Articles By: William J. Federer

Cosmographicum

Cosmos Erected Out of Harmonies

An attack of smallpox when he was four-years-old left him with crippled hands and poor eyesight. Overcoming those handicaps, he studied Copernicus’ works and at age 23 became a professor of astronomy. His name was Johannes Kepler, born DECEMBER 27, 1571. His laws of planetary motion, known as Kepler’s Laws, helped Newton formulate the theory of gravity.

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Birth of America Linked With the Birth of the Savior

Birth of America Linked With the Birth of the Savior

President John Quincy Adams stated in Newburyport, July 4, 1837: “In the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior…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 earth?

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The Fundamental Unity of Christianity and Democracy

The Fundamental Unity of Christianity and Democracy



On Christmas eve, DECEMBER 24, 1492, Columbus’ ship, the Santa Maria, ran aground on the island of Haiti. Columbus left 40 men and named the settlement la Navidad, promising to return the next year. He wrote that day to Spain’s King and Queen: “In all the world there can be no better or gentler people. Your Highnesses should feel great joy, because presently they will be Christians, and instructed in the good manners of your realms.”

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Thomas Paine

These are the Times That Try Men’s Souls

After the Continental Army was driven out of New Jersey, an article titled “The American Crisis” was published in the Pennsylvania Journal, DECEMBER 23, 1776. It began: “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…Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered…”

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Grave stone of John Newton (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

What Can Help the Blind to See?

“Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind, but now I see.” These were the words of John Newton, a former slave ship captain, who died DECEMBER 21, 1807. He lived a hard life of deriding Christians before meeting the risen Christ and writing this song.

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Ronald Reagan

A Nation Showing Regard for the Laws of God

Ronald Reagan stated in his Christmas Address, DECEMBER 20, 1983: “Sometimes, in the hustle and bustle of holiday preparations we forget the true meaning of Christmas…the birth of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ…During this glorious festival let us renew our determination to follow His example.”

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Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge

The Spirit of Liberty

Driven into Pennsylvania by the British, the Continental Army set up camp at Valley Forge, DECEMBER 19, 1777, just 25 miles from British occupied Philadelphia. Lacking food and supplies, soldiers died at the rate of twelve per day. Of 11,000 soldiers, 2,500 died of cold, hunger and disease. A Committee from Congress reported “feet and legs froze till they became black, and it was often necessary to amputate them.”

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Charles Wesley preaching

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

“Hark the Herald Angels Sing” was a carol written by Charles Wesley, born DECEMBER 18, 1707, at Epworth, England. The 18th child of Rev. Samuel and Susanna Wesley, he excelled in school and came to the attention of Garret Wesley, or Wellesley, a Member of Parliament with a large fortune in Daugan, Ireland. Having no child, he offered to adopt Charles as his heir, but Charles declined. After graduating from Oxford, Charles sailed to the colony of Georgia with his brother, John, who was the colony’s Anglican minister.

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Ludwig van Beethoven

Music without Sacred Music

A peer of Mozart and Haydn, he started becoming deaf at age 28, yet incredibly wrote some of the world’s most beautiful symphonies, concertos and sonatas. This was Ludwig van Beethoven, baptized DECEMBER 17, 1770, in Bonn, Germany.

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Boston Tea Party

Death is More Eligible Than Slavery

The British passed taxes on the American colonies, stifling the economy. Beginning in 1768, British troops quartered in American homes. When citizens gathered in protest, March 5, 1770, British troops fired into crowd, killing five, in what was called “the Boston Massacre.” Just three years later, in 1773, the British passed yet another tax, the “Tea Act.” The citizens of Boston had enough on DECEMBER 16, 1773.

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