POLITICAL SERMONS FROM PASTORS IN THE FOUNDING ERA
Pastor Roger Anghis
August 10, 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 has been listing the things that are essential to good government and the last issue he talked about the importance the Founders put in the Christian religion. This week we will look at other aspects the Founders considered absolutely necessary for good government. Remember, it was the pastors that instilled these ideals into the minds of the people and had been doing so since the first pilgrims landed. "Many other things might be mentioned as circumstances much in favor of a free government and public liberty, as where the inhabitants of a state can, in general, give their suffrages in person, and men of abilities are dispersed in the several parts of a state capable of public office and station ; especially if there is a general distribution of property, and the landed interest not engrossed by a few, but possessed by the inhabitants in general through the state.
Things of this nature wear a kind aspect. But, for the preservation and permanence of the state, it is of still higher importance that its internal strength be supported upon the great pillars of capacity, defense, and union. The full liberty of the press— that eminent instrument of promoting knowledge, and great palladium of the public liberty —being enjoyed, the learned professions directed to the public good, the great principles of legislation and government, the great examples and truths of history, the maxims of generous and upright policy, and the severer truths of philosophy investigated and apprehended by a general application to books, and by observation and experiment, — are means by which the capacity of a state will be strong and respectable, and the number of superior minds will be daily increasing." (Emphasis mine throughout)
Notice his comment on a free press. This was mentioned because the crown governed what the press was allowed to print. What government was doing was not always allowed to be announced to the public. This present administration has attempted on many occasions to control the media even threatening a reporter with FOX News concerning their reporting of the Benghazi murders. The biggest problem we have today is most of the media refuses to report the truth about what government does. When G. W. Bush was president the media announced every day the casualties in the Gulf War but when Obama was elected you almost never hear about the war even though we've lost more than twice the troops under Obama's six year presidency than all of Bush's presidency. There is a danger when the news is controlled by government but the dangers of the news being controlled by the media can be just as dangerous.
Payson mentions a good moral character as necessary for good government and points out that selfish interests in those in authority are always dangerous. We saw these character traits called for by the other pastors we have studied in this series. "Strength, courage, and military discipline being, under God, the great defense of a state, as these are cultivated and improved the public defense will increase ; and if there is added to these a general union, a spirit of harmony, the internal strength and beauty of the state will be great indeed. The variety and freedom of opinion is apt to check the union of a free state; and in case the union be interrupted merely from the freedom of opinion, contesting for real rights and privileges, the state and its government may still be strong and secure, as was, in fact, the case in ancient Rome, in the more disinterested periods of that republic. But if parties and factions, arising from false ambition, avarice, or revenge, run high, they endanger the state, which was the case in the latter periods of the republic of Rome. Hence the parties in a free state, if aimed at the public liberty and welfare, are salutary; but if selfish interest and views are their source, they are both dangerous and destructive."
He brings out the importance of free speech in this part and how that 'freedom of opinion' will keep the state in check. Personal ambition and self interest is always turns out bad for the people. Payson references the need for a 'righteous' government here because it was his belief and the belief of most of the Founders that government was to ensure that the rights and liberties given to men by God were to be guarded by government. "The language of just complaint, the voice of real grievance, in most cases may easily be distinguished from the mere clamor of selfish, turbulent, and disappointed men. The ear of a righteous government will always be open to the former; its hand with wisdom and prudence will suppress the latter. And, since passion is as natural to men as reason, much discretion should be used to calm and quiet disaffected minds. Coercives in government should always be held as very dangerous political physic: such as have gone into the practice have commonly either killed or lost their patients."
All the men and women that we put in authority should be men and women of godly character. We no longer look at a person's character when we vote, we look at if he/she can positively affect our wallet. This was something that the Founders were well aware of and many stated the need to know the character of the men put in positions of authority.
Benjamin Franklin stated "This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins." Charles Carroll stated “Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they, therefore, who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure (and) which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.” John Adams said "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is of no value to any other." Our first Supreme Court Chief Justice stated it as plain as any of them: "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest, of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."
If we would do this we would be well on our way to turning America around. There are many that say that we are no longer a Christian nation but I do not believe that. Many do not practice their faith as they should simply because that faith and it's true principles are no longer preached from the pulpit today. Preachers are afraid to offend anyone. If you preach the truth, somebody will get offended. Better that they know the truth than go to hell because they weren't told. I want no blood on my hands.
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. 343.
2. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), pp. 343-344.
3. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), p. 344.
� 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