Has America Forgotten Its Divine Origin and Destiny?
Michael L. Chadwick
Former Professional Staff Member, Subcommittee on the Constitution,
Committee on the Judiciary, U. S. Senate and Director of the National
Bicentennial Program on the U. S. Constitution, Washington, D. C.
Boise, Idaho: Liberty Park USA Publishing Company
P. O. Box 16184. Boise, Idaho 83715
Copyright © 2007 by Michael L. Chadwick. All rights reserved.
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Table of Contents
Part I—The Rise of God’s New Israel in America
1. The Holy Bible Is the Word of God
2. America Was Kept Hidden from the World by God
3. The Pilgrims and Puritans Came to America for Religious Freedom
4. The Rise of God’s New Israel
5. The Revolutionary War Was Decreed by God
6. The Early Clergy Played a Major Role in Promoting Liberty
7. The Declaration of Independence Is America’s Spiritual Manifesto
8. State Constitutions Are Key to Preserving Liberty
9. The U. S. Constitution Is an Inspired Document
10. The Federalist Is America’s Political Bible
11. The Bill of Rights Is America’s Ten Commandments
12. George Washington’s Farewell Address Was Inspired by God
13. The Free Market System Guarantees Economic Liberty
14. The Civil War Was God’s Retribution upon the Nation for Slavery
15. America’s Greatest Exports—Freedom and Christianity
Part II—Under Siege – The Secular War against the Holy Scriptures
16. The Holy Bible—The Foundation of Reality
17. The Rise of Agnosticism and Atheism in Europe
18. The School of Higher Criticism
19. Charles Lyell Seeks to Replace Biblical Catastrophism
20. Charles Darwin Seeks to Replace the Holy Bible
21. Theistic Evolution—the Seduction of the Clergy
22. Intellectuals Embrace Darwinism
23. Secularism Takes Over Education in America
24. Secularism Takes Over Government and the Courts
25. Secularism Takes Over the Media
26. Secularism Takes Over the Foundations
27. A New Secular Religion Arises in America
28. A New Secular State Arises in America
29. Secularism Seeks to Replace Christianity in America
30. Is It Time to Replace Secularism with Christianity?
Statements by Early Clergy and Statesmen
Virtues of the Christian System
Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age, by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls, of inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity and universal philanthropy, and, in subordination to these great principles, the lover of their country; of instructing them in the art of self-government without which they never can act a wise part in the government of societies, great or small; in short, of leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system....—Samuel Adams, October 4, 1790
The Influence of Christianity
To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity re diminished in any nation; either through unbelief, or the corruption of its doctrines, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom, and approximate the miseries of complete despotism.—Dr. Jedediah Morse, April 25, 1799
The Holy Bible
The moral principles and precepts contained in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.—Noah Webster
America—A Christian Nation
The proposition that the United States of America are a Christian and Protestant nation is not so much the assertion of a principle as the statement of a fact. That fact is not simply that the great majority of the people are Christians and Protestants, but t he the organic life, the institutions, laws, and official action of the government, whether that action should be legislative, judicial, or executive, is, and of right should be, and in fact must be, in accordance with the principles of Protestant Christianity.—Reverend Charles Hodge, Princeton Seminary, 1876
America Is a Christian Nation
This is a Christian nation, first in name, and secondly because of the many and mighty elements of pure Christianity which have given it character and shaped its destiny from the beginning. It is preeminently the land of the Bible, of the Christian Church, and of the Christian Sabbath. It is the land of the great and extensive and oft-repeated revivals of a spiritual religion,—the land of a free conscience and of free speech,—the land of noble charities and of manifold and earnest efforts for t he elevation and welfare of the human race. The chief security and glory of the United States of America has been, is now, and will forever, the prevalence and domination of the Christian faith.—B. Sutherland
Diffuse a Knowledge of the Bible
Diffuse the knowledge of the Bible, and the hungry will be fed, and the naked clothed. Diffuse the knowledge of the Bible, and the stranger will be sheltered, the prisoner visited, and the sick ministered unto. Diffuse the knowledge of the Bible, and Temperance will rest upon a surer basis than any mere private pledge or public statute. Diffuse the knowledge of the Bible, and the peace of the world will be secured by more substantial safeguards than either the mutual fear, or the reciprocal interests, of princes or of people. Diffuse the knowledge of the Bible, and the day will be hastened, as it can be hastened in no other way, when every yoke shall be loosened, and every bond broken, and when there shall be no more leading into captivity....—John Winthrop
The Religious Character of America
Finally, let us not forget the religious character of our origin. Our fathers were brought hither by their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of their society, and to diffuse its influence through all their institutions, civil, political, or literary. Let us cherish these sentiments, and extend this influence still more widely; in the full conviction, that, that is the happiest society which partakes in the highest degree of the mild and peaceful spirit of Christianity.—Daniel Webster
Part I—White House Guest Taken to Mayo Clinic
On January 20, 2004 one of America’s most distinguished citizens and a close personal friend of the president was taken secretly to Scottsdale, Arizona for emergency treatment. It appears that the VIP was visiting with the president in the Oval office prior to the State of the Union address when he became disoriented and confused. Due to the celebrity status of the guest and the possible effect upon Wall Street and world financial markets (if word of his illness was discovered by the press), the Secret Service decided to secretly escort him to Andrews Air Force base outside Washington, D. C. He was quietly flown to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona on a U. S. Air Force Lear jet for a comprehensive examination and diagnosis.
When the plane arrived in Phoenix, the Secret Service quickly escorted the VIP to a private entrance at the Mayo Clinic. A team of doctors had been alerted and were waiting for the guest when he arrived. The guest was given a battery of mental and physical examinations and tests.
After several days of examinations the group of distinguished doctors and medial examiners met in secret to discuss the findings of their week long examination of the VIP. The team of doctors was united in their diagnosis of their renowned guest. One of the most famous people in American history was suffering from an acute case of amnesia.
The noted guest could not remember his name, where he came from, what he was doing at the present time or where he was going in the future.
Types of Amnesia in the World Today
Amnesia is “a disturbance in the memory of information stored in long—term memory, in contrast to short—term memory, manifested by total or partial inability to recall past experiences.” (Stedman’s Medical Dictionary.) The medical examiners pointed out to family and friends of the guest that there are several types of amnesia:
“Anterograde Amnesia—Inability to remember ongoing events after the incidence of trauma or the onset of the disease that causes amnesia.
“Emotional—Hysterical Amnesia—Memory loss caused by psychological trauma; usually a temporary condition.
“Lacunar Amnesia—Inability to remember a specific event.
“Korsakoff Amnesia—Memory loss caused by chronic alcoholism
“Post-hypnotic Amnesia—Memory loss sustained from a hypnotic state; can include inability to recall events that occurred during hypnosis or information stored in long-term memory.
“Retrograde Amnesia—Inability to remember events that occurred before the incidence of trauma or the onset of disease that caused the amnesia..
“Transient Global Amnesia—Spontaneous memory loss that can last from minutes to several hours; usually seen in middle-aged to elderly people.” (Stedman’s Medical Dictionary.)
