"One reason (among many others) for Douglas Bond’s talent as a novelist is his immediate ability to feel and to give back the particular atmosphere of our villages as well as the temper of their inhabitants." Gérard Mignard (Agrégé de l’Université, Docteur es Lettres)
Featuring the forgotten Reformer, Pierre Viret, Hammer of the Huguenots is a story of treachery and court intrigue set in Renaissance France, where followers of the Reformation can be stripped of home and property, thrown in prison, hunted down and massacred, or face brutalpublic execution for their faith in Christ alone. When every effort to bring about a peaceful resolution fails, Huguenots take up arms and France erupts in a succession of wars of religion. Some Christian families stand and fight, while others, facing the loss of everything, leave their beloved homeland and flee to the New World. "Hammer of the Huguenots demonstrates the great advantage of a historical novel. Bond captures all of the emotions, fears, and struggles in such detail so the reader is gripped with the true reality of the brave suffering and the faithful affection for Christ of the 16th century Reformed Protestants in France." Tom Ertl, President, The Pierre Viret Association
“In Hammer of the Huguenots, everything is exact. Bond’s obviously well-researched story not only captures the faith and tragic persecution of French Protestants in the 16th century, this compelling historical novel captures readers’ attention and makes them eager to know more.” Marc Mailloux, author of God Still Loves the French and MTW missionary to French-speaking Caribbean Islanders (review)
Phillipe, shipwright apprentice with a bewildering past, is perplexed by the religious conflict raging about him in 16th century France. The good news proclaimed by Viret and the Reformers at times sounds liberating to him, but it comes at a price: he must abandon his hope in the corrupt state church. Meanwhile, Phillipe's friendship grows with his master's children, until Huguenot com-munities are massacred and full-scale warfare breaks over France. Phillipe must decide where his loyalties lie; it may cost him more than he had reckoned. When Pastor Viret is seized and held in the dungeon of a Navarre fortress awaiting imminent execution, Phillipe and his friend must act. But if caught, it will be their heads in the noose and their bodies hanging from the battlements of the castle.
Much more to say about researching and writing immediately where so much of the history actually occurred (I'm hacking away in a 12th c house where we stayed in La Roque sur Ceze in the Cote du Rhone). We had an unforgettable time in France writing this book. More to come about that with lots of pictures.
After more weeks of reading and research than has become usual for me, I finally broke into the story. The best storytelling is all about authentic characterization, and at last I feel like I have a handle on important characters in the tale: Maurice and Sophie, brother and sister in a Huguenot shipbuilding family, living on the Loire estuary near Nantes, and their friend, Philippe, a complex character who is bewildered by all the conflict between the Roman church that raised him (he was brought up in a Catholic orphanage by nuns) and the escalating tensions with the French Calvinist Protestants, called Huguenots. Maurice and Sophie's father has hired Philippe to do odd jobs in the ship yard, lately with more work due to the build up for the wars of religion.
Meanwhile, I've settled on featuring the most neglected Reformer, Pierre Viret, who said, "If I did not have the conviction that it was God who was pressing it on, I would never enter a controversy with a single person." Pierre Viret's life, however, was plagued with controversy. His spinach soup was poisoned and he nearly died. He was attacked and badly wounded, in pain for the rest of his life. He was seized by RC French royal army, was nearly executed, and freed in a daring rescue by Huguenot Christians (1568-1570).
THE SCRIPT FOR THE BOOK TRAILER (thank you Lieren Sinnamon!):
In Hammer of the Huguenots, Douglas Bond transports readers back into the turmoil of 16th century France. Experience the world through the eyes of Philippe, a bewildered young man encircled by royal agents and papal armies who are determined to silence the Huguenots. This was the name given to men and women whose only crime was worshipping God in their own language and believing in salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. An orphan, hurled into the midst of the conflict, Philippe finds himself apprenticed to a shipwright in the south of France, where he discovers friendship in a Huguenot family.
Though confused by the warring factions, Philippe is surrounded by intrigue and dangers that challenge everything he believes and threaten his life. Caught between the claims of his upbringing in the medieval church and the hazardous life of his Huguenot friends, Philippe must decide which side has the greater claim to his loyalties. As the net closes in, and he has nowhere to hide, Philippe is compelled to face the ghosts of his past and the dangers of his future in his determination to make sense of the world around him and discover the truth.
In this thrilling novel, Douglas Bond, author of more than twenty books, unveils the untold story of forgotten martyrs and heroes of the faith in Reformation France. Join Philippe on a gripping adventure that will either end his life - or give him a new one. ORDER A SIGNED COPY
Hammer of the Huguenots is a gripping story about life in 16th century France. Bond’s skillful blend of fact and fiction draws the reader into the religious wars of that era, and at the same time exposes the theological and ethical issues faced by the Huguenots in their response to the brutality of those who were determined to destroy all who were committed to the Reformed faith. This book provides insight into a little known, but important time in the history of the church. J. Robert Vannoy, ThD., Emeritus Professor, The Allan A. MacRae Chair of Biblical Studies, Biblical Theological Seminary.
I am deeply grateful to retired University of Paris professor Gérard Mignard who helped me on the research. He wrote this to me after reading the entire manuscript:
“The summer of 2013 I was pleased to meet Douglas Bond in my village, La Roque sur Cèze, in Provence. He was working on his next book dealing with the religious and tragic events which occurred in this part of France a few centuries ago. One reason (among many others) for Douglas’s talent as a novelist is his immediate ability to feel and to give back the particular atmosphere of our villages as well as the temper of their inhabitants (Cévennes, Ardèche, Provence). In this precious book, authenticity oozes on every page, with a clever use of French colloquial expressions, thanks to his great literary abilities. In Hammer of the Huguenots, readers will discover and learn more about the tragedy which divided French people a few centuries ago. Thank you, Douglas, for your wonderful work!” Gérard Mignard (Agrégé de l’Université, Docteur es Lettres)
“Douglas Bond’s Hammer of the Huguenots is a compelling historical novel in which the author captures the faith of the Huguenots in the Reformation in France. Through the lives of fictional characters who live the events, woven as it were, en filigrane, Bond leads the reader on an enlightening tour of 16th century France through the tragic events and intrigues of the faithful in the midst of persecution.” Marc Mailloux, author of God Still Loves the French and MTW missionary to French-speaking Caribbean Islanders.
