Kulturhistorie

Per Gjendem: Hans Nielsen Hauge (1771-1824), Lay-Preacher and Social Reformer.

Ganske uforberedt snublet jeg for noen år siden over referanser til romsdalinger som på ett eller annet vis hadde tilknytning til predikanten Hans Nielsen Hauge, født 3 april 1772 på Rolvsøy i Smaalenerne, (som nå heter Østfold  fylke). Indremisjonens bok ”Den åpne dør” og en artikkel i Romsdal Sogelags-artikkel av nyere dato, beskjeftiget seg  med haugianske veverer og fargerer som slo seg ned på Dale og Mjelva i Rauma. Fra før hadde jeg studert bygdebøker på Søre Sunnmøre og muntlig gjennom Knardal-slekt  hørt at salmediktersken Berte Kanutte Aarflot og min kunnskapsrike oldemor Sivrina Knardal på Rovdestranda i Vanylven tilhørte ”leser”-flokken.

At de ikke bare var av samme slekt som landsmålpioneren Ivar Aasen, den frilynde presten  Anders Hovden, den landskjente redaktør Rasmus Steinsvik og og pressepioneren P.M. Gjærder. Romsdalingene har også synt seg  byrge av haugianske ættelinjer. Egen granskning av Sotnakk i Osen, Kleive  og  Tolaas i Årøhagen, Bolsøy, avslørte  fotefar etter haugianere på nordsida av Romsdalsfjorden som jeg har gjort greie for.

NRK-Sogn og Fjordane kunne  t.d. dokumentere på si hjemmeside at forkynneren H.N. Hauge også satte spor etter  forkynnervirksomhet i bygdene langs Førdefjorden, der kjente emisærer fra Vevring og Naustdal gjorde seg gjeldende, for eksempel Ola Sjursson Saveland, korpssmeden fra Bergen som bosatte seg i Naustedalen, Videre landskjente  Anders Haave som spredte evangeliet så langt nord som Balsfjord i Troms. Sistnevnte, far til Abraham Haave, gardbruker i Stavang i Flora i 1853. En  annen haugianer var Anders Redal, bonde og politiker i 50 år.

Kristenlivet i Ørsta og Volda kan best beskrives som et sentralt forskningsfelt for DH-Volda. Bygdebokforfatteren for Ørsta, Bjørn Jonson Dale, har også gjort et grundig arbeid når det gjelder haugianske innvandrere. Ulstein kommune beretter stolt om Svend Svensen Raunsgaard på Borgarøya (1788-1858) fra Hallingdal som i 1805, oppfordret av sin åndelige leder H.N. Hauge ,som først  bosette seg på Postvoren i Ørsta. Faren Webjørn kom til Ørsta med 8 barn, Svend var eldst. Kone ble Marta Nilsdtr. Langeland (1786-1861) fra en sunnmørsgard som Hauge hadde besøkt på  ei  tidligere evangeliserings-ferd langs postvegen fra Bergen til Trondheim. Forkynnelsen gav predikanten 10 år i fengsel med tap av helse. Til tross for store plager, også mentalt,  etter fengslingen, framstod den eldre Hauge som åndelig leder for bonderepresentantene  på Stortinget. Med et budskap om å bygge det nye Norge.

(Oppslag på bedehusveggen i Hauges heimbygd).

Background for the Scandinavian haugianism:

Christian den 5tes Norske Lov, artikkel 5:

”Præsterne skulle i deris Prædikener forklare de forordede Texter, og dennem henføre til Troens Lærdom og Christelige Skikke og Sæder, og retteligen lære Loven og Evangelium efter Guds aabenbare Ord, og den Hellige Kirkis Symbola og den Uforandrede Augsburgiske Bekiendelse, og baade i Kirken saa vel som andenstæds i ærlige Forsamlinger, i Omgængelse og Besøgelser formane deris Tilhørere at frygde Gud og ære Kongen, og i deris Liv og Levnet lade see Troens Fruger: Og særdelis saa lempe deris Prædikener, eftersom Tilhørernis Forhold, mest udkræver”.

Konventikkelplakaten  1741, forskrift:

”Anlangende hvorvidt gudelige Forsamlinger, uden for den offentlige Guds Tieneste, til videre Oppbyggelse og Gudfrtygtigheds Øvelse, under vedkommende Lærerers Iostb, må tillades, og hvilke derimod, som u-tilladelge, og mistændelige, forbydes”.

