Blog Post



St. Peter’s Basilica – Vatican City


Over a week ago LSP had a blog post that reminded me that love of God is measured by our personal purity. No unclean thing can dwell in the presence of God. The litmus test for this is, of course, the example set by Jesus Christ.  How are we like him?

To the extent that we are filthy shows the extent to which we’ve departed from the love of THE God, our Eternal Father, and his only begotten Son. It also shows that we worship another god and it should be a source of concern as we reflect.

Do you lift up the poor and afflicted? Are YOU the good Samaritan, giving aid to the one who was set upon on the road to Jericho? “In as much as you have done it unto the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto me.”

There are a number of examples for us to measure ourselves against – good examples and bad ones.

Are we in a monkey trap? In order to trap a monkey, you construct a small cage and chain it to a rock that can’t be moved. There is a hole in the cage big enough for a monkey to slip its hand into.  Inside there is a cage there is a large nut that the monkey wants. The monkey grabs the nut in its fist and tries to remove it from the cage but he can’t, so there he sits, waiting for the hunter to take him.

The trick is to have the courage to let go of the nut and free yourself. You can’t serve God and mammon.

And that’s the sermonette.



In Northumberland


If you’re reading this, it’s been a year since the last nationally rigged election in the USA. 



In Heaven, there is no Beer

So goes the song.

Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink in the United Kingdom. It might be a surprise to some readers to know that this beverage was only introduced to England in the latter half of the fourteenth century and that it arrived thanks to Dutch immigrants.

The story of beer in medieval England is told by Milan Pajic in his recent article “‘Ale for an Englishman is a natural drink’: the Dutch and the origins of beer brewing in late medieval England.” Pajic was able to find new evidence to show that beer was being drunk in southeastern England as early as the 1350s, decades earlier than previous research has suggested.

Ale was the most popular drink in England throughout the Middle Ages, having been brewed for centuries and consumed regularly by adults and children. Until near the end of the medieval period, the brewing of ale was a widespread activity, often done by women. Meanwhile, beer was brewed in northern and eastern continental Europe, and during the fourteenth century was becoming widespread in the Low Countries.

Pajic explains that beer was introduced to England by Dutch immigrants. The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries would see more and more people coming across the English Channel to settle in London and other towns, especially in the southeastern part of the country.  England’s Immigrants Database records that were over 64,000 immigrants living in England between 1330 and 1550, with the Low Countries being one of the main areas of origin.

When these Dutch immigrants came to England, their thirst for beer did not subside, and they were soon importing barrels of the beverage for themselves and to sell to others in the immigrant community. Pajic was able to find scattered references to beer by the 1350s, spotting them in various civic and court records. For example, in 1358, Margaret fan Outraght claimed in a lawsuit that she left six barrels of beer left at the house of Mace fan Rotterdame in Great Yarmouth, but they had gone missing.

There were also records of shipments of beer coming from the Low Countries arriving in ports such as London, Great Yarmouth, and Hull. During the latter half of the fourteenth century, the amount of beer being imported into England was growing rapidly. Pajic was able to find a consignment of 432 barrels of beer that went to Newcastle from Arnemuiden in the year 1380.

He also notes that by the last quarter of the fourteenth century even native-born English people could be found selling beer. One of the reasons for the growing taste for beer in England was that English soldiers fighting in the Hundred Years’ War had experienced the drink while on the continent, and were eager to have more of it.

Until near the end of the fourteenth century, we know that people were drinking beer in England, but that all of this beverage was being exported from the Low Countries. The Dutch, in fact, were becoming major suppliers of beer in Europe, with hundreds of breweries exporting their products. However, Pajic explains that a new change was occurring:

The first evidence of someone brewing beer comes from 1398–9. Peter Woutersone, Ducheman, was fined for buying ‘wheat in the market in order to produce beer, to the great damage of the same market’. The very wording of the fine suggests that the authorities were not keen on allowing beer to be brewed. This is the earliest official evidence found so far of beer production in England, that is, slightly earlier than the previous studies have suggested.

We can soon see more evidence of Dutch men and women coming to England to work as beer brewers – for example, sets of local records from the fifteenth century show that you could find six beer brewers in Great Yarmouth and 12 in Colchester. In the country’s capital, several beer brewers were admitted into the city’s brewers guild. Overall England’s Immigrants Database finds that there were 117 individuals whose occupation was stated as beer brewer who came to England between 1350 and 1490, most of them from the Low Countries. Pajic notes that this number rises to 333 if we also include people who most likely were brewers based on their last name. Pavic believes that many of the brewers decided to come to England because they saw opportunities to serve the local market and bypass the overseas trade.


21 thoughts on “Sermonette

  1. During prohibition in Kansas, my Dutch immigrant grandfather had a still. He had one client, the VFW in a larger city some 30 miles from his house. He made one batch a week to help feed his large family. Yesterday was a very good year when you have nothing else to wet your whistle.

    1. My grandparents would brew their own and, on occasion, would invite a relative over for a few drinks – the county sheriff :)

      1. The National Prohibition Act, known informally as the Volstead Act created a lot more problems than it solved. The issue of intoxicants and drugs is still at the national forefront and it will never go away.

