GOD GOVERNS IN THE AFFAIRS OF MEN Speech by Benjamin Franklin During the Constitutional Convention

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GOD GOVERNS IN THE AFFAIRS OF MEN Speech by Benjamin Franklin During the Constitutional Convention, supporting his motion for Prayers in the Constitutional Convention. While the important question of the representation of the states in the senate was the subject of debate, and the states were almost equally divided upon it, Dr. Franklin moved that prayers should be attended in the convention every morning, and in support of his motion, thus addressed the president.

“Mr. President.—The small progress we have made after four or five weeks close attendance and continual reasonings with each other—our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many nays, as ayes—is, methinks, a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the human understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of government, and examined the different forms of those republics which, having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution, now no longer exist. And we have viewed modern states all round Europe, but find none of their constitutions suitable to our circumstances.

In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights, to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor. To that kind Providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “except the Lord build the house they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this ; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel. We shall be divided by our little partial local interests ; our projects will be confounded ; and we ourselves shall become a reproach and a by-word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter, from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing governments by human wisdom, and leave it to chance, war, and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move—that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service.”

To understand what the Founding Fathers meant by separation of Church and State you have to look at the history of Europe. They did not mean for us to push God and Jesus out of the public square or out of the governmental domain. They simply meant the government and the church would not join together to oppress the people as they had done historically, they were also against the establishment of a theological hierarchy, just as they were against the Divine Right of Kings to rule, as had been historically taught by the Church of England, the Catholic Church and the establishment religious organizations of the time. Far too often the Church was controlled by the King, or the King was controlled by the church, in all cases it was to the detriment of the common people. To misinterpret the Constitution as they do in this present time is a radical departure from it’s true meaning. Just as is proven, when they always conveniently leave out the second part of the religious freedom clause.

First Amendment of the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

They always conveniently leave out “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”, it does not say “freedom from religion”, it says freedom of religious expression. When you deny people in government the right to talk about God, Jesus, the Bible, from wearing crosses, denying their right to pray, etc. you are going against everything the founders stood for and denying their right to the “free exercise” of their religious beliefs, and you are also denying their right to free speech. This has gone on far too long and runs counter to everything the founding fathers believed and fought for.

See also: THE TRANSCENDENT GLORY OF THE REVOLUTION by John Quincy Adams
THE DECLARATION OF THE REPRESENTATIVES IN 1775 by John Dickinson
OF THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM; AND OF TRAITORS by John Dickinson 1732-1808
THE MEANING OF THE REVOLUTION and CONTROVERSY OF INDEPENDENCE
A PATRIOT’S THANKSGIVING by John Woolman; Quaker and Early Anti-Slavery Spokesman
A WARNING TO AMERICANS by John Dickinson 1732-1808
Never Judge a Book by it’s Cover: In memory of a great man I once knew

AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE by Samuel Adams Delivered to Congress Aug 1, 1776

Bill of RightsAMERICAN INDEPENDENCE: An oration delivered at the State house, in Philadelphia, to a very numerous audience, on Thursday, the first of August, 1776, by Samuel Adams, member of the General Congress of the united States of America.

Countrymen And Brethren: I would gladly have declined an honor, to which I find myself unequal. I have not the calmness and impartiality which the infinite importance of this occasion demands. I will not deny the charge of my enemies, that resentment for the accumulated injuries of our country, and an ardor for her glory, rising to enthusiasm, may deprive me of that accuracy of judgment and expression which men of cooler passions may possess. Let me beseech you then, to hear me with caution, to examine without prejudice, and to correct the mistakes into which I may be hurried by my zeal.

Truth loves an appeal to the common sense of mankind. Your unperverted understandings can best determine on subjects of a practical nature. The positions and plans which are said to be above the comprehension of the multitude may be always suspected to be visionary and fruitless. He who made all men hath made the truths necessary to human happiness obvious to all.

Our forefathers threw off the yoke of Popery in religion; for you is reserved the honor of leveling the popery of politics. They opened the Bible to all, and maintained the capacity of every man to judge for himself in religion. Are we sufficient for the comprehension of the sublimest spiritual truths, and unequal to material and temporal ones?

A contemporary print,[1760’s] entitled " An Attempt to land a Bishop in America," gives the pressure of the times. The scene is at the wharf. Exclamations from the colonists, "No lords, spiritual or temporal, in New England!" "Shall they be obliged to maintain bishops who cannot maintain themselves !" salute the bishop's ears. On a banner, surmounted by a liberty-cap, is "Liberty and Freedom of Conscience;" and "Locke," "Sydney on Government," "Calvin's Works," and "Barclay's Apology," bless his eyes! The ship is shoved off shore; on the deck is the bishop's carriage, the wheels off; the crosier and mitre hang in the rigging; and the "saint in lawn," with his gown floating in the breeze, has mounted the shrouds halfway to the mast-head, and exclaims “Lord, now Lord, lettest thou thy servant depart in peace!”

A contemporary print,[1760’s] entitled ” An Attempt to land a Bishop in America,” gives the pressure of the times. The scene is at the wharf. Exclamations from the colonists, “No lords, spiritual or temporal, in New England!” “Shall they be obliged to maintain bishops who cannot maintain themselves !” salute the bishop’s ears. On a banner, surmounted by a liberty-cap, is “Liberty and Freedom of Conscience;” and “Locke,” “Sydney on Government,” “Calvin’s Works,” and “Barclay’s Apology,” bless his eyes! The ship is shoved off shore; on the deck is the bishop’s carriage, the wheels off; the crosier and mitre hang in the rigging; and the “saint in lawn,” with his gown floating in the breeze, has mounted the shrouds halfway to the mast-head, and exclaims “Lord, now Lord, lettest thou thy servant depart in peace!”

Heaven hath trusted us with the management of things for eternity, and man denies us ability to judge of the present, or to know from our feelings the experience that will make us happy. “You can discern,” say they, “objects distant and remote, but cannot perceive those within your grasp. Let us have the distribution of present goods, and cut out and manage as you please the interests of futurity.” This day, I trust, the reign of political protestanism will commence. We have explored the temple of royalty, and found that the idol we have bowed down to, has eyes which see not, ears that hear not our prayers, and a heart like the nether millstone.(1) We have this day restored the Sovereign, to whom alone men ought to be obedient. He reigns in Heaven, and with a propitious eye beholds his subjects assuming that freedom of thought, and dignity of self-direction which he bestowed on them. From the rising to the setting sun, may His kingdom come.

Having been a slave to the influence of opinion early acquired, and distinctions generally received, I am ever inclined not to despise but pity those who are yet in darkness. But to the eye of reason what can be more clear than that all men have an equal right to happiness? Nature made no other distinction than that of higher and lower degrees of power of mind and body. But what mysterious distribution of character has the craft of statesmen, more fatal than priestcraft, introduced?

According to their doctrine, the offspring of perhaps the lewd embraces of a successful invader shall, from generation to generation, arrogate the right of lavishing on their pleasures a proportion of the fruits of the earth, more than sufficient to supply the wants of thousands of their fellow-creatures; claim authority to manage them like beasts of burthen, and, without superior industry, capacity, or virtue, nay, though disgraceful to humanity, by their ignorance, intemperance, and brutality, shall be deemed best calculated to frame laws and to consult for the welfare of society.

Were the talents and virtues which heaven has bestowed on men given merely to make them more obedient drudges, to be sacrificed to the follies and ambition of a few? Or, were not the noble gifts so equally dispensed with a divine purpose and law, that they should as nearly as possible be equally exerted, and the blessings of Providence be equally enjoyed by all? Away, then, with those absurd systems which to gratify the pride of a few debase the greater part of our species below the order of men. What an affront to the King of the universe, to maintain that the happiness of a monster, sunk in debauchery and spreading desolation and murder among men, of a Caligula, a Nero, or a Charles, is more precious in his sight than that of millions of his suppliant creatures, who do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with their God! No, in the judgment of heaven there is no other superiority among men than a superiority in wisdom and virtue. And can we have a safer model in forming ours? The Deity, then, has not given any order or family of men authority over others; and if any men have given it, they only could give it for themselves. Our forefathers, ’tis said, consented to be subject to the laws of Great Britain. I will not, at present, dispute it, nor mark out the limits and conditions of their submission; but will it be denied that they contracted to pay obedience and to be under the control of Great Britain because it appeared to them most beneficial in their then present circumstances and situations? We, my countrymen, have the same right to consult and provide for our happiness which they had to promote theirs. If they had a view to posterity in their contracts, it must have been to advance the felicity of their descendants. If they erred in their expectations and prospects, we can never be condemned for a conduct which they would have recommended had they foreseen our present condition.

Ye darkeners of counsel, who would make the property, lives, and religion of millions depend on the evasive interpretations of musty parchments; who would send us to antiquated charters of uncertain and contradictory meaning, to prove that the present generation are not bound to be victims to cruel and unforgiving despotism, tell us whether our pious and generous ancestors bequeathed to us the miserable privilege of having the rewards of our honesty, industry, the fruits of those fields which they purchased and bled for, wrested from us at the will of men over whom we have no check. Did they contract for us that, with folded arms, we should expect that justice and mercy from brutal and inflamed invaders which have been denied to our supplications at the foot of the throne? Were we to hear our character as a people ridiculed with indifference? Did they promise for us that our meekness and patience should be insulted; our coasts harassed, our towns demolished and plundered, and our wives and offspring exposed to nakedness, hunger, and death, without our feeling the resentment of men, and exerting those powers of self-preservation which God has given us? No man had once a greater veneration for Englishmen than I entertained. They were dear to me as branches of the same parental trunk, and partakers of the same religion and laws; I still view with respect the remains of the constitution as I would a lifeless body, which had once been animated by a great and heroic soul. But when I am aroused by the din of arms; when I behold legions of foreign assassins, paid by Englishmen to imbrue their hands in our blood; when I tread over the uncoffined bodies of my countrymen, neighbors, and friends; when I see the locks of a venerable father torn by savage hands, and a feeble mother, clasping her infants to her bosom, and on her knees imploring their lives from her own slaves, whom Englishmen have allured to treachery and murder; when I behold my country, once the seat of industry, peace, and plenty, changed by Englishmen to a theatre of blood and misery, Heaven forgive me, if I cannot root out those passions which it has implanted in my bosom, and detest submission to a people who have either ceased to be human, or have not virtue enough to feel their own wretchedness and servitude!

Men who content themselves with the semblance of truth, and a display of words, talk much of our obligations to Great Britain for protection. Had she a single eye to our advantage?

A nation of shopkeepers are very seldom so disinterested. Let us not be so amused with words; the extension of her commerce was her object. When she defended our coasts, she fought for her customers, and convoyed our ships loaded with wealth, which we had acquired for her by our industry. She has treated us as beasts of burthen, whom the lordly masters cherish that they may carry a greater load. Let us inquire also against whom she has protected us? Against her own enemies with whom we had no quarrel, or only on her account, and against whom we always readily exerted our wealth and strength when they were required. Were these colonies backward in giving assistance to Great Britain, when they were called upon in 1739 to aid the expedition against Carthagena? They at that time sent three thousand men to join the British army, although the war commenced without their consent. But the last war, ’tis said, was purely American. This is a vulgar error, which, like many others, has gained credit by being confidently repeated. The dispute between the courts of Great Britain and France related to the limits of Canada and Nova Scotia. The controverted territory was not claimed by any in the colonies, but by the crown of Great Britain. It was therefore their own quarrel. The infringement of a right which England had, by the treaty of Utrecht, of trading in the Indian country of Ohio, was another cause of the war. The French seized large quantities of British manufacture and took possession of a fort which a company of British merchants and factors had erected for the ‘security of their commerce. The war was therefore waged in defense of lands claimed by the crown, and for the protection of British property. The French at that time had no quarrel with America, and, as appears by letters sent from their commander-in-chief, to some of the colonies, wished to remain in peace with us. The part, therefore, which we then took, and the miseries to which we exposed ourselves, ought to be charged to our affection to Britain. These colonies granted more than their proportion to the support of the war. They raised, clothed, and maintained nearly twenty-five thousand men, and so sensible were the people of England of our great exertions, that a message was annually sent to the House of Commons purporting, “that his Majesty, being highly satisfied with the zeal and vigor with which his faithful subjects in North America had exerted themselves in defense of his Majesty’s just rights and possessions, recommend it to the House to take the same into consideration, and enable him to give them a proper compensation.”

But what purpose can arguments of this kind answer? Did the protection we received annul our rights as men, and lay us under an obligation of being miserable?

Who among you, my countrymen, that is a father, would claim authority to make your child a slave because you had nourished him in infancy?

‘Tis a strange species of generosity which requires a return infinitely more valuable than anything it could have bestowed; that demands as a reward for a defense of our property a surrender of those inestimable privileges, to the arbitrary will of vindictive tyrants, which alone give value to that very property.

Political right and public happiness are different words for the same idea. They who wander into metaphysical labyrinths, or have recourse to original contracts, to determine the rights of men, either impose on themselves or mean to delude others. Public utility is the only certain criterion. It is a test which brings disputes to a speedy decision, and makes its appeal to the feelings of mankind. The force of truth has obliged men to use arguments drawn from this principle who were combating it, in practice and speculation. The advocates for a despotic government and nonresistance to the magistrate employ reasons in favor of their systems drawn from a consideration of their tendency to promote public happiness.

