The United States of America is in dire distress and is in danger
of no longer being what it was founded to be: A Christian Federated Republic.
The term, The Greatest Generation, was coined by the
far-left journalist, Tom Brokaw, in his 1998 book of the same name. He used the
term to describe those men and women who were born basically between 1901 and
1924, the parents of the Baby Boomers. As children and teenagers, they grew up
during the hardships of The Great Depression (1929-1939). These men and women
either fought in, or worked at factories to provide the materials of warfare
for, WW II. They were responsible for fighting against and destroying the Axis
powers of Germany, Italy and Japan. Their principles were noble and righteous
even if, on occasion, their actions were not.
wrote that they did not fight for fame or recognition. They fought because
it was the right thing to do. The term was also used by William Strauss and
Neil Howe in their book The Fourth Turning. They used itto
describe the British generation that fought in WW II.
agree wholeheartedly with Brokaw (admittedly politically difficult for me to do)
that these men and women were courageous, resolute and self-sacrificing. I
have the greatest admiration for them and what they accomplished.
parents and my wifes parents were members of that generation. My father was an
Army officer serving in Europe; and my mother was a telephone supervisor
helping to handle communications from San Francisco to the Pacific Theater. My
wifes parents were equally involved in the War effort. Her father and mother
were involved in military airplane manufacturing. Her mother was a real Rosie
the Riveter making wings for PBY Flying Boats. Her story and some of her
memorabilia are now part of the Rosie the Riveter Museum in Richmond,
I have the greatest respect for these men and women. It was been my pleasure to
have known and interviewed many of them before they passed on from our midst.
Anyone visiting our home would know of my great interest in the history and
heroes of that time. But, Tom Brokaw is wrong. These men and women were
not as he wrote: the greatest generation any society has ever produced.
Greatest Generation that this country has ever produced was the one alive at
the time of The Founding Fathers. It was a predominantly Christian generation.
the end of the Declaration of Independence the Signers wrote: ... appealing
to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, ... 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.
meant what they wrote. But, they were hardly the only ones to hold the same
sentiment. There were many, although hardly all, of the colonists who felt the
happened to The Founding Fathers? There is much myth about them and well
intentioned people circulate wonderfully patriotic and heart-rendering false
accounts of what they endured. But, I hate revisionist histories and I
believe that it is only God-honoring to record history accurately. What they
did do is patriotic and heart-rendering enough.
one of the best synopses of what they really endured, and what eventually
happened to them, is to be found in an article by Arthur Bernon Tourtellot,
published in American Heritage Magazine, December, 1962. I will quote
extensively from his article. The emphasized sections are mine.
the Continental Congress opened its session of Friday, August 2, 1776, in
Philadelphia, the major business of the day was to continue a somewhat moribund
debate on the Articles of Confederation. An incidental piece of business was
the signing, by all the delegates to the Congress, of an engrossed copy of the
Declaration of Independence - a matter which John Adams did not consider
sufficiently important to mention in his diary of the days events. The great
day, to him, was neither that of the signing of the Declaration, August 2, nor
that of its adoption, July 4. The day to be solemnized with pomp and
parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations [he
wrote his wife] from one end of the continent to the other, from this time
forward forever more would be July 2 - the day the Congress passed a
resolution affirming that the states were independent of the British crown.
was little ceremony about the signing. Fifty-one of the fifty-six delegates
were present. The other five signed the document later, in the fall of 1776,
except for Thomas McKean of Delaware, who signed it sometime after January,
1777, or - according to some evidence - as late as 1781. John Hancock, who as
President of the Congress, was the only delegate to sign the original document
when it was adopted on July 4, ... Franklin, the oldest of the delegates, was
reported to have responded to Hancocks worried We must be unanimous we must
all hang together with his breezy Yes, we must indeed all hang together,
or most assuredly we shall all hang separately. One of the newer members
of the Congress, William Ellery of Rhode Island, stationed himself close to
the secretary in order to observe the expressions on the faces of the delegates
as they affixed their signatures. Undaunted resolution, he reported of
all of them.
The eighteenth century was an age of admirable generalists - men
like Franklin and Jefferson who could turn with equal skill to many fields.
Insofar as they had predominant occupations, however, more - twenty-five - were
than anything else. Next most numerous were merchants (twelve) and
landowners (nine). There were four physicians, two farmers, and two
full-time politicians with no other occupation. Franklin was the only
printer. There was also only one clergyman, although two others,
Robert Treat Paine and Lyman Hall, had been clerics, Paine later turning to the
law as nearer his real interests, and Hall to medicine after having been
deposed from his Connecticut parish for confessed immorality. Fifteen per
cent of the signers, however, were sons of clergymen. Twelve of the
lawyers were jurists, and so were two of the physicians, three of the
merchants, one of the farmers, and one of the politicians - nineteen judges
far the most versatile ... was Francis Hopkinson of New Jersey. Hopkinson wrote
verse and essays ... practiced law, composed cantatas and liturgical music,
wrote social and political satires, wrote and directed theatrical productions,
was a professional artist noted for his drawings, invented several generally used
devices ... served as a judge of admiralty, designed the American flag,
designed the seals of the State of New Jersey, the University of Pennsylvania,
and the American Philosophical Society ... excelled at the harpsichord, played
a leading role as a layman in establishing the Protestant Episcopal Church
after its organizational separation from the Church of England, was a merchant,
and served as a collector of customs.
had somewhat better than average educations .... Half of them, twenty-eight,
were college graduates. Eight of these went to Harvard, five to William and
Mary, four to Yale, two to the College of New Jersey (now Princeton), and one
to the College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania). Eight went
to college abroad, including all four of the youthful South Carolina delegates,
who studied law in London. Only three were limited to a common-school
education, and eleven were largely self-educated. Fourteen had the advantage of
good private education by tutors and in academies below collegiate level.
