POLITICAL SERMONS FROM PASTORS IN THE FOUNDING ERA
Pastor Roger Anghis
July 7, 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
All through Samuel West's discourse he has been careful to make sure he differentiates between rouge disobedience to lawful authority and righteous resistance to tryanny. "The more we understand the principles of liberty, the more readily shall we yield obedience to lawful authority; for no man can oppose good government but he that is a stranger to true liberty. Let us ever check and restrain the factious disturbers of the peace; whenever we meet with persons that are loth to submit to lawful authority, let us treat them with the contempt which they deserve, and ever esteem them as the enemies of their country and the pests of society. It is with peculiar pleasure that I reflect upon the peaceable behavior of my countrymen at a time when the courts of justice were stopped and the execution of laws suspended. It will certainly be expected of a people that could behave so well when they had nothing to restrain them but the laws written in their hearts, that they will yield all ready and cheerful obedience to lawful authority." (Emphasis mine)
West constantly refers to importance character in a man. This is a subject that is not taught in too many churches today. Notice the even when Britain usurped the Colonies established legal system the Colonists refrained from using force immediately. They were willing to try to negotiate the return of the established legal system, but at the same time they were also willing to take a stand and do whatever was necessary to correct the wrong done to them. "There is at present the utmost need of guarding ourselves against a seditious and fictions temper; for when we are engaged with so powerful an enemy from without, our political salvation, under God, does, in an eminent manner, depend upon our being firmly united together in the bonds of love to one another, and of due submission to lawful authority. I hope we shall never give any just occasion to our adversaries to reproach us as being men of turbulent dispositions and licentious principles, that cannot bear to be restrained by good and wholesome laws, even though they are of our own making, nor submit to rulers of our own choosing. But I have reason to hope much better things of my countrymen, though I thus speak. However, in this time of difficulty and distress, we cannot be too much guarded against the least approaches to discord and faction. Let us, while we are jealous of our rights, take heed of unreasonable suspicions and evil surmises which have no proper foundation ; let us take heed lest we hurt the cause of liberty by speaking evil of the ruler of the people." (Emphasis mine)
West warns us about having unqualified people in positions of authority. "Let us ever abhor the base arts that are used by fawning parasites and cringing courtiers, who by their low artifices and base flatteries obtain offices and posts which they are unqualified to sustain, and honors of which they are unworthy, and oftentimes have a greater number of places assigned them than any one person of the greatest abilities can ever properly fill, by means of which the community becomes greatly injured, for this reason, that many an important trust remains undischarged, and many an honest and worthy member of society is deprived of those honors and privileges to which he has a just right, whilst the most despicable, worthless courtier is loaded with honorable and profitable commissions. In order to avoid this evil, I hope our legislators will always despise flattery as something below the dignity of a rational mind, and that they will ever scorn the man that will be corrupted or take a bribe." (Emphasis mine)
This is a problem we have today with so many people in office that lack intelligence. One Representative from the Democrat Party was against adding to our military base in Guam because he was afraid that the added buildings and people would cause the island to tip over. Another Democrat Representative thought that we have been under our Constitution for 400 years. Our Congress passed a healthcare bill that they are exempt from but we are fined for if we do not participate. The tyranny they faced was the cause of the Revolutionary War, the tyranny we face today is no less demanding of the same.
In concluding his sermon West reads from the book of Revelation concerning the beast with seven heads giving an example of the worst tyranny man will ever encounter and concludes with: "We have here set forth in the clearest manner, by the inspired apostle, God's abhorrence of tyranny and tyrants, together with the idolatrous reverence that their wretched subjects are wont to pay them, and the awful denunciation of divine wrath against those who are guilty of this undue obedience to tyrants.
Does it not, then, highly concern us all to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Heaven hath made us free, and to strive to get the victory over the beast and his image — over every species of tyranny? Let us look upon a freedom from the power of tyrants as a blessing that cannot be purchased too dear, and let us bless God that he has so far delivered us from that idolatrous reverence which men are so very apt to pay to arbitrary tyrants; and let us pray that he would be pleased graciously to perfect the mercy he has begun to show us by confounding the devices of our enemies and bringing their counsels to nought, and by establishing our just rights and privileges upon such a firm and lasting basis that the powers of earth and hell shall not prevail against it." (Emphasis mine)
West's prayer is a prayer that we need to pray today that the present administrations plans for America will not be manifested. As West called upon the elected representatives of his day we need to call on the representatives of our day: "Honored fathers, we look up to you, in this day of calamity and distress, as the guardians of our invaded rights, and the defenders of our liberties against British tyranny.
You are called, in Providence, to save your country from ruin. A trust is reposed in you of the highest importance to the community that can be conceived of, its business the most noble and grand, and a task the most arduous and difficult to accomplish that ever engaged the human mind—I mean as to things of the present life.
But as you are engaged in the defense of a just and righteous cause, you may with firmness of mind commit your cause to God, and depend on his kind providence for direction and assistance. You will have the fervent wishes and prayers of all good men that God would crown all your labors with success, and direct you into such measures a community, and afford you all that wisdom and prudence which is necessary to regulate the affairs of state at this critical period." (Emphasis mine)
If our officials would do this today we could make the turnaround of America quickly but God has been removed from the nation that He helped establish. How much longer can we be a nation when we have forgotten that Great Friend?
Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers
Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), pp.315-316.
2. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), p. 316.
3. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), p. 317.
4. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), p. 321.
� 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