Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Rights of the Colonists by David Barton

Samuel Adams assumed personal responsibility for the first goal of the Committees, and his resulting work, “The Rights of the Colonists,” was first circulated on November 20, 1772. In that work, Adams urged Americans to study the Scriptures to understand the basis of the struggle to preserve their God-given rights. He declared: The Rights of the Colonists as Christians. These may be best understood by reading and carefully studying the institutes of the great Law Giver and Head of the Christian Church, which are to be found clearly written and promulgated in the New Testament.

In fact, the spiritual nature of the American resistance became so clear that even in the debates of the British Parliament: Sir Richard Sutton read a copy of a letter relative to the government of America from a Crown-appointed governor in America to the Board of Trade showing that if you ask an American, “Who is his master?” He will tell you he has none, nor any governor but Jesus Christ. On March 5, 1774, in an oration commemorating the Boston Massacre of 1770 in which British troops had opened fire on the Americans, John Hancock proclaimed:

I have the most animating confidence that the present noble struggle for liberty will terminate gloriously for America. And let us play the man for our God, and for the cities of our God; whilst we are using the means in our power, let us humbly commit our righteous cause to the great Lord of the Universe, who loveth righteousness and hateth iniquity. And having secured the approbation of our hearts by a faithful and unwearied discharge of our duty to our country, let us joyfully leave our concerns in the hands of Him who raiseth up and pulleth down the empires and kingdoms of the world as He pleases; and with cheerful submission to His sovereign will, devoutly say, “Although the fig tree shall not blossom neither shall fruit be in the vines, the labor of the olive shall fail and the field shall yield not meat, the flock shall be cut off from the fold and there shall be no herd in the stalls, yet we will rejoice in the Lord, we will joy in the God of our salvation” HABAKKUK 3:17-18.

As a consequence of the Colonists expressing their frustration at the “Boston Tea Party” following eight years of rejected appeals by the Crown, Parliament passed the Boston Port Bill to blockade Boston harbor. That bill, designed to eliminate all trade to or from that key port, was to take effect on June 1, 1774. How did the American Colonists respond? News accounts in Great Britain reported: The province of Virginia appointed the first of June, the day on which the Boston Port Bill took place, to be set apart for fasting, prayer, and humiliation, to implore the Divine interposition to avert the heavy calamity which threatened destruction to their civil rights with the evils of a civil war; and to give one heart and one mind to the people firmly to oppose every injury to the American rights. This example was either followed or a similar resolution adopted almost everywhere and the first of June became a general day of prayer and humiliation throughout the continent. Mercy Otis Warren, one of the first historians of the American Revolution and the wife of a patriot, reported that not only did the Colonists pray, but they also began to organize relief for the Bostonians.

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