President of the United States of America
From his Farewell Address, 1796:
"One method of assault may be to effect in the forms of the Constitution alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown. . . .
"… the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism....
"Let there be no change by
usurpation; for though this in one instance may be the instrument of
good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.
. . .
"Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people to surrender their interests.....
"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 Men and Citizens. The
mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to
cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections 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 leads also to concessions
to the favorite Nation of privileges denied to others.... And it gives
to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens, (who devote themselves
to the favorite nation,) facility to betray or sacrifice the interests
of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity;
gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable
deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the
base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation....
The entire message: www.earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/milestones/farewell/text.html
That means taking George Washington's last point to heart:
"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 men and citizens. … And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion."
Home | Preparing for Victory | Persecution | Bible Studies
Unalienable Rights? From God?
Preambles of the States: Americans once agreed to trust God!
Government & the Lessons of History
The Transformation of America