"Hammer of the Huguenots demonstrates the great advantage of a historical novel. Bond captures all of the emotions, fears, and struggles in such detail so the reader is gripped with the true reality of the brave suffering and the faithful affection for Christ of the 16th century Reformed Protestants in France." Tom Ertl, President, The Pierre Viret Association
“In Hammer of the Huguenots, everything is exact. Bond’s obviously well-researched story not only captures the faith and tragic persecutions of French Protestants in the 16th century, this compelling historical novel captures readers’ attention and makes them eager to know more.” Marc Mailloux, author of God Still Loves the French and MTW missionary to French-speaking Caribbean Islanders.
“In the compelling historical novel Hammer of the Huguenots, Bond captures the faith of Pierre Viret and many others rightfully setting them in their historical roles, the obviously well-researched story includes enlightening observations of 16th century French life from the social and gastronomical customs right down to the chirping of the cicadas in the southern French countryside. But it’s the political and religious intrigue which retains the reader’s attention and makes them eager to know more.” Marc Mailloux, author of God Still Loves the French and MTW missionary to French-speaking Caribbean Islanders.
"Bond weaves the politics, theology, geography, and culture of 16th century France into the daily life experience of a Huguenot family. Here, history becomes alive, and the reader is given insight into the emotional and ethical challenges experienced by those of that era who were committed to the Reformed faith." J. Robert Vannoy, ThD., Emeritus Professor, The Allan A. MacRae Chair of Biblical Studies, Biblical Theological Seminary. ORDER A SIGNED COPY
Review of HAMMER OF THE HUGUENOT, Marc Mailloux
Doug Bond’s “The Hammer of the Huguenots” is a compelling historical novel about the early reformation period in France when the doctrines of grace were winning many converts amongst the majority Roman Catholic and the Huguenots, as the French Protestants came to be known, were increasingly victims of widespread persecution. The events in the novel are mostly centered in the period which my old French seminary dean, the late Pierre Courthial, liked to refer to as the “Golden Age” of the Reformation in France—that period between 1555 and 1562 when the Spirit of God was acting powerfully and many were coming to the faith in the midst of intense opposition by the Roman Church.
Through the lives of some fictional characters, Bond leads the reader on a tour of France through the events and intrigues that accompanied the faithful during those heady days of the Reformation when the faithful were forced to choose between the suitcase of the coffin even while a significant percentage (some historians have gone as high as 40%) of the French population was won over to the reformed faith.
The story is both well-written and informative on several levels. In addition to the well-seasoned references to historical characters including the Huguenot martyr Jean Langlois, the duplicitous Queen Mother Catherine de Medicis, the preacher Pierre Viret etc., whom Bond sets rightfully in their historical roles, the obviously well-researched story includes enlightening observations of 16th century French life from the social and gastronomical customs right down to the chirping of the cicadas in the southern French countryside. But it’s the political and religious intrigue which retains the reader’s attention as we learn about the effective preaching of the likes of Calvin’s contemporary Viret and the opportunistic political maneuverings of the wily Catherine de Medici who strives to consolidate political power for her son (the young Charles IX) in the midst of the religious wars which pitted the Roman Catholic faction headed by the Guise family (including a war lord and a bishop). Bond captures the faith of the Huguenots signing Psalms in the midst of persecution and the contrastingly misguided spirit of the age à la John 16:2 (“…whoever kills you will think he’s rendering a service to God…”). In the words of a Roman Catholic priest named Bagneti who warns some reluctant colleagues: “It is the call of the Almighty upon us… to crush the religious pretenders! If we do not they will destroy you and your city with you!.... Kill the heretics!” (p.62).
Pitted against this murderous zeal is the longsuffering Huguenot faction headed by the Prince de Condé and Admiral Coligny. It was the commitment of the latter at the bequest of his wife, the well-intentioned Charlotte de Laval, which led to the full-scale religious wars starting in 1562 following the massacre of innocent Huguenot worshipers at Wassy. For many, this was the beginning of the end of the Huguenot cause in France. For as long as the Protestants accepted to be persecuted, the church continued to grow. But as soon as they took up arms to defend themselves, the situation soured. The relentless persecution and heroic resistance of the Huguenots is reflected in the novels title, taken from a Huguenot saying: “Tant plus à me frapper on s’amuse, tant plus de marteaux on y use” (The more one strikes me, the more hammers he wears out).
Bond’s narrative contains all these historical elements en filigrane, woven as it were, through the lives of several characters who live the events and which incited the reader to run to his encyclopedia to corroborate complete the historical backdrop of the novel with more information. As far as this reader can see, everything is exact. Bond’s story captures ones attention and makes the reader eager to know more about the historical characters in question and the tragic circumstances that makes France the only country to have had a significant measure of the Reformation and to have rejected it.
Writing on-location in France--photo gallery
Huguenots were forced to worship in remote places, the Bonds on a hike in the Calanques near La Ciotat
Pont du Gard, ancient Roman aqueduct, setting for an episode in Hammer of the Huguenots
We stayed in the conciergerie of 15th century Chateau Le Celle Guenand near the Loire Valley
Charming Anduze "Le Petit Geneve" was a major center of Reformation in the Cevennes
Bayeux Cathedral, Romanesque, medieval, atmospheric, for sense of place
Gillian off to the beach from where we stayed at 12th century Maison La Roque--one of the most inspiring settings in which to write
My protagonist Philippe is apprenticed to Monsieur Beaune a shipwright
Lavender fields in Provence
Cave in the Cevennes above Saint-Jean du Gard where as many as 900 Huguenots hid and worshiped
I wrote the episode where Viret preached to the medical college in Montpelier cathedral, 1,000s professing faith in Christ
Abbey aux Hommes, looking out the window of our flat in Caen where I first wrote "The End," with more revision and rewrite to follow, as is always the case, but what a great place to write!
Chateau Dif of Count of Monte Cristo fame, a stronghold prison where 1,500 Huguenots were held and where many died
Places in France where episodes were written: Acknowledgements
In fifteen years of writing books, Hammer of the Huguenots was one of the most satisfying historical fiction novels I have written. Much of it was written on-location in France at or near the various places featured in the story: caves where Huguenots hid and worshiped in the craggy Cevennes, the gatehouse of a 15th century castle near the River Loire, Roman coliseums in Arles and Nîmes, the Roman theatre and magnificent arch of triumph in Orange, cathedrals and medieval churches, a medieval goat barn converted to a bed and breakfast, a Huguenot farmhouse built in 1485, the ancient Roman aqueduct Pont du Gard, a 12th century house in the Côtes du Rhône, and at the charming walled medieval city of Aigues-Mortes itself, the home of the Family Beaune in the novel.