... were rich men, though
some were to lose all their fortunes, which they pledged along with their lives
and honor that August day in Philadelphia, in support of independence. The
richest of all was Charles Carroll ... of whom, as he signed the
Declaration, another delegate observed ominously, There go a few
There is no doubt that the signers of the Declaration knew they
were up to something far more serious than making a brave gesture when they put
their signatures on the document. Indeed, for reasons of security, the
Declaration with the signatures was not published until January, 1777 ... for
it was fully understood that if the Revolution failed, the signers would be rounded
up, their property confiscated, and their lives forfeited.
all the signers, in either a civil or a military role, became involved in the
prosecution of the war. Over a fourth of them - seventeen - saw military
service, and twelve of these were actively in the field during the Revolution.
Four of them were taken prisoner. A civilian signer, Richard Stockton of New
Jersey [was] the first to be captured. Late in September, 1776, scarcely seven
weeks after he had signed the Declaration ... Before he got home to Princeton,
the British had invaded New Jersey and his handsome estate, Morven, was sacked.
In December ... Loyalists informed the enemy of his presence there, and he was
captured and taken off to a British prison, first in Perth Amboy and later in
New York City. Cold, poorly fed, and badly treated, he was kept jailed until
the Congress eventually succeeded in arranging his exchange. Stockton was
one of those who gave both his life and his fortune to back the instrument that
he had signed: his health permanently broken by the ordeal of imprisonment and
his fortune virtually wiped out, he died, at fifty, before the war was over.
second signer to be imprisoned was George Wallon, a Georgia lawyer, who was
commanding the First Georgian Regiment at the siege of Savannah in 1778. Walton was shot from
his horse, his leg shattered by an enemy ball, and captured. His energetic
civil service in the cause of independence was known to the British, who
informed the colonials that he was much too important to be exchanged for
anything less than a brigadier general. Some ten months later, despairing of a
general, the British settled for a captain of the Royal Navy. Walton
survived to live an active political life for twenty-eight years after the
...All four [delegates from South Carolina]
served in the Revolutionary forces. ... Thomas Lynch [was] lost at sea.
...Thomas Heyward, Jr., Arthur Middleton, and Edward Rutledge, fought to resist
the British forces besieging Charleston. All three were captured. All three
in ... Saint Augustine. All three were exchanged after a years imprisonment.
the British also took as prisoner the wife of Francis Lewis of New York. Lewis, an aging
retired merchant of considerable wealth, was absent ... from his country house on Long Island when the occupying British
forces seized and destroyed it and captured his wife. Mrs. Lewis was
deprived of any bed or change of clothes during her imprisonment. The
colonials ... finally exchanged the wives of the British paymaster general and
of the British attorney general in NewYork for Mrs. Lewis, who was, however, too weakened by the ordeal to
of the signers lost their fortunes not to enemy action but in acts of private
for the public good. William Paca ... used his own money to outfit troops
for the Continental Army. Thomas Nelson, Jr., of Virginia ... Having
succeeded Jefferson as governor of Virginia, he gathered a militia of three
thousand men and joined Washington in besieging the British forces in
too, lost their homes. The houses of William Ellery, Lewis Morris, and Josiah
Bartlett were burned. Those of George Clymer, Lyman Hall, John Hart, William
Floyd, William Hooper, Francis Hopkinson, and Arthur Middleton were destroyed
or thoroughly ransacked. Altogether seventeen of the signers suffered
extreme, and in some cases total, property losses. One in nine of them lost his
the war was over, the surviving signers continued active political careers ... Two,
Adams and Jefferson, became Presidents ... Three signers became
Vice Presidents: Adams, Jefferson, and Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts. Two
became Justices of the United States Supreme Court: Samuel Chase of
Maryland and James Wilson of Pennsylvania. There were few offices in the
fledgling democracy that some signer did not fill. Four became United States
senators; four, ambassadors; seventeen, governors of their states; fifteen,
state judges, including nine chief justices; five, speakers of their state
of the most zealous public servants ... was Thomas McKean, ... a delegate from
Delaware but who had acquired a second house in Philadelphia ... While a member
of Congress from Delaware, he commanded a force of Pennsylvania militia in New
Jersey. In 1777, he was made chief justice of Pennsylvania, while still a
member of Congress from Delaware. In 1781, he was both chief justice of
Pennsylvania and president of Congress. He was also governor (acting president)
of Delaware, while chief justice of Pennsylvania, but in 1799 became governor
of Pennsylvania, after having occupied its top judicial post for twenty-two
years. ... He retired in 1808 and died at eighty-three in 1817, the only signer
to have served as chief executive of twostates.
turbulence also haunted the post-Revolutionary path of Samuel Chase of
Maryland, whose career was in many respects more inflammatory than the
Revolution itself. He had led the independence movement in his state,
getting the convention to reverse itself after it had voted against
independence. He then carried the new resolution favoring independence to
Philadelphia and threw himself with unprecedented energy into the war, serving
on twenty-one committees in 1777 and on thirty in 1778. ... In 1788, he became
a chief judge of Maryland, first in the criminal and then in the general court,
holding both posts simultaneously. For this McKean-like political pluralism, he
was almost removed from both offices by the Assembly.
