Sociology of the Sabbath - RR156A1

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Lesson[edit]

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Sociology of the Sabbath
Course: Course - Law and Life
Subject: Subject:Law
Lesson#: 1
Length: 0:57:03
TapeCode: RR156A1
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
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This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission.


[Rushdoony] Let us worship God. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, “Abba, Father.” Let us pray. Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we come to Thee, cry “Abba, Father”, casting our every care upon Thee who carest for us. We thank Thee that underneath all the experiences of life are Thine everlasting arms. That Thou knowest the end from the beginning and hast so glorious a purpose for us and for all things in Thee. Give us grace therefore to walk by faith, knowing the greatness and the glory of Thy calling, the certainty of Thy victory and the blessedness of life in Thee. Grant us with this we beseech Thee, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Our Scripture is from Hebrews 4, verses 1 through 11, and our subject the sociology of the Sabbath. Hebrews 4, 1 through 11, the sociology of the Sabbath. “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, Today, after so long a time; as it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” [00:03:58]

The dictionary defines sociology as the science that...[edit]

The dictionary defines sociology as the science that treats of the origin and history of human society and social phenomena. The progress of civilization and the laws concerning human intercourse. Sociology as a science was born in 1838. But this definition of sociology describes precisely what the Bible does. The Bible, after all, gives us the history and the origin of the world, of human society, it gives us the progress of civilization and the laws controlling all human behavior. Sociology, thus, and the Bible, cover the same ground. When Auguste Comte, in 1838, invented the word ‘sociology’, and the study of sociology, he made it into a humanistic religion, and a substitute for Christianity. His basic impulse was therefore sound. He recognized that what he called the science of sociology was simply a substitute for the Bible, covering the same ground, dealing with the same subjects, but from an anti-Christian perspective. The prophets would have called him an idolater, and this is what he was, his idol was man. Unfortunately, humanistic sociology has taken over the churches. The churches moreover contributed greatly to the rise of sociology and everything that Comte had done. They did this by surrendering the world to the enemy and retreating by way of pietism to the realm of inner experience. A work recently published entitled Feed My Sheep, the author Harold Camping, gives us this pietistic thesis. Its whole point is that there is no kingship for man in Christ, that the creation mandate no longer applies and that man’s only function after Christ is no longer as at the beginning; to exercise dominion and to bring all things under God and His law, but simply to convert people to Christ and to prepare them for heaven. In other words, they have no function after conversion except to pull off from the world and to wait for heaven. This kind of thing, of course, has surrendered the world to men like Auguste Comte, to sociology, to humanism. John Wesley, in his whole point of view, emphasized man’s centrality. And as a result, with his pietism, there was a progressive withdrawal from the world. A progressive withdrawal from the idea of conquest. His concern was conversion. When you face the world, all that you did in terms of Wesley’s thinking, was to suffer, to be a martyr, to bear up with the world until you died and went to heaven. So that, for Wesley’s perspective, there was no possibility of exercising dominion, and his private life showed this. He sacrificed himself continually to his work, as though his work was the only thing that mattered. He did not marry until he was just about a year or two within fifty years of age. He married a widow of forty, Mrs. Vazeille, and only by agreeing that he was not going to change his ways at all. Well, it was a foolish proposition and it was a foolish marriage, and we read from Bonamy Dobrée in his biography of Wesley, “So on the understanding that he would preach not one sermon the fewer, nor travel one more one mile the less, he married Mrs. Vazeille. But this time he did not tell Charles (his brother) about it, indeed his brother was one of the last to hear of the sad event. And alas the event did prove sad, for twenty years Mrs. Wesley, who appears to have verged on dementia, harried the life out of her husband. At first she did her best, but she could not bear the constant traveling, the hideous discomfort, the occasional mobbing, and besides, she was sea-sick when they went to Ireland. But why, it may be asked, need she cling to him so burr-like? Ah, Wesley was inordinately attractive to women! And, it must be admitted in extenuation of his wife’s behavior, that he wrote incredibly foolish letters full of warmth — purely Christian warmth, no doubt, but it is difficult to distinguish — to many of his tenderer converts. His wife became insanely jealous; she watched all his goings out and his comings in, she rifled his pockets, broke open the drawers of his desk, accused him of making Charles’s wife his mistress, would travel a hundred miles to see who was sharing his coach with him, and even, it was reported, pulled him about by his graying hairs. ‘My brother,’ Charles wrote pungently, ‘has married a ferret,’ a phrase echoed by Berridge of Everton. John bore it all with exemplary patience, was unfailing in his care for her; but even he sometimes complained — to female penitents moreover — that he could not bear ‘the being continually watched over for evil, the having every word I spoke, every action I did, small and great, watched over with no friendly eye; the hearing of a thousand little, but unkind reflections in return for the kindest words I could advise.’ [00:10:57]

