Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lincoln's Day of Fasting & Prayer

American Minute with Bill Federer

March 30

During the Civil War, after issuing his Emancipation Proclamation, President Abraham Lincoln set a National Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer, MARCH 30, 1863, stating:

"It is the duty of nations...to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins...with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy...

The awful calamity of civil war...may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins."

Lincoln continued:

"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven...

We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.

But we have forgotten God.

We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own."

Lincoln concluded:

"Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

It behooves us then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins and to pray for...forgiveness." 


Get a free DVD in 16 foreign languages for your immigrant neighbor www.Christforallpeoples.org www.ReachingTheNationsAmongUs.org

Machiavelli's Disciples http://www.wnd.com/index.php?pageId=131573

PBS interview with Foster on faith, family and dealing with failure http://video.wyomingpbs.org/video/1444439405

Join thousands May 1, 2010 at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C. for 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray...I will heal their land.” Hear Dr. James Dobson's message www.MayDay2010.org.

Ted Baehr www.MovieGuide.org recommends new movie, Letter To God. See trailer http://www.letterstogodthemovie.com/

90-second video to help the children of Haiti. Visit www.HaitiRenewal.org

Read the Bible in a Year

MANDATE TO SAVE AMERICA http://mandatetosaveamerica.com/

View Bill Federer's FAITH IN HISTORY television program at http://vidego.multicastmedia.com/player.php?p=y2b99484

Manhattan Declaration http://www.manhattandeclaration.org/the-declaration

Help build statue honoring Dred Scott http://www.thedredscottfoundation.org/dshf/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=58&Itemid=70

Southern Evangelical Seminary, April 1, "Marriage-Why It Can & Must Be Saved-The Case Against Same-Sex Marriage". For more info 704-847-5600 or visit http://www.ses.edu/Events/VeritasLectures/tabid/262/Default.aspx

Permission granted to reproduce with acknowledgement. American Minute is a registered trademark.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

"New" Evidence of Christianity in the Founding Era

New (or is it Old?) Evidence of Christianity in the Founding Era

Today's critics clamor and bluster that America's Framers were secular (i.e., that they were largely atheists, ag nostics, and deists) and that they wanted a secular public square. Relying on this flawed view of history, in recent weeks they not only filed suit to prevent prayers at presidential inaugurations but also to eliminate the National Day of Prayer.

Their argument is effective only if one does not know much about America's history or its Founding Fathers. This is why WallBuilders strives to "present America's forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on our moral, religious, and constitutional heritage."

Among the recent documents that have come into our possession are two we thought you might find particularly interesting, especially given the current buzz about our &qu ot;non-Christian" foundings.

The first is by Declaration signer and U. S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase. It is a legal document executed in 1794 (after the ratification of the First Amendment) when Chase was Chief Justice of the State of Maryland. Notice that a prerequisite for citizenship in that state was a "declaration of belief in the Christian religion."

The second is by Declaration signer and U. S. President Thomas Jefferson. It is an 1807 federal passport (printed in both English and German), allowing the ship Herschel to proceed on its journey to London. Notice that President Jefferson dated the letter "in the year of our Lord Christ" -- language quite distinctive from other Presidents but language that Jefferson chose to use.

These are just a few of the thousands of official governmental documents disproving the modern allegation that America was founded as a secular nation. We hope that you enjoy these tidbits from our remarkably blessed history and that you will share this information with others who might be unfamiliar with America's Godly heritage. (Other documents are posted at www.wallbuilders.com.)

God bless!
David Barton



Friday, November 28, 2008

Spreading The Wealth Around

Morning Bell: Giving Thanks for the Free Market
Posted November 26th, 2008 at 8.43am in First Principles.

