Blogging the Reformers: John Calvin

John Calvin was born on July 10th, 1509 in a humble family. He began by studying for the priesthood, but his father later transferred him to the study of law. When he was at the University of Orleans God saved him when he was about 23 years old through the study of the scriptures. When he was saved he would study the Bible at night after studying law during the day. In 1533 he returned to Paris, and continued teaching those around him. The same year he was forced to flee because of a bold sermon he wrote for his friend Nicholas Cop, a Protestant who was rector of the university. He moved on to Switzerland, where he published the first edition of his great work, Institutes of the Christian Religion in March, 1535. In it he gave a systematic theology of the Christian religion. He continued to revise it throughout his life. He then went to Italy, and after a time was captured by the Catholics. He was rescued by some friendly soldiers, and then he traveled north again. On his was he stopped by Geneva for the night. Geneva had been recently reformed through the work of William Feral and others. Feral asked him to stay in Geneva instead of going on to Strasbourg to study. He said, “Ought the servants of Jesus Christ to be so delicate as to be frightened at warfare? ... May God curse your repose ! may God curse your studies, if in such a great necessity as ours you withdraw and refuse to give us help and support!”1 Calvin agreed, and he became a pastor at Geneva. He helped continue to work for the reform in Geneva. At that time he also helped defend true doctrine in other churches. He was an able debater against heretics. In 1538 he was banished from Geneva for three years by the enemies of the reformation, but after that time he returned. While he was banished he married Idelette de Bure. When he returned to Geneva he continued to teach and preach. He had a great effect on other reformers from other nations, and Geneva sent out hundreds of missionaries to places as far as Brazil.2 He was the most able defender of the Reformed faith from all its enemies. He died in 1564. He was one of the most prominent reformers, and he has had a great effect on many people through his writings, even to this day.

1 J. H. Merle D'Aubigne, History of the Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin (Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Publications, 2000) volume 3, book ix, p. 460-461

2 Ray Van Neste John Calvin on Evangelism and Missions. Web. Accessed December 22nd, 2009

Sufficiency of Scripture Conference Pictures

I helped take pictures at the Sufficiency of Scripture conference a few weeks ago. Here are a few that I took:

Mr. Phillips

Scott Brown

Conference Attendees

Blogging the Reformers: Mathurin Cordier

Mathurin Cordier was born in 1540. He was a French teacher. He did not just teach because of ambition, he desired for his students to actually learn. He was one of the best teachers in France. He taught John Calvin when he was fourteen. Calvin later said, “O Master Mathurin, O man gifted with learning and great fear of God! When my father sent me to Paris, while still a child ... it was God's will that I should have you for my teacher, in order that I might be directed in the true path and right mode of learning; and having first commenced the course of study under your guidance, I advanced so far that I can now in some degree profit the Church of God.”1 Though neither of them were saved at the time, Cordier later was saved and fled to Geneva where Calvin was the preacher. The professor then studied under his former pupil. He died in Geneva in 1564, the same year as Calvin.

Sufficiency of Scripture: Day 2

The first keynote on the second day was by Voddie Baucham on "The Sufficiency of Scripture for Manhood and Womanhood." The next message was by Doug Phillips on "The Sufficiency of Scripture and the Heart of NCFIC." The next five messages were break-outs. I ran sound in one of the breakout sessions, which was "Scripture is Sufficient for Women’s Ministry Part 1: Teachers of Good Things." The next breakout, "The Sufficiency of Scripture and Personal Evangelism" by Paul Washer was in my room. It was a very good talk. The last breakout for the day in my room was, "Scripture is Sufficient for Women’s Ministry Part 2: Keepers at Home," by Jeff Pollard. The next message was the keynote,"Is the Sufficiency of Scripture a Bible Doctrine?" by Dr. Joe Morecraft, which I was not able to hear. Then there was another keynote, "Scripture is Sufficient for Ministry to Youth" by Scott Brown. The last keynote was, "The Sufficiency of Scripture and the Gospel," by Paul Washer. I was able to hear most of it and it was a very good message. It made people really question whether or not they are saved, and if they really love Jesus.

