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Reformation Impact 5: No Calvin, No America
Posted by: Providence Orthodox Presbyterian Church | more..
5,200+ views | 290+ clicks
While idly researching this topic at the city library last year, I providentially ran across this amazing article from Harper’s Magazine…of 1862 !!

The article, “The New England Confederacy,” stated in a matter-of-fact manner that the English Puritans of the Mayflower learned Republicanism on a layover in Calvinist Holland. Such was the ‘germ of popular constitutional government in America” (627). Furthermore, 1644 witnessed the establishment “in New England the modern republican form of government” (President, Senate & Representatives) (629).
With this chart as a guide [Mayflower compact], they marked out the lines of a colony; upon this rock, dug out of Hebrew and Netherlandish jurisprudence, more enduring than that of Plymouth, they laid the foundation [of America].
[v.25 June-Nove. 1862 (N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, Published at Franklin Square) (p.627) ]

Historian James G. Leyburn, of Washington & Lee University, wrote a book on the Scotch-Irish and summarized it in an essay in the American Heritage Magazine, “The Scotch-Irish. The Melting Pot: The ethnic group that blended”, (December 1970, Volume 22, Issue 1 ):

"…Scottish Presbyterianism was unique in its intensity, even in those religious days....When the Revolutionary War came, Scotch-Irishmen were the most whole hearted supporters of the American cause in each of the thirteen colonies….At home and abroad they were credited with playing a vital part in the struggle for independence. A Hessian captain wrote in 1778, ‘Call this war by whatever name you may, only call it not an American rebellion; it is nothing more or less than a Scotch Irish Presbyterian rebellion.’ King George was reported to have characterized the Revolution as ‘a Presbyterian war,’ and Horace Walpole told Parliament that
'there is no use crying about it. Cousin America has run off with a Presbyterian parson, and that is the end of it.’
A representative of Lord Dartmouth wrote from New York in 1776 that ‘Presbyterianism is really at the Bottom of this whole Conspiracy, has supplied it with Vigour, and will never rest, till something is decided upon it.’ Such testimony to enthusiasm for the American cause was not given to any other group of immigrants."

“One group of patriotic settlers in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, drew up a set of resolutions on May 20, 1775, declaring the people of that county free and independent of the British Crown. This predominantly Scotch-Irish assemblage thus anticipated by more than a year the Declaration of Independence. The Revolutionary War might not have been won without Scotch-Irish fighting men."

"…the Presbyterian Church, like the Scotch-Irish people, was present in every colony…The organization of the church was controlled by presbyteries that ranged from New York to the South. The ‘federal’ structure of the church of the Scotch-Irish seemed congenial to American conditions and exerted a unifying influence in our early history."

Hamilton, a nationally recognized expert on constitutional and copyright law and former assistant to Supreme court judges, studied the history of America and discovered this:

"What Hamilton found was that a ‘deep and abiding distrust of human motives that permeates Calvinist theology also permeates the Constitution.’ Her investigation of that issue has led to another forthcoming book, tentatively titled The Reformed Constitution: What the Framers Meant by Representation."

"Hamilton found that some form of Calvinism played a role in the lives of at least 23 of the 55 constitutional framers, and that six were Presbyterian (the reform movement founded by John Calvin). Two of the most important framers, James Wilson and James Madison, were steeped in Presbyterian precepts."

"It is Calvinism, Hamilton argued, that ‘more than any other Protestant theology, brings together the seeming paradox that man's will is corrupt by nature but also capable of doing good.’ In other words, Calvinism holds that ‘we can hope for the best but expect the worst from each other and from the social institutions humans devise.’

( Emory Report, November 29, 1999, Volume 52, No. 13 )

Shawn Mathis Shawn Mathis

Pastor Shawn Mathis was raised by God-fearing parents, served in the Air Force, worked as an electrical engineer and then entered the ministry by God’s grace....

Category:  News and Politics

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