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Chaplains' Corps Chronicles November 2017

 

Chaplains’ Corps Chronicles

of the

Sons of Confederate Veterans

Anno Domini 2017

November

Issue No. 143

 

“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

2961 Gaffney Avenue SE

Palm Bay, Florida 32909

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

 

“As we look at the character of the army in general. Officers of regiments and companies and private soldiers all reared under the religious faith prevailing at the South, which was singularly free from skepticism, carried their moral convictions with them to keep company with their ardent patriotism.”

 

Chaplain J. Wm. Jones

13th Virginia

 

    

 

Editorial

 

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

 

November is a month wherein this nation historically gave thanks and supposedly still celebrates Thanksgiving. To whom is this thanks to be given? The NFL, the turkey, the pumpkin pie, the dressing, or to the Lord God Almighty in whose name the country was founded. What are our principles now as a people?

 

New Morality or the Old Immorality

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 28:7

By H. Rondel Rumburg

 

The gauge of new morality in this country has been reduced to the orthodoxy of economic well-being. This seems to be the criteria of the mark of modern goodness. The American people no longer elect people because they are biblically moral based on the Ten Commandments. This seems to be condemned as irrelevant or outmoded or it might make someone feel badly. We are told that what is private should stay private as if it were not known publically. A man or woman does not have to be honest in his or her marriage, but he or she is to be considered reliable with the electorate’s well-being and faithful in keeping the country’s safety. The individual may spit in the face of God by his rejection of the rules He has established for the behavior of mankind. By-the-way, these are the same rules God will use in the final judgment of nations as well as each individual in this world; and this also includes political and public figures. Nations are judged by God.

People no longer are supposed to be held to a high moral standard to be elected to office as if it were precluded that their moral behavior has no effect on their governance. Will a person be for a law that incriminates his lifestyle? No, they want to feel good about themselves and thus will rule in favor of laxity. They believe in “I’m ok, you’re ok.” No, they will try to sanctify immorality so that it is accepted as a norm for their behavior. This is what the authorities and abortionists do in the butchering of babies in their mother’s wombs in order to try to eradicate them before birth. What do they say? This is not a baby; it is merely the removal of a piece of tissue. Will electing a person with adulterous behavior negate him ruling in a licentious way? Licentious behavior is that which is characterized by one who indulges freedom to excess, one who is unrestrained by law or morality and is one without restraint. Hollywood is not the norm for morality before God, but it is a norm of the immorality of the devil and the wicked in hell! The true norm is laid out in God’s Word. God will have the final say, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).

Clearly, the only way this new system ends is under the holy judgment of the Almighty God. He is the only true and living God in three persons (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit in one Godhead). You might say, “How do you know this will happen?” I would ask you, “Where are ancient Babylon, Rome, Sodom, Gomorrah and many other countries that could be named?” They have not survived. They no longer exist except that their inhabitants are now in hell. The Psalmist was led by the Holy Spirit to write, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Ps. 9:17).

Perhaps it would be good to remember Revelation 21:8, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

*******

After writing this article your editor ran into the following from a book written in 1834 by an early American minister:

 

I hold it to be a truth capable of clear demonstration, that no man is better than his principles. To be virtuous, he must possess virtuous principles. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” As his principles are, so is the man. There is an indissoluble connection between the nature of his moral conduct, and the principles from which they flow. Anything may be called by any name, and anything may appear under any shape; but never can it happen that of “thorns men gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.” Men are governed in their outward deportment by their inward views and motives. It is so in politics, in literature, in science and the arts; and it is so in morals and religion. And yet, how often do we hear it asserted, that it is of little consequence what a man believes, if his heart is right; that you must look at his character and not at his doctrine; that good men are to be found in pagan, Mohamedan, and Christian lands, and of all creeds and professions; that moral conduct is not the result of any set of opinions; and that it is of no consequence what a man’s faith is, if he is only sincere! But this is a delusive and destructive morality. If there be any truth in such a theory, moral principles are of no account whatever. One system of morals is as good as another, and those persons are just as likely to be virtuous who believe what is false, as those who believe what is true. But common sense instinctively revolts from such a doctrine, while all observation and experience evince its absurdity. Good conduct never grows out of corrupt principles, nor is evil conduct the natural result of principles that are good. Is it so that a man may be one thing in his principles, and another in his morality; one thing in his belief, and another in his character? By what sort of philosophy is it that he is thus divided against himself…. A man’s principles are himself. His morality is himself. Suppose for a moment, that the hypothesis on which we are animadverting [remarking by way of criticism or censure] should be realized. Here is a man who is one thing in his principles and another thing in his practice…. He believes that fire will burn, and yet he plungers deliberately into the flames. He believes that Jehovah is the true God and yet he worships the devil. You call him a madman; and well you may…. His morality must take its rise from his principles. Moral principles constitute the seed, the germ of which moral character is but the development

*****

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

 

     

This issue contains our Chaplain-in-Chief’s editorial. You will also find our Chaplain-in-Chief’s article titled “If our cause be lost let it be buried in hallowed ground.” Your editor has provided a biographical sketch of Chaplain J. C. Hiden Part II. Assistant editor, Mark Evans, has written an article entitled Robert Lewis Dabney Goes to War.  This issue, as usual, includes A Confederate Sermon submitted by Kenneth Studdard preached by Rev. Stephen Elliot, titled Thanksgiving. Our Book Review is by your editor on Sketches from Church History by H. M. Houghton.

 

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

*“If our cause is lost let it be buried in hallowed ground”, Dr. Ray L. Parker

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

*Robert Lewis Dabney Goes to War, Rev. Mark Evans

*A Confederate Sermon, Rev. Stephen Elliot

*Book Review: Sketches from Church History

 

 

THE CHAPLAIN-IN-CHIEF'S MESSAGE

 

 

Dear fellow Chaplains and Friends of the Corps:

 

The SCV General Executive Council (GEC) met on October 21 at historic Elm Sprints. We thank the Lord for a great meeting and many positive decisions leading to strong victories for Southern Heritage. Allow me to share the good report from Carl Jones, SCV Chief of Heritage Operations:

 

There continues to be an immense amount of activity within the various Divisions to fight back against the "pc" attacks on our Heritage.

 

Louisiana is continuing to stand strong in the situation concerning the Caddo Parish monument, and Past Commander in Chief is monitoring the situation and providing a voice in the hearings. As well, the fight to have General Beauregard monument reinstated in New Orleans continues and we have allocated more money towards that fight.