Tyranny Eve

Tomorrow morning a group of men will gather on the steps of the Capital building to protest the Health care bill. I may be going. To learn more, view the video below and visit

A Snowman

Here is a snowman that we made today:

Sufficiency of Scripture: Day 1

We arrived in Covington, Kentucky around 2:30 am for the Sufficiency of Scripture Conference. After we ate breakfast at our hotel, we went to the Ohio Book Store. We could not stay very long because Daddy had to go to a leadership luncheon. After we ate lunch, Joshua and I took a box of our book, Sanctified by God, to the NCFIC book table. We stayed over there until the first keynote. The first keynote was by Scott Brown called "Do Not Learn the Ways of the Gentiles." After that Doug Phillips gave a message on "The Defining Battles in the War Against the Sufficiency of Scripture." The final message for the night was by Ken Ham on "Our Declining Church and Culture: the Genisis Connection and How to Continue a Godly Heritage." Joshua and I did not hear the last two because we were helping with recording. We will be posting some pictures later.

Snow in North Carolina!

Right now it is snowing in North Carolina! There is less than an inch on the ground now, but it is supposed to snow all night. My mother said she only remembered it snowing before Christmas once before in the 36 years she has lived here. We are at my father's office building in Durham right now, and here are a few pictures. We will try to post again tomorrow.

Snowflakes falling

Blogging the Reformers: Queen Joanna

Joanna was born to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain in 1479. Her parents were Catholics and persecuted the Christians in their kingdom. Her parents married her to Phillip, Archduke of Burgundy. Around this point in her life she began to move toward the Christian religion that her parents persecuted. She refused to participate in the Roman Catholic services. In 1500 she had a son, who would later be Emperor Charles V. He would be one of the great persecutors of the Christians. In 1504 her mother Isabella died, leaving Joanna as the next heir to the throne. But since she was a Christian, her husband and father conspired to keep her from taking the throne by claiming that she was insane. She was kept in a cruel prison until her death in 1555, at the age of 76. As she was dying she refused the Roman rites, and her last words were, “Jesus Christ crucified, be with me.”1

She was buried at Granda, Spain. We visited that castle on our trip to Europe this spring. Here are a few pictures.

1 J. H. Merle D'Aubigne, History of the Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin(Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Publications, 2000) volume 4, book XIV, p. 139

Blogging the Reformers: Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex

Thomas Cromwell was the servant of Henry VIII, king of England. He was born in lowly estate in 1485, and was raised by the king to be one of the principle men of the kingdom. He was a Protestant, and worked to establish the true religion in England. He was the king's chief minister for eight years, and served him faithfully. His main mistake was to be to faithful to Henry even when he turned against the gospel. Henry was very inconsistent and variable throughout his reign. At one point Henry would incline towards the Protestants, and at another toward the Catholics. In 1540 the Catholics convinced him to arrest Cromwell because he was one of the best proponents of the gospel. The charges presented against him were clearly falsehoods, so the Catholics decided to proceed without trial. Even though Cromwell had always been faithful to him, Henry ordered him to be beheaded. As his hour of death drew near, Cromwell wrote, “Lord! Into thy hands I commend my soul; Lord Jesu! Receive my Spirit! Amen.”1 He was beheaded on July 28th, 1540. Henry later realized that he had executed his most faithful servant, and regretted it until his death.

1 J. H. Merle D'Aubigne, History of the Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin (Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Publications, 2000) volume 4, book XV, p. 224

Hilton Head - Day 2

The next day, November 29th, we drove down to Savanah, Georgia. The first place we stopped was Fort Pulaski. Fort Pulaski was a Civil War fort named after a Polish general in the revolutionary war who was wounded near Savanah and died shortly after. Fort Pulaski was captured near the beginning of the Civil War. It was designed by Robert E. Lee while he was an engineer in the army before the war. The Confederate commander surrendered the fort even though he could of held it for much longer. After that, we drove down to the river walk and ate lunch at a shrimp restaurant. We stopped by some candy places on the way back to the car and ate samples. Then we went to the visitors center, and bought a driving tour CD. It was very interesting, but all of the squares in Savanah got kind of boring. We could not take many pictures because our camera battery was almost dead. Here are some pictures that we did take:
One the fort's cannons

One of the walls of the fort

Another one of the cannons

The drawbridge of the fort

A mural of General Pulaski on the side of a monument to him in Savanah

Hilton Head - Day 1

On November 27th, we drove down to Hilton Head, SC to spend the weekend with our Grandparents. On November 28th, Thanksgiving Day, Grandma, Grandpa, Rachel and I went on the beach to take a walk, and to fly a kite which they gave us. It was fun. Daddy, Joshua and Mommy had to stay back to work on the book, Sancitified by God. It was too cold to go swimming in the ocean. When we came back, we started preparing for Thanksgiving dinner. We ate at about 2:00 pm. After that, we all went for a walk on the beach. Here are some pictures:
Our kite

My Grandmother

The ocean

The Sunset

Daddy flying the kite

From Left to Right, Grandma, Mommy and Rachel

Sanctified By God

We recently finished my father's first book, Sanctified By God: A Call to Keep the Christian Sabbath. It is currently at the printers, and will be available this weekend at the Sufficiency of Scripture conference.

