Shadrach is one of the Three Young Men (along with Meshach and Abednego). In the Old Testament, King Nebuchadnezzar II decreed that he should be worshipped as a god. The Three Young Men refused, and the king ordered that they be thrown into a furnace that was seven times hotter than usual. But an angel appeared, shielding them from the flames, and Nebuchadnezzar was converted.
" First Purchase African M.E. Church was in the Quarters outside the southern town limits "
The church visited and belonging to the African-American population of Maycomb was called "First Purchase" as freed slaves used their first earnings to pay for it to be built.
After slavery was abolished, freed blacks established separate congregations and church facilities, creating communities and worshipping in culturally distinct ways. They had already created a unique and empowering form of Christianity that creolized African spiritual traditions. Segregationist attitudes discouraged or, in the South, actually prevented African-Americans from worshipping in the same churches as whites.
" At each seat was a cheap cardboard fan bearing a garish Garden of Gethsemane "
The Garden of Gethsemane is the garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem where Jesus and his disciples prayed the night before Jesus' crucifixion.
Jesus and his disciples had just celebrated the Passover when they came to the Garden. At some point, Jesus took three of them—Peter, James and John— to a place apart from the others. Here, Jesus asked them to watch with him and pray so they would not fall into temptation (as said in Matthew 26:41), but they fell asleep. Twice Jesus had to wake them and remind them to pray so that they would not fall into temptation.
William Blackstone was an 18th century English judge, jurist and professor. He produced an historical and analytical treatise on the common law entitled 'Commentaries on the Laws of England'. These commentaries concern politics, laws and the state. Blackstone also published the first scholarly edition of the Magna Carta.
A Rice Christian is someone who has become a Christian for material benefits. The term comes from Asia. In India, for example, many Indians converted to Christianity in the hope of attracting charity - food and material goods - from Christian missionaries.
" Or two dumpy country-women in straw hats sitting in a Hoover cart. "
During the Great Depression, many automobile owners could not afford to power their cars, as petrol was too expensive. They devised a way to use their cars without petrol by cutting off the rear end of the vehicle, attaching a tongue to it and using a horse or mule to pull their car like a cart. These carts were nicknamed 'Hoover carts' after the president at the time, Herbert Hoover.
Today, the term 'Hoover cart' is sometimes used to refer to shopping trolleys used by the homeless to hold all their belongings.