Sunday, August 7, 2011

Lightning Bolt Dispatched

The month of October sailed swiftly by as we worked diligently to become assimilated into our new home.  Becoming a functioning member of a new household is a tremendous blessing and a formidable task!  Early on, my brother and I were versed in a few ground rules. First and foremost, we were cautioned to steer a wide birth around my uncles’ leather-bound Testament.  Among Uncle Gus’ many treasures was one of the first collections of scripture printed in the Colonies.  Back in 1724, Christopher Sower, the Kasebier family, and a number of other pilgrims from the Church of The Brethren, arrived in Philadelphia from back home in Germany. They’d barely gotten their land-legs when the little band of believers found themselves at odds with the local parishioners, because of the Brethren’s infuriating adherence to Christ’s principles of nonviolence, and their exasperating advocacy for the country’s longsuffering Native Americans.  Mercy and tolerance may be fine for Christ, but they chafe polite society. Around 1738, Brother Christopher gets this care package from Germany, and in this shipment is a dandy printing outfit.  Well, Mr. Sower goes to printing flyers and biblical scripture in German, and ticks off the local printer.  Ol’ Ben Franklin, a pretty competent printer himself, was not amused by the sudden competition, particularly from what he considered the alarmingly virulent German portion of Pennsylvania’s populace, but he was way too busy entertaining the ladies, and drafting Declarations, and flyin’ kites and such, to pursue his objections with his usual gusto, so Mr. Sower’s print shop flourished. Uncle Gus’ prized volume occupied a place of reverence on top of his roll top desk, for use during our times of study and devotion, and we kids were under strict orders not to molest the hoary old manuscript, on pain of death and dismemberment!  If a lightning bolt didn’t dispatch us, Uncle Gus would!  "Obie's Quest"

No comments:

Post a Comment