POLITICAL SERMONS FROM PASTORS IN THE FOUNDING ERA
Pastor Roger Anghis
August 3, 2014
A SERMON PREACHED BEFORE THE Honorable COUNCIL, AND THE HONORABLE House of Representatives, OF THE State of Massachusetts-Bay, IN New-England, AT Boston, May 27, 1778.
Being the Anniversary for the Election OF THE honorable COUNCIL. By PHILLIPS PAYSON, A. M. Pastor of a Church in Chelsea.
BUT JERURSALEM, WHICH IS ABOVE, IS FREE, WHICH IS THE MOTHER OF US ALL. SO THEN, BRETHREN WE ARE NOT CHILDREN OF THE BOND WOMAN, BUT OF THE FREE. — Gal. iv. 26, 31.
Payson begins to expand on his explanation of morals and virtues being paramount to maintaining good government. He clarified that education was one of the most important parts of the foundation of good government and now he mentions some of the vices that tend to sway man's thinking and character. "Public spirit, through human imperfection, is in danger of degenerating to selfish passion, which has a malignant influence on public measures. This danger is the greater because the corruption is not commonly owned, nor soon discerned. Such as are the most diseased with it are apt to be the most insensible to their error.
The exorbitant wealth of individuals has a most baneful influence on public virtue, and therefore should be carefully guarded, against. It is, however, acknowledged to be a difficult matter to secure a state from evils and mischief's from this quarter; because, as the world goes, and is like to go, wealth and riches will have their commanding influence. The public interest being a remoter object than that of self, hence persons in power are so generally disposed to turn it to their own advantage. A wicked rich man, we see, soon corrupts a whole neighborhood, and a few of them will poison the morals of a whole community. This sovereign power of interest seems to have been much the source of modern politics abroad, and has given birth to such maxims of policy as these, viz., that "the wealth of a people is their truest honor," that "every man has his price," that " the longest purse, and not the longest sword, will finally be victorious." But we trust and hope that American virtue will be sufficient to convince the world that such maxims are base, are ill-founded, and altogether unfit and improper to influence and lead in government. " (Emphasis mine throughout)
Payson points to the dangers of wealth. Those that become wealthy begin to worship the wealth instead of the God Who made them wealthy. This is the danger that he speaks of and we have seen the results of this throughout history and we are seeing the results today with the Obama's tripling their net worth in the few years they have been in power while at the same time Obama says to Americans that 'at some time you have made enough.', yet he continues to gain wealth. Payson points out that in the beginning stages of the growth of America that these dangers are not imminent but will be so as the nation grows and wealth is accumulated "In the infancy of states there is not commonly so much danger of these mischiefs, because the love of liberty and public virtue are then more general and vigorous; but the danger is apt to increase with the wealth of individuals. These observations are founded upon such well-known facts, that the rulers of a free state have sufficient warning to guard against the evils. The general diffusion of knowledge is the best preservative against them, and the likeliest method to beget and increase that public virtue, which, under God, will prove, like the promises of the gospel, an impregnable bulwark to the state. "
Payson takes a stand on the one item of importance to good government and that is religion. Keep in mind this was not a random reference to just any and all religions it was a specific reference to Christianity. All through America's history up to the Revolutionary War when religion was mentioned it was a direct reference to Christianity. When one asked what religion are you they were wanting to know if they were Baptist, Episcopalian, Methodist, or one of the other denominations of Christianity. So this reference Payson makes is talking only about the precepts and concepts of Christianity. "I must not forget to mention religion, both in rulers and people, as of the highest importance to the public. This is the most sacred principle that can dwell in the human breast. It is of the highest importance to men, —the most perfective of the human soul. The truths of the gospel are the most pure, its motives the most noble and animating, and its comforts the most supporting to the mind. The importance of religion to civil society and government is great indeed, as it keeps alive the best sense of moral obligation, a matter of such extensive utility, especially in respect to an oath, which is one of the principal instruments of government.
The fear and reverence of God, and the terrors of eternity, are the most powerful restraints upon the minds of men ; and hence it is of special importance in a free government, the spirit of which being always friendly to the sacred rights of conscience, it will hold up the gospel as the great rule of faith and practice. Established modes and usages in religion, more especially the stated public worship of God, so generally form the principles and manners of a people, that changes or alterations in these, especially when nearly conformed to the spirit and simplicity of the gospel, may well be esteemed very dangerous experiments in government. For this, and other reasons, the thoughtful and wise among us trust that our civil fathers, from a regard to gospel worship and the constitution of these churches, will carefully preserve them, and at all times guard against every innovation that might tend to overset the public worship of God, though such innovations may be urged from the most foaming zeal."
From this statement we see that the feelings of the day, as it should be today as well, is that the precepts of Christianity were of the utmost importance to upholding the character and moral standing of society and government. There have been some that in reviewing this series have denied any of the facts that America was founded on Christian principles and that the Founders lived by those principles even though all of the evidence points that way. These people are fools who refuse to accept the unchangeable facts. It has been stated in the Founders own words that the principles of Christianity were the foundation of their lives, businesses and their form of government that included the influence of Christianity on how government was operated. You'll even notice that Payson declares that it was the government's responsibility to insure that public worship of God was not to be altered from the way it was being done at that time and that any change in that method was a dangerous experiment. He goes on to say that any alteration would create a chaos and disorder. He stresses that the best character is only formed through the teachings of Christ.
"Persons of a gloomy, ghostly, and mystic cast, absorbed in visionary scenes, deserve but little notice in matters either of religion or government. Let the restraints of religion once be broken down, as they infallibly would be by leaving the subject of public worship to the humors of the multitude, and we might well defy all human wisdom and power to support and i) reserve order and government in the state. Human conduct and character can never be better formed than upon the principles of our holy religion; they give the justest sense, the most adequate views, of the duties between rulers and people, and are the best principles in the world to carry the ruler through the duties of his station; and in case a series of faithful services should be followed with popular censure, as may be the case, yet the religious ruler will find the approbation of his conscience a noble reward."
Again we see the proof that the Founders held our Christian faith as the foundation of a good society, good business, personal life, and government that would insure that our Christian rights and principles would be maintained. We have seen the government and primarily the courts remove some of the foundational blocks of American society all for the sake of political correctness. As I have stated many times, if you are being politically correct, you are most likely wrong. I have yet to see a case where political correctness has created a better situation. Our need to get back to the basics that these ministers preached is paramount in these days.
Click here for part -----> 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50,
Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers
Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), p. 340.
2. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), pp. 340-341.
3. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), pp. 341-342.
4. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), pp. 342-343.
� 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