- Old Talkshoe Programs
This program is from The Voice of Christian Israel, October 24th, 2010, where William Finck filled in for Eli James.
Notes from the CHRISTIAN LIFE AND CHARACTER of the CIVIL INSTITUTIONS of the UNITED STATES, DEVELOPED IN THE OFFICIAL AND HISTORICAL ANNALS OF THE REPUBLIC. BY B. F. MORRIS. Published by GEORGE W. CHILDS, 628 & 630 CHESTNUT ST. CINCINNATI: RICKEY & CARROLL. 1864.
[From the first paragraph of the Preface:]
THIS volume is committed.to the American people, in the firm assurance that the invaluable facts which it records will be grateful to every patriotic and pious heart. In it, as from the richest mines, has been brought out the pure gold of our history. Its treasures have been gathered and placed in this casket for the instruction and benefit of the present and future. We have a noble historic life; for our ancestors were the worthies of the world. We have a noble nation, full of the evidences of the moulding presence of Christian truth, and of the power and goodness of Divine wisdom in rearing up a Christian republic for all time. That this was the spirit and aim of the early founders of our institutions the facts in this volume fully testify.
[Note that this book was registered with the state of Pennsylvania in 1863, as was the custom for copyright before the federalization following the War of Northern Aggression, and so this book was written and published in the midst of that war.]
[From the Preface, page 6:]
The work is not speculative or theoretical, but a series of facts to unfold and establish the Christian life and character of the civil institutions of the United States, in the light of which every American citizen can trace to its source the true glory of the nation, and learn to appreciate its institutions and to venerate and imitate the great and good men who founded them.
It has been a delightful task of patriotism and piety to the compiler to prepare the volume, and to lay it as a grateful offering upon the common altar of his country and of Christianity.
[The author describes the making of the volume, and lists all of his sources and their authors. While some of his sources are religious works, most of them are the works of notable men such as Webster, and Sanderson who wrote a large volume of biographies of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, of which an 1846 revision is available online.]
[From pages 25-26:]
The institutions of the North American republic had their birth and baptism from the free inspirations and genius of the Christian religion. This fact has given to the state its political power and moral glory, and shed new light on the benign nature and adaptation of the Christian system to secure the highest political prosperity to a nation. [Let me add that the first commonwealths were not communist – there is a big difference.]
[This following paragraph is in quote marks but its source is not given:] "Christianity is the principal and all-pervading element, the deepest and most solid foundation, of all our civil institutions. It is the religion of the people, - the national religion; but we have neither an established church nor an established religion. An established church implies a connection between church and state, and the possession of civil and political as well as of ecclesiastical and spiritual power by the former. Neither exist in this country; for the people have wisely judged that religion, as a. general rule, is safer in their hands than in those of rulers. In the United States there is no toleration; for all enjoy equality in religious freedom, not as a privilege granted, but as a right secured by the fundamental law of our social compact. Liberty of conscience and freedom of worship are not chartered immunities, but rights and duties founded on the constitutional republication of reason and revelation." [End of quote, now back to Morris.]
The theory and faith of the founders of the civil and political institutions of the United States practically carried out these statements. They had no state church or state religion, but they constituted the Christian religion the underlying foundation and the girding and guiding element of their systems of civil, political, and social institutions. This proposition will be confirmed by the following summary of historic facts, which have an extended record in the various chapters of this volume. [Here in his first chapter Morris lists his arguments which prove his thesis, and the balance of the chapters of his book contain that proof. We will read his arguments.]
First. The Christian inspirations and purpose of the founders and fathers of the republic.
It was a popular legend of the ancients, which gave to their laws, literature, and religion a sacred solemnity and power, that the founders of empires received immediate inspiration from the gods, and that their systems of government came from the responses of the deities who presided in their temples of religion. This myth, in a Christian sense, was a grand and glorious fact with the wise and skilful workmen who, under God, created and completed the civil institutions of the United States.
No claim to special inspiration from heaven is set up for the fathers of our republic. It would, however, be a violence to historic truth not to affirm and admit that they were under the special and constant guidance of an overruling Providence. The Bible, as the divine charter of their political rights, as well as of their hopes of immortality, they reverently studied, and on it laid the corner-stone of all their compacts and institutions. The Mosaic system of political jurisprudence, which [quote] "contains more consummate wisdom and common sense than all the legislators and political writers of the ancient nations," the founders of the American republic thoroughly understood, and incorporated its free spirit and democratic principles into their organic institutions.
Secondly. The Christian men who formed our civil institutions were trained and prepared for their work in scenes of conflict in which the truest ideas of liberty and religion were developed.
Great ideas, and the forward movements of the ages, have received their inspiration and impetus from civil and religious agitations and revolutions. This fact has its historic analogy in the conflicts that preceded the planting of a Christian republic on the North American continent. "The whole of the sixteenth century was a period of active preparation for future times; and all that is great in modern science may be said to have received its foundation in the agitations that grew out of that period of the world. It forms one of the grandest and richest eras in human history." Whilst it was an age replete with the most splendid triumphs in science and literature, it was pre-eminent, also, for its elaboration and vindication of the fundamental principles of civil and religious liberty.
The persecutions of the Puritans in England for non-conformity, and the religious agitations and conflicts in Germany by Luther, in Geneva by Calvin, and in Scotland by Knox, were the preparatory ordeals for qualifying Christian men for the work of establishing the civil institutions on the American continent. [quote] "God sifted," in these conflicts, "a whole nation, that he might send choice grain over into this wilderness;" and the blood and persecution of martyrs became the seed of both the church and the state.
It was in these schools of fiery trial that the founders of the American republic were educated and prepared for their grand Christian mission, and in which their faith and characters became strong and earnest with Christian truth. They were trained in stormy times, in order to prepare them to elaborate and establish the fundamental principles of civil and religious liberty and of just systems of civil government.
Brewster, and Winthrop, and Roger Williams, and Penn, and George Calvert, and Oglethorpe, and Otis, and Adams, and Jefferson, and Washington, with their illustrious co-laborers, could trace their true political parentage to Pym, and Hampden, and Wickliffe, and Milton, and Cromwell, and to the ages in which they vindicated the principles of liberty, and sealed, many of them, their faith by martyrdom.
Thirdly. Thus inspired and prepared, the Christian men of Puritan times and of the Revolution presented and developed the true symbol of'civil government.
A nation, in the embodied form and spirit of its institutions, is the symbol of some one leading idea. This rules its civil administration, directs its social crystallization, and forms its political, martial, and moral character.
[Here B.F. Morris proceeds to show the foundations upon which the great governments of the past were built, including the Hebrew, the Greek, the Roman, the French and the British. Except for the Hebrew, he shows their inherent flaws.]
The Hebrew commonwealth was the symbol of a theocratic government. Its rituals of religion and liberty maintained the form and diffused the spirit of freedom and of a true republican government. Its nationality, growing out of peculiar and local causes, after ages of historic grandeur, passed away. It was the first and the last type of a national theocratic republic.
The Roman empire, in its colossal unity and form, was the symbol of law, of the stately grandeur of a strong government, of the reign of military rule and conquest. Its fabled origin, and the mythical communion of its founder (Numa [the legendary second king of old Rome, after Romulus]) with the divinities, gave & rigid religious cast to its civil and military institutions and transactions. The science of Roman jurisprudence educated the citizens of the empire in the cardinal virtues of loyalty and patriotism. Religion. is a Roman word, signifying obligation to the government. [Here is one error I find, for the Latin religio originally meant a sense of right and conscience.] A Roman citizen could no more be disloyal to his country than to the gods. This conviction gave to the government a. religious character, and made it invincible in war and strong in governmental authority and influence. Cicero, in one of his addresses, refers to the religious element of the Roman empire in these words:- "However much we may be disposed to exalt our advantages, it is, nevertheless, certain that we have been surpassed in population by the Spaniards, in physical force by the Gauls, in shrewdness and cunning by Carthage, in the fine arts by Greece, and in mere native talents by some of our Italian fellow-countrymen; but in the single point of attention to religion we have excelled all other nations, and it is to the favorable influence of this circumstance upon the character of the people that I account for our success in acquiring the political and military ascendency we now enjoy throughout the world."
[Here let me state that Rome indeed had a true religion at one time, and that is clear in Paul's epistle to the Romans, where he states in Chapter 1 that they had the truth of God, and changed it into a lie. Then in Chapter 2 he explains that Roman society was founded on justice, the source of which is revealed in his allusion to Jeremiah at 2:15, and he commends them for it. Indeed, the story of Rome is the story of America: it was built in piety, and it crumbles in multiculturalism and idolatry.]
This pervading religious element produced, also, the loftiest martial enthusiasm in the Roman citizen. "The attachment of the Roman soldier," says Gibbon, "was inspired by the united influence of religion and honor." In union with these civil and martial virtues in Roman citizens, the symbol of their government resulted in producing and blending some of the milder virtues of social and domestic life. Female character was formed on the most finished models of pagan excellence; chastity was a. golden virtue; and to educate sons for statesmen or soldiers was the highest ambition of the most illustrious ladies of Rome.
Morris here continues to show the foundations of Greek institutions, being vain and degenerating in the mob rule which passed for Democracy, how the British empire was built on selfish greed, and how France was poisoned by atheism and vain-glory. He then contrasts the United States by saying that "The founders of the Christian republic of North America adopted the symbol of civil and religious liberty as the great idea. and end of all their civil institutions. They had the most glorious conceptions of the genius of the Christian religion, not only as a system of spiritual doctrines, but as designed and adapted to create and carry on the best and freest forms of civil government. They held to the faith that civil government was an ordination of God, and that its administration ought to harmonize with the law and will of God as revealed in the Bible. This great object was kept before the minds of the founders and fathers of the republic, and their beau-ideal of civil government was that which was found in the Christian religion. As the fruits of this symbol, or leading idea and purpose, contrast the Christian republic of North America with the fruits of ancient and modern nations...
Fourthly. The Christian religion has a clear and full recognition in the civil constitutions and state papers of the fathers of the republic.
Official records express the faith and theory of those who form and administer the civil institutions of a. nation. The fathers and founders of the American republic, being Christian men and designing to form a Christian republic, would be expected to imbue their state papers and their civil constitutions with the spirit and sentiments of the Christian religion. This fact is historic in the civil institutions of the country, and gives to its official documents a. Christian feature and influence which belong only to American constitutions and American political annals. During the Revolution, the States assumed their separate sovereignties and formed State constitutions. These civil charters, as this work will show, were full and explicit in their incorporation of the fundamental doctrines of the Christian religion, and their constitutions prohibited. men from holding office who did not publicly assent to their faith in the being of a God, the divinity of the Bible, and in the distinctive evangelical truths of Christianity.
The state papers of the Continental Congress were also full of the spirit and sentiments of the Christian system. Under the great seal of state, official documents were sent out to the nation and the world which affirmed the [quoting those documents:] "merits and mediation of Jesus Christ to obtain forgiveness and pardon for sins," and prayed "that pure and undefiled religion may be universally diffused;" "that vice and irreligion may be banished, and virtue and piety established by grace;" "that the nation may be made a holy nation, and that the religion of our divine Redeemer, with all its benign influences, may cover the earth as the waters do the sea ;" "that God would grant to his Church the plentiful effusions of divine grace, and pour out his Holy Spirit upon all ministers of the gospel;" [There it is evident that the word "church" meant the entire body of the Christian people, and no particular organized institution.] "that he would establish the independence of these United States upon the basis of religion and virtue," and "diffuse and establish habits of sobriety, order, morality, and piety;" that he would "take under his guardianship all schools and seminaries of learning, and make them nurseries of virtue and piety, and cause pure religion and virtue to flourish," and that he would "fill the world with his glory." [End of quotes.]
All their bills of rights, and remonstrances against the usurpations of the British government, glowed with the fervid and impassioned sentiments of liberty and religion, and their high Christian tone and diction form a rich part of the Christian political literature of the republic.
Fifthly. The popular utterances of the Christian men who formed our civil institutions declare the Christian religion to be the symbol of the republic.
Puritan divines and lawgivers, and the statesmen and patriots of the Revolution, unite their testimony on this point. They affirmed, in every form, the indissoluble union of religion and liberty. They uttered no such political atheism as [quote] "liberty first and religion afterwards;" but, maintaining the divine origin of both, they constituted their indissoluble union in the system of civil government which they formed. In the pulpit, before popular assemblies, in the forums of public justice, before the tribunes of the people, in the halls of legislation, in the public press, - in tracts, essays, books, printed sermons and orations, - did the men of Puritan and Revolutionary times utter their great thoughts, and declare the union of liberty and religion. A divine enthusiasm glowed in all their popular utterances, that swept with electric energy through the public mind and conscience, and which prepared the people for liberty, independence, and a. Christian nationality. This historic fact will be conclusively established in the present volume.
Sixthly. The revolution for liberty, independence, and constitutional government had its source in religion, and was the cause of its energy and final victory. [And, I must add, all of this began with the Reformation and the desire for men to free themselves from tyrants. It still has not happened, because we must realize that while the founders of this nation aspired to the ideal, we can only be free with Yahweh and His Word, and not even they understood that entirely. Nor were they meant to. Back to Morris:]
History, as it records the events of ages, and the progress of nations to higher conditions of freedom and prosperity through revolutions, declares that "religion has been the companion of liberty in all her conflicts and in all her battles." [Let me interject, that when Rome lost her religion – as pagan as we perceive it to be – she lost her freedom to tyrants. But Rome was pagan, it is protested? Well let me state that the Roman Republic was nevertheless founded upon the rule of law and a true sense of social justice. The Hebrew was not pagan to begin with, and while they had Yahweh in their mouths they did not have Him in their hearts nor their actions. Rome lasted twice as long: and such is the difference between lip-service, and a true seeking of justice. If Rome had kept her morality, in spite of her other errors, she would have stood firm. So would we have stood firm. Now back to Morris:] The American Revolution adds another grand illustration of this great historic truth. That splendid victory for liberty and constitutional governments was not won by numbers, nor military genius, nor by armies and navies, nor by any combination of human means, but only through liberty intensified and made heroic through religion. This was the breath of its life, and carried it sublimely on till victory crowned our arms and our banners waved over a free republic. It was the inspirations of religion that girded our heroes for war, that guided our statesmen in civil councils, that fired and filled the hearts of the people with hope and courage, and gave to all the scenes of that grand conflict a Christian beauty, power, and glory.
