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Bible Reading Does Not Guarantee Invincibility

In his book Mayflower, historian Nathaniel Philbrick recounts the struggle of the Pilgrims during the shaping of early America. Although the first Pilgrims managed to establish a peaceful relationship with the Native Americans, the following generation devolved into bloody warfare. The war, known as King Philip's War, began in 1675 and lasted 14 months.

One conflict between the two groups is notable because of the minimal number of casualties. In March of 1676, a group of Indians numbering as many as 1,500 attacked the village of Rehoboth. Philbrick writes:

As the inhabitants watched from their garrisons, 40 houses, 30 barns, and 2 mills went up in flames. Only one person was killed—a man who believed that as long as he continued reading the Bible, no harm would come to him. Refusing to abandon his home, he was found shot to death in his chair—the Bible still in his hands.

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