Quotes

Less Punishment, More Prevention

“In contemplating the political institutions of the United States, I lament, that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes, and take so little pains to prevent them. We profess to be republicans, and yet 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, favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws, and all those sober and frugal virtues, which constitute the soul of republicanism.” – Dr. Benjamin Rush, “A Defense of the use of the Bible as a school book. Addressed to the Rev. Jeremy Belknap of Boston”

Benjamin Rush Cigar Box Label
Benjamin Rush Cigar Box Label

Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was also a member of the Sons of Liberty, considered by John Adams as top 3 most influential founding fathers, served as Surgeon General for the Continental Army, member of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, known as the Father of American Psychiatry, Father of American Medicine, Father of Public Schools Under the Constitution, founding member of America’s first Bible Society, and helped begin the American Sunday School movement.

Advice to the Young

“When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, 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. The preservation of a republican government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty ; if the citizens neglect their duty, and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good, so much as for selfish or local purposes ; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws ; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men ; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded. If a republican 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. Intriguing men can never be safely trusted.” – Noah Webster, History of the United States

From Bondage to Bondage Once More

“Paradoxically enough, the release of initiative and enterprise made possible by popular self-government ultimately generates disintegrating forces from within. Again and again after freedom has brought opportunity and some degree of plenty, the competent become selfish, luxury-loving and complacent, the incompetent and the unfortunate grow envious and covetous, and all three groups turn aside from the hard road of freedom to worship the Golden Calf of economic security.

The historical cycle seems to be:
From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to selfishness;
From selfishness to apathy;
From apathy to dependency;
and From dependency back to bondage once more.

At the stage between apathy and dependency, men always turn in fear to economic and political panaceas. New conditions, it is claimed, require new remedies. Under such circumstances, the competent citizen is certainly not a fool if he insists upon using the compass of history when forced to sail uncharted seas. Usually so-called new remedies are not new at all. Compulsory planned economy, for example, was tried by the Chinese some three millenniums ago, and by the Romans in the early centuries of the Christian era. It was applied in Germany, Italy and Russia long before the present war broke out. Yet it is being seriously advocated today as a solution of our economic problems in the United States. Its proponents confidently assert that government can successfully plan and control all major business activity in the nation, and still not interfere with our political freedom and our hard-won civil and religious liberties. The lessons of history all point in exactly the reverse direction.” – Henning W. Prentis, March 18, 1943, Industrial Management in a Republic

Responsibility of the Pulpit

“We are set for the defense of the blessed Gospel and for the vindication of God’s holy law. I pray you let us probe the consciences of our hearers, let us thunder forth the law and Gospel of God until our voices reach the capital of this nation, through our representatives in Congress…76

“If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it.”

Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.” – Charles G. Finney, December 4 1873

Standing up for God

Ronald Reagan“Above all, let us remember the mountain of strength that offers the greatest hope and inspiration for all. I believe with all my heart that standing up for America means standing up for the God who has so blessed our land. We need God’s help to guide our nation through stormy seas. But we can’t expect Him to protect America in a crisis if we just leave Him over on the shelf in our day-to-day living. There’s a lovely old hymn which says: When morning lights the eastern skies, O Lord Thy mercy show, on Thee alone our hope relies, let us Thy kindness know.

Trusting in Him, believing in each other, working together, we will rebuild America — the land of our dreams and mankind’s last great hope.”

– Ronald Reagan, November 16, 1982, Remarks at the Annual Convention of the United States League of Savings Associations in New Orleans, Louisiana

 

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Chief Dangers

william-booth“I am of the opinion that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and heaven without hell.”

General William Booth, founder of The Salvation Army – originally published in The Christian Budget (a British publication) in response to the question “What is the chief danger, social or political, confronting the new century?”

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Results of a Divine Grace

“Our government rests upon religion. It is from that source thatcalvin-coolidge-04 we derive our reverence for truth and justice, for equality and liberty, and for the rights of mankind. Unless the people believe in these principles they cannot believe in our government. There are only two main theories of government in the world. One rests on righteousness, the other rests on force. One appeals to reason, the other appeals to the sword. One is exemplified in a republic, the other is represented by a despotism. The history of government on this earth has been almost entirely a history of the rule of force held in the hands of a few. Under our constitution, America committed itself to the practical application of the rule of reason, with the power held in the hands of the people.
The government of a country never gets ahead of the religion of a country. There is no way by which we can substitute the authority of law for the virtue of man. Of course we can help to restrain the vicious and furnish a fair degree of security and protection by legislation and police control, but the real reforms which society in these days is seeking will come as a result of our religious convictions, or they will not come at all. Peace, justice, humanity, charity; these cannot be legislated into being. They are the result of a Divine Grace.
On the foundation of a religious civilization…, our country has enjoyed greater blessing of liberty and prosperity than was ever before the lot of man… We cannot depend on the government to do the work of religion. We cannot escape a personal responsibility for our own conduct. We cannot regard those as wise or safe counselors in public affairs who deny these principles and seek to support the theory that society can succeed when the individual fails.”
Calvin Coolidge: Address at the Unveiling of the Equestrian Statue of Bishop Francis Asbury, Washington, DC
October 15, 1924

One of a Thousand

SamAdams

“I should advise persisting in our struggle for Liberty, though it were revealed from Heaven that nine hundred and ninety-nine were to perish, and only one of a thousand were to survive and retain his Liberty! One such freeman must possess more virtue, and enjoy more happiness than a thousand slaves; and let him propagate his like, and transmit to them what he hath so nobly preserved.” – Samuel Adams

Christmas: State of Mind

christmas-message-1927“To the American People: Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. If we think on these things, there will be born in us a Savior and over us will shine a star sending its gleam of hope to the world.” – Calvin Coolidge Presidential message, December 25, 1927

Christmas 1923 was the first Christmas that the White House displayed a National Community Christmas Tree. President Coolidge was also given a button that turned on the 2,500 green, red and white electric lights.

tree-1923