We are commanded by God to "Be holy for I am holy." But the first time God declares something holy, it is not a person but a day. By setting that day apart, He set a pattern for all men everywhere to follow, and those who do not do so are rebelling against God. We are to treat the Sabbath holy as a sign that God has set us apart to Himself. This book is a call for Christians to return to keeping the Sabbath and walking as a people sanctified by God.

If you will not be at the Sufficiency of Scripture conference, you can preorder it online now. It is on our new website,, which is currently under construction.

Fort Branch Reenactment

On November 7th we went to a Reenactment at Fort Branch, NC. I enjoyed it. We filmed some, and also took a lot of pictures. It was good, and I would like to go to another one. At Fort Branch there are some original breastworks that the Confederates made. You can go to their website here. There was not really a battle here during the Civil War because the Confederates retreated before the Federals' advance, but they have a reenactment anyway. Here are some pictures:

A Calvary Skirmish

The Union Advance

The Confederate Battle line

A Confederate Cannon Firing

Military Mistakes of World War I – Part 1

Mistakes of World War 1
  1. Part 1
  2. Part 2

by Joshua Horn
based on The Great War by Winston Churchill

World War I began in 1914. It quickly spread throughout all of Europe, and much of Africa and the Middle East. It was one of the bloodiest wars of human history, with 37 million casualties. In Great Britain alone there were over 1 million dead, one third of the British male population were casualties. Until World War II it was called the Great War and the War to End All Wars. The war had a great lasting effect. In England and France the people believed that after that war there would be nothing worth fighting for again. This greatly contributed to World War II. There were many mistakes made on the Central Powers' side which caused the war to be lost and on the Allied side caused it to be greatly prolonged. Today we will look at three of the mistakes: the German navy's failure to attack, the Allies’ destructive frontal assaults and the battle of the Dardanelles.

Read More

The Mysterious Islands Premiere

Tuesday night we went to a premiere of The Mysterious Islands at the Carolina Theater in Durham. Over 800 people attended. It was very well done, and it is very interesting and exciting. The Mysterious Islands is the story of a team from Vision Forum that went to the Galapagos Islands off South America. They did this because the Galapagos is where Charles Darwin went and got the ideas for the theory of evolution. 2009 is Charles Darwin's 200th birthday, and the 150th anniversary of his book, On the Origin of Species where he first set out his theory of evolution. The movie shows how evolution is scientifically impossible through the animals of the Galapagos. It also shows that evolution led to the bloodiest century in the last millennium, through people like Margret Sanger and Adolf Hitler. Evolution caused all this bloodshed because people were attempting to speed up natural selection by killing off 'lesser' human races. The film was very well done, and we would recommend it. For more information, visit their website. For pictures see Mr. Phillip's post.

At the far end of the world, there exists a strange and unusual chain of islands, resting above vast tectonic plates.

This is the world of the Galápagos Archipelago, home to salt-spitting marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, and giant tortoises that can live to be more than 150 years of age. It is also the birthplace of Darwinism, for here in 1835, a young Charles Darwin began to formulate a theory which would turn the world upside down. More than a century and a half later, these mysterious islands remain at the center of a controversy that has shaped the way modern men perceive science, religion, and life itself. The unique ingredients found on the Galápagos have led many of Darwin’s followers to describe it as Darwin’s Eden — a “laboratory of evolution.”

Now, for the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth and the 150th of his seminal work, On the Origin of Species, Doug Phillips leads a team of Christian scientists and investigators to this “ground zero” in the war of the worldviews. Seen through the eyes of 16-year-old Joshua Phillips, who joins his father and noted researchers like Dr.John Morris of the Institute for Creation Research, The Mysterious Islands is the story of one boy’s search for answers to the great controversy of the modern world. It is a refreshing father-and-son adventure that combines cinematically breathtaking footage with high adventure. The quest: to determine whether the Galápagos Islands are a laboratory of evolution, or a testimony to creation.

