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Discovering the Biblical Kingdom of God, Jesus & Holy Spirit

America's Choice: Constitutional Republic or Democrat-Socialism?

"Man will ultimately be governed by God or by tyrants." (Benjamin Franklin)  

     

Did you know?
Crucial history of the Republic
Founder's Original Intent

Index

The Americans Who Risked Everything

From the Pulpit to the Battlefield (The Black Robed Regiment)
First Congress
Education: The Original Purpose

Congressional Concern for Bible Shortage

See also:
The founders and Slavery 
Black Founders
"Patriots of Color" 
1776 Project: "Communicating the genius of our founding to future generations"



The Americans Who Risked Everything
by Rush Limbaugh Jr.

    ...These men knew what they risked. The penalty for treason was death by hanging. And remember, a great British fleet was already at anchor in New York Harbor. They were sober men. There were no dreamy-eyed intellectuals or draft card burners here. They were far from hot-eyed fanatics yammering for an explosion. They simply asked for the status quo. It was change they resisted. It was equality with the mother country they desired. It was taxation with representation they sought. They were all conservatives, yet they rebelled.

     ...Even before the list was published, the British marked down every member of Congress suspected of having put his name to treason. All of them became the objects of vicious manhunts. Some were taken. Some, like Jefferson, had narrow escapes. All who had property or families near British strongholds suffered. ...John Hart of Trenton, New Jersey, risked his life to return home to see his dying wife. Hessian soldiers rode after him, and he escaped in the woods. While his wife lay on her deathbed, the soldiers ruined his farm and wrecked his homestead. Hart, 65, slept in caves and woods as he was hunted across the countryside. When at long last, emaciated by hardship, he was able to sneak home, he found his wife had already been buried, and his 13 children taken away. He never saw them again. He died a broken man in 1779, without ever finding his family.

     ...Of those 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence, nine died of wounds or hardships during the war. Five were captured and imprisoned, in each case with brutal treatment. Several lost wives, sons or entire families. One lost his 13 children. Two wives were brutally treated. All were at one time or another the victims of manhunts and driven from their homes. Twelve signers had their homes completely burned. Seventeen lost everything they owned. Yet not one defected or went back on his pledged word. Their honor, and the nation they sacrificed so much to create is still intact. And, finally, there is the New Jersey signer, Abraham Clark. He gave two sons to the officer corps in the Revolutionary Army. They were captured and sent to that infamous British prison hulk afloat in New York Harbor known as the hell ship Jersey, where 11,000 American captives were to die. The younger Clarks were treated with a special brutality because of their father. One was put in solitary and given no food. With the end almost in sight, with the war almost won, no one could have blamed Abraham Clark for acceding to the British request when they offered him his sons' lives if he would recant and come out for the King and Parliament. The utter despair in this man's heart, the anguish in his very soul, must reach out to each one of us down through 200 years with his answer: "No."

     ...The 56 signers of the Declaration Of Independence proved by their every deed that they made no idle boast when they composed the most magnificent curtain line in history. "And for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."


From the Pulpit to the Battlefield

By Wendy Griffith CBN News July 4, 2007 (Only the video is at the CBN link. The full article and video is below.)

    
October 1, 1746 -- John Peter Muhlenberg was born on this day. (He would die on the same date in 1807). For a time, Muhlenberg pastored a church in Virginia. One Sunday in 1776, he ended his sermon with these words: "In the language of the Holy Writ, there is a time for all things. There is a time to preach and a time to fight." Then, he removed his clerical robes to reveal an army uniform. Three hundred men from the congregation rode off with him to join George Washington's 8th Virginia regiment.  

     There have been many books written on our nation's beginnings, but what is not commonly known is the crucial role that churches and Christians played in defending and founding what was to become the United States of America. CBN News filed this report from the site of the first battle of the American Revolutionary War.

     ...Nearly all of the MinuteMen were Christians -- parishioners of the town's only church, pastored by the Rev. Jonas Clark. He himself was known as a great patriot and often preached revolution from the pulpit. The minister was also often the one in charge of organizing the town's militia, as every town was required by law to have a militia that was trained and ready to fight if necessary. This monument marks the spot where the town of Lexington's church stood for about 150 years.

