AMERICA’S PROUD PAST

The season of Thanksgiving is a happy and popular time of the year. We have a national day that has been set aside for the citizens of this country to give thanks to Almighty God for His manifold blessings upon our nation. The United States of America has much to be thankful for. There are three direct aspects of America that we can examine today. America’s proud past, America’s precious present and America’s perilous future.

America is an exceptional nation because it was pioneered and built by exceptional people. In 1620 A.D. the first English colony was established in the northern region of this wild, untamed continent. The early pilgrims settled in what was later to be known as Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The first Thanksgiving day was a time when the English settlers set aside a day in which to give God thanks for His delivering them from the harsh weather of their Atlantic crossing and the hostile environment of the wild, new land.

The English settlers worked hard and built a successful life for the next 150 years. They established 13 separate colonies. Great Britain had the legal right to claim these colonies as a part of their world-wide empire. They demanded high taxes and did not allow the colonies to be represented in their parliament. They forced the colonies to manufacture good and ship them to England in English ships. These injustices grew until a rebellion against England broke out in 1775.

There were many men and women that were called upon to do outstanding patriotic acts far and above what was expected of them. The honor roll of great American patriots is huge. We cannot rate these great patriots; only God in heaven has the capacity to judge and evaluate their independent value. I am going to look at three of these American heroes today; Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Patrick Henry.

Thomas Jefferson was a successful farmer and landowner in Virginia. He was not a member of a Baptist Church, but he had learned the great truth that Baptist’s had held for over 1,700 years that taught liberty of conscience. Thomas Jefferson, as a young man, had a favorite aunt who was his mother’s sister. Her name was Mrs. Woodson and she lived with her husband in Goochland, Virginia. They were active members in a Baptist Church and when Thomas stayed with them they took him to their church so he witnessed the simple type of procedure for doing business and teaching the individual right to liberty of conscience. Mrs. Woodson says that these convictions became so imbedded in Thomas Jefferson’s life that he used them as patterns for his writing of the Declaration of Independence and his thoughts on self Government.

James Madison was to be known as the father of the United States constitution. He was also to become the 5th president of the new nation. James Madison’s older brother, General Madison, and his family were members of a Baptist church. Their family took a deep interest in the struggle of the denomination.

James Madison was known for his sense of honesty. John Leland, a noted Baptist preacher, said, “I feel satisfied that if all the State of Massachusetts was offered as a bribe, it would not buy a single vote from him”.

Patrick Henry was an attorney and also an elected member of the Virginia House of Burgess. He was a fiery debater and speaker. His famous speech that swayed the house to vote for Independence for Britain is noted as “Give me liberty or give me death”.

Patrick Henry was acquainted with Baptist churches for many years. He was called on from time to time to help them in their struggle for religious freedom. Patrick Henry was not a member of a Baptist church, but he espoused the great truths that Baptists have championed. He was a strong advocate for religious liberty and freedom of conscience.


One Response to “AMERICA’S PROUD PAST”

  1. Doug says:

    Hi John good word. have you started your book yet?
    lets get togather
    stay blessed
    Doug

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