Chapter Twenty Three
A monk’s squabble over jurisdiction within the Holy Places of Turkish ruled Jerusalem brought France (protector of the Catholics) and Russia (protector of the Orthodox clergy) into a diplomatic controversy, with Turkey squeezed between. Czar Nicholas I of Russia saw a chance to dominate Turkey and accomplish that age old Russian dream of securing an entrance to the Mediterranean thought the Turkish straits. The Russian army began occupation of Turkey’s Romanian principalities in 1853. Britain and France tried to check Russian moves by sending a joint fleet to encourage the Turks. Then, in October of that year, Turkey declared war on Russia. Led by Croatian born Michael Lattas, the Turkish army crossed the Danube River and defeated the Russians in southern Romania at the Battle of Oltenitza on November 4, 1853.
A Russian Admiral, Paul S. Nakhimov, then destroyed a Turkish flotilla under Admiral Hussein at the naval battle of Sinope using new and improved naval guns that did enormous damage. France and Britain then allied themselves with Turkey and in 1854 declared war on Russia. Austria massed an army of 50,000 and entered into an alliance with Prussia and with Turkish permission moved into Turkey’s Danube principalities to oppose Russia. That country then rejected a peace proposal called the Vienna Four Points in which the allies demanded it keep its hands off of the Ottoman Empire.
In order to break Russian power on the Black Sea a joint Franco-British invasion of the Crimean peninsula began in the fall of 1854. One of the most famous battles of this war was the Battle of Balaklava during which the charge of the Light Brigade, made famous by Alfred Tennyson’s poem took place.
“Half a league half a league
Half a league onward
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred:
`Forward the Light Brigade
Charge for the guns' he said
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred”
Russia fared the worse in this war, settled at the Congress of Paris in 1856. But, no war is ever truly settled, only the groundwork laid for the next one, with both sides taking time to reload. This war did see the first use of ironclad warships in European warfare, the presence of journalists on the battlefield which forced governments to look into treating troops better to avoid losing support back home, and a famous person who was a pioneer of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale. The Crimean War, characterized by the absolute incompetence of the military leadership who led the combatants, is considered by many to be the first truly modern war with improved weaponry, journalists on the front, and improved medical care for soldiers although reports say that Nightingale’s
hospital had the highest death rate of any and that she did nothing to lower the death rate in the war but merely served as an inspiration to the nursing profession.
In 1859 Austria and France fought a war over the Piedmont area of Italy, home of the Waldensian Christians for so many centuries.
The United States of America was nearly destroyed by a bloody civil war that devastated the country between 1861 and 1865 which resulted in the federal government being the major power in a struggle between the rights of individual states versus the collective right of the nation in the power of the central government. The issues that caused the war had essentially been brewing since the birth of the nation in the wishes of some to have the individual states have more say in the federal laws that would or would not be enforced within their borders. This assumed “right of nullification” of federal laws within a state’s borders began with disputes over tariffs (taxes or duties imposed on imported or exported items) and then finally over the issue of slavery. These were surface issues while the underlying cause was a philosophical point of the power and purpose of the central government under the Constitution in a representative republic. As with all nations and empires in history, in America, a loose confederation with local sovereignty becomes united in a power with a strong central government. The next step, which America has not faced yet, is the dissolution of that central authority and its loss of its grip on the many once sovereign entities it controls. This can happen by internal collapse from bankruptcy or immigration issues or from outside invasion or a combination of many factors.
Of the many famous heroes and villains that came out of this war, I will mention two nondescript Union soldiers fighting for the United States against the splinter Confederate States by the name of John W. & Wilson Ruckman, who fought for Company A, Illinois 35th Infantry. Wars are fought by ordinary men, not the great heroes we read about in history books and whom I will go into in great detail in my class next year on American History. Like most Americans who fought in this war they were common men who left an ordinary life, lived in great danger for some years, and then returned to a quiet life if they survived. They did, however, inspire their nephew, named after both, to rise high in the ranks of the military and in that way had an indirect hand two generations later in the Manhattan Project, America’s effort to build an Atom Bomb, plus the life of one of the most controversial preachers of the 20th century. We’ll discuss the next link in that chain next class. Another indirect link to the Manhattan Project and to the preacher I’ll discuss later was Colonel John Hamilton, a Union officer who had a distinguished service record in the Civil War. These two common soldiers, John and Wilson fought all over the eastern and southern United States, seeing action at some of the war’s bloodiest and most deadly battles and participating in General Sherman’s march through Georgia to the sea.
