Independence Day: The Well-Spring of Liberty and Freedom

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INDEPENDENCE DAY:

REMEMBERING AND

CELEBRATING

@2018.

My earliest memories of Independence Day, The 4th of July, were of family, cook-outs, fun, and fireworks. There was laughter, awe, and excitement over the festivities and trappings of the celebration. As I grew my parents, both Christians, my dad a Pastor and a WWII Navy vet from the Pacific Theatre, taught us kids the REAL meaning of Independence Day.

My FONDEST memories of Independence Day are when I began to realise what Independence Day was really all about…the price paid to get…and KEEP IT.

THIS is a sharing of what Independence Day means…at least to me

John Adams
Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Second President of the United
States

[I]t is religion and morality alone which can establish
the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of
a free constitution is pure virtue.

(Source: John Adams, The Works of John Adams,
Second President of the United States
, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston:
Little, Brown, 1854), Vol. IX, p. 401, to Zabdiel Adams on June 21, 1776.)

[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending
with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution
was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the
government of any other.

(Source: John Adams, The Works of John Adams,
Second President of the United States
, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston:
Little, Brown, and Co. 1854), Vol. IX, p. 229, October 11, 1798.)

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

(Source: John Adams, The Works of John Adams,
Second President of the United States
, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston:
Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1851), Vol. VI, p. 9.)

John Quincy Adams

Sixth President of the United States

The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal as well
as a moral and religious code; it contained many statutes . . . of universal
application-laws essential to the existence of men in society, and most of which
have been enacted by every nation which ever professed any code of laws.

(Source: John Quincy Adams, Letters of John
Quincy Adams, to His Son, on the Bible and Its Teachings
 (Auburn: James
M. Alden, 1850), p. 61.)

There are three points of doctrine the belief of which
forms the foundation of all morality. The first is the existence of God; the
second is the immortality of the human soul; and the third is a future state
of rewards and punishments. Suppose it possible for a man to disbelieve either
of these three articles of faith and that man will have no conscience, he will
have no other law than that of the tiger or the shark. The laws of man may bind
him in chains or may put him to death, but they never can make him wise, virtuous,
or happy.

(Source: John Quincy Adams, Letters of John
Quincy Adams to His Son on the Bible and Its Teachings
 (Auburn: James M.
Alden, 1850), pp. 22-23.)

Samuel Adams

Signer of the Declaration of Independence

[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will
secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.

(Source: William V. Wells, The Life and Public
Service of Samuel Adams
 (Boston: Little, Brown, & Co., 1865), Vol. I, p.
22, quoting from a political essay by Samuel Adams published in The Public Advertiser,
1749.)

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Fisher Ames

Framer of the First Amendment

Our liberty depends on our education, our laws, and habits
. . . it is founded on morals and religion, whose authority reigns in the heart,
and on the influence all these produce on public opinion before that opinion
governs rulers.

(Source: Fisher Ames, An Oration on the Sublime
Virtues of General George Washington
 (Boston: Young & Minns, 1800), p. 23.)

Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Signer of the Declaration of Independence

Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of
time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality
is so sublime & pure, [and] which denounces against the wicked eternal misery,
and [which] insured to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid
foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.

(Source: Bernard C. Steiner, The Life and
Correspondence of James McHenry
 (Cleveland: The Burrows Brothers, 1907),
p. 475. In a letter from Charles Carroll to James McHenry of November 4, 1800.)

Oliver Ellsworth

Chief-Justice of the Supreme Court

[T]he primary objects of government are the peace, order, and prosperity of society. . . . To the promotion of these objects, particularly in a republican government, good morals are essential. Institutions for the promotion of good morals are therefore objects of legislative provision and support: and
among these . . . religious institutions are eminently useful and important. . . . [T]he legislature, charged with the great interests of the community, may, and ought to countenance, aid and protect religious institutions—institutions wisely calculated to direct men to the performance of all the duties arising from their connection with each other, and to prevent or repress those evils which flow from unrestrained passion.

(Source: Connecticut Courant, June 7,
1802, p. 3, Oliver Ellsworth, to the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut)

Benjamin Franklin

Signer of the Constitution and
Declaration of Independence

[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations
become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.

