Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Crusader with a Camera - Lewis Wickes Hine

“Lewis Hine and His battle Against Child ‘Slavery’”

Based upon an article written by Jennifer L. Peresie

From the magazine “Pennsylvania Heritage”

An investor from Atlanta, Georgia declared,

“The most beautiful sight is the child at labor; as early as he may get at labor the more beautiful, the more useful does his life get to be.”
The stories which people heard seemed incredible. Businessmen procliamed that child labor wasn't wrong
while men in white collars wouldn’t admit the problem existed. They claimed that destitute mothers and widows needed the income that was provided by their employed children. Child labor became a problem in the United States during the Industrial Revolution when machinery was invented that was so simple to operate a child could perform the given task.

The plight of these children was documented by reformer – photographer Lewis Wickes Hine (1874 – 1940). He wasn’t received graciously by foremen and company police. Frequently, he was refused entrance into the workplace throughout his crusade to document the exploitation of children. In fact, children were often hidden from his sight in the attempt to deceive Hine. Hine would pose as a fire inspector, an insurance salesman, a Bible salesman, an industrial photographer, any masquerade that would gain entry to the workplace of the children he desired to help.

American businessmen fervently asserted that they could not continue to operate without child labor. Throughout the Industrial Revolution, children provided a source of cheap inexpensive labor and a source of large profits.

Why pay a father seven dollars a week when one can conveniently play a child two dollars a week. Consequently, a father would be replaced in the work place by his children. For a family to survive the remaining children would also be employed to offset and balance the father’s loss of income. The children became wage-earners in some families. Parents would purchase work permits which circumvented laws that regulated the minimum age for employment. Tragically, children as young as five years were issued permits to work. Receiving an education was considered a ‘waste of time’ by some uneducated parents as well as employers. In the clothing mills of the south, every fourth employee was between the ages of 10 and 15. It is heart-rending to discover that many of those children employed in southern mills were even younger.

According to the census of 1900, most of the 25,000 boys employed in the mines and quarries were in Pennsylvania. In 1911, there were 2 million children under the age of 16 in the American workforce. In the anthracite coal industry children worked as breaker boys, separating coal from slag, mule drivers, runners, and gate tenders.

In 1910, little girls worked at dangerous machines knitting stockings for long hours in poorly lighted, lint filled textile mills.

Thousands of blowers’ assistants were employed in the glass making industry. The children of America worked as sweepers, spinners, and doffers in the textile mills. Children worked in canneries and farms beside their parents. ‘Little merchants,’ hawked produce and sold an assortment of items on the streets of American towns and cities.

Children worked six days a week from six in the morning till eight o’clock at night. There was neither time for education nor play but only time to eat and sleep after returning home.

Children were employed working in mines, quarries, textile mills, canneries, farms, the glass industry, and virtually every field of employment. Small hands enabled breaker boys in the mines to swiftly sort and size coal in collieries. Employers threatened children to work harder or lose their jobs.

“Haggard, hungry, and faint after the night’s work…three cents an hour she got for her surrender of sleep and strength, play and study…” wrote American poet Edwin Markham (1852 – 1940).

Children worked in dusty lint-filled rooms in the textile mills and coal mine tunnels laden with heavy coal dust particles. Those unfortunate children risked developing a variety of respiratory diseases.

Children in the workplace faced various dangers to their health and safety without the protection of healthcare and insurance. In an attempt to increase productivity and save money, machines were made unsafe to operate when employers removed safety guards. Children suffered from respiratory diseases from pollutants in the air. The open furnaces of glass factories produced intense heat and glare. These conditions resulted in eye disorders, lung ailments and heat exhaustion from exposure to the heat of open furnaces.

Consequently, nearly all children in the labor force were underdeveloped in weight, height and girth of chest. Dr. Elizabeth Shapleigh made the following declaration following her own personal observations:

“A considerable number of these boys and girls die within the first two or three years after beginning to work. Thirty-six out of every hundred men and women in the mill die before or by the time they are twenty-five years of age.”

Regrettably, child labor laws were weak and so was enforcement of those laws for there were no generally accepted standards.

Disheartened at the sight of child laborers, Rabbi Steven Wise of New York retorted:

“We [the United States] have laws that we find are no laws and we have enforcement that we find is no enforcement.”

Working children had no time for an education at school. Alexander J. McKelway boldly declared that child labor would eventually lead to:

“racial degeneracy, perpetual poverty, the enlargement of illiteracy, the destruction of democracy, the disintegration of the family, the increase of crime, the lowering of the wage scale, and the swelling of the army of the unemployed.”

The National Child Labor Committee began its crusade in 1904 against enormous child labor evils. Felix Adler would eventually become president of the NCLC. He articulated the urgent need to create a national body that was focused on child labor. At the first meeting of the NCLC, he put forward the purpose of the NCLC which,

“shall be a great moral force for the protection of children. It is to combat the danger in which childhood is placed by greed and rapacity. Cheap labor means child labor; consequently, there results a holocaust of the children – a condition which intolerable… The Committee thus becomes a great moral force to prevent the relapse of whole communities in the barbarous conditions which we now see.”

The forty members of the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) fought tirelessly for years against the inhumanity and document the problems of child labor. The creation of the NCLC became a significant event during the “Progressive Era.”

They campaigned tirelessly for a minimum age of fourteen to work in manufacturing and sixteen in the industry of mining. They also fought for a maximum work day of eight hours and no work at nights for children under the age of sixteen.

The membership secretary of the NCLC was Josephine Eschenbrenner who declared:

“There is no future for the child laborer – no future except the human junk heap.”

The National Child Labor Committee realized they needed a photographer to document visually the harsh child labor conditions in the American workplace.

Lewis Hine had become a photographer five years earlier to document the activities of New York’s Ethical Cultural School where he taught geography at the school. In the attempt to dispel prejudices, Hine photographed immigrants as they arrived at Ellis Island. He realized that photography could be a valuable tool to help reform society. He became a master photographer and his photographs were published on the cover of magazines.

After accepting the task of documenting the injustice of child labor, Hine declared, “I felt I was merely changing my educational efforts from the classroom to the world.”

Photographer Walter Rosenblum was a friend of Lewis Wickes Hine (1874 – 1940). Rosenblum explained why Hine accepted the task of documenting the crime of child labor:

“he regarded his work as a moral responsibility. He wanted many people to see his photographs; he wanted to educate the entire country. His ambition was to be a social photographer, a photographer who documented how people lived and made a living and especially the problems of children. He was a warm and lovely man and did not understand at all how it was possible for kids to work twelve or fourteen hours a day for very little pay…He just had a need to do that kind of photography.”

American authors had described the abominations of child labor but the American public found the stories too difficult to believe. Lewis Hine wanted to show the American public the truth while mobilizing public opinion.

“I try to do with the camera what the writer does with words.” Furthermore, he declared: “People can be stirred to a realization of the values of life by writing. Unfortunately, many persons don’t comprehend good writing. On the other hand, a picture makes it appeal to everyone.”

