Channels of Reconciliation by David Barton
The Congress desirous to have people of all ranks and degrees duly impressed with a solemn sense of God’s superintending providence, and of their duty devoutly to rely on His aid and direction do earnestly recommend a day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer; that we may with united hearts confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions and, by a sincere repentance and amendment of life, and through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain His pardon and forgiveness.
With all channels of reconciliation exhausted, on July 2, 1776, Congress approved in principle a separation from Great Britain. Two days later, July 4, 1776, Congress approved the Declaration of Independence. At this stage, it was signed only by John Hancock, President of Congress, and Charles Thomson, it’s Secretary.
The fifty-six leaders who approved the separation from Great Britain realized that their struggle against the much superior British military could not be won solely through their own efforts. Thus, in their Declaration of Independence they openly acknowledged the Source of help on whom they would rely: “the laws of nature and of nature’s God”; “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights”; “appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World, for the rectitude of our intentions.” Then, in the last line of that document, those Patriots announced: For the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor. The Declaration of Independence was actually a dual declaration: a Declaration of Independence from Britain and a Declaration of Dependence on God.
This act preserved a lesson for future generations. As explained by signer of the Declaration Benjamin Rush: I sat next to John Adams in Congress, and upon my whispering to him and asking him if he thought we should succeed in our struggle with Great Britain, he answered me, “Yes if we fear God and repent of our sins.” his anecdote will, I hope, teach my boys that it is not necessary to disbelieve Christianity or to renounce morality in order to arrive at the highest political usefulness or fame. The day after the separation from Great Britain was approved; John Adams wrote Abigail two letters. The first was short and concise, jubilant that the separation had come; 93 the second was much longer and more pensive. In it, Adams cautiously noted: This day will be the most memorable epoch a in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.
David Barton – They said there was no doubt about it, it was the church. We have this misconception of worship.