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Adoniram Judson Arrives in Rangoon, 1813

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” —Romans 8:28

Adoniram Judson Arrives in Rangoon, July 14, 1813

It was not until the 19th Century that a significant foreign missionary movement by American evangelical Christians began in earnest. Adoniram Judson, a Massachusetts Congregationalist, was one of the first to take up that call, and on this day sailed into the harbor at Rangoon — the capital of Burma, his destination. His forty years of service in Burma would have astounding results, some of which can be seen today.


A Burmese (Myanmar) Landscape

In his youth, Judson heard the Gospel from his minister-father and devout mother. In college he associated with deists and skeptics and abandoned the faith of his fathers, entranced by the atheistic philosophes of Revolutionary France. A brilliant scholar in his own right, Judson mastered Latin, Greek and Hebrew and graduated as valedictorian of his class, moving on to Andover Seminary, apparently bent on an academic career as a subverter of biblical Christianity. The death of his best friend, full of despair and without hope, arrested the careless Judson and brought him back to the Gospel he had been taught as a child, and he made a profession of faith with determination to use his gifts for the Glory of God. On the mission field the obstacles he would face over the next forty or so years would have deterred or killed a normal man.


Adoniram Judson (1788-1850)


Ann Judson (1789-1826)

On the long and dangerous journey to India, Adoniram and his wife Ann (“Nancy“) came to question their view of baptism. Meeting with the English businessman-missionary William Carey in India, Judson formally changed his views on baptism, resulting in his having to appeal to American Baptists for financial support. With new backing he continued to Burma, having been told that the millions of Burmese were absolutely impervious to the Gospel of Christ. It probably seemed true to Judson, for after twelve years, only eighteen people had professed conversion, and they faced execution for violating the laws against leaving Buddhism.


Sailing from Salem Aboard the Caravan


Burma and the Bay of Bengal

When the British went to war with Burma, Judson and a fellow missionary were arrested and thrown into a filthy prison for seventeen months. The fact that they were Americans made no difference. They were foreigners and they spoke English, so they were treated as spies. Tortured and diseased, Judson languished in the prison expecting to die. His wife tirelessly petitioned the government to release him. In God’s good providence, he finally was set free and then hired by the Burmese government to help translate for negotiating the treaty that followed the war. So fluent had the missionary become that he translated the New Testament into Burmese and completed half of a Burmese dictionary, still in use there today!


Anna Judson visiting her husband in prison


Emily Chubbuck (1817-1854),
Third Wife of Adoniram Judson

Although only partially successful in Rangoon, Judson found a field ripe unto harvest in the northwestern frontier of the country among the Karen and Kachin people — émigrés centuries before from western China. His powerful ministry — attended by the power of the Holy Spirit — resulted in the establishment of over a hundred churches with more than 18,000 converts. Burma, now called Myanmar, has one of the largest number of Baptists in the world.

After Judson’s faithful wife Anne died, he remarried the widow of a fellow missionary. Together they had eight children, before she died aboard ship on their way to visit their churches in America. He remarried in America and had one child before Judson himself died aboard ship at the age of 61 in 1850. Though buried at sea, his legacy lives on and there are memorials to him scattered across America and Burma.


Book Recommendations for Adoniram Judson

To the Golden Shore, by Courtney Anderson (1987)


Image Credits:Adoniram Judson, 1846 (Wikipedia.org); 2 Burmese Landscape (Pixabay.com); 3 Adoniram Judson (Wikipedia.org); 4 Ann Judson (Wikipedia.org); 5 Salem Harbor (Wikipedia.org); 6 Southeast Asia Map (Wikipedia.org); 7 Judson in Prison (Wikipedia.org); 8 Emily Judson (Wikipedia.org);

2017-07-10T15:18:07+00:00 July 10, 2017|HH 2017|

The Death of Adams and Jefferson, 1826

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” —Prov. 27:17

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.” —Ecc. 4:9

The Death of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, July 4, 1826

They could hardly have been more unlike in appearance and character. Adams was older — short, rotund, sometimes irascible, but “humane, generous and open,” with “a keen sense of humor, an eye for the ridiculous and incongruous, and a willingness to poke fun at himself.” Loyalist Jonathan Sewell said that the Massachusetts firebrand John Adams had a “heart formed for friendship.” A quiet Virginian, Thomas Jefferson was tall and angular, red-headed, modest and courtly. He never gave public speeches and kept a private and reserved demeanor outside his domestic environment. In heated debates, he kept his own counsel while his bombastic New England friend expostulated with drama. Yet they were the men paired by their peers in the Continental Congress to author the Declaration of Independence in 1776. As a mysterious diktat of Providence, they both died on the day of jubilee of that historic document, in 1826. The story of their friendship is one of the most remarkable in American history.