Based upon a preliminary diagnosis and examination, the doctors ruled out the following types of amnesia: (1) Lacunar Amnesia because the memory loss experienced by the VIP involves more than a single event; (2) Korsakoff Amnesia because the patient did not consume alcohol; (3) post-hypnotic Amnesia because the patient had never been hypnotized; and (4) Transient Global Amnesia because the memory loss has lasted for several days instead of several hours.
The team of distinguished doctors believed the patient was suffering from a combination of Anterograde Amnesia, Emotional-Hysterical Amnesia and Retrograde Amnesia. They were quick to point out that it would be necessary to conduct further tests, studies and evaluations before a final diagnosis could be reached. The team also assured family and friends of the VIP guest that in most cases amnesia was just a temporary condition lasting for a few weeks or months.
After extensive consultations with the distinguished group of doctors at the Mayo Clinic, close relatives and friends of the guest decided it would be best to seclude the VIP at a private resort in the desert of Arizona, while a team of doctors at the Mayo Clinic and around America could devise a medical plan to help the guest regain his memory.
Important Items That the VIP Guest Could Not Remember
The doctors and medical staff at the hospital prepared a detailed list of items which the VIP could not recall. Their special guest could not remember that:
1. The Holy Bible is the Word of God
2. America Was Kept Hidden from the World by God
3. The Pilgrims and Puritans Came to America for Religious Freedom
4. America is God’s New Israel
5. The Revolutionary War Was Decreed By God
6. The Early Clergy Played a Major Rome in Promoting Liberty
7. The Declaration of Independence is America’s Spiritual Manifesto
8. State Constitutions Are Key to Preserving Liberty
9. The U. S. Constitution is an Inspired Document
10. The Federalist is America’s Political Bible
11. The Bill of Rights is America’s Ten Commandments
12. George Washington’s Farewell Address Was Inspired by God
13. The Free Market System Guarantees Economic Liberty
14. The Civil War Was God’s Retribution Upon the Nation for Slavery
15. America’s Greatest Exports are Freedom and Christianity
16. The Holy Bible is the Foundation of Reality
17. Agnosticism and Atheism Arose in Europe
18. School of Higher Criticism Is Seeking To Destroy the King James Version of the Holy Bible
19. Charles Lyell Sought to Replace Biblical Catastrophism
20. Charles Darwin Sought to Replace the Holy Bible
21. Theistic Evolution is Being Used to Deceive and Seduce the Clergy
22. Intellectuals Have Embraced Darwinism Throughout the World
23. Secularism Has Taken Over Education in America
24. Secularism Has Taken Over Government and the Courts
25. Secularism Has Taken Over the Media
26. Secularism Has Taken Over the Foundations
27. A New Secular Religion Has Arisen in America
28. A New Secular State Has Arisen in America
29. Secularism is Seeking to Replace Christianity in America
No doubt the treatment plan devised by the extraordinary team of doctors at the Mayo Clinic will help the VIP to regain his memory in the not too distant future. By the way, the name of the person on the medical chart was simply listed as Uncle Sam.
The medical team has asked the author to prepare a series of papers on various subjects to help their patient regain his memory. The chapters in this volume were prepared at the doctor’s request.
Part II—The Loss of Memory is Devastating for a Nation
The loss of memory is as important for nations as it is for individuals. Arthur M. Schlesinger, writing in a famous treatise entitled, The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multi-cultural Society stated:
“Writing history is an old and honorable profession with distinctive standards and purposes. The historian’s goals are accuracy, analysis, and objectivity in the reconstruction of the past. But history is more than an academic discipline up there in the stratosphere. It also has its own role in the future of nations.
“For history is to the nation rather as memory is to the individual. As an individual deprived of memory becomes disoriented and lost, not knowing where he has been or where he is going, so a nation denied a conception of its past will be disabled in dealing with its present and its future. As the means of defining national identity, history becomes a means of shaping history.
“The writing of history then turns from a moderation into a weapon. ‘Who controls the past controls the future,’ runs the Party slogan in George Orwell’s 1984; ‘who controls the present controls the past.’” (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 1992, pp. 46-47.)
History is a guide to the past, but just as important, it is a guide to the future. In the hands of the ruling elite, history becomes a weapon. “The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then have someone write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long the nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was.” (A historian in Milan Kundera’s, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting. Quoted in Schlesinger, p. 52.)
The American people have lost their institutional memory of the Christian heritage that guided the nation for nearly 300 years. From 1620 until 1920 the people believed that America had a divine origin and destiny. That divinely decreed destiny was of America was to serve as the cradle of liberty and the home of Christianity.
In 1920 a new civil religion emerged in America and it quickly began attacking Christianity. Know as secularism, this new belief system was based upon agnosticism and atheism. The Bible was replaced with the Origin of Man by Charles Darwin. An ideological civil war erupted between those who believe in God and those who believe in the evolutionary development of man from a single cell through natural processes. In this new secular religion there is no God and no Creator. There is no divine rights of man and no spark of divinity in man.
The proponents of secularism quickly began to takeover the institutions of learning in America. First, the universities were seized and Christians were told to vacate the premises and not to return. Next, the philosophy of secularism began to trickle down into the public school system and gradually the entire nation was indoctrinated in a new religion without their even knowing it. They succeeded in removing Christianity from education in America through a strategy known as gradualism.
Once they gained control of the educational system in America, the secularists targeted other institutions such as government, media, publishing houses, foundations, courts, and corporations. A new religion replaced Christianity and America became a secular state.
From 1920 until 2004 Christianity has been in retreat. It is time to halt the growth of secularism in America. It is time to restore the Christian religion in America. It is time to take a stand in the war between good and evil, right and wrong, light and darkness, freedom and tyranny. It is time to stand firmly in the defense of Christianity and its noble principles and doctrines. It is time to defend the founding fathers and the founding documents of America. It is time to defend the divinity of Jesus Christ as the Savior and Redeemer of the world. It is time to accept the Holy Bible as the Word of God and adhere to its inspired messages and declarations. It is time to say, enough is enough. It is time to repeat the cry once heard throughout the American colonies, “Don’t Tread on me.” It is time to say no to the basic principles, philosophies and beliefs of secularism which are destroying the heart and soul of American society and the world at large.
Part I — The Rise of God’s New Israel in America
Chapter 1 — The Holy Bible Is the Word of God
Part A — A Testimony of God and His Son Jesus Christ
The King James Version of the Holy Bible contains the mind and will of God and His Son Jesus Christ as given to the prophets and apostles under the guidance and inspiration of heaven and the Holy Ghost.
This sacred book of scripture has had a greater impact upon the inhabitants of the earth than any other book ever printed. There is a magical quality about its verses. The more you read them the greater insights you gain and the more clearly you see the world around you. The writings of the Holy Prophets reveal the richness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
There are twelve important reasons to study the Old Testament.
1. It bears a powerful testimony concerning the existence of God the Eternal Father.
2. It reveals that God created the earth as the future home of His spirit sons and daughters.
3. It reveals that God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and that the partaking of the forbidden fruit brought about the Fall thereby introducing mortality and death into the world.
4. It reveals the importance of making and keeping covenants with God.
5. It reveals the lineage of the House of Israel and the important role which it would play in the development of events on earth.
