How the seed of local self-government is planted (Part I)

Samuel Adams*—The Father of the Revolution—reminds us that the art of self-government is learned through “the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system …”

Let [pastors] and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age, by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls, of inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity and universal philanthropy, and, in subordination to these great principles, the love of their country; of instructing them in the art of Self-Government, without which they never can act a wise part in the government of societies, great or small; in short, of leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system.

At the age of 28 years, writing in the year 1750, Samuel Adams had already perceived that man’s political liberty relates to spiritual freedom under the law of God. Like Paul, he recognized that sin enslaves man and does not permit him to be “subject to no other control” and “commanded by no other power than the laws and ordinances of the great Creator of all things.”

Teach the Children

  • Our nation is a Republic of self-governing people.
  • Man’s sinful nature prevents him from saving himself, therefore God gave his Word to guide us in how to practice the gift of self-government under Christ our Savior.
  • To sustain American liberty and the privilege of self-governing, we must individually choose to be self-governed under Christ.

Paul defines virtue: as “the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” He admonishes us to “add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge … knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

2 Peter: 1:5, 8

The tendency of the true Gospel principles is to bring the most absolute despotism under the limits of law.

 *Hall, V. M. (2006). The Christian History of the Constitution of the United States of America. Christian Self-Government (Founders Edition, Vol. 1, p. xiv). San Francisco: Foundation for American Christian Education.

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