As we celebrate Thanksgiving today, take time to read just a small portion of what was experienced by those intrepid Pilgrims as they sought religious freedom in the New World. The words of Nathaniel Morton and William Bradford echo through the ages from the Mayflower to today.
“Being now passed the vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before them in expectations, they had now no friends to welcome them, no inns to entertain or refresh them, no houses, or much less towns, to repair unto to seek for succour; and for the season it was winter, and they that know the winters of the country know them to be sharp and violent, subject to cruel and fierce storms, dangerous to travel to known places, much more to search unknown coasts.
“Besides, what could they see but a hideous and desolate wilderness, full of wilde beasts and wilde men? and what multitudes of them there were, they then knew not: for which way soever they turned their eyes (save upward to Heaven) they could have but little solace or content in respect of any outward object; for summer being ended, all things stand in appearance with a weatherbeaten face, and the whole country, full of woods and thickets, represented a wild and savage hew.
“If they looked behind them, there was a mighty ocean which they had passed, and was now as a main bar or gulph to separate them from all the civil parts of the world.”
Today, these very words of four hundred years ago are being stamped out. Even the Wall Street Journal, which publishes part of this account on its editorial page (and has since 1961) had to withstand the onslaught of outrage designed to alter our history. Thankfully, they stood firm, publishing both the larger account of William Bradford entitled "Desolate Wilderness" as well as another editorial, "And the Fair Land", a portion of which is below.
“But … we can remind ourselves that for all our social discord we yet remain the longest enduring society of free men governing themselves without benefit of kings or dictators. Being so, we are the marvel and the mystery of the world, for that enduring liberty is no less a blessing than the abundance of the earth.”
Let us take our Mission at Oakdale and so prepare our students and serve as examples ourselves in praying with thanksgiving to our great God for all the blessings He bestows on us. We should take as a calling and a challenge the words of 2 Chronicles 7:14, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
Read more about Thanksgiving Day from our friend at The American Minute, Bill Federer at this link.
Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving,