"The Hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he
must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked,
that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations." George
Washington's letter of August 20, 1778 to Brig. General Thomas Nelson
"Almighty and eternal Lord God, the great Creator of heaven and
earth, and the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; look down from
heaven in pity and compassion upon me Thy servant, who humbly prorate
myself before Thee." George Washington's prayer at Valley Forge
"No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand
which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United
States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an
independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of
providential agency...We ought to be no less persuaded that the
propitious smiles of heaven cannot be expected on a nation that
disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which heaven itself has
ordained." -- George Washington in his Inaugural Address, April 30,
"Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the
public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly
improper to omit in this first official act, my fervent supplications to
that Almighty Being, who rules over the universe, who presides in the
council of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human
defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and
happiness of the people of the United States.." "...Every step by which
they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to
have been distinguished by some token of providential agency" From
President George Washington's Inaugural Address, April 30th, 1789,
addressed to both Houses of Congress.
"Let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be
maintained without religion."--George Washington, ca. 1789,
Maxims of Washington, ed. John F. Schroeder (Mt. Vernon: Mt. Vernon
Ladies Association, 1942), p. 106.
"The General hopes and trusts that every officer and man, will
endeavor so to live, and act, as becomes a Christian Soldier defending
the dearest Rights and Liberties of his country." General George
Washington, July 9, 1776
"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political
prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports . . . And
let us indulge with caution the supposition that morality can be
maintained without religion . . . Reason and experience both forbid us
to expect that national morality can prevail to the exclusion of
religious principle." From President George Washington's
"The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: 'It connected
in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the
principles of Christianity." President Adams, July 4, 1821
"The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence
were.... the general principles of Christianity."
-- John Adams in letter to Thomas Jefferson, June 28, 1813
"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with
human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition,
revenge, or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our
Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made
only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the
government of any other." John Adams from his
Oct. 13, 1789 address to the military.
"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 contained! Every member would be obliged in conscience to
temperance, frugality and industry: to justice, kindness and charity
towards his fellow men: and to piety, love and reverence toward Almighty
God....What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be."
John Adams diary entry Feb. 22., 1756.
"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. Let the Blackguard Paine say
what he will; it is Resignation to God, it is Goodness itself to man."
John Adams retorting to Thomas Paine in his diary, July 26, 1796.
"A patriot without religion, in my estimation, is as great a paradox
as an honest man without the fear of God. Is it possible that he whom no
moral obligations bind, can have any real Good Will towards Men? Can he
be a patriot who, by an openly vicious conduct, is undermining the very
bonds of Society? ...The Scriptures tell us righteousness exalteth a
Nation." Abigal Adams, wife of President John Adams in letter to
husband John Adams 1776.
"...a true American Patriot must be a religious man...He who neglects
his duty to his maker, may well be expected to be deficient and
insincere in his duty towards the public." Abigal Adams, wife of
President John Adams in letter to husband John Adams 1776.
"The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong; but the
God of Israel is He that giveth strength and power unto His people.
Trust in Him at all times, ye people, pour out your hearts before Him;
God is a refuge for us." Abigal Adams, wife of President John Adams
in letter to husband John Adams 1776.
"Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate
for liberty, but it is religion and morality alone, which can establish
the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only
foundation of a free Constitution is pure virtue, and if this cannot be
inspired into our People in a greater Measure than they have it now,
they may change their rulers and the forms of government, but they will
not obtain a lasting liberty." John Adams,
The Works of John Adams, Second
President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor
(Boston: Little, Brown, 1854), Vol. IX, p. 401, dated June 21, 1776.
"The general principles, on which the Fathers achieved independence,
were . . . the general principles of Christianity." John Adams, in a
letter to Thomas Jefferson, June 28, 1813, The Adams-Jefferson
Letters,ed. Lester J. Cappon (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North
Carolina Press, 1959), vol 2, pp. 339-40.
"Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed
their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that
these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated
but with His wrath? I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is
just; that His justice cannot sleep forever." President Thomas
"The reason that Christianity is the best friend of Government is
because Christianity is the only religion that changes the heart."
President Thomas Jefferson
"Of all systems of morality, ancient of modern, which have come under
my observation, none appear to be so pure as that of Jesus." Thomas
Jefferson To William Canby, 1813
"I hold the precepts of Jesus as delivered by Himself, to be the most
pure, benevolent and sublime which have ever been preached to man..."
President Thomas Jefferson
“I have always said and always will say that the studious perusal of
the Sacred Volume will make better citizens, better fathers, better
husbands... the Bible makes the best people in the world." President
"My views- - - are the result of a lifetime of inquiry and
reflection, and very different from the anti-Christian imputed to me by
those who know nothing of my opinions. To the corruptions of
Christianity I am, indeed, opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of
Jesus himself. I am a Christian in the only sense in which He wished
anyone to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference of all
others—" Thomas Jefferson to Dr.
Benjamin Rush On April 21, 1803
"I am a real Christian, that is to say, a cisciple of the doctrines
of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be
rallied to the unity of our Creator." Thomas Jefferson wrote on the
front of his Bible.
"Before any man can be considered as a member of civil society, he
must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe. And to
the same Divine Author of every good and perfect gift [James 1:17] we
are indebted for all those privileges and advantages, religious as well
as civil, which are so richly enjoyed in this favored land." James
"While we assert for ourselves a freedom to
embrace, to profess, and to observe, the Religion which we believe to be
of divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to them whose minds
have not yielded to the evidence which has convinced us."
A Memorial and Remonstrance (Massachusetts: Isaiah Thomas, 1786).
This can be found in numerous documentary histories and other resources.
