POLITICAL SERMONS FROM PASTORS IN THE FOUNDING ERA
Pastor Roger Anghis
September 22, 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.
selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the
particular sect or denomination of the candidate -- look to his character."
Through this sermon we have seen that Cooke continuously talked about the need of godly men being in places of authority. He brings remembrance to the people of when in 1766 there was a push from the Governor of Massachusetts for the king to appoint people to the council and courts as the ones elected would not go along with the demands of the crown. “It was usual to elect the lieutenant-governor, provincial secretary, attorney-general, and one or more judges of the Supreme Couit, to the Council. They were a sort of privy council. But, in 1766, their seats were filled by the opponents to the Stamp Act, and after this the governor found in each successive year fewer friends in council.
The lieutenant governor, —Hutchinson, — in his History of Massachusetts, published in the next year, — 1767, — treating of the Council, declared the government of Massachusetts, and of other provinces, defective, for want of a branch with " that glorious independence which makes the House of Lords the bulwark of the British constitution." Still he thought " the colonics not ripe for hereditary honors"! In a series of letters, in November and December, 1768, Governor Bernard urges that the king should appoint a royal council, instead of that elected by the people, and suggests an act of Parliament authorizing the king— Governor Bernard being his representative— to supersede all commissions to improper persons; and Mr. Oliver, in February, 1769, in letters to England, objects to the Council "as altogether"— too — " dependent on their constituents .... to answer the idea of the House of Lords in the British Legislature."
After 1766, the Council and the House harmonized in their measures, and the unhappy governors, left solitary and alone, sought relief by plotting for the overthrow of "this invaluable branch of our constitution." The schemes of these traitors to liberty — names indelible on the darkest roll of political baseness — were adopted by the British ministry four years later, in 1774; but the colonists "trusted in God and kept their powder dry.”  (Emphasis mine)
As he points out the will of the people were of no concern to the king appointed governor or to the English Parliament. Making the point that there is a great need for godly men who will protect the rights of the people including the right to govern as the people themselves demanded. This is of great importance today because the Democrat Party does not believe that the individual is smart enough to make the decisions that need to be made even though throughout the 237 years since 1776 the individuals making their own decisions has made America the greatest nation the world has ever seen. In the 1990’s when Hillary Clinton was working on ‘Hillarycare’ she stated that the average person cannot be depended on to make the proper medical decisions. That is arrogance on steroids. She and the majority of the Democrat Party believe themselves to be elitists who are better equipped to make the everyday decisions that we all live by. In my opinion these people are not people of integrity or of good character. Yes there are some that fall into that category but not the entire nation. Actually it is those that believe they have the right to determine what we do, how we live, where we live and the jobs we hold, are the ones themselves that need to be controlled. Our Founders would not under any circumstance allow the government to be that controlling.
Cooke tells the people that the decisions they make at the ballot box must be to the benefit of all of society keeping the rights they have been promised intact. “It is with pleasure that we see this choice in the hands of a very respectable part of the community, and nearly interested in the effects of it. But our reliance, fathers, under God, is upon your acting in his fear. God standeth in the assembly of the mighty, and perfectly discerns the motives by which you act. May his fear rule in your hearts, and unerring counsel be your guide. You have received a Sure token of respect by your being raised to this high trust; but true honor is acquired only by acting in character. Honor yourselves, gentlemen, — honor the council-board, your country, your king, and your God, by the choice you this day make. You will attentively consider the true design of all true government, and, without partiality, give your voice for those you judge most capable and disposed to promote the public interest. Then you will have the satisfaction of having faithfully discharged your trust, and be sure of the approbation of the Most High.”  (Emphasis mine)
Notice that he reminds the people that God knows the intention of their hearts. If they are voting for their own benefit, God will know that. He mentions that what they are going to do, vote, must be done with honor and the only way that can be done honorably is to vote according to how God wants them to vote, i.e., godly men with honorable intentions with the concerns of the electorate in mind, not their own personal gain. He also reminds them that whom they elect will be their voice in government that is to ‘promote the public interest’.
What we see today are politicians that are more interested in their own well being and their Party’s political agenda. We have allowed people with agendas that are opposite the Founders beliefs and opposite the foundation of our Constitution to take over the political Parties and now the Democrat Party is hell bent of taking America into socialism. Norman Mattoon Thomas was a leading American socialist, pacifist and a six-time candidate for president for the Socialist Party of America. In a 1944 speech he stated “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of ‘liberalism’, they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing what happened.. He went on to say: “I no longer need to run as a Presidential Candidate for the Socialist Party.
The Democrat Party has adopted our platform.” (Emphasis mine)
This was stated in 1944! How much or the socialist agenda has been put in place almost 70 years later? Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, Social Security, welfare, and several other programs that lean to the socialist, government control of our lives.
The people that have allowed this to happen, in my opinion, are the pastors that have stopped preaching from the pulpit the need for the people to be politically involved in our government. Those that ignore that responsibility have the distinction of being the ones that helped give America into the hands of the enemy. Benjamin Franklin spoke of how an elected official should look at his post in the government and I believe that if today politicians looked at it this way our nation would not be in the grievous situation that we are in now. He stated: “They are of the people and return again to mix with the people, having no more durable preeminence than the different grains of sand in an hourglass. Such an assembly cannot easily become dangerous to liberty. They are the servants of the people, sent together to do the people's business, and promote the public welfare; their powers must be sufficient, or their duties cannot be performed. They have no profitable appointments, but a mere payment of daily wages, such as are scarcely equivalent to their expenses; so that, having no chance for great places, and enormous salaries or pensions, as in some countries, there is no triguing or bribing for elections.” (Emphasis mine)
This is the opposite of today’s politicians who have made a career out of ‘serving the public’ all to their benefit. Nancy Pelosi’s net worth doubled in Obama’s first term. Al Gore won election being pro-second Amendment and pro-life. By the time he left office, losing his home State in his bid for the presidency, he was anti-gun and pro-choice and worth millions. That is not what the Founders intended. Our government has become a magnet for the corrupt and self serving.
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Only the voter can change the makeup of Congress and State legislatures. President Abraham Lincoln stated in 1859: “Now more than ever before, the people of the United States are responsible, for the Character of Their Congress. If That Body be Ignorant Reckless and Corrupt, it is Because the People Tolerate Ignorance Recklessness and Corruption.” He went on to state: “the people of the United States are the rightful Masters of both Congress and The Courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the Men who would pervert The Constitution” these two statements clearing define today!
Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers
Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), p. 181.
2. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), p.p. 181-182.
© 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