POLITICAL SERMONS FROM PASTORS IN THE FOUNDING ERA
Pastor Roger Anghis
August 18, 2013
Dr. Jonathan Mayhew - UNLIMITED SUBMISSION AND NON-RESISTANCE TO THE HIGHER POWERS. Sermon preached in the West Meeting House in Boston on January 30, 1749
Romans 13:1-8 - Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of
God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
(3) For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
(4) For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
(5) Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
(6) For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
(7) Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
(8) Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
One thing that we must realize is that there must be some form of government as man will have a tendency to do what he wants as opposed to what he should. When Paul states in Romans 13: 3 - For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil, it is a reference to a government that is set up to institute the principles of God. He is not talking about a theocracy but a human government set up to allow the people the freedoms that God has given them but reign in those that wish to override those laws and force a different system on the people in general, such as the present Obama administration.
When we look at the Mayflower Contract we see that the primary reason that the pilgrims settled in America was to propagate the gospel of Jesus Christ:
"In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord, King James, by the Grace of God, of England, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, e&.
Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia; do by these presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; (Emphasis mine)
Mayhew continues with this line of thought stating: “And if we attend to the nature of the argument with which the apostle here enforces the duty of submission to the higher powers, we shall find it to be such a one as concludes not in favor of submission to all who bear the title of rulers in common, but only to those who actually perform the duty of rulers by exercising a reasonable and just authority for the good of human society. This is a point which it will be proper to enlarge upon, because the question before us turns very much upon the truth or falsehood of this position. It is obvious, then, in general, that the civil rulers whom the apostle here speaks of, and obedience to whom he presses upon Christians as a duty, are good rulers, such as are, in the exercise of their office and power, benefactors to society. Such they are described to be throughout this passage. Thus, it is said that they are not a terror to good works, but to the evil ; that they are God's ministers for good ; revengers to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil ; and that they attend continually upon this very thing.” (Emphasis mine)
Mayhew confirms his understanding that it is only those rulers that are acting according to the dictates of God for the good of the people that we are to be submissive to:
“It is manifest that this character and description of rulers agrees only to such as are rulers in fact, as well as in name; to such as govern well, and act agreeably to their office. And the apostle's argument for submission to rulers is wholly built and grounded upon a presumption that they do in fact answer this character, and is of no force at all upon supposition of the contrary. If rulers are a terror to good works, and not to the evil ; if they are not ministers for good to society, but for evil and distress, by violence and oppression; if they execute wrath upon sober, peaceable persons, who do their duty as members of society, and suffer rich and honorable knaves to escape with impunity; if, instead of attending continually upon the good work of advancing the public welfare, they attend continually upon the gratification of their own lust and pride and ambition, to the destruction of the public welfare ; —if this be the case, it is plain that the apostle's argument for submission does not reach them; they are not the same, but different persons from those whom he characterizes, and who must be obeyed, according to his reasoning.” (Emphasis mine)
Mayhew make a definitive case in his explanation of who the Christian is to be submissive to. He believes that there is a specific character for a ruler and that his duties are for the benefit of those he is in authority over.
“If those who bear the title of civil rulers do not perform the duty of civil rulers, but act directly counter to the sole end and design of their office ; if they injure and oppress their subjects, instead of defending their rights and doing them good, they have not the least pretence to be honored, obeyed, and rewarded, according to the apostle's argument. For his reasoning, in order to show the duty of subjection to the higher powers, is, as was before observed, built wholly upon the supposition that they do, in fact, perform the duty of rulers.” (Emphasis mine)
In a very pointed statement he declares that man is not ordained to rule in any manner other than the way God intends. “Rulers have no authority from God to do mischief. They are not God's ordinance, or God's ministers, in any other sense than as it is by his permission and providence that they are exalted to bear rule; and as magistracy duly exercised, and authority rightly applied, in the enacting and executing good laws, — laws attempered and accommodated to the common welfare of the subjects, —must be supposed to be agreeable to the will of the beneficent Author and supreme Lord of the universe, whose " kingdom ruleth over all," and whose " tender mercies are over all his works." (Emphasis mine)
Today we have an administration that defies God almost on a daily basis. The forcing of religious organizations to violate their religious beliefs by supplying abortion medications, forcing companies to support homosexual ‘marriages’, not allowing chaplains to operate according to their faith, keeping military personnel from sharing their faith even when asked about it but allowing muslims in the military to proselytize anywhere at any time is a violation of our First Amendment.
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This is the type of administration that Mayhew was referring to when he stated: “if they injure and oppress their subjects, instead of defending their rights and doing them good, they have not the least pretence to be honored, obeyed, and rewarded, according to the apostle's argument”
I believe that we have a new revolution coming. It may not be like the last one as there are too many people that will arise to defend our way of life. During the Revolutionary War only about 25% of the people favored the split with England. Today over 60% of this nation is tired of the way we are going. It will be almost impossible to defend against t hat size of opposition.
Stay informed to stay free.
Roger Anghis, Defining America’s Exceptionalism, (Bloomington:
Westbow Press 2012), p.8.
2. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), pp. 69-70.
3. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), pp. 70-71.
4. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), pp. 72-73.
© 2013 Roger Anghis - All Rights Reserved
Pastor Roger Anghis is the Founder of RestoreFreeSpeech.org, an organization designed to draw attention to the need of returning free speech rights to churches that was restricted in 1954.
President of The Damascus Project, TheDamascusProject.org, which has a stated purpose of teaching pastors and lay people the need of the churches involvement in the political arena and to teach the historical role of Christianity in the politics of the United States. Married-37 years, 3 children, three grandchildren.
Web site: RestoreFreeSpeech.org