The Author of Nature directs all his operations to the production of the greatest good, and has made human virtue to consist in a disposition and conduct which tends to the common felicity of his creatures. An abridgement of the natural freedom of men, by the institutions of political societies, is vindicable only on this foot. How absurd, then, is it to draw arguments from the nature of civil society for the annihilation of those very ends which society was intended to procure! Men associate for their mutual advantage. Hence, the good and happiness of the members, that is, the majority of the members, of any State, is the great standard by which everything relating to that State must finally be determined; and though it may be supposed that a body of people may be bound by a voluntary resignation (which they have been so infatuated as to make) of all their interests to a single person, or to a few, it can never be conceived that the resignation is obligatory to their posterity; because it is manifestly contrary to the good of the whole that it should be so.

These are the sentiments of the wisest and most virtuous champions of freedom. Attend to a portion on this subject from a book in our own defense, written, I had almost said, by the pen of inspiration. “I lay no stress,” says he, “on charters; they derive their rights from a higher source. It is inconsistent with common sense to imagine that any people would ever think of settling in a distant country on any such condition, or that the people from whom they withdrew should forever be masters of their property, and have power to subject them to any modes of government they pleased. And had there been expressed stipulations to this purpose in all the charters of the colonies, they would, in my opinion, be no more bound by them, than if it had been stipulated with them that they should go naked, or expose themselves to the incursions of wolves and tigers.”

Such are the opinions of every virtuous and enlightened patriot in Great Britain. Their petition to heaven is, “That there may be one free country left upon earth, to which they may fly, when venality, luxury, and vice shall have completed the ruin of liberty there.”

Courage, then, my countrymen, our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty. Dismissing, therefore, the justice of our cause, as incontestable, the only question is, what is best for us to pursue in our present circumstances?

The doctrine of dependence on Great Britain is, I believe, generally exploded; but as I would attend to the honest weakness of the simplest of men, you will pardon me if I offer a few words on that subject.

We are now on this continent, to the astonishment of the world, three millions of souls united in one cause. We have large armies, well disciplined and appointed, with commanders inferior to none in military skill, and superior in activity and zeal. We are furnished with arsenals and stores beyond our most sanguine expectations, and foreign nations are waiting to crown our success by their alliances. There are instances of, I would say, an almost astonishing Providence in our favor; out success has staggered our enemies, and almost given faith to infidels; so we may truly say it is not our own arm which has saved us.

The hand of heaven appears to have led us on to be, perhaps, humble instruments and means in the great Providential dispensation which is completing. We have fled from the political Sodom; let us not look back, lest we perish and become a monument of infamy and derision to the world. For can we ever expect more unanimity and a better preparation for defense; more infatuation of counsel among our enemies, and more valor and zeal among ourselves? The same force and resistance which are sufficient to procure us our liberties will secure us a glorious independence and support us in the dignity of free, imperial States. We cannot suppose that our opposition has made a corrupt and dissipated nation more friendly to America, or created in them a greater respect for the rights of mankind. We can therefore expect a restoration and establishment of our privileges, and a compensation for the injuries we have received from their want of power, from their fears, and not from their virtues. The unanimity and valor which will effect an honorable peace can render a future contest for our liberties unnecessary. He who has strength to chain down the wolf is a madman if he let him loose without drawing his teeth and paring his nails.

From the day on which an accommodation takes place between England and America, on any other terms than as independent States, I shall date the ruin of this country. A politic minister will study to lull us into security, by granting us the full extent of our petitions. The warm sunshine of influence would melt down the virtue, which the violence of the storm rendered more firm and unyielding. In a state of tranquillity, wealth, and luxury, our descendants would forget the arts of war and the noble activity and zeal which made their ancestors invincible. Every art of corruption would be employed to loosen the bond of union which renders our resistance formidable. When the spirit of liberty which now animates our hearts and gives success to our arms is extinct, our numbers will accelerate our ruin and render us easier victims to tyranny.(2) Ye abandoned minions of an infatuated ministry, if peradventure any should yet remain among us, remember that a Warren and Montgomery are numbered among the dead. Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say, What should be the reward of such sacrifices? Bid us and our posterity bow the knee, supplicate the friendship, and plough, and sow, and reap, to glut the avarice of the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war to riot in our blood and hunt us from the face of the earth? If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude than the animating contest of freedom,— go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!

To unite the supremacy of Great Britain and the liberty of America is utterly impossible. So vast a continent, and of such a distance from the seat of empire, will every day grow more unmanageable. The motion of so unwieldy a body cannot be directed with any dispatch and uniformity without committing to the Parliament of Great Britain powers inconsistent with our freedom. The authority and force which would be absolutely necessary for the preservation of the peace and good order of this continent would put all our valuable rights within the reach of that nation.

As the administration of government requires firmer and more numerous supports in proportion to its extent, the burdens imposed on us would be excessive, and we should have the melancholy prospect of their increasing on our posterity. The scale of officers, from the rapacious and needy commissioner to the haughty governor, and from the governor, with his hungry train, to perhaps a licentious and prodigal viceroy, must be upheld by you and your children. The fleets and armies which will be employed to silence your murmurs and complaints must be supported by the fruits of your industry.

And yet with all this enlargement of the expense and powers of government, the administration of it at such a distance, and over so extensive a territory, must necessarily fail of putting the laws into vigorous execution, removing private oppressions, and forming plans for the advancement of agriculture and commerce, and preserving the vast empire in any tolerable peace and security. If our posterity retain any spark of patriotism, they can never tamely submit to such burthens. This country will be made the field of bloody contention till it gain that independence for which nature formed it. It is, therefore, injustice and cruelty to our offspring, and would stamp us with the character of baseness and cowardice, to leave the salvation of this country to be worked out by them with accumulated difliculty and danger.

Prejudice, I confess, may warp our judgments. Let us hear the decision of Englishmen on this subject, who cannot be suspected of partiality. “The Americans,” they say, “are but little short of half our number. To this number they have grown from a small body of original settlers by a very rapid increase. The probability is that they will go on to increase, and that in fifty or sixty years they will be double our number, and form a mighty empire, consisting of a variety of States, all equal or superior to ourselves in all the arts and accomplishments which give dignity and happiness to human life. In that period will they be still bound to acknowledge that supremacy over them which we now claim? Can there be any person who will assert this, or whose mind does not revolt at the idea of a vast continent holding all that is valuable to it at the discretion of a handful of people on the other side of the Atlantic? But if at that period this would be unreasonable, what makes it otherwise now? Draw the line if you can. But there is still a greater difficulty. ”

Britain is now, I will suppose, the seat of liberty and virtue, and its legislature consists of a body of able and independent men, who govern with wisdom and justice. The time may come when all will be reversed; when its excellent constitution of government will be subverted; when, pressed by debts and taxes, it will be greedy to draw to itself an increase of revenue from every distant province, in order to ease its own burdens; when the influence of the crown, strengthened by luxury and a universal profligacy of manners, will have tainted every heart, broken down every fence of liberty, and rendered us a nation of tame and contented vassals; when a general election will be nothing but a general auction of boroughs, and when the Parliament, the grand council of the nation, and once the faithful guardian of the State, and a terror to evil ministers, will be degenerated into a body of sycophants, dependent and venal, always ready to confirm any measures, and little more than a public court for registering royal edicts. Such, it is possible, may, some time or other, ‘be the state of Great Britain. What will, at that period, be the duty of the colonies? Will they be still bound to unconditional submission? Must they always continue an appendage to our government and follow it implicitly through every change that can happen to it? Wretched condition, indeed, of millions of freemen as good as ourselves! Will you say that we now govern equitably, and that there is no danger of such revolution? Would to God that this were true! But you will not always say the same. Who shall judge whether we govern equitably or not? Can you give the colonies any security that such a period will never come? No. THE PERIOD, COUNTRYMEN, IS ALREADY COME! The calamities were at our door. The rod of oppression was raised over us. We were roused from our slumbers, and may we never sink into repose until we can convey a clear and undisputed inheritance to our posterity! This day we are called upon to give a glorious example of what the wisest and best of men were rejoiced to view, only in speculation. This day presents the world with the most august spectacle that its annals ever unfolded,—millions of freemen, deliberately and voluntarily forming themselves into a society for their common defense and common happiness. Immortal spirits of Hampden, Locke, and Sidney, will it not add to your benevolent joys to behold your posterity rising to the dignity of men, and evincing to the world the reality and expediency of your systems, and in the actual enjoyment of that equal liberty, which you were happy, when on earth, in delineating and recommending to mankind?

Other nations have received their laws from conquerors; some are indebted for a constitution to the suffering of their ancestors through revolving centuries. The people of this country, alone, have formally and deliberately chosen a government for themselves, and with open and uninfluenced consent bound themselves into a social compact. Here no man proclaims his birth or wealth as a title to honorable distinction, or to sanctify ignorance and vice with the name of hereditary authority. He who has most zeal and ability to promote public felicity, let him be the servant of the public.(3) This is the only line of distinction drawn by nature. Leave the bird of night to the obscurity for which nature intended him, and expect only from the eagle to brush the clouds with his wings and look boldly in the face of the sun.

Some who would persuade us that they have tender feelings for future generations, while they are insensible to the happiness of the present, are perpetually foreboding a train of dissensions under our popular system. Such men’s reasoning amounts to this: Give up all that is valuable to Great Britain and then you will have no inducements to quarrel among yourselves; or, suffer yourselves to be chained down by your enemies that you may not be able to fight with your friends.(4)

This is an insult on your virtue as well as your common sense. Your unanimity this day and through the course of the war is a decisive refutation of such invidious predictions. Our enemies have already had evidence that our present constitution contains in it the justice and ardor of freedom and the wisdom and vigor of the most absolute system. When the law is the will of the people, it will be uniform and coherent; but fluctuation, contradiction, and inconsistency of councils must be expected under those governments where every revolution in the ministry of a court produces one in the State—such being the folly and pride of all ministers, that they ever pursue measures directly opposite to those of their predecessors.

We shall neither be exposed to the necessary convulsions of elective monarchies, nor to the want of wisdom, fortitude, and virtue, to which hereditary succession is liable. In your hands it will be to perpetuate a prudent, active, and just legislature, and which will never expire until you yourselves loose the virtues which give it existence.

And, brethren and fellow-countrymen, if it was ever granted to mortals to trace the designs of Providence, and interpret its manifestations in favor of their cause, we may, with humility of soul, cry out, “Not unto us, not unto us, but to thy Name be the praise!” The confusion of the devices among our enemies, and the rage of the elements against them, have done almost as much towards our success as either our councils or our arms.

The time at which this attempt on our liberty was made, when we were ripened into maturity, had acquired a knowledge of war, and were free from the incursions of enemies in this country; the gradual advances of our oppressors enabling us to prepare for our defense; the unusual fertility of our lands and clemency of the seasons; the success which at first attended our feeble arms, producing unanimity among our friends and reducing our internal foes to acquiescence—these are all strong and palpable marks and assurances that Providence is yet gracious unto Zion, that it will turn away the captivity of Jacob.

Our glorious reformers when they broke through the fetters of superstition effected more than could be expected from an age so darkened. But they left much to be done by their posterity. They lopped off, indeed, some of the branches of Popery, but they left the root and stock when they left us under the domination of human systems and decisions, usurping the infallibility which can be attributed to Revelation alone. They dethroned one usurper only to raise up another; they refused allegiance to the Pope only to place the civil magistrate in the throne of Christ, vested with authority to enact laws and inflict penalties in his kingdom. And if we now cast our eyes over the nations of the earth, we shall find that, instead of possessing the pure religion of the Gospel, they may be divided either into infidels, who deny the truth; or politicians who make religion a stalking horse for their ambition; or professors, who walk in the trammels of orthodoxy, and are more attentive to traditions and ordinances of men than to the oracles of truth.

The civil magistrate has everywhere contaminated religion by making it an engine of policy; and freedom of thought and the right of private judgment, in matters of conscience, driven from every other corner of the earth, direct their course to this happy country as their last asylum. Let us cherish the noble guests, and shelter them under the wings of a universal toleration! Be this the seat of unbounded religious freedom. She will bring with her in her train, industry, wisdom, and commerce. She thrives most when left to shoot forth in her natural luxuriance, and asks from human policy only not to be checked in her growth by artificial encouragements.

Thus, by the beneficence of Providence, we shall behold our empire arising, founded on justice and the voluntary consent of the people, and giving full scope to the exercise of those faculties and rights which most ennoble our species. Besides the advantages of liberty and the most equal constitution, Heaven has given us a country with every variety of climate and soil, pouring forth in abundance whatever is necessary for the support, comfort, and strength of a nation. Within our own borders we possess all the means of sustenance, defense, and commerce; at the same time, these advantages are so distributed among the different States of this continent, as if nature had in view to proclaim to us: Be united among yourselves and you will want nothing from the rest of the world.

The more northern States most amply supply us with every necessary, and many of the luxuries of life; with iron, timber, and masts for ships of commerce or of war; with flax for the manufacture of linen, and seed either for oil or exportation.

So abundant are our harvests, that almost every part raises more than double the quantity of grain requisite for the support of the inhabitants. From Georgia and the Carolinas we have, as well for our own wants as for the purpose of supplying the wants of other powers, indigo, rice, hemp, naval stores, and lumber.

