Peter Marshall

    While driving in South Texas, I was listening to a Christian radio station in January 1993 that was broadcasting Focus on the Family by Dr. James Dobson. Dr. Dodson played a speech given by Peter Marshall, Jr. to legislators in Williamsburg, Virginia. I pulled off the road to listen to the entire message. I called Focus on the Family and purchased a tape. As I played the tape in my van over the next couple of months, I was able to memorize the speech.

In July of 1993, the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International had a convention in Boston, Massachusetts. I arrived a few days early and spent two days speaking to store owners on Charles Street about their Christian heritage and sharing the gospel. Here is a mp3 of that speech and the transcription. Blessings, Douglas Raine

    Let us open this morning with prayer. Father we thank you for your mercies, and your judgment that bring us back before you, in repentance. We thank you, Lord for the judgments that are coming upon our nation now. Because we believe that you have had a call on this nation from the beginning, because we believe you are faithful to your covenant, and because we believe you are a merciful, as well as a righteous heavenly father, we thank you this morning. That we can reaffirm together here in this room that you are in charge. That You know what you are doing in this nation. That you have plans for our welfare; for our good; and for our blessing that we might be able to fulfill our calling, and so we can have hope here this morning. That out of what has seemed to be such a grievous defeat for our beliefs and our causes, that out of these ashes, Father, you will bring new life; because we will draw ever closer and seek you more fully. Lord, we want to claim that this morning by faith. We want to ask you this morning, Father, to work in our hearts; to help us rekindle the original American vision that you gave our forefathers; that we might go forth from this conference this weekend. Not only with renewed faith, but a renewed vision; and a renewed determination to serve You, Your goals, and Your purposes for our nation. For we ask these things Father, this morning in Jesus name. Amen.

    I want you to imagine yourself standing with me on the edge of a wood, on a bitterly cold December afternoon in the year of Our Lord 1777. This wood is located in Eastern, Pennsylvania. It is snowing. Snowing quite hard now and already an icy biting wind is driving the snow laterally across the landscape. There is a foot, or so of snow already upon the Earth ahead of us; and to our left, rise in the wood tall oak and elm trees. To our right and stretching out for several miles, are gently rolling hills and meadows. Contours almost totally obscured now by the snow. On our left, perhaps a dozen feet away, there is a large gray horse. Astride him, there are six tall men. Shoulders wrapped in a dark cloak, hunched against the cold. Tri-cornered hat pulled down low over his forehead. As we watch out of the wood and across our front, there begins to emerge, rank upon rank of ill-clad men, shuffling silently past in the snow in force. Most of them clad in what 10 or 12 months ago must have been a uniform, but is now only tatters and rags. Some with cloaks around them, others with pieces of burlap, which they must have snatched terribly from the back porch of a hayloft, or a farmhouse in passing. Incredibly, many of these men are in shirt sleeves in this blizzard. Muskets on most shoulders, but others only a fowling piece, we would call it a shotgun or a pistol stuck in a sash. A lot of these men have no weapon at all. Boots on most feet; others with just pieces of shoes, or what used to be shoes. Some with burlap tied about their feet in a rather pathetic attempt to ward off the snow and ice. Almost beyond belief, many of these men are barefoot in the snow and ice. There is no conversation, because there is nothing to be said. Most of these men stare straight ahead as they pass us on the edge of the wood, though some glanced sideways at the man on the horse; but every man knows he is there and for them that is enough. As we watch the man on the horse watching these men, we noticed that he weeps. There is no sound at all, on this bitterly cold December afternoon. Except the icy rattle of the branches overhead in the wood as the wind knives through. Eleven thousand men passed before us this afternoon, what is left of the Continental Army of the United States of America, as they pass and review before their Commander in Chief, General George Washington. As the remnants of this army enter winter quarters at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, December 19th, 1777, inaugurating the darkest chapter in American history until the confederate cannon will open on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor in the late spring of 1861. You see there was nothing to eat at Valley Forge. There were some barrels of flour. They mixed it with creek water, baked it on dirty stones in the fireplace, called it fire cake; but it did not suffice to whole body and soul together long. There were no cattle to slaughter and eat; surrounding countryside has been scrounged clean by both armies. They could not kill and eat the horses. They were needed to hold the gun carriages when the war resumed in the following spring; so they killed and ate what dogs they could find. Then came a few squirrels. Gotten out of winter quarters, berries, bark, some of the leather hinges from the cartridge boxes, some of the harnesses, and bridles from the horses.