Its influence flowed from every source. The cradle-songs of childhood; the home scenes of prayer and piety; the common and academic schools of the country; the Christian colleges of the republic; the literature of the age; the songs of patriotism and religion; the eloquenee of the forum and the pulpit; the councils of civil cabinets and the military camps; public men and private citizens of all classes, became the medium of diffusing the religious spirit and power of the Revolution. This fact induced Washington to say, "I am sure that there never was a people who had more reason to acknowledge a. divine interposition in their affairs than those of the United States; and I should be pained to believe that they have forgotten that agency which was so often manifested during the Revolution, or that they failed to consider the omnipotence of that God who is alone able to protect them. He must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations." [Now if Washington said this, then where do the Jews, and all who assisted them, who have stolen our heritage and destroyed our Christian Civilization, stand in the eyes of our Yahweh God today?]
Seventhly. The Christian annals of the republic declare that religion was the ruling influence and moral power of the republic.
The historic grandeur and moral significance of the civil and political annals of the American nation consist in their Christian spirit and declarations, The inspirations and ideas of civil and religious liberty which they embody; the fundamental and inalienable rights of human nature which they announce and defend; the eternal laws of civil and political science which they affirm; the basis of just and orderly organic governments, and the civil structures which have risen and rest upon it, and which the annals of the republic present and unfold; the Christian nationality which they historically declare, and which they have contributed to form; the spirit and language in which the annals of the nation are written, and which permeate the state papers of the republic from the Puritan to the Revolutionary era, and in some good degree from the era of the Revolution to the present time; the philosophy and language of American history and American literature, whether poetic, scientific, educational, political, or religious, - all these constitute the facts and moral glory of the annals of the nation, and unite in recording and presenting them in a Christian form and spirit. Divest American annals of this their grandest and most important feature, and their value and glory would vanish.
The reverent and careful student of the annals of the American republic will find them imbued with the "benign, masculine, thoughtful spirit of the Christian religion." This feature gives them an interest, influence, and importance, a political and moral pre-eminence, over the annals of every other nation, whether ancient or modern.
Eighthly. Christian monuments and altars of religion and liberty.
Nations which are rich in historic grandeur have numerous memorials whose inspirations and influences aid in the diffusion of a healthy public sentiment and in the formation of a. true nationality. They educate the people to admire and imitate the heroic virtues of the men and scenes of moral or martial glory which the memorials are designed to commemorate and perpetuate. The custom is coeval with time, and has a divine sanction. The annals of the Hebrew commonwealth record the consecration of numerous altars, places, and temples to religion and liberty. These were the symbols of their faith, and from them flowed beneficent and copious influences to form the intense religious nationality of that remarkable people, and to mould all their institutions, It was a. divine injunction, as well as a work of piety and patriotism, for the Hebrew people to "walk about Zion, and go round about; tell the towers thereof; mark well her bulwarks; consider her palaces;" that they might tell it to future generations that "this God was our God." [What Morris is saying, is that our success is a reason to announce the glory of our God, and our monuments sing His praises.]
The annals of American piety and patriotism have many similar memorials, A republic, the outgrowth of the Christian religion, whose history glows with the manifest presence and providences of God, and whose freedom is baptized with the sufferings and blood of martyred patriots and saints, would hallow many memorials of historic associations and grandeur. The American republic is rich in the monuments of piety and patriotism, and their influences and associations have had, and continue to have, the highest historic value and instruction for every American citizen, and are fraught with some of the noblest and purest lessons of religion and liberty. Their genial and inspiring power has been diffusive and beneficent in infusing fresher love for our civil institutions, and deepening and strengthening that intense enthusiasm for our freedom and free institutions which is characteristic of every loyal American. American history, in the Christian and patriotic scenes, achievements, and men which it records, is peculiarly grand and rich in this element and influence of our national sentiment and power. The altars of religion, the monuments of nature and art, the scenes of martial and moral glory, the halls of constitutional freedom, and the temples of legislation and organized. civil governments, around all of which. cluster memorable associations and glowing inspirations, are eminently worthy of record, and should be reverently studied by every patriot and Christian.
Ninthly. The Christian faith and character, personal and political, of most of the men who originated and constructed our civil institutions, affirm the presiding genius and power of the Christian religion.
Sacred history, and the institutions which it unfolds, have their life and glory from the good and great men whom the providence and Spirit of God raised up and qualified for their varied and important missions. "In nothing does the superiority of the Bible over all other books appear more manifest than in its graphic and inimitable delineations of human character. From first to last it opens to our view, besides poets and orators, a magnificent succession of living characters, - kings and statesmen, heroes and patriarchs, prophets and apostles," who constituted the glory of the age and nation in which they acted, and whose character and influence are a rich part of the political and moral wealth of the world.
The American republic, like the Hebrew commonwealth, has its chief glory from the good and great men who have adorned its civic and Christian history, and were the active agents in building up the organic forms of the social and political life of the republic. [Notice here that Morris considered the ancient Hebrews to be pre-Christ Christians, as we in Christian Israel Identity also do.] The Puritans, and the men of colonial history, were stalwart, noble Christian men. The men antecedent to and actors in the eventful drama of the Revolution were, most of them, men whose minds were illuminated by divine influences, and whose characters and lives bore the superscription and the image of Christ. All were not public professors of the Christian religion, but almost all acknowledged its divinity and necessity to the existence, welfare, and stability of the state. Their Christian faith and characters not only constitute the enduring glory of our republic, but are also the sources of the Christian features of our civil institutions.
The true and lasting fame of the American nation - its political and moral glory - consists in the eminent and illustrious characters which have, in each successive age of the republic, adorned the state and directed its political destinies. Trained in a Christian school and formed under Christian influences, and deriving their ideas of civil and religious liberty from the Bible, their practical faith led them to adopt it as the rule of life and to consult it as the source of their civil and political views and principles, as well as of their religious belief and hopes. The monument of these men of Puritan and Revolutionary times is in the great Christian ideas and truths they elaborated and incorporated into the civil institutions of the nation, and in the Christian virtues, public and private, which they bore as the fruits of their Christian faith.
The leaders of our Revolution were men of whom the simple truth is the highest praise. They were singularly sagacious, sober, thoughtful, wise. Lord Chatham spoke only the truth when he said to Franklin of the men who composed the first Colonial Congress, "The Congress is the most honorable assembly of statesmen since those of the ancient Greeks and Romans in the most virtuous times. They were most of them profound scholars, and studied the history of mankind that they might know men. They were so familiar with the lives and thoughts of the wisest and best minds of the past, that a classic aroma hangs about their writings and their speeches; and they were profoundly convinced of what statesmen know and mere politicians never perceive, - that ideas are the life of a people, - that the conscience, not the pocket, is the real citadel of a nation." [And, I must add, this is one of the very reasons that I stress the importance of the classics in under- standing the past, something that our universities despise today. Morris put it eloquently.]
[Quoting an unnamed writer:] "Events," says a living American divine, "march in the train and keep step to the music of that divine LOGOS which was, and is, and is to come. In order to act the right part in them, and in order to understand them when they do come to pass, our intelligence must be in vital sympathy with that of their invisible Author and Arbiter. The divine purpose which is forcing its way into existence, and preparing for itself a. local habitation and a name, must be reproduced in our own consciousness and embodied in our own life. This is the only way for men to become coworkers with the Most High in executing his sovereign behests.
