A careful examination of the Mecklenburg Declaration and the Mecklenburg Resolves with the Declaration of Independence and Articles shows marked similarities in words and ideas between the two documents. However, the Mecklenburg Declaration, written by men familiar with the ideas of the Covenanting struggle in Scotland, acknowledged the Sovereignty and Providence of God, and stated "we do hereby declare ourselves a free and independent people -- are and of right ought to be a sovereign and self-governing association, under the control of no power other than that of our God and the general government of the congress."
Under the Mecklenburg Declaration, the individual citizen would have been independent, self-governed, and under a limited government, acknowledging the Sovereignty and Providence of God.
On the other hand the Declaration of Independence states "that all men are . . . endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are . . . Liberty . . . that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." By "counselling submission" to the power derived from the "consent of the governed" it falls short of the objective of limited government. It "attempted to express the ideas of the Whigs," and the "public philosophy" (humanism comprised of seventeenth century Rationalism and the eighteen century Enlightenment) shared by Thomas Jefferson and most of the Founding Fathers. This left the individual citizen dependent upon the a Sovereign Man/State and coerced into obedience to human laws.
"In 1825 [the controversy over the Mecklenburg Declaration began in 1819], Thomas Jefferson said again that he only attempted to express [in the Declaration of Independence] the ideas of the Whigs, who all thought alike on the subject. The essential thing was `not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before; but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent. . . . Neither aiming at originality of principles or sentiments, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, it was intended to be an expression of the American mind. . . . All its authority rests then on the harmonizing sentiments of the day, whether expressed in conversation, in letters, printed essays, or the elementary books of public rights, as Aristotle, Cicero, Locke, Sidney, etc'." (The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, 1869 edition, VII, 304, quoted by Carl Becker in The Declaration of Independence: A Study in the History of Political Ideas [New York, NY: Harcourt Brace, 1922])
"To be sure, the wide support of Whig thought may have had something to do with America's religious heritage, for a number of Real Whig themes resembled cherished Puritan themes, at least in form. First, Puritans and Whigs shared a pessimistic view of human nature. Puritans believed that natural depravity predisposed individuals to sin; Whigs held that political power brought out the worst in leaders. Both emphasized that freedom meant liberation from something. For Puritans it was freedom from sin; for Whigs it was freedom from political oppression. Both also linked freedom and virtue. Puritans held that sinful behavior led to spiritual and other forms of tyranny; Whigs felt that tyrannical behavior grew from corruption and, in turn, nourished it. Finally, Puritans and Whigs both regarded history in similar terms. It was the struggle of evil against good, dark against light, whether for the Puritan (Antichrist versus Christ) or the Whig (tyranny versus freedom). This similarity in form between Whig political ideas and the traditional theology of some Americans made it easier for many to blur the distinction between a political struggle for rights and a spiritual conflict for the kingdom." (Mark A. Noll, Nathan O. Hatch, George M. Marsden, David F. Wells, and John D. Woodbridge, editors, Eerdmans' Handbook to Christianity in America [Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1983], pp. 134-135)
As James W. Skillen states, the founders of the American Republic were generally Protestant though "others such as Thomas Jefferson were notably unorthodox . . . Jefferson, for example, did not believe in the deity of Jesus Christ . . .
Beyond the traditional religious convictions of the Founding Fathers, "there was an additional spirit that brought most of them together in the cause of building the Republic. That spirit arose from the renaissance of humanism beginning before the time of the Protestant Reformation -- a spirit which gave birth to seventeenth century rationalism and to the eighteen-century Enlightenment. It was a religious spirit, without doubt, and the religion it inspired was a human-centered moral philosophy more than a God-centered life of dependence upon God through his revelation. Most of the Founding Fathers gave evidence of the struggle between these two spirits in their lives.
The "quest for political order" of even the pietistic Christians of the time, "was directed by the conviction that a common moral philosophy rooted simply in human reason could supply the foundation for public community. The religion of the Founding Fathers was a synthesis of these two faiths. . . .
"The duality can perhaps best be illustrated by pointing to Thomas Jefferson. Although Jefferson's personal piety was not the rule among early Americans, and though many evangelical believers rejected his unorthodox opinions, nevertheless his public philosophy (his religion) became the majority conviction that shaped the structure of public life in America. God functioned in Jefferson's moral philosophy not as the historical God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, not as the Father of Jesus Christ, Head of the church, and Lord of the world, but as the benevolent Creator who preserves people in this life and judges them according to their moral worth and good deeds. . . .
"Furthermore, in Jefferson's view, people are able to be upright, moral servants of society because all have been granted a common moral sense, a conscience, that guides them to know what is good, even if their religious opinions differ in other respects. For Jefferson, a common moral conscience among all people meant that only the truths common to all religions were important. . . .
"Probably the most important consequence of this religion of public morality was its victorious power over orthodox, evangelical Christianity in the public arena. It lead to the establishing of a civil religion in the United States as both America and the public faith matured. . . ." (James W. Skillen, "The Religion of the Founding Feathers," sidebar in Mark A. Noll, Nathan O. Hatch, George M. Marsden, David F. Wells, and John D. Woodbridge [editors], Eerdmans' Handbook to Christianity in America [Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1983], pp. 135-137)
In contrast, the Covenanting principles teach that religion is not morality. Religion is first covenanting, in keeping with the first table of the Ten Commandments. Morality then follows as a consequence of covenanting.
It is evident, as shown below, that Thomas Jefferson, in all probability, could not have been unfamiliar with the Mecklenburg Declaration and Alexander Craighead, Renewal of the Covenants, National and Solemn League . . . as they were Carried on at Middle Octorara in Pennsylvania, November 11, 1743, at the time he wrote the Declaration of Independence.
"He was licensed by the Presbytery of Donegal, October 8th, 1734, and was sent to Middle Octorara [Pennsylvania] . . . being the first to whom this duty was assigned. He was installed pastor at Middle Octorara Church, November 18th, 1735. A zealous promoter of the `revival,' he accompanied Whitefield while in Chester County; and they made the woods ring, as they rode, with songs of praise." ( Early American Presbyterians website, January 15, 1999.)
In 1748 Rev. Craighead wrote Renewal of the Covenants, National and Solemn League . . . as they were Carried on at Middle Octorara in Pennsylvania, November 11, 1743 thus identifying himself with the Covenanting struggle in Scotland.
In this work Rev. Craighead states "to the Calvinistic system of principles, and the Presbyterian form of government, this nation [the United States] is largely indebted for its civil independence and republican polity. John Calvin and John Knox are the real founders of American liberties. Their teachings, plainly deducible from the Word of God, were disseminated by the persecuted remnant of the Church of Scotland, and were generally incorporated in the structure of American independence." (Alexander Craighead, Renewal of the Covenants, National and Solemn League; A Confession of Sins; An Engagement to Duties; and a Testimony; as they were Carried on at Middle Octorara in Pennsylvania, November 11, 1743, [Cerlox Bound Photocopy Series. Edmonton, AB, Canada: Still Waters Revival Books])
W.M. Glasgow states, "Being thoroughly imbued, however, with the principles of Scotch Covenanting, Mr. Craighead taught them to his people around Charlotte. They in turn formulated them into the First Declaration of Independence [Mecklenburg Declaration], emitted at Charlotte, NC, May, 1775." (W.M. Glasgow in the Introduction to Alexander Craighead, Renewal of the Covenants, National and Solemn League; A Confession of Sins; An Engagement to Duties; and a Testimony; as they were Carried on at Middle Octorara in Pennsylvania, November 11, 1743, [Cerlox Bound Photocopy Series. Edmonton, AB, Canada: Still Waters Revival Books])
"The New Side Presbytery of New Castle, in 1747, sent the Reverend Samuel Davies as an evangelist to Hanover in Virginia, where the great spiritual hunger and ready response to his message challenged him to settle. Through the efforts of the New Side adherents led by Davies, representing the Presbytery of New Castle, there were settled in the Virginia Colony by 1755 the following ministers: the Reverend Messrs. John Todd of Providence in Louisa County; John Brown of New Providence and Timber Ridge and Alexander Craighead at Windy Cove in Augusta County; Robert Henry in the Caldwell settlement on Cub Creek in Charlotte county and at Briery in Prince Edward County; and John Wright in Cumberland County." (Howard McKnight Wilson, ThD., The Tinkling Spring: Headwater of Freedom. A story of the church and her people, 1732-1952 (Fishersville, VA: The Tinkling Spring and Hermitage Presbyterian Churches, 1954, pp. 151, 152.)
