John Leland: Religious Liberty Promotes Greatest Revival of True Religion

John LelandCALLED UNTO LIBERTY, FOUNDING ERA SERMONS: JOHN LELAND

1791


Divines generally inform us that there is such a time to come (called the Latter-Day Glory) when the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters do the sea, and that this day will appear upon the destruction of antichrist. If so, I am well convinced that Jesus will first remove all the hindrances or religious establishments, and cause all men to be free in matters of religion. When this is effected, he will say to the kings and great men of the earth, “Now see what I can do; ye have been afraid to leave the church and gospel in my hands alone, without steadying the ark by human law; but now I have taken the power and kingdom to myself, and will work for my own glory.” Here let me add, that in the southern states, where there has been the greatest freedom from religious oppression, where liberty of conscience is entirely enjoyed, there has been the greatest revival of religion; which is another proof that true religion can and will prevail best where it is left entirely to Christ.


Source: Excerpt from John Leland’s 1791 Sermon, “The Rights of Conscience Inalienable,” as found in  Political Sermons of the American Founding Era, 2 Vols., Ellis Sandoz, Published by Liberty Fund, Inc.


Called Unto Liberty is researched, compiled, and edited (with occasional introductory notes and commentary) by Steve Farrell, Founder and Editor In Chief of Self-Educated American. Copyright © 2009-2017 Steve Farrell and Self-Educated American.