Rabbi’s Reflections – Sunday, June 27, 2021

Shavuah Tov,

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)

Sun 27 Jun 2021 17th of Tamuz, 5781 Tzom Tamuz

Nu 25:10-26:4   Ez 8-9   Neh 6(Lk 12:35-59)Gal 5

Ex 32:11-14; 34:1-10

“In God We Trust” – Faith of Our Founding Fathers

by Dr. Raymond Finney

INTRODUCTION: On July 4, one week from today, our nation will celebrate Independence Day. On July 4, 1776, brave patriots signed the Declaration of Independence on pain of hanging for treason. This eloquent document spelled out to the British Crown, citizens of the American colonies, and the rest of the world why the ties between Great Britain and the American colonies should be severed.

America’s motto, adopted in 1956, is: “In God We Trust.” Although many (most?)  Americans today apparently do not trust God, our Founding Fathers were mostly devout Believers who truly trusted God. They were not the deists and atheists that today’s history revisionists would have us believe as they attempt to discredit America and our heritage.  Our founding fathers believed in the faith established through Moses, Abraham, Biblical prophets and Apostles, Yeshua HaMashiach, and others. They regarded the Holy Bible as the sacred Word of God. They understood the inextricable joining of the Holy Bible and the liberty promoted by America’s founding documents.

In today’s RR, I will quote from the writings of some of these men to show what they actually said, not what America’s detractors would have us believe they said. Notice in the actual words of America’s Founders the deep faith these men unashamedly proclaimed. How many of today’s politicians would publicly show such reverence toward God? Notice also the eloquence of speech of these men, most of whom did not “benefit” from our modern schools and universities. How many of today’s graduates of educational institutions can speak or write nearly as well?

I have omitted Thomas Jefferson from this list. He had a very unusual relationship with God. I leave it to the Divine Judge to determine the status of Jefferson’s soul.

ADAMS, JOHN, Declaration of Independence signer, second president:

● “I have examined all religions, and the result is that the Bible is the best book in the world.”

● “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.” 

● “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.”

● “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!” 

ADAMS, JOHN QUINCY, sixth president:

● “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].

● “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.”

ADAMS, SAMUEL, signer of Declaration of Independence, constitution ratifier: 

● “I…. [rely] upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins.”

● “The name of the Lord (says the Scripture) is a strong tower; thither the righteous flee and are safe [Proverbs 18:10]. Let us secure His favor and He will lead us through the journey of this life and at length receive us to a better.”

BEDFORD, GUNNING, Continental Congress member, Constitution signer: 

● “To the triune God– the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost– be ascribed all honor and dominion, forevermore– Amen.”

BOUDINOT, ELIAS, Congress president, Constitution framer:

● “For nearly half a century have I anxiously and critically studied that invaluable treasure [the Bible]; and I still scarcely ever take it up that I do not find something new– that I do not receive some valuable addition to my stock of knowledge or perceive some instructive fact never observed before. In short, were you to ask me to recommend the most valuable book in the world, I should fix on the Bible as the most instructive both to the wise and ignorant. Were you to ask me for one affording the most rational and pleasing entertainment to the inquiring mind, I should repeat, it is the Bible; and should you renew the inquiry for the best philosophy or the most interesting history, I should still urge you to look into your Bible. I would make it, in short, the Alpha and Omega of knowledge.”

CARROLL, CHARLES, Declaration of Independence signer, Bill of Rights framer:

● “Grateful to Almighty God for the blessings which, through Jesus Christ Our Lord, He had conferred on my beloved country in her emancipation and on myself in permitting me, under circumstances of mercy, to live to the age of 89 years, and to survive the fiftieth year of independence, adopted by Congress on the 4th of July 1776, which I originally subscribed on the 2d day of August of the same year and of which I am now the last surviving signer.”

● “I, Charles Carroll… give and bequeath my soul to God who gave it, my body to the earth, hoping that through and by the merits, sufferings, and mediation of my only Savior and Jesus Christ, I may be admitted into the Kingdom prepared by God for those who love, fear and truly serve Him.”

DICKINSON, JOHN, signer of the Constitution:

● “Rendering thanks to my Creator for my existence and station among His works, for my birth in a country enlightened by the Gospel and enjoying freedom, and for all His other kindnesses, to Him I resign myself, humbly confiding in His goodness and in His mercy through Jesus Christ for the events of eternity.”

DUVALL, GABRIEL, Constitutional Convention delegate, U.S. Supreme Court justice: 

● “I resign my soul into the hands of the Almighty Who gave it, in humble hopes of His mercy through our Savior Jesus Christ.”

FRANKLIN, BENJAMIN, signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution:

● “As to Jesus of Nazareth,… 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.” 