"Mr. Craighead is said to have removed to Windy Cove, on Cowpasture River in Augusta County [now Bath County], Virginia, in 1749. A large button wood tree, close to the river bank, marks the site where stood his humble cabin. About half a mile above stood his log church. He and his people went to the House of God fully equipped to meet any sudden attach of Indians. He joined New Castle Presbytery before the Fall of 1754. On Braddock's defeat his congregation fled from the frontier and a portion settled in North Carolina. Mr. Craighead met with Hanover Presbytery, September 2, 1757(?), and in January was sent to Rocky River, in North Carolina, and to other vacancies. He was called in April to Rocky River, and Mr. Richardson, on his way to labor among the Cherokees, was directed to install him. He died in March, 1766. (Early American Presbyterians website, http://mal.net/EarlyPresbyterians/, January 15, 1999.)
While living in Augusta (now Bath) County, Virginia, near a settlement called Windy Cove, both Samuel Davis and Alexander Craighead were appointed to the new Presbytery of Hanover which held its first meeting December 3, 1755. It was established as a result of a petition to the New Side Synod of New York on October 3, 1775. (Howard McKnight Wilson, ThD., The Tinkling Spring: Headwater of Freedom. A story of the church and her people, 1732-1952 (Fishersville, VA: The Tinkling Spring and Hermitage Presbyterian Churches, 1954, p. 154.) The Rev. Samuel Davies, who had a big influence on Patrick Henry. Windy Cove was about 90 miles from Hanover, Virginia where Dr. Davies ministered and where Patrick Henry grew up. Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry were contemporaries and knew each other. (See also, Samuel Brown, Windy Cove Church, Its History, A Memorial Sermon, Preached on the 28th of February, 1875. Published by the congregation, Singer's Glen, Virginia: Ruebush, Kieffer and Co., Printers, 1876, 16 pp.)
In 1755 Rev. Craighead moved to Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.
"Another group of pioneers (Ulster Scots) settled nearer the present site of Charlotte and organized the Sugaw Creek Presbyterian Church in 1755, with Rev. Craighead serving as pastor of both the Rocky River church and the Sugaw Creek church from the time each was organized until [his death in] 1766. Details of his long, eventful, and sometimes turbulent life are recorded in numerous places, notably The Presbyterian Church at Rocky River, by Thomas Hugh Spence, Jr. (1954) and A History of Sugaw Creek Presbyterian Church, by Neill Roderick McCeachy (1954)." ( "Churches," Charlotte/Mecklenburg Story website, January 11, 1999.)
The family of Alexander Craighead was prominent in generations to come, as can be seen in Wheeler's Reminiscences and the documents available from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Story website. ( "Churches," Charlotte/Mecklenburg Story website, January 11, 1999.)
"Alexander Craighead's successor at Rocky River Presbyterian Church was Hezekiah James Balch, who later was one of the signers of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. Joseph Alexander became the second pastor of Sugaw Creek Presbyterian Church [his son, John McKnitt Alexander, was chairman of the May 1775 Convention that wrote the Mecklenburg Declaration], to be followed in 1780 by Thomas Craighead, son of Alexander Craighead, supply minister for two years. In 1791 Samuel Craighead Caldwell, grandson of Alexander Craighead, became pastor of Sugaw Creek Church and served two terms spanning 35 years, and in 1837 John Madison McKnitt Caldwell, a great-grandson of Alexander Craighead, served as pastor." ( "Churches," Charlotte/Mecklenburg Story website, January 11, 1999.)
"Over twenty of the members of the Convention at Charlotte, who on May 20, 1775, pronounced the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, were connected with the seven Presbyterian churches of the county; two of which were Rocky River and Sugar Creek. From these two the other five took `life and being.' Such were the men, who, when informed of the troubles `to the eastward,' rallied to the cry: `The cause of Boston is the cause of all!' With Craighead they held that the rights of the people were as divine as the rights of Kings, for their fathers, and they themselves, had often listened in rapt attention to his thrilling eloquence. . .
"Abram Alexander, a ruling Elder of Sugar Creek Church, was chairman of this convention. It was addressed by Rev. Hezekiah James Balch, pastor of Rocky River and Poplar Tent, who was also one of the committee of three to draft the `more formal declaration,' and nine other ruling Elders, of these seven churches, were active participants in the proceedings. Although Rev. Craighead died before the convention of May 20, 1775, at Charlotte, yet the whole American Nation should revere his memory as the fearless champion of those principles of civil and religious freedom, which they now enjoy and which first found expression from his old comrades in the immortal Declaration, the date of which, in the language of another, `has been as clearly established as the given name of any citizen then living in the country.' (John H. Wheeler, Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians [Columbus, Ohio: The author, 1884], p. 277)
The committee appointed to draft the Declaration of Independence included Thomas Jefferson, John Adams (a Calvinist, and an acquaintance and correspondent of Jefferson), and Benjamin Franklin, among others.
When Rev. Alexander Craighead was pastor of Middle Octorara Church along the Susquehanna River in Lancaster County Pennsylvania, he traveled with George Whitefield in Chester County, Pennsylvania. ( Early American Presbyterians website, January 15, 1999.) Benjamin Franklin was a friend of George Whitefield. (Arnold Dallimore, George Whitefield [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1979])
Benjamin Franklin published two works by Alexander Craighead. First he published Renewal of the Covenants, National and Solemn League; A Confession of Sins; An Engagement to Duties; and a Testimony; as they were Carried on at Middle Octorara in Pennsylvania, November 11. This fact is mentioned by W.M. Glasgow in his introduction to the publication. Glasgow states, "The proceedings were first printed in Philadelphia, in 1744, and re-printed in 1748, evidently by Benjamin Franklin, who editorially, in the Pennsylvania Gazette, refers to the matter." Benjamin Franklin also published The reasons of Mr. Alexander Craighead's receding from the present judicatories of this church..., 1743 by Alexander Craighead.
Therefore, Whitefield, Franklin, Jefferson, and John Adams most probably had personal knowledge of Alexander Craighead, his work, Renewal of the Covenants, National and Solemn League . . . , his ministry, and his Covenanting position. The book received further publicity when Governor Morris of Pennsylvania "in his message to the Assembly, denounced certain people for their aspirations and machinations to obtain `independency'." (John H. Wheeler, Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians [Columbus, Ohio: The author, 1884], p. 276)
Thomas Jefferson, living in Charlottesville, Virginia, at the forefront of the resolutioning effort to denounce political ties with Great Britain, is sure to have known about the Mecklenburg Declaration and Resolves adopted in Charlotte, North Carolina, his neighboring state.
Patrick Henry could have known about Alexander Craighead's book because, as stated above, his pastor, Rev. Samuel Davies, was a contemporary of Rev. Craighead when Craighead was in Bath County, about 90 miles from the home of Henry. Craighead would have been teaching Scottish Covenanting principles as he did in Middle Octorara, Pennsylvania, and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Henry also could have known about the Mecklenburg Declaration thorough his association with his pastor and Craighead's teaching.
