John Humble Anew
John Humble wrote an Anti-federalist letter October 29, 1787. In the first segment of this weeks program I am reading the following modernized version of the letter. You can find the original on page 96 of the downloadable ‘The Anti-Federalist Papers Special Edition.’
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Modernized “JOHN HUMBLE’s” the original piece was published in the Independent Gazetteer, October 29, 1787.
Concerning The Use of Coercion by the New Government. The original is satire at its best.
The humble address of the low-born of the United States of America, to their fellow slaves scattered throughout the world-greeting:
Whereas it hath been represented unto us that a most dreadful disease hath for these two hundred and thirty-four years last past infected, preyed upon and almost ruined the government and people of this our country; and of this malady we ourselves have had perfect demonstration, not mentally, but bodily, through every one of the five senses. For although our sensations in regard to the mind be not just so nice as those of the well born oligarchs, techno-billionaires and Davos elite, yet our feeling, through the medium of the plow, the hoe, the grubbing ax, the manufacturing sector and even the service industry, is as acute as any nobleman’s in the world. And, whereas, a number of skillful physicians of central planning, wokeness and global corporatism having met together at the District of Columbia over the last two decades, for the purpose of exploring, and, if possible, removing the cause of this direful disease, have, through the assistance of Barack Obama, Esq., in the profundity of their great Gramscianism political knowledge, found out and discovered that nothing but a new government, consisting of three different branches, namely, chairman, central party, and politburo or, in the American language, President, Senate and Representatives – can save this, our country, from inevitable destruction. And, whereas, it has been reported that several of our low-born brethren have had the horrid audacity to think for themselves in regard to this new system of government, and, dreadful thought! have wickedly begun to doubt concerning the perfection of this evangelical socialist constitution, which our political doctors of education and political science have declared to be a panacea, which (by inspiration) they know will infallibly heal every distemper in the existing republic, and finally terminate in the salvation of America.
Now we the low born, that is, all the patriotic constitutional people of the United States, except 724, there abouts, American billionaires, do by this our humble address, declare and most solemnly engage, that we will allow and admit the said 724 wealthiest, immediately to establish and confirm this most noble, most excellent and truly divine globalist plan for the constitution. And through the purposeful education system and media, we further declare that without any equivocation or mental reservation whatever we will, as good minions, to support and maintain the same according to the best of our power, and after the manner and custom of all other slaves in foreign countries, namely by unquestioned obedience as well as the sweat and toil of our body. Nor will we at any future period of time ever attempt to complain of this our royal socialist government, let the consequences be what they may.
And although it appears to us that a standing army of criminal sycophants, composed of the purgings of the jails of third world countries, drug lords, woke educators and BLM stooges, shall be employed in collecting the revenues of this our chairman and government, yet, we again in the most solemn manner declare, that we will abide by our present determination of modern evangelical non-resistance and passive obedience – so that we shall not dare to molest or disturb those military gentlemen in the service of our socialist government. And (which is not improbable) should any one of those soldiers when employed on duty in collecting the taxes, strike off the arm (with his sword) of one of our fellow slaves, we will conceive our case remarkably fortunate if he leaves the other arm on. And moreover, because we are aware that many of our fellow slaves shall be unable to pay their taxes, and this incapacity of theirs is a just cause of impeachment of treason; wherefore in such cases we will use our utmost endeavors, in conjunction with the standing army, to bring such atrocious offenders, as those of January 6th and questioners of election fraud, before our federal judges, who shall have power, without jury or trial, to order the said miscreants for immediate execution; nor will we think their sentence severe unless after being hanged they are also to be both beheaded and quartered. And finally we shall henceforth and forever leave all power, authority and dominion over our persons and properties in the hands of the Davos elities, who were designed by Providence to govern. And in regard to the liberty of the press, we renounce all claim to it forever more, Amen; and we shall in future be perfectly contented if our tongues be left us to lick the feet of our technocrat Davos masters.
Done on behalf of more than seventy-five millions of low-born American
JOHN HUMBLE, Secretary
John Humble and the Concerns of Coercion
John Humble was one of several Anti-federalists that wrote about how the Constitution of 1787 would ultimately allow for coercion by the central government. Of an early commentator of our 21st Century issues at hand was “A FARMER AND PLANTER” who had his work printed in The Maryland Journal, and Baltimore Advertiser, April 1, 1788.
His concerns of Coercion can be read in full beginning on page 93 of the ‘The Anti-Federalist Papers Special Edition.’ Here is just the first two paragraphs to wet you mental whistle:
‘The time is nearly at hand, when you are called upon to render up that glorious liberty you obtained, by resisting the tyranny and oppression of George the Third, King of England, and his ministers. The first Monday in April is the day appointed by our assembly, for you to meet and choose delegates in each county, to take into consideration the new Federal Government, and either adopt or refuse it. Let me entreat you, my fellows, to consider well what you are about. Read the said constitution, and consider it well before you act. I have done so, and can find that we are to receive but little good, and a great deal of evil. Aristocracy, or government in the hands of a very few nobles, or RICH MEN, is therein concealed in the most artful wrote plan that ever was formed to entrap a free people. The contrivers of it have so completely entrapped you, and laid their plans so sure and secretly, that they have only left you to do one of two things—that is either to receive or refuse it. And in order to bring you into their snare, you may daily read new pieces published in the newspapers, in favor of this new government; and should a writer dare to publish any piece against it, he is immediately abused and vilified.