"This is the ancient method by which from age to age mighty nations, and all the elect spirits of the race, have comprehended their heaven-appointed missions, fulfilled their tasks, and rendered themselves illustrious in human annals. This is the secret of that sacred enthusiasm which transformed Eastern shepherds and nomads of the desert into venerable patriarchs, seers, warriors, and kings, which changed fishermen into apostles and evangelists, and which is able still to bless the world with heroes, saints, and martyrs.
"It is the prevalence of some divine idea in the soul, actuating the whole being and illuminating the path of life. Let a.man grasp, in honest conviction, a real thought of God, and spend his days in striving to realize it, and he is on the highway to glory, honor, and immortality. Let a whole people grasp, in honest conviction, some sacred cause, some principle of immortal justice, and consecrate themselves to the work of vindicating that cause and enthroning that principle, and we have the grandest spectacle ever witnessed on earth."
The grandeur of such a spectacle was seen in the faith and purpose of the fathers and founders of the American republic. These men, as well as the people, did grasp a great and [quote] "real thought of God," and devoted themselves to its glorious realization; and the result was the vindication of eternal right and justice, and the creation and establishment of civil institutions in conformity to the principles and teachings of the Christian religion. It is in the light of this great historic fact that the faith and labors of the Puritans and the men of the Revolution are to be read and studied.
This summary of the Christian facts and principles which belong to the history, formation, and progress of the civil institutions of the American republic impresses the patriotic and pious duty of giving diligent attention and study to the annals of our nation and the origin and genius of our institutions. [Something which modern education has separated us from entirely.]
The ancient republics regarded it as a high political necessity and duty to educate their citizens into the history and spirit of their peculiar institutions. "The young men of the Roman empire," says Gibbon, "were so devoted to the study of the genius and structure of Roman law and government, that the celebrated Institutes of Justinian were addressed to the youth of his dominion who had devoted themselves to the science of Roman jurisprudence, and they had assurances from the reigning emperor that their skill and ability would in time be rewarded by an adequate share in the government of the republic."
"The Greek citizen," says Grimke, "was subjected, from the cradle to the grave, to the full, undivided, never-varying influence of the peculiar institutions of his own country, The spirit of those institutions was forever living and moving around him, - was constantly acting upon him at home and abroad, in the family, at the school, in the temple, on national occasions. That spirit was unceasingly speaking to his eye and ear; it was his very breath of life; his soul was its habitation, till the battle-field or the sea, banishment, the dungeon, or the hemlock, stripped him equally of his country and his life."
If these duties were so faithfully discharged by the people of the ancient republics, how much higher and more important that the American people should know the history and nature of the civil institutions of their Christian republic, and live under their constant and full power; and thus be qualified to discharge with :fidelity and conscientiousness all the duties of an American citizen!
"Be assured," says Grimke (changing a word of the passage), "if the American citizen rightly comprehends the genius of Christianity, the spirit of our institutions, the character of the age in which he lives, he must be deeply imbued with the benign, masculine, thoughtful spirit of religion. Let me commend to the profound study of every American citizen the institutions of their country, and the noble illustrations of them to be found in the writings of our historians and statesmen, judges, orators, scholars, and divines. Let me commend to their reverence, gratitude, and imitation the character of Washington, the noblest personification of patriotic duty, dignity, and usefulness that men ever have seen. Let me commend to them to enter with a deep seriousness, yet with a. glowing enthusiasm, into the spirit of their institutions and of the age in which they live."
Nothing would have a happier influence on the public men and politics of our day, nothing raise, expand, and purify them, nothing would so exalt their conceptions and aims, or give them higher significance or greater weight, than a thorough and candid study of the Christian faith, characters, and actions of the great and good men who founded our civil institutions and watched over their history and development.
This duty, if faithfully discharged, would unfold the divine source of our civilization and system of civil government, give a higher appreciation of the inheritance received from our fathers, and a firmer purpose to preserve and transmit them, unimpaired, in their original purity and glory, to future ages and generations. [Somewhere just after the Civil War, I would imagine, we as a people, "dropped the ball".]
This study would impress the fact stated by Sir William Jones, a great English jurist, who said, with great truth and beauty, that "we live in the midst of blessings till we are utterly insensible of their greatness and of the source from whence they flow. We speak of our civilization, our arts, our freedom, our laws, and forget entirely how large a share is due to Christianity. Blot Christianity out of the pages of man's history, and what would his laws have been? what his civilization? Christianity is mixed up with our very being and our daily life; there is not a familiar object around us which does not wear a different aspect because the life of Christian love is on it, - not a law which does not owe its gentleness to Christianity, - not a custom which cannot be traced, in all its holy, healthful parts, to the gospel"
In Chapters 5 and 6 of his book, Morris discusses the Christian colonization and founding of the New England colonies. Since there is not enough time to adequately discuss all of the colonies here, and since the association of the New England colonies with Christianity is most famous due to the illustriousness – or notoriety in the minds of some – of the Puritans, I am compelled to let those alone in order to discuss the Christian founding of the other colonies. The balance of this information is from Chapters 7 and 8 of this same book. Starting at page 82, Morris describes the Christian founding of the various colonies:
[THE CHRISTIAN COLONIZATION OF PENNSYLVANIA]
IN 1682, another important era in the Christian colonization of the North American continent was inaugurated. William Penn was singularly qualified to be the founder of a Christian commonwealth. He had been educated under the influence of the gospel. He had studied the origin of government, the nature of civil liberty, and the rights of man, in the light of the pure word of God, and formed the purpose of founding a Christian empire on the free and peaceful precepts of Christianity. He had a firm faith in the great American idea that man, educated by Christianity, was capable of self-government. Finding no place in Europe to try the experiment of a Christian government, he resolved to seek it in America.
The settlement of the province of Pennsylvania by William Penn formed a new era in the liberties of mankind. It afforded a resting-place where the conscientious and oppressed people of Europe might repose, and enjoy the rights of civil and religious freedom which mankind had derived as an inheritance from the Creator.
He obtained from Charles II. a grant of territory that now embraces the States of Pennsylvania., New Jersey, and Delaware. He was legally inducted to the governorship of this immense domain, in England, by the officers of the crown, and in 1682 arrived in the New World and assumed the civil government of the colony. He avowed his purpose to be to institute a civil government on the basis of the Bible and to administer it in the fear of the Lord. The acquisition and government of the colony, he said, was “so to serve the truth and the people of the Lord, that an example may be set to the nations."
The frame of government which Penn completed in 1682 for the government of Pennsylvania was derived from the Bible. He deduced from various passages “the origination and descent of all human power from God; the divine right of government, and that for two ends, - first, to terrify evil doers; secondly, to cherish those who do well;" [note Romans Chapter 13 and 1 Peter2:13] so that government, he said, “seems to me to be a part of religion itself,” - “a thing sacred in its institutions and ends." “Let men be good, and the government cannot be bad.” “That, therefore, which makes a good constitution must keep it, - namely, men of wisdom and virtue, - qualities that, because they descend not with worldly inheritance, must be carefully propagated by a virtuous education of youth." [Which we have not had for 100 years.]
The first legislative act, passed at Chester, the seventh of the twelfth month, December, 1682, announced the ends of a true civil government. [There you have it, December 7th, 1682: to the jews that should be a day of infamy!] The preamble recites, that, “Whereas the glory of Almighty God and the good of mankind is the reason and end of government, and, therefore, government in itself is a venerable ordinance of God, and forasmuch as it is principally desired and intended by the proprietary and governor, and the freemen of Pennsylvania and territories thereunto belonging, to make and establish such laws as shall best preserve true Christian and civil liberty, in opposition to all unchristian, licentious, and unjust practices, whereby God may have his due, Caesar his due, and the people their due, from tyranny and oppression.”
