1853 South Carolina Discourse upon Governments, Free White Men Are Sovereign

1853 South Carolina Discourse upon Governments, Free White Men Are Sovereign

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Coit, J. C. A Discourse upon Governments, Divine and Human, prepared by appointment of the Presbytery of Harmony; and delivered before that body during its sessions in Indiantown Church, Williamsburg District, S. C., April, 1853. Columbia, S. C.: T. F. Greneker, 1853. First Edition. [6111]

Gray printed wrapper, two edge chips to front, 5 1/2 x 9 inches, pencil signature of Revd. Wm. Chester, D.D. to front, pencil call numbers on tp, 47 pp., some dog-eared page corners, wrappers almost detached. Wrapper has the imprint of "Banner" Steam-Power Press; T. F. Greneker is on the tp. Good. Pamphlet.

The first 30 pp. take up a declaration of of how God's word, or law, created man and revealed to him the way of redemption after his fall in the garden. How the gospel is the revelation of God's law or plan of redemption, the helplessness of man to approach God on his own, &c. Then follows a discussion of the subordinate powers ordained by God among men for their government, that of the family, the state, and the church.

To that of the State we draw your attention: "To the sovereign power in the State are delegated of God the awful prerogatives of the sword. The sword is lawfully drawn in defence of sovereignty itself, when invaded, and also to enforce obedience, or to restrain and punish transgressors of civil law...In the free white men of our State is vested her sovereignty. These sovereigns have ordained two civil governments, the Federal and the State...they have delegated to neither government - Federal or State - their own, sovereign and supreme political dominion...The Federal Government has no legislative power in South Carolina, but that which has been freely delegated by the sovereign people of the State...The Federal Government, being itself no party to the Constitution, but its mere creature, has no power to determine upon the political rights of States, or the people...In their political character, however, the free men of this State have the moral responsibility for the settled and permanent character of its legislation."


John Calkins Coit (1799-1863) b. New London, CT; moved to Cheraw, SC about 1825 to open a law practice. Coit was an elder at the Cheraw Presbyterian Church and active the efforts to establish the congregation. He began the study of theology in 1834 and was ordained pastor of the Cheraw Church by the Presbytery of Harmony a few years after. He remained for twenty years. Soon after become pastor of the church, the Sunday School was abolished "and parents were charged with the duty of instructing their children, and also their slaves, in the Catechism and Confession of Faith of the church, and required that they have them present in church at stated times that the pastor might instruct them in matters pertaining to religion." - Matheson, History of First Presbyterian Church, Cheraw, S. C. (1943).  He was president of the Merchants Bank of Cheraw, which continued during his pastoral ministry. It is said that he donated a substantial part of his salary as pastor back to the church.  "His ecclesiastical and political sentiments were of a very decided character." - M'Clintock & Strong.

The signature on the front is of Rev. William Chester, D.D., a graduate of Union College, studied at Princeton Theological Seminary; at this time employed by the Board of Education of the Presbyterian Church in North Carolina.