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It is true, indeed, that the Constitution of the United States does not once mention the name of God. And even the first article of the amendments declares, that “ Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." And so strongly have certain religious sects been impressed with this fact, that they have repeatedly tried to get the name of God incorporated into the Constitution.

But the omission of God's holy name affords no just criterion of the religious character of the Founders of the Republic or of the Constitution which they framed. Nor should we have any concern to have the name of God imprinted in the Constitution, so long as the Constitution itself is interpreted by the light of Christian Revelation. I would rather sail under the guidance of a living captain than under that of a figure-head at the prow of a ship. The adorable name of God should not be a mere figure-head adorning the pages of the Constitution. Far better for the nation that His Spirit should animate our laws, that He should be invoked in our courts of justice, that He should be worshipped in our Sabbaths and thanksgivings, and that His guidance should be implored in the opening of our Congressional proceedings.

If the authors of the Constitution did not insert the name of God in that immortal instrument, they did not fail however to recognize Him as the essential source of wisdom, as is evident from the following memorable words recorded of one of their most

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The subject treated in the foregoing chapter would not be adequately discussed unless some application of it be made to our own country. It may be interesting and instructive for us to consider in this place whether the dictum of the Holy Scripture, “ Righteousness exalteth a nation,”1 is as applicable to the

, United States as it has been to ancient empires ; whether the founders of our government and their successors, down to our time, have been indebted to religion as an indispensable element for establishing and maintaining the Republic on a solid basis; what blessings we owe to our Christian civilization; and what dangers are to be averted that the Commonwealth may be perpetuated.

At first sight it might seem that religious principles were entirely ignored by the Fathers of the Republic in framing the Constitution, as it contains no reference to God, and makes no appeal to religion.

Proverbs XIV., 34.

It is true, indeed, that the Constitution of the United States does not once mention the name of God. And even the first article of the amendments declares, that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." And so strongly have certain religious sects been impressed with this fact, that they have repeatedly tried to get the name of God incorporated into the Constitution.

But the omission of God's holy name affords no just criterion of the religious character of the Founders of the Republic or of the Constitution which they framed. Nor should we have any concern to have the name of God imprinted in the Constitution, so long as the Constitution itself is interpreted by the light of Christian Revelation. I would rather sail under the guidance of a living captain than under that of a figure-head at the prow of a ship.

The adorable name of God should not be a mere figure-head adorning the pages of the Constitution. Far better for the nation that His Spirit should animate our laws, that He should be invoked in our courts of justice, that He should be worshipped in our Sabbaths and thanksgivings, and that His guidance should be implored in the opening of our Congressional proceedings.

If the authors of the Constitution did not insert the name of God in that immortal instrument, they did not fail however to recognize Him as the essential source of wisdom, as is evident from the following memorable words recorded of one of their most

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illustrious members: “The small progress we have made after four or five weeks of close attendance and continued reasonings with each other, our different sentiments on almost every question, is, methinks, a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the human understanding We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, Since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of government, and examined the different forms of those republics which, having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution, now no longer exist. In this situation of this assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, sir, that we have not heretofore once thought of humbly applying to the Father of Light to illuminate our understandings? I have lived for many years, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see that God governs in the affairs of men, and if a sparrow cannot fall without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We are told in the sacred writings that except the Lord build a house, they labor in vain that build it. This I firmly believe, and I believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed no better in this political building of ours than did the builders of Babel.”

The Declaration of American Independence is one of the most solemn and memorable professions of

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1 Parton's Life of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. II., pp. 573-4.

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