Was “The Original Intent”
Copyright © 2013 by Michael A. Shea -
Whose Divine Hand Was behind the Establishment of the United States of America and our Founding Documents.
"It is the duty of every good citizen to use all the opportunities which occur to him, for preserving documents relating to the history of our country."
— Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of Independence
Magna Carta -
John, by the grace of God, king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and count of Anjou, to the archbishop, bishops, abbots, earls, barons, justiciaries, foresters, sheriffs, stewards, servants, and to all his bailiffs and liege subjects, greetings. Know that, having regard to God and for the salvation of our soul, and those of all our ancestors and heirs . ... Download -
“Here is a law which is above the King and which even he must not break. This reaffirmation of a supreme law and its expression in a general charter is the great work of Magna Carta; and this alone justifies the respect in which men have held it.”
— Winston Churchill (1874-
The First Charter of Virginia, Jamestown -
The First Charter of Virginia -
Mayflower Compact -
Mayflower Compact -
The Petition of Rights -
The Petition exhibited to his Majesty by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, concerning divers Rights and Liberties of the Subjects, with the King's Majesty's royal answer thereunto in full Parliament.
To the King's Most Excellent Majesty,
III. And whereas also by the statute called 'The Great Charter of the Liberties of England,' it is declared and enacted, that no freeman may be taken or imprisoned or be disseized of his freehold or liberties, or his free customs, or be outlawed or exiled, or in any manner destroyed, but by the lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land. -
The Massachusetts Body of Liberities -
The free fruition of such liberties Immunities and priveledges as humanitie, Civilitie, and Christianitie call for as due to every man in his place and proportion without impeachment and Infringement hath ever bene and ever will be the tranquillitie and Stabilitie of Churches and Commonwealths. And the deniall or deprivall thereof, the disturbance if not the ruine of both.
We hould it therefore our dutie and safetie whilst we are about the further establishing of this Government to collect and expresse all such freedomes as for present we foresee may concerne us, and our posteritie after us, And to ratify them with our sollemne consent.
Wee doe therefore this day religiously and unanimously decree and confirme these following Rites, liberties and priveledges concerneing our Churches, and Civill State to be respectively impartiallie and inviolably enjoyed and observed throughout our Jurisdiction for ever.
1. No mans life shall be taken away, no mans honour or good name shall be stayned, no mans person shall be arested, restrayned, banished, dismembred, nor any wayes punished, no man shall be deprived of his wife or children, no mans goods or estaite shall be taken away from him, nor any way indammaged under colour of law or Countenance of Authoritie, unlesse it be by vertue or equitie of some expresse law of the Country waranting the same, established by a generall Court and sufficiently published, or in case of the defect of a law in any parteculer case by the word of God. -
The New England Confederation -
“We shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when ten of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies; when he shall make us a praise and glory that men shall say of succeeding plantations, ‘The Lord make it likely that of New England.’ For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us; so that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall shame the faces of many of God’s worthy servants, and cause their prayers to be turned into curses upon us till we be consumed out of the good land whither we are agoing.”
“There is a twofold liberty, natural (I mean as our nature is now corrupt) and civil or federal. The first is common to man with beasts and other creatures. By this, man, as he stands in relation to man simply, hath liberty to do what he lists; it is a liberty to evil as well as to good. This liberty is incompatible and inconsistent with authority and cannot endure the least restraint of the most just authority. The exercise and maintaining of this liberty makes men grow more evil and in time to be worse than brute beasts: omnes sumus licentia deteriores. This is that great enemy of truth and peace, that wild beast, which all of the ordinances of God are bent against, to restrain and subdue it. The other kind of liberty I call civil or federal; it may also be termed moral, in reference to the covenant between God and man, in the moral law, and the politic covenants and constitutions amongst men themselves. This liberty is the proper end and object of authority and cannot subsist without it; and it is a liberty to that only which is good, just, and honest. This liberty you are to stand for, with the hazard (not only of your goods, but) of your lives, if need be. Whatsoever crosseth this is not authority but a distemper thereof. This liberty is maintained and exercised in a way of subjection to authority; it is of the same kind of liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free. -
— John Winthrop (1588-
The Old Deluder Satan Act -
It being one chief project of that old deluder, Satan, to keep men from the knowledge of the Scriptures, as in former times by keeping them in an unknown tongue, so in these latter times by persuading from the use of tongues, that so that at least the true sense and meaning of the original might be clouded and corrupted with false glosses of saint-
It is therefore ordered that every township in this jurisdiction, after the Lord hath increased them to fifty households shall forthwith appoint one within their town to teach all such children as shall resort to him to write and read, whose wages shall be paid either by the parents or masters of such children, or by the inhabitants in general, by way of supply, as the major part of those that order the prudentials of the town shall appoint; provided those that send their children be not oppressed by paying much more than they can have them taught for in other towns. -
Discourses Concerning Government -
That the greatest Liberty in the World is for a People to live under a Monarch, when his whole Book is to prove, That this Monarch hath his right from God and Nature, is endowed with an unlimited Power of doing what he pleaseth, and can be restrained by no Law. If it be Liberty to live under such a Government, I desire to know what is Slavery. … man cannot continue in the perpetual and entire fruition of the liberty that God hath given him. The liberty of one is thwarted by that of another; and whilst they are all equal, none will yield to any, otherwise than by a general consent. This is the ground of all just governments; for violence or fraud can create no right; and the same consent gives the form to them all, how much soever they differ from each other. -
In all lawful governments, the designation of the persons, who are to bear rule, is as natural and necessary a part as the form of the government itself, and is that which had its establishment originally from the people; the anarchy being much alike, to have no form of government at all, or to agree that it shall be monarchical, but to appoint no way to design the person that shall have the power, and be the monarch. Hence all commonwealths, with the form of government established, have rules also of appointing those who are to have any share in the public authority, and settled methods of conveying the right to them. Whoever gets into the exercise of any part of the power, by other ways than what the laws of the community have prescribed, hath no right to be obeyed, though the form of the commonwealth be still preserved; since he is not the person the laws have appointed, and consequently not the person the people have consented to. Nor can such an usurper, or any deriving from him, ever have a title, till the people are both at liberty to consent, and have actually consented to allow, and confirm in him the power he hath till then usurped.-
Samuel von Pufendorf -
“God is the author of the natural law, is proved by the natural reason ... Of the duties incumbent upon man in accordance with natural law the most convenient division seems to be according to the objects in regard to which they are to be practiced. From this standpoint they are classified under three main heads: the first of which instructs us how, according to the dictate of sound reason alone a man should conduct himself toward God, the second, how toward himself, the third, how toward other men.”
“The duty of man toward God, so far as it can be investigated by the natural reason, reduces itself to two heads: that we have right views of God, and secondly that we order our acts in conformity with His will. …The second truth is that God is founder of this universe. … The third maxim is that God rules over the whole world, and over the human race. This is perfectly clear from the wonderful and constant order seen in this universe. But so far as the moral effect is concerned, it is immaterial whether one denies that God exists, or that he governs the affairs of men, since either view completely destroys all religion. For it is vain to fear or venerate him who, though in himself preeminent, is not touched by any care for us, and will not, or cannot, bring us any good or ill.
English Bill of Rights -
By violating the freedom of election of members to serve in Parliament;
And excessive fines have been imposed …
And illegal and cruel punishments inflicted;
And several grants and promises made of fines and forfeitures before any conviction or judgment against the persons upon whom the same were to be levied;
All which are utterly and directly contrary to the known laws and statutes and freedom of this realm ... And whereas the said late King James the Second having abdicated the government and the throne being thereby vacant, his Highness the prince of Orange (whom it hath pleased Almighty God to make the glorious instrument of delivering this kingdom from popery and arbitrary power) -
John Locke -
“The power of the legislative being derived from the people by a positive voluntary grant and institution, can be no other than what that positive grant conveyed, which being only to make laws, and not to make legislators, the legislative can have no power to transfer their authority of making laws, and place it in other hands.”
“The reason why men enter into society is the preservation of their property. ….[Therefore,] whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence. Whensoever, therefore, the legislative shall transgress this fundamental rule of society, and either by ambition, fear, folly, or corruption, endeavor to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other, an absolute power over the lives, liberties, and estates of the people, by this breach of trust they [the government officals] forfeit the power the people had put into their hands… and it devolves to the people, who have a right to resume their original liberty, and ….provide for their own safety and security.”
William Penn -
“BECAUSE no People can be truly happy, though under the greatest Enjoyment of Civil Liberties, if abridged of the Freedom of their Consciences, as to their Religious Profession and Worship: And Almighty God being the only Lord of Conscience, Father of Lights and Spirits; and the Author as well as Object of all divine Knowledge, Faith and Worship, who only doth enlighten the Minds, and persuade and convince the Understandings of People.”
Charter of Privileges Granted by William Penn, esq.
To the Inhabitants of Pennsylvania and Territories, October 28, 1701 (1)
WILLIAM PENN, Proprietary and Governor of the Province of Pensilvania and Territories thereunto belonging, To all to whom these Presents shall come, sendeth Greeting. WHEREAS King CHARLES the Second, by His Letters Patents, under the Great Seal of England, bearing Date the Fourth Day of March in the Year One Thousand Six Hundred and Eighty-
John Wise -
"For that all law, properly considered, supposes a capable subject and a superior power, and the law of God which is binding, is published by the dictates of right reason as other ways. … God has established the law of nature, as the general rule of government, is further illustrable from the many sanctions in providence, and from the peace and guilt of conscience in them that either obey or'violate the law of nature. But, moreover, the foundation of the law of nature with relation to government ...