    Diseases set in: diphtheria; tuberculosis; typhus, smallpox, fevers of various kinds; pneumonia. They began to die. February, they were dying at the rate of 16 and 18 a day. In the middle of the dying, an anonymous Valley Forge soldier managed to smuggle into the Pennsylvania packet that daily Philadelphia paper, right under the noses of the occupying British Army, the following little notice, "The enemy grows weaker every day, while we grow stronger." With the assistance of heaven, in the valor of our worthy General, we shall soon drive these plunderers out of our land. You read that and you think how in heaven's name could he say that when they are dying like flies 18 miles up in Valley Forge. You began to think about what creates strength inside us human beings. The British were enjoying brandy by the warm fire sides of Philadelphia, indulging themselves with all kinds of foods and enjoying the lovely young ladies of Philadelphia and Gala fetes and banquets on the weekends. While 18 miles away our men were literally starving to death. The other one does not even have to be a Christian believer to understand that when you and I indulge ourselves, give in to the demands of our flesh life, we do in fact grow weaker every day. On the other hand, when we put the will of God first in our lives and we live according to the impelling vision, that he can give us if we truly want to do his will more than anything else in life. That there is an inner strength that begins to be built into us. One does not even have to be a Christian to understand this. The United States Marine Corps has been built upon this principle and it works. The men at Valley Forge, ladies and gentlemen, had a vision. A vision of a nation free, not freedom in the modern American sense of that word; not the freedom to go out and get AIDS; not the freedom to do whatever you want to do when you want to do it; not the freedom just to live obsessed with the pursuit of comfortable living. The dream of American Freedom they had was not make all the money you can. Two cars in the garage. Send the kids through college and live long enough to enjoy your grandchildren. It was a lot deeper than that. A vision that was so compelling, they were willing to literally stay and lay down their lives at Valley Forge. Almost 3,000 men lie buried there, that sacred piece of American soil.

    What kind of freedom? Perhaps best summed up by President Andrew Jackson in his farewell address. My Tennessee grandmother used to tell me I was distantly related to him, and I wear that probably. Andrew Jackson was not just a profane old warhorse in a wonderful Christian life, by the name of Rachel who happened to be Presbyterian on ahead; but she brought him to a deep faith in Christ in his later years. The last public statement he made to joint session of congress, he said, "You have the highest of human trust committed to your care. Providence has showered on this favored land, blessings without number. It has chosen you as the guardians of freedom to preserve it for the benefit of the human race. May he who holds in his hands the destinies of nations, make you worthy of the favors he has bestowed, and enable you with pure hearts and hands; and sleepless vigilance to guard and defend to the end of time the great charge, he has committed to your keeping." That sums it up, rather well, do not you think? Their understanding of freedom was different from ours these days. They had a vision of a nation that had a call of God on it. That was why they were willing to stay. America was not founded in 1776 folks. I get awfully tired of hearing that even from conservatives. It was birthed back in 1620. It is over 350 years old.

