Signer of the Constitution
[P]ublic utility pleads most forcibly for the general distribution of the Holy Scriptures. The doctrine they preach, the obligations they impose, the punishment they threaten, the rewards they promise, the stamp and image of divinity they bear, which produces a conviction of their truths, can alone secure to society, order and peace, and to our courts of justice and constitutions of government, purity, stability and usefulness. In vain, without the Bible, we increase penal laws and draw entrenchments around our institutions. Bibles are strong entrenchments. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses, and at the same time enjoy quiet conscience.
(Source: Bernard C. Steiner, One Hundred and Ten Years of Bible Society Work in Maryland, 1810-1920 (Maryland Bible Society, 1921), p. 14.)
Patriot and “Father of American Geography”
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.
(Source: Jedidiah Morse, A Sermon, Exhibiting the Present Dangers and Consequent Duties of the Citizens of the United States of America(Hartford: Hudson and Goodwin, 1799), p. 9.)
Founder of Pennsylvania
[I]t is impossible that any people of government should ever prosper, where men render not unto God, that which is God’s, as well as to Caesar, that which is Caesar’s.
(Source: Fundamental Constitutions of Pennsylvania, 1682. Written by William Penn, founder of the colony of Pennsylvania.)
Pennsylvania Supreme Court
No free government now exists in the world, unless where Christianity is acknowledged, and is the religion of the country.
(Source: Pennsylvania Supreme Court, 1824. Updegraph v.Commonwealth; 11 Serg. & R. 393, 406 (Sup.Ct. Penn. 1824).)
Signer of the Declaration of Independence
The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.
(Source: Benjamin Rush, Essays, Literary, Moral and Philosophical(Philadelphia: Thomas and William Bradford, 1806), p. 8.)
By renouncing the Bible, philosophers swing from their moorings upon all moral subjects. . . . It is the only correct map of the human heart that ever has been published. . . . All systems of religion, morals, and government not founded upon it [the Bible] must perish, and how consoling the thought, it will not only survive the wreck of these systems but the world itself. “The Gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” [Matthew 1:18]
(Source: Benjamin Rush, Letters of Benjamin Rush, L. H. Butterfield, editor (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1951), p. 936, to John Adams, January 23, 1807.)
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