There was a war then between Austria and Prussia in 1866 over Prussian Otto Von Bismarck’s secret treaties with France and Italy. He dissolved the Germanic confederation of states and mobilized for war against Austria. This resulted in the North
German confederation of states becoming independent from Austria at the Treay of Prague in the same year. Bismarck then shocked Napoleon III by turning on France, his ally. Bismarck’s attempt to place an enemy of France on the throne of Spain then prompted Napoleon to start a war, believing that the French Army could not be beaten. This war, called the Franco-Prussian War, took place in 1870-1871 and was a disastrous French defeat. France had to cede the prosperous borderlands between itself and the German states led by Prussia and pay an indemnity at the Treaty of Frankfurt. The territories of Alsace-Lorraine were occupied by the armies of the German confederation.
To get a view at what prompted this war we need to go back to 1851 in France. The monarchy that was restored after Napoleon was defeated under Louis XVIII was deposed in 1830 and a constitutional republic had been set up under Louis Philippe. A revolution in 1848 resulted in Louis Philippe’s abdication and the Second Republic created. Prince Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, nephew of the great conqueror of Europe, was elected President. In 1851 he, with the help of the Army, seized control of Paris and responded to a republican uprising with a slaughter called “the massacre of the boulevards”, and then assumed the powers of dictator creating the Second Empire as Napoleon III. (Napoleon II, the conqueror’s son, spent the last 17 years of his life as a prisoner in Austria, having ruled as King of Rome and Parma under his father’s authority until 1815). He led France in the Crimean War and finally in the disaster of the Franco-Prussian War.
As the Treaty of Frankfurt was being signed ending the Franco-Prussian War a reign of terror descended over Paris. The gardes nationales overthrew the government of Paris and seized the city. The National Assembly fled and the city was given over to the chaos of a mob. This mob ruling the city now was called the Paris Commune of 1871 and its socialist followers were called the Communards. The army returned and fought house to house to retake the city and during the week of May 21-28, 1871 more than 20,000 Communards were killed and nearly 10,000 jailed. The Communards murdered hostages they had taken and attempted to blow up the Notre Dame Cathedral.
The German occupation of France ended in September of 1873 when the war indemnity agreed upon at the Treaty of Frankfurt was paid. From 1873 to 1895 the French expanded their colonial empire in the Far East creating what was to become French Indochina which included the territory of Vietnam of significance in the next century. In 1881 France occupied Tunis in its attempt to expand its domain in North Africa. Between 1886 and 1889 the army under General Boulanger threatened to overthrow the Third Republic but the attempt never materialized. Between 1894 and 1906, France was rocked by the Dreyfus Affair in which a Jewish Captain was accused of treason on trumped up charges that proved false by writer Emile Zola, resulting in the victim’s release from Devil’s Island, the brutal and inhumane penal colony off the coast of South America. The army was once again rocked by violent and bitter controversy.
The decline of the French military after a thousand years of creating and directing much of European warfare and giving us many military terms like siege, advance, rampart, etc., dominating the Crusades as the Franks all the way to Louis XIVth using Europe as a training ground for his army to Napoleon I’s conquest of Europe, had come to an end and the fallout would continue into the middle of the next century. France’s martial spirit would become exhausted.
As Italy struggled to unify into one country from many kingdoms, being a pawn in other nation’s wars, a noteworthy event took place during the War of Austria and France with Piedmont (Kingdom of Sardinia in Italy). In 1859, Swiss businessman Henri Dunant visited the northern Italian battlefield of Solferino and was deeply affected by the impact of war on the lives of civilian and military combatants alike. The memoir he wrote, A Memory of Solferino, inspired the 1863 founding of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). He won the first Nobel Peace Prize in 1901. The Nobel Peace Prize was from a fund set up by Alfred Nobel, a Swedish chemist and industrialist who invented dynamite, to reward people who did the most to benefit humanity, which would be funny in an ironic sort of way if so many people hadn’t been killed by his invention.
At the age of 40, in 1861, Clara Barton dedicated her life to volunteer work. During the Civil War she served as an independent volunteer on the Union side, helping with nursing and feeding, and by the end of the war, she had become famous. Although not permitted to work with the International Red Cross because she was a woman, she volunteered as an independent relief worker during the Franco-Prussian War. On May 21, 1881, Barton was joined by supporters at the Washington, D.C. residence of a U.S. Senator to form the American Association of Red Cross, which later became the American Red Cross. Barton lobbied tirelessly for the United States ratification of the Geneva Convention, also known as the First Treaty of Geneva, which was signed in March 1882, which tried to set some “civilized” rules for warfare and for the treating of captured combatants and civilians. The American Red Cross has been available for help in natural disasters as well as in the human disaster of war.
