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What is Covenant? The very concept of Covenant is not a part of our language, not even in Christian circles. This theological concept was in fact a core component of what was understood in our Founders era. Yes, The interactive relationship between individuals, society and individuals as well as the first Covenant of the inner determination of God in three persons to establish salvation were Founders premises for governance.
The American Founders looked at the Reformation context for the definition of Covenant. Here is a simple definition:
“The term “covenant” is of Latin origin (con venire), meaning a coming together. It presupposes two or more parties who come together to make a contract, agreeing on promises, stipulations, privileges, and responsibilities. 1”
In this program, I am covering the use of Covenant in Foundational writings including the Constitution of Massachusetts, writings about Sam Adams, letters or documents written to or by Sam Adams and a perspective from John Witherspoon in his work “Lectures On Moral Society.”
Promises Made = Promises Kept
This section will be a very quick and simple analysis or comparison between the RNC convention and the demon-crat convulsion. I elaborate on the key concepts from “Lectures On Moral Society” by Rev. Dr. Withspoon with,
“Contracts should be of things evidently possible, and probably in our power. Contracts by which men oblige themselves to do things impossible, are no doubt void from the beginning; but if the impossibility was known to the contracting party, it must have been either absurd or fraudulent. When things engaged for become impossible by the operation of Providence without a man’s own fault, the contract is void, and he is guiltless—as if a man should covenant to deliver at a certain place and time a number of cattle, and when he is almost at the place of destination they should be killed by thunder, or any other accident, out of his power.” page 163
One must take in that the above is premised on understanding the essence of “An Oath.”
“Among the signs and appendages of contracts, are oaths and vows.
An oath is an appeal to God, the searcher of hearts, for the truth of what we say, and always expresses or supposes an imprecation of his judgment upon us, if we prevaricate.
An oath therefore implies a belief in God, and his Providence, and indeed is an act of worship, and so accounted in Scripture, as in that expression, Thou shall fear the Lord thy God, and shalt swear by his name. It use in human affairs is very great, when managed with judgment. It may be applied and indeed has been commonly used (1) in the contracts of independent states, who have no common earthly superior. In ancient times it was usual always to close national treaties by mutual oaths. This form is not so common in modern times, yet the substance remains; for an appeal is always supposed to be made to God, against the breach of public faith.” page 170
I will discuss and point out that both political parties have broken their Covenants with the Citizens of these United States and at every level of state government. They do not take their ‘Oath’ seriously. They only go through the motions of saying the words without considering the deep meaning of those words.
You and Covenants
In what I have been establishing this year regarding ‘political theology,’ the question at the heart of our present political environment is personal. What is your understanding and part in the family, local, state and national Covenants in our Constitutional form of governance?
What is your duty within the human perspective of governance in the context of Covenant – that relationship between you, others and constituted government? Are you engaged as the definition describes in that Covenant “presupposes two or more parties who come together to make a contract, agreeing on promises, stipulations, privileges, and responsibilities?”
What Next? Duty!
I found this statement from “Sages and Hero’s Of The American Revolution” to be your call to action this week as you seek to discern the difference in not only how to govern but who will govern. I particularly bring this quote for evangelicals who detest our 45th President and do not understand their duty under the full essence of God’s established Covenant in respect to every aspect of life.
I can only say, Do Your Duty to God and Country according to the fulness of the Covenants to which you are bound.