Virginia and Maryland teem with wheat, Indian corn, and tobacco. Every nation whose harvest is precarious, or whose lands yield not those commodities which we cultivate, will gladly exchange their superfluities and manufactures for ours.

We have already received many and large cargoes of clothing, military stores, etc., from our commerce with foreign powers, and, in spite of the efforts of the boasted navy of England, we shall continue to profit by this connection.

The want of our naval stores has already increased the price of these articles to a great height, especially in Britain. Without our lumber, it will be impossible for those haughty islanders to convey the products of the West Indies to their own ports; for a while they may with difficulty effect it, but, without our assistance, their resources soon must fail. Indeed, the West India Islands appear as the necessary appendages to this our empire. They must owe their support to it, and ere long, I doubt not, some of them will, from necessity, wish to enjoy the benefit of our protection.

These natural advantages will enable us to remain independent of the world, or make it the interest of European powers to court our alliance, and aid in protecting us against the invasion of others. What argument, therefore, do we want to show the equity of our conduct; or motive of interest to recommend it to our prudence? Nature points out the path, and our enemies have obliged us to pursue it.

If there is any man so base or so weak as to prefer a dependence on Great Britain to the dignity and happiness of living a member of a free and independent nation, let me tell him that necessity now demands what the generous principle of patriotism should have dictated.

We have no other alternative than independence, or the most ignominious and galling servitude. The legions of our enemies thicken on our plains; desolation and death mark their bloody career; whilst the mangled corpses of our countrymen seem to cry out to us as a voice from heaven:—

“Will you permit our posterity to groan under the galling chains of our murderers? Has our blood been expended in vain? Is the only benefit which our constancy till death has obtained for our country, that it should be sunk into a deeper and more ignominious vassalage? Recollect who are the men that demand your submission, to whose decrees you are invited to pay obedience. Men who, unmindful of their relation to you as brethren; of your long implicit submission to their laws; of the sacrifice which you and your forefathers made of your natural advantages for commerce to their avarice; formed a deliberate plan to wrest from you the small pittance of property which they had permitted you to acquire. Remember that the men who wish to rule over you are they who, in pursuit of this plan of despotism, annulled the sacred contracts which they had made with your ancestors; conveyed into your cities a mercenary soldiery to compel you to submission by insult and murder; who called your patience cowardice, your piety hypocrisy.”

Countrymen, the men who now invite you to surrender your rights into their hands are the men who have let loose the merciless savages to riot in the blood of their brethren; who have dared to establish Popery triumphant in our land; who have taught treachery to your slaves, and courted them to assassinate your wives and children.

These are the men to whom we are exhorted to sacrifice the blessings which Providence holds out to us; the happiness, the dignity, of uncontrolled freedom and independence.

Let not your generous indignation be directed against any among us who may advise so absurd and maddening a measure. Their number is but few, and daily decreases; and the spirit which can render them patient of slavery will render them contemptible enemies.

Our Union is now complete; our constitution composed, established, and approved. You are now the guardians of your own liberties. We may justly address you, as the decemviri did the Romans, and say, “Nothing that we propose can pass into a law without your consent. Be yourselves, O Americans, the authors of those laws on which your happiness depends.”

You have now in the field armies sufficient to repel the whole force of your enemies and their base and mercenary auxiliaries. The hearts of your soldiers beat high with the spirit of freedom; they are animated with the justice of their cause, and while they grasp their swords can look up to Heaven for assistance. Your adversaries are composed of wretches who laugh at the rights of humanity, who turn religion into derision, and would, for higher wages, direct their swords against their leaders or their country. Go on, then, in your generous enterprise with gratitude to Heaven for past success, and confidence of it in the future. For my own part, I ask no greater blessing than to share with you the common danger and common glory. If I have a wish dearer to my soul than that my ashes may be mingled with those of a Warren and Montgomery, it is that these American States may never cease to be free and independent.

FOOTNOTES

1. The homage that is paid in some countries to monarchs and their favorites, is disgraceful to humanity. Should one of my honest countrymen be suddenly conveyed to an European court, he would fancy himself admitted into sums heathen temple. The policy of courtiers seems to have been to render their sovereigns as dependent on themselves is possible, by accustoming them to bear with their ears- see with their eyes, and perform the most common offices with their assistance, and under their direction; like the conning of priests who labor to place themselves between the Deity and mankind, and to make themselves the only channels of communication between earth and Heaven. Such monarchs resemble Rabelais’s Queen, who never chew’d any thing; not that her teeth were not good and strong, and that her food did not require mastication, but such was the indispensable ceremonial of her court, her officers took her meat and chew’d it nobly, having their mouths line’d with crimson satin, and their teeth cased over with fine white ivory, after this they passed it into her stomach by a golden pipe. * * * * *Rabelais, lib. 5.
2. Temporary tumults and civil wars may give much disturbance to rulers, but they do not constitute the real misfortunes of a people, who may even enjoy some respite while they are disputing who shall play the tyrant over them. It is from their permanent sitnatlon that their real prosperity or calamity must arise; when all submit tamely to the yoke, then it is that all are perishing, then it is that their chiefs, destroying them at their case, ubi solitudinum faciunt pacem[when they make peace] appellant. When the intrigues of the ministry agitated the kingdom of France, and the coadjutor of Paris carried a poniard in his pocket to Parliament, all this did not hinder the bulk of the French nation from growing numerous and enjoying themselves in happiness and at their ease. Ancient Greece flourished in the midst of the most cruel wars; human blood was spilt in torrents, and yet the country swarmed with inhabitants. It appears, says Machiavel, that in the midst of murders, proscriptions, and civil wars, our republic became only the more powerful: the virtue of the citizens, their manners, their independence, had a greater effect to strengthen it, than all its dissensions had to weaken it. A little agitation gives vigor to the mind, and liberty, not peace, is the real source of the prosperity of our species,— J. J. Rousseau.
3. A celebrated foreigner gives us a very just description of the methods by which eminence is generally acquired in monarchies. “One makes a fortune because he can cringe, another because he can lie; this man because he seasonably dishonors himself; that, because he betrays his friend; bat the surest means to mount as high as Alberoni, is to offer, like him, ragouts of mushrooms to the Duke of Vendome, and there are Vendomes everywhere. They who are called great, have generally no other ascendency over us but what our weakness permits them, or what our meanness gives them.”
4. From the absurd reasonings of some men we may conclude that they are of opinion, that all free governments are equally liable to convulsions, but the differences that are in the constitution and genius of popular governments are astonishingly great, some being for defence, some for increase, some more equal, others more unequal; some turbulent and seditious, others like streams in a perpetual tranquillity. That which causeth much sedition in a commonwealth is inequality, as in Rome where the Senate oppressed the peon’s. But if a commonwealth be perfectly equal, it is void of sedition, and has attained to perfection, being void of all internal causes of dissolution. Many ancient moral writers, Cicero in particular, have said, that a well constituted commonwealth is immortal—AEterna est.  An equal commonwealth is a government founded upon a balance which is perfectly popular, and which from the balance, through the free suffrage of the people given by ballot, amounts, in the superstructures, to a Senate debating and proposing, a representative of the people resolving, and a magistracy executing; each of these three orders being upon rotation, that is, elected for certain terms, enjoining like intervals.— Vide Harrington

PROVIDENCE, PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE by Samuel G. Arnold 1876

Samuel G. Arnold

Samuel G. Arnold

PROVIDENCE, PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE, Oration By The Honorable Samuel G. Arnold (1821-1880) Delivered At Providence, Rhode Island, July 4, 1876

To trace the causes that led to the American Revolution, to narrate the events of the struggle for independence, or to consider the effect which the establishment of “the great Republic” has had upon the fortunes of the race in other lands— these have been the usual and appropriate themes for discourse upon each return of our national anniversary. And where can we find more exalted or more exalting subjects for reflection? It is not the deed of a day, the events of a year, the changes of a century, that explain the condition of a nation. Else we might date from the 4th of July, 1776, the rise of the American people, and so far as we as a nation are concerned, we might disregard all prior history as completely as we do the years beyond the flood. But this we cannot do, for the primitive Briton, the resistless Roman, the invading Dane, the usurping Saxon, the conquering Norman, have all left their separate and distinguishable stamp upon the England of to-day. As from Caedmon to Chaucer, from Spenser to Shakespeare, from Milton to Macaulay, we trace the progress of our language and literature from the unintelligible Saxon to the English of our time; so the development of political ideas has its great eras, chiefly written in blood. From the fall of Boadicea to the landing of Hengist, from the death of Harold to the triumph at Runnymede, from the wars of the Roses to the rise of the Reformation, from the fields of Edgehill and Worcester, through the restoration and expulsion of the Stuarts down to the days of George III, we may trace the steady advance of those nations of society and of government which culminated in the act of an American Congress a century ago proclaiming us a united and independent people. When the barons of John assembled on that little islet in the Thames to wrest from their reluctant kins the right of Magna Charta, there were the same spirit, and the same purpose that prevailed nearly six centuries after in the Congress at Philadelphia, and the actors were the same in blood and lineage. The charging cry at Dunbar, “Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered,” rang out a hundred and twenty-five years later from another Puritan camp on Bunker Hill. So history repeats itself in the ever-recurring conflict of ideas, with the difference of time, and place and people, and with this further difference in the result, that while in ancient times the principal characters in the historic drama were the conqueror, the conquered and the victim, these in modem days become the oppressor, the oppressed and the deliverer. Charles Stuart falls beneath Cromwell and Ireton, George III yields to Washington and Greene, serfdom and slavery vanish before Romanoff and Lincoln.

But we must turn from this wide field of history to one of narrower limits, to one so small that it seems insignificant to that class of minds which measures States only by the acre, as cloth by the yard; to those men who, to be consistent, should consider Daniel Lambert a greater man than Napoleon Bonaparte, or the continent of Africa a richer possession than Athens in the days of Pericles. There are many just such men, and the materialistic tendency of our times is adding to their number. It is in vain to remind them that from one of the smallest States of antiquity arose the philosophy and the art that rule the world to-day, Judea should have been an empire and Bethlehem a Babylon to impress such minds with the grandeur of Hebrew poetry or the sublimity of Christian faith. But for those to whom ideas are more than acres, men greater than machinery, and moral worth a mightier influence than material wealth, there is a lesson to be learned from the subject to which the Act of Congress and the Resolutions of the General Assembly limit this discourse. And since what is homely and familiar sometimes receives a higher appreciation from being recognized abroad, hear what the historian of America has said of our little Commonwealth, that “had the territory of the State corresponded to the importance and singularity of the principles of its early existence, the world would have been filled with wonder at the phenomena of its history.

Roger Williams Statue

Roger Williams Statue

Hear too a less familiar voice from beyond the sea, a German writer of the philosophy of history. Reciting the principles of Roger Williams, their successful establishment in Rhode Island, and their subsequent triumph, he says: “They have given laws to one quarter of the globe, and dreaded for their moral influence, they stand in the background of every democratic struggle in Europe.” It is of our ancestors, people of Providence, that these words were written, and of them and their descendants that I am called to speak.

To condense two hundred and forty years of history within an hour is simply impossible. We can only touch upon a few salient points, and illustrate the progress of Providence by a very few striking statistics. Passing over the disputed causes which led to the banishment of Roger Williams from Massachusetts, we come to the undisputed fact that there existed, at that time, a close alliance between the church and the State in the colony whence he fled, and that he severed that union at once and forever in the city which he founded. Poets had dreamed and philosophers had fancied a state of society where men were free and thought was untrammeled. Sir Thomas More and Sir Philip Sydney had written of such things. Utopias and Arcadias had their place in literature, but nowhere on the broad earth had these ideas assumed a practical form till the father of Providence, the founder of Rhode Island, transferred them from the field of fiction to the domain of fact, and changed them from an improbable fancy to a positive law. It was a transformation in politics—the science of applied philosophy—more complete than that by which Bacon overthrew the system of Aristotle. It was a revolution, the greatest that in the latter days had yet been seen. From out this modern Nazareth, whence no good thing could come, arose a light to enlighten the world. The “Great Apostle of Religious Freedom” here first truly interpreted to those who sat in darkness the teachings of his mighty Master. The independence of the mind had had its assertors, the freedom of the soul here found its champion. We begin then at the settlement of this city, with an idea that was novel and startling, even amid the philosophical speculations of the seventeenth century, a great original idea, which was to compass a continent, “give laws to one quarter of the globe,” and after the lapse of two centuries to become the universal property of the western world by being accepted in its completeness by that neighboring State, to whose persecutions Rhode Island owed its origin. Roger Williams was the incarnation of the idea of soul liberty, the Town of Providence became its organization. This is history enough if there were naught else to relate. Portsmouth, Newport and Warwick soon followed with their antinomian settlers to carry out the same principle of the underived independence of the soul, the accountability of man to his Maker, alone in all religious concerns. After the union of the four original towns into one colony, under the Parliamentary patent of 1643, confirmed and continued by the Royal charter of 1663, the history of the town becomes so included in that of the colony, in all matters of general interest, that it is difficult to divide them. The several towns, occupied chiefly with their own narrow interests, present little to attract in their local administration, but spoke mainly through their representatives in the colonial assembly, upon all subjects of general importance. It is there that we must look for most of the facts that-make history, the progress of society, the will of the people expressed in action. To these records we must often refer in sketching the growth of Providence.