(Source: Benjamin Franklin, The Writings
of Benjamin Franklin
, Jared Sparks, editor (Boston: Tappan, Whittemore and
Mason, 1840), Vol. X, p. 297, April 17, 1787. )

I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live,
the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs
of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is
it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir,
in the Sacred Writings, that “except the Lord build the House, they labor in
vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without
His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than
the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our partial local interests; our
projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye
word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this
unfortunate instance, despair of establishing governments by human wisdom and
leave it to chance, war and conquest.

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

(Source: James Madison, The Records of the
Federal Convention of 1787
, Max Farrand, editor (New Haven: Yale University
Press, 1911), Vol. I, pp. 450-452, June 28, 1787.)

* For more details on this quote, click
here
.

Thomas Jefferson

Signer of the Declaration of Independence
and Third President of the United States

Give up money, give up fame, give up science, give the
earth itself and all it contains rather than do an immoral act. And never suppose
that in any possible situation, or under any circumstances, it is best for you
to do a dishonorable thing, however slightly so it may appear to you. Whenever
you are to do a thing, though it can never be known but to yourself, ask yourself
how you would act were all the world looking at you, and act accordingly. Encourage
all your virtuous dispositions, and exercise them whenever an opportunity arises,
being assured that they will gain strength by exercise, as a limb of the body
does, and that exercise will make them habitual. From the practice of the purest
virtue, you may be assured you will derive the most sublime comforts in every
moment of life, and in the moment of death.

(Source: Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of
Thomas Jefferson
, Albert Bergh, editor (Washington, DC: Thomas Jefferson
Memorial Assoc., 1903), Vol. 5, pp. 82-83, in a letter to his nephew Peter Carr
on August 19, 1785.)

The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the
happiness of mankind.

(Source: Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of
Thomas Jefferson
, Albert Bergh, editor (Washington, D. C.: Thomas Jefferson
Memorial Assoc., 1904), Vol. XV, p. 383.)

I concur with the author in considering the moral precepts
of Jesus as more pure, correct, and sublime than those of ancient philosophers.

(Source: Thomas Jefferson, The Writings
of Thomas Jefferson
, Albert Bergh, editor (Washington, D. C.: Thomas Jefferson
Memorial Assoc., 1904), Vol. X, pp. 376-377. In a letter to Edward Dowse on
April 19, 1803.)

Richard Henry Lee

Signer of the Declaration of Independence

It is certainly true that a popular government cannot flourish
without virtue in the people.

(Source: Richard Henry Lee, The Letters of
Richard Henry Lee
, James Curtis Ballagh, editor (New York: The MacMillan
Company, 1914), Vol. II, p. 411. In a letter to Colonel Mortin Pickett on March
5, 1786.)

James McHenry

Signer of the Constitution

[P]ublic utility pleads most forcibly for the general distribution
of the Holy Scriptures. The doctrine they preach, the obligations they impose,
the punishment they threaten, the rewards they promise, the stamp and image
of divinity they bear, which produces a conviction of their truths, can alone
secure to society, order and peace, and to our courts of justice and constitutions
of government, purity, stability and usefulness. In vain, without the Bible,
we increase penal laws and draw entrenchments around our institutions. Bibles
are strong entrenchments. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses,
and at the same time enjoy quiet conscience.

(Source: Bernard C. Steiner, One Hundred and
Ten Years of Bible Society Work in Maryland, 1810-1920
 (Maryland Bible Society,
1921), p. 14.

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Jedediah Morse

Patriot and “Father of American
Geography”

To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree
of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys.
. . . Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present
republican forms of government, and all blessings which flow from them, must
fall with them.

(Source: Jedidiah Morse, A Sermon, Exhibiting
the Present Dangers and Consequent Duties of the Citizens of the United States
of America 
(Hartford: Hudson and Goodwin, 1799), p. 9.)

William Penn

Founder of Pennsylvania

[I]t is impossible that any people of government should
ever prosper, where men render not unto God, that which is God’s, as well as
to Caesar, that which is Caesar’s.

(Source: Fundamental Constitutions of Pennsylvania,
1682. Written by William Penn, founder of the colony of Pennsylvania.)

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

No free government now exists in the world, unless where
Christianity is acknowledged, and is the religion of the country.

(Source: Pennsylvania Supreme Court, 1824. Updegraph
v. Commonwealth; 11 Serg. & R. 393, 406 (Sup.Ct. Penn. 1824).)

Benjamin Rush

Signer of the Declaration of Independence

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 republican
governments.

(Source: Benjamin Rush, Essays, Literary,
Moral and Philosophical
 (Philadelphia: Thomas and William Bradford, 1806),
p. 8.)

