Faith Frontiers

America's Continuing Revolution

Mirrors have a way of reflecting back cold realities. Standing before the reflective plane, it is difficult to cling to old illusions about ourselves and the society we see behind us. The brave might ask, "Have I and other Americans kept the faith with the Revolutionary War generation?" Would the Founders recognize the Republic they created in the irreligious culture that now characterizes our nation? The Founders were practical men and acknowledged the future uncertainties of their constitutional experiment.

In a letter to Thomas Jefferson dated October 17, 1788, James Madison wrote concerning "a truth of great importance."

"In our Government the real power lies in the majority of the Community, and the invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended not from acts of Government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the Government is the mere instrument of the major number of the constituents."1

In 1798, President John Adams wrote expressing his concerns regarding the character of the American people.

"But should the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another, and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation while it is practicing iniquity and extravagance,….this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world; because we 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."2

These concerns have become today's realities, because morality and religion have ceased to moderate the passions of a growing majority who have either forgotten or abandoned America's revolutionary heritage.

A Different Answer to An Old Question

The passage of years creates particular patterns of thinking from generation to generation. It once was thought, if Church and State have existed in a condition of mutual dependency since the fourth century CE, how could they exist apart in the eighteenth century? If the monarchs of Europe ruled by "divine right," and used the Church to affirm that right, how can a people be free of one without being free of both? For the French, an answer was found in ten years of bloody revolution that by 1799 eradicated the ruling aristocracy and ecclesial authority from French society, producing an attitude of secularity toward the institutional Church and irreligiousness among the people. American revolutionaries found a different answer.

"We interpret history by knowing more of it," wrote James T. Shotwell in 1913. "History is more than events. It is the manifestation of life, and behind each event is some effort of mind and will, while within each circumstance exists some power to stimulate or obstruct."3 For this reason, written accounts by America's Revolutionary War generation are preferred references, providing the present generation with reliable insights into the political and religious forces that moved colonial America to seek independence from the rule of Great Britain and its establishment Church.

Secularism or Secularity

In his book, The Secular Conscience: Why Belief Belongs in Public Life, Austin Dacey more accurately defines Jefferson's understanding of what we call secularism as "the political arrangement that separates civil and ecclesiastical power and, typically, affords robust freedom of conscience to citizens."4 Used in this sense, civil secularism denies the state power to enforce religious laws, beliefs, and practices, allowing the free expression of religion within society. Secularity, on the other hand, is "the non-religiosity or religious indifference of the citizens…not necessarily agnostic or atheist but one for whom organized religion holds little significance" and, therefore, conveys little if any social power to religion.5

Absent from the American Revolution, Dacey argues, was "a national anticlerical sentiment like that which fueled the French Revolution." Dacey observes, "Laicization in France abolished the state church and deliberately set about divesting religion of social power." He concludes, "The French model of secularism combines not only strict separation of the church and state…., but also massive irreligiousness of the population."6 Although secularity is increasingly evident in America today, and embraced by social progressives who repeatedly disregard the Constitution, it was not the goal of Jefferson and the Founding Fathers.

A Christian or Secular Nation

After the end of World War II, progressive academics enchanted with European enlightenment philosophy began challenging the popular premise that the United States of America was founded on Christian principles and, therefore, is a Christian nation. An example is a recent interpretation of history by Denis Lacorne, Religion in America: A Political History.7 Lacorne proposes the American Constitution established the modern notion of a secular Republic, implying America was never a Christian nation. Comparatively, neither premise is conclusive nor addresses the subtle complexities and innovative solutions reflected in the writings of America's Founders or the reformed culture of 18th and early 19th century America.

The Founders believed, if their constitutional experiment was to succeed, American society must be characterized by the Christian principles and values of people possessing a Protestant worldview. A people who would no longer be governed by the State must instead be governed by individual consciences committed to the kingdom of God, the "world order that God desires."8 The Constitution was written for only such people. In 1748, French political philosopher Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, wrote, "The Christian religion, which ordains that men should love each other, would, without doubt, have every nation blest with the best civil, the best political laws."9 Additionally, Montesquieu objectively observed, "the Catholic Religion is most agreeable to a Monarchy, and the Protestant to a Republic."10

Montesquieu's distinction between Catholicism and Protestantism appears to anticipate the actions of Europe's Protestant dissidents, who migrated to America and evolved into a constitutional Republic. Their source of unity was a common point of reference ignored by most secularists, the individual's access to the Bible, which had long been denied to Europe's common people.

