Joyful All Ye Nations Rise

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In 1739, Charles Wesley published the hymn, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing!” One verse of the carol says, “Joyful all ye nations rise.” Nations rise and fall according to what they do with the gospel, which the angels heralded.

America joyfully rose out of the darkness of heathenism to become the mightiest nation ever, because of men, who first gave “glory unto the new born king,” instead of temporal kings.

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Some call into question America’s Christian heritage, because they primarily associate our founders with political and secular fathers like Franklin, Washington and Jefferson, instead of men of great faith, like Methodist preacher, George Whitfield. He came to America from England in 1740 and preached up and down the colonies and became a leading light of the First Great Awakening.

Whitefield’s popular hymn book, A Collection of Hymns for Social Worship (1753), which went through dozens of editions, included, “Hark the Herald Angels sing. Whitfield and his travelling companions were known for singing on public roads as they journeyed from town to before the Revolution.

The father of American Methodism, Francis Asbury, was commissioned to America by John Wesley in 1771. After the Revolution, he became known as “the prophet of the long road.” On horseback he rode the circuit up and down the newly formed states with the Bible in one hand and the hymns of Charles Wesley on his tongue, including “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” He established Methodist churches, which were instrumental in making America great in the first place. Asbury was one of the leaders of the Second Great Awakening.

Other evangelical preachers, many of whom like Whitfield and Asbury preached outside, were instrumental in laying the Christian foundation of America. They are rarely given the credit they deserve as founding fathers. Certainly, they were not Deists. Whitfield and Asbury were two of the best-known men of their times. Whitfield reached celebrity status.

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