Devotion for the Week of May 21, 2017 - HISTORY DOES REPEAT ITSELF

HISTORY DOES REPEAT ITSELF

2 Corinthians 3:17, “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”   

While in an old bookstore in Springfield, MO we found a book entitled “Christian History of the Constitution” by Verna M. Hall.  It was published in 1960.  Mr. Hall had worked for the Federal government and resigned in 1947 when he could no longer take the Socialist sliding of our government.  He was also grieved at the lack of knowledge of Christians on the Christian foundation of our country, government and Constitution.

He decided to start a Constitution study group.  The book’s dedication says, “This volume and those to follow are dedicated to the Christian principles upon which this nation is founded, and to each American of this and succeeding generations, that he may remember his Christian heritage and live so as to raise the standard of his Pilgrim and Puritan fathers into its larger and fuller expression of individual liberty.”

Mr. Hall said in the preface, “The study meeting now began to lift this gossamer veil which had been hiding the influence of Christianity.  It could now be seen that the socialistic problem confronting the nation is the same problem but with a different name, which has confronted Christianity periodically during its steady march westward.  Whenever Christianity declined in a people’s heart, “philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” (Col. 2:8), rose in its various forms.

Dr. Jedidiah Morse describes just such a time in our own history in the following excerpt from an Election Sermon delivered in Charlestown, April 25, 1799, from the Bible text, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3).  “Our dangers are of two kinds, those which affect our religion, and those which affedt our government.  They are, however, so closely allied that they cannot, with propriety, be separated.  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 and Pagan countries, there you will find, with scarcely a single exception, arbitrary and tyrannical governmens, gross ignorance and wickedness, and deplorable wretchedness among the people.  To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe a 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 doctrins, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportions 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 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.”

“…The right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty…”  “The Rights of the Colonists as Christians may be understood by reading and carefully studying the institutes of the great Law Giver…which are to be found clearly written and promulgated in the New Testaments.” ~ Samuel Adams, “Rights of the Colonists”, 1772

“Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age, by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls, of inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity and universal philanthropy, and, in subordination to these great principles, the love of their country; of instructing them in the art of self-government, without which they never can act a wise part in the government of societies, great or small; in short, of leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system…” ~ Samuel Adams, Boston, October 4, 1790

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