    The foundations were laid at Plymouth, Massachusetts by a hearty band of ordinary English Yeoman and farmers who loved the Lord Jesus Christ with all their hearts. They had a vision. Actually, a vision that goes back a long time before that. In fact, if you really want to talk about America's foundations and what this republic is all about, you have got to go back to the year 1315. In North Africa, what we called Algeria today, in the port of Bushi, a very famous European missionary by the name of Raymond Lulli. He was a Franciscan Friar, an incredible saint of God. Eighty years old he was now, begged by his superiors to retire in pietistic comfort. He refused that and went on one last missionary journey to the Muslims of North Africa to win them to the Holy Faith. The Muslims would have none of it, and finally stoned him and left him to die in the Town Square alone one day. Now just by coincidence of course, it so happened there were two merchants in Port from Genoa, what would become Italy. They were trading with the Muslims, had finished their business for about to sail home, when they heard that this blessed saint of God had been stoned to death; and they rushed to the square to pick him up. He was clinging to life by a thread. They took him back to the ship, wade anchor, and set sail for home; but he winds of the Mediterranean blow them off course. They fetched up off the island of Majorca, which just coincidentally of course happened to be a Raymond Lulli's birthplace. The Lord had blown him home to see the place of his birth before he died. What you heard that is where they were. He asked to see the island. They brought him up on deck and lifted him up over the ships railing; so he could see. With the last strengthen his body, he pointed to the western horizon and said, "Beyond the sea that washes this continent, we know there lies another continent. We have never seen who is natives are ignorant of the gospel of Christ. Send men there and he died."
Two merchants were kneeling beside him and heard those dying words. One of those two men went back to his home in Genoa, and told this story over and over to his children and his grandchildren. It passed down through his family from generation to generation. Folks, that man's name was Stefano Colombo, Stephen Columbus. He was the ancestor of Christopher Columbus. Little Christopher grew up hearing from his Granddaddy and his father over and over, "Send men there." You see, Christopher means bearer of Christ. It is a beautiful name. It is been a lot of Columbus bashing in 1992 and prior in America the last several years. Make no mistake; it has nothing whatsoever to do with the character of Christopher Columbus. The real hidden agenda is the rejection of the Judaeo-Christian values of Western Civilization. That is the real agenda. What modern Americans do not know, because we have totally lost touch with our heritage in this nation, even many of us conservative Christian Americans are totally unaware of the real beginnings of this Republic. How many of you for example, heard these words in grade school from Christopher Columbus' own journal. "It was the Lord who put it into my mind. I could feel his hand upon me." The fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the end of these. All I heard of my project rejected with laughter ridiculing me and taught us that in school.

    Here is the next sentence. "There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit, because he comforted me with rays of marvelous inspiration from the Holy Scriptures." I bet they did not teach you that in grade school. "For the execution of the journey to the Indies, I did not make use of intelligence, mathematics, or maps. It is simply the fulfillment of what Isaiah had prophesied." You see Christopher Columbus, tall, well-built, a ruddy complexion, blond hair that turned completely white by the age of 30; perhaps because of all the years of rejection and trial he went through. The aquiline nose, piercing blue eyes, and a presence that is contemporary said reminded them of what it must have been like to be an old Roman senator. He was self-taught, a voracious reader taught himself Latin; taught himself Castilian, the court language of educated Spaniards. He was a brilliant Bible scholar, and a student of prophecy thoroughly soaked in the books of Isaiah, Daniel, and Revelation. The burning zeal and Christopher Columbus is hard in 1492 was not to find a trade route to the Indies, so much as to bring the gospel of Christ into the Western Hemisphere as he put it. He believed that Christ had called him to quote, "Bear the Light of Christ West to the Heathen of undiscovered lands." He was a missionary explorer. That is why he planted a huge cross on the beach at San Salvador and christened that first discovery as Holy Savior.

