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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Thoughts On Education

Quoting Benjamin Rush:

I grant this mode of secluding boys from the intercourse of private families has a tendency to make them scholars, but our business is to make them men, citizens, and Christians. The vices of young people are generally learned from each other. The vices of adults seldom infect them. By separating them from each other, therefore, in their hours of relaxation from study, we secure their morals from a principal source of corruption, while we improve their manners by subjecting them to those restraints which the difference of age and sex naturally produce in private families.

National Happiness Can Only Be Found In Religion

Benjamin Rush

From the letters of Benjamin Rush:

In such a performance you may lay the foundation of national happiness only in religion, not by leaving it doubtful “whether morals can exist without it,” but by asserting that without religion morals are the effects of causes as purely physical as pleasant breezes and fruitful seasons. (Benjamin Rush letter to John Adams – August 20, 1811)

Benjamin Rush On The Education Needed In A Republic

Benjamin Rush

In 1806, Benjamin Rush wrote the following “On the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic”:

[T]he 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.

Benjamin Rush On Teaching Children

Benjamin Rush

Quoting Benjamin Rush – Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Ratifier of the U.S. Constitution:

“I know there is an objection among many people to teaching children doctrines of any kind, because they are liable to be controverted. But let us not be wiser than our Maker.

If moral precepts alone could have reformed mankind, the mission of the Son of God into all the world would have been unnecessary. The perfect morality of the gospel rests upon the doctrine which, though often controverted has never been refuted: I mean the vicarious life and death of the Son of God.” (Essays, Literary, Moral, and Philosophical, published in 1798)

Benjamin Rush On Christianity

Benjamin Rush

Quoting Benjamin Rush – Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Ratifier of the U.S. Constitution:

“The gospel of Jesus Christ prescribes the wisest rules for just conduct in every situation of life. Happy they who are enabled to obey them in all situations!” (The Autobiography of Benjamin Rush, pp. 165-166)

“Christianity is the only true and perfect religion, and that in proportion as mankind adopts its principles and obeys its precepts, they will be wise and happy.” (Essays, Literary, Moral, and Philosophical, published in 1798)

Benjamin Rush On National Crimes That Will Require National Punishment

Quoting Benjamin Rush (Signer of the Declaration of Independence):

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.)

Benjamin Rush On Education

Benjamin Rush

Quoting Benjamin Rush (Signer of the Declaration of Independence):

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.)

Benjamin Rush On The Republic And Religion

Benjamin Rush, an important proponent of heroi...

Benjamin Rush

Quoting 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.)

 

Benjamin Rush On Renouncing The Bible

Benjamin Rush

Quoting Benjamin Rush (Signer of the Declaration of Independence):

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)

Will America Renounce Christianity As The Source of Its Prosperity?

Despite opinions to the contrary, Christianity and its cultural influence are still alive in our country. The new FamilyFacts.org reports that over 60 percent of American adults firmly believe that God exists even though some believe in their own “idea” of god rather than the God of the Bible. Still, Americans act on their Christian faith in personal and public ways. Three in five adults say they pray daily. 40 percent of Americans attend religious services at least once a week. True Christian faith and practice has a deeply positive effect on civil society by protecting against a host of social problems. Benjamin Rush (A Founding Father and signer of the Declaration of Independence) wrote:

“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)

The Christian faith has long been associated with strong families, well-adjusted adolescents, and even better health. Families that regularly practice their faith tend to have better marital stability, fewer instances of domestic violence, and greater conflict resolution. Teenagers who practice the Christian faith are less likely to use drugs and alcohol or experience teen pregnancy. Individuals who regularly practice their faith are also less likely to die from cancer and tend to have lower stress levels than people who do not attend worship. Is it any wonder then that Noah Webster (Founding Educator) said:

“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.”

In light of the Christian faith’s beneficial effects on America, every effort should be made to protect our religious freedom. As US Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story commented:

“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.”

As Christians, we must be determined that America and our descendents do not reject religious instruction and authority. There is no doubt in my mind that to violate the great principles of the Bible and deny God His rightful rule over our lives will lead to the reckless destruction of America’s Constitution and the fall of this nation into slavery.

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