We profess to be republicans, and yet we neglect the only
means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government, that
is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by
the means of the Bible. For this Divine Book, above all others, favors that
equality among mankind, that respect for just laws, and those sober and frugal
virtues, which constitute the soul of republicanism.

(Source: Benjamin Rush, Essays, Literary,
Moral and Philosophical
 (Philadelphia: Printed by Thomas and William Bradford,
1806), pp. 93-94.)

By renouncing the Bible, philosophers swing from their
moorings upon all moral subjects. . . . It is the only correct map of the human
heart that ever has been published. . . . All systems of religion, morals, and
government not founded upon it [the Bible] must perish, and how consoling the
thought, it will not only survive the wreck of these systems but the world itself.
“The Gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” [Matthew 1:18]

(Source: Benjamin Rush, Letters of Benjamin
Rush
, L. H. Butterfield, editor (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press,
1951), p. 936, to John Adams, January 23, 1807.)

Remember that national crimes require national punishments,
and without declaring what punishment awaits this evil, you may venture to assure
them that it cannot pass with impunity, unless God shall cease to be just or
merciful.

(Source: Benjamin Rush, An Address to the
Inhabitants of the British Settlements in America Upon Slave-Keeping
 (Boston:
John Boyles, 1773), p. 30.)

Joseph Story

Supreme Court Justice

Indeed, the right of a society or government to [participate] in matters of religion will
hardly be contested by any persons who believe that piety, religion, and morality are intimately
connected with the well being of the state and indispensable to the administrations of civil justice. The promulgation of the great doctrines of religion—the being, and attributes, and providence of one Almighty God; the responsibility to Him for all our actions, founded upon moral accountability; a future state of rewards and punishments; the cultivation of all the personal, social, and benevolent virtues—these never can be a matter of indifference in any well-ordered community. It is, indeed, difficult to conceive how any civilized society can
well exist without them.

(Source: Joseph Story, A Familiar Exposition
of the Constitution of the United States
 (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1847),
p. 260, §442.)

George Washington

“Father of Our Country”

While just government protects all in their religious rights,
true religion affords to government its surest support.

(Source: George Washington, The Writings
of George Washington
, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington, D.C.: U.S.
Government Printing Office, 1932), Vol. XXX, p. 432 n., from his address to
the Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church in North America, October 9, 1789.)

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 man and citizens.
The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish
them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public
felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation,
for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the
instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice?

And let us with caution indulge
the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may
be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure,
reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail
in exclusion of religious principle. It is substantially true, that virtue or
morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends
with more or less force to every species of free government. Who, that is a
sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the
foundation of the fabric?

(Source: George Washington, Address of George
Washington, President of the United States . . . Preparatory to His Declination

(Baltimore: George and Henry S. Keatinge), pp. 22-23. In his Farewell Address
to the United States in 1796.)

[T]he [federal] government . . . can never be in danger
of degenerating into a monarchy, and oligarchy, an aristocracy, or any other
despotic or oppressive form so long as there shall remain any virtue in the
body of the people.

(Source: George Washington, The Writings
of George Washington
, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington: U. S. Government
Printing Office, 1939), Vol. XXIX, p. 410. In a letter to Marquis De Lafayette,
February 7, 1788.)

* For the full text of Geo. Washington’s Farewell Addressclick
here
.

Daniel Webster

Early American Jurist and Senator

[I]f we and our posterity reject religious instruction
and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle 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.

(Source: Daniel Webster, The Writings and
Speeches of Daniel Webster
 (Boston: Little, Brown, & Company, 1903), Vol.
XIII, p. 492. From “The Dignity and Importance of History,” February 23, 1852.)

Noah Webster

Founding Educator

The most perfect maxims and examples for regulating your
social conduct and domestic economy, as well as the best rules of morality and
religion, are to be found in the Bible. . . . The moral principles and precepts
found in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions
and laws. These principles and precepts have truth, immutable truth, for their
foundation. . . . All the evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition,
injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting
the precepts contained in the Bible. . . . For instruction then in social, religious
and civil duties resort to the scriptures for the best precepts.

(Source: Noah Webster, History of the United
States
, “Advice to the Young” (New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1832), pp. 338-340,
par. 51, 53, 56.)

James Wilson

Signer of the Constitution

Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are
twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run
into each other. The divine law, as discovered by reason and the moral sense,
forms an essential part of both.

