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The Battle of Lexington: A Sermon and Eyewitness Narrative Review by Maggi Beardsley

Jonas Clark, Pastor
Nordskog Publishing
4562 Westinghouse Street, Suite E
Ventura, CA 93003

One of the only things I remember from Junior High is the poem that begins, "By the rude bridge that arched the flood . . ." That is from Ralph Waldo Emerson's poem "The Concord Hymn," which is about the Battle of Lexington. That poem and "Paul Revere's Ride" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "Lexington" by Oliver Wendell Holmes, and "Lexington" by John Greenleaf Whittier are included in this small paperback book about the Battle of Lexington, where America's war for independence began.

The Battle of Lexington: A Sermon and Eyewitness Narrative also contains the sermon that Pastor Jonas Clark preached on April 19, 1776, one year after the battle. To give you a feel of the sermon, its original title was "The Fate of Blood-thirsty Oppressors, and God's Tender Care of His Distressed People." Pastor Clark also wrote his eyewitness account of the day of battle. In the introduction Reverend Christopher Hoops writes that Pastor Clark "discussed from the pulpit the great questions at issue, and that powerful voice thundered forth the principles of personal, civil, and religious liberty, and the right of resistance, in tones as earnest and effective as it had the doctrines of salvation by the cross."

This book is a great read for the American Revolution history buff. It gives you great insight into the experience of ordinary Americans as the Revolution began. The Battle of Lexington: A Sermon and Eyewitness Narrative is also a great book for the family that wants to understand how preaching can affect a community.

I thought that the book would be something that my school-aged child and I could read together to discover more about the American Revolution and the role that the church played in the war. However, I found the reading to be very complex. The Battle of Lexington: A Sermon and Eyewitness Narrative is a very thought-provoking book with great vocabulary. I have read Pastor Clark's sermon ten times, and I could still read it a few more to truly understand it. It was great to be challenged. I found that I better understood the sermon and those classic American poems once I read his narrative. It was fascinating. It added great perspective to the question: "Who fired the shot heard 'round the world?"

I would recommend The Battle of Lexington: A Sermon and Eyewitness Narrative as a resource to adults who would love to understand the American Revolution.

Product review by Maggi Beardsley, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November 2009