 

I cannot let too much out of the bag, as I don't want to get ahead of myself, but we are waging valiant fights in Dallas TX as well as in Charlottesville VA. We will not rest in these situations until every avenue has been exhausted to defend these monuments. ATM Commander Johnnie Holley has been involved in the situation in Dallas and JAG Scott Hall has kept in contact with the Virginia Division concerning Charlottesville.

 

The Tennessee Division has fought, and WON, numerous court cases in their Division over the situation in Memphis. We had another big victory this past week when the Tennessee Historical Commission denied the City of Memphis a waiver that would allow them to move the Nathan B. Forrest monument. Army of Tennessee Jason Broshers attended this hearing.

 

Mississippi is gearing up for a bitter fight over their State Flag, again, and this time it is the SCV who is on the offensive. An effort is underway to bring an amendment in that State that will enshrine the State Flag design in their State constitution, making it unconstitutional to change the flag design. The GEC allocated $50,000 from the Heritage Operations budget toward this effort.

 

We are currently looking at no less than FIVE potential mega-flags being erected in four Divisions in the near future. Details on these will be forthcoming as events unfold.

 

     Last, but not least, we are moving forward with the construction of the National Confederate Museum at Elm Springs. This project will be monumental in promotion of our Heritage for GENERATIONS to come, as WE will control the content and the narrative. No PC, and no snowflake influence. Just the facts of our ancestors and the Cause they contended for. We are still accepting donations for this important project as well as for our Heritage Defense Fund

There continues to be an immense amount of activity within the various Divisions to fight back against the “pc” attacks on our Heritage.

Louisiana is continuing to stand strong in the situation concerning the Caddo Parrish monument, and Past Commander in Chief is monitoring the situation and providing a voice in the hearings. As well, the fight to have the General Beauregard monument reinstated in New Orleans continues and we have allocated more money towards that fight.

I cannot let too much out of the bag, as I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but we are waging valiant fights in Dallas, Tx. as well as in Charlottesville, Va. We will not rest in these situations until every avenue has been exhausted to defend these monuments. ATM Commander Johnnie Holley has been involved in the situation in Dallas, and JAG Scott Hall has kept in constant contact with the Virginia Division concerning Charlottesville.

The Tennessee Division has fought, and WON, numerous court cases in their Division over the situation in Memphis. We had another big victory this past week when the Tennessee Historical Commission denied the City of Memphis a waiver that would allow them to move the Nathan B. Forrest monument. Army of Tennessee Councilman Jason Boshers attended this hearing.

Mississippi is gearing up for a big fight over their State Flag, again, and this time it is the SCV who is on the offensive. An effort is underway to bring an amendment in that State that will enshrine the State Flag design in their State constitution, making it unconstitutional to change the flag design. The GEC allocated $50,000 from the Heritage Operations budget towards this effort.

We are currently looking at no less than FIVE potential mega-flags being erected in four Divisions in the near future. Details on these will be forthcoming as events unfold.

Last, but not least, we are moving forward with the construction of the National Confederate Museum at Elm Springs. This project will be monumental in promotion of our Heritage for GENERATIONS to come, as WE will control the content and the narrative. No PC, and no snowflake influence. Just the facts of our ancestors and the Cause they contended for. We are still accepting donations for this very important project as well as for our Heritage Defense Fund.

As I said, this is a general overview of just a few of the highlights that we covered. With your support, we will continue to forward the Colors and carry out the Charge. Each of us are responsible for the promotion and defense of our Heritage within our own centers of influence, and ultimately it will be what we do within our local Camps and our local areas that determine the outcome of our efforts. Know the facts, build your Camps, create relationships within your community and let’s march on to victory. I am,

There continues to be an immense amount of activity within the various Divisions to fight back against the “pc” attacks on our Heritage.

Louisiana is continuing to stand strong in the situation concerning the Caddo Parrish monument, and Past Commander in Chief is monitoring the situation and providing a voice in the hearings. As well, the fight to have the General Beauregard monument reinstated in New Orleans continues and we have allocated more money towards that fight.

I cannot let too much out of the bag, as I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but we are waging valiant fights in Dallas, Tx. as well as in Charlottesville, Va. We will not rest in these situations until every avenue has been exhausted to defend these monuments. ATM Commander Johnnie Holley has been involved in the situation in Dallas, and JAG Scott Hall has kept in constant contact with the Virginia Division concerning Charlottesville.

The Tennessee Division has fought, and WON, numerous court cases in their Division over the situation in Memphis. We had another big victory this past week when the Tennessee Historical Commission denied the City of Memphis a waiver that would allow them to move the Nathan B. Forrest monument. Army of Tennessee Councilman Jason Boshers attended this hearing.

Mississippi is gearing up for a big fight over their State Flag, again, and this time it is the SCV who is on the offensive. An effort is underway to bring an amendment in that State that will enshrine the State Flag design in their State constitution, making it unconstitutional to change the flag design. The GEC allocated $50,000 from the Heritage Operations budget towards this effort.

We are currently looking at no less than FIVE potential mega-flags being erected in four Divisions in the near future. Details on these will be forthcoming as events unfold.

Last, but not least, we are moving forward with the construction of the National Confederate Museum at Elm Springs. This project will be monumental in promotion of our Heritage for GENERATIONS to come, as WE will control the content and the narrative. No PC, and no snowflake influence. Just the facts of our ancestors and the Cause they contended for. We are still accepting donations for this very important project as well as for our Heritage Defense Fund.

As I said, this is a general overview of just a few of the highlights that we covered. With your support, we will continue to forward the Colors and carry out the Charge. Each of us are responsible for the promotion and defense of our Heritage within our own centers of influence, and ultimately it will be what we do within our local Camps and our local areas that determine the outcome of our efforts. Know the facts, build your Camps, create relationships within your community and let’s march on to victory. I am,

 

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

 

"If our cause is lost, let it be buried in hallowed ground."

 

Ray L. Parker

 

A Fictitious Story

 

            An interesting television show of the 1960s was Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone. In an early episode, the story plot revolved around the experience of a Confederate sergeant on patrol to locate Federal forces in a specific valley.

 

            As the sergeant performed his responsibility, he heard the sounds of troops, horses, and wagons in the nearby city. He cautiously moved into the city to determine the strength of this Federal force. On the outskirts of the city, the noise of moving troops suddenly ceased; all was quiet. This was a puzzlement to the sergeant, but he continued his slow, determined entrance into the city. 

