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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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John Quincy Adams on Christianity

According to John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), 6th President of the United States:

“It is no slight testimonial, both to the merit and worth of Christianity that in all ages since its promulgation the great mass of those who have risen to eminence by their profound wisdom and integrity have recognized and reverenced Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of the living God.”

John Adams On The Principles Of Liberty

 

John-Adams-1780

John Adams wrote the following letter to Zabdiel Adams on June 1, 1776:

Statesmen by dear Sir, may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand….The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People, in a great Measure, than they have it now, They may change their Rulers, and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty.

President Grover Cleveland’s Thanksgiving Day Proclamation

Grover Cleveland

By the President of the United States:

The goodness and the mercy of God, which have followed the American people during all the days of the past year claim our grateful recognition and humble acknowledgment. By His omnipotent power He has protected us from war and pestilence and from every national calamity; by His gracious favor the earth has yielded a generous return to the labor of the husbandman, and every path of honest toil has led to comfort and contentment; by His loving kindness the hearts of our people have been replenished with fraternal sentiment and patriotic endeavor, and by His Fatherly guidance we have been directed in the way of national prosperity.

To the end that we may with one accord testify our gratitude for all these blessings, I, Grover Cleveland, President of the United States, do hereby designate and set apart Thursday, the twenty-fourth day of November next as a day of Thanksgiving and Prayer, to be observed by all the people of the land.

On the day let all secular work and employment be suspended; and let our people assemble in their accustomed places of worship and with prayer and songs of praise, give thanks to our Heavenly Father for all that He has done for us while we implore the forgiveness of our sins and a continuance of His mercy.

Let families and kindred be reunited on that day and let their hearts, filled with kindly cheer and affectionate reminiscence, be turned to the source of all their pleasures and to the Giver of all that makes the day bright and joyous.

And in the midst of our worship and enjoyments let us remember the poor, the needy, and the unfortunate; and by our gifts of charity and ready benevolence let us increase the number of those who with grateful hearts shall join in our Thanksgiving.

In witness whereof I have set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be hereunto affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this twenty-fifth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and twelfth.

John Quincy Adams On The Salvation Of Our God

John Quincy Adams

Quoting John Quincy Adams – 6th U.S. President:

“The hope of a Christian is inseparable from his faith. Whoever believes in the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures must hope that the religion of Jesus shall prevail throughout the earth. Never since the foundation of the world have the prospects of mankind been more encouraging to that hope than they appear to be at the present time. And may the associated distribution of the Bible proceed and prosper till the Lord shall have made ‘bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God’ (Isaiah 52:10).” (Life of John Quincy Adams, p. 248)

James Monroe’s Message To Congress

James Monroe

Quoting James Monroe – 5th U.S. President:

“When we view the blessings with which our country has been favored, those which we now enjoy, and the means which we possess of handing them down unimpaired to our latest posterity, our attention is irresistibly drawn to the source from whence they flow. Let us then, unite in offering our most grateful acknowledgments for these blessings to the Divine Author of All Good.”

(Monroe made this statement in his 2nd Annual Message to Congress, November 16, 1818)

John Adams On Christianity And Independence

John-Adams-1780

Quoting John Adams – second President of the US:

“The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.” (Adams wrote this on June 28, 1813, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson)

John Adams: A Nation With The Bible As Its Only Law

John Adams

Quoting John Adams – 2nd U.S. President and Signer of the Declaration of Independence:

“Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God … What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be.” (Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, Vol. III, p. 9)

America: Keeping To The Road

George Washington

Quoting George Washington:

“No country upon earth ever had it more in its power to attain these blessings than United America. Wondrously strange, then, and much to be regretted indeed would it be, were we to neglect the means and to depart from the road which Providence has pointed us to so plainly.”

George Washington On The Indispensable Supports Of Free Government

George Washington

Quoting George Washington (“Father of Our Country”):

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 connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, “Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation deserts 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. Keating), pp. 22-23. In his Farewell Address to the United States in 1796.)

The Foundation Of Morality

John Quincy Adams portrait. "John Quincy ...

John Quincy Adams

Quoting John Quincy Adams (Sixth President of the United States):

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.)

Sinai And The Law

John Quincy Adams, President of the United Sta...

John Quincy Adams

Quoting 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)

Religion And Freedom

Oil painting of John Adams by John Trumbull.

John Adams

Quoting John Adams:

[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)

The Spirit Of Christmas

Quoting President Calvin Coolidge:

Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. If we think on these things, there will be born in us a Savior and over us will shine a star sending its gleam of hope to the world.

Respect Requires A Position Of Strength

Quoting Ronald Reagan:

President Ronald Reagan

Image by edalisse via Flickr

“[M]y highest duty as president [is] to preserve peace and defend these United States. … American strength is once again a sheltering arm for freedom in a dangerous world. Strength is the most persuasive argument we have to convince our adversaries to negotiate seriously and to cease bullying other nations. But tonight the security program that you and I launched to restore America’s strength is in jeopardy, threatened by those who would quit before the job is done. Any slackening now would invite the very dangers America must avoid and could fatally compromise our negotiating position. Our adversaries … respect only nations that negotiate from a position of strength.”

Calvin Coolidge: Words of Wisdom

Calvin Coolidge.

Calvin Coolidge

Quoting Calvin Coolidge (30th President of US):

  1. Civilization and profit go hand in hand.
  2. Don’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong.
  3. There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no one independence quite so important, as living within your means.
  4. Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery.
  5. Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration has been minding my own business.
  6. To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.
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