“Now therefore are we all [Cornelius and his family] here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.”
“Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table… Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children, and peace upon Israel.”
“…for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”
Order of Contents
Is Gen. 1:28, “Be fruitful & multiply” a Command?
That the Civil Government has a Civil Authority over the Family that they Neglect
. Not their Moral, Familial Duties
How Family Discipline Should Relate to Church & Civil Discipline
Binnie, William – The Family & the Commonwealth in the Psalms, p. 338, 16 pp. a chapter from his The Psalms: their History, Teachings and Use
Is Gen. 1:28, “Be fruitful & multiply” a Command?
Theoretical Practical Theology (RHB), vol. 3, bk. 3
ch. 9, Exegetical Part, p. 252
“Fecundity: “increase and multiply.” These words can have:
(1) an imperative sense, in which way the ancient Hebrews wanted there to be here a universal precept, placed upon all people, of contracting marriage, which they call ונמה פיריה מצות” ,the commandment of fruitfulness and multiplication,” because one who does not confirm this commandment has no part, they say, in the age to come. But in this way the commandment would fall even upon brute beasts, since the same thing is said of them in verse 22; in this way also there would be a commandment to have dominion over the fish, “have dominion over the fish of the sea,” and so forth.
(2) A concessive sense, just as in Genesis 2:16 and Deuteronomy 14:11, 20.
Finally, (3) a promissory sense, so that the imperative stands in place of the future, “increase” in place of “you will increase,” and so forth, such that he is promising fertility, power, and appetite to beget what is similar to them; hence this is said only of fecund things, but not of light, stars, plants, and so forth.”
ch. 11, section 4, pp. 356-57
“Moreover, God permits: (1) sometimes in express terms (Col. 2:16, 20–21; Gen. 2:16–17; Lev. 11:2–4), when he removes these or those things from among things prohibited; (2) sometimes only by nowhere prohibiting (cf. Rom. 14:14; Acts 10:15); (3) sometimes also in terms of commanding (Deut. 23:20; Gen. 1:28), just as in the same terms of commanding he sometimes expressly prohibits (Num. 22:20; John 13:27).”
That the Civil Government has a Civil Authority over the Family that they Neglect Not their Moral, Familial Duties
See also our webpage, ‘Contra Libertarianism’.
Due Right of Presbyteries… (1644), pt. 2, Appendix, pp. 441-42
“…and in obedience to the king all are to do their duty, and his care is universal over all, and his end [is] universal. That which is the end of pastors, doctors, elders, deacons, lawyers, judges, etc. is, in an universal intention, the king’s end, even God’s honor, by procuring in a regal way, that all do their duty in keeping the two Tables of the Law, and so is he the great politic-wheel moving by his royal motions all the under wheels toward that same end.”
Divine Right of Church Government... (London, 1646), ch. 25, pp. 568-69
“…who denies that the magistrate may command the husband and wife to do a duty to each other, the father not to provoke the son, the son not to disobey the father… the master and servant, the captaine and soldier to do a duty each, one to another? And there is a proper right and liberty, and power [in these relations] immedi∣ately given by God, without the king or magistrate’s interposing of their authority: to all these, the king’s authority makes not the man a father, nor the son subject to the father, nor the servant to the master, nor the soldier to the commander. God immediately made those powers, and God in the Law of Nature has given a power to the father over the son without the magi∣strate; yea, though there had never been a magistrate in the world…
…now it no more follows that all fathers are equal to the magistrate, all masters, all captains to the king… for fathers, masters, captains, husbands have immediately from God in the Law of Nature a supreme, a high and independent authority… without any intervention of the will or authority of king or any earthly magistrate, and without any subordination as they are such to the prince.
3. If the magistrate should usurp over husbands, and masters and fathers, their jus maritale, herile, paterum [right of marriage, being an heir, or a father], and spoil them of husband-power, and masterly and fatherly power, as our adversaries counsel the magistrate to take the spiritual right and power of the keys of the Kingdome of God from the Church and pastors, the former should complain, as do the latter.”