Chase vigorously opposed the Constitution, President Washington saw fit to
appoint him an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court to interpret it. His
performance in that tribunal was extremely impressive ... and his opinions were
of outstanding distinction. Nevertheless, turbulence followed him there,
too. Some injudicial behavior in court proceedings, coupled with hostility to
President Jefferson, led the latter to suggest his impeachment by the House,
which occurred in 1804. Chase was acquitted of all eight charges, but his
powers declined steadily until his death in 1811.
sort of difficulty besieged James Wilson of Pennsylvania, as likely a prospect
for the Court as Chase was unlikely, for he had been one of the architects
of the Constitution. Conversely, after his appointment to the first Supreme
Court by President Washington, Wilson failed to distinguish himself. He
speculated heavily in lands, attempted to influence legislation, and had to
move from state to state to avoid arrest for debt. He died in acute nervous
collapse at fifty-six, while threatened with impeachment, his great
intellectual powers wasted in an uncontrollable quest for lesser things.
only other signer to incur censure was George Walton, who as governor of
Georgia took sides with General Lachlan Mclntosh, the man who mortally wounded
signer Button Gwinnett in the duel. Walton sent a forged letter in 1779 to
Congress in connection with Mclntoshs military service, and four years later
he was censured by resolution of the state legislature for his pains. But any
distress he felt was considerably alleviated by the fact that, on the day before, the same body had chosen him as chief justice of
Jefferson directed that his authorship of the Declaration be cited in his
epitaph, most of the signers, politically sophisticated and living in the
midst of eventful times, did not in their later years dwell on the historic
moment when they had signed it. They did not write memoirs of the event or,
for the most part, even refer to it in their letters. In doing a job that had
to be done, they seemed, like Josiah Bartlett of New Hampshire, to have made up
their minds to do it - and then to have taken it in their stride. Bartlett had
written at the time, with orthodox New England respect for understatement, The
Declaration before Congress is, I think, a pretty good one.
not one man of the fifty-six lost his sacred honor. Throughout the long
ordeal of an often-floundering war, in a cause that at times seemed hopelessly
lost, there was not among the fifty-six men a single defection - despite the
reservations that some had had about independence at the beginning and despite
the repeated sagging of popular support for the war.
ends the article by Arthur Bernon Tourtelot.]
where did these men get their sacred honor and where did they get their ideas
that formulated the Declaration (and later the Constitution)?
received them from a variety of sources, but all those sources were rooted in
the Christian Bible.
Not every signer of the Declaration nor every Founding Father was a Christian.
They did, however, all think biblically.
Founding Fathers were either Christians and/or they had been schooled from the
book by Sir William Blackstone (July 1723 February 1780) entitled Commentaries
on the Laws of England, first published in four volumes from 1765-1769.
These volumes were a commentary on English Common Law and incorporated
biblical principles, referred to as Natural Law. His book still remains an
important source on classical views of the common law and its principles. It is
frequently quoted by strict constructionists of the Constitution.
Founding Fathers claimed that their right to separate from England was given to
them by the laws of Nature and Natures God. In Eighteenth Century England,
the term laws of nature is a recognized legal term. In Blackstones Commentaries,
Volume One, Section Two, the laws of nature are defined as the will of
God for his creation as revealed to us in the Holy Scriptures.
Then there were the works of the English philosopher, John Locke
(August 1632 28 October 1704) the Father of [Classical] Liberalism. Locke
promoted Classical Republicanism and his writings were very influential in the
reasoning of the signers of the Declaration. His influence on Thomas Jefferson
is obvious, as Jefferson used a quotation from Locke in writing the
Declaration: long train of abuses.
further expressed his admiration of Locke in one of his letters: Bacon, Locke
and Newton, whose pictures I will trouble you to have copied for me: and as I
consider them as the three greatest men that have ever lived, without any
exception, and as having laid the foundation of those superstructures which
have been raised in the Physical & Moral sciences.
Letters of Thomas Jefferson: 17431826
the thoughts of men like Blackstone and Locke helped to frame the thoughts of
the signers of the Declaration, it was men located closer to them that were far
more influential. These were the men who would become called Patriot Pastors.
These men were so important that John Adams credited them as the primary
cause of American independence. The English parliament called them the
Black Regiment because they would step into their pulpits in black robes and
preach messages of liberty from tyrannical rule.
of the greatest Patriot Pastors was the Rev. John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg. In
January, 1776 after preaching a message from Ecc. 3:1 To every thing there is
a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven, he stepped down from
his pulpit and said, In the language of the Holy Writ, there is a time for
all things. There is a time to preach and a time to fight. And now is the time
to fight. He took off his black robe to reveal the uniform of a Colonial
Army officer. He then enlisted 300 men from his congregation to join General
George Washington. Their unit was called The Eighth Virginia Cavalry.
Pastor Muhlenberg rose to the rank of Major General before the end of the war.
lineage of the Patriot Pastors may be traced to 1729 and the preaching of
Edwards taught that church membership and a State-run church could not bring
salvation. His 1741 sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, is
considered a classic early American sermon. Edwards studied the discoveries of
Isaac Newton and other scientists. Before he became a full-time minister he
wrote on various topics in natural philosophy, now referred to as Creation
Science. He saw the Laws of Nature as being derived from the God of the Bible.