The native liberty of man's nature implies, a faculty of doing or omitting things according to the direction of his judgment. But in a more special meaning, this liberty does not consist in a loose and ungovernable freedom, or in an unbounded license of acting. Such license is disagreeing with the condition and dignity of man, and would make man of a lower and meaner constitution than brute creatures, who in all their liberties are kept under a better and more rational government by their instincts." -
Isaac Newton -
"Here YOUR MAJESTY will see astronomy, and a just observation on the course of nature, assisting other parts of learning to illustrate antiquity; and a penetration and sagacity peculiar to the great author, dispelling that mist, with which fable and error had darkened it; and will with pleasure contemplate the first dawnings of your favourite arts and sciences, the noblest and most beneficial of which He alone carried farther in a few years, than all the most Learned who went before him, had been able to do in many ages. Here too, MADAM, You will observe, that an abhorrence of Idolatry and persecution (the very essence and foundation of that religion, which makes so bright a part of YOUR MAJESTY's character) was one of the earliest laws of the divine legislator, the morality of the first ages, and the primitive religion of both Jews and Christians; and, as the author adds, ought to be the standing religion of all nations; it being for the honour of God, and good of mankind." -
Jonathan Edwards -
"The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked. His wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else but to be cast into the fire. He is of purer eyes than to bear you in his sight; you are ten thousand times as abominable in his eyes as the most hateful, venomous serpent is in ours.
You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince, and yet it is nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. It is to be ascribed to nothing else that you did not got to hell the last night; that you were suffered to awake again in this world, after you closed your eyes to sleep. And there is no other reason to be given why you have not dropped into hell since you arose in the morning, but that God's hand has held you up. There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell since you have sat here in the house of God provoking his pure eye by your sinful, wicked manner of attending his solemn worship. Yea, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you do not this very moment drop down into hell. " -
George Whitefield -
“Father Abraham, whom have you in heaven? Any Episcopalians? No. Any Presbyterians? No. Have you any Independents or Seceders? No. Have you any Methodists? No, No, No! Whom have you there? We don’t know those names here. All who are here are Christians—believers in Christ—men who were overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of his testimony.
Oh, is this the case? Then God help us, God help us all, to forget party names, and to become Christians in deed and in truth!”
Jonathan Mayhew -
"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers; for there is no power but of God: the powers that be, are ordained of God. Here he urges the duty of obedience from this topic of argument, that civil rulers, as they are supposed to fulfil the pleasure of God, are the ordinance of God. But how is this an argument for obedience to such rulers as do not perform the pleasure of God, by doing good; but the pleasure of the devil, by doing evil; and such as are not, therefore, God’s ministers, but the devil’s! Whosoever, therefore, resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God; and they that resist, shall receive to themselves damnation. … But how is this an argument, that we must honor, and submit to, such magistrates as are not enemies to the evil actions of men, but to the good; and such as are not a common blessing, but a common curse, to society! But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid: For he is the minister of God, a revenger, to execute wrath upon him that doth evil." -
Barron Charles de Montesquieu -
“Laws, in their most general signification, are the necessary relations arising from the nature of things. In this sense all beings have their laws: the Deity His laws, the material world its laws, the intelligences superior to man their laws, the beasts their laws, man his laws. They who assert that a blind fatality produced the various effects we behold in this world talk very absurdly; for can anything be more unreasonable than to pretend that a blind fatality could be productive of intelligent beings?
There is, then, a prime reason; and laws are the relations subsisting between it and different beings, and the relations of these to one another. God is related to the universe, as Creator and Preserver; the laws by which He created all things are those by which He preserves them. He acts according to these rules, because He knows them; He knows them, because He made them; and He made them, because they are in relation to His wisdom and power.
Since we observe that the world, though formed by the motion of matter, and void of understanding, subsists through so long a succession of ages, its motions must certainly be directed by invariable laws; and could we imagine another world, it must also have constant rules, or it would inevitably perish."
"I have always respected religion; the morality of the Gospel is the noblest gift ever bestowed by God on man.
We shall see that we owe to Christianity, in government, a certain political law, and in war a certain law of nations-
The principles of Christianity, deeply engraved on the heart, would be infinitely more powerful than the false honor of monarchies, than the humane virtues of republics, or the servile fear of despotic states."
“That a moderate Government is most agreeable to the Christian Religion, and a despotic Government to the Mahometan.
The Christian religion is a stranger to mere despotic power. The mildness so frequently recommended in the Gospel, is incompatible with the despotic rage with which a prince punishes his subjects, and exercises himself in cruelty.” -
James Otis -
"Has it any solid foundation, any chief cornerstone but what accident, chance, or confusion may lay one moment and destroy the next? I think it has an everlasing foundation in the unchangeable will of GOD, the author of nature, whose laws never vary. …The end of government being the good of mankind points out its great duties: it is above all things to provide for the security, the quiet, and happy enjoyment of life, liberty, and property. There is no one act which a government can have a right to make that does not tend to the advancement of the security, tranquillity, and prosperity of the people. If life, liberty, and property could …
The sum of my argument is: that civil government is of God that the administrators of it were originally the whole people; that they might have devolved it on whom they pleased; that this devolution is fiduciary, for the good of the whole; that by the British constitution this devolution is on the King, Lords and Commons." -
William Blackstone -
“This law of nature, being co-
"No laws are binding on the human subject which assault the body or violate the [liberty of ] conscience."
“Blasphemy against the Almighty is denying his being or providence, or uttering contumacious [rebellious] reproaches on our Savior Christ. It is punished, at common law by fine and imprisonment, for Christianity is part of the law of the land.” -
John Dickinson -
“Let us consider our, selves as men—freemen—Christian freemen—separated from the rest of the world, and firmly bound together by the same rights, interests and dangers. ... for posterity, to whom, by the most sacred obligations, we are bound to deliver down the invaluable inheritance; ... you may surely, without presumption, believe, that Almighty God himself will look down upon your righteous contest with gracious approbation. You will be a “band of brothers,” cemented by the dearest ties, and strengthened with inconceivable supplies of force and constancy, by that sympathetic ardor, which animates good men, confederated in a good cause. Your honor and welfare will be, as they now are, most intimately concerned; and besides, you are assigned by divine providence, in the appointed order of things, the protectors of unborn ages, whose fate depends upon your virtue. Whether they shall arise the generous and indisputable heirs of the noblest patrimonies, or the dastardly and hereditary drudges of imperious task-
Samuel Adams -
"Among the natural rights of the Colonists are these: First, a right to life; Secondly, to liberty; Thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can. These are evident branches of, rather than deductions from, the duty of self-
The Minute Man Oath -
———————————————— Sign your name here?
Excerpt: Lexington Memorial .... On the morning of the ever memorable 19th of April, 1775, the die was cast!!! The blood of the martyrs, in the cause of God and their country, was the cement of the Union of these States, the Colonies and gave the spring to the spirit, firmness and resolution of their fellow citizens. They rose as one man, to revenge their brethren’s blood and at the point of the sword, to assert and defend their native rights. They nobly dared to be free!! The contest was long, bloody and affecting. Righteous heaven approved the solemn appeal: victory crowned their arms and the peace, liberty and independence of the United Sates of America was their glorious reward. -
Dr. Benjamin Rush -
There is no virtue or character but what have had their counterfeits; but these, like false coin, prove the reality of their originals. Patriotism and patriots have suffered much for this quarter...
Patriotism is as much a virtue as justice, and is as necessary for the support of societies as natural affection is for the support of families. The Amor Patriae is both a moral and a religious duty. It comprehends not only the love of our neighbors but of millions of our fellow creatures, not only of the present but of future generations. This virtue we find constitutes a part of the first characters of history.
The holy men of old, in proportion as they possessed a religious were endowed with a public spirit. What did Moses forsake and suffered for his countrymen! What of the shining example of patriotism do we hold Joshua, Samuel, Maccabeus, and all the Jews! St. Paul almost wishes himself accursed for his countrymen and kinsmen after the flesh. Even our Saviour himself gives a sanction to this virtue. He confined his miracles and gospel at first to his own country. …
The social spirit is the true selfish spirit, and men always promote their own interest most in proportion as they promote that of their neighbors and their country. As well might the apostasy of Julian or the fictions of Voltaire sully the character of the author of our religion, or the licentious manners of the age destroy the reality of a future state of rewards and punishments, as the defections of patriots or the opinions of the enemies of society destroy the existence of real patriotism. Faith will be most precious when it is hardly found on earth; so this exalted virtue when it is most rare shall possess most strength and luster. Its sincerity shall be distinguished, like sincerity in religion, by its steady perseverance in opposition to every difficulty, temptation, and reproach. …
Remember, my countrymen, the present era
—perhaps the present struggle—will fix the constitution of America forever. Think of your ancestors and your posterity
The Suffolk Resolves -
… That it is an indispensable duty which we owe to God, our country, ourselves, and posterity, by all lawful ways and means in our power to maintain, defend, and preserve those civil and religious rights and liberties, for which many of our fathers fought, bled, and died, and to hand them down entire to future generations.
The “Suffix Resolves” were delivered by courier Paul Revere to the Massachusetts delegates at the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia September 16, 1774. John Adams wrote in his diary.