 

            Upon entering the city he saw scores of Federals. Some were in marching formation. Others were loading and unloading wagons. The unexplainable thing was that the Federals were "frozen." They were not moving. They were like statutes. The Sergeant walked through the troops in marching formation and spoke to the troops unloading wagons. The Federals did not move and did not reply. How could this be explained? How could such an unusual thing happen?

 

            As the sergeant continued his exploration of the city, he met an elderly gentleman -- seemingly the only city resident left in the town. This gentleman told the sergeant that he was responsible for the condition of the Federals -- he caused them to be in this immobile state. Needless to say this seemed a wild tale to the sergeant. How could this older man have such an effect on these young, strong, experienced Federal troops? This seemed beyond the realm of possibility.

 

            The old man showed the sergeant a book -- a book entitled Witchcraft. He claimed he used this book to "cast a spell" on the Federals. He then went even further. He stated that he could put such a spell on the entire Union army. He could "freeze" all Federal forces seeking to destroy the Confederacy.

 

            The sergeant still did not believe the old man -- surely this could not be true. The old man declared, "I will show you." He opened the book, read certain words from the book, and placed this spell on the Confederate sergeant. The sergeant could not move or speak, but he could still hear. The old man stated, "Now you will believe me. Now you know that this spell works. Now you understand that all Federal forces could be immobilized in an instant no matter where they stand in this war. Now you know that in an instant the Confederacy can prevail over all enemies seeking to destroy it."

 

            With this being said, the old man lifted the spell from the sergeant. The sergeant replied, "Well, since you have this ability, why are you not using it to stop the enemies of the Confederacy?" The old may answered, "I am going to die today. I do not have the time. You, sergeant, must do this. I give you the book." With these words the old man died.

 

            The sergeant, still with some unbelief, took the book from the old man's hands and returned to his encampment. He showed the book to his commanding officer, explaining all the events that had occurred in the city just a short distance away. The commanding officer replied, "If you can do this, do it now. Let the Confederacy prevail!"

 

            The Confederate sergeant opened the book and began to read. The first statements on the page avowed that with the use of this book you were placing yourself in league with the Devil. The next sentence commanded that belief in God be denied. The Confederate sergeant stopped reading immediately. "We cannot do this," he proclaimed. "We cannot deny our faith in God. If our cause is lost, let it be buried in hallowed ground!" With these words, the sergeant threw the book of witchcraft into the fire.

 

            The above, of course, is a fictitious story, but it contains a vital historic reality. Christian faith remained strong in the Confederacy throughout the war and following the war.

 

A Faithful Nation

 

            Southern faith reflected the faith of the founding fathers and the founding documents. Southern faith was conservative and practical founded in a high opinion of Scripture. Southern leaders recognized that God is the author of liberty and they sought to honor Him as such.

 

            President Jefferson Davis wrote, "I call the people of the Confederacy -- a people who believe that the Lord reigneth, and that his overruling Providence ordereth all things -- to unite in prayer." When General Robert E. Lee was told that Confederate Chaplains were praying for him, he said, "I can only say that I am nothing but a poor sinner, trusting in Christ alone for salvation and need all of the prayers they can offer for me."  General Lee also wrote, "My whole trust is in God, and I am ready for whatever He may ordain." General Stonewall Jackson, following a great victory, wrote, "I simply took advantage of circumstances as they were presented to me in the Providence of God. I feel that His hand led me: let us give Him all the glory." President Davis visited the bed side of the mortally wounded General J.E.B. Stuart and asked how he felt. Stuart replied, "Easy, but willing to die, if God and my country think I have fulfilled my destiny and done my duty." Such was the faith found in the Confederacy.

 

            God in his providence honored this faith and sent a mighty revival into the midst of the Southern Army. Thousands of Southern soldiers confessed faith in Christ and were baptized. Dr. W. W. Bennett, a Confederate chaplain, gave this report: "Modern history presents no example of armies so nearly converted into churches as the armies of Southern defense. On the crest of this flood of war ... rides a pure Christianity; the gospel of the grace of God shines through the smoke of battle with the light that leads to heaven; and the camp becomes a school of Christ."

 

            A scene often noted during the War on fields of battle was great preaching services One Confederate chaplain wrote, "The service at sundown was especially impressive. It was held on the very ground over which the grand charge of the Confederates was made on June 27, 1862. This service was attended by a great crowd. It was a beautiful Sabbath eve, and all nature seemed to invite to peace and repose. But the firing of the pickets in the front, the long rows of stacked muskets, the tattered battle-flags which rippled in the evening breeze reminded of hundreds of battles. But now the soldiers gathered to hear the gospel of peace.  At the end of the sermon there were over 200 who responded and professed faith in Christ." 

 

            A soldier on duty at Manassas Junction came to faith and was baptized. He wrote, “May God’s Word be blessed to the turning of their hearts to Jesus. We feel that God’s people are praying for us; and surely, the poor soldier, more than anyone else, needs to be remembered at the mercy-seat. Oh, that none may fall in battle till at the feet of the Crucified One they have found joy and peace! My own heart is so sinful that I often tremble lest I may be a castaway, but in the mercy of God through Jesus Christ, I hope. I hope that the Christians of this land will pray that the peace of God may be sent into the hearts of all, that our rulers may rule in righteousness, and that the North may see its folly and guilt in seeking to subdue and oppress the South.”

 

            From this wartime revival, Southern soldiers returned to their communities and homes with a solid Christian faith. They built churches and communicated their faith in practical ways. The South became known as the “Bible Belt.” The faith expressed in the Confederate Constitution, proclaimed by President Davis, decreed by Confederate legislators, illustrated in General Lee, lived by General Jackson, preached by Confederate chaplains, and embraced by Confederate soldiers is still alive today in Southern churches. Let us accept the invitation of David and "taste and see that the Lord is good." And let us work within our nation to be a people of truth communicating by life and lip the wonderful gospel of Christ.

 

 

 

 

Chaplain James Conway Hiden

(1837-1918)

Wise’s Legion & Charlottesville Hospital

 

PART II

 

By Dr. H. Rondel Rumburg

 

The Beginning of Labors

 

  1. C. Hiden taught school at his hometown of Orange Court House and also at Staunton before and after the war. Teaching would be a part of his life off and on through his years of service for the Lord.

