SCV Chaplain-in-Chief

The Chaplain-in-Chief's Home Page The Chaplain-in-Chief's Message The Chaplain-in-Chief's March Article Chaplains' Corps Chronicles: January "Let us Pray" (March) Chaplain-in-Chief's March Sermon Catalog 2018 Chaplains' Conference

Chaplains' Corps Chronicles January 2018

 

Chaplains’ Corps Chronicles

of the

Sons of Confederate Veterans

Anno Domini 2018

January

Issue No. 145

 

“That in all things Christ might have the preeminence.”

 


"I think it worth a lifetime of hardship to prepare, under God, one of our dear defenders thus to die." Chaplain J. Wm. Jones

 

Chaplain-in-Chief Ray Parker

4083 Sunbeam Road # 2002 

Jacksonville, Florida 32257

E-mail: drparker@mdivs.edu

 

*****

Editor: Past Chaplain-in-Chief H. Rondel Rumburg

PO Box 472

Spout Spring, Virginia 24593

E-mail: hrrumburg41@gmail.com

ConfederateChaplain.com

 

 *****

Assistant Editor: Past Chaplain-in-Chief Mark Evans

20 Sharon Drive,

Greenville, SC 29607

E-mail: markwevans@bellsouth.net

 

 “That the Southern people literally were put to the torture is vaguely understood, but even historians have shrunk from the unhappy task of showing us the torture chambers.” Claude G. Bowers

 

 

“Reconstruction was … an artificial fog, behind which the ‘master minds” staged a revolution that changed America from a democracy to a plutocracy of ever-growing magnitude.” Rep. B. Carroll Reece (R-TN) 1960

 

 

“That the Southern people literally were put to the torture is vaguely understood, but even historians have shrunk from the unhappy task of showing us the torture chambers.” Claude G. Bowers

 

 

“Reconstruction was … an artificial fog, behind which the ‘master minds” staged a revolution that changed America from a democracy to a plutocracy of ever-growing magnitude.” Rep. B. Carroll Reece (R-TN) 1960

 

Quote from a Confederate Chaplain

 

“God is blessing the distribution of tracts and the labors of chaplains and colporters here [Petersburg]. More than a hundred soldiers have been converted since April. I never knew a work of grace so powerful, quiet, and deep. It seems at times, that the hospital is a Bethel. But we need more assistance—I call for reinforcements, and you must furnish them immediately, if possible. Send us at least two colporters, one for the hospitals and the other for the camps.”

 

Chaplain John B. Hardwick

Hospital Chaplain, Petersburg, Virginia

 

    

 

Editorial

 

Fellow Compatriots in the Chaplains’ Corps and Friends of the Cause:

 

With this issue we begin a new year for the CCC. Yes, 2018. Hopefully we shall know the blessings of our God as we continue publication. Let us cry, “LORD, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God…. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Ps. 90:1, 2, 12).

 

Reaping the Whirlwind

By H. Rondel Rumburg

 

“For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind” Hosea 8:7

One segment of the population does not like the monuments and symbols of another so they must be allowed to destroy those monuments, eradicate them from history, and create a hostile environment for any who respect them in the name of justice. Others say a few policemen are corrupt so they have the right to kill or cripple all policemen, destroy neighborhoods, rob stores, burn businesses and this is justice. Some say they should not be stuck with unwanted pregnancies so justice demands the termination of unwanted babies. Some say that some men are not proper toward women so all men must have their legal rights of protection under the law removed in the name of justice. Others say they are not being treated correctly so they should be permitted to take away the rights of everyone else in order to provide themselves with justice. Some say others have more material goods than do they so they should have the right to steal or destroy what others have labored to acquire so as to institute justice. Others say they do not have property like someone else, even though they will not work to obtain property, so they should be allowed to loot, rob, burn, and destroy another’s property for justice. Some say people who illegally enter the country should be protected, provided for, be allowed to do criminal acts, even murder in the name of justice. What is happening in cities that hold these ideas of justice? Extreme crime, high murder rates, decline in population, creation of more slums, citizens living in abject fear, antagonism against God and His Word, and the creation of a culture of tyranny. This provides justice for whom? We know they are destroying civilization but what kind of civilization have they ever built? This mindset only destroys! Sowing to the wind will always reap the whirlwind as a judgment from God.

Where did such ideas originate nationally? One place they originated was with President Abraham Lincoln when he made such statements as: “I felt that measures otherwise unconstitutional might become lawful by becoming indispensable to the preservation of the Constitution through the preservation of the Nation. Right or Wrong, I assumed this ground and now avow it.” In this statement Lincoln deliberately violated his oath of office by admitting the endorsement of unconstitutional acts. He acknowledged that he publically made this statement in a letter from Washington on April 4, 1864 to A. G. Hodges of Frankfort, Ky. when he wrote, “You ask me to put in writing the substance of what I verbally said the other day, in your presence, to Governor Bramlette and Senator Dixon. It was about as follows” and in this letter he made the previous statement. Yes, and he confessed, “I did understand however, that my oath to preserve the constitution to the best of my ability, imposed upon me the duty of preserving, by every indispensable means, that government – that nation – of which that constitution was the organic law.” Thus he confessed he knew what he was doing and willfully violated his oath.

This is the way this Lincoln Doctrine was born: “Preserve the Constitution by violating it.” He declared that by destroying the Constitution he was upholding it and this is still happening today. The very Constitution that preserves and protects the rights of Southern people to have their monuments and history is now denied them in this attempt to eradicate both by instituting justice through injustice. Lincoln pleaded, “I did understand, however, that my oath to preserve the constitution to the best of my ability imposed upon me the duty of preserving” it. How was it possible for the government to be preserved unchanged by violating the Constitution? A violated Constitution involved the changing of the government. Thus we see that just as the Constitution in Lincoln’s eyes was preserved by violating it; thus he also believed that you enforce the law by disregarding it. Thaddeus Stevens, chairman of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee and a major force in the war, went so far as to say, “There is no longer any Constitution.” That was true in reference to the original intentions of the founders. William Lloyd Garrison, journalist and an abolitionist fanatic said, “This Union is a lie! The American Union is an imposition—a covenant with death, and an agreement with hell! I am for its overthrow! Up with the flag of disunion, that we may have a free and glorious Republic of our own….” He advocated freedom by anarchy!

The remarks of Lincoln, Stevens and Garrison are the same as waiving or suspending law and order. Thus being just by injustice is the new norm. Our present situation was set historically in the Lincoln administration and the doctrine he fomented, “Preserve the Constitution by violating it.” I present unto you Chicago, New York City, Baltimore, Memphis, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Charlottesville, San Francisco, and Los Angeles among many other bastions preserving the Constitution by violating it. Here is the reaping of the whirlwind. Here is the stuff of which anarchy is made.

What does God say, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight” (Isa. 5:20-21). The word “woe” in Hebrew represents God’s preparation for declaring judgment. This text is dealing with those to whom moral values no longer are of concern. These have become morally elite in their own eyes but have become repugnant to God thus His “woe.” This speaks of “Conceited men [who] are condemned, who are so sure that they are right and wise and prudent, that they look down upon others. The point at issue is that these men have the quality they claim only ‘in their own eyes,’ and ‘in their own sight’” [H. C. Leupold, Exposition of Isaiah]. In God’s sight “woe unto them” or “they await divine judgment that are wise in their own eyes about what is justice.” These shall reap the whirlwind!

 

*****

Please consider ConfederateChaplain.com & Chaplain-in-Chief.com

 

    

 

This issue contains the editorial of the editor and our Chaplain-in-Chief’s editorial. You will also find our Chaplain-in-Chief’s article titled Under the Cover of Darkness. Your editor has provided a biographical sketch of Chaplain J. C. Hiden, Part IV. Assistant editor, Mark Evans, has written an article entitled General Lee’s Sure Foundation.  This issue, as usual, includes A Confederate Sermon submitted by Kenneth Studdard of Rev. Moses D. Hoge (1819-1899) which is titled Not of This World. Our Book Review is by Kenneth Studdard on The Gospel in Enoch by Henry H. Tucker.