"This was one of the happiest days of my life. In Congress we had generous, noble sentiments, and manly eloquence. This day convinced me that America will support Massachusetts or perish with her."
Samuel Williams -
“… And here it is to be observed, that love to our country supposes that there is a proper community, or public society formed. … As our Maker designed us for such a state, he has given us nature adapted to, and tending towards it. … In a despotic government, the only principle by which the tyrant who is to move the whole machine, means to regulate and manage the people, is fear; by a servile dread of his power. But a free government, which of all others is far the most preferable, cannot be supported without virtue. This virtue is the love of our country. And after all the devices that sound policy or the most refined corruption have, or can suggest; this is the most efficacious principle to hold the different parts of an empire together, and to make men good members of the society to which they belong. …
Let us praise God's holy name for the blessings we yet enjoy in it. … Let us return then to the Almighty, that he may build us up. Let us return to that sober sense of piety and religion, which animated and encouraged our fathers in that noblest enterprise of public virtue, laying the foundation of these colonies. Then shall we have reason to expect that heaven and earth will once more join to remove our difficulties and fears, and to make us a free, a grateful, and a happy people. To this then, repentance and reformation, we are now called by all that is holy in religion, by all that is important to our country, and by all that is valuable to mankind. And may God arise and have mercy upon Zion: May the time to favour her, yea, may the set time now come.” -
— Samuel Williams (1743-
John Joachim Zubly -
"The gospel is called a law of liberty, because it bears a most friendly aspect to the liberty of man; it is a known rule ...the gospel makes no alteration in the civil state; it by no means renders man's natural and social condition worse than it would be without the knowledge of the gospel. … the gospel is a law of liberty in a much higher sense; by whomsoever a man is overcome, of the same he is brought into bondage; but no external enemy can so completely tyrannize over a conquered enemy, as sin does over all those who yield themselves its servants; vicious habits, when once they have gained the ascendancy in the soul, bring man to that unhappy pass, that he knows better things and does worse; sin, like a torrent, carries him away against knowledge and conviction, while conscience fully convinces him that he travels the road of death, and must expect, if he so continues, to take up his abode in hell ... till the grace of God brings salvation, when he would do good, evil is present with him; in short, instead of being under a law of liberty, he is under the law of sin and death; but whenever he feels the happy influence of the grace of the gospel, then this "law of liberty makes him free from the law of sin and death:" it furnishes him with not only motives to resist, but with power also to subdue sin; sin reigns no longer in his mortal body, because he is not under the law, but under grace. By this law of liberty he is made free from sin, and has his fruit unto holiness, and the end of it eternal life.” -
Samuel Langdon -
We have rebelled against God. We have lost the true spirit of Christianity, though we retain the outward profession and form of it. We have neglected and set light by the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and His holy commands and institutions. The worship of many is but mere compliment to the Deity, while their hearts are far from Him. By many the gospel is corrupted into a superficial system of moral philosophy, little better than ancient Platonism. And after all the pretended refinements of moderns in the theory of Christianity, very little of the pure practice of it is to be found among those who once stood foremost in the profession of the gospel. In a general view of the present moral state of Great Britain it may be said: There is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, their wickedness breaks out; and one murder after another is committed, under the connivance and encouragement even of that authority by which such crimes ought to be punished, that the purposes of oppression and despotism may be answered. As they have increased, so have they sinned, therefore God is changing their glory into shame. The general prevalence of vice has changed the whole face of things in the British government. -
Revend Jacob Duche -
... If spiritual liberty calls upon its pious votaries to extend their views far forward to a glorious hereafter, civil liberty must at least be allowed to secure, in a considerable degree, our well-
From what hath been said under my first head of discourse, I think it must appear, that liberty, traced to her true source, is of heavenly extraction, that divine Virtue is her illustrious parent, that from eternity to eternity they have been and must be inseparable companions, and that the hearts of all intelligent beings are the living temples, in which they ought to be jointly worshiped. -
A Declaration by the Representatives of the United Colonies of North-
Our cause is just. Our union is perfect. Our internal resources are great, and, if necessary, foreign assistance is undoubtedly attainable.—We gratefully acknowledge, as signal instances of the Divine favour towards us, that his Providence would not permit us to be called into this severe controversy, until we were grown up to our present strength, had been previously exercised in warlike operation, and possessed of the means of defending ourselves. With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have been compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverence, employ for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than to live slaves. …
With an humble confidence in the mercies of the supreme and impartial Judge and Ruler of the Universe, we most devoutly implore his divine goodness to protect us happily through this great conflict, to dispose our adversaries to reconciliation on reasonable terms, and thereby to relieve the empire from the calamities of civil war. -
Thomas Paine -
“I have always considered the independancy of this continent, as an event which sooner or later must arrive.”
“Until an independance is declared, the Continent will feel itself like a man who continues putting off some unpleasant business from day to day, yet knows it must be done, hates to set about it, wishes it over, and is continually haunted with the thoughts of its necessity.” -
John Jay -
"Under the auspices and direction of Divine Providence, your forefathers removed to the wilds and wilderness of America. By their industry, they made it fruitful-
It is a well known truth, that no virtuous people were ever oppressed; and it is also true, that a scourge was never wanting to those of an opposite character. Even the Jews, those favourites of Heaven, met with the frowns, whenever they forgot the smiles of their benevolent Creator … tyrants themselves, when they had executed the vengeance of Almighty God, their own crimes bursting on their own heads, received the rewards justly due to their violation of the sacred rights of mankind. …
Do your duty like men; and be persuaded that Divine Providence will not permit this western world to be involved in the horrors of slavery. Consider, that from the earliest ages of the world, religion, liberty, and reason have been bending their course towards the setting sun. The holy gospels are yet to be preached in these western regions; and we have the highest reason to believe that the Almighty will not suffer slavery and the gospel to go hand in hand. It cannot, it will not be. "But if there be any among us, dead to all sense of honour, and love of their country; if deaf to all the calls of liberty, virtue, and religion; if forgetful of the magnanimity of their angestors, and the happiness of their children; if neither the examples nor the success of other nations-
the future blessings or curses of their children-
Samuel West -
"The most perfect freedom consists in obeying the dictates of right reason, and submitting to natural law. When a man goes beyond or contrary to the law of nature and reason, he becomes the slave of base passions and vile lusts; he introduces confusion and disorder into society, and brings misery and destruction upon himself. This, therefore, cannot be called a state of freedom, but a state of the vilest slavery and the most dreadful bondage. The servants of sin and corruption are subjected to the worst kind of tyranny in the universe. Hence we conclude that where licentiousness begins, liberty ends. ...
he that firmly believes and relies upon the providence of God doubt whether he will avenge the cause of the injured when they apply to him for help? For my own part, when I consider the dispensations of Providence towards this land ever since our father first settled in Plymouth, I find abundant reason to conclude that the great Sovereign of the universe has planted a vine in this American wilderness which he has caused to take deep root, and it has filled the land, and that he will never suffer it to be plucked up or destroyed. …
I cannot help hoping, and even believing, that Providence has designed this continent for to be the asylum of liberty and true religion; for can we suppose that the God who created us free agents, and designed that we should glorify and serve him in the world that we might enjoy him forever hereafter, will suffer liberty and true religion to be banished from off the face of the earth? But do we not find that both religion and liberty seem to be expiring and gasping for life in the other continent?-
John Adams letter to his wife on the birth of a new Nation
"Yesterday, the greatest question was decided, which ever was debated in America, and a greater, perhaps, never was nor will be decided among men. A resolution was passed without one dissenting colony, “that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, and as such they have, and of right ought to have, full power to make war, conclude peace, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which other States may rightfully do.” You will see in a few days a Declaration setting forth the causes which have impelled us to this mighty revolution, and the reasons which will justify it in the sight of God and man. ...
I am surprised at the suddenness as well as greatness of this revolution. …But the day is past. The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward, forevermore.
You will think me transported with enthusiasm, but I am not. I am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet, through all the gloom, I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means, and that posterity will triumph in that day's transaction, even although we should rue it, which I trust in God we shall not." -
John Adams speech in support of the Declaration -
“Before God, I believe the hour has come. My judgement approves this measure, and my whole heart is in it. All that I have, and all that I am, and all that I hope in this life, I am now ready here to stake upon it. And I leave off as I began, that live or die, survive or perish, I am for the Declaration. It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment. Independence now, and Independence for ever!”
Sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish, I give my hand and my heart to this vote. It is true, indeed, that in the beginning we aimed not at independence. But there's a divinity which shapes our ends. The injustice of England has driven us to arms; and, blinded to her own interest for our good, she has obstinately persisted, till independence is now within our grasp. We have but to reach forth to it, and it is ours. Why, then, should we defer the declaration? Is any man so weak as now to hope for reconciliation with England, which shall leave either safety to the country and its liberties, or safety to his own life and his own honor?" -
The Declaration of Independence-
We hold these truths to be self-
We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these colonies solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES ... And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor. -
John Hancock's letter to British Authorities on the Declaration of Independence -
Altho it is not possible to foresee the Consequences of human Actions, yet it is nonetheless a Duty we owe ourselves and Posterity in all our public Counsels, to decide in the best Manner we are able, and to trust the load to that Being who controls both Causes and Events, so as to bring about his own Determination.
Impressed with this Sentiment, & at the same Time fully convinced that our Affairs may take a more favourable Turn, the Congress have judged it necessary to dissolve all Connection between Great Britain and the American Colonies, and to declare them free and independent States; -
Patrick Henry -
“It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.”