Lewis Hine ‘battled like a warrior to end the terrible exploitation of children.'

Hine was one crusader who went into combat with the social ill of child labor. He systematically documented in a small notebook every photograph with precise facts. He measured children by using the button on his coat. Hine recorded names, ages, the hours worked, earnings, schooling, and various facts about each child he photographed.

“..all along I had to be double-sure that my photo data was one hundred percent pure – not retouching or fakery of any kind,” he declared.

The adult factory workers verified and attested to the accuracy of Hine’s work. One woman confirmed the authenticity of his photographs:

“They are exactly like the things I saw when I worked in the mills and factories; those things which break boys and girls and leave a mark upon them.”

To Hine and the members of the National Child Labor Committee employers did not desire to acknowledge the child labor problems which existed. Hine wanted the American public to see his photographs but businessmen asserted that child labor was neither wrong nor widespread.

“I cannot understand,” Hine said, “how is it that directors, superintendents, and other interested parties with ordinary eyes in their heads can see these tiny, immature children coming and going four times a day, and then say they do not have violations of the law!”

His photographs were published in newspapers, magazines, and exhibits of the NCLC which added significance to words. Hine would lecture on the conditions of child labor wherever he traveled. He designed pamphlets, booklets, and photographic exhibitions to inform people of the travesty of child labor.

His photographs speak for themselves and accomplish what he set out do to which was to document the plight of children in the workplace. They show graphic proof that American employers were exploiting children.

The photographs shocked, angered, and galvanized people to stand against this form of industrial child abuse which was what Hine desired to take place. He wrote to Frank Murray, superintendent of the Ethical Culture School, as early as 1910 declaring:

“I am sure I am right in my choice of work. My child labor photos have already set the authorities to see if such things are possible.”

A newspaper reporter was attending a conference in Birmingham, Alabama, where he saw an exhibit of Hine’s photographs. The reporter was stunned by the clout of Lewis’ Hine’s photos.

“There has been no more convincing proof of the absolute necessity of child labor laws than these pictures showing the suffering, degradation, the immoral influence, the utter lack of anything that is wholesome in the lives of these poor little wage earners. They speak far more eloquently than any [written work] – and depict a state of affairs which is terrible in its reality – terrible to encounter, terrible to admit that such things exist in civilized communities.”

“These pictures speak for themselves,” declared the NCLC, “and prove the law is being violated.”

The former president of the NCLC was Owen Lovejoy. He would later tell Hine:

"The evils inherent in the system were intellectually, but not emotionally recognized until your skill, earnestness, and devotion, vision and artistic finesse focused the camera intelligently, sympathetically and effectively on social problems involved in the American industry.”

Ann Healey, of Middleboro, Massachusetts worked as a spinner at the Star Mill in her hometown. Jennifer L. Peresie interviewed the one hundred and two year old woman in February of 1996. Ann Healey spoke of recollections of what life was like as a young laborer in the workforce. Ms. Healey recalled how happy she was when investigators, working to end the abuses of child labor, visited the mills. Ann Healey “felt that Lewis Hine had been successful in what she believed was one of the most important causes, the fight against child labor,” according to Ms. Peresie.

Annie Healey remembered when Lewis Hine came to the mill where she worked to take photographs.

“He came in and said he wanted to take some pictures of the machines but he had a lot of us kids stand by them. Later, my mother told me he was Lewis Hine. She was excited because this man had helped people see why child labor was bad in other states and she thought maybe he’d do something here. She was right! For some reason, suddenly, the law-makers considered our child labor an important problem.”

Jennifer Peresie also interviewed Walter Rosenblum of New York, a confidant and close friend of Lewis Hine. Rosenblum carefully explained why Hine took the assignment of photographing children in the workforce for the NCLC. Rosenblum declared that Hine “wanted to be a ‘social photographer’ from the first day he used a camera.”

Hine’s true contribution to the crusade against child labor is incalculable as was his influence to the adoption of laws protecting children. There is no doubt that he mobilized public opinion.

Those persons who saw Hine’s photographs want to either abolish child labor or severely restrict the use of it. A man from Newark, New Jersey saw the photos and volunteered: “Is there not something I can do to help? I have looked at these pictures and I want to help.”

Hine’s pictures brought attention to the problems of child labor swaying public opinion in support of new legislation.

By 1919, laws were enacted in New Jersey, Indiana, and West Virginia prohibiting children under the age of sixteen from night work. Pennsylvania passed legislation which would protect children under the age of twelve from working late hours.

Legislation establishing compulsory education was passed in every state which limited child labor. Alabama’s legislature changed state child labor laws through Hine’s personal direct persuasion.

A senator made the following remark during the Seventh Annual Conference on Child Labor in 1911:

“From you [Hine] we learn that the child is our most precious, priceless product and should not be exploited…We now think keenly alive to the necessities for a better child labor law.”

The American public dramatically voiced their opinion for Congress to pass two federal child labor laws. The first of these laws was passed in 1916 and the second in 1918. The laws were poorly written and subsequently the Supreme Court of the United States overturned these laws and ruled that they infringe the 10th Amendment protection of the rights of states.

Slavery was abolished in 1865 but heartbreakingly child slave labor continued through the 1920s!

A Constitutional Amendment was approved by Congress in 1924. The federal government would regulate the labor of workers younger than eighteen years of age. The amendment was viciously attacked by members of the news media and press promoting fear of an overpowering federal government. Tragically, the amendment failed to be ratified by three fourths of the states. Almost two decades would pass before federal restrictions upon child labor were passed into legislation.

In 1938, two years before the death of Lewis Hine, Congress enacted the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Jeffrey Newman, current president of the NCLC made this declaration almost fifty years after the death of Lewis Wickes Hine:

“He impacted the lives of millions of children during his lifetime to this very day.”

Lewis Hine’s friend Walter Rosenblum declared,

“Each fragile personality seems strangled by the environment, making it clear why Hine’s photographs were considered the single most important voice – He is considered the most extensive and successful photo-grapher of social welfare work…First, his photographs and his documentation about what he discovered showed the truth.”

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Conciliation with America - Edmund Burke - 1775

Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797) was a great Irish statesman and political philosopher of the eighteenth century. Burke was born to a middle-class family in Dublin. His father was a Protestant but his mother was a Roman Catholic. At the age of fifteen, Burke entered Quaker school and then went to Trinity College, Dublin. Although he studied law in London, he worked as a secretary to political figures rather than practicing the legal profession. Edmund Burke wrote several books concerning political philosophy where he laid out ideas of natural right and community, prescription, and traditions which continue to remain influential in our contemporary world.

In 1774, Burke was elected to Parliament as a Member from Bristol. He served nearly twenty years in Parliament. His attention was concerned with the conflict in the American colonies, the affairs of India, the Irish question, and the war with France after the French Revolution.