In keeping with the high standards of civilized European nations, almost as soon as Italy was able to form as an independent, freedom loving country it attempted to invade Ethiopia, suffering several noteworthy defeats but securing a foothold in North Africa.
Russia, in control of Poland, put down an uprising in Warsaw by slaughtering the rioters in 1861. This resulted in a general Polish uprising which was soon brutally quelled. Russia conquered kingdoms in Central Asia and expanded its territory greatly. The last independent Muslim principality of Central Asia, Merv, was taken by 1885 and a conflict with Afghanistan was settled peaceably before a war could happen. By 1894 Russian had formed an alliance with France against the alliance of Germany, Italy, and Austria.
Greece, having secured its independence from Turkey in 1829 had taken advantage of the Crimean War to take some more territory away from that crumbling empire. The British and French stopped Greece from allying with Russia against the Turks. In 1862, a Danish prince was elected king of Greece after a revolution deposed the last king and later, Greece declared war on Turkey which lasted until 1896. Serbia, during this time, struggled against Turkey and its neighbors, fighting against Bulgaria, which invaded Serbia, in 1885. Austria had to intervene to save the Serbs. Bulgaria and Romania, as well as Balkan Mountain states such as Montenegro benefited from conflict between Russia and Turkey, gaining independence from control and influence by Turkey. The Ottoman Empire continued to crumble and suffered under a war with Russia which ended in 1878 and resulted in the loss of much of its European territories.
In Africa, the main European powers were trying to carve out a colonial parcel of what was called, “The Dark Continent”. France and Great Britain were competing with each other as well as with newcomers to the colonizing mania, Germany and Italy. Those who had centuries long toe holds in Africa, such as Spain and Portugal, fought to maintain their position. The dying Ottoman Empire clung to its possessions in North Africa and a host of small “brush-fire” wars dominated the end of the 19th century. Among the many interesting conflicts and battles were the successful repelling of an Egyptian invasion by King John of Abyssinia (Ethiopia). Ethiopia was ruled by Emperor Theodore II from the early 1850’s until the British invaded in 1868. There was a Civil War before the country was reunited by John IV in1872. In 1882, John fought with Menelek for control and having won, he designated Menelek as his successor. He dealt with the Italians intruding on his territory and allied with the British against the Mahdi. In 1887, there was a war with Italy. In 1896, Menelek defeated the Italian army at the Battle of Adowa to protect the ancient Christian nation’s sovereignty.
In Islam there is a prophecy of the end times where an individual called the Mahdi, who fits the definition of the “false prophet” and “antichrist” of the letters of the apostle John and the Book of Revelation, will reign over the earth for seven years, breaking the cross. There are several people who fashioned themselves to be this Islamic messiah but one of the most interesting was Mohammed Ahmed of Dongola, who was portrayed by the great actor, Laurence Olivier, in the 1966 movie, Khartoum. The real person declaring himself to be a prophet in 1883 led a Dervish (a member of an Islamic ascetic sect that works themselves up into a frenzy of ecstatic devotion by whirling and spinning) uprising setting the Sudan in flames. 10,000 Egyptian troops led by an English General and former Indian Army officer attempted to stop the Mahdi but were unsuccessful. General Charles “Chinese” Gordon, so named because of his success in China, was sent to Khartoum, Sudan to help the Egyptian government, allied with the British, to evacuate the Sudan. After a year’s siege, the British hero, Gordon was finally killed when Khartoum fell in 1885. The Mahdi himself died the same year but his followers conquered the entire Sudan, an immense country in Eastern Africa. Britain, under Major General Kitchener, reinvaded the Sudan and one of his officers who fought under his
authority at the Battle of Omdurman was a young Winston Churchill, one day to become Prime Minister of Britain and one of the most famous statesmen of the 20th century.
Britain’s Cape Colony, composed of native black tribes such as the Zulu and others who were insulting called Kaffirs (a white term for a black person in South Africa and a Muslim term for an unbeliever), experienced what were called Kaffir Wars, the emergence of certain Boer (the name of the Dutch colonists before the Brits arrived) Republics, and after a succession squabble in the Zulu empire was decided wars between Zulu and Boer and then Zulu and the British. During the Zulu War of 1879 which occurred after the invasion of Zululand, Cetewayo, Zulu king, went to war with Great Britain. The British lost the disastrous Battle of Isandhlwana and staved off defeat by sheer bravery at Rorke’s Drift, made famous by the 1964 movie Zulu, starring Michael Caine. Eleven Victoria Crosses, the highest award for bravery given in Great Britain, were awarded for by the Queen, more than any battle in British history.
