A Sermon on American Affairs

Publication Year: 1775

Zubly, John Joachim. The Law of Liberty: a Sermon on American Affairs, Preached at  the Opening of the Provincial Congress of Georgia. Philadelphia: Printed by Henry  Miller, 1775.  
PHS Call number: CR AMER 1775 E14635

Reading suggestions

See especially Zubly's address to the Earl of Dartmouth (pages iii-xx); and pages 1-7  and 23-28 of the sermon. This document was printed using the "long s".  

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Source note

Not all Presbyterians were Patriots; John Zubly (1724-1781), first pastor of Savannah's Independent Presbyterian Church, was a loyalist. In this sermon from  September 1775, Zubly defends the Americans in their objections to British oppression,  but also counsels against rash measures on either side. Zubly was a member of the  Continental Congress from July 4, 1775, but resigned in November after being accused  of providing sensitive information to the royal governor of Georgia. 

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Reading questions

1. Who is the author of this source? What information might this source provide  about religion and the American Revolution?  
2. What is the “whole subject of the dispute” between the colonies and England,  according to Zubly (page v)?  3. What was the result of all the British violence against the colonists that Zubly has  outlined on previous pages (page xiii)? 
4. Who is the intended audience of Zubly’s letter (pages iii-xx)? Who is the audience  for Zubly’s sermon (pages 1-32; see also unnumbered pages at the beginning of  the document)?  
5. Zubly uses the example of Roboam from the Bible to illustrate what point (page  2)?  
6. How is the gospel a law of liberty, according to Zubly (pages 6, 7)?  7. What hope does Zubly entertain about King George (page 23)? 
8. Both Zubly (page 24) and the Synod of New York and Philadelphia (Document 1,  page 545 [transcript]; page 326 [manuscript]) suggest that the King of England  has been misled by his advisers about the situation in the colonies. Was this a  common belief at the time, and what did it say about colonists’ relationship to the  British monarchy? 


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Source type
History Topics
American Revolution
Presbyterian History
Time Period
American Revolution (1763-1783)