Roger Williams and Narragansett Indians

Roger Williams and Narragansett Indians

It was in June, 1636, that Roger Williams, with five companions crossed the Seekonk to Slate Rock, where he was welcomed by the friendly Indians, and pursuing his way around the headland of Tockwotton, sailed up the Moshassuck, then a broad stream, skirted by a dense forest on either shore.

Attracted by a natural spring on the eastern bank he landed near what is now the cove, and began the settlement which in gratitude, to his Supreme Deliverer he called Providence. He had already purchased a large tract of land from the natives which was at first divided with twelve others “and such as the major part of us shall admit into the same fellowship of vote with us,” thus constituting thirteen original proprietors of Providence. (4). The first division of land was made in 1638, in which fifty-four names appear as the owners of “home lots” extending from Main to Hope streets, besides which each person had a six acre lot assigned him in other parts of the purchase. The granters could not sell their land to any but an inhabitant without consent of the town, and a penalty was imposed upon those who did not improve their lands. The government established by these primitive settlers was an anomaly in history. It was a pure democracy, which, for the first time guarded jealously the rights of conscience. The inhabitants, “masters of families” incorporated themselves into a town and made an order that no man should be molested for his conscience. The people met monthly in town meeting and chose a clerk and treasurer at each meeting. The earliest written compact that has been preserved is without date but probably was adopted in 1637. It is signed by thirteen persons (5.) We have not time to draw a picture of these primitive meetings held beneath the shade of some spreading tree where the fathers of Providence, discussed and decided the most delicate and difficult problems of practical politics, and reconciled the requirements of life with principles then unknown in popular legislation. The records are lost and here and there only a fragment has been preserved by unfriendly hands to give a hint of those often stormy assemblies where there were no precedents to guide, and only untried principles to be established by the dictates of common sense. Of these the case of “Verm, reported by Winthrop, is well known wherein liberty of conscience and the rights of woman were both involved with a most delicate question of family discipline. It is curious enough that one form of the subject now known under the general name of women’s rights, destined more than two centuries later to become a theme of popular agitation, should here be foreshadowed so early in Rhode Island, the source of so many novel ideas and the starting point of so many important movement*

Roger Williams was an English Protestant theologian who was an early proponent of religious freedom, he started the Baptist church in America.

Roger Williams was an English Protestant theologian who was an early proponent of religious freedom, he started the Baptist church in America.

Religious services had no doubt been held from the earliest settlement, but the first organized church was formed in 1638, the first Baptist church in America.

From the earliest days of the colony to the close of the recent civil strife, the war record of the State has been a brilliant one. As early as 1655, in the Dutch war she did more than the New England Confederacy, from which she had been basely excluded. Her exposed condition, by reason of the Indians, fostered this feeling in the first instance, and long habit cultivated the martial spirit of the people till it became a second nature. Her maritime advantages favored commercial enterprise, and the two combined prepared her for those naval exploits which in after years shed so much glory on the State. The three Indian wars, the three wars with Holland (1652-8, 1667, 1672-4), and the two with France (1667, 1690), in the seventeenth century, the three Spanish(1702-13, 1739-48, 1762-3), and the three French wars (1702-13, 1744-8, 1754-63) of the eighteenth, had trained the American colonies to conflict, and prepared them for the greater struggle about to come. At the outbreak of the fourth inter-colonial war, known as the “old French war,” this colony with less than forty thousand inhabitants and eighty-three hundred fighting men, sent fifteen hundred of these upon various naval expeditions, besides a regiment of eleven companies of infantry, seven hundred and fifty men under Col. Christopher Harris, who marched to the siege of Crown Point. Thus more than one-quarter of the effective force of the colony was at one time, on sea and laud, in privateers, in the royal fleets and in the camp, learning that stern lesson which was soon to redeem a continent. Is it surprising then that when the ordeal came the conduct of Rhode Island was prompt and decisive? It is said that small States are always plucky ones, and Rhode Island confirmed the historic truth.

The passage of the stamp act (Feb. 27, 1765), roused the spirit of resistance through America to fever heat. But amid all the acts of Assemblies, and the resolutions of town meetings, none went so far or spoke so boldly the intentions of the people as those passed in Providence at a special town meeting (August 7,1765), and adopted unanimously by the General Assembly (Sept 16). They pointed directly to an absolution of allegiance to the British crown, unless the grievances were removed. The day before the fatal one on which the act was to take effect, the Governors of all the Colonies, but one, took the oath to sustain it. Samuel Ward, “the Governor of Rhode Island stood alone in his patriotic refusal,” says Bancroft. Nor was it the last as it was not the first time that Rhode Island stood alone in the van of progress. Non-importation arguments were everywhere made. The repeal of the odious act (Feb. 22, 1766) came too late, coupled as it was with a declaratory act asserting the right of Parliament “to bind the Colonies in all cases.” Then came a new development of patriotic fervor instituted by the women of Providence. Eighteen young ladies of leading families of the town met at the house of Dr. Ephraim Bowen (March 4, 1766), and from sunrise till night, employed the time in spinning flax. These “Daughters of Liberty,” as they were called, resolved to use no more British goods, and to be consistent they omitted tea from the evening meal. So rapid was the growth of the association that their next meeting was held at the Court House. The “Sons of Liberty” were associations formed at this time in all the Colonies to resist oppression, but to Providence belongs the exclusive honor of this union of her daughters for the same exalted purpose. This is the second time we have had occasion to notice that women has come conspicuously to the front in the annals of Providence, when great principles were at stake. But we claim nothing more for our women than the same spirit of self-denial and lofty devotion that the sex has everywhere shown in the great crises of history. The first at the cross and the first at the sepulcher, the spirit and the blessing of the Son of God have ever rested in the heart of woman.

Side by side with the struggle for freedom grew the effort for a wider system of education. It was proposed to establish four free public schools. This was voted down by the poorer class of people who would be most benefited by the movement. Still the measure was partially carried out, and a two story brick building was erected in (1768). The upper story was occupied by a private school, the lower, as a free school. Whipple Hall, which afterwards became the first district school, was at this time chartered as a private school in the north part of the town, and all the schools were placed in charge of a committee of nine, of whom the Town Council formed a part the next year a great stimulus was given to the educational movement in the town. Two years had passed since Rhode Island College was established at Warren, and the first class oi seven students was about to graduate. Commencement day gave rise to the earliest legal holiday in our history. A rivalry among the chief towns of the Colony for the permanent location of what is now Brown University, resulted in its removal two years later (1774) to Providence. This now venerable institution, whose foundation was a protest against sectarianism in education, has become the honored head of a system of public and private schools, which for completeness of design, for perfection of detail, and for thoroughness of work, may safely challenge comparison with any other organized educational system in the world.

There are some significant facts connected with The Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, which serve to show the relative importance of this city in the industrial summary of the country. One is that in the three principal buildings Providence occupies the centre and most conspicuous place. We all know the man who commands Presidents and Emperors, and they obey him—who says to Don Pedro “come,” and he cometh, and to President Grant “Do this,” and he doeth it, and we have seen the mighty engine that from the centre of Machinery Hall, moves fourteen acres of the world’s most cunning industry. The Corliss engine proudly sustains the supremacy of Providence amid the marvels of both hemispheres. Facing the central area of the main exhibition building, the Gorham Manufacturing Company have their splendid show of silver ware around the most superb specimens of the craftsman’s art that has ever adorned any Exposition in modern times. Under the central dome of Agricultural Hall the Rumford Chemical Works present an elaborate and attractive display of their varied and important products, arresting the eye as a prominent object among the exhibits of all the world. And when we visit the Women’s Pavilion we shall see that of all the rich embroidery there displayed none surpasses that shown by the Providence Employment Society, and shall learn that little Rhode Island ranks as the fifth State in the amount of its contributions to the funds of this department, being surpassed only by New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Massachusetts. A city which occupies these positions in the greatest Exposition of the century has no cause to shun comparison between its past and its present.

But by far the greatest event of its bearing upon the prosperity of Providence was the introduction of water which, after being four times defeated by popular vote, was finally adopted in 1869. The work commenced the next year, and the water was first introduced from the Pawtuxet river in November, 1871. The question, whether Providence was to become a metropolis of trade and manufactures or to continue as a secondary city, was thus settled in favor of progress. The stimulus given in the right direction was immediate and immense. The overflow of population soon required the city limits to be extended, and the annexation of the Ninth and Tenth Wards caused an increase of forty-six per cent, from the census of 1870 to that of 1875, a showing which no other city in the country can equal.

That the city of Providence has its future in its own hands is apparent. With the vast wealth and accumulated industries of a century at its disposal; with the result which this latest measures of improvement has produced as an encouragement; and with the experience of other less favored seaports as a guide, there would seem to be the ability and the inducement to take the one remaining step necessary to secure the supremacy which nature indicates for the head waters of Narragansett bay. While our northern and western railroad connections are already very large and are rapidly reaching their requisite extension there remains only the improvement of the harbor and adjacent waters of the bay, which can be made at comparatively small expense, to make Providence the commercial emporium of New England. There is no mere fancy in this idea. It is an absolute fact, attested by the history of Glasgow, and foreshadowed by the opinions of those who have thought long and carefully upon the subject. It is a simple question of engineering and of enterprise, and it will be accomplished. When Providence had twelve thousand inhabitants, as it had within the life time of many of us who do not yet count ourselves as old, had some seer foretold that the centennial of the nation would see the quiet town transformed into the growing city starting upon its second hundred thousand of population, it would have seemed a far more startling statement than this with which we now close the Centennial Address—that the child is already born who will see more than half a million of people within our city, which will then be the commercial metropolis of New England.

See also: The Consequence of Bad Legal Precedent in American Legislation
Wide Spread And Growing Corruption In The Public Service Of The States And Nation
Founders & forefathers pledged their Sacred Honor, what did they mean?
THE POWER OF HISTORY by Horatio Seymour (1810–1886)
WHAT HISTORY TEACHES US ABOUT AMERICAN DIPLOMACY Addressed in 1876
THE COST OF POPULAR LIBERTY by Brooks Adams July 4th 1876
THE TRIUMPHS OF THE REPUBLIC! by Hon. Theodore Bacon, New York 1876
AMERICA OUR SUCCESS OUR FUTURE! by John P. Gulliver July 4th 1876 NYC
THE SOURCE AND SECURITY OF AMERICAN FREEDOM AND PROGRESS by Courtlandt Parker 1876
BENEFITS OF THE REPUBLICAN EXPERIMENT IN AMERICA by Thomas G. Alvord 1810- 1897
NEW HAVEN CT, ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO by Leonard Bacon July 4, 1876
Celtic Prayer of the Lorica or Breastplate prayer
Founders on the 2nd Amendment
The Story of Paul Revere

Christianity and the Founding of the United States the Simple Truth

The ChristianPatriot2

Christianity and the Founding of the United States of America. Some claim that the USA was not founded on Christian principles, or that religion has no place in political life. Each of these assertions is counter to the intent of the founders of the United States.

Thomas Jefferson Quote regarding leaving religion to the states & not the federal government

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The reason the Framers did not address Christianity in the federal Constitution is because it was already addressed by the states and they left it to the states to address it. The founding fathers were far from being anti-christian, indeed, they were all very much Pro-Christian.

See also: The History and Events that Led to the Founding of the United States by Courtlandt Parker 1876
The Wisdom and Love of God as Shown by His Creation by Noah Webster
Non-Revisionist Politically Incorrect History of the World With Biblical References Part 1
The Excellence of the Christian Religion by Noah Webster Published 1834 Part 1
Resistance to Tyrants is Obedience to God
Why our Forefathers firmly believed that Freedom and Liberty came from God
Thomas Jefferson Quotes

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Historian Verna Hall said, and it is the truth, “The concept of a secular state was virtually non-existent in 1776 as well as in 1787, when the Constitution was written, and no less so when the Bill of Rights was adopted. To read the Constitution as the charter for a secular state is to misread history, and to misread it radically. The Constitution was designed to perpetuate a Christian order.

At the first Constitutional Convention, the delegates were frustrated due to the burdens of the hour. They were burdened and harassed by tremendous crisis. They were so fragmented and divided that they were just about to throw out the whole concept of a constitution completely. Then Benjamin Franklin rose to his feet and said: “Gentlemen, if it is true that not one single petal from any flower falls to the ground without escaping God’s attention, will the distress of this nation go unheeded? Let us therefore determine to seek His face.”

