughter was on a bottle.  All my subsequent children have nursed from 7 to 24 months with the average being about 15 months.  Over the course of my years as a mother I have been in various situations church-wise from places that didn't want children in the worship service to those that actively encouraged it.  Not every situation has been such that they had a cry room where moms could feed babies and still hear the service.
      You know what I think is  the most lovely?  The churches where each child is received as a blessing from God and no one makes stupid comments like, "Don't you know what is causing that?"  These are also the churches where breastfeeding is taken for granted and no one makes a flap over it.
      This is not advocacy for women "baring all" while they breastfeed.  The very fact that we live in a culture that views breasts as being primarily sexual play toys means that women need to use discretion and usually a blanket or a large shirt accomplishes that feat. But I sometimes wonder when I read opinions that wish to send the mothers and babies out of the worship of God that perhaps we have imbibed more of the surrounding culture than we realized.
      Yours and His,
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Tuesday, December 31, 2002 9:40 PM
      Subject: Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Re: Law of Nature

      I have seen women breast feed in public, I an also
      seen men make comments about it and worse of all I
      have seen unchristian men make comments about it.
      Would a chriatian man want unchristian men to say
      thing about there wife his because of her doing this.
      I really love the church of God and in no way do I
      want anyone to speak reproachful of is. I think all of
      us men here, would fight for the christian women, but
      what can we do when the woman cause others to speak
      again against the church. Even unchristian women at
      times speak against public breast feeding.
      Let us Honor Christ in this and cause no ofen to the
      church of God. Using our christian liberty for Him.

      --- Gary Gearon <GGearon@...> wrote:
      > I think also if the woman is modestly dressed, when
      > she breast feeds, that
      > this changes the context of perception. For example,
      > if a woman dressed like
      > a modern female Pop Idol, is breast feeding, that
      > will have an effect on the
      > perception by the man.
      > GG
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "Fredrick Fleming"
      > <followerofhim2001@...>
      > To: <covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Tuesday, December 31, 2002 4:33 PM
      > Subject: Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Re: Law of
      > Nature
      > > Where is the Christian Love is this?  Your child
      > needs
      > > the milk, but you want to fellowship?  You cannot
      > find
      > > a way to do this?  I find it hard to see your
      > point.
      > > You cannot feed your child in private and have
      > your
      > > time with your friends. You have to do it with
      > male
      > > friends there?  Do you think you might find a way
      > to
      > > do this?  Or would your heart be willing to cause
      > a
      > > christian brother to fall into Lust or temtation,
      > so
      > > you can do this?  Of course you can place the
      > blame on
      > > the christian brother and say it is his problem!!
      > > There is a really show your love for the christian
      > > brother.
      > >
      > > --- "nocost2great <nocost2great@...>"
      > > <nocost2great@...> wrote:
      > > > --- In
      > covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com,
      > > > Thomas Roche
      > > > <tertullianus_2000@y...> wrote:
      > > > > you have also never been a man.  Men are
      > tempted
      > > > to
      > > > > lust at the sight of female breasts, and
      > Christian
      > > > > women need to appreciate this.  Obviously,
      > breast
      > > > > feeding is a natural activity, but there are
      > lots
      > > > of
      > > > > natural activities one does not do in public.
      > > >
      > > > Thomas,
      > > > You are correct... but if a man is going to lust
      > > > while I breastfeed
      > > > my baby (with all skin covered either by my
      > clothing
      > > > or a blanket)
      > > > then he is going to lust anyway. I try to be
      > > > discreet. What I don't
      > > > like is beibg shooed off in another room while
      > > > everyone else enjoys
      > > > fellowship.
      > > >
      > > > Dee Dee (who really doesn't understand the
      > lusting
      > > > thing cuz when I
      > > > am breastfeeding I feel more like a cow than
      > > > anything else.) :)
      > > >
      > > >
      > >
      > >
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