     "The ministers were often the only educated people in town; they had a captive audience once a week, and it was the only time everyone got together," said Dick Kollen, a historian with the Lexington Historical Society. "And so, if the minister was of a mind to use the pulpit to try and influence people to the Patriot point of view, they would look to him, and he was a very important authority figure."

     We're all familiar with the famous midnight ride of Paul Revere -- well, this is where he came, to the home of the Rev. Jonas Clark. He came to warn Clark and his two prominent guests -- John Hancock and Sam Adams -- that the British were indeed coming.  Kollen said, "That fact is, the British were coming, but they were walking -- 15 miles away. So Capt. Parker says, 'Go home, but be within the sound of the drum.'"

     When the battle at Lexington was over, two British soldiers were injured and eight MinuteMen were dead. Their bodies are buried on the Battle Green underneath a war monument. The words on the monument could not be more patriotic. They say: "On April 19, 1775, the die was cast!! The blood of the martyrs, in the cause of God and their country, was the cement of the Union of these states, then colonies." It goes on to say that "they nobly dared to be free, and the peace, liberty and independence of the United States of America was their glorious reward!"

     "Almost all of the MinuteMen were Christians, that's the first thing we need to understand," said Tom Barrett, editor and publisher of Conservativetruth.org. "They believed that all authority was subject to the authority of God, and they knew they were doing the will of God by fighting oppression. They realized that the British had abused their authority and really enslaved the Colonists. And they knew that if they didn't fight the oppressors, no one else would."

     There were many other influential clergy involved in the Revolutionary War, including Lutheran Rev. John Peter Muhlenberg of Woodstock, Virginia. Before marching off to join George Washington's army, at Washington's request, Muhlenberg delivered a powerful sermon from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 that concluded with these words: "The Bible tells us there is a time for all things, and there is a time to preach and a time to pray -- but the time for me to preach has passed away, and there is a time to fight, and that time has come now. Now is the time to fight!" Barrett said, "With that, he took off his robe to reveal the uniform of a Virginia Colonel - he then took his musket from behind the pulpit, put on his Colonel's hat and marched off to lead his men to war!" Throughout the war, sustaining morale was a real struggle at home. Very often, the ministers were the ones who were looked to for that purpose.

     The clergy were so influential in the war effort that the British, and those loyal to the crown, referred to them as the Black Regiment because they wore black robes. "The king was afraid of the ministers," Barrett said, "because they refused to acknowledge the divine authority of the King. Their battle-cry was no king but 'King Jesus.'"

     ...Today, many scholars admit that the role of clergy and Christians is down-played in our nation's text books. "We're supposed to ignore and pretend that the Christian foundation of this nation never existed," Barrett said. "And I believe it's our responsibility as Christians to make sure that our children are raised knowing that this is, was, and always will be a Christian nation. People of other religions are welcome to live here, but this is a nation founded on the word of God, and we should never forget that." 

 

The Black Robe Regiment The Pastor-Patriots of the Revolution - By Al Maxey - ...These men, and there were a great many of them, were not just patriots, they were pastors. They were the leaders of their congregations, the moral motivators of the people, the spiritual shepherds of the flock of God in this new land. They were also a vital part of, indeed the voice and soul of, the movement to secure liberty from British tyranny. Thus, many of the government leaders were also leaders in the churches. The same was true of those who later took up arms to defend the colonies. Pastors would often go from pulpit to battlefield, leading the men of the congregation into war with the British troops. Their sermons were filled with a call to liberty. As the American Revolution approached, it was the pastors who called their members to take up arms, who would lead them in military drills following the Sunday services, and who would lead them into battle. These church members, who could be "ready in a minute" to confront the enemy, and who were recruited and trained largely by their pastors, were known as the "Minutemen." Historians are quick to point out that had it not been for the influence of the early American pastors, both in their sermons from the pulpit promoting liberty, as well as their leadership on the field of battle, the history of our nation might very well have been written differently. One historian, Tom Barrett, observed, "I do not consider it a stretch at all to say that were it not for the pastors and churches of colonial America, our land would be a British colony today" [The Forgotten Holiday].

