Category Archives: General
Founding Father Rufus King was born on March 24, 1755. A graduate of Harvard, King became a lawyer, a member of the Continental Congress, and served as an aide to General Sullivan during the Revolutionary War. At 32 years old, King became the youngest signer of the United States Constitution. Later he served as a U.S. Minister (Ambassador) to England and a U.S. Senator from New York. King also helped found a Bible society for Anglicans and was an ardent abolitionist. He wrote to C. Gore on February 17, 1820:
“I referred the decision of the Restriction on Missouri to the broad principles of the law of Nature, a law established by the Creator, which has existed from the beginning, extends over the whole globe is everywhere, and at all times binding upon mankind.”*
The reference he spoke of was to a speech made in the Senate:
“Mr. President I have yet to learn that one man can make a slave of another; if one man cannot do so, no number of individuals can have any better right to do it, and I hold that all laws and compacts imposing any such condition upon any human being are absolutely void, because contrary to the law of nature, which is the law of God, by which he makes his way known to man, and is paramount to all human control.”*
Founder Rufus King’s belief that God’s law trumps all human laws is another lost episode in American history.
Read and Reflect: Read Rom. 1:18-22 and reflect on the “law of nature” that exists in God’s creation and how that law trumps all human law.
Prayer: Sovereign God, we are grateful that you are a God of order, righteousness and justice. We thank you that your laws supersede all others and that America, albeit belatedly, decided to correct the great evil of slavery. May we do the same with abortion, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
*Source Citation: Charles R. King, ed., The Life and Correspondence of Rufus King, Comprising His Letters, Private and Official, His Public Documents and His Speeches, 6 vols., (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1900), 6:276.
On March 23, 1775, the Second Virginia Convention had convened at St. John’s Church in Richmond, away from the watchful eye of the Loyalist Governor. They had assembled to consider some weighty matters concerning the British tyranny and oppression of the King of England. A thirty-nine year old delegate from Hanover County named Patrick Henry took a seat in the church. Henry listened as many babbled on and on in favor of continued conciliatory measures and more pleading with Parliament. Finally, the delegate from Hanover rose from his pew to address the wavering assembly of Virginians, and with great passion in his voice, this is some of what he said:
“Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope… but… let us not deceive ourselves, sir… If we wish to be free… we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us! They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction…until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?
“Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty… are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us [2 Chron. 32:8]. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone [Eccl. 9:11]; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir…There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.
“It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, ‘Peace, Peace’– but there is no peace [Jer. 6:14]. The war is actually begun! …. Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle [Matt. 20:6]? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry, who first learned his oratory skills by listening to Presbyterian Pastor Samuel Davies, laced his passionate call to arms with allusions to Scripture and that is another lost episode in American history.
Read and Reflect: Read 2 Chron. 32:1-8 and reflect on the words of Hezekiah to Judah and compare them to Patrick Henry’s speech.
Prayer: God of our forefathers, we praise you for your Providential presence from age to age to defend, protect, and provide help, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
*Source Citation: William Wirt, Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry (Philadelphia: James Webster, 1817), 120-23. Bracketed items added.
“A young Indian convert named Chanco lived with Richard Pace, and was treated by him with all the tenderness of a son. The brother of this native slept with him the night before the massacre and urged him to kill his master, telling him that he intended that fate for his own. But the young Christian recoiled with horror from the proposal and the next day informed Mr. Pace, who instantly despatched an express to Jamestown. Thus the principal settlement was alarmed, guns and swords were made ready and the natives ventured not to make an assault.”*
A marker with the date was placed in Jamestown memorializing Chanco’s heroism, which is another lost episode in American history.
Read and Reflect: Read Ezekiel 33:1-5 and reflect on the role of the “watchman” and compare it to Chanco’s actions on behalf of the Jamestown settlement.
Prayer: Father, we thank you for the spiritual watchmen in our lives who have warned us of the designs of the Enemy and the danger to our souls. We pray for our pastors, who function as the “Watchmen on the Walls” of our community. May they faithfully sound the alarm from their pulpits at the threats to faith, family and freedom. Empower us to be watchmen for our family members, neighbors, and colleagues, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
*Source Citation: Robert R. Howison, ed., A History of Virginia From Its Discovery and Settlement by Europeans to the Present, 2 vols., (Philadelphia: Carey and Hart, 1846), 1:235.
On Sunday, March 21, 1790, President George Washington welcomed Thomas Jefferson as America’s First Secretary of State. Yet what the history books don’t tell us is that this happened after church on Sunday. Washington recorded in his diary as follows:
“Went to St. Paul’s Chappel in the forenoon – wrote private letters in the afternoon. Received Mr. Jefferson, Minister of State about one o’clock.”*
St. Paul’s Chapel in New York City was the location of the worship service held immediately following the inauguration that was planned by the U.S. Senate, attended by the President and both Houses of Congress, and conducted by the Chaplain of the Senate, Rev. Samuel Provoost.*
Afterward, President Washington attended regularly and even had a designated box seat in the church. President Washington’s habit of not only participating in worship but recording it in his diary is another lost episode in American history.
Read and Reflect: Read Acts 17:1-2 and reflect on Paul’s custom of attending the synagogue on the Sabbath and compare that with Washington’s custom of Sunday church attendance.
Prayer: Father, we thank you for the gift of the Day of Worship and Rest. May we be more faithful to honor you on your Day, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
*Source Citation: Benjamin J. Lossing, ed., The Diary of George Washington, From 1789 to 1791, Embracing the Opening of the First Congress and His Tours Through New England, Long Island and The Southern States, Together with His Journal of a Tour to the Ohio in 1753 (New York: Charles B. Richardson & Co., 1860), 109. See also Worthington Chauncey Ford, ed., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, 34 vols., (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1904-1937), 1:25, for April 27, 1789.
“It having been the invariable practice, derived from the days of our renowned ancestors, at this season of the year to set apart a day of public fasting and prayer…earnestly recommending to the ministers of the Gospel, with their respective congregations, then to assemble together, and seriously to consider, and with one united voice, to confess our past sins and transgressions, with holy resolutions, by the grace of God, to turn our feet into the path of his law, humbly beseeching him to endue us with all the Christian spirit of piety, benevolence, and the love of our country…
“And as it is our duty to extend our wishes to the happiness of the great family of man, I conceive that we cannot better express ourselves than by humbly supplicating the Supreme Ruler of the world that the rod of tyrants may be broken to pieces, and the oppressed made free again; that wars may cease in all the earth, and that the confusions that are and have been among nations may be overruled by promoting and speedily bringing on that holy and happy period when the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ may be everywhere established, and all people everywhere willingly bow to the sceptre of Him who is Prince of Peace.”*
In this Proclamation, Samuel Adams called on the people of Massachusetts to pray for the day when the kingdom of Christ would be established over all and that is a lost episode in American history.
Read and Reflect: Read Isaiah 9:4-7 and compare the language used by Isaiah with that used by Samuel Adams to describe the coming Kingdom.
Prayer: Supreme Ruler of the world, we pray with Samuel Adams that the rod of tyrants may be broken, the oppressed set free, that wars would cease, and that your Kingdom might be established. Come quickly Lord Jesus, we pray, Amen.
*Source Citation: William V. Wells, The Life and Public Services of Samuel Adams, Being a Narrative of His Acts and Opinions and of His Agency in Producing and Forwarding the American Revolution, with Extracts from His Correspondence State Papers and Political Essays, 3 vols., (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1865), 3:365-66.