(Source: James Wilson, The Works of the Honourable
James Wilson
 (Philadelphia: Bronson and Chauncey, 1804), Vol. I, p. 106.)

Robert Winthrop

Former Speaker of the US House
of Representatives

Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by
a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or
by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.

(Source: Robert Winthrop, Addresses and Speeches on Various Occasions
(Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1852), p. 172 from his “Either by the Bible or
the Bayonet.”)

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John Adams

We electors have an important constitutional power placed in our hands; we have a check upon two branches of the legislature . . . the power I mean of electing at stated periods [each] branch. . . . It becomes necessary to every [citizen] then, to be in some degree a statesman, and to examine and judge for himself of the tendency of political principles and measures. Let us examine, then, with a sober, a manly . . . and a Christian spirit; let us neglect all party [loyalty] and advert to facts; let us believe no man to be infallible or impeccable in government any more than in religion; take no man’s word against evidence, nor implicitly adopt the sentiments of others who may be deceived themselves, or may be interested in deceiving us.

[John Adams, The Papers of John Adams, Robert J. Taylor, ed.
(Cambridge: Belknap Press, 1977), Vol. 1, p. 81, from “‘U’ to the Boston Gazette”
written on August 29, 1763.]

Samuel Adams

Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is
not making a present or a compliment to please an individual – or at least
that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn
trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.

[Samuel Adams, The Writings of Samuel Adams, Harry Alonzo Cushing,
editor (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1907), Vol. IV, p. 256, in the Boston
Gazette
 on April 16, 1781.]

 

Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than
that all persons employed in places of power and trust be men of unexceptionable
characters. The public cannot be too curious concerning the character of public
men.

[Samuel Adams, The Writings of Samuel Adams, Harry Alonzo Cushing,
editor (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1907), Vol. III, p. 236-237, to James
Warren on November 4, 1775.]

Matthias Burnett

Consider well the important trust . . . which God . . . [has] put into your
hands. . . . To God and posterity you are accountable for [your rights and
your rulers]. . . . Let not your children have reason to curse you for giving
up those rights and prostrating those institutions which your fathers delivered
to you. . . . [L]ook well to the characters and qualifications of those you
elect and raise to office and places of trust. . . . Think not that your interests
will be safe in the hands of the weak and ignorant; or faithfully managed
by the impious, the dissolute and the immoral. Think not that men who acknowledge
not the providence of God nor regard His laws will be uncorrupt in office,
firm in defense of the righteous cause against the oppressor, or resolutly
oppose the torrent of iniquity. . . . Watch over your liberties and privileges
– civil and religious – with a careful eye.

[Matthias Burnett, Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Norwalk, An
Election Sermon, Preached at Hartford, on the Day of the Anniversary Election,
May 12, 1803
 (Hartford: Printed by Hudson & Goodwin, 1803), pp. 27-28.]

 

Frederick Douglass

I have one great political idea. . . . That idea is an old one. It is widely
and generally assented to; nevertheless, it is very generally trampled upon
and disregarded. The best expression of it, I have found in the Bible. It
is in substance, “Righteousness exalteth a nation; sin is a reproach to any
people” [Proverbs 14:34]. This constitutes my politics – the negative and
positive of my politics, and the whole of my politics. . . . I feel it my
duty to do all in my power to infuse this idea into the public mind, that
it may speedily be recognized and practiced upon by our people.

[Frederick Douglass, The Frederick Douglass Papers, John Blassingame,
editor (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982), Vol. 2, p. 397, from a speech
delivered at Ithaca, New York, October 14th, 1852.]

Charles Finney

[T]he time has come that Christians must vote for honest men and take consistent
ground in politics or the Lord will curse them. . . . Christians have been
exceedingly guilty in this matter. But the time has come when they must act
differently. . . . Christians seem to act as if they thought God did not see
what they do in politics. But I tell you He does see it – and He will bless
or curse this nation according to the course they [Christians] take [in politics].

[Charles G. Finney, Lectures on Revivals of Religion (New York:
Fleming H. Revell Company, 1868), Lecture XV, pp. 281-282.]

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James Garfield

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

[James A. Garfield, The Works of James Abram Garfield, Burke Hinsdale, editor (Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1883), Vol. II, pp. 486, 489, “A Century of Congress,” July, 1877.]