    In an age when it was customary for discovers to name their discoveries after their backers, for only obvious political reasons; but Columbus named that first piece of land after our savior. You see, he wrote a letter to the pope in 1502, between voyages three and four, asking permission to hand pick a number of priests whom he would personally trained for world evangelism. The reason of the gold in the Caribbean was not for his personal gain; but to finance one last, holy crusade to take the Holy Land back from the Muslims, for Christian Europe; and to actually rebuild the temple on its site in Jerusalem. That was what burned in his heart. He had one fatal flaw, like we all do. A center like the rest of us, one fatal flaw. That was he demanded to be the administrator, governor of all the land he would discover and his governorship of the Caribbean was a disaster. There was no grace for that. It was not God's will for his life, and he botched it badly. He became obsessed with finding the gold not for himself at his own game, but for noble ends. You see, he fell into the trap any of us can and sometimes do fall into. Believing that the end justify the means. When we begin to use sinful means to try to accomplish God's ends, it does not work. It did not work for Columbus either. Enslave some of the Indians when Ferdinand and Isabella, the Christian king and queen of Spain. Isabella was a marvelous sight of God, when they heard of it; they gave orders immediately that these Indians be released. We have been sold a bill of goods though about this pristine idyllic paradise in the Caribbean that was supposedly invaded by the three tiny ships in 90 men. That is an invasion. I hope they are not trying to tell us something.

    The idea these days that somehow everything down there was a paradise is utter foolishness. Carib Indians, from which we get the word Caribbean, were not environmentally sensitive, recycling noble family types of folks. They were recyclers, alright! As a matter of fact, they were cannibals. They were recycling the local Arawaks. Everywhere they found them, they were literally munching their way through the tribe. The Arawaks greeted Columbus and his men as saviors which in fact, they really were. They preserved the Arawak tribe from total extinction at the hands of their enemies, the Caribs. We have a lot to learn about our heritage. The point is, this man Columbus had a vision of a new world based on the gospel of Christ, a vision to bring the gospel into the Western Hemisphere and create a new society based on it. That vision was very much intact when the pilgrims bumped land on Cape Cod about 10 miles down the beach from our house. I live in Cape Cod where it all started. They arrived November 20th 1620. Our house was not there then; but all of us were taught in school of course, that the pilgrims came to America for freedom of worship or religious freedom, right? That is not true. That is flatly false. The simple truth folks is they already had it. The average loss of life in a North Atlantic crossing in the sixteen hundred was 50% of the ship's company, the average laws. The pilgrims brought the women and the children with them. There were three pregnant women on the Mayflower.

    Now, you either have to be totally out of your mind to take those kinds of risks, or you have to know that you are in the center of God's will. You see they had a vision. A vision of a new society based on God's word. The only one in all of human history, so conceived. That is what makes America so utterly unique. God has a call on this nation. Many more of your forefathers that you have not have any idea. Unless you have done this research, we are completely aware of that call. The pilgrims were not a bunch of religious refugees thrown up on the rocky shores of New England. They knew exactly what they were about. They said that the Lord Christ himself had called them to America to quote, "Propagate the gospel among the Indians", which they did by the way. They had a 50-year unbroken peace treaty with the Indians under Massasoit, the Wampanoag there at Plymouth. Listen to this, to become themselves stepping stones for the furtherance of the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth. They were missionaries folks, not refugees. You see, they had a vision that human beings are not doomed to have to live together raping, murdering, and plundering one another. That God has a better way. They had experience in their own personal lives that we are through faith in Jesus Christ, one lets the power, of that man sacrifice on the cross of Calvary, the blood that was shed for every human being who will come to him by faith and take him as Lord and Savior. Where you let, the power of that blood change your heart. That you are given there by a whole new relationship with God, so that no longer does he need to be a judge to be feared or avoided; but he becomes a loving, forgiving, healing Heavenly Father.