I would never have discovered many of these places if it hadn’t been for Pastor Lionel Jauvert who shared with me his vast knowledge of his Huguenot ancestors and the places where they lived and died, and who introduced me to experts on the Huguenots. Lionel enthusiastically led me down narrow medieval streets, up treacherous mountain tracks where wild boar await, and into nearly impossible to find churches, caverns, and hideouts. Lionel and his wife Monica and the Jauvert family in Nîmes feasted me and my family on heavenly French cuisine and libations, the aromas and flavors of which waft their way throughout this novel (I had to lose twenty pounds after writing this book, but it was worth it).
Additionally, I am indebted to Gérard Mignard, retired University of Paris professor, for laying the map out and guiding me to many import sites of Huguenot significance, including introducing us to his friends and neighbors Jean and Catherine who unbarred the gates and doors of their 12th century chateau perched atop the village of La Roque-sur-Cèze and hosted us as we explored its medieval magnificence.
Research and writing in France, summer 2013
I had the privilege of writing most of this book on location in the various places in France that are the settings for the episodes in this book. I wrote episodes in deep caves in the Cevennes in the South of France, in medieval cathedrals in Nimes, Montpelier, and others, and in market squares, 12th century homes and castles.
It really was an author's dream book to write, and I hope that the final result will be as thrilling and immediate to my readers as they were to me while writing. SDG! Because any book about the Huguenots is going to be a book about deep suffering and persecution, I want to dedicate Hammer of the Huguenots to persecuted Christians throughout the world today. "Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed." I Peter 4:12-13
Deliver Us from Evil (early draft)
Shuffling his feet on the polished flagstones of the kitchen floor, Philippe studied the boy and girl sitting across the table from him. Why did Sophie and Maurice always have to do this? His stomach felt like a kettle drum on which a drummer was rumbling out the signal to advance into battle. To his ears it sounded like the groaning of the door of a dungeon turning ominously on its hinges, forever closing him in.
Philippe knew what was coming. And it didn’t matter that an urgent need at the shipyard had called their father away just before the meal, or that the sickness of an elderly neighbor had called their mother from the midday meal. Parents or no parents at the table, he knew what was coming. There would be no stopping them. Heaving a sigh, he ran his calloused fingers through his hair, bowed his head, and clenched his eyes shut. Perhaps this time it would work.
“O Père très Saint.” Maurice’s voice was low and reverent. “Pour ton Saint Nom,” his voice rising and falling with feeling as he continued.
Determined to keep his head bowed and his eyes tight shut—their kind of praying must work better that way—Philippe hoped his friends did not hear the hunger growling in his insides. Au contraire, then again, he hoped they did hear it—and cut short their praying.
His nose only inches from his bowl of soup, the savory aromas of broth and onions and melted cheese tormented his senses. After what seemed like an hour, though Philippe knew it couldn’t be more than a few moments, he heard Maurice’s voice winding down, each word becoming more ponderous, like the chiming of an horologe in a cathedral at year end. And then it was silent.
Philippe peeked, eyeing his friends hopefully. There was an involuntary movement of his right hand, readying itself to make the sign of the cross; try as he might, it seemed to be ingrained in him like bone structure. He halted. Swallowing hard, he licked his lips. Their faces were lowered as if pondering minutely upon the contents of their bowls, but neither of them moved. He nearly moaned out loud. They were not finished.
Their praying was one of many things that mystified Philippe. In the convent near Arles where he had his first memories, vague though they were, the sisters led them in a hastily murmured Ave Maria and they ate. No amount of praying would thicken the soup, so keep it short. Such as it was, eat it while it’s hot; that’s what made sense to Philippe.
Tormented by the salivary juices spurting in his mouth and swirling on his tongue, Philippe wondered if death by starvation was possible within such close proximity to perfectly edible food. For an instant he even considered crossing himself; crossing himself came at the end of praying, so if he crossed himself—again and again, if necessary—and made as much noise doing it as he could manage, maybe the crossings would work, the praying would halt, and he could eat. Just when he thought he could bear it no longer, on the verge of snatching up the wooden spoon, and falling to, Sophie commenced her praying.
The soup looked perfectly good to him—infinitely better than the thin slop the nuns used to ladle up for him to eat. Through narrow slits in his eyelids, he studied a thick crust of bread adrift in the broth; it looked like a small boat hove-to in a sheltered harbor. He leaned closer to his bowl and drew in another deep breath; an elongated growl contorted his stomach, and steam rising from the soup brought the water to his eyes. Afloat in rich broth, the nutty creaminess of the melting cheese...
Horns and Hooves (draft)
Just when Philippe was certain the great oak doors would be burst asunder and slaughter would commence, with no way of escape, his dreams shattered, his life over, Pastor Leclerc did something that would be told and retold and sung about by many. He began singing. While outside the church there was a silence that felt so fragile it must surely shatter like stained glass struck by a flail, within the little church everyone was singing. Louder and louder swelled the voices. Without realizing when, Philippe found himself singing, singing as if his life depended upon singing.
He comes arrayed in burning flames,
Justice and Vengeance are His names;
Behold His fainting foes expire,
Like melting wax before the fire.
How long they sang Philippe did not know. Psalm after psalm they sang, louder and louder, until his voice was hoarse, yet they sang still more. When at last the voice of the congregation fell silent, the minister pronounced the final benediction. No one made a move. It was as if everyone felt that there was protection only if they stayed together, only if they remained at each others sides, women and children in the middle, boys and men surrounding them. Pastor Leclerc’s words still ringing off the stone vaulting, he strode deliberately down the aisle, and flung open the oak doors. It was one of the bravest things Philippe had then witnessed in his life.
The slender pastor, his unimposing figure silhouetted in the open doorway, his shadow cast back toward them on the polished flagstone floor of the church—he abruptly halted, looking left and right. The square was empty. A lone tabby cat batted with a paw at a trickle of water spilling from the stone lips of an old man in the village fountain. At the sound of the opening doors, the cat, licking its lips and flicking its ears, its tail erect, trotted over to the pastor and rubbed against the folds of his Geneva gown, its eyes half closed in pleasure. Philippe felt that he could hear the kitten purring. The young minister bent and stroked the cat but never taking his eyes off the square.
