Ever wonder what preachers used to preach around this time of the year? Check out a few excerpts from a message preached only 18 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
We could learn a few things.
“A people under a free government will be happy, as long as they are virtuous and wise. They may become vicious and corrupt. They are then liable to be influenced by private connections, party spirit, bribery or flattery, promises or rewards, or the artifice and intrigue of crafty and designing men.
When this is the case, they give up their security, lose their liberty, and sink into slavery….
“…Our free government was a happy, but a costly purchase; let it not be lost by drowsy inattention, and implicit confidence…
The day is coming, when liberty and peace shall bless the human race. But previous to this, truth and virtue must prevail, and the religion of Jesus must govern men’s hearts. Then the horrors of war will cease, and the groans of slavery will no more be heard. The rod of the oppressor will be broken, and the yoke will be removed from the shoulders of the oppressed. The scepter will be wrested from the hands of the wicked, and the pomp of the proud will be brought down to the dust. The whole earth will rest and be quiet: they will break forth into singing…”
– from “The Happiness of Free Government and the Means of Preserving It,” preached by JOSEPH LATHROP, D. D. on July 4th, 1794
I think the “vicious and corrupt” are now running the show. As a result of our “drowsy attention” we have elected men and women of the lowest character, thereby giving up our security, our liberty, and the hope of freedom-loving people around the world who look to us as a shining city on a hill.
We are sinking into slavery.