Van der Jagt, Anton, The Secret Mission: A Huguenot’s Dangerous Adventures in the Land of Persecution (based on historical facts). Neerlandia, AB / Pella, IA: Inheritance Publications, 2000. 187 pp. $14.95 CN, $10.95, paperback.
Thanks to the interest and ingenuity of the publisher and his wife, the Janssens, a fine series of novels called the Huguenot Inheritance Series is being put together. The volume we look at this month is number two.
At present, two volumes are yet to be published. The first two are more recent writings; the rest are reprints of books about one hundred years old. Thus the writing style does vary.
At the end of Van der Jagt’s volume there is a short and helpful history of the French Reformed Church. The French Protestants were called “Huguenots”. Many Dutch people have their roots in those staunch but persecuted families. The reading of this short essay is a must for all who claim to be Reformed.
Van der Jagt’s story is about a young man, a Huguenot, who escaped to Holland from France. He returns on an official, but secret, mission of the Dutch government. Besides, he has a personal mission: to locate his father who is serving as a galley slave - the lot of many a Huguenot. The story lays before the reader his spiritual courage as he accomplishes both of his missions.
While this volume is historical fiction, it is based upon facts. Even some real names are used and the references to them are actually true. There is no better way to get introduced to historical events than by means of historical fiction. Of course, our interest should go beyond the fiction; but our interest in what is beyond should be piqued by it. It might do us and our youth some good to know something of the human fear, the sufferings, and the deep trust these Reformed people experienced. Will we one day experience the same?
This is certainly an important book for young people and adults, alike.