The “Rockingham Whigs” with whom Burke was associated upheld traditional institutions and beliefs. They were a stalwart opponent to Lord North’s political policies toward North America which alienated American colonies.

His finest speeches are about the emerging revolution in the North American colonies and “Reflections on the Revolution in France.” The selection which included here is “Speech on Conciliation with America” in 1775. This speech didn’t influence the American Revolution directly. The revolution erupted a month before the speech was published and long before the news Burke’s speech reached the American colonies. The speech eloquently presents the position of the colonists concerning American liberty.

As Englishmen, the American colonists were owed “ancient rights” of Englishmen which were well established and enjoyed since those rights were numbered in the Magna Charta. Those rights include: the right to own and enjoy private property which was violated through excessive taxation. Furthermore, they were owned government that represented the interests of the American colonists. Burke clearly expresses the fountainhead of that the ‘fierce spirit of liberty’ was found in the Christian religion. The ‘spirit of liberty’ was nurtured by the experiences and beliefs of the Puritans, Quakers, and other “Dissenters” who settled in the region of the East coast of the North American continent.

Edmund Burke’s perceptive writings clearly represent the principles and beliefs that guided the American revolutionaries and those of the framers of representative constitutional government in America.

Speech on Conciliation with America

These, Sir, are my reasons for not entertaining that high opinion of untried force, by which many gentlemen, for whose sentiments in other particulars I have great respect, seem to be so greatly captivated. But there is still behind a third consideration concerning this object, which serves to determine my opinion of the sort of policy which ought to be pursued in the management of America, even more than its population its commerce, I mean its temper and character.

In this character of Americans, a love of freedom is the predominating feature which marks and distinguishes the whole: and as an ardent is always a jealous affection, your colonies become suspicious, restive, and untractable, whenever they see the least attempt to wrest from them by force, or shuffle from them by chicane, what they think the only advantage worth living for. This fierce spirit of liberty is stronger in the English colonies probably than in any other people on earth; and this from a great variety of powerful causes; which, which to understand the true temper of their minds, and the direction which this spirit takes, it will not be amiss to lay open somewhat more largely.

First, the people of the colonies are descendants of Englishmen. England, Sir, is a nation, which still I hope respects, and formerly adored, her freedom. The colonists emigrated from you when this part of your character was most prominent; and they took this bias and direction the moment they parted from your hands. They are therefore not only devoted to liberty, but to liberty according to English ideas, and on English principles. Abstract liberty, like other mere abstractions, is not to be found. Liberty inheres in some sensible object; and every nation has formed to itself some favorite point, which by way of eminence becomes the criterion of their happiness. It happened, you know, Sir, that the great contests for freedom in this country were from the earliest times chiefly upon the question of taxing. Most of the contests in the ancient commonwealths turned primarily on the right of election of magistrates; or on the balance among the several orders of the state. The question of money was not with them so immediate. But England it was otherwise.

On this point of taxes the ablest pens, and most eloquent tongues, have been exercised; the greatest spirits have acted and suffered. In order to give the fullest satisfaction concerning the importance of this point, it was only necessary for those who in argument defended the excellence of the English constitution, to insist on this privilege of granting money as a dry point of fact, and to prove, that the right has had been acknowledged in ancient parchments, and blind usages, to reside in a certain body called a House of Commons.

They went much further; they attempted to prove, and they succeeded, that in theory it ought to be so, from the particular nature of a House of Commons, as an immediate representative of the people; whether the old records had delivered this oracle or not. They took infinite pains to inculcate, as a fundamental principle, that in all monarchies the people must in effect themselves, mediately or immediately, possess the power of granting their own money, or no shadow of liberty could subsist. The colonies draw from you, as with their life-blood, these ideas and principles. Their love of liberty, as with you, fixed and attached on this specific point of taxing. Liberty might be safe, or might be endangered, in twenty other particulars, without their being much pleased or alarmed. Here they felt its pulse; and as they found that beat, they thought themselves sick or sound. I do not say whether they were right or wrong in applying your general arguments to their own case. It is not easy indeed to make a monopoly of theorems and corollaries. The fact is, that they did thus apply those general arguments; and your mode of governing them, whether through lenity or indolence, through wisdom or mistake, confirmed them in the imagination, that they, as well as you, had an interest in these common principles.

They were further confirmed in this pleasing error by the form of their provincial legislatie assemblies. Their governments are popular in a high degree some are merely popular; in all, the popular representative is the most weighty; and this share of the people in their ordinary government never fails to inspire them with lofty sentiments, and with a strong aversion from whatever tends to deprive them of their importance.

If anything were wanting to this necessary operation of the form of government, religion would have given it a complete effect. Religion, always a principle of energy, in this new people is no way worn out or impaired; and their mode of professing it is also one main cause of this free spirit. The people are Protestants; and of that kind which is the most adverse to all implicit submission of mind and opinion. This is a persuasion not only favorable to liberty, but built upon it. I do not think, Sir, that the reason of this adverseness is the dissenting churches, from all that looks like absolute government, is so much to be sought in their religious tenets, as in their history. Everyone knows that the Roman Catholic religion is at least coeval with most of the governments where it prevails; that it has generally gone hand in hand with them, and received great favour and every kind of support from authority. The Church of England too was formed from her cradle under the nursing care of regular government.

But the dissenting interests have sprung up in direct opposition to all the ordinary powers of the world; and could justify that opposition only on a strong claim to natural liberty. Their very existence depended on the powerful and unremitted assertion of that claim. All Protestantism, even the most cold and passive, is a sort of dissent. But the religion most prevalent in our northern colonies is a refinement on the principle of resistance; it is the dissidence of dissent, and the Protestantism of the Protestant religion. This religion, under a variety of denominations agreeing in nothing but in the communion of the spirit of liberty, is predominant in most of the Northern provinces; where the Church of England, notwithstanding its legal rights, is in reality no more than a sort of private sect, not composing most probably the tenth of the people. The colonists left England when the spirit was high, and in the emigrants was the highest of all; and even that stream of foreigners, which has been a constantly flowing into these colonies, has, for the greatest part, been composed of dissenters from the establishments of their several countries, and have brought with them a temper and character far from alien to that of the people with whom they mixed…

Then, Sir, from these six capital sources; of descent; of form of government; of religion in the northern provinces; of manners in the southern; of education; of the remoteness of situation from the first mover of government; from all these causes a fierce spirit of liberty has grown up. It has grown with the growth of the people in your colonies, and increased with the increase of their wealth; a spirit, that unhappily meeting with an exercise of power in England, which, however lawful, is not reconcilable to any ideas of liberty, much less with theirs, has kindled this flame that is ready to consume us.

Edmund Burke, 1775

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Dominion of Providence over the Passions of Men - John Witherspoon

John Witherspoon is considered "the great teacher" of the American Revolution for Independence. Witherspoon (1723 - 1794) has the distinction of being the sole clergyman who signed the Declaration of Independence. He was born in Scotland and educated in Edinburgh. This prominent preacher became an advocate of historic Christian faith when modernizing movements troubled the Presbyterian church. As leader of the Popular Party, Witherspoon was involved in Scottish church politics resisting the hereditary rights of Scotish lords.