John Adams (1735-1826)
Portrait by John Trumball, 1793


Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
Portrait by Mather Brown, 1786

Thrown together at the Continental Congress, Adams and Jefferson impressed their fellow delegates in different ways but their devotion to the cause was such that they were both placed on the committee to write the Declaration. Their friendship matured, however, when both were sent to France, along with Benjamin Franklin, to woo the French government into officially recognizing the United States and provide support in loans and troops. The two men’s passion for liberty under law and willingness to sacrifice their “lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor” in the cause of independence was not all that they had in common, however. They were both men of the soil and loved their farms and their families. Both of their wives bore six children, though Jefferson’s Martha died at the age of thirty-three in 1782 and Abigail Adams lived till 1818 and the age of seventy three.


Declaration of Independence, by John Trumball depicts the five-man drafting committee — including John Adams and Thomas Jefferson — presenting their work to Congress

The two great founders parted ways when their political views diverged as they served in the Washington administration in the last decade of the 18th Century. As one historian began his account of the “tumultuous election of 1800,” Adams and Jefferson could “write like angels and scheme like demons.” Their correspondence and friendship came to end in that bitter “first true presidential campaign.” Adams had always been more favorable to England and Jefferson’s love of France and support of the French Revolution had initially proven a point of contention. The 1800 election highlighted the discordant ideals of the two friends — Jefferson’s ardent republicanism and Adams’s federalism. Apart from a few perfunctory letters between Abigail Adams and Jefferson, the principle founders remained aloof from each other for a number of years.


John Adams age 88 in 1823 —
Portrait by Gilbert Stuart made at the request of Adams’s son, John Quincy


Thomas Jefferson age 78 in 1821 —
Portrait by Matthew Harris Jouett

In 1812, mutual friends gave them occasion to reignite their friendship and it continued unabated till their death on the same day in 1826. The “practical idealist” and the “skeptical realist” both understood their vital roles in creating the Republic and went to their deaths with the other man in their thoughts. Providence has occasionally brought together men whose friendship defined the path of the future.

Watch for dates and details of our 2018 Philadelphia Cradle of Liberty Tour!

2017-07-10T15:17:55+00:00 July 3, 2017|HH 2017|

Margaret Sanger Introduces Her ‘Negro Project’, 1939

“But your eyes and your heart are intent upon your own dishonest gain, and on shedding innocent blood and on practicing oppression and extortion.” —Jer. 22:17

Margaret Sanger Introduces Her ‘Negro Project’ — June 25, 1939

The founder of Planned Parenthood introduced her “Negro Project” on this day, just a couple months before the beginning of WWII. In Germany, the eugenics programs were almost twenty years old and Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich had already followed them to their logical conclusions, by murdering multiple thousands of the weak and helpless whose handicaps disqualified them for a future in the Aryan utopia envisioned by the Nazis. New efforts in contraception in America — especially sterilization — would be promoted to discourage and perhaps eventually eliminate, “the defective and diseased elements of humanity.” In the United States, Margaret Sanger moved from promoting private means of “birth control” to avoid the consequences of promiscuity (of which she was an eager participant), to setting up protocols to assist states with eliminating the “dysgenic horror story” of blacks who reproduced “carelessly and disastrously.”


Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) — Proponent of the eugenics movement and founder of Planned Parenthood

In order to make the project most effective, she suggested that certain black ministers be recruited to support the birth control project since “the most effective educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal.” As historian George Grant has written, “the program’s genocidal intentions were carefully camouflaged beneath several layers of condescending social service rhetoric and organizational expertise. Like the citizens of Hamelin — lured into captivity by the sweet serenades of the Pied Piper — all too many African Americans all across the country happily fell into step behind Margaret and the Eugenic racists she had placed on her Negro Advisory Council.”


Advertisement published in a 1922 edition of Science and Invention promoting Sanger’s book, Woman and the New Race

Margaret Sanger opened her first “birth control clinic” in 1916 in a down-trodden part of New York City where the “inferior races” and “human weeds” lived; immigrant southern Europeans, Slavs, Latins and Jews. By 1939, Sanger had honed her skills, with support from many eugenics racists. Her “Negro Advisory Council” established clinics all over the South, distributing contraceptives to the “reckless and irresponsible swarming and spawning . . . diseased elements of humanity.” With the support of the hand-picked black ministers and state public health officials, the slick propaganda literature of Planned Parenthood, (should have been called Banned Parenthood), moved along smoothly in its genocidal goals.