 

Soli Deo Gloria,

Editor H. Rondel Rumburg

 

[Compatriots, if you know of any members of the Chaplains’ Corps or others who would like to receive this e-journal, please let us have their names and e-mail addresses.  Also, feel free to send copies of this journal to anyone you think would like to receive it.  If you want to “unsubscribe” please e-mail the editor or assistant editor.  Confederately, HRR]

 

    

 

Contents

*The Chaplain-in-Chief's Message, Dr. Ray L. Parker

*Under the Cover of Darkness, Dr. Ray L. Parker

*Chaplain J. C. Hiden, Part IV, Dr. H. Rondel Rumburg

*General Lee’s Sure Foundation, Rev. Mark Evans

*A Confederate Sermon, Rev. Moses D. Hoge

*Book Review: The Gospel in Enoch

 

 

THE CHAPLAIN-IN-CHIEF'S MESSAGE

 

 

Dear fellow Chaplains and Friends of the Corps:

 

            In the providence of God, we begin a New Year with confidence in God's promises and presence. This is a firm foundation and is certainly validated by the fact that the past is filled with God's faithfulness. God has always been faithful to His people; God has always kept His Word; God has always fulfilled His promises; God has always been found faithful.

 

            The Prophet Isaiah reminded the nation of Israel of that time when God on their behalf made a way in the sea (Isaiah 43:16) and a path in the mighty waters. For any believing Israelite this statement took them back to their redemption from Egypt. In the past God saved them and prospered them. Their past was filled with God's faithfulness.

 

            For this reason it is good to know that the God of the past is the God of the present. Isaiah exhorted his people with these words: Remember not the former things, neither consider the things of old (Isaiah 43:18). Isaiah warned the people of God not to get lost in the past. Don’t stop with what God accomplished in the past. Don’t be satisfied with past blessings. Don’t stay at the Red Sea. Keep in mind that God declares Himself to be the “I Am” not the “I was!”

 

            The good news is that God is present at this very moment actively involved in our lives. God is not a static God but an active God. God is not confined to the pages of a book. God is not confined to a particular denomination.  God is not confined to the four walls of a church building.  Neither is He confined to the faith of our fathers and mothers. God is contemporary. God is now. God is with us.

 

            God was there at our conversion and God is present now. God was there at our baptism and God is present now. God has met us in the crisis of the past and God is present now! God has walked with us through the valley experience and God is present now.

 

            All of the above realities are strengthen by the fact that the God of the Past is the God of the future. Through the pen of Isaiah God declared, Behold, I will do a new thing (Isaiah 43:19).  God would have us to understand that He is not through; He is not done; He is not finished. He is the “I Am!” not the I was.

 

            Certain Christian songs sound this hope in this way: “The God of the good times is still God in the bad times. The God on the mountain is still God in the valley.” “We know not what the future holds but we know who holds the future.” In these realities we can face the future with assurance.

 

            Is it not good to know that God not only has the intention to steady us in the future, He also has the ability to steady us as the future comes – whatever that future may bring?

 

     On another note: The dates for the 2018 National SCV Chaplains' Conference are May 17 and 18. I hope you will keep those days "clear" and plan to attend. Please share any ideas or suggestions that you feel could make the Conference even better. Just forward to my email at drparker@mdivs.edu

 

            The National Confederate Museum at Elm Springs will feature a section highlighting the service of Confederate chaplains and the great revival that spread through the Southern armies during the War. Several past Chaplain Corps' leaders are working with the Chaplain-in-Chief and Executive Director Colonel Mike Landree in designing this section. If you have items that would be appropriate for this section (Bibles used by Confederate chaplains, hand written sermons by Confederate chaplains, etc.), please let me know so we can explore that possibility.

 

I also hope that you will spend quality time at the Chaplain-in-Chief's Web Page each month. You will find a monthly article, prayers for use in the monthly camp meeting, a monthly sermon, and a "Happening Now" page to keep you up to date with news from across the Confederation. You may reach the web site at this link: http://chaplain-in-chief.com/

 

Deo Vindice!

 

Ray L. Parker

Chaplain-in-Chief

 

*****

Chaplain-in-Chief’s Article

 

Under the Cover of Darkness

 

Ray L. Parker

 

            The Lord Jesus told the people of His day, "Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19). The Lord continued, "He that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest" (vs. 21). The Apostle Paul spoke of "the hidden things of darkness" (I Corinthians 4:5). Paul admonished the Church at Rome to "Cast off the works of darkness" (Romans 13:12). The Apostle Peter taught that the Lord has called us out of darkness (I Peter 2:9). Jude spoke of "the blackness of darkness, forever" (Jude 1:13). The Prophet Isaiah wrote, "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness, that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" (Isaiah 5:20).

 

            There are truly many historic examples of the above Scriptural truths. However, the sad reality is we do not have to look to the past to see the darkness It is seeking to engulf us today. Certainly there are those who seek to "darken" the glorious light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with some form of self-improvement or psychological maneuvering. As believers it is our duty to allow the light of Christ to shine through our lives. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus preached, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). As a child in Sunday School we would sing, "This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine." The light of the Gospel is brilliant indeed.

 

            The Apostle John wrote, "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, an do not the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (I John 1:5-7).

 

            Not only are there those who would seek to "darken" the Gospel message, but there are also those who seek to "darken" the facts of history. Confederate Americans are cast as hate-filled bigots and Southern heroes of the War Against the States are pictured as evil, godless individuals. All things Southern (they say) must be removed -- and notice, they do the "removing" in the dark of night and often in illegal ways. 

 

IT WAS A DARK NIGHT IN NEW ORLEANS

 

            The City of New Orleans, following months of legal efforts to stop their destructive plans, removed three Confederate Monuments -- the Robert E. Lee Monument, the Jefferson Davis Monument, and the General Beauregard Statue. These monuments stood in New Orleans since the late 1800s and early 1900s to honor the South's defensive efforts to retain its liberty, freedom, and self-determination. The current cultural and political climate does not recognize the Southern struggle as a time of duty and honor, but rather as a time of hate and bigotry. Current cultural thought would have us "put away" all reminders of that period in American history, condemn the Southerners who were part of that struggle, marginalize those today with a high opinion of Southern heritage, and have the South sit on the eternal stool of shame expressing an unending apology.  This, however, we will not do!

 

            Contemporarily we view the terror system ISIS removing the monuments of Christianity and other items of historic and religious importance. Their "mindset" is, "If I don't agree with it, or if I don't like it, I will remove it. It matters not to me if it is historic or if it is valued by others, I will remove it!" How sad to see that same mentality at work in our own country -- and sadder still, that mentality continues to grow with vile, hateful results. It is truly a tragic day when a Southern city removes tributes to those who fought to defend the South.

 

            In the dark of night the destructors came. They came dressed in black with masks. They came with a strong police presence. They did their evil deeds, removed the Monuments, and then vanished into the darkness from which they came.

 

IT WAS A DARK NIGHT IN ST. LOUIS

 

            Following the evil example of New Orleans, politicians in St.  Louis moved against a Southern monument. The 32-foot monument, dedicated in 1914, depicted the Angel of the Spirit of the Confederacy over a family sending a soldier to war. "We want it down," St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said. In the darkness they came. In the darkness they loaded their trucks with the precious cargo. In the darkness they removed the monument. They drove into the darkness of night, void of all light, to complete their dastardly deed.

