“And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty.”
2 Corinthians 3:17
The sentiment, then, which I shall deduce from the text, and to illustrate and urge which, shall be the principal object of the present discourse, is, That the general prevalence of real Christianity, in any government, has a direct and immediate tendency to promote, and to confirm therein, political liberty.
Again; if it be a solemn truth, that the prevalence of Christianity, has a natural and immediate tendency to promote political freedom, then, those are the truest and the wisest patriots, who study to encrease its influence on society. Hence it becomes every American citizen to consider this as the great palladium of our liberty, demanding our first and highest care.
To each of you, then, my fellow citizens, on this anniversary of our independence, be the solemn address made! Do you wish to stand fast in that liberty, wherewith the Governor of the universe hath made you free? Do you desire the encreasing prosperity of your country? Do you wish to see the law respected–good order preserved, and universal peace to prevail? Are you convinced, that purity of morals is necessary for these important purposes? Do you believe, that the Christian religion is the firmest basis of morality? Fix its credit, then, by adopting it yourselves, and spread its glory by the lustre of your example! And while you tell to your children, and to your children’s children, the wonderful works of the Lord, and the great deliverance which he hath wrought out for us, teach them to remember the Author of these blessings, and they will know how to estimate their value. Teach them to acknowledge the God of heaven as their King, and they will despise submission to earthly despots. Teach them to be Christians, and they will ever be free!
– Samuel Miller, excerpts from “A Sermon on the Anniversary of the
Independence of America”, July 4th, 1793
The full text of the sermon is available here.
*Picture of the Liberty Bell from Pixabay
*Cultural Contemplations is a private blog and is not affiliated with any particular institution or organization.