Not satisfied with just community-based clinics, Planned Parenthood moved into the public schools in the 1980s, primarily in the inner-city minority neighborhoods. But contraceptive offerings provided only one of the services promoted by Sanger. Sterilization of non-whites also lay at the center of Planned Parenthood’s agenda and several states established pilot programs for, primarily, minority victims. California’s role began in 1909 and lasted for seventy years. At least 20,000 sterilizations in state institutions were performed during that time.


The Clinical Research Bureau in New York, in operation from 1930-1976, was the first birth control clinic in the nation


Issue No. 1 of Sanger’s 1914 publication ‘Woman Rebel’ sub-titled ‘No Gods No Masters’

Today, the abortion industry has picked up where the forced sterilization programs left off, but now with Supreme Court legal sanctions and sympathetic legislatures across the nation. Many government schools and clinics promote the Planned Parenthood agenda, and Congress, with significant bi-partisan support, has included support for them in annual budgets.


A 1917 photograph showing Margaret Sanger on the steps of a Brooklyn, New York courthouse during a trial in which she was found guilty of opening a birth control clinic

In a prominent museum in Boston, Margaret Sanger is included in a list of revolutionary heroes that include George Washington and George Whitefield, the great evangelist. She was unpopular in her day, except among sexual revolutionaries, socialists and various racist eugenicists, yet now her ideas receive not just sanction but privilege, and the consequences of those ideas have claimed the lives of millions of innocent babies.


Image Credits:Margaret Sanger (Wikipedia.org); 2 Book ad (Wikipedia.org); 3 Research Bureau (Wikipedia.org); 4 Woman Rebel (Wikipedia.org); 5 Courthouse Steps (Wikipedia.org)

2017-07-05T16:53:55+00:00 June 27, 2017|HH 2017|

Henry Laurens Is Captured by the British, 1779

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result . . .” —Genesis 50:20

Henry Laurens Is Captured by the British,
June 20, 1779

“At a time when liberty is under attack, decency is under assault, the family is under siege, and life itself is threatened, the good will arise in truth; they will arise with the very essence and substance of their lives; they will arise in truth though they face opposition by fierce subverters; they will arise in truth never shying from the standard of truth, never shirking from the Author of truth.” —Henry Laurens (1724-1792)

Those words — almost prophetic in their contemporary relevance — were written by the only American in the War for Independence, held as prisoner in the Tower of London.


Portrait of Henry Laurens (1724-1792) painted in 1781 during his time in the Tower


View from the River Thames of the Tower of London, built in stages starting in 1078

When the Huguenots of France lost their protection with the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, many thousands of the cream of French society immigrated, always enriching the new host country by use of their skills, work ethic, and Christian fortitude. Among that migrating Calvinist population, the Laurens family immigrated to America. After a short while in New York, they settled among the large Huguenot diaspora in Charleston, South Carolina. Henry entered history in the third generation of the Laurens of America and carried on the hard-working business-minded tradition bequeathed to him by his forebearers. Most of his thirteen children died in their early years, but he managed to raise three sons to maturity, and one, John, served on George Washington’s staff and made a significant contribution to the War for Independence before being killed in an insignificant skirmish at the very end of the war.


18th-century French Huguenots escape persecutions in France

Henry Laurens exuded confidence in his abilities. His brilliant mind turned to business, making him one of the wealthiest South Carolinians, as a trader in African slaves. His desire for public service found outlets in two wars prior to the War for Independence and service as a member of the colonial legislature for more than fifteen years. He at first sought reconciliation with the Mother Country but became a committed patriot by 1775, chosen to lead the Committee of Public Safety and Vice President of the newly independent state. As a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1777, his colleagues made him President as soon as he arrived.


Reverend Jacob Duche offers the first prayer for the Continental Congress, September 7, 1774, in Philadelphia

In 1779 the ambitious and irascible delegate was sent as ambassador to the Netherlands to seek further financial assistance for the War against Britain. Off the banks of Newfoundland, the ship carrying Laurens was waylaid on June 20th by the British frigate Vestal, and he and his incriminating papers were captured. The documents revealed that the Dutch were aiding the Americans. At the time, England was looking for an excuse to go to war with the Netherlands (“the Fourth Dutch War”) and they used this opportunity. Henry Laurens was sent to the Tower of London where he remained a prisoner until exchanged for Lord Cornwallis who was captured at Yorktown in October of 1781.


