Dabney, Jacob, and Esau

This brief post is a quote from one distinguished Southern man concerning the father of the Jews. In his small book The Five Points of Calvinism, Presbyterian theologian and Confederate army officer Robert Louis Dabney (1820-1898) makes a statement that –for several reasons- would absolutely stun most professing Christians in present day Imperial America. In the 3rd section, on God’s Election, Dabney states the following:

“God knew He had a reason for preferring the sinner, Jacob, to the sinner Esau. But this reason could not have been any forseeing merit of Jacob’s piety by two arguments: The choice was made before the children were born. There never was any piety in Jacob to forsee, except what was to follow after as an effect of Jacob’s election. Esau appears to have been an open, hard-mouthed, profane person; Jacob, by nature, a mean, sneaking hypocrite and supplanter. Probably God judged their personal merits as I do, that personally Jacob was a more detestable sinner than Esau. Therefore, on grounds of forseen personal desserts, God could never have elected either of them. But His omniscience saw a separate, independent reason why it was wisest to make the worse man the object of His infinite mercy, while leaving the other to his own profane choice”.

Without commenting on various positions on Soteriology and election, which was the purpose of Dabney’s book, let us examine one aspect of his statement. “Jacob was a more detestable sinner than Esau”. That is true. Esau was a strong, but unwise and profane man -a man of the field and the sword. Jacob was momma’s little boy, dwelling in the tent and scheming. In the effeminate and Zionist crazed land of present day American churches, would any preacher (1) think this way about Jacob and (2) then dare to say it in print or from his pulpit? I think not. In addition to being an actual manly man, Dabney apparently did not fear the Jews.

There is a reason why I like reading religious material by men who have been dead for at least a century; it is often much better than what is being published today.


  1. Dear Mr. Putnam,
    The article was a great idea and well written – succinct and pertinent.
    One note on your punctuation…

    ‘Probably God judged their personal merits as I do, that personally Jacob was a more detestable sinner than Esau. ‘

    When you make a complete statement that, as another complete statement, is a refinement of another, we set that off with a semi-colon. Also, your use of the words, ‘probably, and, ‘personally’ are comments on a comment, and, thus, must be set off by a comma, so as to read…

    ‘Probably, God judged their personal merits, as I do; that, personally, Jacob was a more detestable sinner than Esau. ‘

    And, yes, – it’s very hard to read ‘Christian’ writers, today, as so many of them are unwitting Judeo-Bolsheviks.

    1. Hello Mr. Daniel,
      Thanks for liking my post and commenting. That is always appreciated. Yes, many modern “Christian” preachers have embraced Judeo-Bolshevik ideology.
      I do agree that the punctuation in my Dabney quote seems a bit off, but I was direct transcribing it from the paperback 2010 reprint of that book that I bought from Amazon. I have noticed that older books, like Jefferson’s “Notes on the State of Virginia” do not always follow our rules for spelling, punctuation, and sentence construction. That is assuming that the editors of the reprint edition I bought were careful in transcribing from a vintage copy of Dabney’s work.

      1. Dear Mr. Putnam,
        You’re very welcome. By the way, I am a novelist, and, thus, I can confirm to you what you observed : punctuation has changed every 50-75 years, and, yes, American, in general, evinces some variance with that of our Mother Country.

        What I gave you is classical English punctuation – that which is most beyond reproach. My concern is that, as you are a growing voice, I don’t want our enemies to be able to deride you for writing like an ignorant rube – and, be assured, they will, at the slightest mistake.

        Anyway – good work! All the best to you and yours!