Prior to the sixteenth century Reformation, Roman Catholic priests and prelates had exclusive access to the Latin Bible, a language unknown to the common people. With that advantage, the Church dictated and controlled biblical interpretation, Church dogma, theology, and political patronage to the Church's sponsoring States.

Following the Reformation, Protestants began to acquire individual copies of Bibles translated into their native languages. After two centuries of public growth in biblical literacy, the American descendents of dissident Protestants possessing English, German, and Scandinavian Bibles shared a common biblically-based moral worldview. The Bible became a social textbook for establishing the kingdom of God's "ideal state of human affairs," which many believed would herald the return and reign of Christ.

The Founders also recognized, however, that individualized religion, in and of itself, was not sufficient after centuries of religious wars, persecution, and oppression by European states and their establishment churches. If political and religious freedoms were to truly exist in America, a state could neither establish nor support a nationalized religion, Christian or otherwise. Serving as a catalyst for the First Great Awakening of the American people in the 1740s, evangelical Protestant Christianity inspired a social reformation favorable to the spirit of revolution that finally defined and created a religious Republic distinctly American. It was a culture based on Christian social morality but made up of individuals and communities that ironically were neither exclusively Christian nor Protestant in their religious beliefs and practices.

Professor Lacorne describes what he perceives as two rival narratives in American history: (1) "a secular Republic narrative" written and defended by the Founding Fathers, and (2) a popular "Neo-Puritan narrative" based on Christian roots.11 He argues that radical laicity (laicite'), the anti-ecclesiastical secularity that defeated religion in France, was derived from the concept of a "secular Republic" he attributes to Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson, however, would have rejected the ideas expressed by both narratives.

The American narrative was neither secular nor specifically Neo-Puritan in nature. It did not attempt to reform the English or Roman Churches but rather opposed their political alignments and encouraged the formation of religious institutions independent of state connections. The First Great Awakening made this movement essentially Protestant, leading to a cultural reformation among the people that would eventually challenge the influence of Europe's monarchial statism on institutional churches in America. Scripture and liturgy would eventually be in the language of the common people. Catholics would join Protestants in a culture of shared principles and social values that were biblical expressions of the kingdom of God.

Old Testament the Cornerstone of Revolution

Disregarded by Lacorne are the primary objectives of Jefferson and the American revolutionary generation (born between 1722 and 1752). The first objective was to liberate colonial society from British rule and establish a constitutional Republic. A second was to free American colonists from the Church of England and its complicity with the English Crown to rule colonial life. A third was to prohibit any government from using its political authority and economic powers to commission, regulate, or otherwise obstruct the free exercise of religion.

With citations of "Creator" and "Providence," the Founders reestablished the Old Testament criterion of the kingdom of God. The State, embodied in kings, legislatures, and other governing powers, was not supreme but subject to a higher Authority who created all people equal and endowed them with certain unalienable rights. The people's rights, granted by the One who creates and sustains the universe, were declared to be superior to the mundane powers of monarchs and authorities. Those who govern in a free society would receive their power from the people, but only when the people give up and transfer such rights to representatives they trust. This form of self-government is exceptional in the history of humankind. It necessitates that the people and their leaders be virtuous enough to responsibly and unselfishly govern according to the "state of human affairs" prescribed and ruled over by the moral God of the Bible.

Lacorne's perception, therefore, that the American Founders set "a precedence with regard to the principle of secularism," is not consistent with the intent expressed in the writings of the Founders. To the contrary, the religious principles underlying the American Revolution and the secular principles of the French Revolution produced distinctly different outcomes. James Madison wrote in 1789 that the Constitution was meant to implement the principles of the American Revolution and to secure the rights announced by the Declaration of Independence.12 These landmark documents are complementary proclamations of a new nation claiming the "separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them."

