You can now read 10 articles each month for free on BostonGlobe.com.

The Boston Globe

Opinion

Burns Stanfield and Stephen Kendrick

As Mass. debates taxes, a lesson from John Winthrop

In 1630, John Winthrop crafted a sermon on board the Arbella for an early wave of Massachusetts Bay colonists from England. “We must be knit together . . . in brotherly affection,” and “make others’ conditions our own,” he preached. Invoking Moses, Jesus, and the prophets, he held high for the colony an image from the Sermon on the Mount: “We shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us.”

For almost four centuries, that vision has continued to animate American public discourse; and today, Winthrop’s words are pertinent to the renewed debate on raising new revenue in Massachusetts. We faith leaders in the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization congratulate Governor Patrick for initiating this debate, and we call upon our fellow citizens to be guided once again by our first governor’s vision of a Commonwealth grounded in justice, mercy, and provision for future generations.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than $1 a week