Way before the Founding Fathers…

Just as I am fully convinced of the hand of God in the founding of the United States of America, so too I am equally convinced of the same in the centuries-earlier explorations, discoveries, & events that preceded that founding. Patterns that I’ve seen before re-appear, as do similarities of incidents.

To the great detriment of the generations to come, appearing as well are the familiar manifestations of assumptions of superiority, personal delusions. arrogance. A root of slavery went down almost instantly. And that age-old culprit, the love of money (specifically in this case, gold) wasn’t far behind. Learning about Christopher Columbus’ journey to a new land, finally named America, is bringing with it, for me, both awe & shame. My personal reactions, though, matter not, because Columbus was the one chosen by God for this monumental task.


It was not until 1991 that a centuries-old Spanish manuscript, written by Christopher Columbus himself after the third of his four voyages to the New World, was translated into English. In this ‘Book of Prophecies’, “he provides his own answers about Divine influence in his accomplishments.” (Shirley R. Heater, “Christopher Columbus: Man of Vision and Faith“)  Columbus had a “…fervent conviction that he had been chosen by God to fulfill one of the most significant missions in history, a “holy enterprise”-taking the message of Christ to the nations…” (ibid.) (In a previous age, another man appointed by God for His specific purposes, also had that sense of knowing – “And David perceived that the LORD had established him king over Israel…” {2 Samuel 5:12} )

Co-authors Marshall & Manuel, in ’The Light and the Glory’, excerpt from an *article quoting from the ’Book of Prophecies’: “It was the Lord who put into my mind (I could feel his hand upon me) the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies. All who heard of my project rejected it…There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit…” These are Columbus’ own words. Additionally, in a letter he wrote to the Treasurer of Aragon, who helped fund the 1492 expedition, Columbus declared “…the glorious success that our Lord has given me in my voyage.” In an October, 2002 New Yorker article, though perhaps written a bit cynically, we read “…Columbus…in keeping with his general view of things, interpreted his good fortune as a sign that he had been singled out by God.” (Elizabeth Kolbert, “The Lost Mariner”). This same author points out that, by acting on several misconceptions, Columbus “…should have been fatally so {wrong}, except that he was fantastically lucky.” Lucky? Really? Hmmm…

Kolbert goes on to say that it’s difficult to imagine how Columbus could have even embarked on such a journey in the first place, or “pressed on through so many dangers…” if he had not been so confident of his own abilities to succeed. Others, including myself, see it differently. Columbus pressed on because he had “…a vision so strong that nothing could deter its holder from the attempt” (West and Kling 1991:3, 22 – English translation, ‘Book of Prophecies’). Columbus pressed on because his vision, expressed in his title for the ‘Book of Prophecies’, was this:

“Notebook of authorities, statements, opinions and prophecies on the subject of the recovery of God’s holy city and mountain of Zion, and on the discovery and evangelization of the islands of the Indies and of all other peoples and nations…” (West and Kling 1991:2, 101)


*August J. Kling, The Presbyterian Layman, Oct. 1971

Author’s note: Columbus’ ‘Book of Prophecies’, in its original manuscript form, is housed in the Biblioteca Colombina at the Cathedral of Seville, in Spain.

5 responses to “Way before the Founding Fathers…

  1. I was hitchhiking through West Virginia several years ago and I met this Christian. He said that they have discovered Runic writings on rock walls on a river in West Virginia. You probably have heard of Saint Brendan of Ireland (484-577 AD). I guess the written language in Ireland at the time was Runic.Brendan and other Irish Christian monks sailed west in faith to America. These monks knew that the Lord was going to do a powerful work someday on this new continent or "New World."Brendan came from a Celtic brand of Christianity, not to be confused with the Roman Catholicism in Ireland today.Celtic Christianity submitted to the Roman Rite at the Council of Whitby in 664 AD. I believe the Dark Ages began when the Celtic Christians turned Roman. When Christians turn to man-made liturgies and rituals, they kill the leading and spontaneity of the Holy Ghost. "We worship Him in Spirit and in truth."Another great Celtic Christian was Cuthbert of Lindisfarne; a biography on Cuthbert was written by the Venerable Bede. It is very inspiring.

  2. I figured others may have come here before Columbus, but had no specific knowledge. Funny, whenever I hear the word 'Celtic', I think Druid…but this is just the opposite!I cannot tell you how much I hate ritual/liturgy – I cannot abide it. No doubt, it kills…

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