The preaching of Edwards would lead directly to the period known as The First
Great Awakening in the 1730s and 1740s.
Jonathan Edwards preached an unpopular message in his time, You must be born
The Colonies were full of churches, but those that attended were often lost.
Many of the churches were part of the state-approved Church of England. Edwards
preached to them that church membership and baptism
were irrelevant without first having a personal relationship with God.
Throughout New England his teaching became infectious. Following on the
foundational work of Edwards, a British evangelist, George Whitefield
(1714 - 1770), would lead the greatest single revival in North American
history. During the period from 1730 to 1755 he would lead more than 300,000 to
salvation in New England alone. Many of the Founding Fathers heard Whitefield
in person. Indeed, it is estimated that up to half of all the Colonists had
heard about, read about, or read something written by Whitefield.
attended Oxford University with James and Charles Wesley. He would become one
of the founders of Methodism. He disagreed with the Wesleys on slavery and on
the doctrine of Arminianism. His theology was Calvinistic Methodism in line
with the moderate Calvinism of the Thirty-nine Articles of the Anglican
faith, 1563. He explicitly affirmed God as the sole agency in salvation,
but he would freely offer the Gospel, writing at the end of most of his
published sermons something like: Come poor, lost, undone sinner, come just as
you are to Christ.
small in stature, his was one of the greatest orators to ever live. It is said
that his voice could be heard outdoors (where he usually preached) by
thousands. In 1742, he preached to a crowd of 30,000.
quality of his voice was very impressive. Benjamin Franklin (in his
autobiography) says this about Whitefields delivery:
hearing him often, I came to distinguish easily between sermons newly composd,
and those which he had often preachd in the course of his travels. His
delivery of the latter was so improvd by frequent repetitions that every
accent, every emphasis, every modulation of voice, was so perfectly well turnd
and well placd, that, without being interested in the subject, one could not
help being pleasd with the discourse; a pleasure of much the same kind with
that receivd from an excellent piece of musick. This is an advantage
itinerant preachers have over those who are stationary, as the latter can not
well improve their delivery of a sermon by so many rehearsals. [Emphasis
to Joseph Beaumont Wakeley, The Prince of Pulpit Orators: A Portraiture of
Rev. George Whitefield, M.A. (p. 226), David Garrick, the great 18th
century English actor commented about Whitefield:
Garrick was a great admirer of Whitefields eloquence, and
frequently attended his ministry. He heard him with great delight, and, like
Franklin, distinguished between his new and his old sermons, saying that his
eloquence advanced up to its fortieth repetition before it reached his full
height, and that Whitefield could make his audiences weep or tremble merely by
varying his pronunciation of the word Mesopotamia. Garrick once said, I
would give a hundred guineas if I could only say O! like Mr. Whitefield.[Emphasis added]
p. 276, Wakeley reproduces a letter, dated October 14, 1740, from Sarah
Pierpont, Jonathan Edwards wife, to her brother James, which includes this
is truly a remarkable man, and during his visit has, I think, verified all that
we have heard of him. He makes less of the doctrines than our American
preachers generally do, and aims more at affecting the heart. He is a
born orator. You have already heard of his deep-toned, yet clear and
melodious voice. O it is perfect music to listen to that alone. And he
speaks so easily, without any apparent effort. You remember that David Hume
thought it was worth going twenty miles to hear him speak ... it is
truly wonderful to see what a spell this preacher often casts over an audience
by proclaiming the simplest truths of the Bible. I have seen upward of a
thousand people hang on his words with breathless silence, broken only by an
occasional half-suppressed sob.
Franklins autobiography goes on to give us more insight to Whitefield and his
influence on the development of the American character.
1739 arrived among us from Ireland the Reverend Mr. Whitefield, who had made
himself remarkable there as an itinerant preacher. He was at first permitted to
preach in some of our churches; but the clergy, taking a dislike to him, soon
refusd him their pulpits, and he was obligd to preach in the fields. The
multitudes of all sects and denominations that attended his sermons were
enormous, and it was matter of speculation to me, who was one of the number, to
observe the extraordinary influence of his oratory on his hearers, and how much
they admird and respected him, notwithstanding his common abuse of them, by
assuring them that they were naturally half beasts and half devils. It was
wonderful to see the change soon made in the manners of our inhabitants. From
being thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seemd as if all the world
were growing religious, so that one could not walk thro the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung in different
families of every street. [Emphasis added]
Whitefield ...went preaching all the
way thro the colonies to Georgia. The settlement of that province had lately
been begun, but, instead of being made with hardy, industrious husbandmen,
accustomed to labor ... it was with families of broken shop-keepers and other
insolvent debtors, many of indolent and idle habits, taken out of the jails,
who, being set down in the woods ... perished in numbers, leaving many helpless
children unprovided for. The sight of their miserable situation inspird the
benevolent heart of Mr. Whitefield with the idea of building an Orphan House
there ... Returning northward, he preachd up this charity, and made large
collections, for his eloquence had a wonderful power over the hearts and
purses of his hearers, of which I myself was an instance.[Emphasis added]
as Georgia was then destitute of materials and workmen, and it was proposed to
send them from Philadelphia ... I thought it would have been better to have
built the house here, and brought the children to it. This I advisd; but he
was resolute in his first project, rejected my counsel, and I therefore refusd
to contribute. I happened soon after to attend one of his sermons, in the course
of which I perceived he intended to finish with a collection, and I silently
resolved he should get nothing from me, I had in my pocket a handful of copper
money, three or four silver dollars, and five pistoles in gold. As he
proceeded I began to soften, and concluded to give the coppers. Another stroke
of his oratory made me ashamd of that, and determind me to give the silver;
and he finishd so admirably, that I emptyd my pocket wholly into the
collectors dish, gold and all. ... there was also one of our club, who,
being of my sentiments respecting the building in Georgia, and suspecting a
collection might be intended, had ... emptied his pockets before he came ...