No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; -
Articles of Confederation Perpetual Union -
Every State shall abide by the determination of the United States in Congress assembled, on all questions which by this confederation are submitted to them. And the Articles of this Confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State, and the Union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them; unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every State.
And Whereas it hath pleased the Great Governor of the World to incline the hearts of the legislatures we respectively represent in Congress, to approve of, and to authorize us to ratify the said Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union. Know Ye that we the undersigned delegates, by virtue of the power and authority to us given for that purpose, do by these presents, in the name and in behalf of our respective constituents, fully and entirely ratify and confirm each and every of the said Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union, and all and singular the matters and things therein contained: And we do further solemnly plight and engage the faith of our respective constituents, that they shall abide by the determinations of the United States in Congress assembled, on all questions, which by the said Confederation are submitted to them. And that the Articles thereof shall be inviolably observed by the States we respectively represent, and that the Union shall be perpetual. ..
Done at Philadelphia in the State of Pennsylvania the ninth Day of July in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven Hundred and Seventy-
The Articles of Confederation Perpetual Union -
Whereas the Delegates of the United States of America in Congress assembled did on the fifteenth day of November in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy seven, and in the Second Year of the Independence of America, agree to certain articles of Confederation …
The said States hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defense, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretense whatever.
And Whereas it hath pleased the Great Governor of the World to incline the hearts of the legislatures we respectively represent in Congress, to approve of, and to authorize us to ratify the said articles of confederation and perpetual union. ... -
Thanksgiving Proclaimation by the Continental Congress -
“solemn thanksgiving to Almighty God for his mercies, and of prayer for the continuance of his favor and protection to these United States; to beseech him that he would be graciously pleased to influence our public councils, and bless them with wisdom from on high, with unanimity, firmness, and success; that he would go forth with our hosts and crown our arms with victory; that he would grant to his church the plentiful effusions of divine grace, and pour out his holy spirit on all ministers of the gospel; that he would bless and prosper the means of education, and spread the light of Christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth; that he would smile upon the labors of his people and cause the earth to bring forth her fruits in abundance; that we may with gratitude and gladness enjoy them; that he would take into his holy protection our illustrious ally, give him victory over his enemies, and render him signally great, as the father of his people and the protector of the rights of mankind.” -
Benjamin Franklin -
“To this may be truly added, that serious religion, under its various denominations, is not only tolerated, but respected and practiced. Atheism is unknown there; infidelity rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great age in that country, without having their piety shocked by meeting with either an atheist or an infidel. And the Divine Being seems to have manifested his approbation of the mutual forbearance and kindness with which the different sects treat each other, by the remarkable prosperity with which He has been pleased to favor the whole country.”
Many persons in Europe having, directly or by letters, expressed to the writer of this, who is well acquainted with North America, their desire of transporting and establishing themselves in that country; but who appear to have formed, through ignorance, mistaken ideas and expectations of what is to be obtained there; he thinks it may be useful, and prevent inconvenient, expensive, and fruitless removals and voyages of improper persons, if he gives some clearer and truer notions of that part of the world -
George Washington's Circular to the States -
“I now make it my earnest prayer, that God would have you, and the State over which you preside, in his holy protection, that he would incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government, to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow Citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the Field, and finally, that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all, to do Justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility and pacific temper of mind, which were the Characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation.” -
Ezra Stiles -
“How wonderful the revolutions, the events of Providence! … God be thanked, we have lived to see peace restored to this bleeding land, at least a general cessation of hostilities among the belligerent powers. And on this occasion does it not become us to reflect how wonderful, how gracious, how glorious has been the good hand of our God upon us, in carrying us through so tremendous a warfare! We have sustained a force brought against us which might have made any empire on earth to tremble; and yet our bow has abode in strength, and, having obtained help of God, we continue unto this day. …
Heaven inspired us with resolution to cut the gordian knot, when the die was cast irrevocable in the glorious act of Independence. This was sealed and confirmed by God Almighty in the victory of General Washington at Trenton, and in the surprising movement and battle of Princeton … Thus God "turned the battle to the gate," and this gave a finishing to the foundation of the American Republic. … And who does not see the indubitable interposition and energetic influence of Divine Providence in these great and illustrious events?
Was it not of God that both the navy and army should enter the Chesapeake at the same time? Who but God could have ordained the critical arrival of the Gallic fleet, so as to prevent and defeat the British, and assist and cooperate with the combined armies in the siege and reduction of Yorktown? … in the siege and battle of Yorktown. It is God who so ordered the balancing interests of nations as to produce an irresistible motive in the European maritime powers to take our part. Hence the recognition of our independence by Spain and Holland, as well as France. …wonderfully does Divine Providence order the time and coincidence of the public national motives, cooperating in effecting great public events and revolutions.
But the time would fail me to recount the wonder-
— Ezra Stiles (1727– 1795) Minister, Theologian, Author and President of Yale College
Evacuation Day -
“A reverence for the laws is peculiarly essential to public safety and prosperity under our free constitution: should we suffer the authority of the magistrate to be violated for the sake of private vengeance, we should be unworthy of the numberless blessings which an indulgent Providence hath placed within our reach."
"While we regard with inviolable gratitude and affection all who have aided us by their counsel or their arms, let us not be unmindful of that Almighty Being, whose gracious Providence has been manifestly interposed for our deliverance and protection; and let us shew by our virtues, that we deserve to partake of the freedom, sovereignty, and independence, which are so happily established throughout these United States.” -
James Madison -
"We the subscribers, citizens of the said Commonwealth, having taken into serious consideration, a Bill printed by order of the last Session of General Assembly, entitled "A Bill establishing a provision for Teachers of the Christian Religion," and conceiving that the same if finally armed with the sanctions of a law, will be a dangerous abuse of power, are bound as faithful members of a free State to remonstrate against it, and to declare the reasons by which we are determined. We remonstrate against the said Bill,
1. Because we hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, "that Religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence." -
Benjamin Franklin's request for prayer at the Constitutional Convention -
“I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proof 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 labour in vain that build it.’
.... 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, & 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." -
Constitution of the United States -
The Constitution -
“With all the defects in our Constitution, whether general or particular, the comparison of our government with those of Europe, is like a comparison of Heaven with Hell. England, like the earth, may be allowed to take the intermediate station.”
— Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the U. S.
“If I could have entertained the slightest apprehension that the Constitution framed by the Convention, where I had the honor to preside, might possibly endanger the religious rights of any ecclesiastical society, certainly I would never have placed my signature on it.”
— George Washington (1732-
“Every word of the Constitution decides a question between power and liberty.” “The future and success of America is not in this Constitution, but in the laws of God upon which this Constitution is founded.”
— James Madison (1751-
The Principles of Civil Union and Happiness Considered and Recommended -
“We have also a Jerusalem (America), adorned with brighter glories of divine grace, and with greater beauties of holiness, than were ever displayed ... We enjoy all the privileges of a free government, the blessings of the gospel of peace, and the honors of the church of God. This is our Jerusalem.
Happy the free and virtuous people, who pay strict attention to the natural aristocracy, which is the institution of heaven; and appears in every assembly of mankind, on whatever occasion, they are met together. Happy the people who have wisdom to discern the true patriot of superior abilities, in all his counsels ever manifesting a sincere regard to the public good, and never with a selfish view attempting to deceive them, into hurtful measures; and happy the people who distinguish him from the designing demagogue, who, while he sooths them in their vices, and flatters them with high notions of liberty, and of easing their burdens, is plunging them into the depths of misery and bondage.
If we improve the advantages, which Providence has put into our hands, we may be a great and flourishing people, happy and united among ourselves, and our name be respectable among the nations. But, if we forget the God of our salvation, and neglect the means of virtue and religion… till we sink into general ruin, and universal wretchedness.
I therefore…recommend to your attention, the honor and safety of the confederate republic, as being of the same importance to the happiness and defense of the several states, as the peace and prosperity of Jerusalem were to the several tribes of Israel.” -
— Elizur Goodrich (1761–1849) Lawyer, U.S. House of Representatives
Northwest Ordinance -
“Sec. 13. And, for extending the fundamental principles of civil and religious liberty, which form the basis whereon these republics, their laws and constitutions are erected; to fix and establish those principles as the basis of all laws, constitutions, and governments, which forever hereafter shall be formed in the said territory: to provide also for the establishment of States, and permanent government therein, and for their admission to a share in the federal councils on an equal footing with the original States, at as early periods as may be consistent with the general interest”
Art. 3. Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged. ... Art. 6. There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said territory. -
Moses recommends to Israel the strict observance of all the laws which he had delivered to them by God's command, relating both to their civil polity and religion …As to every thing excellent in their constitution of government, except what was peculiar to them as a nation separated to God from the rest of mankind, the Israelites may be considered as a pattern to the world in all ages; and from them we may learn what will exalt our character, and what will depress and bring us to ruin. Let us therefore look over their constitution and laws, enquire into their practice, and observe how their prosperity and fame depended on their strict observance of the divine commands both as to their government and religion. …
I have presented you with the portrait of a nation, highly favoured by Heaven with civil and religious institutions, who yet, by not improving their advantages, forfeited their blessings, and brought contempt and destruction on themselves. …
That as God in the course of his kind providence hath given you an excellent constitution of government, founded on the most rational, equitable, and liberal principles, by which all that liberty is secured which a people can reasonably claim, and you are impowered to make righteous laws for promoting public order and good morals; and as he has moreover given you by his Son Jesus Christ …a complete revelation of his will, and a perfect system of true religion, plainly delivered in the sacred writings; it will be your wisdom in the eyes of the nations, and your true interest and happiness, to conform your practice in the strictest manner to the excellent principles of your government, adhere faithfully to the doctrines and commands of the gospel, and practice every public and private virtue. By this you will increase in numbers, wealth, and power, and obtain reputation and dignity among the nations; whereas, the contrary conduct will make you poor, distressed, and contemptible.
