Samuel Boucher Analysis

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At the dawn of the 1770s, American colonial resentment of the British Parliament in London had been steadily increasing for some time. Retaliating in 1766, Parliament issued the Declaratory Act which repealed most taxes except issued a reinforcement of Parliament’s supremacy. In a fascinating exchange, we see that the Parliament identifies and responds to the colonists main claim; Parliament had no right to directly tax colonists who had no representation in Parliament itself. By asserting Parliamentary supremacy while simultaneously repealing the Stamp Act and scaling back the Sugar Act, Parliament essentially established the hill it would die on, that being its legitimacy. With the stage set for colonial conflict in the 1770s, all but one…show more content…
Samuel Sherwood and Jonathan Boucher were both ministers tasked with preaching in this climate of resistance. Sherwood delivered his sermon titled, Scriptural Instructions to Civil Rulers in 1774. Simultaneously Samuel Boucher imparted biblical analysis in, On the Character of Absalom. Both Sherwood and Boucher offer a glimpse into the political climate following the passage of the Intolerable Acts. Both men identified what they believed the present danger to colonists and their efforts of resistance. Sherwood seeks to warn his listeners about the dangers of a tyrannical government. He is quick to identify that ruling justly is possible, but he calls on the congregation to restore the fear of God into their superiors. Boucher takes on a different tone, condoning senseless violence by comparing it to the Old Testament story of David and his son Absalom. Knowing the story, the colonists recognize his warning to be against retaliation, as Absalom dies despite David’s desire for him to live. The more blatantly political of the two preachers, Sherwood proves an adequate place to…show more content…
By choosing the word “to” for his sermon title, Sherwood immediately establishes himself as separate from the leaders he is referring to. It is almost as if he is attempting to speak on behalf of those who are hearing his words. Sherwood does not attempt to conceal the target of this sermon, that being the legislative and executive authority of Great Britain. In his delivery he says, “Thus rulers considered either in their legislative or executive capacity, are designed for the general and public good of the community they serve; they are ministers of God, instituted and ordained to attend continually unto this very thing, and in both these capacities they must be just.” Undoubtedly attempting to speak on behalf of the colonists, Sherwood also offers rather interesting reminder here to his listeners. The aforementioned quote leaves room for rulers, both legislative and executive, to rule justly on behalf of the public good of the community. Sherwood affirms this position saying, “It is of importance that all order of men be faithful in their several departments, for defending and promoting the public good.” Sherwood now identifies the present dangers he identifies in 1774 when he delivers his
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