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"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
. . .  Acts 4:12  . . .

Samuel Adams, the Bible and Politics

Edited by Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.

The material in this article was taken from the book American Statesmen and Heroes by Catherine Millard, who got the material from An Oration Delivered at the State-House in Philadelphia to a very numerous audience by Samuel Adams on Thursday the 1st of August 1776; member of the General Congress of the United States of America. ( pp.1-6; 17-18, 32)

In order to fully grasp the biblical mindset and value-system of this great American patriot, Samuel Adams, will quote from his famous Oration given at the State House (Independence Hall) on August 1,1776. This oration is now housed in the Rare Book Collection of the Library of Congress in our nation s capital. Throughout this Address, Adams quotes the Holy Scriptures to under gird his thesis, which is that, "...Our Fore-fathers threw off the yoke of popery in religion; for you is reserved the honor of levelling the popery of politics. They opened the Bible to all, and maintained the capacity of every man to judge for himself in religion..."

Countrymen, and Brethren,

I would gladly have declined an honor to which I find myself unequal. I have not the calmness and impartiality which the infinite importance of this occasion demands. I will not deny the charge of my enemies that resentment for the accumulated injuries of our country, and an ardour for her glory, rising to enthusiasm, may deprive me of that accuracy of judgment and expression which men of cooler passions may possess... Truth loves an appeal to the common sense of mankind. Your unperverted understandings can best determine on subjects of a practical nature. The positions and plans which are said to be above the comprehension of the multitude may be always suspected to be visionary and fruitless. He who made all men hath made the truths necessary to human happiness obvious to all. Our Fore-fathers threw off the yoke of popery in religion; for you is reserved the honor of levelling the popery of politics. They opened the Bible to all, and maintained the capacity of every man to judge for himself in religion. Are we sufficient for the comprehension of the sublimest spiritual Truths, and unequal to material and temporal ones? Heaven hath trusted us with the management of things for Eternity, and man denies us ability to judge of the present, or to know from our feelings and experience what will make us happy

The hand of Heaven appears to have led us on to be perhaps humble instruments, and means in the great providential dispensation which is completing. We have fled from the political Sodom; let us not look back lest we perish and become a monument of infamy and derision to the world... We cannot suppose that our opposition has made a corrupt and dissipated nation more friendly to America, or created in them a greater respect for the rights of mankind... Courage then, my countrymen! Our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind, an asylum on earth, for civil and religious liberty?

And, brethren and fellow-countrymen, if it was ever granted to mortals to trace the designs of Providence, and interpret its manifestations in favor of their cause, we may, with humility of soul, cry out, not unto us, not unto us, but to thy name be the praise... the gradual advances of our oppressors enabling us to prepare for our defense; the unusual fertility of our lands and clemency of the seasons the success which at first attended our feeble arms, producing unanimity among our friends and reducing our internal foes to acquiescence these are all strong and palpable marks and assurances, that Providence is yet gracious unto Zion, that it will turn away the captivity of Jacob. Our glorious Reformers, when they broke through the fetters of superstition, effected more than could be expected from an age so darkened: But they left much to be done by their posterity. They lopped off indeed some of the branches of popery, but they left the root and stock when they left us under the domination of human systems... and decisions, usurping the infallibility which can be attributed to Revelation alone. They dethroned one usurper only to raise up another. They refused allegiance to the pope, only to place the Civil Magistrate on the throne of Christ, vested with authority to enact laws, and inflict penalties in His Kingdom. And if we now cast our eyes over the nations of the earth we shall find, that instead of possessing the pure Religion of the Gospel, they may be divided either into infidels, who deny the Truth; or politicians, who make religion a stalking horse for their ambition; or professors who walk in the trammels of orthodoxy, and are more attentive to traditions and ordinances of men, than to oracles of Truth. The Civil Magistrate has everywhere contaminated Religion, by making it an engine of Policy; and Freedom of thought and the right of public judgment, in matters of conscience, driven from every other corner of the earth, direct their course to this happy country as their last asylum. Let us cherish the noble guests and shelter them under the wings of an Universal Toleration. Be this the seat of unbounded Religious Freedom. She will bring with her, in her train, Industry, Wisdom and Commerce. She thrives most when left to shoot forth in her natural luxuriance, and asks from human policy, only not to be checked in her growth by artificial encouragement... No man had once a greater veneration for Englishmen than I entertained. They were dear to me as branches of the same parental trunk, and partakers of the same Religion and Laws: I still view with respect the remains of the Constitution as I would a lifeless body which had once been animated by a great and heroic soul; But when I am raised by the din of arms; when I behold legions of foreign assassins paid by Englishmen to embrue their hands in our blood, when I tread over the uncoffined bones of my countrymen, neighbours and friends, when I see the locks of a venerable father torn by savage hands, and a feeble mother clasping her infants to her bosom, and on her knees imploring their lives from her own slaves whom Englishmen have allured to treachery and murder; when I behold my country, once the seat of industry, peace, and plenty, changed by Englishmen to a theatre of blood, and misery, Heaven forgive me, if I cannot root out those passions which it has implanted in my bosom, and detect submission to a people who have either ceased to be human, or have not virtue enough to feel their own wretchedness and servitude

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"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
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