Lutheranism and pietism:

The Lutheran reformation in Norway and Denmark resulted from King Christian III’s conversion to Lutheran faith. By assuming leadership of the church, he laid the foundations for the state church system, still prevailant in Norway, as well as Denmark. In 1537, protestantism or lutherianism, became the official creed of the double monarchy, and it was  well established by 1600.With the introduction of absolute monarchy in 1660, a complete transfer of church authority to the state took place. The monarch’s absolute power weakened gradually.

However church affairs were for two hundred years administered centrally, regionally and locally by government bodies. Bishops, deans and vicars were civil cervants, appointed by the throne.  Early pietism awoke a Lutheran revival, first 1670 in Germany, and it reached Scandinavia  around 1670 and faded again twenty years later. Bishop Erik Pontoppidan’s explanations of the evangelican-lutheran creed (1736) provided the essence of the state school system, teaching the official unity of authorities and religion.

Danish-Norwegian law in the 17th and 18th centuries didn’t altogether forbid private religious meeting, but strictly regulated the practice of worship, so as to protect a pure, official Lutheran creed. An Act of Conviction 1741, (in Norwegian called ”Konventikkelplakaten”), was especially opposed to dreamers and travelling lay-preachers. Hans Nielsen Hauge, (1771-1824), was regarded as one of these straywalkers by vicars who were sceptical to his preaching. Nobody was allowed to leave their position and occupation to mess with the tasks of the clergy.

Identity-problems:

Hans Nielsen Hauge experienced religious lability from his 22nd to his 25th living-year. Like the poet Åsmund Olavson Vinje he suffered from socalled ”tvisyn”, mental forces struggling for supremacy in his mind. The turning-point was of course the change of mental orientation in connection with  his christian awakening on 5 apr 1796. From now on the had become an evangelic  teacher of the public, indeed a lay-preacher in competition with the State Church of Norway. In the beginning he criticised the clergy harshly. His Wandererjahre  soon began, first to Christiania, then the woodmills of the Drammen-area. On another trip he visited Holmestrand, Tønsberg and Kongsberg. Twice he went to Copenhagen in order to learn the art of bookprinting. His program of enlightenment reminds closely of Henrik Wergeland.

Nobody becomes a prophet in their own backyard. Bishop Peder Hansen of Kristiansand  at Agder used the words ”an inresponsible rebel” about this humble preacher. On the other hand the bishop of Bergen , Johan Nordal Brun,  was a man of wisdown and integrity saw through all the hypocricy He repremanded his fellow clerymen and county sheriffs.”Let this man be, for he is no rebell”, he wrote. The Haugean followers were godabiding persons, hardworking citizens and church-goers. They regularly attended sermons on Church-Sundays. Their personal engagement was a supplement to the official religious practice of Church of Norway-clergy. Never they raised their voices with hostile reproaches to their clerical superiors.

A disillutionised defector?

The evangelisation of Hans Nielsen Hauge resulted in imprisonment 1804-1811, and he was again convicted for illegal religious activity 1813-1814. After that Hauge ended his crucade for personal faith among his followers. He never pretended to be perfect, but his adversaries nonetheless believed he had become spiritually broken. Letters and later publications show that wasn’t true. Rather a change of strategy had taken place. Particularly he wanted to be regarded as a successful business-man and a pillar similar to the ruling classes. Soon ”stortingsmend”, peasant leaders, industrialists and investors appeared at his dinnertable on his farm outside of Christiania. Most of all he wanted haugianism to become a stable and accepted movement amongst Norwegian intelligentia. A clear message was therefore sent to his follower to refrain from provocing the authorities, like he had done in younger years.

Social consequences:

The result of his procecution however among common people gave the opposite effect of what was intended, a wide  spiritual and political awakening among common people. Religiously Hauge promoted the spreading of the gosple through personal faith and secondly missionary activities home and abroad. Secondly advocating industry and business to have a say in the social development, he motivated the forming of political parties, enabling common  farmers to become a political force. He has less credibly been credited a forerunner of the first socialist movement of Marcus Thrane. Hauge and Thrane had their liberal religion in common. At least a theory consistant with Hauge’s view regarding justice and equality. As a result of restrictions to creed and worship, their followers were among the first emigrants to the United States of America, the young nation across the Atlantic.