"A nephew [of Alexander Craighead], Colonel George Craighead, born May 10, 1735, lived near Wilmington Delaware. . . . was the intimate friend of George Washington, `dining at the same table and calling each other by the familiar name of George'." (John H. Wheeler, Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians [Columbus, Ohio: The author, 1884], p. 279)
In future generations descendants of Alexander Craighead intermarried with the descendant of John McKnitt Alexander, Chairman of the May 1775 Convention. For example, John Brevard Alexander (1834-1911) was descended from Rev. Alexander Craighead and Mecklenburg patriot John McKnitt Alexander. He wrote History of Mecklenburg County and Reminiscences of the Past Sixty Years. ( "John Brevard Alexander," Charlotte/Mecklenburg Story website, January 11, 1999.) See Appendix C, "A Sermon by the Rev. Dr. A.W. Miller, delivered at Charlotte, North Carolina, on May 14, 1876."
The Mecklenburg Resolves http://www.cmstory.org/history/hornets/resolves.htm, Jan. 11, 1999
The Dutch Declaration of Independence, 1581
"The Dutch Declaration of Independence (1581); This Calvinistic document served as a model for the U.S. Declaration of Independence [Decide for yourselves. -- sk]. In his Autobiography, Jefferson indicated that the `Dutch Revolution' gave evidence and confidence to the Second Continental Congress that the American Revolution could likewise commence and succeed. Recent scholarship has suggested that Jefferson may have consciously drawn on this document. John Adams said that the Dutch charters had `been particularly studied, admired, and imitated in every State' in America, and he stated that `the analogy between the means by which the two republics [Holland and U.S.A.] arrived at independency... will infallibly draw them together'."
Was The Declaration of Independence Inspired by the Dutch?
Appendix B: The Declaration of Independence and Articles http://www.nara.gov/exhall/charters/declaration/declaration.html, Jan. 11, 1999
Appendix C: A Sermon by the Rev. Dr. A.W. Miller, delivered at Charlotte, North Carolina, on May 14, 1876
"If to the people of Mecklenburg County, Providence assigned the foremost position in the ranks of patriots, a century ago, let them never cease to hallow the memory of that illustrious hero, the Rev. Alexander Craighead, who prepared them for it, at so great toil and pains, and for years and years diligently sowed the seed that produced the glorious harvest. No ordinary work was given him to do, and no ordinary training and discipline fitted him for it.
"Deeply imbibing the spirit of the Scottish Covenant, contending earnestly for the descending obligations of those covenants upon all whose ancestors were parties to the same, and insisting upon making the adoption of the Solemn League and Covenant a term of communion for members of the church in the colonial as well as the mother country, testifying continually to the Headship of Christ over the State, and the responsibility of all kings and rulers to Him, a failure of whose allegiance to Him would forfeit the allegiance of the people to them; proclaiming everywhere these good old doctrines, with a fidelity, and a courage, and a zeal, and a constancy, that ought to have secured sympathy and commanded admiration. Instead of this, he experienced the usual fate of those who are in advance of the age. He was opposed, resisted, denounced as an extremist and ultra reformer, calumniated as an agitator, and even censured by the General Synod of the Presbyterian Church! It was not until he came to North Carolina, that he found a congenial element which he could mold and train successfully in devotion to principles bearing fruit in splendid achievements, which now, at this anniversary season, in another city, and commanding the homage of the representatives of the world -- so successfully trained, that Charlotte occupied the front rank more than a year in advance of Philadelphia -- the latter . . . counselling submission, the former [on May 20, 1775] declaring independence, and so Mecklenburg became the leader of the land." (Wheeler, John Hill, Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians [Columbus, OH, The author, 1884], p. 278.)
Black, George Fraser, Scotland's Mark on America
Ranke, the German historian, declared that "Calvin was the founder of the American Government;" and Gulian C. Verplanck of New York (1786-1870), in a public address, traced the origin of our Declaration of Independence to the National Covenant of Scotland. Chief Justice Tilghman (1756-1827) stated that the framers of the Constitution of the United States were through the agency of Dr. Witherspoon much indebted to the standards of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland in molding that instrument.
Project Gutenberg's Scotland's Mark on America
Blythe, LeGette, Alexandriana (Harrisburgh, PA: Stackpole Sons, c1940).
Description: 445 p. A work of fiction about Covenanters.
Brown, Samuel, Windy Cove Church, Its History, A Memorial Sermon, Preached on the 28th of February, 1875, Published by the congregation (Singer's Glen, Virginia: Ruebush, Kieffer and Co., Printers, 1876).
Brown's history is included in A HISTORY OF WINDY COVE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, MILLBORO SPRINGS, VIRGINIA, 1749-1976, including the three former histories, the first two verbatim and the third edited with pictures added (Verona, VA: McClure Printing Co., Inc., 1976).
Carmichael, G. Wade, Jack's Resolve: A True Patriot's Tale (United, Inc.).
"Historic novel about the courier of the first recorded declaration of independence in the American Colonies in 1775. Follow the trials and challenges of Captain James Jack, of the Mecklenburg County, North Carolina militia in his attempt to deliver the Mecklenburg documents to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. The story, drawn from historic archives and Jack family documents, cronicles the intrigue, danger and betrayal found in the American colonies in the months preceeding the national Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the American Revolutionary War." -- Book Description
"G. Wade Carmichael is the Executive Director of the Charlotte Museum of History and has written several articles on historic events and topics. As a graduate of Indiana University, at the Herron School of Art, he majored in Fine Art Painting with particular attention to historic painting techniques and materials. Wade currently resides in North Carolina where he conducts tours of Revolutionary War sites, as well as being a public speaker on various historic topics." -- Publisher's Annotation
Craighead, Alexander, Renewal of the Covenants, National and Solemn League; A Confession of Sins; An Engagement to Duties; and a Testimony; as They Were Carried on at Middle Octorara in Pennsylvania, November 11, 1743, 1748 (Philadelphia: n.p., 2nd ed., 1748, 1743), (Cerlox Bound Photocopy Series. Edmonton, AB, Canada: Still Waters Revival Books).