Towards the conclusion of the discourse, however, he felt a strong desire to
give, and applyd to a neighbour ... to borrow some money for the purpose.[Emphasis added]
of Mr. Whitefields enemies affected to suppose that he would apply these
collections to his own private emolument; but I who was intimately acquainted
with him (being employed in printing his Sermons and Journals, etc.), never had
the least suspicion of his integrity, but am to this day decidedly of opinion
that he was in all his conduct a perfectly honest man, and methinks my
testimony in his favour ought to have the more weight ...
George Whitefield was worthy of Benjamin Franklins praise. He would travel the
world to take the gospel even to the enslaved. In a time of sailing ships he
made the round trip across the Atlantic Ocean 13 times. He traveled on
horseback from New York City to Charleston, South Carolina; he was the first
man to make a trip that long in the Colonies.
In addition, he made 15 mission trips to Scotland, two to Ireland,
and one each to Bermuda, Gibraltar, and The Netherlands. He gave an estimated
18,000 sermons. Seventy-eight of his sermons are available in printed form.
his greatest achievement was the series of revivals that became known as the
Great Awakening of 1740.
died in the parsonage of Old South Presbyterian Church, Newburyport,
Massachusetts on September 30, 1770. At his request, he was buried under the
pulpit of that church. He did not live long enough to see the entire American Revolution;
but, building upon the hearth constructed by Jonathan Edwards, Whitefield
did live long enough to help build the fire and fan the flames.
First Great Awakening had a major impact on the success of The American
Revolution. It was the preaching of The Patriot Pastors, The Black Regiment,
that taught the Biblical principles of a Christian Federated Republic to the
list of these principles includes: that all men and women are created equal in
Gods sight; that all men and women can be saved; that each person may have a
personal relationship with God the Father through the completed work of Jesus
the Son; freedom of religion, not freedom from religion; Christian Capitalism;
that all men and women areendowed by
their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that the purpose of government
is to protect those God given rights; and, that government should be of
Christian people, by Christian people and for Christian people.
what was the single greatest basis for these concepts? It was that they
came from the laws of Nature and Natures God. There is a legal definition
for the terminology of the laws of Nature. The Blackstone Commentary on
Law, the legal bible of the Founding Fathers, defines the term as: the
will of God for his creation as revealed to us in the Holy Scriptures. It was
from this definition that the Founding Fathers claimed the legal authority to
found what became The United States of America. It was the Bible that was the
foundation of The United States.
quotes from Founding Fathers to support this statement are too many to
reproduce here, but a partial list would include:
George Washingtons Farewell Address: 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
And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be
maintained without religion.
Webster wrote in the preface of his 1828 Dictionary: In my view, the
Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which
all children, under a free government ought to be instructed. ... No truth
is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the
basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free
Webster added in the first public school history book entitled Republican
Government: It is the sincere desire of the writer that our citizens
should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican
principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament or the Christian
Founding Fathers clearly understood that, in order for American government to work,
the people had to have internal Christian self-government. It had been
inculcated into them by The Black Regiment that the Bible was not only to be
known as the cornerstone of the Church, but also the cornerstone of the
classroom and the government.
Lawyer, Signer of the Declaration, Vice President and President, John Adams,
wrote that the American legal system was to be: A government of laws, and not
of men. He knew that Laws come from The Law Giver and he would
completely disagree with the current legal system based upon Case Law (the mere
opinions of men and women and not based upon a universal God-entered opinion).
his Message from John Adams to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third
Division of the Militia of Massacusetts, October 11, 1798; John Adams said:
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly
inadequate to the government of any other. He and they knew that he meant the
Black Regiment was composed primarily of clergy from the Presbyterian,
Congregationalist and Baptist denominations.
were some of the members of The Black Regiment?
Rev. Samuel Davies (1723 -1761) would become the fourth President of Princeton
University (then the College of New Jersey). He was the first non-Anglican minister licensed to preach in Virginia. He
promoted the ideas of religious and civil liberties.He enthusiastically beseeched the Virginians
to do their part "to secure the inestimable blessings of liberty." He
would gain the reputation as the best military recruiter in Virginia. Davies
was the template orator for Patrick Henry. He became the first American-born
1760, the Royal Governor of Massachusetts warned the King of England that once
the ministers of the colonies joined in the resistance against the power of
Great Britain there would be no stopping the separatist movement. "The
spirit of their religion ... will, like Moses' serpent, devour every other
passion and affection."
Patriot Pastors were so influential in their pulpits that Britains Prime
Minister Horace Walpole said in Parliament, "Cousin America has run off
with a Presbyterian parson."
Patriot Pastors were responsible for calling men to arms in the American
Revolution. Pastors often led members of their congregation into actual battle.
the night of April 18, 1775, Paul Revere rode to Lexington to warn Samuel Adams
and John Hancock that British soldiers were coming to arrest them. That night,
Adams and Hancock were staying at the home of the Pastor Jonas Clark.
