The following represents some brief examples of how from the very beginning the United States embraced Christianity in its culture AND its government. It is clear that the framers of the constitution as well as those who influenced them had a profound trust for the God of the Bible. Tragically, our leaders today have been persuaded to no longer trust God or His word.
The First Charter of Virginia
(Granted by King James I, on April 10, 1606)
We, greatly commending, and graciously accepting of, their Desires for the Furtherance of so noble a Work, which may, by the Providence of Almighty God, hereafter tend to the Glory of his Divine Majesty, in propagating of Christian Religion to such People, as yet live in Darkness and miserable Ignorance of the true Knowledge and Worship of God… Instructions for the Virginia Colony (1606). Lastly and chiefly the way to prosper and achieve good success is to make yourselves all of one mind for the good of your country and your own, and to serve and fear God the Giver of all Goodness, for every plantation which our Heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted out.
The Mayflower Compact
(Authored by William Bradford) 1620
“Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine our selves together…”
William Bradford also wrote that they [the Pilgrims] were seeking: 1) "a better, and easier place of living”; and that “the children of the group were being drawn away by evil examples into extravagance and dangerous courses [in Holland]“ 2) “The great hope, and for the propagating and advancing the gospel of the kingdom of Christ in those remote parts of the world"
"To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. . . . Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all blessings which flow from them, must fall with them."
John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg
In a sermon delivered to his Virginia congregation on Jan. 21, 1776, he preached from Ecclesiastes 3. Arriving at verse 8, which declares that there is a time of war and a time of peace, Muhlenberg noted that this surely was not the time of peace; this was the time of war. Concluding with a prayer, and while standing in full view of the congregation, he removed his clerical robes to reveal that beneath them he was wearing the uniform of an officer in the Continental army! He marched to the back of the church; ordered the drum to beat for recruits and over three hundred men joined him, becoming the Eighth Virginia Brigade. John Peter Muhlenberg finished the Revolution as a Major-General, having been at Valley Forge and having participated in the battles of Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, Stonypoint, and Yorktown.
“ It has been the error of the schools to teach astronomy, and all the other sciences, and subjects of natural philosophy, as accomplishments only; whereas they should be taught theologically, or with reference to the Being who is the author of them: for all the principles of science are of divine origin. Man cannot make, or invent, or contrive principles: he can only discover them; and he ought to look through the discovery to the Author.”
“ The evil that has resulted from the error of the schools, in teaching natural philosophy as an accomplishment only, has been that of generating in the pupils a species of atheism. Instead of looking through the works of creation to the Creator himself, they stop short, and employ the knowledge they acquire to create doubts of his existence. They labour with studied ingenuity to ascribe every thing they behold to innate properties of matter, and jump over all the rest by saying, that matter is eternal.” “The Existence of God--1810”
“I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them…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 means of the Bible; for this Divine Book, above all others, constitutes the soul of republicanism.”
“By withholding the knowledge of [the Scriptures] from children, we deprive ourselves of the best means of awakening moral sensibility in their minds.” [Letter written (1790’s) in Defense of the Bible in all schools in America]
“Christianity is the only true and perfect religion.”
“If moral precepts alone could have reformed mankind, the mission of the Son of God into our world would have been unnecessary.”
"Let the children who are sent to those schools be taught to read and write and above all, let both sexes be carefully instructed in the principles and obligations of the Christian religion. This is the most essential part of education” Letters of Benjamin Rush, "To the citizens of Philadelphia: A Plan for Free Schools", March 28, 1787
Justice Joseph Story
“I verily believe Christianity necessary to the support of civil society. One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the Common Law. . . There never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying its foundations.” [Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States p. 593]
“Infidels and pagans were banished from the halls of justice as unworthy of credit.” [Life and letters of Joseph Story, Vol. II 1851, pp. 8-9.]
“At the time of the adoption of the constitution, and of the amendment to it, now under consideration [i.e., the First Amendment], the general, if not the universal sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the state, so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience, and the freedom of religious worship.”
[Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States p. 593]
“The duties of men are summarily comprised in the Ten Commandments, consisting of two tables; one comprehending the duties which we owe immediately to God-the other, the duties we owe to our fellow men.”
“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 people.” [Source: 1828, in the preface to his American Dictionary of the English Language]
“Let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers just men who will rule in the fear of God [Exodus 18:21]. . . . If the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted . . . If our government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws. [Noah Webster, The History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie and Peck, 1832), pp. 336-337, 49]
“All the miseries and 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.” [Noah Webster. History. p. 339]
“The Bible was America’s basic textbook in all fields.” [Noah Webster. Our Christian Heritage p.5]
“Education is useless without the Bible” [Noah Webster. Our Christian Heritage p.5 ]
Liberty Bell Inscription
The inscription cast onto the Liberty Bell in August 1752 is an excerpt from Leviticus 25:10
“And you shall make hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof; it shall be a jubilee”
United Srtates Seal
On July 4, 1776, Congress appointed Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams "to bring in a device for a seal for the United States of America." Franklin's proposal adapted the biblical story of the parting of the Red Sea. Jefferson first recommended the "Children of Israel in the Wilderness, led by a Cloud by Day, and a Pillar of Fire by night. . . ." He then embraced Franklin's proposal and rewrote it.
Jefferson's revision of Franklin's proposal was presented by the committee to Congress on August 20, 1776.
Another popular proposal to the Great Seal of the United States was:
"Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God"; with Pharoah's army drowning in the Red Sea
The three branches of the U.S. Government: Judicial, Legislative, Executive
At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, James Madison proposed the plan to divide the central government into three branches. He discovered this model of government from the Perfect Governor, as he read Isaiah 33:22; “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver,
the LORD is our king; He will save us.”
The constitution of Delaware (1776)
Article 22 of the constitution of Delawar required all officers, besides taking an oath of allegiance, to make and subscribe to the following declaration:
"I, [name], do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration."
New York Spectator. August 23, 1831
“ The court of common pleas of Chester county, [New York] rejected a witness who declared his disbelief in the existence of God. The presiding judge remarked that he had not before been aware that there was a man living who did not believe in the existence of God; that this belief constituted the sanction of all testimony in a court of justice: and that he knew of no cause in a Christian country where a witness had been permitted to testify without such belief.
New England Primer
Used in public and private schools from 1690 to 1900 second only to the Bible
Some of its contents: A song of praise to God Prayers in Jesus’ name, the famous Bible alphabet, and Shorter Catechism of faith in Christ.
The Liberty Tree Flag
The Liberty Tree Flag was adopted by the Massachusetts Council and became the original flag of the Sons of Liberty. The flag consists of a green tree on a white backdrop. Inscribed on it are the words “Appeal to God.”
The Library of Congress
Numerous passages from the Bible can be seen on the walls of the library including:
“He hath showd thee, O man, what is good; and what doeth the Lord require of thee, but to do justlyand love mercy and walk humbly with thy God.” (Micah 6:8)
“The light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.” (John 1:5)
On the wall of the lawmakers library is the following inscription:
“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows his handiwork.” (Psalm 9:1)
The Articles of Confederation
The Articles of Confederation constituted the government in America for the period between the end of the Revolutionary War and the writing of the Constitution. They contain the following words:
“And whereas it has pleased the Great Governor of the world to incline the hearts of the Legislatures we respectively represent in Congress, to apporve of, and to authorize us to ratify the said articles of confederation and perpetual union.”
In God We Trust