The United States a Christian Nation

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Winston, 1905 - Citizenship - 98 pages
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A good read for Americans that may be unfamiliar with the extent to which Christianity has been positively intertwined with the development of American national life from the beginning. The author sites the seminal documents from the days of first English settlement through the 18th c. separation from Britain and the founding of the United States to illustrate that American history cannot be understood without reference to the Christian motives and faith of its founding peoples. The author makes a case for those of other religions or no religion at all that come to this nation to have some common courtesy and respect for a faith that has played so great a role in the development of the United States. It's highest principles as embodied, for example, in the Golden Rule and the story of the good Samaritan are recognized as wisdom teachings of the highest moral order by all men of good will, whether or not they subscribe to the literal claims of Christian doctrine. To those that have not read the colonial charters and early constitutions, the extent to which promotion of Christianity is cited as one of the key motives for the founding of America may come as a shock. The author makes a case for individual and family morality, warning that if material prosperity leads to excessive love of luxury this will lead to vice and moral corruption and the United States will go the way of ancient Rome. This forecast is starting to look prescient.
The author was a Yale graduate from a distinguished family and a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1890 - 1910 (his father was a Yale valedictorian, his uncle a Supreme Court justice, another uncle a New York Congressman, and another the entrepreneur that developed the telegraph and laid the trans-Atlantic cable. He ancestors include Revolutionary War patriots, senators, Congressmen, and Governors of Massachusetts and Connecticut). In other words, this is an authentic American voice.

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Nothing in this book appears to be based on anything but what can be found among the records of the courts and statutes over the various United States. The author has clearly identified voluminous sources which are beyond debate. A reader may disagree with his conclusions, but disagreement with his data would indeed be difficult. 

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Page 23 - And shall subscribe a profession of their Christian belief in these words : "I, AB, profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ, his eternal Son, the true God, and in the Holy Spirit, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration.
Page 22 - ... to make suitable provision, at their own expense, for the institution of the public worship of GOD, and for the support and maintenance of public Protestant teachers of piety, religion and morality, in all cases where such provision shall not be made voluntarily.
Page 71 - Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State! Sail on, O UNION, strong and great! Humanity with all its fears, With all the hopes of future years, Is hanging breathless on thy fate...
Page 30 - Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man servant, nor thy maid servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates...
Page 24 - That there shall be no establishment of any one religious sect in this province in preference to another ; and that no protestant inhabitant of this colony shall be denied the enjoyment of any civil right, merely on account of his religious principles...
Page 24 - That no person who shall deny the being of God, or the Truth of the Protestant Religion, or the Divine Authority either of the Old or New Testament, or who shall hold Religious Principles incompatible with the Freedom and Safety of the State, shall be capable of holding any Office or Place of Trust or Profit in the Civil Department, within this State.
Page 35 - Christianity, general Christianity, is, and always has been, a part of the common law of Pennsylvania; ... not Christianity with an established church, and tithes, and spiritual courts; but Christianity with liberty of conscience to all men.
Page 14 - Having undertaken, for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith and honor of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia...
Page 91 - IT came upon the midnight clear, That glorious song of old, From angels bending near the earth To touch their harps of gold; 111 "Peace on the earth, good-will to men, From heaven's all-gracious King.
Page 20 - Virginia, have had it in their minds, and have proposed to themselves, to the end that the Church of Virginia may be furnished with a seminary of ministers of the gospel, and that the youth may be piously educated in good letters and manners, and that the Christian faith may be propagated among the Western Indians, to the glory of Almighty God...

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