    They discovered something else equally important, that the same power of that sacrifice on Calvary's Cross 2000 years ago, has the power to give each of us, who will receive it, new relationships with our fellow human beings. That we do not have to live together, divided by the sin barriers that we naturally erect; barriers of race, barriers of unforgiveness, barriers of hate, barriers of intellect, pride, education, of money, all the other wrong ways, we divide ourselves from each other. They had experience in their own personal lives something that is so simple that we overlooked it. They knew that there could be a society with liberty and justice for every soul, because they had simply experienced that reality in their own lives. That there can be mercy, compassion, and justice among human beings, ordinary human beings of any society at any point on this planet, at any time in world history. Provided enough people in that society, will base their lives on the biblical principles of self-government, what God has given us in his word. In short, we Americans have something to prove. Which is simply this that the gospel of Christ works. That God's word does in fact have the power to change human beings. We are the only nation in all human history so conceived, with one small exception. The first Dutch into South Africa at the same vision. Like the South Africans, we Americans have not always lived up to our ideals; but those ideals are real. Unlike the South Africans, we and only we have had the opportunity to fully develop those ideals into a whole system of government. Although, I must add it is not finished. You see the declaration of independence, the only governmental charter in world history deliberately at based on Holy Scripture and announced to the rest of the world, the only one, is never finished. It is a call, a charter. America is a divine experiment in self-government. It is never over. The last chapters have not been written. It is an ongoing experiment. As Abraham Lincoln put it, and dedicating the national cemetery at Gettysburg in the fall of 1863. At the seminal issue of the Civil War boiled down to this, whether government of the people, by the people, and for the people should not perish from the face of the Earth. I would proclaim to you this morning in Williamsburg, Virginia, that is still the issue in America this morning.

    You see, the day the declaration of Independence was voted; July 2nd, '76 was signed on the fourth. Sam Adams from Massachusetts, a fiery patriot, so much had he been a spokesman for independence; by the way, when the war had broken out in Massachusetts the previous year the British had begun to refer to it as Mr. Adams' War holding a person responsible. What Americans do not know about Sam Adams and the rest of our founding fathers is that he was a magnificent Christian. He wrote a tract widely read by the colonist before the war called the 'Rights of the Colonists as Christians'. In it Sam Adams said, "The rights of the colonists as Christians may be best understood by reading and carefully studying the New Testament." Founding fathers did not believe folks that civil rights come from the federal government. God knows, not even the Supreme Court Branch of the federal government, but they come from God himself. Our fathers were quite clear about that. Sam Adams close the day's proceedings after the most important vote ever taken on this continent, by standing to his feet and speaking into that stunned silence these words, "We have this day restored the Sovereign, capital S, to whom alone men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven, and from the rising to the setting sun made his kingdom come." That was no political rebellion. They were looking for the coming of God's Kingdom on these shores. By the way, they had slapped on themselves and requirement of unanimity. If any stated voted against independence, they would not declare it. Now, if you are waiting political rebellion, majority vote will do just fine. Anything to get the job done, right? Not this time. Requirement of unanimity proves they were not hasty, nor were they in rebellion. Now, George Washington was not a deist. As a matter of fact, almost none of the founding fathers were deists. That is humanist lies that we have all swallowed. George Washington was a towering prayer warrior raised by a devout Christian mother when he left Mount Vernon, as a young 23 year-old Colonel, gentleman. There are not any 23 year-old Colonels in the United States Army today, I can assure you. He was a brilliant commander, by the way. There is a lot of propaganda and humanist mythology about Washington that needs to be pierced through. There is not a shred of evidence to back up the charges that he was a philanderer or an adulterer. As a matter of fact, those were rumors deliberately planted by the British army everywhere they went during the war for independence. There is no truth to it. I would challenge you to prove it. If you believe those lies, I do not think you can prove it. It is slander.

    The University of Houston, a secular political science department, did a 10-year survey of the most important quotes from the bowels of the founding fathers. They started with over 15,000, boiled it down to 1534, I think it was; and analyze them as to their sources. To nobody's surprise, they found that the fathers most often quoted John Locke, Sir William Blackstone, and Baron Montesquieu, the first to the English Christian philosophers of civil government, the third Frenchman of the same; but here was the shock. They found the fathers quoted the Bible four times more often than all three of those men combined. Furthermore, of the most important quotes in the founding of the nation around that period of time, the fathers quoted Holy Scripture themselves 34% of the time, and 60% of the time, they were quoting other people quoting Holy Scriptures. 94% of the most important quotes, in those two decades, 1770s and 80s for the father, are either directly or indirectly putting the word of God. 94%. The humanist wants you to believe the Bible never played a very important role in American history. Patrick Henry, great Virginian. I have got to quote this in the state of Virginia, magnificent founding father, author of course of the 'Give me Liberty' or 'Give me Death speech'. What Americans do not know about Patrick Henry, he was not only a Virginian? He was a Baptist. He was a lawyer. He was a true servant of Jesus Christ, a deeply spiritual man. In his will Patrick Henry wrote out; this is one of the entries in our Glory of America calendar that is November 18th, he said this after he parceled out his estate, "This is all the inheritance I can give to my wife and my dear family; but the religion of Jesus Christ will give them an inheritance which will make them rich indeed."