The modern idea of secularism is "life without reference to the idea of God and his alleged interventions in the processes of the world….Human beings put themselves at the center of reality and arrogate to themselves authority over life and responsibility for it."13 Given this understanding, some today incorrectly conclude Jefferson was a Deist or perhaps an atheist. They believe Jefferson rejected the idea of God's participation in human history because he rejected organized religion. This conclusion, however, is misconstrued and presumes the institutional Church is the sole expression of Christianity.

Jefferson perceived, however, that organized or institutional religion had circumvented God's plan for humankind, corrupting Christianity with human dogma, enforcing such dogma with threats of damnation and excommunication, and using the Church's claim to exclusive power as heaven's gatekeeper in the service of ecclesiastical imperialism. But in spite of Jefferson's objections to the "statism" he saw in an institution that could treat its parishioners as subjects rather than citizens of heaven, Jefferson clearly understood himself to be a follower of Jesus in the earliest sense of first century discipleship.

Jefferson wrote to Dr. Benjamin Rush in 1803:

"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."14

In 1816, Jefferson wrote to Charles Thomson:

"I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus---very different from the Platonists, who call me infidel and themselves Christians and preachers of the gospel, while they draw all their characteristic dogmas from what its Author never said nor saw. They have compounded from the heathen mysteries a system beyond the comprehension of man, of which the great Reformer of the vicious ethics and deism of the Jews, were he to return on earth, would not recognize one feature."15

Here in summary was Jefferson's issue with the Church of England and institutionalized state-churches in general. In his view, the establishment churches of England and Rome had been corrupted by centuries of involvement with political power structures, becoming themselves an expression of "statism."

Separation of Church and State

It is significant at this point to note that, contrary to subsequent judicial modifications not intended by the Founders, the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States does not call for a "separation of church and state" or the exclusion of religion from public life. Rather, the First Amendment reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The Constitution specifies that religion be autonomous and free of statism, legislative as well as judicial. The federal government may not commission an establishment church. Neither may churches participate in governing as a surrogate of the state. This does not mean, however, that religious principles and morals, expressed as public virtue, may not characterize or influence behavior and participation in the public realm.

The Founding generation considered religion and its moral conscience essential to the proper functioning of the Republic. In the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, the First Congress declared: "Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education, shall forever be encouraged."16

Samuel Adams wrote:

"The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy freedom as the gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people, then shall we both deserve and enjoy it."17

John Adams summed up the need for virtue, saying:

"Public Virtue cannot exist without private [virtue], and public Virtue is the only Foundation of Republics."

What did John Adams consider as public virtue?

"There must be a positive Passion for the public good, the public Interest, Honor, Power, and Glory, established in the Minds of the People, or there can be no Republican Government, nor any real Liberty. And this public Passion must be Superior to all private Passions. Men must be ready, they must pride themselves, and be happy to sacrifice their private Pleasure, Passions, and Interests, nay their private Friendships and dearest connections, when they Stand in Competition with the Rights of society."18

The American system was conceived by principled and pious men who, while ending the centuries-old arrangement between church and state, continued to acknowledge the Judeo-Christian God as the providential grace behind the American Revolution. This was the real narrative of the Republic.

"The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people…This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution."19

John Adams recognized that, before 1775, an earlier reformation had taken place in the characteristic values, beliefs, and practices in colonial America. Taking shape in the 1730s, it broke forth in 1740 as the First Great Awakening of the American people. Perhaps because the Awakening took the form of an evangelical resurgence of Protestantism in response to the secularity of the European Enlightenment within British society and the Church of England, many modern progressives generally ignore how America's colonial society was transformed by revivalism. For the revolutionary generation, the Awakening was a spiritual force that reformed society and prepared people for the commitments and risks inherent in revolution.

The Religious Revolution

In the early decades of the 18th century, the Church of England was a mixture of imperialism, reformed Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, and Enlightenment philosophy. It was an instrument of the state. Colonial society was divided generally into two classes, the upper class gentility, known as the "gentle people," and the middle and lower classes known as the "plain or simple people." The upper class enjoyed the wealth of the colonies in land and crops and the favor of the Church of England. In contrast, merchants, farmers, and laborers found their lives increasingly difficult, burdened by taxes and regulations that restricted trade. This erosion of personal liberties and increasing acts of oppression were made worse at a spiritual level by the Church of England's disfavor and exclusivity.