When moving to America in 1768, Witherspoon became the President of Princeton and eventually became an outspoken advocate of pro-independence politics. Elected to the Continental Congress, Witherspoon signed the Declaration of Independence of 1776. Serving in Congress till 1782 when independence was secured, he returned to Princeton where he continued to teach until his death. He continued to serve the government of New Jersey and became a prominent national figure.

Witherspoon, as president of Princeton, was accused of turning the college into a "seminary of sedition." His impact upon his students at Princeton was profound. Concerning Witherspoon, one writer declared, "twenty future senators, twenty-five future congressmen, three future governors, and one future president of the United States - James Madison, who remained at Princeton after graduation to pursue further studies under Witherspoon." Widely read were his works liberty and the role of religion in establishing civic virture. His works were profoundly influencial in the shaping of the American Constitution.

"The Dominion of Providence over the Passions of Men" is a sermon preached on May 17, 1776 at Princeton. The sermon clearly reveals that John Witherspoon was a most important "political parson" of the American War for Independence againt Great Britain.

"If your cause is just - you may look with confidence to the Lord and intreat him to plead it as his own. You are all my witnesses, that this is the first time of my introducing any political subject into the pulpit. At this season however, it is not only lawful but necessary, and I willingly embrace the opportunity of declaring my opinion without hesitation, that the cause in which America is now in arms, is the cause of justice, of liberty, and of human nature. So far as we have hitherto proceeded, I am satisfied that the confederacy of the colonies, has not been the effect of pride, resentment, or sedition, but of a deep and general conviction, that our civil and religious liberties, and consequently in a great measure the temporal and eternal happiness of us and our posterity, depended on the issue. The knowledge of God and his truths have from the beginning of the world have been chiefly, if not entirely, confined to those parts of the earth, where some degree of liberty and political justice were to be seen, and great were the difficulties with which they had to struggle from the imperfection of human society, and unjust decisions of usurped authority. There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire. If therefore we yield up our temporal property, we at the same time deliver the conscience into bondage..."

I have said, if your principles are pure - the meaning of this is, if your present opposition to the claims of the British ministry does not arise from a seditious and turbulent spirit, or a wanton contempt of legal authority; from a blind and factious attachment to particular persons or parties; or from a selfish rapacious disposition, and a desire to turn public confusion to private profit - but from a concern for the interest of your country, and the safety of yourselves and your posterity. On this subject I cannot help observing, that thou it would be a miracle if there were not many selfish persons among us, and discoveries now and then made of mean and interested transactions, yet they have been comparatively inconsiderable both in number and effect. In general, there has been so great a degree of public spirit, that we have much more reason to be thankful for its vigor and prevalence, than to wonder at the few appearances of dishonesty or disaffection. It would be very uncandid to ascribe the universal lardo that has prevailed among all ranks of men, and the spirited exertions in the most distant colonies, to any thing else than public spirit. Nor was there ever perhaps in history so general a commotion from which religious differences have been so entirely excluded. Nothing of this kind has as yet have been heard, except of late in the absurd, but malicious and detestable attempts of our few remaining enemies to introduce them. At the same time I must also, for the honor of this country observe, that though government in the ancient forms has been so long unhinged, and in some colonies not sufficient care taken to substitute another in its place; yet there has been, by common consent, a much greater degree of order and public peace, than men of reflection and experience foretold or expected. From all these circumstances I conclude favorably and the principles of the friends of liberty, and do earnestly exhort you to adopt and act upon those which have been described, and resist the influence of every other..."

Suffer me to recommend to you an attention to the public interest of religion, or in other words, zeal for the glory of Godand the good of others. I have already endeavored to exhort sinners to repentance; what I have here in view is to point out to you the concern which every good man ought to take in the national character and manners, and the means which he ought to use for promoting public virtue, and bearing down impiety and vice. This is a matter of the utmost moment, and which ought to be well understood, both in its nature and principles. Nothing is more certain than that a general profligacy and corruption of manners make a people ripe for destruction. A good form of government may hold the rotten materials together for some time, but beyond a certain pitch, even the best constitution will be ineffectual, and slavery must ensue. On the other hand, when the manners of a nation are pure, when true religioun and internal principles maintain their vigor, the attempts of the most powerful enemies to oppress them are commonly baffled and disappointed. This will be found equally certain, whether we consider the great principles of God's moral government, or the operation and influences of natural causes."

What follows from this? That he is the best friend to American liberty, who is most sincere and active in promoting true and undefiled religion, and who sets himself with the greatest firmness to bear down profanity and immorality of every kind. Whoever is an avowed enemy of God, I scruple not to call him an enemy to his country. Do not suppose, my brethren, that I mean to recommend a furious and angry zeal for the circumstantials of religion, or the contentions of one sect with another about their peculiar distinctions. I do not wish you to oppose any body's religion, but every body's wickedness. Perhaps there are few surer marks of the reality of religion, than when a man feels himelf more joined in spirit to a true holy person of a different denomination, than to an irregular live of his own. It is therefore your duty in this important and critical season to exert yourselves, every one in his proper sphere, to stem the tide of prevailing vice, to promote the knowledge of God, the reverence of his name and worship, and obedience to his laws.
John Witherspoon, May 17,1776

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Great Seal of the United States of America

After the Declaration of Independence was signed, the Continental Congress passed the following resolution:

“Resolved, that Dr. Franklin, Mr. J. Adams and Mr. Jefferson be a committee to prepare a device for a seal of the United States of America.”

This group of illustrious patriots had the same members of the committee who created the Declaration of Independence although Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston were omitted.

The purpose for creating a seal was to be an act of finalizing the independence of the American colonies from Great Britain. Creating an official Sign of Sovereignty and a National Coat of Arms was evidence of the colonies independence. The members of the committee desired to create a seal in the form of an allegorical picture that would illustrate the fortunes and destiny of the United States.

Eugene Pierre Du Simitiere, a West Indian Frenchman living in Philadelphia had writing and artistic abilities. Du Simitiere was engaged by the committee since the three patriot members of the committee did not have any artistic ability. In 1769, Du Simitiere became a naturalized citizen in the city of New York.  He was a passionate student of every facet of the history concerning the American colonies. He collected books, hand-bills, newspapers, pamphlets, and various political publications. This naturalized American endeavored to record the history of the colonies and their fight for independence. As a professional painter and artist, he was called upon to draw designs for various state, local, and institutional seals.