Now this was Wesley’s life...[edit]

Now this was Wesley’s life. And it was that of the pietists generally. In no situation did they ever try to exercise dominion. Their idea of being a holy person was to make a martyr out of themselves; to bear up patiently with everything, never to try to solve anything. His brother Charles, who had the same pietistic withdrawal from the world and the attitude that the world is a horrible place, everything considered connected with the world is to be considered as something to run away from and the more we are separated from the world and all its ways and its attractions, the better off we are. When Wesley’s wife and daughter became very ill with smallpox, and as a result became very horribly pox-marked, Charles Wesley was very pleased, and he said they cannot now fall err to the sin of vanity. Now it is no wonder that they had no way of conquering the world. They were afraid of it. They ran away from it. They regarded it as altogether evil, as though matter (in Manichean form) is evil and spirit alone is good. And the result is their position was one of surrendering the world progressively to the enemy while they converted people to their pietism. Moreover, it’s not surprising that they surrendered the idea of God’s sovereignty. They saw all things in terms of man and his needs. [00:13:01]

I recall some years ago, in the ...[edit]

I recall some years ago, in the 1930’s, a fairly prominent minister in the Bay area, Northern California, who was a pietist. He saw everything as having meaning in terms of himself. If there was a storm when it was going to interfere with him and a meeting he was having, say at a summer conference, it was Satan working to frustrate him. If he blundered, the Lord was teaching him something. The whole universe revolved around frustrating or aiding him, and the meaning of all events was no larger than himself. I recall once when he was in Palo Alto speaking, he dawdled and was late getting to the vehicle to catch the last commuter train into San Francisco for an evening service there. Well, fortunately for him, the train was late, and so he proudly announced that the Lord had made that train late for his sake. If the train were gone when he got there on another occasion, it was Satan that had done it. He thought he was being truly holy. Now, he was being ungodly and really an existentialist. He saw everything in terms of his existence. Now, in terms of Scripture, the meaning of all events, is to be determined by their relationship to God. And to interpret the meaning of all things in terms of oneself, as this minister did, was to make himself god. Everything that happens, happens in terms of God’s sovereign decree, God’s ultimate power, and in terms of a meaning that God has ordained, which may or may have no relationship to man. After all, as God told Job, I cause it to rain where no man is. But pietism says all things have their meaning in terms of me. The train is late or it thunders and pours, because God or Satan are trying to do something in terms of me. This kind of faith is not Biblical religion, it is humanism, it is existentialism. [00:15:59]

Our subject is the sociology of the Sabbath...[edit]

