Cloud of Witnesses

Cloud of Witnesses

Agnes Beaumont and Her Fateful Ride Agnes Beaumont was gloating on her way to church. She had managed to find a ride against all odds, and what ride! She was sitting right behind John Bunyan, pastor of the church in Bedford. “My heart was puffed up with pride,” she wrote, “and I was pleased that...
Charlotte of Bourbon – from Runaway Nun to Self-Sacrificing Wife For twelve long years, Charlotte tried to assert her legal rights to leave Notre-Dame de Jouarre, the abbey which she had been forced to join. Finally, in February 1572, she escaped. The circumstances of her flight are uncertain. Some...
Kata Bethlen – A Faith Preserved Kata Bethlen (1700-1752) started her autobiography with her most painful memory: her forced marriage, at age 17, to her Roman Catholic half-brother. Her family – one of the wealthiest and most influential in Transylvania – had firmly adhered, for generations, to the...
Alcuin of York – More Than a Scholar In 781, a Saxon monk named Alcuin had an encounter that changed his life and became the catalyst of the dynamic but short-lived Carolingian Renaissance. The man he met was the Frankish King Charles (later known as Charlemagne). As many others him, Charles was...
Hrotsvit of Gandersheim and Her Christian Plays Anyone who is familiar with the works of the Roman playwright Terence (185-159 BC) knows that they are an interesting depiction of the realities of his day. They are comedies, and generally end with a marriage or reconciliation. They could easily find...
John Bradford and the Comfort of God’s Sovereign Choice From Treasurer to Preacher A native of Manchester, John Bradford (c. 1510-1555) started his career as vice-treasurer of the English army in France. An accusation of fraud (which he strongly contested) became the catalyst for a departure from a...
Dorothy Leigh and Her Advice to Her Sons One of the best-selling 17 th -century manuals on parenting was written by a woman, Dorothy Leigh. What may seem perfectly normal to us was unusual in an age when women’s writings were rarely taken seriously. Books on marriage, parenting, and even midwifery...
The Shocking Case of the Hungarian Galley Slaves – A 17 th -century Tale of Religious Persecution One of the worst examples of religious persecution in European history happened in the decade between 1671 and 1681, when the Hungarian Roman Catholic authorities determined to eradicate Protestantism...
John Bunyan and the Women Who Shaped His Life If it’s true that behind every great man there is a great woman, John Bunyan had a good company of great women behind him. Mother We don’t know hardly anything about Bunyan’s mother, Margaret Bentley. Like her husband Thomas and their children, she was...
Johannes Kepler and the Joy of Science The German astronomer Johannes Kepler is counted among the greatest scientists in history. He is best known for his three laws of planetary motion, which shaped our modern understanding of the solar system. His achievements expanded beyond astronomy to cover...