Theopolis Americana ("God's City: America")

A Sermon Preached By
Cotton Mather
(1709)


This excerpt from Mather's sermon shows how Mather, with other Puritans, believed that America was truly the "Promised Land." This thinking led ultimately to the doctrine of Manifest Destiny, whereby Anglo-Americans believed that it was their divine commission to spread their culture from Atlantic to Pacific.
Glorious Things are spoken of Thee, O thou City of God, whose Street be in thee, O New England; The interpretation of it, be unto you, O American Colonies... There are many Arguments to persuade us That our Glorious Lord will have an Holy City in America; a City, the street whereof shall be Pure Gold... There have been Martyrs of Christ in America. The Blood of the Martyrs here, is an Omen that the truths for which they Suffered are to Rise, and Live and carry all before them, in the Land that hath been so marked for the Lord... But our Glorious Lord, will order that the Good Seed ere long, to be cast, upon the Fertile regions of America, and it shall be here find a Good Ground, where it shall bring forth fruit unto astonishments; and unto perpetuity...

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