Michael G. Landmark of Copenhagen, (1933-2002), describes Hauge in his display of ”Famous Norwegians”.as the Norwegian who got he greatest influence on Norwegian religious life since the Age of Reformation. Although he was guilty of no crime known to the code of morality, and although he was one of the most earnest and sincere christians of the land, like John Bunyan of England, he was made to languish for 10 long years within the walls of prison, simply because he held profound christian views and insisted on practising them. 5 apr 1796 was to become a turningpoint in the life of Hans Nielsen Hague. 25 years he was plowing his dad’s acres, he suddenly felt the nearness of God and started to sing ”Jesus din søde forening at smage”. Thus the inscription below at the wall of Tune assembly-house , remembering his spiritual baptism on 5 apr 1796.

Second wave pietism:

This first spell of Scandinavian pietism developed parallell to the secular streams of enlightenment and democratisation. The Conventicle Act of 1741 made private religious assemblies illegal, unless positively permitted by the local clergy. A regulation abolished 1842, resulting from recent community laws a couple of years earlier. A 2nd phase of Norwegian pietism was initiated by Hans Nielsen Hauge whose message was that everyone had a right to preach the gospel. According to current law such a task was restricted to ordained Church of Norway-clergy, who were in fact civil servants. Chiefly with foreign sounding names and mostly of Danish and Friesian decent. 19th century pietism combined an opposition and a democratic protest against the unquestionable clergy, accused of siding with the ”ruling classes”, ranking in social esteem high above  the modest position of simple craftsmen and peasants.

Out of the organisation of Hans Nielsen Hauge grew autonomous church organisations for domestic and foreign mission. After the war humanitarian state projects developed as a competitor to the christian mission of those private organisations. Paradoxally the regime of Kjell Magne Bondevik deconstructed NORAD, which was AP’s pet, instead integrating the traditional  foreign aid into a giant state mission, chiefly relying on the fundings of our taxpayers. Hauge’s principal writings include ”Forsøg til Afhandling om Guds visdom” (1796), ”Anvisning til nogle mærkelige sprog i Bibelen”, (1798) og ”Forklaring over Loven g Evangeliet”, (1803). His adherents who didn’t break formally with the church, were called ”Lesere” (ie ”Readers”). No doubt Hauge did much to revive the spiritual life of  Scandinavian Lutheranism. Though he cannot be said to have rejected any article of the Lutheran creed, his stressing of the evangelical  doctrives of faith and grave involve antagomism  to the rationalistic views of his contemporaty clergy.

Trade and commerce.

Hauge was involved in several kinds of business-activity, from saltburning to cornmills. His preaching combined business-activities of various kinds. Among other things he bought himself a trading-letter in Bergen in  order to engage in Nordland-trading during the Lofoten fishing-season. Consequently became, as demonstrated by the historian Børge Solem, two entire boatcrews,”Læsarlaget” from Rissa as well as ”Præstlaget” from Stadsbygd in Sør-Trøndelag, dedicated followers of Hauge’s movement. . The Act of Confession caused difficulties to Hauge’s evangelisation in various manners. Potential follower were anxious for repraisals from the clergy and the worldly  authorities.

Difficulties at finding a printing business for the publications of the congregation, brought Hauge to Bergen. This was also the releasing factor to a three weeks walk from Vestlandet through Romsdal, Surnadal and Orkdal before he reached Trondheim, Here the printer Willum Stephansen was a trusted associate. In the fall of 1799 he printed a religious songbook and a collection of preaches for Hauge. In the capacity of being an invited guest by his followers, he held house sermons at Byneset, Leinstrand and Orkdal, indeed as far to the south as Oppdal. Sheriff Iver Monsen of  the parish Melhuus was sympathetic to Hauge’s evangelisation. But vicar Steenbuch a tough adversary on the other side. He urges for an arrest which took place om 23 des 1799. The court proceedings opened on 9 jan 1800, and he was put in gaoul on 4 feb same year.

