Where are the Pastors especially the modern pastors who could fill the shoes of George Duffield? Rev. Duffield is the Pastor who I feature and read about virtually to my Grandchildren from ‘The Chaplains and Clergy of the Revolution.’
This week I just about came to tears at the end of Chapter 37 about George Duffield. I know, as I shake my head, I know there are a number of pastors I have no clue about who are standing for the complete Foundational Biblical living as Rev. Duffield exemplifies. Yet, not to the level that he represents. If they were a shadow of Duffield there would not be any of the present day evils that are destroying our Liberties.
Let me give you this statement from Duffield, even as he knew that the British had put a £50 bounty on his head:
‘In a discourse delivered before several companies of Pennsylvania militia and members of Congress, four months before the Declaration of Independence, he took bold and decided ground in favor of that step, and I plead his cause with sublime eloquence, … He declared that Heaven designed this western world as the asylum for liberty, and that to raise its banner here their forefathers had sundered the dearest ties of home, friends and native land, and braved the tempests of the ocean and the terrors of the wilderness. Not through the fostering care of Britain, he said, had they grown and flourished, but her “tyranny and oppression, both civil and ecclesiastical” had driven noble souls hither “to enjoy in peace the fair possessions of freedom.” “Tis this” he exclaimed, “has reared our cities, and turned the wilderness, so far and wide, into a fruitful field. And can it be supposed that the Lord has so far forgotten to be gracious, and shut up His tender mercies in His wrath, and so favored the arms of oppression, as to deliver up their asylum to slavery and bondage? Can it be supposed that that God who made man free, and engraved in indefaceable characters the love of liberty in his mind, should forbid freedom already exiled from Asia and Africa, and under sentence of banishment from Europe—that He should forbid her to erect her banners here, and constrain her to abandon the earth? As soon shall He subvert creation, and forbid the sun to shine. He preserved to the Jews their cities of refuge, and whilst sun and moon endure America shall remain a city of refuge for the whole earth, until she herself shall play the tyrant, forget her destiny, disgrace her freedom, and provoke her God. When that day shall—if ever come—then, and not till then, shall she also fall, slain with them that go down to the pit!’
There are additional biographical research and a sermon in the References below.
Where are the Pastors, those modern Pastors?
Let me cut to the chase by simply quoting the end of the biographical sketch on George Duffield and quotes from the Preface and Chapter I by J. T. Headley. My emphasis added:
Duffield quote – ‘Faith is never allowed a place in the philosophy of history, when events are being traced to their causes or probable results, though from creation till now it (being Faith) has proved stronger than all physical force. But that it had something to do with the success of our Revolution, none but a disbeliever in the Christian religion can doubt.’
Preface quotes –
‘I have thought proper to devote a few pages at the outset to the influence of the pulpit as an institution. In New England especially, which inaugurated the rebel- lion, and on which fell so heavily the burden of carrying it forward, the pulpit was a recognized power in the State, and its aid formally and earnestly invoked.’
‘But notwithstanding the necessary incompleteness of the work, I feel I have done something towards giving the clergy and the pulpit the place which they ought to have in the history of the Revolution, and furnished a book which will benefit the generation now rising into manhood, by directing the mind not only to religious influences, but to the great source of all national blessings, as well as to battle fields and the strong legions.
This diversion of the mind from armies to the God of armies is especially needed in our present crisis. Enthusiasm and numbers will not deliver us from the troubles that now overwhelm us. Penitence and humility will go farther than either, and whether the State turns as it did in the Revolution to the Church as its strongest support or not, we may rest assured, if its prayers do not save us, whatever success we may achieve will in the end prove a sad failure.’
Chapter I quote –
‘Notwithstanding the numberless books that have been written on the American Revolution, there is one feature of it which has been sadly overlooked. I mean the religious element. In this respect there is not a single history of that great struggle which is not so radically defective as to render the charge against it of incompleteness a valid one. This omission on the part of historians, seems the more remarkable from the fact that common belief, the universal impression, is against it. There has scarcely been a celebration of the day on which our independence was declared, in which this religious element is not referred to as constituting one of the chief features of the Revolution, yet it receives a subordinate place in history. One reason of this, doubtless, is, that it did not enter into the machinery of political or military life. It was not an organized force that could be numerically calculated or physically disposed of in making outward achievements.
