The Man of Learning

…Children ought to be provided with property and resources of a kind [referring to the tools of philosophic knowledge and learning] that could swim with them even out of a shipwreck. These are indeed the true supports of life, and neither Fortune’s adverse gale, nor political revolution, nor ravages of war can do them any harm. Developing the same idea, Theophrastus, urging men to acquire learning rather than to put their trust in money, states the case thus: “The man of learning is the only person in the world who is neither a stranger when in a foreign land, nor friendless when he has lost his intimates and relatives; on the contrary, he is a citizen of every country, and can fearlessly look down upon the troublesome accidents of fortune. But he who thinks himself entrenched in defenses not of learning but of luck, moves in slippery paths, struggling through life unsteadily and insecurely.”

~Vitruvius, De architectura (The Ten Books on Architecture), book VI. 1st century B.C.

All the gifts which fortune bestows she can easily take away; but education, when combined with intelligence, never fails, but abides steadily on to the very end of life.

Ibid

Bible Schools

Bible colleges divorced the study of the Bible, a religious enterprise, from the study of nature, human nature, and society, the so-called secular disciplines. Whether intended or not, such a divorce ironically reinforced the very process of secularization that evangelicals opposed.

~D.G. Hart, That Old-time Religion in Modern America – Evangelical Protestantism in the Twentieth Century, 50.

Bach and World War II

Even in the winter of 1940, it was difficult to buy or rent a piano; not that the Germans were responsible (their pillage was directed to more useful ends) but because music had become all at once a very real need: for many young Frenchmen J.S. Bach was a powerful and safe ally in the Resistance against Hitler.

H.I. Marrou; Earl F. Langwell, The Review of Politics, Vol. 8, No. 1. (Jan., 1946)

Homeschooling in Germany

From The Washington Post:

Earlier this month, a German teen-ager was forcibly taken from her parents and imprisoned in a psychiatric ward. Her crime? She is being home-schooled.
On Feb. 1, 15 German police officers forced their way into the home of the Busekros family in the Bavarian town of Erlangen. They hauled off 16-year-old Melissa, the eldest of the six Busekros children, to a psychiatric ward in nearby Nuremberg. Last week, a court affirmed that Melissa has to remain in the Child Psychiatry Unit because she is suffering from “school phobia.”
Home-schooling has been illegal in Germany since Adolf Hitler outlawed it in 1938 and ordered all children to be sent to state schools. The home-schooling community in Germany is tiny. As Hitler knew, Germans tend to obey orders unquestioningly. Only some 500 children are being home-schooled in a country of 80 million. Home-schooling families are prosecuted without mercy.
Last March, a judge in Hamburg sentenced a home-schooling father of six to a week in prison and a fine of $2,000. Last September, a Paderborn mother of 12 was locked up in jail for two weeks. The family belongs to a group of seven ethnic German families who immigrated to Paderborn from the former Soviet Union. The Soviets persecuted them because they were Baptists. An initiative of the Paderborn Baptists to establish their own private school was rejected by the German authorities. A court ruled that the Baptists showed “a stubborn contempt both for the state’s educational duty as well as the right of their children to develop their personalities by attending school.”

HT: Right Mind

Lordship of Jesus Christ

This world belongs to our Saviour, and we have been given custodial charge of it. We are responsible to him for how we use it. The problem of sin includes not only questions of personal morality but also the careless use of Christ’s environment. A host of matters, in the personal, political and social arenas, are transformed when we see Christ’s mediatorial kingship in this way.

-Robert Letham,
The Work of Christ – Contours of Christian Theology, 208.

The Study of History

The study of history is the best medicine for a sick mind; for in history you have a record of the infinite variety of human experience plainly set out for all to see; and in that record you can find yourself and your country both examples and warnings; fine things to take as models, base things rotten through and through, to avoid.

Livy, Roman historian

More Malmesbury

The early years of instruction he passed in liberal arts, and so thoroughly imbibed the sweets of learning, that no warlike commotions, no pressure of business, could ever erase them from his noble mind.

William of Malmesbury, book V, 125. said of Henry the I.

Indeed it is known, that, at the siege of Antioch, with a Lorrainian sword, he cut asunder a Turk, who had demanded single combat, and that one half of the man lay panting on the ground, while the horse, at full speed, carried away the other: so firmly the miscreant sat. Another also who attacked him he clave asunder from the neck to the groin, by taking aim at his head with a sword; nor did the dreadful stroke stop here, but cut entirely through the saddle, and the backbone of the horse.

William of Malmesbury, book IV, 394.

Being reproved and excommunicated for this [wife stealing] illicit amour, “You shall curl with a comb,” said he, “the hair that has forsaken your forehead, ere I repudiate the viscountess;” thus taunting a man, whose scanty hair required no comb.

William of Malmesbury, book V, 469.

Here, also, the excess of your learning appears ; for, whilst you love books, you manifest how deeply you have drunk of the stream. For many things, indeed, are eagerly desired when not possessed, but no person will love philosophy, who shall not have imbibed it thoroughly.”

William of Malmesbury, book V, 478. Said of Earl Robert.

Patriatism in Gaul’s civitates

The cultivation of a provincial identity is most obvious in the literature composed in Gaul in the fourth century through the early sixth century…–and Sidonius (ca. 430-484)–an aristocrat from Lyon–expressed their deepest feelings not for Rome, or even for Gaul, but for their particular cities. Ausonius sings the praises of his beloved Bordeaux while Sidonius focuses on the Auvergne. Across Gaul, expressions of love for the patria focused not on Rome or even the chimeric “Gaul,” beloved of French nationalist historians, but, rather, on Marseille, Narbonne, Trier, Lyon, or other civitates.

– Patrick J. Geary, The Myth of Nations – The Medieval Origins of Europe, 104.

President Cleveland ‘s Famous Veto

While President Cleveland was in office, a portion of the state of Texas had undergone a drought. Congress proposed a bill that would give the people of that region the modest, yet effective sum of $10,000 for seed. On February 17, 1887, President Cleveland vetoed that bill saying:
____________

“It is the represented that a long-continued and extensive drought has existed in certain portions of the State of Texas, resulting in a failure of crops, and consequent distress and destitution.

Though there has been some difference in statements concerning the extent of the people’s needs in the localities thus affected, there seems to be no doubt that there has existed a condition calling for relief; and I am willing to believe that, notwithstanding the aid already furnished, a donation of seed grain to the farmers located in this region, to enable them to put in new crops, would serve to avert a continuence or return of unfortunate blight.

And yet I feel obliged to withhold my approval of the plan, as proposed by this bill, to indulge a benevolent and charitable sentiment through the appropriation of public funds for that purpose.
I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit.

A prevalent tendency to disregard this limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that though the people support the Government the Government should not support the people.

The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.

President Cleveland – 1887

Hat-Tip: United States History – Heritage of Freedom