Remember, remember!

  • Matt's Musings

It has been very sad to read of terrorist attacks in France and Austria in recent days. Terrorist activities have been with us for a long time. 415 years ago there was a terrorist plot to assassinate King James I by blowing up the Houses of Parliament. John Milton wrote a poem urging us to:

Remember, remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

But, why should we remember?

King James I was a new king who had announced that there was going to be a new version of the Bible in the English language. Some people were very unhappy about this and a number of the king’s other policies. Five men including Guy Fawkes plotted together in a pub how they could get rid of the king, his advisors, his government and a number of the religious leaders in one blow! The Gunpowder Plot was hatched. The ‘bomb’ was just one part of the plan. Guy Fawkes was to flee to Belgium, where he would assemble an army and invade. Other plotters were to kidnap Princess Elizabeth and make her a puppet queen, doing as they pleased.

The opening of parliament was delayed by 9 months until November 1605. The plotters had more time, but this probably cost them dearly. They had to involve more people in their plans and someone tipped off the king. Guy Fawkes was spotted going into a cellar underneath parliament, a search was made, he was found and the other conspirators were rounded up and executed.

It was a gruesome plot and had it succeeded, things would have been very different in the UK. The King James Version of the Bible was completed in 1611. It would not have been. This Bible has had a massive effect on nations throughout the world, bringing the good news of Jesus Christ to many. We are indebted to the writings of many people who blossomed with their new Bible. Westminster Abbey would have been destroyed. There probably would have been no Westminster Confession of Faith and possibly no Pilgrim Fathers.

God is over all things now, just as he was in 1605. He used the movement of the date of the opening of parliament to work out his perfect plan and safeguard his people. In his goodness the message of forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus Christ alone was proclaimed far and wide and is still being proclaimed today. So as we remember the fifth of November, may we remember Jesus Christ raised from the dead in whom we can have abundant life.