    One of Patrick Henry's greatest statements was this, "America was not founded by religionists nor on any religion, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ." How is that for a blunt statement from the founding fathers? Founded directly on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You can go on and on. John Adams, our second president said our constitution was designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other. No wonder we are in trouble. No wonder we have gridlock in Washington. Our very political institutions cease to work when the people lose the biblical base for our life together. You see, we Americans have entered into, whether we know it or not and most of us do not know it anymore, we have entered into a national Covenant with God. The old Puritan of New England believed that God not only makes covenants with individuals, but he also makes covenants with nations. This nation has a call on it. We are not here by accident. We have something to prove to the rest of the world.

    Lincoln said America is called a 'Beacon of Hope' to all men of all time to come. That there can be a society with liberty and justice for all. That is not a pipe dream. It is not crazy Christian idealism. It is not pie in the sky and the sweet by and by. It is doable and workable, because God does change the hearts of people. We are not here by accident. It is not a bit coincidental that God has brought people to America from every part of the Earth. You see, we are supposed to be living proof that any people, at any part of this planet, can put these biblical principles to work; and they will work for them because they are universally applicable. They were not written in East St. Louis. just for white Anglo Americans. They were written for every human being, and they will work for every human being; because they are written by the Creator who understands every human being. That is what we are about. It is not over yet, not by a long shot. We have got a long way to go. James Madison, Chief Architect of our constitution, another great Virginian, our fourth president said this, "We have staked the whole of our political institutions on the capacity of mankind to govern themselves according to the Ten Commandments of God. The whole thing is staked by the fathers on the capacity of ordinary human beings like you and me. To govern ourselves according to God's Commandments." Is there any evidence that God supernaturally intervened in American history? I want to tell you one more story this morning. The first to give you the December 28th quote from this calendar, another Virginian, "On this date in 1856, December 28th President Woodrow Wilson was born in Staunton, Virginia, up in the valley. He once forcefully declared a nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, or what it is trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing, if we do not remember where we came from or what we have been about." Exactly right. Bible says if the foundations be destroyed, what shall the righteous do? I have got two answers for that question. First, we must recover the original American Vision. Then secondly, we must put into practice God's formula for healing and restoration in his word and such verses as second Chronicles 7:14, oft-quoted, seldom lived. It goes like this, "If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves before we get humbled; and will pray and seek my face", which is more than just showing up in church on Sundays; and thirdly most importantly, "If they will turn from their Wicked Ways, yours and mine, then our God promises. Listen, I will hear from Heaven. I will forgive their sin, and I will heal their land." It is not going to happen just through political power. We desperately need to be involved, because this is a Divine experiment in self-government which demands the involvement of every citizen by definition; but it is more than that. It is deeper than that. Unless there is a deeper repentance and a seeking out God's mercy and Grace, on the part of the American citizenry who believe in him, is really no hope. That is the key. Let me tell you this story, and then we will draw a couple of quick conclusions. One illustration of so many, from our books, our research; wish I had three or four hours to just tell you stories. Let me tell you one. August 27th, 1776, Brooklyn Heights New York, the Continental Army is trapped beyond repair. Entire British Army across our front backed into a cul-de-sac a semicircle with our backs to the East River there is no escape.