The committee met together to consult with each other between July 4th and August 13th, 1776; each of the members submitted their suggestions for evaluation to the other members of the committee. We can read of Du Simitiere’s suggestion to the committee in “Familiar Letters of John Adams to His Wife:”

“(Du Smiitiere)…a painter by profession, whose designs are very ingenious, and his drawings well executed. He has been applied to for his advice. I waited on him yesterday, and saw his sketches…For the seal he proposes the arms of the several nations from whence America has been peopled; as England, Scotch, Irish, Dutch, German, etc., each in a shield. On one side of them, Liberty with her pileus (cap), on the other a rifler in his uniform, with his rifled-gun in one hand and his tomahawk in the other. This dress and these troops with the kind of armor being peculiar to America- unless the dress was known to the Romans…”

It is of significant interest that most of the suggestions for a Great Seal were Israelitish symbols. John Adams comments about Benjamin Franklin’s suggestion:

“Dr. F. proposes a device for a seal: Moses lifting up his hand dividing the Red Sea, and Pharaoh in his chariot overwhelmed with the waters. This motto, “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.” “…Mr. Jefferson proposed: the children of Israel in the Wilderness, led by a cloud by day and a pillar by night; on the other side  Hengist and Horsa, the Saxon chiefs from whom we claim the honor of being descended, and whose political principles and form of government we have assumed.”

The notes preserved by Thomas Jefferson, which are now in the Library of Congress, corroborate the report of John Adams.

“Pharaoh sitting in an open chariot, a crown on his head and a sword in his hand passing thro’ the divided waters of the Red Sea in pursuit of the Israelites; rays from a pillar of fire in the cloud, expressive of the divine presence and command, reaching to Moses who stands on the shore and, extending his hand over the sea, causes it to overwhelm Pharaoh. Motto, Rebellion to tyrants is obed…”
Furthermore, Jefferson takes note of Franklin’s design of the Children of Israel crossing the Red Sea:

 “Moses standing on the shore, and extending his hand over the sea, thereby causing the same to overwhelm Pharaoh, who is sitting in an open chariot, a crown on his head and a sword in his hand, Rays from a Pillar of Fire in the clouds reaching to Moses to express that he acts by Command of the Deity. Motto, Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.”
I find it fascinating that two ‘freethinkers’, Franklin and Jefferson, expressed Biblical themes for the Great Seal. The three committee members went to the Bible, their fountain source for radiant symbolism. The suggestion of the depiction of the struggle between Hebrew slaves and tyrannical Egyptians on the Great Seal should not be overlooked.

On August 20, 1776, the committee made its first report to the Continental Congress. They contained Du Simitiere’s suggestions for the Obverse of the seal although modified. The center Shield was divided into six quarters. Each quarter contained a symbol of the six principle countries from which the American colonists originated.

Those symbols were: the Rose of England, the Thistle of Scotland, the Harp of Ireland, the Fleur de Lis of France, the Eagle of Germany, and the Lion of Holland.

Furthermore, the Goddess of Justice and the Goddess of Liberty supported the Shield which was centered on the seal. Simitiere’s suggestion was that the Goddess of Liberty would rest her left hand on an anchor. The anchor was omitted and she used her left hand to support the shield. The Rifler was replaced with the Goddess of Justice who bore a “Sword” in her right hand and a “Balance” in her left hand.

The whole image was surrounded by a border which contained thirteen smaller shields containing the initials of the original thirteen colonies. A “Radiant Triangle” containing “Eye of Providence” was placed above the shield between the two goddesses.

The Reverse side of the seal was Franklin’s design with a few modifications by Thomas Jefferson.

The Journal of the Continental Congress (v.691) records the outcome of the committee’s report.

“Ordered, to be on the table.”

 Consequently, this act had the effect of killing the proposal of the committee. Unfortunately, the original report has been lost and no reason is available to determine the reason for rejecting the design. Evidently, the majority of Congressmen were dissatisfied with the proposal.

The Congress responded to the need for a seal by appointing a second committee on March 25, 1780. James Lowell of Massachusetts was appointed as chairman. The other members of the committee were: John Morin Scott of New York and William Churchill Houston of New Jersey. The services of Francis Hopkinson, a previous member of the Continental Congress were acquired. Hopkinson was noted for his interest and knowledge of heraldry. He helped design the Great Seal of New Jersey in 1776. Furthermore, Hopkinson designed the American flag that Congress adopted on June 14, 1777.

The record indicates that Hopkinson with the help of some clerical assistance performed most of the work of the second committee. Two sets of drawings were created each one containing an illustration of an obverse and a Reverse of the proposed seal. Although both sets are similar, there are perceptible differences. The obverse of both sets contains a shield with a female figure and a military figure supporting a shield. In this regard the image was similar to the proposal of the first committee. A major difference was the introduction of fifteen white and red diagonal stripes which fill the shield between the male and female characters. A blue field, above and below, in the corners of the shield was on the second illustration.
There were other differences between the two obverse designs Hopkinson submitted. The first set of illustrations has at the ‘dexter’ (right) supporter a ‘naked savage’ holding a bow and arrow in the right hand while carrying a quiver of arrows upon his back. The second set of illustrations has a soldier, wearing antiquated clothes while carrying a drawn sword in his right hand.

The motto of the obverse on the first illustration is “Bello vel Pace Paratus” ["prepared in war or in peace"] whereas; the motto on the obverse on the second illustration is “Bello Vel Paci" [‘For war or for peace’]

A constellation of thirteen six-pointed stars is above the shields on the obverses of both sets of illustrations although the constellation of the first obverse is smaller than the second obverse. The addition of thirteen stars as well as the white and red stripes was undoubtedly inspired by the American flag which Congress adopted on June 14, 1777.

Hopkinson used a female figure representing Liberty for both sets of reverses. Please take notice of several differences between the two sets of reverses. Liberty holds a sword in her left hand on the first reverse while on the second reverse; she holds an olive branch. The motto in the upper part of the circle of the seal reads: “Aut Haec aut Nullus;”[“Either this or nobody” is in reference to Lady Liberty] while on the second reverse “Semper” is crossed out while “Libertas Virtute perennis” [“Liberty everlasting because of (or by reason of) virtue”] is written above the circle. The date on the bottom of the first reverse is “MDCCLXXX" [1780] and the date on the second reverse is “MDCCLXXVI" [1776].

The report was submitted to Congress on May 17, 1780, and was debated on but ordered back to the committee for further study. Congress took no further action on the report of the second committee even though additional work was done to modify the report.

In 1781, several resolutions relating to the seal were passed by Congress. On January 28, 1782, a resolution was passed which specified certain duties and responsibilities of the Secretary of Congress.

“6th. To keep the public seal, and cause the same to be affixed to every act, ordinance or paper, which Congress shall direct:" (Journals, XXII, 56-57.)

A need for a third committee was necessary since Congress had not adopted a Great Seal. The third committee was appointed on May 2, 1782. The members of the third committee were: Elias Boudinot of New Jersey (presiding President of the Congress), Arthur Middleton, and Edward Rutledge of South Carolina.

