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Christian Quotes from the Founding Fathers

Declaration of Independence (Committee of Five)
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Contrary to the claims of “free-thinkers,” atheists, agnostics and other irreligionists, America was not founded by deists, but overwhelmingly by men and women of the Christian faith and those who recognized the necessity of Christian morality in public life. Throughout the twentieth century, a steady onslaught against this truth has been mounted by those Deconstructionists who have sought to rewrite the history of America in a manner that is compatible with their own irreligious beliefs and value systems. These irreligious writers are incapable of quoting the Founding Fathers at length or providing the larger context from which they extract quotations because the larger context of their writings demonstrates that the Founding Fathers espoused and advocated the truths of the Christian Faith. These Deconstructionists, or unbelievers, must carefully pull out partial quotes of the Founding Fathers to defend their positions. The larger context of these quotes do not support their positions. To the following quotes, many, many more could be added, being completely supported by the context of the passage from which they are taken. The few quotes provided below is in no way an attempt to exhaust the convictions of America’s nearly two-hundred-fifty Founding Fathers concerning Christianity, but is a representative exhibition of some of the most prominent Fathers. Neither do the brief quotes exhaust all that these individuals said or wrote concerning their understanding of the Christian faith and its relationship to public and private life. After each representative Founding Father’s name, a brief description of that individual will be provided, followed by select quotes. It is appropriate that this brief summary begin with the Father of our nation.[1]

Some of the most important information related to the subject discussed in this article is available for personal use or distribution through churches, businesses, political or social events, personal contact, or other means––and bulk discounts are available.  You may read more about this product by clicking the following link:  Christian Quotes from the Founding Fathers.

George Washington

. . . Judge; Member of the Continental Congress; Commander-In-Chief of the Continental Army; President of the Constitutional Convention; First President of the United States; “Father of His Country”:

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George Washington

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.

While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. to the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.

The blessing and protection of Heaven are at all times necessary but especially so in times of public distress and danger. 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.

Samuel Adams

. . . signer of the Declaration of Independence; “Father of the American Revolution”; Ratifier of the U. S. Constitution; Governor of Massachusetts:

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Samuel Adams

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.

I conceive we cannot better express ourselves than by humbly supplicating the Supreme Ruler of the world . . . that the confusions that are and have been among the nations may be overruled by the promoting and speedily bringing in the holy and happy period when the kingdoms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ may be everywhere established, and the people willingly bow to the scepter of Him who is the Prince of Peace.

John Adams

. . . signer of the Declaration of Independence; Judge; Diplomat; One of Two Signers of the Bill of Rights; Second President of the United States:

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John Adams

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.

Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company: I mean hell.

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!

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

John Quincy Adams

. . . sixth President of the United States; Diplomat; Secretary of State; U. S. Senator; U. S. Representative; “Old Man Eloquent”; “Hell-Hound of Abolition”:

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John Quincy Adams

My hopes of a future life are all founded upon the Gospel of Christ and I cannot cavil or quibble away [evade or object to]. . . . the whole tenor of His conduct by which He sometimes positively asserted and at others countenances [permits] His disciples in asserting that He was God.

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].

Thomas Jefferson

. . . signer of the Declaration of Independence; Diplomat; Governor of Virginia; Secretary of State; Third President of the United States

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Thomas Jefferson

The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of man.

The practice of morality being necessary for the well being of society, He [God] has taken care to impress its precepts so indelibly on our hearts that they shall not be effaced by the subtleties of our brain. We all agree in the obligation of the moral principles of Jesus and nowhere will they be found delivered in greater purity than in His discourses.

I am a Christian in the only sense in which He wished anyone to be: sincerely attached to His doctrines in preference to all others.

I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.

Dr. Benjamin Rush

. . . signer of the Declaration of Independence; Surgeon General of the Continental Army; Ratifier of the U. S. Constitution; “Father of American Medicine”; Treasurer of the U. S. Mint; “Father of Public Schools Under The Constitution”

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Dr. Benjamin Rush

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.

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.

[T]he greatest discoveries in science have been made by Christian philosophers and . . . there is the most knowledge in those countries where there is the most Christianity.

[T]he only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government is the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible.

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.

[C]hristianity 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.

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

The Bible, when not read in schools, is seldom read in any subsequent period of life… [T]he 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.

Roger Sherman

. . . signer of the Declaration; signer of the Constitution; “Master Builder of the Constitution”; Judge; framer of the Bill of Rights; U. S. Senator

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Roger Sherman

I believe that there is one only living and true God, existing in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, the same in substance, equal in power and glory. That the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are a revelation from God, and a complete rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him. . . . That He made man at first perfectly holy; that the first man sinned, and as he was the public head of his posterity, they all became sinners in consequence of his first transgression, are wholly indisposed to that which is good and inclined to evil, and on account of sin are liable to all the miseries of this life, to death, and to the pains of hell forever. I believe that God . . . did send His own Son to become man, die in the room and stead of sinners, and thus to lay a foundation for the offer of pardon and salvation to all mankind, so as all may be saved who are willing to accept the Gospel offer. . . . I believe a visible church to be a congregation of those who make a credible profession of their faith in Christ, and obedience to Him, joined by the bond of the covenant. . . . I believe that the sacraments of the New Testament are baptism and the Lord’s Supper. . . . I believe that the souls of believers are at their death made perfectly holy, and immediately taken to glory: that at the end of this world there will be a resurrection of the dead, and a final judgment of all mankind, when the righteous shall be publicly acquitted by Christ the Judge and admitted to everlasting life and glory, and the wicked be sentenced to everlasting punishment.

