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Copyright © 2012 by Michael A. Shea - All Rights Reserved


“The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules.”

    Cast in the Liberty Bell is the history of the United States of America. It is more than a mere bell with words on its side from Leviticus, “Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” There is a spiritual dimension to the bell. From the divine hand behind the bell’s creation and the Biblical phrase on its side, to the warnings God has given the country with the bell, He has used the bell to call attention and to mark the country’s adherence to His Law. And even today, God continues to employ the bell to “proclaim liberty throughout all the land,” as well as to warn the country of her lack of obedience to His law. ….


     To better understand our country’s future history, it important for us to understand our past, because in the divine order of things, both are inescapably linked. Although the Liberty Bell has framed and marked the country’s time line and adherence to the Law, the most important part of the story is of God’s hand in American history, and through those actions, what it portends for our nation’s future. …

(Many pages later)

     The bell tolled on June 1st and 18th, 1774, in sympathy to those in Boston who suffered under the British port closure. The bell was heard by delegates at the First Continental Congress who met at Carpenters Hall in 1774. It rang April 25, 1775, calling together eight thousand citizens after the battle of Lexington and Concord.

The bell was heard by delegates of the Second Continental Congress. It rang out on July 8, 1776, to announce the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. The bell rang the day of July 4th 1777 to mark the first anniversary of independence. John Adams wrote of the event:

I walked most of the evening, and I think it was the most splendid illumination I ever saw; a few surly houses were dark, but the lights were very universal. Considering the lateness of the design, and the suddenness of the execution, I was amazed at the universal joy and alacrity that was discovered, and at the brilliancy and splendor of every part of this joyful exhibition. I had forgot the ringing of the bells all day and evening, and the bonfires in the streets, and the fireworks played off.

By September of 1777, the British were close to taking Philadelphia. Patriots secured the State House bell so it would not fall into enemy hands and be melted down and cast into cannon balls to be used against the Continental Army. The bell was covered with potato sacks and hay and moved by wagon over sixty miles away to the Zion High German Reformed Church in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The wagon carrying the bell joined in with an army convoy, but oddly on the way to Zion, broke down under the weight in the center of the town Bethlehem.

Oh come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, Oh come ye, oh come ye to Bethlehem. Come and behold Him, Born the King of Angels! ... O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord. (Adeste Fideles, O Come All Ye Faithful)

— John Francis Wade (English hymnist, 1751)

     What rolled into Bethlehem along with the bell was wagon after wagon of injured soldiers from the battle of Brandywine. The small town became a military hospital. Seven hundred wagons rolled into town. “Before that week was ended, two hundred wagons arrived with more refugees, and wounded” along with the dead, and dying. The Zion High German Reformed Church in Allentown (New Jerusalem*) became a military hospital as well. Most of the Continental Army soldiers were believers, who were fighting for the right to worship their God who was born in Bethlehem many years earlier.

* New Jerusalem—The Moravian’s who settled in the Lehigh River Valley called the area of southern Allentown extending south and somewhat west, New Jerusalem. The Moravians were followers of Jan Hus, one of the early church reformers from Eastern Europe in the late 1300s early 1400s. They settled Bethlehem Pennsylvania into the Allentown, Nazareth, and New Jerusalem, from Germany and Czechoslovakia. The Moravian’s or Husites as they were called founded Bethlehem in 1741. Allentown, which is around five miles to the west from Bethlehem in the Lehigh Valley, was settled around 1751, officially founded in 1761. Allentown was named after Chief Justice of Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court (and former Mayor of Philadelphia) William Allen’s son James, who had a fishing lodge in Allentown. William Allen purchased the land William Penn’s son Thomas Penn in 1735 as a business investment.

We have no King, but King Jesus!

— Continental Soldiers, the Battle-cry of Freedom

   September 24th the bell was transferred to another wagon and the following day continued its journey to Allentown. The bell was hidden along with other area bells in a section dug out under the floor of the Zion High German Reformed Church.

     In the name of the town of Bethlehem, New Jerusalem, and Zion**, there is not only an unmistakable symbolism connected to the birth of Jesus Christ, but there is also a ponderous parallel to the Ark of the Covenant** being carried by wagon to Zion.

** Zion—The term Zion refers to the City of Jerusalem (City of David or City of God), which includes Mount Zion where King David captured the ancient fortress Jebusite. After the Davidic Covenant with God ~1,000 B.C., Zion, the spiritual center of the world, moved from Mount Sinai where Moses had received the Ten Commandments to Jerusalem. King David’s son Solomon built the temple on Mount Zion, which was the highest mountain in Jerusalem. It was a building to honor God and to receive and house the Ark of the Covenant. As a descendent of David, “Jesus was the Christ, the Anointed One Prophesied by David, who would inherit the throne of David and the Kingdom of Israel.”1

As was prophesied by Isaiah from around the year 710 B.C.

For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Isaiah 2:2-3 RSV

     The Ark of the Covenant was carried by wagon to outskirts of Jerusalem. From there it was carried by the priests to the temple on Mount Zion for safe keeping. The Ten Commandments on the stone tablets in the Ark of the Covenant, contained in the Book of Exodus*** and Deuteronomy, were laws to teach the Israelites to be a holy people. The Israelites were a people that God had set apart from other nations, they were a people who had voluntarily agreed to live under God’s Law. In a unique form of government never seen before in the world, they were governed not by kings but by God himself. Their destiny was tied to their adherence and often to their lack of adherence to God’s Law. (“The Exodus was Israel’s declaration of independence. It did not specify any form of government or any laws. It simply separated them from the government that had controlled them.”)


