Chapter Five: The Tenets of Vine

Editor’s Note: taken from the remaining pages of A HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF THE REVELATION OF VINE by L. James Richardson, published 1804, archived 1805

Now it was in those days that the Church of Vine had been established before all other buildings, before even permanent homes for the settlers. Speedily-organized work crews toiled six days and six nights, and Vine was built stone by stone. On Sundays, the people of Vine gathered in church. One such Sunday, Preacher Duncan Laird, the oldest of the three preachers in the party that made the initial journey to Vine, delivered a sermon in the ancient style:

Editor’s note: some pages of the sermon were missing when L. James Richardson reprinted it in his book, and some pieces of Richardson’s book were missing when I went to write mine. 


Preacher Duncan Laird spoke, saying: “My brothers and sisters, long have we searched for a quiet, bountiful land where we could live humbly and serve our God. For…God’s chosen people in the New World, our destiny is to redeem this land and cherish it, wield dominion…as God instructed Adam and…the Israelities over Canaan. As our forebears fled religious persecution in Europe, so too did we break from the unrighteousness of other settlements…Thus did we set out…”


Preacher Duncan Laird spoke, saying: “In the beginning, God gave Adam…dominion…all its flora, all its fauna, land as far as the eye can see—and Vine…like the humble lamb, there is honor in working your own land…in death, we shall be sitted at the right hand of God…”


Preacher Duncan Laird spoke, saying: “…provided by God: soil…animals, and eventually, new blood to grow Vine’s ranks, for there shall be many who hear the call to live humbly and serve God…much in the way an owl does not bemoan its fate to hunt in shroud of night, Vine shall take no slaves, for to force another to labor over land that has been bestowed unto you is a sin…it is known that the strength of a community is its people…God shall be the one to deliver the End Times, like a thief in the night.”


Preacher Duncan Laird spoke, saying: “Though Vine, like all places in the New World, is a place where a man is free to prosper as much as he…no fewer than three Preachers shall shepherd the Church, just as no fewer than 12 Elders shall sit on the council, and neither shall the Preachers or Elders overlap members…like all places in the New World, is not without its mysteries; therefore, be vigilant—do not consort with witches, be wary of monsters that might stalk the woods of the mountains, be vigilant about unholy areas…”


Preacher Duncan Laird spoke, saying: “…a fiery and corrupting force—therefore keep Vine and its boundaries, and do not let yourself be tempted by further exploration…my brothers and sisters, for the land is bountiful…fish the waters as triumphantly as disciples of Christ…For from the wood we came, and to the wood, we shall return…”

When he was finished preaching and the people understood, Preacher Duncan Laird spoke, saying: “This is the Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.”

The people of Vine spoke, saying: “Amen.”

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