Queen Victoria ruled England longer than any other monarch, ruling from just after her 18th birthday in 1837 until her death in 1901. She married her cousin, Prince Albert Saxe-Coburg in 1840 and gave birth to nine children. She remained a widow until her death after he succumbed to Typhoid in 1861. Under her reign several important English diplomats and influential statesman served, including William Gladstone, leader of the liberals in the House of Commons and Prime Minister in 1868, and Benjamin Disraeli, the Tory conservative, who became her Prime Minister in 1874. Queen Victoria is said to have remarked that she wished Christ would return during her reign so she would have the honor of laying her crown at His feet.
Diamonds, gold, and greed were the principal factors in the conflict between the Boers in South Africa and their British overlords. In 1880 a Boer republic was declared and open conflict took place between them. This was called the Transvaal Revolt or the First Boer War. It ended with the Treaty of Pretoria in 1881. This was followed by a Gun War with the Basuto tribe in 1880-1881 when they refused to give up their firearms, a Zulu Civil War in 1883-1884 when restored King Cetewayo was overthrown by Zibelu who was overthrown by Dinuzulu, son of Cetewayo, the establishment of a German colony in Southwest Africa in 1884, the discovery of gold in the Witwaterstand in Zululand in 1886, a Zulu rebellion when the British annexed Zululand in 1887, the Matabele-Mashona Tribes War in 1893 which the British intervened in on the side of the Mashona, and finally a Matabele uprising in 1896.
English businessman, Cecil Rhodes, established the African colony then country of Rhodesia which is now called Zimbabwe. He also meddled in geopolitics, believing in a one world government led by Great Britain and setting up organizations such as the Round Table to indoctrinate future diplomats to further that purpose and funded a Rhodes scholarship at Oxford also to further his cause. Much of the political philosophy that influenced British and even American international politics in the 20th century can be
seen through his eyes. He was one of those people whose influence extends far beyond the grave which tendrils even extend to Presidents Clinton and Bush.
Cecil Rhodes’ belief in the superiority of Great Britain can be summed up in this quote;
"I contend that we (the British) are the finest race in the world; and that the more of the world we inhabit, the better it is for the human race".
His meddling brought on the infamous Jameson Raid into the Transvaal in 1895-1896, which led to Boer diplomat Kruger giving an ultimatum to the British government in 1899 which resulted in the horrible Boer War between 1899 and 1902. It was a guerrilla war with mounted Boers armed with repeating rifles picking off British troops from concealment and although a British victory it was a terrible lesson for British leadership, ending in the Treaty of Vereeniging in 1902. This war saw the first widespread use of disease infested concentration camps to brutalize an enemy.
In East Africa Britain fought wars with Arab Slave traders in Nyasaland between 1885 and 1898. There were religious wars in Uganda between Muslims and Catholics under King Mwanga. The Catholics and King Mwanga won in 1889 and then the victors proceeded to have conflicts with Protestants. In order to prevent further German expansion Britain secured a 50 year lease on the East Coast of Africa from the Sultan of Zanzibar. Finally, Britain quelled a mutiny in Uganda of Sudanese troops but Britain quelled it with Indian troops. In West Africa, Britain fought wars with the Ashanti Tribe and attempted to stop German colonial expansion. Belgium explored and colonized the Congo between 1877 and 1885 under the authority of King Leopold. The French and English fought with the warrior, Samori, and his short lived empire and finally captured him by 1898. European domination of Africa was almost complete and colonies were carved out of the “Dark Continent”.
In South Asia, Britain fought wars with Afghanistan and invaded the country, nearly coming to war with Russia, which borders the country and also attempted an invasion in 1885. India saw the wholesale mutiny of Indian troops in 1857 and the massacre of many British nationals in what was called the Sepoy Mutiny (a Sepoy was a native soldier serving under the British). The horrors of this attack on British colonists and admin-istrators rivaled the scene of the famous “Black Hole of Calcutta” where, in 1756, Bengal troops held British prisoners in conditions that led to the deaths of many. Britain finally restored order and took control of India. In Southeast Asia Britain fought Burma and annexed the country. Siam (Thailand) managed to escape colonization but Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos became permanent French colonies as Indochina after much violent conflict by 1887.