● “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 beautiful edition, corrected and amended by the Author.” [Franklin’s eulogy, written by him] 

HANCOCK, JOHN, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Congress president:

● [As governor of Massachusetts, he called for the entire state]: “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.” 

HART, JOHN, signer of the Declaration of Independence:

● “Thanks be given unto Almighty God therefore, and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die and after that the judgment [Hebrews 9:27]… principally, I give and recommend my soul into the hands of Almighty God who gave it and my body to the earth to be buried in a decent and Christian like manner… to receive the same again at the general resurrection by the mighty power of God.” 

HENRY, PATRICK, ratifier of Constitution, legislator, governor of Virginia:

● “Being a Christian… is a character which I prize far above all this world has or can boast.”

● “The Bible… is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed.”

● “Righteousness alone can exalt [America] as a nation….”

● “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.”

● “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.” [from Henry’s Last Will]

JAY, JOHN, president of Congress, author of Federalist Papers, chief justice of Supreme Court:

● “Condescend, merciful Father! to grant as far as proper these imperfect petitions, to accept these inadequate thanksgivings, and to pardon whatever of sin hath mingled in them for the sake of Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord and Savior; unto Whom, with Thee, and the blessed Spirit, ever one God, be rendered all honor and glory, now and forever.”

● “Unto Him who is the author and giver of all good, I render sincere and humble thanks for His manifold and unmerited blessings, and especially for our redemption and salvation by His beloved Son…. Blessed be His holy name.” 

● “Mercy and grace and favor did come by Jesus Christ, and also that truth which verified the promises and predictions concerning Him and which exposed and corrected the various errors which had been imbibed respecting the Supreme Being, His attributes, laws, and dispensations.”

● “I recommend a general and public return of praise and thanksgiving to Him from whose goodness these blessings descend. The most effectual means of securing the continuance of our civil and religious liberties is always to remember with reverence and gratitude the source from which they flow.”

● “The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts.”

● “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”

KEY, FRANCIS SCOTT, author of “The Star Spangled Banner:”

● “May I always hear that you are following the guidance of that blessed Spirit that will lead you into all truth, leaning on that Almighty arm that has been extended to deliver you, trusting only in the only Savior, and going on in your way to Him rejoicing.”

MADISON, JAMES, signer of Constitution, author of Federalist Papers, framer of Bill of Rights, fourth president:

● “A watchful eye must be kept on ourselves lest, while we are building ideal monuments of renown and bliss here, we neglect to have our names enrolled in the Annals of Heaven.”

● “I have sometimes thought there could not be a stronger testimony in favor of religion or against temporal enjoyments, even the most rational and manly, than for men who occupy the most honorable and gainful departments and [who] are rising in reputation and wealth, publicly to declare their unsatisfactoriness by becoming fervent advocates in the cause of Christ; and I wish you may give in your evidence in this way.” 

MASON, GEORGE, Constitutional Convention delegate, “Father of the Bill of Rights:”

● “I give and bequeath my soul to Almighty God that gave it me, hoping that through the meritorious death and passion of our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ to receive absolution and remission for all my sins.”

● “My soul I resign into the hands of my Almighty Creator, Whose tender mercies are all over His works. . humbly hoping from His unbounded mercy and benevolence, through the merits of my blessed Savior, a remission of my sins.”

McHENRY, JAMES, signer, ratifier of Constitution:

● “Bibles are strong protections. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses and at the same time enjoy quiet conscience.”

MORRIS, GOUVERNOR, member Continental Congress, signer of Constitution:

● “There must be religion. When that ligament is torn, society is disjointed and its members perish…. The most important of all lessons is the denunciation of ruin to every state that rejects the precepts of religion.”

MORSE, JEDEDIAH, historian of American revolution: 

● “To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. All efforts made to destroy the foundations of our Holy Religion ultimately tend to the subversion also of our political freedom and happiness. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation… in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom…. Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government– and all the blessings which flow from them – must fall with them.” 

PAINE, ROBERT TREAT, signer of Declaration of Independence:

● “I desire to bless and praise the name of God most high for appointing me my birth in a land of Gospel Light where the glorious tidings of a Savior and of pardon and salvation through Him have been continually sounding in mine ears.”

● “I am constrained to express my adoration of the Supreme Being, the Author of my existence, in full belief of His Providential goodness and His forgiving mercy revealed to the world through Jesus Christ, through whom I hope for never ending happiness in a future state.”

● “I believe the Bible to be the written word of God and to contain in it the whole rule of faith and manners.”

PINCKNEY, CHARLES COTESWORTH, Revolutionary War general, signer of Constitution:

● “To the eternal and only true God be all honor and glory, now and forever. Amen!”