A renewal of the Covenants, national and solemn league; a confession of sins, and engagement to duties; and a testimony: as they were carried on at Middle Octarara in Pensylvania, November 11. 1743. Together with an introductory preface. [Philadelphia?], 1748. (ECCO) Gale Document Number CW3320727585
"A fascinating Covenanter document proclaiming that '[t]o the Calvinistic system of principles, and the Presbyterian form of government, this nation (the United States) is largely indebted for its civil independence and republican polity. John Calvin and John Knox are the real founders of American liberties. Their teachings, plainly deducible from the Word of God, were disseminated by the persecuted remnant of the Church of Scotland, and were generally incorporated in the structure of American independence.' Furthermore, Glasgow, in his introduction, points out that Craighead's covenanting work formed a basis for the national Declaration of Independence, which followed shorter thereafter. 'For seven years Mr. Craighead labored among the Covenanter societies; but failing to receive assistance from Scotland, he removed, in 1749, to Virginia, thence to Mecklenberg County, North Carolina. There he became identified with the Presbytery in connection with the Presbyterian Church. Being thoroughly imbued, however, with the principles of the Scotch Covenanters, Mr. Craighead taught them to his people around Charlotte. They in turn formulated them into the First Declaration of Independence, emitted at Charlotte, NC, May, 1775. According to a reliable author (Wheeler's Reminiscences, p. 278) Thomas Jefferson says in his autobiography that when he was engaged in preparing the National Declaration of Independence, that he and his colleagues searched everywhere for formulas, and that the printed proceedings of Octorara, as well as the Mecklenburg Declaration, were before him, and that he freely used ideas therein contained. It is difficult to determine, therefore, the real author of American Independence. Undoubtedly the principles of the Covenanters at Octarara in 1743, the sentiments of the Presbyterians at Charlotte in 1775, and the Declaration submitted by Jefferson in 1776, contain one and the same great principles. 'Honor to whom honor is due.' However, Glasgow also reports, '[h]ence the Declaration of American Independence was justifiable. But when the newly-born nation ignored the God of battles, rejected the authority of the Prince of the kings of the earth, and refused to administer the government in accordance with the requirements of the Divine Law, then the same loyal Covenanters, faithful to their principles and consistent with their history through all the struggles of the centuries, dissented from the Constitution of the United States, and are justifiable in the continuance of this position of political dissent so long as the government retains its character of political atheism. We may rightfully declare our independence of wicked men and rebellious nations, but we cannot declare our independence of God, and set up a government regardless of His authority, without incurring His wrath and suffering from His desolating judgements. 'Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.' This rare book contains much that is exceedingly valuable and the section titled 'The Declaration, Protestation, and Testimony of a Suffering Remnant of the Anti-Popish, Anti-Lutheran, Anti-Prelatic, Anti-Erastian, Anti-Latitu-dinarian, Anti-Sectarian, True Presbyterian Church of Christ, in America,' is well worth the price of the book itself. With Glasgow, we set this book forth '[t]rusting that his work will be of historical value to all Covenanters, and interesting to all other readers,' with the hope of 'enkindling a flame of love for the glorious principles of the Word of God, and arousing an interest in the great work of National Reformation'." -- SWRB
"The first RP church in America was established at Paxtang, Pa., in 1721, and the second at Middle Octorara, Pa., in 1732, both by immigrants from Scotland and Ireland. A third edition was published in 1895 in Beaver Falls, Pa." -- Gordon J. Keddie. Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary and Presbyterian Historical Society, Microcard Evans no. 40475.
Craighead, Alexander, Renewal of the Covenants at Middle Octorara, Pennsylvania
The Scottish Covenanting Struggle, Alexander Craighead, and the Mecklenburg Declaration
Craighead, Alexander, The Reasons of Mr. Alexander Craighead's Receding From the Present Judicatories of This Church, Together With its Constitution; To Which Is Annexed a Preface to the Reader, to Discover the Basis or Foundation on which the Reasons are Built (Philadelphi, PA: B. Franklin, 1743). Presbyterian Historical Society Microcard Evans no. 40299.
"Craighead adhered to the Reformed Presbyterians from 1742 to 1749, but was never actually received as an RP minister. John Cuthbertson, who was sent out by the Reformed Presbytery in Scotland in 1751, was the first RP minister to serve in the New World. It fell to him, together with Matthew Linn and Alexnqder Dobbin, to organize the Reformed Presbytery, on March 10, 1774, at Paxtang, Pennsylvania. The printer was Benjamin Franklin!" -- Gordon J. Keddie "Bring the Book: A Bibliography of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, 1743--1992" in Reformed Presbyterians in the New World, a special issue of Semper Reformadnda, Vol. 1, No. 3, Fall 1992, ISSN# 1065-3783.
Craighead, Ernest Schwartz (1888- ), Craighead ministers: In Ulster and Colonial America, Scotch-Irish Presbyterian, 1633-1799, 3 volumes (Pittsburgh, PA: E.S. Craighead, 1954), OCLC: 14581671.
Named Person: Craighead family (Alexander Craighead, 1707-1766) Craighead, Alexander, 1707-1766.
Note(s): Typescript and mimeograph./ Chronology, chronology supplement and genealogy of Rev. Alexander Craighead, his eight children and their descendants.
Craighead, James Geddes (1832-1895), Scotch and Irish seeds in American Soil the Early History of the Scotch and Irish Churches, and Their Relations to the Presbyterian Church of America (Philadelphia, PA: Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1878). ATLA 1988-0622, ISBN: 0790546221 (microfiche), OCLC: 22138740.
"These extraordinary resolves were sent by a messenger to the Congress in Philadelphia, and were printed in the Cape Fear Mercury, Adam Boyd, editor, and were widely distributed throughout the province. A copy of them was transmitted by Sir James Wright, then Governor of Georgia, to England, in a letter of June 20, 1775. And the paper containing these resolutions may still be seen in the British State-Paper Office. . . ."
"Bancroft [the historian George Bancroft] stated `The first voice publicly raised in America to dissolve all connection with Great Britain came from the Scotch-Irish Presbyterians'." -- James Geddes Craighead, pp. 329, 330
Early history includes the history of the Covenanted Reformation. See Chapter IX: "Emigration of Scotch and Scotch-Irish to America and Chapter X: "Foreign Ministers in America" which lists pastors, their time of arrival, and their place of ministry.
*Craighead, James Geddes (1832-1895), The Craighead Family: A Genealogical Memoir of the Descendants of Rev. Thomas and Margaret Craighead, 1658-1876, ISBN: 0916497704.
Relates "the life and times of hundreds of Craigheads and their friends. . . ." -- Reader's Comment
*Dallimore, Arnold, George Whitefield: The Life and Times of the Great Evangelist of the 18th Century Revival, 2 volumes (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust), ISBN: 0851510264 9780851510262 085151300X 9780851513003.
"One of the great monumental literary achievements of the 20th Century." -- Sherwood E. Wirt
"Justice has at last been done to the greatest preacher that England has ever produced." -- D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Contains accounts of the conversion experiences of Whitefield, the Wesleys, and many others. Includes bibliographic footnotes. A Christian classic.
Draper, Lyman Copeland (1815-1891), Mecklenburg Declaration miscellanies (Fremont, IN: First National Bank of Fremont, 1993), OCLC 28774701
"Compiled [i.e., copied] by Abigail Brown, Jenny Mumma." Photocopies from State Historical Society of Wisconsin microfilm of newspaper and magazine articles collected by Lyman C. Draper concerning the Mecklenburg Declaration.
Graham, George Washington (1847-1923), The Mecklenburg declaration of independence, May 20, 1775, and lives of its signers (New York, NY and Washington, DC: The Neale Publishing Company, 1905.)
205 p. 21 cm.
Graham, George Washington; Alexander Graham, Why North Carolinians believe in the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence of May 20th, 1775, 1895 2d ed., rev. and enl., 43 p. 21 cm.
Henderson, Archibald, The Conquest of the Old Southwest; The Romantic Story of the Early Pioneers Into Virginia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Kentucky, 1740-1790
Henderson, Archibald (1877-1963), Cradle of Liberty; Historical Essays Concerning the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, May 20, 1775 (Charlotte, NC: Mecklenburg Historical Association, 1955). 56 p. illus. 27 cm.
Henderson, Archibald (1877-1963), The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence (Cedar Rapids, Iowa? s.n., 1918?).
Herman, Arthur, How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World and Everything in It. ISBN: 0609606352 9780609606353.
" `I am a Scotsman,' Sir Walter Scott famously wrote, `therefore I had to fight my way into the world.' So did any number of his compatriots over a period of just a few centuries, leaving their native country and traveling to every continent, carving out livelihoods and bringing ideas of freedom, self-reliance, moral discipline, and technological mastery with them, among other key assumptions of what historian Arthur Herman calls the `Scottish mentality.'
