The Light and the Glory by Peter Marshall and David Manuel PDF Print E-mail
In the Library

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The Light and the Glory by Peter Marshall and David Manuel is an absolute must for every family’s library because it imparts the truth about America’s Christian heritage. It is one of those books that you will not want to put down and one whose words will continue to fill your family with awe for Almighty God’s continual working upon earth for His holy purpose. In turn, it will become a constant source of assurance of God’s sovereignty as you witness the miraculous direction of events in bringing His people to America and directing them to produce the most Christian nation ever known to man.

The authors of this book painstakingly combed countless numbers of original ledgers, diaries, documents, and other original sources to obtain the truth about our Christian heritage and then compiled these facts into a book that tells His Story, displaying the works of His Hand.

In this book you will witness the covenant relationship that our founders entered into with their heavenly Father and with other members of the Body and the blessings they incurred. “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success” (Josh. 1:8).

It was this covenantal living that formed the solid backbone of this nation’s Christian foundation. For the Pilgrims and the Puritans who followed truly yielded their entire lives to Christ, whom they considered not only to be their Savior but their Lord and Master, committing themselves to the obedience of God’s law. Hungering for God’s Word, they continually searched the scriptures for guidance for their daily walk and civil affairs. They also continually searched their hearts for unrepented sins, which they followed with fasting and prayer.

But even as diligent as they were to abide in God’s will, as happens in every generational shift, the prosperity that God brought upon their parents’ obedience became the idols of their children, which hardened their hearts towards the Providential Hand that supplied their abundance. They, then, “ceased to correct and admonish one another and their children, choosing instead, greed, privacy, independence, and idolatry.” Self-reliant and self-confident, they turned their backs upon God and, in turn, God chastened His people by unleashing His wrath upon them until the people once again humbled themselves and returned to covenantal living. This, then, brought God’s mercy, protection, and prosperity once again.

A cyclical pattern from liberty to bondage becomes quite apparent when one studies both His Word and His Story. For throughout time, God’s people have gone into exile for their failure to seek God’s truth and live according to His Word. Beginning with God’s outpouring of mercy and blessings, manifested in prosperity and protection, God’s people respond in humility, gratitude, and faithfulness, but in time, arrogance, independence, and unfaithfulness. This subsequently brings about God’s chastening of famine and bondage, which eventually brought the people back to God in humility and repentance, starting the cycle once again.

“They captured fortified cities and a fertile land. They took possession of houses full of every good thing, hewn cisterns, vineyards, olive groves, fruit trees in abundance. So they ate, were filled, and grew fat, and reveled in Your great goodness. But they became disobedient and rebelled against You, and cast Your law behind their backs and killed Your prophets who had admonished them so that they might return to You, and they committed great blasphemies. Therefore You delivered them into the hand of their oppressors who oppressed them, but when they cried to You in the time of their distress, You heard from heaven, and according to Your great compassion You gave them deliverers who delivered them from the hand of their oppressors. But as soon as they had rest, they did evil again before You; therefore You abandoned them to the hand of their enemies, so that they ruled over them. When they cried again to You, You heard from heaven, and many times You rescued them according to Your compassion, and admonished them in order to turn them back to Your law. Yet they acted arrogantly and did not listen to Your commandments but sinned against Your ordinances, by which if a man observes them he shall live. And they turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck, and would not listen” (Neh. 9:25-29).

“… they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord. They would not accept my counsel, they spurned all my reproof. So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way, and be satiated with their own devices. For the waywardness of the nave will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them. But he who listens to me shall live securely, and will be at ease from the dread of evil” (Prov. 1:29-33).

Therefore, after God’s chastening, He would turn His children back to covenant with Him once again as at the time of Nehemiah. “Now the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the temple servants, and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the law of God, their wives, their sons and their daughters, all those who had knowledge and understanding, are joining with their kinsmen, their nobles, and are taking on themselves a curse and an oath to walk in God’s law, which was given through Moses, God’s servant, and to keep and to observe all the commandments of God our Lord, and His ordinances and His statutes” (Neh. 10:28,29).

