With special thanks to Constituting America and Heritage College, we will be taking part in their project:The U.S. Constitution: A Reader. It is a 90 day challenge to learn and dive deeper into understanding the Constitution.
For today’s reading: CLICK HERE.
Gad Hitchcock and An Election Sermon
Gad Hitchcock was a witty, educated scholar from Harvard who was highly acclaimed for his knowledge of the Bible. And as controversial as mixing religion and politics is today, it was all too common practice at the beginnings of America. People often looked to their pastors for advice and council as they were among the higher educated at the time.
During the elections in 1774, Hitchcock was invited to give the annual election, which is what today’s reading is from. His influence stretched beyond the pulpit, and he wasn’t concerned one bit because of it.;
His sermon starts out with Proverbs 29:2 which states:
“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”
And, it was from this, that he drew his remarks that day.
It’s no secret that British rule tried to stake claim in America. They wanted to be able to rule over the Americans in every capacity. Gad Hitchcock had other ideas. He stated:
“In such a government, rulers have their distinct powers assigned them by the people, who are the only source of civil authority on earth, with the view of having them exercised for the public advantage; and in proportion as this worthy end of the investiture is kept in sight, and prosecuted, the bands of society are strengthened, and its interests promoted. . .”
Hitchcock understood, in obvious fashion, that powers to government were to be limited, and that only a Higher Authority could lead in a Natural way. He also possessed an understanding that by Nature, all men were equal.
“In a state of nature men are equal, exactly on a par in regard to authority: each one is law to himself, having the law of God, the sole rule of conduct, written on his heart.”
Gad’s wisdom on these principles had an impact, not only with the people, but with the creators of the Constitution. Many ideals that Gad shared during his time found a home in the hearts of the Founding Fathers. They also found their way into the Constitution in such that we have certain separations of power and that those powers are limited.
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