This beautiful, ninety-minute documentary takes viewers deep beneath the ocean waves, among hundreds of white-tip sharks, into volcanic craters with giant lizards, and to the unusual habitat of the Blue-footed booby. Featuring the only team of Creationists and Christian scientists to shoot a documentary on the Galápagos in 2009 — Darwin’s anniversary year — the film brings a fresh perspective on the Theory of Evolution and presents stunning cinematography of one of the most desolate and fascinating locations in the world.

For more information on The Mysterious Islands, visit their website.

Reformation Celebration Dinner

On Friday October 31 our church had a dinner celebrating the reformation at Forks Cafeteria, in Wake Forest. We ate dinner and then five of the young men at our church talked about the five Solas of the Reformation, which are: Sola Scriptura, which means by Scripture alone, Solo Christo, which means by Christ alone, Soli Deo Gloria, which means Glory to God alone, Sola Fide,which means by Faith alone, and Sola Gratia, which means by Grace alone. After one of them talked, Mr. Brown led us in a song about the Sola, and then Daddy talked about how it effects us today. After that we had a time where the people could share what they were thankful for, and then people fellowshipped until it was time to leave.

One way that we have benefited from the reformation is that we can have assurance of our salvation by the gift of faith, and not live in superstition and fear like the Roman Catholics. We can be thankful that we do not have to rely on our good works for salvation, because we would never be sure we had done enough. Daddy also said we have light bulbs and electricity today because of the Reformation.

Lexington and Concord: Who Won?

by Stephen Horn based on Paul Revere’s Ride by David Hackett Fischer

Paul Revere

The Battle of Lexington and Concord was the first battle fought between the Militia and the Regulars in the First War for American Independence. The Regulars were commanded by Francis Smith and were on a mission to destroy the military stores in Concord, and also to catch Sam Adams and John Hancock. The American spies in Boston found out about this and sent out messengers to tell the militia to be ready. There were great quantities of military stores at Lexington and Concord, which the Americans needed to resist the British. They also wanted to catch Sam Adams and John Hancock who were two leaders of the War for American Independence. The Regulars lost because they failed to accomplish their mission, they were driven back, and they had more casualties.

The first reason the Regulars lost that we will discuss is that they did not fulfill their mission. The main reason for this is that although it was a top secret operation, the word of it got out, and most of the military stores had been moved. Sam Adams and John Hancock had already left from there, but they had not left for long when the British came to Lexington. After having routed the Lexington militia, they forced one of the residents to tell where a few brass cannons were buried, which the Americans had not been able to remove. They burned the wooden parts of these, along with a few other military stores. They had expected to be able to destroy more than this. This fire spread to some of the buildings in the town, which both the towns people and the Regulars soldiers were trying to put out. This and some other incidents were strange, and they showed that they still considered themselves the same people. This fire had the effect of making the Militia in Concord come out against them, as the Militia thought the Regulars were burning the town.

Concord Bridge

The Regulars had driven back the few militiamen at Lexington, but the Militia who had gathered at Concord drove the Regulars back. They were stationed at a bridge and commanded to hold it. When the Regulars saw the Militia advancing, they tried to pull up the planks on the bridge, which maddened the militia who were from around there. The Regulars were commanded to form into street formation, which was designed to concentrate the fire of a large number of men into a small area. They got confused and disorganized while getting into this formation. Only the front ranks could fire, but they did not show their usual discipline. They only fired a few ragged volleys, which were aimed high and did not do much damage. The militia’s volleys on the other hand were aimed carefully, and took much effect. The Regulars were trained to fire in volleys in front of them, and not at specific targets. The militia were mostly men who had to hunt for their food, so they were good shots, and they fired at individual targets which brought better results. In the first volley from the Militia at Concord four of the eight Regular officers were killed. The Militia drove the Regulars out of the town. The Militia were reinforced by more Militia from other parts, and they ambushed the Regulars wherever they could as they retreated. A few of these traps were sprung too soon, but many of them were fatal to the Regulars and disheartened them. The Militia decided on a plan to harass them where there was a circle of men around the front of the column who would fire, and then retreat, load and fire again, and keep repeating. This plan worked well. Many of the Regulars were thinking of surrendering, as one Lieutenant Barker of the Regulars said, “We must have laid down our arms, or been picked off by the rebels at their pleasure.”1 When they came to Lexington Green they found a brigade of Reinforcements waiting for them there, and also a cannon. This cannon did not have many rounds, since an artillery wagon which was sent for had been ambushed and captured by some men who were too old for the Militia. The British finally made it back to Boston.