RANDOLPH, JOHN (OF ROANOKE), congressman and senator:

● “I am at last reconciled to my God and have assurance of His pardon through faith in Christ, against which the very gates of hell cannot prevail. Fear hath been driven out by perfect love.”

● “I have looked to the Lord Jesus Christ, and hope I have obtained pardon. I still cling to the cross of my Redeemer, and with God’s aid firmly resolve to lead a life less unworthy of one who calls himself the humble follower of Jesus Christ.”

RUSH, BENJAMIN, signer of Declaration of Independence, ratifier of Constitution, “Father of American Medicine,” “Father of Public Schools, under the Constitution:”

● “The Gospel of Jesus Christ prescribes the wisest rules for just conduct in every situation of life. Happy they who are enabled to obey them in all situations!…. My only hope of salvation is in the infinite transcendent love of God manifested to the world by the death of His Son upon the Cross. Nothing but His blood will wash away my sins [Acts 22:16]. I rely exclusively upon it. Come, Lord Jesus! Come quickly! [Revelation 22:20]”

● “I do not believe that the Constitution was the offspring of inspiration, but I am as satisfied that it is as much the work of a Divine Providence as any of the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testament.”

● “[The Bible] is the only correct map of the human heart that ever has been published.” 

● “The Bible contains more knowledge necessary to man in his present state than any other book in the world.”

● “The great enemy of the salvation of man, in my opinion, never invented a more effective means of limiting Christianity from the world than by persuading mankind that it was improper to read the Bible at schools.”

● “The Bible, when not read in schools, is seldom read in any subsequent period of life…. The Bible… should be read in our schools in preference to all other books because it contains the greatest portion of that kind of knowledge which is calculated to produce private and public happiness.”

● “Christianity is the only true and perfect religion; and… in proportion as mankind adopt its principles and obey its precepts, they will be wise and happy.”

STONE, THOMAS, signer of Declaration of Independence, delegate to Constitutional Convention:

● “Shun all giddy, loose, and wicked company; they will corrupt and lead you into vice and bring you to ruin. Seek the company of sober, virtuous and good people… which will lead [you] to solid happiness.” 

STORY, JOSEPH, justice of Supreme Court, “Father of American Jurisprudence:” 

● “I verily believe that Christianity is necessary to support a civil society and shall ever attend to its institutions and acknowledge its precepts as the pure and natural sources of private and social happiness.”

THOMSON, CHARLES, secretary of Continental Congress:

● “I am a Christian. I believe only in the Scriptures, and in Jesus Christ my Savior.”

TRUMBULL, JONATHAN, legislator, judge, governor; George Washington’s confidant, whom he called “Brother Jonathan:”

● “The examples of holy men teach us that we should seek [God] with fasting and prayer, with penitent confession of our sins, and hope in His mercy through Jesus Christ the Great Redeemer.”

● “Principally and first of all, I bequeath my soul to God the Creator and giver thereof, and my body to the earth to be buried in a decent Christian burial, in firm belief that I shall receive the same again at the general resurrection through the power of Almighty God, and hope of eternal life and happiness through the merits of my dear Redeemer Jesus Christ.”

WASHINGTON, GEORGE, commander-in-chief of Continental Army, president of Constitutional Convention, first president, “Father of Our Country:”
● “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.”

● “To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.”

● “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.”

● “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.”

WEBSTER, DANIEL, senator, “Defender of the Constitution:”

● “The Christian religion… must ever be regarded among us as the foundation of civil society.”

● “Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens.”

● “To the free and universal reading of the Bible… men [are] much indebted for right views of civil liberty.” 

● “The Bible is a book… which teaches man his own individual responsibility, his own dignity, and his equality with his fellow man.” 

WEBSTER, NOAH, judge, “Schoolmaster to America:” 

● “The 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.”

● “The moral principles and precepts found in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws.”

● “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.”

● “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.”

WITHERSPOON, JOHN, signer of Declaration of Independence, ratifier of Constitution:

● “There is no salvation in any other than in Jesus Christ of Nazareth.”

● “It is very evident that both the prophets in the Old Testament and the apostles in the New are at great pains to give us a view of the glory and dignity of the person of Christ. With what magnificent titles is He adorned! What glorious attributes are ascribed to him!…. All these conspire to teach us that He is truly and properly God– God over all, blessed forever!”

● “[God] is the best friend to American liberty….” 

MANY, MANY, MANY MORE! This RR is but a tiny sample of the writings of faith of America’s fathers. Many of these quoted men had other observations of their beloved faith and many other men were not included because of space limitations. Our nation was founded and our laws based on faith in the triune God and the Holy Bible. Let no lying minion of Satan convince you otherwise. The United States was founded as a Judeo-Christian nation. Period and exclamation point. With aid of a search engine, you can find many more quotations I could not include in this RR.

Shalom and Maranatha.