The forces of Lord Cornwallis surrender at Yorktown, October 19, 1781

While imprisoned in the Tower, the long days of boredom and soul-searching commenced. “Although he had been a lifelong churchman, he was not known for his piety,” but the experience caused much personal reflection. Laurens wrote that he resolved his faith into a “God-fearing, Bible-reading, hymn-singing, passion for permanent things.” Though just as committed to the cause, and an opponent of tyranny, he “became far more pensive, far more judicious, and far more principled.”1

His estate burned by the British, Laurens was forced to live in a shed while he recouped his losses after the War (3.5 million dollars by today’s standards). He died in 1792, lionized as one of the founders of the new nation. But we now know too, that he found a real faith that could sustain him.


1 George Grant, Christian Almanac

Image Credits:Henry Laurens (Wikipedia.org); 2 Henry Laurens (Wikipedia.org); 3 Tower of London (Wikipedia.org); 4 Continental Congress (Wikipedia.org); 5 Surrender at Yorktown (Wikipedia.org);

2017-07-05T16:57:10+00:00 June 20, 2017|HH 2017|

Battle of Bunker Hill, 1775

“When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the LORD your God is with you.” —Deuteronomy 20:1

Battle of Bunker Hill, June 17, 1775

The Breed’s Hill battlefield memorial today covers about four acres and is surrounded by upscale four-story apartments and condos, the building of which were part of the fund-raising efforts to finance the construction of the monument. The hill is crowned by a commemorative obelisk 221 feet high, with 294 steps to the top, and is designated a “national monument,” under the management of the National Park Service. It was completed in 1843 and renovated in 2007. In 1775, when American troops occupied the heights, they initially invested Bunker Hill, but realized Breed’s Hill could be better defended so they moved there. The name confusion has persisted to this day. But there is no confusion over what happened there.


The 2016 Tour assembled on the Lexington Green under the Minute Man Monument

In April of 1775, the War for American Independence began at Lexington and Concord, not far from Boston. Few people realized at that time that the revolt in Massachusetts would spread to all thirteen colonies, independence would be declared more than a year later, and an eight-year war commence. The battle of Bunker Hill would prove to be the decisive point of no return.

Following the April battles between the provincial farmers and townsmen, at their peak about 15,000 men occupied positions around the city to keep their enemies hemmed in. The English garrison of about 6,000 under General Thomas Gage planned to drive off the upstart American army as soon as reinforcements arrived. The Charlestown peninsula jutted out into the Mystic and Charles Rivers just a thousand yards from Boston proper, a dangerous strategic point that both sides prepared to seize. On June 16 Colonel William Prescott led 1,500 men across Charlestown neck, around Bunker Hill to fortify the 62-foot-high Breed’s Hill, just above the town.


Map of Charlestown peninsula flanked by the Mystic and Charles Rivers

Prescott’s men constructed a redoubt six feet high with a wooden firing step, and then flanking entrenchments down the sides of the hill for resisting flanking attacks. The British fleet tried to stop the work with artillery fire, to no avail. British Generals Howe and Pigot determined to lead their men across the river to the plains above the town and attack the fortifications. Both sides called for reinforcements when they saw the size of the opposing forces and no action took place till Prescott was augmented by men from Connecticut and New Hampshire as well as the great patriot leader Joseph Warren. With the addition of the 47th Foot (later known as the Lancashires) and the 1st Marines, the Redcoats formed for the assault.

The attacks began at 3 p.m. and the first two British attacks were halted with heavy losses. A number of men in the American lines were confused and milling about, most were fighting for their lives. The third British attack carried the works and the fighting became hand-to-hand with the redcoats having the advantage with their expertise with the bayonet. General Warren was killed on the American side and Major Pitcairn, who had begun the war at Lexington, fell on the British side. The Americans fell back in a relatively orderly fashion, having inflicted more than a thousand casualties on one of the best armies on the planet, the most that England would suffer in one battle in the war.


The Battle of Bunker Hill, by Percy Moran

The battle would prove to be a propaganda bonanza for the American cause and a stern warning to the King that the rude American rustics would stand against a professional army when well led.

You can visit the battle site and see the marvelous diorama at the visitor’s center, as well as hear historian Bill Potter deliver a detailed narrative of the battle on the very spot where it happened, during our Boston History Tour in November.