"It is only natural, Herman suggests, that a country that once ranked among Europe's poorest, if most literate, would prize the ideal of progress, measured `by how far we have come from where we once were.' Forged in the Scottish Enlightenment, that ideal would inform the political theories of Francis Hutcheson, Adam Smith, and David Hume, and other Scottish thinkers who viewed `man as a product of history,' and whose collective enterprise involved `nothing less than a massive reordering of human knowledge' (yielding, among other things, the Encyclopaedia Britannica, first published in Edinburgh in 1768, and the Declaration of Independence, published in Philadelphia just a few years later). On a more immediately practical front, but no less bound to that notion of progress, Scotland also fielded inventors, warriors, administrators, and diplomats such as Alexander Graham Bell, Andrew Carnegie, Simon MacTavish, and Charles James Napier, who created empires and great fortunes, extending Scotland's reach into every corner of the world.
"Herman examines the lives and work of these and many more eminent Scots, capably defending his thesis and arguing, with both skill and good cheer, that the Scots `have by and large made the world a better place rather than a worse place.' -- Gregory McNamee "Arthur Herman, author of THE IDEA OF DECLINE IN WESTERN HISTORY and JOSEPH McCARTHY: REEXAMINING THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF AMERICA'S MOST HATED SENATOR, received his doctorate in history at Johns Hopkins University. He is the coordinator of the Western Heritage Program at the Smithsonian Institution, an associate professor of history at George Mason University, and a consulting historical editor for Time-Life Books. He lives in Washington, D.C." -- Publisher's Annotation
King, Victor C., Lives and Times of the 27 Signers of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence of May 20, 1775; Pioneers Extraordinary (Charlotte, N.C., 1956).
Description: 225 p. illus. 21 cm. Notes: Includes bibliographies.
Maier, Pauline, American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence, ISBN: 0679779086 9780679779087.
"This is a well-written, well-researched, entertaining account of the creation of the United States' Declaration of Independence as well as an analysis of how the declaration has been enshrined as something of a sacred document (a place it did not always hold). Pauline Maier, a history professor at MIT, will no doubt surprise many readers with detective work demonstrating that Jefferson's Declaration of Independence was actually preceded by many local declarations, which have been generally overlooked by historians but which were published throughout the colonies and were well known in their day. American Scripture holds many surprises as it details Jefferson's drafting of the document, the editing process, and the varying regard with which the Declaration of Independence has been held in the past two centuries." -- Publisher's Annotation
Noll, Mark A., Nathan O. Hatch, George M. Marsden, David F. Wells, and John D. Woodbridge (editors), Eerdmans' Handbook to Christianity in America (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1983).
*North, Gary, Conspiracy in Philadelphia: The Origins of the U.S. Constitution, an e-book.
"In addition to primary sources, North relies on the work of the most well respected members of the historical community -- Bailyn, Wood, Mcdonald, Gaustad, Boller, Koch, Adair, and Rakove to name a few.
"The thesis of the book is that the key US Founders -- the ones who pushed through the ideas upon which America declared independence and then constructed the Constitution -- were secret theological unitarians, whose heterodox religious creed inspired them to found American government upon the notion of religious neutrality, and consequently break the tradition of covenanting with the Triune Christian God. His book focuses on Article VI Clause 3 of the US Constitution (no religious tests) as the device for achieving secular government.
"From what I have researched, North is correct in his essential claim. Other scholars have noted something similar. For instance, in this post I noted Thomas Pangle and Cushing Stout, whose work North cites, concluding that there is a connection between the US Constitution's benign approach to religion and the key Founders' enlightened and benign personal religious creed. Indeed, one could argue, as does Dr. Gregg Frazer, that the Founders' unitarianism or theistic rationalism was the political theology of the American Founding.
"Ideas have consequences and it was these heterodox unitarian ideas, not orthodox Christianity, that drove the US Founding's approach to religion and government. However, such heterodoxy or heresy wasn't a popular creed, but rather was disproportionately believed in by the elite Whigs. Whatever the religion of a majority of the US population (either nominal Protestant Christianity, which itself can tend towards Deism, or orthodox Protestant Christianity) orthodox Churches held a great deal of institutional power. With such power, they had to essentially consent to the elite Whig's new plan on government. And they did. But not all of them, for instance, the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (Covenanters) to whom North dedicates his book. From the very beginning they smelled a rat in Philadelphia. "So the notion that there was a secret coup, a bait and switch as Michael Zuckert put it, to sell a Christian audience non-authentically Christian ideas is not new. James Renwick Willson was one of those covenanters who in 1832 made arguments very similar to North's. And he was burned in effigy for this sermon which called all of the Presidents from Washington to Jackson infidels and not more than unitarians. I think Willson got at the truth, but did so by shattering a sacred cow -- a social myth. The kernel of truth that David Barton et al. have is that many folks in the 19th Century did believe in the Christian America social myth as a cultural prejudice. And many of their bogus, unconfirmed quotations source back to 19th Century places that pushed this social myth.
"Now the non-respectable has become the respectable and secular scholars more or less agree with the claims of James Renwick Willson and Gary North that America didn't have an authentically orthodox Christian Founding. . . ." -- Jonathan Rowe, June 8, 2008 (http://www.positiveliberty.com/2008/06/gary-norths-ebook.html).
Download a copy at:
Conspiracy in Philadelphia: The Origins of the U.S. Constitution
Conspiracy in Philadelphia, an article by Gary North
McDowell, Grace Bradford, 1889 (compiler), assisted by LeGette Blythe, and Victor King Lest We Forget Our Heritage; The Signers of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence (Charlotte, N.C., 1971).
Description: 1 v. (unpaged) illus. 22 cm.
McNitt, Virgil V. (1881- ), Chain of Error, and the Mecklenburg Declarations of Independence: A New Study of Manuscripts: Their Use, Abuse, and Neglect (Palmer, Mass., Hampden Hills Press: [label: all distribution by Heritage Printers, Charlotte, N.C.] 1960).
Description: 134 p. illus. 26 cm. Notes: Includes bibliography.
"The most exhaustive study of the subject yet attempted." -- Archibald Henderson
This work convinces the reader of the truth of the Mecklenberg Declaration. Apparently when the controversy began in the early 1800's supporters of Jefferson fought back with spurious counter claims of plagiarism.
Ray, Worth S., The Mecklenburg Signers and Their Neighbors (Baltimore, Genealogical Pub. Co., 1966).
Singer, C. Gregg (1910-1999), The "Apologetics" Lecture Series Using FROM RATIONALISM TO IRRATIONALITY: THE DECLINE OF THE WESTERN MIND FROM THE RENAISSANCE TO THE PRESENT (1979) as the Text, and Delivered in Decature, Georgia, Beginning November, 1979. (17 MP3 files)
"So many times people in the pew and the pulpit say, well how did all this get started? How did psychology descend to its present level? . . . How did political science produce our political thought, produce the dictatorships which are engulfing the modern world? Why are we in the economic mess in which we are today? Why is sociology such a jumble of immorality? Why is education as it is today? Why is art so meaningless? . . . Why is modern music an affront to the modern ears as well as to the mind and ear of God? . . . Why are all these things!? . . .
"I would suggest to you that if you will follow this course with thought and care, you will finally come to see the answer to the questions which haunt us today in Western society." -- C. Gregg Singer, from this cited lecture series.
*Singer, C. Gregg (1910-1999), From Rationalism to Irrationality: The Decline of the Western Mind From the Renaissance to the Present (Philadelphia, PA: The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1979), ISBN: 0875524281 9780875524283 and a reprint of the P&R Publishing edition of 1979 (Wipf and Stock, 2006), 479 pp.
"Now, frankly students, this course is presented from obviously the Reformed Theology. I hold unabashedly, unashamedly to the whole of Reformed Theology as we find it specifically in the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Longer and Shorter Catechisms.
"At the same time I hold to a position in regard to Apologetics generally known as Presuppositionalism, and particularly that view held by Cornelius Van Til.
