America’s Tyranny Threshold
By Eileen F. Toplansky
August 19, 2013
As he finishes up his Martha’s Vineyard vacation, Barack Obama would be well-served to recall the fiery words of Jonathan Mayhew, who is famous for his sermons “espousing American rights — the cause of liberty, and the right and duty to resist tyranny.”
Mayhew, born at Martha’s Vineyard on October 8, 1720, was “bitterly opposed to the Stamp Act and urged colonial liberties.” Though he did not live to see the American Revolution (he died on July 9, 1766), his “sermons and writing were a powerful influence in the development of the movement for liberty and independence.”
And they need to be revisited as the Obama presidency continues its legacy of lawlessness.
First published in Boston in 1750, “A Discourse concerning the unlimited submission and non-resistance to the high powers” was a sermon delivered on the 100th anniversary of the execution of Charles I. It was so powerful that it was published in London in 1752 and again in 1767. In fact, this sermon was the “first volley of the American Revolution, setting forth the intellectual and scriptural justification for rebellion against the Crown.”