How often have you heard pastors in America deny God’s chastening, yet everyone who reads God’s Word and studies history knows that God controls all events and continually chastens His people for their rebellion. So where are we today? “Listen to the word of the Lord, O sons of Israel, for the Lord has a case against the inhabitants of the land, because there is no faithfulness or kindness or knowledge of God in the land. There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery. They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore the land mourns, and everyone who lives in it languishes along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky, and also the fish of the sea disappear. Yet let no one find fault, and let none offer reproof; for your people are like those who contend with the priest. So you will stumble by day, and the prophet also will stumble with you by night; and I will destroy your mother. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children” (Hos. 4:1-6).

Not only are most people in this land biblically illiterate, but also few know at what price our fathers obtained our freedom and, sadly, through neglecting our Christian heritage, we have laid the foundation for tyranny and God’s wrath once again. But homeschooling offers us a window of hope, for God has given us the perfect opportunity to teach ourselves and our children the truth about God’s providential working through the lives and events that have occurred prior to our existence and, with that understanding, to directly relate the events of today to His Hand. God says in Proverbs 10:14: “Wise men store up knowledge …” He goes on to say in Proverbs 15:14 that “the mind of the intelligent seeks knowledge, but the mouth of fools feeds upon folly.”

Sadly, though, even some Christian curriculum companies use secular materials for teaching history. Scripture, however, tells us that only Christians can discern truth and obtain knowledge. Therefore, do not waste your time feeding yourselves and your children folly, but use materials that are written by Christians, especially when it comes to His Story.

“Therefore My people go into exile for their lack of knowledge; and their honorable men are famished, and their multitude is parched with thirst” (Is. 5:13). “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Prov. 1:7). “The lips of the wise spread knowledge …” (Prov. 15:7).

Let us heed the following truth of Jeremiah 3:12-15: “Go and proclaim these words toward the north and say, ‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the Lord; ‘I will not look upon you in anger. For I am gracious,’ declares the Lord; ‘I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against the Lord your God and have scattered your favors to the strangers under every green tree, and you have not obeyed My voice,’ declares the Lord. ‘Return, O faithless sons,’ declares the Lord; ‘For I am a master to you, and I will take you one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.’ Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding.”

We need to follow shepherds after God’s own heart who feed us knowledge and understanding. This certainly pertains to Peter Marshall and David Manuel, who lead us into the sweet valleys of understanding how our Good Shepherd led His people to the rich pastures of this land.

Within these pages the authors give us personal glimpses into the lives of other extraordinary shepherds like Bradford, Winthrop, Cotton, Hooker, Mather, Edwards, Whitefield, Washington … whom God used to lead His people. And it is these men’s self-sacrificial and obedient testimonies, along with the rest of the Body’s response to trials and tribulations, that make evident God’s divine presence in their lives.

As you witness these godly lives of those who have gone before you, you will experience an introspective search of this divine walk within yourself, within your Body, and within your civil government. For this great cloud of witnesses will not only encourage you to examine yourselves, but will also encourage you to press on in carrying out the work that they began.

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us … But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel” (Heb. 12:1,22-24).

The Light and the Glory’s accurate accounts of the people and events that shaped our Christian heritage fully displays the true meaning of One Nation Under God, which brought liberty for all. But as we know, with liberty comes responsibility, for without knowledge of God’s Word and His working and without obedience, His people return to bondage. Let us, then, take up the banner and teach our children the precious testimony of God’s sovereignty and of those who toiled for our freedom so that they can fully understand and appreciate God’s providential working. And through following the examples that God has laid out before us, let us press on to secure the freedoms that we let slip through our hands for lack of knowledge. May God forgive us for neglecting so great a heritage by letting it fall into ruins, and may He give us the strength to rebuild those ancient walls upon the holy foundation He laid some 500 years ago.

“And those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; you will raise up the age-old foundations; and you will be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets in which to dwell” (Is. 58:12).