Welcome to Defender’s Voice. I am Dr.Paul. Thank you for joining us today. Greetings to everyone is glorious name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I hope you are all doing well.
Please visit our website www.doctorpaul.org to read my articles and blog posts. In today’s program, I would like to show you some highlights from my recent visit to Boston.
When I was walking around this city, the thought that struck my mind was, Jesus Christ is the Lord of History. He is the Lord of history.
Boston is on the east coast of the United States. Among others,it has a beautiful landscape, historical landmarks, pleasant rivers, world class colleges and universities, skyscrapers, and art museums. In 1625, William Blackstone, a minister, founded this city. In the last 400 years, this city has become a world class city. The city has many ‘firsts’ in achievements.
in 1846, the first operation under general anesthesia was performed at Massachusetts General Hospital.
in 1953, the world’s first kidney transplant is performed at Brigham Hospital.
in 1876, the first words are spoken over a telephone by Alexander Graham Bell
in 1844, the computer age started here with a 50ft long calculating machine
in 2001, two planes are hijacked after taking off from Logan Airport and
crashed into New York’s World Trade Center, killing nearly 3000 people.
in 1630, the Puritans left England in 11 ships, sailed across the Atlantic,
came to this area and settled here. John Winthrop (1587 – 1649) was its first governor. What was his vision for this city? There are three hills
in this area. When Winthrop saw those hills, he thought of the words of
Lord Jesus Christ.
In Matthew chapter 5, verse 14, Jesus said, ‘You are the light of the world.
A city built on a hill cannot be hidden’. Matthew 5:14
Those words inspired Winthrop. He wanted this new city like a city on a hill giving out the light of Christ to the world. Then onwards, Boston has been called ‘a city on a hill’. The Puritans did all they could to make it a city on a hill. Now, who were these Puritans?
500 years ago, some Christians separated from the Roman Catholic Church and founded Protestantism. In England, the Church of England got separated from the Catholic Church. Some Christians thought the Church of England still had many vestiges from Catholicism. They wanted complete purification of the church. But the English crown did not like their practices. It wanted them to remain under the authority of the Church of England. These protestants said, ‘No, we must follow what our conscience dictates. We want complete freedom from state interference’.
They decided to leave England. Around 750 of them left England to establish a new nation based on Biblical principles. A theocratic state that defied the king. They were the Puritans. I am walking on the brick road called ‘Freedom Trail’. First, let us stop at the Old South Meeting House. This building is called Old South Meeting House. It was a church built by Puritans in 1729. If you notice, there are no statues or paintings of God, Jesus, Mary, angels or saints in this building. Puritans did not believe in such adornments. In fact they thought such statues were a form of idolatry characteristic of Catholicism. Nothing should come between the believer and God, not even a painting of Jesus. They believed in a direct communion with God.
They also did not call this building a ‘church’. They simply called it a ‘meeting house’. They did not believe that such buildings carry any sacredness in and of themselves. Believers are sacred, not the buildings. They used this building for worship on Sundays and for other activities during the weekdays. Puritan worship services may last upto 6 hours. Think about that every Sunday worshiping God for 6 hours. Puritans enjoyed religious freedom for a while.
Not every good thing lasts forever. The King of England put an end to their charter. The Puritans were incensed by that action. ‘We left England to get rid of your yoke. We ran away from you. Won’t you leave us alone? How can we get rid of this king? How can we establish a nation without a king?
Three hundred years ago they gathered in this church to discuss those matters. Thus, modern Democracy was born in this church. The puritans gave us democracy. Many members of this church became the founders of the nation of the United States.
Benjamin Franklin got baptized in this church. He was a great scientist, philosopher and statesman. George Whitfield preached in this church. His ministry planted the seeds of the Great Awakening which inspired Americans for independence. You can see a pulpit here. Samuel Adams made stirring speeches from this pulpit. ‘We want freedom, We want freedom’ From this church, those words echoed all over the nation.
The War of Independence started here. Paul Revere, who fought in that war, was a member of this church. When the British heard about this church, they became furious. They transformed this building into a shed for their horses. Later, George Washington wondered, ‘The English respect their churches. How come they don’t have any respect for our churches?’
You can also see the works of Phyllis Wheatley featured in this building. She was a slave girl abducted from Africa and brought to New England. She got baptized in this church. She wrote books and poems denouncing slavery. She argued that slavery is a sin against God.
Judge Samuel Sewall was a member of this church. He wrote the famous essay, ‘The Selling of Joseph’ which criticized slavery. Thus, Abolitionist movement was also born in this building.
Samuel Adams – they all came to this church and worshiped Jesus. I found that fascinating. This one building brought those great souls together. December 16, 1773 – Around 5000 people gathered in this church. They rejected Britain’s tax code. From here, they went to the harbor and destroyed the tea on the ships. We call it the Boston tea party. Let us visit some burial grounds of the Puritans. As I walked around these tombs, I could see the simplicity of Puritans. In King’s chapel burial ground, I saw the tombs of John Winthrop and Mary Chilton. She was the first woman to step off Mayflower, the ship that brought Puritans here in the year 1620.
In Granary Burying Ground, we see the tombs of Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Robert Paine. Those three signed the Declaration of Independence. We also see the tomb of Paul Revere, Crispus Attucks, Peter Faneuil, and Samuel Sewall. Puritans looked very simple outwardly. But their ideas are very, very powerful. All human beings are created in the image of God. All believers are priests before God. A king should not interfere in religious and political matters. Those ideas formed the basis of modern democracy, and human rights. The world would never be the same again. More countries would follow the example of America in establishing democratic institutions all over the world.
By Nathaniel Currier – http://www.octc.kctcs.edu/mmaltby/his108/Boston%20Tea%20Party.jpg%5Bdead link], Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6354651
By John Rogers Herbert – Art UK, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28250708
By Vincent van Gogh – hQGZa2I9Xi6lpA at Google Cultural Institute maximum zoom level, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22030423
By Vincent van Gogh – mwF3N6F_RfJ4_w at Google Cultural Institute maximum zoom level, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21977797
By Rickmouser45 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=93488391