Quotations from Early American Presidents

What did the founding fathers and other formers of the government say regarding government and Christianity?

George Washington: It is impossible to rightly govern the world without the Bible.

John Adams. June 21, 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."

Thomas Jefferson: The Bible makes the best people in the world.

James Madison "We've staked our future on our ability to follow the Ten Commandments with all our heart."

Thomas Jefferson: "The God who gave us life gave us liberty... Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction... That these liberties are the gift of God? The bible is the cornerstone for American liberty."

John Quincy Adams: "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."

George Washington: "You can't have national morality apart from religious principle."

Abraham Lincoln: "The philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the government of the next."

John Adams:  (In a July 1, 1776 letter to Archibald Bullock, former member of the Continental Congress from Georgia, Adams wrote):  "The object is great which we have in view, and we must expect a great expense of blood to obtain it. But We should always remember that a free Constitution of civil Government cannot be purchased at too dear a rate as there is nothing, on this side (of) the New Jerusalem, of equal importance to Mankind."

John Adams:  (In concern for his sons,  advised his wife Abigail to): "Let them revere nothing but Religion, Morality and Liberty."

Andrew Jackson  (in response to a critic of the bible) "That Book, sir is the rock on which our Republic rests."

 John Adams: (Address to the military, Oct. 11, 1798, years after the constitution was established):  "We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. (Human Passions left unchecked) 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."

Abraham Lincoln: But for this book we could not know right from wrong. I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man.

John Adams:  (In a letter dated November 4, 1816,  Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson, summing up what made up his personal constitution): "The Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount contain my religion..."

Abraham Lincoln:  "I know there is a God...If He has a place and a work for me, and I think He has, I believe I am ready. I am nothing, but truth is everything. I know I am right, because I know that liberty is right, for Christ teaches it, and Christ is God.”

Thomas Jefferson: ‘The genuine and simple religion of Jesus will one day be restored; such as it was preached and practiced by Himself.  Very soon after His death it became muffled up in mysteries, and has been, ever since, kept in concealment …”  Jefferson Spoke this in 1820, the year of Joseph Smith’s first vision.

 (The first act of congress was to print 20,000 bibles for distribution among the Indians.)

George Washington

Inaugural Address: ..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 Councils 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, a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes: and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success, the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own; nor those of my fellow-citizens at large, less than either. 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.

Having thus imported to you my sentiments, as they have been awakened by the occasion which brings us together, I shall take my present leave; but not without resorting once more to the benign parent of the human race, in humble supplication that since he has been pleased to favor the American people, with opportunities for deliberating in perfect tranquility, and dispositions for deciding with unparalleled unanimity on a form of Government, for the security of their Union, and the advancement of their happiness; so his divine blessing may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations, and the wise measures on which the success of this Government must depend.

Read more quotations by America's Founding Fathers (and Mothers!)