"This book is an attempt to enlarge and to broaden the scope of Van Til's own Apologetical system, and also his Epistemology. By that I mean, and I worked this book with him, so anything that I say is not to be construed as a criticism of Cornelius Van Til. I might add he wrote me a letter. He is delighted with this book. But what I did was to take his principles, both of Apologetics and of Epistemology, and apply them to all realms of modern thought.
"Dr. Van Til, for good and sufficient reason, sought to limit to the main stream of what we might call pure Philosophy, that is from Saint Thomas, well even before then, back to the Greeks, but particularly in the more modern period, from Saint Thomas Aquinas, William of Ockham (Occam), down through Descartes, the Rationalists, the Empiricists, down to Kant and Hegel, and of course Modern Philosophy and Modern Theology. Very seldom has he gone into what we might call the arena of Political Philosophy, or the arena of Social Thought, or the arena of Psychology and Psychiatry, the realm of Educational Philosophy, and into Art, Music, and so on, to the Fine Arts.
"This book is an attempt to apply his system, and show what happens when the Western mind has forsaken his principles, or the principles which he has espoused, and turned into its own way. And thus the book is called FROM RATIONALISM TO IRRATIONALITY [Notice Singer seems to have gracefully embraced the best of Van Til in this work that, on a grand scale, disproves Van Til's inconsistent statements relating to epistimology. See the Robbins article below. -- sk] The thesis being that the irrationalism inherent in Saint Thomas and the post-Thomists, and more particularly, and more openly, in the Philosophy of the Renaissance, and Descartes, and Spinosa, and Leibniz has, as it's gained momentum in the modern world, brought Western Culture to its knees. We are living, as I would think, in the death throws of the Western Cultures, the Western Civilization." -- Dr. C. Gregg Singer, in the introductory address to his course in Apologetics soon after FROM RATIONALISM TO IRRATIONALITY came off the press in 1979
Apologetics: #01: Classical and Medieval Thought #1
Dr. C. Gregg Singer, Apologetics, 56 min.
"Locke endeavored to set forth a political philosophy which would anchor his democratic political thought on what he felt were the firm foundations of his empiricism. However, his insistence that nature has bestowed upon mankind certain basic and inalienable rights was an assumption quite contrary to his empiricism. His denial of conscience as an innate possession or quality makes it impossible for men to know that they possess the rights of life, liberty, and property. The very concept of a human right is moral in nature and has its basis of authority in the human conscience. It is thus impossible for men to know through the senses that they have these cherished human rights. Granted that it was far from Locke?s intention to undermine or destroy the traditional English concept of personal rights, his empiricism removed from his political thought the necessary foundations on which a government could be built for the protection of these rights. His empiricism supported neither the idea that men have such rights nor that they are inalienable. (p. 61)
"Underlying the secular and naturalistic assumptions of the thought of the Enlightenment was a related and equally serious problem. In their political and economic thought the leaders of this era were passionately devoted to the pursuit of freedom, and yet they seemed to be completely unaware of this incompatibility between their quest for freedom on the one hand and their reliance upon natural law on the other. How can an impersonal and deterministic concept of law produce and sustain a meaningful concept of freedom? Blindly convinced that there was no problem involved in the contradiction, the leaders of the Enlightenment pushed boldly ahead in the quest for political and economic liberty. However, their failure to recognize the issues involved in this quest led not only to the disaster of the French Revolution but to the growth of the totalitarian political and economic philosophies which first appeared in Hegel and Marx during the nineteenth century and reached their culmination in the totalitarianism of the twentieth century." (p. 73) -- quoted at the blog, IMAGO VERITATIS: Post-modern Reformed Paleo-orthodoxy.
Singer used this as the textbook for his course in Apologetics. Epistemology is a recurring theme throughout the textbook and the course. The series of 24 addresses on Apologetics is available free online. See "Apolgetics" under:
Works of C. Gregg Singer
Cornelius Van Til, John W. Robbins
*Singer, C. Gregg (1910-1999), A Theological Interpretation of American History 1994 edition, 354 pages (Greenville, SC: A Press, 1994, 1981, 1975, 1974, 1964), ISBN: 0875524265 9780875524269. A Christian classic.
This book portrays "the influence of theology and the changing doctrines in the life of the church on the pattern of American political, constitutional, social and economic development.
"The author shows that the decline of constitutional government in this country is the result of the departure from historical Christian faith and the resulting rise of alien political philosophies. Particularly does he emphasize the intimate relationship between theological liberalism on the one hand and political, social, and economic liberalism on the other. This theological liberalism has been a major agent in the decline of the Constitution in the political life of the people and in the appearance of a highly centralized government." -- Publisher's Annotation
"There is between the democratic philosophy and theological liberalism a basic affinity which has placed them in the same camp in many major political struggles.
"This condition exists because theological liberalism shares the basic postulates of the democratic philosophy. . . .
"Theological liberalism at heart has been a continuing protest against Calvinism, particularly against its insistence on the Sovereignty of God and the Total Depravity of the race. These two Biblical doctrines have often proved to be a stumbling block to theologians within the church as well as to the unbelieving world.
"The result of theological liberalism has been the movement away from constitutionalism and away from liberty, and a movement toward collectivistic society and totalitarian regime." -- C. Gregg Singer, A Theological Interpretation of American History, p. 290
See also: "John Knox, the Scottish Covenanters, and the Westminster Assembly" (tape 3 of 5 in a series of addresses "History Notes on Presbyterianism, Reformation, and Theology") by Dr. C. Gregg Singer on SermonAudion.com
Dr. C. Gregg Singer at SermonAudio.com (161 messages)
The topical listing "A Theological Interpretation of American History"
"The Erastian Revolution, anno 1689, was "utterly inconsistent with the covenanted constitution of the Reformed Church of Scotland, anno 1648."
In fact, the relationship between Church and State has been in decline since 1661. "In early 1661 . . . the Scottish Parliament passed the Act Rescissory, which established the king as supreme judge in all matters civil and ecclesiastical, and which made owning the covenants [National and Solemn League] unlawful. These acts undid all the works of Reformation from 1638 to 1650 and made it high treason to acknowledge Jesus Christ as head of the church. . . ." See Act, Declaration, And Testimony, 1876, Part II.
Another turning point occurred in 1758 with the reunion of the Old Side and the New Side of American Presbyterian Church. "This signaled the end of the influence of Calvinism in American Politics." For a detailed discussion see:
"From Old School to New School" in Crossed Fingers: How the Liberals Captured the Presbyterian Church, by Gary North
An example of the positive influence of theological doctrine on American political development is the Presbyterian General Assembly meeting in 1774, in which the Assembly instructed local congregations to press for the dissolution of ties with Great Britain. The result was a flood of resolutions, the most important of which was the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence which became a pattern for our national Declaration of Independence. See, James Geddes Craighead (1832-1895), Scotch and Irish Seeds in American Soil the Early History of the Scotch and Irish Churches, and Their Relations to the Presbyterian Church of America ATLA 1988-0622
In 1787 there were two conventions in Philadelphia: the Constitution Convention and a convention of the Presbyterian Church. "In 1787-88, American Presbyterians revised the Westminster Confession of Faith in order to make it conform to the political pluralism that also lay behind the U.S. Constitution,(26) which was being ratified at the same time that the presbyteries were voting for the revision of the Confession. The Presbyterians removed that clause in Chapter XXIII:3 which had authorized the civil magistrate to call a synod for advice.(27) This was one of the last traces of the theocratic Calvinism of the Scottish Covenanters -- or Calvin's theocratic Calvinism, for that matter. (The final trace was the Confession's assertion that the failure to take an oath to a lawful authority is a sin [XXII:3]. That provision was abandoned in the 1903 revision, and Machen's Orthodox Presbyterian Church did not restore it in 1936.) From that time on, Presbyterians became defenders of a secularized republican order. They believed that God's civil covenant could be made on a common-ground confessional basis, without a mandatory covenantal civil oath, operating under a providential natural law order that did not mandate Trinitarian confession. Obedience to this natural order, they believed, would bring national prosperity.(28) This was the liberal worldview of English Whig politics, and no group in America was more dedicated to defending it than the Presbyterians.(29)" -- Gary North, Crossed Fingers, p. 106
In 1788 the U.S. Constitution and the revised Westminster Confession were ratified. For a detailed discussion see:
"Authority: Biblical, Confessional, Ecclesiastical" in Crossed Fingers: How the Liberals Captured the Presbyterian Church, by Gary North
See, A THEOLOGICAL INTERPRETATION OF AMERICAN HISTORY, Chapter 6, "Theological Liberalism After 1920 and its Political Consequence." See, the Time-line of decline in American society after World War I.