When they asked him if the men of his congregation would fight, Pastor Clark
replied: I have trained them for this very hour; they would fight, and, if
need be, die, too, under the shadow of the house of God." At Lexington
Green, on April 19, 1775, eight of his men did die in sight of their church
building. Upon seeing the dead bodies of his parishioners Pastor Clark wrote:
From this day, will be dated the liberty of the world."
was said of Pastor Clark that: He was eminently a man produced by the times, -
more than equal to them; rather a guide and leader. All his previous life, his
preaching, his intercourse and conversation among his people had been but a
continued and most effectual preparation for the noble stand taken by his
people on the morning of the 19th of April, 1775. ... They were only carrying
the preaching of many previous years into practice.
Clark took a firm stand for the liberties of the colonies. There was no one
more ready to perform the duties and endure the sacrifices of a patriot, than
the minister of Lexington.
The Presbyterian minister Rev. James Caldwell (April 1734
November 24, 1781) was a Black Regiment member. He became known as The
Fighting Parson of the Revolution. He graduated from the College of New
Jersey (later Princeton University) in 1759. He became pastor of the
Presbyterian Church in Elizabethtown, New Jersey. His church and his house were
burned to the ground in 1780 by British forces. He served as an Army Chaplain,
then as commissioner of the New Jersey militia.
will be forever remembered for an incident that occurred during the Battle of
Springfield, New Jersey in June, 1780, the last major engagement in the
and Hessian forces were attempting to attack General George Washingtons army
at Morristown, New Jersey. Colonel Elias Dayton was commanding men of the New
Jersey militia men and Regular Army troops when
supplies ran low. Without gun wadding, muskets could not be fired. Rev.
Caldwell ran into the nearby Springfield Presbyterian Church, collected the
hymn books containing the hymns of Isaac Watts and ran to the troops waiting
outside. Tearing pages from the hymnals he gave the men the paper to use as gun
wadding and shouted Now, boys, giveem Watts! Giveem Watts!
(Givem what for!)
wife was killed by the British in 1780 and he died from wounds in 1781.
D.D. (September 1727 November 1780) graduated from Yale University in 1748.
He became pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Smithtown, Long Island. In 1756,
he became the first Professor of Divinity at Yale. When the British attacked
New Haven, Connecticut in 1779, Rev. Daggett picked up his rifle and went to
war. He was taken captive and died from wounds while a prisoner of the British
Congregational minister, Timothy Dwight (May 1752 January 1817), was
the eighth president of Yale College (17951817). He gained public attention in
1776 when he gave the Yale College Valedictory Address. In that address he
described Americans as having a unique national identity as a new people,
who have the same religion, the same manners, the same interests, the same
language, and the same essential forms and principles of civic government. In
1777, he was appointed by Congress as chaplain to the Connecticut Continental
Brigade of the Continental Army. He served with distinction.
valuable was the work of such men that General George Washington repeatedly
pleaded with the Continental Congress to provide him with more chaplains,
or he feared that the Lord would turn His back upon their noble cause.
Pastor of the Congregational Church of Dartmouth, the Rev. Samuel West
(1730-1807), was a Patriot Pastor. On May 29, 1776, a month before the Drafting
Committee of the Continental Congress (including Thomas Jefferson) began
preparing the Declaration of Independence, Rev. West preached an election
sermon that included the same references to a supreme judge, divine providence,
and every theistic phrase that would later be found in the Declaration. His
sermon was entitled An Election Sermon preached to the Council and House Of
Representatives of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The sermon was then published
by the Massachusetts Assembly and distributed throughout the Colony.
The entire sermon is 23 pages long and may be read at:
are excerpts from what Rev. West said:
them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates,
to be ready to every good work. Titus 3:1
having designed the human race for society, has made us dependent on one
another for happiness. He has so constituted us that it becomes both our duty
and interest to seek the public good; ... The Deity has also invested us
with moral powers and faculties, by which we are enabled to discern the
difference between right and wrong, truth and falsehood, good and evil; ... we
are the subjects of the divine law and government; that the Deity is our
supreme magistrate, who has written his law in our hearts, and will reward
or punish us according as we obey or disobey his commands. Had the human race
uniformly persevered in a state of moral rectitude, there would have been little
or no need of any other law besides that which is written in the heart, for
everyone in such a state would be a law unto himself. ... The slightest view of
the present state and condition of the human race is abundantly sufficient to
convince any person of common sense and common honesty that civil government is
absolutely necessary for the peace and safety of mankind; and, consequently,
that all good magistrates, while they faithfully discharge the trust reposed in
them, ought to be religiously and conscientiously obeyed. An enemy to good
government is an enemy not only to his country, but to all mankind; ...
has Christianity been deficient in this capital point. We find our blessed
Saviour directing the Jews to render to Caesar the things that were Caesars;
and the apostles and first preachers of the gospel not only exhibited a good
example of subjection to the magistrate, in all things that were just and
lawful, but they have also, in several places in the New Testament, strongly
enjoined upon Christians the duty of submission to that government under which
Providence had placed them. ...
order, therefore, that we may form a right judgment of the duty enjoined in our
text, I shall consider the nature and design of civil government, and shall
show that the same principles which oblige us to submit to government do
equally oblige us to resist tyranny; or that tyranny and magistracy are so
opposed to each other that where the one begins the other ends.[Emphasis added]
law of nature
gives men no right to do anything that is immoral, or contrary to the will of
God, and injurious to their fellow-creatures; for a state of nature is properly
a state of law and government, even a government founded upon the unchangeable
nature of the Deity, ... The doctrine of nonresistance and unlimited passive
obedience to the worst of tyrants could never have found credit among mankind
had the voice of reason been hearkened to for a guide, because such a
doctrine would immediately have been discerned to be contrary to natural law.
