Revolutionary War

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A Child of great promise, and a Child of The Promise.

He was the youngest child of Joseph Courten Hornblower, who served for fourteen years as the Chief Justice of New Jersey. Joseph in turn was the youngest child of Josiah Hornblower, a renowned patriot in the Revolutionary War, a member of the first Congress of the United States of America, and the man who brought the first steam engine to this country!

hornblower_Wm_HAll of which made William H. Hornblower, born on March 21, 1820, a child of promise and expectation.  He graduated at Princeton College in 1838 and began studying law, but within a year or two began to consider the ministry and so entered Princeton Theological Seminary. Graduating from there in 1843, he was soon called to serve as Assistant pastor at the First Presbyterian church of Paterson, New Jersey. When the senior pastor resigned just a few months later, the congregation called Rev. Hornblower to serve as their pastor, and there he served for twenty-seven years.

In those closing years of his life, an honor and a decided change of course came when he was appointed to serve as Professor of Pastoral Theology and Sacred Rhetoric at the Western Theological Seminary, at Allegheny City*, Pennsylvania. In this capacity he served from 1871 until his death on July 16, 1883. One notable student during those years at Western would have been Robert Dick Wilson, whose exceptional abilities in Semitic languages brought him back to teach at Western in 1883, just a few months after Dr. Hornblower died.

[*Allegheny City was a distinct municipality from 1788-1907, located across the river from the city center of Pittsburgh. In 1907 it was annexed and became part of Pittsburgh]

It was said of him in eulogy that “As a preacher, he was instructive and impressive. His life was one of growing usefulness, and he enjoyed the cordial esteem of his brethren, and of the people among whom he lived and labored.”

At the Patterson church, where he had served for so many years, the Session composed their own eulogy on behalf of the church, and stated in conclusion, that,

“In view of the life, labor and character of such a man, the language of the Apostle might not unfittingly have been appropriated as his dying assurance of victory over death: ‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course; I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them that love His appearing.”

Words to Live By:
Do you love His appearing? That is, do you look forward to, and long for Christ’s return? If so, that is a very real assurance of your salvation and your hope of glory. But if you find your love is weak, decide now to spend more time seeking the Lord, in His Word and in prayer. Humble yourself and turn to Him. God will surely bless and answer your prayer to draw near.

Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.” (Gal. 4:28, KJV)

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This Day in Presbyterian History:

The Father of U.S. Special Forces

Of all of the soldiers of the Revolutionary War in our nation’s history, very little has been written on Daniel Morgan.  Yet he fought in the French and Indian War, and in the battles associated with our nation’s independence.

In his early days, this six-foot man was very wild in his character and conduct. Known as a gambling and drinking man, he had his share of brawling with others.  Once as part of Braddock’s force, he had hit a British Lieutenant and received 500 lashes for striking an officer. If he had not being such a strong man, he would have died with this punishment.  He had a particular hatred after that experience for King George and the British army.

When the Revolutionary War began, the Continental Congress called for the formation of ten rifle companies from the middle colonies of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia to support the siege of Boston.  Virginia decided to send two companies.  The House of Burgesses chose Daniel Morgan to organize one of the companies and serve as his commander as a Captain.

Daniel Morgan recruited 96 sharpshooters in ten days, assembling them at Winchester, Virginia on July 14, 1775.  They then marched the 600 miles to Boston in twenty-one days, arriving there August 6, 1775.  They were known as “Morgan’s Rangers.” They were sharpshooters which changed the way the battle was fought, as officers in the British army were targeted by these men who were adept as snipers.

In later years, Daniel Morgan joined the Presbyterian Church, and specifically Old Stone Presbyterian Church in Winchester, Virginia.  He became an elder in the Presbyterian system.

Words to Live By: 
God is able to take a rough frontier image of a brawler and change the man inside to a Christian servant of God.  Think of yourself or others in the kingdom of God who have been so changed spiritually, and rejoice in the power of God’s grace this day.

Through the Scriptures: Isaiah 22 – 24

Through the Standards: The fourth commandment: reasons annexed

WLC 120 — “What are the reasons annexed to the fourth commandment, the more to enforce it?
A. The reasons annexed to the fourth commandment, the more to enforce it, are taken from the equity of it, God allowing us six day of seven for our own affairs, and reserving but one for himself in these words, Six days shalt thou labor, and do all they work; from God’s challenging a special propriety in that day, The seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God; from the example of God, who in six days made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; and from that blessing which God put upon that day, not only in sanctifying it to be a day for his service, but in ordaining it to be a means of blessing to us in our sanctifying it; Wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath-day, and hallowed it.”

WSC 62 “What are the reasons annexed to the fourth commandment?
A. The reasons annexed to the fourth commandment are, God’s allowing us six days of the week for our own employments, his challenging a special propriety in the seventh, his own example, and his blessing the sabbath-day.”

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