Tag Archives: Andover Theological Seminary

Our father’s God, to Thee, Author of Liberty…

Samuel Francis SmithAmerican Minute with Bill Federer

“My country, ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From every mountainside,
Let freedom ring!”

This hymn was written by Samuel Francis Smith, who died NOVEMBER 16, 1895.

A Harvard classmate of poet Oliver Wendell Holmes, Smith went to Andover Theological Seminary and became a Baptist minister.

While a student in 1832, Samuel Francis Smith admired a tune while translating a German Hymnal – the same tune was used for British, Canadian, Russian, Danish, Swedish and Swiss National anthems.

Smith stated:

“I instantly felt the impulse to write a patriotic hymn of my own, adapted to the tune.

Picking up a scrap of waste paper which lay near me, I wrote at once.”

In proclaiming “Let Freedom Ring Day,” July 3, 1986, President Ronald Reagan recalled the hymn’s 4th stanza, stating:

“As the golden glow of the Statue of Liberty’s rekindled torch calls forth…throughout our land, let every American take it as a summons to rededication, recalling those words we sang as children:

‘Our father’s God, to Thee,
Author of Liberty,
To Thee we sing,
Long may our land be bright
With Freedom’s Holy Light.
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, Our King.’”

If you are interested in quotes on
“My Country” see below:
“If it be the pleasure of Heaven that my country shall require the poor offering of my life, the victim shall be ready, at the appointed hour of sacrifice…But while I do live, let me have a country, and that a free country!” – John Adams

“While my country calls for the exertion of that little share of abilities, which it has pleased God to bestow on me, I hold it my indispensable duty to give myself to her.” – Gouverneur Morris

“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” – Nathan Hale

“I shall anticipate…the place to be assigned me in the history of my country, and die contented with the belief that I have contributed… to…prolong the duration of American liberty.” – Andrew Jackson

“I implore the Spirit from whom every good and perfect gift descends to enable me to render essential service to my country.” – John Quincy Adams

“The ends I aim at shall be my country’s, my God’s, and Truth’s. I was born an American; I will live an American; I shall die an American.” – Daniel Webster

“I will never forget that I am an American fighting man, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.” – President Eisenhower, Code of Conduct for Military

“No, this is a service for my country, and it doesn’t matter whether I do it as an officer or as a plainsman. The big thing is to do it.” – Kit Carson

“No personal consideration shall induce me to abandon the righteous cause of my country. Tell Governor Gage it is the advise of Samuel Adams to him no longer to insult the feelings of an exasperated people.” – Samuel Adams

“Our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality…I dwell on this prospect with every satisfaction which an ardent love for my country can inspire.” – George Washington

“I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.” – Thomas Jefferson

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 books here.

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The Missions enterprise begins

1814 – BECAUSE OF ADONIRAM AND ANN JUDSON, BAPTISTS IN AMERICA FORM THEIR FIRST MISSIONS ORGANIZATION – On February 19, 1814 Baptists in America organized for the first time to support the cause of world-wide missions.  It all started in 1808 when Adoniram Judson, though unsaved entered Andover Theological Seminary.  He was saved in Sept. and immediately surrendered to the ministry.  During his first year he read a sermon entitled “Star in the East,” and Feb. 1809 he determined to be a missionary.  In June he met Ann Hasseltine who would become his wife.  In Sept. he was commissioned as a missionary; and on Feb. 5, 1812, he and Ann were married. On Feb. 6 he was ordained a Congregational minister; and on the 19th, they sailed on the brig Caravan for Calcutta, India.  Their honeymoon was spent on the long voyage that ended on June 17 with their arrival after a very pleasant journey.  Great changes took place for the Judson’s aboard ship.  Judson, knowing that he would be located in the vicinity of William Carey and other English Baptist missionaries thought that he should be able to defend his position on the subject of baptism and began a complete investigation in the N.T. in the original languages.  He was amazed to find, after a long struggle, that pedobaptism could not be found anywhere in the N.T. and came to adopt the Baptist position.  It was on Sept. 6, 1812 that Adoniram and Ann Judson were immersed in the Baptist chapel in Calcutta.  Later Ann wrote a friend saying, “thus, my dear Nancy, we are confirmed Baptists, not because we wished to be, but because truth compelled us to be…We feel that we are alone in the world, with no real friend but each other, no one on whom we can depend but God.”  Judson wrote to the Third Congregational Church in Plymouth: “I knew that I had been sprinkled in infancy, and that this had been deemed baptism.  But throughout the whole N.T. I could find nothing that looked like sprinkling, in connection with the ordinance of Baptism…” Out of this came the great missions’ effort of Baptists mentioned above that continues to this day.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 69.

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February 19, 1814 – Baptists organized for world missions in America. This came about primarily because of the influence of Adoniram and Ann Judson who had gone out to India in 1812. In 1808 while still unsaved Judson had entered Andover Theological Seminary but was happily saved in the month of September and consecrated himself to the work of the Christian ministry. Before the end of his first year he had read a sermon entitled “The Star in the East,” and in Feb. of 1809 he resolved to be a missionary. In June of 1809 he met Ann Hasseltine, who was to become his wife. In Sept. 1811 he was commissioned as a missionary; on Feb. 5, 1812, he and Ann were married; on Feb. 6 he was ordained as a Congregational minister and on the 19th, the couple embarked on the brig Caravan for Calcutta, India. Their honeymoon was spent on the long voyage that ended on June 17 when they arrived after a very pleasant journey. Knowing that he would be working in the vicinity of the Baptist William Carey, Judson began thinking of the answer that he would give if the issue of baptism would be raised. In that he had been sprinkled as a baby he decided to study the issue anew from the scriptures. After a long struggle he became convinced after honest inquiry that the Baptist position of believer’s immersion was correct and that he would have to write to his Congregationalist mission and so inform them, which he did. He and Ann were baptized in the Baptist Chapel in Calcutta on September 6, 1812. Later Ann wrote a friend saying, “Thus, my dear Nancy, we are confirmed Baptists, not because we wished to be, but because truth compelled us to be…We feel that we are alone in the world, with no real friend but each other, no one on whom we can depend but God.”

Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 69-70.


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