In the Tidewater and Piedmont Regions of Virginia, churches other than Anglican, such as, Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist, were required by law to be licensed through the Church of England, as were their ministers. Even their sacraments could be administered legally only by Anglican priests, although Baptist congregations often ignored this requirement and their ministers punished. Controls were less stringent west of the Blue Ridge Mountains where frontier communities of Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, and Brethren served the interests of the English Crown as buffers against Indian raids and French incursions. Wherever possible, however, ecclesiastical controls were enforced by local magistrates backed by the power of the Crown, a power that disappeared as America gained its independence.

In his book, The Great Awakening in Virginia, Wesley M. Gewehr writes, "religion had become a matter of dead formality in [Anglican] churches everywhere throughout the colonies."20 This same concern was expressed in 1732 by the Rev. Samuel Wigglesworth. In a sermon delivered to the General Assembly of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, he predicted a coming calamity for New England, unless there was a return to the religious devotion of the first Puritan generation. However, religious imperialism increased among Anglican and Congregationalist churches until colonial society erupted in the First Great Awakening.

Men like Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, William Tennent and his sons, and John Wesley preached for a spiritual renewal among the people of colonial America, regardless of class or ethnic origins. The heart of revival was not about church doctrine, which had been the cause of terrible wars in Europe, but about the work of the Holy Spirit to redeem individuals and society. So despondent were the plain people prior to the Awakening that many who heard the revivalists, and the promise of God's redeeming grace, were overwhelmed with fear and gratitude, falling down in faints or breaking down in emotional and sometimes uncontrollable reactions.

The revivalists' message was like a hammer striking the heads of their listeners. They, like Jesus, came preaching, "Repent (change your mind for the better, heartily amend your ways), for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."21 Colonists had no doubt that their only hope to avoid God's judgment was to separate themselves from the corrupt influences of English society, become a virtuous people, and trust God's grace to deliver them. Deliverance could be expected, Edwards proclaimed, through the flow of providential events yet to come.

Many were convinced that the millennium of Christ's reign could, indeed, be expected by the end of the 19th century. A liberated America was pictured as part of God's coming kingdom of peace and prosperity on earth. These and other strong convictions added to this generation's growing fervor for independence in the years leading up to and following the Revolutionary War. Social divisions between landowners, planters, and laborers, as well as between the races, began to dissolve into a mutual desire for the common good.

Historian Alan Heimert observed in his book, Religion and the American Mind from the Great Awakening to the Revolution, the new Calvinism of the First Great Awakening emphasized the Holy Spirit's work of salvation by grace alone through faith, giving new importance to moral behavior as a response to the work of redemption. Virtue was understood, not as a variety of deportments that differed from class to class, but as a state of mind essentially the same for all men, regardless of station.22 Consequently, a strong emphasis was placed on personal morality. The moral teachings of Jesus Christ were held up as the standard of social excellence by revival preachers, as well as by Thomas Jefferson who assembled a personal devotional study, The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, often incorrectly referred to as "The Jefferson Bible."

Early in the 19th century, a Second Great Awakening spread through the American frontier. This was a movement led by evangelistic frontier ministers to redeem churches from organized religion. They abandoned the traditional practices of institutional religion and returned the practice of religion to a "primitive," pre-Constantine expression of Christianity rooted in individual spirituality rather than institutional orthodoxy. In an effort to recreate the unstructured and independent missionary churches that existed during the first three hundred years after Christ, revivalists rejected the historic creeds of the Church as tests of faith. They abandoned the liturgical practices of establishment churches, rejected denominational structures of ecclesiastical hierarchies, and reinstated the Bible in the language of the people as the only basis of spiritual revelation and knowledge. Proclamations from the pulpit were no longer authoritarian but were subject to discussion by increasingly biblically literate congregates. Persuasion replaced authoritarianism as the tool of preachers.

