The Signs of the Times – #41
The Catholic Conquest of America (USA) – part 4
Originally posted, Sept. 10, 2014.
Quotes of the Times:
“They (the Puritans) asserted the right to determine morality, coupled with the right to punish those who departed from that determination.” John J. Robinson, Born in Blood, (Arrow Books, London, 1989), pp. 297,298.
“Williams, Roger: English colonist in New England, founder of the colony of Rhode Island and pioneer of religious liberty – He held that magistrates had no right to interfere in matters of religion.” The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed., vol. 12, p. 680, 681.
“These three principles became central to Williams’ subsequent career: separatism, freedom of religion, and separation of church and state.” Wikipedia art., Roger Williams.
“Most of Williams’s contemporaries and critics regarded his ideas as a prescription for chaos and anarchy. The vast majority believed that each nation must have its national church, and could require that dissenters conform. Rhode Island was so threatening to its neighbors that they tried for the next hundred years to extinguish the “lively experiment” in religious freedom that began in 1636.” Wikipedia art., Roger Williams.
“His little state, Rhode Island, became the asylum of the oppressed, and it increased and prospered until its foundation principles – civil and religious liberty – became the cornerstone of the American Republic. E. G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 295.
Roger Williams is, the most important historical figure that, you have never heard of. He was a member of the Radicle Protestants – but he was much too radicle for most of his Radicle Protestant colleagues. He believed that the Bible taught that true religion was a personal individualistic matter between God and man – that each individual was personally responsible for their own relationship with God and that this relationship between man and his Maker was not the concern of anyone else.
These ideas did not endear him to the English Puritans who had settled in North America. The Puritans had come to America for two reasons: they wanted to escape religious persecution at home, and they wanted to create a ‘pure’ church (hence the name Puritan). But most of them were still stepped in the same platonic/sacred mind-set that they were actually trying to escape from (because it was the source of the persecution that they were trying to escape from). They wanted religious and political freedom for themselves, but they were quick to deny the same privilege to others. [They could not see that the only way to guarantee religious liberty for themselves was to guarantee religious liberty for all]. Therefore, as soon as they founded their colonies in the ‘New World’ they immediately set up a sacral system of laws and regulations that governed each colony. These laws restricted the colonists to a rigid religious and political life, complete with harsh penalties for infringement.
When Roger Williams arrived in America (1631), he was appointed to be the pastor of the church in Boston. However, he soon found himself offside with the magisterial authorities in the colony of Massachusetts. And as he was not willing to give up his principles on religious liberty (or stop preaching them), he was forced to flee in the middle of winter (virtually a death sentence). However, he survived by finding refuge with a tribe of Indians – after which he bought land from the Indians – which later developed into the state of Rhode Island.
From the first, Roger William’s little colony welcomed all and sundry regardless of their religious beliefs. Religious liberty became the cornerstone of the Rhode Island colony, and even though the other colonies tried to undermine and even destroy Rhode Island, the cornerstone principles of this little colony eventually became the cornerstone principles of the United States of America.
Roger Williams was not the first to espouse and practice religious liberty. Frederick the Great of Prussia was a little different from his fellow European monarchs he said, “In my dominions everybody is at liberty to get saved after his own fashion.” V. Norskov Olsen, Papal Supremacy and American Doctrine, p. 134. However, Frederick’s enlightened attitude did not extend to the natural consequences of acceptance religious liberty. If one is to follow religious liberty to its natural conclusion one must accept that it must eventuate in political freedom as well.
Those of us who have strong opinions on politics generally have no idea as to where the rights to hold such opinions come from. The right to political freedom is a direct result of the freedom to think freely (religious liberty). And this right is only to be found in the Bible. Plato and co may have laid the basis of Western Civilization but the Bible lays down the foundation for religious and political freedom. And these two freedoms came to America through the efforts of one man – the Radicle Protestant Reformer, Roger Williams – and these principles became the foundation of America, because of the example of one small state – Rhode Island.
People today, have little idea how radicle and how unique The United States of America was, to the rest of the world, at the time of its creation. One American politician put it this way: “What the world had not seen for ages; a church without a pope, and a state without a king.” Hon. J. A. Bingham, US Congressman. Do you think the popes and kings were pleased to see such a creation on the other side of the Atlantic? Do you think those who lived by platonic/sacralist principles were pleased to see such a creation that espoused principles directly in opposition to their own? No they were not pleased. The Pope took the lead, and the kings fell in behind – America had to be destroyed – or America would destroy them.
Thus the battle began. Would America succeed in bringing religious and political freedom to the rest of the world, or would the old order reassert its dominance and control?
Everything that has happened, world-wide, in this modern age has been directly or indirectly affected by this colossal struggle. This struggle has been going on from the time that the United States of America was established, to this very time that we are living in today. The events that go on around us – the things that we see on the 6 o’clock news, these are all related (directly or indirectly) to this struggle – in every nation – in every part of the world – and this struggle is about to reach its climatic conclusion.
To be continued…
God bless, Bruce Telfer.
Extra Note: Roger Williams was a man ahead of his time. Not only did he espouse radicle ideas about religious liberty. He also believed that the North American Indians were people who should be treated humanely and with respect (for example, he advocated for Indian land rights, claiming that land should be bought from the Indians and not from the English Crown). He spent much time with the Indians (which is why, they took him in and sheltered him). He was a gifted linguist – he learned to speak many Indian languages – he wrote a book about Indian culture which became a best seller. The Indians always trusted him, and he became the most important mediator between the two peoples, in the early history of America. He had the same attitude to all people’s which is why he vigorously opposed the slave trade, which makes him one of the original abolitionists. He was a man ahead of his time, in many areas of life, which is why he is the most important historical figure that you have never heard of (or not heard enough of).