A Survey of the Survey of that Sum of Church Discipline penned by Mr. Thomas Hooker… (London, 1658), bk. 4, ch. 12, p. 488
“I wonder [in response to an opponent] more in what capacity the magistrate can have to do with commanding and governing men, if not as they converse morally with men, and in their families, as fathers and sons, as masters and servants, and as Christians who both in private and public may perform duties to one another, or oppress one another; else the judge could not punish the rebellious son, the wicked servant, or the murdering father and the oppressing master.”
A Brief Refutation of the Errors Toleration, Erastianism… (d. 1667; Edinburgh, 1692), section 3, pp. 107-8
“Ye know the civil magistrate, or church sessions, have much power about matters belonging to husband and wife, parents and children, so as to censure and punish them for their unnatural carriage towards each other and to see every one do duty to another; and yet neither the civil magistrate, nor church session has marital or husbandly power over the wife, or parental power over the children so as they might challenge the same duties from them to be done to themselves which the wife owes to her husband, or the children to the parents; the husband and parents only have that power…”
What the Steps of Family Discipline Should be & How it Should Relate to Church & Civil Discipline for those of Older Years
Jackson, John – pp. 70-74 of pt. 2 of Directions for the Private [& Public] Worship of God: Divided into Two Parts… (London, 1648) in Epitome Ugaiainonton Logon, or, A Taste of the Truth as it is in Jesus, consisting of Ten Questions & Answers… (London, 1648)
Jackson (1600-1648) was a Westminster divine. This is excellent.
Hall, Joseph – 2nd Decade, Case 3, ‘Whether may it be Lawful, in Case of Extremity, to Procure the Abortion of the Child, for the Preservation of the Mother?’ in Cases of Conscience Practically Resolved Containing a Decision of the Principal Cases of Conscience of Daily Concernment & Continual Use Amongst Men: Very Necessary for their Information & Direction in These Evil Times (London, 1654)
Hall was a godly, Anglican bishop; he gets the answer right.
All parties, including medical workers, ought to seek the preservation of both mother and child. It is morally possible, in order to prevent the mother’s death, to deliver the baby (either naturally or by C-section). There is a legitimate ethical difference between letting a baby die who cannot live (which ought to be done in such a case), versus actively killing the baby. It is also legitimately, ethically better to save either the mother or the baby, than to let both die. In some cases the mother might be able to live long enough, unto her death, in order to bear a baby that will live outside of the womb.
“Others (Rodr., Sum., Tome 1, ch. 5, de Abort.) more probably hold that if the case be utterly desperate, and it be certain that both mother and child must undoubtedly perish if some speedy remedy be not had, it may then be lawful to make use of such receits [receiving treatments] as may possibly give some hopes to save the mother, though not without some peril of the child. But all this while the intentions and indeavours must be no other than preservatory, however it pleases God to order the events:
Shortly, no man that purposely procures an abortion, as such, can wash his hands from blood; No woman that willfully acts, or suffers it (however the secrecy may exempt her from the danger of human laws) can think to avoid those judgments of the righteous God, which he has charged upon murderers.
But withal, let me advise you, (with Martinus Vivaldus, Mart. Alphons. Vivald., Expli. Bull Crue.) that what I have herein written against the procurers of abortions may not be extended to the practice of those discrete physicians and chirurgeans [surgeons], who, being called to for their aid in difficult and hopeless child-births, prescribe to the woman in travail such receits as may be like to hasten her delivery (whether the child be alive or dead); forasmuch as the conception is now at the full maturity and the endeavor of these artists is not to force an abortment, but to bring forward a natural birth to the preservation of the mother, or the child, or both.” – pp. 96-7, 100
The Presbyterian Digest of 1886
“This Assembly regards the destruction by parents of their own offspring before birth with abhorrence as a crime against God and against nature and as the frequency of such murders can no longer be concealed we hereby warn those that are guilty of this crime that except they repent they cannot inherit eternal life.
We also exhort those who have been called to preach the gospel and all who love purity and the truth and who would avert the just judgments of almighty God from the nation that they be no longer silent or tolerant of these things but that they endeavor by all proper means to stay the floods of impurity and cruelty.”
Contemporary Video, Images & Article
Beautfiul Video of Life in the Womb, 3:40 min.