After 1920 "Forces of liberalism were able to gain a commanding position in the liberal arts colleges and seminaries run by most of the major denominations. . . .
"The denial of the inspiration and infallibility of the Scripture proved to be tantamount to a rejection of their doctrinal authority; one by one, the great evangelical doctrines of the past were rewritten in such a way as to be scarcely recognizable. . ." -- C. Gregg Singer, A Theological Interpretation of American History, p. 187
"The basic issue is the reduction of the total scope of government, on both the federal and state level, to those spheres which are clearly conferred upon it by the Scriptures, and the surrender of those extra-Biblical powers which liberal political philosophies and practice have given to it during the last one hundred years or so. . . .
"When Jesus Christ returns, this span of history will cease. Perhaps at this point the cleavage between the biblical position and the views of Hegel, Marx, Spengler, Toynbee, and other contemporaries, becomes most obvious. The modern mind simply cannot accept the idea that humanity does not control its own destiny. It refuses to believe that the ultimate manifestation of the glory of Jesus Christ is beyond all human manipulation, whether they be statesmen or educators. It denies that the sovereign Ruler of the universe will bring all sinful humanity to judgment in a final accounting for its long history of willful rebellion against His righteousness, goodness, and mercy." -- Gregg C. Singer
The roots of liberty and limited government are in the Protestant Reformation. We believe the key to the maintenance of liberty and limited government is to be found in the Scottish covenanting struggle.
See also: The sovereign grace of god: his everlasting mercy and lovingkindness, The doctrine of man (human nature, total depravity), Selection of covenant heads for positions of leadership
Act, Declaration, & Testimony, For The Whole Of The Covenanted Reformation, As Attained To & Established In Britain #1
Act, Declaration, & Testimony, For The Whole Of The Covenanted Reformation, As Attained To & Established In Britain #2
Act, Declaration, & Testimony, For The Whole Of The Covenanted Reformation, As Attained To & Established In Britain #3
Act, Declaration, & Testimony, For The Whole Of The Covenanted Reformation, As Attained To & Established In Britain #4
Rushdoony, R.J., This Independent Republic: Studies in the Nature and Meaning of American History (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books)
"First published in 1964 and out of print for many years, this series of essays gives important insight into American history by one who could trace American development in terms of the Christian ideas which gave it direction.
"These essays will greatly alter your understanding of, and appreciation for, American history. Topics discussed include: the legal issues behind the War of Independence; sovereignty as a theological tenet foreign to colonial political thought and the Constitution; the desire for land as a consequence of the belief in "inheriting the land" as a future blessing, not an immediate economic asset; federalism's localism as an inheritance of feudalism; the local control of property as a guarantee of liberty; why federal elections were long considered of less importance than local politics; how early American ideas attributed to democratic thought were based on religious ideals of communion and community; and the absurdity of a mathematical concept of equality being applied to people. With index." -- Publisher's Annotation
*Rushdoony, R.J., The Nature of the American System (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books)
"Originally published in 1965, these essays were a continuation of the author's previous work, THIS INDEPENDENT REPUBLIC, and examine the interpretations and concepts which have attempted to remake and rewrite America's past and present. 'The writing of history then, because man is neither autonomous, objective or ultimately creative, is always in terms of a framework, a philosophical and ultimately religious framework in the mind of the historian.' To the orthodox Christian, the shabby incarnations of the reigning historiographies are both absurd and offensive. They are idols, and he is forbidden to bow down to them and must indeed wage war against them." -- Publisher's Annotation
Rushdoony, R.J., The Atheism of the Early Church (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books), ISBN: 1879998181 9781879998186.
"Early Christians were called 'heretics' and 'atheists' when they denied the gods of Rome, in particular the divinity of the emperor and the statism he embodied in his personality cult. These Christians knew that Jesus Christ, not the state, was their Lord and that this faith required a different kind of relationship to the state than it demanded. Because Jesus Christ was their acknowledged Sovereign, they consciously denied such esteem to all other claimants. Today the church must take a similar stand before the modern state." -- Publisher's Annotation
Smyth, Thomas (1808-1873), The Exodus of the Church of Scotland: and the Claims of the Free Church of Scotland to the Sympathy and Assistance of American Christians (Charleston, SC: Printed by B. Jenkins, 1843).
Smyth, Thomas (1808-1873), Presbyterianism, the Revolution: the Declaration, and the Constitution, 184?
Smyth, Thomas (1808-1873), The True Origin and Source of the Mecklenburg and National Declaration of Independence (Columbia, SC: I.C. Morgan, printer, 1908, 1847). May be available in Complete Works of Rev. Thomas Smyth, D.D.
Stevens, Thomas Wood (1880-1942), The pageant of Charlotte and Old Mecklenburg. Written for the sesquicentennial of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, May 20, 1775 (Charlotte, N.C., Charlotte Pageant Association, 1925).
Description : 121 p. illus., ports. (part col.) 23 cm.
Notes: Cover title: Historic Mecklenburg and old Charlotte, 1775-1925.
Wheeler, John Hill, Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians (Columbus, OH: The author, 1884).
Wilson, Howard McKnight, ThD., The Tinkling Spring: Headwater of Freedom. A Story of the Church and Her People, 1732-1952 (Fishersville, VA: The Tinkling Spring and Hermitage Presbyterian Churches, 1954)
See also: The sovereignty of god, The doctrine of man (human nature, total depravity), Justice, the theology of judgment, god's final judgment, the great white throne judgment, the day of the lord, The sovereign grace of god: his everlasting mercy and lovingkindness, God's deliverance of nations, Liberalism, Logic, The works of c. gregg singer, A theological iterpretation of american history, The decline of american society, the decline of western thought, irrationalism, Covenant theology and the ordinance of covenanting, The covenant of redemption, The covenant faithfulness of god, Sexual relationship, Oaths, ensnaring (vows, promises, covenants) and bonds with the ungodly, Background and history of the covenanted reformation of scotland, The national covenant, The solemn league and covenant, The covenanted reformation of scotland short title listing, Biography of covenanters, Acts of faithful assemblies, Covenanting in america, The scottish covenanting struggle, alexander craighead, and the mecklenburg declaration, Confession of national sin and covenant renewal, Corporate faithfulness and sanctification, Selection of covenant heads for positions of leadership
The roots of liberty and limited government are in the Protestant Reformation. We believe the key to the maintenance of liberty and limited government is to be found in the Scottish covenanting struggle.
"The Heavens do Rule," The Original Covenanter, Vol. II, June, 1880, No. 14. Available in STEELE, DAVID (1803-1887, editor), Reformed Presbytery of North America, The Contending Witness, The Reformation Advocate and The Original Covenanter magazines. Also available (THE BEST OF THE ORIGINAL COVENANTER AND CONTENDING WITNESS MAGAZINE) on the SWRB Puritan Hard Drive. Available on Reformation Bookshelf CD #18, ISBN: 0921148933 9780921148937.