“We’ve staked our future on our ability to follow the Ten Commandments with all our heart” ~ James Madison

“From the time of the Declaration of Independence, the American People were bound by the laws of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which they all acknowledge as the root of their conduct. We all came together to obey the word of God.” ~ John Quincy Adams

Thomas Jefferson Quote Regarding the 1st Amendment and Religious Liberty

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Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave and pure, it is because the people demand them in the national legislature. If the next centennial does not find us a great nation, it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.” ~ James Abram Garfield

washington-prayer“Do not let anyone claim tribute of American patriotism if they even attempt to remove religion from politics.” ~ George Washington

“Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest to our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians to be their rulers.” ~ John Jay, first Chief Justice of the United States

jamestown_scene_viii_patrickhenry“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! For this very reason people of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity and freedom of worship here!” ~ Patrick Henry

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” ~ John Adams

“God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever; That a revolution of the wheel of fortune, a change of situation, is among possible events; that it may become probable by Supernatural influence! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in that event.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

“Almighty God hath created the mind free. All attempts to influence it temporal punishments or burdens…are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion. No men shall…suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion. I know but one code of morality for men whether acting singly or collectively. Commerce between master and slave is despotism. Nothing is more certainly written in the Book of Life than that these people are to be free. The precepts of philosophy and of the Hebrew code, laid hold of actions only. Jesus pushed his scrutinies into the heart of man, erected his tribunal in the regions of his thoughts, and purified the waters at the fountain head.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

“My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” ~ James Madison

“If thou wouldst rule well, thou must rule for God, and to do that, thou must be ruled by him….Those who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants.”  ~ William Penn

“I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth–that God Governs the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?” ~Benjamin Franklin

“Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

“Man will ultimately be governed by God or by tyrants.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

“The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind. Where, some say, is the king of America? I’ll tell you, friend, He reigns above.” ~ Thomas Paine

“Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure (and) which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.” ~ Charles Carroll, signer of the Declaration of Independence

“He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of this country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man….The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy this gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people.” ~ Samuel Adams

“Here is my Creed. I believe in one God, the Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His Providence. That He ought to be worshipped.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

“As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and his religion, as he left them to us, is the best the world ever saw, or is likely to see.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

“God grant that not only the love of liberty but a thorough knowledge of the rights of man may pervade all the nations of the earth so that a philosopher may set his foot anywhere on its surface and say: This is my country.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

“My  country, ’tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty, Of thee I sing: Land where my fathers died, Land of the pilgrims’ pride, From every mountainside Let freedom ring. My native country, thee, Land of the noble free, Thy name I love; I love thy rocks and rills, Thy woods and templed hills. My heart with rapture thrills, Like that above. Let music swell the breeze, And ring from all the trees, Sweet freedom’s song; Let mortal tongues awake; Let all that breathe partake; Let rocks their silence break, The sound prolong. Our fathers’ God, to thee, Author of liberty, To thee I sing; Long may our land be bright, With freedom’s holy light; Protect us by thy might, Great God, our King!”  — Samuel Francis Smith

ten-commandments“How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few his precepts! O! ’tis easier to keep holidays than commandments.” — Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1757

“The duties of men are summarily comprised in the Ten Commandments, consisting of two tables; one comprehending the duties which we owe immediately to God-the other, the duties we owe to our fellow men.” — Noah Webster

Quotes from prior to 1776:
“Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the First Colony in the Northern Parts of Virginia, do by these present solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, Covenant and Combine ourselves together into a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.”
The Mayflower Compact

“Whereby our said People, Inhabitants there, may be so religiously, peaceably, and civilly governed, as their good Life and orderly Conversation, may win and incite the Natives of Country, to the KnowIedge and Obedience of the only true God and Savior of Mankind, and the Christian Faith, which is our Royal Intention, and the Adventurers free Profession, is the principall End of this Plantation.”
The First Charter of Massachusetts, March 1629

“Whereas we all came into these parts with one and the same end and aim, namely to advance the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to enjoy the liberties of the gospel of purity and peace.” – New England Confederation 1643

Rhode Island Charter of 1683 began with these words:
“We submit our persons, lives and estates unto our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, to all those perfect and most absolute laws of His given to us in His Holy Word.”

Benjamin RushVarious Founders Quotes:

“The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained.” ~ George Washington

“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible” ~ George Washington

“Without a humble imitation of the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, we can never hope to be a happy nation.” ~ George Washington

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.” ~ George Washington

“I have always said, and always will say, that the studious perusal of the sacred volume [Bible] will make us better citizens.” ~Thomas Jefferson

“Religion I have disposed of all my property to my family. There is one thing more I wish I could give to them, and that is the Christian religion. If they had that and I had not given them one cent, they would be rich. If they have not that, and I had given them the world, they would be poor.” ~Patrick Henry

“A patriot without religion in my estimation is as great a paradox as an honest Man without the fear of God. Is it possible that he whom no moral obligations bind, can have any real Good Will towards Men? Can he be a patriot who, by an openly vicious conduct, is undermining the very bonds of Society, corrupting the Morals of Youth, and by his bad example injuring the very Country he professes to patronize more than he can possibly compensate by intrepidity, generosity and honour? Scriptures tell us ‘righteousness exalteth a Nation.” ~Abigail Adams, (wife of the 2nd President and mother of the 6th President), letter to Mercy Otis Warren on Nov. 5, 1775

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.” ~ John Adams

“It is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.” ~ John Adams

“Religion and virtue are the only foundations…. of republicanism and of all free government.” ~ John Adams

“The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If “Thou shalt not covet,” and “Thou shalt not steal,” were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society, before it can be civilized or made free.” ~ John Adams

“The first and almost the only Book deserving of universal attention is the Bible.”  ~ John Quincy Adams

“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.” ~ John Quincy Adams

“So great is my veneration for the Bible that the earlier my children begin to read it the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens of their country and respectable members of society…” ~ John Quincy Adams

“It is essential, my Son, in order that you may go through this life with comfort to yourself and usefulness to your fellow creatures, that you should form and adopt certain rules or principles for the Government of your own conduct, and temper… It is in the Bible that you must learn them, and from the Bible how to practice them. Those duties are to God to your fellow creatures,__ and to yourself. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength, and thy neighbor as thy self.”(Luke x.27 / Matt xxii.40) “On these two commandments (Jesus Christ expressly says) hang all the law and the prophets”_ that is to say that the whole purpose of divine revelation is to inculcate them efficaciously upon the minds of men…Let us then search the Scriptures…The Bible contains the Revelation of the Will of God, it contains the History of the Creation of the World and of mankind, and afterward the History of one peculiar Nation, certainly the most extraordinary Nation that has ever appeared upon Earth._ It contains a System of Religion, and Morality, which we may examine upon its own merits, independent of the sanction it receives from being the Word of God…” ~John Quincy Adams, letter to his son

“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” ~ James Madison

“While we give praise to God, the supreme disposer of all events, for His interposition on our behalf, let us guard against the dangerous error of trusting in, or boasting of, an arm of flesh…If your cause is just, if your principles are pure, and if your conduct is prudent, you need not fear the multitude of opposing hosts. What follows from this?  That he is the best friend to american liberty, who is most sincere and active in promoting true and undefiled religion, and who sets himself with the greatest firmness to bear down profanity and immorality of every kind. Whoever is an avowed enemy of God, I scruple not [do not hesitate] to call him an enemy of his country.” ~ John Witherspoon

“Almighty God hath created the mind free. All attempts to influence it temporal punishments or burdens…are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion. No men shall…suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion. I know but one code of morality for men whether acting singly or collectively. Commerce between master and slave is despotism. Nothing is more certainly written in the Book of Life than that these people are to be free. The precepts of philosophy and of the Hebrew code, laid hold of actions only. Jesus pushed his scrutinies into the heart of man, erected his tribunal in the regions of his thoughts, and purified the waters at the fountain head.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

“I could dwell on the importance of piety and religion; of industry and frugality; of prudence, economy, regularity and an even government; all which are essential to the well-being of a family. But I have not Time. I cannot however help repeating Piety, because I think it indispensable. Religion in a Family is at once its brightest Ornament & its best Security. The first Point of Justice, says a Writer I have met with, consists in Piety; Nothing certainly being so great a Debt upon us, as to render to the Creator & Preserver those Acknowledgments which are due to Him for our Being, and the hourly Protection he affords us.” ~ Samuel Adams, Letter to Thomas Wells, his daughter’s fiancé, November 22, 1780

“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual – or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.” ~ Samuel Adams, Essay in the Boston Gazette, April 16, 1781

“Every citizen will see, and I hope be deeply impressed with a sense of it, how exceedingly important it is to himself, and how intimately the welfare of his children is connected with it, that those who are to have a share in making as well as in judging and executing the laws should be men of singular wisdom and integrity.” ~ Samuel Adams, Boston Gazette, April 2, 1781

“Let Divines, and Philosophers, Statesmen and Patriots unite their endeavours to renovate the Age, by impressing the Minds of Men with the importance of educating their little boys, and girls – of inculcating in the Minds of youth the fear, and Love of the Deity, and universal Phylanthropy; and in subordination to these great principles, the Love of their Country – of instructing them in the Art of self government, without which they never can act a wise part in the Government of Societys great, or small – in short of leading them in the Study, and Practice of the exalted Virtues of the Christian system, which will happily tend to subdue the turbulent passions of Men, and introduce that Golden Age beautifully described in figurative language; when the Wolf shall dwell with the Lamb, and the Leopard lie down with the Kid – the Cow, and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together, and the Lyon shall eat straw like the Ox – none shall then hurt, or destroy; for the Earth shall be full of the Knowledge of the Lord.” ~ Samuel Adams, Letter to John Adams, October 4, 1790

“He who shall introduce into public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world.” ~Benjamin Franklin, Letter to the French Ministry, March 1778

“Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers. It is to be regretted, but so I believe the fact to be, that except the Bible there is not a true history in the world. Whatever may be the virtue, discernment, and industry of the writers, I am persuaded that truth and error (though in different degrees) will imperceptibly become and remain mixed and blended until they shall be separated forever by the great and last refining fire.” ~ John Jay, letter to Jedidiah Morse 1797

“To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, either through unbelief, or the corruption of its doctrines, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom, and approximate the miseries of complete despotism.” ~ Jedediah Morse, Founding educator, 1799

“Christianity is the only true and perfect religion, and that in proportion as mankind adopts its principles and obeys its precepts, they will be wise and happy.” ~ Benjamin Rush Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Ratifier of the US Constitution

“Our business is to make them men, citizens, and Christians” ~ Benjamin Rush, Founding educator

“Mothers and schools plant the seeds of nearly all the good and evil which exists in the world.” ~ Benjamin Rush

The Founding of the Ivy League:
Harvard (1638) was founded by the Puritans just 18 years after they first set foot at Plymouth Rock. The Puritans had specifically set out to establish a government based on the Bible. The Puritans were among the most educated people of their day.

“After God had carried us safe to New England, and we had built our houses, provided necessaries for our livelihood, reared convenient places for God’s worship, and led the civil government, one of the next things we longed for and looked after was to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity; dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches, when our present ministers shall lie in the dust. And as we were thinking and consulting how to effect this great work, it pleased God to stir up the heart of one Mr. Harvard (a godly gentleman and a lover of learning, there living among us) to give the one-half of his estate (it being in all about £700) toward the ing of a college, and all his library. After him, another gave £300; others after them cast in more; and the public hand of the state added the rest. The college was, by common consent, appointed to be at Cambridge (a place very pleasant and accommodate) and is called (according to the name of the first founder) Harvard College. The edifice is very fair and comely within and without, having in it a spacious hall where they daily meet at commons, lectures, and exercises; and a large library with some books to it, the gifts of diverse of our friends, their chambers and studies also fitted for and possessed by the students, and all other rooms of office necessary and convenient with all needful offices thereto belonging. And by the side of the college, a fair grammar school, for the training up of young scholars and fitting of them for academical learning, that still as they are judged ripe they may be received into the college of this school. Master Corlet is the master who has very well approved himself for his abilities, dexterity, and painfulness in teaching and education of the youths under him. Over the college is Master Dunster placed as president, a learned, a conscionable, and industrious man, who has so trained up his pupils in the tongues and arts, and so seasoned them with the principles of divinity and Christianity, that we have to our great comfort (and in truth) beyond our hopes, beheld their progress in learning and godliness also. The former of these has appeared in their public declamations in Latin and Greek, and disputations logic and philosophy which they have been wonted (besides their ordinary exercises in the college hall) in the audience of the magistrates, ministers, and other scholars for the probation of their growth in learning, upon set days, constantly once every month to make and uphold. The latter has been manifested in sundry of them by the savory things of their spirits in their godly versation; insomuch that we are confident, if these early blossoms may be cherished and warmed with the influence of the friends of learning and lovers of this pious work, they will, by the help of God, come to happy maturity in a short time.Over the college are twelve overseers chosen by the General Court, six of them are of the magistrates, the other six of the ministers, who are to promote the best good of it and (having a power of influence into all persons in it) are to see that every-one be diligent and proficient in his proper place.”

Harvard’s “Rules and Precepts” adopted in 1646 by the school’s leaders stated, “Everyone shall consider the main end of his life and studies to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life.Seeing the Lord giveth wisdom, everyone shall seriously by prayer in secret seek wisdom of Him. Everyone shall so exercise himself in reading the Scriptures twice a day that they be ready to give an account of their proficiency therein, both in theoretical observations of languages and logic, and in practical and spiritual truths”

Yale 1701 was created as an alternative to Harvard by Christians in Connecticut. Many thought that Harvard was too far and the spiritual climate at Harvard wasn’t what it had once been.

Princeton 1746 (originally “The College of New Jersey”) Founded by evangelicals as a part of the impact of the First Great Awakening in the USA.

Dartmouth 1754 Royal charter, signed by King George III of England, specified that Dartmouth’s intent was to reach the Indian tribes, and to educate and Christianize the English youth as well.

Other Christian colleges: Columbia (originally “King’s College”) served as missionary to America under the English based “Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts.”

College of William and Mary was founded by the Church of England.

Rutgers University (originally Queen’s College) founded by Dutch Reformed revivalists.

Brown University as started by Baptist churches which were scattered along the Atlantic seaboard.

