Monday, October 29, 2012


When one contemplates how great God is, one cannot but be struck with how vile man and all man's works are.  Even our best works are worth nothing to God, yet we trust in them.  But God brings his children from trust in their works to trust only in Him, as Jeremiah says:

23 Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:
24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.--Jeremiah 9:23-24

One of the best illustrations of this in literature is in C. S. Lewis's Prince Caspian.  After the 2nd Battle of Beruna, High King Peter introduces Prince Caspian to Aslan:

"Welcome, Prince," said Aslan. "Do you feel yourself sufficient to take up the Kingship of Narnia?"
"I — I don't think I do, Sir," said Caspian. "I'm only a kid."
"Good," said Aslan. "If you had felt yourself sufficient, it would have been a proof that you were not."

Friday, October 12, 2012

Queen Maria Clementina (Sobieska) Stuart

"Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing."--Ephesians 5:24

Maria Clementina Sobeska was born on July 18, 1702.  She was the granddaughter of King John Sobieski, who had rescued Vienna from the Turks in 1683.

In 1718, Maria Clementina agreed to marry the Jacobite king-in-exile, James III.  However, news of the marriage leaked out and the Princess was arrested and confined in Inspruck.  Chevalier Wogan (who had negotiated the marriage) was commissioned to free her.  The mission seemed nearly impossible.  However, Wogan and his little expedition located and freed the Princess, then set out back to Rome.

"...the Princess was able to proceed on her journey, during which she charmed her companions by her affability and cheerfulness."--pg. 312, History of the Irish Brigades in the Service of France

"The Princess appears to have borne with a patience and courage beyond her years."--pg. 84, Memoirs of the Pretenders by John Heneage Jesse

Maria Clementina Sobieska married James III on September 3, 1719.  He said that his new bride had "the loveliness of seventeen with the sound sense and discrimination of thirty." She had two sons, Charles Edward (a.k.a. Bonnie Prince Charlie), and Henry Benedict.  She died January 18, 1765.

Friday, October 5, 2012

James Radcliffe, Earl of Derwentwater

The Earl of Derwentwater was one of the noblemen who joined James III during the Jacobite Rising of 1715.  He was captured after the Battle of Preston, tried, and condemned to death.  His wife visited George I in person and pleaded for her husband, but to no avail.  Lord Derwentwater was executed on February 24, 1716.

"'Lord Derwentwater,' says his associate, the Rev. Robert Patten, 'was formed by nature to be universally beloved; for his benevolence was so unbounded, that he seemed only to live for others.  He resided among his own people, spent his estate among them, and continually did them kindnesses.  His hospitality was princely, and none in that country came up to it.  He was very charitable to the poor, whether known to him or not, and whether Papists or Protestants.  His fate was a misfortune to many who had no kindness for the cause in which he died.'  Smollett also has awarded a passing encomium to the memory of Lord Derwentwater, which deserves to be his epitaph. 'He was an amiable youth,' he says; 'brave, open, generous, hospitable, and humane: his fate drew tears from the spectators, and was a great misfortune to the country in which he lived; he gave bread to multitudes of people whom he employed on his estate; the poor, the widow, and the orphan rejoiced in his bounty.'"--pgs. 61-62, Memoirs of the Pretenders and their Adherents by John Heneage Jesse