Sunday, August 17, 2008

The following piece from the 1600's is quite a shift from today's thinking. His bias is a bit harsh, but in principle I think there is much to be gained. Now, my intentions are not to mock a mother's love, and this picture illustrates the loving care and concern of a loving mom. But the following provides balance, and hopefully historical context will allow you to read it mercifully.
“Fathers and mothers handle their children differently; mothers soften them with kisses and imperfect noises, with the pap and breast milk of soft endearments, they rescue them from Tutors, and snatch them from discipline, they desire to keep them fat and warm and their feet dry and their bellies full; and then the children govern, and cry, and prove fools, and troublesome, so long as the feminine republic does endure. But fathers, because they design to have their children wise and valiant, apt for counsel, or for arms, send them to severe governments, and tie them to study, to hard labor, and afflictive contingencies.
They rejoice when the bold boy strikes a lion with his hunting spear, and shrinks not when the beast comes to affright his early courage. Softness is for slaves and beasts, for minstrels and useless persons, for such who cannot ascend higher then the state of a fair ox, or a servant entertained for vainer offices: But the man that designs his son for noble employments, to honors, and to triumphs, to consular dignities and presidences of counsels, loves to see him pale with study or panting with labor, hardened with sufferance or eminent by dangers: and so God dresses us for heaven. He loves to see us struggling with a disease, and resisting the devil, and contesting against the weaknesses of nature, and against hope to believe in hope, resigning our selves to God’s will, praying him to choose for us, and dying in all things but faith and its blessed consequences.”
Jeremy Taylor - Photo by Judith Quinones


fcb4 said...

I loved this post until the end:
"God loves to watch his children struggle with disease"

That image sickens me almost as much as the idea of God roasting people for eternity, an image that you have wrestled with in these posts.

HAINAngel2000 said...

I like the part about the rules of each of the parents as well as How God just wants us humble, really on our knee's trusting Him. I think it takes likes beatings for some of us to cry out to the Father who created us. If we didn't face some of the most severe things we wouldn't have the hearts to serve, and to seek God in all things. This post was really good!

HAINAngel2000 said...

roles I mean't lol

Anonymous said...

Who likes to see anything struggle? I feel bad worms on pavement. -Matt

FCB said...

When I read this I too enjoyed it until the struggling of disease; that has always been difficult for me, but it was common belief that all comes from the hand of God, both good and ill. I agree with Mary that it appears that God allows beatings or as David said, "in my affliction I sought the Lord." Be that as it may, I struggle with the thought. I will say within the context of his writings when he says struggle with disease, he doesn't mean suffer but struggle to accept. This is a theme preached about a lot during the times, disease, plague and deaths were frequent and few homes went without losing someone. Tough issue.

Joseph Pulikotil said...


This post is based on facts of life.

Since mothers are so good to the children and since they are prepared to make any sacrifice to make sure the children are comfortable and well cared for, a very close relationship develops between the child and the mother. This special relationship lasts a life time or even more.

We can all see that the Mother's Day is always celebrated better and with more fanfare that Father's Day.

Best wishes!