Most children learn that the Pilgrims' salvation at Plymouth Colony stemmed from the generosity of local Indians. And while there is no doubt that the American natives did help the immigrants through some early tough times, it was not until the Pilgrims rediscovered the importance of private property that the colony began to thrive and was able to give thanks for their own blessings. When the Pilgrims first arrived, they attempted a form of, in Gov. William Bradford's words, "community" or "commonwealth ." In other words, they attempted to "spread the wealth around" by destroying private property and replacing it with a communally owned property system.

The result was disastrous. According to Bradford, this system bred "confusion and discontent" and "retarded much employment that would have been to [the settlers'] benefit and comfort." Unable to produce their own food, some settlers "became servants to the Indians," cutting wood and fetching water in exchange for "a capful of corn ." It was not until the colony changed course and allowed the private ownership of farmland that prosperity returned. Bradford reported, "This had very good success for it made all hands very industrious. ... [M]uch more corn was planted than otherwise would have been. ... Women went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn."

A profoundly religious man, Bradford saw the hand of God in the Pilgrims' economic recovery. Their success, he observed, "may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Plato's and other ancients and applauded by some of later times ... that the taking away of property ... would make [men] happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God." Bradford surmised, "God in his wisdom saw another course fitter for them.
Amen to that.

OmahaSteaks.com, Inc.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Founding Fathers Intent BlogPrayer And Action Blog


Importance of Morality and Religion in Government

John Adams
Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Second President of the United States
[I]t 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.
(Source: 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, to Zabdiel Adams on June 21, 1776.)

[W]e have no government armed with 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.
(Source: John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co. 1854), Vol. IX, p. 229, October 11, 1798.)
The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If "Thou shalt not covet," and "Thou shalt not steal," were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society, before it can be civilized or made free.
(Source: John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1851), Vol. VI, p. 9.)

John Quincy Adams
Sixth President of the United States
The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal as well as a moral and religious code; it contained many statutes . . . of universal application-laws essential to the existence of men in society, and most of which have been enacted by every nation which ever professed any code of laws.
(Source: John Quincy Adams, Letters of John Quincy Adams, to His Son, on the Bible and Its Teachings (Auburn: James M. Alden, 1850), p. 61.)

There are three points of doctrine the belief of which forms the foundation of all morality. The first is the existence of God; the second is the immortality of the human soul; and the third is a future state of rewards and punishments. Suppose it possible for a man to disbelieve either of these three articles of faith and that man will have no conscience, he will have no other law than that of the tiger or the shark. The laws of man may bind him in chains or may put him to death, but they never can make him wise, virtuous, or happy.
(Source: John Quincy Adams, Letters of John Quincy Adams to His Son on the Bible and Its Teachings (Auburn: James M. Alden, 1850), pp. 22-23.)

Samuel Adams
Signer of the Declaration of Independence
[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.
(Source: William V. Wells, The Life and Public Service of Samuel Adams (Boston: Little, Brown, & Co., 1865), Vol. I, p. 22, quoting from a political essay by Samuel Adams published in The Public Advertiser, 1749.)

Fisher Ames
Framer of the First Amendment
Our liberty depends on our education, our laws, and habits . . . it is founded on morals and religion, whose authority reigns in the heart, and on the influence all these produce on public opinion before that opinion governs rulers.
(Source: Fisher Ames, An Oration on the Sublime Virtues of General George Washington (Boston: Young & Minns, 1800), p. 23.)

Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Signer of the Declaration of Independence
Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime & pure, [and] which denounces against the wicked eternal misery, and [which] insured to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.
(Source: Bernard C. Steiner, The Life and Correspondence of James McHenry (Cleveland: The Burrows Brothers, 1907), p. 475. In a letter from Charles Carroll to James McHenry of November 4, 1800.)