 

IT WAS A DARK NIGHT IN MEMPHIS

 

            For over five years the Sons of Confederate Veterans took legal action to block the City of Memphis from moving Confederate monuments. The City lost in every legal venue. The Monuments stood. Then, on the evening of December 20, 2017, via illegal procedures the City moved ownership of monument property from governmental to private. Their reasoning seemed to be to circumvent the heritage laws of the State of Tennessee and successfully move the Confederate Statues.

 

            In the darkness of night and with massive police presence, the dastardly deed was done. The statue of General Nathan Bedford Forrest and the statue of President Jefferson Davis were hoisted from their honored pedestals and placed on flatbed trucks for movement to an "undisclosed" location.  Once the trucks were loaded, they drove into the darkness of the night.

 

            The darkness of the Memphis scheme also involved the misuse of the light of the Christmas holiday. City officials, in the dark planning of their hearts, knew that with the Holidays, the court systems and the State government would be shut down. They knew that those of Southern heritage would have no legal recourse for days and perhaps even weeks. They used this stratagem seeking to seal the evil deed and make it irreversible. Darkness covered their every thought and action.

 

DARKNESS VS. LIGHT

 

            If the above actions were correct, they would have been done in the light of day. If there were nothing to hide, this would have happen in daylight hours. But because these deeds were evil, the perpetrators sought darkness rather than light.

 

            Beware of those who seek the darkness. Watch out for those who shun the light. Be cautious of those who do their work in secrecy. Remember the admonition of the Scripture, "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all" (I John 1:5). To do a deed in the darkness implies the evil of that deed.

 

            For those of us with a high view of Southern heritage, we will shine the bright light of truth on these dark actions. The light of historic truth will not be dimmed by those who honor the darkness and do their work in the night. President Jefferson Davis and General Nathan Bedford Forrest are great men of Southern history and we will honor them as such in the bright light of day with nothing to hide. The battle is not over. We continue the struggle. "This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine!"

 

 

 

 

Chaplain James Conway Hiden

(1837-1918)

Wise’s Legion & Charlottesville Hospital

 

PART IV

 

By Dr. H. Rondel Rumburg

 

War’s End and After

 

Chaplain J. C. Hiden remained at his chaplaincy post after the war ministering to the needs of the wounded, said Mrs. Elizabeth Hiden, “[A]fter the war closed, until the last soldier had recovered sufficiently to return to his home; or died and had been decently buried: and that too, without pay; for there was no money in the land! ‘Ah, tell it as you may, It never can be told!’”

Hiden gave an account of a situation he encountered in Orange County. His words demonstrated his adherence to the truth of the Bible. He related the following incident:

 

I was once sitting on a car, at Gordonsville, Virginia, reading the Westminster Review, the organ of British infidelity. A skeptic came to my seat and said, “Do you read that sort of literature?” “Yes,” I replied, “I want to see the devil’s latest dodge. How can I hit him if I don’t know where he is?” And then we entered upon a discussion of the evidences of Christianity. I called his attention to a man whom we both knew; who had been a notorious profligate, had become a Christian and a most excellent and useful man. The infidel did not even try to answer that argument.

 

Obviously the point was that infidelity does not transform a sinful life. Hiden’s life and words were a testimony to the verity of God’s Word.

When the military aspects of the war came to an end most of the men of the South experienced some difficulties. They had to become reacquainted with civilian life. Many of them had left their employment; also the enemy had destroyed businesses and the economy. How were they to care for their families? Hiden had married during the war and now had a family. This was a new responsibility which had not been true in peace time. What was the former chaplain to do? He returned to the place of his last residence at Orange Court House and taught school there and in Staunton. His wife Elizabeth wrote,

 

In that summer 1865, he held protracted meetings, for the broken hearted people through the Country. In January he taught a boys’ school in Virginia. In the fall of 1866, after being offered a professor’s chair in two colleges, he was called to a poor church in Portsmouth, Virginia. Whose members had refuged during the war, and lost everything they had: He accepted their cry of ‘come and help us.’ Their church had been seized by the Federal Soldiers and used as a Stable, the blinds, doors, seats, rostrum and pulpit, used as fire-wood!

 

In 1866 J. C. Hiden returned to the pulpit. He received a call to the Fourth Street Baptist Church of Portsmouth, Virginia. This pastorate got Hiden’s ministerial legs back under him as he was regularly preaching the gospel of Christ to a local church. The congregation had promised him three-hundred dollars a year and the Mission Society had added the same amount on condition that he would hold protracted meetings in the summer at their various country churches in that area. Elizabeth commented that “Everything was extremely expensive: This (the pay) was not enough for house-rent.”

Pastor Hiden persisted in doing what he could for his flock in “their dire extremity; it distressed him,” said his wife. Finally, he agreed to take charge of the Portsmouth Female Institute giving “all spare time to the building up of the demolished Church: and its distressed members,” confided Mrs. Hiden. The length of this pastorate was two years.

The Lord’s people in the local body of Christ had a pastoral place in the heart of their minister. Elizabeth left in writing what could be called an epilogue to his ministry at Portsmouth, at least from her perspective,

 

The two college offer of good-living, were turned down: and his brave heart turned to Christ’s sorrowing people. It was a hard struggle!

 

Hiden’s ministry was honored of the Lord and the decimated congregation survived the destruction of an evil enemy. No it was not an easy road. Two former Confederate chaplains would succeed Pastor J. C. Hiden. They were Pastors N. B. Cobb and R. W. Cridlin.

Next, the First Baptist Church of Wilmington, North Carolina extended a call to Pastor Hiden. In October of 1867 Pastor W. M. Young had resigned leaving the church without a pastor for about a year. Hiden while pastoring in Portsmouth was extended a call that he accepted. The church had been in a building program before the war, and he set out immediately to complete the project. “Various methods were resorted to in order to secure funds for the completion of the great building started some ten years before.” The lengthy project finally came to an end and the finished building was dedicated on the Lord’s Day May 1, 1870. The evidences of the ravages of the war were evident in the membership which was 210 in 1871 but there were only 65 men of this number.

What was his idea of the ministry? His sense of the ministry was evidenced in his essay on The Coming Ministry—It’s Supply and Preparation wherein he wrote:

 

 The institution of the ministry—a body of men called of God and set apart by the churches, to proclaim the gospel and administer the ordinances of Christ—is one of the most striking features of organized Christianity. At the outset of this discussion the question naturally arises, whether this institution is to continue to exist. Are we to accept the view so often insisted upon by dilettante men of letters, that the ministry is an antiquated institution which the world has outgrown—that the printer has superseded the preacher? In a word, will “the coming ministry” come?

If reading the gospel were essentially, and in effect, the same thing as hearing it preached by the living voice of an earnest believer in its doctrines, even then there would be little ground for the opinion that the civilization and culture of the age have outgrown, or are likely to outgrow, the necessity for preaching.

 

We know that the Lord has chosen through the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. Hiden concluded the essay on preaching with a very insightful warning:

 

If the great business of the preacher is to expound the Scriptures and to apply their teachings to the current needs of men; to mould human character, and direct human conduct; to throttle sin and foster holiness in human hearts and human lives; how dare he neglect anything which will help to fit him for his arduous work? And that the coming generation will have great need for the very best thinking that the most cultivated preachers can do is almost a truism. Novel … forms of sophistry are succeeding one another and crowding one upon another with headlong speed…. The coming expositor will need to be so trained as to be able to watch his ablest teachers, lest in learning to explain his text he be taught to explain it all away; lest his exposition be perverted into reposition. If what we call “Revelation” cannot stand the test of the deepest and broadest investigation, it is clear that the gospel of the future, the Church of the future, the ministry of the future are all to be wrecked together. God give his people a ministry that shall be prepared to meet the test!

 

Hiden did not forget the man whom God used in his call to the ministry. There was a bond of friendship which formed when he was a student at the University of Virginia and John A. Broadus ministered to his spiritual needs. Reconstruction with its devastating impact still manifested residual effects as money was hard to come by and people were hard put to part with it. On January 17, 1874 Hiden wrote Broadus from Wilmington, N. C. relative to the needs of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and to encourage his friend personally.

