Primary Resource

"The Sun Do Move" by John Jasper (1878)

John Jasper, prominent slave preacher and founder of Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church in Richmond, gave this sermon in 1878. The dialect representations are part of the 1882 publication.

Transcription from Original

Brethren and Friends: The text is found in Exdus [sic], chapter 15, verse 3: "The Lord is a man of war; The Lord is his name."

I will begin the argument by making a few broad-cast remarks upon the origin of the Jews. I shall start at Abram, the father of the Jews. After the flood, we reads in the 10th chapter of Genesis, how the world become settled with people, and how they multiplied, and whar they went into the different parts of the earth. We finds out that Abram war residing in Haran, whar his relations war. They war idolaters. Abram war 75 years old when he war called out of Haran and the Lord showed him into the land of Canaan, which war to be his inheritance. It war the Lord's purpose that the Jews should go amongst a strange people and be afflicted for 400 years. About 25 years after Abram come out of Haran, he had the pleasure of looking on his lawful heir, Isaac. He had another son, by his maid-servant.

When after he had the pleasure of looking on this lawful heir, Isaac advanced on, like other children, until he got to a certain age. And God said to him on this occasion to take his son Isaac, to whom he war very much devoted, and carry him to a mountain,

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called Moriah, and offer him up for a burnt sacrifice. After Abram attempted to do so, when he had bound his son on the altar and drawed his knife, and war about to give the stroke, he war called by the angel of the Lord out of Heaven, and the angel said: "Lay not thy hand upon the lad, for thy faith are tried, and I sees thou are willing to sacrifice; but, instead of Isaac, take the ram that's caught by the horns on the mountain, and offer him in the place of Isaac, and let Isaac be released." When Isaac advanced on and felt desirous to change the single state of life and try the married state, he was fortunate in getting the one he had made his choice, Rebeccah. Then Abram begot Isaac, and Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot twelve sons. Each of these sons war the head of a family, which are called the twelve tribes of Israel. Out of those that lived, there was seventy and five souls that went down into Egypt, sojourned there, and they multiplied considerably, though they was afflicted by the king of Egypt 400 years.

And when the time expired that they started to come out, God commissioned Moses to state to Pharay to let his people go, that they might come out to serve him. Pharay hardened his heart and declined to do so, and God visited him with frequent judgments. In making Pharay 's obstinacy to yield, God caused several miracles to be performed. I could illustorate the pint by a good many, but I will

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only mention three. First he caused Moses and Aaron to smote the waters, so they become full of frogs; then they smote the dust of the earth, and that become lice on man and beast; and the other miracle war that the Lord sent a grievous swarm of flies to bother and pester the Egyptians, and you knows how flies pesters, specially in summer time! These war some of the plagues that God sent upon Pharay to make him submit. Then Pharay beseech-ed Moses for to ask God to remove the flies, and he would let them go. Thar war various other plagues, but, as I said a while ago, I omits them, because it makes the time too lengthly, and it would be tedious, also, for the argument I propose to 'culcate. After God done so severely visited him by destroying angels, and he found out that God war about to display his power, and that he warn't no match for God, then Pharay consented to let them go. So he come out into the wilderness with 600 chariots, and colonels with them, to capture them and carry them back: he come out to fight a battle against Jehovah! God disappointed him in his expectations, and Pharay and his men war drownd-ed in the Red Sea. And Pharay himself, before he war drownd-ed, and when he found God war about to smother him and bring Israel through, exclaimed and said: "Turn back, for this day has God fought for Israel against the Egyptians!" Oh, brethren and friends, that war the time that God rode gloriously

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and triumphantly, like a mighty rider, on the face of the ocean, and showed that he war a man of war, and war capable of delivering his people!

I will now show that God also sustained Moses and backed him up in fighting with two kings of the Amorites, Sihon and Og. He conquered them, so I won't lengthen the argument. I will just go to Joshua, who war the successor of Moses. He took the young tribes that war raised up in the wilderness, after they left the land of Egypt, and carried them across the Jordan into Canaan. After he got into Canaan, Jericho war the first place he captured; the next place he captured war Ai, and the next after that war great Gibeon. I will now proceed to illustorate to you how these places war took.

Joshua and the Israelites went round the walls of Jericho six times, once a day, and, when they went round the seventh time, then Joshua commanded them to give a shout, and they blowed the trumpets of rams' horns, and the walls of Jericho fell—so that war captured: they captured Jericho and the king of Jericho.