     ...On May 9, 1789, in an article titled "The Importance of the Protestant Religion Politically Considered," which appeared in the Washington, D.C. newspaper Gazette of the United States, we find this glowing endorsement of these brave pastors: "Our truly patriotic clergy boldly and zealously stepped forth and bravely stood our distinguished sentinels to watch and warn us against approaching danger; they wisely saw that our religious and civil liberties were inseparably connected and therefore warmly excited and animated the people resolutely to oppose and repel every hostile invader. May the virtue, zeal and patriotism of our clergy be ever particularly remembered." Maybe John Wingate Thornton (1818-1878), an attorney and historian, summed it up most succinctly in the following statement from his book "The Pulpit of the American Revolution" -- "To the pulpit, the Puritan pulpit, we owe the moral force which won our independence." We enjoy the freedoms we enjoy today due, in large part, to the pastors who motivated our forefathers to rise up and break free from their bondage to British tyranny, and who then willingly laid their lives on the line by taking up arms and leading their congregations in fighting for that freedom. May God raise up a Black Robe Regiment today with the same courage of conviction to stand boldly in their pulpits and call the people to freedom in Christ and freedom from tyranny, both religious and secular. A nation is lost when its pastors fail the people from the pulpits!!

On OCTOBER 26, 1774, the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts reorganized their defenses with one-third of their regiments being "Minutemen," ready to fight at a minute's notice. These citizen soldiers drilled on the parade ground, many times led by a deacon or pastor, then went to church for exhortation and prayer. The Provincial Congress charged: "You...are placed by Providence in the post of honor, because it is the post of danger... The eyes not only of North America and the whole British Empire, but of all Europe, are upon you. Let us be, therefore, altogether solicitous that no disorderly behavior, nothing unbecoming our character as Americans, as citizens and Christians, be justly chargeable to us." The Provincial Congress issued a Resolution to Massachusetts Bay, 1774: "Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual... Continue steadfast, and with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us." Boston patriot Josiah Quincy stated: "Under God, we are determined that wheresoever, whensoever, or howsoever we shall be called to make our exit, we will die free men."


First Congress: What is purposely no longer taught in schools and college.

How America's Constitution Convention Began: Constitutional Convention: June 28, 1787, Thursday, was embroiled in a bitter debate over how each state was to be represented in the new government. The hostile feelings created by the smaller states being pitted against the larger states was so bitter that some delegates actually left the Convention. Benjamin Franklin, being the President (Governor) of Pennsylvania, hosted the rest of the 55 delegates attending the Convention. Being the senior member of the convention, at 81 years of age, he commanded the respect of all present, and, as recorded on James Madison's detailed records, he arose to address the Congress in this moment of crisis:

    "Mr. President, the small progress we have made after four or five weeks close attendance & continual reasoning's with each other  - our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ayes, is methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the Human Understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of government, and examined the different forms of those Republics, which, having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution, now no longer exist. And we have viewed Modern States all around Europe, but find none of their Constitutions suitable to our circumstance.

    In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understanding?

In the beginning of the Contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the Divine protection - Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor.

     To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? or do we imagine we no longer need His Assistance?

     I have lived. Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth - that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it possible that an empire can rise without His aid?

     We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that "except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it." (Psalm 127:1) I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.

     I therefore beg leave to move - that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on out deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service."

Jonathan Dayton, delegate from New Jersey, reported the reaction of Congress to Dr. Franklin's rebuke: "The Doctor sat down; and never did I behold a countenance at once so dignified as was that of Washington at the close of the address; nor were the members of the convention generally less affected. The words of the venerable Franklin fell upon our ears with a weight and authority, even greater than we may suppose an oracle to have had in a Roman senate." And: "We assembled again; and...every unfriendly feeling had been expelled, and a spirit of conciliation had been cultivated." (America's God and Country: Encyclopedia of Quotations by William J. Federer pp. 150-152)

See also: The Constitutional Convention - Gordon Lloyd, a professor at Pepperdine University, has constructed the best, most comprehensive and user-friendly resource on the Constitutional Convention debates available on the web


Education - The original purpose

The Christian Origin of American Education - By Stephen A. Flick, PhD Executive Director Christian Heritage Fellowship  ...Only those who have never read primary sources or those who are eager to subvert truth would ever suggest that America was not founded upon Christian principles. America's Founding Fathers understood the necessity of Christian education in the classrooms of the nation. Volumes could be written to support this fact, but several select quotes should demonstrate this.