Oliver Ellsworth
Chief-Justice of the Supreme Court
[T]he primary objects of government are the peace, order, and prosperity of society. . . . To the promotion of these objects, particularly in a republican government, good morals are essential. Institutions for the promotion of good morals are therefore objects of legislative provision and support: and among these . . . religious institutions are eminently useful and important. . . . [T]he legislature, charged with the great interests of the community, may, and ought to countenance, aid and protect religious institutions—institutions wisely calculated to direct men to the performance of all the duties arising from their connection with each other, and to prevent or repress those evils which flow from unrestrained passion.
(Source: Connecticut Courant, June 7, 1802, p. 3, Oliver Ellsworth, to the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut)

Benjamin Franklin
Signer of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence
[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.
(Source: Benjamin Franklin, The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, Jared Sparks, editor (Boston:
Tappan, Whittemore and Mason, 1840), Vol. X, p. 297, April 17, 1787. )

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 men. 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; and 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 partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing governments by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.
I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service.
(Source: James Madison, The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, Max Farrand, editor (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911), Vol. I, pp. 450-452, June 28, 1787.)
* For more details on this quote, click here.

Thomas Jefferson
Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Third President of the United States
Give up money, give up fame, give up science, give the earth itself and all it contains rather than do an immoral act. And never suppose that in any possible situation, or under any circumstances, it is best for you to do a dishonorable thing, however slightly so it may appear to you. Whenever you are to do a thing, though it can never be known but to yourself, ask yourself how you would act were all the world looking at you, and act accordingly. Encourage all your virtuous dispositions, and exercise them whenever an opportunity arises, being assured that they will gain strength by exercise, as a limb of the body does, and that exercise will make them habitual. From the practice of the purest virtue, you may be assured you will derive the most sublime comforts in every moment of life, and in the moment of death.
(Source: Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Bergh, editor (Washington, DC: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Assoc., 1903), Vol. 5, pp. 82-83, in a letter to his nephew Peter Carr on August 19, 1785.)

The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of mankind.
(Source: Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Bergh, editor (Washington, D. C.: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Assoc., 1904), Vol. XV, p. 383.)

I concur with the author in considering the moral precepts of Jesus as more pure, correct, and sublime than those of ancient philosophers.
(Source: Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Bergh, editor (Washington, D. C.: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Assoc., 1904), Vol. X, pp. 376-377. In a letter to Edward Dowse on April 19, 1803.)

Richard Henry Lee
Signer of the Declaration of Independence
It is certainly true that a popular government cannot flourish without virtue in the people.
(Source: Richard Henry Lee, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, James Curtis Ballagh, editor (New York: The MacMillan Company, 1914), Vol. II, p. 411. In a letter to Colonel Mortin Pickett on March 5, 1786.)

James McHenry
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.)

Jedediah Morse
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.)

William Penn
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).)

Benjamin Rush
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.)

We profess to be republicans, and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government, that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by the means of the Bible. For this Divine Book, above all others, favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws, and those sober and frugal virtues, which constitute the soul of republicanism.
(Source: Benjamin Rush, Essays, Literary, Moral and Philosophical (Philadelphia: Printed by Thomas and William Bradford, 1806), pp. 93-94.)

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.)

Remember that national crimes require national punishments, and without declaring what punishment awaits this evil, you may venture to assure them that it cannot pass with impunity, unless God shall cease to be just or merciful.
(Source: Benjamin Rush, An Address to the Inhabitants of the British Settlements in America Upon Slave-Keeping (Boston: John Boyles, 1773), p. 30.)

Joseph Story
Supreme Court Justice
Indeed, the right of a society or government to [participate] in matters of religion will hardly be contested by any persons who believe that piety, religion, and morality are intimately connected with the well being of the state and indispensable to the administrations of civil justice. The promulgation of the great doctrines of religion—the being, and attributes, and providence of one Almighty God; the responsibility to Him for all our actions, founded upon moral accountability; a future state of rewards and punishments; the cultivation of all the personal, social, and benevolent virtues—these never can be a matter of indifference in any well-ordered community. It is, indeed, difficult to conceive how any civilized society can well exist without them.
(Source: Joseph Story, A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1847), p. 260, §442.)

