Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Importance of Voting and Christian Involvement in the Political Arena


John Adams
We electors have an important constitutional power placed in our
hands: we have a check upon two branches of the legislature, as each
branch has upon the other two; the power I mean of electing at stated
periods, one branch, which branch has the power of electing another.
It becomes necessary to every subject then, to be in some degree a
statesman: and to examine and judge for himself of the tendencies of
political principles and measures.

[John Adams, The Papers of John Adams, Robert J. Taylor, ed.
(Cambridge: Belknap Press, 1977), Vol. 1, p. 81, from "'U' to the
Boston Gazette" written on August 29, 1763.]

Samuel Adams
Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote
that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an
individual - or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is
executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for
which he is accountable to God and his country.

[Samuel Adams, The Writings of Samuel Adams, Harry Alonzo
Cushing, editor (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1907), Vol. IV,
. 256, in the Boston Gazette on April 16, 1781.]

Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a
State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust
be men of unexceptionable characters. The public cannot be too
curious concerning the character of public men.

[Samuel Adams, The Writings of Samuel Adams, Harry Alonzo
Cushing, editor (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1907), Vol. III,
p. 236-237, to James Warren on November 4, 1775.]

Matthias Burnett
Consider well the important trust . . . which God . . . [has] put into
your hands. . . . To God and posterity you are accountable for
[your rights and your rulers]. . . . Let not your children have reason
to curse you for giving up those rights and prostrating those
institutions which your fathers delivered to you. . . . [L]ook well to
the characters and qualifications of those you elect and raise to office
and places of trust. . . . Think not that your interests will be safe in
the hands of the weak and ignorant; or faithfully managed by the
impious, the dissolute and the immoral. Think not that men who
acknowledge not the providence of God nor regard His laws will be
uncorrupt in office, firm in defense of the righteous cause against
the oppressor, or resolutly oppose the torrent of iniquity. . . . Watch
over your liberties and privileges - civil and religious - with a
careful eye.

[Matthias Burnett, Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Norwalk,
An Election Sermon, Preached at Hartford, on the Day of the
Anniversary Election, May 12, 1803 (Hartford: Printed by Hudson
& Goodwin, 1803), pp. 27-28.]

Frederick Douglass
I have one great political idea. . . . That idea is an old one. It is widely
and generally assented to; nevertheless, it is very generally trampled
upon and disregarded. The best expression of it, I have found in the
Bible. It is in substance, "Righteousness exalteth a nation; sin is a
reproach to any people" [Proverbs 14:34]. This constitutes my
politics - the negative and positive of my politics, and the whole of my
politics. . . . I feel it my duty to do all in my power to infuse this idea
into the public mind, that it may speedily be recognized and practiced
upon by our people.

[Frederick Douglass, The Frederick Douglass Papers, John
Blassingame, editor (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982),
Vol. 2, p. 397, from a speech delivered at Ithaca, New York,
October 14th, 1852.]

Charles Finney
[T]he time has come that Christians must vote for honest men and
take consistent ground in politics or the Lord will curse them. . . .
Christians have been exceedingly guilty in this matter. But the time
has come when they must act differently. . . . Christians seem to act
as if they thought God did not see what they do in politics. But I tell
you He does see it - and He will bless or curse this nation according
to the course they [Christians] take [in politics].

[Charles G. Finney, Lectures on Revivals of Religion (New York:
Fleming H. Revell Company, 1868), Lecture XV, pp. 281-282.]

James Garfield
Now more than ever the people are responsible for the character
of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt,
it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption.
If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand
these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature. . . .
[I]f the next centennial does not find us a great nation . . . it will be
because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the
morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.

[James A. Garfield, The Works of James Abram Garfield, Burke
Hinsdale, editor (Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1883),
Vol. II, pp. 486, 489, "A Century of Congress," July, 1877.]

