Of books there is no end…

Posted By on November 30, 2010

From our dear friend Becky Morecraft:

Here’s my theory and I’m sticking to it: the family that reads books together — aloud — as a part of their weekly fellowship, will always be ‘on the same page.’ I was read to often as a child and still love the sound of my mother’s voice reading some favorite passage from a book, old or new. I am comforted and still inspired by the memory of my grandparent’s voices as they read or quoted favorite stories, poems and passages from the Bible aloud. And visits home are never complete without my dear Papa’s voice reading Scripture or Spurgeon’s Morning and Eveningdevotional to the gathered family. Nothing makes me happier today than reading some of my favorite books and theirs to my grandchildren. But not just any book will do. I try to read stories to my grandchildren that are beautifully written with an underlying biblical theme, pleasing to the eye and ears. Books will influence us much like jumping into a strong stream that leads to an ocean: we will be carried along in one direction or another. Make sure you are aware of that as you read — choose the ‘ocean’ towards which you want to be carried.

Read the entire piece (with lists of excellent books!) at this link.

About The Author

Mrs. Chancey is the mother of 12 children, all of whom keep the household bubbling with life, learning, and levity. Jennie co-founded LAF in 2002 with Lydia Sherman and has been delighted to hear from women all over the world who enjoy their femininity and love to cultivate womanly virtues.


6 Responses to “Of books there is no end…”

  1. tmichelle says:

    I left the following comment at her website. “…I am concerned that three books with confederates as the heros downplay the horrific abuse of American slavery that the confederate side fought to keep. The selection Robert E. Lee: Christian General and Gentleman, by Roddy Lee alone sounds like an oxymoron and I’m from Virginia! It is just very hard for me to think of people who fought to allow American slavery (one of the worst types of slavery in the history of the world) to be doing the will of God.”

    I hope she is not supporting the idea that the enslavement and ungodly treatment of many blacks was worth fighting for.

  2. Let me encourage you to read the history of the War Between the States from a new perspective. It was not fought over slavery. Virginia, Kentucky, and other Southern states had outlawed the slave trade back in the 18th century, and slavery existed in the north until 1865. The Emancipation Proclamation did not free any slaves; it left untouched the slaves in the northern states. The Underground Railroad did not welcome blacks into the northern states — it shuttled them all to Canada, as most northern states had laws that prevented blacks from working or fraternizing in those states–including Lincoln’s Illinois, where blacks could be shot on sight if they were caught outside during the day. Lincoln was famous for saying that he would not end slavery and that he favored sending all blacks back to Africa rather than letting them live and work in America. Read the Lincoln-Douglas debates. The real history of the War Between the States is far more complex than northern history books have painted it. I recommend The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War, written by Thomas DiLorenzo (a northerner) and The War Between the States: America’s Uncivil War by John J. Dwyer. The American South was on track to gradually emancipate the slaves just as Great Britain and the rest of Europe did. It was never necessary to butcher 600,000 Americans and decimate half the country to do it. Most of us grew up on the “Great Emancipator” myth, so it is quite eye-opening to broaden our perspective and ask questions of what we’ve been taught. Rev. Morecraft has a library of over 10,000 books and is one of the most well-read historians in the South. That Robert E. Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson were two of the godliest men in American history is beyond debate–even northerners loved and respected them. I’d encourage you to read their biographies to understand why. I think you’ll be surprised. No one is promoting or defending unbiblical enslavement by encouraging the reading of history; quite the contrary!

  3. tmichelle says:

    I’ll have to check out a couple of the books you mentioned. As I said, I am from Virginia so I have been exposed to more than one view of the Civil War (or War Between the States as you refer to it, or War of Northern Aggression as my husband jokingly refers to it to tease me) but not quite the same view you are talking about. From my many studies I have yet to see the stance the South took in emancipation of the slaves worth commenting on. (Admittedly I don’t proclaim to be an expert on the war). A slow emancipation is no emancipation at all. But, with that said, I have been wrong before so I will read up some more using some of the books you mentioned.

    I don’t mean to bring every historical figure under the microscope so I do not mean to defend Lincoln and I know the Underground Railroad ended in Canada so I am aware that the North didn’t have it all right either, but it seems to me the issue is, what is the lesser of the evils the north for being bigoted or the south for treating blacks inhumanely. (It is not so much the issue of slavery that is the problem, but the manner in which blacks were allowed to be treated. I know they were not all treated poorly, but American slavery was diabolical in the separation of families, sexual immorality of the masters, and many more indignities that don’t need to be repeated.

