Friday, September 5, 2008

A Millennialist Sermon Preached in Congress

Here is another dramatic religious service preached to both houses of Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives Chamber: This sermon on the millennium was preached by the Baltimore Swedenborgian minister, John Hargrove (1750-1839) in the House of Representatives. One of the earliest millennialist sermons preached before Congress was offered on July 4, 1801, by the Reverend David Austin (1759-1831), who at the time considered himself "struck in prophesy under the style of the Joshua of the American Temple." Having proclaimed to his Congressional audience the imminence of the Second Coming of Christ, Austin took up a collection on the floor of the House to support services at "Lady Washington's Chapel" in a nearby hotel where he was teaching that "the seed of the Millennial estate is found in the backbone of the American Revolution." Delivered the 25th December, 1804 before both houses of Congress, at the Capitol in the city of Washington. John Hargrove. Baltimore: Warner & Hanna, 1805 Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (171)

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