Vine & Fig Tree in history

Against "Separation"

Predestination in American History

The purpose of this page is to show the influence of Calvinism on the Founding Fathers, by showing that they believed in the doctrine of Provdience, that is, that a Sovereign God overruled the "free will" of the British to give victory to the colonists.

The Influence of the Westminster Standards

The Doctrine of Predestination
Learn more here.

The Doctrine in American History


Here is a statement of the issue by one of the most famous Presbyterian Confessions, written in 1643-47, which Witherspoon probably made Madison memorize.
(I take that back; Madison probably had it memorized before he entered Princeton. They didn't have the ACLU screwing up middle schools back then.)

Of God's Eternal Decree

1. God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass:[a] yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin,[b] nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.[c]
[a]. Ps. 33:11; Eph. 1:11; Heb. 6:17
[b]. Ps. 5:4; James 1:13-14; 1 John 1:5; see Hab. 1:13
[c]. Acts 2:23; Matt. 17:12; Acts 4:27-28; John 19:11; Prov. 16:33

2. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions,[d] yet hath he not decreed anything because he foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.[e]
[d]. I Sam. 23:11-12; Matt. 11:21, 23
[e]. Rom. 9:11, 13, 16, 18

3. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels[f] are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.[g]
[f]. I Tim. 5:21; Jude 6; Matt. 25:31, 41
[g]. Eph. 1:5-6; Rom. 9:22-23; Prov. 16:4

4. These angels and men, thus predestinated, and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.[h]
[h]. John 13:18; II Tim. 2:19; see John 10:14-16, 27, 28; John 17:2, 6, 9-12

5. Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen, in Christ, unto everlasting glory,[i] out of his mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith, or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving him thereunto:[k] and all to the praise of his glorious grace.[l]
[i]. Eph. 1:4, 9, 11; Rom. 8:28-30; II Tim. 1:9; I Thess. 5:9
[k]. Rom. 9:11, 13, 15-16; Eph. 2:8-9; see Eph. 1:5, 9, 11
[l]. Eph. 1:6, 12

6. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath he, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, foreordained all the means thereunto.[m] Wherefore, they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ,[n] are effectually called unto faith in Christ by his Spirit working in due season, are justified,adopted, sanctified,[o] and kept by his power, through faith, unto salvation.[p] Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.[q]
[m]. I Pet. 1:2; Eph. 2:10; II Thess. 2:13
[n]. I Thess. 5:9-10; Titus 2:14
[o]. Rom. 8:30; see Eph. 1:5; II Thess. 2:13
[p]. I Pet 1:5
[q]. John 10:14-15, 26; John 6:64-65; Rom. 8:28-39; see John 8:47; John 17:9; I John 2:19

7. The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of his own will, whereby he extendeth or witholdeth mercy, as he pleaseth, for the glory of his sovereign power over his creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonour and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious justice.[r]
[r]. Matt. 11:25-26; Rom. 9:17-18, 21-22; Jude 4; I Pet. 2:8; II Tim. 2:19-20

8. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care,[s] that men, attending the will of God revealed in his Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election.[t] So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God;[u] and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the gospel.[w]
[s]. Rom. 9:20; Rom. 11:33; Deut. 29:29
[t]. II Pet. 1:10; I Thess. 1:4-5
[u]. Eph. 1:6; see Rom. 11:33
[w]. Rom. 11:5-6, 20; Rom. 8:33; Luke 10:20; see II Pet. 1:10


Of Providence

1. God the great Creator of all things doth uphold,[a] direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things,[b] from the greatest even to the least,[c] by His most wise and holy providence,[d] according to His infallible foreknowledge,[e] and the free and immutable counsel of his own will,[f] to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.[g]
[a]. Neh. 9:6; Ps. 145:14-16; Heb. 1:3
[b]. Dan. 4:34-35; Ps. 135:6; Acts 17:25-28; Job 38:1-41:34
[c]. Matt. 10:29-31, see Matt. 6:26-32
[d]. Prov. 15:3; II Chron. 16:9; Ps. 104:24; Ps. 145:17
[e]. Acts 15:18; Isa. 42:9; Ezek. 11:5
[f]. Eph. 1:11; Ps. 33:10-11
[g]. Isa. 63:14; Eph. 3:10; Rom. 9:17; Gen. 45:7; Ps. 145:7

2. Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first Cause, all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly;[h] yet, by the same providence, he ordereth them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.[i]
[h]. Acts 2:23; see Isa. 14:24, 27
[i]. Gen. 8:22; Jer. 31:55; Isa. 10:6-7; see Exod. 21:13; and Deut. 19:5; I Kings 22:28-34

3. God, in his ordinary providence, maketh use of means,[k] yet is free to work without,[l] above,[m] and against them, at His pleasure.[n]
[k]. Acts 27:24, 31, 44; Isa. 55:10-11
[l]. Hos. 1:7; Matt. 4:4; Job 34:20
[m]. Rom. 4:19-21
[n]. II Kings 6:6; Dan. 3:27

4. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in his providence, that it extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men;[o] and that not by a bare permission,[p] but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding,[q] and otherwise ordering, and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to his own holy ends;[r] yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.[s]
[o]. Isa. 45:7; Rom. 11:32-34; II Sam. 16:10; Acts 2:23; Acts 4:27-28; see II Sam. 24:1 and I Chron. 21:1; I Kings 22:22-23; I Chron. 10:4, 13-14
[p]. John 12:40; II Thess. 2:11
[q]. Ps. 76:10; II Kings 19:28
[r]. Gen. 50:20; Isa. 10:12; see verses 6-7, 13-15
[s]. James 1:13-14, 17; I John 2:16; Ps. 50:21

5. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God doth oftentimes leave, for a season, his own children to manifold temptations, and the corruption of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled;[t] and, to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon himself, and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for sundry other just and holy ends.[u]
[t]. II Chron. 32:25-26, 31; Deut. 8:2-3, 5; Luke 22:31-32; see II Sam. 24:1, 25
[u]. II Cor. 12:7-9; see Ps. 73:1-28; Ps. 77:1-12; Mark 14:66-72; John 21:15-19

6. As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as a righteous Judge, for former sins, doth blind and harden,[w] from them he not only withholdeth his grace whereby they might have been enlightened in their understandings, and wrought upon in their hearts;[x] but sometimes also withdraweth the gifts which they had,[y] and exposeth them to such objects as their corruptions make occasions of sin;[z] and, withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan,[a] whereby it comes to pass that they harden themselves, even under those means which God useth for the softening of others.[b]
[w]. Rom. 1:24, 26, 28; Rom. 11:7-8
[x]. Deut. 29:4; Mark 4:11-12
[y]. Matt. 13:12; Matt. 25:29; see Acts 13:10-11
[z]. Gen. 4:8; II Kings 8:12-13; see Matt. 26:14-16
[a]. Ps. 109:6; Luke 22:3; II Thess. 2:10-12
[b]. Exod. 8:15, 32; II Cor. 2:15-16; Isa. 8:14; I Pet. 2:7-8; see Exod. 7:3; Isa. 6:9-10; Acts 28:26-27

7. As the providence of God doth, in general, reach to all creatures; so, after a most special manner, it taketh care of his church, and disposeth all things to the good thereof.[c]
[c]. I Tim. 4:10; Amos 9:8-9; Matt. 16:18; Rom. 8:28; Isa. 43:3-5, 14

Concerning the Westminster Standards, Richard Gardiner writes:

The Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) In addition to being the decree of Parliament as the standard for Christian doctrine in the British Kingdom, it was adopted as the official statement of belief for the colonies of Massachusetts and Connecticut. Although slightly altered and called by different names, it was the creed of Congregationalist, Baptist, and Presbyterian Churches throughout the English speaking world. Assent to the Westminster Confession was officially required at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Princeton scholar, Benjamin Warfield wrote: "It was impossible for any body of Christians in the [English] Kingdoms to avoid attending to it."

