American Colonial Clergy: We Must Be a Christian State


Thirty-four years prior to the American Revolution, Massachusetts Pastor Nathaniel Appleton, in 1742, would orate an brilliant description of exactly what the American civil government was – whether pre-Revolution or post-revolution – as he and so many other Colonial clergy (like Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island) clarified the proper role and Biblical alignment of civil government. Tying American civil government to the ancient Hebrews, Scripture, truth and justice, God’s Law, and God as King, Appleton states:

Granted, our government is not a theocracy, and we are not under the divine government so directly and immediately as the Jews were. We are not under the laws of Moses – neither the ceremonial nor the judicial laws – as they were. The laws and statutes that were calculated for that people in their particular and peculiar state are not obligatory upon us, nor are they to be looked at as necessary rules of government. Nevertheless, these judicial laws of the Israelite nation that are so founded upon the general principles of truth and justice as to suit every form of civil government – these are to be regarded as the Laws of God, and binding upon us as much as upon them. This is not because they were given to them, but from the justice and goodness of them in themselves.

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