Saturday, April 30, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
The monarch who began the American Revolution was George III. The cause: taxes after a successful war. Britain had won the Seven Years’ War in 1763, but was deeply in debt as a result. This gave them a pretext to tax the American colonists--without representation in Parliament. The colonists justly protested this act of usurping God-given liberties and begged the British to cease. After years of unanswered and slighted petitions, lawful armed interposition was required on Lexington Green.
Louis XVI and Taxes
The monarch who began the French Revolution was Louis XVI. The cause: taxes. The reason is a little different than the American War for Independence, but one reason was the debt on France because of winning the Bourbon War, which includes the American Revolution and other theaters of war (the French finances were also in trouble after the Seven Years’ War). The other reason was the excessive spending of the French court, especially blamed on Queen Marie-Antoinette. The French hated the Austrians, having fought them for 200 years, and Marie-Antoinette was not only an Austrian, but the daughter of the late Austrian Empress, Maria Theresa. Her spending and nationality inflamed the French against her until at last they revolted against the high taxes and stormed the Bastille.
The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. (Proverbs 21:1, KJV)
Friday, April 15, 2011
And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day. (1 Samuel 8:18, KJV)
God was using the French Revolution to bring the dictator Napoleon to power, as a judgment on the French. After participating in the successful recapture of Toulon from the British and leading a brilliant campaign in Italy, the popular commander was sent to Egypt. He added the Battle of the Pyramids to his victories, but his fleet was crushed at the Battle of the Nile. This forced him to sail back to France, and with his tremendous popular support, he ousted the government and the Council of Five Hundred (the French Congress) and appointed himself First Consul. In 1804, Napoleon dispensed with this worthless title and was “elected” Emperor. He began the Napoleonic Wars, cunningly using the revolutionary fervor to his advantage. For ten years, Napoleon was unbeatable on the battlefield and wielded government power to an extent that France had not seen for one hundred years since the “Sun King” Louis XIV. But at last the allied armies arrived near Paris and forced the dictator into exile on Elba. He escaped, rallied an army and chased Louis XVIII out of France. With his new army, he attacked the British, the Germans, the Prussians, the Belgians, and the Dutch in Belgium. The armies met at Waterloo, and Napoleon was crushed. After the battle, he surrendered and was exiled to the distant island of St. Helena, where he died.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
And I have been with thee whithersoever thou hast walked, and have cut off all thine enemies from before thee, and have made thee a name like the name of the great men that are in the earth. (1 Chronicles 17:8, KJV)
George Washington was the general who led the patriots to victory during the War for Independence. When the war ended, he was so popular he could have become a military dictator. Instead, he resigned his commission, and shortly afterward was elected President. While President, he carefully guarded American liberty in law from the insidious French revolutionaries who were eager on exporting their lawless license to America. He provided a perfect example of what is meant by a servant-leader, always seeking the benefit of the people.
There is a myth about George Washington that must be cleared up, and this one is a favorite of secular historians: George Washington was a Deist.
George Washington never claimed to be a Deist. Throughout his extensive writings, not a shred of evidence has been found that explicitly or even implicitly says, “I, George Washington, am a Deist.” The revisionist historiographers systematically discard Washington’s many affirmations of Christian truth at church, his orthodox vocabulary for God, his emphasis on Christian behavior, and much more in order to present Washington as a Deist. Dr. Lillback dealt with this issue in his massive book, George Washington’s Sacred Fire. But my writing, or even Dr. Lillback’s writing, is not a deathblow to those who stoutly believe Washington was a Deist. Why? Because they will not give up this idea, no matter the facts. Washington is the most important founder by far, and if he can be made to agree with secularists, they have quite an advantage in the battle for the souls of the people, and the soul of the country. Thankfully, he can’t agree with them, at least not without help from liberal historians and their editing.
George Washington can be inserted not only into the ranks of great leaders, but into the ranks of Christians as well as shown by his extensive writings.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. (Psalm 107:23-25, KJV)
A sea battle ended the American War for Independence. It was the Battle of the Chesapeake, where the French Admiral de Grasse beat a British fleet under Admirals Graves and Hood. The battle was inconclusive, both sides took some casualties, but the French won strategically, which was incidentally one of the few British naval defeats from 1620-1820. They chased the British away and blockaded the Chesapeake Bay. The French Navy kept the Royal Navy from helping Cornwallis at Yorktown, who was now left to fend for himself against the Franco-American army outnumbering him 2 to 1.
