America and Christianity — Part 6
So far in this series, we have learned the beliefs of many of the Founders that we are familiar with and some that many of you may never have heard of. I want to talk about George Washington. He is the most famous of the Founders yet the revisionist historians have made every attempt to make him look bad. They have cut him down because he was a slave owner but they have never stated that he never bought one, they were all given to him and he never sold one. Twice he almost went broke trying to keep them together as families and in the Common Wealth of Virginia in his day you could not free a slave. The revisionist historians have stated that he was a deist and not a religious man at all and there is no record of him ever attending a church. All this is 100% wrong concerning Washington and his own words will vindicate him.
George Washington – Surveyor, Judge, Member of the Continental Congress, Commander and Chief of the Continental Army, President of the Constitutional Convention, First President of the United States and ‘Father of his Country’. When the Delaware Indian Chiefs brought some of their youth to Washington to be educated in the American schools Washington told the Chiefs: “You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are.” 1
Notice that he stated ‘above all, the religion of Jesus Christ’. If he was the irreligious person that the revisionist historians say he was he would not even bring the subject of Jesus Christ up.
To his soldiers when he was Commander and Chief of the Continental Army he had requirements of his troops. They were to be good soldiers, good citizens and specifically good Christians: “While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.” 2
“The blessing and protection of Heaven are at all times necessary but especially so in times of public distress and danger. The General hopes and trusts that every officer and man will endeavor to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier, defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country” 3
In his last address to the Legislature of the United States, he again extolled the Christian faith: “I now make it my earnest prayer that God would… most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of the mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion.” 4
A person who is a deist would never pray because his belief is that there is a higher being, but he never intervenes in the affairs of man. Washington was always declaring how Providence had protected his army, himself, the nation and directed the drive for independence from Britain. These are not statements of a deist but of one whose strong foundations of Christianity are evident in not just his words but his actions as well.
Noah Webster – Revolutionary soldier, Judge, Legislator, Educator and called the ‘Schoolmaster to America’.
Noah believed that there was only one source for our civil liberties that formed our Constitution, Christianity. “[T]he religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and His apostles… This is genuine Christianity and to this we owe our free constitutions of government.” 5
He also believed that the Christian principles should be the basis of our laws. “The moral principles and precepts found in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws.” 6
He believed that man’s abandonment of the Word of God was the cause of all the troubles in the world. “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.” 7
As ‘Shoolmaster to America’ he believed and taught scripture in schools and wrote the texts that all schools used that involved teaching the Bible in public schools. “[O]ur citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament, or the Christian religion.” 8
[T]he 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 than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.9
He encouraged the use of the Bible as the source for correcting all that drives mankind to do evil. “The Bible is the chief moral cause of all that is good and the best corrector of all that is evil in human society – the best book for regulating the temporal concerns of men” 10
John Witherspoon – Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Ratifier of the U.S. Constitution, President of Princeton.
As a Presbyterian minister and a Founder, he put his full faith into Biblical principles. “[N]o man, whatever be his character or whatever be his hope, shall enter into rest unless he be reconciled to God though Jesus Christ.” 11
“[H]e is the best friend to American liberty who is the most sincere and active in promoting true and undefiled religion, and who sets himself with the greatest firmness to bear down profanity and immorality of every kind. Whoever is an avowed enemy of God, I scruple not to call him an enemy to his country.” 12
Otto Wolcott – Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Military General, Governor of Connecticut.
Otto was like the very high majority if not all of the Founders as I have found no evidence in my research that indicates even one Founder that was not a strong believer in Christ. This is a letter Otto wrote that expresses the views and beliefs of the Founders concerning the Christian religion.
“Through various scenes of life, God has sustained me. May He ever be my unfailing friend; may His love cherish my soul; may my heart with gratitude acknowledge His goodness; and may my desires be to Him and to the remembrance of His name….May we then turn our eyes to the bright objects above, and may God give us strength to travel the upward road. May the Divine Redeemer conduct us to that seat of bliss which He himself has prepared for His friends; at the approach of which every sorrow shall vanish from the human heart and endless scenes of glory open upon the enraptured eye. There our love to God and each other will grow stronger, and our pleasures never be dampened by the fear of future separation. How indifferent will it then be to us whether we obtained felicity by travailing the thorny or the agreeable paths of life – whether we arrived at our rest by passing through the envied and unfragrant road of greatness or sustained hardship and unmerited reproach in our journey. God’s Providence and support through the perilous perplexing labyrinths of human life will then forever excite our astonishment and love. May a happiness be granted to those I most tenderly love, which shall continue and increase through an endless existence. Your cares and burdens must be many and great, but put your trust in that God Who has hitherto supported you and me; He will not fail to take care of those who put their trust in Him….It is most evident that this land is under the protection of the Almighty, and that we shall be saved not by our wisdom nor by our might, but by the Lord of Host Who is wonderful in counsel and Almighty in all His operations.” 13
The case that our Founders were not Christians and that Christianity had little to nothing to do with how our Founders lived and developed our form of government has lost all credibility. All evidence points to their love of God and His precepts.
We have been learning in these columns that virtually all the Founders had a deep faith in Christianity and believed that the morals and principles of Christianity were the most valuable to all of mankind.
We see that today’s politicians could care less about what our Founders established. They are more concerned with personal power than nation prosperity failing to see that without national prosperity they will not have personal power. These days are very perilous times. As Thomas Paine stated in his book about the American Revolution, The American Crisis , “These are the times that try men’s souls.” Will we be conquered or will we rise up and re-establish what made America great. I believe in America and I believe that we will rise up.
- George Washington, The Writings of Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1932), Vol. XV, p. 55, from his speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs on May 12, 1779.
- . George Washington, The Writings of Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1932), Vol. XI, pp. 342-343, General Orders of May 2, 1778.
3. George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1932), Vol. 5, p. 245, July 9, 1776 Order.
4. George Washington, The Last Official Address of His Excellency George Washington to the Legislature of the United States (Hartford: Hudson and Goodwin, 1783), p. 12; see also The New Annual Register or General Repository of History, Politics, and Literature, for the Year 1783 (London: G. Robinson, 1784), p. 150.
- Noah Webster, History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie and Peck, 1832), p. 300, ¶ 578.
6. Noah Webster, History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1832), p. 339, “Advice to the Young,” ¶ 53.
7. Noah Webster, History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1832), p. 8, “Advice to the Young,” ¶ 53.
8. Noah Webster, History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie and Peck, 1832), p. 6.
9. Noah Webster, A Collection of Papers on Political, Literary, and Moral Subjects (New York: Webster and Clark, 1843), p. 291, from his “Reply to a Letter of David McClure on the Subject of the Proper Course of Study in the Girard College, Philadelphia. New Haven, October 25, 1836.”
10. Noah Webster, The Holy Bible . . . With Amendments of the Language (New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1833), p. v.
- John Witherspoon, The Works of John Witherspoon (Edinburgh: J. Ogle, 1815), Vol. V, p. 245, Sermon 15, “The Absolute Necessity of Salvation Through Christ,” January 2, 1758.
- John Witherspoon, The Works of the Reverend John Witherspoon (Philadelphia: William W. Woodward, 1802), Vol. III, p. 42.
- Letters of Delegates to Congress: January 1, 1776-May 15, 1776, Paul H. Smith, editor (Washington DC: Library of Congress, 1978), Vol. 3, pp. 502-503, Oliver Wolcott to Laura Wolcott on April 10, 1776.