 

… I am glad to hear of even the temporary relief to the professors in our beloved Seminary. But I am still troubled about its needs. Oh, if our business men, who have the means, could only be brought to feel (as some of us poor, overworked, ill-furnished preachers can and do feel) the need, the terrible, pressing, crying need of better furnished men to do the pulpit work of our day!

Paul said, “Who is sufficient for these things?” and our people are saying (in effect) “Almost anybody is.” I know something about what it means to preach Sunday after Sunday (two sermons) to the same intelligent congregation for years, and to have some sort of a standard conscientious pulpit work, and then to feel that one is expected to do the work of three good men, with the time, the capacity for labor, and the health of one man, and with the preparation of half a man, and “haud ignarus mali, miseris succurrere disco.”*

 

In April of 1875 Pastor Hiden resigned to accept the call from Greenville. In March of 1875 Pastor Hiden was extended the call from the Greenville Baptist Church in South Carolina. This call was accepted by one that had been described as “well read, a superior preacher, and a fine scholar.” His preaching ability was described as “clear, vigorous, original, unique. He is a true and noble man, and those who know him best love him most.” In September 1876 the white Baptists of Laurens County reorganized themselves with only five members under the leadership of Hiden the pastor of Greenville Baptist Church. In 1888 the group had 120 members and a Sunday school. While pastoring there Dr. William Williams a professor at the Southern Seminary became very ill. The trustees made provision to make up the slack by getting Dr. J. C. Hiden to help in homiletics for 1876-77. Dr. Williams died February 20, 1877.

Some of his other pastorates were in Smithfield (1880-1883) and Charlottesville, Virginia. The Staunton Spectator for January 30, 1883 has the following item:

 

Rev. J. C. Hiden. D.D., pastor of the Baptist church of Charlottesville, preached in the Baptist church of this city (Staunton) every night last week and Sunday morning and night of this week to large and interested congregations. His sermons were forcible, logical, and at times eloquent. The exegeses of his texts were full and complete, and his Illustrations apt and to the point. His style of preaching reminds us somewhat of that of Rev. Dr. (John A.) Broadus, though not in an imitative sense, as he possesses an originality of his own. Dr. Hiden will preach in the Baptist church to-night, and every night during the remainder of the week.

 

This article shows the understanding the newspaper writer had of the things of God and the ministers of the gospel.

Also, while pastoring in Charlottesville, the Virginia Baptist Congress met at the First Baptist Church of Lynchburg on February 27, 1883 with Dr. Lansing Burrows president presiding in a packed house. Pastor Hiden read an essay on The Preacher’s Attitude Towards Literature. In this essay he took a position against the “mechanical” theory of inspiration. He made an emphasis on the sacred writers and their personal characteristics and personalities being clearly presented in the Scripture. His conclusion was an appeal to preachers present to make “the very best, preacher that can be made out of the material.” That night Rev. J. L. Carroll vigorously argued that the preacher should preach the gospel, and let trade and politics alone but Rev. J. C. Hiden and Rev. John Pollard took issue with him and there ensued a sharp debate. The point was that pastors should not keep quiet when their people are swindling or when there is wrong-doing in political matters. This should be rebuked from the pulpit. This was recorded in the Jefferson Republican for March 14, 1883.

From 1884 to 1887 he was pastor of First Baptist Church of Lexington, Kentucky. During this time Hiden preached the introductory sermon for the One Hundredth Anniversary of Elkhorn Association at the First Baptist Church of Georgetown, Kentucky. August 11-13, 1885 was the date of the associational meeting. The sermon Hiden preached was titled “The Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of the Truth” (1 Tim. 3:15). Pastor Hiden had many opportunities to speak outside the context of the local churches that he pastored. He was very effective and well-liked speaker.

Before the century was out Pastor J. C. Hiden was having some physical issues. One was described as a long and severe attack of nervous prostration. There were also bouts of depression. He seemed to be constantly ministering.

Hiden went north for a brief ministry at First Baptist in New Bedford, Massachusetts (1887-1889), but he returned south to pastor the First Baptist Church in Eufaula, Alabama (1890-1893). From Alabama Hiden returned to Virginia and answered the call of Grove Avenue Baptist Church (1893-1899) in Richmond.

April 11, 1893, Dr. J. C. Hiden was invited to speak by the ladies of Richmond’s “Every Monday Club.” Hiden was asked to speak about his days as a student at Virginia Military Institute and especially about his teacher General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. The ladies were fascinated to hear him describe Jackson as a silent man and a poor teacher but the greatest of generals. Also, in 1893, Dr. Hiden was the commencement speaker at Wake Forest College for the second time. In 1869 he was the commencement speaker when he was pastoring in Wilmington.

Dr. Hiden was also called upon to speak at the University of Virginia on March 7, 1894 for the lecture course of the YMCA. Some of the other speakers were Georgia Senator and General John B. Gordon, James Whitcomb Riley and Douglas Shirley.

1894 was also when Dr. Hiden was one of the speakers for the memorial service for his friend Dr. John A. Broadus. The Southern Baptist Convention met at that time in Washington D.C. and the memorial service for Dr. Broadus was held on the Lord’s Day afternoon. Judge Haralson was the president of the Convention. Those chosen to speak were Dr. J. C. Hiden, Dr. Henry McDonald and Dr. F. H. Kerfoot.

The Jewish South for November 24, 1898 recorded preparations for entertaining the delegates to the Union of American Hebrew Congregations which was to meet in Richmond. “Rev. Dr. J. C. Hiden, of Grove Avenue Baptist Church, has accepted an invitation to unite in the exercises, and will speak upon ‘The Blessings of American Citizenship.’” There were many requests for Hiden’s services as is demonstrated.

The Grove Avenue Baptist Church faced a split around 1899, as recorded in The Times of Richmond, 

 

“D”ue to the resignation of the pastor, Rev. Dr. J. C. Hiden. “When Dr. Hiden left about one hundred and twenty-five of the members of the church withdrew, and Monroe Baptist Church was formed, and Dr. Hiden was called as pastor. Before he began the regular work of the pastorate his health gave away and Rev. A. J. Hall was engaged to occupy the pulpit. Dr. Hiden is now spending two months with his daughter, Mrs. Edward Wilkinson, in Birmingham, Ala. Monroe Church has purchased a lot, and it was the purpose of the organization to build a small house of worship. The proposition will come from the parent church with the understanding that no reference shall be made to the cause of the members of Monroe Church leaving.”

 

We do not know what caused this division of the church, but this must have caused Pastor Hiden a great deal of grief and physical drain. He had experienced seasons of depression and this division added to that difficulty, but it was said, “he also knew the sacred place of the Most High.” Even in sickness and health during his life he was always eager to learn and become informed. In the end, Hiden did not become the pastor of the Monroe Baptist Church, likely due to health issues. He turned the call down the second time as his pastoral ministry appeared to be at an end and the Hidens remained with their daughter in Birmingham.

While hospitalized J. C. Hiden related his loving sentiments to Elizabeth his wife:

 

Come O’ come to me, my dearest,

Come O’ come to me to-day;

Come to me at early dawn, love

And when thou comest, come to stay;

Come my dear, and cheer thy lov’d one

And thou can’st not come too soon.

 

Come to me at blessed twilight,

See! pale lunar greets thee now;

Come and kiss thy dearest lov’d one.

He will deck thy snow-white brow.

Come too, at the shining mid-day,

Let thy presence bless the noon:

Come my dear, for I am waiting,

And thou can’st not come too soon.

 

We, my love, have long been parted,

By a sad, and cruel fate:

I am ever broken hearted

Lest my darling come too late;

But whatever may betide me

God this Universe doth rule!