Quotes by other famous Americans:

“Religion is the only solid basis of good morals; therefore education should teach the precepts of religion, and the duties of man towards God.” — Gouverneur Morris

“The church must take right ground in regard to politics. Do not suppose, now, that I am going to preach a political sermon, or that I wish to have you join and get up a Christian party in politics. No, I do not believe in that. But the time has come that Christians must vote for honest men, and take consistent ground in politics, or the Lord will curse them. They must be honest men themselves, and instead of voting for a man because he belongs to their party, Bank or Anti-Bank, Jackson, or Anti-Jackson, they must find out whether he is honest and upright, and fit to be trusted. They must let the world see that the church will uphold no man in office, who is known to be a knave, or an adulterer, or a Sabbath-breaker, or a gambler. Such is the spread of intelligence and the facility of communication in our country, that every man can know for whom he gives his vote. And if he will give his vote only for honest men, the country will be obliged to have upright rulers. . . . As on the subject of slavery and temperance, so on this subject, the church must act right or the country will be ruined. God cannot sustain this free and blessed country, which we love and pray for, unless the church will take right ground. Politics are a part of religion in such a country as this, and Christians must do their duty to the country as a part of their duty to God. It seems sometimes as if the foundations of the nation were becoming rotten, and Christians seem to act as if they thought God did not see what they do in politics. But I tell you, he does see it, and he will bless or curse this nation, according to the course they [Christians] take [in politics]” — Charles G. Finney

God is Lord of a nation when its laws and lawmakers acknowledge the truths and principles of the Bible as the supreme standard. This was certainly true in the formative year of our great nation. What a spiritual deterioration in our present day Supreme Court from the Supreme Court in 1811, when it said, “Whatever strikes at the root of Christianity tends to destroy civil government.” And in 1892, it said: “Our laws and institutions must necessarily be based on and must include the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind.”

“If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper; but if we and our posterity neglect its instruction and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity.” — Daniel Webster

“Finally, let us not forget the religious character of our origin. Our fathers were brought hither by their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of their society, and to diffuse its influence through all their institutions, civil, political, or literary.” — Daniel Webster

“If religious books are not widely circulated among the masses in this country, I do not know what is going to become of us as a nation. If truth be not diffused, error will be; If God and His Word are not known and received, the devil and his works will gain the ascendancy, If the evangelical volume does not reach every hamlet, the pages of a corrupt and licentious literature will; If the power of the Gospel is not felt throughout the length and breadth of the land, anarchy and misrule, degradation and misery, corruption and darkness will reign without mitigation or end.” — Daniel Webster

“Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens.” — Daniel Webster

“”Man is not only an intellectual, but he is also a religious being, and his religious feelings and habits require cultivation. Let the religious element in man’s nature be neglected, let him be influenced by no higher motives than low self-interest, and subjected to no stronger restraint than the limits of civil authority, and he becomes the creature of selfish passions or blind fanaticism. The spectacle of a nation powerful and enlightened, but without Christian faith, has been presented, almost within our own day, as a warning beacon for the nations. {note: He’s referring to the bloody and godless French Revolution – by comparing ours to theirs} On the other hand, the cultivation of the religious sentiment represses licentiousness, incites to general benevolence, and the practical acknowledgment of the brotherhood of man, inspires respect for law and order, and gives strength to the whole social fabric, at the same time that it conducts the human soul upward to the Author of its being..” — Daniel Webster

Noah Webster declared government was responsible to: “Discipline our youth in early life in sound maxims of moral, political, and religious duties.”

“Education is useless without the Bible.” — Noah Webster Our Christian Heritage p.5

“The Bible was America’s basic text book in all fields.” — Noah Webster Our Christian Heritage p.5

“God’s Word, contained in the Bible, has furnished all necessary rules to direct our conduct.” Noah Webster

“In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed….No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.” — Noah Webster 1828, in the preface to his American Dictionary of the English Language

“The religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and His apostles, which enjoins humility, piety, and benevolence; which acknowledges in every person a brother, or a sister, and a citizen with equal rights. This is genuine Christianity, and to this we owe our free Constitutions of Government.” — Noah Webster 1832, History of the United States

“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.” — Noah Webster

“578. Origin of Civil Liberty. Almost all the civil liberty now enjoyed in the world owes its origin to the principles of the Christian religion. Men began to understand their natural rights, as soon as the reformation from popery began to dawn in the sixteenth century; and civil liberty has been gradually advancing and improving, as genuine Christianity has prevailed. By the principles of the christian religion we are not to understand the decisions of ecclesiastical councils, for these are the opinions of mere men; nor are we to suppose that religion to be any particular church established by law, with numerous dignitaries, living in stately palaces, arrayed in gorgeous attire, and rioting in luxury and wealth,squee>zed from the scanty earnings of the laboring poor; nor is it a religion which consists in a round of forms, and in pompous rites and ceremonies. No; the religion which has introduced civil liberty, is the religion of Christ and his apostles, which enjoins humility, piety, and benevolence; which acknowledges in every person a brother, or a sister, and a citizen with equal rights. This is genuine Christianity, and to this we owe our free constitutions of government.” and “Character of the Puritans. For the progress and enjoyment of civil and religious liberty, in modern times, the world is more indebted to the Puritans in Great Britain and America, than to any other body of men, or to any other cause. They were not without their failings and errors. Emerging from the darkness of despotism, they did not at once see the full light of Christian liberty; their notions of civil and religious rights were narrow and confined, and their principles and behavior were too rigid. These were the errors of the age. But they were pious and devout; they endeavored to model their conduct by the principles of the Bible and by the example of Christ and his apostles. They avoided all crimes, vices, and corrupting amusements; they read the scriptures with care, observed the sabbath, and attended public and private worship. They rejected all ostentatious forms and rites; they were industrious in their callings, and plain in their apparel. They rejected all distinctions among men, which are not warranted by the scriptures, or which are created by power or policy, to exalt one class of men over another, in rights or property.” — Noah Webster History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1832), p. 300, Sec. 578

“579. Character of the Puritans. For the progress and enjoyment of civil and religious liberty, in modern times, the world is more indebted to the Puritans in Great Britain and America, than to any other body of men, or to any other cause. They were not without their failings and errors. Emerging from the darkness of despotism, they did not at once see the full light of Christian liberty; their notions of civil and religious rights were narrow and confined, and their principles and behavior were too rigid. These were the errors of the age. But they were pious and devout; they endeavored to model their conduct by the principles of the Bible and by the example of Christ and his apostles. They avoided all crimes, vices, and corrupting amusements; they read the scriptures with care, observed the sabbath, and attended public and private worship. They rejected all ostentatious forms and rites; they were industrious in their callings, and plain in their apparel. They rejected all distinctions among men, which are not warranted by the scriptures, or which are created by power or policy, to exalt one class of men over another, in rights or property.” — Noah Webster History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1832), p. 300, Sec.579

580. Institutions of the Puritans in America. The Puritans who planted the first colonies in New England, established institutions on republican principles. They admitted no superiority in ecclesiastical orders, but formed churches on the plan of the independence of each church. They distributed the land among all persons, in free hold, by which every man, lord of his own soil, enjoyed independence of opinion and of rights. They founded governments on the principle that the people are the sources of power; the representatives being elected annually, and of course responsible to their constituents. And especially they made early, provision for schools for diffusing knowledge among all the members of their communities, that the people might learn their rights and their duties. Their liberal and wise institutions, which were then novelties in the world, have been the foundation of our republican governments. — Noah Webster History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1832), p. 300, Sec.580

581. Effects of the principles and institutions of the Puritans. The principles of the Puritans fortified them to resist all invasions of their rights; and prepared them to vindicate their independence in the war of the revolution. That war ended in the establishment of the independence of the United States. The manifestoes, or public addresses of the first American congress, and the act declaring independence, proclaimed to all the world the principles of free governments. These papers circulated extensively in foreign countries. The French officers who assisted in the defense of American rights, became acquainted in this country with the principles of our statesmen, and the blessings of our free institutions; and this circumstance was the germ of a revolution in France. The constitution of the United States is made the model of the new governments in South America; and it is not without its influence in Greece, and in Liberia in Africa. It is thus that the principles of free government, borrowed from the Puritans, have been conveyed to foreign countries, and are gradually undermining arbitrary governments, with all their oppressive institutions, civil and ecclesiastical. — Noah Webster History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1832), p. 300, Sec.581

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 [Exodus 18:21]…. If the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted…If our 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. 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 will be violated or disregarded. Corruption of morals is rapid enough in any country without a bounty from government. And…the Chief Magistrate of the United States should be the last man to accelerate its progress. — Noah Webster, The History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie and Peck, 1832), pp. 336-337, 49

“The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all of our civil constitutions and laws….All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.”  — Noah Webster History of the United States p. 339

“The brief exposition of the constitution of the United States, will unfold to young persons the principles of republican government; and it is the sincere desire of the writer that our citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament or the Christian religion. Noah Webster, 1832, History of the United States

“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 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 will 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. ” — Noah Webster

“The religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and his apostles, which enjoins humility, piety, and benevolence; which acknowledges in every person a brother, or a sister, and a citizen with equal rights. This is genuine Christianity, and to this we owe our free constitutions of government.” — Noah Webster

“The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws…All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.” and “The principles of all genuine liberty, and of wise laws and administrations are to be drawn from the Bible and sustained by its authority. The man therefore who weakens or destroys the divine authority of that book may be assessory to all the public disorders which society is doomed to suffer.” — Noah Webster

“There are two powers only which are sufficient to control men, and secure the rights of individuals and a peaceable administration; these are the combined force of religion and law, and the force or fear of the bayonet.” — Noah Webster

“In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed….No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.” — Noah Webster

The Religious belief of many of the Founding Fathers were that of Congregationalists.—A sect formerly known by the name “Independents.” Its fundamental principle is, that every particular congregation of Christians is an independent body, which has within itself the right of electing and deposing its pastors, settling its faith, and exercising discipline over its members. It is “Autocephalous” which means self-governing, self-headed. There is no organized unity among the Congregations that can, in any way, interfere with their perfect independence of one another. Robert Browne was the first to formulate the Congregational principles which he carved out of the Puritan system over three centuries ago, and his sect was known by the name of Brownists down to 1642. His principles of church government were accepted by large numbers of the Puritans, and the sect increased rapidly. The idea of absolute independence is not strictly carried out, the “Congregational Union,” in 1831, adopting a “Declaration of the Faith, Order, and Discipline of the Congregational, or Independent Dissenters,” which consists of thirty-three articles, twenty on religion and the remainder on church government.

Their belief has a near relation to the peculiar doctrines of Calvin, in that “all who will be saved were the objects of God’s eternal and electing love, and were given by an act of Divine sovereignty t0 the son of God: which in no way interferes with the system of means, nor with the grounds of human responsibility; being wholly unrevealed as to its objects, and not a rule of human duty. They held that the New Testament authorizes every Christian church to elect its own officers, to manage all its own affairs, and to stand independent of, and irresponsible to, all authority saving that only of the Supreme and Divine Head of the Church, the Lord Jesus Christ

The Framers of the Constitution:
Of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention only 5 were possible Deists. The other 50 were all members of established religions and Bible believers. Following is a list of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention and their religious affiliation:

Name of Signer               State                           Religious Affiliation
Daniel Carroll                  Maryland                   Catholic
Thomas Fitzsimons        Pennsylvania             Catholic
Roger Sherman               Connecticut               Congregationalist
Nathaniel Gorham          Massachusetts          Congregationalist
John Langdon                  New Hampshire        Congregationalist
Nicholas Gilman              New Hampshire        Congregationalist
Abraham Baldwin           Georgia                       Congregationalist; Episcopalian
William Samuel Johnson        Connecticut        Episcopalian; Presbyterian
James Madison Jr.           Virginia                      Episcopalian
George Read                     Delaware                    Episcopalian
Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer    Maryland         Episcopalian
David Brearly                    New Jersey               Episcopalian
Richard Dobbs Spaight, Sr.    North Carolina     Episcopalian
Robert Morris                      Pennsylvania            Episcopalian
John Morton                        Pennsylvania            Episcopalian
John Rutledge                      South Carolina         Episcopalian
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney    South Carolina        Episcopalian
Charles Pinckney                 South Carolina         Episcopalian
Pierce Butler                         South Carolina        Episcopalian
George Washington              Virginia                    Episcopalian
Benjamin Franklin                Pennsylvania          Episcopalian
William Blount                       North Carolina       Episcopalian; Presbyterian
James Wilson                         Pennsylvania          Episcopalian; Presbyterian
Rufus King                              Massachusetts       Episcopalian; Congregationalist
Jacob Broom                          Delaware                 Lutheran
William Few                           Georgia                    Methodist
Richard Bassett                     Delaware                 Methodist
Gunning Bedford Jr.             Delaware                 Presbyterian
James McHenry                   Maryland                 Presbyterian
William Livingston               New Jersey              Presbyterian
William Paterson                  New Jersey             Presbyterian
Hugh Williamson                  North Carolina        Presbyterian
Jared Ingersoll                     Pennsylvania           Presbyterian
Alexander Hamilton            New York                Huguenot; Presbyterian; Episcopalian
Jonathan Dayton                 New Jersey              Presbyterian; Episcopalian
John Blair                             Virginia                     Presbyterian; Episcopalian
John Dickinson                    Delaware                  Quaker; Episcopalian
George Clymer                    Pennsylvania           Quaker; Episcopalian
Thomas Mifflin                    Pennsylvania           Quaker; Lutheran