Liberty, Freedom, and Nature's God

Liberty and freedom were never common words in the vocabulary of Western and Near-Eastern history, according to David Hackett Fischer, Liberty and Freedom: A Visual History of America's Founding Ideas.23 There were no special words in the ancient world for either "liberty" or "freedom". The Code of Hammurabi, in the 18th century BC, contained many references to "slaves." The opposite of "slave" was not "free." It was "master." But neither was a master free. A master was always subject to a more powerful master, such as a king to whom all were subject.

It might be assumed a king was the supreme master, but this was not so either. In the ancient pagan world, a king was subject to the gods, and the gods were subject to Nature, except among the Israelites. To be truly liberated, as were the Israelites during the Exodus from Egypt, required a power greater than Nature or the gods of Egypt. In the minds of the Founders, this was "Nature's God," the "Creator." The assertion by Lacorne that "Creator," "Nature's God," and "Providence" were creatures of the Enlightenment, and foreign to biblical traditions, is unsustainable when confronted by the spiritual faith and providential reliance of the revolutionary generation.

The ancient hierarchal structure of slave and master was familiar to Thomas Jefferson and deplored by him, even though he himself was a master of slaves. In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson purposefully acknowledged the ultimate and universal authority as the Creator. After making reference to "the Laws of Nature," he clarified that Nature also had a master, "Nature's God." Jefferson believed "Nature's God," the Creator, was the grantor of the "separate and equal Station" in life claimed by the American revolutionaries. His less than subtle point to the king of England was: the British Crown may be head of the Church of England but liberty was an endowment to humanity from Nature's God, the Creator of the Old Testament. James Madison would add, religion was essential to a free society but religious establishments of the state were not and, indeed, were impediments to freedom.

Bill for Religious Freedom

The Jefferson-Madison Bill for Religious Freedom "disestablished" the Church of England in America. The effect was that fourteen centuries of church-state arrangements in the West were irreversibly altered. Virginia legislators, and ultimately the U.S. Congress, acted to sever the arrangement of power-sharing between government and churches. Religion would be exercised as it had been before the fourth century CE, freely and on the basis of individual conscience, without government intervention or enforcement.

The Bill for Religious Freedom is popularly recognized as the source for the concept of a "wall of separation between church and state." However, the concept did not appear until 1802 when President Thomas Jefferson, in response to an appeal from the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut, wrote: "I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people, which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State."24 What Jefferson meant by a "wall of separation" is generally unresolved, but may be traced back to a protégé of John Locke, William Chillingworth (1602-1644), The Religion of Protestants: A Safe Way to Salvation.

Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists had no legislative power. It was discovered in the 1840s and subsequently used by progressives to promote the idea of a complete separation of religion from public life. The Bill for Religious Freedom, however, did not call for a "wall of separation" between church and state or for the creation of a "secular Republic." As noted above, the Founders strongly believed that individual freedom of conscience and public virtue, exercised by citizens and elected officials alike, were essential to the proper functioning of a state in a free Republic. As the following language of the bill shows, Jefferson did not envision a nation of irreligious people but expressed a strong social theology rooted in the reign of God.

Jefferson's 1777 Draft Of A Bill For Religious Freedom "SECTION I. Well aware that

  • The opinions and belief of men depend not on their own will, but follow involuntary the evidence proposed to their minds;
  • That Almighty God hath created the mind free, and manifested his supreme will that free it shall remain by making it altogether insusceptible of restraint;
  • That all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments, or burthens [sic], or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do, but to extend it by its influence on reason alone;
  • That the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time;"

"SECT. II.

WE, the General Assembly of Virginia, do enact that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened [sic] in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities."25

Thomas Jefferson and the American Founders creatively shaped this new nation, going far beyond Enlightenment philosophies and separatist religious movements. Free from Europe's historic church-state entanglements, the American people could choose among many religious expressions that would develop within the Republic or choose none at all. Public virtue, however, remained the constant essential social characteristic necessary for the success of the American project.

