Tag Archives: Providence of God

Stonewall Jackson’s Faith Speaks to Christians Today

I have happily returned to reading Robertson’s biography of Thomas Jonathan Jackson. Because the writing is good, and based on both first hand accounts, private letters and contemporary reports, I feel I almost know the man. And I admire him. We need people like him in our country today, those who are public servants in the best sense: committed to fulfilling public and private duty. But more than that, I admire him as a Christian, a man who struggled to know and do God’s will.

The following section from the book occurs shortly after the Harper’s Ferry incident and the ensuing anxiety about sucession.

From the book:

“For Jackson, Lincoln’s election meant that, barring divine intervention, the days of the Union were numbered. Now was the time for serious discussion and mediation. He joined with eleven other Lexington gentlemen in issuing a call for a town meeting to consider the state of the Union. ‘By expression of our opinion,’ the group stated, residents could band together and ‘contribute our mite [sic] to arrest, if possible, the impending calamity–and if that is impossible, then to consult together as to what is the safest course for us to pursue in the event of a dissolution of the Federal government.’ Several gatherings took place, and a number of study committees came into being. Each produced much rhetoric but little resolution. As meetings became more inflammatory, Jackson’s support dwindled. He soon stopped attending the sessions.

Within a few days, Jackson relaxed. He had decided, as was his custom, to put his trust in God. Deacon Jackson would await further developments. Meanwhile, and as a deacon, Jackson had the responsibility for securing accommodations for visiting Presbyterian clergy. Jackson usually found it expedient to extend to such guests the hospitality of his own home.

The Reverend J. B. Ramsey of Lynchburg was at that time staying with the Jacksons. One morning the family had just risen from family prayers. Ramsey expressed lamentations over the state of the country. Jackson listened patiently, then gave the preacher a mini-sermon. “Why should Christians be disturbed about the dissolution of the Union? It can come only by God’s permission, and will only be permitted if for His people’s good; for does He not say, ‘All things work together for good to them that love God?’ I cannot see how we should be distressed about such things, whatever be their consequences.”

My warrant is the Word of God

Bourgeois_Joseph_recognized_by_his_brothersA while ago I read Alistair Begg’s book “The Hand of God: Finding His care in all Circumstances.” The backdrop is the old testament story of Joseph. In spite of betrayal, enslavement, injustice, imprisonment, loss of family and country, Joseph remained true to God and God was with Him.    If you don’t know the story I hope you will read it  (Genesis 37-47).  Toward the end we see Joseph’s brothers, who have been forgiven, doubting the sincerity of Joseph’s assurances of pardon.  Noting that some believers also struggle with doubts about God’s forgiveness Begg says:

“These thoughts come in large measure because people do not submit what they feel emotionally to the reality of what they know intellectually.  Martin Luther knew something of this when he wrote:
For feelings come and feelings go, now feelings are deceiving.

My warrant is the word of God, naught else is worth believing.

Though all my heart should feel condemned for want of some sweet token,

there is One greater than my heart whose Word cannot be broken.”