Our subject is the sociology of the Sabbath. And we’re going to try to understand the Bible, in this new series of studies that I am beginning this morning, in terms of the total Word of God, because we said the definition of sociology is really what the Bible teaches, the world and life view, the law of God, His sovereignty, His purpose. So now let us try to understand some things in terms of the totality; salvation, the doctrine of man, the law, in their relation to God. This morning the Sabbath. Let us examine an example of pietistic preaching about the Sabbath. The particular I’m going to cite now dates from the beginning of the 13th century, when Eustace, abbot of St. Germer de Flay went to England on the orders of Pope Innocent the 3rd to obtain recruits for a crusade. This particular illustration has been traced over a period of several centuries of steady use. Let me quote it. “A poor Norfolk woman was washing her linen one Saturday afternoon after 3 o’clock, the hour of the Sabbath was deemed to begin, when a divine messenger appeared to her and warned her to desist. She refused, saying she would be in danger of starving if she did not do her usual work. There appeared then a cold black beast like a sucking pig that fastened itself to her left breast, and sucked her blood till she died.” Now this ridiculous tale is interesting in one point of view in that it shows the persistence of the Old Testament idea of the Sabbath beginning the day before, and as late as the Colonial Period in the United States, the Sabbath was deemed to begin at 3 o’clock on Saturday afternoon. The Bible speaks of days beginning and ending in Genesis 1, and this is the pattern throughout, at sundown. But the Sabbath was observed from 3 o’clock on, so that man would be refreshed and rested when the Sabbath began at sundown. But, this story is all the more revealing because it shows a totally capricious God and mans actions as governing the world, the whole world related to what an individual does. It gives us legalism. [00:19:10]

Now, legalism is defined as a code of deeds and observances...[edit]

Now, legalism is defined as a code of deeds and observances as a means of justification before God. In other words, what legalism does is to substitute man’s act for God’s redeeming act. It takes the law and says I am going to be justified by the law, my obedience to the law, my act in terms of the law, rather than by God’s redeeming act. Now, justification is one face of an overall picture, the other face of which is condemnation. In other words, if you are not justified, you are under condemnation. So that Saint Paul, when he speaks of the justified, says there is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. The two are different faces of the same fact. If we are justified by the atoning work of Jesus Christ, then we are removed from condemnation. If we are not under the blood of Christ, we are under condemnation. So that, any man who is not justified is under condemnation. The fullness of that condemnation hits him in eternity. God sometimes brings judgment in time to those who are under condemnation, and ultimately to every culture or civilization. It comes if they are not justified, they are condemned. In other words, when you are not justified you are condemned. Now, legalism, by transferring justification from the atoning work of Christ to man’s act, then has to say justification and sanctification always ensue right away in terms of man’s act. So, if you keep the Sabbath, then suddenly everything good happens because you’re justified. And if you don’t, condemnation hits you. In other words, it’s been transferred out of its realm, and having been made the area of justification, then all these tales that were concocted through the centuries which comprise legalism, show people being either justified or condemned in terms of keeping some legalistic precept. In other words, legalism, whether medieval or modern, misuses the law and in the process it perverts the law. Now let us go further to cite an example, a summarization of Sabbatarian preaching in the days of Charles the First of England, and I quote, “The Sabbatarians took the offensive with great energy, in various parts of the country they preached that to do any work on a Sunday afternoon was as great a sin as murder or adultery. That to throw a bowl on that day was as great a sin as murder, and to hold a feast or wedding dinner on the Sabbath is as great a sin as for a father to take a knife and cut his child’s throat. Even to ring more than one bell to call people to church was counted as great a sin as murder.” In other words, people might enjoy hearing the bell more than once, once to come to church, more than once might be a pleasure, this is Platonism Sometimes cited as a good example for Christians was the story of the Jew of Tewkesbury, who fell into a large privy one Saturday, and for reverence of his Sabbath would not be pulled out, choosing rather to die in that filthy, stinking place. Many preachers preferred however, to make their congregation’s flesh creep with awful examples of what happened to Sabbath breakers. Now consider what it meant for a man to preach that way, and the Jew of Tewkesbury was a very popular illustration among Sabbatarians of the day. They were deliberately despising Jesus Christ when they used that illustration, because our Lord said in Matthew 12, 11 and 12, “What man shall there be among you that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the Sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days.” And consider all the instances of our Lord healing on the Sabbath. In the case of the Jew of Tewkesbury, his life depended on it. And yet that illustration was long used as an instance of holiness. There is something fearfully wicked in that, because there was not a preacher who used it who did not know the Scriptures, and he was saying my way of holiness is better than the Lord’s. [00:25:29]

