POLITICAL SERMONS FROM PASTORS IN THE FOUNDING ERA
Pastor Roger Anghis
April 13, 2014
Preached before the Honorable Council, And the honorable House of Representatives of the Colony of the Massachusetts-Bay, in New-England. MAY 29th, 1776.
Being the Anniversary for the Election of THE honorable COUNCIL FOR the Colony. By Pastor Samuel West of Dartmouth.
And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counselors as at the beginning : afterward thou shalt be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city, Isaiah 4:26:
Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregations shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them : and their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them, Jeremiah 30:20- 21.
As free and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of GOD, 1 Peter 2: 16.
The beast that thou sawest, shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition : and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast. Revelation 17:8
West has been giving the members of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts the biblical grounds for governing and backing it up with scripture. After giving a detailed explanation of 1 Peter 2:13-14 he gives his second scripture: “The other text which I shall mention, and which has been made use of by the favorers of arbitrary government as their great sheet-anchor and main support, is in Rom. xiii., the first six verses: "Let every soul be subject to 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; 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 : 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 doth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject not only for wrath, but also for conscience' sake. For, for this cause pay you tribute also; for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing."” 1 (Emphasis mine)
West points out that even when man chooses that authority they do not get that position unless God allows it. But notice also that the scripture states that those in authority are there to oppose evil and reward good. He reaffirms this thought in his next statement: “A very little attention, I apprehend, will be sufficient to show that this text is so far from favoring arbitrary government, that, on the contrary, it strongly holds forth the principles of true liberty. Subjection to the higher powers is enjoined by the apostle because there is no power but of God; the powers that be are ordained of God; consequently, to resist the power is to resist the ordinance of God : and he repeatedly declares that the ruler is the minister of God. Now, before we can say whether this text makes for or against the doctrine of unlimited passive obedience, we must find out in what sense the apostle affirms that magistracy is the ordinance of God, and what he intends when he calls the ruler the minister of God. I can think but of three possible senses in which magistracy can with any propriety be called God's ordinance, or in which rulers can be said to be ordained of God as his ministers. The first is a plain declaration from the word of God that such a one and his descendants are, and shall be, the only true and lawful magistrates : thus we find in Scripture the kingdom of Judah to be settled by divine appointment in the family of David. Or, Secondly, By an immediate commission from God, ordering and appointing such a one by name to be the ruler over the people: thus Saul and David were immediately appointed by God to be kings over Israel.
Or, Thirdly, Magistracy may be called the ordinance of God, and rulers may be called the ministers of God, because the nature and reason of things, which is the law of God, requires such an institution for the preservation and safety of civil society. In the two first senses the apostle cannot be supposed to affirm that magistracy is God's ordinance, for neither he nor any of the sacred writers have entailed the magistracy to any one particular family under the gospel dispensation. Neither does he nor any of the inspired writers give us the least hint that any person should ever be immediately commissioned from God to bear rule over the people. The third sense, then, is the only sense in which the apostle can be supposed to affirm that the magistrate is the minister of God, and that magistracy is the ordinance of God ; viz., that the nature and reason of things require such an institution for the preservation and safety of mankind. Now, if this be the only sense in which the apostle affirms that magistrates are ordained of God as his ministers, resistance must be criminal only so far forth as they are the ministers of God, i. e., while they act up to the end of their institution, and ceases being criminal when they cease being the ministers of God, i: e., when they act contrary to the general good, and seek to destroy the liberties of the people.” 1 (Emphasis mine)
When the crown replaced the government established by the people for the benefit of the people with a government that sought to destroy the liberties of the people that was evidence that opposition was to be made to restore the proper government. Just as we have today a government that has been restricting or even removing the liberties given to us by God and established by our Founders, we are obligated to remove those in power that have and still continue to exert their authority over us, not an authority provided for in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. We know that we must resist this overreach of power by the government because scripture affirms that “rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil,” and when the rulers condemn good and reward evil, it is time to remove those in power.
Isaiah 5:20 states “Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil; that put darkness for light and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Is that not the type of government we have today. Nancy Pelosi has called those that believe that life begins at conception ‘dumb’, our president believes that even religious organizations must supply abortion opportunities in their insurance plans. Our national security organization believes that people who believe that the government should operate according to our Constitution are a threat to the government and that those that are pro-second amendment, pro-life, pro-traditional marriage are a threat to national security. This is not the style of government that the Founders gave us. This is the type of government that they fought to remove themselves from. This is the type of government that we must remove and replace with a government that will abide not just by the will of the people but the principles of God.
This is the message that not just West, but virtually all pastors leading up to and during the Founding Era preached, have only godly men place in authority. We would do well to follow that advice.
© 2014 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