Then it struck. Philippe felt his heart leap into his throat. There it was again, the silence now broken by the clattering thunder of horses’ hooves pounding the cobblestones, the shouts and cries of men, echoing and reechoing off the narrow houses lining the streets that radiated from the church. Camargue horses, terrible in their whiteness, manes flowing, teeth champing at their bits, and with every snorting stride, their riders spurring them on, straight toward Pastor Leclerc, the door of the church, and the worshipers within.
Flank to flank and knee to knee the horsemen came on. Each man carried a wooden lance, and they moved as if one combined force bearing down on the church, and on the courageous pastor standing unflinching, barring the door to his flock.
All of this took a split second to observe, but it played out at a bone-chilling snail’s pace. Yet in that instant of time Philippe observed that these were not soldiers, as he had feared. They were accoutered in no armor, bore no shields, and were covered by no tabard identifying their kin and loyalty.
Spilling into the square in front of the church, the horses and riders suddenly broke ranks, fanned out. Behind them, a second column of riders came on unabated. But there was something different. Pressed hard on either side by the second tier of white horses and their riders—galloped a bull.
Black, frothing at the nose and mouth, wide forked-hooves pawing at the cobbles—and wide-sweeping horns, uncapped—sharp and lethal. Clearly the horsemen flanking the bull were guiding it with their knees and lances, goading it toward the door of the church.
“Women and children!” cried Monsieur Beaune, his voice thundering above the chaos of pounding hooves. “Under the arches! Clear a path! With all speed, everyone out of the nave!”
It was a marvel to observe what transpired in the next instant. As if having rehearsed, the men quickly guided their women and children...
Evolution of the cover art
Timeline of HUGUENOT history in France
Timeline of Huguenot History
1512 First Huguenot martyr burned in Paris
1517 Martin Luther’s 95 Theses
1523 John Calvin begins studying at University of Paris
1530 Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples’ French Bible translation
1536 First edition of Calvin’s Institutes published in Basel
1536 Pierre Robert Olivétan, Calvin’s cousin, translates French Bible from Hebrew and Greek
1551 French Psalter published in Geneva
1553 John Knox and other refugees flee to Geneva
1556 Philip II crowned king of Spain
1558 Bloody Mary dies and Elizabeth I crowned queen of England
1559 First national synod of Reformed Churches of France; Huguenots adopt the La Rochelle Confession of Faith
1559 John Calvin’s final edition of The Institutes
1560 1,200 Huguenots executed at Chateau Amboise
1560 Scots Confession crafted and adopted in Scotland
1561 Pierre Viret begins his preaching ministry in France; wide-spread revival in Lyon, Nîmes, and Montpellier
1561 Belgic Confession of Faith
1562-1563 First War of Religion
1562 Duke of Guise massacres Huguenots at Vassy; his brother Cardinal of Lorraine massacres Huguenots at Sens
1562 Theodore Beza urges royalty in France to stop the persecution of Huguenots
1562-1563 Papal troops besiege and slaughter Huguenots in Orange, Rouen, Bourges, and other cities throughout France
1563 Treaty of Amboise ends First War of Religion
1563 Council of Trent closes; papal and Spanish pressure to eradicate Huguenots and Reformed Christianity in France and all Europe
1563 Heidelberg Catechism drafted
1564 Death of John Calvin
1565 Jeanne d’Albret, Queen of Navarre, invites Pierre Viret to come teach at the Reformed seminary in Navarre
1565 Huguenot colony massacred at St. John, Florida by Pedro Mendendez
1567-1568 Second War of Religion
1568 Treaty of Longjumeau ends Second War of Religion
1569 March 15, pope issues papal bull, calling for a crusade to annihilate all Huguenots
1568-1570 Third War of Religion
1569 Catholic troops invade Navarre and seize and imprison Pierre Viret and eleven other Reformed pastors; seven are executed; five are rescued
1569 Peace of St. Germain ends Third War of Religion
1572-1573 Fourth War of Religion
1572 St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, tens of thousands of Huguenots killed in Paris and other major cities in France
1574 Truce ends Fourth War of Religion
1574 Charles IX dies; Henri III crowned king of France
1576 Fifth War of Religion
1576 Pro-Huguenot Peace of Monsieur signed
1576 Militant Catholic League violates the peace treaty; persecution resumes
1577 Sixth War of Religion
1577 Sixth War ended by restrictive Peace of Bergerac
1580 Seventh War of Religion
1580 Treaty of Nerac and Peace of Fleix end Seventh War of Religion
1584 Duke of Anjou dies; Henri of Navarre becomes heir to French throne
1588 Henri III forced to surrender to Guises and Catholic League
1588 English navy defeats Spanish Armada
1589 Henri III murdered, but had named Henri of Navarre his successor
1589 Catherine de Médici dies
1593 Henri IV, in an effort to restore peace to the realm, converts to Catholicism
1598 Edict of Nantes gives religious toleration to Huguenots
1618-1648 Thirty-Years War between Holy Roman Empire and German Protestants
1685 Louis XIV revokes Edict of Nantes; government and Roman Catholic sanctioned persecution resumes in France; Huguenots flee to America, South Africa, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, and Britain
Feature article in Le Midi Libre France newspaper 1/18/2015
Hammer of the Huguenots: A New Novel on the Wars of Religion in France, by Douglas Bond (P&R Publishing, 2015)
Article by Cedric C. M. Bond
With tantalizing descriptions of local cuisine, French Gothic cathedrals, medieval walled cities, dark caves in the Cevennes, lush vineyards in the Côtes du Rhône, and the salt marshes of Aigues-Mortes, there can be no doubt this book was written in the south of France. When most Americans think of France their limited knowledge expires with food and fashion. But American writer Douglas Bond, author of more than twenty books, is not like most Americans. Neither is his latest book, Hammer of the Huguenots, like most books about France.
When pressed, your average American may think of the World Wars, and some may even think of Victor Hugo or Enlightenment philosophers. However, few indeed have any meaningful knowledge of the tragic history of the 16th century Wars of Religion.
