FAITH BASED COUNTRY – THE U.S.A.

GOOD MORNING WORLD

One of my earlier blogs takes up the question of separation of state and church.  The fact is that this country was based on freedom of religion.  I documented that with words from the Founding Fathers and the Constitution.

I am not talking the Founding Fathers today I am talking about the Pilgrims.  They left England to get out from under the tyranny rule of the King.  Many of the Pilgrims were originally called Separatists when they left England to practice their faith and went to Leiden in the Netherlands.  They lived there for approximately 12 years and then chose to go to the New World instead of back to England where they still were not welcomed.

Imagine the courage.  They got on a boat that had never crossed an ocean.  The Speedwell the boat they took from the Netherlands leaked and all piled on the Mayflower.  The trip is documented as taking 66 days reaching Cape Cod on Nov 9, 1620.  All this history is documented on Mayflowerhistory.com.  It is fascinating.  There are many items we probably knew and have forgotten as well as maybe did not even know.

Wikipedia has a lot of info as well and says that:

The main record for the voyage of the Mayflower and the disposition of the Plymouth Colony comes from the letters and journal of William Bradford, who was a guiding force and later the governorof the colony.

Before they arrived on land they knew they were going to have a way to govern themselves.  They were different groups of people Pilgrims, Puritans and Separatists and needed to agree upon how they would live together.  They discussed this and on November 11 signed the Mayflower Compact.

From http://www.plimoth.org/learn/just-kids/homework-help/mayflower-and-mayflower-compact

The text of the Mayflower Compact:

In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France, and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith, etc.

Having undertaken for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the First Colony in the Northern Parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, Covenant and Combine ourselves together in a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France and Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini 1620.

They are in America and are establishing the country in which we now live.  It was established by faith.  It was established to live faith.  It was established by covenant!

One place I have not ever visited is Plymouth Plantation.  My folks did in a ‘parents only’ getaway when we were young kids.  Not sure where we went.  They took vacations together once a year without the two girls.  Smart people!  We got gifts!

As interesting as that will be I also want to see the National Monument to the Forefathers.  Did you know there was such a thing?  I did not until I watched a documentary.  It is on Allerton St. in Plymouth, MA.  It is in a residential neighborhood.  It simply sits there with no big fanfare.   It is not a National Landmark though it is on the U.S. Register of Historic Places.

Wikipedia does a nice job of describing it.

Located on Allerton Street in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the 81-foot-tall (25 m) monument was commissioned by the Pilgrim Society. The original concept dates to around 1820, with actual planning beginning in 1850. The cornerstone was laid August 2, 1859 by the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts, under the direction of Grand Master John T. Heard. The monument was completed in October 1888, and was dedicated with appropriate ceremonies on August 1, 1889.[3]

Hammatt Billings, Boston architect, illustrator and sculptor, originally conceived the monument as a 150-foot-tall (46 m) structure comparable to theColossus of Rhodes. Shortly before his death in 1874, Billings reduced the size of the monument, which was to be made entirely of granite. The project was then passed to Billings’ brother Joseph who, along with other sculptors including Alexander DoyleCarl Conrads, and James Mahoney, reworked the design, although the basic components remained. The monument, which faces northeast to Plymouth Harbor (and, roughly, towards Plymouth, England), sits in the center of a circular drive, which is accessed from Allerton Street from the east. The plan of the principal pedestal isoctagonal, with four small, and four large faces; from the small faces project four buttresses. On the main pedestal stands the heroic figure of “Faith” with her right hand pointing toward heaven and her left hand clutching the Bible. Upon the four buttresses also are seated figures emblematical of the principles upon which the Pilgrims founded their Commonwealth, each having a symbol referring to the Bible that “Faith” possesses; counter-clockwise from the east are Liberty, Morality, Law and Education. Each was carved from a solid block of granite, posed in the sitting position upon chairs with a high relief on either side of minor characteristics. Under “Liberty” stand “Tyranny Overthrown” and “Peace;” under “Morality” stand “Prophet” and “Evangelist;” under “Law” stand “Justice” and “Mercy;” and under “Education” are “Youth” and “Wisdom.” On the face of the buttresses, beneath these figures are high reliefs in marble, representing scenes from Pilgrim history. Under “Freedom” is “Landing;” under “Morality” is “Embarcation;” under “Law” is “Treaty;” and under “Education” is “Compact.” Upon the four faces of the main pedestal are large panels for records. The front panel is inscribed as follows: “National Monument to the Forefathers. Erected by a grateful people in remembrance of their labors, sacrifices and sufferings for the cause of civil and religious liberty.” The right and left panels contain the names of those who came over in the Mayflower. The rear panel, which was not engraved until recently, contains a quote from Governor William Bradford‘s famous history, Of Plymouth Plantation:

“Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing and gives being to all things that are; and as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation; let the glorious name of Jehovah have all praise.”

The overall scheme was designed by architect Hammatt Billings. The 36-foot figure of Faith was based on a 9-foot plaster model by William Rimmer in 1875 [4], that was enlarged and altered byJoseph Edward Billings and a sculptor named Perry (probably John D. Perry). The subsidiary statues were executed by area sculptors including Alexander DoyleCarl Conrads, and James H. Mahoney.[5]

[edit]National Register

The monument was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 30, 1974.

On this Sunday in the atmosphere that exists in this country it seemed appropriate to be reminded that God was guiding the establishment of this country.  I do not believe that He would build us and leave us alone.  God is still here though it may be hard to clearly understand where during these turbulent times.

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

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