William Barton was the son of Reverend Thomas Barton Rector of St. James Episcopal Church in the city of Philadelphia. The committee consulted with William Barton who was an authority on heraldry. One of the two designs that Barton submitted to the committee retained ideas submitted by the preceding committees. He retained the thirteen stars, the blue field, and the thirteen red and white. His major original contribution to the design was the addition of an eagle.

His submission for the reverse side of the great seal was an unfinished pyramid of thirteen courses of masonry. Centered above the pyramid was the “Eye of Providence” which was surrounded by a circle of rays of sunlight. The motto “Deo Favents” [With the favor of God] was on the submission while below the pyramid appeared the motto “Perrennis" [Through the ages].

Apparently, the reverse side of the seal was acceptable to Congress but they were not satisfied with the obverse of the seal. The matter was referred to the Secretary of Congress, Charles Thomson.
Charles Thomson was given the final decision on modifying the pervious designs by order of the Congress on June 13, 1782.

Thomson chose to create an original design of his own. He studied the sketches and blazons which were presented to Congress by the three previous committees. He paid close attention to Hopkinson’s first proposal for the obverse. Thomson placed the American bald eagle in the center of attention as his central theme. He placed the symbols of peace - the olive branch and the symbol of war - the arrows in the talons of the eagle. The second committee used the olive branch in their submission; whereas the arrows were utilized for the first time. He took the motto, “E. Pluribus Unum” [out of many, one] from the report of the first committee. Although Barton’s reverse was the pattern which Thomson utilized; several changes were made. Thomson chose to surround the “Eye of Providence” in the zenith with a triangle which Barton had omitted.  The motto “Deo favente”  [With the favor of God ] which Barton proposed was omitted and replaced with “Annuit Coeptis” [Providence favors our undertakings].  

Furthermore, Thomson added a second motto, “Novus Ordo Seclorum” [A New Order of the Ages] and the year of independence in Roman numerals which was found on Du Simitiere’s design. The Roman numerals were added to the base of the pyramid.

Although Charles Thomson didn’t make any drawings of his reverse; his descriptions and sketches were given to Barton for final revision. On June 19, 1782, Barton rewrote Thomson’s description of the obverse in the precise language of heraldry which included the specification of colors. Barton made a major change in the design of the shield by removing Thomson’s chevrons and adding thirteen pales (vertical stripes) alternating white and red colors below a blue“chief” [the upper part of the shield].

Barton restored the reverse with his eagle of the original design which “displayed” its wings. Furthermore, Barton specified that the bundle of arrows the eagle held in its left talon would be thirteen in number. He described the crest more specifically and specified that it include thirteen stars. An exergue and a legend surrounding the margin was added to the reverse but was later discarded.

Charles Thomson submitted his report to Congress on June 20, 1782. His recommendation of a design for the Great Seal was adopted by Congress the same day. The Journals of Congress contain this record of his report:

“The Secretary of the United States in Congress assembled to whom were referred the several reports of committees on the device for a great seal, to take order, reports
That the Device for an Armorial Achievement & Reverse of the great seal for the United States in Congress assembled is as follows. – 
Paleways of thirteen pieces of Argent and Glues; a Chief, Azure, The Escutcheon on the breast of the American Bald Eagle displayed, proper, holding in his dexter talon an Olive branch, and in his sinister a bundle of thirteen arrows, all proper, & in his beak a scroll, inscribed with this Motto, “E. Pluribus unum [out of many, one].”

          For the Crest

Over the head of the Eagle which appears above the Escutcheon, A Glory, Or, breaking through a cloud, proper, & surrounding thirteen stars forming a Constellation, Argent, on an Azure field.  
A pyramid unfinished. In the Zenith an Eye in a triangle surrounded with a glory proper. Over the Eye these words “Annuit Coeptis [Providence favors our undertakings].” On the base of the pyramid the numerical letters MDCCLXXVI & underneath the following motto:  “Novus Ordo Seclorum” ["A New Order of the Ages"].

An essential part of the statute as adopted by Congress - but not included in the “Journals of Congress”- are these “Remarks and Explanation” which are in Thomson’s handwriting and endorsed personally by him.

“The Escutcheon is composed of the chief & pale, the two most honorable ordinaries. The Pieces, paly, represent the several states all joined in one solid compact entire, supporting a Chief, which unites the whole & represents Congress. The Motto alludes to this union. The pales in the arms are kept closely united by the chief, and the Chief depends on that union & strength resulting from it for its support, to denote the Confederacy of the United States of American & the preservation of their Union through Congress. 
The colors of the pales are those used in the flag of the United States of America; White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness & valor, and Blue, the color of the Chief signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice. The Olive branch and arrows denote the power of peace & war which is exclusively vested in Congress. The Constellation denotes a new State taking its place and rank among other sovereign powers. The Escutcheon is born on the breast of an American Eagle without any other supporters, to denote that the United States ought to rely on their virtue.
Reverse. The Pyramid signifies Strength and Duration: The Eye over it & the Motto allude to the many signal interpositions of providence in favor of the American cause. The date underneath is that of the Declaration of Independence and the words under it signify the beginning of the new American Era which commences from that date.”

Consequently, it is clear from reading Thomson’s “Remarks and Explanation” that every device on the obverse and reverse of the Great Seal of the United States of America is symbolic – allegorical – it represents something else. Heraldry is a language of symbolism, and government publications explain the official intent of the symbolic meaning of different parts of the Seal.

Charles Thomson was the first and only clerk of the Continental Congress. He was a remarkable classicist and biblical scholar from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Charles Thomson was the first person to translate the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) into English. George Washington knew Thomson well and read portions of his translation. Thomson was invited to become a Mason to help keep the Christian witness alive and maintain Christian values in American Masonry but he refused!

Reverend G. W. Snyder wrote to Washington on September 25, 1798 sending the book “Proofs of a Conspiracy” written by John Robison. Robinson argued that the Illuminati had penetrated American taking refuge in the fraternities of Masonry.

Washington replied to Snyder that he had been so busy he was not aware of Robison’s book until Reverend Snyder sent a copy to him. Washington declared that to his knowledge the Illuminati had not made great inroads into Masonry in America. Although he had been a mason; Washington declared that he had been to a meeting once or twice in thirty years of his adult life.

“I have heard much of the nefarious, and dangerous plan, and doctrines of the Illuminati, but never saw the Book until you were pleased to send it to me. The same causes which have prevented my reading the Book, hitherto; namely, the multiplicity of matters which pressed upon me before, and the debilitated state in which I was left after, a fever had been removed. And which allows me to add little more now, than thanks for your kind wishes and favorable sentiments, except to correct the error you have run into, of my Presiding over the English lodges in this Country. The fact is, I preside over none, nor have I been in one in more than once or twice, within the last thirty years. I believe notwithstanding, that none of the Lodges in this Country are contaminated with the principles ascribed to the Society of the Illuminati.”

As I stated in a previous paragraph, Charles Thomson was invited to become a Mason but refused!

