Thursday, April 22, 2010

Quotes from the Founding Fathers

God's intentions for America are clearly seen through the words of our previous leaders. We often mention the "founding fathers" when discussing politics. But in order to truly discover what they intended for this nation, we can only turn to their own words.
You could probably search on google and find many of these quotes. But my goal is to provide quick access for anyone who wants to know what the founders had to say about something. Check back to this post often - I plan on updating it frequently. But for now, here's a good start on what some founders had to say about God and America.


John Adams said...


"We have no government armed with a power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion....Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."


"It must be felt that there is no national security but in the nation's humble acknowledged dependence upon God and His overruling providence."


"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 value."




Samuel Adams said...


"Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote...that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country."


"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt."




Benjamin Franklin said...


"In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who where engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor.... And have we now forgotten this powerful Friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?
"I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: 'that God governs in the affairs of man.' And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?
"We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel; we shall be divided by our little, partial local interests; our projects will be confounded; and we ourselves shall become a reproach and a byword down to the future ages...."



Thomas Jefferson said...


"God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, and conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever."



George Washington said...


"The federal government...can never be in danger of degenerating into a monarchy, and oligarchy, an aristocracy, or any other despotic or oppressive form so long as there shall remain any virtue in the body of the people.



Noah Webster said...


"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 this duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted."



John Witherspoon said...


"He is the best friend of American liberty who is most sincere and active in promoting true and undefiled religion and who sets Himself with the greatest firmness to bear down profanity and immorality of every kind...God grant that in America true religion and civil liberty may be inseparable and that the unjust attempts to destroy the one, may in the issue tend to support the establishment of both."



Robert Winthrop said...


"Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the World of God or they the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet."

5 comments:

Nicki said...

I love it! And I love the new look of your blog.

No matter what arguments people may have about whether this country was founded on Christian principles, there is no arguing with the words of the founders themselves. They were very wise men, and I am thankful that they put so much of their wisdom down on paper to be passed on to us.


Those words were all very stirring. I can't decide which quote is my favorite.

Stephen said...

Kind of ironic that most of these same men who spoke a lot about freedom, liberty, justice and morality themselves owned slaves and thought little better of women.

To see what they intended for this nation look at slavery and women having no political rights. Also recall that back during those days there were property requirements and poll taxes required before a white man only could vote.

Some of the ideas were very progressive for their day. Unfortunately there were many horribly regressive ideological holdovers that took over a hundred years and more to fight against and get rid of.

Hudson said...

Most of them treated their slaves very kindly and some even released their slaves!

Liberty said...

The founders tried for years to establish a Constitution, because they understood that the Articles of Confederation were not sufficient for governing a society. Many of them wanted to include the abolition of slavery in the Constitution. But they did not all agree on that. However, they did all agree that a Constitution needed to be established as soon as possible. So they did not include the abolition of slavery in the Constitution, but they did give each state the freedom to decide on the issue of slavery for themselves.
Sometimes I wish the all men today still lived by the same code of chivalry that men lived by in previous centuries. They did not treat their women as slaves. They respected women. I don't know why they didn't think women should vote. But I am glad women have more rights now! Civilization has come a long way in some areas, while regressing in others.
Just because I greatly respect the founders and their words, I know they were not perfect. There is no perfect person. The founders obviously had imperfect views on things like slavery and women's rights, but I believe that their ideas concerning the government of a nation were inspired by God.

Rediscovering America said...

If you enjoy reading about the principles and values of our founding fathers, I would like to recommend an easy to read book that is full of great source-referenced quotes from our founding fathers. The book is titled In Their Own Words: The Wisdom and Passion of Our Founding Fathers.