While a student at the University of Virginia he was under the ministry of Dr. John A. Broadus, chaplain and pastor of Charlottesville Baptist Church. How did Broadus come to this position? While yet a gifted young man, Broadus accepted one of the numerous offers extended to him. Therefore, he became a tutor in Greek and Latin at the University of Virginia. Also, during the same time frame he became the pastor of Charlottesville Baptist Church. The position as tutor was resigned after a year, and Pastor Broadus devoted himself to the full time ministry of the church he pastored. He did later take a two year absence to serve as chaplain at the University of Virginia. While he was ministering there he had a great impact on young men at the University who were attending his ministry. Under this esteemed man of God, J. C. Hiden believed himself called to the ministry.

He received ordination to the gospel ministry at Orange Court House, Virginia in 1859. He first served Hillsborough Baptist Church in Albemarle County. Hiden now began to proclaim the saving grace of God through His Son Jesus Christ. The hearts and heads of people were sought for Christ. As pastor he began caring for the Lord’s sheep and tending their various needs. He confronted the enemy of the Lord and came to see the great need for prayer and the knowledge of God’s Word. He was said to be adept at disarming adverse criticism. Meanwhile storm clouds were collecting on the horizon.

 

The War Begins

 

What was J. C. Hiden’s view on the war? In a sermon preached after the war on “Christ Crucified,” he made a declaration regarding God’s sovereignty and the free agency of man; therein he asserted the following on the two subjects:

 

Well, I believe in both. I believe that the Creator works all things in this universe according to the counsels of his own will; and then I believe that I am responsible to him for my conduct. And if I did not believe that he is sovereign, then I could not believe that I am responsible to him.

Thirty-five years ago a strong party in this country held that the paramount allegiance of the citizen was due to the sovereign State in which he lived; and this because of the sovereignty of the State. Another strong party held that the allegiance of the citizen was due to the Federal government, because that government was possessed of sovereignty. Both parties held that responsibility followed sovereignty; and so we fought for years over the question, “Where does sovereignty reside?” I hold then, that my responsibility grows out of God’s sovereignty.

 

Hiden saw the cause of the conflict of 1861-1865; it was over the concept of state rights that was opposed by an overwhelmingly oppressive centralized government in Washington. He saw submission to such a government as what could be called agnostic idolatry. The very use of the word “sovereign” prohibits the plural “sovereigns” for only one can be supreme. Thus realms of sovereignty were developed by men. To Hiden, one’s allegiance to God preempts the pseudo-governmental sovereignty which is statism or centralized government. We pledge our allegiance only to God for He is the Sovereign. This is the same question that faces us today. God is sovereign, thus He is supreme over creation, salvation, family and government. The Lord created heaven and earth and all that in them is, and therefore everything should be defined in relationship to Him. A rejection of God’s sovereignty over all things does not alter His rule and ultimately His final judgment. God the Son shall rule all nations with a rod of iron (Rev. 12:5). The time will come when all nations shall come and worship God (Rev. 15:4). All must bow to Him and ultimately be judged by Him.

When the war came Hiden had had military training under Professor T. J. Jackson at VMI as well as being called to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. He responded by offering to do his part. The record of Hiden’s wife indicates that perhaps her husband had a dual role. She noted that he joined Wise’s Artillery and served in the field with that unit as soldier and chaplain until it became so reduced by action that it was disbanded. She noted that “He was transferred as Chaplain to the Military hospitals in Charlottesville, Va., then crowded with wounded Soldiers. This was in 1862.”

He had been designated a chaplain which matched his calling from God. James Conway Hiden received an appointment as chaplain June 24, 1861 and was assigned to Brig. Gen. H. A. Wise’s Legion during its formation. His brother, Philip Barbour Hiden, enlisted on April 17, 1861, and became a private in Company A of the 13th Virginia.

Thus, a ministry for God among men in the military became his daily routine. These were men facing eternity with each battle. Soon he realized that there were needs he could not meet, and thus he made the following appeal:

 

Can’t you send me some Testaments and tracts? They are greatly needed in the army. Vast numbers of our soldiers have none. I was walking along near camp the other day, with some tracts under my arm, when a man on horseback said to me: ‘Give me one of those to read, so as to keep me out of devilment.’ Twas a rough way of expressing a good idea, I thought. Of course I gave him one, and immediately the soldiers were swarming around me, desiring to be furnished, and were sadly disappointed when they saw that my supply was exhausted. I turned away with a sad heart to see so many hungering in vain for that which was able to make them wise unto salvation.

 

The need for Bibles, tracts, and other Christian literature was a problem endemic with war. There were shortages of everything during the days of defending home and country. At least it was a positive sign to God’s servants that there was a hunger for the Word of truth.

During the early days of Hiden’s chaplaincy there was a great deal of adjusting to war time conditions. There were other opportunities that opened for Hiden’s service. The January 7, 1862 issue of the Staunton Spectator recorded: “Rev. Hiden, Chaplain of the Wise Legion, will give an address at the Baptist Church in Staunton on January 9.” The following Baptist chaplains of Virginia regiments, including Hiden, were J. William Jones (13th Virginia), J. L. Johnson (17th Virginia) and T. J. McVeigh (2nd Virginia). They arranged to purchase and establish Christian circulating libraries for their respective regiments. A number of regiments contributed $100 to procure Christian reading material. The libraries were furnished by the Colportage and Publication Society. When the army was in winter quarters the libraries would be put into the most intense use.

In November 1861 Hiden requested the position of Post Chaplain in Charlottesville, Virginia. An unauthorized source indicated that he also had been assigned to give chaplain care to hospitals located at Orange Court House.

Hiden had not been in his new place of ministry a month when, to his surprise, he noted that he had not heard three oaths in that time and had only seen one man under the influence of alcohol. The pattern of services there included preaching or prayer meetings almost every day. The attendance to the services at the hospital was large. The men showed great interest in the Lord and had an eagerness for New Testaments and hymnbooks. He found the men were very approachable with the gospel of Christ. While ministering in Charlottesville, Chaplain Hiden appealed to Bro. A. E. Dickinson, the superintendent of the Virginia Baptist Colportage Board, for help during a critical time:

 

Can’t you send us a colporter here (Charlottesville). There is a most encouraging state of things at present. I am holding a protracted meeting. Crowds attend the preaching, and some have professed a change of heart, while others are interested. It is an interesting sight to see men, wounded in every variety of way, sitting attentive to the story of the Cross.

 

Obviously Hiden sensed a spiritual necessity at that time. Thus, he asked for help, for it appeared that God was moving among the men. A single chaplain has limits in a situation where God is working upon men and they are in need of good literature to help them mature in the faith.