“…the Master of the Masonic Order in Baltimore… was determined…to unbosom [his] heart.” This man urged Thomson to become a Mason to help him bring the order (which had ‘deviated from the truth) back to the “first principles” of Christianity. “I am in, you are out,” wrote the Masonic Master. “Will you – can you - deem yourself called upon to lend your aid to do much good?” Thomson stayed out."

Charles Thomson, the primary creator of the Great Seal of the United States wasn't a Mason!

[Important definitions of the 18th Century from  American Dictionary of the English Language  by Noah Webster published in 1828.]


“In theology. The exercise and superintendence which God exercises over his creatures. He that acknowledges a creation and denies a providence, involves himself in a palpable contradiction; for the same power which caused a thing to exist is necessary to continue its existence. Some persons admit a general providence, but deny a particular providence, not considering  that a general providence consists of particulars. A belief in divine providence, is a source of great consolation to good men. By divine providence is often understood God himself.”


“Effected by the providence of God; referable to divine providence; proceeding from divine direction of superintendence; as the providential contrivance of things; a providential escape from danger.” 
“How much we are indebted to God’s unceasing providential care.” Woodward


“By means of God’s providence"

“Every animal is providentially directed to the use of its proper weapons.” Ray

 Glossary of Heraldic Terms

Argent - White or Silver

Armorial achievement - a (whole) coat of arms

Azure - blue

Banded - encircled with a band or riband

Bearing - applicapable to any charge or heraldic device

Charges - the bearings and emblems of heraldy

Chief - upper part of a shield, occupying one third thereof

Crest - an ornament for the head

Dexter - right hand sign of the design (not of the observer)

Displayed - applied to any bird of prey with its wings expanded

Escutcheon - shield

Field - whole surface of the escutcheon or shield upon which the charges or bearings are depicted

Glory - a series of rays surrounding or issuing from a change or ordinary (a common bearing
bounded by straight lines)

Gules - red

Motto - a word, saying or sentence borne on a scroll under the coat of arms and sometimes over
the crest

Or - metal gold

Paleway (Paly) - bands placed vertically on the face of a shield

Pileus - cap of liberty

Proper - applicable to all animals, trees, vegetables, etc., when borne of their natural color

Scroll - one of the ornaments which may accompany the shield, usually bearing a motto.

Sinister - Left hand side of the design (not of the observer)

Supporter - a figure of a living creature (although it may be mythical) represented as holding up or
standing beside the shield

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Prayers of Reverend Peter Marshall

Prayers for the Nation

[Reverend Peter Marshall (1902-1949) was Chaplain of the United States Senate. He emigrated from Scotland to American in 1927. Reverend Marshall was ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1931. The Prayers of Peter Marshall were edited by his wife beloved author Catherine Marshall. After Reverend Marshall’s death, she wrote his biography A Man called Peter. The warmth, great wisdom, and humanity of Peter Marshall shine through his prayers. He was a man on intimate terms with God his Creator and Redeemer. As Mrs. Marshall declared, when he prayed “he knew Christ was there, and he was somehow able to transmit that knowledge to the waiting congregation bowed before him.” His prayers before the Senate show a sincere honest concern for the basic virtues of honesty, integrity, and goodness of an individual, as well as a profound love for his adopted country America.]

“America Confesses”

Our Father, bring to the remembrance of Thy people Thine ancient time-honored promise: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

We – this company of Thy people assembled – would begin now to meet the conditions that will enable Thee to fulfill Thy promise.

May all of America come to understand that right-living alone exalteth a nation, that only in Thy will can peace and joy be found. But, Lord, this land cannot be righteous unless her people are righteous, and we, here gathered, are part of America. We know that the world cannot be changed until the hearts of man are changed. Our hearts need to be changed.

We therefore confess to Thee that:

Wrong ideals and sinful living have cut us off from Thee.

We have been greedy.

We have sought to hide behind barricades of selfishness; shackles have imprisoned the great heart of America.

We have tried to isolate ourselves from the bleeding wounds of a blundering world.

In our self-sufficiency we have sought not Thy help.

We have held conferences and ignored Thee completely.

We have disguised selfishness as patriotism; our arrogance has masqueraded as pride.

We have fritted away time and opportunities while the world bled.

Our ambitions have blinded us to opportunities.

We have bickered in factory and business, and sought to solve our differences only through self-interest.

Lord God of Hosts, forgive us! O God, by Thy guidance and Thy power may our beloved land once again become God’s one country, a nation contrite in heart, confessing her sins; a nation keenly sensitive to all the unresolved injustice and wrong still in our midst.

Hear this our prayer and grant that we may confidently expect to see it answered in our time, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

“For God’s Grace in Our Helplessness”

We know, our Father, that at this desperate hour in world affairs, we need Thee. We need Thy strength, Thy guidance, Thy wisdom

There are problems far greater than any wisdom of man can solve. What shall our leaders do in such an hour?

May Thy wisdom and Thy power come upon the President of these United States, the Senates and Congressmen, to whom have been entrusted leadership. May the responsibility lie heavily on their hearts, until they are ready to acknowledge their helplessness and turn to Thee. Give to them the honest, the courage, and the moral integrity to confess that they don’t know what to do. Only then can they lead us as a nation beyond human wisdom to Thee, who alone hast the answer.

Lead us to this high adventure. Remind us that a “might fortress is our God” – not a hiding place where we can escape for an easy life, but rather an arsenal of courage and strength – the mightiest of all, who will march beside us into the battle for righteousness and world brotherhood.

O our God, may we never recover from our feeling of helplessness and our need of Thee! In the strong name of Jesus, our Lord, we pray. Amen.

“For the President of the United States”

We Pray, Lord Jesus, for our President. We are deeply concerned that he may know the will of God, and that he may have the spiritual courage and grace to follow it.

Deliver him, we pray, from all selfish considerations.

Lift him above the claims of politics.

Fill him with the Spirit of God that shall make him fearless to seek, to know, to do the right.

Save him from the friends who, in the name of politics or even friendship, would persuade him from that holy path.

Strengthen and empower his advisers. Bring them, too, to their knees in prayer. May their example and their influence spread, that we, in these United States, may yet have a government of men who know Thee, the Almighty God, as their Friend, and who place Thy will first in their lives as well as in their prayers.

Hear and answer, we pray Thee, forgiving us all our unworthiness; cleansing us from every ignoble thought and unworthy ambition that we may be renewed in spirit and mind and heart, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

“For the Leaders of Our Nation”

Our Father, bless, we pray Thee, the leaders of this nation. Strengthen the courage of the representatives in Congress assembled – sincere men who want to do the right, if only they can be sure what is right. Make it plain to them, O Lord. And then wilt Thou start them out on the right way, for Thou knowest that we are hard to turn.

Forgive them for the blunders they have committed, the compromises they have made. Give to them the courage to admit mistakes. Take away from us as a nation and as individuals that stubborn pride which, followed by conceit, imagines itself to be above and beyond criticism.