Through careful academic, social, and gastronomical research, Bond has sought to uncover and convey this rich history and culture. And though set in the grim days of the mid-sixteenth century, no book about life in the south of France can be entirely dark. Writing on-location in 12th century La Roque-sur-Cèze, one of les plus beaux villages de France, and other locations in the south of France, Bond captured the quintessential warmth and atmosphere of these charming regions.
Using his genre of choice, historical fiction, Bond captivates his readers, draws them in, and places them into the center of a Huguenot family. Although sympathetic to the Huguenot cause, Bond follows the history where it leads.
Perhaps, it is best to reveal my own bias. Bond is my father. However, as one who has studied under him in writing and history classes, proof read manuscripts, and frequently discussed and debated issues of politics and religion, I am well placed to give both a predominantly objective and certainly intimate description of the author.
Having written numerous published books of historical fiction, biography, devotion, and theology, Bond has hit his stride as an author. For proof look no further than this book. Vivid descriptions and authentic characters with feelings like his readers, make Hammer of the Huguenots not just a joy to read, but make it seem to read itself—pulling the reader along as if an active participant in the living drama unfolding on the pages.
Contextually, this book spans the first three Wars of Religion from 1560 until 1570. Set initially in Aigues-Mortes, the story unfolds through the eyes of a Huguenot shipwright’s conflicted apprentice Philippe, bewildered by the prayers of his master Monsieur Beaune’s family. Bond’s protagonist wrestles with his confusion throughout the story: Why these drawn-out prayers over meals? What is the real bone of contention between the medieval Church and the Huguenots? And, why would anyone want to harm a family like his master’s?
Maurice, eldest Beaune son, passionate and adventurous, provides a fitting counterpart to the more introverted Philippe. Throughout the book, the young men’s relationship grows as they are drawn together by loyalty and peril. Meanwhile, Philippe’s friendship with Maurice’s charming sister Sophie also develops. To his bewilderment, this peace-loving Huguenot family Philippe comes to love, are the same people the medieval Church wanted to be rid of. As the story unfolds, the malicious designs of the enemy become unmistakably evident:
…the silence now broken by the clattering thunder of horses’ hooves pounding the cobblestones, the shouts and cries of men, echoing and reechoing off the narrow houses lining the streets that radiated from the church. Camargue horses, terrible in their whiteness, manes flowing, teeth champing…, and with every snorting stride, their riders spurring them on, straight toward Pastor Leclerc, the door of the church, and the worshipers within.
Forced into a conflict he does not understand and his friends do not want, Philippe joins the Huguenot cause out of friendship rather than conviction. But will that change?
Change could well be considered one of the overarching themes of the book. Peace changes to war; friendship ripens into love; Confusion gives way to clarity; convictions shift from Rome to Geneva. All of France is changed by the tumult of the Wars of Religion nearly 500 years ago. After more than a century of bloody religious conflict, it is little wonder that many in France today feel more comfortable with irreligious secularism. English-speaking readers feel the struggle of the Huguenots as if it were their own, despite the centuries that lie between. Although Bond gives a satisfying exploration of the historical moment, the novel probes timeless human themes.
Bond’s historical accuracy can be seen in his portrayal of the conniving, Italian-born, Catherine de Médici, a papal bull of March 15, 1569 calling for the annihilation of all Huguenots, repeated royal edicts professing peace--then broken by Charles IX, and massacres at Vassy and Sens.
Deeply concerned with discovering the heart of the Huguenot cause, Bond lets readers hear excerpts from several sermons delivered by the oft-forgotten reformer Pierre Viret at Nîmes and Montpellier. The setting for one message Bond recreated by an episode from his own time exploring in Nîmes. Caught in a violent summer rain storm, Bond, his family, and dozens of others took cover in Cathédrale Notre-Dame-et-Saint-Castor de Nîmes. This real 2013 experience became the setting for a historical sermon preached by Pierre Viret to several thousand people there in 1561.
“All that is necessary for your salvation has been offered and communicated to us in Jesus Christ. He alone is given to us for our salvation, and ‘is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.’ …I plead with you this day. Put off your idols. Find refuge in Jesus Christ alone!”
Along with vernacular preaching, another emblem of the Huguenots was their public Psalm-singing in French. True to history, at great risk, the Beaune family boldly sings—often louder than Philippe deems prudent:
Let God arise in all His might,
And put the troops of hell to flight,
As smoke that sought to cloud the skies
Before the rising tempest flies.
It is only natural that Bond gives the psalm singing its due place in the story of the Huguenots—Bond, a writer of hymns for the new reformation, has written six books about hymnody, and was a consultant for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s God’s Greatest Hits 2012 television series. When not writing or speaking at conferences, Bond teaches at a classical Christian high school in America, and for his teaching of writing was awarded the regional “2005 Teacher Award.” Additionally, Bond and his wife Cheryl have led historical study tours in Europe since 1996—a source of many lasting friendships, several of which aided significantly with this book. One of these—a veritable modern-day Huguenot—Pastor Lionel Jauvert, direct descendent of Huguenots from the Cévennes, hosted the Bond family in his ancestors’ house, built in 1485, another source of inspiration for Hammer of the Huguenots.
Many episodes in the book were written in either the exact location or a similar setting to the historical location. For example, one chapter has the protagonists taking refuge—as so many Huguenots were forced to do—in a cave in the Cévennes. Without the aid of road signs or trail markers, Jauvert led Bond to a remote cave where hundreds of Huguenots sought refuge to worship in safety. High above the village of Saint-Jean du Gard in the dark recesses of that cave, Bond drafted a fictional episode based on painfully genuine occurrences in that very cave five-hundred years prior.
Another acquaintance, Gérard Mignard, resident of La Roque-sur-Cèze, and correspondent for Le Midi Libre, offered invaluable insight that helped Bond capture the local charm of his village, Provence, and the Côtes du Rhône. In addition to his regional expertise, Mignard introduced Bond to his local friends, gaining him entrance to a 12th century private chateau, yet another genuine setting for an episode in the book.
Food plays a central role in Hammer of the Huguenots. Bond and his family enjoyed many of the regional culinary delights of France, as evident throughout the book:
It was a meal he would never forget—steamed legumes; chevre cheese, blended with herbs and garlic; roast wild boar, killed that day in the hills above the farmhouse, dripping with herbes de Provence and butter sauce. Their host uncorked a bottle of local Grenache Noir; its dry complexity with a hint of spice lingering on the palate made Philippe wonder if miracles had ceased after all.
