Wednesday, November 3, 2010

love thy neighbor...


This from Ezra Stiles Gannett's "Election Sermon" of 1842, "The Religion of Politics."

"When I speak of the religion of political life, I mean that religion should control men in the exercise of their political rights as it should control them in all their other relations and concerns. The religion of politics is nothing else than the application of religious principles to political action, whether it be the action of a statesman or a private citizen, of an individual or of the community. The politician should respect these principles as much as any other man. Political opinion, political discussion, political life should be brought under the influence of religious convictions. This is the ground which I take, and which I shall endeavor to prove is the only ground on which a Christian can consistently stand...

It (Christianity) has one and the same instruction for all men, whether they live in palaces or wander houseless, whether they are versed in tongues or are rude of speech, men of science or men of handicraft, subjects of a monarchy or citizens of a republic; to them all it says, Hearken and obey— walk by faith—lead holy lives—fulfil all righteousness...

Christianity by addressing the common nature and unfolding the immortal destiny of mankind has shown a broad ground, on which all may meet and lift up the chorus of a united and acknowledged brotherhood. The framers of our Declaration of Independence thought they were proclaiming a political axiom, when they republished one of the great revelations of the Gospel, the full meaning of which can be learned only through sympathy with him who came to save the lost and reconcile the estranged. "The common people," it is said, "heard him gladly." And the people it is who should welcome his religion, which condemns the selfishness alike of the tyrant and of the demagogue, and rebukes at once the arrogance of an aristocratic and the meanness of a servile spirit by its pregnant charge to "honor all men." All men? What, of every class and condition? Yes, men of every name, rank, and complexion... Alas! how few yet comprehend the law, on which the morality of every Christian people, and every Christian believer, should be built—" Thou shalt love thy neighbour."

blessings

2 comments:

Tracie H said...

I decided to post a link to this on my FB page. Many people I know shy away from the word "religion" but this to me shows why people do not need to do that.

Maybe someone will feel healed and inspired by this post. I hope so.

boston unitarian said...

Hi Tracie,
I hope so too. Its great to hear from you and I hope you are well. Thanks for writing and
blessings, BU