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POLITICAL SERMONS FROM PASTORS IN THE FOUNDING ERA
PART 50

 

By Pastor Roger Anghis
August 24, 2014
NewsWithViews.com

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.

In today's political arena our Christian heritage has been so far removed from being an influence that when we look at how the Founders operated, how they talked and what they based their political actions on we see that today's politicians are nothing in comparison to those who established the greatest nation in the world. There was a great emphasis placed on Christian principles for all who were in authority. Payson declared: "A state and its inhabitants thus circumstanced in respect to government, principle, morals, capacity, union, and rulers, make up the most striking portrait, the liveliest emblem of the Jerusalem that is above, that this world can afford. That this may be the condition of these free, independent, and sovereign states of America, we have the wishes and prayers of all good men. Indulgent Heaven seems to invite and urge us to accept the blessing. A kind and wonderful Providence has conducted us, by astonishing steps, as it were, within sight of the promised land.

We stand this day upon Pisgah's top, the children of the free woman, the descendants of a pious race, who, from the love of liberty and the fear of God, spent their treasure and spilt their blood. Animated by the same great spirit of liberty, and determined, under God, to be free, these states have made one of the noblest stands against despotism and tyranny that can be met with in the annals of history, either ancient or modern. One common cause, one common danger, and one common interest, has united and urged us to the most vigorous exertions. From small beginnings, from great weakness, — impelled from necessity and the tyrant's rod, but following the guidance of Heaven, —we have gone through a course of noble and heroic actions, with minds superior to the most virulent menaces, and to all the horrors of war; for we trusted in the God of our forefathers. We have been all along the scorn and derision of our enemies, but the care of Heaven, the charge of God ; and hence our cause and union, like the rising sun, have shone brighter and brighter. Thanks be to God ! we this day behold in the fullness of our spirit the great object of our wishes, of our toils and wars, brightening in our view. The battles we have already fought, the victories we have won, the pride of tyranny that must needs have been humbled, mark the characters of the freemen of America with distinguished honor, and will be read, with astonishment by generations yet unborn."[1]

There is an obvious dependence on God in these statements. Not a casual dependence but a deep dependence that is not seen much today in the leaders of this great nation. We see the Founders calling for prayer and fasting numerous times in the time leading up to the Revolutionary War and constantly throughout the War. "There were many times when the Founders called for prayer. It wasn’t just for a few people but for entire cities and states. When the Colonists expressed their frustration with eight years of ignored appeals to the Crown concerning taxes on tea and other matters with the Boston Tea Party, Parliament passed the Boston Port Bill that resulted in the planned blockade of Boston harbor stopping all trade to and from Boston harbor beginning June 1, 1774.

The manner in which the American Colonists responded caused news accounts like this to be reported in Britain: “The province of Virginia appointed the first day of June, the day on which the Boston Port Bill took place, to be set apart for fasting, prayer and humiliation, to implore the Divine interposition to avert the heavy calamity which threatened destruction of their civil rights with the evils of a civil war, and to give one heart and one mind to the people firmly to oppose injury to the American rights. This example was followed by a similar resolution adopted almost everywhere and the first of June became a general day of prayer and humiliation throughout the continent.”[2]

The calling upon God to intervene in their circumstances was not an occasional thing done by a pastor. It was most often called for by the person in authority. The mayor, governor and even the military leaders. "Prayer to God has been supported by virtually every President since George Washington. Washington commented on the importance of prayer stating:

“Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor . . . therefore, I do recommend [that] the people of the United States . . . may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country.”

Time and again the Founders called for prayer. John Adams, James Madison, Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, George Clinton, Jonathan Trumbull, Elias Boudinot, and Daniel Tompkins, just to name a few."[3] When Benedict Arnold's treason was exposed they even called for a national day of prayer and fasting. "The principles of Christianity were taken very seriously by the Founding Fathers. Documented proof of that is everywhere in our history, yet ignored when taught in our schools. Time after time in the period leading up to the actual war and during the Revolutionary War, Congress and governors called for days of fasting and prayer. Even when Benedict Arnold’s traitorous act was exposed, Congress called upon Samuel Adams, William Houston, and Frederic Muhlenberg to draft a proclamation for a national day of prayer and thanksgiving."[4]

I mention these simply to give evidence to the importance that the Founders put on their relationship with God and how they depended on His Hand moving in their lives to accomplish what they believed He has called them to do. Even though there had experienced during the first two years of the Revolutionary War great atrocities perpetrated by the British and they would see even greater atrocities as more would die as prisoners of war under the most inhumane conditions than would die in battle. Payson expounds on these stating: "The lust of dominion is a base and detested principle, the desire of revenge is an infernal one; and the former, if opposed, commonly produces the latter. From these our enemies seem to have taken their measures, and hence have treated us with the greatest indignities, reproaches, insults, and cruelties that were ever heaped upon a people when struggling for their all.

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The remembrance of these things can never be lost. And although, under God, American wisdom and valor have hitherto opposed and baffled both their force and fraud, and we trust ever will, yet justice to our cause, to ourselves, and to our posterity, as well as a most righteous resentment, absolutely forbid that anything should pacify our minds short of a fall and perfect independence. This, supported by the wisdom, virtue, and strength of the continent, must be our great charter of liberty. Nature has given us the claim, and the God of nature appears to be helping us to assert and maintain it. I am led to speak upon this point with the greatest confidence, from the late measures and resolves of that august assembly, the American Congress, which were so circumstanced and timed as must, with their general conduct, raise a monument to their fame that will bid defiance even to the devouring hand of time itself."[5]

In today's political environment anyone who shows a dependence on God is chastised, ridiculed, mocked and threatened with a lawsuit for trying to 'establish a religion'. But it was that dependence on God that gave us the power and wisdom to gain our independence from the powerful nation in the World at that time. It worked once. He can do it again.

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, 51,

Footnotes:

1. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), pp.347-348.
2. Defining America's Exceptionalism, Roger Anghis, {Westbow Press, 2012), p. 25.
3. Defining America's Exceptionalism, Roger Anghis, {Westbow Press, 2012), p. 30.
4. Defining America's Exceptionalism, Roger Anghis, {Westbow Press, 2012), pp. 29-30.
5. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), pp. 348-348.

� 2014 Roger Anghis - All Rights Reserved

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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

E-Mail: [email protected]


 

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In today's political arena our Christian heritage has been so far removed from being an influence that when we look at how the Founders operated, how they talked and what they based their political actions on we see that today's politicians are nothing in comparison to those who established the greatest nation in the world.