Focus on industrial enteprises:

Hans Nielsen Hauge moved a focus from onesided agricultural society to another of industry and commerce. In need for his expertice, the authorities had to release him from prison temporarily during the Napoleonic Wars when Norway had problems with salt-supplies. His initiative and determination made his spiritual follows find their position amongst the Eidsvoldmen (legislation fathers of Norway). Three Haugean followers were present among the Eidsvoldmen; and were indeed afterwards elected representatives to the first National Assembly. The lifestyle of Hauge’s followers nationwide spread like rings in the water, spiritually, economically, socially and politically. A positive force in the history of Norway.

Stressing the importance of a need for economic stability, we stand at the roots to their strong position in social life and in business.life likewise. They appeared as pioneers in the development of various aspects of society. Social servants, initially the toughest contenstants of haugianism, later on realised their misinterpretation and gave them a fair certificate as honest members of society. Everywhere Hauge’s preaching was welcomed, the consumption of alcohol had been reduced. Thus the hopeless situation of the poorest crofters improved gradually. His greatest merit was of course what was done spiritually.

However Gunnar Teigland stresses the political impact of haugeanism because it pointed out a road to social change. (cfr. Syn og Segn, 1973 p 356). Bishop Andreas Aarflot points to their christian values of equality  and individual freedom, distant from the idea of common property. Haugeanism fathomed the entire country, and it was far from the initiator’s intention to create a secluded religius cernel, separate from the common christian life of his courntrymen. Agreed haugeanism became a prelude to the political battles that resulted in community representation and emigration. Most of all it was a protest against dependency of foreign imposed, unitary rule by monarchs abroad, apart from the participations of ordinary citizens.

Religious politics:

Halvdan Koht saw the strength of haugianism in their unity of faith and policy. It was therefore only natural that two haugian leaders thrived at Eidsvold 1814. John Hansen Sørbrøden from Smaalenerne and Christopher Borgersen Hoen from Eiker, in addition to Ole Rasmusen Apenæs from Bore. They were outmanouvered before the extraordinary assembly 7 oct og 26 nov 1814 when sheriff Jens Gram released Christopher Hoen. However the haugians’s position became strenghtened by the arrival of more ”thingmen” from Vestlandet, viz Ole Svanøe from Kinn and Torger Nes from Lyster, plus Torbjørn Sandvig from Sønnhordland and Nils Bru from Ryfylke. The haugian John Haugvaldstad ushered the formation of  ”*Det norske Misjonsselskap” (1842).

Especially Ole Svanøe was a formidable herold, becoming representative to Stortinget 1814, 21, 22, 27, 28, 30, 37 and 42. Ole Svanøe was spoken kindly of as a gentle, intelligent and influential christian personality. Nils Trulsen Broe (Bru) was elected 1814, 21 and 22. Ole Paulsen Haagenstad appeared 1814, 15-16, 18, 24, 28, 33, 36, 37, 39 and 42. Ole Halvorson Mjelva, a respresentive from Romsdal, met 1836 -37. The famous Torger Halvorsen Næss who was property-owner at Vestnes, met 1814, 15-16 and 33. Ole Torjusen Svanøe met 1814, 21, 22, 24, 27, 28, 36-37 and 42. John Johnsen Sørbrøden was elected 1814 and 1833. Subsitute 1815-16 plus 1818. Søren Jørgensen Aandal met 1842, 51, 57 and 58, substitute 1845, 48, 59-60.

The Inner Mission Organisation:

We don’t exaggerate maintaining that Hans Nielsen Hauge became a key-figure in 19th century awakening and establishment of an Inner Mission in Europe. Experiencing God’s finger pointing at him, he was to become a preacher, in spite of secular laws forbidding such activity. After his long enprisonment, he took in that some fellow countrymen took offence at his engagement. Calmly he withdrew from official attention to his farm outside of Christiania in Agershuus. He realised that the best example he could give to his followers was his rolemodel as a successful businessman who sought to improve the economic conditions of his converts.

Helping them to establish trades and new factories. All the time he was focused on with disregard by conservative forces, fearing the combination of financial power and religious uprisings. Fifty years later Norwegian peasants left the ages of unfreedom reaching a new status by representation in Amt and Community, plus a National Assembly, inspired by the ideas of the French revolution, plus the construction of the constitution of the former colonies, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln in the United States of America.