The frame of government contained the following article on religious rights:-
“That all persons living in this province who confess and acknowledge the one almighty and eternal God to be the creator, upholder, and ruler of the world, and who hold themselves obliged in conscience to live peaceably and justly in civil society, shall in no wise be molested or prejudiced for their religious persuasion or practice in matters of faith and worship; nor shall they be compelled at any time to frequent or maintain any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever.”
William Penn, when about planting his colony and establishing his government in Pennsylvania, in 1682, caused the following law to be made :-
"To the end that looseness, irreligion, and atheism may not creep in under the pretence of conscience in this province, be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That, according to the good example of the primitive Christians, and for the ease of the creation, every first day of the week, called the Lord's day, people shall abstain from their common toil and labor, that, whether masters, parents, children, or servants, they may better dispose themselves to read the Scriptures of truth at home or to frequent such meetings of religious worship abroad, as may best suit their respective persuasions."
"In the judgment of this Quaker patriarch and legislator," says Bancroft, "government derived neither its obligations nor powers from man. God was to him the beginning and the end of government. He thought of government as a part of religion itself. Christians should keep the helm and guide the vessel of state."
[I will omit the parts where Morris discusses Penn's desires to convert the Indians to Christianity. Morris then says:]
Penn, as the wise founder of a civil commonwealth, provided measures for the general diffusion of the blessings of a Christian education.
THE CHRISTIAN COLONIZATION OF NEW YORK
Is cotemporaneous with its first settlement. Commerce and Christianity are always in genial sympathy and co-operation [I would emend that statement to free-enterprise and Christianity]; and as commerce, from the beginning of the colony in 1609, was a leading motive of the first settlers, so the Christian religion pioneered its way side by side with commerce. As early as 1613, four years after the discovery of Manhattan by Hudson, Holland merchants had established several trading-posts, and in 1623 measures were taken to found an agricultural and Christian settlement. The first emigrants were those who had fled from the severity of religious persecution in the seventeenth century in the French Belgic provinces, and came with a faith tried in a fiery furnace.
The East India Company, formed in 1621, stipulated that "where emigrants went forth under their auspices, and that of the States-General of Holland, it should be their duty to send out a schoolmaster, being a pious member of the church, whose office it was to instruct the children, and preside in their religious meetings on the Sabbath and other days, leading in the devotions, and reading a sermon, until the regular ministry should be established over them. An individual was often designated as a Zickentrooster, (comforter of the sick,) who for his spiritual gifts was adapted to edify and comfort the people."
In 1633 the first minister came over, and associated with him was a schoolmaster, who organized a church school. The introduction, at this early period of the settlement of the colony, of the church and school combined, cannot, therefore, be claimed as the peculiar distinction of the Puritan emigrants, as the direct aim and the provision made in the early settlements by the Dutch was to extend and preserve in the midst of them the blessings of education and religion.
The Collegiate Reformed Dutch Church of New York was the first founded in North America, and dates from the first settlement on Manhattan Island....
The seventeenth century, constituting an important era of Christian colonization of the New World, brought to the North American colonies the rich Christian contribution from the Huguenots of France. All the colonies gave them a heart-welcome as refugees from a frenzied and cruel religious persecution. They were ardent lovers of liberty, and declared that, with "their ministers, they had come to adore and serve God with freedom." These Christian exiles were warmly welcomed to the colony of New York, and became one of the richest portions of the population. In 1662 they had become so numerous that the colonial laws and official papers were published in French as well as in Dutch and English. The French church in the city of New York became the metropolis of Calvinism, where the Huguenot emigrants out of the city came to worship....
In 1665, the colonial legislature of New York passed the following act in reference to Christianity and its ordinances:-
"Whereas, The public worship of God is much discredited for want of painful [laborious] and able ministers to instruct the people in the true religion, it is ordered that a church shall be built in each parish, capable of holding two hundred persons; that ministers of every church shall preach every Sunday, and pray for the king, queen, the Duke of York, and the royal family; and to marry persons after legal publication of license."
It was also enacted that "Sunday is not to be profaned by travelling, by laborers, or vicious persons," and "church-wardens to report twice a year all misdemeanors, such as swearing, profaneness, Sabbath-breaking, drunkenness, fornication, adultery, and all such abominable sins." "Persons were punished with death who should in any wise deny the true God or his attributes." These were the laws of the colony of New York until 1683.
The following paper will show better the attention that the early settlers of New York paid to education, and is an amusing relic of colonial antiquity. It belongs to the ancient local history of Flatbush [which is now a part of Queens in NYC], Long Island:-
ARTICLE. 1. The school shall begin at 8 o'clock and go outt att 11; shall begin again att 1 o'clock and ende att 4. The bell shall bee rung beefore the school begins.
ARTICLE. 2. When school opens, one of the children shall reade the morning prayer as it stands in the catechism, and close with the prayer before dinner; and inn the afternoon the same. The evening school shall begin with the Lord's prayer and close by singing a psalm.
ARTICLE. 3. Hee shall instruct the children inn the common prayers and the questions and answers off the catechism on Wednesdays and Saturdays, too enable them too say them better on Sunday inn the church.
ARTICLE. 4. Hee shall bee bound too keep his school nine months in succession, from September too June, one year with another, and shall always bee present himself.
ARTICLE. 5. Hee shall bee choirister off the church; ring the bell three tymes before service, and reade a chapter off the Bible inn the church between the second and third ringinge off the bell; after the third ringinge he shall reade the ten commandments and the twelve articles off ffaith and then sett the psalm. In the afternoone after the third ringinge off the bell hee shall reade a short chapter or one off the psalms off David as the congregatione are assemblinge; afterwards he shall again sett the psalm.
ARTICLE. 6. When the minister shall preach at Broockland [now Brooklyn] or Utrecht he shall be bounde to reade twice before the congregatione from the booke used for the purpose. Hee shall heare the children recite the questions and answers off the catechism on Sunday and instruct them.
ARTICLE. 7. Hee shall provide a basin off water for the baptism, for which hee shall receive twelve stuyvers in wampum ffor every baptism from parents or sponsors. Hee shall furnish bread and wine ffor communion att the charge off the church. Hee shall also serve as messenger ffor the consistories.
ARTICLE. 8. Hee shall give the funerale invitations and toll the bell; and ffor which hee shall receive for persons off fifteen years off age and upwards twelve guilders; and ffor persons under fifteen, eight guilders; and iff hee shall cross the river to New York hee shall have ffour guilders more....
[This paper had a salutation:] Done and agreede on inn consistorie, in the presence off the Honourable Constable and Overseers, this 8th daye off October, 1682.
Constable and Overseers. CORNELIOS BERRIAN, RYNIERE AERTSEN, JAN REMSEN.
The Consistorie. CASPARUS VANZUREN, Minister. ADRIAEN RYERSE, CORNELIUS BARENT VANDERWYCK.
I agree to the above articles, and promise to observe them. JOHANNES VON ECHKELLEN.
