Tag Archives: Alfred Lord Tennyson

The Bible of the American Revolution

The Bible of the American Revolution


Did you know that Congress once printed Bibles? At the time of the American Revolution, the British government had strict laws about printing Bibles. Only a few printers were licensed to do so, and none of them was in the American colonies, so all Bibles had to be imported from England. The Revolutionary War naturally interrupted trade with England, and there was a severe shortage of Bibles in America.

In 1777, U.S. clergy petitioned the Continental Congress to have Bibles printed in America. In response, Congress passed a resolution to import 20,000 Bibles from Holland, Scotland, and other countries, but in the chaos of the war, they never arrived. So three years later, another resolution to print Bibles in America was introduced in Congress, and printer Robert Aitken petitioned Congress for permission to print them. Congress granted him permission and financial support to print Bibles. His Bibles included an endorsement and recommendation from Congress on the first page.

More American versions of the Bible were printed soon after. In the United States, printers had the freedom to print the Scriptures freely without government approval. That was a radically different situation from what they had been used to under British rule, and it was a great victory for religious freedom.

We now live in a country where prayer and Bible readings in public schools have been outlawed by the Supreme Court for over fifty years. We’re told it’s a violation of the Constitution to display the Ten Commandments in a county courthouse or to have a nativity scene at city hall. But interestingly, the Continental Congress did not consider for a moment whether their appropriation for printing the Bible was an affront to religious freedom. They knew it wasn’t. When we look at changes in America, we should be concerned about our loss of religious liberty.

The Moral Liberal recommends: Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman’s Crusade (Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century America)

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Alfred Lord Tennyson Born August 6, 1809

Alfred Lord Tennyson 2American Minute with Bill Federer

Camelot and King Arthur’s Court, Knights of the Round Table, Guinevere, Sir Lancelot, Sir Galahad, and the search for the Holy Grail…

Our imaginations soar with history and legend immortalized in “Idylls of the King,” written 1859-85 by poet Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Born AUGUST 6, 1809, the son of a clergyman, Tennyson recorded the courage of the British Cavalry in “The Charge of the Light Brigade.”

They were mistakenly ordered to ride to their deaths fighting in the Crimea against Russia at the Battle of Balaclava, 1854:

“’Forward, the Light Brigade!’
Was there a man dismay’d?
Not tho’ the soldier knew
Someone had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.”

Honored by Queen Victoria as Poet-Laureate, Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote in “Enoch Arden,” 1864, line 222:

“Cast all your cares on God; that anchor holds.”

Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote:

“Bible reading is an education in itself.”

In 1850, Tennyson married Emily Sellwood, to whom he had been engaged for a long time. He wrote:

“The peace of God came into my life before the altar when I wedded her.”

Tennyson wrote in Maud, 1855, part II, sec. iv, st. 3:

“Oh, Christ, that it were possible,
For one short hour to see,
The souls we loved, that they might tell us,
What and where they be.”

In “Memoriam,” 1850, Chapter XXXI, Tennyson wrote:

“When Lazarus left his charnel-cave,
And home to Mary’s house returned,
Was this demanded-if he yearned
To hear her weeping by his grave?

“’Where wert thou, brother, those four days?’
There lives no record of reply,
Which, telling what it is to die,
Had surely added praise to praise.

“From every house the neighbors met,
The streets were filled with joyful sound;
A solemn gladness even crowned
The purple brows of Olivet.

“Behold a man raised up by Christ;
The rest remained unrevealed;
He told it not, or something sealed
The lips of that Evangelist.”

In Crossing the Bar, 1889, st. 3, Tennyson wrote:

“I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.”

Alfred Lord Tennyson was referred to by U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Josiah Brewer in his lecture “The Promise and Possibilities of the Future,” 1905:

“Some think…that we are mere atoms of matter tossed to and fro…

Speaker Reed once said…great events of history were brought about by an intelligent and infinite Being…

If you will reflect a little you will be led to the conclusion that, as Tennyson writes

‘Through the ages one increasing purpose runs.’”

Justice Brewer continued:

“If there be a ‘purpose running’ through the life of the world, is it not plain that one thought in the divine plan was that in this republic should be unfolded and developed in the presence of the world the Christian doctrine of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man?”

Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s bookshere.

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