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Practicing Patriotism


King Solomon’s call
for moral and spiritual
integrity by citizens for
the benefit of their nation
may seem out of date, but
his principle of practicing
patriotism by doing right
needs to be stressed and
heeded: “Righteousness
exalts a nation, but sin is
a reproach to any people”
(Proverbs 14:34).
The history of both the
United States and Canada
prove the importance of
spiritual awakenings to
turn the tide of moral and
spiritual decay and usher in
good times.
In 1727, twenty four
year old Jonathan Edwards,
a recent graduate of Yale
was called to assist his
grandfather, the pastor of the Congregational Church
of Northampton, Massa-
chusetts. Two years after
his move to Northampton,
his grandfather died and
young Edwards became the
pastor of one of the larg-
est, wealthiest, and most
cultured churches in New
It isn’t likely this con-
gregation expected their
young pastor to be the key
personality in what histo-
rians call America’s first
great awakening, but that
is exactly what happened.
Jonathan Edwards and
others prayed earnestly for
a great moral and spiritual
change in their community
and in 1735 their prayers
were answered.
Edwards wrote that
scarcely a person in the
town, old or young, was
left unchanged. This
awakening spread from
town to town and from
county to county. By 1740,
the moral tone of New
England was lifted and an
estimated 50,000 people
had been added to the
In his book, “The Nar-
rative,” James A. Stewart
made a significant observa

tion about this great spiri-
tual awakening, writing
that it was not the outcome
of a highly organized ef-
fort, but the answer to the
prayers of a faithful pastor
and his church.
The next and perhaps
the greatest spiritual awak-
ening affecting the United
States and Canada took
place in 1858. There were
three important ingredients
in its development: The
Dutch Reformed Church
appointed Jeremiah Lan-
phier, a businessman, to do
missionary work in Lower
Manhattan; a physician,
Dr. Walter Palmer and his
wife, Phoebe, began hold-
ing evangelistic meetings
in Hamilton, Ontario, and
a ship loaded with gold
being brought to New York
from California went down
in a storm, causing the
closing of many banks and
a financial panic.
Jeremiah Lanphier often
became weary in his work
among discouraged people,
but found he could draw
strength to go on through
prayer. Thinking others
might be helped through
prayer during those dif-
ficult times he invited
others to join him and soon
thousands were meeting to
In his book, “The Fer-
vent Prayer,” J. Edwin Orr
wrote: “It is impossible not
to connect the three events.
From tiny springs of prayer
in New York and preaching
in Hamilton came a flood
soon to envelop the world.”
During these tough
times, Solomon’s call
should apply to us all.
The way we live affects
our country so why not
choose right and reject
It’s another way to prac-
tice patriotism.
More importantly, it’s
the right thing to do!