“The popularity of a measure depends much upon the character of those who engage in it. Its justice is inferred from its ardent and unwavering advocacy by men of high moral and religious worth. For righteous cause and consistency in its prosecution – the American Revolution has no parallel on the pages of history. It commanded the noblest exertions of the best and most talented men of that eventful era. Their conduct elicited the admiration of a gazing world. Pure patriotism pervaded their bosoms – self was banished to its original Pandora box. Truckling politicians were despised – demagogues frowned down—disorganizers silenced – the general good of the whole country was the prime object of deep solicitude. On that bright picture the patriot and philanthropist can feast their eyes with increasing delight. The artists have passed away and left to us the priceless gem of republican FREEDOM. In lines of living light they traced the path of duty in which we must tread to insure safety and preserve our priceless UNION. In language solemn as eternity they said to us – WALK YE THEREIN. People of America! is this injunction of the venerated dead implicitly obeyed by all? A fearful negative must be responded by every thinking, observing, intelligent, honest man. The alluvion of political corruption has submerged this path of duty and safety. Reckless party spirit has broken down its landmarks. Disorganizes trample under foot the precious blood that cemented its pavement – the blood of the covenant of LIBERTY. They treat it as an unholy thing and put our country and themselves to open shame. People of America! will you, _can_ you hear the portentous thunders of disorganization – disunion and stand motionless – speechless – until the crash of our LIBERTY – the wreck of our FREEDOM shall unveil to you the wild horrors of chaotic ruin? _You_ are the conservators of our Republic – nobly perform your duty.”
Sam Adams Wisdom
ARTICLE SIGNED “CANDIDUS.”
[W. V. Wells, Life of Samuel Adams,1 vol. ii., pp. 360-363.]
[February 3, 1776.]
“…Besides the danger of an indefinite dependence upon an undetermined power, it might be worth while to consider what the characters are on whom we are so ready to acknowledge ourselves dependent. The votaries of this idol tell us, upon the good people of our mother country, whom they represent as the mos just, humane, and affectionate friends we can have in the world. Were this true, it were some encouragement; but who can pretend ignorance, that these just and humane friends are as much under the tyranny of men of a reverse character as we should be could these miscreants gain their ends? I disclaim any more than a mutual dependence on any man or number of men on earth; but an indefinite dependence upon a combination of men who have, in the face of the sun, broken through the most solemn covenants, debauched the hereditary, and corrupted the elective guardians of the people’s rights; who have, in fact, established an absolute tyranny in Great Britain and Ireland, and openly declared themselves competent to bind the Colonies in all cases whatsoever,—I say, indefinite dependence on such a combination of usurping innovators is evidently as dangerous to liberty, as fatal to civil and social happiness, as any one step that could be proposed even by the destroyer of men. The utmost that the honest party in Great Britain can do is to warn us to avoid this dependence at all hazards. Does not even a Duke of Grafton declare the ministerial measures illegal and dangerous? And shall America, no way connected with this Administration, press our submission to such measures and reconciliation to the authors of them? Would not such pigeon-hearted wretches equally forward the recall of the Stuart family and establishment of Popery throughout Christendom, did they consider the party in favor of those loyal measures the strongest? Shame on the men who can court exemption from present trouble and expense at the price of their posterity’s liberty! The honest party in England cannot wish for the reconciliation proposed. It is as unsafe to them as to us, and they thoroughly apprehend it. What check have they now upon the Crown, and what shadow of control can they pretend, when the Crown can command fifteen or twenty millions a year which they have nothing to say to? A proper proportion of our commerce is all that can benefit any good man in Britain or Ireland; and God forbid we should be so cruel as to furnish bad men with the power to enslave both Britain and America. Administration has now fairly dissevered the dangerous tie. Execrated will he be by the latest posterity who again joins the fatal cord!
And because you keep asking!
The video of the program is at the SamuelAdamsReturns YouTube channel.
1. Sages and Heroes of the American Revolution – Joseph Warren
2. Sages and Heroes of the American Revolution – Samuel Adams
3. Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
4. Life and Public Service of Samuel Adams Volume I page 212
5. Natural law From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
6. Samuel Adams Writings Volume II
7. Samuel Adams Writings Volume III
8. Lectures on Moral Society by John Witherspoon
9. Studies in the Laws of Nature’s God By Gerald R. Thompson Self-Study – Covenant Law
1 Define Covenant: https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/covenant/