Even as George Washington neared final victory over the English, he acknowledged God's providential hand in their earlier military successes with the following General Orders in the spring of 1778, following the Revolutionary army's winter in Valley Forge:

"While we are zealously performing the duties of good Citizens and soldiers we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher Glory to add the more distinguished Character of Christian. The signal instances of providential Goodness which we have experienced and which have now almost crowned our labors with complete Success, demand from us in a peculiar manner the warmest returns of Gratitude and Piety to the Supreme Author of all Good."26

Patriots like Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Samuel Adams, and John Adams drew upon the evangelical spirit of the First Great Awakening and, with an individual boldness born of their faith, appealed directly to the Creator as the author and guarantor of human freedom. They made an extraordinarily spiritual departure from the ecclesial-political traditions of Western Europe, and liberated religion and the nation from statism.

Today, these freedoms hang in the balance as the American people stand on a divide between irreligious secularity, requiring autocratic governance to control human passions, and a constitutional Republic moderated by individual morality and religion. The Founders were aware of the fragility of constitutional self-governance if the American people abandoned their commitment to the kingdom of God. Nevertheless, they had faith in the revolutionary spirit that characterized their generation. We are called in this generation to keep the faith of our Fathers, if their vision for a constitutional Republic is to continue.

_________________________

1 The Republic of Letters: The Correspondence between Thomas Jefferson and James Madison 1776-1826; James Morton Smith, ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1995. p.564.
2 "Message from John Adams to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massacusetts." www.beliefnet.com/resourcelib/docs/115/Message.
3 J. T. Shotwell, "The Interpretation of History." Source: The American Historical Review, Vol. 18, No. 4 (Jul. 1913), p. 693. The University of Chicago Press on behalf of the American Historical Association. Stable URL: www.jstor.org/stable/1834766.
4 Austin Dacey, The Secular Conscience: Why Belief Belongs in Public Life. New York: Prometheus Books, 2008, p.30.
5 Ibid, p. 30.
6 Ibid, p. 33.
7 Denis Lacorne, Religion in America – A Political History (translated by George Holoch). New York: Columbia University Press, 2011,
8 The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Ethics, James E. Childress and John Macquarrie, eds. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1986, p.339.
9 The Spirit of Laws. Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu. New York: Prometheus Books, Colonial Press, 1900; Book XXIV, p.27.
10 Ibid. pp. 30-31.
11 Huff-Post-Religion (www.huffingtonpost.com/denis-lacorne), posted 11/01/2011.
12 The Republic of Letters: The Correspondence between Thomas Jefferson and James Madison 1776-1826. James Morton Smith, ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1995, Vol. 1, p.595.
13 The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Ethics, James Childress and John Macquarrie, eds., Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1988, p.567-568.
14 The Real Thomas Jefferson, Second Edition, National Center for Constitutional Studies, 2009, p.364. Bergh 10:379 (1803).
15 Ibid, p.365. Bergh 14:385 (1816).
16 The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, David F. Forte and Matthew Spalding, eds., Washington DC: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2005, p.302.
17 The Life of Samuel Adams, 1:22-23, as quoted in The 5,000 Year Leap, W. Cleon Skousen, National Center for Constitutional Studies, 2008, p.56.
18 John Adams to Mercy Warren, 16 Apr.1776, Warren-Adams Letters 1:222-23, as quoted from The Founders' Constitution, Chapter 18, Document 9.
http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch18s9.html.
19 John Ferling, Setting the World Ablaze: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and the American Revolution, 2002, p. 281.
20 Wesley M. Gewehr, The Great Awakening in Virginia, 1740-1790, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1930, p. 4.
21 Matthew 4:17, Amplified Bible. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing Company, 1987, p.1077.
22 Alan Heimert, Religion and the American Mind from the Great Awakening to the Revolution, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1966, p.55.
23 David Hackett Fischer, Liberty and Freedom: A Visual History of America's Founding Ideas, New York: Oxford University Press, 2005,
24 Library of Congress. Information Bulletin. June 1998 (www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9806/danpre.html)
25 Jefferson's 1777 Draft of a Bill for Religious Freedom; The precursor to the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment of the U. S. Constitution. Religious Tolerance.org Originally published: 1999-Apr-10. Updated: 2000-Jul-11. Edited by B. A. Robertson 6/20/2012.
26 George Washington (May 2, 1778) as quoted in Novak, Washington's God, p.90.

Eugene C. Buie, Jr., DMin.
November 15, 2012
Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.