Learn More and Register

2017-07-05T16:59:42+00:00 June 12, 2017|HH 2017|

Operation Overlord, 1944

“A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” —Proverbs 16:9


General Eisenhower addresses American paratroopers on the evening of June 5

Operation Overlord, June 6, 1944

It was the mightiest amphibious military operation in the history of mankind. With literally millions of moving parts, the D-Day landings along the Normandy Coast marked the return of the Allied forces to France, and the beginning of the defeat of Hitler’s “Thousand-Year” Third Reich in France, Belgium, Holland and Western Germany. The assault pitted Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower against the elite of German high command, Erwin Rommel, and the meddling genius of Winston Churchill against the paranoid micro-manager Adolf Hitler.


Dwight Eisenhower (1890-1969)


Winston Churchill (1874-1965)


Adolf Hitler (1889-1945)


Erwin Rommel (1891-1944)

Plans for the Allied army’s return to France began at least two years earlier. United States forces would be required to make the dream a reality, however, and their green troops and leadership remained untried and unblooded until Operation Torch went into effect in North Africa in November of 1942. The subsequent campaign drove the Germans to Sicily. From July 9 to August 17, 1943, the British and American forces defeated the Germans in Sicily, forcing them into the mainland of Italy, resulting in fighting that lasted until the end of the war. In late 1943, planning was well underway for a landing in France in the spring of ‘44. Dwight Eisenhower was chosen to assemble the forces and plan “The Mighty Endeavor.”


Map depicting Allied invasion plans and German positions in Normandy


Wading through water and Nazi gunfire, US troops disembark at Omaha Beach

The Allies constructed an intelligence disinformation campaign of unprecedented cleverness and multi-faceted execution to bamboozle the Germans. French espionage agents planted false information where it could be found by the Abwehr, German intelligence. Phony military props attached to a non-existent army were placed near bogus airfields for German flyover planes to photograph and observe. Electronic communications indicating an army commanded by (the disgraced and currently unemployed) General Patton concocted over a wide region for the Germans to intercept and be led astray. In the meantime, several divisions of airborne troops prepared for landings in the rear of the German coastal defenses and multiple infantry divisions secretly trained to cross the Channel and land on the Normandy beaches. The French underground were tasked with disrupting internal communications and infrastructure.


An inflatable dummy tank, modeled after the M4 Sherman


A dummy aircraft, modelled after the Douglas A-20 Havoc

General Eisenhower faced a number of obstacles and command difficulties during the preparation phase. German gunboats got in among landing practice transports at Slapton Sands and that tragedy, combined with losses by friendly fire, killed about 750 American soldiers and sailors, losses that were rolled into D-Day casualties and kept secret from the public. Ike also faced the difficulties of dealing with prickly personalities like British General Bernard Montgomery, who thought he should have supreme command and was always proposing alternate plans, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who wanted to land on D-Day with the troops, and George Patton, temporarily out of command but zealous to be in on the charge. As the time neared for the great invasion, bad weather rolled in, resulting in a short postponement before Ike made the judgement call to go, hoping for a window of decent seas and unclouded skies.


Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery
(1887-1976)


General George S. Patton
(1885-1945)


Tank landing ships, with barrage balloons afloat, unloading supplies on Omaha for the break-out from Normandy.

On June 6, 1944, the tide carried in more than 5,000 landing and assault craft carrying about 136,000 Allied troops to land on five major beaches and another 20,000 dropped from the air to seize road junctions and bridges, hoping to open the way for the landed infantry to move inland. The Germans were spread too thin in most places, with reserves held out of the fight by puzzled Generals and Hitler himself, who was convinced the landings would be farther north at Calais. Providentially the weather had held long enough to effect the landings and drops. The message from General Eisenhower exuded confidence. However, he had prepared two possible messages to send to President Roosevelt — one detailing a tragic and costly failed attempt to land the armies in France, for which he took full responsibility. He did not have to send it.


Eisenhower’s letter to the Allied Forces exudes confidence.
View larger version here


In a letter that was never sent, Eisenhower claims full responsibility for the failure to “gain a satisfactory foothold” in Normandy.
View larger version here

Join us June 6 in New Orleans at the nation’s premier WWII Museum as we honor the valiant men who fought in the War, and remember the Providential Victory of the Normandy landings in 1944.