The religion of divine origin was obviously Christianity, of which
Madison said he was convinced.
rights of conscience, not included in the surrender implied by the
social state, & more or less invaded by all Religious establishments,
the simple question to be decided, is whether a support of the best &
purest religion, the Christian religion itself ought not, so far at
least as pecuniary means are involved, to be provided for by the
Government, rather than be left to the voluntary provisions of those who
profess it." James Madison response to an essay/sermon by Reverend
Jasper Adams. Religion and Politics in the Early Republic: Jasper
Adams and the Church-State Debate, Daniel L. Dreisbach, ed.
(Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 1996), p. 117.
"Religion, or the duty we owe to our Creator, and the manner of
discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by
force or violence; and, therefore, that all men should enjoy the fullest
toleration in the exercise of religion according to the dictates of
conscience, unpunished and unrestrained by the magistrate, unless under
color of religion any man disturb the peace, the happiness, or safety of
society, and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian
forbearance, love, and charity toward each other." James Madison, ca.
1789, cited in Gaillard Hunt, James Madison and Religious Liberty
(Washington: American Historical Association, Government Printing
Office, 1902), p. 166.
"The liberty, prosperity, and the happiness of our country will
always be the object of my most fervent prayers to the Supreme Author of
All Good." March 5, 1821 in his Second Inaugural Address
John Quincy Adams,
"It is no slight testimonial, both to the merit and worth of
Christianity, that in all ages since its promulgation the great mass of
those who have risen to eminence by their profound wisdom and integrity
have recognized and reverenced Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of the
living God." President John Quincy Adams
"The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence
were.... the general principles of Christianity." President John Quincy
"My custom is to read four or five chapters of the Bible every
morning immediately after rising... It seems to me the most suitable
manner of beginning the day... It is an invaluable and inexhaustible
mine of knowledge and virtue." President John Quincy Adams
"The Bible is the Rock on which this Republic rests." President
America’s sixteenth president, who died on a Good Friday, was a
devoted Bible reader but never joined a church. In a youth of near
poverty, the Bible was one of the few books Lincoln owned. When he
became president, its words and phrases found their way into many of his
Earlier, a broken engagement had caused him much pain, and Lincoln
declared that his Bible was "the best cure for the blues." Lincoln also
said that "this Great Book is the best gill God has given to man." When
his wife, Mary, urged harsh measures for the defeated Confederacy,
Lincoln quoted Jesus’ words to her, "Judge not, lest ye be judged."
"I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All
the good from the Savior (Jesus) of the world is communicated to us
through this book.
“I am profitably engaged in reading the Bible. Take all of this Book
upon reason that you can, and the balance by faith, and you will live
and die a better man."
Lincoln’s famous words, speaking of the slavery issue in America,
were, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." He was quoting from
Luke 11:17, in which Jesus’ enemies claimed Jesus could cast out demons
because He was in league with the devil himself Jesus replied, "Every
kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house
divided against a house falleth" (KJV)
President Lincoln, a devoted Bible reader, claimed the Bible moved
him to issue his Emancipation Proclamation, freeing America’s slaves, in
1863. He noted especially the words of Exodus 6:5: "I [God] have also
heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in
Lincoln's 2nd Inaugural Address
"Fellow countrymen: At this second appearing to take the oath of the
Presidential office, there is less occasion for an extended address than
there was at the first...The progress of our arms, upon which all else
chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself; and it is,
I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope
for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured...
"Neither party expected for the war, the magnitude, or the duration,
which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the
conflict might cease with, or even before, the conflict itself should
cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and as a result less
fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible, and pray to the
same God; and each invokes His aid against the other...The prayers of
both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully...If
we shall suppose that American Slavery is one of those offenses which,
in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued
through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to
both North and South, this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom
the offence came, shall we discern therein any departure from those
divine attributes which the believers in a Living God always ascribe to
Fondly do we hope - fervently do we pray - that this mighty scourge
of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue, until
all the wealth piled by the bond-man's two hundred and fifty years of
unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every every drop of blood drawn
with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was
said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said 'The judgements
of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.'
"With malice toward none; charity for all; with firmness in the
right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the
work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who
shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan - to do
all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among
ourselves, and with all nations." Immediately afterwards, Lincoln kissed
the Bible, bowed, and retired from the platform. Abraham Lincoln's
2nd inaugural address, March 4th, 1865.
"Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance, are
still competent to adjust, in the best way, all our present
"The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the
philosophy of government in the next."
"The only assurance of our nation's safety is to lay our foundation
in morality and religion."
“To every man who faces life with real desire to do his part in
everything, I appeal for a study of the Bible." President Theodore
"America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify
that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from
the revelations of Holy Scriptures. Ladies and gentlemen, I have a very
simple thing to ask of you. I as of every man and woman in this audience
that from this night on they will realize that part of the destiny of
America lies in their daily perusal of this great book of revelations.
That if they would see America free and pure they will make their own
spirits free and pure by this baptism of the Holy Scripture." Woodrow
Wilson, 1911, pre-Presidential campaign speech.
“I have a very simple thing to ask of you. I ask every man and woman
in this audience that from this day on they will realize that part of
the destiny of America lies in their daily perusal of this great Book
(the Bible)." President Woodrow Wilson
"The study of the Bible is a post-graduate course in the richest
library of human experience." President Herbert Hoover
"The fundamental basis of this nation's law was given to Moses on
the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the
teaching we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul. I
don't think we emphasize that enough these days. If we don't have the
proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a
totalitarian government which does not believe in the right for anybody
except the state. President Harry S. Truman