China, after the disastrous opium wars, faced the Taiping Rebellion which saw the fame of General “Chinese” Gordon, who lated died in the Sudan. After this was quelled there was an 1894 war with Japan called the Sino-Japanese War over the two country’s rivalry in Korea. The Japanese won. US Commodore Perry had forcibly opened Japan up to the outside world in 1854 and Japan in very rapid manner started to become a modern state.
The United States completed its conquest of its Western territories fighting and winning many wars with the native inhabitants, the Indians. Almost immediately upon its coast to coast success it engaged in a war with Spain, sparked by the sinking, possibly an accident, of a battleship, the USS Maine, in Cuba’s Havana harbor. By the end of the century the US had gone from being a continental power to a world power, taking possession of Spain’s former colonies, Cuba and the Philippines (in Asia).
Of final note on warfare in the latter half of the 19th century, it is interesting to note France’s role in attempting to control Mexico during the American Civil War. The short reign of Maximilian, the involvement of the French Foreign Legion and the triumph of the Mexican hero Benito Juarez are all of interest but have little effect on the world geo-political scene.
At the end of the century, Great Britain rules supreme over the earth, temporarily. In the latter half of the 19th century a movement rose to the forefront which called for the return of Israel to its national homeland, called Zionism. Among the many apologists for this effort was lawyer, journalist, and playwright, Theodore Herzl. Anti-Semitism and particularly the Dreyfus Affair helped him to articulate the frustration that Jews felt in the world, particularly in Europe. The World Zionist Congress met in Basle, Switzerland in 1897. Eventually, this movement led to the state of Israel being formed in the fallout of Europe’s colonial empires disintegrating as well as Ottoman Turkey’s collapse.
During the latter half of the 19th century, great evangelists marked the growth of English speaking Christianity and American Christianity took on a unique form all its own. I will review some of the famous events and people of Christianity during this time as a contrast to the bloodthirsty activities of the world governments. Sam Jones, the Methodist great in the Southeastern United States, set revival fires burning. Englishman Charles Haddon Spurgeon is ranked as one of the great preachers of all time. Dewitt Talmage, for whom my grandfather was named, preached at the Central Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, New York, and had his sermons syndicated in over 3,000 newspapers nationwide. Dwight L. Moody preached in Chicago, among other places, founded the Moody Bible Institute and is credited with converting hundreds of thousands of people if not a million, to Christ.
In England, William Booth created the Salvation Army after the publication of his book In Darkest England and the Way Out in response to the plight of the poor in England, the most powerful nation on earth. The YMCA or the Young Men’s Christian
Association had been founded in 1844 by George William with the first YMCA started in Boston in 1851. The YWCA was founded in 1855 and opened in America in 1858.
Notable missionaries of the period included John G. Paton, missionary to the New Hebrides in the South Pacific. David Livingstone was an explorer and a missionary who had a particular hatred of the slave trade, whose heart was buried in Africa by the natives who loved him at his request, and whose body was buried in Westminster Abbey in London.
In the world of Christian scholarship one person in particular rose high in not only his brilliance but in his devotion to the Bible. His name was John W. Burgon, Dean of Chichester, a college in England. He gave many sermons on the inspiration of the Bible which are masterpieces and can be found in the book Inspiration and Interpretation. He fought the growing tendency among academics in the Church of England, the Anglican Church, that the Bible was not the word of God but merely contained the word of God or had a message from God in it. He defended the Bible against attack by those who denied that Moses authored the first five books of the Bible or that the gospels were written by the writers whose names make up their titles. He had collated hundreds of New Testament manuscripts and was thought of by many to be the world’s greatest expert on manuscript evidence and the history of the Bible. For this reason he was not permitted to serve on the committee that was chosen by the Anglican Church to revise the Authorized Version of the Bible called for in the latter half of the 1900’s. The men chosen to be the head of that committee, Brooke Westcott and Fenton Hort, had, in their own words, concocted what they called a “scheme” to introduce a New Testament that they had composed consisting of readings and translations from the manuscripts rejected by Erasmus and the King James Translators. Whereas they were ordained to change only what they thought was necessary in the text and put as many of those changes in the margins as possible they chose to completely alter the Bible.