 

2017-07-05T17:01:00+00:00 June 5, 2017|HH 2017|

David Livingstone Leaves for Africa, 1841

“Ah, land of whirring wings that is beyond the rivers of Cush, which sends ambassadors by the sea, in vessels of papyrus on the waters! Go, you swift messengers, to a nation, tall and smooth, to a people feared near and far, a nation mighty and conquering, whose land the rivers divide.” —Isaiah 18:1-2

David Livingstone Leaves for Africa, June 1, 1841

In his book The Man Who Presumed, Byron Farwell records that former Confederate soldier turned journalist-explorer, Henry Morton Stanley, upon meeting David Livingstone in Ujiji, “along the shimmering blue waters of Lake Tanganyika”, presented his hand and asked, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” “Yes . . . I feel thankful that I am here to welcome you,” the famous missionary-explorer responded. And so began a meeting of which few in the English-speaking world would not hear of, and marvel at the amazing story of the Scottish missionary. His story has no modern parallels.


David Livingstone (1813-1873)


Henry Morton Stanley (1841-1904)

Born in the mill-town of Blantyre, Scotland, along the River Clyde, David Livingstone heard the Gospel from his earliest years from his parents and church. His father, Neil, faithfully conducted family worship, passed out Gospel tracts as he travelled for his work and taught Sunday school. David was given a New Testament for reciting Psalm 119 from memory. The study of science and the creation captured young David’s mind, an interest that one day would contribute greatly to his African exploration after God had captured his heart.

While studying in medical school, Livingstone determined to leave for the mission field in the Far East, but political circumstances and his meeting missionary Robert Moffat, steered him toward Africa where he could see “the campfires of a thousand villages where the Gospel had never been heard.” He left for Africa at age 28, where he would serve for most of the next 32 years. Livingstone spent about three years with one tribe but quarreled with a fellow missionary and saw no fruits of his preaching, moved to another tribe and saw no conversions and left after two years for another with the same result. It seemed that God’s kingdom would not be expanded through the Scottish missionary’s witness.


Illustration of the famous meeting between David Livingstone and
Henry Morton Stanley in Ujiji, November 1871

Livingstone moved into the interior of Africa following the Zambezi River, mapping the course of the river and the terrain as well as keeping record of the flora and fauna of the continent. He met with chiefs and negotiated peaceful passage through their lands. He still preached, with no results, but also traded, learned languages, studied the cultures, and wrote down everything he observed. Convinced that he was mapping a way into the interior for future missionaries, he successfully convinced other British missionaries to follow in his paths. A number who took him up on the idea, perished in the wilderness from the many fatal diseases that awaited white men in the jungle. He himself suffered often from malaria and other maladies.

He visited England and published a book of his travels, making him one of the best known explorers of the century. He was feted by the scientific community and given a roving commission by Queen Victoria’s government. His expeditions took him to places never before seen by Europeans and his maps and journals paved the way for many who followed. Livingstone took his family with him in the early days, but his wife died at the age of 27 in Africa and most of his children died young there. They rarely saw him. One son died fighting for the Union in the American Civil War.


Map of the famous expeditions of David Livingstone within the
interior of Africa between 1851 and 1873

Livingstone fought slavery through his writings and sometimes on the ground in Africa. He worked hard to prevent abortion and infanticide among tribal people. His years of devotion to preaching, exploring, mapping, and recording, resulted in his heart being buried in Africa by the Africans and his body interred at Westminster Cathedral. What David Livingstone had proposed to found churches, God had disposed to map the way for the spread of the Gospel after his death.

2017-07-05T17:02:06+00:00 May 29, 2017|HH 2017|

The Constitutional Convention, 1787

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” —Psalm 33:12

“Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the LORD with reverence and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him.” —Psalm 2:10-12

The Constitutional Convention, May 25, 1787

Asecret cabal of rich white men — mostly slave-drivers — met secretly behind locked doors in Philadelphia to overthrow the new American government, and create a new document designed to protect their own economic interests and give themselves supreme power over the people… or so goes the current view of the Constitutional Convention from both the radical neo-Marxists and the conspiracy-theory revisionists of the right. Their constitutional convention was a coup d’état. One might find it difficult to credit their theories when the document and government they produced, although not perfect, were products of several thousand years of English common law, Christian republicanism, states’ rights and experience — not to mention the enshrinement of liberty, order and justice.


Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States,
by Howard Chandler Christy (1873-1952)

Representatives of seven states met to amend the document that had guided the United States since its coming into force in 1783, The Articles of Confederation; it had exhibited weaknesses they feared were fatal to the survival of the Republic. Before the conclave finished their work, twelve states were represented—some of the most patriotic, brilliant and able men ever assembled in one place in America—and they had created a new instrument to guide the thirteen states, and those which would be added, for generations to come. The result has been the wonder and admiration of the entire world.