    I do not know how many of you have ever thought about it; but our forefathers had no remote human chance to win the war for independence. It was not physically possible. We were outgunned, out manned, out supplied, and now General with the exception of Washington, Benedict, Arnold, and a few other brilliant commanders, the British Army and Navy with a finest fighting force in the world highly trained, highly skilled, highly disciplined, highly motivated; we never had a chance. Eleven thousand American troops, up against over 21,000 crack British Army regulars. Five thousand of our men, five regiments were raw recruits from the state of Connecticut, hastily assembled by Patriot Governor Jonathan Trumbull upon urgent plea from General Washington. They had not had one hour of drill. They fought like tigers that was hopeless from the start. Middle of the afternoon, August 27th, the end is nigh. Backed into the semicircle, trapped and surrounded. All the British had to do was mount one final charge, and it would have been all over. Washington, his staff, and the entire Army would have had to surrender. By this point after I fiercely fought battle, 1500 of our men were down, dead, and wounded. Another 1500 taken prisoner. We had only 8,000 effectives. Now, in the middle of the afternoon in late August in New York, you have got maybe four or five hours of daylight left they had plenty of time. For some reason nobody has ever explained, they never mounted the final charge. They backed off and did nothing, disengaged. Pulled back, both armies posted sentries. Darkness fell, still nothing happened. The next morning it began to rain, a cold hard pelting Nor'easter it was. Driven by a stiff Northeast wind. If you know your geography in New York City, the British Fleet lay at anchor Southwest down the East River two miles, waiting for the wind to shift; so they could sail up the river and complete the encirclement. With the British man-of-war, their broadsides at the back of our army, we would have had no choice but to surrender; but there was a stiff Northeast wind against them all day. They could not move. Washington called his staff together in the afternoon, and said I have a plan. We are going to evacuate the army back the way we have come. He meant back by small boat across the one mile to the tip of what is now Manhattan. His officers argued with him. They said, "It is impossible. It cannot be done. Better to sell our lives in the trenches and take as many of them with us as we can." He said, "No, my mind is made up. You draw up the plans for the evacuation. As soon as you are ready, we begin." Well, it took them several hours to get ready, and the evacuation began under cover of the storm. Not just by coincidence of course, the last regiments for the battle two days earlier were men from the North Shore of Massachusetts Bay. Minutemen, from sail on a marble head. They had been raised in small boats. They were expert oarsman. Washington put them at the oars, because they knew how to dip the oars in and out of the water without a wash, without a sound. You see that became critically important, because two hours into the evacuation, the storm died down. The wind ceased. The moon came out on a hot still, absolutely quiet August Night. Sound travels extremely well over water. If the British Marines on board the ships two miles downriver caught the sounds of rowing, they would have launched the longboats and captured the whole Army; but they never heard a thing all night. The real miracle though happened at dawn. What happened then is recorded in both armies' diaries; but Major Ben Tallmadge on our side tells it best. Ben Tallmadge wrote, "As the eastern sky began to lighten from black to purple, streaks of red and orange. Just as the light began to rise, every American eye was anxiously upon the Eastern Horizon." Why? Because several thousand troops were still left on the Brooklyn Shore waiting evacuation. They knew as soon as it got light enough for the British to see, they would all be captured. Tallmadge wrote, "Just as the light rose, a dense fog rose out of the earth." I recall this peculiar intervention of Divine Providence perfectly well. He said, "The fog hung like a blanket. On the area of the British lines, the American lines, the Brooklyn shore, and a corridor of fog across the East River to the tip of Manhattan. We tarried until late morning". He wrote continuing the evacuation under cover of the fog gets even better at the very end. Tallmadge tells us the fog rose at precisely the moment the last boatload of American soldiers left the Brooklyn Shore. The British Century saw what was happening, ran down to the shore to fire a couple of fetal musket shots after the last boat load. The rounds fell short because they were just out of range. 8,000 men got away, scot-free. Two men were captured. They stayed behind loot the baggage, the army had to leave. They were taken. Rightfully so, the British wrote in their diaries, "The hand of God is against us." Americans knew whom to thank. Washington, Road Brigadier General Nelson, he must be worse than an Infidel that lacks faith to express his obligations; He said that, "Time will suffice later for me to become preacher when my present appointment ceases. Therefore, I shall have no more on the doctrine of providence at this moment. Hand of God, I believe so.

