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The Mandate

A Foreign Historian Visits America

By Editorial Staff
Published April 24, 2008

Alexis de Toqueville, the French historian, came to America in the early 1800s. He said he searched everywhere for what it was that made America so great. He looked everywhere but did not find it until he went to America’s churches.

He drew this conclusion: “America is great because America is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”


George Washington, First President of the United States

“True religion offers the government its surest support.”

“It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”


John Adams, Second President of the United States

“The first and only book deserving of universal attention is the Bible.”

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”


James Madison, Fourth President of the United States

“Religion … [is] the basis and foundation of government … Before any man can be considered as a member of civil society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe.”


Samuel Adams, after signing the Declaration of Independence

“We have this day restored the Sovereign to whom alone men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and … from the rising to the setting sun, may His kingdom come.”


Abraham Lincoln, Sixteenth President of the United States

“All the good of the world is communicated through this Book (the Bible); but for this Book we could not know right from wrong. All the things desirable to man are contained in it.”


Emma Willard, 19th-century educator and historian

“The government of the United States is acknowledged by the wise and good of other nations to be the most free, impartial and righteous government of the world; but all agree that for such a government to be sustained many years, the principles of truth and righteousness, taught in the Holy Scriptures, must be practiced. The rulers must govern in the fear of God, and the people obey the laws … A nation cannot exist without religion. France tried that and failed. We were born a … Christian nation, and, as such, baptized in blood. Our position ought to be defined as that.”


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Frank Schaeffer Will You Please Shut Up! (Book)

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An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification

In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.

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