“A Truth of Two Colonies!”
By Pastor Ron Buxton
In 1859, Charles Dickens published his literary classic The Tale of Two Cities. And in that historical fiction, he contrasts London England with Paris France during its bloodiest days of the French Revolution. Even though England was still licking its wounds from its defeat in the American Revolution, France was then spiraling into total chaos. And so, that backdrop was the dramatic setting to Dicken’s masterpiece.
Probably as dramatic–but mostly unknown in most U.S. history books–is what occurred earlier at the colonization of America. You see, I refer to it as a “truth of two colonies”–and it really defined the power of true Biblical Christianity. Whereas the French Revolution scapegoated religion as a poison to mankind’s advancement, it was the actual obedience to God’s Word that set in motion the eventual freedom from centuries of human slavery! And it all began as a great contrast between those two earliest American colonies.
In 1607, the settlement of Jamestown began. Shortly thereafter, in 1619, the very first slaves arrived to this continent. Tragically, even though those earliest settlers in Virginia proclaimed to be Christians, they were just worsening a worldwide abomination. It was a horrible and inexcusable ignorance of God and the Bible!
Not so—with the second colony that settled in New England beginning in 1620. Those folks actually believed the Bible from cover to cover! And therein was the great contrast. They hated slavery based on the clear teachings of the Bible–and not the twisted interpretations that others may have falsely claimed.
However, too much negative historical emphasis is placed upon that first southern colony to the exclusion of that second northern one. And that’s what motivated me to write this essay. Had it not been for true Christians who decried slavery as “men stealing” (Exodus 21:16), our planet might still have open and widespread human trafficking! I’m serious. You see, historically, there was no other religious belief, or value system, that could have fought for slavery’s eradication prior to the 19th century!
Don’t believe me? It was an atheistic secularism that brought bloody revolution to France which ended in a dictator. Also, are you familiar with the U.S. Marine Corps battle hymn? Question: Why did we send marines to “the shores of Tripoli” in 1805? Answer: Muslim pirates who trafficked in–among other evils–slavery! And so, my statement above holds true. Honestly, nothing else prior to the 20th century could have–or would have–fought that battle.
Thank God for that second colony! The greatness of this nation began with them. And the “truth of two colonies” teaches us about the power of God’s Word–properly applied. Later, in the 19th century, that even meant fighting a Civil War motivated by that first God-fearing colony! You see, it is not enough to say that you are a Christian. True freedom for self and others comes from faith and obedience to the Bible. No other source could have ever abolished slavery!