Quote – Noah Webster

Christian American Statesman

“The command of God is, ‘He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in fear of God,’ 2 Sam. 23:3. This command prescribes the only effectual remedy for public evils. It is an absurd and impious sentiment, that religious character is not necessary for public officers. So far is this from being true, that it is one of the principle qualifications, for any man making or administering laws. When the form of government admits men to office by hereditary right, rulers may or may not be good men; the people have no choice, and must submit. But in representative governments, if rulers are bad men it is generally the fault of the people. The electors may indeed be deceived …

“But in general, the calamity of having evil counselors, legislators, judges, and ministerial officers, is the fault of the electors. They do not regard the precept, to choose ‘just men, who will rule in the fear of God.’ They choose men, not because they are just men, men of integrity, but solely for the sake of supporting a party … But surely as there is a God in heaven who exercises a moral government over affairs of this world, so certainly will the neglect of the divine command, in the choice of rulers, be followed by bad laws, crimes, waste of public money, and a thousand other evils. Men devise and adopt new forms of government; they amend old forms, repair breaches, and punish violators of the constitution; but their is, there can be, no effectual remedy, but obedience to the divine law.”

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