Francis Grimke

If the time ever comes when we shall go to pieces, it will . . . be . . .
from inward corruption – from the disregard of right principles . . . from
losing sight of the fact that “Righteousness exalteth a nation, but that sin
is a reproach to any people” [Proverbs 14:34]. . . .[T]he secession of the
Southern States in 1860 was a small matter with the secession of the Union
itself from the great principles enunciated in the Declaration of Independence,
in the Golden Rule, in the Ten Commandments, in the Sermon on the Mount. Unless
we hold, and hold firmly to these great fundamental principles of righteousness,
. . . our Union . . . will be “only a covenant with death and an agreement
with hell.”

[Rev. Francis J. Grimke, from “Equality of Right for All Citizens, Black
and White, Alike,” March 7, 1909, published in Masterpieces of Negro Eloquence,
Alice Moore Dunbar, editor (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 2000), pp. 246-247.]

John Jay

Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is
the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation,
to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.

[John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay,
Henry P. Johnston, ed. (New York: G.P. Putnams Sons, 1890), Vol. IV, p. 365.]

 

The Americans are the first people whom Heaven has favored with an opportunity
of deliberating upon and choosing the forms of government under which they
should live.

[John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay,
Henry P. Johnston, ed. (New York: G.P. Putnams Sons, 1890), Vol. I, p. 161.]

William Paterson

When the righteous rule, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people
groan.

[Supreme Court Justice William Paterson reminding his fellow justices
of Proverbs 29:2. United States Oracle (Portsmouth, NH), May 24, 1800.]

William Penn

Governments, like clocks, go from the motion men give them; and as governments
are made and moved by men, so by them they are ruined too. Wherefore governments
rather depend upon men than men upon governments. Let men be good and the
government cannot be bad. . . . But if men be bad, let the government be never
so good, they will endeavor to warp and spoil it to their turn. . . .[T]hough
good laws do well, good men do better; for good laws may want [lack] good
men and be abolished or invaded by ill men; but good men will never want good
laws nor suffer [allow] ill ones.

[William Penn quoted from: Thomas Clarkson, Memoirs of the Private
and Public Life of William Penn
 (London: Richard Taylor and Co., 1813) Vol.
I, p.303.]

Daniel Webster

Impress upon children the truth that the exercise of the elective franchise
is a social duty of as solemn a nature as man can be called to perform; that
a man may not innocently trifle with his vote; that every elector is a trustee
as well for others as himself and that every measure he supports has an important
bearing on the interests of others as well as on his own.

[Daniel Webster, The Works of Daniel Webster (Boston: Little,
Brown, and Company, 1853), Vol. II, p. 108, from remarks made at a public reception
by the ladies of Richmond, Virginia, on October 5, 1840.
]

Noah Webster

In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the
particular sect or denomination of the candidate – look to his character. .
. . When a citizen gives his suffrage to a man of known immorality he abuses
his trust; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor,
he betrays the interest of his country.

[Noah Webster, Letters to a Young Gentleman Commencing His Education
to which is subjoined a Brief History of the United States
 (New Haven: S.
Converse, 1823), pp. 18, 19.
]

When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers,
let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers,
“just men who will rule in the fear of God.” The preservation of government
depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their
duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted;
laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local
purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws;
the public revenues will be sqandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the
citizens will be violated or disregarded. If a republican government fails
to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens
neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the
laws.

[Noah Webster, History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie
& Peck, 1832), pp. 336-337, �49.]

John Witherspoon

Those who wish well to the State ought to choose to places of trust men of
inward principle, justified by exemplary conversation. . . .[And t]he people
in general ought to have regard to the moral character of those whom they
invest with authority either in the legislative, executive, or judicial branches.

[John Witherspoon, The Works of John Witherspoon Edinburgh: J.
Ogle, 1815), Vol. IV, pp. 266, 277.]

Image result for Bald Eagle, Flag, Declaration of Independence, Fireworks

As we near the end of this years Independence Day article let add more from Founding Father, and The Reverend John Witherspoon (who would be ASHAMED at what his multi-great-grand niece, Reese is doing):

Should Christians – Or Ministers – Run For Office?

Today’s critics assert that Christians should not be involved with politics
or government, and especially that ministers should not be involved. Such opposition
is not new. In fact, two centuries ago, Founding Father John Witherspoon delivered
a sagacious rebuttal to these same objections.

should-christians-or-ministers-run-for-office

 

John Witherspoon (1723-1794) was a distinguished Founding Father – the president
of Princeton University, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and a ratifier of the U.S. Constitution. He served on over 100 committees in Congress and was head of the Board of War (essentially, he was the congressional “boss” for Commander-in-Chief George Washington). But John Witherspoon was also a minister of the Gospel – he
was the Rev. Dr. John Witherspoon! In fact, Dr. Witherspoon was the Billy Graham
of his day – one of the most famous American ministers of that era, with volumes
of published Gospel sermons.