Haugianism viewed by Karsten Alnes:

There are historical commentators, like Karsten Alnes, author of ”Historien om Norge” from the iceage until the year of 2000, who maintain that no individual has ment so much to Norway as the laypreacher H. N. Hauge. More precisely he narrows his point, saying that Hauge was the first modern man our country, because he was the first individual to transcend the set conservative limitations of the traditional agricultural society in which he grew up.

If such an supposition is true, the laypreacher far from got he attention and credits he deserved. Alnes found some defence in Arne Garborg’s ”Trætte Mænd”: It wasn’t  Henrik Wergeland, but Hans Nielsen Hauge who created 19th century Norway!”

Karsten Alnes tells that Hauge was badly commemorated because history hasn’t fully understood his importance as a chip in labour-history, showing muscles after his death in 1824. The young preacher was an intermediator of revolutionary spirit, marking a farewell from ”folk-museal”assessment of a family-farm-system with crofting and natural household. Norway mustn’t be regarded as a static society, as long as an internal emigration of 800.000 persons took place from overpopulated ”Fjell-Noreg” to coastal districs , from East to West, from Vestlandet to Northern Norway, et cetera, decades before emigration across the Atlantic really started.

The business-ethics of Hans Nielsen Hauge:

The difference in historical perspective from the extremely thorough author Kjell Bondevik to a soft-punch-historian like Karsten Alnes, who seems to believe he has adopted a more moderen approach, is evident. The rebel attitude of young H. N. Hauge may be overstressed. He can hardly be seen as a socialist pioneer. Another historian, Dag Kullerud on the other side stresses he didn’t produce a biography simply to describe and honour a great man. Especially he feels impressed with the guidelines of haugeanism, modesty, caution and concideration, embedded in a set of business-rules, described as merchant ethics. Such prinicples as still relevant as long as Norway remains outside the European Union (EU). Our business-life is widely regulated by parashute-deals, after-wages, option agreement and greedy industrial leaders, hiding their lugubrious tracks as well as they can.

KRF-politician Sigbjørn Ravnåsen participates in a discussion as to Hauge’s business codex in his book ”Ånd og hånd. Hans Nielsen Hauges etikk for ledelse og næringsliv”  (Luther., 2002). Of course it it gives a positive signal that Næringslivets Hovedorganisasjon (NHO) and  the Dpt. of Education and Research (FU) were willing to support  a thorough study of Hauges business-ethics. Practically Hauge’s leadership built on care and understanding for our fellow men. And Hauge stressed the neccessity of being a personal example to emplyees. A leader of an enterprise must take social responsibility, locally and nationally. Workers must generally be urged to invest parts of their income in the business whey work for, so as to protect their positions.

Preben Munthe’s view on  Hans Nielsen Hauge:

A commission on social values was the baby of Kjell Magne Bondevik and his government. Sharp elbows, greed, egocentrism and indecenty, in brief every excess of a supercompetitive and inhumane society, was put at stake. Materialism and a tendency to estimate everything according to an economic standard, even live and health. In postmodernism any value must be reexamined, to distinguish the legal and righteous from the deplorable and illegal. In this context we hesitate at the name of Hans Nielsen Hauge who started herring-export, papermills, salt-production etc in order to finance his evangelisation.

That isn’t the entire picture, Preben Munthe, professor of social economy at Oslo University tells us. Like Max Weber work and industry represented a moral value in its own capacity. The worldly was irremovable from the spiritual aspect. Idleness was a sin we should avoid by all means. Hard work and disposal in expectation of meagre years was imperative. Hauge preached that we should put side from our surplus in preparation for times of cathastrophy and hunger. And a flow of fresh cash was essential to the establishment of new business. Big spending on the scale of therefore a moral sin, a warning to investors who care the least for the foot-soldiers of their businesses.

Memorial words by Leif Frode Onarheim:

Former President of the NHO, Leif Frode Onarheim, chooses the subsequent formulation, writing about Hans Nielsen Hauge.”In our time, marked by tough, globalized competiton, it has more than ever become important that goals of business-economy may be combined with ethical reflection and a wish to secure a good society. An individual like Hans Nielsen Hauge ought to inspire to the creation, development and continuation of companies with a good working-environment and high ethical standard. Such aspirations should be selfevident to emplyees and management of any Norwegian firm. He had a clear message to those focusing entirely on expenditure , never lingering at the word of moderation.

