The Light and the Glory was written by Peter Marshall and David Manuel. It is the true history of the founding of America. And it explains how the American colonists joined together and became “We the people of the United States of America.” There were three significant events that caused this to happen. They were the Puritan Migration, the Great Awakening, and the American Revolution. And all three of them were part of God’s plan for America.
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The Puritans were devout Christians who loved God and wanted to do his will. They came to America for the specific purpose of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They made a covenant with God and each other to follow God’s two great commandments — to love God with all their hearts and minds, and to love their neighbors as themselves. No other nation has done that since the Children of Israel entered the Promised Land.
The Puritans were free to base their lives on the Bible. And they wanted to show the world what happens to a nation that honors God and his word. “We shall be as a shining city set upon a hill,” they said. Between the years 1630 and 1646, twenty thousand Puritans migrated to New England. And they did what they set out to do.
Over the next two centuries, these Christians and their descendants created our unique American culture. It’s a culture that’s based on Biblical morality. It is God’s blessing that has made America the freest and most prosperous nation in the history of the world. We are still the shining city on a hill. And that is why millions of people want to live here.
When British evangelist George Whitefield came to America, he perfected the practice of preaching in the open air. His powerful voice could be heard by as many as thirty-thousand people at once. Whitefield traveled extensively throughout the thirteen colonies, proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ. And he was responsible for converting millions of people to Christianity. This excerpt from The Light and the Glory explains the effect that he had on the American people:
“Whitefield spread the word about God’s love and salvation through Jesus Christ. He carried it to rich and poor alike. He revealed it to free men and to slaves, to the educated and the uneducated. Over and over, Americans everywhere received the message that all men are equal and precious in the sight of God.
Gradually, the colonists were beginning to realize that they were part of a big family called America. They understood that God had a special plan for his family. He wanted it to proclaim the true message of Jesus. He wanted it to be a light in the darkness. And he wanted this family to become the living example of the Covenant Way. The colonists had experienced the Great Awakening.”
These Christians and their descendants started the American Experiment in self-government that is still going on today. This is how President John Adams described this American Revolution:
“But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations . . . This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.”
The American Revolution is still going on in the hearts and minds of every true American patriot.
The Light and the Glory is the first of a three-book series on discovering God’s plan for America. It covers the years from 1492 to 1793. From Sea to Shining Sea covers the years from 1787 to 1837. And Sounding Forth the Trumpet covers the years from 1837 to 1860.