    But, I have to ask you, how do you know that you have the correct understanding of the war? That is definitely not meant to be snarky at all, but a real question. I have been to numerous battlefields in many different states, read quite a few books, watched many documentaries and been to many historic homes where I saw the living quarters of the slaves and saw how little they were valued in the eyes of the masters. With all my learning I have yet to see where the south was justified in their treatment of blacks and desire to emancipate them on their own time. How can you be sure that these authors you mentioned have the correct view?

  4. Less than 5% of southerners owned slaves, and laws in the South protected slaves by guaranteeing them rights they did not have in the north. Many Southern free blacks owned slaves, because they purchased family members in order to slowly emancipate them as they were able to take care of themselves. Gradual emancipation is emancipation. It worked everywhere else and eased blacks into freedom over time. Imagine you were born into this system and wanted to free your slaves (just as many Southerners desired to do, including Jackson and Lee). Would you simply “free” all your slaves, turning them out into a world unprepared to give them jobs or allow them to own a trade, or would you train their children and ease them into work outside the plantation system? Drop-kicking an entire people group into a society that told them to go to Canada or back to Africa would not be the answer.

    The “Simon Legree” view of Southern slaveowners was northern propaganda by a woman who never set foot in the South. Read the Slave Narratives. Read the legal proceedings concerning protection of slaves and their property in the South. And realize that 95% of Southerners lived in the same (or poorer) conditions as the slaves themselves. The South was a much poorer, agricultural economy than the Industrial North, and the huge plantations we think of constituted a bare sliver of the population.

    Reading northern-slanted textbooks won’t provide this view. I was born and raised in Virginia, and even my homeschool textbooks gave the “South=slavery/North=freedom” view. Years into homeschooling, my late father began doubting the northern narrative as he was exposed to first-person histories and legal studies on the South. Reading hundreds of original sources convinced him that the histories written by the north were done to justify a bloody invasion of the South for economic and political reasons–not to free a single slave. Also read up on northern “hero” John Brown, the radical abolitionist who killed innocent civilians (including women and children) to fire up the north for his “righteous cause.” Otto Scott’s book, The Secret Six, is a great place to start. Also check Emancipating Slaves/Enslaving Free Men (can’t locate the author at the moment). Lord Acton (a Brit) also wrote extensively in the 19th century on why he believed the South was right–and his opinions were echoed by other Brits who favored gradual, peaceful emancipation. Hope this helps!

  5. Katelin says:

    Thank you ladies for these thought provoking and interesting comments on the war between the states. As a former history teacher it has been a long time since I have read a discussion like this. I must add that the cause of the Civil war was states rights. It is a battle that has been important in recent history and is very important to current events. Since the civil war we, as a nation, have become more and more federalized. Currently many hot-button issues such as education, health-care, the environment, and marriage are becoming more federalized through our courts and legislation. States rights were one of the untaught checks on federal power.
    I attended public school and was only taught the three branches of government and the checks that exist between them. However the rights that remained the states to decide held an unspoken check over federal power. A check that is slowly being eroded.
    Mrs. Chancey, I look forward to reading some of the books you mentioned. Though I am in agreement with you I have not read those specific resources.

  6. tmichelle says:

    Katelyn, I too was taught about the checks and balances between the three branches of government and not so much about the states rights. You are right in that states rights is still a huge issue. It is hard for me to come down firmly on one side or the other. When the state makes ungodly decisions I am happy when the federal government overrides them (like in segregation based on race), but when the federal government makes ungodly decisions (like unjust taxes and possibly this healthcare bill) I prefer them not to have the power.

    While I know our government was constructed to work a certain way, I have had to be careful not to idolize its design and think that because it has been set up in a certain way that it means it is what God designed. (I’ve been tempted to equate our early government to God’s design). It is not always the construction of the government but the decisions that the government makes that determines if it is godly. It reminds me when Joshua encountered the leader of God’s army and Joshua asked him whose side he was on, he said, “NEITHER, but as the leader of God’s army I have now come.”

    Any king/power/or government needs to realize that they should not determine whether God is on their side, but to get on God’s side (no matter what form of government they are).

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