The French Revolution ended with a sea battle as well, but indirectly. A rising general, Napoleon Bonaparte, was successfully campaigning in Egypt, winning the Battle of the Pyramids against the British-allied Egyptian Mamluks. He had his fleet stationed off the Nile River. The British Royal Navy led by a new, daring admiral named Horatio Nelson, engaged the French in a moonlight battle. The French flagship L’Orient blew up, and of the remaining 16 ships, 12 were lost, most captured by the British. So how did a French naval disaster and a prestigious British victory end the French Revolution? This battle forced Napoleon out of Egypt. He sailed past the British ships, and arrived in France. When Napoleon set foot on French soil, he promptly kicked the Directory out, and established his own government, culminating in his coronation in 1804.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The American War for Independence began when the British regulars wanted to search for hidden weapons in the cities of Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts. The British knew that arms are necessary to keep and defend liberty, and they wanted to seize and destroy them to protect their unlawful abuse of the law.
Paul Revere warned the local “minutemen” in his famous midnight ride, and John Parker rallied the group of them on Lexington Green to oppose this unjust search. Major John Pitcairn of the Royal Marines ordered the colonists to disperse and lay down their arms. They began to move off the battlefield, but kept their muskets. Someone (historians have no clue who he was, nor even to whom he owed allegiance) fired “the shot heard ‘round the world,” and the British regulars opened fire. Eight minutemen were killed with shots in the back, while only one Britisher was wounded.
Beginning: Storming the Bastille
Just as the American War for Independence began with a search for weapons, so did the French Revolution. The Paris mobs were rioting, but they had no arms. It was proposed that the mob storm the Bastille, tear it to pieces, collect the weapons, and free whomever the hated queen Marie-Antoinette had sentenced to imprisonment. Oddly enough, only six prisoners tenanted the Bastille, and none of them were imprisoned for revolutionary ideas (most were in there for forgery). The Bastille was a financial drain on the King, and was about to be closed, but it represented the power of the French crown. Reenforced by treacherous soldiers, the mob agreed and attacked, suffering ninety-six casualties. At last the defenders surrendered to the mob and gave up the Bastille. The soldiers lost their heads when they surrendered, and the Governor was murdered as well while he was escorted to a “trial”.
Monday, April 11, 2011
The Faithful Remnant
Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day.
And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage. (Ezra 9:7-8 KJV)
Just as God preserved a remnant in Israel, so He did in the chaos of the French Revolution. The region of La Vendee revolted when her ministers and bishops were required to be licensed and approved by the state. They were also concerned about being drafted for the Revolutionary army. The Vendeans began an armed counter-revolution against the revolutionaries. Several battles were fought until the Vendean counter-revolution was at last brutally crushed. One Revolutionary general boasted of the slaughter not only of Vendean fighting men, but also of women, children, and those who surrendered. While Vendee was pacified, another group known as the Chouans (Tawny Owls) continued the fight. Though the region was now disarmed, their dauntless spirit had not been quenched. During Napoleon’s last bid at power, known as the “Hundred Days,” Vendeans refused to support him and Napoleon sent an army to fight them while he marched to Waterloo.
For an account of the War in the Vendee see No Surrender! by G. A. Henty.
This badge would be worn by a loyal Vendean, either an officer or a foot-soldier. “Dieu le Roi” translates to “God the King”
Friday, April 8, 2011
The Irish Rebellion
The LORD thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice. And he sent out arrows, and scattered them; lightning, and discomfited them. (2 Samuel 22:14-15, KJV)
The Irish Rebellion broke out in 1798. The Society of United Irishmen began a rebellion designed to oust the British from Ireland forever. The French Revolutionary Government decided to send help to the Irish because both countries hated the English. The French put together a navy and well over 10,000 soldiers and set sail for Ireland in what they termed the Expedition d’Irlande. The expedition was able to anchor near Ireland, but terrible storms prevented it from giving any support or landing any troops. With many ships at the bottom of the sea from storms and a few captured by the British, the remainder of the French fleet returned to France. The Irish Rebellion was crushed by the British at the Battle of Vinegar Hill, and God’s Hand was clearly seen in preserving the British Isles and confounding Revolutionary France.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
The Glorious First of June
Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.--Psalm 135:6, KJV
The Glorious First of June was a victory for the Royal Navy and a defeat for the French. Admiral Howe was ordered to intercept a valuable grain convoy bound for Paris, while French Admiral Villeret was tasked with defending it. Both sides were searching for the convoy, when the Royal Navy found Villeret’s squadron. With the weather on his side, Lord Howe ordered his fleet straight into the French line. He hoped to break the formation into a confused mass of ships and batter each singly. Unfortunately, a few captains disregarded his orders, throwing the entire plan into jeopardy. Howe nevertheless took the remainder of the fleet and smashed the French line to pieces. His ship alone, the Queen Charlotte, fiercely attacked and badly damaged the French flagship, Montagne, after firing on two other French men-o’-war. The British captains, though taking losses, were successful. Admiral Villeret at last retreated and the British captured several badly-damaged French vessels. The battle was another British naval triumph, but the grain convoy and much of Villeret’s squadron escaped. While God defeated the French, he also showed them mercy by allowing the grain convoy to reach the starving people of Paris.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