The Assembly Room Inside Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Detail of the Signatures Section on Page 4 of the United States Constitution

The Constitution resulted from a bundle of compromises that kept the smaller states happy with equal representation, the larger ones with proportional representation based on population, the states in general kept happy by possessing all the rights not mentioned as exclusive to the central government, as well as the power to select the Senate—a federal system. The founders built in checks and balances so one branch of government could not tyrannize over another.


Independence Hall in Philadelphia, by Ferdinand Richardt, c. 1858-63

Men such as Patrick Henry of Virginia, who opposed ratification, foresaw the possibility of liberty so dearly won in eight years of war, being taken away by a unitary state. The Bill of Rights was added to guarantee those liberties, prohibiting the new central government from establishing a state church or restricting the people from gun ownership, or preventing fair and swift trials etc. The founders established a government of laws, not of men, so a tyrannical mob, “the majority,” could not force their will on the minority, a glorious Republic and not a democracy.

Through the amending process, through the Court granting itself extraordinary power over the states, and the Congress forfeiting its responsibilities to the President as well as the President acting without consent of the governed, the Constitution of the Fathers has been ignored, battered, and overpowered at various times in American history, but the foresight of the founders, and the original intentions of their wisdom, have enabled the Republic to survive till now. The nation as it was created was designed for “a virtuous people” and the purpose of the Constitution still stands, though at times feebly so—to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for a common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to posterity.

Learn more about the signing of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, as well as other key events in America’s struggle for liberty in the Cradle of Liberty Tour (MP3 Album), just $9.99 for over 5 hours of tour audio in the Landmark Events download store!


Watch for our Philadelphia Tour coming in 2018!

2017-07-05T17:03:19+00:00 May 22, 2017|HH 2017|

The Death of St. Brendan, 587

“There the ships move along, and Leviathan, which You have formed to sport in it.“ —Psalm 104:26

“Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business on great waters…” —Psalm 127:3

The Death of St. Brendan, May 16, 587

As the patron saint of sailors and travelers, superstitious people have appealed to Saint Brendan for help and safety for more than 16 centuries. Known as “Brendan the Bold” or “Brendan the Navigator,” his epic voyages and the mythology that goes with them have inspired songs, stories, and adoration in Ireland, Scotland, and America. How much of Brendan’s life can be substantiated by original documents from his day remains nil; the first references to his life came about two hundred years after he lived and the first references to his voyages, two hundred years after that. Lack of evidence from his own time, however, does not preclude the reality of his existence or some of his basic story. Oral tradition is often based on facts and in a closed community such as a monastery, where there may have been scribes, and which may have suffered barbarian attack and subsequent destruction of material evidence, the written story could be lost but the oral account still passed down.


“St. Brendan of the Gael” in Fenit, County Kerry, Ireland

Brendan was born near Tralee in County Kerry, Ireland in the 5th century. “St. Erc” trained him at Clonfert and ordained him as a priest in A.D. 512. As one of the “twelve apostles of Ireland” Brendan founded monasteries at Ardfert and Shanakeel, training other monks to preach the Gospel and live ascetic lives devoted to God’s service. The Celtic Church was known for its evangelical zeal, not just in the Emerald Isle and surrounding islands, but Scotland and Britain as well. According to later tales, copied and retold many times, Brendan’s travelogue exceeded all the other missionaries. Although there is no hard proof, centuries of tradition assert that he embarked on a seven-year voyage with fellow adventurers searching for “Terra Repromissionis” or Paradise Island — a land of lush vegetation. He allegedly set sail aboard a Curragh, a boat of wood frame covered by hides. He and his mariners visited many islands including a fake one that turned out to be a sea monster! Eventually he found the Island of Paradise and made it home to Ireland again.


St. Brendan’s Voyage


Ardfert Cathedral, Ardfert, County Kerry, Ireland

Mythology aside, it is reasonable that Brendan may have landed in the Azores and other small islands in the Atlantic. Celtic runes and biblical passages from the early centuries have been found in various places in North America, indicating the presence of Celtic Christians long before the coming of the Spanish in the 15th century. It is possible that missionaries arrived on the American shores bringing the Gospel to the native tribes, the history of which is entirely lost and now only hinted at in mountain carvings of ancient origin. Legends are often given birth by real-life events.