Reading the biographies of these two men by their children, The Life and Letters of Brooke Foss Westcott and The Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort one finds that they hated the Textus Receptus, whose readings had been the standard for Christians for nearly two thousand years, knew little about church history and the writings of the early church “fathers”, and had a passion for the Catholic Church. Westcott even had his wife change her name to Mary because of his veneration for Jesus’ mother. They were both part of the Oxford Movement and were fans of Pusey, Maurice, and Newman; who left the Anglican Church and became a Cardinal, appointed by the Pope, and they both believed Darwin’s theories on evolution to be truth. In addition, both men were heavily into the occult, having founded a club called the Ghostly Guild, researching the paranormal. They kept John Burgon off of their translating committee due to the fact that they knew he would be opposed to everything for which they stood. They did, however, manage to fight to get a Unitarian, Dr. Vance Smith, on the committee who later admitted in his writings that they had done a lot of work in downplaying the deity of Christ. They
had one opposer, Frederick Scrivener, a brilliant scholar in his own right but not a strong personality, or strong enough to successfully oppose them.
The influence of the children of Unitarianism; Smith, Maurice, and Darwin shows an important trait of state supported religion; unbelievers will rise high in its ranks because pretending to adhere to its tenets outwardly is a means of success. Note the parable of the mustard tree in Matthew 13, remembering that “birds of the air” is a typology of devils.
When the Revised Version came out, John Burgon was quick to write a counterblast, another masterpiece of his called The Revision Revised, which is a good read to put on your must read list. Again, he wrote The Last Twelve Verses of Mark to repudiate the work the Anglican Revision committee had done. When he died he thought he had so clearly torpedoed their faulty work that it would be forgotten in 20 years. This was not to be so.
An American committee was formed to produce a New Testament based on the Revised Version with the agreement that they would wait 14 years to produce their own. It was led by Philip Schaff, the historian, scholar, and liberal theologian who had been kicked out of his own denomination for heresy and finished teaching at the liberal Union Theological Seminary in New York, who, according to his son, David’s, biography of him, would allow no one on his own committee who believed in the divine inspiration of the Bible. His work produced the American Standard Version, parent of the New American Standard Bible, Revised Standard Version, New English Bible, New International Version, etc. etc.
At one time the Bible was read in every Christian home, sometimes to the exclusion of all else, but always as a method of family worship, and many people learned to read by what was called “The Common Bible”. But, by downgrading the authority of the Bible and creating so many conflicting versions many people today haven’t read their Bible through even once, much less like the many times Christians of earlier generations would have, regardless of version.
Some of the theories of Westcott and Hort which changed the way Christians view their Bibles are the Lucian Recension Theory which said that since so many of the old manuscripts, writings of the church “fathers”, lectionaries, and versions support the Textus Receptus, or Received Text, of the King James (about 99%), that a mythical church leader named Lucian, sometime in the 400’s, was responsible for editing scriptures to bring them into line with the so-called Byzantine Text from Antioch, which represents almost all known Greek manuscripts. Another is the Conflate Theory that said that if any two gospel writers agreed on any topic, one must have copied from the other. They, and not they alone but many of their kind, revived the old pre-reformation Catholic teaching that you can’t really understand the Bible unless you can read Hebrew and Greek. They favored manuscripts from Alexandria, the minority, over the majority of manuscripts that originated in Antioch, where Christians were first called so (Acts 11:26).
They believed that Darwin’s Theory of Evolution was correct and denied the Virgin Birth of Christ, the truth of the Six Days of Creation, and the miracles of Jesus, questioning, in keeping with their Unitarian influence, Christ’s divinity, and taking every opportunity to alter the text to downgrade that divinity. Although their main theories were eventually dismissed as in error the results of those theories still haunts evangelical Christianity.
They and their followers, notably Philip Schaff and others from the American side of the Atlantic, including the great apostate Baptist preacher Harry Emerson Fosdick, would happily call themselves Liberals with regard to their Christian faith, denying much of the supernatural and prophetic content of the Bible and reducing it to some nice stories and a moral code of conduct.
At first, the majority of Christians ignored this translation but it would be constantly revived in various versions, all with their own twist on certain key passages, underlining the opinions of the translating committees that would work on them which would include at various times; communists, homosexual and feminist activists, and advocates of extreme ecumenicalism side by side with born-again Christian scholars and leaders with the best of intentions. As each generation saw at least one new version published and many more attempted the authority of the Scriptures in the average Christian’s life began to fade and other media took its place as the pre-eminent spiritual educator in the family. By the 21st century, the average Christian adult knows less about the Bible than the average Christian 8 year old a century ago but a very great deal about what currently popular recording artist or movie celebrity thinks about global warming or sexual mores. Society, always no better than its members who belong to God, has suffered as well with rates of crime, fornication, and sexually transmitted diseases resulting from higher than could be imagined when the Bible was the Christian’s final authority in all matters of faith, practice, and doctrine. Christians suffer from the same rates of mental illness, divorce, alcoholism, drug addiction, indebtedness, and bankruptcy as the general unsaved population. Until the Bible replaces the television and the CD player as the focal point of Christian America and Secular Europe’s attention things will only get worse.