Another reason why the British lost was because they suffered more casualties. The total of the men killed wounded or missing was 300 for the Regulars, but only 93 for the Militia. The reasons for this were mainly that they only fired ragged volleys, and never altogether, and also what was mentioned previously about the militia being better shots. The Regulars had left Boston with 700 men. Only 300 of them had deployed to drive off 77 militia who had gathered at Lexington. At Concord, only 100 of them were at the bridge, when they were driven back by the 400 militia. All of the casualties were not from these engagements though, many of them were from ambushes on the march back. By the end of the day, there were 3,800 Militia, and 1,500 Regulars. The reinforcements for the Regulars might of changed the tide of the battle, if they would have come sooner, but they still saved the rest of the British force.

The British lost because they did not fulfill their mission, they were driven back, and they suffered more casualties. This battle showed that the British troops were not invincible, and they could be beaten by the American militia. This was the first battle of the war, but it had been clear that there was going to be a war before that. The battles of Lexington and Concord did not start the war. The British returned defeated, and with their mission unaccomplished. The Regulars had to be reinforced, or they would have been destroyed. The British might have retreated with fewer casualties if they would have been able to hold the militia back at the bridge until the reinforcement Brigade came up.

1 David Hackett Fischer, Paul Revere’s Ride (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994) p. 232

The Mysterious Islands Premiere

Our church is hosting a premiere of the Mysterious Islands on November 17th. You can see the trailer below:

Valley Tour CDs Now Available!

The MP3 CD from the Valley Tour is now available for sale! To purchase it, please click here.

Join Dan and Joshua Horn in the study of one of the most important campaigns of the American Civil War: Stonewall Jackson's Shenandoah Valley Campaign. Learn about the battles, strategy, important men and the causes of the Civil War.

Reforming the Church - Family Integrated Church Life Conference

We went to a conference done by NCFIC last Saturday. First there was a message by Scott Brown on "The Implications of the Sufficiency of Scripture." This talk was about how we should apply the sufficiency of scripture. Then after that there was a talk by my dad on "Dealing with a Culture at War Against Church and Family." This was about how we need to resist the influences of the culture. Then Mr. Tsantles gave a talk about "Establishing Biblical Church Life." He talked about his experience of coming to a family integrated church. Then Mr. Churchill gave a talk on "The Role of Fathers in Church and Family Life." This talk was about what a father needs to do.

After that we ate lunch. After lunch Steve Breagy gave a talk on "The Discipleship of Children." This talk is about how to disciple your children in the family and the church. Then my dad did a talk on "Applying the Regulative Principle of Worship." In this talk he went through our church service, and told how each thing our church does is from the Bible. Then Mr. Brown finished up by doing a talk on "The Family's Relationship to the Church." This talk was about how the church relates to the family and how the family relates to the church. I enjoyed the conference very much. I did not have a favorite because I liked them all. We forgot to bring the camera, so we do not have any pictures from it.

