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Affluent Christian Investor | August 20, 2017

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Colonial America Demanded a Monarchy

Pulling Down the Statue of King George III (Painted by Johannes Adam Simon Oertel) (circa 1859)

Pulling Down the Statue of King George III
(Painted by Johannes Adam Simon Oertel) (circa 1859)

It is not taught in our schools, but Colonial America wanted a King. But it was not an earthly king they desired, as they would outright reject King Gorge, their former English King. They desired a higher King; that is they demanded a Heavenly King to lead them. This vision of government polity poured into their hearts and minds from the Colonial pulpits. Their Pastors justified this through both Scripture and reality. Scripture they could read for themselves, but reality they were living as King George reigned tyranny upon them through taxation and invasion into their beloved wilderness which they had, by their our courage and labor – and Faith, forged from the untamed New World into a thriving and prosperous society. Their King, God Almighty, had lead and protected them throughout this journey for the past 150 years.

“The analogy between theology and political philosophy is striking,” writes Dr. Baldwin in 1928, “God and Christ govern men for their good, therefore so must human rulers.” Joseph Belcher, on May 28, 1701 in Boston,[1] preached “how Joshua, Moses, David, and Solomon had only the good of the people at heart,” as examples of just and Godly rulers. Baldwin continues that:

…certain great rights are given by Nature and Nature’s God to the people. These are a part of every constitution and no ruler is permitted by God to violate them. Rulers cannot change the constitution; that can be done only by the people. But the constitution and the laws must be consonant with the divine law. Therefore rulers must study carefully the law of God, both natural and revealed. [2]

“Rulers as God’s delegates,” writes Dr. Baldwin. As it was forged from the pulpits, not only did the Founding Fathers insert these principles into the founding compact, they literally inserted the exact same language. Our Founding Fathers only did what had already been established in America. It was new to history, but not new to the Colonies. As the Revolution was about to break Reverend Elisha Fish would deliver much the same vision, sixty-five years after the same message by Pastor Ebenezer Pemberton, of the American, and only proper government, civil government as working as God’s proxy:

The covenant between prince and people most naturally represents the covenant between God and his creatures. God creates his people, therefore they are bound to a sacred regard of the covenant of their creator: But the people in a political sense create the prince; therefore this covenant should be maintained with the greatest regard of any social covenant of a civil nature on earth, and the breach of this covenant is greater on the side of the Prince than the people, for it is against the whole body…If the prince sin against the subjects, it is against his political creators, and in that view aggrivated.[3]

God as the governmental King had been part of the rhetoric from the pulpit for many years in the American Colonies. It was an accepted understanding of Colonial America. In his 1710 election sermon Pastor Ebenezer Pemberton orated:

The Power of the greatest Potentate on Earth is not Inherent in him, but is a Derivative…For God is the Source and Original of all Power; there is no Power but what is derived from him, depends on him, is limited by him, and is subordinate to him, and accountable…Rulers are to be the Guardians of their Peoples’ Religion and Property, their Liberties, Civil & Sacred…

Hence Rulers of all Orders, ought to conform to and regulate themselves in all their Administrations, by this Divine Standard…by unalterable principles and fixed Rules, and not by unaccountable humours, or arbitrary will…It is a Statute of the Great Law-giver of the World, that they which Rule over men be Just…Rulers have Power, but it is a limited Authority; limited by the Will of God…[4]

Dr. Baldwin summarizes the “discussion, preaching and practice” that developed in Colonial America through the 17th century and on through the 18th century up to the Revolution of 1776 and Constitutional Convention of 1787. The view from the American pulpit would be the body of constitutional doctrine. It would come from the church theology and church polity. “Most significant was the conviction that fundamental law was the basis of all rights,” reports Baldwin, “God ruled over men by a divine constitution. Natural and Christian rights were legal rights because a part of the Law of God…Every part of the government was limited in power by the constitution. Any act contrary to the constitution was illegal and therefore null and void…no one is bound to obey an unconstitutional act…rights were sacred and came from God and that to preserve them they had a legal right of resistance and, if necessary, a right to resume the powers they had delegated and alter and abolish government and by common consent establish new ones.”[5] Today citizens of the Shining City should ask, “Where are our clergy in this fundamental cause of liberty and justice?”

Pastor John Mayhew in 1750 preached that “Neither God nor nature has given any man a right of dominion over any society independently of that society’s approbation and consent to be governed by him…[D]isobedience is not only lawful but glorious [to those that] enjoin things that are inconsistent with the demands of God!”[6] Mayhew was directly influenced by the writings of Enlightenment philosophers John Locke and Algerian Sydney in his view of disobedience against unlawful and ungodly laws. The philosophy of the American colonies, even before 1743, reports Alice Baldwin, is couched in fundamental law as was articulated from the New England pulpit. Baldwin writes, “that revolt against such tyranny was legal and not only legal but a religious duty.”[7]

The Colonial Clergy in the 1700s demanded the very same. They used Scripture to support their call. This rhetoric from the pulpit had a significant increase during the three decades leading up to the Revolution. In her extensive 1928 study Dr. Alice Baldwin reported that “expressed in their conviction in no uncertain terms, and again the Bible, natural law, the rights of Englishmen, covenants, charters, and statutes were drawn upon for arguments…God commanded it.”[8] She also explains that it crossed all classes of society; laymen and clergy, rich and poor, and educated and uneducated. Locke, Sydney, and other Enlightenment writers’ philosophy come out through the pulpits of this period. “The phrase “unalienable rights” grew more common.”[9] Discussion originally purported by John Wise in the early 1700s arose from the pulpits regarding equality and liberty under God. Explanations of natural rights of property and freedom as natural liberty rang out from the sermons of Colonial America’s ministers. Baldwin discloses that Pastor Elisha Williams “define[d] natural liberty as freedom from any superior earthly powers, as subjection only to the law of nature, which he declares to be the law of God.” Pastor Williams declared:

As Reason tells us, all are born thus naturally equal, i.e. with an equal Right to their persons; so also with an equal Right to their Persons; and therefore to such Things as Nature affords for their Subsistence…Yet since God has given these Things for the Use of Men and given them Reason also to make use thereof to the best Advantage of Life…And every Man having a Property in his own Persons, the Labour of his Body and the Work of his Hands are properly his own, to which no one has Right but himself; it will therefore follow that when he removes any Thing out of the State that Nature has provided and left it in…And if every Man has a Right to defend them, and a Right to all the necessary Means of Defence, and so has a Right of punishing all Insults upon his Person and Property. [10]

What these clergy are declaring is, as was directly asserted by Pastor Moses Dickinson in 1755,

“that law must be upheld else there would be no civil liberty, yet declared that persecution for religion was a violation of the law of nature and the law of Christ.”[11]

The Colonial ministers covered religion, law, conscience, property, life, freedom of pursuit, taxation, and many other concerns which would become part of the Revolution and both State and Federal compacts.

 

[1] See [http://franklin.library.upenn.edu/record.html?filter.author_creator_facet.val=Belcher%2C%20Joseph%2C%201669-1723&id=FRANKLIN_1453596&].

[2] Alice M. Baldwin (Joel McDermon, ed.), 2014 (originally published in 1928), The New England Pulpit and the American Revolution (originally titled, The New England Clergy and the American Revolution), (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision Press), p. 45, see footnotes #14 (Joseph Belcher, 1701), 17 (Davenport, 1672; Fitch, 1674; Cutler, 1717; and Ingersoll, 1761) and 18 (Moss, 1715; Breck, 1728; Buckingham, 1728; Appleton, 1742; Worthington, 1744; Woodbridge, 1752, and Mayhew, 1754) for reference to specific colonial clergy.

[3] Elisha Fish, March 28, 1775, “A Discourse at Worcester,” (Worcester, MA), Alice M. Baldwin (Joel McDermon, ed.), 2014 (originally published in 1928), The New England Pulpit and the American Revolution (originally titled, The New England Clergy and the American Revolution), (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision Press), Appendix A, p. 234.

[4] Ebenezer Pemberton, 1710, “The divine Original and Dignity of Government Asserted,” (Boston, MA), Alice M. Baldwin (Joel McDermon, ed.), 2014 (originally published in 1928), The New England Pulpit and the American Revolution (originally titled, The New England Clergy and the American Revolution), (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision Press), Appendix A, p. 234.

[5] Alice M. Baldwin (Joel McDermon, ed.), 2014 (originally published in 1928), The New England Pulpit and the American Revolution (originally titled, The New England Clergy and the American Revolution), (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision Press), pp. 211-212.

[6] John Mayhew, 1750, “Sermon,” in Alice M. Baldwin (Joel McDermon, ed.), 2014 (originally published in 1928), The New England Pulpit and the American Revolution (originally titled, The New England Clergy and the American Revolution), (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision Press), p. 57.

[7] Alice M. Baldwin (Joel McDermon, ed.), 2014 (originally published in 1928), The New England Pulpit and the American Revolution (originally titled, The New England Clergy and the American Revolution), (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision Press), p. 59.

[8] Alice M. Baldwin (Joel McDermon, ed.), 2014 (originally published in 1928), The New England Pulpit and the American Revolution (originally titled, The New England Clergy and the American Revolution), (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision Press), p. 82.

[9] Alice M. Baldwin (Joel McDermon, ed.), 2014 (originally published in 1928), The New England Pulpit and the American Revolution (originally titled, The New England Clergy and the American Revolution), (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision Press), p. 82.

[10] Elisha Williams, 1744, “A seasonable Plea For The Liberty of Conscience, And The Right of private Judgment In Matters of Religion, Without any Controul from human Authority,” in Alice M. Baldwin (Joel McDermon, ed.), 2014 (originally published in 1928), The New England Pulpit and the American Revolution (originally titled, The New England Clergy and the American Revolution), (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision Press), pp. 83-84.

[11] Moses Dickinson, 1755, “Connecticut Election Sermon,” in Alice M. Baldwin (Joel McDermon, ed.), 2014 (originally published in 1928), The New England Pulpit and the American Revolution (originally titled, The New England Clergy and the American Revolution), (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision Press), p. 87.

Jim Huntzinger began his career as a manufacturing engineer with Aisin Seiki (a Toyota Group company and manufacturer of automotive components) when they transplanted to North America to support Toyota. Over his career he has also researched at length the evolution of manufacturing in the United States with an emphasis on lean’s influence and development. In addition to his research on TWI, he has extensively researched the history of Ford’s Highland Park plant and its direct tie to Toyota’s business model and methods of operation.

Huntzinger is the President and Founder of Lean Frontiers and a graduate from Purdue University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology and received a M.S. in Engineering Management from the Milwaukee School of Engineering. He authored the book, Lean Cost Management: Accounting for Lean by Establishing Flow, was a contributing author to Lean Accounting: Best Practices for Sustainable Integration.

 

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