The God of heaven hath not indeed visibly displayed the glory of his majesty and power before our eyes, as he came down in the sight of Israel on the burning mount; nor has he written with his own finger the laws of our civil polity: but the signal interpositions of divine providence, in saving us from the vengeance of a powerful irritated nation, from which we were unavoidably separated by their inadmissible claim of absolute parliamentary power over us; in giving us a Washington to be captain-
— Samuel Langdon (1723-
George Washington's First Inaugural -
“It would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good.”
“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's Thanksgiving Proclamation -
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor-
Bill of Rights -
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution. …
Benjamin Franklin -
“You desire to know something of my religion. It is the first time I have been questioned upon it: But I do not take your curiosity amiss, and shall endeavour in a few words to gratify it. Here is my creed: I believe in one God, creator of the universe. That He governs it by his Providence. That he ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable service we can render to him, is doing good to his other children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental principles of all sound religion, and I regard them as you do, in whatever sect I meet with them. 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, the best the world ever saw, or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting changes, and I have with most of the present dissenters in England, some doubts as to his divinity: tho' it is a question I do not dogmatise upon, having never studied it, and think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an opportunity of knowing the truth with less trouble. (Letter Ezra Stiles President of Yale College March 9, 1790, died April 17, 1790 at the age of 85) -
"Every man must give account of himself to God, and therefore every man ought to be at liberty to serve God in a way that he can best reconcile to his conscience. If government can answer for individuals at the day of judgment, let men be controlled by it in religious matters; otherwise, let men be free. It would be sinful for a man to surrender that to man which is to be kept sacred for God. A man’s mind should be always open to conviction, and an honest man will receive that doctrine which appears the best demonstrated; and what is more common than for the best of men to change their minds? Such are the prejudices of the mind, and such the force of tradition, that a man who never alters his mind is either very weak or very stubborn. How painful then must it be to an honest heart to be bound to observe the principles of his former belief after he is convinced of their imbecility? and this ever has and ever will be the case while the rights of conscience are considered alienable." -
Bill of Rights -
The Bill of Rights -
“Let the American youth never forget, that they possess a noble inheritance, brought by the toils, and sufferings, and blood of their ancestors.”
“The real object of the First Amendment was not to countenance, much less to advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity, but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects [denominations] and to prevent any national ecclesiastical patronage of the national government.”
“There is not a truth to be gathered from history, more certain, or more momentous, than this: that civil liberty cannot long be separated from religious liberty without the destruction of both. Wherever religious liberty exists, it will, first or last, bring in and establish political liberty.”
— Joseph Story (1779-
“I regard it [the Constitution] as the work of the purest patriots and the wisest statesmen that ever existed, aided by the smiles of a benignant Providence; . . . it almost appears a Divine interposition in our behalf . . . . The hand that destroys the Constitution rends our Union asunder for ever.”
— Daniel Webster (1782-
Fisher Ames -
Editors Note: In ill health and barely able to stand, Fisher Ames made his plea before members of Congress in support the of the Jay Treaty with Great Britain. Ame’s speech, considered to be a world famous oration, moved the vote in Congress to a deadlocked 49-
“I have thus been led by my feelings to speak more at length than I intended. Yet I have, perhaps, as little personal interest in the event as any one here. There is, I believe, no member who will not think his chance to be a witness of the consequences greater than mine. If, however, the vote shall pass to reject, and a spirit should rise, as it will, with the public disorders, to make confusion worse confounded, even I, slender and almost broken as my hold upon life is, may outlive the government and Constitution of my country.” -
George Washington's Farewell Address -
“Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?”
“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.”
Friends and Citizens:
The period for a new election of a citizen to administer the executive government of the United States being not far distant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made. -
Treaty of Tripoli -
The commerce between the United States and Tripoli,-
The money and presents demanded by the Bey of Tripoli as a full and satisfactory consideration on his part and on the part of his subjects for this treaty of perpetual peace and friendship are acknowledged to have been recieved by him previous to his signing the same, according to a reciept which is hereto annexed, except such part as is promised on the part of the United States to be delivered and paid by them on the arrival of their Consul in Tripoly, of which part a note is likewise hereto annexed. And no presence of any periodical tribute or farther payment is ever to be made by either party.
As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,-
Review of the often misquoted Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli and brief historical context of the treaty.
John Adams -
“AS the safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depend on the protection and blessing of Almighty God; and the national acknowledgment of this truth is not only an indispensable duty which the people owe to Him, but a duty whose natural influence is favorable to the promotion of that morality and piety, without which social happiness cannot exist, nor the blessings of a free government be enjoyed; and as this duty, at all times incumbent, is so especially in seasons of difficulty and of danger, when existing or threatening calamities, the just judgments of God against prevalent iniquity are a loud call to repentance and reformation.” -
Elias Boudinot -
"If the Son of God has appeared in this our world, and has proved his mission by miracles and prophecies ; in a word, by doing works, that no other man ever did, and that in proof of doctrines the most pure, moral, religious and benevolent; honourable to God, and beneficial to man; do they not demand, at least, as much respect, as men pay every day to their fellow creatures, whom they know to be fallible and imperfect; sometimes immoral, dissolute, and profane. …
I confess, that I was much mortified to find, the whole force of this vain man's genius and art, pointed at the youth of America, and her unlearned citizens, (for I have no doubt, but that it was originally intended for them) in hopes of raising a sceptical temper and disposition in their minds, well knowing that this was the best inlet to infidelity, and the most effectual way of serving its cause, thereby sapping the foundation of our holy religion in their minds. ….
This awful consequence, created some alarm in my mind, lest at any future day, you, my beloved child, might take up this plausible address of infidelity; and, for want of an answer at hand to his subtle insinuations, might suffer even a doubt of the truth, as it is in Jesus, to penetrate into your mind."
Thomas Jefferson -
"Extracted from the account of his life and doctrines as given by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Being an abridgment of the New Testament for the use of the Indians, unembarrassed with matters of fact or faith beyond the level of their comprehensions."
“We must reduce our volume to the simple evangelists, select, even from them, the very words only of Jesus, paring off the umphiboligisms into which they have been led, by forgetting often, or not understanding, what bad fallen from him, by giving their own misconceptions as his dicta, and expressing unintelligibly for others what they had not understood themselves. There will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals, which has ever been offered to man. I have performed this operation for my own use, by cutting verso by verse out of the printed book, and arranging the matter which is evidently his, and which is as easily distinguishable as diamonds in a dunghill.”
Noah Webster -
"About a year ago an unusual revival of religion took place in New Haven. .... During this time, my mind continued to be more and more agitated, and in a manner wholly unusual and to me unaccountable. I had indeed short composure, but at all times of the day and in the midst of other occupations, I was suddenly seized with impressions, which called my mind irresistibly to religious concerns and to the awakening. …
The impressions however grew stronger till at length I could not pursue my studies without frequent interruptions. My mind was suddenly arrested, without any previous circumstance of the time to draw it to this subject and as it were fastened to the awakening and upon my own conduct. I closed my books, yielded to the influence, which could not be resisted or mistaken and was led by a spontaneous impulse to repentance, prayer and entire submission and surrender of myself to my maker and redeemer. My submission appeared to be cheerful and was soon followed by that peace of mind which the world can neither give nor take away. …
I could no longer question or have a doubt respecting … Christian doctrines of regeneration, of free grace and of the sovereignty of God. I now began to understand and relish many parts of the scriptures, which before appeared mysterious and unintelligible, or repugnant to my natural pride." -
Dr Benjamin Rush -
The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this, there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all re publican governments. Such is my veneration for every religion that reveals the attributes of the Deity, or a future state of rewards and punishments, that I had rather see the opinions of Confucius or Mohammed inculcated upon our youth than see them grow up wholly devoid of a system of religious principles. But the religion I mean to recommend in this place is the religion of Jesus Christ. It is foreign to my purpose to hint at the arguments which establish the truth of the Christian revelation. My only business is to declare that all its doctrines and precepts are calculated to promote the happiness of society and the safety and well-
Francis Scott Key -
“Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-
O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov'd homes and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us as a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause. it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"
And the star-
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave! -
Jubilee of Freedom -
Joseph Story -
“I am of the opinion that this decadence of the moral influence of our school training is largely, if not wholly, attributable to the banishment of the Bible from our public schools, and consequently the loss of the moral influence Christian education formerly more or less ingrained on the minds of the scholars by teachers recognizing their moral duty and measurably supplying the absence of parental influence.
You, gentlemen, have enjoyed the advantage of this Christian influence at school, based on the authority of the Bible and the doctrines of your Church, from which flow the great principles of constitutional freedom and the essential moral instincts which have hitherto marked the American character. A distinguished judge of the Supreme Court of the United States, commenting on the origin and basis of our jurisprudence, remarked that' one of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the common law from which the sanction of rights and by which we endeavor to regulate its doctrines.'