6. It reveals that God is the author of liberty and that God has given each person on earth the opportunity to choose between good and evil, right and wrong, light and darkness and freedom and tyranny.
7. It reveals that God intervenes directly in the affairs of individuals and nations when the situation demands such intervention.
8. It reveals the blessing gains through obedience to the commandments of God and the gospel and the consequences of disobedience and rebellion.
9. It reveals the existence of Lucifer, the fallen angel who rebelled, along with a third of the hosts of heaven, against God the Eternal Father and His son Jesus Christ.
10. It contains the prophecies and warnings given to the world through the inspired prophets of God.
11. It reveals that the God of the Old Testament is really Jesus Christ.
12. It reveals that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem and that He would complete His foreordained role as the Savior and Redeemer of the world thus bringing to pass the great Atonement and Resurrection.
There are twelve important reasons to study the New Testament.
1. It bears a powerful testimony that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the world.
2. It reveals that Jesus is the Son of God or the Man of Holiness.
3. It reveals the early life and ministry of Jesus Christ.
4. It reveals the important role which John the Baptist played in baptizing the Son of God.
5. It reveals the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ.
6. It reveals the calling of Apostles to bear testimony of the Savior.
7. It reveals the teachings of the Savior and the principles of the gospel He taught to the people in Israel.
8. It reveals the importance of obedience to gospel of Jesus Christ.
9. It reveals important prophecies concerning the last days.
10. It reveals the terrible agony the Savior went through in the Garden of Gethsemane and upon the cross as He atoned for the sins of all mankind.
11. It reveals that the infinite and eternal Atonement is complete.
12. It reveals that Jesus was resurrected and ascended into heaven after spending forty days with His apostles, friends and saints.
Great personal joy, happiness, peace and satisfaction is gained when you spend a few minutes or more each day reading and pondering the King James Version of the Holy Scriptures and the inspired messages contained in the sacred pages.
Part B —The Bible—A Sealed Book
Regrettably, to most people on earth the Holy Bible is a sealed book. It is sealed not by Deity, but by man because they refuse to open its pages and drink from the fountain of pure knowledge and truth.
The Holy Bible has two seals upon it—the seal of ignorance and the seal of intellectuality. During the Dark Ages only a few people had access to the Holy Scriptures. During this time a number of false doctrines were introduced to the world by uninspired priests and clergy. The Renaissance and the Reformation broke the chains of darkness that had enslaved the world.
The translation and publication of the King James Version of the Bible in 1611 is a turning point in world history. Now the people of the earth could read the Holy Scriptures for themselves and not be dependent upon a few elite priests or clergy to tell them what was contained in the sacred books of the Holy Bible.
The second seal upon the Holy Bible is the seal of intellectuality. So-called intellectuals and scholars have published their own private interpretations and translations of the Holy Scriptures and mislead millions of people throughout the ages. The apostle Paul warned that the inhabitants of the earth that "the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils:
"Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.... (1 Timothy 4: 1-2.)
Paul also warned us to, "Beware lest any man spoil you through vain philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments the world, and not after Christ. (Colossians 2: 18.)
The School of Higher Criticism Emerges
One group of so-called intellectuals have spent their entire lives attacking the Holy Bible. They are proponents of a school of philosophy called "higher criticism." Their mission is to destroy a belief in God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Bible.
The Holy Bible was prepared by God throughout the ages for the benefit and enlightenment of each and every person on earth. A careful study of its sacred pages will yield indescribable blessings for the person who prayerfully ponders and applies the teachings contained therein in their daily lives.
The publication of the Holy Bible was an important step in the establishment of the United States of America.
The Importance of the King James Version of the Holy Bible
Since there are no original copies of the actual manuscripts which contain the writings of the prophets and apostles in the Holy Bible, it is very important which Holy Bible we use for daily study.
The only copies that we have today are copies of copies. There are two Greek texts which most translations are based. However, one set of the translations was carefully edited and secularized by ancient scribes, monks, priests, etc. They removed practically all the references to the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. The other copy, while not perfect, contains the verses which clearly outline the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The latter copies of the Greek manuscripts were used by the translators of the King James Version of the Holy Bible. It should be utilized above all others major translations at this time if you want to read the words of Jesus, his prophets and apostles. These manuscripts closely resemble the original manuscripts.
The importance of adherence to the King James Version of the Holy Bible cannot be stressed enough. All other translations, especially those made since the 1700s have been made by scholars, who are not authorized to change or alter or edit the Word of God as it was given by inspiration to the prophets and apostles of old.
Chapter 2—America Was Kept Hidden from the World by God
One of the key players in the great drama unfolding throughout Europe in the late 1400s was Christopher Columbus, a man of God. He firmly believed that he had been divinely called to discover a new land, help spread the Christian religion throughout the New World and help redeem Jerusalem before the second coming of Jesus Christ. He was a man of vision, courage, faith and determination who sought to do the will of God each day.
Columbus wrote that, "At a very early age I began to navigate upon the seas, which I continued to this day.... Such has been my interest for more than forty years ....I prayed to the most merciful Lord concerning my desire, and he gave me the spirit and the intelligence for it. (Delno C. West and August Kling, The Libro de las Profecias of Christopher Columbus. Gainesville Florida: University of Florida Press, 1991, p. 105.)
We do not know the exact date he was born, but it was probably in the year 1451 in Genoa, Italy. Columbus's name means Christ-bearer.
A Servant of the Most High God
After his discovery of the New World, Columbus always signed his name on important documents with these words: "I am a servant of the Most High Savior, O Christ, Mary, Joseph! Christ-bearer." His father was a master weaver and merchant. Columbus "learned his letters at a tender age and studied enough at the University of Pavia to understand the geographers, of whose teaching he was very fond. (Ferdinand Columbus, The Life of the Admiral Christopher Columbus by His Son Ferdinand, Translated by Benjamin Keen. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1959, p.9)
According to Las Casas, a priest and historian, "In matters of the Christian religion, without doubt he was a Catholic and of great devotion .... He observed the fasts of the Church most faithfully, confessed and made communion often, read the canonical offices like a churchman or member of the religious order, hated blasphemy and profane swearing." (Samuel Eliot Morison, Admiral of the Ocean Sea. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1942, Vol.1, p. 63.)
Columbus Desires to Share the Spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Columbus possessed a deep desire to carry the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the inhabitants of the New World. La Casas wrote, "He was extraordinary zealous for the divine service; he desired and was eager for the conversion of these people (Indians), and that in every region the faith of Jesus Christ be planted and enhanced ... ever holding great confidence in divine providence." (Morison 1:63-64.) Indeed, the prime motivation for Columbus's desire to sail across the ocean was to spread the Christian religion throughout the New World.
During the 15th century two important events occurred in the world that would help shape the mission of Columbus. The Ottoman Empire was expanding and it captured Constantinople in 1453. It had been a Christian city and the European sea merchants were fearful that it would negatively affect trade. After seizing Constantinople, the Turks expanded into the Aegean and Adriatic Seas and eventually captured Otranto, an Italian port city. In 1475 the Turks captured Caffa, the last Italian trading post in the Black Sea.