Richard Stockton

. . . judge; signer of the Declaration of Independence

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Richard Stockton
[A]s my children will have frequent occasion of perusing this instrument, and may probably be particularly impressed with the last words of their father, I think it proper here not only to subscribe to the entire belief of the great and leading doctrines of the Christian religion, such as the being of God; the universal defection and depravity of human nature; the Divinity of the person and the completeness of the redemption purchased by the blessed Savior; the necessity of the operations of the Divine Spirit; of Divine faith accompanied with an habitual virtuous life; and the universality of the Divine Providence: but also, in the bowels of a father’s affection, to exhort and charge [my children] that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, that the way of life held up in the Christian system is calculated for the most complete happiness that can be enjoyed in this mortal state, [and] that all occasions of vice and immorality is injurious either immediately or consequentially – even in this life.

Joseph Story

. . . U. S. Congressman; “Father of American Jurisprudence”; U. S. Supreme Court Justice Appointed By President James Madison

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Joseph Story

One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the Common Law. There never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying at its foundations.

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.

Charles Thomson

. . . Secretary of the Continental Congress; Designer of the Great Seal of the United States; Along With John Hancock, Thomson Was One of Only Two Founders to Sign The Initial Draft of the Declaration of Independence Approved By Congress:

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Charles Thomson

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

Noah Webster

. . . Revolutionary Soldier; Judge; Legislator; Educator; “Schoolmaster to America”:

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Noah Webster

[T]he 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.

[O]ur citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament, or the Christian religion.

[T]he Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children under a free government ought to be instructed. No truth is more evident than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.

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.

[T]he Christian religion… is the basis, or rather the source, of all genuine freedom in government… I am persuaded that no civil government of a republican form can exist and be durable in which the principles of Christianity have not a controlling influence.

Daniel Webster

. . . U. S. Senator; Secretary of State; “Defender of the Constitution”:

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Daniel Webster

[T]he Christian religion – its general principles – must ever be regarded among us as the foundation of civil society.

Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens.

[T]o 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.

John Witherspoon

. . . signer of the Declaration of Independence; Ratifier of the U. S. Constitution; President of Princeton:

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John Witherspoon

[C]hrist Jesus – the promise of old made unto the fathers, the hope of Israel [Acts 28:20], the light of the world [John 8:12], and the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth [Romans 10:4] – is the only Savior of sinners, in opposition to all false religions and every uninstituted rite; as He Himself says (John 14:6): “I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.”

[T]here is no salvation in any other than in Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

I shall now conclude my discourse by preaching this Savior to all who hear me, and entreating you in the most earnest manner to believe in Jesus Christ; for “there is no salvation in any other” [Acts 4:12].

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!

[H]e is the best friend to American liberty who is the 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. Whoever is an avowed enemy of God, I scruple not to call him an enemy to his country.

Elias Boudinot

. . . President of Congress; Signed The Peace Treaty to End The American Revolution; First Attorney Admitted to The U. S. Supreme Court Bar; framer of the Bill of Rights; Director of the U. S. Mint:

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Elias Boudinot

Let us enter on this important business under the idea that we are Christians on whom the eyes of the world are now turned… [L]et us earnestly call and beseech Him, for Christ’s sake, to preside in our councils. . . . We can only depend on the all powerful influence of the Spirit of God, Whose Divine aid and assistance it becomes us as a Christian people most devoutly to implore. Therefore I move that some minister of the Gospel be requested to attend this Congress every morning . . . in order to open the meeting with prayer.

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.

Charles Carroll

. . . signer of the Declaration of Independence; selected as delegate to The Constitutional Convention; framer of the Bill of Rights; U. S. Senator:

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Charles Carroll

On the mercy of my Redeemer I rely for salvation and on His merits, not on the works I have done in obedience to His precepts.

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.

John Jay

. . . president of Congress; Diplomat; Author of the Federalist Papers; Original Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court; Governor of New York

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First Chief Justice, John Jay

By conveying the Bible to people . . . we certainly do them a most interesting act of kindness. We thereby enable them to learn that man was originally created and placed in a state of happiness, but, becoming disobedient, was subjected to the degradation and evils which he and his posterity have since experienced. The Bible will also inform them that our gracious Creator has provided for us a Redeemer in whom all the nations of the earth should be blessed – that this Redeemer has made atonement “for the sins of the whole world,” and thereby reconciling the Divine justice with the Divine mercy, has opened a way for our redemption and salvation; and that these inestimable benefits are of the free gift and grace of God, not of our deserving, nor in our power to deserve. The Bible will also [encourage] them with many explicit and consoling assurances of the Divine mercy to our fallen race, and with repeated invitations to accept the offers of pardon and reconciliation. . . . They, therefore, who enlist in His service, have the highest encouragement to fulfill the duties assigned to their respective stations; for most certain it is, that those of His followers who [participate in] His conquests will also participate in the transcendent glories and blessings of His Triumph.

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.

[T]he evidence of the truth of Christianity requires only to be carefully examined to produce conviction in candid minds… they who undertake that task will derive advantages.

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.

America, this is our Christian heritage!

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[1] The following quotations are only a portion of those provided in this article: David Barton, “The Founding Fathers on Jesus, Christianity and the Bible,” WallBuilders, May 2008 (http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=8755, November 24, 2013).


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Written by Dr. Stephen FlickNumber of posts: 228

Concerned with the cultural decay of America, Dr. Flick has sought to provide answers to fellow Christians (and unbelievers) concerning the questions and objections to Christianity often posed by secularists and the irreligious. Dr. Flick is Christian Heritage Fellowship’s executive director and resides in East Tennessee with his wife, Beth. He spent 12 years as a Seminary professor and has been a licensed minister for more than thirty years, during which time he has served as pastor, revival and camp meeting evangelist, interim pastor, and other ministerial roles. He has authored numerous articles concerning America’s Christian heritage. Dr. Flick earned his Ph.D. from Drew University in theology and church history.

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