Became an independent colony in 1664 [remember it was originally part of William Penn's grant]. "Its moral character was moulded by New England Puritans, English Quakers, and Dissenters from Scotland." An association of church-members from the New Haven colony resolved with one heart "to carry on their spiritual and town affairs according to Godly Government;" and in 1668 the colonial legislative Assembly, under Puritan influence, transferred the chief features of the New England codes to the statute-book of New Jersey. New Jersey increased in population and prosperity under the genial presence of Christian institutions, and became distinguished for intelligence, industry, and enterprise. "The people," says Bancroft, "rejoiced under the reign of God, confident that he would beautify the meek with salvation."
The Christian teachings of the Quakers, in union with Presbyterian and Anabaptist influences, made New Jersey, in its colonial structure, a model Protestant republic. "These were interwoven into the earliest elements of the political society of New Jersey, and constitute one of the beautiful historical incidents of the age. The people have always enjoyed a high reputation for piety, industry, economy, and good morals." They received and practised such Christian lessons as the following, given by their friends in England, in 1681:-
"Friends that are gone to make plantations in America, keep the plantations in your own hearts, that your own vines and lilies be not hurt. You that are governors and judges, you should be eyes to the blind, feet to the lame, and fathers to the poor, that you may gain the blessing of those who are ready to perish, and cause the widow's heart to sing for gladness. If you rejoice because your hand hath gotten much, if you say to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence, you will have denied the God that is above. The Lord is ruler among nations; he will crown his people with dominion."
The high standard of Christian morality in the colony of New Jersey was indicated by the motto on the provincial seal, "Righteousness exalteth a nation." A proclamation made by Governor Basse, in 1697, contains the following Christian record:- "It being very necessary for the good and prosperity of this province that our principal care be, in obedience to the laws of God, to endeavor as much as in us lyeth the extirpation of all sorts of looseness and profanity, and to unite in the fear and love of God and one another, that, by the religious and virtuous carriage and behavior of every one in his respective station and calling, the blessing of Almighty God may accompany our honest and lawful endeavors, I do therefore, by and with the advice of the Council of this province, strictly prohibit cursing, swearing, immoderate drinking, Sabbath-breaking, and all sorts of lewdness and profane behavior in word and action; and do strictly charge and command all justices of the peace, sheriffs, constables, and all other officers within the province, that they take due care that all laws made and provided for the suppression of vice and encouraging of religion and virtue, particularly the observance of the Lord's day, be duly put into execution."
Had a Christian colonization. Gustavus Adolphus, of the royal family of Sweden, projected an enterprise to aid in the Christian settlement of the New World. Its object, though in part commercial, was declared to be for the benefit of the "whole Protestant world." In 1637, two vessels, fitted out by the Government of Sweden, carried out a band of emigrants with their Christian teachers, and in the spring of 1638 they sailed into Delaware Bay and began the Christian colonization of that region. In 1640 the colony received Christian emigrants from New England. It continued a political connection with the colony of Pennsylvania till 1704, when it became an independent commonwealth.
THE COLONIZATION OF VIRGINIA
Began in 1607, fourteen years previous to the Puritan settlement in New England, and seventy-five before William Penn gave to Pennsylvania the basis of a Christian government. In April, 1606, James, King of England, granted to a colony forming to emigrate to America a charter for the possession of those territories lying on the sea-coast between the 34th and 45th degrees of north latitude [which includes all the coast from the southern border of North Carolina to the northern border of Maine], and all the islands within a hundred miles of those shores. That charter declared the design of the colonists to be "to make habitation and plantation and to deduce a colony of sundry of our people into that part of America commonly called Virginia; and that so noble a work may, by the providence of Almighty God, hereafter tend to the glory of his divine majesty in propagating of the Christian religion to such people as yet live in darkness and in miserable ignorance of the true knowledge and worship of God, and may, in time, bring the infidels and savages living in those parts to human civility and a quiet government."
It is, moreover, in the Virginia charter of 1609 declared "that it shall be necessary for all such as inhabit within the precincts of Virginia to determine to live together in the fear and true worship of Almighty God, Christian peace, and civil quietness;" and that "the principal effect which we [the crown] can desire or expect of this action is the conversion and reduction of the people in those parts unto the true worship of God and the Christian religion."
In a code of laws for the government of the Virginia colony, which the king assisted to frame, were "enjoined the preaching of the gospel in America, and the performance of divine worship in conformity with the doctrines and rites of the Church of England...."
"The colony of Virginia consisted of Church-of-England men, and many of their first acts related to provision for the Church. The ministers were considered, not as pious and charitable individuals, but as officers of state, bound to promote the true faith and aid sound morality by authority of the community by which they were paid, and to which they were held responsible for the performance of their duty. The very first act of the Assembly required every settlement in which the people worship God to build a house to be appropriated exclusively for that purpose; the second act imposed a penalty of a pound of tobacco for absence from divine service on Sunday; and another act prohibited any man from disposing of his tobacco until the minister's portion was paid.
When the population had increased to fifty thousand, in 1668, there were "nearly fifty Episcopal parishes, with as many glebes, church-edifices, and pastors. Episcopacy was established by law; attendance was enforced by penalties: even the sacramental services of the Church were legally enjoined upon the people; every thing wore the appearance of a very strict religious economy." The Christian religion was the underlying basis and the pervading element of all the social and civil institutions of the Virginia colony.
In 1662, the Assembly of Virginia passed an act to make permanent provision for the establishment of a college. The preamble of the act establishing it recites "that the want of able and faithful ministers in this country deprives us of those great blessings and mercies that always attend upon the service of God;" and the act itself declares "that for the advancement of learning, education of youth, supply of the ministry, and promotion of piety, there be land taken up and purchased for a college and free school, and that with all convenient speed there be buildings erected upon it for the entertainment of students and scholars." In 1693 the College of William and Mary was founded.
Began her colonial settlement in 1632, under the auspices of Lord Baltimore, a British nobleman and a Roman Catholic. His object was to "people a territory with colonists of his own religious faith, and to erect an asylum in North America for the Catholic religion." [Mary-Land, uh-huh] He obtained a charter from Charles I., in which it was declared that the "grantee was actuated by a laudable zeal for extending the Christian religion and the territory of the British empire; and if any doubt should ever arise concerning the true meaning of the charter, there should be no construction of it derogatory to the Christian religion."
The first band of colonists, consisting of two hundred men of rank, led by Leonard Calvert, brother of Lord Baltimore, sailed from England in November, 1632, and landed on the coast of Maryland early in 1633. As soon as they landed, the governor erected a cross, and took possession of the country "for our Lord Jesus Christ, and for our sovereign lord the King of England." "To every emigrant fifty acres of land were given in absolute fee; and the recognition of Christianity as the established faith of the land, with an exclusion of the political predominance or superiority of any particular sect or denomination of Christians was enacted." The colonists "soon converted a desolate wilderness into a flourishing commonwealth enlivened by industry and adorned by civilization."
Religious toleration was, from the beginning, proclaimed as one of the fundamental laws of the colony. The Assembly, mostly of the Roman Catholic faith, passed, in 1650, a memorable Christian act, entitled, an "Act concerning Religion." The preamble declared that "the enforcement of the conscience had been of dangerous consequence in those countries where it had been practised;" [Words echoed many times by the Founders of the Republic] and therefore it was ordained "that no person professing to believe in Jesus Christ should be molested on account of their faith, or denied the free exercise of their particular modes of worship." [So we see, just like as we saw with William Penn in Pennsylvania, that any religion was respected, so long as it was a Christian religion.] This act of religious toleration was as honorable to the first Catholic colony as it was a fitting tribute to the genius and sanction of the Christian religion. "It was the earliest example," says Judge Story, "of a legislator inviting his subjects to the free indulgence of religious opinion...."
