AFA of PA ACTION ALERT
December 24, 2021
Christmas 1776 — Not Your Typical Christmas
As we celebrate Jesus’ birthday tomorrow, let’s not forget that no matter how dire things may look for our country right now — God IS still in control.
During his Independence Day address in 1837, John Quincy Adams gave these remarks in Newburyport, MA: “Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon the earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity. . . .”
Just months after the signing to the Declaration of Independence, things were looking bleak for General George Washington and his ragtag army.
Much was given that Christmas 1776 – sacrifices we must remember: From the Christian Post –
“These are the times that try men’s souls; the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it NOW, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”
These immortal words from Thomas Paine’s The Crisis, among the most widely quoted of the American Revolution, were published during the cold and bitter days of December 1776. The fate of the War for Independence now hangs in the balance.
From the diary of Colonel John Fitzgerald, Washington’s aide-de-camp as he describes the fateful night of Christmas 1776:
Christmas, 6 P.M. — The regiments have had their evening parade, but … are marching toward the ferry. It is fearfully cold and raw and a snow-storm setting in. It will be a terrible night for the soldiers who have no shoes. Some of them have tied old rags around their feet…
Dec. 26, 3 A.M. — …The troops are all over, and the boats have gone back for the artillery.… The fishermen have had a hard time to force boats through the floating ice with the snow drifting in their faces.… I never have seen Washington so determined as he is now. He stands on the bank of the river, wrapped in his cloak, superintending the landing of his troops. He is calm and collected, but very determined…
The crossing completed, the storm-buffeted patriot army divided into a two-pronged assault force and prepared to traverse the nine ice-bound miles to slumbering Trenton. The weather exacted its toll. Two soldiers slumped to the ground and slept the last frozen sleep of exhaustion. The tracks of the army were marked by blood from feet cruelly cut on the frozen road. At 8:00 a.m., two hours off their dawn target time, the two columns simultaneously entered the town.
The Hessian army was largely abed, anesthetized by the winter storm that beat against the windows of their quarters. An attack was far from their thoughts — until the patriots were upon them. Rushing out, they hastily attempted to form ranks in the streets, only to be cut down by American artillery. The Americans made short work of it. The mortally wounded Colonel Rall surrendered his sword and 900 troops to General Washington. The American loss was four men wounded.
We all know the story, but sometimes we forget the faith of George Washington and other Founding Fathers. Here’s one example: George Washington wrote in his General Orders of May 2, 1778: “While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian”
Merry Christmas from the AFA of PA
Pray for our nation and that we will see more George Washingtons, John Adams, Benjamin Franklins, Thomas Jeffersons, Nathan Hales, Patrick Henrys, John Quincy Adams, etc. step forward.