        1. Saw somewhere that it’s been estimated that around 10,000 people died of the poison the govt added to some of the bootleg booze.
          We had to kill the people to save the people – twisted logic there.

          1. Put a nickel on the drum, save another drunken bum.

            (they were no longer alcoholics.)

        2. My uncle was well known for his wine.
          This went on into the 90s.
          He had a small mother in law house next to his that was gutted for the process.
          The mayor and police chief were customers.
          He was always trying to find a source of sugar that the volume of his purchases wouldn’t trigger the ATF.

          1. Well, there was a reason behind Prohibition. We were killing ourselves on alcohol, to the extent it was a far greater national crisis in reality than Der Covidiocracy.

            Prohibition was a good reset. Lot less people died of alcohol-related issues after it than before.

            Still, it was a huge hit on personal freedom. Wrong thing done for right reasons or right thing done for wrong reasons. Either way, it paved the way for all the upcoming gun control acts.

          2. Beans, that’s true, Perhaps if the temperance movement had succeeded without the Volstead Act we would not have had the nightmare of gang warfare and the mob and the Federal Firearms Act of 1938 as you alluded to.

  2. It’s interesting to compare/contrast God’s warning to Adam versus Eve’s reply to Satan as to why they shouldn’t eat the fruit from that tree.
    It looks like something got added.

    1. If historians are correct, and I don’t know that they are, Genesis was based on an earlier work called “The Book of the Generations of Adam”. Nobody has that book, but it was referred to in ancient writings and in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

      Then there was the problem of two Bibles, one belonging to the Northern 10 Tribes and the other belonging to the Jews in Jerusalem. According to reliable sources at the time, they were combined in the days of Jeremiah. (The story of Noah in the current Old Testament is two stories overlaid if you read it closely)

      So to your point, the story was told and retold.

  3. Beer was a much safer drink than water – the brewing process kills dangerous micro-organisms. “Small beer” (approx 1.5% strength?) was drunk more for its purity than for its alcoholic content, even by small children.

    1. Absolutely true and that was also true of wine base, added to water to make it potable.

      1. In very much the same vein, apple cider (hard cider), in earlier times, was drunk for its purity as the alcohol content destroyed harmful pathogens making it safer than the water supplies. I read an interesting biography of Johnny Appleseed, (John Chapman), who traveled extensively, planting and creating apple orchards with farmers and popularized hard cider. Cannot remember the name or author of the book.

        Also recommend this book: In the Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible and How it Changed a Nation, a Language, and a Culture Hardcover – April 10, 2001
        by Alister McGrath (Author), setting forth the creation of the King James version, which I grew up being taught and which is the basis of my Christianity. Interesting stuff!

        Religion by committee?

  4. “If you’re reading this, it’s been a year since the last nationally rigged election in the USA.”
    That’s only because the fake ballots printed in China and intended for use in VA and NJ are still stuck in a container on a ship floating off the West Coast.

  5. We do what we can to help others, within our means. Especially these days… Re beer/wine, it actually saved lives as it purified the water!

  6. Less than 3 years away from my eighth decade how I will be judged is a question not to be ignored. Am I suddenly going to change with the hope of improving my chances? No, I’ll stand or fall on the totality of my life.

  7. LL, we have to say, with St. James, faith without works is dead. And what are these “works”? Acts of love towards God and Man. As James reminds us, “faith without works is dead.”

    The Widows of Zerephath and at the Temple attest to this.

  8. A good synopsis of Genesis and the whole Garden of Eden is to look at the Tree that bore the fruit.

    God gave us humans the opportunity to stay uninformed and unintelligent and we could have remained forever stupid and happy. But, well, us uplifted hominids had to go and eat of the fruit onf knowledge, so our eyes were open.

    The whole Old Testament is God treating us humans as children. First we were ‘born’ and then our childhood and teenage years. “Don’t do this, don’t do that, or you’ll be punished.”

    The New Testament is God saying to us, “All your past sins are absolved. You are all adults. Try to do good, okay?”

    Were we uplifted by the Tree too soon? Would we have been better if we had stewed a bit more?

    Would it have been better to remain stupid and ignorant?

    Or was the first sign of love by God his giving us The Choice?

    From an adult’s standpoint, sometimes the best way to get a child to do something is to say “No, you’re not ready.”

    Lots and lots of skull-sweating philosophy in both bibles. Lots and lots of deep meanings layered on deep meanings layered on deep meanings. The type of knowledge that one day will enlighten you, as you hear or think about something you’ve heard your whole life and suddenly, wham, you see the truth behind the truth.

  9. Good stuff LL “leading in love” means – partly – to maintain situational awareness both in your faith and the world, doing “good” for those God places in your path. This could be simple things like helping someone load their car, or offering great assistance to those known or unknown when needed.

    It’s not complicated, just requires a humble heart and mind, and to not be in such a hurry we run past someone in need without a thought.

    Whiskey in the Old West…because the water was in the horse trough and couldn’t be trusted, especially if Zeke got tossed in after a drunken bender to wake him up and get on his horse and back to checking fence.

    “No beer in Heaven”?? Not so fast. The Water-Wine miracle says adult beverages ARE sanctioned. heh

Comments are closed.

Scroll to top