A wonderful little piece of history; this was the first annual election sermon preached after the end of the American Revolution, just 8 months earlier. It is preached before the famed John Hancock, and our author understands his moment; he chooses for the day's text, Galatians 5.13, "For brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another."
Also, signed by prominent early American theologian and divine, Nathanael Emmons [1745-1840]. In the era immediately after Jonathan Edwards, Emmons was the New Divinity and evangelical revivalism's most significant theological voice. He was also an outspoken American Revolutionary, which had a "pruning effect" on his own church.
Hemmenway, Moses. A Sermon, Preached before His Excellency John Hancock, Esq; Governor; His Honor Thomas Cushing, Esq; Lieutenant-Governor; the Honorable the Council, and the Honorable the Senate, and House of Representatives, of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, May 26, 1784. Being the Day of General Election. Boston. Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Benjamin Edes and Sons. 1784. 52pp.
The tone is celebratory and cognizant that the decisions lying ahead would determine whether history repeated itself, and America became something unique on the historical landscape, or whether it simply was a wash, rinse, repeat of human history.
He identifies the United States as a "Christian State" and in perhaps the most significant section of the message attempts to work out a definition of Christian liberty as it refers to individual persons and the state, categorizing the ideas under natural liberty, civil liberty, and Christian liberty . . . all ordained by God and therefore to be pursued at all costs. There is a definite "Live free or die" sensibility.
"We therefore claim it as our right to be free from every yoke of bondage which can justly be accounted any grievance, because we are the servants of God, who allows none to tyrannize or usurp authority over any, and forbids our submitting to such unauthorised claims. . . "
Side stitched, spine gone. Textually very crisp and clean aside from some toning as shown.