Patrick Henry, an American orator and statesman, and a leading patriot of the American Revolution, is often credited with saying:
“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
This is why 24 of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence received what, today, would be considered a seminary education. This also explains why the Supreme Court, in the early 1800s, ruled that public schools should teach the Bible. Noah Webster went so far as to say:
“education is useless without the Bible.”
History, as well as the original intent of the Founders, does not allow us to separate God’s Word from governing our nation. The Founders chose a republic over a democracy for this very reason. A democracy governs by direct vote of the majority of the people; principle-centered leadership was to govern America’s republic. Representatives were to vote and administrate according to unchanging biblical principles, not by feelings or opinion polls. Murder, stealing, lying, and so forth are always wrong regardless of how the majority may vote. This isn’t a popular stance, or an easy one, but it’s the right one! We need more people in leadership who recognize the urgent need to return to biblical principles.
Unlike today, many early political leaders were not ashamed to admit the true source of America’s strength—they were biblically correct, rather than politically correct. They were statesmen, not politicians. A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman thinks of the next generation. Watch the short clip from Fox News here: https://video.foxnews.com/v/6011337879001/
EDITOR’s NOTE: Most of our Founding Fathers knew that Christianity was vital to the preservation of the republic they were establishing. To lose that Christian foundation was to lose the virtue, morality and liberty.
Noah Webster also stated:
“When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, just men who will rule in the fear of God. The preservation of a republican government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good, so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens well be violated or disregarded.”
“If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws. Intriguing men can never be safely trusted.” [Noah Webster, History of the United States. Durrie & Pece, New Haven, Conn. 1832. pp. 307-8.]
Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence stated:
“The only foundation for…a republic is to be laid in Religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.” [Benjamin Rush, Thoughts Upon the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic, Early American Imprints, 1786.; Federer, p. 802.]
Benjamin Rush, later on wrote:
“I believe no man was ever early instructed in the truth of the Bible without having been made wiser or better by the early operation of these impressions upon his mind. . . .
“If moral precepts alone could have reformed mankind, the mission of the Son of God into our world would have been unnecessary. He came to promulgate a system of doctrines, as well as a system of morals. The perfect morality of the Gospel rests upon a doctrine which, I mean the vicarious life and death of the Son of God. This sublime and ineffable doctrine delivers us from the absurd hypothesis of modern philosophers concerning the foundation of moral obligation, and fixes it upon the eternal and self-moving principle of LOVE. It concentrates a whole system of ethics in a single text of Scripture: ‘A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you’.”
“By withholding the knowledge of this doctrine from children, we deprive ourselves of the best means of awakening moral sensibility in their minds. We do more; we furnish as argument for withholding from them a knowledge of the morality of the Gospel likewise; for this, in many instances, is as supernatural, and therefore as liable to be controverted, as any of the doctrines or miracles which are mentioned in the New Testament…”
“Contemplating merely the political institutions of the United States, I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes, and take so little pains to prevent them. We profess to be republicans, and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government; that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible, for this divine book, above all others, favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws, and all those sober and frugal virtues which constitute the soul of republicanism.” [ Benjamin Rush, A Defense of the Use of the Bible in Schools, American Tract Society, 1830.]
John Adams, 2nd President of the United States wrote:
“I agree with you in sentiment, that religion and virtue are the only foundations, not only of republicanism and of all free government, but of social felicity under all governments and in all the combinations of human society.: [John Adams, Letter to Benjamin Rush, 28 Aug. 1811, Charles Francis Adams, The Works of John Adams, Little, Brown & Co., Boston, 1854, V. 9, pp. 635-640.]
John Witherspoon, a singer of the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation, stated:
“When the body of a people are altogether corrupt in their manners, the government is ripe for dissolution. Good laws may hold the rotten bark some longer together, but in a little time all laws must give way to the tide of popular opinion,… “
“Those who are vested with civil authority, ought also with much care, to promote religion and good morals among all under their government. If we give credit to the holy scriptures, he that ruleth must be just, ruling in the fear of God…But in free states, where the body of the people have the supreme power properly in their own hands, and must be ultimately resorted to on all great matters, if there be a general corruption of manners, there can be nothing but confusion. So true is this, that civil liberty cannot be long preserved without virtue…a republic once equally poised must either preserve its virtue or lose its liberty,…” [John Witherspoon, Thanksgiving Sermon, 1782, Rev. Dr. John Rodgers, The Works of the Rev. John Witherspoon, D.D. L.L.D., William W. Woodward, Philadelphia, 1802, V.3, pp. 80-85.]
And finally, Supreme Court Justice Josiah Brewer wrote in the decision of Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, 143 U.S. 465-471 (1892):
“No purpose of action against religion can be imputed to any legislation, state or national, because this is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation. (465)
“There is no dissonance in these declarations. There is a universal language pervading them all, having one meaning; they affirm and reaffirm that this is a religious nation. These are not individual sayings, declarations of private persons: they are organic utterances; they speak the voice of the entire people. (470)”
“If we pass beyond these matters to a view of American life, as expressed by its laws, its business, its customs, and its society, we find every where a clear recognition of the same truth. Among other matters, note the following: the form of oath universally prevailing, concluding with an appeal to the Almighty; the custom of opening sessions of all deliberative bodies and most conventions with prayer; the prefatory words of all wills, “In the name of God, amen;” the laws respecting the observance of the Sabbath, with the general cessation of all secular business, and the closing of courts, legislatures, and other similar public assemblies on that day; the churches and church organizations which abound in every city, town, and hamlet; the multitude of charitable organizations existing every where under Christian auspices; the gigantic missionary associations, with general support, and aiming to establish Christian missions in every quarter of the globe. These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation. (471)”
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