Look round you and observe well the RICH MEN, who are to be your only rulers, lords and masters in future! Are they not all for it? Yes! Ought not this to put you on your guard? Does not riches beget power, and power, oppression and tyranny?’
I hope that you see that one of my favorite Biblical quotes resonates the words of A Farmer and Planter, ‘The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.’ Ecclesiastes 1:9.
Foundational Political Theology
Now a little Reformed Theology in the words of one of my favorite Anti-federalist, Melancton Smith. See page 333 of ‘The Anti-Federalist Papers Special Edition.’ I underline the theological constructs:
‘You have heard that both sides on this great question, agree, that there are in it great efects; yet the one side tell you, choose such men as will adopt it, and then amend it— while the other say, amend previous to its adoption. I have stated to you my reasons for the latter, and I think they are unanswerable. Consider, you the common people, the yeomanry of the country, for to such I principally address myself, you are to be the principal losers, if the constitution should prove oppressive. When a tyranny is established, there are always masters as well as slaves; the great and well-born are generally the former, and the middling class the latter. Attempts have been made, and will be repeated, to alarm you with the fear of consequences; but reflect there are consequences on both sides, and none can be apprehended more dreadful, than entailing on ourselves and posterity a government which will raise a few to the height of human greatness and wealth, while it will depress the many to the extreme of poverty and wretchedness. Consequences are under the control of that all-wise and all-powerful being, whose providence conducts the affairs of all men. Our part is to act right, and we may then have confidence that the consequences will be favorable. The path in which you should walk is plain and open before you; be united as one man, and direct your choice to such men as have been uniform in their opposition to the proposed system in its present form, or without proper alterations. In men of this description you have reason to place confidence, while on the other hand, you have just cause to distrust those who urge the adoption of a bad constitution, under the delusive expectation of making amendments after it is acceded to. Your jealousy of such characters should be the more excited, when you consider that the advocates for the constitution have shifted their ground. When men are uniform in their opinions, it affords evidence that they are sincere. When they are shifting, it gives reason to believe, they do not change from conviction. It must be recollected, that when this plan was first announced to the public, its supporters cried it up as the most perfect production of human wisdom, It was represented either as having no defects, or if it had, they were so trifling and inconsiderable, that they served only, as the shades in a fine picture, to set off the piece to the greater advantage. One gentleman in Philadelphia went so far in the ardor of his enthusiasm in its favor, as to pronounce, that the men who formed it were as really under the guidance of Divine Revelation, as was Moses, the Jewish lawgiver. Their language is now changed; the question has been discussed; the objections to the plan ably stated, and they are admitted to be unanswerable. The same men who held it almost perfect, now admit it is very imperfect; that it is necessary it should be amended. The only question between us, is simply this shall we accede to a bad constitution, under the uncertain prospect of getting it amended, after we have received it, or shall we amend it before we adopt it? Common sense will point out which is the most rational, which is the most secure line of conduct. May heaven inspire you with wisdom, union, moderation and firmness, and give you hearts to make a proper estimate of your invaluable privileges, and preserve them to you, to be transmitted to your posterity unimpaired, and may they be maintained in this our country, while Sun and Moon endure.’
Now let’s review and delve deeper into the political theology of the founding era from the Alice M. Baldwin work I referenced last week. All one needs to do is a word search of the text on theology.
- That is the purpose of this study: first, to make clear the similarity, the identity of Puritan theology and fundamental political thought; second, to show how the New England clergy preserved, extended, and popularized the essential doctrines of political philosophy, thus making familiar to every church-going New Englander long before 1763 not only the doctrines of natural right, the social contract, and the right of resistance but also the fundamental principle of American constitutional law, that government, like its citizens, is bounded by law and when it transcends its authority it acts illegally. …finally, an attempt is made to present, in some detail, the activities of the clergy in the events of the Revolution and in establishing the institutions of the new-born states.
- This study deals primarily with the Nonconformist clergy, making such distinction between the various sects as may be necessary when essential differences of opinion in theology or politics appear. Unless, then, the sect is mentioned the term “clergy” is to be understood as applying to the Nonconformists and especially to the Congregationalists and Presbyterians.
- Indeed, as one studies this everyday literature of the time, it becomes increasingly evident that the New England ideas of government were intimately connected with the interpretation of the Bible. Although theology was of less importance to the average New Englander in the eighteenth than in the seventeenth century, it still had a far more important place in his life than it has today.
