Friday, September 5, 2008

Patriarchal Mediation for His Family in the Writings of Palmer

Note these excerpts from the Confederate minister Palmer's work, describing the great significance of the essential component of the "Natural Religion" of patriocentricity. These quotes argue for the patriarch as a spiritual mediator for his family, a theme that the patriocentrics of today have further expanded upon, teaching that wives find spiritual sanctification in their husbands and as a consequence of his governance.

These themes are reiterated in Philip Lancaster's "
Family Man, Family Leader" in contemporary language. All of these same key concepts and themes that Lancaster presents were first described by Palmer in 1876. These teachings were not original teachings of Lancaster, yet he does not reference Palmer.

The Family in its Civil and Churchly Aspects: An Essay in Two Parts”

Pg 240 -243

We have seen, in a previous chapter, how the first father was the organ of primeval worship, and the prophet to convey the tenets of the primeval faith to the offspring of his loins. Also when sacrifices were instituted under the dispensation of grace, the patriarch was invested with the functions of priesthood; and as the appointed mediator, conveyed in the patriarchal blessing the utterance of divine approval…

Beyond this, however, mediation is interwoven into the very texture of the Family… Indeed, the whole of parental duty is a system of mediation, often attended with suffering and self-denial, but always impelled by love. If these hints should be deemed obscure, and the analogy but faint, it must be remembered that the doctrine of mediation by Jesus Christ as the greatest revelation of God’s grace to man. It is enough if, in the daily outworking of Family life, there should be found even this analogy to hold up the principle against oversight and forgetfulness.

Pg 291

On each recurring Sabbath, when the father and the mother sit at either end of the family pew, with their offspring between them, does not the great congregation appear as a collection of smaller churches aggregated in one large assembly of worshippers?

But enough. If the Family holds the knowledge of God amongst men in the instruction it affords, much more is the depository of His worship. Each pious household is a separate fibre of those roots by which the Church of the living God takes hold upon the earth, and preserves his existence in a sinful world.