There were several men that stood in the gap (Ezekiel 22:30), so to speak, against modernism (the idea that if anything is new or modern it is better than anything that is “old” or “outdated”) and liberalism which we will mention in our next class.
Now, if one regards Darwin and Marx to be two personalities in a type of unholy trinity of ideas, the third would have to be Sigmund Freud. Freud was born in the middle of the century, in 1856. He went on to become the father of the modern “science” of psychiatry. He didn’t invent the idea of the conscious versus the unconscious mind but he did make those terms household words. He created the ideas of the Ego, Superego, the Id, and the power of the unconscious drives for sex, food, artistic motivation, and comfort among other things such as neurotic impulses as dominating our existence. In other words, we are helpless automatons driven by desires and needs over which we have little
control. The unconscious mind is the source of our motivations. He literally created the practice of psychoanalysis, as it is called. He declared his denial of the Bible’s literal truth in a book called Moses and Monotheism. Being born a Jew and presented with a Hebrew Bible by his father with a suggestion to study the book at the age of nine, he grew to believe that Moses was really an Egyptian monotheist engaged in a civil war with polytheists and led his followers into the desert where they killed him. He was not popular with either Jews or Christians by his speculations.
His views began to dominate the study of the mind and of its disorders. Although mainly discounted today by the adherents of the disciplines he helped to create his dream theory and theory of the power of the unconscious mind’s control over us still have their grip. No rational psychiatrist or psychologist today would even harbor thoughts of demonic possession or obsession, as that would be a surrender to superstition in their minds and, like the textual critics of today, they would relegate the statements in the Bible to allegory and mere ideas which have only a quaint relevance. The power of Freud’s theories over society is enormous and can be found in every public school and almost all universities along with Darwin and Marx. All three have created a Renaissance of their own reviving ancient pagan dogmas such as Anaximander’s ‘puddle to paradise’, Plato’s ideal society, with Greek mythology’s dream god, Morpheus, and cloaking them in modern “scientific” terms denying common sense and rejecting the Bible outright.
Let’s turn to the arts and sciences. In 1851, The Crystal Palace, an 18 acre iron, glass, and wood building that will affect skyscraper design, is designed by British architect Joseph Paxton. That same year American designer Thomas Walter becomes architect for the US Capitol, being responsible for the dome of the US House of Representatives and wings in the US Senate building. Between 1857 and 1887, Frederick Law Olmsted designes Central Park in New York City.
In 1851 The New York Times is first published under the editorship of Henry Raymond. Herman Melville writes Moby Dick in 1851. Charles Dickens publishes A Christmas Carol in 1852. Harriet Beecher Stowe published the anti-slavery Uncle Tom’s Cabin in 1852, as well. The Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases is published by English scholar Peter Roget in1852. Henry David Thoreau published his famous work, Walden, in 1854. In 1855 The Daily News is founded in New York and the Daily Telegraph in London. Bullfinch’s Age of Fable, still a standard on the history of mythology is published in 1855. American jurist (judge) Oliver Wendell Holmes publishes The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table in 1858.
In 1853, Stephen Foster’s My Old Kentucky Home, Good Night, debuts. That same year Richard Wagner begins twenty years of work on his pagan inspired The Ring of the Nibelung. Rip Van Winkle, the first opera on an American subject by George Bristow premiers in 1855. Listen to the Mockingbird becomes a popular song, the same year. Composer Giuseppe Verdi’s works premier in Paris at this time.
Between 1853 and 1861, French painter Eugene Delacroix paints Jacob and the Angel, Christ on the Sea of Galilee, and Heliodorus Expelled from the Temple. James Whistler left for France to study painting for four years starting in 1854. Ever hear of the painting, Whistler’s Mother? In 1857, Currier and Ives, the lithographers, enter into partnership.
American poet, John Greenleaf Whittier, publishes Maud Miller, his tale of unrequited love in 1854, coining the much used phrase, “For all of the sad words of tongue or pen/The saddest of these; ‘It might have been’.” Walt Whitman publishes Leaves of Grass including the poem, I Sing the Body Electric, in 1855. Baudelaire publishes The Flowers of Evil in France in 1857. In 1859, British poet Edward Fitzgerald publishes The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. In 1861, Emily Dickinson writes her famous poem 288 which begins “I’m Nobody! Who are you? Are you Nobody Too?”