Although there are many delightful and even a few humorous episodes, the book’s historical context is grim and dark, indeed. Though France’s Wars of Religion have often been thought of as civil wars, Bond demonstrates otherwise. While King Charles IX rallied his forces against the Huguenots (influenced by his mother Catherine de Médici and his ruthless uncles, Duke of Guise and Cardinal of Lorraine), Bond makes the case that the conflict was not simply French against French, but far more the Holy Roman Empire with its multi-national mercenary army arrayed against France‘s Huguenot population, by some estimates, fully 40% of 16th century France’s population. Threatening severe censure against France, Emperor and King of Spain, Philip II was a significant force behind the violence against the French Huguenots. Not to be outdone, Pope Pius V, determined to end the conflict, issued a papal bull in 1569 calling for a crusade to exterminate all the French who aligned themselves with the Huguenot cause.
Like radical Islamists today, the mercenary armies of the empire ruthlessly engaged in their murderous holy war. Bond depicts historical accounts of Huguenot congregations attacked while singing in Sens and Vassy, surrounded and fired upon by François, Duke of Guise’s men. Volleys from arquebuses left scores of men, women, and children dead or wounded in Huguenot temples.
As hammer blows fell upon the beleaguered Huguenots, Bond demonstrates how, for a time, they grew stronger. “Tant plus à me frapper on s’amuse, tant plus de marteaux on y use!” It is from this well-known saying that Bond took the title Hammer of the Huguenots. Many Huguenots, to their eternal comfort, discovered with Pierre Viret that “Truth under attack is strengthened.” Frustrated in their inability to quell the spread of the Reformed faith, the hammerers of the Huguenots warred on against them.
As Bond recounts the tragic history of France’s Wars of Religion, his bewildered protagonist continues wrestling with the questions that torment him. What he longs for is his Libération: escape from the complexity of life in a war-torn country. But, he realizes that he so desperately wants cannot be achieved by himself. Freedom—will Philippe ever find it? Perhaps in a manner he never anticipated.
Delicately weaving fact with fiction, Bond pulls his readers effortlessly through some of the most beautiful landscapes in France, places them at tables filled with traditional delicacies, and walks them through the valley of the darkest days in France’s history. How could a people be so cruel toward one another? How can someone be so sure in her belief that she would rather die than renounce her faith? What would make two young men care so much about a few captured Huguenot preachers that they would risk their lives to rescue them?
Read Douglas Bond’s Hammer of the Huguenots. These questions and more are explored in the captivating way that only well-crafted historical fiction can accomplish. This uncommon American writer has penned a refreshingly uncommon book for all to read.
Cedric C. M. Bond, a juris doctor candidate at Oklahoma City University School of Law, is son of Douglas Bond, author of Hammer of the Huguenots. For more information visit www.bondbooks.net
July 24, 2014: THIS PROJECT HAS OFFICIAL STALLED, due to a breakdown of negotiations between the film producer and publisher. I'm very sad about this, but God has better things, no doubt.
I'm making this the place where I drop all the latest images and information from the ramp up to DUNCAN'S WAR the movie. Lots of exciting things in the works. Go to www.facebook.com/DuncansWar and like and share.
Make a youtube music video of yourself (or with family members or friends) singing my latest Christmas carol and send me the link with permission to post it on my blog and site. You can use the Vince Treadway music written specifically for the carol or compose your own music. Now here's for the prize: To the reader who creates the best version, I'll post your version on my New Reformation Hymns website AND ship a free signed hardback copy of my newest book, THE POETIC WONDER OF ISAAC WATTS. Send your youtube link to [email protected] But hurry! Christmas is coming! Deadline, 12/25/2013
New Christmas Carol by Douglas Bond
What Wonder Filled the Starry Night (Long Meter, LM, 220.127.116.11.)
This hymn/carol took me several years to write. Carols are some of the church's most endearing hymnody, and so it was with fear and trepidation that I set my imagination to work on one. My good friend Vince Treadway, organist extraordinaire and composer, composed the tune Wonder for it below.
What wonder filled the starry night
When Jesus came with heralds bright!
I marvel at His lowly birth,
That God for sinners stooped to earth.
His splendor laid aside for me,
While angels hailed His Deity,
And shepherds on their knees in fright
Fell down in wonder at the sight.
The child who is the Way, the Truth,
Who pleased His Father in His youth,
Through all His days the Law obeyed,
Yet for its curse His life He paid.
What drops of grief fell on the site
Where Jesus wrestled through the night,
Then for transgressions not His own,
He bore my cross and guilt alone.
What glorious Life arose that day
When Jesus took death’s sting away!
His children raised to life and light,
To serve Him by His grace and might.
One day the angel hosts will sing,
“Triumphant Jesus, King of kings!”
Eternal praise we’ll shout to Him
When Christ in splendor comes again!
Douglas Bond (December 16, 2010)
Hope you're having a great time on the scavenger hunt! There's a fun special bonus contest exclusive to my site as well: click here to find out more. Join my blog and follow the latest about books I'm currently writing, book tours, and special offers.
I had a great time interviewing Morgan L. Busse (Author of Follower of the Word Series; 2013 Christy Award and Carol Award finalist). You will discover all kinds of fascinating things about Morgan's life as a writer, what authors have been her principal influences, challenges and advantages of being a Christian writer, who she would want to sit down with for tea and cake, a peek at one of her favorite passages from her own writing, and much more. Hope you learn lots about Morgan and her writing from our interview together! (To avoid confusion, Morgan is the one with longer hair--and no necktie).
I'd like to get one thing straight in my own mind as we begin our interview together: How do you pronounce your last name? Busse as in like school bus? Busse as in bossy with an oo sound or an uh sound? Busse as in the way the French pronounce bus? Or some other way I'm missing? And what is the origin of your surname (taking into account that you married into the name, I presume)?
It's the first one, school bus, with a long e at the end (Bussee). Yes, I married into this name and I believe my husband said it was German.
Now that we have that cleared up, tell me a bit about your early interest in writing. At what age did you realize you wanted to write? What was the first creative thing you remember writing? Did you show it to anyone, and if so, how was it received?
Good Question! When I was a kid, I was chosen to participate in a writing workshop with a local author. Each student in the workshop had to write a story. Mine was about a super hero squirrel, complete with illustrations, including the squirrel in a little red cape. I don't remember how the story was received, but I do remember that squirrel!