    Well, let us sum it up this morning. There is much more, but here are some pieces of the evidence that America is a Divine experiment in self-government. You see, what Madison said, "We have staked the whole of our political institutions on the capacity of mankind to govern themselves according to the Ten Commandments." You know what that tells us in this room this morning? And this is where you come in. The restoration and healing which America so desperately needs can never come from the top down. You see, this is government of the people, by the people, and for the People. By definition, the healing and restoration of America will never come out of Washington, DC. It cannot. It has to come from the bottom up, because we are supposed to be living proof, but ordinary sinful people can govern themselves according to God's word. We have a representative government. The locus of power is in the hands of the ordinary citizenry. That is the whole point. We loan the power of governments to our duly elected representatives, if they abuse it, we take it back; and redistribute it carefully. That is what it is all about. Therefore, the only hope for this nation and especially ought we to understand that now in this room, the only hope for this nation is a grass roots revival; and renewal from the bottom up. That is where we come in. That is what we have got to get back to. You see, it is more than just political involvement. It is a recapturing of the original vision, and a recapturing of those old kinds of relationships with God for our fathers hurting clearly about the call on America. The original vision given to Columbus, the pilgrims, the men at Valley Forge, the men in what we call Independence Hall in 1776, and many thereafter. Let me give you just a couple of quotes and we close. Sam Adams again, "A general dissolution of the principles and matters will most surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous, they cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader. Virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people. They were never be enslaved. This will be their great security." President Calvin Coolidge, mentioned him last night, "The foundations of our society in our government rests so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them; if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country." President Harry Truman. This will surprise you, coming from old Harry. Listen to this, "The basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get from Exodus, St. Matthew, Isaiah, and St. Paul. If we do not have a proper fundamental background, we will finally end up with a government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state." How do you like that? Thomas Jefferson said, "Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure, when we remove their only firm basis, conviction in the minds of the people, that these liberties are the gift of God." Lincoln said, "The only assurance of our nation's safety is to lay our foundation in morality and religion." Sam West from Massachusetts puts it this way to the Massachusetts provincial Congress when the war broke out in 1775, "Our cause is so just and good that nothing can prevent our success, but only our sins." Could I see a spirit of repentance and reformation prevails throughout the land? I should not have the least apprehension or fear of being brought under the iron rod of slavery, even though all the powers of the globe were combined against us. Though, I confess that there is religion and profaneness which is so common among us gives something of a damp to my spirits yet. I cannot help hoping, and even believing the providence has designed this continent for to be the Asylum of Liberty and true religion. Lastly, America the Beautiful, or so you used to be. Land of the Pilgrims Pride, I hope they never see babies piled in dumpsters, abortion on demand. Sweet land of liberty, your house is on the sand. People wander aimlessly, poisoned by cocaine, choosing to indulge when God said to abstain. From sea to shining sea, our country turns away from the teaching of God's word in the need to always pray. Phony TV pastors telling lies about our rock saying God is going broke so they can fleece the flock. We voted in a government that is rotting at the core, appointing Godless judges who throw reason out the door. Too soft to place the killer in his well-deserved tomb; but brave enough to kill the child before he leaves the womb. You think God is not angry that our lands immoral slum. How much evil will we watch before his kingdom comes? How are we to face Our God from whom we cannot hide? What is left for us to do to stem this evil time? If we who are called, but humbly turn and pray, if we would seek his holy face, leave our evil way; then God would hear from heaven and forgive us of our sin and heal our sickly land and those who live within. America the Beautiful if you do not, then you will see a sad but holy God withdraw his hand from thee. Amen. Thank you for listening this morning, and may God bless us all the days ahead.

Crossing the delaware-min

James madison-min


General washington comission-min

deleration of independence-min

signing of constitution-min

washington at valley forge-min