A provision in the 1777 Georgia constitution reflected the belief that ministers
should not be involved in politics. Supporters of this provision asserted the
ministry of the Gospel was so important that ministers should not be distracted
from their duty. (For example, the 1777 New York Constitution explained, “Whereas
ministers of the Gospel are, by their profession, dedicated to the service of
God and the care of souls and ought not to be diverted from the great duties
of their function; therefore, no minister of the gospel . . . shall be eligible
to . . . any civil office within this State.”) Following this same logic, the
Georgia constitution declared, “No clergyman of any denomination shall be allowed
a seat in the legislature.”

When Dr. Witherspoon learned of this prohibition, he penned the following tongue-in-cheek
piece exposing the absurdity of that position. Interestingly, when Georgia wrote
its third Constitution in 1798, a strong declaration of the rights of religious persons was inserted – a vast change from
its first Constitution.

Following is Dr. Witherspoon’s writing on why ministers should be able to serve
in State legislatures:

Sir,

In your paper of Saturday last, you have given us the new Constitution of
Georgia, in which I find the following resolution, “No clergyman of any denomination
shall be a member of the General Assembly.” I would be very well satisfied
that some of the gentlemen who have made that an essential article of this
constitution, or who have inserted and approve it in other constitutions,
would be pleased to explain a little the principles, as well as to ascertain
the meaning of it.

Perhaps we understand pretty generally, what is meant by a clergyman, viz.
a person regularly called and set apart to the ministry of the gospel, and
authorized to preach and administer the sacraments of the Christian religion.
Now suffer me to ask this question: Before any man among us was ordained a
minister, was he not a citizen of the United States, and if being in Georgia,
a citizen of the state of Georgia? Had he not then a right to be elected a
member of the assembly, if qualified in point of property? How then has he
lost, or why is he deprived of this right? Is it by offence or disqualification?
Is it a sin against the public to become a minister? Does it merit that the
person, who is guilty of it should be immediately deprived of one of his most
important rights as a citizen? Is not this inflicting a penalty which always
supposes an offence? Is a minister then disqualified for the office of a senator
or representative? Does this calling and profession render him stupid or ignorant?
I am inclined to form a very high opinion of the natural understanding of
the freemen and freeholders of the state of Georgia, as well as of their improvement
and culture by education, and yet I am not able to conceive, but that some
of those equally qualified, may enter into the clerical order: and then it
must not be unfitness, but some other reason that produces the exclusion.
Perhaps it may be thought that they are excluded from civil authority, that
they may be more fully and constantly employed in their spiritual functions.
If this had been the ground of it, how much more properly would it have appeared,
as an order of an ecclesiastical body with respect to their own members. In
that case I should not only have forgiven but approved and justified it; but
in the way in which it now stands, it is evidently a punishment by loss of
privilege, inflicted on those, who go into the office of the ministry; for
which, perhaps, the gentlemen of Georgia may have good reasons, though I have
not been able to discover them.

But besides the uncertainty of the principle on which this resolution is
founded, there seems to me much uncertainty as to the meaning of it. How are
we to determine who is or is not a clergyman? Is he only a clergyman who has
received ordination from those who have derived the right by an uninterrupted
succession from the apostles? Or is he also a clergyman, who is set apart
by the imposition of hands of a body of other clergymen, by joint authority?
Or is he also a clergyman who is set a part by the church members of his own
society, without any imposition of hands at all? Or is he also a clergyman
who has exhorted in a Methodist society, or spoken in a Quaker meeting, or
any other religious assembly met for public worship? There are still greater
difficulties behind: Is the clerical character indelible? There are some who
have been ordained who occasionally perform some clerical functions, but have
no pastoral charge at all. There are some who finding public speaking injurious
to health, or from other reasons easily conceived, have resigned their pastoral
charge, and wholly discontinued all acts and exercises of that kind; and there
are some, particularly in New England, who having exercised the clerical office
some time, and finding it less suitable to their talents than they apprehended,
have voluntarily relinquished it, and taken to some other profession, as law,
physic, or merchandize[sic]–Do these all continue clergymen, or do they cease
to be clergymen, and by that cessation return to, or recover the honorable
privileges of laymen?

