Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Christian Heroes: Alfred the Great

            Alfred, King of Wessex, is not a name that is told about very often; yet Alfred was one of the most influential characters in Britain’s history.  After the wars with the Danes that ended in 880AD, Alfred instituted reforms that changed the course of history.  There were no laws at that time that men respected in England, so Alfred felt it was part of his duty as king to change that.  As he studied his Bible, he saw that the Ten Commandments should be the basis for any law code, and he began to make new laws that followed closely to what God taught in the Bible.  It is in his famous Doom-Book that he outlined the Golden Rule: “Do thou unto thy neighbour as thou wouldst have him do unto thyself.”  As these laws were now being implemented into society, men began to change their ways and it was during this time that England was the closest to being a fully Christian nation, in my opinion.  King Alfred also encouraged people to learn to read and write, and set up schools for the children of his kingdom.  In regards to the church at that point in time, Alfred was a Bible believing Christian, and it is reflected in that he presented his English clergy with a book by Pope Gregory, entitled, ‘Pastoral Care’.  This became another effort to lead the English church back to Christ.  In his spare time at home he began to translate the Psalms into the common language and succeeded admirably. In his translation work he had help from a learned Welshman named Asser, who taught him the Latin and English languages.  King Alfred was a very humble man, who loved the LORD - and that is seen in everything he did.  He was England’s only King ever called ‘Alfred, the Great’ and by the grace of God, he deserved it.

Written and Posted by William A Moore

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