PMT 2014-010b by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
A great many of the earliest and most important legal documents associated with the settling and founding of America specifically declare a commitment to the Christian faith. Though such legal declarations would create a furor today, they were entirely commonplace, virtually instinctive, and generally expected long ago. For a few of these I will provide fuller statements; for others just a few snippets. These few samples should motivate us today to see that the Christian faith can have a strong and positive influence in political endeavors.
First Charter of Virginia (April 10, 1606)
“We, greatly commending and graciously accepting of their Desires for the Furtherance of so noble a Work, which may, by the Providence of Almighty God, hereafter tend to the Glory of His Divine Majesty, in propagating of Christian Religion to such People, as yet live in Darkness and miserable Ignorance of the true Knowledge and Worship of God, and may in time bring the Infidels and Savages, living in those Parts, to human Civility, and to a settled and quiet Government.”
Saving Freedom (by Sen. Jim DeMint)
Senator DeMint’s firsthand account of the unsettling socialist shift — behind-the-scenes actions — in Congress that are changing the character of our nation.
Second Charter of Virginia (May 23, 1609)
“Because the principal Effect which we can expect or desire of this Action is the Conversion and reduction of the people in those parts unto the true worship of God and the Christian Religion.”
Mayflower Compact (November 11,1620)
“In ye name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten,… having undertaken, for ye glorie of God, and advancemente of ye Christian faith, and honour of our king, & countrie, a voyage to plant ye first colonie in ye Northerne parts of Virginia, doe by these presents solemnly & mutually in ye presence of God, and one of another, covenant & combine our selves togeather into a civill body politick, for our better ordering & preservation & furtherance of ye ends aforesaid; and by vertue hearof to enacte, constitute, and frame such just & equall lawes, ordinances, acts, constitutions & offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meete & convenient for ye generall goodof ye Colonie, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.
“In witness wherof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cap-Codd ye 11. of November, in ye year of ye raigne of our soveraigne lord, King James, of England, France, & Ireland ye eighteenth, and by Scotland ye fiftie fourth, Ano: Dom. 1620.”
First Charter of Massachusetts (March 4, 1629)
“For the directing, ruling, and disposeing of all other Matters and Things, whereby our said People… maie be soe religiously, peaceable, and civilly governed, as their good life and orderlie Conversation, maie wynn and incite the Natives of the Country to the Knowledg and Obedience of the onlie true God and Savior of Mankinde, and the Christian Fayth, which, in our Royall Intention, and the Adventurers free profession, is the principall Ende of this Plantation.”
Charter of Carolina (March 24, 1663):
“Being excited with a laudable and pious zeal for the propagation of the Christian faith… [they] have humbly besought leave of us… to transport and make an ample colony… unto a certain country… in the parts of America not yet cultivated or planted, and only inhabited by some barbarous people, who have no knowledge of Almighty God.”
Charter of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (July 8, 1663):
“We submit our persons, lives, and estates unto our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords and to all those perfect and most absolute laws of His given us in His Holy Word.”
“That they, pursueing, with peaceable and loyall mindes, sober, serious and religious intentions, of godlie edifieing themselves, and one another, in the holie Christian ffaith and worshipp… together with the gaineing over and conversione of the poore ignorant Indian natives… a most flourishing civill state may stand and best bee maintained… grounded upon gospell principles.”
Charter of Pennsylvania (March 4, 1681):
“To reduce the savage natives by gentle and just manners to the Love of Civil Societe and Christian Religion.”
“America’s Christian Heritage” (1 CD by Ken Gentry)
An exposition of Psa 2.
Elucidates important foundational principles from Scripture regarding a Christian approach to civil govnerment.
Also demonstrates America’s Christian heritage.
Tagged: America, Christian history, Mayflower Compact
Ken… this is great stuff. What is the best source for the early America original documents?
I highly recommend: Benjamin Morris, The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States. It is 1060 pages and absolutely filled with important documentation. It is available through American Vision: http://store.americanvision.org/products/christian-life-and-character-of-the-civil-institutions-of-the-united-states
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