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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Even President Andrew Jackson was a Christian

Old Hickory wasn't a founding father, although he did fight in the Revolution at age thirteen. 4 out of the first 7 presidents.

“Sir, I am in the hands of a merciful God. I have full confidence in His goodness and mercy…The Bible is true. I have tried to conform to its spirit as near as possible. Upon that sacred volume I rest my hope for eternal salvation, through the merits and blood of our blessed Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
[May 29th, 1845, just a few weeks before he died]

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Another powerful evangelical, Samuel Cooper

Cooper was hated so much by the British, they put a warrant out for his arrest. Like his father before him, Cooper was a Calvinist, only not a rigid one. Had I been there I would have reminded Cooper, John Hancock and Samuel Adams that the bible is the most rigid book or books there is. Moreover, Cooper used theological words only Calvinists or partial Calvinists used:

"Our divine Redeemer has taught us to regard the rule of duty, rather than the acceptance of our services..Cyrus the Persian was no more a true believer in the true Jehovah than Naaman the Syrian: yet he was an elect servant of God..and fulfilled the divine predictions and decrees."

--A sermon preached to the Ancient and Honourable Artillery Company: in Boston, New-England, June 3. 1751. 

It's interesting Cooper quotes Isaiah 45, where he calls Israel "mine elect." So Cooper understood how God chooses people to be saved before they are born. More proof Cooper believed in predestination. His entire sermon revolves around predestination.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Evangelical Colonial Pastor, Samuel West

West wrote:

Let us the great Redeemer; to whom every knee should ascribing blessing and honor and glory and power, to him who sitteth on the throne and to the lamb forever and ever.

--A Sermon Delivered Upon the Late National Thanksgiving, February 19, 1795.

The word "Redeemer" is an evangelical word meaning "bought" as buying back as a ransom found in Mark 10:45, "a ransom for many." Not only does the verse reject universal atonement, but the verse rejects the heterodox notion of the atonement Mayhew and Chauncy believed in.

West was not unitarian, rather he was an orthodox Christian, who believed in the atonement:

Reading his Ordination West was an Orthodox Christian: our high priest who offered himself up to God a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the world.. he is to be preached up as the only Mediator between God and man..that he came to redeem us both from the penal consequences of Adam's first increase our knowledge of the doctrines of, the gospel..that through his atoning blood and perfect righteousness..Can anyone imagine faithfully that he preaches Christ, who very seldom in his discourses mentions his name; and who never insists on the doctrine of atonement, with which the new testament so much abounds? Shall gospel ministers leave out the principle end of Christ's coming..?

 Due to his proper belief in the atonement, West believed in Christ's divinity:

"We might here, with very little reserve, adopt our language which our divine Saviour applies to John the Baptist."

--A Sermon on the Death of Washington.

Because of his view of the atonement, West's view of Christ's divinity was not distorted as of the unitarians.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

William Livingston, the moderator of the Presbyterian church of New York

From my limited knowledge, this is the first time indisputable evidence has been presented to show High Federalist statesman and founding father William Livingston was a Calvinist in faith like his brother Philip, within the Presbyterian Church of New York. Although Col. Alexander Hamilton hadn't formed the Federalist Party yet, Hamilton highly respected Livingston. Moreover, Livingston's involvement in Calvinist doctrine did not diminish, but increased as he got older. Livingston, who was vetted as a possible VP for George Washington, was 9 years older than the first president.

Below, the proof of the Calvinism of William Livingston:

"New York, Sept. 18, 1755.

It was then again asked by Mr. William Livingston in order to prevent disputes whether we all understood each other and whether it was not a unanimous vote for Mr. B to which all answered they understood it as a unanimous vote...In consequence of this choice application was made to the Rev. Mr. B, on the 20th of August at his church at Jamaica before a presbytery then there held by Mr. Livingston, the New York churches delegate for the removal of the said Mr. B, from his said congregation at Jamaica to that of New York in virtue of their call to him."

Journal of the Presbyterian Historical Society (1901-1930)
Vol. 1, No. 3 (MARCH A. D. 1902), pp. 238-9.

