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- After the Magna Charta and before the traditional date for the beginning of the
Protestant Reformation (October 31, 1517), there was vigorous expansion of Christianity
and its doctrines.
- There were significant reformers before "The Reformers."
Subject: Mayflower Compact
Date: Thu, Dec 4, 1997 00:53 EST
In article <19971204024100.VAA03772@ladder01.news.aol.com>, email@example.com
>The Mayflower Compact, which was the document that
got those "Theocratic
>Puritans" on shore and out of the vomitorium the boat had become, is
>celebrated correctly as the first case of self government in the new world.
>It was a contract between each and every family -- two-thirds of whom were
>non-Puritan entrepreneurs, by the way -- to be bound by laws that the group
>would make in a fair manner -- sans the approval of the King or Parliament,
Are you sure? My copy reads:
In Witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of
November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James of England, France and Ireland,
the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini, 1620."
>sans the approval of the Pope or any Christian
What do you mean by "Christian authority"? Do you mean an ecclesiastical
institution? Granted. Big Deal.
Or by "Christian authority" do you mean the Bible? If so, you are mistaken.
(Why do so many atheists assume that if the Pope or clergy are questioned, that the whole
Christian faith is denied?) The Compact reads:
"In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of
our dread Sovereign Lord, King James, by the Grace of God, of England, France and Ireland,
King, Defender of the Faith, e&.
Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the
Honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts
of Virginia; do by these presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one of
another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our
better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid;
The Authority of God was the authority by which they acted. It is the Authority which
you apparently deny, thus placing yourself squarely outside of the mainstream of American
Law up until the rise of the centralized fascist state in the secular 20th century.
>The Mayflower Compact was the first case of "we
>setting up what Lincoln later called government of, by and for the people.
You may be unaware of the fact, but Lincoln was not; that that phrase [of, by and for
the people] is a distinctly Christian one, first put forth by John Wyclife, who said of
his English Bible, "This Bible is for the government of the people, by the people,
and for the people." His was an attack on Rome and autonomous princes, and a
declaration that the people themselves should not only read and know that law [the Bible],
but also should in some sense govern as well as be governed by it. Thus Fredrich Heer, in
his Intellectual History of Europe, wrote that "Wyclife and Hus were the first
to demonstrate to Europe the possibility of an alliance between the university and the
people's yearning for salvation. It was the freedom of Oxford that sustained
Wyclife." The concern was less with church or state than with government by the
law-word of God.
[Rushdoony, Institutes of Biblical Law, p. 1.]
OF THE UNITED STATES
Volume 1, To 1688
British America Attains Geographical Unity
From 1660 to 1688
The Result Thus Far
Human enfranchisement could not advance securely but through the people; for whom
philosophy was included in religion, and religion veiled in symbols. There had ever been
within the Catholic church men who preferred truth to forms, justice to despotic force.
"Dominion," said Wycliffe, "belongs to grace," meaning, as I believe,
that the feudal government, which rested on the sword, should yield to a government
resting on moral principles. And he knew the right method to hasten the coming revolution.
"Truth," he asserted with wisest benevolence, "truth shines more brightly
the more widely it is diffused;" and, catching the plebeian language that lived on
the lips of the multitude, he gave England the Bible in the vulgar tongue. A timely death
could alone place him beyond persecution; his bones were disinterred and burnt, and his
ashes thrown on the waters of the Avon. But his fame brightens as time advances; when
America traces the lineage of her intellectual freedom, she acknowledges the benefactions
of Wycliffe. (p. 606)
The principle of freedom of mind, first asserted for the common people, under a
religious form, by Wycliffe, had been pursued by a series of plebeian societies, till it
at last reached a perfect development, coinciding with the highest attainment of European
By giving a welcome to every sect, America was safe against narrow bigotry. At the same
time, the moral duty of the forming nation was not impaired. Of the various parties into
which the reformation divided the people, each, from the proudest to the humblest, rallied
round a truth. But, as truth never contradicts itself, the collision of sects could but
eliminate error; and the American mind, in the largest sense eclectic, struggled for
universality, while it asserted freedom. How had the world been governed by despotism and
bigotry; by superstition and the sword; by the ambition of conquest and the pride of
privilege! And now the happy age gave birth to a people which was to own no authority as
the highest but the free conviction of the public mind.
Thus had Europe given to America her sons and her culture. She was the mother of our men,
and of the ideas which guided them to greatness. (pp. 611-12)
In the next century, a kindred spirit emerged in Bohemia, and tyranny, quickened by the
nearer approach of danger, summoned John Huss to its tribunal, set on his head a huge
paper mitre begrimed with hobgoblins, permitted the bishops to strip him and curse him,
and consigned one of the gentlest and purest of our race to the flames. "Holy
simplicity!" exclaimed he, as a peasant piled fagots on the fire; still preserving
faith in humanity, though its noblest instincts could be so perverted; and, perceiving the
only mode through which reform could prevail, he gave as a last counsel to his multitude
of followers: "Put not your trust in princes." Of the descendants of his
Bohemian disciples, a few certainly came to us by way of Holland; his example was for all.
(Bancroft, p. 606)