POLITICAL SERMONS FROM PASTORS IN THE FOUNDING ERA
Pastor Roger Anghis
June 15, 2014
Preached before the Honorable Council, And the honorable House of Representatives of the Colony of the Massachusetts-Bay, in New-England. MAY 29th, 1776.
Being the Anniversary for the Election of THE honorable COUNCIL FOR the Colony. By Pastor Samuel West of Dartmouth.
And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counselors as at the beginning : afterward thou shalt be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city, Isaiah 4:26:
Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregations shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them : and their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them, Jeremiah 30:20- 21.
As free and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of GOD, 1 Peter 2: 16.
The beast that thou sawest, shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition : and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast. Revelation 17:8
West continues with his message that even calls for a separation from Great Britain because England has begun to attempt to drain the resources of America to maintain their excessive lifestyle: "Reason and equity require that no one be obliged to pay a tax that he has never consented to, either by himself or by his representative. But, as Divine Providence has placed us at so great a distance from Great Britain that we neither are nor can be properly represented in the British Parliament, it is a plain proof that the Deity designed that we should have the powers of legislation and taxation among ourselves; for can any suppose it to be reasonable that a set of men that are perfect strangers to us should have the uncontrollable right to lay the most heavy and grievous burdens upon us that they please, purely to gratify their unbounded avarice and luxury?
Must we be obliged to perish with cold and hunger to maintain them in idleness, in all kinds of debauchery and dissipation? But if they have the right to take our property from us without our consent, we must be wholly at their mercy for our food and raiment, and we know by sad experience that their tender mercies are cruel. But because we were not willing to submit to such an unrighteous and cruel decree,—though we modestly complained and humbly petitioned for a redress of our grievances, — instead of hearing our complaints, and granting our requests, they have gone on to add iniquity to transgression, by making several cruel and unrighteous acts.
Who can forget the cruel act to block up the harbor of Boston, whereby thousands of innocent persons must have been inevitably ruined had they not been supported by the continent? Who can forget the act for vacating our charter, together with many other cruel acts which it is needless to mention? But, not being able to accomplish their wicked purposes by mere acts of Parliament, they have proceeded to commence - open hostilities against us, and have endeavored to destroy us by fire and sword. Our towns they have burnt, our brethren they have slain, our vessels they have taken, and our goods they have spoiled. And, after all this wanton exertion of arbitrary power, is there the man that has any of the feeling of humanity left who is not fired with a noble indignation against such merciless tyrants, who have not only brought upon us all the horrors of a civil war, but have also added a piece of barbarity unknown to Turks and Mohammedan infidels, yea, such as would be abhorred and detested by the savages of the wilderness,! mean their cruelly forcing our brethren whom they have taken prisoners, without any distinction of whig or tory, to serve on board their ships of war, thereby obliging them to take up arms against their own countrymen, and to fight against their brethren, their wives, arid their children, and to assist in plundering their own estates !" (Emphasis mine)
You can note that they did attempt to reverse the rulings from Great Britain but were met with even more tyranny in the form of more regulations and higher taxes and the removal of their most reliable source for goods and commerce, Boston Harbor. The Colonists all depended on the commerce that Boston Harbor supplied and when Great Britain blocked the harbor all manner of goods stopped flowing into the Colonies from food to materials and tools. The Colonists considered this act an act of outright tyranny. He continues to express his belief that we owe it to God and Country to defend our liberties to the last drop of blood: "It would be highly criminal not to feel a due resentment against such tyrannical monsters. It is an indispensable duty, my brethren, which we owe to God and our country, to rouse up and bestir ourselves, and, being animated with a noble zeal for the sacred cause of liberty, to defend our lives and fortunes, even to the shedding the last drop of blood. The love of our country, the tender affection that we have for our wives and children, the regard we ought to have for unborn posterity, yea, everything that is dear and sacred, do now loudly call upon us to use our best endeavors to save our country. We must beat our ploughshares into swords, and our pruning-hooks into spears, and learn the art of self-defense against our enemies.
To be careless and remiss, or to neglect the cause of our country through the base motives of avarice and self-interest, will expose us not only to the resentments of our fellow-creatures, but to the displeasure of God Almighty; for to such base wretches, in such a time as this, we may apply with the utmost propriety that passage in Jeremiah xlviii. 10: " Cursed be he that doth the work of the Lord deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood." To save our country from the hands of our oppressors ought to be dearer to us even than our own lives, and, next the eternal salvation of our own souls, is the thing of the greatest importance,—a duty so sacred that it cannot justly be dispensed with for the sake of our secular concerns." (Emphasis mine)
West was not the only person that believed that fighting for the liberties that America represented were worth fighting for. In a pamphlet printed the year before this message by Samuel and Ebenezer Hall this same sentiment is voiced: "In Provincial Congress, Concord, April 5th, 1775. Whereas the Lust of Power which of old oppressed, persecuted, and exiled our pious and virtuous ancestors from their fair possessions in Britain, now pursues, with tenfold severity, us, their guiltless children, who are unjustly and wickedly charged with Licentiousness, Sedition, Treason, and Rebellion; and being deeply impressed with a Sense of the almost incredible Fatigues and Hardships our venerable Progenitors encountered, who fled from Oppression for the sake of civil and religious Liberty for themselves and their offspring, and began a settlement here on bare Creation, at their own expense; and having seriously considered the Duty we owe to God, to the Memory of such invincible "Worthies, to the King, to Great Britain, our Country, ourselves and Posterity, do think it an indispensable Duty, by all lawful Ways and Means in our Power, to recover, maintain, defend, and preserve the free exercise of all those civil and religious Rights and Liberties for which many of our Forefathers fought, bled, and died, and to hand them down entire for the free Enjoyment of the latest Posterity;" and they " recommend " fiftythree articles for the regulation of " the Army that may be raised," etc. Article one is that " all officers and soldiers .... shall diligently frequent Divine Service and Sermons." The whole is " signed by order of the Provincial Congress." John Hancock, President." (Emphasis mine)
West, even though a pastor has taken the responsibility to build the fire of freedom and liberty in the hearts and minds of the people. This is the mandate that God has given all ministers of the Gospel. Most ignore that responsibility and it is being done to the detriment of America's freedoms.
Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers
Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), pp. 306-307.
2. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), pp. 309-311.
3. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), p. 310.
� 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