Amazing! Livingston was one of the highest Calvinist leaders in New York and not just a messager boy, rather he was a man of power and influence. Livingston was a high ranking Presbyterian in 1755, just three years after writing in the Independent Reflector publication. Here is where Livingston puts his name to the Reformed faith:

"[W]e declare freely against..making the Westminster Confession a test of admission into the church, at least to private members, which some of our [Scotch] brethren have constantly been driving at. From this they were carried away with an ungrounded jealousy and opinion that we did not befriend the established doctrines and discipline of the church; which is so far from being true with regard to us, that we beg leave to assure you, we have no objection to the Westminster Confession, Shorter and Longer Catechisms and acknowledge the same to contain a true and perfect scripture doctrine of salvation..."

--p.244. Out of over 100 names listed, Livingston is sixth on the list.

It wasn't just Livingston who was against creeds. Many Calvinists were against them because they were man made and could interfere with God's revelation.

Here is another group of Presbyterians combating the Anglican establishment in 1769 and Livingston is on the list. On p. 501-502, he was nominated Moderator for their next meeting, which included selected Baptists. P. 503 says Livingston is a member of the Presbyterian church. 

The Society of Dissenters founded at New York in 1769
The American Historical Review
Vol. 6, No. 3 (Apr., 1901), pp. 499-500.

On p. 241 of another periodical, Livingston is more Calvinist than "most of those who were his social equals."  Page 242 has Livingston and his friends toasting to "the immortal memories of Oliver Cromwell and John Hampden." How awesome was Cromwell and that happened before his independent reflector publication. Later, it says the most important man in New Jersey from 1776 to 1790 was Livingston and a Calvinist at that.

--The Whigs of Colonial New York

Charles H. Levermore
The American Historical Review
Vol. 1, No. 2 (Jan., 1896), pp. 238-250
It's remarkable, had Livingston been younger, say Washington's age, he could have been VP because John Adams was suspect to a lot of Federalists. Had Livingston stayed in congress two months more in 1776, he would have been one of only seven to sign both the Declaration and Constitution.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Will the real William Livingston please stand up

Presbyterian William Livingston was perhaps the most orthodox Calvinist founding father of them all. Maybe more so than Roger Sherman, John Witherspoon, James Madison, Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, Dr. Joseph Warren, James Wilson, Gunning Bedford Jr., Richard Stockton, Josiah Bartlett, William Paterson, Oliver Ellsworth, James McHenry, Oliver Wolcott, John Hancock, James Otis, Philip Livingston, Samuel Huntington, Thomas McKean, Hugh Williamson, William Samuel Johnson and many others.

Madison believed in predestination as this blog has previously shown and was taught by Calvinists from grade school to university, but William Livingston takes the cake. However, if you don't do your homework, and limit your material to his work in the Independent Reflector publication of 1752, when Livingston was 27 years old, you won't get the whole story. Later in life, Livingston became a diehard Calvinist, just like his older brother Philip, who was a signer of the declaration of independence.

Here, Livingston defends most of the history of American Calvinism. He defends the Puritans, their doctrine, education, politics, Eleazer Wheelock, Cotton Mather, Jon Eliot and his treatment of the Indians, as well as David Brainerd and his brother, etc. 

"BUT in what sense my lord, did those adventurers abandon their native religion? If your lordship means by their native religion, the doctrines of christianity as contained in the thirty-nine articles of your church;. they were so far from abandoning it, that it were to be wished it to be inviolably preserved by those they left behind. These were the very doctrines which they, in their time, universally believed, constantly taught, and warmly inculcated. These are the doctrines which their posterity, to this day, believe, teach, and inculcate. Nay, they believe, teach and inculcate them, in the same scriptural and unadulterated sense, in which they were believed, taught, and inculcated at the time of the reformation. They believe, teach, and inculcate them, without those sophisticating glories, by which they have since, in the mother-country, been wrested to favor the heresy of Arminius."

--A Letter to the Right Reverend Father in God, John, Lord Bishop of Landaff; occasioned by some passages in His Lordship's sermon, on the 20th of February, 1767, in which the American colonies are loaded with great and undeserved reproach. / By William Livingston. New-York: Printed for the author; and to be sold by Garrat Noel, near the coffee-house, MDCCLXVIII. 1768.

