I have enjoyed reading The Forerunner for several years now. I read the recent article on Massachusetts, and felt compelled to write a follow-up. There is much more hope and a more positive side to the history of Massachusetts than the article implies.
The Massachusetts state legislature adopted the slogan, “The Spirit of Massachusetts Is the Spirit of America,” during the Dukakis administration. Although the slogan was devised as a means to secure financial gain for the Commonwealth, it is strikingly prophetic of a spiritual reality – for good or evil, Massachusetts has been the spiritual focal point of the U.S. for the past 370 years.
The politics and ethics of the United States of America were birthed in Massachusetts … first in Plymouth, then in Boston under Governor John Winthrop. The spiritual climate of the entire nation was greatly affected by Massachusetts. The most significant event of the 1700s, barring the Revolution, was the Great Awakening which was sparked in a tiny Northampton Church pastored by Jonathan Edwards.
The World Missions Movement also had its beginning in a prayer meeting under a haystack near Williamstown, Massachusetts. Adoniram Judson and the first missionaries from America set sail from the port of Salem in 1812. In the early 1800s, the western part of the state was the center of sporadic spiritual awakenings. All of this evidence leads up to an obvious conclusion – that the spiritual history of America has had its seed in Massachusetts.
Since the beginning of the 1800s, Massachusetts has also been a bed of growing iniquity. Humanism, in the form of Transcendentalism and Unitarianism, also had its roots there. Social philosophers, such as Emerson and Thoreau, contributed to the destruction of the Christian foundations of America. In the 20th century, Marxism, humanism, existentialism, socialism, and immorality have all found a haven in many colleges and universities.
But God has a destiny for Massachusetts! He always keeps His covenants with men, and virtually every township in the Bay State is founded on such a covenant with God. Long before becoming the governor of Massachusetts, John Winthrop had a deep understanding of God’s divine purposes for the colony. “We shall be a city set on a hill,” he said of Boston – where the church was the center of life during those early years of the city’s history.
While en route to the New World on board the Arabella, Winthrop wrote a sermon entitled “A Model of Christian Charity,” in which he outlined the purposes of God for New England. He described a harmonious Christian community whose laws and government would logically proceed from a godly and purposeful arrangement. He wrote: “The Lord will be our God … He shall make us a praise and glory that men shall say of the succeeding plantations, ‘The Lord make it like that of New England … ‘”
But Winthrop also gave a warning: “The eyes of all people are upon us, so that if we deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause us to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword through the world.”
It is shameful that the current governor of Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis, stood at the podium of the 1988 Democratic National Convention in Atlanta and quoted from “A Model of Christian Charity.” He stressed the themes of “charity, unity, spirit, and sacrifice,” and yet censored all of Winthrop’s references to God, Jesus Christ, and the Church. Yet this is indicative of how far our state and our nation have fallen.
Derek Prince, a recognized prophet in the Body of Christ, relinquished his British citizenship in the 1960s to come and live in America. It is not a light thing for an Englishman to emigrate from his beloved country, yet Derek Prince was convinced of the eminent role that America holds in reaching the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In a vision, Prince described seeing a map of the United States ignite into flames. The fires began in Massachusetts, centering around the Boston area. The vision was interpreted symbolizing the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in America. I believe with many others that this fiery impulse will be the onset of a wave of revival that will sweep across the globe and bring the gospel of Christ to every nation!
Reader Curious about Hijacking of Literature
In reading the November 1988 issue of The Forerunner (“Attack from Massachusetts” by Lee Grady), the author mentions America’s “rich treasury of Christian literature” which has since been removed from high school and college literature textbooks. I would very much like to know what this literature is. Could I get a book list of some sort? I am hoping you can direct me to the right source.
Mrs. Joseph Bryan
Editor’s Note: Very few people today are aware of how our national literature has been edited and tampered with since the early 1900s. A subtle strategy by an intellectual elite to remove Christianity and morality from our letters has been progressively carried out in the ivory towers of our universities since that time. Beginning in the March issue of The Forerunner, we will be serializing an excellent manuscript by Miss Ruth Nourse entitled “The Highjacking of American Literature,” which exposes this scheme.