POLITICAL SERMONS FROM PASTORS IN THE FOUNDING ERA
Pastor Roger Anghis
January 19, 2014
Langdon has begun to paint a picture of the condition of America, its good points and its bad points. Even though in his day the exercising of their faith was much more prevalent than in today’s society they had begun to see the public’s stand waver. He calls their turning from God rebellion, I can only imagine what he would think of today’s society. “We have rebelled against God. We have lost the true spirit of Christianity, though we retain the outward profession and form of it. We have neglected and set light by the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and his holy commands and institutions. The worship of many is but mere compliment to the Deity, while their hearts are far from him. By many the gospel is corrupted into a superficial system of moral philosophy, little better than ancient Platonism; and, after all the pretended refinements of moderns in the theory of Christianity, very little of the pure practice of it is to be found among those who once stood foremost in the profession of the gospel.” (Emphasis mine)
This was also a reference to the British Empire as America was still part of that empire and what he saw happening to Britain was a moral decay from the godly foundations they were established on: “In a general view of the present moral state of Great Britain it may be said, “There is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land." By swearing, and lying:, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery," their wickedness breaks out, and one murder after another is committed, under the connivance and encouragement even of that authority by which such crimes ought to be punished, that the purposes of oppression and despotism may be answered. As they have increased, so have they sinned ; therefore God is changing their glory into shame. The general prevalence of vice has changed the whole face of things in the British government.” (Emphasis mine)
Langdon is condemning Britain for falling away from the principles that made the nation great, the Word of God. Though they never had a government like America established, Britain had based is government on Christian principles as best could be applied under a monarch. He describes, in depth, the state that Britain had fallen. The expenditures paid royalty for its demand for opulence all at the expense of the common people was repugnant to Americans. They were continually taxed so royalty could live high. It is a little reminiscent of how our present administration lives with its multimillion dollar vacations while 47% of Americans are on some sort of government subsidy. Langdon states: “And what shall we say if, in the same manner, by places, pensions, and other bribes, a minister of the crown can at any time gain over a nobler majority likewise to be entirely subservient to his purposes, and, moreover, persuade his royal master to resign himself up wholly to the direction of his counsels? If this should be the case of any nation, from one seven years' end to another, the bargain and sale being made sure for such a period, would they still have reason to boast of their excellent constitution? Ought they not rather to think it high time to restore the corrupted, dying state to its original perfection?
I will apply this to the Roman senate under Julius Caesar, which retained all its ancient formalities, but voted always only as Caesar dictated. If the decrees of such a senate were urged on the Romans, as fraught with all the blessings of Roman liberty, we must suppose them strangely deluded if they were persuaded to believe it. The pretence for taxing America has been that the nation contracted an immense debt for the defense of the American colonies, and that, as they are now able to contribute some proportion towards the discharge of this debt, and must be considered as part of the nation, it is reasonable they should be taxed, and the Parliament has a right to tax and govern them, in all cases whatever, by its own supreme, authority. Enough has been already published on this grand controversy, which now threatens a final separation of the colonies from Great Britain. But can the amazing national debt be paid by a little trifling sum, squeezed from year to year out of America, which is continually drained of all its cash by a restricted trade with the parent country, and which in this way is taxed to the government of Britain in a very large proportion ?” (Emphasis mine)
Langdon calls for Britain to return to the godly principles but also letting Massachusetts know that they also need to maintain their diligence concerning God’s Word as well: “Would not a reverend regard to the authority of divine revelation, a hearty belief of the gospel of the grace of God, and a general reformation of all those vices which bring misery and ruin upon individuals, families, and kingdoms, and which have provoked Heaven to bring the nation into such perplexed and dangerous circumstances, be the surest way to recover the sinking state, and make it again rich and flourishing?” (Emphasis mine)
Langdon’s concentration on government maintaining godly characteristics is something that virtually all pastors in the Founding Era did. Character was paramount and they considered the Christian character the noblest of all. Just as in Langdon’s day we too have massive corruption in our government that is doing all it can to become all authority to the people. Our nation was not founded upon government being the supplier of all things but as a government to protect the rights that God has given man. They weren’t looking for a handout but for the opportunity to make it on their own without government interference and regulation. The Obama administration has averaged 65 new regulations on businesses every day that he has been in office and looking to do even more. This is not what our Founders envisioned for America. Langdon’s description of the British government is one that mimics today’s government. Corrupt, over reaching and does not have the interest of the people in mind. Their only concern was (is) lining their own pockets without regard as to who gets hurt in the process. Langdon and the other preachers preached against this type of government as the preachers of today should preach against the government we have today.
Langdon calls for repentance from the Colonies, as did many preachers during this time: “May God, in his great mercy, recover Great Britain from this fatal infatuation, show them their errors, and give them a spirit of reformation, before it is too late to avert impending destruction ! May the eyes of the king be opened to see the ruinous tendency of the measures into which he has been led, and his heart inclined to treat his American subjects with justice and clemency, instead of forcing them still further to the last extremities! God grant some method may be found out to effect a happy reconciliation, so that the colonies may again enjoy the protection of their sovereign, with perfect security of all their natural rights and civil and religious liberties. But, alas ! have not the sins of America, and of New England in particular, had a hand in bringing down upon us the righteous judgments of Heaven? Wherefore is all this evil come upon us ? Is it not because we have forsaken the Lord ? Can we say we are innocent of crimes against God? No, surely. It becomes us to humble ourselves under his mighty hand, that he may exalt us in due time.” (Emphasis mine)
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Langdon was quick to point out the faults of England but at the same time he didn’t ignore the faults of the Colonies either. During this lead up to the Revolutionary War it wasn’t just the preachers but the elected officials of the Colonies as England had not replace every elected official, that called for repentance, prayer and fasting and the importance of seeking God’s face.
We don’t see many churches that call for this let alone government officials so is it any wonder that America is in the shape that it is in? It is the churches responsibility to turn this nation around as it was the churches responsibility to keep the nation on the right path in the Founding Era.
Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers
Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), p. 244.
2. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), pp. 246-247.
3. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), pp. 246-247
4. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), pp. 247
5. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), pp. 248-249.
� 2014 Roger Anghis - All Rights Reserved
Pastor Roger Anghis is the Founder of RestoreFreeSpeech.org, an organization designed to draw attention to the need of returning free speech rights to churches that was restricted in 1954.
President of The Damascus Project, TheDamascusProject.org, which has a stated purpose of teaching pastors and lay people the need of the churches involvement in the political arena and to teach the historical role of Christianity in the politics of the United States. Married-37 years, 3 children, three grandchildren.
Web site: RestoreFreeSpeech.org