Chaplain Hiden sent a card on one occasion making an appeal which said:

 

The price of Jackson’s victories in the Valley is daily pouring into the hospitals of Charlottesville in the shape of wounded soldiers. If the people do not voluntarily contribute to their wants, many valuable lives and limbs must be lost, which might be saved by a little exertion and liberality on the part of the citizens along the line of the railroads. I therefore earnestly appeal to you, my fellow citizens, to aid in relieving the wants of hundreds of wounded already here, and others that are still coming. Send your contributions to the care of Dr. Davis, Surgeon of the Delavan Hospital, or to the Ladies’ Hospital, care of Dr. Winston. The following articles are most needed: Tin basins, cups, saucers, tin funnels, (quart) gourds for funnels, shirts, drawers, (no matter how old or coarse,) sponge bandages 2½ to 4 inches wide, old linen rag, carded lint, ice, etc.

 

One young soldier of the 9th Louisiana Regiment, by the name of Bledsoe, made a profession of faith in Christ under Hiden’s hospital ministry. When the newly born child of God returned to camp his zeal for Christ was evident as the young man sought to be a testimony to his fellow soldiers. There was no evangelical chaplain in Bledsoe’s regiment. He sought with diligence through the camp for men who would join him in prayer meetings. He finally found five.

Bledsoe and the five other young soldiers were afraid to have their prayer meetings in the camp for fear of being interrupted by the jibes and jeers of their wicked fellow soldiers. Thus they “[W]ent out into a clover field beyond the hearing of their comrades, and began to pray for God’s blessing upon themselves and the brigade.” They continued having the prayer meetings with the result that those attending grew nightly. Bledsoe reported that in about a week a number of men had professed Christ as Lord and Saviour. The young man requested someone to take charge of the meetings. When help arrived there were around a hundred in attendance and fifteen professions of faith that night. These meetings grew and were moved into the heart of the Hays Brigade where the glorious revival continued until more than two-hundred professed to find “peace in believing.”

Hiden also contributed to the Lord’s work another way. He used his pen. One tract he wrote was called “Gospel Showers.” Also, he sought to be helpful to others doing the work of the ministry. One such servant said that Hiden gave him “some interesting facts in reference to the hospitals in that town.” He freely shared any information that would be helpful in pursuing the Lord’s work elsewhere.

  1. E. Dickinson wrote about spending the Lord’s Day with W. F. Broaddus, also a Post Chaplain at Charlottesville, attending services at the hospital. The congregation was large and the sermon he heard was on the text, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” The message was blessed to many hearts. Dickinson said, “Rev. J. C. Hiden is laboring efficiently here as chaplain.”

 

 

Robert Lewis Dabney Goes to War

 

Mark W. Evans

Past Chaplain-in-Chief

 

     Robert Lewis Dabney, Southern Presbyterian theologian, exercised influence far beyond his home state of Virginia. Through Christian periodicals, he addressed Southern and Northern believers.  As early as 1856, he saw the approaching conflict:  "[A]nd who that knows man's history does not know, that when national passions once clothe themselves in the garb of religion, they are as ungovernable as a storm and as implacable as death?  We are fast tending to this, that the whole North will be arrayed against the whole South, on a question which each supposes essential to its honor, its religion and its existence"  (Dabney, Discussions, vol. II, 394). 

     The theologian-patriot saw the coming struggle in its stark reality.  He wrote: "Brothers! should we not rather weep tears of blood at the wretched and wicked thought, that the common prowess, which hath so often made North and South side by side carry dismay and rout into the ranks of common enemies, that terrible prowess, which, in North and South alike, withstood all the force of the British lion while we were yet in the gristle of our youth, and which, ever since, has overthrown and broken and pierced every enemy with the lion's force and the swiftness of the king of birds combined, would hereafter expend its might in fratricidal blows" (Ibid., 397)?

      Dabney resolved to advocate for peace.  He appealed to the country's four million professing Christians whose influence might silence the war cry.  He wrote:  "But since we all know that human frailty is ever apt to over-estimate its rights, and to exaggerate its wrongs, let us each one resolve that, for our country's sake and our Savior's, we will forego much of what seems to us our due  and endure much of what seems to us injury.  Let us all resolve thus, and soon our only strife will be which side shall go farthest to meet the other in the magnanimous reparation of wrong and the generous concession of rights.  And above all, should the guilty churches of all our land humble themselves before a holy God, for our Christian backslidings and our national sins" [Ibid., 399, 400].

     Dabney persevered in his peace efforts even after the election of Lincoln and the secession of South Carolina.  James H. Thornwell, South Carolina's noted theologian, explained his position in a letter to Dabney dated November 20, 1860, just a few weeks before his state's secession:  "It is impossible to live any longer, with security and self-respect, in the present Union.  The election of Lincoln is the straw that has broken the camel's back; and if we submit to it, we are degraded beyond the possibility of recovery" [Thomas Cary Johnson, The Life and Letters of Robert Lewis Dabney, p. 224].  

     Dabney's biographer, Thomas Cary Johnson, wrote:  "Dabney was aboard the noble ship, Our Rights within the Union. It was being deserted daily.  He remained aboard till unrighteous war had been instituted by the North" [Ibid., 224].  The unreconstructed defender of the Confederacy explained his change of position to a Northern, Christian friend in a letter dated April 20, 1861:  "The first act of war was committed by the government of Washington against South Carolina, when fortresses intended lawfully, only for her protection, were armed for her subjugation.  That act of war was repeated when armed preparations were twice made to reinforce these means of her oppression.  It was repeated when she was formally notified that these means of her oppression would be strengthened, 'peaceably if they could be, forcibly if they must.'  And then, at last, after a magnanimous forbearance, little expected of her ardent nature, she proceeded to what was an act of strict self-defence -- the reduction of Fort Sumter" [Ibid., p. 229] . 

     Dabney continued his letter to his friend, answering various objections and concluding with a statement to all Northerners: "I desire through you, my dear brother, to lay down this last protest on that altar where the peace of the land is so soon to be sacrificed.  I claim to be heard.  If the reign of terror exercised by the mobs of your cities has indeed made it dangerous for you to lay before your fellow-Christians the deprecatory cry of one who, like me, has labored only for peace, then tell those mobs that not you but I, am responsible for whatever in these lines is obnoxious to their malignant minds, and bid them seek their revenge of me (not of you) at that frontier where we shall meet them, the northernmost verge of the sacred soil of Virginia.  And if you find that the voice of justice and reason is no longer permitted to be heard in the North, that the friends of the Constitution cannot lift their hands there with safety in its defence, then we invite you and all true men, to come to this sunny land, and help us here to construct and defend another temple, where constitutional liberty may abide secure and untarnished.  For you we have open arms and warm hearts; for our enemies, resistance to the death.

