copyright, 1997-Apocalypse Productions
Part 2-The American Colonies-1491 to 1776
HISTORY QUIZ-Who or what are the above pictures?-(Click pictures for answers.)
Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.-Psalms 127:1
As we had mentioned earlier, the Spanish, thanks to Christopher Columbus, were the first to set up colonies in the new world in the 16th century, concentrating mostly on the search for gold in Central and South America. Following their example, the French would also begin exploring, going much further north and trying to find a waterway through the Hudson River area of Canada.
English exploration was limited until 1585, when Sir Walter Raleigh tried to set up a colony in North America unsuccessfully. In 1588 the Spanish Armada was defeated by England and this opened the Atlantic Ocean for English exploration to truly begin.
The first permanent settlement was attempted when a group who called themselves the Virginia Company petitioned King James I for permission to colonize the New World. The king's response was direct and to the point that the purpose of this colony was to be for the....
"propagating of the Christian religion to such people as yet live in darkness and miserable ignorance of the true knowledge and worship of God, and may in time bring the infidels and savages, living in these parts, to human civility and to a settled and quiet government."
Thus the first English settlement in the New World was for a specific purpose, for the spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In 1607 the Jamestown settlement was begun. The first English clergyman to claim North America for Jesus Christ was Robert Hunt, the pastor in charge of this settlement. A direct descendant of Robert Hunt is Pat Robertson, who has set up a massive Christian complex in this same part of eastern America today.
Robert Hunt died in 1609, giving his life for the spread of the gospel of Christ in America. His memorial tells best of the sentiments of his fellow colonists and also of how this Christian lived and served his Lord.
"He was an honest, religious and courageous Divine; he preferred the service of God to every thought of ease at home. He endured every privation, yet none ever heard him repine. During his life, our factions were oft healed and our greatest extremities so comforted that they seemed easy in comparison with what we endured after his memorable death. We all received from him the Holy Communion together as a pledge of reconciliation, for we all loved him for his exceeding goodness. He planted the first Protestant church in America, and laid down his life in the foundation of Virginia."
The Virginia Company widely advertised Jamestown as a chance for men to spread the gospel in able to obtain help for this project. The method most widely used was the printing press. One such printing, called "A True and Sincere Declaration" reads as follows.
"Our principal and main ends were first to preach and baptize into Christian religion, and by propagation of the Gospel, to recover out of the arms of the Devil, a number of poor and miserable souls, wrapt up unto death in almost invincible ignorance; to endeavor the fulfilling and accomplishment of the number of the elect which shall be gathered from out all corners of the earth; and to add our mite to the treasury of Heaven."
In spite of the beautiful picture painted by the Virginia Company, however, the real reason for this venture was soon to come to light as three satanic strongholds were brought into the American colonies by the real motives for the Virginia Company's desire to colonize America. The first of these are described in....
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. -I Timothy 6:10
The stories of gold in America were the true driving force behind the founding of the Jamestown colony. Thus this spiritual stronghold would become a bitter enemy of the gospel early on in the colonization of America, just as it had with the Spanish in the south and with the French in the north. The love of money is still the major force opposing the love of God in America today.
For this reason, God would not allow Jamestown to prosper, but instead their early years are filled with hunger, privations, wars, plagues, and even cannibalism. It mattered not how many men the Virginia Company sent from England, within a short time half their number would die, as planting, building, and the spread of the gospel took a back seat to the never-ending search for gold.
Finally, in 1610, the few colonists left decide to give up and return home to England, they are suddenly rescued as a new shipload of colonists, including several ministers of the gospel arrived to save the day. Colonist William Crashaw tells of the sudden turn of events that saved this colony.
"If God had not sent Sir Thomas Gates from the Bermudas within four days they had all been famished. If God had not directed the heart of that worthy Knight to save the fort from fire. If they had set sail sooner. 'Brachium Domini': this was the arm of the Lord of Hosts!"
However, even with God giving them such a wondrous miracle to preserve them in the new world, the love of money continued to plague them until, in 1619, a second stronghold of Mystery Babylon was introduced into the Jamestown colony. This particular problem is listed with much of the merchandise that this evil system has made use of down through the ages.
And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.-Revelation 18:13
In 1619 a Dutch sailing ship docked at Jamestown and traded slaves, freshly stolen from Africa, for some needed provisions. The stronghold of slavery would take such a power over America, that over two hundred years later, thousands would die in the Civil War that finally had to be fought to free the black Americans from this evil system.
It is also in 1619 that the third stronghold of Mystery Babylon finds its way into this early American colony. It is in this year that tobacco cultivation began as a new cash crop for Jamestown. Thus addiction now becomes a part of American life and addictions of all kinds still enslave millions of Americans today. It matters not what substance you abuse, the results are always the same and tragic for all who fall victim to it, as the Apostle Paul explains in....
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. -I Corinthians 6:19-20
This cash crop became such a success for Jamestown that it soon replaced gold as the major impediment for the spread of the gospel in the new world. A good example of this is found in a discussion that took place in 1622 between James Blair the president of the newly founded William and Mary College and General Edward Seymour concerning the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the colony. When Blair mentioned that the colonies of Virginia had many souls that needed to be saved, Seymour responded simply, "Souls? Damn your souls! Make tobacco!"