A super hero squirrel--I love it! Tell us about the authors who awakened your interest in reading as a young person (I'm guessing Beatrix Potter and her Squirrel Nutkin, which, incidentally, happened to be CS Lewis's favorite book of hers) and which ones have had the strongest influences on your writing?
I've loved reading ever since I was a young girl. I read everything from Nancy Drew to Sherlock Holmes to Lord of the Rings to Anne of Green Gables. So I guess you could say all those authors (Carolyn Keene, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and others) awakened my interest in reading. Out of all my early reading, it is J.R.R. Tolkien who has had the strongest influence in my writing. I read everything of his I could get my hands on and loved his world of Middle Earth. It was his books that drew me to fantasy in the first place.
My 8 year old daughter is crazy about Anne of Green Gables; I remember so many wonderful hours reading those books aloud with my eldest daughter (she just turned 25 and is now married--still enthralled with Anne; my mother just visited Avonlea and came home with so many wonderful images and stories from where the Anne books originate). What do you think about e-books and the many changes coming to publishing? Are there any self-published e-book plans in your future?
My daughter just started reading Anne of Green Gables and loves them as well. It is wonderful to share the books I loved as a child with my children now :)
I'm a practical person. When I started running out of shelf space, my husband bought me a kindle. I wasn't sure if I would like reading from an electronic device rather than holding a book, but once I started, I loved it! I read almost everything now from my iPad.
I guess I don't really have an opinion about the many changes coming to publishing. Change will always happen, whether that is in publishing, music, film, etc... If I can use it (like ebooks, audiobooks, etc...), then I will use it. If not, then I won't. God is bigger than the publishing world. I don't need to be afraid of change. He will do what He is going to do with my writing, whether there are changes or not. I can trust in Him.
I've thought about self publishing, but that a long way off. Right now I am content to write one book at a time and continue with my relationship with Marcher Lord Press. It's about all I can handle while raising my four children :)
I'm this anachronism on the hoof and so have constant grapplings with new technology (as I read my Bible on my iPhone and type my manuscripts on my laptop and iPad; teach and lecture using a Smart board, blog, and do electronic interviews on internet scavenger hunts, you know, old-fashioned things like that). Flannery O'Conner has this great chapter in her book Mystery and Manners on challenges facing Christian writers. What would you say are the challenges you face being a Christian and a writer?
It is challenging to balance all the roles I fill: wife, mother, writer, and pastor's wife. Sometimes I have to put my writing aside to be a mom. Evenings are spent with my husband instead of writing. There are days where all I can focus on is ministry. And then there are deadlines that mean mommy needs to disappear in her room with her laptop for hours. I am blessed that my family and my church understand that I am a writer and juggle a lot of roles. But it is still a challenge to do each one, and each one well.
The biggest challenge to being a Christian writer is the automatic bias I sometimes face just because I'm a Christian. Everyone writes from their worldview, yet Christians are the only ones who seem to be attacked if they put anything into their writing that remotely looks Christian. I don't let that stop me from writing from the viewpoint of my own beliefs, but it does spur me on to write the best I can and let the story speak for itself. Fiction is a story, not a sermon. And so I treat it as such.
I so totally agree: Fiction is a story not a sermon (yet the best sermons recognize the power of story, which is after all what the Bible is, a story--just saying). What would you like readers to conclude from your books about your legacy as a writer and as a Christian--after you are dead and buried? Put another way, what will be the reoccurring world view impressions readers will take away from reading your books?
The two themes of my books are the gospel and what it means to follow God. The human race is broken and filled with darkness, and there is nothing we can do to save ourselves. So God, in His great love, does what we cannot do for ourselves: He sets us free by taking that darkness upon Himself. We are transformed the moment our lives are touched by God. But the path we now follow is not easy. Sometimes God asks us to do hard things, sometimes He is silent, sometimes He seems to have disappeared. Faith is not about blindly following, it is about choosing to follow because you trust the one you follow. This doesn't happen instantly, it is a growing process, with tears and prayers and scrapped knees along the journey.
So well put, Morgan. I've had a lengthy discussion with another author, and based on that discussion, I'd like to play Devil's advocate with you, if I may. Isn't being a Christian author and having gospel objectives in your writing--as you have so articulately described them above--isn't that going to lessen the authenticity of real fiction? Maybe this is the attitude and assumption, the automatic bias, you were referring to earlier. The Hollywood version of C. S. Lewis's life, Shadowlands, has Anthony Hopkins say about his (Lewis's) Narnia fiction, "Is just what it is." There seems to be significant pressure placed on young fiction writers who are Christians to diminish their Christianity, to downplay their world view, to depict graphic violence or sexual situations, or to use swearing or coarse language as as an obligatory way of legitimizing themselves as a real writer. Have you felt any of this pressure and what would you say to a young (or older) author who is a Christian but seems to want no Christian message to be implicit in his or her writing; it just is what it is?
Great question, Doug! I actually teach a class about how to incorporate the gospel into your story without preaching. I think we see too many stories where the gospel is spelled out (hence why the authenticity of the story seems to be less than real). You're reading a great story, then all of a sudden there is this salvation moment that seems to come out of nowhere. The problem is, the gospel is not a one time moment, but a lifetime event, from the moment we are conceived (I believe we are born with a sin nature, thus the beginning of our darkness) all the way into eternity. That is why that one salvation scene seems to stick out of the story like a sore thumb.
The gospel needs to be spread out throughout the entire story. Let me give you an example. One of my characters is an assassin (and funny enough, the character is the one almost everyone loves the most). Caleb isn't really evil, but he's definitely not good. He's a man who gets things done, is good at what he does, and enjoys the pleasures his job affords him. However, he is plagued by nightmares where his victims kill him. He knows deep down he will need to pay the price for what he has down and is secretly terrified of his final judgement.Then he meets the Word and realizes the time of his reckoning has come.
This kind of subconscious prodding happens in real life. I can't tell you how many people's testimonies I have heard where God was slowly waking them up to their sin. That's another way to add authenticity to story: read or hear real stories. It doesn't get any real than that! How did people come to God? The stories are as varied as the people themselves.