I cannot help thinking that these difficulties are very considerable, and
may occasion much litigation, if the article of the constitution stands in
the loose, ambiguous form in which it now appears; and therefore I would recommend
the following alterations, which I think will make every thing definite and
unexceptionable.

“No clergyman, of any denomination, shall be capable of being elected
a member of the Senate or House of Representatives, because {here insert
the grounds of offensive disqualification, which I have not been able to
discover} Provided always, and it is the true intent and meaning of this
part of the constitution, that if at any time he shall be completely deprived
of the clerical character by those by whom he was invested with it, as by
deposition for cursing and swearing, drunkenness or uncleanness, he shall
then be fully restored to all the privileges of a free citizen; his offence
shall no more be remembered against him; but he may be chosen either to
the Senate or House of Representatives, and shall be treated with all the
respect due to his brethren, the other members of Assembly.”

(Source: John Witherspoon, The Works of John Witherspoon, (Edinburgh:
J. Ogle, Parliament-Square, 1815), Vol. IX, pp 220-223.)

Image result for Bald Eagle, Flag, Declaration of Independence, Fireworks

Where, oh where are there men and women like THIS today?!!

We are today governed by the most vile, corrupt, vulgar, depraved, degenerate, ungodly, immoral, un-American, and ANTI-American scum imaginable!! America has NO ONE remotely close to these wise, honorable men of character and impeccable morals, NONE.

LET’S refresh our memory with what but a few said once again:

Charles Finney

[T]he time has come that Christians must vote for honest men and take consistent
ground in politics or the Lord will curse them. . . . Christians have been
exceedingly guilty in this matter. But the time has come when they must act
differently. . . . Christians seem to act as if they thought God did not see
what they do in politics. But I tell you He does see it – and He will bless
or curse this nation according to the course they [Christians] take [in politics].

[Charles G. Finney, Lectures on Revivals of Religion (New York:
Fleming H. Revell Company, 1868), Lecture XV, pp. 281-282.]

 

Francis Grimke

If the time ever comes when we shall go to pieces, it will . . . be . . .
from inward corruption – from the disregard of right principles . . . from
losing sight of the fact that “Righteousness exalteth a nation, but that sin
is a reproach to any people” [Proverbs 14:34]. . . .[T]he secession of the
Southern States in 1860 was a small matter with the secession of the Union
itself from the great principles enunciated in the Declaration of Independence,
in the Golden Rule, in the Ten Commandments, in the Sermon on the Mount. Unless
we hold, and hold firmly to these great fundamental principles of righteousness,
. . . our Union . . . will be “only a covenant with death and an agreement
with hell.”

[Rev. Francis J. Grimke, from “Equality of Right for All Citizens, Black
and White, Alike,” March 7, 1909, published in Masterpieces of Negro Eloquence,
Alice Moore Dunbar, editor (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 2000), pp. 246-247.]

John Jay

Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is
the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation,
to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.

[John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay,
Henry P. Johnston, ed. (New York: G.P. Putnams Sons, 1890), Vol. IV, p. 365.]

William Paterson

When the righteous rule, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people
groan.

[Supreme Court Justice William Paterson reminding his fellow justices
of Proverbs 29:2. United States Oracle (Portsmouth, NH), May 24, 1800.]

Noah Webster

In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the
particular sect or denomination of the candidate – look to his character. .
. . When a citizen gives his suffrage to a man of known immorality he abuses
his trust; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor,
he betrays the interest of his country.

[Noah Webster, Letters to a Young Gentleman Commencing His Education
to which is subjoined a Brief History of the United States
 (New Haven: S.
Converse, 1823), pp. 18, 19.
]

When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers,
let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers,
“just men who will rule in the fear of God.” The preservation of government
depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their
duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted;
laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local
purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws;
the public revenues will be sqandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the
citizens will be violated or disregarded. If a republican government fails
to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens
neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the
laws.

[Noah Webster, History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie
& Peck, 1832), pp. 336-337, �49.]

==============================

IF there is a man or woman of Patriotic Character, embodying America’s Founding Principles…IF there is such…may God so bless us that THOSE men and women are voted into office, and that America ASAP returns to her Godly, and Patriotic roots of Liberty, Freedom, Justice, Life, and The Pursuit of Happiness…soon.

 

 -Rev. Larry Wallenmeyer.

 

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