There never has been a period in which the common law did not recognize Christianity as lying at its foundation.
This common law, based on the established customs of England, has been ranked as the perfection of human wisdom, but is now superseded by American jurisprudence, — a code disregarding those ephemeral and often barbarous customs of antiquity, sweeping away the Divine rights of kings, — and the doctrines of non-
— Joseph Story (1779-
Joseph Story -
§ 1875. “It yet remains a problem to be solved in human affairs, whether any free government can be permanent, where the public worship of God, and the support of religion, constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state in any assignable shape. The future experience of Christendom, and chiefly of the American states, must settle this problem, as yet new in the history of the world, abundant as it has been in the experiments in the theory of government.”
§ 1876. “But the duty of supporting religion, and especially the Christian religion, is very different from the right to force the consciences of other men, or to punish them for worshipping God in the manner which they believe their accountability to him requires. It has been truly said, that "religion, or the duty we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be dictated only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence.”
§ 1877. “The real object of the amendment was, not to countenance, much less to advance Mahometanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity; but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects, and to prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment, which should give to a hierarchy the exclusive patronage of the national government.” -
— Joseph Story (1779-
Jasper Adams -
“… AS Christianity was designed by its Divine Author to subsist until the end of time, it was indispensable, that it should be capable of adapting itself to all states of society, and to every Condition of mankind. We have the Divine assurance that it shall eventually become universal. …
The settlers of this country were familiar with these facts, and they gradually came to a sound practical conclusion on the subject. No nation on earth, perhaps, ever had opportunities so favorable to introduce changes in thein institutions as the American people; and by the time of the Revolution, a conviction of the impolicy of a further union of Church and State according to the ancient mode, had so far prevailed, that nearly all the States in framing their new constitutions of government, either silently or by direct enactment, discontinued the ancient connexion.
A question of great interest here comes up for discussion. In thus discontinuing the connexion between Church and Commonwealth ;-
Now there are two ways, and two ways only by which men can be governed in society; the one by physical force; the other by religious and moral principles pervading the community, guiding the conscience, enlightening the reason, softening the prejudices, and calming the passions of the multitude. Physical force is the chief instrument by which mankind have heretofore been governed … No power less efficacious than Christianity, can permanently maintain the public tranquillity of the country, and the authority of law. We must be a Christian nation, if we wish to continue a free nation. … -
John Quincy Adams -
“Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Saviour? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the gospel dispensation Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth? That it laid the corner stone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity, and gave to the world the first irrevocable pledge of the fulfillment of the prophecies, announced directly from Heaven at the birth of the Saviour and predicted by the greatest of the Hebrew prophets six hundred years before?” …
“And, by this paper, this One People did notify the world of mankind that they thereby did assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station, to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitled them.
This was indeed a great and solemn event. The sublimes of the prophets of antiquity with the voice of inspiration had exclaimed, "Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once?" In the two thousand five hundred years, that had elapsed since the days of that prophecy, no such event had occurred. It had never been seen before. In the annals of the human race, then, for the first time, did one People announce themselves as a member of that great community of the powers of the earth, acknowledging the obligations and claiming the rights of the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God. The earth was made to bring forth in one day! A Nation was born at once!" -
John Quincy Adams -
"George Washington ... in the visions of the night, the guardian angel of the Father of our country had appeared before him, in the venerated form of his mother, and, to cheer and encourage him in the performance of the momentous and solemn duties that he was about to assume, had delivered to him a suit of celestial armor."
"Yes, gentlemen! on that shield, the CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES was sculptured (by forms unseen, and in characters then invisible to mortal eye,) the predestined and prophetic history of the one confederated people of the North American Union."
"And now the future is all before us, and Providence our guide…. The ark of your covenant is the Declaration of independence. Your Mount Ebal, is the confederacy of separate state sovereignties, and your Mount Gerizim is the Constitution of the United States. In that scene of tremendous and awful solemnity, narrated in the Holy Scriptures there is not a curse pronounced against the people, upon Mount Ebal, not a blessing promised them upon Mount Gerizim, which your posterity may not suffer or enjoy, from your and their adherence to, or departure from, the principles of the Declaration of Independence, practically interwoven in the Constitution of the United States. Lay up these principles, then, in your hearts, and in your souls -
William Henry Harrison -
“The danger to all well-
The tendencies of all such governments in their decline is to monarchy, and the antagonist principle to liberty there is the spirit of faction-
Republican Party Platform of 1856
Resolved: That, with our Republican fathers, we hold it to be a self-
Resolved: That the Constitution confers upon Congress sovereign powers over the Territories of the United States for their government; and that in the exercise of this power, it is both the right and the imperative duty of Congress to prohibit in the Territories those twin relics of barbarism — Polygamy, and Slavery.
Resolved: That while the Constitution of the United States was ordained and established by the people, in order to “form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty,” and contain ample provision for the protection of the life, liberty, and property of every citizen, the dearest Constitutional rights of the people of Kansas have been fraudulently and violently taken from them. -
Napoleon Bonaparte -
“I know men; and I tell you that Jesus Christ is not a man. Superficial minds see a resemblance between Christ and the founders of empires, and the gods of other religions. That resemblance does not exist. There is between Christianity and whatever other religions the distance of infinity...”
“The Bible is no mere book, but a Living Creature, with a power that conquers all that oppose it.”
“Time, the great destroyer, is powerless to extinguish this sacred flame; time can neither exhaust its strength nor put a limit to its range. This is it, which strikes me most; I have often thought of it. This it is which proves to me quite convincingly the Divinity of Jesus Christ.”
“If you do not perceive that Jesus Christ is God, very well, then I did wrong to make you a general.” -
Abraham Lincoln's Advice to the American People on the Constitution -
“Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well-
Daniel Webster -
“On the diffusion of education among the people rest the preservation and perpetuation of our free institutions. I apprehend no danger to our country from a foreign foe. The prospect of a war with any powerful nation is too remote to be a matter of calculation. Besides, there is no nation on earth powerful enough to accomplish our overthrow. Our destruction, should it come at all, will be from another quarter. From the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness and negligence, I must confess that I do apprehend some danger. I fear that they may place too implicit a confidence in their public servants, and fail properly to scrutinize their conduct; that in this way they may be made the dupes of designing men, and become the instruments of their own undoing. Make them intelligent, and they will be vigilant; give them the means of detecting the wrong, and they will apply the remedy. …
I regard it [Constitution] as the work of the purest patriots and wisest statesmen that ever existed, aided by the smiles of a benignant Providence for when we regard it as a system of government growing out of the discordant opinions and conflicting interests of thirteen independent States, it almost appears a Divine interposition in our behalf. … the hand that destroys the Constitution rends our Union asunder for ever.” -
John Tyler -
"When a Christian people feel themselves to be overtaken by a great public calamity, it becomes them to humble themselves under the dispensation of Divine Providence, to recognize His righteous government over the children of men, to acknowledge His goodness in time past, as well as their own unworthiness, and to supplicate His merciful protection for the future.
The death of William Henry Harrison, late President of the United States, so soon after his elevation to that high office, is a bereavement peculiarly calculated to be regarded as a heavy affliction and to impress all minds with a sense of the uncertainty of human things and of the dependence of nations, as well as individuals, upon our Heavenly Parent." -
William Seward -
“It is true, indeed, that the national domain is ours. It is true it was acquired with the valor and with the wealth of the whole nation. But we hold, nevertheless, no arbitrary power over it. We hold no arbitrary authority over anything, whether acquired lawfully, or seized by usurpation. The constitution regulates our stewardship; the constitution devotes the domain to union, to justice, to defense, to welfare, and to liberty. But there is a higher law than the constitution, which regulates our authority over the domain, and devotes it to the same noble purposes. The territory is a part, no inconsiderable part, of the common heritage of mankind, bestowed upon them by the Creator of the universe. We are his stewards, and must so discharge our trust as to secure in the highest attainable degree their happiness.” -
Daniel Webster -
"Unborn ages and visions of glory crowd upon my soul, the realization of which, however, is in the hands and good pleasure of Almighty God, but, under His divine blessing, it will be dependent on the character and the virtues of ourselves and our posterity. ….And let me say, gentlemen, that if we and our posterity shall be true to the Christian religion, if we and they shall live always in the fear of God, and shall respect His commandments, if we and they shall maintain just moral sentiments and such conscientious convictions of duty as shall control the heart and life, we may have the highest hopes of the future fortunes of our country …. It will have no decline and fall. It will go on prospering and to prosper.
But if we and our posterity reject religious institutions and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifile with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity. Should that catastrophe happen, let it have no history! Let the horrible narrative never be written! Let its fate be like that of the lost books of Livy, which no human eye shall ever read, or the missing Pleiad, of which no man can ever know more than that it is lost, and lost forever!" -
Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address -
“Descending from these general principles, we find the proposition that in legal contemplation the Union is perpetual confirmed by the history of the Union itself. The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774. It was matured and continued by the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It was further matured, and the faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in 1778. And finally, in 1787, one of the declared objects for ordaining and establishing the Constitution was ‘to form a more perfect Union.’ But if destruction of the Union by one or by a part only of the States be lawfully possible, the Union is less perfect than before the Constitution, having lost the vital element of perpetuity.” -
The Emancipation Proclamation -
That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-
Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-
And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God. -
Abraham Lincoln National Fast Day -
“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.”