When the scene between the Word and Caleb finally happens, it's in book 2. The seeds were planted and now Caleb makes a choice, and chooses what the Word offers. He's now going to become this amazing, godly man, right? Wrong. Again, pointing at real life, salvation is like a spark of life that grows over time and changes us. Caleb is still Caleb, but through book 2 and 3 you seem him change (but not sissified, he's still that same get things done, action oriented man).
The gospel, spread out over 3 books, but in an organic way. And that is one character's journey. There are three more characters, including the main character Rowen.
I think another way to have authenticity is to show good people who don't believe. I hate books where there seems to be an "us vs. them' feel, you know, the good guys are Christians and the bad guys aren't. That's not the way it is in real life. I've been some very nice, friendly people who don't believe in God. And I've met people who follow God and are vicious.
As far as swearing, sexual situations, etc... I think that is between the writer, God, and his or her editor. My book is for adults and although I don't have outright swearing or bedroom scenes, you know they are there because people like Caleb (my assassin) don't use words like darn. But there are ways to let the reader know the background and nature of a character without wading through all the darkness. I would also ask why such things need to be added. I personally don't believe in shock value. There needs to be a reason for showing the darker side of life. If not, it should be cut.
Young Christian writers do not need to downplay their worldview; their are many young writers out there who have no problem displaying their worldview within the pages of their stories. But there is a difference between spouting the faith you've learned in Sunday school and the faith you've learned in real life. One is a head knowledge, the other comes from living it. It is the faith that is lived and refined by fire that comes across as most authentic. Strive for that one.
So well put, again! I think there are writers and artists who are Christians but they have accepted the rhetoric of secularism, which essentially tells us, "Not your religion, but mine." And so we contort ourselves to create crossover stories that won't offend secularists (which we'd all be were it not for the extravagant grace of God in Christ), and we then measure the authenticity of our work by how much it is like what unbelievers write or paint or whatever. I think that the insistence that unbelief is the centrist position, the middle way, has done more to intimidate many of us Christians into silence than anything else. And I completely concur, on the other hand, that the superficial token Christian message pasted-in to assuage our conscience so we can get back to what we really want to write about is not only bad fiction, but it is bad theology. I remember reading something Elizabeth Elliot wrote on writing, "Never strive for style; strive for authenticity." There's nothing more real, more authentic that the good news of what Jesus has fully accomplished in the gospel; maybe it's because it is so difficult to depict authentic goodness without sentimentality that we have such a problem here. But your comments on the gospel being integrated into the entire story is the key. Well said.
How about if we change the pace for a bit? If you could sit down with any three people from the past who would they be, why would you choose them, what would you want to talk about with them, and what would you want to eat and drink with them?
Hmm, I think I would like to talk to Peter's wife (the apostle Peter), Jeremiah (the prophet), and L. M. Montgomery (author of Anne of Green Gables). Peter's wife because I would love to know what it was like to be married to Peter and be part of the first church. What advice would she give me as a pastor's wife? I would like to ask Jeremiah how did he not lose his faith after serving Israel for 40 years and see nothing earthly for it. And Ms. Montgomery for advice on writing. I think we would all sit down for tea and cake :)
Would you be willing to give readers a peek at a favorite description of a person or place or a favorite dialogue exchange from your writing? And then a link to where readers can find out more about your books?
Here is a passage early on in Daughter of Light where Rowen's power first appears (she finds out later she is a Truthsayer and possesses the ability to see inside the human soul).
Cleon stopped and turned to face her. “You must know why I’ve asked you here.” He stood so close that Rowen had to look up. She could see each dark curly strand around his face. Her heart began to thud inside her chest. Perhaps coming with
Cleon had been a bad idea.
Cleon didn’t wait for her to answer. Instead he placed his hands on her shoulders.
“Cleon, wait.” Rowen took a step back. He was moving too fast—
Cleon moved in close again. “You must realize that not many men in our village would think of bonding with you.” Cleon looked down at her. Rowen could smell the smoke of the smithy on his clothing. “But times have changed. Your father has died—” Rowen scowled at his calloused words— “leaving you all alone. But I can change that.”
He placed a rough, thick hand on her cheek. Rowen turned away. Cleon forced her face back. “I want you to bond withme.” He moved his head down to kiss her. Rowen tried to twist away. Cleon forced her face still and pressed his lips hard down on hers.
Rowen jerked out of his grasp. “Cleon, no!”
His head followed her movement. “I can take care of you, Rowen. And you know no other man will have you.”
Cleon tightened his grip on her shoulders. Rowen grabbed his wrist and—Time slowed.
A strange sensation rose from deep within her, racing toward her right arm. It surged out where her palm held his wrist.
Here is a link to the first two books in the Follower of the Word series: http://www.marcherlordpress.com/?s=morgan+l+busse&post_type=product
Thanks so much, Morgan L. Busse!
And thanks to you readers; it's nice for you "to pause" at my site.
Continue hunting here: http://wp.me/pYcFg-xi
John Calvin on music and singing (commentary on Genesis)
“There is scarcely anything in this world which can more turn or bend hither and thither the ways of men… Music has a secret and almost incredible power to move hearts…”
SELECT MUSIC MENU
CREATOR GOD, OUR SOVEREIGN LORD, by Douglas Bond; MUSIC: Paul Jones
COME BLESS THE LORD, by Douglas Bond; MUSIC: Ron Bechtel
WE RISE AND WORSHIP, by Douglas Bond; MUSIC: Paul Jones
WE RISE AND WORSHIP, by Douglas Bond; MUSIC: Scott Johnson
WE RISE AND WORSHIP, by Douglas Bond; MUSIC: Edvard Grieg
TRIUMPHANT JESUS, by Douglas Bond; MUSIC: Paul Jones
IF I CAN SPEAK IN TONGUES OF FIRE, by Douglas Bond; MUSIC: Ron Bechtel
IF I CAN SPEAK IN TONGUES OF FIRE, by Douglas Bond; MUSIC: Paul Jones
KING JESUS REIGNS, by Douglas Bond; MUSIC: Ron Bechtel
KING JESUS REIGNS, by Douglas Bond; MUSIC: Paul Jones
OUR GOD IN ALL THINGS WORKS FOR GOOD, by Douglas Bond; MUSIC: Ron Bechtel
THE LORD, GREAT SOVEREIGN, by Douglas Bond; MUSIC: Paul Jones
WE HAIL THE CHRIST, by Douglas Bond; MUSIC: none
This December, 2009 hymn poetry text has no music yet written for it...