Character Qualtities of Lucy Buck

Rachel in front of Bel Air, Lucy Buck's House

During the Civil War, Lucy Buck lived in Front Royal, VA. She kept a journal, which contains a good description of the battle of Front Royal. Since there are few examples of godly characters today,we should look at what some of her character traits were, and also the biblical basis for those traits. We will discuss her love of family, bravery, and trust in God.
One of her character traits is her love of her family. This is a biblical trait to have, because the Bible says in John 13:35: "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."1 One example of that in her journal is how much she enjoyed the letters from her brothers while they were fighting in the war, like when she wrote,
We were sitting by the candle in Grandma's room tonight when Father came from the office bringing a paper and two letters ... I was almost beside myself with joy at their arrival particularly when upon reading Irvie's we learned that he had been promoted to the rank of captain ... Dear boy! I hate the idea of his being exposed to the dangers conseqent upon active service and am so sorry he and Alvin will be seperated, but he has one kind Protector as Omnipotent to save on the field of battle as in the quiet of home, and as Alvin has gone onto Bragg's army ... I sincerely hope he may succeed for he richly deserves it to, I'm sure.2
This also shows her trust in the sovreignty of God as well as her love for her family. We see another example of this is when she wrote,
Father came in this evening bringing a letter from dear Irvie ... Poor fellow, he was in the late dreadful battle – how glad I am thatwe were unconscious of it till it was all over. He writes very despondingly and seems almost to wish himself back with Alvin whom he says has returned thither. He says our friends all escaped unhurt and almost as if by a miracle. The battle must have been much more deadly than we had thought for. Must write to him soon.3
This show that she was not only concerned for the safety of her brother, but also for her friends. From these examples we see how important her family was to her, and her love for her brother.
Another character trait we wll discuss is her bravery. God frequently reminds us in the Bible not to fear because he is our protector, such as in Deuteronomy 31:6:
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.4
Here we see why it is good to be brave and have courage. An example of Lucy Buck's courage and love of strangers is when after the battle of Front Royal happened she wrote,
We descended all of us to the basement for protection ... The house was exposed to a cross fire and we were all really in much more danger than we were at the time aware of – at any rate I could not bear the idea of being entombed ingloriously in the cellar while our deliverers were gallantly endangering their lives in our defense – it was not to be thought of for an instant – I must witness if not assist in the struggle. So Nellie and I went on the porch with a pitcher of water with the contents of which we refreshed our soldiers as they would ever and anon stop in their chase weary and thirsty ... I did not feel the least fear as the missiles of death screamed and shrieked around – the sound was rather pleasantly exhilarating and I watched the discharges with positive enjoyment – did not for one instant doubt our success in driving the varmints out.5
Here we see that she was not afraid even in times of great danger, but was ready to comfort the soldiers as much as she could.
The last trait we will discuss is her trust in God. This is a good character trait because God is our protector and defense, so we should trust in him like the Bible says in Psalms 5:11:
But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. 6
We see how Lucy Buck exhibits this when she said,
Our army seemed to have melted away or were within the coils of a mighty serpent that must soon crush them – oh it was all disheartening enough! – and I have wondered how we ever struggled through such depths of gloom. But the day I trust has gone on our midnight, how it has all so changed I do not understand, but surely God has been with us. 'Tis he that arrested the tide of Union successes and nerved and inspired our men to such deeds of daring heroism. Oh! – may we never forget to whom we owe it all and weakly give to erring impotent man the need of thanksgiving and praise that belongs but to the Maker!7
Here we see that she is thankful for what God has done, and realizes that it could not have been done without his help. This is clearly an example of her belief in the sovreignty of God.
We have seen how Lucy Buck exhibits three specific charachter qualities which are love of family, bravery, and trust in God, through her words penned in Sad Earth, Sweet Heaven. These are important qualities to have because of their biblical basis, which we have also discussed. Young ladies should try to emmulate these qualities in their lives today.

1 John 13:35, KJV
2 Buck, Lucy Rebecca Sad Earth, Sweet Heaven (Buck Publishing Company, Birmingham, Alabama: 1993) p. 158-159
3 Ibid p. 171
4 Deuteronomy 31:6 KJV
5 Sad Earth Sweet Heaven, p. 79
6 Psalms 5:11 KJV
7 Sad Earth Sweet Heaven, p. 138

John Brown Video

To view in HD click here.

John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry

Today is the 150th anniversary of John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry, which in many ways helped caused the Civil War. This week people are celebrating how he was a martyr who died to free the slaves. This is actually not true. Brown was a very evil man. Before the raid on Harper's Ferry, he stole what would now be about a million dollars, but he was so persuasive that he convinced the man he stole it from later to lend him money. He was also a lunatic. At one point while he was in Kansas, he took a group of people out during the night and went to all the cabins of the area and murdered in cold blood everyone who was for slavery. Also it just so happened that after that murder Brown and his sons had nice new saddles. There is lost more to say, but we don't have space here to tell all of it. My father did a great talk on our trip to the Shenandoah Valley last month, and sometime we will have them available for sale.

John Brown was encouraged to raid Harper's Ferry by the "Secret Six", a group of six prominent Bostonians who were abolitionists and Unitarians. The raid was not a very smart idea. He had 21 men, 16 white and 5 black. He chose Harper's Ferry because at that time it was a large arsenal and weapon factory where about 100,000 guns were stored. His plan was to get the weapons and leave, and then he excepted the slaves to flock to him from their plantations. First of all, he did not have any way to transport the 100,000 weapons. Secondly, if the slaves did come to him, it would just be a mob. Brown had never commanded more than 30 men, and the slaves probably did not know how to use the weapons. It would have been a bigger disaster than it was.