In the 1860’s melodrama became popular on the American stage. In 1864, three popular American actors; Edwin Thomas Booth, John Wilkes Booth, and Junius Brutus Booth, brothers, appear together for the only time in the Shakespeare play, Julius Caesar. Edwin will become the 19th century’s greatest actor while John Wilkes will go on to assassinate President Lincoln. Actress Sarah Bernhardt is acclaimed for her portrayals in 1872 making her known as the greatest actress of her day. Matthew Brady begins photographic coverage of war during the American Civil War.
Russian Leo Tolstoy writes his epic novel about the Napoleonic campaign against Russia called War and Peace between 1864 and 1869. Science fiction master, Jules Verne, writes Journey to the Center of the Earth in 1864. Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain writes his celebrated The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County in 1865.
Many more artistic works make their creators famous in the latter half of the 19th century. Among these are Richard Wagner, the composer, Henrik Ibsen, the playwright, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, the novelist, and great painters make their mark such as Monet, Renoir, and Degas.
In the 1850’s social theorists begin the process which establishes sociology as a science by the end of the century. Sanitarians link poverty and poor living conditions with disease and the science of epidemiology or the study of the causes and spread of disease is born.
Isaac Singer produced the first foot operated sewing machine in 1850. A transatlantic cable is laid for communication between America and Europe and the railroad connects the East Coast of the United States with the West. Crude petroleum is distilled by Benjamin Silliman and the first of many oil companies is formed.
In 1855, Robert Bunsen begins using the gas burner that bears his name, which was actually invented by C. Desaga and earlier by Michael Faraday. Darwin’s On the Origin of Species is published in 1859.
One of the most important scientists, with regard to actually helping mankind, of this era was Louis Pasteur. In 1862, the French chemist published a paper supporting the germ theory of disease. In 1880 he discovered several strains of bacteria and created a vaccine for anthrax and chicken cholera. The first automobiles were invented in this period with patents given to men who would form Daimler-Benz, the creator of the Mercedes Benz, in the 1880’s. The internal combustion engine had been created in 1806 by a Swiss scientist. Another important scientist of this era was Thomas Edison. He invented the phonograph and the light bulb. Like many famous people of his day he was also interested in the occult, it has been reported in several sources.
Perhaps the most influential perpetuator of occult ideas at the end of the 19th century was known as Madame Blavatsky, author of The Secret Doctrine and Isis Unveiled, free online, in which she links Lucifer with Christ. She even makes passing reference to Bible translator, Westcott, as being naive and ignorant of the connections he made between an apocryphal New Testament book that was excluded from the Bible and the Gospel of John, apparently unaware of the occultic nature of the manuscripts of which he was enamored. This can be found in Volume 2 of her work, Isis Unveiled, on page 243. There was an occultic revival of sorts among prominent religious people in the Anglican Church in the late 1800’s as well as among other prominent people as I mentioned. She went on to influence such world movers in the 20th century as Adolf Hitler.The occult interests of many respected churchmen in the late 1800’s is documented by James Webb in the book The Occult Underground. The ecumenical movement got an important start in the late 19th century, as well, with Philip Schaff, historian, liberal theologian, and Bible translator (American Standard Version) addressing the World Parliament of Religions in 1893 organized by Unitarians and held in Chicago in connection with the Columbian Exhibition. Finally, in 1887, L.L. Zamenhof, published Unua Libro under the pseudonym Doktoro Esperanto, creating an artificial universal language designed with the dream of bringing all men together speaking one language, in order to bring about world peace.
So, here we are at the end of the 19th century with the dream of the liberal intellectual of uniting all religions and languages into one, ushering in a “golden age” of peace and understanding. Britain rules supreme and its most powerful men dream of a better world united under the Union Jack, the nickname for the flag of Great Britain. The Bible in use for 250 years based on texts used by Christians for nearly 2000 years has been altered to downplay the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ due to Unitarian influences and downplay the importance of the word of God as a Protestant’s final authority due to Roman Catholic influences. Unitarianism also has a part to play in Darwin’s current theory of evolution and in Christian socialism and activism of the time. The world is poised, on the brink, of coming together, at least in the dreams of the intelligentsia looking forward to a bright new age of peace, prosperity, and human understanding. The Tower of Babel is being rebuilt.
Of course, it’s all about to come apart at the seams. Stay tuned.