Began her colonial existence and history under the auspices of the Christian religion. In 1662, a company of emigrants, generally grandees of England and courtiers of Charles II., obtained a charter and settled in South Carolina. In the charter, it was stated that the colonists, "excited with a laudable and pious zeal for the propagation of the gospel, have begged a certain country in the parts of America, not yet cultivated and planted, and only inhabited by some barbarous people, who have no knowledge of God."
In 1669, a second charter was obtained, and the outlines of its government, under the title of "the Fundamental Constitution of Carolina," was drawn up by John Locke, the great Christian philosopher, [who we will see was a good Christian, but sadly he was also quite the universalist: naive enough to believe that savages and jews can think as we do] who declared that Christianity had "God for its Author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter." In that constitution it is declared that -
"Since the natives of the place, who will be concerned in our plantations, are utterly strangers to Christianity, whose idolatry, ignorance, or mistake gives us no right to expel or treat them ill, and those who remove from other parts to plant there will undoubtedly be of different opinions concerning matters of religion, the liberty whereof they will expect to have allowed them, and it will not be reasonable on this account to keep them out; that civil peace may be maintained amidst the diversity of opinions, and our agreement and compact with all men may be duly and faithfully observed; the violation whereof, upon what pretence soever, cannot be, without great offence to Almighty God, and great scandal to the true religion which we profess; and also that Jews, heathens, and other dissenters from the purity of the Christian religion may not be scared and kept at a distance from it, but, by having opportunity of acquainting themselves with the truth and reasonableness of its doctrines and the peaceableness and inoffensiveness of its professors, may by good usage and persuasion, and all those convincing methods of gentleness and meekness suitable to the rules and designs of the gospel, be won over to embrace and unfeignedly to receive the truth: therefore any seven or more persons, agreeing in any religion, shall constitute a Church or profession, to which they shall give some name, to distinguish it from others."
In the terms of communion of every such Ohuroh or profession, it was required that the three following articles should appear:that there is a God; that public worship is due from all men to this Supreme Being; and that every citizen shall, at the command of the civil magistrate, deliver judicial testimony with some form of words indicating a recognition of divine justice and human responsibility. Only the acknowledged members of some Church or profession were capable of becoming freemen of Carolina, or of possessing any estate or habitation within the province; and all persons were forbidden to revile, disturb, or in any way persecute the members of any religious association allowed by law. What was enjoined to freemen was permitted to slaves, by an article which declared that "since charity obliges us to wish well to the souls of all men, and religion ought to alter nothing in any man's civil estate or right, it shall be lawful, for slaves, as well as others, to enter themselves and be of what Church or profession any of them shall think best and thereof be as fully members as any freeman." [So we see that the courtiers of Charles II set up a colony of tolerance far beyond the other colonies, except perhaps for Georgia. It must be noted, however, that many slaves of this period were White as well as black.]
In another of the articles of "the Fundamental Constitution" it was declared that "whenever the country should be sufficiently peopled and planted, the provincial parliament should enact regulations for the building of churches, and the public maintenance of divines, to be employed in the cause of religion according to the canons of the Church of England;" "which, being the only true and orthodox and the national religion of all the king's dominions, is so also of Carolina.; and therefore it alone shall be allowed to receive public maintenance by grant of parliament." [South Carolina was definitely planted with a different spirit than the northward colonies.]
After twenty years of experiment, the form of government instituted by Locke was abolished. The French Protestants, and Dissenters from England, became the ruling power, and established a more just and liberal system of government....
From the beginning of her colonial history, laid the basis of her institutions on Christianity. The first permanent settlements were made by fugitives from Virginia, who sought refuge from the rigid, intolerant laws of that colony, which bore so heavily on all that could not conform to the ceremonies of the established Church. [Virgina was Anglican, to the practical exclusion of the other sects, which was something that Mason and Madison, both Virginians, later legislated against.] When the Puritans were driven from Virginia, some eminently pious people settled along the seaboard, where they might be free from the oppression of intolerant laws and bigoted magistrates. About the year 1707, a colony of Huguenots located on the Trent River, and one of Palatines [Germans] at Newbern, each maintaining the peculiar religious services of the fatherland. The Quakers were, like other sects, compelled to flee from the severe laws passed against them in Virginia, and sought refuge in Carolina. As early as 1730, scattered families of Presbyterians from the north of Ireland were found in various parts of the colony. In 1736 a colony of Presbyterians came from the province of Ulster, Ireland, and made a permanent settlement. Subsequently several other colonies of Presbyterians came from Ireland, and settled in different sections of the colony. These Presbyterian bands rapidly increased, and formed numerous large congregations, which multiplied into other congregations; and thus the colony became thoroughly Christian, and the people imbued with a fervent love of liberty.
In 1746 and 1747 a large emigration of Scotch came into the colony of North Carolina. In the efforts of Prince Charles Edward to obtain the crown of England, the Scotch were in sympathy with him. George II. granted pardon to a large number on condition of their emigration and taking the oath of allegiance. This is the origin of the Scotch settlements in North Carolina. A large number who had taken up arms for the Pretender preferred exile to death or to subjugation in their native land, and during the years 1746 and 1747 emigrated with their families and those of many of their friends, to North Carolina. In the course of a few years, large companies of industrious Highlanders joined their countrymen.
This Christian people, both in Scotland and this country, contended "that obligation to God was above all human control, and for the government of their conscience in all matters of morality and religion the Bible is the storehouse of information, - acknowledging no Lord of the conscience but the Son of God, the head of the Church, Jesus Christ and the Bible as his divine communication for the welfare and guide of mankind."
The Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, who formed so large a proportion of the people of North Carolina, and moulded its religious and political character, were eminently pious and ardent lovers of liberty. "Their religious principles swayed their political opinions; and in maintaining their form of worship and their creed they learned republicanism before they emigrated to America." [I must say, that the entire idea of Republicanism is anchored in Christianity. We have fallen into democracy through jewish guile and our own ignorance.]
The religious creed of these Christian emigrants formed a part of their politics so far as to lead them to decide that no law of human government ought to be tolerated in opposition to the expressed will of God. Their ideas of religious liberty have given a coloring to their political notions on all subjects, - have been, indeed, the foundation of their political creed. The Bible was their text-book on all subjects of importance, and their resistance to tyrants was inspired by the free principles which it taught and enforced.
The following instructions to the delegates of Mecklenburg county exhibit the sentiments of the people on the Christian religion as the basis of civil government. It bears [the] date September 1, 1775. The first Provincial Congress of North Carolina was then in session....
"13th. You are instructed to assent and consent to the establishment of the Christian religion, as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, [so much for the so-called "New Testament Christians", who know a lot less about the Bible than these Scots-Irish did!] to be the religion of the state, to the utter exclusion forever of all and every other (falsely so called) religion, whether pagan or papal; and that a full and free and peaceable enjoyment thereof be secured to all and every constituent member of the state, as their individual right as freemen, without the imposition of rites and ceremonies [this is important!], whether claiming civil or ecclesiastical power for their source; and that a confession and profession of the religion as established shall be necessary in qualifying any person for public trust in the state.
"14th. You are also to oppose the establishment of any mode of worship to be supported to the oppression of the rights of conscience, and at the destruction of private judgment." [Again, thoughts echoed by the later founders of our Republic.]