Name of Non-Signing Delegates        State        Religious Affiliation
Oliver Ellsworth            Connecticut        Congregationalist
Caleb Strong            Massachusetts        Congregationalist
John Lansing, Jr.        New York        Dutch Reformed
Robert Yates            New York        Dutch Reformed
William Houstoun        Georgia            Episcopalian
William Leigh Pierce        Georgia            Episcopalian
Luther Martin            Maryland        Episcopalian
John F. Mercer            Maryland        Episcopalian
Elbridge Gerry            Massachusetts        Episcopalian
George Mason            Virginia            Episcopalian
Edmund J. Randolph        Virginia            Episcopalian
George Wythe            Virginia            Episcopalian
James McClurg            Virginia            Presbyterian
William C. Houston        New Jersey        Presbyterian
William R. Davie            North Carolina        Presbyterian
Alexander Martin        North Carolina        Presbyterian

Religious Affiliation of the Signers of the Articles of Confederation:

Name of Signer        State        Religious Affiliation
Daniel Carroll        Maryland        Catholic
Andrew Adams        Connecticut        Congregationalist
Richard Hutson        South Carolina        Congregationalist
Samuel Adams        Massachusetts        Congregationalist
Josiah Bartlett        New Hampshire        Congregationalist
William Ellery        Rhode Island        Congregationalist
John Hancock        Massachusetts        Congregationalist
Samuel Huntington    Connecticut        Congregationalist
Roger Sherman        Connecticut        Congregationalist
Oliver Wolcott        Connecticut        Congregationalist
Thomas Heyward Jr.    South Carolina        Episcopalian
John Penn        North Carolina        Episcopalian
Francis Lightfoot Lee    Virginia            Episcopalian
Richard Henry Lee    Virginia            Episcopalian
Francis Lewis        New York        Episcopalian
Elbridge Gerry        Massachusetts        Episcopalian
John Banister        Virginia            Episcopalian
James Duane        New York        Episcopalian
Edward Langworthy    Georgia            Episcopalian
Gouverneur Morris    New York        Episcopalian
Nicholas Van Dyke    Delaware        Episcopalian
Robert Morris        Pennsylvania        Episcopalian
Cornelius Harnett    North Carolina        Episcopalian (Deist)
John Dickinson        Delaware        Quaker; Episcopalian
Henry Laurens        South Carolina        Huguenot
John Hanson        Maryland        Lutheran
Thomas McKean    Delaware        Presbyterian
John Witherspoon    New Jersey        Presbyterian
John Walton        Georgia            Presbyterian
Nathaniel Scudder    New Jersey        Presbyterian
William Clingan        Pennsylvania        Protestant, denomination unknown
Joseph Reed        Pennsylvania        Protestant, denomination unknown
Daniel Roberdeau    Pennsylvania        Protestant, denomination unknown
Jonathan Bayard Smith    Pennsylvania        Protestant, denomination unknown
Francis Dana        Massachusetts        Protestant, denomination unknown
Samuel Holten        Massachusetts        Protestant, denomination unknown
James Lovell        Massachusetts        Protestant, denomination unknown
Henry Marchant        Rhode Island        Protestant, denomination unknown
John Collins        Rhode Island        Protestant, denomination unknown
Thomas Adams        Virginia            Protestant, denomination unknown
John Harvie        Virginia            Protestant, denomination unknown
John Mathews        South Carolina        Protestant, denomination unknown
William Henry Drayton    South Carolina        Protestant, denomination unknown
William Duer        New York        Protestant, denomination unknown
Titus Hosmer        Connecticut        Protestant, denomination unknown
Edward Telfair        Georgia            Protestant, denomination unknown
John Wentworth Jr.    New Hampshire        Protestant, denomination unknown
John Williams        North Carolina        Protestant, denomination unknown

Religious Affiliation of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence:

Name of Signer        State        Religious Affiliation
Charles Carroll        Maryland        Catholic
Samuel Huntington    Connecticut        Congregationalist
Roger Sherman        Connecticut        Congregationalist
William Williams    Connecticut        Congregationalist
Oliver Wolcott        Connecticut        Congregationalist
Lyman Hall        Georgia            Congregationalist
Samuel Adams        Massachusetts        Congregationalist
John Hancock        Massachusetts        Congregationalist
Josiah Bartlett        New Hampshire        Congregationalist
William Whipple        New Hampshire        Congregationalist
William Ellery        Rhode Island        Congregationalist
John Adams        Massachusetts        Congregationalist; Unitarian
Robert Treat Paine    Massachusetts        Congregationalist; Unitarian
George Walton        Georgia             Episcopalian
John Penn        North Carolina        Episcopalian
George Ross        Pennsylvania        Episcopalian
Thomas Heyward Jr.    South Carolina        Episcopalian
Thomas Lynch Jr.    South Carolina        Episcopalian
Arthur Middleton        South Carolina        Episcopalian
Edward Rutledge    South Carolina        Episcopalian
Francis Lightfoot Lee    Virginia            Episcopalian
Richard Henry Lee    Virginia            Episcopalian
George Read        Delaware        Episcopalian
Caesar Rodney        Delaware        Episcopalian
Samuel Chase        Maryland        Episcopalian
William Paca        Maryland        Episcopalian
Thomas Stone        Maryland        Episcopalian
Elbridge Gerry        Massachusetts        Episcopalian
Francis Hopkinson    New Jersey        Episcopalian
Francis Lewis        New York        Episcopalian
Lewis Morris        New York        Episcopalian
William Hooper        North Carolina        Episcopalian
Robert Morris        Pennsylvania        Episcopalian
John Morton        Pennsylvania        Episcopalian
Stephen Hopkins    Rhode Island        Episcopalian
Carter Braxton        Virginia            Episcopalian
Benjamin Harrison    Virginia            Episcopalian
Thomas Nelson Jr.    Virginia            Episcopalian
George Wythe        Virginia            Episcopalian
Thomas Jefferson    Virginia            Episcopalian
Benjamin Franklin    Pennsylvania        Episcopalian
Button Gwinnett        Georgia            Episcopalian; Congregationalist
James Wilson        Pennsylvania        Episcopalian; Presbyterian
Joseph Hewes        North Carolina        Quaker, Episcopalian
George Clymer        Pennsylvania        Quaker, Episcopalian
Thomas McKean    Delaware        Presbyterian
Matthew Thornton    New Hampshire        Presbyterian
Abraham Clark        New Jersey        Presbyterian
John Hart        New Jersey        Presbyterian
Richard Stockton    New Jersey        Presbyterian
John Witherspoon    New Jersey        Presbyterian
William Floyd        New York        Presbyterian
Philip Livingston        New York        Presbyterian
James Smith        Pennsylvania        Presbyterian
George Taylor        Pennsylvania        Presbyterian
Benjamin Rush        Pennsylvania        Presbyterian

Now hear what other American presidents have said about God and the Bible.

“I do believe in Almighty God! And I believe also in the Bible…Let us look forward to the time when we can take the flag of our country and nail it below the Cross, and there let it wave as it waved in the olden times, and let us gather around it and inscribed for our motto: “Liberty and Union, one and inseparable, now and forever,” and exclaim, Christ first, our country next!” – Andrew Johnson

“The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” — Abraham Lincoln

“The only assurance of a nation’s safety is to lay our foundation in morality and religion” — Abraham Lincoln

“It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, and to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in Holy Scripture, and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord. And, insomuch (sic) as we know that by His divine law nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisement in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which has preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended power, to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.” — Abraham Lincoln, in his Proclamation for a Day of Prayer and Fasting, called the nation to find spiritual strength through prayer: 1863

“In regard to this great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to men. All the good Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.” — Abraham Lincoln, upon receiving a gift of a Bible from a group of African-Americans from Baltimore 1864

“My concern is not whether God is on our side. My great concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.” — Abraham Lincoln on the Civil war.

“It is the duty of nations as well as men to recognize the truth announced in Holy Scripture and proven by all of history that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.” — Abraham Lincoln

“I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given man. All the good from the Savior of the world is communicated to us through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong” — Abraham Lincoln

“I am profitably engaged in reading the Bible. Take all of this book upon reason that you can and the balance by faith, and you will live and die a better man.” — Abraham Lincoln

“Whereas, the Senate of the United States devoutly recognizing the Supreme Authority and just Government of Almighty God in all the affairs of men and of nations, has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for national prayer and humiliation: And whereas, it is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history: that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord…” — Abraham Lincoln

“A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we came from or what we have been about…..The Bible is the one supreme source of revelation of the meaning of life, the nature of God, and spiritual nature and needs of men. It is the only guide of life which really leads the spirit in the way of peace and salvation. America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture.” — Woodrow Wilson

“That book [the Bible], sir, is the rock on which our republic rests” — Andrew Jackson, also, Upon hearing a man defaming God’s Word, Jackson rebuked him with the following well-chosen words: “Sir, that Book is the Rock on which our Republic rests!”

“The government of a country never gets ahead of the religion of a country. There is no way by which we can substitute the authority of the law for the virtues of men” — Calvin Coolidge

“The strength of our country is the strength of its religious convictions. The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country.” — Calvin Coolidge

“If you take out of your statutes, your constitution, your family life all that is taken from the Sacred Book, what would there be left to bind society together?” — Benjamin Harrison

“Almost every man who has by his life-work added to the sum of human achievement of which the race is proud, of which our people are proud, almost every such man has based his life-work largely upon the teachings of the Bible” — Theodore Roosevelt

FDR quote you’ll never hear from the progressives and liberals:

“There comes a time in the affairs of men when they must prepare to defend not their homes alone but the tenets of faith and humanity on which their churches, their governments and their very foundations are set. The defense of religion, of democracy and of good faith among nations is all the same fight. To save one, we must now make up our minds to save all.” Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president, in his second annual address to Congress, January 4, 1939.

“We cannot read the history of our rise and development as a nation, without reckoning with the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic. Where we have been the truest and most consistent in obeying its precepts, we have attained the greatest measure of contentment and prosperity.” —Franklin D. Roosevelt

“The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get from Exodus and Saint Matthew, from Isaiah and Saint Paul. I don’t think we emphasize that enough these days. If we don’t have a proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the State!” —Harry Truman

“The spirit of man is more important than mere physical strength, and the spiritual fiber of a nation than its wealth. The Bible is endorsed by the ages. Our civilization is built upon its words. In no other book is there such a collection of inspired wisdom, reality, and hope.” — Dwight Eisenhower

“Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet anchor of your liberties. Write its precepts in your hearts, and practice them in your lives. To the influence of this book are we indebted for all the progress made in true civilization, and to this we must look as our guide in the future. Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” —Ulysses S. Grant

“Menaced by collectivist trends, we must seek revival of our strength in the spiritual foundations which are the bedrock of our republic. Democracy is the outgrowth of the religious conviction of the sacredness of every human life. On the religious side, its highest embodiment is the Bible; on the political side, the Constitution.” ~ Herbert Hoover

Quotes from Alexis de Tocqueville an early French traveler to America spent nine months in the United States during 1831 and 1832

Upon my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention …. In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America I found they were intimately united. Freedom sees religion as the companion of its struggles and triumphs, the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its rights. ~ Alexis de Tocquevill

The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other …. They brought with them into the New World a form of Christianity which I cannot better describe than by styling it a democratic and republican religion. ~ Alexis de Tocquevill

Christianity has therefore retained a strong hold on the public mind in America … In the United States … Christianity itself is a fact so irresistibly established, that no one undertakes either to attack or to defend it. ~ Alexis de Tocquevill

Society will develop a new kind of servitude which covers the surface of society with a network of complicated rules, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate. It does not tyrannise but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd. ~ Alexis de Tocquevill

Tocqueville asserted that, at that time, America was a democracy, where the fundamental principle of government was “the sovereignty of the people.” He said “America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.”

Frame of Government of Pennsylvania, 1682

“When all is said, there is hardly one frame of government in the world so ill designed by its first founders that, in good hands, would not do well enough; and story tells us, the best, in ill ones, can do nothing that is great or good; witness the Jewish and Roman states. Governments, like clocks, go from the motion men give them, and as governments are made and moved by men, so by them they are ruined too. Wherefore governments rather depend upon men than men upon governments. Let men be good, and the government cannot be bad; if it be ill, they will cure it. But, if men be bad, let the government be ever so good, they will endeavor to warp and spoil it to their turn.

I know some say, “Let us have good laws, and no matter for the men that execute them”; but let them consider that, though good laws do well, good men do better, for good laws may want good men and be abolished or evaded [invaded in Franklin’s print] by ill men; but good men will never want good laws nor suffer ill ones. It is true, good laws have some awe upon ill ministers, but that is where they have not power to escape or abolish them, and the people are generally wise and good, but a loose and depraved people (which is the question) love laws and an administration like themselves.

That, therefore, which makes a good constitution, must keep it, viz.: men of wisdom and virtue, qualities that, because they descend not with worldly inheritances, must be carefully propagated by a virtuous education of youth; for which after ages will owe more to the care and prudence of founders, and the successive magistracy, than to their parents, for their private patrimonies.

These considerations of the weight of government, and the nice and various opinions about it, made it uneasy to me to think of publishing the ensuing frame and conditional laws, foreseeing both the censures they will meet with from men of differing humors and engagements and the occasion they may give of discourse beyond my design.