   Dr. Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence and one of the three most important Founding Fathers,[5] and perhaps the most distinguished physician of his generation, defended the teaching of Scripture and the Christian religion in public schools in his Defense of the Use of the Bible in Schools. In an address to Revolutionary War chaplain, Rev. Jeremy Belknap, pastor of the Congregational Church in Dover, New Hampshire, Dr. Rush summarized his argument: It is now several months since I promised to give you my reason for preferring the Bible, as a schoolbook, to all other compositions. Before I state my arguments, I shall assume the five following propositions:

   1. The Christianity is the only true and perfect religion; and that, in proportion as mankind adopt its principles, and obey its precepts, they will be wise and happy.

   2. That a better knowledge of this religion is to be acquired by reading the Bible, than in any other way.

   3. That the Bible contains more knowledge necessary to man in his present state, than any other book in the world.

   4. That knowledge is most durable, and religious instruction most useful, when imparted in early life.

   5. That the Bible, when not read in schools, is seldom read in any subsequent period of life

   ...One of the chief means of denying America's Christian heritage is historical omission. Secularists and those seeking to deny America's Christian origin conveniently fail to relate the religious beginnings of colonial America. Pastors and their influence upon early America are routinely neglected. ...One of many preachers to infuse the Christian faith into American academics was John Witherspoon. As a Presbyterian minister, president of Princeton, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, Witherspoon trained at least 87 founding Fathers.

   ...Rev. Dr. Jedediah Morse, father of the inventor of the telegraph, Samuel Morse, is known as the "Father of American Geography." During the American Revolution, Rev. Morse was very active for the American cause. He was largely credited with initiating the study of geography in American schools. In 1784, he published his first book, Geography Made Easy.

   The sentiment of this textbook used so widely in American classrooms was reflected in one of Rev. Morse's printed sermons for a national fast day: "The foundations which support the interests of Christianity, are also necessary to support a free and equal government like our own. In all those countries where there is little or no religion, or a very gross and corrupt one, as in Mahometan [Muslim] and pagan countries, there you will find, with scarcely a single exception, arbitrary and tyrannical governments, gross ignorance and wickedness, and deplorable wretchedness among the people. To the kindly influence of Christianity, we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoy. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, either through unbelief, or the corruption of its doctrines, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom, and approximate the miseries of complete despotism. I hold this to be a truth confirmed by experience. If so, it follows, that all efforts made to destroy the foundations of our holy [Christian] religion, ultimately tend to the subversion also of our political freedom and happiness. Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all the blessings which flow from them, must fall with them." 

In 1950, the Florida Supreme Court declared : "A people unschooled about the sovereignty of God, the Ten Commandments, and the ethics of Jesus, could never have evolved the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution. There is not one solitary fundamental principle of our democratic policy that did not stem directly from the basis moral concepts as embodied in the Decalogue." [Ten Commandments]

Schools were originally set up by Churches for the purpose of Bible teaching.

In 1690 Connecticut established a Literacy Law with a fine of $25 (extremely considerable for that time) because children must be able to read if they are to read the Scriptures.

Also in 1690, Benjamin Harris' New England Primer textbook with a memorization rhyming alphabet was introduced using Scripture to teach reading and pronunciation. This Primer was reprinted and used for 210 years, until 1900. And Benjamin Rush warned if America ever removed the Bible from the classroom, all of our time will be spent fighting crime.

In 1818, Thomas Jefferson described the goals of education: "To give to every citizen the information he needs for the transaction of his own business; To enable him to calculate for himself, and to express and preserve his ideas, his contracts and accounts, in writing; To improve by reading, his morals and faculties; To understand his duties to his neighbors and country, and to discharge with competence the functions confided to him by either; To know his rights; to exercise with order and justice those he retains; to choose with discretion the fiduciary of those he delegates; and to notice their conduct with diligence, with candor and judgment; And, in general, to observe with intelligence and faithfulness all the social relations under which he shall be placed."

In 1781 Congress ruled that a new English edition of the Bible be printed and used by schools.

In 1782, the U.S. Congress voted in favor of a resolution recommending and approving the Bible for use in the schools. .

Noah Webster provided the text book, History of the United States, used for over 60 years in public schools contained this statement: "The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scripture ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws." And " All the miseries and evils which men suffer from - vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war - proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible."

