Friday, October 24th, 2008 | Author:

[This post is part of the Favorite Founders' Quote Friday sponsored by Meet the Founding Fathers. Go to the site to see who else has participated today.]

Not known as a founding father in the strictest sense, Jedediah Morse was, however, a patriot, a minister for many years, and the father of the infamous Samuel Morse. For his early work on defining the American landscape, he came to be known as the “Father of American Geography.” For further reading, here is an early biography.

My quote this week is taken from an election sermon he gave on April 25, 1799, in Charlestown, Massachusetts. It seemed appropriate that his words be heard again on the eve of our own elections.

To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, either through unbelief, or the corruption of its doctrines, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom, and approximate the miseries of complete despotism. All efforts to destroy the foundations of our holy religion, ultimately tend to the subversion also of our political freedom and happiness. Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all the blessings which flow from them, must fall with them.


Or, as Psalm 127:1 tells us:

Unless the LORD builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the LORD guards the city,
The watchman keeps awake in vain.

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2 Responses
  1. Hercules Mulligan says:

    Wow Jean. This quote is fantastic! And because I love Jedediah Morse, I will let you get away with this one. ;) He was a friend of several of the Founders, including John Jay. And, if you remember my FFQF from a while back, it was Jay who encouraged Morse to write a history of America, paying especial attention to the hand of God in its progress.

    Jedediah Morse was also “a voice crying out in the wilderness” warning America of the dangers of the Jacobin party, and the Illuminati, who (for all practical purposes), spawned it. Few seemed to heed his warnings, and even men like Jefferson scorned it, but Morse rightly foresaw the cancer of “infidelity” spreading in America through false political and religious idealogy.

    I spent about two years studying this, and locating his (lengthy) sermons, which have gone out of print for over a century (!). Sometime, I hope to post the resulting paper on my blog.

    Thanks again for the quote. Happy FFQF!

    P.S. Hope I didn’t leave too big of a load in your inbox. :)

  2. akaGaGa says:

    I will look forward to your post about this, Herky. I think these types of warnings are so critical for today.

    Thanks! And now … I will go check my email!