Where legalism exists, it leads to an undue burden...[edit]

Where legalism exists, it leads to an undue burden on the law, and undue consequences attributed to every act. Thus we have one dean who, and I quote, “believed that most executed persons blamed Sunday pleasures as a first step to their downfall, and gave a graphic description of how taking long walks on Sundays led to thirst, and thirst led to drinking, and drinking led to lewd desires, and when the whore may be had where the bottle has raised the inclination to her, and at the very moment she becomes agreeable, it can hardly be questioned but that as little regard will soon be paid to chastity as to sobriety. That, said the dean, was where Sunday traveling led one.” Unquote. Now of course, what did this statement involve? Why, environmentalism. Environmentalism. In other words, what this dean had wound up doing was to hold to the gospel that Adam and Eve had in the garden when they said it was my environment, Lord. You gave me the woman, and you put the serpent in the garden, so it’s your fault, God. If you hadn’t made the environment the way you did and if you hadn’t given me the woman, I never would have sinned. So this dean was giving pure environmentalism. [00:27:24]

It is interesting, that one of the things that would...[edit]

It is interesting, that one of the things that would upset the legalists of that era and this, is John Calvin. Why? John Calvin, to relax, occasionally bowled on Sundays, and said so, and that horrified people. What did Calvin say about the Sabbath? This is what he wrote in the Institutes of the Christian Religion, “Let us sum up the whole in the following manner: As the truth was delivered to the Jews under a figure, so it is given to us without any shadows; first, in order that, during our whole life we should meditate on a perpetual rest from our works, that the Lord may operate within us by his Spirit; secondly, that every man, whenever he has leisure should diligently exercise himself in private, in pious reflections on the work of God, and also that we should at the same time observe the legitimate order of the church, appointed for the hearing of the word, for the administration of the sacraments, and for public prayer. Thirdly, that we should not unkindly oppress those who are subject to us.” Now, Calvin’s interpretation is faithful to the declaration of the law as given by Moses, Deuteronomy 5, 12 through 15, and to what the New Testament teaches. He said the first emphasis of the Sabbath is with regard to the doctrine of salvation. We celebrate the fact that we are saved, not by our works, but by Christ’s work, and we rest on that day and we rest in Christ. We celebrate the fact that it is not our doing but God’s doing, and the ultimately all things are of God, and we can rest in the confidence of His government, of His salvation, of His hand. Then second, the study of His Word and the worship of God. Our rest increases as our knowledge of God and His Word increases. The more we know God, the more we can rest in Him, the greater our confidence in His undergirding, guiding, and providential government. And third, that we should not unkindly oppress those who are subject to us. And the law makes it clear that this is not only people, but animals and the very land that are to rest. And a special rest for the land was provided through the Sabbatical years. Now, it should be added that much of the emphasis of the Sabbath in the 17th century was not legalistic, it had these functions that Calvin cited, and it is interesting that one of the most spirited defenses of the 17th century Puritan emphasis on the observance of the Sabbath is by a Marxist, Christopher Hill, because he says these people, the Puritans, in their demand for a Sabbath observance were thinking of the workers. And he is right. Those who were against the observance of a day of rest were basically hostile to what Christopher Hill calls “the interest of the workers” They would have preferred to work people seven days a week without any letup. And the idea of terminating work at 2:59 sharp every Saturday, and no work again until Monday morning did not sit well with many people, and the Puritan emphasis was thus a very sound one and a very healthy one. [00:32:00]

The origins of Sabbatarianism, of legalism with regard...[edit]

