Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June 06, 2012

My interest in the French Huguenots, who were Calvinists, had spawned a great interest in their English Puritan brethren. I had not realized until recently that Puritans and Huguenots were very similar in their values, morals, ideals, and even manner of dress, but I think that the Huguenot spirit took on a much different angle due to their differing experiences regarding persecution. 

The Puritans, who were never persecuted on a grand scale, turned their attention to matters of sin and thus became overwhelmed by the spiritual warfare that they felt held their colonies firmly in its grip. They became known for their eloquent writings detailing the need of man for God and the necessity of disavowing sin. The Huguenots, persecuted for centuries, were concerned more with staying alive and surviving wars, massacres, and raids, thus their fa├žade was one of long-suffering, courage under fire, and steadfast faith, not so much of holding a government capacity as the Puritans did.

The Puritans looked up to the French Calvinists as their brothers in affliction and admired the Huguenots’ history of courage and persecution, touting the French Protestants’ ‘martyr church’ as an example of a Christian body that had suffered everything possible to suffer and had remained true to Christ and His gospel. Thus, having taken this interest in the Puritans, I wanted to include a poem written by a man of that persuasion.

"Joy and Peace in Believing" by John Newton

Sometimes a light surprises
The Christian while he sings;
It is the Lord who rises
With healing in his wings:

When comforts are declining,
He grants the soul again
A season of clear shining,
To cheer it after rain.

In holy contemplation,
We sweetly then pursue
The theme of God's salvation,
And find it ever new:

Set free from present sorrow,
We cheerfully can say,
E'en let th' unknown to-morrow
Bring with it what it may.

It can bring with it nothing
But he will bear us through;
Who gives the lilies clothing,
Will clothe his people too:

Beneath the spreading heavens,
No creature but is fed;
And he who feeds the ravens,
Will give his children bread.

Though vine nor fig-tree neither
Their wonted fruit shall bear,
Though all the field should wither,
Nor flocks nor herds be there:

Yet God the same abiding,
His praise shall tune my voice;
For while in him confiding,
I cannot but rejoice.

(c) 2012 Joyously Saved

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