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. -
Gettysburg Address -
"Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-
Abraham Lincoln describing July 5th, 1863 — "Well, I will tell you how it was. In the pinch of the campaign up there (at Gettysburg) when everybody seemed panic-
Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation -
The ever watchful providence of Almighty God. … In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke the aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed … They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. ...
I …set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascription's justly due to Him for such singular deliverance's and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and Union. -
“Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. ‘Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.’ ... If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war ...As was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said 'the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.'" Fellow-
Rev. S.W. Foljambe -
The family is the sphere of affection and custom, the State is the sphere of justice; the family is the product of nature, but is evolved under the action and control of Providence, and the tendency of its history, both as to its limitations and powers, is to lead it to God, who exerises that providence, and is the source of that spirit of justice which is its root and life.
The more thoroughly a nation deals with its history, the decidedly will it recognize and own an overruling Providence therein, and the more religious a nation it will become; while the more superficially it deals with its history, seeing only secondary causes and human agencies, the more irreligious will it be. If the history of any nation is the development of the latent possibilioties existing in its special nature, it is also the record of Divine Providence furnishing place and scope for that development, creating its opportunities and guiding its progress. History is not a string of striking episodes, with no other connection but that of time. It is rather the working out of a mighty system, by means of regularly defined principles as old as creation, and as infallible as divine wisdom. With this truth in view, we approach our chosen theme,
The Hand of God in American History.
Not inappropriate do we deem it, that we trace along the line of our history how God was with our fathers, and recall and reaffirm in this presence the truth of our increasing dependence upon him for the continued prosperity of our country and people.
(1. Observe the hand of God in the wise and beneficent timing of events in the dawn of our history. The events of history are not accidents. There are no accidents in the lives of men or of nations. We may go back to the underlying cause of every event, and discover in each God's overruling and intervening wisdom. It has been said that history is the biography of communities; in another, and profounder, sense, it is the autobiography of him "who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will," and who is graciously timing all events in the interests of his Christ, and of the kingdom of God on earth. Tracing the history of men, we find the most trivial and seemingly fortuitous things issuing beyond all human expectation or intention in the sublimest events; we see men planning and working with only their own more immediate and material interests in view, and yet a power behind them is noiselessly and effectually, though possibly for generations unobserved, overruling their action to the furtherance of higher, more widely extended, and more permanent purposes. Human freedom and human responsibility in bringing about either good or evil, are not to be pushed aside; providence is not fatalism; but, on the other hand, man's free activities do not prove the despotism of a blind chance, shifting as man's caprice may dictate. Neither social order, moral progress, nor a Christian civilization, can spring out of chance. These demand a prevision and adjustment of causes keener and mightier than man with his wisest forethought and highest.
— Rev. S. W. Foljambe -
Albert J. Beveridge -
“It is a noble land that God has given us; a land that can feed and clothe the world; a land whose coastlines would inclose half the countries of Europe; a land set like a sentinel between the two imperial oceans of the globe, a greater England with a nobler destiny. …
It is a glorious history our God has bestowed upon His chosen people; a history heroic with faith in our mission and our future; a history of statesmen who flung the boundaries of the Republic out into unexplored lands and savage wilderness; a history of soldiers who carried the flag across blazing deserts and through the ranks of hostile mountains, even to the gates of sunset; a history of a multiplying people who overran a continent in half a century; a history of prophets who saw the consequences of evils inherited from the past and of martyrs who died to save us from them; a history divinely logical, in the process of whose tremendous reasoning we find ourselves today.
Wonderfully has God guided us Yonder at Bunker Hill and Yorktown. His providence was above us At New Orleans and on ensanguined seas His hand sustained u Abraham Lincoln was His minister and His was the altar of` freedom the Nation's soldiers set up on a hundred battlefields. …The American people can not use a dishonest medium of` exchange; it is ours to set the world its example of` right and honor. We can not fly from our world duties; it is ours to execute the purpose of a fate that has driven us to be greater than our small intentions. We can not retreat from any soil where Providence has unfurled our banner; it is ours to save that soil for liberty and civilization." -
Theodore Roosevelt -
“The civilization of Europe, America, and Australia exists today at all only because of the victories of civilized man over the enemies of civilization … victories stretching through the centuries from Charles Martel in the 8th Century those Jan Sobieski in the 17th Century.
During the thousand years that included the careers of the Frankish soldiers and the Polish King, the Christians of Asia and Africa proved unable to wage successful war with the Moslem conquerors: and in consequence Christianity practically vanished from the two continents; and today nobody can find in them any 'social values' whatever ... so far as the sphere of Mohammedan influences are concerned.
There are such 'social values' today in Europe, America and Australia only because … the Christians of Europe possessed the warlike power to do what the Christians of Asia and Africa had failed to do-
— Theodore Roosevelt (1901-
Learned Hand -
“What do we mean when we say that first of all we seek liberty? I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws, and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. While it lies there, it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it. And what is this liberty which must lie in the hearts of men and women? It is not the ruthless, the unbridled will; it is not freedom to do as one likes. That is the denial of liberty, and leads straight to its overthrow. A society in which men recognize no check upon their freedom soon becomes a society where freedom is the possession of only a savage few -
— Learned Hand (1872–1961) United States District Court Judge
William O. Douglas -
“The First Amendment within the scope of its coverage permits no exception; the prohibition is absolute. … Otherwise the state and religion would be aliens to each other -
We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being. We guarantee the freedom to worship as one chooses. We make room for as wide a variety of beliefs and creeds as the spiritual needs of man deem necessary. We sponsor an attitude on the part of government that shows no partiality to any one group and that lets each flourish according to the zeal of its adherents and the appeal of its dogma. When the state encourages religious instruction or cooperates with religious authorities by adjusting the schedule of public events to sectarian needs, it follows the best of our traditions. For it then respects the religious nature of our people and accommodates the public service to their spiritual needs." -
— William Orville Douglas (1898–1980) Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Herbert Hoover -
Our Constitution is not alone the working plan of a great Federation of States under representative government. There is embedded in it also the vital principles of the American system of liberty. That system is based upon certain inalienable freedoms and protections which not even the government may infringe and which we call the Bill of Rights. It does not require a lawyer to interpret those provisions.
They are as clear as the Ten Commandments. Among others the freedom of worship, freedom of speech and of the press, the right of peaceable assembly, equality before the law, just trial for crime, freedom from unreasonable search, and security from being deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, are the principles which distinguish our civilization. Herein are the invisible sentinels which guard the door of every home from invasion of coercion, of intimidation and fear. Herein is the expression of the spirit of men who would be forever free. …
In the hurricane of revolutions which have swept the world since the Great War, men, struggling with the wreckage and poverty of that great catastrophe and the complications of the machine age, are in despair surrendering their freedom for false promises of economic security. Whether it be Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, Communist Russia, or their lesser followers, the result is the same. Every day they repudiate every principle of the Bill of Rights. Freedom of worship is denied. Freedom of speech is suppressed. The press is censored and distorted with propaganda. The right of criticism is denied. Men go to jail or the gallows for honest opinions. They may not assemble for discussion. They speak of public affairs only in whispers. They are subject to search and seizure by spies and inquisitors who haunt the land. The safeguards of justice in trial or imprisonment are set aside. There is no right in one’s savings or one’s own home which the government need respect. …
But it would be better that we sacrifice something of economic efficiency than to surrender these primary liberties. In them lies a spiritual right of men. Behind them is the conception which is the highest development of the Christian faith – the conception of individual freedom with brotherhood. From them is the fullest flowering of individual human personality.” -
Winston Churchill -
“And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year, unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigor, arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.”
“I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.”
“You can measure a man's character by the choices he makes under pressure.”
“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.”
“Today is Trinity Sunday. Centuries ago words were written to be a call and a spur to the faithful servants of Truth and Justice: Arm yourselves, and be ye men of valour, and be in readiness for the conflict; for it is better for us to perish in battle than to look upon the outrage of our nation and our altar. As the will of God is in Heaven, even so let it be.” -
Winston Churchill -
General Eisenhower's message before the D-
“… The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers in arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.
Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened, he will fight savagely. … Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.”
Franklin Delanor Roosevelt's D-
“Almighty God: our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity..”
John F. Kennedy -
The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe-
We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans-
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty. …. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own."
Ronald Reagan -
"Well I think it's time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that were intended for us by the Founding Fathers. … If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.
And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people, is still the newest and the most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. …Well, perhaps there is a simple answer—not an easy answer—but simple: If you and I have the courage to tell our elected officials that we want our national policy based on what we know in our hearts is morally right. ...
You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We'll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we'll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness."
Ronald Reagan's Evil Empire Speech -
“Yes, let us pray for the salvation of all of those who live in that totalitarian darkness — pray they will discover the joy of knowing God. But until they do, let us be aware that while they preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the Earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world. …So, I urge you to speak out against those who would place the United States in a position of military and moral inferiority. …So, in your discussions of the nuclear freeze proposals, I urge you to beware the temptation of pride — the temptation of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil.”
“He called us the ‘Evil Empire.’ So why did you in the West laugh at him? It’s true!”
— Arkady Murashev, Moscow police chief, a leader of Democratic Russia
Editors Note: Reagan’s anticommunist work with John Paul II, the "Holy Alliance," would be tied to a series of messages given to three illiterate children in Fatima, Portugal in 1917, by an apparition of the Virgin Mary. The messages were given to the children at the end of WWI, years before Russia was a country. -
Alexander Solzhenitsyn -
Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1918-
“More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened. …
But the world had never before known a godlessness as organized, militarized, and tenaciously malevolent as that practiced by Marxism. Within the philosophical system of Marx and Lenin, and at the heart of their psychology, hatred of God is the principal driving force, more fundamental than all their political and economic pretensions. Militant atheism is not merely incidental or marginal to Communist policy; it is not a side effect, but the central pivot… while the children were turned from the faith by threats and lies...