God is just however. The Virginia Company would finally go bankrupt after all its efforts to make merchandise of the gospel. Thus the first English colony in America, like all the others who colonized before it, had two spiritual forces battling within its midst. The love of God wars with the love of money, which is now joined by her two sisters; slavery and addiction. America still staggers under this same battle today. Pray that the love of God will once again take the precedence that it had in the earlier days of our nation.
THE PLYMOUTH COLONY
As we take this time to follow the history of our Christian American forefathers, I can't help but note the key difference between the two early English colonies, Jamestown given to the love of money, and Plymouth based upon the love of God.
At the time that the Jamestown colony was just beginning in America, two groups were striving to cleanse the Church of England of many of the Mystery Babylon doctrines that had infiltrated the body of Christ in this part of the world. One of the groups that were dedicated to purifying the Church of England was called the Puritans. Another group that had given up on this idea and decided to become one of an ever-increasing number of Separatists movements of the day, leaving the Church of England altogether was called the Pilgrims.
In 1606 the Pilgrims were first formed under the leadership of William Brewster in Scrooby, England. As more people left the Church of England, the clergy appealed for King James to do something to stop this growing problem. He would finally reply to this request in the following manner.
"Let it be known that I, King James I of England and her sovereign lands, in the year of our Lord 1608, do hereby condemn those separatists who refuse to adhere to the ritual and discipline of the Church of England. Let them take heed: I will make them conform, or else I will force them out of the land, or do worse!"
Here again, we see the distinct difference between the gospel of Jesus Christ and the church-state oppression of Mystery Babylon. Based on this action, the Pilgrims moved from England to Holland. Some years later, William Bradford would describe this time and the decisions they faced.
"It is well known unto the Godly and judicious, since the first breaking out of the light of the Gospel in our honorable nation of England, what wars and oppositions ever since, Satan hath raised, maintained and continued against the saints. Sometime by bloody death and cruel torments, otherwise imprisonments, banishments and other hard usages, as being loathe that his kingdom should go down, the truth prevail, and the churches of God revert to their ancient purity and recover their primitive order, liberty, and beauty."
At this point in time, Pastor John Robinson, along with other leaders, discussed the possibility of moving to America, but the horror stories of what was happening at that time in Jamestown made them decide against such action. However, as time passed, the Holy Scriptures that they had taken their name from began to exert its influence more and more into their lives.
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. -I Peter 2:11-12
It would be Pastor John Robinson who would articulate the growing desire among this small band of Christians.
"Now as the people of God in old time were called out of Babylon civil, the place of their bodily bondage, and were to come to Jerusalem, and there to build the Lord's temple, or tabernacle, so are the people of God now to go out of Babylon spiritual to Jerusalem and to build themselves as lively stones into a spiritual house, or temple, for the Lord to dwell in."
It would be some years later that the Pilgrims, after much prayer and soul-searching, came to the conclusion that God wanted them to be used as a "stepping-stone for others, in the carrying forth of the gospel of Christ to remote parts of the world".
At this point, they contacted the Virginia Company in England and one hundred and two of the Pilgrims left in 1620 to start a settlement in America. After many weeks of extreme hardship and storms, the ship called the Mayflower arrived far north of their destination. When this was realized, the Pilgrims, now under the leadership of William Bradford, formulated the Mayflower compact which would be the basis for the government of this new colony.
"Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and the advancement of the Christian faith and honor of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these present solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic; for our better ordering, 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."
Many years later, William Bradford, who would become governor of the Plymouth colony, would write the definitive history of their experiences entitled "Of Plymouth Plantation". Speaking of the many hardships that they would face during these early colonial days, he stated,
"But these things did not dismay them (though they sometimes trouble them) for their desires were set on the ways of God, and to enjoy His ordinances; but they rested on His Providence and knew whom they had believed."
Indeed it was the faith of these early founding fathers that would light a torch that would someday shine around the earth. In spite of their hardships, they would be remembered as an example of what true Christian faith is about. The Apostle Paul said it best.
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.-Hebrews 11:13-16
The Pilgrims reached Plymouth in November of 1620. In those days, there was a mistaken belief in England that the seasons were reversed in the New World. Because of this, the Pilgrims left in August, believing that they would reach the New World in the spring. Instead, they arrived just as winter was about to begin.
As soon as they landed, they began to build shelters against the coming winter. Weakened by their long voyage, sickness began to take its toll. By December, many began to die from pneumonia and consumption.
"The Pilgrims started dying. There were six dead in December, eight in January. They were falling like casualties on a battlefield. And in a sense, that is what they were: locked in a life-or-death struggle with Satan himself. For this was the first time that the Light of Christ had landed in force on this continent, and if he did not throw them back into the sea at the beginning, there would be reinforcements."
The situation soon went from bad to worse. By the time that spring finally did arrive, of the one hundred and two Pilgrims that had set out on the voyage, only fifty-five were still alive.
