How did Jesus influence America's founders?
There is an on-going debate on whether the United States was founded as a Christian nation. Were our early leaders devout believers in Jesus? Well, what did they write about themselves?
We must hold a familiar commerce together in each other in all meekness, gentleness, patience, and liberality. We must delight in each other, make one another’s condition our own, rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our Commission and Community in this work, as members of the same body….
We shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when ten of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies, when He shall make us a praise and glory, that men of succeeding plantations shall say, “The Lord make it like that of New England.” For we must Consider that we shall be as a City upon a Hill, the eyes of all people are upon us.
For we must Consider that we shall be as a City upon a Hill, the eyes of all people are upon us.
Benjamin Franklin in Poor Richard’s Almanac offered his personal version of the Lord’s Prayer:
Heavenly Father, May all revere Thee, And become They dutiful children and faithful subjects. May thy Laws be obeyed on earth as perfectly as they are in Heaven. Provide for us this day as Thou hast hitherto daily done. Forgive us our trespasses, and enable us likewise to forgive those that offended us. Keep us out of temptation and deliver us from Evil.
In a 1787 speech to the Constitutional Convention:
God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel.
In comments on the Great Awakening – a religious revival that swept early America, led by Jonathan Edwards:
It was wonderful to see the change soon made in the manners of our inhabitants. From being thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seemed as if all the world were growing religious, so that one could not walk thro’ the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung in different families of every street.