Inside the engine house

As to the actual raid, it went well to start with. He captured the arsenal, but then he made a big mistake by not leaving. The militia of the area gathered and attacked him. He ended up trapped in the fire engine house with only four men. The next day Col. Robert E. Lee and Lt. Jeb Stuart came up from Washington with 88 marines, and stormed the engine house at the point of the bayonet and captured it. John Brown and his men were tried for murder and slave insurrection and were convicted. They were hung on December 2nd. There is much interesting history about the raid which I studied before we went to the Shenandoah Valley.

It was very neat to be able to go to the site of the raid in September with the people from our church and see what actually happened there. Much of the town is the same as it was then, and it is a very neat location. Here are a few pictures.

Us in front of "John Brown's Fort"

The Bridge which Brown used to get to Harper's Ferry

The town

The original location of John Brown's Fort (it was moved)

The Potomac River. Harper's Ferry is here the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers meet

We are planning to produce a documentary on Jackson's Valley Campaign of 1862 from the video of the tour, but we will see if it happens.

Blogging the Reformers: Queen Margaret de Navarre

The Book in her hand is probably a Bible

Margaret was born on April 11th, 1492. Her brother was Francis I, King of France. In 1525 she married Henry, King of Navarre. Navarre was a small country between Spain and France which is now part of France. She had influence over her brother, and she tried to move him toward the Reformation. She also defended and protected many Reformers. Margaret desired to reform the church, but she did not want to break with Rome. She was not perfect, but she was a Christian and God used her in the Reformation of France. She died in France on December 21st, 1549. D'Aubigne says of her, “Such was Margaret in the midst of the court; the goodness of the heart, the purity of her life, and the abundance of her works spoke eloquently to those about her of the beauty of Christ.” 1

1 J. H. Merle D'Aubigne, History of the Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin (Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Publications, 2000) volume 1, book II, p. 419

Blogging the Reformers: William Farel

William Farel was born in 1489 in France. At the age of 20 he entered the Sorbonne in Paris. He became friends with Jacques Lefèvre, a Christian who desired to reform the church. He was saved in 1519, but within a year was forced to flee Paris. He preached at various cities, and then came to Geneva in 1532. He was very instrumental in the Reformation in Geneva, and many people were saved through his preaching. In 1536 he convinced John Calvin to stay and help him in Geneva rather than going into seclusion for study. He said, “May God curse your repose ! may God curse your studies, if in such a great necessity as ours you withdraw and refuse to give us help and support!”1 He was a very fiery, powerful and eloquent preacher. D'Aubigne said of him:

“His desire to enlighten his contemporaries was intense, his heart intrepid, his zeal indefatigable, and his ambition for God's glory without bounds. ... He was not a great writer ... but when he spoke he was almost without an equal. ... His much eloquence, his lively apostrophes, his bold remonstrances, his noble images, his action frank, expressive, and sometimes threatening, his voice that was often like thunder, and his fervent prayers, carried away his hearers.”2

1 J. H. Merle D'Aubigne, History of the Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin (Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Publications, 2000) volume 3, book ix, p. 461

2 Ibid, volume 2, book v, p. 199-200

Blogging the Reformers: John Tausen

John Tausen was born in Denmark 1494. His father was a poor farmer, and John assisted him in his youth. He desired to study, and through hard work he was able to become a monk at the age of 19. He realized the errors of the Roman Catholic church through his study. In 1517 he was sent out to go attend the university of his choice, except Wittenberg where Luther was. Eventually he went to Wittenberg anyway. He was saved there and returned to Denmark in 1521.
Tausen was a gifted preacher, and preached the gospel to the monks and the people around him. At one time he was imprisoned and he preached to the people through the window of his prison cell. King Fredrick appointed him as the preacher in Copenhagen, the capital. There he preached, and many people were converted. He defended the Reformation ably in debates with the Catholics. After the death of Fredrick he was sentenced to death, but the people rioted and he was pardoned. Tausen was the leader of the Reformation in Denmark. He died in 1561.

