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If You Want to Bring the Nation Back to God, Start with Morning and Evening Prayer

Today is the anniversary of the landing at Cape Henry. It’s an event especially feted by the Christian Broadcasting Network and Regent University, as can be seen in this video:

Five years after the landing, William Strachey produced the document For The Colony in Virginia BRITANNIA, Laws Divine , Moral and Martial, etc.. There’s no doubt that this document underscores the Christian nature of the colony, but it’s a little different than what people who advocate for the same thing today would produce. One example of this from the document is as follows:

First since we owe our highest and supreme duty, our greatest, and all our allegiance to him, from whom all power and authority is derived , and flows as from the first, and only fountain, and being especially soldiers imprest in this sacred cause , we must alone expect our success from him, who is only the blesser of all good attempts, the King of kings, the commander of commanders, and Lord of Hosts, I do strictly command and charge all Captains and Officers, of what equality or nature soever, whether commanders in the field, or in town, or towns, forts or fortresses, to have a care that the Almighty God be duly and daily served, and that they call upon their people to hear Sermons, as that also they diligently frequent Morning and Evening prayer them selves by their own exemplar and daily life , and duty herein, encouraging others thereunto, and that such , who shall often and willfully absent themselves, be duly punished according to the martial law in that case provided .

pp. 2-3

This sends many ships to the bottom, including the “Communion Every Sunday” crowd on the one extreme and the revivalists on the other. But it also reflects a major shift that was occasioned by the founding of the Republic: the shift from an established religion (in this case the Church of England, in Virginia the church until the founding of the Republic) to one where there is no established church.

If we go back to the colonial roots of our founding, we will discover that what was started with isn’t quite how it’s going now, in more ways than one.


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