To celebrate Independence Day—the 4th of July, I have been reading 1776 by David McCullough again. That there was victory in the War of Independence is a God-thing. I’m also reading Andrew Jackson and The Miracle of New Orleans by Brian Kilmeade. America faced the British army outmanned 10:1. America didn’t have a much better army 30 years after the Revolution.
A story from the attack on Washington and the burning of the White House: It was led by British general Robert Ross and Sir George Cockburn.
“When the British arrived (at the president’s house), they found Mr. & Mrs. Madison’s dinner table still set, the aroma of cooking food still wafting from the recently abandoned kitchen. They drank the president’s wine and ate a generous meal before building bonfires in the rooms and retreating to the street to watch the mansion burn. …by morning it was a roofless, smoking ruin, and the light gray stone of the president’s house had been burned black.” (Page 66)
There are still burned black timbers in the basement from that fire. I tend to think that the revolutionaries in Lafayette park a few weeks ago (not protestors—anarchists and insurrectionists) intended to replay those scenes.
“The British made a point of sacking the offices of the Washington newspaper the National Intelligencer, building a bonfire to burn its type and presses. The Intelligencer was known for printing stories critical of Cockburn, and he was determined to teach its editor and readers a lesson. ‘Be sure all the c’s are destroyed,’ he is said to have told his men, ‘so that they can’t abuse my name anymore.’”
The authors say,
“In the end, it wasn’t the brave efforts of the American people that put out the fires or stopped the destruction. Only the arrival with miraculous timing, of a powerful storm prevented more of the city from being damaged by the flames. Rain poured down and strong winds blew, lifting British cannons off the ground, according to some reports. Others claimed that the storm formed a tornado, a rare phenomenon in Washington. Whatever the cause, the British were discouraged and the fires quenched thanks not to the work of men, but to an act of God.” (68)
God has not gone into retirement! He is not in a gated community for the infirm.
Carole and I watched the message linked below this evening. I have known about the preacher, Dutch Sheets, for a long time, but haven’t been a follower of his ministry. He seems to live in a different dimension than I do. His theology is not foreign to me. I would probably agree with most of what he says. I have not read his books, but some of my friends know his ministry well. I hardly took a breath during this message. He told stories that grabbed my heart and moved my spirit. I have checked out some of the stories and they have a historical base. One of which is about George Washington’s “Appeal to Heaven” flag. The first link below is a printed version of that story. The 2nd link is the entire message.
I forward this message and stories for your encouragement and reminder we serve an Everlasting God.
©2020 D. Dean Benton