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Author Archives: Kenyn Cureton

 

Lost Episode for March 31

On March 31, 1776, General George Washington wrote to his brother, John Augustine Washington, from Cambridge, Massachusetts detailing the Continental Army’s maneuvers and Divine help that led to the evacuation of the British from occupied Boston. During the night of March 4, Washington moved 3,000 men to the base of Dorchester Heights overlooking Boston, a very risky enterprise because the location was in full view of British land forces and warships. But, suddenly a low mist rolled in, perfect timing to conceal Patriot movements. Boston and the Red Coats remained shrouded in fog throughout the night; so they could not see what was happening. While at the same time, the top of the hill was perfectly clear of fog, fully lit by a bright moon, thus aiding the Patriots who were building fortifications. By 3:00 AM, their work was done. The 3,000 builders left, and 3,000 fresh troops moved in. At dawn, the British looked at the Patriot fortifications with amazement. British Captain Charles Stuart wrote that the guns appeared “like magic.” Another officer put the blame on “the genie belonging to Aladdin’s wonderful lamp.” The rebels have “done more in one night than my whole army would have done in months,” said British General William Howe.* Howe desperately wanted to attack Dorchester Heights, now crawling with Continental soldiers and cannons. He made hasty preparations, but, according to historian J. T. Flexner, “the sky suddenly blackened with what soldiers on both sides considered the most awesome storm they had ever […]

 

Lost Episode for March 30

On Monday, March 30, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln responded to the U.S. Senate’s request for a Proclamation calling for a National Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer: “Whereas, it is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history: that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord [Psalm 33:12]; “And, insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisement in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people? “We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. “But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own [Deut. […]

 

Lost Episode for March 29

Born on March 29, 1790, John Tyler became the 10th President of the United States (1841-45) upon the death of President William Henry Harrison. He was responsible for the Annexation of Texas (1844) and the city of Tyler is named after him. On Friday, April 9, 1841, Tyler declared in his Inaugural Address: “Fellow-citizens… the painful communication was made to you… of the deeply regretted death of William Henry Harrison, late President of the United States… While standing at the threshold of this great work he has by the dispensation of an all-wise Providence been removed from amongst us… “For the first time in our history the person elected to the Vice-Presidency of the United States, by the happening of a contingency provided for in the Constitution, has had devolved upon him the Presidential office…. “My earnest prayer shall be constantly addressed to the all-wise and all-powerful Being who made me, and by whose dispensation I am called to the high office of President…. “Confiding in the protecting care of an ever watchful and overruling Providence, it shall be my first and highest duty to preserve unimpaired the free institutions under which we live and transmit them to those who shall succeed me in their full force and vigor.” President Tyler’s recognition of the overruling Providence of God in his elevation to the presidency is a lost episode in American history. Read and Reflect: Read Psalm 121 and reflect on the fact that God watches over us and compare that […]

 

Lost Episode for March 28

Nathaniel Freeman was born on March 28, 1741. He became a soldier, public servant, and a jurist. He served as Brigadier General of the Massachusetts Militia (1781-93), a member of the state legislature, and served Massachusetts as a U.S. Representative to Congress (1795-99). He also served as a Judge of Probate for 47 years and as a Judge of Common Pleas for 30 years. In 1802, Judge Nathaniel Freeman gave a charge to the Massachusetts Grand Jury: “[O]urs is a government of laws and not of men. Originating in the voluntary compact of a people who in that very instrument profess the Christian religion, it may be considered, not as republican like Rome was, a Pagan, but a Christian republic. “This religion, being founded not in fable as that was, but in divine revelation [2 Peter 1:16], embraces the Bible as the word, will, and law of the universal Sovereign; our obligations to, and expectations from whom, as well as his perfections and attributes we can know but little of without. “The laws of that system therefore must be respected as of high authority in all our courts. And it cannot be thought improper for the officers of such government to acknowledge their obligation to be governed by its rule”* Judge Nathaniel Freeman’s opinion that the courts and elected officials should respect the Bible and particularly the Christian faith is another lost episode in American history. Read and Reflect: Read 2 Peter 1:16-20 and reflect on Peter’s assertion that our […]

 

Lost Episode for March 27

On March 27, 1854, Representative James Meacham of Vermont, who served as spokesman of the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, spoke in favor of continuing the practice of appointing chaplains. His remarks were part of the debate during the Thirty-Third Congress as to whether or not to elect chaplains, as was customary from the beginning of the First Federal Congress in 1789. The so-called “memorialists” who voiced opposition to chaplains did so under the guise of claiming the practice was unconstitutional. Closer to the truth was the fact that so many northern pastors were abolitionists, and the slavery question was dividing the Congress and the nation. Rep. Meacham argued: “We ask the memorialists to look at the facts… The first Congress under the Constitution began on the 4th of March 1789, but there was not a quorum for business till the 1st of April. On the 9th of that month, Oliver Ellsworth was appointed on the part of the Senate to confer with a committee of the House on rules and on the appointment of chaplains. The House chose five men: [Elias] Boudinot, [Theodorick] Bland, [Thomas] Tucker, [Roger] Sherman, and [James] Madison. The result of their consultation was a recommendation to appoint two chaplains of different denominations – one by the Senate and one by the House – to interchange weekly. The Senate appointed Dr. [Samuel] Provost [an Episcopal bishop from New York] on the 25th of April. “On the 1st day of May Washington’s first speech was read […]

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