Blogging the Reformers: King Fredrick I of Denmark

Fredrick was born on October 7th, 1451. He was a member of the House of Oldenburg. At that time the Scandinavians in the countries of Denmark, Sweden and Norway were under the same king. After Fredrick’s father, Christian I, died, Christian II, Fredrick's nephew became king. Christian II was not a Christian, though at times he pretended to be Protestant, he was just being a hypocrite. He was a very cruel king, and in 1523 he was forced to abdicate the throne by the nobles. His uncle Fredrick succeeded him. When Fredrick was younger he was a priest, but he realized that the Catholic theology was wrong and was converted to the Reformation. He was kind, tranquil, peaceful and prudent, and was not cruel like his nephew Christian. When he accepted the throne he had to promise that he would protect the Roman Church from heretics. He promised, but he did not arrest the Protestants, and allowed them to preach. With his encouragement and support, the Reformation prospered and many were converted through the preaching of John Tausen and others. Fredrick died on April 10th, 1533 at the age of sixty-two after reigning ten years. With his help the reformation was in the ascendancy in Scandinavia, even though the bishops still preserved their power.

How Theodore Roosevelt became Successful through Writing The Naval War of 1812

Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt began writing The Naval War of 1812 while he was at Harvard in 1879. It was his first book, and he published it in 1881 after much study, just after being elected to the New York State Assembly. He was 23 years old at the time. This book quickly became the authoritative work on the subject, and Roosevelt became recognized as a historian. The writing of this book made people think he would be a good historian and eventually an elected official. There were several reasons for this, and today we will look at his unbiasedness, diligence and fame.

The Naval War of 1812 was the first relatively unbiased book on that subject. Previous accounts had been written, but they had been biased to their particular sides. Roosevelt says,
“It is to be regretted that most of the histories written on the subject, on either side of the Atlantic, should be of the 'hurrah' order of literature, with no attempt whatever to get at the truth, but merely to explain away the defeats or immensely exaggerate the victories suffered or gained by their own side.”1
Throughout the book Roosevelt shows how the previous accounts twist, ignore or intentionally change facts. He says that it does no good to tell history that is not true. One of the most important things we get from studying history is knowing and therefore being able to avoid the faults of those who came before. If we skip the mistakes of our particular side, then we defeat the purpose for studying history at all. It is important that all historians be as relatively unbiased as possible, and Roosevelt fits that criteria. It is also important for people who are running for office to be unbiased, because otherwise they would not judge justly between different persons or ideas. Being unbiased is one of the most important qualifications for an elected official.

USS. Constitution vs. HMS. Guerriere

As Roosevelt wrote The Naval War of 1812, he carefully researched all the previous accounts of the war. He also delved into the archives at Washington and searched through the ships' logs and letters of the captains. He did this so that he would be as sure as possible that his story was correct. It is important that history books be well researched so that they will correctly portray what happened. Roosevelt did this, and though some of his details have been proved wrong, he still was very accurate. Roosevelt’s method of analyzing the battles has influenced all works on naval history that came after. He compared the different strengths of ships and fleets to help decide whether the loser was defeated by greater strength, or their own cowardice or lack of training. He carefully studied the naval tactics, and made tables of the relative strengths. Roosevelt's book effected later scholars through his carefully researched facts and conclusions, and also through the methods that he used. One historian said, "Roosevelt’s study of the War of 1812 influenced all subsequent scholarship on the naval aspects of the War of 1812 and continues to be reprinted. More than a classic, it remains, after 120 years, a standard study of the war."2 Diligence and accuracy are important characteristics for elected officials because it is necessary that they work hard in their positions, and make sure that they know everything possible on certain issues.

Battle of Lake Erie

The third quality that we will consider is the prestige and fame that this book gave him. We have already seen how this book was so influential to other historians. By writing this book Roosevelt became a famous historian. When someone is running for political office it is very important that people recognize their name, and know something about them. Thereby they would be able to decide better whether or not to vote for them. By writing The Naval War of 1812, Roosevelt made himself more famous, and therefore advanced his chances to get elected.
After writing The Naval War of 1812, Theodore Roosevelt continued throughout his life to write history. He was also a soldier, rancher, statesman, and, most notably, President of the United States. His famous books on history, including The Naval War of 1812, helped him in politics. Besides giving him much of his income, they showed people some of the qualities that he had, which we have mentioned here, such as unbiasedness and diligence. Roosevelt's writing of The Naval War of 1812, greatly influenced both his political career, and future historical works.

1. Roosevelt, Theodore The Naval War of 1812 (New York: The Modern Library, 1999) p. 205

2. Crawford, Michael J.. "The Lasting Influence of Theodore Roosevelt’s 'Naval War of 1812'". International Journal of Naval History. Retrieved 2009-08-11.