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Free and Strong America

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Black Robe Regiment‏







While the historically illiterate and the spiritually blind seem quite content in displaying their willful ignorance for all to see, David Barton reminds us of one of the most important motivating players on the scene that called for the American Revolution and influenced America's founding documents which made her the freest country the world had ever known....





"The Black Robed Regiment was the name that the British placed on the courageous and patriotic American clergy during the Founding Era (a backhanded reference to the black robes they wore). [1] Significantly, the British blamed the Black Regiment for American Independence, [2] and rightfully so, for modern historians have documented that:


"There is not a right asserted in the Declaration of Independence which had not been discussed by the New England clergy before 1763." [3]


It is strange to today's generation to think that the rights listed in the Declaration of Independence were nothing more than a listing of sermon topics that had been preached from the pulpit in the two decades leading up to the American Revolution, but such was the case.

But it was not just the British who saw the American pulpit as largely responsible for American independence and government, our own leaders agreed. For example, John Adams rejoiced that "the pulpits have thundered" [4] and specifically identified several ministers as being among the "characters the most conspicuous, the most ardent, and influential" in the "awakening and a revival of American principles and feelings" that led to American independence. [5]

Across subsequent generations, the great and positive influence of the Revolutionary clergy was faithfully reported. For example:


As a body of men, the clergy were pre-eminent in their attachment to liberty. The pulpits of the land rang with the notes of freedom. [6] The American Quarterly Register [MAGAZINE], 1833


If Christian ministers had not preached and prayed, there might have been no revolution as yet - or had it broken out, it might have been crushed. [7] Bibliotheca Sacra [BRITISH PERIODICAL], 1856


The ministers of the Revolution were, like their Puritan predecessors, bold and fearless in the cause of their country. No class of men contributed more to carry forward the Revolution and to achieve our independence than did the ministers. . . .

[B]y their prayers, patriotic sermons, and services [they] rendered the highest assistance to the civil government, the army, and the country. [8] B. F. Morris, HISTORIAN, 1864


The Constitutional Convention and the written Constitution were the children of the pulpit. [9] Alice Baldwin, HISTORIAN, 1918


Had ministers been the only spokesman of the rebellion - had Jefferson, the Adamses, and [James] Otis never appeared in print - the political thought of the Revolution would have followed almost exactly the same line. . . . In the sermons of the patriot ministers . . . we find expressed every possibly refinement of the reigning political faith. [10] Clinton Rossiter, HISTORIAN, 1953


The American clergy were faithful exponents of the fullness of God's Word, applying its principles to every aspect of life, thus shaping America's institutes and culture. They were also at the forefront of proclaiming liberty, resisting tyranny, and opposing any encroachments on God-given rights and freedoms. In 1898, Methodist bishop and church historian Charles Galloway rightly observed of these ministers:


"Mighty men they were, of iron nerve and strong hand and unblanched cheek and heart of flame. God needed not reeds shaken by the wind, not men clothed in soft raiment [Matthew 11:7-8], but heroes of hardihood and lofty courage. . . . And such were the sons of the mighty who responded to the Divine call." [11]




And on and on it goes. Click on the above link for the complete story, it's quite extensive and thoroughly footnoted. While some are arguing for an complete removal of religion and religious views from the public square, I would wager that they are completely unaware as to the important role that the Christian religion provided to make such a discussion even possible.




EDIT: In case anyone wishes to debunk that which Barton has put forward, I would suggest by starting with the sources he cited while compiling his essay...




"[1] Boston Gazette, December 7, 1772, article by "Israelite," and Boston Weekly Newsletter, January 11, 1776, article by Peter Oliver, British official. See also Peter Oliver, Peter Oliver's Origin & Progress of the American Rebellion, Douglas Adair and John A. Schutz, editors (San Marino California: The Huntington Library, 1961), pp. 29, 41-45; Carl Bridenbaugh, Mitre and Sceptre (New York: Oxford University Press, 1962), p. 334; and Alice M. Baldwin, The New England Clergy and the American Revolution (New York: Frederick Ungar, 1958), pp. 98, 155.



[2] Alpheus Packard, "Nationality," Bibliotheca Sacra and American Biblical Repository (London: Andover: Warren F. Draper, 1856), Vol. XIII p.193, Article VI. See also Benjamin Franklin Morris, Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States (Philadelphia: George W. Childs, 1864), pp. 334-335.



[3] Alice M. Baldwin, The New England Clergy and the American Revolution (New York: Frederick Ungar, 1958), p. 170.



[4] John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1851), Vol. III, p. 476, "The Earl of Clarendon to William Pym," January 20, 1766.



[5] John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1850), Vol. X, p. 284, to Hezekiah Niles, February 13, 1818. See also John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1856), Vol. X, pp. 271-272, letter to William Wirt, January 5, 1818.



[6] "History of Revivals of Religion, From the Settlement of the Country to the Present Time," The American Quarterly Register, (Boston: Perkins and Marvin, 1833) Vol. 5, p. 217. See also Benjamin Franklin Morris, Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States (Philadelphia: George W. Childs, 1864), pp. 334-335.



[7] Alpheus Packard, "Nationality," Bibliotheca Sacra and American Biblical Repository (London: Andover: Warren F. Draper, 1856), Vol. XIII p.193, Article VI. See also Benjamin Franklin Morris, Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States (Philadelphia: George W. Childs, 1864), pp. 334-335.



[8] Benjamin Franklin Morris, Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States (Philadelphia: George W. Childs, 1864), pp. 334-335.



[9] Alice M. Baldwin, The New England Clergy and the American Revolution (New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 1958), p. 134.



[10] Clinton Rossiter, Seedtime of the Republic (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1953), pp. 328-329.



[11] Charles B. Galloway, Christianity and the American Commonwealth (Nashville, TN: Publishing House Methodist Episcopal Church, 1898), p. 77."


4 comments:

GentleSkeptic said...

Why the personal backhanded swipe at Justin?

Feeling the sting of defeat?

Speedy G said...

Are you sure that the black loincloth regiment didn't help as well?

Success has many fathers. Failure is usually an orphan. ;)

Justin Vacula said...

Barton?
http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/11/16/thats-a-good-question/

JD Curtis said...

Why the personal backhanded swipe at Justin?

I think 'historically ignorant' might ne a better term. I mean that in a purely clinical, not saying it to be mean, manner.

Barton?

I checked out the link and it basically says that Barton is incorrect, and then does not offer up anything that Barton is incorrect on.

If in fact it could be shown that "There is not a right asserted in the Declaration of Independence which had not been discussed by the New England clergy before 1763." and "the rights listed in the Declaration of Independence were nothing more than a listing of sermon topics that had been preached from the pulpit in the two decades leading up to the American Revolution.", then should such information be taught in a public school?

If no, then why not?