One day in March, 1621 an Indian walked into their compound, approached the Pilgrims, and addressed them in perfect English. As the startled settlers soon learned, his name was Samoset and he was the chief of the Agoquins tribe. He had learned English from the various sea captains that his tribe had traded with over the years. He told the Pilgrims of the Patuxets, a fierce tribe that had lived for many years on the land that the Pilgrims now occupied. The Patuxets had been wiped out by a plague shortly before the Pilgrims had come. After a short visit, Samoset left promising to return soon.
A week later, Samoset would return with another Indian. This Indian was the sole survivor of the Patuxets and his name was Squanto. Squanto had also worked years earlier with Captain John Smith from the Jamestown settlement. Squanto was later enslaved and taken to England by Captain George Weymouth. While in England, Squanto had stayed with a group of friars, who had taught him the English language and the Christian faith. It was while Squanto was in England that his tribe was destroyed by the plague. Finally he returned to Plymouth where he then lived with the Wampanoag tribe, heartbroken over the loss of his people.
When Squanto learned from Samoset about the Pilgrims, he decided that God had given him a new family, and stayed with the Pilgrims, teaching them the ways of hunting, fishing, and farming in the New World. With the help of this godsend, the Pilgrims began to flourish at Plymouth, and finally in November, 1621, one year after their arrival, they invited the Wampanoags to a great feast, giving thanks to God for their preservation in this, their new home. We still celebrate this feast today in our holiday, Thanksgiving.
The goal of the Pilgrims was to leave behind the state-church system in England, and return to the New Testament Christianity found in the Bible. Thus they would be the first step in the Bible Commonwealth, a society free of the influence of Mystery Babylon that held sway over much of Europe. Thus the second permanent English settlement in America, Plymouth, was based on the love of God, as opposed to the first settlement, Jamestown, which was based on the love of money. These two powerful forces still contend for the souls of men in America today.
On June 11, 1630, John Winthrop, leader of a group of Puritans aboard a ship called the Arbella put pen to paper and characterized the bond between them. He titled it "A Model of Christian Charity".
"This love among Christians is a real thing. We are a company, professing ourselves fellow members of Christ, and thus we ought to account ourselves knit together by this bond of love. Thus stands the cause between God and us: we are entered into covenant with Him for this work. We have taken out a Commission; the Lord hath given us leave to draw our own articles. Now the only way to avoid shipwreck and to provide for our posterity, is to follow the counsel of Micah: to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God. For this end we must knit together in this work as one man. So shall we keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
The Puritans were at the same time similar to and different from their Pilgrim brethren. The Pilgrims, if you remember, had given up on the church of England and had come to America to live as the early church, free from the influence of Mystery Babylon in Europe. The Puritans, on the other hand, had determined to come to America and establish a purified church of England. Thus their methods would be quite different. For instance, within a few years of their arrival, they would establish Harvard and other schools for the express purpose of training ministers of the gospel. You must admit, this is indeed a far cry from what those schools are about today, yet another sign of our nation's turning away from the true God of heaven.
Puritan minister Increase Mather was born on June 21, 1639. When King Charles II of England demanded the return of the Massachusetts charter in 1683, this American statesman and president of Harvard carefully prepared the following reply.
"To submit and resign their charter would be inconsistent with the main end of their fathers' come to New England. Although resistance would provoke great sufferings, it is better to suffer than sin. Let them put their trust in the God of their fathers, which is better than to put confidence in princes. And if they suffer, because they dare not comply with the wills of men against the will of God, they suffer in a good cause."
It is clear to see where the revolutionary spirit of our forefathers first found root in America. These were men committed to living for God or dying in the effort. Pray that God would raise up another generation of such men and women today.
John Winthrop, who would one day be governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, concluded his landmark document, A Model of Christian Charity, with this encouragement.
"We shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when ten of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies, when He shall make us a praise and glory, that men of succeeding plantations shall say, 'The Lord make it like that of New England.' For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill."
Here, clearly again, we see our ancestors clear vision of their coming to America, not so much to set up a new secular state, but to set up a Bible Commonwealth, a nation given totally to the worship of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, with liberty and justice for all!
Puritan leader Roger Sherman helped to write the Declaration of Independence and served in the United States Congress. His tombstone reads as follows.
"He ever adorned the profession of Christianity which he made in youth; and, distinguished through life for public usefulness, died in the prospect of a blessed mortality."
Time and again we see the witness of these people coming down to us from the ages past. They were a people totally given to the worship of their God. Jonathan Edwards described the first Puritan church in America as follows,
"Although the number of the faithful people of Christ were but few, yet their longing desire to gather into a church was very great. Having fasted and prayed with humble acknowledgment of their own unworthiness to be called of Christ to so worthy a work, they joined together in a holy Covenant with the Lord and with one another, promising by the Lord's assistance to walk together in exhorting, admonishing and rebuking one another, and to cleave to the Lord with a full purpose of heart."
These were truly a people given into a covenant with their God. Pray that we will return one day as a nation to the God that we, as a nation, have forsaken.
Please sign our Guestbook!