The Battle of Yorktown
For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me. (Psalm 18:39, KJV)
Yorktown was the last major battle in the American War for Independence. As at other times throughout this war, God’s hand of Providence was again shown in orchestrating events resulting in the American victory at this decisive conflict. God used the strategic French naval victory in the Battle of the Chesapeake to strand Lord Cornwallis from any reinforcements and provisions via the seas. He further aided the American cause by allowing them to capture Redoubts #9 and #10, which placed the Americans within point-blank cannon range of the city of Yorktown. With the heavy cannon fire against the British forces, Lord Cornwallis decided it was time to retreat via ship across the James River. However, the Sovereign God sent a thunderstorm preventing the planned British evacuation. Having been thwarted from this escape, the British called for a cease fire and then surrendered the following day. On October 19, 1781 (just two days after the British waved the white flag), the Articles of Capitulation were signed outlining the terms of the surrender. The Sovereign God of Heaven was moving all the necessary pieces into place to establish a free and independent nation.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
The Battle of Trenton
The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes (Deuteronomy 1:29, KJV)
In December 1776, morale was low in the American camp and thousands of enlistments expired. General George Washington ordered an attack on Trenton in New Jersey. It was scheduled for December 26, 1776. The Continental Army crossed the Delaware River on Christmas night. God’s Mighty Hand was seen by sending a storm that night. While it did slow down the Americans, it also led the Hessian forces (who were helping the British) to not send out a patrol. Then after the arrival of the Continental Army at Trenton, the Hessians incorrectly thought that they were completely surrounded, even though the passage to the south was open. The Americans gained a sound victory. Of greater importance, the victory boosted morale and troop re-enlistments. As a sign of God’s Providence, not a single American life was lost during the conflict.
Monday, April 4, 2011
He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me. (2 Samuel 22:18, KJV)
The providential hand of God Almighty can be seen in times of advancing victory, as well as in times of retreating defeat. The Battle of Long Island was a decisive British triumph and yet God’s omnipotent hand led the American troops in their escape, preventing further casualties. It was August 1776 and the situation was bleak for the American troops as they were outnumbered by the British forces by a 2 to 1 margin. After suffering heavy losses, an American council of war was held and the decision was made that the army would retreat. The plan was to evacuate across the East River during the night of August 29. However, the retreat took longer than expected continuing on into the morning. God intervened in a powerful way by sending a thick fog that masked the clandestine departure once the sun rose and not a single life was lost during the evacuation. Less than 1 hour after the last boat escaped, the fog lifted!
Friday, April 1, 2011
Protestant Reformation: The Foundation of
American War for Independence
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: (Psalm 111:10, KJV)
The Protestant Reformation led by people like Martin Luther, John Calvin, and John Knox provided the theological foundation for the American War for Independence. This foundation was built upon by the leaders of the Great Awakening in the American colonies during the 1730s and 1740s. Based on this solid biblical teaching, the colonists came to the following sound conclusions from Holy Scripture:
- A ruler is not above the Law of God, but must be subject to it
- Obedience to civil government is required when that ruler is acting consistent with the power given to him by God Almighty
- The citizens of a country are responsible for holding their civil government accountable for their actions
- Negotiations between the people and the government is to be employed whenever the political leaders have overstepped their jurisdiction
- Resistance against a civil government is necessary and justified when negotiations have not led to restoring biblical boundaries for that government
Based on these conclusions, the American colonists engaged in carrying out what Patrick Henry referred to as a “holy cause of liberty” by engaging in the American War for Independence. Almighty God saw fit to bless those who were seeking to be obedient to His Holy Word and establish a new nation: The United States of America.
Renaissance: Foundation for the French Revolution
Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? (1 Corinthians 1:20, KJV)
The ideas that were supported by the French Revolution have many roots in the Renaissance period of history (which occurred during the 14th through 17th centuries). Rather than being a golden age of increase in the refinement of culture, the period of the Renaissance led to the decline of godly virtues. This cultural degeneration occurred by upholding the following humanistic views:
- Promoting philosophical separation between the sacred and the secular rather than viewing every aspect of life as under God’s authority
- Removing God from education
- Favoring human worldly philosophy over biblical Christianity
- Glorifying the individual above God
- Worshiping human achievement
These principles were exemplified in the man-centered philosophy that undergirded the French Revolution, which was characterized by the belief that human effort can establish a utopian state. The Lord God Omnipotent showed His hand in opposition to this worldview by thwarting the cause of the French and giving them the just reward of oppression by ushering in Napoleon as their dictatorial leader.
Napoleon is reported to have seized the crown from the Pope at his coronation and placed it on his own head. A good illustration of “glorifying the individual!”