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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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Religious Liberty

Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson:

I consider the government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises. This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment or free exercise of religion, but from that also which reserves to the States the powers not delegated to the United States. Certainly, no power to prescribe any religious exercise or to assume authority in any religious discipline has been delegated to the General Government. It must then rest with the States. (Letter to Samuel Miller — 1808)

 

Never Be Idle!

Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson:

Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time, who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done, if we are always doing.”

God gave us Life and Liberty

In the words of Thomas Jefferson, 3rd U.S. President, Drafter and Signer of the Declaration of Independence:

“God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever; that a revolution of the wheel of fortune, a change of situation, is among possible events; that it may become probable by Supernatural influence! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in that event.” (Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, p. 237)

Christianity and American Independence

John Adams wrote this on June 28, 1813, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson:

“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.”

God is Just

Quoting Thomas Jefferson, 1871:

“I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

Tyranny Over The Mind

Quoting Thomas Jefferson:

I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.

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.

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.

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.

Alexander Hamilton On The Evidence For Christianity

Alexander Hamilton

Quoting Alexander Hamilton – Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Ratifier of the U.S. Constitution:

“I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man.” (Famous American Statesmen, p. 126)

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)

President James Madison Proclaims A Day Of Thanksgiving

James Madison

THANKSGIVING DAY 1814

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION

The two Houses of the National Legislature having by a joint resolution expressed their desire that in the present time of public calamity and war a day may be recommended to be observed by the people of the United States as a day of public humiliation and fasting and of prayer to Almighty God for the safety and welfare of these States, His blessing on their arms, and a speedy restoration of peace, I have deemed it proper by this proclamation to recommend that Thursday, the 12th of January next, be set apart as a day on which all may have an opportunity of voluntarily offering at the same time in their respective religious assemblies their humble adoration to the Great Sovereign of the Universe, of confessing their sins and transgressions, and of strengthening their vows of repentance and amendment. They will be invited by the same solemn occasion to call to mind the distinguished favors conferred on the American people in the general health which has been enjoyed, in the abundant fruits of the season, in the progress of the arts instrumental to their comfort, their prosperity, and their security, and in the victories which have so powerfully contributed to the defense and protection of our country, a devout thankfulness for all which ought to be mingled with their supplications to the Beneficent Parent of the Human Race that He would be graciously pleased to pardon all their offenses against Him; to support and animate them in the discharge of their respective duties; to continue to them the precious advantages flowing from political institutions so auspicious to their safety against dangers from abroad, to their tranquillity at home, and to their liberties, civil and religious; and that He would in a special manner preside over the nation in its public councils and constituted authorities, giving wisdom to its measures and success to its arms in maintaining its rights and in overcoming all hostile designs and attempts against it; and, finally, that by inspiring the enemy with dispositions favorable to a just and reasonable peace its blessings may be speedily and happily restores.

Given at the city of Washington, the 16th day of November, 1814, and of the Independence of the United States the thirty-eighth.

JAMES MADISON

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)

Thomas Jefferson: Liberty Is The Gift Of God

Thomas Jefferson

Quoting Thomas Jefferson – 3rd U.S. President, Drafter and Signer of the Declaration of Independence:

“God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever; That a revolution of the wheel of fortune, a change of situation, is among possible events; that it may become probable by Supernatural influence! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in that event.” (Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, p. 237)

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