Given our current state of affairs in our nation, and on the heels of another election, I thought the words from this pastor are as meaningful today, as they were in 1840. It’s lengthy, but well worth it if you want to be encouraged to continue to speak up for your faith in political affairs. Can you be an unashamed Christian and still be involved in politics? Allow Pastor Motte to answer that question and many more. God bless you!!
Excerpts from a sermon delivered at the South Congregational Church, Boston, July 5, 1840. By M. I. Motte
“Happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.” – Psalm 144:15
So that you see, my brethren, in addition to every other motive for being good Christians, patriotism should be one. After we have turned away from the voice of God; after we have steeled our hearts to the claims of him who died upon Calvary, the just for the unjust, the he might bring us to God; after we have besotted our minds to act the fool’s part of blindness to our own interest; there is yet one appeal which may not be lost upon our generosity, one consideration that should be sufficient; public spirit, the love of our country. Its welfare is resting on our individual virtue. For as drops of water make up the ocean, and grains of sand constitute vast continents, so the personal character of the humblest individual among us adds something, for weal or for woe, to that national character, by which the land of our love, the government which has cherished us, will stand or fall. Our native soil, the scene of our happy childhood, the land of our fathers, the land where we have enjoyed so much, where we expect so much, and from which the world expects so much, shall it realize these expectations? Shall it become, as has been so fondly anticipated, the glory of the nations, has the perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth, showing what man can do with unshackled energies and faculties ripely developed in the wholesome air of liberty? Or shall it be one more byword and mockery of the aspirations and pretensions of freedom.
Our fathers have made one more trial, knowing that past failures were from want of Christian principle, and that they had settled these shores expressly in obedience to Christian principle, and therefore they might hope. In faith and prayer they struggled; for they felt, that with God all things are possible in the cause of righteousness, and they hoped their children would feel this too. From the first, they set out with the idea of making this community that happy people, whose God is the Lord, – a Christian nation, – what the world had never yet seen, but what all its experience concurred in testifying it must seem or it would never see the amount of prosperity man is capable of attaining on earth. A Christian people! Not merely a sober, industrious people, without religion, if such could be expected, but distinctively a Christian people.
…and, so long hypocrisy could be kept out, that people would prosper most, who should require, as the settlers of these New England colonies did, that none but members of the church should be rulers in the state.
When we are called a Christian nation, let us allow more the meant, than that we are not savages or barbarians, or only semi-civilized, as all those nations are in which Christianity is unknown. Christian should be more than European or American, as distinguished from Asiatic or African. It should be more than latitude and longitude; more than eastern or western, northern or southern; more than tropics and zones, equator and ecliptic, arctic or antarctic.
And how can we make a Christian nation? To become so, must be an individual, not a collective act. Legislation cannot do it, if legislation would. Resolves of majorities, in caucus or in Congress, in towns or by states, or even unanimous votes, is not the way to affect it. The simple and sole process is for each person privately to resolve, for his single part, no influence in legislative deliberations, no political name or fame whatever, – nay, the shrinking woman and child, whose deliberations look not beyond the homestead, or who can legislate only over their own hearts, – these can add a stone, as truly as the mightiest statesman or the loudest demagogue, to build up the national temple to the Lord. Public opinion is the life-breath of our own government, and therefore to Christianize that, we have but to Christianize ourselves.
And is there a consideration of earth or heaven, that is not present and potent to move us to this prayer? Pour it out to God, if righteousness would have but the promise of the life that now is. If a majority of the citizens were sincere followers of Jesus Christ, is it not evident, the councils of this nation would be wiser and mightier, its progress more glorious, its dominion even more potent than any the world has ever seen? The day when it shall be resolved, that the same evangelical principles shall govern states that govern churches and gospel professors in their private relations, would be the true jubilee of freedom. That will be the mind’s and the soul’s declaration of independence.
Choose it, resolve it, O my brethren, as the first of civil duties. Whatever your party predilections, sacrifice them all for the party of righteous men.
Go with them as far as Jesus Christ would go, and no further. Read the constitution by the light of the Gospel. The Savior be your paramount leader.
But let me hope I have not spoken all in vain. Follow it in the spirit in which you come here to the house of the Lord himself. You are performing a solemn act of worship then, if you feel it aright. You should enter upon office, you should deposit your vote for office, with a religious sense of accountableness, like that which makes you so serious when you handle the emblems of the Savior’s body and blood.
Approach his table because you would be good citizens, among the other reasons of the act; because you love, and you serve and save, your country; because you would have it long free; because you would be truly free yourselves. Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. If his Son shall make your free, ye shall be free indeed. Where he is not the deliverer, men may clamor, and boast, and carouse, and with bacchanalian revelry call themselves free but they are the bondmen of corruption, the thralls of Satan. O be ye, unlike them, the freedmen of the Lord, whose service is perfect freedom.
Exerpts taken from http://www.wallbuilders.com
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