The Westminster Catechism (1646) Second only to the Bible, the "Shorter Catechism" of the Westminster Confession was the most widely published piece of literature in the pre-revolutionary era in America. It is estimated that some five million copies were available in the colonies. With a total population of only four million people in America at the time of the Revolution, the number is staggering. The Westminster Catechism was not only a central part of the colonial educational curriculum, learning it was required by law. Each town employed an officer whose duty was to visit homes to hear the children recite the Catechism. The primary schoolbook for children, the New England Primer, included the Catechism. Daily recitations of it were required at these schools. Their curriculum included memorization of the Westminster Confession and the Westminster Larger Catechism. There was not a person at Independence Hall in 1776 who had not been exposed to it, and most of them had it spoon fed to them before they could walk.

From America OnLine's "Separation of Church and State" Bulletin Board. (Jump works only for AOL subscribers.)

Subject: Predestination in American History 
From: (KEVIN4VFT)  
Date: 11 Feb 1999 06:47:24 EST 

In article <>, (ASSICON) writes:

>In a prior post related to this thread, Kevin indicated that he was a
>proponent of the doctrine of Predestination, and denied that human freedom is
>a God ordained value.

"Political freedom" is a value; insofar as God commands you not to steal from me, I have freedom to use my property. Of course, stealing from others is the centerpiece of "liberal" politics and economic policy.

>Kevin asked me to provide biblical proof to the
>contrary. In this context I proposed taking a look at the creation story in
>Genesis in which we have God administering a test through the
>tree-of-knowledge-of-good-and-evil. The very fact that this tree existed
>leads to only one
>conclusion--- God created freedom

God said not to eat of it or you will die. You call that "freedom?"

> and he presented humans with options-
>apparently options which He preferred would not be exercised.

In the same way God gave Pharaoh options. Pharaoh chose to exercise the option not to let God's People go, and he lost his first born. Eventually, after letting the People go, Pharaoh went after them again, attempting to bring them back, and God destroyed him and his army in the Red Sea.
The People of God rejoiced that Pharaoh and his army were destroyed by the mighty intervention of Divine Providence. In the New Testament, no less than the Old, we are told that Pharaoh had no freedom, that God had predetermined to drown Pharaoh, and so hardened Pharaoh's heart.

Romans 9:16-23 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, [or of him who claims he has "freedom",] but of God who shows mercy. {17} For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth." {18} Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. {19} You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? ["How can you say man is responsible?"] For who has resisted His will?" {20} But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to Him who formed it, "Why have you made me like this?" {21} Does not the Potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? {22} What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, {23} and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory,

But Pharaoh was not an automaton; he was a human being created in the Image of God. He understood the command of God, and chose to disobey it. He was held responsible for his rebellion.

>The creation
>evidence of human freedom as being a God inspired value is but one of many
>biblical examples.

Still waiting for an example.

>As a post script here, I would say that Kevin's
>admission that he views freedom as something other than a value authored by
>God as significant because it is not difficult to suspect that much of his
>world view
>flows from this theological perspective.

Such is inevitable.
Just as Stalin's world view stemmed from his atheistic theological perspective.
Just as Washington's world view stemmed from his theistic gratitude for the intervention of Divine Providence in the crushing of King George's army.

>>Kevin responded to my post by saying that:
>>>>what you call ‘freedom’ is simply the nature of one created in God's
>Image. We are not random mutations, conglomerations of chemicals. God is a
>Person, we are persons.<<<
> >It is not really clear what Kevin is trying to say here,

Human beings are created in the image of God.

What do you mean by "freedom?"

  • Do you mean the ability to gather data, reflect on past experience and tradition, ask questions of your trusted counselors (and expect those questions to be understood), think through your choices rationally, and then take decisive action?
  • Do you mean the ability to decide which poem to read or music to listen to, and then to let the artist speak to your soul? Do you mean the ability to love your spouse and your children, and to experience tears of joy?
  • Do you mean the struggle of conscience you endure when the State orders you to pull the trigger and execute a Fundamentalist, or run their children over with a tank, or burn down their "compound" [home]?

All of these things are things human beings engage in, and animals do not.
This is because we human beings are created in the Image of God, as the Bible says.

The evolutionist says we are no different from animals; that we are a randomly-mutated conglomeration of chemicals, brought about by the cold, impersonal forces of time + chance.

  • A plant does not choose to be born, uses chlorophyll to convert the sun's energy into a flower, which withers in the fall, and dies.
  • A dog does not choose to be born, converts sunlight into energy, barks at the moon, and dies.
  • A human being does not choose to be born, converts sunlight into Vitamin D, barks at the driver who cuts in front of him, and dies.