            Yours in the bonds of the gospel,

  1. L. Dabney" [Ibid., 231].

                    

 

A CONFEDERATE SERMON

 

Submitted by Chaplain Kenneth Studdard

 

Stephen Elliott (1806-1866) was the first Episcopal Bishop of Georgia. Under his leadership the Episcopal Church in Georgia was greatly strengthened.  He was a powerful preacher of the Gospel.  His sermons are a fine example of preaching Christ.  He served as Senior Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the Confederate States of America.  During the War he preached a number of influential sermons.  The sermons were political in the spirit of the sermons that were preached during the Revolutionary period, that is, the principles of the Gospel were brought to bear on the current situation. 

The following sermon is another excellent example of Elliott’s preaching ability. It is from the posthumous collection, The Sermons of Stephen Elliott. It is one of the finest collections of sermons that I have ever read.  This sermon was preached on the National Thanksgiving-day a few weeks before Elliott’s death.

 

Thanksgiving

Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit he in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the field shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.—HABAKKUK iii. 17, 18.

 

A week ago we assembled ourselves together in this place, under the solemn bidding of our State Authorities, to humble ourselves under the chastening hand of the Almighty, and with supplications to implore His forgiveness and mercy. Today are we met again for prayer, but under very different auspices. Then we were urged to fasting and humiliation, because our fields had yielded no meat, and our flock had been cut off from the fold. Now we are called upon to keep a holy day of thanksgiving and of praise because, as a Nation, there has been a plentiful harvest and an almost universal prosperity. Then we were summoned to weep as a State with those who were weeping; now we are required to rejoice, as a Nation, with those who are rejoicing: and both upon the same principle, of obeying those who have the rule over us, and submitting ourselves “to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake.” And these positions seem, at the first glance, very antagonistic to one another, and very difficult to be reconciled; but they may be harmonized, as I trust I shall be able to show you, upon the very highest Christian principles. For it is a law which pervades all the works of God, of whatever kind, that things which, under a contracted view, appear at variance with each other; under a broader and more comprehensive one, are seen in beautiful harmony, the one being the natural complement of the other. No two things are seemingly more opposed to each other, when separately looked at, than the dark storm cloud and the brilliant rainbow,—the one the frowning type of wrath, the other the covenanted symbol of promise: and yet when the one lies upon the bosom of the other, bathing the last mutterings of the receding tempest in its hues of glory, they exhibit the perfection of heavenly beauty and the assurance of divine peace. The one was darkness, the other was light: together they figure righteousness and peace kissing each other.

Christ our blessed Saviour came into the world, not only to redeem us by His blood, but to introduce into it a principle at utter variance with the selfishness of human nature. This principle He was first to teach, as the true spiritual meaning of the commandments given by God to His chosen people; and then to exhibit in His own Person, by His humiliation, sufferings, and death for His brethren after the flesh. The world before His coming had heard enough of law and judgment, of sin and punishment: but nothing of love and sympathy; save as it came, in flashes through the clouds, light out of darkness: the Patriarchs and Prophets and Kings of the old dispensation giving the world faint glimmerings of what they knew themselves only through inspiration. “But grace and truth came by Jesus Christ;” — the grace of divine mercy, the truth of God’s immeasurable love! For “in this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.” He gave His most precious and priceless possession, not only to rescue fallen man, but to teach him, as I said just now, that most divine of all lessons, the lesson of sympathy. Before Christ, man was an individual, or a part of a family, or perchance of a tribe, or even of a Nation: but since His coming, man has been taught that he is truly bound in bonds of love and sympathy with the whole world. As we say in our Creed that we believe in the Holy Catholic Church, meaning the Universal Church, so did Christ come to teach us that we must be catholic in our feelings towards all men—must no longer measure our relationship by the old limits of blood, or interest, or earthly union, but by the limits of God’s Love and Christ’s Sacrifice. This is the broader and more comprehensive view, which corrects the narrowness of selfishness, and which makes us, while we weep for ourselves, still rejoice with the world where it rejoices, even though its joy may not extend to us in person or in interest. The same Heavenly Father who sends to us want and sorrow, sends to others plenty and joy: and shall we not sympathize with the dealings of God? The Prophet tells us, in my text, what his feelings were, and what his actions; and he comes to us as one of the accredited Messengers of the Most High, speaking as he was moved by the Holy Ghost: “Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Here is, first, faith in God; trust in His wisdom and judgments; reliance upon His goodness and loving kindness: and then, satisfaction in what He was doing; no envy because He was giving to others and withholding from him; no jealousy because his neighbors were prospering and he was in adversity or suffering; no murmuring, because His hand lay heavy upon him, while others were eating and drinking and making merry: but an acquiescence in the love and mercy of the God of his salvation. His God had given him the assurance of that, at least. Whatever was in the present, the future was at least safe. However he might lack comforts or even necessaries in this world, he was assured that “the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” And this is the first lesson of the day,—to “rejoice in the Lord.” The powers that be have called us to thanksgiving.

We think that we have but little to give thanks for (God knows how much mistaken we are in that, as I shall show you presently), and that there is no room for rejoicing in earthly matters. Be it so. Grant the position, for the present. Let us, then, “rejoice in the LORD,” let us “joy in the God of our salvation.” It is not much to give one day to spiritual joy—to thanksgiving for such a God as we have, the God of our salvation!

 

Salvation! Oh, the joyful sound,

Glad tidings to our ears;

A sovereign balm for every wound,

A cordial for our fears.

 

If we cannot rejoice in earthly things, let us rejoice in heavenly things. Let us leave Man, and his policies, and his devices, and let us climb up, on the wings of faith and love, and sing before the Throne and Him that sitteth on the Throne our song of thanksgiving and of praise. And our song might well take this shape: “We thank Thee. Father of Heaven and of earth, that Thou hast sent into the world Thine only begotten and well beloved Son, to die for us and our salvation; and that Thou hast, in His Person, spread over us the banner of love. We thank Thee that Thou hast separated the Nation to which we belong from those nations which are lying in darkness and the shadow of Death; that Thou hast placed us where the Gospel is preached; and that, though Thou hast given us the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, Thou hast not removed our teachers into a corner; but that our ears still hear a word behind us, saying, “ This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” “We praise Thee, we bless Thee, we worship Thee, we glorify Thee, we give thanks to Thee for Thy great glory, O Lord God, Heavenly King, God the Father Almighty.” And should we not rejoice—whether we think of the living or of the dead, of the past or of the future—that we can raise such a note of thanksgiving; and, leaving the world behind and all in it that is not agreeable to our views or harmonious with our desires, can revel in the great truth that “the Lord God omnipotent reigneth?” “Rejoice in the Lord always,” is the injunction of the Apostle, and comes to us as a voice from Heaven, when we think we see nothing to rejoice in on earth. Prophets like Habakkuk teach us the same glorious truth as Apostles like St. Paul; and the Church impresses it upon us when, every Lord’s day, no matter what may be its livery, whether clothed in the garment of praise or the spirit of heaviness, she commands us to lift up our voice and unitedly to sing, “Praise the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, praise his holy Name.”