This political paper declares that the people of North Carolina believed the Bible, and from it drew their principles of morals, religion, and politics. To abjure the Christian religion would have been, with them, to abjure freedom and immortality. They asserted in every political form the paramount authority of the Christian religion as the sole acknowledged religion of the state and community.
These Christian men, and others like them, constituted the celebrated Mecklenburg Convention of North Carolina convened in 1775. The convention was composed largely of Presbyterians, the most distinguished of whom were ministers. The delegates met on the 15th of May, 1775, and during their sittings news arrived of the battle of Lexington. Every delegate felt the value and importance of the prize of liberty, and the awful and solemn crisis which had arrived. Every bosom swelled with indignation at the malice, inveteracy, and insatiable revenge developed in the late attack at Lexington.
After a full and free discussion of various subjects, it was unanimously -
"2. Resolved, That we, the citizens of Mecklenburg county, do hereby dissolve the political bands which have connected us with the mother-country, and hereby absolve ourselves from allegiance to the British crown, and abjure all political connection, contract, and association, with that nation which has wantonly trampled on our rights and liberties, and inhumanly shed the innocent blood of American patriots at Lexington.
"3. Resolved, That we do hereby declare ourselves a free and independent people, - that we are, and of right ought to be, a sovereign and self-governing association, under the control of no power other than that of God and the general government of the Congress; to the maintenance of which independence we solemnly pledge to each other our mutual co-operation, our lives, our fortunes, and our most sacred honor."
This declaration of independence preceded the one made by Congress in 1776 more than a year, and is a noble monument of the patriotism and piety of the people of North Carolina....
THE COLONY OF GEORGIA
[Georgia] Has a suggestive Christian history. James Oglethorpe, a member of the British Parliament, imbued with the philanthropic spirit of the gospel, obtained in 1732 a charter from George II. to establish a colony in North America. He had in former years devoted himself to the benevolent work of relieving multitudes in England who were imprisoned for debt and suffering in loathsome jails. Actuated by Christian motives, he desired to see these poor sufferers placed in an independent condition, and projected a colony in America for that purpose. "For them, and for persecuted Protestants," says Bancroft, "he planned an asylum and a destiny in America, where former poverty would be no reproach, and where the simplicity of piety could indulge the spirit of devotion without fear of persecution from men who hated the rebuke of its example." This Christian enterprise enlisted "the benevolence of England; the charities of an opulent and enlightened nation were to be concentrated on the new plantation; the Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts sought to promote its interests; and Parliament showed its good will by contributing ten thousand pounds."
In January, 1732, Oglethorpe, with one hundred and twenty emigrants, landed in America, and on the basis of the Christian religion laid the future commonwealth of Georgia, The Christian liberality and philanthropy of the founder of the colony spread its fame far and wide; for it was announced that the rights of citizenship and all the immunities of the colony "would be extended to all Protestant emigrants from any nation of Europe, desirous of refuge from persecution, or willing to undertake the religious instruction of the Indians." The Moravians, or United Brethren, - a denomination of Christians founded by Count Zinzendorf, a German nobleman of the fifteenth century, - were invited to emigrate to the colony of Georgia. They accepted the invitation, and arrived in the winter of 1736. Their object was to Christianize and convert the Indians, and to aid in planting the institutions of the New World on the basis of Christianity. The journal of John Wesley during the voyage exhibits the godly manner of the emigrants. "Our common way," says he, "of living was this. From four of the morning till five, each of us used private prayer. From five to seven we read the Bible together, carefully comparing it (that we might not lean to our own understanding) with the writings of the earliest ages. [As I have said for years, the Bible and the Classics go hand-in-hand and then we can understand God and History.] At eight were public prayers. At four were the evening prayers, - when either the second lesson was explained, or the children were catechized and instructed before the congregation. From five to six we again used private prayer. At seven I joined with the Germans in their public service. At eight we met again, to exhort and instruct one another. Between nine and ten we went to bed, where neither the roaring of the sea nor the motion of the ship could take away the refreshing sleep which God gave us." What a Christian way of spending the time, for emigrants sailing over the mighty deep to aid in founding a Christian empire on the shores of a new world!
When these Christian emigrants touched the shore, their first act was "to kneel and return thanks to God for their having safely arrived in Georgia." "Our end in leaving our native country," said they, "is not to gain riches and honor, but singly this, - to live wholly to the glory of God." Their object was "to make Georgia a religious colony, having no theory but devotion, no ambition but to quicken the sentment of piety."
The Christian founder of the commonwealth of Georgia carried his Christian principles into all the official transactions of the colony. The survey and division of the lots in the city of Savannah were conducted under the sanctions of religion. On the 7th of July, 1733, the ... bluff of the river, before Oglethorpe's tent, and, having returned thanks to Almighty God and joined in prayer for his blessing to rest upon the colony and city they were about to found, they proceeded to lay out the lots and divide them in a Christian manner. They felt and said, "Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."
Under the administration of Oglethorpe, the colony greatly prospered and increased in numbers. "His undertaking will succeed," said Johnson, Governor of South Carolina; "for he nobly devotes all his powers to serve the poor and rescue them from wretchedness." "He bears a great love to the servants and children of God," said the pastor of a Moravian church. "He has taken care of us to the utmost of his ability. God has so blessed us with his presence and his regulations in the land, that others would not in many years have accomplished what he has brought about in one."
In 1734, after a residence of fifteen months in Georgia, Oglethorpe returned to England. He succeeded in obtaining additional patronage for the colony, and in October, 1735, set sail with three hundred emigrants, and after a long and stormy voyage they reached the colony of Georgia in February, 1736, where they were joined a few days after by a band of Christian emigrants from the highlands of Scotland.
These colonists were accompanied by John and Charles Wesley, the founders of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Their purpose was to aid Oglethorpe in his philanthropic labors and to convert the Indians to Christianity. [I wonder if we have learned the folly of this lesson by now.] Charles Wesley held the office of Secretary for Indian Affairs, and also that of a chaplain to Governor Oglethorpe....
"It is a matter of great interest," says the historian of Georgia, "that religion was planted with the first settlers, and that the English, the Salzburgers, the Moravians, the Methodists, the Presbyterians, and the Israelites [where he mistakenly means the jews, and Georgia was as tolerant of them as was South Carolina] severally brought with them the ministers of the worship of their respective creeds [rabbis in Georgia]. The Christian element of colonization - that without which the others are powerless to give true and lasting elevation - entered largely into the colonization of Georgia, and did much for her prosperity and glory. No colony can point to a leader or founder in whose character meet more eminent qualities or more enduring worth than in that of James Oglethorpe, the father of Georgia."
[THE FOLLOWING IS THE CONCLUSION OF THIS SECTION ON THE FOUNDATION OF THE COLONIES:]
These Christian facts in the colonial history of our country suggest the following lessons:-
1. The faith of the Puritans, and of the founders of the various colonies, in the divine origin and authority of civil government....
2. The subordination of civil government to the power of the Christian religion....
3. The end and operations of civil government to propagate and subserve the Christian religion....
4. The position and influence of the ministers of the gospel in the civil affairs of the state....
Today our Christian Churches have signed away their responsibility to be true community leaders, having voluntarily turned it over to the IRS and to the jews in exchange for tax benefits! Now they are all mere agents of the anti-Christ jewish state!