By the time of 1520 the Ottoman Empire had conquered Palestine, Syria, Africa and parts of Central Europe. The expansion of the Ottoman Empire greatly affected the Italian sea merchants who had previously traded in the highly profitable spice and aromatic markets of Eastern Mediterranean. It is no wonder that navigators began to look for alternative routes to the spice markets.
The Gutenberg Bible Was Printed in 1456
The second major event that paved the way for Columbus's journey was the invention of the printing press by Johann Gutenberg in about 1455. The Gutenberg Bible was printed in 1456, a remarkable feat at that time. After the publication of the Holy Bible Columbus began an earnest study of its sacred pages and drew inspiration and courage from its verses.
Christopher Columbus was a skillful sailor who took his profession very seriously. Since Genoa was a busy port with a deep harbor, ships, merchants and sailors crammed the busy street daily. He longed for the sea and spend his life in and around the ocean. In 1501 he wrote a letter to Ferdinand and Isabella where he stated, "I have passed more than forty years in this business and have traveled to every place where there is navigation up to the present time." (John Boyd Thatcher, Christopher Columbus, His Life, His Work, His Remains. New York: AMS Press, Inc. 1967, Volume 1: p. 12.) From the time of an early age, the young sailor was actively involved in merchant sea trading.
God Saves Columbus from Drowning at Sea
In May of 1476 Columbus decided to sail with a Genoese merchant fleet heading for England. He was desirous to sail on the Atlantic Ocean. The fleet met with good weather until August 13'h when French war ships launched a surprise attack as the fleet sailed near the coast of Portugal. Seven ships were lost and hundreds of sailors drowned. The sip which Columbus was sailing caught fire from the explosions and the crew had to abandon ship. At the time the ship was approximately six miles off shore. Columbus grabbed an oar floating in the water and made his way to shore.
Ferdinand, the son of Christopher Columbus believed that his father's life had been spared by God for a greater cause. He wrote that, "it pleased God, who was preserving him for greater things, to give him strength to reach the shore." (Ferdinand Columbus, p. 14.) And so it was. Providence had intervened and saved the life the famous sailor who was destined to discover the new world. It appears that it was important for Columbus to be in Portugal for a season for reasons known only at the time by God.
Once on shore Columbus made his way to Lisbon, Portugal where he entered the map-making business with a group of Genoese merchants. At the time Lisbon was the world center for discovery. Prince Henry the Navigator had established the world's leading research center for oceanic travel and exploration. The merchants were attempting to reach India and Asia and some of the world's leading sailors, explorers, map-makers and businessmen were located in Lisbon. At this time Portugal was Europe's leading maritime kingdom.
Once in Lisbon the young sailor yearned to return to the sea and made trips to Iceland and the Madeira Islands. He was expanding his knowledge of the Atlantic Ocean.
Columbus Marries Felipa Perestrelloe Moniz
As with nearly all young men, Columbus met a beautiful woman and fell in love. In approximately 1479 he married Felipa Perestrelloe Moniz, the daughter of Bartholomew Perestrello, a Portuguese noble. Once again the hand of Providence is manifest. Ferdinand, Columbus's son, recorded that his father "behaved very honorably and a man of handsome presence and one who never turned from the path of honesty, ...(Felipa) had such conversation and friendship with him that she became his wife." (Ferdinand Columbus, p. 14.) The young couple had met at Catholic mass, a lesson for all young men looking for a bride.
Access to the Royal Courts of Europe
Felipa was from a family of nobility and their marriage would allow Columbus access to the royal courts of Europe where one day soon he would begin presenting his plan to the monarchs of Spain to finance his voyage to the New World. Without the help of Felipa, Columbus would never have gained the access of the royal courts of Europe. The young couple lived on the Madeiras Islands for a few years until Columbus was prompted to return to the sea for his mission had not yet been competed. During the time they were living on the islands, Columbus sailed to the Gold Coast of Africa. They had a son which they named Diego.
Las Casas noted that with the completion of this trip, " Columbus was the most outstanding sailor in the world, versed like no other in the art of navigation, for which Providence chose him to accomplish the most outstanding feat ever accomplished in the world until now." (Bartolome de Las Casas, History of the Indies. Translated and Edited by Andree Collard, Edited by Silvio A. Bedini, New York: Harper and Row, 1971, p. 17.)
A Continent Kept Hidden from the World
Columbus was now ready to begin planning an expedition that would thrust the name of Christ-bearer into the pages of world history until the end of time. He called his bold plan the "Enterprise of the Indies.” It was his dream to reach the Indies by sailing west instead of east. Once again Providence had a surprise for Columbus. He would not reach the Indies, but instead he would be guided to a New World, a continent that had been kept hidden by Providence for centuries to prevent European powers from overrunning it and undermining the future plans of God.
At the time of Columbus no one in Europe was aware of the North American continent. It was deliberately kept hidden from the world so the purposes of God concerning the last days could be brought out. And Christopher Columbus was a key player in the great drama being orchestrated by Providence. America was being prepared as a special inheritance for a special people who would establish the mightiest nation on earth. The hand of God in the discovery of the Americas was clearly evident through the life of Christopher Columbus.
God Kept America Hidden From the World
It is now clear that God deliberately kept the Americas hidden until after the breakup of the Roman Empire into various kingdoms that flourished in the 14th and 15th centuries in Europe. Over 250 years later, another Catholic by the name of Alexis de Tocqueville, a prominent Frenchman would write that, "When the earth was given to men by the creator, the earth was inexhaustible; but men were weak and ignorant, and when they had learned to take advantage of the treasures which it contained, they already covered its surface and were soon obligated to earn by the sword an asylum for repose and freedom. Just then North America was discovered, as if it had been kept in reserve by the Deity and had just risen from the waters of the Deluge." (Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America. New York: Random House, 1991 edition, Volume I, p. 291.)
Chapter 3—The Pilgrims and Puritans Came to America for Religious Freedom
During the Middle Ages the monarchs and priests had joined in an evil alliance to keep the people ignorant so they would remain in a state of bondage and slavery. That is one reason they opposed the printing of the Holy Bible and that is why they fought the reformers who challenged the tyranny of the Old World. While Christopher Columbus was busy opening the New World, the Lord was preparing a new people to inhabit a new continent that would be dedicated to political, economic and religious liberty.
The noble and valiant effort of such men as John Wycliffe and William Tyndale helped prepare the way for the great restoration of freedom that lay ahead. They were raised up by God to play a critical role at a crucial time in world history. The shackles of the Old World were being broken up by the Lord and those whom He raised up to establish liberty.
Upon the return of Columbus to Spain news of the discovery of a new world quickly spread throughout the ports of Europe. New voyages set off for the New World. One group that sought to flee from the despotic rule of the kings of Europe and England at the time was referred to as Pilgrims.
Spain, Portugal, France and England were the principal powers involved in the discovery and exploration of the Americas. All were ruled by despotic monarchs. Those who fled England and Europe at the time were indeed fleeing from captivity and bondage.