The origins of Sabbatarianism, of legalism with regard to the Sabbath, were essentially medieval. They were revived by a high churchman in the church of England, Lancelot Andrews, later Bishop Andrews. His series of lectures reviving these legalistic practices became very popular and were picked up, unfortunately, by many Puritans. Now, {?} has commented, “modern English Sabbatarianism is therefore not Reformed or Calvinistic in its origins, so far as it had any theoretical background, it is to be found in the medieval doctrine which survived an Anglican teaching and legislation. That the day was to be devoted wholly to religious ends.” Unquote. Now {?} is not entirely accurate there. He was the day was wholly to be devoted to religious ends. What he should have said was, that for the Sabbatarians, Catholic and Protestant, it was to be devoted wholly to ecclesiastical or church-related ends. The emphasis of Scripture, and of the Reformers, was that it was to be devoted to religious ends. What the legalist did was to reduce religion to the dimensions of the Church. Now the Church is important, but religion is more than the Church. You’re not irreligious when you’re away from the Church. You are religious when whatever you do is guided by the Word of God. Christian education is a religious activity. The conduct of one’s calling in an honest and Godly manner is a religious activity. Family life is a religious activity. So, the day was to be wholly devoted to religious ends, not ecclesiastical. Now the advantage of the legalistic definition; that the day was to be devoted wholly to church-related ends, has the advantage of being simple. It’s easy then to say what a man should do on the Sabbath, very clear. It’s to be devoted entirely to churchgoing, and when you’re not in Church, you should be quiet and doing nothing. If you say it is to be devoted to religious ends, as Calvin did, then it’s a little less easy to say well what is valid on the Sabbath? Because the term religion covers more ground. Now, legalism leads to precision, but it’s a precision which obscures the law rather than clarifying it. It leads to straining out gnats and swallowing camels, to majoring in minors. The Bible tells us that the Sabbath was patterned after the seven days of creation; God rested on the seventh day of creation. Man now having fallen, is {?}. The goal of salvation is to reestablish man in dominion so that he can enter into God’s rest spiritually, and may establish materially the same rest in all creation. Isaiah speaks over and over again of the Sabbath as the goal for the whole world. The whole world is to rest in the Lord. Rest is the renewal of man by God’s atoning work in Christ, and it is the communication of that rest to all creation. Hebrews 4:3 says, “For we which have believed, do enter into rest, as He said, I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.” What Saint Paul is here declaring is that there is a dividing line, the fall. After the fall, fallen man was not in God’s rest or Sabbath. Before that, when he exercised dominion under God, and saw the whole of the garden flourishing and abounding and all things at peace, because he was faithful to God there was a rest, a peace in the garden, even though man worked some of the time. After the fall, there was no rest, there is no peace, said my God, to the wicked. But Jesus Christ by His atoning work, redeems the fallen and reestablishes them in God’s rest. And summons them now to extend that rest, that peace; to all men and to all nations. [00:38:01]

Now, as he goes on to say, that rest was limited, a...[edit]

Now, as he goes on to say, that rest was limited, a certain day, but it was also more than that certain day, because he then goes on to declare that the conquest of Canaan was in part a fulfillment, a step towards that rest. The 8th verse, “For Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.” Now Jesus there, as your marginal note will tell you, is Joshua, Joshua and Jesus are the same names. Joshua is the Hebrew, and Jesus is the Greek form. They are alike renderings of the name Yeshua. Here it has reference to Joshua. Joshua by his conquest of the promised land, gave them a measure of rest, but it was not that fullness of rest, because he spoke of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest, or a keeping of the Sabbath to the people of God. Canaan therefore, by its typology of Joshua by his conquest of Canaan, is a type of the Sabbath. The Sabbath, therefore, does involve peace, prosperity, victory, because it is symbolized in part by the conquest of Canaan. But the fullness of that conquest, that victory, comes with Christ’s conquest of sin and death. The rest which remains unto the people of God, the fullness of which we have in the world to come. Then, in the 10th verse, “For he that is entered into His rest (God’s rest) he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His.” So, we enter into Christ and His rest through His atoning blood, and we rest from our labors, we no longer are striving to justify ourselves, we know that we are justified in Jesus Christ. Then, Saint Paul says, “let us labor therefore to enter into that rest lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief,” or as the marginal note renders it, disobedience. This is a very interesting fact, we are in the rest in Christ but let us labor therefore to enter into that rest. What does this mean? It means that we are, having been restored in Christ to a position of being now free from the power of sin and death, though not perfectly sanctified, are now in a position where we can exercise dominion again. And therefore we are summoned to exercise that dominion. [00:41:59]