This is one lesson of our text: but there is another and a harder lesson to learn, and that is, giving thanks for the prosperity of others, in the spirit of Christian sympathy. To rejoice in the Lord, to joy in the God of our salvation, comes easily to a spiritual mind; it is its daily food; it is the song which swells up from the heart while it draws water from the wells of salvation. But to overcome selfishness so far as to rejoice with those who do rejoice, with people whom we have never known nor seen, who are united to us simply by a bond of governmental union, who have been lately in arms against us, who have inflicted upon us much suffering, who are still keeping us under the saw and the harrow: this requires not only the understanding, but the feeling of Christ’s spirit; not only the perception of what He came to teach, but the assimilation to ourselves of the divine principle of sympathy which He illustrated in His Sacrifice and Death. And this is the mission of the Church: to produce, in those who name the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and who call Him Lord and Master, this wide-spread charity; this love which suffereth long and is kind; which envieth not; which heareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. The world utterly rejects it; but the Church cannot, so long as she breathes the Spirit of her Lord, and holds Him up for worship and imitation. He made no distinctions in His love; His sympathy was wide as the Universe. He died for all, and prayed, even when suffering cruel death at their hands, for their forgiveness,—the forgiveness of those very ones who were taunting and mocking and crucifying Him. And think ye that He did not mean the disciple to be as his Master? Surely He did: for, in that moment when He ceased giving His disciples His own form of prayer—our “Lord’s prayer”—in which occurs the petition, “Forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us,” He returns to the subject, and selects that one alone of all the petitions to comment upon and enforce, saying, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” That certainly is plain enough; and I would ask you, Who has more trespasses to forgive than your Heavenly Father? Who has sins ascending to Him day and night more unceasingly from you,—from each one of you, from every one of you,—than your Lord and Master? While man sins against you once, you sin against God a hundred times. While man ruffles your temper or your peace of mind now and then, you are exciting His indignation, and arousing His wrath, unceasingly; and nothing but the Blood of Christ keeps that wrath from bursting forth against you. You must forgive, if you hope to be forgiven. There is no alternative: and if that true spirit of charity is in you, and with you, then can you keep your thanksgiving and your rejoicing, if not for yourselves, at least for your fellow-creatures. Christ said to His disciples: “Ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice;” and therein was displayed the true genuine status of the Christian. He may be called upon to weep and lament; but he must so teach and so act as to make the world rejoice, and to rejoice with it himself, through his tears. “This is a hard saying; who can hear it?”—but it is a true saying, and the only one which can ever leaven the world with love and peace.

It is only this sympathy, this Christian sympathy, of weeping with those who weep, and rejoicing with those who rejoice, which can meet the difficulties of our position. We are in a very painful position. Our hearts are sore with our troubles; our cheeks are yet wet with the tears of our mourning; our brows are wrinkled with care and anxiety; our feelings are daily harassed with the sufferings of those we love. Under these circumstances, we are called upon to give thanks and to rejoice, because, as a Nation, considering it as a whole, there is plenty and prosperity. What chord is there in the human heart that can vibrate to such an appeal? The chord of Christian sympathy, and none other: that chord upon which the Spirit of Christ alone can play, and bring forth music. God has given us the principle, in His Divine love. Christ has commanded us to exercise it, and put it in practice. The Holy Spirit comes down upon the heart, and softens it, and bedews it with its own dove-like sweetness. And thus all the Persons of the adorable Trinity are combining to produce in us that state of feeling which belongs to the children of God. For “I say unto you,” were the solemn words of Christ, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” A lofty standard: a standard to which we may never attain, but nevertheless the standard to which we should be forever aspiring. It will not do to say: “It is unattainable; it is beyond flesh and blood; it was not meant for us; it is unnatural!” These propositions may all be true in themselves; and yet should have no weight in a Christian heart, or with a Christian spirit. We are making no appeal to flesh and blood,—no exhortation to the powers of nature. Our expectations of your improvement do not come from them. “I can do all things,” said St. Paul, not through flesh and blood, not through the powers of nature, not through any strength of his own, but “through Christ which strengtheneth me.” That is his source of all Christian graces, and especially of this grace of love. He did not say, “I cannot be charitable; I cannot be forgiving; I cannot feel sympathy with so corrupt a mass of humanity as the world,” and then rest upon his lees: but he turned to Christ, and strove in Him, faithfully, earnestly, prayerfully, to attain unto perfection,—the perfection of sympathy; for love is the fulfilling of the whole law.

But, my beloved people, you are mistaken when you say that you have nothing for which to be thankful in a national point of view. God is not to be looked at simply in the politics of a nation. He is to be considered as He rules Nature, as He restrains the actions of men, as He governs the Church, as He puts the bit in the mouth of the wicked and turns them about as it pleases Him. And surely we can be thankful that, while pestilence has touched us, it has not raged in its fury; that while want is felt, it has not reached the confines of famine; that while our industry has been, in a measure, blighted, there is still enough left to give us hope for the future. Turn to the records of pestilence and famine which are now coming to us from unhappy India, and learn what we have escaped. We may again find cause of thanksgiving in that God’s Spirit has soothed and calmed the spirits of many who were once bitter against us; and that friends have been raised up for us in high places, who have stood, and are still standing, as a tower of strength between us and those who would inflict upon us further evil. And then, surely, we who sit here should be unfeignedly thankful that the Spirit of God has been poured out upon His Church, and that we are seen to-day once more at unity over all this broad land, advancing with serried (shoulder to shoulder) ranks against the enemies of Christ, “fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners;” putting the world under our feet, and loving the Kingdom of Christ more than the kingdoms of this world. And finally, we may rejoice that we are a part of a Christian Nation; and that prayer is forever ascending to God, from North and South and East and West, that He would guide us according to His wisdom, and as it seems best to Him; and that those prayers will be answered by Him in His all-wise Providence. There are good people everywhere, who are praying, “Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven:” which is, at last, leaving things to His disposal, and placing them where they will most rightfully be ordered. All this is cause for thanks: and well may we unite therefore in giving thanks!