Pilgrims Seek Religious Liberty
The Pilgrims consisted of about one hundred men, women and children. The small company that came to America was not seeking gold and silver. Instead they were seeking religious liberty. They simply wanted to be free to worship God according to their own conscience. They had left the Church of England and were called separatists. They felt that the Church of England when it broke off from Rome had retained certain doctrines and rituals which they felt were wrong.
At this time the nations of Europe were under state religions. The religious authorities strictly enforced the creeds upon the people in order to preserve the control of the Church of Rome over the continent. Although England had broken free and established the Church of England, it was still a state religion and the people were not free to worship as they wanted. To disagree with the king on religious matters was akin to treason and the people were burned at the stake for heresy.
In the case of James I of England, he began his reign by declaring that the people would confirm to the Church of England or he would run them out of England. The separatists (or Pilgrims) actually fled England to escape imprisonment and death. They went to live in the Holland in 1607 and 1608. The separatists stayed there only for a short time.
Of Plymouth Plantation
One of the remarkable documents of this period is the account written by the first governor in New England. His name was William Bradford and his wonderful chronicle of the Pilgrims flight to America is recorded in the famous treatise entitled Of Plymouth Plantation. Concerning the flight of the Pilgrims to Holland, he recorded: "it is well know unto the godly and judicious, how ever since the first breaking our of the light of the gospel in our honourable nation of England, (which was the first of nations whom the Lord adorned therewith after the gross darkness of popery which had covered and overspread the Christian world), what wars and oppositions ever since, Satan hath raised, maintained and continued against the Saints, from time to time, in one sort or other. Sometimes by bloody death and cruel torments; other whiles imprisonments, banishments and other hard usages; as being loath his kingdom should go down, the truth prevail and the churches of God revert to their ancient purity and recover their primitive order, liberty and beauty. (William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647. Samuel Eliot Morison, editor. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1952, I, p. 3.)
Pilgrims Encounter a Fierce Storm on the Way to Holland
It seems that the Pilgrims were destined to play an important role in the unfolding drama of the establishment of America. Bradford records that a fierce storm, not unlike the one that nearly destroyed Columbus on his voyage back from the New World nearly drowned the entire congregation before they reached Holland. Bradford tells us that, "They endured a fearful storm at sea, being fourteen days or more before they arrived at their port; in seven whereof they neither saw sun, moon nor stars, and were driven near the coast of Norway; the mariners themselves often despairing of life, and once with shrieks and cries gave over all, as if the ship had been foundered in the sea and they sinking without recovery. But when man's hope and help wholly failed, the Lord's power and mercy appeared in their recovery; for the ship rose again and gave the mariners courage again to manager her.... When the water ran into their mouths and ears and the mariners cried out, ‘We sink, we sink!’ they cried (if not with miraculous, yet with a great height or degree of divine faith), ‘Yet Lord Thou canst save! Yet Lord Thou canst save!’ Upon which the ship did not only recover, but shortly after the violence of the storm began to abate, and the Lord filled their afflicted minds with comforts as everyone cannot understand, and in the end brought them to their desired have, where the people came flocking, admiring their deliverance." (William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, II, p. 13.)
While they were in Holland many people fled England and came over to live in the new congregation. Bradford records that, "So they grew in knowledge and other gifts and graces of t he Spirit of God, and lived together in peace and love and holiness and many came unto them from divers parts of England, so as they grew a great congregation. (William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, III, pp. 17-18.)
However, when they saw that their children were being drawn too much into the Dutch world, they decided to seek refuge elsewhere. According to Bradford, "The place they had thoughts on was some of those vast and unpeopled countries of America, which are fruitful and fit for habitation, being devoid of all civil inhabitants." (William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, IV, p. 25.)
Separatists Decide To Seek a New Home in America
In 1617 the separatists or Pilgrims decided to seek a new home in America. They were not unaware of the dangers ahead. Bradford tell us that, "It was granted the dangers were great, but not desperate. The difficulties were many, but not invincible. For though there were many of them likely, yet they were not certain.
It might be sundry of the things feared might never befall; others by provident care and the use of the good means might in a great measure be prevented; and all of them, through the help of God, by fortitude and patience, might either be borne or overcome." (William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, IV, p. 27.)
The separatists decided to colonize the northern part of Virginia and obtained a patent or land grant from the Virginia Company in London. The separatists formed a company and obtained the funds for the voyage from merchants in London. They entered into a seven year agreement with the Virginia Company and agreed to supply the company with valuable goods from the New World in exchange for food and supplies from London.
Prayer and Fasting Before the Voyage
Before the new Pilgrims set sail on September 6, 1620 for the New World they gathered for prayer and fasting. Bradford stated: "So being ready to depart, they had a day of solemn humiliation, their pastor taking his text from Ezra viii. 21: ‘And there at the river by Ahava, I proclaimed a fast, that we might be humble ourselves before our God, and seek of him a right way for us, and for our children, and for all our substance.' Upon which he spent a good part of the day very profitably and suitable to their present occasion; the rest of the time was spent in pouring out prayers to the Lord with great fervency, mixed with abundance of tears.... So they left that goodly and pleasant city which had been their resting place near twelve years; but they know they were pilgrims, and looked not so much on those things, but lifted up their eyes to the heavens, their dearest county, and quieted their spirits." (William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, VII, p. 47.)
The Voyage of the Mayflower
The separatists were originally planning on sailing to America in two ships, the Speedwell and the Mayflower. However, the Speedwell started taking on water and the ship turned around and came back to port. All of the passengers (44 of the 102 passengers were separatists) traveled on board the Mayflower.
The Pilgrims set out for America seeking freedom of religion and a new place for their congregation and families. Since they were English, they were well aware of the difficult transition that England had made when it left Catholicism and formed the Church of England. This humble group of people willingly gave up their homes in England for the opportunity to experience freedom of religion. They did not feel that the Church of Rome or the Church of England had the right to use compulsion to force worship of God. They felt that worship of God should be voluntary and were willing to brave the elements of the New World in search of a better way. Their faith and resolved would be put to the test in America. They remembered the story of how Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were cast into a fiery furnace for not following the Babylonian King. (See Daniel 3.) God had blessed them for their faithfulness and the Pilgrims felt that God was with them and would bless them too.
The voyage to the New World on the Mayflower was perilous and the Pilgrims often wondered if they would reach the shores of America. However, Providence was watching over the small vessel just as He had watched over Columbus and his men earlier. And the one hundred and two people on the Mayflower knew that a Higher Power had delivered them safely to the New World. Bradford recorded that, "Being thus arrived in a good harbor, and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of Heaven who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all the perils and miseries thereof." (William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, IX, p. 61.)
The separatists were scheduled to land in Northern Virginia, however, a storm blew them off course and they ended up at Cape Cod. In light of the patent with the Virginia Company the captain of the Mayflower decided to sail southward. They soon encountered large waves and shoals and they returned to Cape Cod. From there they began surveying the area and finally decided to locate at Plymouth.
Chapter 4 — The Rise of God’ New Israel in America
In the 1630s new immigrants were flowing into America and a new nation was finally beginning to take shape. However, this nation was not like the nations of Europe who were ruled by elite financial oligarchies, Monarchial Kings and priests. America had a divine origin and destiny. It was designed by God to serve as the home of freedom, liberty and Christianity. The Pilgrims and Puritans had fled religious tyranny and oppression in England and Europe. They did not want to set up another Europe.