Calvin said with regard to this verse that though the...[edit]

Calvin said with regard to this verse that though the completion of this rest cannot be obtained in this life, yet we ought ever to strive for it. It is interesting that the 1843 translator of Calvin added a footnote, saying many like Calvin have made remarks to this kind, but they are out of place here, for the rest here mentioned is clearly the rest in heaven. Very interesting, is it not? What was it that gave Calvin and those who followed him a position of power? They believed that the rest Christ had given to man by his atoning work now had to be extended throughout all the world. That man was to exercise dominion and subdue the earth under God, and that what the Sabbath of God typified was this rest, this peace, this dominion of victory. Christ having overcome in His Sabbath over the power of sin and death, we are to overcome in the name of Christ in one area after another, never perfectly in this life, but still to overcome. And yet by 1843, the translator could not all Calvin’s word here, and elsewhere similar comments, to stand without a footnote saying no no, it can’t be. Is it any wonder we are in the plight that we are? And that there is no Sabbath in the world today. No rest but a constant restlessness. No dominion, except of evil, because man has in pietistic fashion denied the Sabbath, denied the creation rest, the resurrection rest, the salvation rest, the dominion rest that God had ordained. Let us look, since our time is limited, at just one of the many, many passages that describe that Sabbath rest that is to come through Christ. Micah 4, verses 1 through 4 gives us one such example. “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains. And it shall be exalted above the hills and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come and say ‘come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob, and He will teach us of His ways and we will walk in His paths.’ For the law shall go forth of Zion and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among many people and rebuke strong nations afar off, and they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks, nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. But they shall sit, every man under his vine and under his fig tree and none shall make them afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.” Now here is God’s vision of the Sabbath rest. The whole world brought under the power of godly people, the Word of the Lord proclaimed unto all nations, and all nations made Christians, although not all men. And the law of the Lord taught and obeyed by all nations, peace from pole to pole. And every man, this is the great picture given over and over again in Scripture, sitting, resting, Sabbathing, under his vine and under his fig tree. Peace, prosperity, security, victory. This is the Sabbath. None shall make them afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it. What is our Sabbath? It is, as Calvin said, to celebrate the salvation of God, to study and to worship Him, to be better able to establish the Sabbath rest and peace throughout all the world. And then, to make all things under us subject to that Sabbath rest in the Lord. So that none are afraid, and every man rests in the government and the saving power of the Lord. For the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it. This is the sociology of the Sabbath. Let us pray. [00:47:50]

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we give thanks unto...[edit]

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we give thanks unto Thee for this Thy Word. We thank Thee, that Thou hast ordained a glorious rest, that the conquest of Canaan was a type of that rest. The universal peace from pole to pole is a step in that rest. And the new creation, the new heavens and earth, and Thine eternal kingdom is the fullness of that rest. O Lord, our God, we thank Thee for the rest that is ours in Jesus Christ, and for that totality of rest which shall be ours in Him. Teach us, therefore, so to labor in Jesus Christ that we enter into that rest and extend that rest to others. In His name we pray, Amen.

