is important to look at the historical events that took place during the
Revolutionary War. As many men died for what would ultimately become a
free land, others were busy making new policies and laws. The
centerpiece that fit into all of these laws and policies was God. He and
His laws were constantly referred to as a source and guide for the
Undoubtedly, the Christian lifestyle was the only lifestyle men and
women lived during this time period. The simple Christian ideas that
formed this lifestyle were the Ten Commandments, always fear God above
all others and follow Christ's footsteps. Laws, policy making, and our
entire American society were formed around these simple ideas.
forefathers, this was an easy way of life. They knew that their only
task on earth was to serve God with all that was within them. They knew
that part of serving God was pleasing God, and in order to please Him,
they had to follow Him. With these things in mind, the framework of our
government and laws were formed.
show the impact of God within their thinking and lives, the Continental
Congress appointed a day of fasting and prayer for the colonies:
Congress.... Desirous... To have people of all ranks and degrees duly
impressed with a solemn sense of God's superintending providence, and of
their duty, devoutly to rely... On his aid and direction...
earnestly recommend Friday, the 17th day of May be observed by the
colonies as a day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer; that we may, with
united hearts, confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions,
and, by sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease God's
righteous displeasure, and, through the merits and mediation of Jesus
Christ, obtain this pardon and forgiveness.
prayer and fasting took place, with all colonies (wholeheartedly)
participating, the Continental Congress on July 1, 1776, heard John
Adams declare his intentions to the delegates from the Thirteen
Before God, I believe the hour has come. My judgement approves this
measure, and my whole heart is in it. All that I have, and all that I
am, and all that I hope in this life, I am now ready here to stake upon
it. And I leave off as I began, that live or die, survive or perish, I
am for the Declaration. It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing
of God it shall be my dying sentiment. Independence now, and
Independence for ever!
speech by John Adams, as well as the day of fasting, were all brought
about by growing tensions between the British government and the
colonies. The colonies and their leaders had many complaints against the
British throne, yet they all went unanswered or unserved. Some of their
complaints are as follows:
has forbidden his Governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing
importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should
be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend
has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that
purpose obstructing the laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing
to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and the raising the
conditions of new Appropriations of lands.
has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and
destroyed the lives of our people.
depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to
bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their
friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
these complaints, in addition to many more, were compiled together and
sent to King George. In addition, they wrote:
every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the
most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by
repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act
which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
exhausting almost every form of diplomacy and negotiation, Continental
Congress on July 2, 1776, approved the wording for the Declaration of
Independence. On July 4, 1776, delegates of the Continental Congress
voted to accept it. On July 8, the Declaration was read publicly for the
first time outside of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, accompanied by
the ringing of the Liberty Bell. On July 19, Congress ordered it
engrossed in script on parchment and on August 2, 1776, the members of
Congress signed the parchment copy:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people
to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another,
and to assume the powers of the earth, the seperate and equal station to
which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent
respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the
causes which impel them to the separation.
hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to
secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving
their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any
Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of
the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,
laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in
such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and
Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long
established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and
accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to
suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by
abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train
of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a
design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is
their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new for their
signers of the Declaration believed it was obvious that "all men" are
created equal, and have rights that cannot be taken away. By "all men,"
they meant people of every race and every creed. The rights to "Life"
included the right to defend oneself against physical attack and unjust
government. The right to "Liberty" included the right to criticize the
government, to worship freely, and to form a government that protects
that liberty. The "pursuit of Happiness" meant the right to own property
and to have it safeguarded. It also meant the right to strive for the
good of all the people, not just one's own personal happiness.
Declaration states that governments exist to protect the rights of the
people. Governments receive their power to rule only through the
agreement of the people.
may alter their government if it fails in its purpose. Or they may set
up a new government. People should not change government for reasons of
just wanting change. However, they do have the right to overthrow a
government that has committed many abuses and seeks complete control over
Declaration states that the colonists could no longer endure the abuses
of their government and so must change it. It accuses King George III of
inflicting the abuses to gain total power over the colonies.
Because all these appeals had failed, the signers of the Declaration, as
representatives of the American people, felt only one course of action
remained. They thus declared the colonies independent, with all ties to
wonder if our elected officials of today have ever read and taken to
heart what this document really says. If not, perhaps it would be a good
idea to make it mandatory for each one of them to take time to refresh
their memories. We need to remember what the principals were on which
this country was founded. It looks to be that many are no longer
acquainted with our founding principals.
each of the delegates had signed the Declaration of Independence, Samuel
have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be
obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the
sun, let His kingdom come.
July 3, 1776, the day after Congress approved the wording of the
Declaration of Independence, John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail,
reflecting on what he shared in Congress and, with prophetic insight,
declaring the importance of that day:
am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations
as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the
Day of Deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought
to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns,
bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the
other, from this time forward forever.
will think me transported with enthusiasm, but I am not. I am well aware
of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost to maintain this
Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the
gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that
the end is worth more than all the means; that posterity will triumph in
that day's transaction, even though we [may regret] it, which I trust in
God we shall not.
signers of the Declaration of Independence paid a tremendous price for
our freedom: 5 were arrested by the British as traitors, 12 had their
homes looted and burned by the enemy, 17 lost their fortunes, 2 lost
sons in the Continental Army and 9 fought and died during the
the Declaration of Independence was read publicly on July 8th, Congress
then established a three man committee, consisting of Thomas Jefferson,
John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, for the purpose of designing a great
seal for the United States. Remember as discussed before, the great love
for the Christian Religion that all these men had.