The early Puritans set out to establish a system of government that would ensure that their rights, privileges and liberties were upheld and perpetuated. As each of the colonies came into existence they adopted charters, covenants and constitutions that furthered the development of self-government in America. Their laws were derived from the Holy Bible.
After the Mayflower Compact, the Puritans produced another document that would revolutionize the New World. It was known as the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut. A group of freemen gathered in New Haven, Connecticut on January 14, 163 9 and produced a constitution that would govern the new colony. The importance of this document lies in the fact that it acknowledged that the origin of civil government was derived from God. It is based upon the teachings of the Apostle Paul who wrote that, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers, For there is no power but of the powers that be are ordained of God." (Romans 13: 1.)
Constitution of Connecticut
The constitution of Connecticut stated:
"I. That the Scriptures hold forth a perfect rule for the direction and government of all men in all duties which they are to perform to God and men, as well in families and commonwealths as in matters of church.
"II. That as in matters which concerned the gathering and ordering of a church, so likewise in all public offices which concern civil order,—as the choice of magistrates and officers, making and repealing laws, dividing allotments of inheritance, and all things of like nature,—they would all be governed by those rules which the scripture held forth to them.
"III. That all those who had desired to be received free planters had settled in the plantation with a purpose, resolution, and desire that they might be admitted into church fellowship according to Christ.
"IV. That all the free planters held themselves bound to establish such civil order as might best conduce to the securing of the purity and peace of the ordinance to themselves, and their posterity according to God." (Fundamental Orders of Connecticut. New Haven, Connecticut, 1639.)
Fundamental Orders of Connecticut
The General Court under the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut was ordered to observe God's law: "That God's world should be the only rule for ordering the affairs of government in t his commonwealth." (Fundamental Orders of Connecticut. New Haven, Connecticut, 1639.) On September 30, 1648 the synod of the New England churches met at Cambridge, Massachusetts and outlined the nature of civil government, the functions of the civil magistrates and the duties of each of its citizens. The document stated:
"I. God, the Supreme Lord and King of all the world, hath ordained civil magistrates to be under him, over the people, and for his own glory and the public good; and to this end hath armed them with the power of the sword for the defense and encouragement of them that do well, and for the punishment of evil-doers.
"II. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of magistrate when called there unto. In the management whereof, as they ought especially to maintain piety, justice, and peace, according to the wholesome laws of the Commonwealth, so for that end they may lawfully now, under the New Testament, wage war upon just and necessary occasions.
"III.. They who, upon pretence of Christian liberty, shall oppose any lawful power, or the lawful exercises of it, resist the ordinances of God.... may be called to account and proceeded against by the censure of the church and by the power of the civil magistrate.
"IV. It is the duty of the people to pray for magistrates, to honor their persons, to pay them tribute and other dues, to obey their lawful commands, and to be subject to their authority for conscience's sake. "'
"Civil government on the basis of the Bible and free principles of a pure Christianity was not the only object that the Puritans had in view in coming to the New World. They had also the great and good end of extending and establishing the kingdom of Christ, and of bringing the whole continent under the reign of Christianity and filling it with its saving blessings"
"In 1643, a confederation between the colonies of Massachusetts, New Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven was formed, in which it is affirmed that 'we all came into these parts of America with the same end and
aim, namely, to advance the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to enjoy the liberties thereof with purity and peace, and for preserving and propagating the truth and liberties of the gospel."
Another colony which made an important contribution to the development of self-government in America was Pennsylvania. The colony was founded by William Penn. It was a proprietary colony and the English Crown has empowered him to govern it. Penn was very tolerant toward the religious views of others and was determined to establish a haven for those in Europe to escape the religious persecution and tyranny that existed in those countries.
William Penn's Frame of Government
On April 25, 1682 Penn drafted the "Frame of Government" for the colony of Pennsylvania. It stated 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 that hold themselves obligated 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." (Frame of Government, April 25, 1682.)
The first legislative act in Pennsylvania outlined the purpose of civil government in the eyes of the Quakers. It stated 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...." The act outlined that it was the purpose of the civil government to establish "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." (Legislative Act, Pennsylvania, December, 1682.)
If you examine the statutes, charters, constitutions, laws and governing documents drafted by the Pilgrims and Puritans and those who settled each of the colonies from 1620 through 1776 there is a common thread that binds them all together. That tread is the Holy Bible. Although each of the colonies was founded by those with slightly different religious persuasions and viewpoints, they all looked to the Holy Bible for guidance and direction in formulating and administering their laws. They were all united in the belief that America had a divine origin and destiny. And they were all grateful to be apart of such a noble endeavor.
The colonists endeavored to establish freedom and liberty throughout the colonies and to promote Christianity as the best hope for mankind. Those who lived in the colonies were avid students of the Bible. It was the one book that was read daily by almost everyone.
Prophecy on the Future of America
In 1763 pastor Ebenezer Baldwin uttered a prophecy concerning the future of America. In a sermon he predicted that America would become "the Foundation of a great and mighty empire; the largest the world ever saw." This empire would "be founded on such Principles of Liberty and Freedom, both civil and religious, as never before took place in the world." He felt that America would become "the Principal Seat of the glorious kingdom, which Christ shall erect upon Earth in the latter days." (Harry S. Stout, New England Soul, p. 308.)
If you study the letters, pamphlets, and books written between 1620 and 1776 you find a similar thread running throughout them. And once again that thread is the Holy Bible and its principles, doctrines, commandments, laws, ordinances and prophecies. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the guiding light of America. No other book was esteemed so much as the Holy Bible.
America was discovered, settled and developed by those who adhered to the basic principles of Christianity and who took the Holy Bible as their guide in all things. America is a Christian nation. And the God of this land is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world.
Chapter 5—The Revolutionary War Was Decreed By God
From 1620 until the 1720s the colonies labored to develop a system of local self-government in order to preserve the blessings of liberty for themselves and their posterity. However, by 1750 the colonists became convinced that there was a conspiracy in operation to destroy their liberties. The British Crown was fearful that the colonies were becoming too powerful and sought ways to curtail that power and to stop the flood of immigration from England and parts of Europe.
The British merchants realized that America could easily become the most prosperous nation on earth if its growth was not checked and controlled from London. They also realized that if America continued to grow and prosper that it would one day become the most powerful nation on earth. The British Empire began developing plans to subvert America and bring them into further subjection to Great Britain.
The British Crown decided that it would begin tightening trade restriction on the colonies. From the British point of view the colonies were only useful if they were profitable. Trade between England and America was carefully designed to build and expand the British Empire. The colonies were being exploited and the colonists were beginning to feel the burden of building the British Empire and financing its war efforts with France and other enemies.
The American colonies were considered the possessions of the Crown. The people in America were expected to ship raw materials to England in order for British industry to manufacture products that then would be sold back to the colonies. America's manufacturing and industrial base was still in its infancy state but it was beginning to grow.
The Puritans discovered that it was cheaper to buy manufactured products made at home than pay for them to be imported from England. In addition, the American made products were often superior to those made by the British.