- The most common source was the Bible. The Old Testament furnished many illustrations of covenant relations, of the limitations placed upon rulers and people, of natural rights, of the divine constitution, etc. The New Testament gave authority for the liberties of Christians, for the relation of Christians to those in authority over them, and for the right of resistance. Indeed, there was never a principle derived from more secular reading that was not strengthened and sanctified by the Scriptures.
- “God having made Man a Rational Creature, hath (as it were) Twisted Law into the very frame of His Soul.”1 Some such belief as this axiom of Timothy Cutler seems to have lain deep in the mind of the New England Puritans. They were legally-minded men. Their theology and church polity were legalistic and had a large share in determining the character of their political thinking. The law of God did not concern religious and ecclesiastical matters alone, but affected politics as well.
- “The Original of Government is Divine. It is from God, by His Sovereign Constitution and Appointment.”2 Thus wrote in the beginning of the eighteenth century one Ebenezer Pemberton of Boston. Fifty years later the same sentiment was reiterated by another divine when he said: “Liberty both civil and religious is the spirit and genius of the sacred writings.”3
- Civil government, so the clergy taught, was of divine origin. Sometimes they founded their arguments on reason or the light and law of nature, sometimes on the Bible, sometimes on both, but it amounted to the same thing in the end. It was ordained of God,4 and its purpose, like the government of Christ and of God Himself, was the good of the people.5 Here the analogy between theology and political theory is very close and very significant.
I’ll leave you with this since I’ll dig deeper again next week
Sam Adams Wisdom
Sam Adams takes the position of the theology of the Puritan pulpits of the day.
Because you keep asking –
1. Noted in the content above.
2. A must watch to challenge your End Times thinking: The End Times and The Jab | Doug Wilson and James White
1Timothy Cutler, Connecticut Election Sermon, 1717, p. 15. Cutler was minister of Stratford, Connecticut. See also Colman, Sermons, 1717, p. 94. The election, artillery, convention and other sermons were sometimes printed under a special title, sometimes simply as Election or Convention Sermon. In this and the following footnotes, italics are not used unless a definite title is given. Because of the number and length of the footnotes it has seemed best at times to give only the name of the author and the pages referred to, if the meaning is obvious. For full names and titles, see Bibliography.
2Pemberton, Massachusetts Election Sermon, 1710, p. 11. The whole sermon is on government and its divine original.
3B. Stevens, Massachusetts Election Sermon, 1761, p. 8.
4J. Davenport, A Discourse about Civil Government, 1663, p. 6; Massachusetts Election Sermon, 1669, p. 4: “Power of Civil Rule, by men orderly chosen, is God’s Ordinance, For 1. It is from the Light and Law of Nature, and the Law of Nature is God’s Law. 2. The orderly ruling ot men over men’ in general, is from God, in its root, though voluntary in the manner of coalescing …” J. Bulkley, Connecticut Election Sermon, 1713, p. 13: Religion “Asserts the Divine Original of Government, and Founds it in Divine Institution,” not any particular form, but government, in general; p. 23: “all Civil Power is a Derivative, comes from God, and is a ray of His. . . .” Solomon Williams, Connecticut Election Sermon, 1741, p. 1: Civil government of divine institution, “all the just measures, Rules and Maxims of its Administrations are derived from the same source which is the fountain of that Power …” I have more than forty such references before 1761 and many thereafter. There are many others, where, if not definitely stated, the same thing is implied.
5This is stated in very many of the sermons and pamphlets read and in many is elaborated and applied. A few quotations are given below. I have more than thirty such before 1761. After 1761 such statements are very numerous.—J. Davenport, A Discourse on Civil Government in a new Plantation, 1663, p. 17: ” . . . the end of all Civil Government & Administrations … is the publick and common Good . . .” Samuel Whitman, Connecticut Election Sermon, 1714, p. 32: “You very well know that the Publick good is the End of Government …” A. Mather, Connecticut Election Sermon, 1725, pp. 13-14: “The great subordinate End is the Publick good; the Means and Laws of Government must be calculated to work and bring about that End & Effect. And a good Ruler knows these Maxims are not only founded in Nature, but expressly asserted in God’s Word: . . . All shall be Sacrificed to subserve the Publick.” Mather quotes Cicero and others t this effect. N. Appleton, Funeral Sermon . . . Preach’d at the Publick Lecture in Boston, 1757, p. 18: Government was instituted by God for the good of mankind. If a ruler acts selfishly or oppressively, “He acts quite contrary to the original Design of Government and contrary to the express Will of Him from whence all Power and Authority are derived.” Mayhew, Massachusetts Election Sermon, 1754, p. 6: “After the glory of God there can be no other end of government” than the good of man, the common benefit of society; p. 8: “The end of government, then, as it is a divine ordinance, must be human felicity . . . must be the common good of all, and of every individual, so far as consistent there with …”