The Liberty Bell was brought by wagon to New Jerusalem to be stored for safe keeping on the hill in Zion (High German Reformed Church). The words on its side of the bell proclaim liberty (Gods Law) were from Leviticus (a manual for the priests which contained laws designed to make Israel a holy people). The laws from Leviticus were laws designed to teach the Israelites, and now the citizens of the colonies to be a holy people. The wagon carrying the bell broke down in Bethlehem, representing Jesus (from the lineage of David) and his birth place. The New Covenant with God was given by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. (“Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.— Matthew 5:17-18 RSV) The Gospel is the law of liberty.

     The United States was a nation set apart from other nations, whose people had voluntarily agreed to live under the law. Those in the colonies had agreed to be ruled not by a kings or queens, but by God himself. The Declaration of Independence was a document of separation from England. It did not specify any form of government for laws and was a Declaration of separation and petitioned to God for assistance. The Liberty Bell would come to represent the country’s Independence, and liberty and freedom living under God’s law. (Note: The author is not inferring the Liberty Bell is the same as the Ark of the Covenant, only highlighting an odd and prophetic parallel between them.) …

(Many pages later)

     By February 12th of 1846, it was noticed that the crack had expanded to where it had changed the sound of the old State House now Liberty Bell. The bell was repaired by cutting a slot along the length of the hairline crack. Two metal pegs were inserted in the slot to prevent the two sides of the bell from vibrating against each other. As scheduled Monday morning February 23, 1846, the Bell was rung in celebration of Washington’s birthday. The bell rang that morning until high noon, then it cracked, never to be heard again. (The significance of the term “high noon” Biblically, was when Jesus was crucified on the Cross, it was at noon that darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.)

     The Philadelphia Public Ledger reported the cracking of the bell, February 26, 1846:

The old Independence Bell rang its last clear note on Monday last in honor of the birthday of Washington and now hangs in the great city steeple irreparably cracked and dumb. It had been cracked before but was set in order of that day by having the edges of the fracture filed so as not to vibrate against each other ... It gave out clear notes and loud, and appeared to be in excellent condition until noon, when it received a sort of compound fracture in a zig-zag direction through one of its sides which put it completely out of tune and left it a mere wreck of what it was.

     The bell cracked a few months shy of the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Like the number 50 (Jubilee) the number 70 carries Biblical significance. Slavery is a violation of the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Slavery is a violation of God’s law, which would no longer be allowed to continue. The number 70 Biblically, denotes the “punishment and restoration of Israel.” Through the shedding of blood, the sin of slavery would be removed from the land.

     The Second Great Awakening had unleashed a moral divide in the country that would soon be settled on the battlefield in war. From the anti-slavery publication in 1851 titled The Liberty Bell by the Friends of Freedom in Boston, wrote:

There is a Providence; men in wrath and in folly may make alien or enemies of one of another; we cannot alienate Providence, or, except by iniquity or faithlessness, turn the course of Providence to work our injury. The slavery agitation will at last be settled. Under Divine Providence, it will be settled by human instrumentality. Should the ambition of this individual, gazing after the seals of office,—or avarice of that grasping greedily, nervously catching after the means of wealth,—lead such to combine and, by force of power settle with out reference to the laws of God, and the rights of man, this great question of the human race,—the settlement will soon be broken up again,. And though their plans might be so cunningly laid, that wealth and office should be theirs upon the completion of their arrangements, they can not long enjoy them. They cannot stop the revolution of the earth upon its axis, and the revolution of the moral world will bear them to oblivion.

— The Liberty Bell (Friends of Freedom, Boston, 1851)

(Many pages later)

     The Liberty Bell rings once again to proclaim liberty across the land. On April 6, 2001, a man by the name of Mitchell A. Guilliatt while visiting the Liberty Bell, pulled out of his bag a hand hand-held sledgehammer and started banging on the lip of the Bell. He struck the bell four or five times yelling out with each blow “God lives on!” At his court hearing, “Guilliatt told U.S. Magistrate Judge Diane M. Welsh that he had been inspired by the Biblical quotation from Leviticus inscribed on the 249-year-old historical icon: ‘Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.’…

     Guilliatt struck the Liberty Bell on a Friday, which immediately preceded Holy Week and Easter. Spring, specifically the month of April, is considered to be a time of rebirth. Perhaps the message to the country was that it needs a rebirth in the Son of the living God, from whom the blessings of liberty and freedom flow. It was also likely the last warning given by God to the country before chastisement from its transgression against the law.

     April 6th happened to be the same month and day (April 6, 1789) that Washington was unanimously elected as president of the United States by electoral votes. But more important for our present day is that 2001 was the same year that the attack on the World Trade Centers and Pentagon took place. It was in New York City back in 1789 that George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the United States and the location of the new Republic’s first capital (under the Constitution). Federal Hall now Federal Hall National Memorial where Washington dedicated the country to God (requesting the Bible be open to Deuteronomy 28*: for the oath of office), was damaged by the falling debris from the World Trade Center towers. Not far from Federal Hall was found standing in a field of wreckage a number of perfectly formed steel crosses. A spray painted sign with the words “God’s house” and arrow pointed the way to the site.

     Saint Paul’s Chapel where divine services were held for Washington and members of Congress after the inauguration was miraculously saved, and used as a place of rest and refuge by workers at the World Trade Center site. God was also using the bell to call the country’s attention back to the nation’s most sacred document, the Declaration of Independence, signed the previous year. More than a social compact between a nation and their God, the Declaration of Independence was a divinely inspired document that John Quincy Adams said morally obligated all Americans. “From the day of the declaration … they [the American people] were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of the Gospel, which they nearly all, acknowledged as the rules of their conduct.” “The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.”

On September 11, 2001, an ancient Sycamore tree stood between the small Saint Paul’s Chapel of 1766, and the World Trade Center. …

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