Theopolis Americana – Politics

Cotton Mather was a minister, born in Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony. He was the grandson of John Cotton. His sermon, Theopolis Americana: An Essay on the Golden Street of the Holy City was published in Boston in 1710. A testimony against the corruptions of the market-place. He preached it to the Massachusetts General Assembly on May 9, 1709. Mather also condemns all forms of dishonesty and business corruption including the kidnapping of Africans into slavery.


Although I think Mather’s sermon echoed the same narrative throughout it’s entirety, he is explicit with his points as illustrated here:

The first thing for which I move is that the golden rule of charity may operate in all the dealings of the market-place. Then will the street be pure gold, when everything is done in it with an eye to the golden rule of Christ. I am not versed in the niceties and mysteries of the market-place. But I am acquainted with a golden rule, which, I am sure, would mightily rectify all our dealings there. . . .”
The second thing for which I move is that all frauds in our dealings of all sorts may be the abomination of all that have anything to do in the market-place. . .”

“The third thing for which I move is that there may not be so much as any tendency to anything oppressive or injurious in the dealings with market-place. . .”

  It is asked of me by Mr. North how this sermon might have influenced me politically. All in all this sermon would not have influenced me in a political sense. He was a bit of an eccentric personality which was overbearing. I do think religion and politics can go hand in hand. Believing in God teaches us how to treat one another, a sentiment which should be understood if you are a politician. Without these teachings corruption will prevail.

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