"Among the most civilized and enlightened people on the earth, we believe, are those of Britain and the United States of North America; yet it is at once evident and to be lamented, that with their advantages for instruction in the science of civil government, they have yet to learn the costly lesson that 'the heavens do rule'. . . ." -- excerpted from "The Heavens do Rule."
The Covenanted Reformation of Scotland Short Title Listing
Corporate Faithfulness and Sanctification, Chapter 9, The Web Edition of Biblical Counsel: Resources for Renewal
Then, when he had expatiated somewhat more fully, and had more copiously illustrated the benefits of its presence [harmony -- sk] and the ruinous effects of its absence upon a state, Pilus, one of the company present at the discussion, struck in and demanded that the question should be more thoroughly sifted, and that the subject of justice should be freely discussed for the sake of ascertaining what truth there was in the maxim which was then becoming daily more current, that "the republic cannot be governed without injustice." Scipio expressed his willingness to have this maxim discussed and sifted, and gave it as his opinion that it was baseless, and that no progress could be made in discussing the republic unless it was established, not only that this maxim, that "the republic cannot be governed without injustice," was false, but also that the truth is, that it cannot be governed without the most absolute justice. And the discussion of this question, being deferred till the next day, is carried on in the third book with great animation. For Pilus himself undertook to defend the position that the republic cannot be governed without injustice, at the same time being at special pains to clear himself of any real participation in that opinion. He advocated with great keenness the cause of injustice against justice, and endeavored by plausible reasons and examples to demonstrate that the former is beneficial, the latter useless, to the republic. Then, at the request of the company, L?lius attempted to defend justice, and strained every nerve to prove that nothing is so hurtful to a state as injustice; and that without justice a republic can neither be governed, nor even continue to exist.
When this question has been handled to the satisfaction of the company, Scipio reverts to the original thread of discourse, and repeats with commendation his own brief definition of a republic, that it is the weal of the people. "The people" he defines as being not every assemblage or mob, but an assemblage associated by a common acknowledgment of law, and by a community of interests. Then he shows the use of definition in debate; and from these definitions of his own he gathers that a republic, or "weal of the people," then exists only when it is well and justly governed, whether by a monarch, or an aristocracy, or by the whole people. But when the monarch is unjust, or, as the Greeks say, a tyrant; or the aristocrats are unjust, and form a faction; or the people themselves are unjust, and become, as Scipio for want of a better name calls them, themselves the tyrant, then the republic is not only blemished (as had been proved the day before), but by legitimate deduction from those definitions, it altogether ceases to be. . . .
". . . . Tully [Cicero -- sk] himself, too, speaking not in the person of Scipio or any one else, but uttering his own sentiments, uses the following language in the beginning of the fifth book, after quoting a line from the poet Ennius, in which he said, "Rome's severe morality and her citizens are her safeguard." "This verse," says Cicero, "seems to me to have all the sententious truthfulness of an oracle. For neither would the citizens have availed without the morality of the community, nor would the morality of the commons without outstanding men have availed either to establish or so long to maintain in vigor so grand a republic with so wide and just an empire. Accordingly, before our day, the hereditary usages formed our foremost men, and they on their part retained the usages and institutions of their fathers. But our age, receiving the republic as a chef-d?oeuvre of another age which has already begun to grow old, has not merely neglected to restore the colors of the original, but has not even been at the pains to preserve so much as the general outline and most outstanding features. For what survives of that primitive morality which the poet called Rome?s safeguard? It is so obsolete and forgotten, that, far from practising it, one does not even know it. And of the citizens what shall I say? Morality has perished through poverty of great men; a poverty for which we must not only assign a reason, but for the guilt of which we must answer as criminals charged with a capital crime. For it is through our vices, and not by any mishap, that we retain only the name of a republic, and have long since lost the reality. . . ."
For I mean in its own place to show that -- according to the definitions in which Cicero himself, using Scipio as his mouthpiece, briefly propounded what a republic is, and what a people is, and according to many testimonies, both of his own lips and of those who took part in that same debate -- Rome never was a republic, because true justice had never a place in it. But accepting the more feasible definitions of a republic, I grant there was a republic of a certain kind, and certainly much better administered by the more ancient Romans than by their modern representatives. But the fact is, true justice has no existence save in that republic whose founder and ruler is Christ, if at least any choose to call this a republic; and indeed we cannot deny that it is the people?s weal.
But if perchance this name, which has become familiar in other connections, be considered alien to our common parlance, we may at all events say that in this city is true justice; the city of which Holy Scripture says, "Glorious things are said of thee, O city of God." -- Augustine in The City of God, Book 2, Chapter 21, "Cicero's Opinion of the Roman Republic"
City of God, St. Augustine, Book II. Chapter 21. -- Cicero's Opinion of the Roman Republic.
So many times people in the pew and the pulpit say, well how did all this get started? How did psychology descend to its present level? . . . How did political science produce our political thought, produce the dictatorships which are engulfing the modern world? Why are we in the economic mess in which we are today? Why is sociology such a jumble of immorality? Why is education as it is today? Why is art so meaningless? . . . Why is modern music an affront to the modern ears as well as to the mind and ear of God? . . . Why are all these things!? . . .
I would suggest to you that if you will follow this course with thought and care, you will finally come to see the answer to the questions which haunt us today in Western society." -- Singer, C. Gregg (1910-1999), in the Apologetics lecture series using FROM RATIONALISM TO IRRATIONALITY: THE DECLINE OF THE WESTERN MIND FROM THE RENAISSANCE TO THE PRESENT (1979) as the Text, and Delivered in Decature, Georgia, Beginning November, 1979.
Apologetics: #01: Classical and Medieval Thought #1
Dr. C. Gregg Singer, Apologetics, 56 min.
CGS189 #05: The Departure from the Biblical View in Constitutional Government
Dr. C. Gregg Singer, Decline of American Culture
The History of Calvinism
Dr. C. Gregg Singer, The Christian View of History
CGS039 Apologetics #24: The Recovery of Christian Theism
Dr. C. Gregg Singer, Apologetics, 58 min.
Great Moments in Presbyterian History #8: What the Bible Has to Say About the Nature of Government
Dr. C. Gregg Singer, Great Movements in Presbyterian History
Apologetics #06: Irrationalism and Theistic Rationalism #2
Dr. C. Gregg Singer, Apologetics, 58 min.
Apologetics #07: Irrationalism and Theistic Rationalism
Dr. C. Gregg Singer, Apologetics, 86 min
Early American Presbyterians
Pedigree of: Alexander Craighead, 1705/6-1766
John Locke (1632-1704)
"John Locke (29 August 1632 -- 28 October 1704), widely known as the Father of Liberalism, was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social contract theory. His work had a great impact upon the development of epistemology and political philosophy. His writings influenced Voltaire and Rousseau, many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, as well as the American revolutionaries. His contributions to classical republicanism and liberal theory are reflected in the American Declaration of Independence.
"Locke's theory of mind is often cited as the origin of modern conceptions of identity and the self, figuring prominently in the work of later philosophers such as Hume, Rousseau, and Kant. Locke was the first to define the self through a continuity of consciousness. He postulated that the mind was a blank slate or tabula rasa. Contrary to pre-existing Cartesian philosophy, he maintained that we are born without innate ideas, and that knowledge is instead determined only by experience derived from sense perception.
Books Thought to be Among the ten Greatest in the English Language
The Blue Banner (color image)
The Statue of Liberty at Sunset (color image)
Web Layout - Lettermen Associates
Updated - July 12, 2012, Lettermen Associates