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May Memorials

 

We Americans are great for having days of remembrance.  That's part of our heritage, isn't it?  May is no exception.  We just celebrated "Mothers' Day" and here we are, two weeks later celebrating "Memorial Day," a day appointed for honoring those who have died defending our country, as we’ve been doing for over sixty years that I know of.  We have a wonderful Christian country to defend. So today let’s think about Bradford’s Manuscript (called by the British The Log of the Mayflower) which contains the founding document of our country, the Mayflower Compact.

 

God's providence in its being restored in 1897 was evident every step of the way in both discovering where it had been for eighty years and in its recovery which took the forty more years adding up to its being gone from these shores for 120 years!

 

It wasn't easy to pry "The Log of the Mayflower" from the British (you’ll have to read about that in The Governor’s Story to find out why) but, as one actor in this mystery stated, "Where there’s a will, there's a way" and Bradford’s Mss. did return to this country.  At that time, the U.S. Ambassador to London was The Honorable Thomas Bayard, who felt that he had been chosen by God to get it back because of a very special reason. In a speech he made to the guests who were present when he presented Bradford’s Mss. to the Governor of Massachusetts he said:

 

"....More than three hundred years ago my ancestors.., French Protestants,..were compelled to flee from the religious persecutions of that day,...to Holland.  Fifty years later (the Pilgrims) fled to that same country, Holland....  And is it not fitting that I, who have in my veins the blood of the Huguenots, should present to you and your Governor the log of the English emigrants, who left their country for the sake of religious freedom?

 

This was on May 26, 1897, when Massachusetts’ two Houses of Congress met in convention at which time Ambassador Bayard presented Bradford’s Mss. to the Honorable Mr. Roger Wolcott then Governor of Massachusetts.

 

Later, at a dinner attended by Massachusetts' Lt. Governor, Senate, and House of Representatives, Ambassador Bayard, U.S. Senator Hoar, and other invited guests, Governor Wolcott, also gave a speech which ended thus:

 

I pledge the faith of the Commonwealth (of Massachusetts) that for all time it shall be guarded...as one of her chiefest treasures.  I express the thanks of the Commonwealth for the priceless gift.  And I venture the prophecy that for countless years to come and to untold thousands these mute pages shall eloquently speak of high resolve, great suffering and heroic endurance made possible by an absolute faith in the over-ruling providence of Almighty God.

 

Will we fulfill Gov. Wolcott's prophecy?  Will we honor God’s providence as they did?  Will our children discover the story of the Pilgrims and the great man who wrote their history?  Perhaps this would be a good time to do that for, in the Providence of God, it was May 9, 1657, when Gov. Bradford died.

 

May is full of things to remember, isn't it?  And while we’re enjoying Memorial Day let’s remember THE WONDERFUL WORKS OF THE LORD OUR GOD. This will give our God great joy as we obey His Word: Deuteronomy 8:2; 18; Psalm 78:5.


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