Francis Grimke
If the time ever comes when we shall go to pieces, it will . . . be . . .
from inward corruption - from the disregard of right principles . . .
from losing sight of the fact that "Righteousness exalteth a nation, but
that sin is a reproach to any people" [Proverbs 14:34]. . . .[T]he
secession of the Southern States in 1860 was a small matter with the
secession of the Union itself from the great principles enunciated in
the Declaration of Independence, in the Golden Rule, in the Ten
Commandments, in the Sermon on the Mount. Unless we hold, and
hold firmly to these great fundamental principles of righteousness, . . .
our Union . . . will be "only a covenant with death and an agreement
with hell."

[Rev. Francis J. Grimke, from "Equality of Right for All Citizens, Black
and White, Alike," March 7, 1909, published in Masterpieces of Negro
Eloquence, Alice Moore Dunbar, editor (New York: Dover Publications,
Inc., 2000), pp. 246-247.]

Alexander Hamilton
A share in the sovereignty of the state, which is exercised by the
citizens at large, in voting at elections is one of the most important
rights of the subject, and in a republic ought to stand foremost in the
estimation of the law.

[Alexander Hamilton, The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, Harold C.
Syrett, ed. (New York, Columbia University Press, 1962), Vol III,
pp. 544-545.]

John Jay
Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is
the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation,
to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.

[John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, Henry
P. Johnston, ed. (New York: G.P. Putnams Sons, 1890), Vol. IV, p. 365.]

The Americans are the first people whom Heaven has favored with an
opportunity of deliberating upon and choosing the forms of government
under which they should live.

[John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, Henry
P. Johnston, ed. (New York: G.P. Putnams Sons, 1890), Vol. I, p. 161.]

Thomas Jefferson
The elective franchise, if guarded as the ark of our safety, will peaceably
dissipate all combinations to subvert a Constitution, dictated by the
wisdom, and resting on the will of the people.

[Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Bergh,
ed. (Washington: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1903),nt [lack] good
men and be abolished or invaded by ill men; but good men will never
want good laws nor suffer [allow] ill ones.

[William Penn quoted from: Thomas Clarkson, Memoirs of the Private
and Public Life of William Penn (London: Richard Taylor and Co., 1813)
Vol. I, p.303.]

Daniel Webster
Impress upon children the truth that the exercise of the elective
franchise is a social duty of as solemn a nature as man can be called to
perform; that a man may not innocently trifle with his vote; that every
elector is a trustee as well for others as himself and that every measure
he supports has an important bearing on the interests of others as well
as on his own.

[Daniel Webster, The Works of Daniel Webster (Boston: Little, Brown,
and Company, 1853), Vol. II, p. 108, from remarks made at a public
reception by the ladies of Richmond, Virginia, on October 5, 1840.]

Noah Webster
In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the
particular sect or denomination of the candidate - look to his character. . . .
When a citizen gives his suffrage to a man of known immorality he
abuses his trust; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his
neighbor, he betrays the interest of his country.

[Noah Webster, Letters to a Young Gentleman Commencing His
Education to which is subjoined a Brief History of the United States
(New Haven: S. Converse, 1823), pp. 18, 19.]

When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public
officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you
to choose for rulers, "just men who will rule in the fear of God." The
preservation of government depends on the faithful discharge of this
duty; if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in
office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not
for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or
incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public
revenues will be sqandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the
citizens will be violated or disregarded. If a republican government
fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the
citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and
administer the laws.

[Noah Webster, History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie &
Peck, 1832), pp. 336-337, �49.]

John Witherspoon
Those who wish well to the State ought to choose to places of trust
men of inward principle, justified by exemplary conversation. . . .
[And t]he people in general ought to have regard to the moral
character of those whom they invest with authority either in the
legislative, executive, or judicial branches.

[John Witherspoon, The Works of John Witherspoon Edinburgh: J.
Ogle, 1815), Vol. IV, pp. 266, 277.]

This site belongs to WallBuilders, LLC, a Texas Limited Liability
Corporation PO Box 397 Aledo, Texas 76008 Contact Us Site
designed and powered by Blepo.

Website for Wallbuilders Check it out!

No comments:

Post a Comment