Let us never, my beloved people, turn away from giving thanks to God. His blessed Word says: “In everything give thanks;” in the darkness, as well as in the light; when the tear is trickling down the cheek, as well as when gladness rules the hour. We know very little, in this world, of the ways of God. He dwelleth often in the thick darkness. He plants His footsteps in the sea. We cannot follow Him: we must only trust in Him, and thank Him for such good as He clearly gives us. And that good is always more than we deserve; for it is visited upon us in a thousand ways that we do not notice. Every breath of air which fans our faces and brings health upon its wings; every movement of our bodies which is made without pain; every feeling and affection of the heart which gives us satisfaction and joy; every comfort of life which is permitted us: comes from His hand. “Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” We cannot pass God by, if we have true spiritual sensibility. He is with us, and around us, at every moment of our lives, blessing us in Nature, in Society, in our homes, and in our hearts. Therefore, in all things, let us give thanks!

November 29, 1866

 

 

 

 Book Review

Sketches from Church History

By S. M. Houghton

(c) 1980, The Banner of Truth Trust, 256 pages, paperback

 

Reviewed by H. Rondel Rumburg

 

I enjoy reviewing and recommending books that are a special blessing and help in my own life and ministry. This is such a book. It is indexed for quick reference. Also, one is able to get a very historic overview of the various eras of Church History.

 

Sidney Maurice Houghton (1899-1987) was born in Salford, Manchester, England, to Joseph and Edith (Edge) Houghton. He had an early interest in books, inherited from his father. He served in the Army for the last year of the First World War, involved in administrative and clerical duties in a Searchlight Unit on the Somme in France. Returning to England, he was much influenced by the lives of his wife-to-be’s parents (Strict & Particular Baptists) and family life, and came to love the ‘doctrines of grace.’ After completing degrees at Manchester University, in 1925 he obtained a post teaching History for the next 35 years. From 1960 until his death in 1987 he was the chief literary and editorial advisor to The Banner of Truth Trust. He was noted for his encyclopedic knowledge of church history and his legendary accuracy and detail. His ‘Reminiscences’ are published by The Banner of Truth Trust in My Life and Books.

 

The subtitle of Sketches from Church History is An Illustrated Account of 20 Centuries of Christ’s Power. This is a condensed Church History written with great accuracy and insight by a gentleman whose understanding of Christianity was firsthand.

 

“This book outlines the thrilling story of the onward march of the church of Christ from the earliest times to the end of the nineteenth century. It is not a dry-as-dust account of long-forgotten events and controversies, but rather a moving record of those who undertook the adventure of faith before us and through their courage and steadfastness, left an example for the church in every age.” This is a good depiction of the book. The struggle of Christians in the past are brought to life in an honorable and factual way.

Consider the table of contents:

I:

THE EARLY CHURCH TO THE RISE OF ISLAM

 

 

1 The Early Church

9

 

2 The Martyrs

14

 

3 Constantine the Great

20

 

4 Church Fathers

23

 

5 Monasticism

27

 

6 The Rise of the Papacy

31

 

7 Islam

34

II:

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES TO THE HEIGHT OF PAPAL AUTHORITY

 

 

8 The Christian Faith comes to the British Isles (1)

39

 

9 The Christian Faith comes to the British Isles (2)

43

 

10 Early Missionaries in Europe

48

 

11 Pope and Emperor

51

 

12 The Crusades

54

 

13 The Papacy at its Height

57

III:

FORERUNNERS OF THE REFORMATION

 

 

14 The Waldenses

62

 

15 John Wycliffe

65

 

16 John Huss

69

 

17 Savonarola

72

 

18 The Approach of Dawn

75

IV:

THE 16th-CENTURY REFORMATION IN GERMANY

 

 

19 Martin Luther the Student

79

 

20 Luther and the Church

82

 

21 Luther and the Pope

87

 

22 Luther at the Wartburg

90

 

23 The Protestants in Germany

94

V:

THE 16th-CENTURY REFORMATION OUTSIDE GERMANY

 

 

24 Ulrich Zwingli

99

 

25 John Calvin

102

 

26 John Calvin in Geneva

106

 

27 England receives the Light (1)

112

 

28 England receives the Light (2)

116

 

29 Scotland Transformed

122

 

30 The Huguenots of France

129

 

31 The French Crown and the Huguenots

134

 

32 The Netherlands receives the Truth

138

VI:

THE FAITH IN THE 17th AND 18th CENTURIES

 

 

33 The Thirty Years’ War in Germany (1618-48)

144

 

34 English Puritanism, chiefly under Elizabeth

148

 

35 English Puritanism under the Early Stuarts

152

 

36 English Puritanism under the Later Stuarts

161

 

37 The Faith in North America during the 17th Century (1)

165

 

38 The Faith in North America during the 17th Century (2)

169

 

39 The Pietists: Spener, Francke, Zinzendorf

174

 

40 The Faith in North America during the 18th Century

178

 

41 Methodism and the Wesleys (1)

185

 

42 Methodism and the Wesleys (2)

190

 

43 Methodism and George Whitefield

194

VII:

FROM THE RISE OF MODERN MISSIONS TO THE END OF THE 19th CENTURY

 

 

44 Revived Missionary Activity

202

 

45 The Faith in the 19th-Century Church: North America (1)

208

 

46 The Faith in the 19th-Century Church: North America (2)

213

 

47 The Faith in the 19th-Century Church: The British Isles (1)

221

 

48 The Faith in the 19th-Century Church: The British Isles (2)

228

 

49 The 19th-Century Church on the Continent of Europe (1)

235

 

50 The 19th-Century Church on the Continent of Europe (2)

241

 

Index

247

     
     

I bought this book new and have had it for ready reference. Mine is a first edition 1980. I have just been using it again to look over the Reformation period. I have had in my hands multi-volume sets on the Reformation and have been using them for greater detail, but for rapid reference Houghton is your man. This is a treasure.

 

  

 

 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.

 

In Robertson’s biography of his father-in-law, Dr. John A. Broadus, he quotes as one of his authorities, J. C. Hiden, relative to Broadus’ father, Major Edmund Broadus, the major of the Culpeper Militia.

Sons of Confederate Veterans