And he will lovingly bless me

In His wisdom’s Won’drous School.

 

His wife also related that during the darkest periods of his illness he would recall memories of his University days. Whatever seemed to impress him as eloquence in the lectures of his professors, “He would say, ‘Professor Wm. H. McGuffy was often eloquent in his Moral Philosophy lectures,’ then his face would light up as he quoted, “Gentlemen: you can do nothing without faith. But you say, ‘Laplace (Marquis Piere Simon de, 1707-1793) wrote the Traité de Mécanique Céleste, and he was an Atheist.’ ‘True, rising upon the wings of Newton’s faith, he explored the heavens; and then turning his back upon the sun, he came back to Earth in the darkness of his own Atheistic shadow.’”§

The former Confederate chaplain and lifelong minister of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ was a man of standing among his fellows. His preaching was compared to John A. Broadus and two famous English preachers: Robert Hall and F. W. Robertson. His departure from this life was in October of 1918. His wife Elizabeth wrote, “My dear husband, Rev. J. C. Hiden, was the next of my dear family, called of God. He died in Virginia, October the 10th, 1918, and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Birmingham, Alabama near our dear daughter Anna.” Here he awaits the resurrection.

 

 

General Lee’s Sure Foundation

Mark W. Evans

Past Chaplain-in-Chief

 

     General Robert Edward Lee walked humbly with the Lord.  His simple testimony is well known: "I can only say that I am nothing but a poor sinner trusting in Christ alone for salvation."[1] When he succeeded in battles, God received the glory. He wrote President Davis concerning the victory at Cold Harbor: "Profoundly grateful to Almighty God for the signal victory granted to us, it is my pleasing task to announce to you the success achieved by this army to-day."[2]  Following Gettysburg, the Christian General looked beyond defeat.  He wrote in a General Order: "Soldiers! we have sinned against Almighty God.  We have forgotten His signal mercies, and have cultivated a revengeful, haughty, and boastful spirit.  We have not remembered that the defenders of a just cause should be pure in His eyes; that 'our times are in His hands'; and we have relied too much on our own arms for the achievement of our independence.  God is our only refuge and our strength. Let us humble ourselves before Him to give us a higher courage, a purer patriotism, and more determined will; that He will convert the hearts of our enemies; that He will hasten the time when war, with its sorrows and sufferings, shall cease, and that He will give us a name and place among the nations of the earth.[3]  

     The chieftain's spiritual strength was maintained through prayer and the sacred Scriptures.  Confederate Chaplain J. William Jones wrote: "He was emphatically a man of prayer, was accustomed to have family prayers, and had his season of secret prayer which he allowed nothing to interrupt.  He was a devout and constant Bible reader, and found time to read the old Book even amid his most pressing duties."[4]  

     Chaplain Jones recorded an incident that illustrated the General's affection for Christ and His followers: "While the Army of Northern Virginia confronted General Meade at Mine Run, near the end of November, 1863, and a battle was momentarily expected, General Lee, with a number of general and staff officers, was riding down his line of battle, when, just in rear of Gen. A. P. Hill's position, the cavalcade suddenly came upon a party of soldiers engaged in one of those prayer meetings which they so often held on the eve of battle. An attack from the enemy seemed imminent, already the sharp-shooting along the skirmish-line had begun, the artillery was belching forth its hoarse thunder, and the mind and heart of the great chieftain were full of the expected combat.  Yet, as he saw those ragged veterans bowed in prayer, he instantly dismounted, uncovered his head, and devoutly joined in the simple worship.  The rest of the party at once followed his example, and those humble privates found themselves leading their loved and honored chieftains."[5]

     Following the war, Chaplain Jones had the privilege of close association with General Lee during his five year presidency at Washington College, Lexington, Virginia. The obstacles facing the General were daunting. The college, close to bankruptcy, was in a severe state of disrepair due to Yankee vengeance and senseless vandalism.  Yet in those last years of his life, he raised the floundering college to a premier, educational institution. He never lost sight of his foundational goal.  The General told the Rev. Dr. W. S. White, General Jackson's old pastor: "I shall be disappointed, sir; I shall fail in the leading object that brought me here, unless these young men become real Christians, and I wish you and others of your sacred calling to do all in your power to accomplish this."[6]

      Chaplain Jones expressed well the true character of the South's hero: "If I have ever come in contact with a sincere, devout Christian --- one who, seeing himself to be a sinner, trusted alone in the merits of Christ -- who humbly tried to walk the path of duty, 'looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith,' and whose piety was constantly exemplified in his daily life, that man was the world's great soldier, and model man, Robert Edward Lee."[7]

     As we begin this New Year, may the Lord grant us the same foundation in Christ that enabled our ancestors to persevere and obtain the eternal victory. The Psalmist wrote:  "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God" (Psalm 20:7). 

                    

 

A CONFEDERATE SERMON

 

Submitted by Chaplain Kenneth Studdard

 

Rev. Moses Drury Hoge, D.D. (1818-1899), was a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ who served as Presbyterian pastor (54 years in Richmond, VA), Confederate Chaplain as well as long-time Editor and Writer defending the Christian Faith and its principles applied to life and society. It did not please Divine Providence to order events in the manner to which Dr. Hoge had prayed and anticipated regarding the Southern Confederacy, in time. But, the timeless truths and principles which he unfolds in this funeral discourse—from Scripture, history and observation—regarding Christian Statesmanship, transcend any particular time and place. The principles briefly delineated here, if practiced, would be the crown and delight of any people.

The following sermon is a good reminder as we enter the New Year that the Kingdom of Christ is not of this world.

 

"NOT OF THIS WORLD."

 

"My kingdom is not of this world." — John xviii. 36.

 

IT seems the longer educated men live who believe in the Christian system, and whose hearts are filled with the sweet hopes of the gospel of Christ, the more they are impressed, not only with the number, but with the great variety of evidences by which the truth of our holy religion is demonstrated. These evidences are not only numerous, but they are drawn from sources so widely different. They come from departments that have no connection with each other; indeed, we may say the whole physical universe, the whole world may be levied upon for illustrations and for confirmations of the truth of Holy Writ.

We begin at the beginning; the Bible is the only book that has given the world a picture, a definition of a God that is entitled to human respect, to human veneration, to human love and obedience. What a wonderful fact that is! There was not one of all the gods of Olympus, there was not one of the thirty thousand deities that were represented in the city of Athens whose character and life was not blemished or blackened by some vice; here as the God revealed to us in these Holy Scriptures, with perfect unanimity by all the sacred writers, is represented in the same august and adorable light, worthy of the homage and supremest affection of all intelligent creatures. How wonderful it is that a system of miraculous evidences running through fifteen hundred years should have ever been constructed—miracles that seem to contravene the natural and established laws of nature, and so well authenticated that their reality was not denied even by those most acute, ingenious and virulently bitter enemies of Christianity that wrote against it in the early centuries. They admitted that the miracles were wrought; they only denied that they were accomplished by a divine power. They ascribed them to human agencies, but as for the reality of the miracles it could not be contradicted in many instances. How wonderful it is that a system of prophecy that begins, I may say, with the beginning of man's history—that a system of prophecy should have been delineated the first sentence of which was whispered in the ears of our first parents in the garden of Eden, and that prophecy from this germinal commencement has been unfolding through all the centuries, so that every century that passes brings a new confirmation of the truth of the Bible, because it witnesses the fulfilment of some prophecy.

