Lieutenant William Cowper was a soldier fighting for the Confederacy in the 17th Mississippi. In October 1862, he wrote a letter to his mother after Stephen, a slave, ran away. In it, he expressed ideas of God and his justice that many today would find very foreign:
I don’t know that I much regret the loss of Stephen. I have thought that this war was ordered by Providence, as a means of settling definitely and conclusively the question of slavery: if slavery is a divine institute, I believe we will be successful, that our independence will be recognized and the Southern Confederacy will be established as a Government with slavery as its great distinctive feature. if on the contrary, slavery is a curse and obnoxious to an All Wise and Good Creator I believe that he will make this war, the means of abolishing it from the face of the earth. I have the greatest confidence in the wisdom of God, and believe that all things work together for good to them that we love.
From The Hour of Our Nation’s Agony: The Civil War Letters of Lt. William Cowper (Knoxville, The University of Tennessee Press: 2007).p. 102.
Although this is outside the normal scope of Discerning History, we wanted to make our readers aware of this situation as it is one in which those behind Discerning History are deeply involved.
Voice of the Martyrs is a ministry that purports to help Christian victims of persecution. However, it has been discovered that their work in Nigeria was in a tragic state – orphans were being abused and mistreated, financial fraud was rampant, and those who were trying to spread the word were being removed. When this was reported to the office in the United States, they seemed more concerned with covering up a scandal than ensuring that justice was done.
Knights and footmen, spearmen and archers. Watch as swords are swung, maces are shaken and axes waived in the largest Medieval Reenactment. The Battle of Grunwald was fought in Poland by the Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania against Teutonic Order of Crusader Knights.
The Augsburg Confession is one of the most widely used statements of the Reformed faith. But when it was first drafted, back in 1530, what were the reasons behind it? Many may be surprised that it was because of statesmanship and politics that the Diet of Augsburg assembled.