At Ai Joshua sent up 3,000 men to spy out, and they went up, and the Amorites slayed 36 men out of the 3,000. Those that remained come back to Joshua, and when he heard what the Amorites had done, he fell on his face and cried out to the Lord. The Lord said, "Wherefore liest thou on thy face? Get up, for Israel hath sinned and hath amongst

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them the cursed thing." And that cursed thing war a Babylonious garment, 250 shekels of silver, and a golden wedge that Akon, the son of Kami, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zero, had carried to his tent and mixed amongst his own spoils. So Joshua had these things laid down before the children of Israel for to be destroyed, and he called Akon to account for having those things, and he acknowledged it truthfully. And they stoned Akon to death, and cast him into the valley of Akon, and he is thar until this day. And after they had got the cursed thing from amongst them, Joshua led so many thousand men into an ambush to lay in wait for the city. He took so many thousands and went up to Ai, and told them he war gwine up thar, and war gwine to run, and the Amorites would for sure chase him, just as they did the first; and, as he drawed them from the city, then his men that war lying in ambush war to rise up and seize on the city. They done so. He went up and they immediately got after him, and they war so warmly after him that they done forgot to shut the city gates, and left them wide open: then the men lying in ambush rose up and captured it.

After he had captured Ai, the Gibeonites feared that Joshua was gwine to capture them and take their lives. So, some on 'em disguised themselves; they put on old shoes, and old hats, and old coats, and took with them moldy bread and meat, and bottles of wine, and went amongst Israel, and got in

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amongst them and made allege that they war furriners that come from a far country, and they had heard of the fame of Israel, and how they had conquered the two kings of the Amorites on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, and they said, "the whole land is faint-hearted on account of the fame of Moses and of yourself since you have been here"—(for you recollects that Joshua had got the children of Israel on this side of Jordan by this time);—"we are furriners,'' they said, "we come from a far country, and we are willing to be hewers of wood and drawers of water, to save our lives." Under that allege, Joshua recognized them as furriners and took them then for that purpose.

But, two or three days after that, some of the neighbors sent word to Joshua and said, "these are not furriners; they are Gibeonites." And Joshua called them to account, and asked them why they did tell a falsehood; and they affirmed that they did told a lie, but they did it because they were in fear of their lives, and that, as they said at first, they would be willing to become hewers of wood and drawers of water to save their lives. And the five kings of the Amorites heard of it, and, feared lest things would turn out too strong against them, they concluded to make war against great Gibeon. So that the five kings of the Amorites combined themselves together to fight against great Gibeon, because the inhabitants of great Gibeon had gotten among Israel and repre-

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sented themselves as furriners under a falsehood. When they had gathered themselves together and had fixed themselves in array of battle,—it war a very warm battle. And Joshua war sent for. He war at Gilgal, and they sent for him to come immediately, and to slack not his hand. And when he come and saw the array of battle, Joshua found out that the sun war advancing rapidly to go down and that he could not avenge himself on the enemies before the sun did went down. He beseech-ed God that the sun should stop. The Lord commanded him to stand in the sight of Israel and speak to the sun, and say unto the sun: "Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou, moon, in the Valley of Ajalon, and the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, and hasted not to go down for a whole day." And there had never been a time when God harkened to the voice of a man to stop the sun until this occasion. After the battle war fought, and Joshua achieved a victory over the enemies, he turned back and commanded the five kings of the Amorites (who had concealed themselves in a cave) to be brought out; and they brought them out, and he caused his valiant men to put their foots upon their necks, and said unto them: "Thus shall you do unto all your enemies." And they took them five kings and hung them upon five trees, and they hung upon them five trees "until the going down of the sun."

Now then, I have proved to you all these things

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as they are laid down in the Bible, chapter and verse. According to the text, Joshua showed in the sight of all Israel that The Sun Do Move, because he stopped it, by God's command, for a whole day, as the text states. If he stopped it, that proves that the sun war moving, and moving over Joshua and the Amorites, and of course they war nowhar else than on this here earth, and consequently it war moving around the earth, and after the battle war over, it begun moving again in its regular course. Therefore it is proved that the Sun Do Move around the earth.

Now then, this great fact of the sun's rotation may be illustorated by many powerful texts in the Bible: I will confine myself to the most striking ones. Notice Malachi, chapter 1, verse 2—and that come from God's own mouth, and thar can be no properer authority than God's authority. With His own lips he said, "For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles." What strikes us here is that the Sun Do Move! "My name shall be great among the Gentiles —(and we people of to-day is the Gentiles)—thar, is an evidence that the Sun Do Move, for it's God that says it. And take Ecclesiastes, 1st chapter, 5th verse: "The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose." Thar's an evidence that he arose, for if he had not done left the place, he could not haste to whar he arose. Again, in Psalm 1, verse 1: "The mighty