History is, after all, the greatest witness; the world's history as it moves on is the great demonstration of the truth of prophecy, and, therefore, as the centuries are added one to another the evidences of the truth, of the fulfilment of these prophecies will be cumulative with the progressive ages. And then, my friends, is it not most wonderful that men living in different climates, under different social and political and moral influences, that men who are different from each other in their natural and in their spiritual endowments, should have uniformly taught that the beauty of man's character, in its highest development, is the beauty of holiness. O that I had time to enlarge upon that theme with which my soul kindles when I think of it, that every writer in the New Testament, in some way or other, makes his contribution to the effect that man attains to his greatest dignity, and his only true dignity, just as the expulsive power of the heavenly affection expels from his soul everything that is dark and defiling, and fills him with light and truth and hope and love and peace.

The most wonderful of all the demonstrable evidences of the truth of Scripture, after all, is the picture that it presents of the only perfect ideal that the world ever saw. All men's ideas of virtue and of perfection are fragmentary; here is one that is complete, here is one that is absolutely faultless, here is one before which even the skeptic and the scoffer has been compelled to bow—the matchless beauty of the Son of Mary. I do not know what forms of beauty the heaven of heavens contains; I do know that the heaven of heavens contains nothing more beautiful than my glorified Jesus. And so, my friends, we have the privilege and the happiness of embracing a religion of certainties, a religion the proofs of which are always growing stronger and more convincing. Can we recollect without devoutest gratitude that we were born in a Christian land, and that perhaps our first teacher was a pious mother?

What a privilege it is to be in connection with this kingdom of which Jesus speaks, the kingdom of which he is the founder, the kingdom of which he is to-day the loving protector. It is a great mistake to suppose that Christ's work was completed with his resurrection and with his ascension. In one sense it was only the beginning of his work. Ever since that ascension to glory he has been superintending the affairs of his church, and it is because of his perpetual and loving counsel that the church is perpetuated, and that our hearts are thrilled with the prospect of its ultimate victory.

A most interesting question here arises as to the relations between this church and the outlying world, the relation between the church and the governments, the different kingdoms and republics in which the church is planted. Our Lord very briefly says, "My kingdom is not of this world." That is a statement that has been controverted, practically, for the last fifteen hundred years by a large proportion of those who claim preeminence in that kingdom; it has been virtually denied by thousands of those who think that the only way of maintaining the permanency of the church, of increasing its power and of securing its universal supremacy, is by an alliance with the State. And this brings me to that epoch of ecclesiastical history to which I wish to direct your attention, because it is the beginning of that alliance and the beginning of that system of union and cooperation between church and state which has continued for fourteen or fifteen centuries.

It is often said that when Constantine ascended the throne and made Christianity the established religion of the empire, Christianity prospered because the Emperor patronized it; on the contrary, my friends, the Emperor patronized it because Christianity had prospered. It was not the church coming humbly to a Caesar and seeking the hand of the state, it was the state that wooed the church. Constantine had the sagacity to see that the church had already become the greatest power in the world, and it was on this account that he adopted the plan of strengthening the state and of accomplishing his own ambitious schemes through an alliance with the church.

The history of this man is one of great fascination, and marks an era in church history. He was born, as many of you know, in the kingdom of Dacia, on the northern bank of the Rhine, the kingdom that embraces modern Walachia, and parts of that section of the eastern portion of Europe which is included in Hungary and Moldavia. There were six emperors contending for the government of the world—three of them in the eastern part of the Roman Empire and three in the western part—six emperors contending for universal rule. When the father of Constantine invaded Great Britain, the young man hastened to him, having been separated very early from his father, and living in a distant part of the country: He overtook his father upon the banks of the English Channel, crossed the Channel with him, and partook of the easy victory that was achieved over the Britons. Many persons do not know that the father of Constantine died in the venerable city of York, within sight of that magnificent cathedral that so many of you have visited and admired. It was in that ancient city of York that Constantine himself was crowned, and became king of Britain and of Gaul and of Spain. On his return to the Continent, the constant conflicts between these rival emperors had reduced the number to four, and presently to three, one of these being Maxentius, who made every attempt that was possible to destroy Constantine—to effect his ruin and his death by fair or by unfair means. I need not recapitulate the story which is probably familiar to you—of the conflicts between the forces of Maxentius and of Constantine, how at the battle of the Milvian Bridge, near the city of Rome, Constantine achieved his great victory; I need not tell you how he conquered his other rival, Lycinius, in subsequent conflicts, and how, in his early manhood, with a princely presence, with an inflexible will, with a daring genius, with a natural aptitude for war, with the greatest self-control after a life of chastity and of temperance, and a life in which he had habituated himself to every species of hardship, he entered upon his magnificent career.

What interests us most in the connection is the story of his conversion, and the insoluble questions that have arisen with regard to it. This is one of those great historical problems that never will be solved. There are a great many Christian writers who look upon Constantine as one of the greatest servants of the church, as a man who accomplished more than any man of his day or of those centuries for its welfare; whereas there are others who look upon him as a crafty politician, as a man consumed by intense personal ambition, as only half converted, if half converted at all. And so the rival factions continue to dispute, widely divergent in their expressions of opinion, as widely differing as the statements of Eusebius, a great admirer and eulogist, and those of Gibbon, who depreciates the character of this man, and represents him as an artful hypocrite.

You are aware of the fact that while Constantine was pursuing his career of conquest he alleged, at least, that he had been greatly influenced by a dream that he had at night, in which a voice spoke to his inmost soul, in which he received, as he thought, a divine commission to undertake the reformation of the world. This was followed by that other most remarkable statement, which also is one of the controverted points in history, with regard to that vision which he professed to have seen in the sky, the vision of the cross flaming in the heavens, and a voice that uttered those oracular and inspiriting words, "By this sign thou shalt conquer." One of the most judicious, thoughtful and pious of modern historians, Uhlhorn, in his Conflict of Christianity and Heathenism, does not hesitate to say that he believes that Constantine was perfectly sincere in the statement of what he saw, and of the influence which it exerted upon him. That much we all may admit. Even if it was an hallucination, even if it was some distempered ocular condition that induced him to fancy that he saw that vision, yet he believed he saw that sign in the heavens, and the evidence of that belief is that it changed, to a very great extent, the man's life, and in the most solemn manner at the time of his death he reiterated the story, and communicated the fact to Eusebius, who received it from his lips: that it had been the influencing and controlling incident in his entire life. Charmed with the romance, his ambition was too large to be filled by the possession of the city of the seven hills, and he achieved the daring project of giving the world a new capital. He accomplished what he undertook. He was the founder of the most splendid city, so far as its position is concerned, upon the entire globe—the city of Constantinople. Napoleon himself declared that it was the key to the empire of the world, and that the nation that would hold Constantinople would be the dominant nation because of its peculiar position, lying upon the narrow Bosphorus, touched by Europe on one side, and by Asia on the other; the Bosphorus so easy to shut up at both ends, and thus to exclude all hostile fleets; the city so fortified by nature as to be impregnable by land; and yet, when those gates are thrown open, all the commerce of the Euxine (or Black) Sea, all the commerce of the Mediterranean and the rich countries that the Mediterranean's waters wash, pour their riches into this city, beautiful for situation, strong by position, and the key to the destiny of the East. There it was that he founded his great capital; there it was that he built magnificent Christian churches; there it was that he invited all the patricians of Rome to emigrate and found new homes, homes which he provided for them. The hundreds of palaces he erected were designed to be the homes of learned men from every part of the world, who were invited to that capital to give dignity and influence to it because of their genius and their culture. He ransacked the whole earth and laid all under contribution in order to adorn the city, and such were his spoliations that someone sarcastically said that he had done everything except to bring back the souls of the great masters, the great poets, the great architects, the great sculptors. He had brought back all their works, and had done everything but to bring back their souls, and make them inhabit the city where their works had been collected in such profusion.

It was in the year 313 A. D. that he issued the celebrated edict of Milan, the edict that declared Christianity to be the religion of the empire. Then it was that he commenced those reforms for which he has been so celebrated and for which the church owes him a great debt of gratitude. He was the man who enjoined the observance of the Christian Sabbath, the first man who ever enjoined it by law, or that forced its observance upon any people. Inasmuch as a multitude of Christian churches had been demolished during the persecutions of the early emperors, Constantine required them all to be rebuilt again, and service to be performed in them by those who were not to be molested in the duties of their sacred office.

