For several decades, colonial Americans had listened to preachers who told their parishioners civil and religious liberty was ordained by God.
Jonathan Mayhew, pastor of the West Church in Boston, delivered one of the most influential sermons in American history. It was 1749. He insisted that people were not obliged to suffer under an oppressive ruler and "resistance" to a tyrant was a "glorious" Christian duty. His philosophy anticipated the position most ministers took during the Revolutionary War.
Needlework from the time demonstrates how colonials drew parallels between political events and Bible stories. Depicting King David’s son Absalom as a patriot, rebelling against the capricious whims of his father (George III in the needlework), the artist even turns Absalom’s executioner into a Redcoat.
Believing God and Biblical authority backed their quest for freedom, early Americans heard sermons from clergy like Abraham Keteltas who saw the Patriot’s efforts as:
...the cause of truth, against error and falsehood...the cause of pure and undefiled religion, against bigotry, superstition, and human invention...in short, it is the cause of heaven against hell - of the kind Parent of the Universe against the prince of darkness, and the destroyer of the human race.
Such passion could only encourage the colonists to embrace the Biblical verse: "If God is for us, who can stand against us?"