Notice, Livingston doesn't qualify the heresy of arminianism. He affirms all arminianism as heresy, attacking the founder of arminianism. Below, Livingston supports the entire current Christian establishment of New England:

In the New-England colonies particularly, they have from their earliest settlement been peculiarly attentive to the most ample provision of a gospel ministry. Their legislative acts, from the commencement of those colonies, abundantly evince this attention. By these, provision is always made for the establishment and support of the gospel ministry in every, new-erected township; and without such establishment, within three years from the settlement, the grants are liable to an absolute forfeiture. In consequence of this provision, with the divine blessing on their pious endeavours, Christianity has not only been supported, but so faithfully preached, and so zealously inculcated, that I will venture to affirm, there is not a more virtuous, not a more religious people upon the face of the earth [bold face mine].
Livingston writes Christian establishment, nay reformed Christian establishment has a divine blessing. Roger Sherman never wrote anything this Calvinist. Livingston continues in support of punishing Sabbath breakers:

"Nor have those colonies from their first settlement to this day, been without provincial laws, to enforce an attendance on public worship, and punish the profanation of the sabbath."

Here, Livingston commends a Calvinist leading Indians to communion:

"In the year 1689, the indian church, under the care of Mr. John Mayhew, son of
 the above Thomas, consisted of a hundred communicants, walking according to the rule of the scriptures."

Notice, Livingston affirms communion as a rule of the scriptures. It's also interesting Livingston calls Yale, Harvard, William and Mary, Penn, Princeton and King's,  as seminaries.

At the end of the letter, Livingston writes, "With this, my lord, I shall humbly take my leave
hoping that for the sake of truth, and the cause of religion, especially remembering how greatly your lordship has been deceived in the present case..."

Contrary to attacking creeds, Livingston defends the thirty-nine articles adhered to by the Puritans. Livingston never rejected the athanasian creed. All he wrote is his creed is easier to understand.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Evidence James Otis was an orthodox Christian

This is from Dreisbach and Hall, The Sacred Rights of Conscience. I don't know how it can be proven Otis wrote this, but it is Calvinist to the core, even giving the Holy Spirit authority over repentance. Maybe Percy Morton wrote it.

A proclamation for a public thanksgiving

[T]he wise and holy Governor of the world has, in his righteousness providence, sent droughts into this colony...we have the greatest reasons to adore and praise the Supreme Disposer of all events, who deals infinitely better with us than we deserve, and amidst all his judgments hath remembered mercy...affording to an ungrateful people...comforts of life...that he would pour his Spirit upon all orders of men...and bring us to a hearty repentance and reformation and purify all his churches and make ours Emmanuel's land; that he would spread the knowledge of the Redeemer throughout the whole earth and fill the world with his glory.

Given under our hands, at the Council-Chamber at Watertown, the fourth day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five.

By their Honors' command

James Otis.         Percy Morton, Dep Secy.

God Save The People!  

Friday, June 10, 2016

James Otis on Government

In this writing, especially at the bottom, it appears Otis agrees with Thomas Paine and other founding fathers that Israel was mainly a republic in addition to receiving the law at Sinai. Otis believed God started government and the entire nation state were administrators of it. Israel is the only example in context and Otis isn't referring to democracy; he's referring to representative republicanism.

"Has it [government] any solid foundation? Any chief cornerstone. . . ? I think it has an everlasting foundation in the unchangeable will of God, the Author of Nature whose laws never vary. . . . Government. . . . is by no means an arbitrary thing depending merely on compact or human will for its existence. . . . The power of God Almighty is the only power that can properly and strictly be called supreme and absolute. In the order of nature immediately under Him comes the power of a simple democracy, or the power of the whole over the whole. . . . [God is] the only monarch in the universe who has a clear and indisputable right to absolute power because He is the only one who is omniscient as well as omnipotent. . . . The sum of my argument is that civil government is of God, that the administrators of it were originally the whole people."

--James Otis, The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved (Boston: J. Williams 1766), pp. 11, 12, 13, 98.