The Constitution of the United States is one of the most important units that we will study in Eden Hope Academy. It is a document like no other. Our Constitution clearly states that the government is there for the PEOPLE, not the other way around. Think about this. Our government is intended to be small, and serve the people, not dictate to us. It is a privilege to live in a country where we have the right to change the government. It is also a tremendous responsibility.
We’re on week two of our Rev 21 badges. These are intended to be an incentive for our children to learn their Memorize Me! songs and complete their books. Class time is so much more valuable for your children if they have the vocabulary and basic concepts of the week’s topics. Try to have your child listen to the CD several times each week and go through their book and timeline cards with them!
Eden Hope Academy Activity Book
1784 John Wesley’s Deed of Declaration
For Our Littles:
John Wesley’s parents tried to serve God in all they did. When he went to Oxford for college, he and his brother Charles lead a bible study where the participants fasted two days each week and met together to pray often. Others at Oxford called it the “Holy Club” mockingly. John wrote the Deed of Declaration to King George III to explain his views on the differences between Christianity and the Church of England. This could be linked to the Declaration of Rights and Grievances and the First Continental Congress.
“About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed.”
In late 1735, a ship made its way to the New World from England. On board was a young Anglican minister, John Wesley, who had been invited to serve as a pastor to British colonists in Savannah, Georgia. When the weather went sour, the ship found itself in serious trouble. Wesley, also chaplain of the vessel, feared for his life.
But he noticed that the group of German Moravians, who were on their way to preach to American Indians, were not afraid at all. In fact, throughout the storm, they sang calmly. When the trip ended, he asked the Moravian leader about his serenity, and the Moravian responded with a question: Did he, Wesley, have faith in Christ? Wesley said he did, but later reflected, “I fear they were vain words.”
In fact, Wesley was confused by the experience, but his perplexity was to lead to a period of soul searching and finally to one of the most famous and consequential conversions in church history.
From this “holy club” (as fellow students mockingly called it), Wesley sailed to Georgia to pastor. His experience proved to be a failure. A woman he courted in Savannah married another man. When he tried to enforce the disciplines of the “holy club” on his church, the congregation rebelled. A bitter Wesley returned to England.
Heart strangely warmed
After speaking with another Moravian, Peter Boehler, Wesley concluded that he lacked saving faith. Though he continued to try to be good, he remained frustrated. “I was indeed fighting continually, but not conquering. … I fell and rose, and fell again.”
On May 24, 1738, he had an experience that changed everything. He described the event in his journal:
“In the evening, I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation, and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.”
Meanwhile, another former member of the “holy club,” George Whitefield, was having remarkable success as a preacher, especially in the industrial city of Bristol. Hundreds of working-class poor, oppressed by industrializing England and neglected by the church, were experiencing emotional conversions under his fiery preaching. So many were responding that Whitefield desperately needed help.
Wesley accepted Whitefield’s plea hesitantly. He distrusted Whitefield’s dramatic style; he questioned the propriety of Whitefield’s outdoor preaching (a radical innovation for the day); he felt uncomfortable with the emotional reactions even his own preaching elicited. But the orderly Wesley soon warmed to the new method of ministry.
With his organizational skills, Wesley quickly became the new leader of the movement. But Whitefield was a firm Calvinist, whereas Wesley couldn’t swallow the doctrine of predestination. Furthermore, Wesley argued (against Reformed doctrine) that Christians could enjoy entire sanctification in this life: loving God and their neighbors, meekness and lowliness of heart, abstaining from all appearance of evil, and doing all for the glory of God. In the end, the two preachers parted ways.
From “methodists” to Methodism
Wesley did not intend to found a new denomination, but historical circumstances and his organizational genius conspired against his desire to remain in the Church of England.
Wesley’s followers first met in private home “societies.” When these societies became too large for members to care for one another, Wesley organized “classes,” each with 11 members and a leader. Classes met weekly to pray, read the Bible, discuss their spiritual lives, and to collect money for charity. Men and women met separately, but anyone could become a class leader.
The moral and spiritual fervor of the meetings is expressed in one of Wesley’s most famous aphorisms: “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”
The movement grew rapidly, as did its critics, who called Wesley and his followers “methodists,” a label they wore proudly. It got worse than name calling at times: methodists were frequently met with violence as paid ruffians broke up meetings and threatened Wesley’s life.
Though Wesley scheduled his itinerant preaching so it wouldn’t disrupt local Anglican services, the bishop of Bristol still objected. Wesley responded, “The world is my parish”—a phrase that later became a slogan of Methodist missionaries. Wesley, in fact, never slowed down, and during his ministry he traveled over 4,000 miles annually, preaching some 40,000 sermons in his lifetime.
A few Anglican priests, such as his hymn-writing brother Charles, joined these Methodists, but the bulk of the preaching burden rested on John. He was eventually forced to employ lay preachers, who were not allowed to serve Communion but merely served to complement the ordained ministry of the Church of England.
Wesley then organized his followers into a “connection,” and a number of societies into a “circuit” under the leadership of a “superintendent.” Periodic meetings of methodist clergy and lay preachers eventually evolved into the “annual conference,” where those who were to serve each circuit were appointed, usually for three-year terms.
In 1787, Wesley was required to register his lay preachers as non-Anglicans. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, the American Revolution isolated Yankee methodists from their Anglican connections. To support the American movement, Wesley independently ordained two lay preachers and appointed Thomas Coke as superintendent. With these and other actions, Methodism gradually moved out of the Church of England—though Wesley himself remained an Anglican until his death.
An indication of his organizational genius, we know exactly how many followers Wesley had when he died: 294 preachers, 71,668 British members, 19 missionaries (5 in mission stations), and 43,265 American members with 198 preachers. Today Methodists number about 30 million worldwide.
1787 The Federalist Papers
Beginning on October 27, 1787 the Federalist Papers were first published in the New York press under the signature of “Publius”. These papers are generally considered to be one of the most important contributions to political thought made in America. The essays appeared in bookform in 1788, with an introduction by Hamilton. Subsequently they were printed in manyeditions and translated to several languages. The pseudonym “Publius” was used by three man: Jay, Madison and Hamilton. Jay was responsible for only a few of the 85 articles. The papers were meant to be influential in the campaign for the adoption of the Constitution by New York State. But the authors not only discussed the issues of the constitution, but also many general problems of politics.
1787 The Constitution of the United States