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.
So far in this one sermon by Pastor Samuel Cooke we have seen him give biblical directives concerning the character of politicians, the types of laws and how they were to be worded and the balance of powers in government along with upholding the laws of the State. That is more than most preachers today preach in a lifetime. That is why we are in the shape that we are in; the church has sidestepped its responsibilities concerning the type of person that we are to place in authority over us and giving the correct manner in which God has directed for our government to be run. They followed the biblical directive given Moses in Exodus 18:21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. When you don’t fear God, you rule however you feel like giving concern only to how you will benefit, which is the type of government that they had left in England and other parts of Europe and the type of government we are experiencing today.
Cooke briefly touches on the subject of a military type of rule over people which Britain had done to the Colonies sending foreign troops to America to force the Colonies to abide by English laws that even violated the English constitution: "Military aid" has ever been deemed dangerous to a free civil state, and often has been used as an effectual engine to subvert it. Those who, in the camp and in the field of battle, are our glory and defense, from the experience of other nations, will be thought, in time of peace, a very improper safeguard to a constitution which has liberty, British liberty, for its basis. When a people are in subjection to those who are detached from their fellow-citizens, under distinct laws and rules, supported in idleness and luxury, armed with the terrors of death, under the most absolute command, ready and obliged to execute the most daring orders —what must, what has been the consequence?” (Emphasis mine)
Notice that he speaks about how these rulers are ‘detached from their fellow citizens’, this is exactly what we are seeing concerning the so-called Affordable Heathcare Act. Congress and the president are exempt from what has been called Obamacare, but the people are subject to it. It has cost many an American the security of a full time job because employers are cutting hours, 40 down to 29.5 per week, so the cost of the healthcare is less to the employer.
Our courts are another subject that Cooke addresses that shows why we have such an out of control court system today that no longer abides by the directives of the Constitution that our Founders established. He states: “Justice also requires of rulers, in their legislative capacity, that they attend to the operation of their own acts, and repeal whatever laws, upon an impartial review, they find to be inconsistent with the laws of God, the rights of men, and the general benefit of society. This the community hath a right to expect. And they must have mistaken apprehensions of true dignity who imagine they can acquire or support it by persisting in wrong measures, and thereby counteracting the sole end of government. It belongs to the all-seeing God alone absolutely to be of one mind. It is the glory of man, in whatever station, to perceive and correct his mistakes. Arrogant pretences to infallibility, in matters of state or religion, represent human nature in the most contemptible light. We have a view of our nature in its most abject state when we read the senseless laws of the Medes and Persians, or hear the impotent thunders of the Vatican. Stability in promoting the public good, which justice demands, leads to a change of measures when the interest of the community requires it, which must often be the case in this mutable, imperfect state.” (Emphasis mine)
Note that Cooke states “that they attend to the operation of their own acts, and repeal whatever laws, upon an impartial review, they find to be inconsistent with the laws of God, the rights of men, and the general benefit of society. This, the community hath a right to expect.” How many laws do we have today that violate the laws of God? This administration is using Obamacare to force all companies to supply abortion and birth control for all employees even though both of these are a violation of the Word of God. These, along with many other ‘ laws’ such as giving homosexuals the right to ‘marry’ besides being against the laws of God, do nothing but destroy the foundation of all societies. In the State of Colorado we just passed a civil unions bill that does not allow a pastor to refuse the use of his sanctuary for a homosexual ceremony. For now the pastor will not be forced to perform the ceremony, but he must allow his sanctuary to be used for one. I know many pastors that will fight this as their sanctuary has been dedicated to the worship of Jesus Christ alone and to allow a homosexual ‘marriage’ is a blasphemous act. Our First Amendment states that no law can restrict the free exercise of our religion, but this as well as many others does exactly that yet our courts nor Congress seem to care about these blatant violations of our Constitutional rights.
Cooke goes on to state just how these rulers are to act and carry out their commission as people in authority: “This decent liberty the just ruler will consider not as his grant, but a right inherent in the people, without which their obedience is rendered merely passive; and though, possibly, under a just administration, it may degenerate into licentiousness, which in its extreme is subversive of all government, yet the history of past ages and of our nation shows that the greatest dangers have arisen from lawless power. The body of a people are disposed to lead quiet and peaceable lives, and it is their highest interest to support the government under which their quietness is ensured. They retain a reverence for their superiors, and seldom foresee or suspect danger till they feel their burdens.
Rulers of every degree are in a measure above the fear of man, but are, equally with others, under the restraints of the divine law. The Almighty has not divested himself of his own absolute authority by permitting subordinate government among men. He allows none to rule otherwise than under him and in his fear, and without a true fear of God justice will be found to be but an empty name. Though reason may in some degree investigate the relation and fitness of things, yet I think it evident that moral obligations are founded wholly in a belief of God and his superintending providence. This belief, deeply impressed on the mind, brings the most convincing evidence that men are moral agents, obliged to act according to the natural and evident relation of things, and the rank they bear in God's creation; that the divine will, however made known to them, is the law by which all their actions must be regulated, and their state finally determined.”
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Cooke points out that throughout the ages the dangers to mans freedoms have always come from those in power that do not follow the guidelines set out by God and it is in the public’s interest to have only Godly men to be in authority over us. This was confirmed by our first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, John Jay; "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest, of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."
When we get back to this we will begin to see a change in the state of America but if we continue to elect those that have no fear of God then the future of America is very dim.
Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers
Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), p.p. 167-168
2. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), p. 168
3. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), p. 170
© 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