Relevant sources:

1:Andreas Aarflot: Hans Nielsen Hauge, Oslo 1971 Videre:  A. Aa.: ”Tro og lydighet”, doktorgradsarbeid om Hans N. Hauge. Universitetsforlaget 1969, Also:  Hans Nielsen Hauge, his life and message. (1979 Se også: Kristen Valkner: Hans Nielsen Hauges kristendomsforståelse. Opposisjonsinnlegg  til Andreas Aarflots doktordisputas. 24.1.1970. NTT72, 1971 p 1ff.)

2: Kjell Bondevik: Kristent innslag i norsk politikk. Oslo, Luther forlag, 1975.

3: Øyvind Norderval: ”Ikke som hiine elendige Tullemutter eller Samenløb”. Hans Nielsen Hauges siste år: Resignasjon eller ny strategi” Historisk tidsskrift nr. 4, Bergen 1999.

4: Hjørdis Ånestad Tiltnes: Hans Nielsen Hauge er fremdeles aktuell, Aftenbladet, Bergen 7 nov 2002.

5: Erling Bø: ”Aktuell mann  – på 225 år”. Bokanmeldelse 6 nov 1996 av Dag Kullerud:”Hans Nielsen Hauge. Mannen som vekket Norge”, Biografi (Faktum/Aschehoug).

6: Odd Inge Skjævesland: ”Historiske myter om Norge holder ikke lenger mål. Aftenposten, 11 feb 1998. Om Hans Nielsen Hauge i Karsten Alnes: Historien om Norge. Kfr. Striden om Alnes’s klipp og lim-teknikk.

7: Alfred Hauge: Hans Nielsen Hauge, ein Wandersmann Gottes (1953).

8: Joseph M. Shaw: Pulpit under the sky. A life of Hans Nielsen Hauge (1979). Dette er trolig den mest populære engelskspråklige monografien om Hans Nielsen Hauge.

9: Kjell Furnes: Hans Nielsen Hauge  – og vårt næringsliv. Sunnmørsposten 20 feb 2003.

10: Preben Munthe: Hans Nielsen Hauge. Predikantens verdisyn. Aftenposten 15 jan 1998.

11:  Steinar Thorvaldsen . (http://www.hitos.no/fou_pub/kristendom/hauge.htm) Visjonen bak plogspissen. Om Hans Nielsen Hauge ved hans 200-års jubileum.

12:Einar Rædersgård: Trondheim  folkebibliotek 4 feb 2000: Hans Nielsen Hauge. Fange i rådhusarresten jul og nyttår 1799. Et tohundreårsminne

13: Børge Solem: Læsarlaget  fra Rissa på Lofoten. Museet Kystens Arv, 1999.

14:Lorel K Fox: Hans Nielsen Hauge – Norway’s Mandela. Egil Hovland’s opera ”Captive and Free”, Augsburg Fortress 1997, Augsburg College, Minneapolis, Minn. USA

15: NRK-no. Fylkesleksikon Sogn og Fjordane : Hans Nielsen  Hauge frå Tune Østfold, Anders Nilsen Haave frå Naustdal, Ola Sursen Saveland frå Kalland, Forkynnarane frå Naustdal.

16:  Ulstein kommune: om Svend Svendsen Raunsgård fra Hallingdal på Borgarøya (http://www.ulstein.kommune.no/fakta/graver_vi_kan.htm)

17: Per Gjendem: Hauge-followers at Roaldsetli, Helset and Vassenden (my homepage)

Ja, listen kunne vært langt større, for så å si hvert eneste trossamfunn har syn på  Hans Nielsen Hauges evangelisering. Webansvarlig  James Kiefer ved Hillsdale College Department of Philosophy and Religion rangerer ham 27 mar 1999, sågar som helgen nr. 28,  rett nok etter St Patrick of Ireland og Cuthbeth of Lindisfarne. Mitt utvalg vitner om at etikk og konsistens trer skarpere fram, med andre ord Hauges sosiale integrasjon og foretningsmoral. Mannen ble nok betydelig undervurdert.

Original portrait of Hans Nielsen Hauge, probably painted in Copenhagen shortly after 1800.

SLUTT

Legg igjen en kommentar

Du må være innlogget for å kunne legge igjen en kommentar.