Benjamin Franklin's suggestions for a seal and motto, characterizing the
spirit of this new nation, were: Moses lifting up his wand, and
dividing the red sea, and pharaoh in his chariot overwhelmed with the
waters. This motto: "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God."
Jefferson had proposed: The children of Israel in the wilderness, led
by a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night.
Continental Congress on July 9, 1776, the day following the first public
reading of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia and the
ringing of the "Liberty Bell," moved to establish prayer as a daily part
of this new nation. They knew that this was the most important part of
Resolved, That the Rev. Mr. J. Duche' be appointed chaplain to Congress,
and that he be desired to attend every morning at 9 o'clock.
same day, they authorized chaplains for the Continental Army and General
George Washington, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army,
immediately issued the order to appoint chaplains for every regiment. In
his first general order to his troops, General George Washington called
Every officer and man... To live, and act, as becomes a Christian
Soldier defending the dearest Rights and Liberties of his country.
Continental Congress, on September 11, 1777, approved and recommended to
the people that 20,000 copies of The Holy Bible be imported from other
sources. This was in response to the shortage of Bibles in America
caused by the Revolutionary War interrupting trade with England. The
Chaplain of Congress, Patrick Allison, brought the matter to the
attention of Congress, who assigned it to a special Congressional
Committee, which reported:
use of the Bible is so universal and its importance so great that your
committee refers the above to the consideration of Congress, and if
Congress shall not think it expedient to order the importation of types
and paper, the Committee recommends that Congress will order the
Committee of Commerce to import 20,000 Bibles from Holland, Scotland, or
elsewhere, into the different parts of the States of the Union.
Obviously, the importance of this age-old book was known by our
forefathers. Even while standing in the presence of ultimate military
conflict, they knew that the answers that they were looking for, both as
a nation and as individuals, could only be found within the covers of
this most Holy information manual.
Continental Congress on November 15, 1777, proposed and signed the
Articles of Confederation, which constituted the government in America
prior to the writing of the Constitution. It was finally ratified by the
states March 1, 1781:
.On the fifteenth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand
seven hundred and seventy seven.
whereas it has pleased the Great Governor of the world to incline the
hearts of the Legislatures we respectively represent in Congress, to
approve of, and to authorize us to ratify the said articles of
confederation and perpetual union.
longer did these men view the King of England as their "Great
Governor.Ē Their Great Governor was God. He was whom they knew they
were to follow. They, knowing that they had done the correct thing,
declared that God had authorized them to fulfill the duties of Congress
and to put forth the new laws of a new land.
this new land that developed practically overnight, there were many
occasions for thanksgiving. Our forefathers did not use a day of
thanksgiving as an excuse to get together with family members, eat so
much that you cannot move and watch sporting events as you drift in and
out of sleep. Their definition of thanksgiving was much different. For
example, the Continental Congress on November 1, 1777, issued The First
National Proclamation of Thanksgiving, extending to all colonies, as a
result of their victory at Saratoga. It was declared:
Forasmuch as it is the indispensable duty of all men to adore the
superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with gratitude
their obligation to Him for benefits received and to implore such
further blessing as they stand in need of; and it having pleased Him in
His abundant mercy not only to continue to us the innumerable bounties
of His common Providence... To smile upon us as in the prosecution of a
just and necessary war for the defense and establishment of our
unalienable rights and liberties...
is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive powers of these
United States, to set apart Thursday, the eighteenth day of December
next, for the solemn thanksgiving and praise:
That with one heart and one voice the good people may express the
grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the
service of their Divine Benefactor; and that together with their sincere
acknowledgements and offerings, they may join the penitent confession of
their manifold sins, whereby they had forfeited every favour, and their
humble and earnest supplication that it may please God, through the
merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of
That it may please Him graciously to afford His blessings on the
governments of these states respectively, and prosper the public council
of the whole; to inspire our commanders both by land and sea, and all
under them, with that wisdom and fortitude which may render them fit
instruments, under the Providence of Almighty God, to secure for these
United States, the greatest of all human blessings, independence and
That it may please Him, to prosper the trade and manufactures of the
people, and the labour of the husbandman, that our land may yet yield
its increase; to take school and seminaries of education, so necessary
for cultivating the principles of true liberty, virtue and piety, under
His nurturing hand, and to prosper the means of religion for the
promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth "in
righteous, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost."
it is further recommended, that servile labour, and such recreation as,
though at other times innocent, may be unbecoming the purpose of this
appointment, be omitted on so solemn an occasion.
the revealing and subsequent deliverance from Benedict Arnold's plot to
betray General George Washington and his troops to the British , the
Continental Congress issued a Proclamation for a Day of Public
Thanksgiving and Prayer on October 18, 1780:
Whereas it hath pleased Almighty God, the Father of all mercies, amidst
the vicissitudes and calamities of war, to bestow blessings on the
people of these states, which call for their devout and thankful
acknowledgements, more especially in the late remarkable interposition
of his watchful providence, in the rescuing the person of our
Commander-in-Chief and the army from imminent dangers, at the moment
when treason was ripened for execution....
is therefore recommended to the several states... A day of public
thanksgiving and prayer, that all the people may assemble on that day to
celebrate the praises of our Divine Benefactor; to confess our
unworthiness of the least of his favours, and to offer our fervent
supplications to the God of all grace... To cause the knowledge of
Christianity to spread over all the earth.
Forsaken Chapter 3
Forsaken Chapter 5