To omit Religion in a history of the Crusades, would be like building a structure without laying a foundation, for that great movement was begun and carried forward by religious feeling alone…’
‘…So of the English Revolution under Cromwell: no one would dream of writing its history without making religion and religious men a prominent and perpetual force. In short, a history that should ignore them, would be false and worthless…’
‘In our Revolution the religious element was not paramount, and hence did not give shape and character to the whole physical structure and organization. It kept more within its appropriate sphere, and stood behind and sustained the political and military organizations of the land, rather than formed a part of them. But it is not on that account to be overlooked. He who forgets or under-estimates the moral forces that uphold or bear on a great struggle, lacks the chief qualities of a historian.’
The conservative and well meaning patriot movements have not had and will continue having little effect in the restoration of Foundational Constitutionalism. These United States can only have good governance when there is reformation in the pulpits in the full sense of Liberty as expressed in the lives of those foundational clergy.
Sam Adams Wisdom
I find this quote from the letter of Sam to John Scollay words that I am speaking at the intro of the audio for my Friends in Lima. In fact, the video of Chapter 37: George Duffield is different than the podcast because I am inserting these words at the beginning. My emphasis added.
TO JOHN SCOLLAY. [MS., Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library.] PHILADELPHIA April 30, 1776
‘While I was sitting down to write you a friendly Letter I had the pleasure of receiving your Favor of the 22 Instant by the Post. My Intention was to congratulate you and your Brethren the Selectmen, upon the precipitate Flight of the British Army & its Adherents from the Town of Boston, and to urge on you the Necessity of fortifying the Harbour so as that the Enemies Ships might never approach it hereafter. Our grateful Acknowledgments are due to the Supreme Being who has not been regardless of the multiplied Oppressions which the Inhabitants of that City have sufferd under the Hand of an execrable Tyrant. Their Magnanimity & Perseverance during the severe Conflict has afforded a great Example to the World, and will be recorded by the impartial Historian to their immortal Honor. They are now restored to their Habitations & Privileges; and as they are purgd of those Wretches a Part of whose Policy has been to corrupt the Morals of the People, I am perswaded they will improve the happy opportunity of reestablishing ancient Principles and Purity of Manners—I mention this in the first place because I fully agree in Opinion with a very celebrated Author, that, “Freedom or Slavery will prevail in a (City or) Country according as the Disposition & Manners of the People render them fit for the one or the other”; and I have long been convincd that our Enemies have made it an Object, to eradicate from the Minds of the People in general a Sense of true Religion & Virtue, in hopes thereby the more easily to carry their Point of enslaving them. Indeed my Friend, this is a Subject so important in my Mind, that I know not how to leave it. Revelation assures us that “Righteousness exalteth a Nation”– – Communities are dealt with in this World by the wise and just Ruler of the Universe. He rewards or punishes them according to their general Character. The diminution of publick Virtue is usually attended with that of publick Happiness, and the publick Liberty will not long survive the total Extinction of Morals. “The Roman Empire, says the Historian, MUST have sunk, though the Goths had not invaded it. Why? Because the Roman Virtue was sunk.” Could I be assured that America would remain virtuous, I would venture to defy the utmost Efforts of Enemies to subjugate her. You will allow me to remind you, that the Morals of that City which has born so great a Share in the American Contest, depend much upon the Vigilance of the respectable Body of Magistrates of which you are a Member.’
And one more from Sam to Mrs. Adam on Sept, 17, 1777
‘I am pleasd to hear that Colo. Crafts invited Mr Thacher to preach a Sermon to his Regiment. He discovered the true Spirit of a New England officer. I dare say it was an animating Discourse. Religion has been & I hope will continue to be the ornament of N. England. While they place their Confidence in God they will not fail to be an happy People.’
- Chaplains and Clergy of The Revolutionary
- Biography — The Reverend George Duffield (Oct. 7, 1732 – Feb. 2, 1790) Presbyterian Heritage Center
- Creating American Nationalists: Presbyterians And The War For Independence by William Taylor
- A SERMON PREACHED IN THE THIRD PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, On Thursday December 11, 1783. The Day appointed by the United States in Congress assembled, to be observed as a Day of Thanksgiving, for the restoration of Peace, and establishment of our Independence, in the Enjoyment of our Rights and Privileges.