These are some of the great changes he introduced, and at the same time it is perfectly evident from the cruelties which he perpetrated that there was an occasional going back, in heart, to the heathenism with which he had been irradicably tainted, making Apollo his God as well as Jesus, Apollo with the radiant brow, Apollo the matchless beauty, Apollo with the infinitely cultivated tastes, Apollo, who charmed the imagination of this man so that his homage was divided between Christ and the sun god. These are the things that fill the whole world with doubt with regard to the fact whether the man was, really, ever a true convert to Christianity, or whether the alliance that he formed between the state and the church was one out of love for the church or as a matter of state policy.

When our Lord said, “My kingdom is not of this world,” these words cut in twain the recognized policy of some of the most enlightened nations of the earth. My friends, accustomed as we have been all our lives to religious liberty, we are oftentimes under a great illusion with regard to the condition of religious freedom outside of these United States. In how many governments is religion free? Did you ever try to count them? I did not ask in how many governments is religion tolerated; all religions are tolerated; but who does not see that there is a world-wide difference between the toleration of religion and the freedom of religion? If a government has a right to tolerate one religion, it has a right to suppress another religion, and when the government offers to tolerate religion, it offers an insult to every thoughtful man who has been instructed out of these Holy Scriptures, and taught what his rights are by that great charter of human rights. Toleration of the worship of God by the permission of a government when that right is a gift direct from God himself to the soul of man? No, my friends, we scorn the permission; we scorn the indulgence which says, "We tolerate you for that God-given gift which is equally granted to all men, the right to worship God according to the dictates of conscience. Therefore, one of the happiest things that ever occurred in the organization of this government was the fact that in the Constitution of the United States, Congress is forever prohibited from establishing any form of religion or interfering with the religion of any Christian people. It is a noble article in the same Constitution that in these United States there never shall be any religious test that has to be submitted to in order to acquire or to hold any office of trust under this government. It is true the States can make their own regulations, and have done so, with regard to religious freedom; and it gives us a great deal of pleasure to know that Virginia was the first State to sever entirely the connection between church and state. The conflict was a very long one—it took more years to establish religious freedom than it did to vindicate the independence of the United States; but at last it was done, and the article of which I speak was embodied in the Constitution in 1785. The next State to adopt such a policy was Maryland, and after Maryland came New York, and forty years afterwards, Connecticut, in 1816. The last link between church and state was not dissolved in Massachusetts until the year 1831, but now there are no religious tests and no religious discriminations in any of the States of this great Union.

Now we are beginning, my friends, to recognize the infinite wisdom that lies in that little statement of our Lord when he said, "My kingdom is not of this world," by which he meant that it did not have its origin in this world; that it was not the product of the times; that no tendency evolved it; that there was no philosophy upon the globe, no religion upon the globe, no nation upon the globe that could originate a system, like Christianity. Certainly it could not have been originated in Athens. If you remember the ground that we went over on last Sunday afternoon, the two great rival theological sects were those of the Epicureans and Stoics. Christianity did not emanate from the religion of pleasure, nor did it emanate from the religion of pride; Christianity scorned both as the foundation upon which it was to build. It could not have originated in Rome in its decadence, for then was the very darkest period in Roman history, when all faith in men had been lost, when all faith in the gods of the Pantheon had been lost, when the very hope of immortality was well-nigh extinguished in the world. Christ's kingdom was not of this world because it had a different origin, and next because it has a different purpose from that of any worldly kingdom. What is the purpose of the worldly kingdom? It is to augment commerce, it is to multiply the material resources of the people, it is to prepare room for a great population, it is to do everything to make the nation so powerful as to hold its own against all comers, so strong as to command the respect of the world. Christianity never attempts this directly; it does it all indirectly. Christianity undermines whatever is not fit to survive in governments simply by rectifying the principles of the people, and it gives support to all that is fit to survive by giving its sanction. The purpose of Christianity is different — it is to restore the lost image of God in the soul of man; it is to make one endowed with that awful attribute at which we shudder when we think of its true meaning, endowed with the awful attribute of immortality, so to live that immortality will be an eternal blessing and benediction, and not an everlasting curse. The great object of Christianity is so, by the preaching of a pure gospel, to influence the consciences and hearts of men as to prepare the way for the universal reign of the Prince of Peace; and, therefore, Christianity never brings under its wing or asks the protection of fleets or armies; it does not rely upon human help. "My kingdom is not of this world, for then would my servants fight"; but it is a kingdom founded in human intelligence, because it refines and elevates human thought; it is a kingdom founded in the human heart, because, as I said just now, such is the expulsive power of a new affection that it casts out all that is unholy and defiling; it is a kingdom of truth established in the soul of man—truth in harmony with eternal law, truth in harmony with immortal love. That is the kingdom that Christ came to establish in the world. ''My kingdom is not of this world," and, therefore, when there is an alliance between church and state, both are equally injured.

In the fourteenth century, John, the Bishop of Milan, inherited a domain, and as, by that inheritance, he was to become a temporal prince, he was required to decide between the two—to make his choice as to whether he would continue to be an ecclesiastic, or whether, renouncing his mitre, he would be a secular prince. When the day of decision came he arose from the throne upon which he sat in the cathedral, with a crosier in one hand and a drawn sword in the other, and he said, ''These are my weapons of offence and defence, and with this sword I will guard the crosier." My friends, in that little incident I have told you what might be crowded into an hour's discourse with regard to the unhallowed alliance between church and state. Those that combine the two say that so far from renouncing the one because we belong to the other, they say, "With this sword I will guard the cross, and sword and cross combined shall conquer the world." We cannot contemplate such a system as that, my friends, without dismay, when we remember the injury that it does to the church, and how it is calculated to fill the church with corrupt men, with men who seek high positions, with men who will demean themselves and debase themselves in order to obtain the favor of the state. It degrades the citizen when the state undertakes to control religious creeds and religious beliefs; it degrades the citizen because it deprives him of the right of conscience, and the independence of a man to think for himself and decide for himself the great questions that lie between the soul and God. You have a state of degraded people when they are compelled to suppress that which God has given for the elevation and for the development of man's noblest nature.

The church commits a great mistake when it undertakes to control political movements, when it espouses the cause of either party, when it gives its influence to a particular candidate, when it tries, by any method, to interfere with legislation—then the church is degrading itself; and the state is assuming an unwarrantable authority when it attempts to regulate the creeds of the church, when it attempts to impose penalties upon Christian people for doing what conscience requires them to do. So that, look at the matter all around, in whatever light you may contemplate it, we have a shrinking back from the thought that the day shall ever come when it will even be proposed in this country to form any connection between church and state. We ought to dwell upon and love this great truth announced in these words of our Lord when he said, "My kingdom is not of this world."

