POLITICAL SERMONS FROM PASTORS IN THE FOUNDING ERA
Pastor Roger Anghis
September 1, 2013
Election sermon given by Pastor Samuel Cooke, A. E., Pastor of the Second Church in Cambridge, MA, May 30, 1770.
This sermon was given shortly after the “Boston Massacre” denouncing the abuse of power exhibited by the British government. This message was so powerful that the Massachusetts House of Representatives ordered the sermon to be printed and distributed.
Samuel 23:3- The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me,
He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.
4- And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.
What we have been seeing in this sermon from 1770 is that the pastors of that day were heavily involved in the teaching of the character of the politician or as referred to by Cooke, ruler. Society during the Founding Era and even before always required men of high character to be placed in authority over the people. Cooke continues with his definition of the character of those chosen to by the people to rule over the people. “And rulers greatly tarnish their dignity when they attempt to treat their subjects otherwise than as their fellow-men, — men who have reposed the highest confidence in their fidelity, and to whom they are accountable for their public conduct, — and, in a word, men among whom they must, without distinction, stand before the dread tribunal of Heaven. Just rulers, therefore, in making and executing the laws of society, will consider who they are to oblige, and accommodate them to the state and condition of men.” (Emphasis mine)
Today our laws are so complex and lengthy that even most lawyers have a hard time understanding them. Remember the 2500 page Obamacare law that Pelosi said that we would have to pass it to find out what is in it? We are still finding out what is in it and none of it has been beneficial to any American, except the members of Congress and the President and muslims who don’t have to participate in it. Cooke gives the biblical description of what our laws should look like. “Fidelity to the public requires that the laws be as plain and explicit as possible, that the less knowing may understand, and not be ensnared by them, while the artful evade their force. Mysteries of law and government may be made a cloak of unrighteousness. The benefits of the constitution and of the laws must extend to every branch and each individual in society, of whatever degree, that every man may enjoy his property, and pursue his honest course of life with security. The just ruler, sensible he is in trust for the public, with an impartial hand will supply the various offices in society ; his eye will be upon the faithful ; merit only in the candidate will attract his attention.” (Emphasis mine)
One of the things that they were concerned about in the Founding Era is something that today is common place in government and that is a government job can be one of the most permanent things that we will ever see AND most profitable. I remember as a kid and even into my thirties that a government job paid less than its counterpart in the private sector. Today most government jobs pay close to twice that the private sector pays. Cooke and the preachers of his day preached against what we are experiencing today because government is not supposed to be a lucrative opportunity. “A people, therefore, for their own security, must be supposed willing to pay tribute to whom it is due, and freely support the dignity of those under whose protection they confide. On the other hand, the people may apprehend that they have just reason to complain of oppression and wrong, and to be jealous of their liberties, when subordinate public offices are made the surest step to wealth and ease. This not only increases the expenses of government, but is naturally productive of dissipation and luxury, of the severest animosities among candidates for public posts, and of venality and corruption — the most fatal to a free state.” (Emphasis mine)
Over the last 10-15 years and the last 5 in particular we have seen our Congress and the Executive Branch completely ignore the Constitution in passing laws and enforcing laws. Neither George H.W. Bush nor George W. Bush would do anything about the illegal immigration that was and is still pouring over our southern border. Bill Clinton did nothing as well. The Obama administration has sued states that have acted on their own to secure their borders with Mexico to protect their citizens. The Obama administration through Obamacare is forcing companies to violate their religious beliefs and 1st Amendment rights concerning abortion and homosexual ‘marriage’. Obama using the NSA to spy on people and collect data from emails, phone calls and online social media posts that blatantly violates our 4th Amendment rights and has defended it in court by stating that the 4th Amendment allows for him to do this. The Attorney general for the State of New Mexico will not stop a county clerk from issuing same-sex ‘marriage’ licenses even though the State of New Mexico does not recognize same-sex ‘marriage’. In doing so he is refusing to uphold the laws of his State and the governor has done nothing about it.
In Cooke’s society none of this would have been allowed. The people themselves would have rioted to put a stop to this blatant violation of the law by those entrusted to enforce those laws. He and most other preachers taught just how the government should operate. “Rulers are appointed guardians of the constitution in their respective stations, and must confine themselves within the limits by which their authority is circumscribed. A free state will no longer continue so than while the constitution is maintained entire in all its branches and connections.
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If the several members of the legislative power become entirely independent of each other, it produceth a schism in the body politic; and the effect is the same when the executive is in no degree under the control of the legislative power,—the balance is destroyed, and the execution of the laws left to arbitrary will. The several branches of civil power, as joint pillars, each bearing its due proportion, are the support, and the only proper support, of a political structure regularly formed. A constitution which cannot support its own weight must fall; it must be supposed essentially defective in its form or administration.” (Emphasis mine)
He is stating that when a government no longer abides by its Constitution, as the government we now have in Washington, it will collapse on itself because the foundation has been taken out from underneath it, which is the adherence to the rule of law.
Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers
Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), p. 165
2. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), p. 165-166
3. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), p. 166
4. Obama administration asks Supreme Court to allow warrantless cellphone searches.
5. New Mexico Attorney General Refuses to Stop Same-Sex Marriage Licenses.
6. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), p. 167
© 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