Save our leaders, O God, from themselves and from their friends – even as Thou hast saved them from their enemies.

Let no personal ambition blind them to their opportunities.

Help them to give battle to hypocrisy wherever they find it.

Give them divine common sense and a selflessness that shall make them think of service and not of gain.

May they have the courage to lead the people of this Republic, considering unworthy the expediency of following the people.

Save them from the folly of man-made schemes and plans. Give to them the faith and the courage together to seek God’s inspired plan and, finding it, to propose it, knowing that when it is God-inspired, Thou wilt open the way for it through all obstacles.

As Thou hast made and preserved us a nation, so now mold us into a people more worthy of a great heritage. In Thy strong name we make these prayers. Amen.

"Prayer for America"

Our Father, we pray for this land. We need Thy help in this time of testing and uncertainty, when men who could fight together on the field of battle seem strangely unable to work together around conference tables for peace.

May we begin to see that all true Americanism begins in being Christian; that it can have no other foundation, as it has no other roots.

To Thy glory was this Republic established. For the advancement of the Christian faith did the Founding Fathers give their life’s heritage, passed down to us.

We would pray that all over this land there may be a return to the faith of those men and women who trusted God as they faced the perils and dangers of the frontier, not alone in crossing the continent, in building their cabins, in rearing their families, in eking out a livelihood, but in raising a standard of faith to which men have been willing to repair down through the years.

Thou didst bless their efforts. Thou didst bless America. Thou hast made her rich. Wilt Thou also maker her good?

Make us, the citizens of this land, what to do the right things. Make us long to have right attitudes. Help us to be Christian in our attitudes. Let all that we do and say spring out of understanding hearts.

Make us willing to seek moral objectives together, that in united action this nation may be as resolute for righteousness and peace as she has been for war.

Bless those who bear responsibility. May they be led by Thee to do that which is right rather than that which is expedient or politically wise. Save us from politicians who seek only their own selfish interests. Illumine the minds of management as well as labor, that there may be an end to selfishness and greed, to the stupidity of men who are unable to find in reasonable agreement solutions to the problems that plague us.

Bless this land that we love so much, our Father, and help her to deposit her trust, not in armies and navies, in wealth and material resources, or in achievements of the human mind, but in that righteousness which alone exalteth any nation, and by which alone peace can finally come to us. This we ask in that name that is above every name, Thy Son, Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. Amen.

“For Those in Service of Our Country”

We, LORD, Jesus, are children of God. Yet we would not be the sons and daughters of men were we not sometimes fearful, did not our hearts often ache and harbor anxiety for those we love who wear our country’s uniform, who serve her in didtant places.

Yet we know, our Father, that the Everlasting Arms reach out across the world. We know that the shadow of Thy wing covers all Thy children.

We are persuaded that in that world of the Spirit in which we really live neither persecution nor perial nor sword shall be able to separate us from Thy love.

We know that the bonds of fellowship of prayer are real. We know that at the throne of grace we are all united, that our souls mingle with those we love on earth even though separated by tumbling sea and dreary miles.

So now our minds and hearts reach out to be in spirit with those whom we name now before Thee; to surround them with our love and prayers and hopes. For them we ask:

Support in time of need…

Strength beyond their own…

Confidence that Thou are their Shepherd, that Thou wilt never for a moment forsake them…

Thy strength in temptation, that they may be kept clean…

The gift of inner peace, a serenity that no tragedy can destroy…

That knowledge of God that shall assure them of eternal life, of peace and joy forevermore…

Thy gift of resoluteness in duty; gird them with courage; enable them to quit themselves like men who have deposited all their trust in their God…

A determination toward love, not hatred, that the fruits of victory shall not wither…

Salvation of body and soul, and if it be possible, bring them safely home.

We thank Thee that this ministry of intercessory prayer has linked our hearts and bound us even closer to those we love – closer to Thee and to them. May we feel Thy presence, and see by faith that day when the love of Christ shall live in the hearts of all men everywhere.

Hear, O God, not alone these prayers, but the unspoken inarticulate yearning of every seeking heart bowed before Thee. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

“In a Time of National Danger”

O LORD, when we, Thy children, are apprehensive about the affairs of our world, remind us that Thou are in Thy world as well as above and beyond it. Remind us that Thou art not indifferent. For Thou art not a spectator God, high and lifted up, serene an unperturbed. The feet that were wounded are still walking the trails of earth. The heart that was broken on the tree still feels every human woe.

Thus shall we not feel forsaken, nor give way to hopelessness. Thus we shall know that Thou hast a plan, and that Thy will shall one day be done on earth, not alone by those who love Thee and know Thee to be God, but by all, not in one nation or two, but in all the nations of the earth. Then shall every tongue confess that Christ is Lord, and every knee shall bow before Thee.

Sustain us with that hope and encouragement, that our prayer be not in vain when we pray “Thy Kingdom come.” Come it will, however dark may be the present prospects for peace on earth – in the darkness of men’s minds and the hardness of men’s hearts.

We do pray that Thou, O Holy Spirit, where Thou dost find the doors of human hearts still closed before Thee, wilt knock the louder and wilt, in Thy own secret way, prevail upon the wills of men that they may do the will of God – ere it be too late.

All these things we ask in that name above every name, that name before whom all nations of the earth shall bow, Thy son, Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. Amen.

“Before a National Election”

LORD Jesus, we ask Thee to guide the people of this nation as they exercise their dearly bought privilege of franchise. May it neither be ignored unthinkingly nor undertaken lightly. As citizens all over this land go to the ballot boxes, give them s sense of high privilege and joyous responsibility.

Help those who are about to be elected to public office to come to understand the real source of their mandate – a mandate given by no party machine, received at no polling booth, but given b God; a mandate to govern wisely and well; a mandate to represent God and truth at the heart of the nation; a mandate to do good in the mane of Him under whom this Republic was established.

We ask Thee to lead America in the paths where Thou wouldst have her walk, to do the tasks which Thou hast laid before her. So may we together seek happiness for all our citizens in the name of Him who created us all equal in His sight, and therefore brothers. Amen.

“For a Renaissance of Faith”

Our Father, remove from us the sophistication of our age and the skepticism that has come, like frost, to blight our faith and to make it weak. Bring us back to a faith that makes men great and strong, a faith that enables us to love and to live, the faith by which we are triumphant, the faith by which alone we can walk with Thee.

We pray for a return of that simple faith, that old-fashioned faith, that made strong and great the homes of our ancestors who built this good land and who in building left us our heritage. In the strong name of Jesus, our Lord, we make this prayer. Amen.

In closing, here is a quote from Reverend Marshall which is most relevant to our day:

“The choice before us is plain: Christ or chaos, conviction or compromise, discipline or disintegration. I am rather tired of hearing about our rights and privileges as Americans. The time is come – it is now – when we ought to hear about the duties and responsibilities of our citizenship. America’s future depends upon her accepting and demonstrating God’s government.”