But, next to the power of necessity (which is a solicitor that will take no denial), this induced me to a compliance: that we have (with reverence to God, and good conscience to men), to the best of our skill, contrived and composed the frame and laws of this government, to the great end of all government, viz.: To support power in reverence with the people, and to secure the people from the abuse of power; that they may be free by their just obedience, and the magistrates honorable, for their just administration; for liberty without obedience is confusion, and obedience without liberty is slavery. To carry this evenness is partly owing to the constitution and partly to the magistracy; where either of these fail, government will be subject to convulsions; but, where both are wanting, it must be totally subverted; then where both meet, the government is like to endure. Which I humbly pray and hope God will please to make the lot of this of Pennsylvania. Amen.” — William Penn

Excepts from the Preambles of all 50 states:

Alabama 1901, Preamble. “We the people of the State of Alabama,
invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and
establish the following Constitution … ”

Alaska 1956, Preamble. “We, the people of Alaska, grateful to God and
To those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land . ”

Arizona 1911, Preamble. “We, the people of the State of Arizona,
grateful to Almighty God for our liberties, do ordain this
Constitution… ”

Arkansas 1874, Preamble. “We, the people of the State of Arkansas,
Grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form
of government… ”

California 1879, Preamble. “We, the People of the State of
California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom…”

Colorado 1876, Preamble. “We, the people of Colorado, with profound
Reverence for the Supreme Ruler of Universe .. ”

Connecticut 1818, Preamble. “The People of Connecticut, acknowledging
With gratitude the good Providence of God in permitting them to
enjoy … ”

Delaware 1897, Preamble. “Through Divine Goodness all men have, by
nature, the rights of worshipping and serving their Creator according
to the dictates of their consciences .. ”

Florida 1885, Preamble. “We, the people of the State of Florida,
grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty … establish
this Constitution…”

Georgia 1777, Preamble. “We, the people of Georgia, relying upon
Protection and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this
Constitution… ”

Hawaii 1959, Preamble. “We, the people of Hawaii, Grateful for Divine
Guidance .. establish this Constitution ”

Idaho 1889, Preamble. “We, the people of the State of Idaho, grateful
To Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings .. ”

Illinois 1870, Preamble. “We, the people of the State of Illinois,
Grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious
liberty which He hath So long permitted us to enjoy and looking to
Him for a blessing on our endeavors… ”

Indiana 1851, Preamble. “We, the People of the State of Indiana,
grateful to Almighty God for the free exercise of the right to chose
our form of government . ..”

Iowa 1857, Preamble. “We, the People of the State of Iowa, grateful
to The Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling
our Dependence on Him for a continuation of these blessings …
establish this Constitution ”

Kansas 1859, Preamble. “We, the people of Kansas, grateful to
Almighty God for our civil and religious privileges … establish
this Constitution. ”

Kentucky 1891, Preamble. “We, the people of the Commonwealth of
Kentucky are grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and
religious liberties… ”

Louisiana 1921, Preamble. “We, the people of the State of Louisiana,
Grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious
liberties we enjoy ….”

Maine 1820, Preamble. “We the People of Maine .. acknowledging with
Grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe
in affording us an opportunity … and imploring His aid and
direction . .”

Maryland 1776, Preamble. “We, the people of the state of Maryland,
Grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberty… ”

Massachusetts 1780, Preamble. “We…the people of Massachusetts,
acknowledging with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Great
Legislator of The Universe… in the course of His Providence, an
opportunity ..and Devoutly imploring His direction … ”

Michigan 1908, Preamble. “We, the people of the State of Michigan,
Grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of freedom … establish
this Constitution ”

Minnesota, 1857, Preamble. “We, the people of the State of Minnesota,
grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to
perpetuate its blessings . ”

Mississippi 1890, Preamble. “We, the people of Mississippi in
Convention assembled, grateful to Almighty God, and invoking His
blessing on our work…..”

Missouri 1845, Preamble “We, the people of Missouri, with profound
Reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and grateful for His
goodness …establish this Constitution …”

Montana 1889, Preamble. “We, the people of Montana, grateful to
Almighty God for the blessings of liberty establish this
Constitution .. ”

Nebraska 1875, Preamble. “We, the people, grateful to Almighty God
for Our freedom .. establish this Constitution .. .”

Nevada 1864, Preamble. “We the people of the State of Nevada,
grateful to Almighty God for our freedom … establish this
Constitution . .”

New Hampshire 1792, Part I. Art. I. Sec. V. “Every individual has a
Natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the
dictates of his own conscience . ”

New Jersey 1844, Preamble. “We, the people of the State of New
Jersey, grateful to Almighty God for civil and religious liberty
which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a
blessing on our endeavors…..”
New Mexico 1911, Preamble. “We, the People of New Mexico, grateful to
Almighty God for the blessings of liberty .. ”

New York 1846, Preamble. “We, the people of the State of New York,
Grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its
blessings . ”

North Carolina 1868, Preamble. “We the people of the State of North
Carolina, grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations,
for our civil, political, and religious liberties, and acknowledging
our dependence upon Him for the continuance of those . .”

North Dakota 1889, Preamble. “We, the people of North Dakota,
grateful To Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious
liberty, do ordain… ”

Ohio 1852, Preamble. “We the people of the state of Ohio, grateful to
Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and to promote
Our common .. ”

Oklahoma 1907, Preamble. “Invoking the guidance of Almighty God, in
order to secure and perpetuate the blessings of liberty …..
establish this… ”

Oregon 1857, Bill of Rights, Article I. Section 2. “All men shall be
Secure in the Natural right, to worship Almighty God according to the
dictates of their consciences . ”

Pennsylvania 1776, Preamble. “We, the people of Pennsylvania,
grateful To Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious
liberty, and Humbly invoking His guidance . …”

Rhode Island 1842, Preamble. “We the People of the State of Rhode
Island grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty
which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a
blessing .”

South Carolina 1778, Preamble. “We, the people of the State of South
Carolina . grateful to God for our liberties, do ordain and establish
This Constitution .. ”

South Dakota 1889, Preamble. “We, the people of South Dakota,
grateful To Almighty God for our civil and religious liberties …
establish this ….”

Tennessee 1796, Art. XI.III. “That all men have a natural and
Indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates
of their conscience… ”

Texas 1845, Preamble. “We the People of the Republic of Texas,
acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God .. ”

Utah 1896, Preamble. “Grateful to Almighty God for life and liberty,
We establish this Constitution .. ”

Vermont 1777, Preamble. “Whereas all government ought to … enable
The individuals who compose it to enjoy their natural rights, and
other blessings which the Author of Existence has bestowed on
man ….. ”

Virginia 1776, Bill of Rights, XVI .. “Religion, or the Duty which we
Owe our Creator … can be directed only by Reason .. and that it is
the mutual duty of all to practice Christian Forbearance, Love and
Charity towards each other

Washington 1889, Preamble. “We the People of the State of Washington,
grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our liberties, do
ordain this Constitution .. ”

West Virginia 1872, Preamble. “Since through Divine Providence we
enjoy the blessings of civil, political and religious liberty, we,
the people of West Virginia .. reaffirm our faith in and constant
reliance upon God .. ”

Wisconsin 1848, Preamble. “We, the people of Wisconsin, grateful to
Almighty God for our freedom, domestic tranquility … ”

Wyoming 1890, Preamble. “We, the people of the State of Wyoming,
grateful to God for our civil, political, and religious liberties …
establish This Constitution .. ”

See also:
Advice to Young People from Noah Webster Father of American Education
Political Evils and the Remedy for them by Noah Webster 1834
Non Revisionist Politically Incorrect History of Jesus Christ by Johannes von Müller 1832
 
The Christian Patriot 2011

What happened to freedom in the United States?

America, why are you losing your freedoms? Let us look at what the Founding Fathers said. Let us take time to consider these things.

The Founding Fathers said that our freedom and our rights came from God, rightly so! God however worked through men, i.e. the Founding Fathers, whom God worked through, who set their beliefs to paper. A paper that became our Declaration of Independence, then our Constitution and one called the Bill of Rights. Rights of the People, not the rights of government, no, the government was given no rights.  God used these men, to put in place a set of guidelines, for the governance of the People, by the People. These guidelines were inspired by God, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the Bible. Our Freedoms truly do come from God. Just as He used men to create the documents that encapsulate our Freedoms. He is also using men to now take them away!

The Religion Clause in the First Amendment was meant to keep government out of religion, not to keep religion out of the public square or religious “expression” out of government.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Speaking of the Federal Constitution and the Federal Government Amendment I to the Constitution states 1st and foremost, “Congress” i.e. Federal House of Representatives (The Peoples House) and the Federal Senate…”Shall Make No Law Respecting an Establishment of Religion,” It doesn’t say one religion shall not be held in higher esteem than another religion, nor does it say there can be no state religions, nor does it say that religion has no place in government, or in the good governance of the people. It simply says “Congress Shall Make No Law Respecting An Establishment of Religion” Meaning of all the religious sects that were established at that time in each State, one should not be respected above the other. Each State / Colony at the time of the Founding of the United States of America had their own State Religion or even State Sponsored Religion! The Founding Fathers, especially Thomas Jefferson did not want one of those Christian sects respected by the Federal government more than the other. For all of  you lunatic leftists out there like Barrack Obama who understands very little of the history of America, Islam was NOT one of those sects that were a part of America at her Foundations! America was founded mainly as a Christian Protestant Nation, with the exception of Maryland, where the first Lord Baltimore, George Calvert (c. 1580-1632) George Calvert was the first person to dream of a colony in America where Catholics and Protestants could live in peace together.

Back to Amendment I of the Federal Constitution:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

“Congress (Again the Federal Congress) Shall Make No Law Respecting an Establishment of Religion,” Here’s where the lunatic leftist and even most GOP Republicans stop these days. They fail to go to the next line which says “Or Prohibiting The Free Exercise Thereof,” This means the Federal Government could not, and cannot Prohibit the establishment of a religion in any one, or many of the States who choose to have an established religion! This Also means that the Federal Government can in No Way Prohibit, Impede, Take Away, or Otherwise Distress People in their God Given Right to Practice Their Religion, Express Their Religious Beliefs, or Otherwise Show Their Love for God the Father and Christ Jesus the Son, in Anyway They Personally See Fit, Nor Can Any Government Interfere With A Persons Right of Conscience to Serve God the Father and Follow Christ Jesus the Son in Anyway that Persons Conscience Allows Them To Do or Disallows Them to Do!

Amendment I: Then continues with the following thereby making sure a persons Rights of Conscience and Religious Expression are not impeded or interfered with in the least, in any manner what-so-ever…It states, “or Abridging the Freedom of Speech, or of the Press, or the Right of the People Peaceable to Assemble, and to Petition the Government for a Redress of Grievances”!

This Was ALL Written In the Order of Importance the Founding Fathers Placed on Each Subject, or Right. 1st and foremost was the Rights of Conscience and of the People to Establish Churches , 2nd was the Rights of Free Speech, 3rd was the Freedom of the Press, 4th the Right of the People to Gather Together Where and When They Saw Fit To Do So! 5th was the Right to Petition the Federal Government for Redress of the peoples Grievances.”

Let’s look at the Redress of Grievances! Why was this part of Amendment I, because the Founding Fathers Knew that the Federal Government, or Centralized Power would invariably try to infringe on the Rights of the People, especially where Religion is Concerned! Up Until That Time Government Had ALWAYS Tried to Interfere in Peoples Worship of God and in their Service to the Son, i.e. the King, Christ Jesus the Son of God! We see this today, where it has become so disgustingly unrighteous and pretentious in its interference in matters that the Federal Constitution Expressly Forbids it to Become Involved With, It is Beyond Apparent The Federal Government Has Gone Far Past the Limits Placed on it by the Federal Constitution. We are left with the Question of Whether We Need to Exercise the Rights Set Forth in Amendment II to Restore Our Rights of Conscience, Establishment, Free Speech, Free Press, & Assemblage, for Redress of Our Grievances! For Amendment II was Given to Guarantee those Rights Expressed in Amendment I…

Founder Patrick Henry said “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! For this very reason people of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity and freedom of worship here!”

Why then, we must ask ourselves, why then is He doing this?

If we go to the Bible, study the history of Israel and God’s judgment on the Nation of Israel. It is then, plain to see why we are losing our Freedoms. The Bible says “If God be for us, who can be against us”.

If you believe in the Constitution, then you have to believe, it is not the men therefore, who are taking away our Freedoms from U.S., it is God! That being the case, we then must ask “Why?. If you study the Bible, especially the Old Testament, it will then become apparent “Why” we are losing our Freedoms in the United States of America. It is because of the moral decay! The first freedom protected by the Constitution has been under attack in this country for decades, the freedom of religious expression has been all but taken away, when we no longer have that,  all the other freedoms will fall, one by one until there is no longer a place like America once was in the world. We will all be living under an oppressive, tyrannical government who holds nothing but contempt for us, and is arrogant enough to think they know what is best for each one of us. I know most of you do not like hearing this, agreed, the truth hurts at times. Something to think about the next time you are angry at the government for taking away our Freedoms, take a look at yourself.

Christianity and the Founding of the United States of America the simple truth

Why our Forefathers firmly believed that Freedom and Liberty came from God

Founders & forefathers pledged their Sacred Honor, what did they mean?

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