On November 5, 1605, a group of Roman Catholics attempted to blow up the Protestant controlled Parliament in England. The plot, however, was foiled due to the providence of God. Guy Fawlkes was caught and ultimately was "persuaded" to expose his co-conspirators. In his confession, he related the full details of the plot, which included the assassination of James the First. This was the same James who a year earlier had authorized the translation and publication of the Bible into English which was later published in 1611.
Not being particularly studious of English history, I never knew about this date until the motion picture V for Vendetta came out in 2006. I merely looked at the movie as a sci-fi morality tale in which the liberal producers where attempting to portray then President George W. Bush as the megalomaniac Chancellor Adam Sutler (portrayed by John Hurt).
What was interesting to me, was that the producers portrayed Guy Fawlkes as a hero attempting to "free" the English people from the tyranny of an unjust Parliament. I guess that truth is stranger than fiction based on what the reality of the gunpowder conspiracy. It's too bad that the producers of V for Vendetta choose to rewrite history by making Guy Fawlkes a freedom fighter, rather than a Romanist who was attempting to return England back to the control of Pope.
It is clear, as one looks at history, that God had His hand in events. Imagine if the gunpowder plot had succeeded, and England was returned to the Pope? Would the American colonies be founded, and ultimately forming the United States of America if they were Roman Catholic? Would England have remained a world player after the decapitation of the English government that the gunpowder plot had as its aim? Would Protestantism had succeeded without the economic and political power of England?
These are questions that can be pondered, but ultimately the answer is that history is His Story. The hearts of kings are like streams in the hands of God that He bends as He wills (Proverbs 21:1). I, for one, am thankful that God is in control over every aspect of His creation, including the hearts of men. That power keeps men from being as evil as they can.
So what should be remembered on the fifth of November? Should it be the foiling of the gunpowder conspiracy and Guy Fawlkes the Romanist who was attempting to end the reign of the most powerful Protestant nation on the earth at that time? No, what should be remembered is that God is in control, and will bring His truth to bear on an unbelieving earth.