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God, even the Lord, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof." I illustorates this as an evidence that the Sun Do Move, for the psalmist is the inspired writer, authorized by the Almighty to say this. The following texts I put in evidence: Psalm 113, Verse 3:—"From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, the Lord's name is to be praised." Isaiah, Chapter 38, Verse 8: "Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees which is gone down in the sun-dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward; so the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down." And Judges, Chapter 14, Verse 18: "Before the sun went down—." Now, from the expressions of all these texts, thar is evidence that the Sun Do Move, for they war all inspired and written of God, of the Holy Spirit of God, who authorized to write these things. See, also, Jeremiah, chapter 31, verse 37: "Thus saith the Lord, if heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord." Here is more evidence. No man can measure the distance from the sun to the earth, according to this text. Thus God says this distance can't be found out, for it is impossible to measure the foundations of the earth. "In the firmament is the tabernacle of the sun; he is gwine forth as from one end of the heaven to the other, and his circuit is to the end of

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the earth," saith the psalmist. That is, instead of the earth's circling, the sun is circling the earth. Therefore the sun's rotation can't be overthrown. The Filosofers' reasons to the contrary is a matter of impossibility. They say thar is a nation that at 1 2 o'clock in the day has their foots opposite us: now it is an utter impossibility for them to know that thar is any nation under thar doing so, as, witness in Jeremiah, 31st chapter, verse 37, whar it says the foundatious [sic] of the earth can't be measured.

Now then, brethren, let us pass on. Notice this from Revelation, chapter 7, verse 1: "And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree." Now the four angels that stood on the four corners of the earth are an evidence that the earth is squar and not round, for anything that has got four corners is not round, but squar! So we is living on a four-cornered earth sot steady. "I saw four angels," etc.,—now this text means the overthrow of the Pagans' power, or the fury that the unsanctified monarchs war about to pour out on the Christian Church. Those four angels standing on the four corners war sent to hold in check the rage of those unsanctified men that war seeking to pour out their rage on the Christian Church. Some persons says, Revelation war a dream of John. Now, it was not a dream, but a vision. And

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thar is a mighty great difference between a dream and a vision. A dream am an empty thing, but a vision are a reality. The Apostle Paul war converted by a vision—that shows you what a vision am! Revelation war a reality authorized by God: what the Apostle saw thar, he was authorized by God to write.

Now, in summing up the whole argument, the conclusion I desires to impress upon you am, stick to the Bible! Stand by it in every word and line, read it, meditate over and believe it as a white book, unmixed of errors. It am God's Reveal-ed Will, and it am our duty to obey it as a guide that will tell us all what we got to do, conduct us through this life, and lead us into heaven. It am an all-sufficient guide for all persons, nations, climes. Therefore, cling to the Bible and don't depart from it in the least. All that God desired that men should know and do is thar in that book, to prepare us for heaven; and it can't be got out of no other book, I don't care what you calls it!

Whatever God in his providence has laid down, that we must believe in and obey. Yet often we murmur against God's providence, not knowing that his providence is all for the best. It's like if we look on a leaf of this book (the Bible); if we only reads what is on one page, without looking underneath, on the other side, we can't understand its meaning; so we can't see through the ways of his prov-

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idence. For instance, take death! If every man had to say when he should die, he would live on to a hundred, a thousand years—he never would die. But you all has to go! And when Providence calls you! Death am universal! Go down all the main streets, and then into the cross streets of this city, and what do you see? Some man or woman mourning for a lost one! Go into the avenues and lanes leading into this city, and what do you see? Some farmer with his cart bringing produce to the city—he, too, is a mourner! "How, do people die in the country?" Yes, Death am universal! Go a little further—into the mountains whar the bold streams rushes down, meanders through the wilderness and empties into the rivers: thar, also, you will find some lost one mourned for! Move on, along them rivers, until you gets to the tempestuous ocean, whar two hundred ships is passing by the sea-shore: then look at the crape round the hats of their officers! "What's the matter, Cap'n ?" "We are mourners for our dead!" Cross over and go into the interior, and strike the soil planted with graves: "What's the matter, furriners? Has Death crossed over here, too?" "Yes, we, too, have to mourn for lost ones!" Death am universal! But, brethren and friends, there is consolation for us, if we repents of our sins, and starts for heaven. Oh, let me warn you to accept the eternal life promised through our Savior, before it am too late, when you appears at the Seat of Judgment!

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Fellow-sinners in ranks! turn your back on Hell, and look toward Heaven! King Jesus cometh!—Fall in ranks! —when all his elect shall mount in chariots drawn by wing-ed horses, and be seen gwine up in the clouds to that blessed abode whar all the houses is made of gold and the streets is paved with pearls. Amen.