When it was proposed to disestablish the churches in the different States of this Union, some of the best men were filled with fear. The Rev. Dr. Dwight, of Yale College, was almost tempted to put on mourning, because he thought religion would decline when the fostering arm of the State was no longer around it ; and another man, whose name I will not mention, also said it was the darkest day in his life, and yet that man lived to bless God that he had seen that very day, for he saw a day that was luminous now in memory, dark as it was in past experience. Now the happy thing is that this subject admits of a demonstration, that the men who feared the church would decline when the aid of the state was taken away, have lived to see their mistake because they see the triumph of the system everywhere; and, therefore, if you look at it for a single moment, you will see that it opens up an exceedingly interesting department of investigation. All state influence in behalf of the church, revenues coming from the state in behalf of missions, or for the building of colleges and schools, being taken away, timid men thought there would be a decline in those great interests. On the contrary, the moment the church was thrown upon its own resources it became conscious of its elasticity, it became conscious of a vigor it never before experienced, and the force and sweetness of which it had not tasted. The consequence has been that there is not a country in the world where education has been so well provided for by free schools, by the establishment of academies of high grades, colleges under Christian influence, for three fourths of all the colleges and universities in the United States are in the hands of Christian men, who exert a Christian influence, influences that are salutary, and influences that are saving, that are non-sectarian but evangelistic. There is no country that so well provides for the education of its children as this country does, and when I am speaking about children I am reminded that next Sunday is Children's Day, and that there are more children in the Sunday-schools of the United States than in all Europe put together. Is that not wonderful, when we think of great populous countries like Germany, like Great Britain, like other countries that are Protestant—there are more Sunday-school children in the United States than in all the rest of the world combined, so that we have some twelve or thirteen million of little ones the best day of the week to learn a lesson out of the best text-book in all the universe, and from Christian men and Christian women. And then there never were such church buildings as these in the United States. I do not mean that the old cathedrals of Europe do not immeasurably surpass them, but these cathedrals were the production of the middle ages, for that was the way the church expressed its devotion in the Middle Ages. When it did not have missions to undertake, when it did not have benevolent work to do it expressed its devotion by the erection of great cathedrals. When you compare these edifices in the United States with those of the old world, you see what a free Christianity can do for the erection of commodious churches adapted to the purpose for which they were designed — places where it is convenient to speak, and where it is easy to hear and where the people are permitted to worship God without molestation. Then again, there is not a country in the world that makes such provision for the supply of its own spiritual destitution as the United States. Is it not wonderful, my friends, that we have a better system for supplying destitute neighborhoods than even a little country like England, not as large as a great many of our States, and where we would think the whole country could be districted, and where you would think any and all individuals might be reached? There is probably more spiritual destitution in Great Britain in certain localities than can be found anywhere in the United States, with all the splendid civilization which we so much admire and extol, and ever will admire and extol. And then, not only has provision been made to supply this destitution at home, but there never was a land in which the missionary fires burnt upward with such a steady, vestal flame toward heaven as this land; it is the missionary country of the world.

So, my friends, we thank God and take courage when we see what has been accomplished, and we see in all these things the tokens (O may God hasten it in our own time) of the final triumphs of the cross, and of the certain coming of the time when that name, which is above every name, shall shine like a radiant star upon the very forehead of our redeemed humanity. And with a hope like this thrilling our hearts we may say, "The glorious company of the apostles praise thee, O Lord: the noble army of martyrs praise thee; thy holy church throughout the world doth acknowledge thee."

 

 

 Book Review

The Gospel in Enoch: A Doctrinal and Biographical Sketch of Enoch

by Henry H. Tucker

(c) 2016 SBSS, Box 472, Spout Spring, VA 24593

 213 pages paperback with Scripture Index, Originally published in 1869

 

Reviewed by Kenneth Studdard

 

Henry Holcombe Tucker was a rare individual. During his lifetime he would practice law, preach the Gospel, serve as President of two universities, and edit a Baptist newspaper among other things in his long and varied career.  Anything he set his mind to, he did well.  He was man who was truly gifted by God.

A native son of Georgia, he would spend his life serving her in various ways. When the crisis of 1860 came Tucker was an avowed Unionist.  He spoke with great boldness and courage in favor of remaining in the Union.  When Georgia seceded, Tucker, like most Southerners, remained loyal to his native state, doing all that he could to support the war effort.  When the war ended, he worked to help rebuild his state.  He saw the opportunity to rebuild through education, much like General Lee at Washington College.  Tucker served as President at Mercer during the dark Reconstruction years and later served as Chancellor at the University of Georgia.  His life was given to the service of others.

The volume you hold in your hand is truly remarkable. I came across this book a number of years ago.  I was not familiar with the author, but I was intrigued by the subject.  Enoch is an almost mysterious Bible character.  In a brief compass of verses in the book of Genesis and Hebrews and Jude we are told all that we know of his life.  He was a man who walked with God, noted for his piety.  We are told by the writer to the Hebrews, “he was commended as having pleased God.”  Enoch was (along with Elijah), one of two men of whom it is recorded that he did not face death.  His life holds a strong fascination for many Christians, but in actuality we know very little about it.

It was with this background in mind that I began reading The Gospel in Enoch. I found in these pages not idle speculation about the life of Enoch, but instead a clear proclamation of the Gospel from the life of Enoch.  Tucker was a man of learning, piety, and gifted with a sanctified imagination.  These characteristics allowed him to create such an exceptional and original book.

When you read this book you will be struck with the author’s originality as well as his fidelity to the Gospel. Tucker takes us back to the early days of human history, before the Flood, using the life of Enoch as the starting point for preaching the Gospel in all its fullness.  His unique analysis and application makes you wonder why you did not see that before.  This book is an excellent example of how to explain the Gospel in both a unique and straightforward manner.  I cannot recommend this volume highly enough.

 

  

 

 We must remember who we are and what we must be about:

The SCV Challenge by Lt. Gen. S. D. Lee

 

To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the cause for which we fought.  To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldier’s good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved and which you love also, and those ideals which made him glorious and which you also cherish. Remember, it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations.

 

*****

 Chaplain’s Handbook

  Sesquicentennial Edition

Sons of Confederate Veterans

 

This is an enlarged Sesquicentennial Edition of the Chaplain’s Handbook.   It is enlarged from 131 pages to 165 pages. A chapter has been added on the topic, SCV Chaplains Should be Gentlemen; there has also been added a third burial service, The Order for the Burial of the Dead of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America; a chapter on Praying in Public has been added; and a chapter on Prayer Suggestions for Public Use.  All the other chapters remain the same.

 

Hopefully, those using the handbook will find it even more useful than before.  There is the same cloth cover, acid free paper for longevity, sewn signatures, etc.

 

The retail price is being kept to a minimum of $12, which is very low for a hardback quality publication.  Contact SCV headquarters or biblicalandsouthernstudies.com for a copy.

 

 

* “not unfamiliar with misfortune myself, I have learned to aid the wretched,” a saying of Virgil.

  • The following had been copied by Hiden as a meaningful dialogue and brought out at the suffering time by his wife. He copied concerning Corporal Trim, “He is on his last march, Sir.” “Oh no,” said my uncle Toby, “that fine young soldier must recover.” “In a fortnight or three weeks, added my uncle Toby, smiling,—he might march.—He will never march; an' please your honour, in this world, said the corporal:—He will march; said my uncle Toby, rising up from the side of the bed, with one shoe off:—An' please your honour, said the corporal, he will never march but to his grave:—He shall march, cried my uncle Toby, marching the foot which had a shoe on, though without advancing an inch,—he shall march to his regiment.—He cannot stand it, said the corporal;—He shall be supported, said my uncle Toby;—He'll drop at last, said the corporal, and what will become of his boy?—He shall not drop, said my uncle Toby, firmly.—A-well-o'day,—do what we can for him, said Trim, maintaining his point,—the poor soul will die:—He shall not die, by G..., cried my uncle Toby.  

   —The Accusing Spirit, which flew up to heaven’s chancery with the oath, blush'd as he gave it in;—and the Recording Angel, as he wrote it down, dropp'd a tear upon the word, and blotted it out for ever.” From The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, by Laurence Sterne

 

 

[1] J. William Jones, Christ in the Camp (Harrisonburg, VA:  Sprinkle Publications, 1986), p. 50,

[2] Ibid., p. 54.

[3]J. William Jones, Life and Letters of Robert Edward Lee (Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle publications, 1986), p. 470.

[4] Ibid., p. 470.

[5] Ibid., pp. 467,468.

[6] Ibid., p. 414.

[7] Ibid., p. 473.

Sons of Confederate Veterans