BENJAMIN RUSH’S WORLDVIEW
These four quotes of Benjamin Rush (Founding Father, signer of The Declaration of Independence) provide insight into his Christian worldview – emphasis added
The New Testament promotes the well-being of civil government…
“I proceed … to inquire what mode of education we shall adopt so as to secure to the state all of the advantages that are to be derived from the proper instruction of the youth; and here I beg leave to remark that the only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid on the foundation of religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments. … But the religion I mean to recommend in this place is that of the New Testament… Its doctrines and precepts are calculated to promote the happiness of society and the safety and well-being of civil government.”
Thoughts Upon the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic (1786)
Education of youth in the principles of Christianity…
“In contemplating the political institutions of the United States, I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes, and take so little pains to prevent them. We profess to be Republicans and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government; that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible.”
1791 essay on, “Defense of the Use of the Bible as a School Book.”
Christianity is the only true and perfect…
“[Here are] my reasons for preferring the Bible as a schoolbook to all other compositions ….
That Christianity is the only true and perfect religion; and that in proportion as mankind adopts its principles and obeys its precepts they will be wise and happy.
- That a better knowledge of this religion is to be acquired by reading the Bible than in any other way.
- That the Bible contains more knowledge necessary to man in his present state than any other book in the world.
- That knowledge is most durable, and religious instruction most useful, when imparted in early life.
- That the Bible, when not read in schools, is seldom read in any subsequent period of life.”
Pamplet ‘A Defense of the Use of the Bible as a Schoolbook’, 1791
Your wishes to keep religion and government independent…
“I agree with you likewise in your wishes to keep religion and government independent of each Other. Were it possible for St. Paul to rise from his grave at the present juncture, he would say to the Clergy who are now so active in settling the political Affairs of the World. ‘Cease from your political labors your kingdom is not of this World. Read my Epistles. In no part of them will you perceive me aiming to depose a pagan Emperor, or to place a Christian upon a throne. Christianity disdains to receive Support from human Governments. From this, it derives its preeminence over all the religions that ever have, or ever Shall exist in the World. Human Governments may receive Support from Christianity but it must be only from the love of justice, and peace which it is calculated to produce in the minds of men. By promoting these, and all the Other Christian Virtues by your precepts, and example, you will much sooner overthrow errors of all kind, and establish our pure and holy religion in the World, than by aiming to produce by your preaching, or pamphlets any change in the political state of mankind.’”
Letter to Thomas Jefferson, 6 October 1800[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]