George Washington
"Father of Our Country"
While just government protects all in their religious rights, true religion affords to government its surest support.
(Source: George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1932), Vol. XXX, p. 432 n., from his address to the Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church in North America, October 9, 1789.)

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of man and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice?
And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who, that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?

(Source: George Washington, Address of George Washington, President of the United States . . . Preparatory to His Declination (Baltimore: George and Henry S. Keatinge), pp. 22-23. In his Farewell Address to the United States in 1796.)

[T]he [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.

(Source: George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1939), Vol. XXIX, p. 410. In a letter to Marquis De Lafayette, February 7, 1788.)
* For the full text of Geo. Washington's Farewell Address, click here.

Daniel Webster
Early American Jurist and Senator
[I]f we and our posterity reject religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity.
(Source: Daniel Webster, The Writings and Speeches of Daniel Webster (Boston: Little, Brown, & Company, 1903), Vol. XIII, p. 492. From "The Dignity and Importance of History," February 23, 1852.)

Noah Webster
Founding Educator
The most perfect maxims and examples for regulating your social conduct and domestic economy, as well as the best rules of morality and religion, are to be found in the Bible. . . . The moral principles and precepts found in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. These principles and precepts have truth, immutable truth, for their foundation. . . . 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. . . . For instruction then in social, religious and civil duties resort to the scriptures for the best precepts.
(Source: Noah Webster, History of the United States, "Advice to the Young" (New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1832), pp. 338-340, par. 51, 53, 56.)

James Wilson
Signer of the Constitution
Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other. The divine law, as discovered by reason and the moral sense, forms an essential part of both.
(Source: James Wilson, The Works of the Honourable James Wilson (Philadelphia: Bronson and Chauncey, 1804), Vol. I, p. 106.)

Robert Winthrop
Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives
Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.

(Source: Robert Winthrop, Addresses and Speeches on Various Occasions (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1852), p. 172 from his "Either by the Bible or the Bayonet.")

Should Christians - Or Ministers - Run For Office?

Should Christians - Or Ministers - Run For Office?
John Witherspoon

Today's critics assert that Christians should not be involved with politics or government, and especially that ministers should not be involved. Such opposition is not new. In fact, two centuries ago, Founding Father John Witherspoon delivered a sagacious rebuttal to these same objections.

Courtesy: Independent National Historical Park

John Witherspoon (1723-1794) was a distinguished Founding Father - the president of Princeton University, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and a ratifier of the U.S. Constitution. He served on over 100 committees in Congress and was head of the Board of War (essentially, he was the congressional "boss" for Commander-in-Chief George Washington). But John Witherspoon was also a minister of the Gospel - he was the Rev. Dr. John Witherspoon! In fact, Dr. Witherspoon was the Billy Graham of his day - one of the most famous American ministers of that era, with volumes of published Gospel sermons.

A provision in the 1777 Georgia constitution reflected the belief that ministers should not be involved in politics. Supporters of this provision asserted the ministry of the Gospel was so important that ministers should not be distracted from their duty. (For example, the 1777 New York Constitution explained, "Whereas ministers of the Gospel are, by their profession, dedicated to the service of God and the care of souls and ought not to be diverted from the great duties of their function; therefore, no minister of the gospel . . . shall be eligible to . . . any civil office within this State.") Following this same logic, the Georgia constitution declared, "No clergyman of any denomination shall be allowed a seat in the legislature."

When Dr. Witherspoon learned of this prohibition, he penned the following tongue-in-cheek piece exposing the absurdity of that position. Interestingly, when Georgia wrote its third Constitution in 1798, a strong declaration of the rights of religious persons was inserted - a vast change from its first Constitution.

Following is Dr. Witherspoon's writing on why ministers should be able to serve in State legislatures:

In your paper of Saturday last, you have given us the new Constitution of Georgia, in which I find the following resolution, "No clergyman of any denomination shall be a member of the General Assembly.'' I would be very well satisfied that some of the gentlemen who have made that an essential article of this constitution, or who have inserted and approve it in other constitutions, would be pleased to explain a little the principles, as well as to ascertain the meaning of it.

