Skip to comments.They Preached Liberty
Posted on 06/29/2012 6:58:36 AM PDT by Pharmboy
The passion of American ministers for political freedom in 1776 reflected their belief in religious toleration.
On Sunday morning, Jan. 21, 1776, at a church in Woodstock, Va., Rev. Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg brought his sermon to a dramatic and unexpected crescendo. His text was taken from the book of Ecclesiastes. "The Bible tells us 'there is a time for all things,' and there is a time to preach and a time to pray," said Muhlenberg. "But the time for me to preach has passed away; and there is a time to fight, and that time has now come."
Stepping down from the pulpit, the minister took off his clerical robes to reveal the uniform of a colonel in the 8th Virginia Regiment of the Continental Army. He had been personally recruited by George Washington. Outside the church door, drums sounded as men kissed their wives goodbye and strode down the aisle to enlist. In less than an hour, 162 men from Muhlenberg's congregation joined the patriot cause.
The "fighting parson" was a common sight in the American Revolution. Why? Because American Christianityanchored in a Protestant understanding of religious freedomgave its blessing to democratic self-government.
For many evangelical ministers, unconstrained British rule not only represented an oppressive monarchy that trampled on their civil rights. It supported a national church, the Anglican Church, which they feared would impose its doctrines and practices on the colonies if given half a chance. As dissenting Protestants, American churchmen were as passionate about religious liberty as they were about republican (or "Whig") political principles. "By combining Whig political theory with religious doctrine," explains historian James Hutson in "Religion and the Founding of the American Republic," "the preachers forged an especially powerful weapon to mobilize opposition to British policies."
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
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Nice piece. Very few in this country whether man or minister have convictions that run that deep. Most do not even understand that values are important to their general well being and success.
How I long to be impressed or inspired by some great American today. There are no more like that. What ever happened to heroes and visionaries? Do folks no longer find aspiring to greatness to be a noble endeavor?
Thanks for the ping
Muhlenberg’s equally famous father Henry Muhlenberg took in and baptized one of my ancestors who was captured by Indians as a young child, and returned to live among whites only as a young teenager
Well-put. I know I—and I bet many Freepers—have had the very same thought.
Thanks for posting this thread. Since the call has this time been issued by Catholic Priests and the Evangelical Christians have joined the call, one has to wonder, will this government stand against God's Law? Now I know the call has not been for muskets this time, though Freedom and Liberty are definitively ... on the line. Yes it is religion where all must choose. Place ones life and treasury on the line, or reap what one shall lose.
This place, IMO, is about more than just politics and conservatism, again IMO, is about more than just politics as well.
Thanks for the ping. I love War of Independence stuff.
Most of what we hear is about retirement.
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