A Sermon on Patriotism and The Spirit of ’76, April 15, 1917

The United States declared war and entered World War I on Friday April 6, 1917 (Good Friday as it happens). A week later ministers were asked to preach patriotic sermons on Sunday April 15, 1917. Among the manuscripts left by Earl Davis are two attempts to develop a patriotic sermon, “A Sermon on Patriotism” and “The Spirit of ’76,” Both are below.

Neither of these sermons feels complete. Both end abruptly and both are relatively short. Each emphasizes the importance of democracy. In Davis’ opinion the principles of democracy are worth fighting for. The are different, however. “The Spirit of ’76,” as its title suggests speaks of the initial fight for democracy in the American Revolution. “A Sermon on Patriotism” approaches democracy from a more contemporary level of principle. I have no way of knowing which sermon–if either–was actually given on Sunday April 15, 1917.