…. The concepts of good and evil have been ridiculed for several centuries; banished from common use, they have been replaced by political or class considerations of short lived value. It has become embarrassing to state that evil makes its home in the individual human heart before it enters a political system. Yet it is not considered shameful to make dally concessions to an integral evil. Judging by the continuing landslide of concessions made before the eyes of our very own generation, the West is ineluctably slipping toward the abyss. Western societies are losing more and more of their religious essence as they thoughtlessly yield up their younger generation to atheism. …
Or why should one refrain from burning hatred, whatever its basis-
The social theories that promised so much have demonstrated their bankruptcy, leaving us at a dead end. The free people of the West could reasonably have been expected to realize that they are beset · by numerous freely nurtured falsehoods, and not to allow lies to be foisted upon them so easily. …If we perish and lose this world, the fault will be ours alone." -
Ronald Reagan's Farewell Address -
There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts. ...Ours was the first revolution in the history of mankind that truly reversed the course of government, and with three little words: "We the people." "We the people" tell the government what to do, it doesn't tell us. "We the people" are the driver, the government is the car. And we decide where it should go, and by what route, and how fast. Almost all the world's constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which "We the people" tell the government what it is allowed to do. "We the people" are free. This belief has been the underlying basis for everything I've tried to do these past eight years. …
we're about to enter the '90s, and some things have changed. Younger parents aren't sure that an unambivalent appreciation of America is the right thing to teach modern children. And as for those who create the popular culture, well-
Ronald Reagan's Speech to members of the British Parliament -
Historians looking back at our time will note the consistent restraint and peaceful intentions of the West. They will note that it was the democracies who refused to use the threat of their nuclear monopoly in the forties and early fifties for territorial or imperial gain. Had that nuclear monopoly been in the hands of the Communist world, the map of Europe -
If history teaches anything it teaches self-
Oath of the Continental Army
“I, _______________ do acknowledge the United States of America to be free, independent and sovereign states, and declare that the people thereof owe no allegiance or obedience, to George the third, king of Great Britain; and I renounce, refuse and abjure any allegiance or obedience to him: and I do swear (or affirm) that I will, to the utmost of my power, support, maintain and defend the said United States, against the said king George the third and his heirs and successors, and his and their abettors, assistants and adherents, and will serve the said United States in the office of _______________ which I now hold, with fidelity, according to the best of my skill and understanding. So help me God.” -
Oath of the President of the United States
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. “So help me God.”
Editors Note: The duties of the office of president, and oath of office, are spelled out under Article II of the Constitution. George Washington as the country’s first president, set the tradition for all future presidents to follow by adding the words “I swear-
Oath of members of Congress and Supreme Court
With their hand on the Bible swear to support and defend the Constitution ...
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”
“I, ____________________________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as [TITLE] under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.” -
Oath of the Military of the United States
"I, ____________________________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders (constitutional & lawful) of the President of the United States and the orders (constitutional & lawful) of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." -
Oath of Citizenship -
"... I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.” -
Oath for American Citizens to Vote -
Excerpt: In the United States of America, any citizen over the age of 18, and who meets their perspective state requirements, may vote in Federal elections. For natural-
George Washington said, “The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered, perhaps, as deeply, as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.” Founding Father Dr Benjamin Rush stated that, “Freedom can exist only in the society of knowledge. Without learning, men are incapable of knowing their rights.” … Truths once considered to be self-
Additional Oath for ALL Government Offices -
With hand on the bible, “I acknowledge I have read, understand and will faithfully support the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. I entirely renounce and abjure all oaths and allegiances other than to God and the United States of America. I will faithfully read, and comprehend ALL legislation before I cast my vote or sign any bill or legislation. I do solemnly swear that I will not sign, pass or vote for any legislation that violates the Constitution of the United States of America, so help me God.” -
“No authority on earth supersedes God’s Word and Law.”
The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commanments -
“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all our American institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to sustain ourselves, according to the Ten Commandments of God.”
— James Madison (1751-
“The Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount contain my religion...”
— John Adams (1797-
“If the time ever comes when we shall go to pieces, it will ... be ... from inward corruption -
— Francis Grimke (1852-
“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 peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”
— Patrick Henry (1736-
“The Law given from Sinai [The Ten Commandments] was a civil and municipal as well as a moral and religious code.”
— John Quincy Adams, (1767-
The Seven Deadly Sins
The Seven Deadly Sins -
“Those things doth the Lord hate: A proud Look, a lying Tongue, and Hands that shed innocent Blood.”
— Jonas Clark (1730-
“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...are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.”
— Charles Carroll (1737-
“As piety and virtue support the honor and happiness of every community, they are peculiarly requisite in a free government. Virtue is the spirit of a republic; for where all power is derived from the people, all depends on their good disposition. If they are impious ... all is lost.”
— Samuel Cooper (1725-
“It is only what is written upon the soul of man that will survive the wreck of time.”
— Francis Grimke (1852-
The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
“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.”
— Thomas Jefferson, inscription on the Jefferson Memorial
“No people ought to feel greater obligations to celebrate the goodness of the Great Disposer of Events and of [the] destiny of nations than the people of the United States ... And to the same Divine Author of every good and perfect gift we are indebted for all those privileges and advantages, religious as well as civil, which are so richly enjoyed this favored land.”
— James Madison (1751-
“I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given man. All the good from the Saviour of the world is communicated to us through this book.”
— Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865) Sixteenth President of the United States
The Nine Supernatural Gifts of the Holy Spirit
“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
— Matthew 21:22 RSV
“Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God.”
— Benjamin Franklin (1706-
“No people ought to feel greater obligations to celebrate the goodness of the Great Disposer of Events and of [the] destiny of nations than the people of the United States ... And to the same Divine Author of every good and perfect gift we are indebted for all those privileges and advantages, religious as well as civil, which are so richly enjoyed this favored land.”
— James Madison (1751-
The Twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit
“The Christian religion, in its purity, is the basis and the source of all genuine freedom in government....I am persuaded that no civil government of a republican form can exist and be durable, in which the principles of Christianity have not a controlling influence.”
— Noah Webster (1758-
“Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it.”
— Matthew 21:43 RSV
“To the character of hero and patriot, this good man added that of Christian. Although the greatest man upon earth, he disdained not to humble himself before his God and to trust in the mercies of Christ.”
— Gunning Bedford (1747-
Six things the Lord hates
Six things the Lord hates -
“Those who wish well to the State ought to choose to places of trust men of inward principle, justified by exemplary conversation. Is it reasonable to expect wisdom from the ignorant? fidelity from the profligate? assiduity and application to public business from men of a dissipated life? Is it reasonable to commit the management of public revenue to one who hath wasted his own patrimony? Those, therefore, who pay no regard to religion and sobriety in the persons whom they send to the legislature of any State are guilty of the greatest absurdity and will soon pay dear for their folly.”
— John Witherspoon (1722-
“I have been alternately called an aristocrat and a democrat. I am neither. I am a Christocrat. I believe all power ... will always fail of producing order and happiness in the hands of man. He alone who created and redeemed man is qualified to govern him.”
— Benjamin Rush (1745-
“Amongst other strange things said of me, I hear it is said by the deists that I am one of their number; and, indeed, that some good people think I am no Christian. This thought gives me much more pain than the appellation of Tory; because I think religion of infinitely higher importance than politics; and I find much cause to reproach myself that I have lived so long and have given no decided and public proofs of my being a Christian. But, indeed, my dear child, this is a character which I prize far above all this world has, or can boast.”
— Patrick Henry (1736-
The Report of Pontius Pilate, Governor of Judea; sent to August Caesar in Rome
“And at the time he was crucified there was darkness over all the world, the sun being darkened at mid-
To the most mighty, venerable, most divine, and most terrible, the august Cæsar, Pilate the governor of the East sends greeting. I have, O most mighty, a narrative to give you, on account of which I am seized with fear and trembling. For in this government of mine, of which one of the cities is called Jerusalem, all the people of the Jews have delivered to me a man named Jesus, bringing many charges against him, which they were not able to convict him of by the consistency of their evidence. And one of the heresies they had against him was, that Jesus said that their Sabbath should not be a day of leisure, and should not be observed. For he performed many cures on that day: he made the blind receive their sight, the lame walk; -
The Report of Pontius Pilate, Governor of Judea; sent to Tiberius Ceasar in Rome
“And amid the terror dead men were seen rising again, so that the Jews who saw it said, We beheld Abraham and Isaac, and Jacob, and the twelve patriarchs, who died some two thousand five hundred years before, and we beheld Noah clearly in the body.”
I HAVE undertaken to communicate to thy goodness by this my writing, though possessed with much fear and trembling, most excellent king, the present state of affairs, as the result hath shown. For as I administered this province, my lord, according to the command of thy serenity, which is one of the eastern cities called Jerusalem, wherein the temple of the nation of the Jews is erected, all the multitude of the Jews, being assembled, delivered up to me a certain man called Jesus, bringing many and endless accusations against him; but they could not convict him in anything. But they had one heresy against him, that he said the sabbath was not their proper rest. -