There may not be a more discouraging word in our language. Unforgiven clearly implies that someone has done something wrong, and is in need of forgiveness. For whatever reason, that forgiveness has been withheld. While a petty person may hold a grudge over a trifle, for most of us, unforgiven is a word reserved for serious matters. It shouts that there is unfinished business.
In this issue, we’ll read about the story behind a popular hymn, the unusual legacy of Charles Babbage, and the story of the Stockbridge Bible. We’ll wish there was more in the historical record about Argula von Grumbach, and we’ll blanch at the embarrassment of Klaas Schilder being tried in absentia while in hiding from the Nazis.
Yet, it is the story of the Gnadenhutten Massacre that may well give you sleepless nights. The deeper we dig into this story, the worse it gets. We know that the perpetrators were feted, and some were even promoted. What we don’t know is if any of them ever sought, or found forgiveness. The remorse we read about in one instance was appalling. The murderer wept because he didn’t feel better after exacting his misplaced vengeance.
What I love about this story is that it gives us all an opportunity to consider our own sense of brotherhood with fellow believers, and to decide long before it may ever be an issue exactly where both our affections and our duty must lie.
On the Cover
Charles Babbage by Samuel Laurence. National Portrait Gallery, oil on canvas, 1845 50 in. x 40 in. (1270 mm x 1016 mm), Bequeathed by Sir Edward Ryan, 1876 Primary Collection, NPG 414.
The Apr-Jun 2014 issue includes these articles:
- The Extraordinary Mr. Babbage
- The Gnadenhutten Massacre
- The Trial of Klaas Schilder
- The Stockbridge Bible and the Church History of the Stockbridge Mohicans
- The Mission at Stockbridge, Massachusetts
- How Great Thou Art!