REVOLUTION BY PREACHERS
Resistance to England during the Revolution became a sacred duty to a people who were, on the whole, highly a religious people. And they were led--in their resistance to the tyranny of England--by their preachers.
* It was a preacher named Jonathan Mayhew who observed that England imposed heavy taxes on the Colonies without allowing them to be represented in the Parliament. And so he coined the phrase that became a battle cry for the Revolutionaries: "No taxation without representation"
* It was a Presbyterian minister named John Witherspoon who preached on the similarities
between the bondage of Israel in Egypt with the bondage the colonies suffered under England. You might know Witherspoon's name--he was one of those who signed Declaration of Independence.
* Samuel Cooper was a Congregational minister who actively preached on the Revolution to an audience that often included John Adams, Samuel Adams, Joseph Warren and John Hancock.
* And then there was the preacher named Peter Muhlenberg. How many of you have ever seen the movie "The Patriot" with Mel Gibson? Muhlenberg was the preacher who served as the model for the preacher in that movie. One Sunday, he stood in his pulpit and preached from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 and he concluded his sermon with these words:
"The Bible tells us there is a time for all things, and there is a time to preach and a time to pray... and there is a time to fight, and that time has come now. Now is the time to fight!"
At that point Muhlenberg stripped off his preaching robes to reveal a military uniform pulled a musket out from behind the pulpit and began leading men in battle. He at Valley Forge, as well as the battles of Brandywine, Germantown and was instrumental in leading the Colonial army to victory at Yorktown--the battle which effectively ended the war.
These were just 4 of the hundreds of preachers across the colonies who made up Black Regiment. And they helped lead America to become a Free and powerful nation.
These preachers had two basic messages:
1st: The King of England was a tyrant and opposing God's will by oppressing them.
2nd: The only way to free themselves from this evil ruler was to appeal to God.
Thus, one of the constant themes from their pulpits was the same as our text this morning: "... it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God..." 1 Peter 4:17
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