Perhaps we understand pretty generally, what is meant by a clergyman, viz. a person regularly called and set apart to the ministry of the gospel, and authorized to preach and administer the sacraments of the Christian religion. Now suffer me to ask this question: Before any man among us was ordained a minister, was he not a citizen of the United States, and if being in Georgia, a citizen of the state of Georgia? Had he not then a right to be elected a member of the assembly, if qualified in point of property? How then has he lost, or why is he deprived of this right? Is it by offence or disqualification? Is it a sin against the public to become a minister? Does it merit that the person, who is guilty of it should be immediately deprived of one of his most important rights as a citizen? Is not this inflicting a penalty which always supposes an offence? Is a minister then disqualified for the office of a senator or representative? Does this calling and profession render him stupid or ignorant? I am inclined to form a very high opinion of the natural understanding of the freemen and freeholders of the state of Georgia, as well as of their improvement and culture by education, and yet I am not able to conceive, but that some of those equally qualified, may enter into the clerical order: and then it must not be unfitness, but some other reason that produces the exclusion. Perhaps it may be thought that they are excluded from civil authority, that they may be more fully and constantly employed in their spiritual functions. If this had been the ground of it, how much more properly would it have appeared, as an order of an ecclesiastical body with respect to their own members. In that case I should not only have forgiven but approved and justified it; but in the way in which it now stands, it is evidently a punishment by loss of privilege, inflicted on those, who go into the office of the ministry; for which, perhaps, the gentlemen of Georgia may have good reasons, though I have not been able to discover them.

But besides the uncertainty of the principle on which this resolution is founded, there seems to me much uncertainty as to the meaning of it. How are we to determine who is or is not a clergyman? Is he only a clergyman who has received ordination from those who have derived the right by an uninterrupted succession from the apostles? Or is he also a clergyman, who is set apart by the imposition of hands of a body of other clergymen, by joint authority? Or is he also a clergyman who is set a part by the church members of his own society, without any imposition of hands at all? Or is he also a clergyman who has exhorted in a Methodist society, or spoken in a Quaker meeting, or any other religious assembly met for public worship? There are still greater difficulties behind: Is the clerical character indelible? There are some who have been ordained who occasionally perform some clerical functions, but have no pastoral charge at all. There are some who finding public speaking injurious to health, or from other reasons easily conceived, have resigned their pastoral charge, and wholly discontinued all acts and exercises of that kind; and there are some, particularly in New England, who having exercised the clerical office some time, and finding it less suitable to their talents than they apprehended, have voluntarily relinquished it, and taken to some other profession, as law, physic, or merchandize[sic]--Do these all continue clergymen, or do they cease to be clergymen, and by that cessation return to, or recover the honorable privileges of laymen?

I cannot help thinking that these difficulties are very considerable, and may occasion much litigation, if the article of the constitution stands in the loose, ambiguous form in which it now appears; and therefore I would recommend the following alterations, which I think will make every thing definite and unexceptionable.

"No clergyman, of any denomination, shall be capable of being elected a member of the Senate or House of Representatives, because {here insert the grounds of offensive disqualification, which I have not been able to discover} Provided always, and it is the true intent and meaning of this part of the constitution, that if at any time he shall be completely deprived of the clerical character by those by whom he was invested with it, as by deposition for cursing and swearing, drunkenness or uncleanness, he shall then be fully restored to all the privileges of a free citizen; his offence shall no more be remembered against him; but he may be chosen either to the Senate or House of Representatives, and shall be treated with all the respect due to his brethren, the other members of Assembly."

(Source: John Witherspoon, The Works of John Witherspoon, (Edinburgh: J. Ogle, Parliament-Square, 1815), Vol. IX, pp 220-223.)