The British Empire operated under a set of monopoly trade laws. In fact that is why the elite financial oligarchies that have ruled Europe and Asia for centuries have used the Empire Model to control world trade and markets. So-called free trade, a pillar of the British Empire, is never free at all. The name is merely used to deceive people into supporting monopolies and cartels around the world. All wars between nations are economic in origin. They are really trade wars.
The British Empire which was now spreading throughout the world was attempting to control world trade. The British merchants looked at America as a closed market which they could regulate in order to insure that the colonies sent raw materials to England and imported British manufactured goods.
The colonists decided that enough is enough. It was a time to stop these unfair trade policies and develop America's manufacturing and industrial base so it could provide for the needs of the American people and export products throughout the world. Of course such a course of action would destroy the British Empire.
The colonists believed that the Kings and Princes were merely the agents of the real powers which operate in secret behind the Monarchies and Crowns of Europe and the Empires in Asia. Policies are made by the Finance and Trade Ministers. A trade war was underway between the colonists and the British Empire. (See Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. Harvard University Press. 1967.)
To make matters worse for the British, the colonists were building bigger, better and faster shipping boats than England and the daring Americans had no qualm about penetrating British markets around the world. The British really hated New England. These colonies were the heart of the Puritans and Protestant colonies in America. It was in New England that the resistance movement would fester and grow into a revolution. A group of mighty patriots were being raised up in New England to challenge the giant British Empire.
Sons of Liberty Formed
The inspired oratory of James Otis motivated Samuel Adams to form the famous Sons of Liberty in Boston. The Sons of Liberty would become the central guidance system and backbone of the American Revolution. Samuel Adams and James Otis were brilliant organizers and motivators.
Samuel Adams was a member of the Congregational Church and held prayer meetings daily at his home. He would become the Father of the American Revolution.
Soon Sons of Liberty began springing up in every town in New England and the surrounding colonies. In June of 1765 Samuel Adams and James Otis sent a circular letter to leaders in the colonies inviting them to sent delegates to a Congress which was scheduled to convene in New York in October. Nine of the 13 colonies sent 27 delegates. It became known as the Stamp Act Congress. The delegates passed a series of resolutions demanding that Parliament rescind the Stamp Act. They also reminded the Crown of the colonies' basic rights such as no taxation without representation.
This was a monumental moment for the colonies. In fact it was a turning point in the American Rebellion. From the time the Congress adjourned the leaders of the colonies who favored independence began working closely together. The Sons of Liberty became a world class revolutionary band of freedom-fighters dedicated to preserving American liberties and opposing the tyranny of the British Empire and Crown.
In 1766 Parliament repealed the Stamp Act. However, it was too little and too late. The fires of the American Revolution were starting to burn brightly all over New England.
In June of 1767 Parliament passed the Townshend Act which placed high duties once again on English products being imported into America. It only added more wood to the revolutionary fire that was already burning.
Parliament also passed the Declaratory Act which stated the powers of Parliament were not in any way limited in regard to the colonies. It boldly declared that Parliament had the "full power and authority to make laws and statutes of sufficient force and validity to bind the colonies and people of America, subjects of the
Crown of Great Britain, in cases whatsoever." (Declaratory Act.)
On October 1, 1768 two regiments of British soldiers arrived and were stationed in Boston. They were soon joined by two more regiments. The Crown was beginning its move to strike at the heart of the American Rebellion, the town of Boston. The message was loud and clear. Either the colonies submit to all of Parliament's Acts and become completely subservient to London, or they would be forced by arms to do so.
The Land of America Is a Gift from Heaven
The Sons of Liberty organized a boycott of all British imports. In the meantime the New York Gazette published an article by one the leading aristocratic families in the colonies. William Livingston wrote: "Courage Americas ... the finger of God points out a mighty empire to your sons.... the land we possess is a gift of Heaven to our fathers. Divine Providence seems to have decreed it to our latest posterity....The day dawns in which the foundation of this mighty empire is to be laid by the establishment of a regular American Constitution. All that has hitherto been done seem to be little besides this collection of materials for the construction of this glorious fabric.' Tis time to put them together. ... Our growth is so vast that before seven years roll over our heads the first stone must be laid—Peace or war: famine or plenty; poverty or affluence.... What an era this is to America; and how loud the call to violence and activity.!" (New York Gazette)
The Sons of Liberty had a mighty challenge to persuade the leading citizens of the colonies to support their cause. However, the article by Livingston went a long way to persuading them to join the battle for liberty. He was soon joined by other leading citizens of the colonies.
A Farmer's Letter
During the winter of 1767-1768 a prominent lawyer from Pennsylvania wrote a series of letters which were published in newspapers throughout the colonies. They were compiled into a pamphlet entitled, "A Farmer's Letter to the Inhabitants of the British Colonies." John Dickinson outlined the natural rights of the colonists in these words: "Our vigilance and our union are success and safety. Our negligence and our division are distress and death. Let us consider ourselves as men—freemen—Christian freemen—separated from the world, and firmly bound together by the same rights, interests and dangers...
Let these truths be indelibly impressed on our minds—that we cannot be happy without being free—that we cannot be free without being secure in our property, if without our consent others, may as by right, take it away—that taxes imposed on us by Parliament do thus take it away—that duties laid for the sole purpose of raising money are taxes—that attempts to lay such duties should be instantly and firmly opposed—that this opposition can never be effectual unless it is the united effort of the provinces.
"The belief is these truths, I verily think, my countrymen, is indispensably necessary to your happiness. I bespeech you, therefore, teach them diligently to your children, and talk of them when you sit in your houses, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up....
"Prosperity does not depend on ministerial favors doled out to particular provinces. They form one political body, of which each colony is a member. Their happiness is founded on their constitution, and is to be promoted by preserving their constitution in unabated vigor, throughout every part. A spot, a speck of decay, however small the limb on which it appears, and however remote it may seem from the vitals, should be alarming...
Slavery is Ever Preceded by Sleep
"Let us take care of our rights, and we therein take care of our prosperity.... Slavery is ever preceded by sleep.... If we are not affected by any reverence for the memory of our ancestors who transmitted to us that freedom in which they had been blessed—if we are not animated by any regard for posterity, to whom, by the most sacred obligations, we are bound to deliver down the invaluable inheritance, then indeed any minister, or any tool of a minister, or any creature of a tool of a minister, or any lower instrument of administration, if lower there is a personage whom it may be dangerous to offend....
"Whatever kind of minister he is that attempts to innovate a single iota in the privileges of these colonies,
him I hope you will undauntedly oppose.... On such emergencies you may surely, without presumption, believe that Almighty God Himself will down upon your righteous contest with gracious approbation. You will be a band of brothers, cemented by the dearest ties, and strengthened with inconceivable supplies of force and constancy, by that sympathetic ardor, which animates good men, confederated in a single cause.... You are assigned by Divine Providence in the appointed order of things, the protection of unborn ages, whose fate depends on your virtue." (John Dickinson, Pamphlet.)