Fisher Ames, the founding father who actually wrote the First Amendment, expressed his belief that the Bible was to play a prominent role in public education when he said: "It has been the custom of late years to put a number of little books into the hands of children, containing fables and moral lessons. Why then, if these books for children must be retained, should not the bible regain the place it once held as a school book? Its morals are pure, its examples captivating and noble. The reverence for the sacred book that is thus impressed lasts long" (T)he bible will justly remain the standard of language as well as faith." And "We are spending less time in the classroom on the Bible, which should be the principle text in our schools. The Bible states these great moral lessons better than any other manmade book."

William Holmes McGuffey, author of the McGuffey Reader used in our public schools until 1963,  said: "The Christian religion is the religion of our country. From it are derived our notions on the character of God, on the great moral Governor of the universe. On its doctrines are founded the peculiarities of our free institutions. From no other source has the author drawn more conspicuously than from the sacred Scriptures. From these extracts from the Bible I make no apology." 

Of the first 108 universities founded in America, 106 were distinctly Christian, including the first, Harvard University, chartered in 1636.  In the original Harvard Student Handbook, rule No.1 was students seeking entrance must know Latin and Greek so they can study the Scriptures: "Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ, which is eternal life, John 17:3; and therefore to lay Jesus Christ as the only foundation for our children to follow the moral principles of the Ten Commandments." 

Rev. John Harvard. The College at Cambridge was renamed for him. Son of a butcher, his family died when a plague swept England, leaving him an estate. He attended Emmanuel College, was ordained, married and sailed for Massachusetts where he pastored the First Church of Charlestown. He died of tuberculosis at age 31, on September 14, 1638. He was Rev. John Harvard. The College at Cambridge was renamed for him. Ten of twelve Harvard presidents prior to the Revolution were ministers, as were 50 percent of 17th-century graduates. Harvard's founders wrote: "After God had carried us safe to New England, and we...rear'd convenient places for God's worship...dreading to leave an illiterate Ministry to the Churches, when our present Ministers shall lie in the Dust...it pleased God to stir up the heart of one Mr. Harvard, a godly gentleman and a lover of learning...to give the one half of his estate...towards the erecting of a college and all his Library." As 106 of the first 108 schools in America were founded on Christianity, Harvard's Rules & Precepts, September 26, 1642, stated: "Let every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life. Jn 17:3." --American Minute with Bill Federer September 14


Congressional Concern for Bible Shortage - Was the Bible important to the Continental Congress during the earliest days of the Revolution? The Continental Congress was evacuating Philadelphia as the British had just won the Battle of Brandywine, forcing Washington's troops to retreat to Valley Forge.

In addition, Congress was informed that the war had interrupted trade with the King's authorized printers in England, thereby causing a shortage of Bibles, commonly used in education. On September 11, 1777, the fledgling organization approved and recommended that 20,000 copies of the Bible be imported from outside the Colonies because there was a great shortage of Bibles due to the interruptions in trade with England. A special Congressional Committee examined the matter, and recommended that "the Bibles be imported from Holland, Scotland, or elsewhere, into the different parts of the States of the Union." The Bibles were ordered and paid for by the young government. Their purpose? "The use of the Bible is so universal and its importance so great...it was resolved accordingly to direct said Committee of Commerce to import 20,000 copies of the Bible," and "For distribution among the troops battling for independence." The first page of each Bible was inscribed, "Approved for the American people." A few years later, Congress approved a distinctly American Bible. Aitken's Bible, published under Congressional patronage, was the first English language Bible published on the North American continent.

September 10, 1782, the Continental Congress again responded to the shortage of Bibles by authorizing the publisher of The Pennsylvania Magazine, Robert Aitken, who died JULY 15, 1802, to print America's first English language Bible- "A neat edition of the Holy Scriptures for the use of schools." Congress stated: "Resolved, That the United States in Congress assembled highly approve the...undertaking of Mr. Aitken...and...recommend this edition of the Bible to the inhabitants of the United States, and hereby authorize him to publish this recommendation."

The U.S. Congress of 1803, at the request of President Thomas Jefferson, allocated federal funds for the salary of a minister and for the construction of a church. On December 3, 1803, the U.S. Congress, following the request of President Jefferson, ratified a treaty with the Kaskaskia Indians. This treaty was significant because Congress, recognizing that most members of the tribe had become Christians, deemed to give an annual subsidy of $100 for the support of a priest during a seven-year period.  That priest, as the Congress noted, was to perform the duties of his office, and... instruct as many... children as possible.