Our time is late but we have just a moment or two for a quick question or so. If there are no questions I’d like to share something with you very briefly which I think is important. Historians are used to criticizing some of the church fathers as though because they were Christian therefore they could not tell the truth, when actually there’s more good history in the church fathers sometimes than you can find in volumes of historians today. There’s a very interesting little work which is not Christian and not too worthwhile apart from what it has to say about falsification of history. It is B.H. Liddell Hart, Why Don’t We Learn From History. He writes, and I quote, “Another danger among ‘hermit’ historians is that they often attach too much value to documents. Men in high office are apt to have a keen sense of their own reputation in history. Many documents are written to deceive or conceal. Moreover, the struggles that go on behind the scenes, and largely determine the issue, are rarely recorded in documents. Experience has also given me some light into the processes of manufacturing history, artificial history. The product is less transparent than a silk stocking. Nothing can deceive like a document. Here lies the value of the war of 1914 to ‘18 as a training ground for historians. Governments opened their archives, statesmen and generals their mouths, in time to check their records by personal examination of other witnesses. After twenty years' experience of such work, pure documentary history seems to me akin to mythology. To those academic historians who still repose faith on it, I have often told a short story with a moral. When the British front was broken in March, 1918 and French reinforcements came to help in filling the gap, an eminent French general arrived at a certain army corps headquarters and there majestically dictated orders giving the line on which the troops would stand that night and start their counterattack in the morning. After reading it, with some perplexity, the corps commander exclaimed, “But that line is behind the German front. You lost it yesterday.” The great commander, with a knowing smile, thereupon remarked, ‘This is for history’. It may be added that for a great part of the war he had held a high staff position where the archives on which such official history would later depend had been under his control. Many are the gaps to be found in official archives, token of documents destroyed later to conceal what might impair a commander's reputation. More difficult to detect are the forgeries with which some of them have been replaced. On the whole British commanders do not seem to have been capable of more ingenuity than mere destruction or antedating of orders. The French were often more subtle; a general could safeguard the lives of his men as well as his own reputation by writing orders, based on a situation that did not exist, for an attack that nobody carried out—while everybody shared in the credit, since the record went on file. I have sometimes wondered how the war could be carried on at all when I have found how much of their time some commanders spent in preparing the ground for historians. If the great men of the past, where the evidence is more difficult to check, were as historically conscious as those of recent generations, it may well be asked what value can be credited to anything more ancient than contemporary history. The exploration of history is a sobering experience. It reduced the famous American historian, Henry Adams, to the state of cynicism shown in his reply to a questioning letter, ‘I have written too much history to believe in it. So if anyone wants to differ from me, I am prepared to agree with him.’ The study of war history is especially apt to dispel any illusions about the reliability of men's testimony and their accuracy in general, even apart from the shaping of facts to suit the purposes of propaganda.” [00:53:59]

Then he goes on to say, ...[edit]

Then he goes on to say, “No man is condemned save out of his own mouth.” So he said, what the great figures of this century have done is to open their mouths to write their own history and to destroy everything that would stand in the way of their interpretation. Now, Hart is a humanist. What he fails to see is that what has created this modern attitude is humanism. Facts have no meaning, and so as he writes, he describes how there has been wholesale rewriting of history. That one of the things he learned in World War I as an officer was that the officers above him; the top men, spent so much time rewriting history that some of them acquired great reputations, when they should have been as one of his superior officers said, hung for murder. And one case, the statement was made at the beginning of World War II, two of the top generals on the British side, by one under officer, that it would help the British cause more if they executed the two British generals and let go all the German espionage agents. This is the extent to which history is commonly rewritten. After all, a humanist has no standard but himself. And the result is showing up in modern historiography. This is why in the book Hunt for the Czar, Guy Richards is so concerned with demonstrating thoroughly falsified modern history has become. How the suppression of fact has become so total that a case like this, where it no longer makes much difference whether the truth is told or not, they will not tell the truth. Let us bow our heads now for the benediction.

And now go in peace. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost bless you and keep you, guide and protect you, this day and always, Amen.

[End of tape]