... This plainly shows that the highest state of liberty subjects
us to the law of nature and the government of God. ...
law of nature is a perfect standard and measure of action for beings ... that
the end and design of civil government cannot be to deprive men of their
liberty or take away their freedom; but, on the contrary, the true design of
civil government is to protect men in the enjoyment of liberty.
hence it follows that tyranny and arbitrary power are utterly inconsistent with
and subversive of the very end and design of civil government, and directly
contrary to natural law, which is the true foundation of civil government
and all politic law. ... As magistrates have no authority but what they derive
from the people, whenever they act contrary to the public good, and pursue
measures destructive of the peace and safety of the community, they forfeit
their right to govern the people. ...
only difficulty remaining is to determine when a people may claim a right of
forming themselves into a body politic, and assume the powers of legislation.
In order to determine this point, we are to remember that all men being by
nature equal, all the members of a community have a natural right to assemble
themselves together, and act and vote for such regulations as they judge are
necessary for the good of the whole. ... hence comes the necessity of
appointing delegates to represent the people in a general assembly. And this
ought to be looked upon as a sacred and inalienable right, of which a people
cannot justly divest themselves, and which no human authority can in equity
ever take from them, ...
representation and legislation are inseparably connected, it follows, that when
great numbers have emigrated into a foreign land, and are so far removed from
the parent state that they neither are or can be properly represented by the
government from which they have emigrated, that then nature itself points
out the necessity of their assuming to themselves the powers of legislation;
and they have a right to consider themselves as a separate state from the
other, and, as such, to form themselves into a body politic.
as nothing tends like religion and the fear of God to make men good members of
it is the duty of magistrates to become the patrons
and promoters of religionand piety, and to make suitable laws
for the maintaining public worship, and decently supporting the teachers of
religion. ... let every one be allowed to attend worship in his own society, or
in that way that he judges most agreeable to the will of God, ...
for the civil authority to pretend to establish particular modes of faith and
forms of worship, and to punish all that deviate from the standard which our
superiors have set up, is attended with the most pernicious consequences to
society. It cramps all free and rational inquiry, fills the world with
hypocrites and superstition bigots ... And I cannot but look upon it as a
peculiar blessing of Heaven that we live in a land where everyone can freely
deliver his sentiments upon religious subjects, and have the privilege of
worshipping God according to the dictates of his own conscience without any molestation
or disturbance, a privilege which I hope we shall ever keep up and strenuously
not everyone know that the King and Parliament have assumed the right to tax us
without our consent? ... But, as Divine Providence has placed us at so great a
distance from Great Britain that we neither are nor can be properly
represented in the British Parliament, it is a plain proof that the Deity
designed that we should have the powers of legislation and taxation among
ourselves; for can any suppose it to be reasonable that a set of men that are
perfect strangers to us should have the uncontrollable right to lay the most
heavy and grievous burdens upon us that they please, ... But if they have the
right to take our property from us without our consent, we must be wholly at
their mercy for our food and raiment, and we know by sad experience that their
tender mercies are cruel.
because we were not willing to submit to such an unrighteous and cruel decree,
though we modestly complained and humbly petitioned for a redress of our
grievances, instead of hearing our complaints, and granting our requests,
they have gone on to add iniquity to transgression, by making several cruel and
unrighteous acts. ... they have proceeded to commence open hostilities against
us, and have endeavored to destroy us by fire and sword. Our towns they have
burnt, our brethren they have slain, our vessels they have taken, and our goods
they have spoiled. ...
my brethren, is done by men who call themselves Christians, against their
Christian brethren, against men who till
now gloried in the name of Englishmen, and who were ever ready to spend their
lives and fortunes in the defense of British rights. ...
is an indispensable duty, my brethren, which we owe to God and our country, to
rouse up and bestir ourselves, and, being animated with a noble zeal for the
sacred cause of liberty, to defend our lives and fortunes, even to the
shedding the last drop of blood. ...
we may observe that the British Parliament has virtually declared us an
independent state by authorizing their ships of war to seize all American
property, wherever they can find it, without making any distinction between the
friends of administration and those that have appeared in opposition to the
acts of Parliament. This is making us a distinct nation from themselves.
They can have no right any longer to style us rebels; for rebellion implies a
particular faction risen up in opposition to lawful authority ...
according to our text [Titus 3:1], it is part of the work and business of a
gospel minister to teach his hearers the duty they owe to magistrates. Let
us, then, endeavor to explain the nature of their duty faithfully, and show
them the difference between liberty and licentiousness; and, while we are
animating them to oppose tyranny and arbitrary power, let us inculcate upon
them the duty of yielding due obedience to lawful authority. In order to the
right and faithful discharge of this part of our ministry, it is necessary
that we should thoroughly study the law of nature, the rights of mankind,
and the reciprocal duties of governors and governed. ...
conclude: While we are fighting for liberty, and striving against tyranny,
let us remember to fight the good fight of faith, and earnestly seek to be
delivered from that bondage of corruption which we are brought into by sin, and
that we may be made partakers of the glorious liberty of the sons and children
of God: which may the Father of Mercies grant us all, through Jesus Christ. AMEN.[Emphasis added]
copy of Rev. Wests Election Sermon was sent to King George III, and in
response the King put a bounty on his head.
