Repentance – Adonijah Butler, Esq.

I received your correspondence of late and was saddened to hear the news. As you confirmed the things I heard through dispatch here with your pen, my heart sank. I note the passion in your letter and the anguish you express so fervently about our dear nation’s current administration and state of affairs.

Did not the learned William Penn, the founder of the great State of Pennsylvania, the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence, warn us of such when he said, 

“If you would rule well, you must rule for God, and to do that, God must rule you…Tyrants will rule those who will not be governed by God.” 

and, again, the words of the Honorable John Jay,

“Providence has given our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty and the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”

My dearest friend, we have been slack in our observations and our actions – for which I have sought the forgiveness of the Lord God Almighty. Is not what we had experienced concerning the subtle wiles of the Evil One, who infringes on the liberties of us all, not that what James Madison warned of when he said,

“There are more instances of the abridgment of the people’s freedom by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpation.” 

But we have fallen into the snare of apathy and have, by our inaction, allowed – or even placed –  rulers in power who deny the very Word of God! Is this not contrary to the aims and beliefs of our friends and co-patriots and disparages the very lives upon which those who built this country? Mr. Fisher Ames, the great orator, spoke eloquently as to the high view the founding fathers maintained of the Bible when he asserted,

“Should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a schoolbook? Its morals are pure, and its examples are captivating and noble…In no Book is there so good English, so pure and so elegant, and by teaching, all the same, they will speak alike, and the Bible will justly remain the standard of language and faith.”

But our country – and with it, all of us – have strayed, to our shame, from these wise warnings. But most convicting of all is their conduct. Despite the rhetoric of its leaders – it shows our government’s – and with such our whole country’s – unwillingness to follow the commands of Christ. The reality of such conduct, as Christ proclaimed,

“[W]hoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my father, and I too will love him and show myself to him…He who does not love me will not obey my teaching.” Jn. 14:21;24.

Do we, dear Christian, as citizens love Christ? Yes, may it be plainly said about us. However, Godly wisdom is absent in the capital of this country. Have we as a nation become like the Laodiceans where he will proclaim,

“[S]o because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. ‘Because you say, ‘I am rich and have become wealthy, and need of nothing,’ and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,” Rev. 3:16-17.

From what I hear, the administration slanders “the noble name to whom you [we] belong.”  Jas. 2:7. God have mercy! We are under the rule of those who, by their very public mockery of the Word of God, are opposed to Christ himself and thrust their finger in the eye of the Lord Almighty. On the one hand, can a government openly demean God’s Word while claiming that the Lord Almighty will bless that very same government? Of course, not. A fountain cannot produce fresh and bitter water from the same opening. 

We, as a country, are in grave danger! As the Apostle Paul admonished the Galatians in his Epistle,

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction…” Gal. 6:7.

Further, by its conduct, does not the current administration fall under the warning of the Apostle James,

“Whom among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.” Jas. 3:13-16.

Did not the Puritan preacher Thomas Adams warn of such danger in his blazing sermon, “that which a man spits against heaven, shall fall back on his own face?” Is this not the present affliction our purported leaders – and by our permission, to rule over us – find upon themselves, even ourselves?

As for myself, I pray that we, my dear friend, will recognize our need. As the fiery pastor and theologian Johnathan Edwards preached,

“A truly humble man is sensible of his natural distance from God; of his dependence on Him; of the insufficiency of his own power and wisdom; and that it is by God’s power that he is upheld and provided for, and that he needs God’s wisdom to lead and guide him, and His might to enable him to do what he ought to do for him.”

And in obedience to our merciful God, repent and recognize our total and necessary dependence on Him. Will He not show mercy? Did he not spare Lot from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah? Should we not, therefore, pray to Him for mercy? Should we not do as Solomon did when he finished the Temple and pray, 

“…My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chr. 7:14.

Let us pray, no, let us fall prostrate, for our country, my dear Christian. We are a country in the same predicament as the prophet Isaiah as he stood before a Holy God and proclaimed, “Woe to me: I cried. I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips.” Isaiah. 6:5. We should be crying as we lay prostrate before a Holy God for mercy. Let us humble ourselves and pray as the Psalmist prayed for the restoration of Zion:

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit…The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. By Your favor, do good to Zion; build the walls of Jerusalem.” Ps. 51:10-11; 17-18.

Shall we not as a nation call upon Him for forgiveness and mercy? Will he not be merciful? Yes, but let us do so now to avoid the wrath of a righteous and Holy God to whom our country has turned her back. Let us beseech Him, repent, and turn to the One who can save and destroy.

In warmest affections,

Your friend,

Adonijah Burton, Esq.

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