By Dr. Mal Couch
Public prayer, spiritual publications of poems and music, have always been a part of America, until recently. There are forces now trying to silence the Christian spiritual heritage of open and free expression to our God that made this nation great.
Each week Iíll add some historical tidbits as how Christian expression and public prayer was a vital part of our nationís blessing. We may not fully know of the spiritual state of all the men we examine, but we do know none of them were fearful of prayers to the God of the Bible in the public setting.
If you are a pastor or Sunday school teacher, please print off these little bits of our history and share them with others.
Judge Samuel Sewall
One of the early tragedies of the early history of America was the Salem Witchcraft trials of Salem Massachusetts in 1692. Highly educated and intelligent, Chief Justice Samuel Sewall was caught up in the hysteria and was one of the jurors that sent nineteen young women to their deaths with the charge of being witches. But within months after the tragedy many realized the terrible mistake and the miscarriage of justice.
And five years later Justice Sewall made one of the greatest acts of public contrition in American history when he stood before his churchís congregation as the Reverend Samuel Willard read aloud his confession. In the letter Sewall said that he
For the rest of his life, Sewall regularly set aside whole days for prayer and fasting, lost at times in the thoughts of those difficult days and his own incomprehensible actions!