Based upon the teachings and preachings of men like Rev. West and
other members of the Black Regiment, John Adams would say:
are not exciting rebellion. Opposition, nay, open, avowed resistance by arms against
usurpation and lawless violence, is not rebellion by the law of God or the land. And, Resistance to lawful
authority makes rebellion.[Emphasis added]
one Colony had violated their Charter with the King of England. On the
contrary, it was the King of England who had violated his charters with the
American Colonies. The King and the Parliament had passed laws and taxes
specific to the American Colonies without legal authority to do so. The
question became: Lex Rex or Rex Lex? That is, do we obey the law
of God first, or the law of the king first?
influence of the Patriot Pastors ran deep within the American Colonial psyche. Samuel Adams, the
second cousin of John Adams, is referred to as The Father of the American Revolution.
In an article entitled The Rights of the Colonist as Christians,
published November 20, 1772, he wrote:
right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, the rights of the Colonists as
Christians may best be understood by reading and carefully studying the
institutions of The Great Law Giver and the Head of the Christian Church, which
are to be found clearly written and promulgated in the New Testament.[Emphasis added]
de Tocqueville, a French statesman, historian and social scientist, traveled
the United States for nine months in 1831. From his experiences and
observations he would write his two volumes of Democracy in America. He
in America ... must be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions
of that country; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates
the use of it
... This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or a party, but it
belongs to the whole nation.
sects that exist in the United States are innumerable. They all differ in
respect to the worship which is due to the Creator; but they all agree in
respect to the duties which are due from man to man. Each sect adores the
Deity in its own peculiar manner, but all sects preach the same moral law in
the name of God ... Moreover, all the sects of the United States are
comprised within the great unity of Christianity, and Christian morality is
everywhere the same.
is no country in the whole world where the Christian religion retains a greater
influence than in America ... and nothing better demonstrates how useful it is
to man, since the country where it now has the widest sway is both the most
enlightened and the freest.
The Patriot Pastors and those men and women who heard them and
believed what they taught were truly The Greatest Generation of American
citizens who have ever lived. They believed in God, the Creator of Heaven and
Earth, and that His laws were to govern human activity. Their influence would
go on to guide the future generations of the United States.
Webster, lawyer, U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, U.S. Secretary of State and
there is anything in my thoughts of style to commend, the credit is due to
my parents for instilling in me an early love of the Scriptures. If we abide by
the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to
prosper; but if we and our posterity neglect its instructions and authority no
man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all of our
glory in profound obscurity.[Emphasis added]
American educator, William Holmes McGuffey, is called The Schoolmaster of the
Nation. He published the first edition of the McGuffeys Reader in
1836. His Reader would be influential in American education until 1920,
with 125 million copies having been printed. In the foreword he wrote:
Ten Commandments and the teachings of Jesus are not only basic but plenary.
would further observe that:
Christian religion is the religion of our country. From it are derived our
notions on the character of God, on the great moral Governor of the universe.
On its doctrines are founded the peculiarities of our free institutions. From
no source has the author drawn more conspicuously than from the sacred
Scriptures. From all these extracts from the Bible I make no apology.[Emphasis added]
William McKinley, in his First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1897, stated:
faith teaches that there is no safer reliance than upon the God of our fathers,
who has so singularly favored the American people in every national trial, and
who will not forsake us so long as we obey His commandments and walk humbly in
it is the beliefs of The Greatest Generation, the Founding Fathers, the
Patriot Pastors, and the men and women whom they influenced that would in turn condition the thoughts and beliefs of those who fought
World War II and endeavored to bring peace and representative government to the
Harry S. Truman, on February 15, 1950, addressed the Attorney Generals
Conference on Law Enforcement Problems and said:
fundamental basis of this nations laws was given to Moses on the Mount. The
fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get from
Exodus and Saint Matthew, from Isaiah and Saint Paul.[Emphasis added]
1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower said:
purpose of a devout and united people was set forth in the pages of The Bible
(1) to live in freedom, (2) to work in a prosperous land and (3) to obey the
commandments of God This Biblical story of the Promised land inspired the
founders of America. It continues to inspire us.
the message preached to the Founding Fathers, which gave us The Greatest
Generation, was not lost from view by those of a common background and
culture. In Human Events, February 5, 1996, Margaret Thatcher said:
Decalogue [Ten Commandments] are addressed to each and every person. This is
the origin of our common humanity and of the sanctity of the individual. Each
one has a duty to try to carry out those commandments. You dont get that in
any other political creed ... It is personal liberty with personal
responsibility. Responsibility to your parents, to your children, to your
God. This really binds us together in a way that nothing else does. If you
accept freedom, youve got to have principles about the responsibility. You
cant do this without a biblical foundation. Your Founding Fathers came over
with that. They came over with the doctrines of the New Testament as well as
the Old. They looked after one another, not only as a matter of necessity,
but as a matter of duty to their God. There is no other country in the world which
started that way.
Noah Webster said it best. In the preface to his 1828 Dictionary he wrote:
my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first
things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed.
... No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must
be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of
a free people.