There are traces of Brendan’s visits to Wales and Iona and it is believed he founded a few more monasteries in Ireland before he died in the mid-sixth century. Whether he braved the oceans and found his fair isle or not does not detract from the impact Brendan probably had in a day of daring missionary expeditions.

Listen to the Mick Moloney & Eugene O’Donnell Rendition of
“St. Brendan’s Fair Isle“, by Jimmy Driftwood

You are invited to tour the Emerald Isle with a small group of fellow Christians exploring the vibrant scenery and tumultuous history of this unique land. We will be traversing a wide range of history from the Stone Age to the early 20th century and you’ll be encouraged and amazed as we reveal the remarkable ways God has used these fiery-spirited people to change the world.

2017-07-05T17:04:47+00:00 May 16, 2017|HH 2017|

The Sinking of the RMS Lusitania, 1915

“There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” —Proverbs 6:16-19, ESV

The Sinking of the RMS Lusitania, May 7, 1915

The headlines were as lurid as any in the 20th Century, and the tragedy rivaled only by the sinking of RMS Titanic three years earlier:

 

The United States had declined to enter the world war raging in the trenches of Europe and now the dirty Hun had torpedoed an innocent passenger ship, with many Americans aboard. Many in the press and the numerous Anglophiles of the United States began baying for war against Germany.

Until this tragic incident, Americans had remained sharply divided on who were the good guys and who the bad in the madness that was World War I. The millions of Americans of German or English ancestry, (very often a combination of both) believed America should remain neutral and the Wilson administration agreed. The following year, in fact, Wilson would stump for reelection on the slogan “He kept us out of war.” At least until after the election.


Postcard c. 1910 of RMS Lusitania at Chelsea Piers, New York


RMS Lusitania Arrives in New York
on Her Maiden Voyage

The war on the high seas had gone badly for the Germans. England still ruled the oceans of the world, upon which her empire was dependent. Germany had geared up for war on the high seas, but her surface raiders had been swept from the oceans and the fleet was bottled up in harbor. They would venture out for a test of strength with Britain in 1916 but the Battle of Jutland that resulted proved inconclusive, and they returned to sulk out the rest of the war. The use of submarines against allied merchants assumed first place importance for the blue water navy.

As a declared neutral, the United States — according to international law and precedent — was not permitted to supply war materials to any of the belligerents. Nonetheless, the Americans were sending a steady supply of armaments to England, and the Germans were made well aware of it from their spies in the U.S. and Britain. Germany issued stern warnings to the Wilson administration and were given assurances that the country would comply with the international rules of neutrality. Frustrated at non-compliance, Germany declared unlimited submarine warfare in the waters around the United Kingdom. Violators would suffer the consequences.


William Thomas Turner (1856-1933)
Captain of the RSM Lusitania


The Sinking of the RMS Lusitania
May 7, 1915

RMS Lusitania of the Cunard Line had been launched in 1906 and competed in the trans-Atlantic passenger trade with the German companies and with the White Star Line of Britain, of which the RMS Titanic was the Queen for the briefest of time. When the war began in 1914, Lusitania had secret compartments constructed to carry munitions as a merchantman but remained in service as a passenger liner. In the first year of the war, the German submarines complied with the old “Cruiser Rules” which included warnings before attack, and neutral ships would be left alone. In 1915, all merchants of the allied nations became fair game in the waters around the U.K.


Two Divers Prepare to Explore the Wreckage of the Lusitania, 1935

Lusitania left New York on her 102nd trans-Atlantic voyage on the first of May. Although the United States and Britain denied her having any war materials, the Germans claimed she was loaded with munitions and took out ads in newspapers across the United States warning people not to sail on Lusitania. Eleven miles off the south coast of Ireland, U-20 struck her with one torpedo and then a secondary explosion inside the ship occurred. The ship’s bow struck the ocean floor 18 minutes later. Almost 1,200 people were lost, including 128 Americans. The outrage in America and Britain drowned out all discussion of the cargo, which both nations claimed was passengers only. In 2008, divers found 4 million U.S. manufactured Remington rounds of .303 ammunition still in the hold designated for the killing of German soldiers on the western front. In 1917, Congress declared war on the Central Powers, citing in speeches but not the actual declaration, the unprovoked sinking of the passenger liner Lusitania as one of the reasons.

Journey with Landmark Events to Cobh, Ireland to see the Lusitania Memorial and learn how the people of the town rose to the huge challenge of rescue, comforting the shocked and injured survivors, and identifying, repatriating and burying the dead.

2017-07-05T17:07:30+00:00 May 8, 2017|HH 2017|