IT’S THE FOURTH OF JULY!
There is much debate, even rewriting of history regarding the Christianity of our Founding Fathers. George Washington’s legacy has been under assault as revisionists attempt to hang the label “Deist” on him.
“George Washington’s Sacred Fire” by Peter A. Lillback with Jerry Newcombe is a brilliant and detailed refutation of that notion. With over 900 pages of text and totaling over 1100 pages with footnotes and sources, there can be little doubt of Washington’s Christianity. The authors have anecdote after anecdote to accompany discussions of the culture of those days to explain why Washington – and others of his day and faith – expressed themselves as they did. Washington was on God’s side, and, more importantly, God was on his.
I will not try to tell you that all Founding Fathers were practicing Christians, but almost to a man, they recognized the importance of Christian values and the worthiness of the Bible as a basis for governing and daily life.
I would encourage you to follow the link below and read for yourself what they had to say. In the meantime, a number of their comments are pasted in below for your review.
SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE; JUDGE; DIPLOMAT; ONE OF TWO SIGNERS OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS; SECOND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
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.1
Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company: I mean hell.2
The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity.3
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. . . . What a Eutopia – what a Paradise would this region be!4
I have examined all religions, and the result is that the Bible is the best book in the world.5
John Quincy Adams
SIXTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES; DIPLOMAT; SECRETARY OF STATE; U. S. SENATOR; U. S. REPRESENTATIVE; “OLD MAN ELOQUENT”; “HELL-HOUND OF ABOLITION”
My hopes of a future life are all founded upon the Gospel of Christ and I cannot cavil or quibble away [evade or object to]. . . . the whole tenor of His conduct by which He sometimes positively asserted and at others countenances [permits] His disciples in asserting that He was God.6
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].7
In the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior. The Declaration of Independence laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity.8
SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION; DIPLOMAT; PRINTER; SCIENTIST; SIGNER OF THE CONSTITUTION; GOVERNOR OF PENNSYLVANIA
As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and His religion as He left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see.29
The body of Benjamin Franklin, printer, like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out and stripped of its lettering and guilding, lies here, food for worms. Yet the work itself shall not be lost; for it will, as he believed, appear once more in a new and more beatiful edition, corrected and amended by the Author.30 (FRANKLIN’S EULOGY THAT HE WROTE FOR HIMSELF)
SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE; PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS; REVOLUTIONARY GENERAL; GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS
Sensible of the importance of Christian piety and virtue to the order and happiness of a state, I cannot but earnestly commend to you every measure for their support and encouragement.37
He called on the entire state to pray “that universal happiness may be established in the world [and] that all may bow to the scepter of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the whole earth be filled with His glory.”38
REVOLUTIONARY GENERAL; LEGISLATOR; “THE VOICE OF LIBERTY”; RATIFIER OF THE U. S. CONSTITUTION; GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA
Being a Christian… is a character which I prize far above all this world has or can boast.48
The Bible… is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed.49
Righteousness alone can exalt [America] as a nation…Whoever thou art, remember this; and in thy sphere practice virtue thyself, and encourage it in others.50
The great pillars of all government and of social life [are] virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone, that renders us invincible.51
This is all the inheritance I can give to my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed.52
SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE; DIPLOMAT; GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA; SECRETARY OF STATE; THIRD PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES</CENTER< A>
The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of man.63
The practice of morality being necessary for the well being of society, He [God] has taken care to impress its precepts so indelibly on our hearts that they shall not be effaced by the subtleties of our brain. We all agree in the obligation of the moral principles of Jesus and nowhere will they be found delivered in greater purity than in His discourses.64
I am a Christian in the only sense in which He wished anyone to be: sincerely attached to His doctrines in preference to all others.65
I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.66
(He obviously is not a true Christian who professes Jesus as his Lord and Savior, but merely as a fine example of how to live. Even so, Jefferson espouses Christianity as the model for a good life. Jeffrey H. King)
JUDGE; LAW PROFESSOR; “FATHER OF AMERICAN JURISPRUDENCE”
My children, I wish to talk to you. During my early and middle life I was, perhaps, rather skeptical with regard to some of the truths of Christianity. Not that I did not have the utmost respect for religion and always read my Bible, but the doctrine of the atonement was one I never could understand, and I felt inclined to consider as impossible to be received in the way Divines taught it. I believe I was rather inclined to Unitarianism; but of late years my views have altered. I believe in the doctrines of the prayer books as I understand them, and hope to be saved through the merits of Jesus Christ. . . . My object in telling you this is that if anything happens to me, you might know, and perhaps it would console you to remember, that on this point my mind is clear: I rest my hopes of salvation on the Lord Jesus Christ.69
MEMBER OF THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS; ATTORNEY GENERAL OF RHODE ISLAND; RATIFIER OF THE U. S. CONSTITUTION; FEDERAL JUDGE APPOINTED BY PRESIDENT GEORGE WASHINGTON
And may God grant that His grace may really affect your heart with suitable impressions of His goodness. Remember that God made you, that God keeps you alive and preserves you from all harm, and gives you all the powers and the capacity whereby you are able to read of Him and of Jesus Christ, your Savior and Redeemer, and to do every other needful business of life. And while you look around you and see the great privileges and advantages you have above what other children have (of learning to read and write, of being taught the meaning of the great truths of the Bible), you must remember not to be proud on that account but to bless God and be thankful and endeavor in your turn to assist others with the knowledge you may gain.74(to his daughter)
REVOLUTIONARY OFFICER; SIGNER OF THE CONSTITUTION; RATIFIER OF THE U. S. CONSTITUTION; SECRETARY OF WAR UNDER PRESIDENTS GEORGE WASHINGTON AND JOHN ADAMS
[P]ublic utility pleads most forcibly for the general distribution of the Holy Scriptures. Without the Bible, in vain do we increase penal laws and draw entrenchments around our institutions.77 (emphasis added)
Bibles are strong protections. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses and at the same time enjoy quiet conscience.78
I am half tempted to simply cut and paste the entire contents of this web site into this posting, but will leave it to you to visit the site yourself. More of the Founding Fathers were real Christian than not. Indeed, these writings indicate the decided majority were. God & Country!