While the lawyers use logic to appeal to the educated in the colonies, Samuel Adams developed the emotional side of the argument for liberty. He designed a number of symbols to stir the hearts of the emerging patriots. The Liberty Tree is one of the most famous symbols in American History. The large elm was located in the Boston Common and provided an excellent opportunity for daily protests against British tax collectors and custom agents. Effigies of these officials were hung from the tree and lanterns were hung from the branches to show the colonies the way to liberty.
Adams asked John Dickinson to compose a patriotic song for the protesters. He composed the following words:
Come join hand in hand, brave Americans all;
And rouse your bold hearts at fair Liberty's call
No tyrannous acts shall suppress your just claim;
Or stain your dishonor America's name.
In freedom we're born and in freedom we'll live
Our purses are ready
Steady, Friends, steady
Not as slaves, but as freemen our money we'll give
Then join in hand brave Americans all;
By united we stand, by dividing we fall.
To die we can bear, but to serve we disdain,
For shame is to freemen more dreadful that pain.
—(John Dickinson, Song)
James Otis and Samuel Adams began a concerted effort to gather key merchants, shop owners, ship builders, lawyers and prominent citizens to the cause of liberty. John Hancock was one of Boston's wealthiest merchants. The British Crown believed that he was one of the most dangerous men in New England. Why? It was because he the chief financier of the Sons of Liberty and the chief financier of the American Rebellion and soon was to become the chief financier of the American Revolution.
Adams and Otis kept up a steady parade of agitation before the Liberty Tree to the consternation of British officials in New England who were sending intelligence reports on the activities of Hancock, Adams, Otis and other patriotic leaders to London. The battle lines were being clearly drawn. Providence had raised up a mighty group of men to fight for liberty.
John Hancock's famous sloop was named Liberty and one day while in the Boston Harbor British Commissioner of Customs arrested him for open defiance of British authority. Hancock was falsely charged with smuggling. The British were attempting to stop the financing of the Sons of Liberty. Hancock was saved by a
so-called mob of friendly supporters. They also caught two British officials and gave them a taste of American street fighting. Joseph Harrison and Benjamin Hallowell, the two British officials were released and quickly retired from the British service.
Upon seeing the streets full of protestors, the British quickly dropped their alleged case against Hancock. The war was underway in all but name only.
General Thomas Gage who was in Boston with the British troops encouraged London to move quickly against Hancock and the Sons of Liberty.
The Boston Gazette quickly wrote an editorial which stated that, "If an army should be sent to reduce us to slavery, we will put our lives in our hands and cry to the Judge of the earth.... Behold how they come to cast us out of this possession which Thou hast given us to inherit. Help us Lord, our God, for we rest on Thee." (Boston Gazette.)
The Boston Massacre
On March 5, 1770 Parliament repealed the Townsend Act. On the same day in New England there were street protests and confrontations between citizens of Boston and British Troops stationed in the city. It has been snowing during the day and in the evening a group of young people began hurling snow balls at the troops. Angry words filled the air and several soldiers gathered to help their besieged colleague. A fight broke out between the soldiers and the young protestors. One of the soldiers fired his musket, but he missed the young men. Another soldier fired his musket and hit a young man named Sam Gray. Soon the soldiers were firing their muskets and another young man named Crispus Attucks, a black man was killed. When the smoke finally cleared the area, three Bostonians were dead and two lay mortally wounded.
News of the event spread like wildfire throughout the city and countryside. The tragic event was called the Boston Massacre. Cries of protest were heard throughout the colonies and the Sons of Liberty distributed leaflets and pamphlets on the tragic incident. They attacked the British occupation of Boston and the British army was forced to withdraw from the city to prevent further bloodshed and the start of a war.
The Sons of Liberty began an even more concerted effort to root the British out of New England. The patriot leaders were well aware that there was a concerted effort underway to enslave the colonies and destroy their religious liberty and political liberty. They believed that the British Crown and British Merchants were involved a conspiracy to strip the colonies of their hard earned liberties and place them in bondage again. The Sons of Liberty were determined that these conspirators would not succeed, even if it meant war with the most powerful nation one earth. (See Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. Harvard University Press. 1967.)
A Boston Town Meeting in 1770 reported that, "A series of occurrences, many recent events, ... afford great reason to believe that a deep-laid and desperate plan of imperial despotism has been laid, and partly executed, for the extinction of civil liberty...." (Report of Town Meeting, 1770.)
John Adams, the cousin of Samuel Adams had written earlier that, "There seems to be a direct and formal design on foot to enslave all America. This, however, must be done by degree. The first step that is intended seems to be an entire subversion of the whole system of our fathers by the introduction of the canon and feudal law into America.". (Works, 111, p. 464.)
Chapter 6—The Early Clergy Played a Mayor Role in Promoting Liberty
From the days of William Bradford and the arrival of the Pilgrims and Puritans on the shores of the New World, the sermon has played a key role in shaping the minds of men. In America the sermon played a prominent role in shaping the future leaders of America and instilling in them a sense of America's divine origin and destiny.
Harry S. Stout tells us that, "The sermon stood alone in local New England contexts as the only regular (at lest weekly) medium of communication. As a channel of information, it combined religious, educational, and journalistic functions, and supplied all the key terms necessary to understand existence in this world and the next.
As the only event in public assembly that regularly brought the entire community together, it also represented the central ritual of social order and control. Seldom, if ever before, did so many people hear the same message of purpose and direction over so long a period of time as did the New England `Puritans.'
"The seventeenth-century founders of New England set out to create a unique and self-perpetuating `people of the Word,' and by extending the sermon to all significant facets of life—social and political, as well as religious—they achieved exactly that. Throughout the colonial era the regular `planting' of churches in most
towns kept pace with the growth of population so that by the time of the Revolution there were 720 Congregational churches in New England.
"In like manner the number of college-educated, ordained ministers grew with the population, resulting in a constant ratio of preachers to general population that was among the lowest—if not the lowest—in the Protestant world. Twice on Sunday and often once during the week, every minister in New England delivered sermons lasting between one and two hours in length.
"Collectively over the entire span of the colonial period, sermons totaled over five million separate messages in a society whose population never exceeded one half million and whose principal city never grew beyond seventeen thousand. The average weekly churchgoer in New England (and there were far more churchgoers that church members( listened to something like seven thousand sermons in a lifetime, totaling somewhere around fifteen thousand hours of concentrated listening. These striking statistics become even more significant when it is recalled that until the last decade o f the colonial era there were at the local level few, if any, competing public speakers offering alternative messages. For all intents and purposes, the sermon was the only voice of regular voice of authority.) (Harry S. Stout, The New England Soul: Preaching and Religious Culture in Colonial New England. New York: Oxford University Press. 1986, pp. 3-4.)
Sermons on Liberty
During the Revolutionary era the pulpits were literally aflame with liberty. During the critical time in America's conflict with Great Britain England, the Congregational ministers in New England were delivering 2000 sermons a week. Harry S. Stout tells us that, "In Revolutionary New England, ministers continued to monopolize public communications, and the terms they most often employed to justify resistance and to instill hope emanated from the Scriptures and from New England's enduring identity as an embattled people of the Word who were commissioned to uphold a sacred and exclusive covenant between themselves and God.