POLITICAL SERMONS FROM PASTORS IN THE FOUNDING ERA
Pastor Roger Anghis
July 20, 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.
In establishing the Constitution for the State of Massachusetts in 1778 the people were very adamant concerning the rights that they were to live by. As recorded in the Barry's History of Massachusetts we see that the people's rights were to be specified in detail and those rights were to be many with the boundaries of government specifically outlined and defined. "A Constitution and Form of Government for the State of Massachusetts Bay, agreed upon by the Convention of said State, February 28, 1778, to be laid before the several Towns and Plantations in said State for their approbation or disapprobation," a pamphlet of twenty-three pages, was distributed among the towns, by vote of the House of Representatives, March 4, 1778. The constitution was rejected. Ten thousand votes were against it, two thousand votes in its favor; one hundred and twenty towns made no returns. It contained no bill of rights; did not properly separate the legislative, judicial, and executive functions; " allowed" the free exercise and enjoyment of religious worship, whereas that is an inalienable right; did not provide an equal representation; and many other objections were stated. It was thought best to postpone the framing of a constitution till more peaceful and settled times, and that it should then be done by delegates specially chosen for the service. " (Emphasis mine throughout)
Payson begins to describe the importance of the people themselves to be aware of the liberties that God has afforded mankind and that they had enjoyed for many years but had taken away when Britain reinstalled their monarchy over the Colonies in early 1776. He points out that too often people lose site of the liberties they once had and it is important for the people to stay vigilant in their efforts to maintain those liberties. "It by no means becomes me to assume the airs of a dictator, by delineating a model of government; but I shall ask the candid attention of this assembly to some things respecting a state, its rulers and inhabitants, of high importance, and necessary to the being and continuance of such a free and righteous government as we wish for ourselves and posterity, and hope, by the blessing of God, to have ere long established.
In this view, it is obvious to observe that a spirit of liberty should in general prevail among a people; their minds should be possessed with a sense of its worth and nature. Facts and observation abundantly teach us that the minds of a community, as well as of individuals, are subject to different and various casts and impressions. The inhabitants of large and opulent empires and kingdoms are often entirely lost to a sense of liberty, in which case they become an easy prey to usurpers and tyrants.
Where the spirit of liberty is found in its genuine vigor it produces its genuine effects ; urging to the greatest vigilance and exertions, it will surmount great difficulties; [so] that it is no easy matter to deceive or conquer a people determined to be free. The exertions and effects of this great spirit in our land have already been such as may well astonish the world; and so long as it generally prevails it will be quiet with no species of government but what befriends and protects it. Its jealousy for its safety may sometimes appear as if verging to faction; but it means well, and can never endanger a state unless its root and source is corrupted."
Payson continues to point to the necessity of vigilance on the part of the people to keep only people of moral character in places of authority so that their liberties will always be protected. Payson recognizes that there are many factors that can lead to corruption and that there is a need to be aware of those factors so that we do not let them have an improper influence over our actions. "The baneful effects of exorbitant wealth, the lust of power, and other evil passions, are so inimical to a free, righteous government, and find such an easy access to the human mind, that it is difficult, if possible, to keep up the spirit of good government, unless the spirit of liberty prevails in the state. This spirit, like other generous growths of nature, flourishes best in its native soil. It has been engrafted, at one time and another, in various countries: in America it shoots up and grows as in its natural soil. Recollecting our pious ancestors, the first settlers of the country,— nor shall we look for ancestry beyond that period,— and we may say, in the most literal sense, we are children, not of the bond woman, but of the free. It may hence well be expected that the exertions and effects of American liberty should be more vigorous and complete.
It has the most to fear from ignorance and avarice; for it is no uncommon thing for a people to lose sight of their liberty in the eager pursuit of wealth, as the states of Holland have done; and it will always be as easy to rob an ignorant people of their liberty as to pick the pockets of a blind man."
Payson places an importance on the need to stay vigilant in being watchful over our liberties. America has failed to do that over the last 70 years and we have watched as the unscrupulous people that have been in office little by little removed a little freedom here and a little freedom there. Too many people are content with giving up a liberty or part of a liberty if the government will do something for us. Benjamin Franklin once stated: "They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Education was the key to the vigilance that Payson is talking about. It was a key factor from the earliest days of America with the first education law that was based on being able to read and comprehend scripture so that their liberties would not be breeched. " From this we will see what the Pilgrims and the Founders believed to be the most important aspects of education. The first laws providing public education for all children were passed in 1642 in Massachusetts and in 1647 in Connecticut and it was called the “Old Deluder Satan Law”. These colonists believed that the proper protection from civil abuses could only be achieved by eliminating Bible illiteracy.
“It being one chief project of that old deluder, Satan, to keep men from the knowledge of Scriptures, as in former time. . . . It is therefore ordered . . [that] after the Lord hath increased [the settlement] to the number of fifty householders, [they] shall then forthwith appoint one within their town, to teach all such children as shall resort to him, to write and read. . . . And it is further ordered, that where any town shall increase to the number of one hundred families or householders, they shall set up a grammar school . . . to instruct youths, so far as they may be fitted for the university.”
Today we are 'educated' but we are not intelligent. We are programmed for what the government wants us to know and no more. The Bible has been long removed and America's real history is actually illegal to teach because of the religious content of our history. Christianity is scorned and mocked. How long can we last when we don't know who we are?
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,
Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers
Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), p. 333.
2. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), p. 334.
3. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), pp. 334-335.
4. Defining America's Exceptionalism, Roger Anghis, (Westbow Press, 2012), p. 37.
� 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