Calvin Coolidge On The Roots Of The American Revolution

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 2 days ago

Calvin Coolidge:

No one can examine this record and escape the conclusion that in the great outline of its principles the Declaration was the result of the religious teachings of the preceding period. The profound philosophy which Jonathan Edwards applied to theology, the popular preaching of George Whitefield, had aroused the thought and stirred the people of the Colonies in preparation for this great event. No doubt the speculations which had been going on in England, and especially on the Continent, lent their influence to the general sentiment of the times. Of course, the world is always influenced by all the experience and all the thought of the past. But when we come to a contemplation of the immediate conception of the principles of human relationship which went into the Declaration of Independence we are not required to extend our search beyond our own shores. They are found in the texts, the sermons, and the writings of the early colonial clergy who were earnestly undertaking to instruct their congregations in the great mystery of how to live. They preached equality because they believed in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. They justified freedom by the text that we are all created in the divine image, all partakers of the divine spirit.

Jonathan Edwards is rightly called the greatest philosopher America ever produced, and Whitefield perhaps the greatest preacher – both Calvinists.

The roots of the American revolution go to continental Calvinism and the doctrine of covenant, just as we have discussed before.

We haven’t had a president like Coolidge since him, and we’re likely never to have another one.


Comments

  1. On July 6, 2018 at 12:26 am, BRVTVS said:

    For those with the time and desire to dig deep, “The political sermons of the period of 1776” is available as a free download: https://books.google.com/books?id=_mx2AAAAMAAJ

  2. On July 6, 2018 at 5:44 am, Francis W. Porretto said:

    “I sought for the greatness of the United States in her commodious harbors, her ample rivers, her fertile fields, and boundless forests–and it was not there. I sought for it in her rich mines, her vast world commerce, her public school system, and in her institutions of higher learning–and it was not there. I looked for it in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution–and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” — Alexis de Tocqueville

  3. On July 6, 2018 at 9:47 am, Fred said:

    The first book I read after being converted was, Sermons of George Whitefield. I like a book in my hand but here are many for free online:

    https://reformed.org/documents/index.html?mainframe=https://reformed.org/documents/Whitefield.html

    Perhaps the on line versions are a little better, as the book was “Lightly Edited”. I like the old language, the middle English of the KJV and that in use of the founding era. Whitefield was a Methodist. Oh what happened to them, how could they stray?

    I pray for a President who at his Inaugural speech will beseech the LORD that our nation repent and read the whole book of Mark. And as the first oder of business proceed to burn down all the abortion clinics and see to it that all involved are hanged from neck until dead, publicly executed before our Holy Father.

    But you’re probably right @Herschel, we’ll never have a Christian leader again, at least not soon.

  4. On July 6, 2018 at 11:42 am, TheAlaskan said:

    “Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration has been minding my own business.”

    Calvin Coolidge

  5. On July 6, 2018 at 9:35 pm, scott s. said:

    Fred:

    I suppose American Methodism was largely informed by Francis Asbury and Wesleyan Arminianism. On a practical basis I’m not sure how much Methodists compare/contrast Arminianism and Calvinism.

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