If evolution is true, neither you, nor a cockroach, nor a rock have what you think of as "free will." The plant has "chlorophyll,"; you have "free will." Big Deal. There's no difference between the two.

The whole concept of a "will" is an illusion.

BUT . . . If you were created by the Loving, Sovereign Lord God of the Bible, and bear His Image, then you do have what you call "free will." The fact that this God predestines all that comes to pass does not "violate" your pre-existing "free will," it creates the necessary environment for all meaningful human action.

I choose to believe the Bible, not Darwin and Hitler.

>except that you
>notice he has not really responded to the creation evidence pertaining to
>human freedom. He has not demonstrated how God's invitation to humankind,
>with the garden tree, to make a choice, could be anything other than FREEDOM.

Have you even read the account? There was no "invitation." It was a command, and when Adam & Eve violated it, they hid from the wrath of God. Freedom?

> >For those of you who operate with theistic presuppositions, can we not say
>that if humans were not created by God into freedom as free moral agents, it
>logically follows that God created automatons.

I don't see any logic to your statement at all.
I am created in the Image of God. I am not an automaton.
Everything I do has been predestined by God. (God was not forced to create me knowing that I would do what God really didn't want me to do.)

>Now it is interesting to note
>that Kevin likes to talk about human responsibility, but I'm not sure how
>responsibility is possible, absent freedom.

God creates human beings in His Image, and commands them (in verbal communication which they have been created to understand) not to do X, under penalty of Y. They do X, and they receive Y.

Compare the result with a rock, which cannot understand God's commands.

>I even asked Kevin what
>automaton he knows who employs responsibility? Interestingly, and tellingly
>Kevin did not respond!!!

Oh, dear, how embarrassing. I "didn't respond."
Could it be because I don't know any automatons?
Human beings created in God's Image are responsible to obey God's commands. Pharaoh was held responsible even though his disobedience was inescapably pre-ordained by God.

The doctrine of God's Sovereign Pre-Ordaining Providence permeates American history.

William Bradford wrote about God's "providence" in his "History of Plimouth Plantation," (1620):

And I may not omit here a special work of God's providence. There was a proud and very profane young man, one of the sea-men, of a lusty, able body, which made him the more haughty; he would always be contemning the poor people in their sickness and cursing them daily with grievous execrations, and did not let to tell them, that he hoped to help to cast half of them overboard before they came to their journey's end, and to make merry with what they had; and if he were by any gently reproved, he would curse and swear most bitterly. But it pleased God before they came half seas over, to smite this young man with a grievous disease, of which he died in a desperate manner, and so was himself the first that was thrown overboard. Thus his curses light on his own head; and it was an astonishment to all his fellows, for they noted it to be the just hand of God upon him….

The first Charter of Virginia, granted by King James I (of "King James Version" fame) on April 10, 1606, reads,

III. We, greatly commending, and graciously accepting of, their Desires for the Furtherance of so noble a Work, which may, by the Providence of Almighty God, hereafter tend to the Glory of his Divine Majesty, in propagating of Christian Religion to such People, as yet live in Darkness and miserable Ignorance of the true Knowledge and Worship of God, and may in time bring the Infidels and Savages, living in those Parts, to human Civility, and to a settled and quiet Government; DO, by these our Letters Patents, graciously accept of, and agree to, their humble and well-intended Desires;

Capt. John Smith describes how God "violated" the free will of the indians in his description of the Settlement of Jamestown, 1607:

So to Jamestown with 12 guides Powhatan sent him. That night they quartered in the woods, he still expecting (as he had done all this long time of his imprisonment) every hour to be put to one death or other: for all their feasting. But almighty God (by his divine providence) had mollified the hearts of those stern barbarians with compassion. The next morning betimes they came to the fort, where Smith having used the savages with what kindness he could, he showed Rawhunt, Powhatan's trusty servant, two demi-culverins and a millstone to carry Powhatan:

CAPTAIN EDWARD JOHNSON, who came to Massachusetts Bay in 1630 with Governor Winthrop, and founded the town of Woburn, was a typical Puritan farmer-colonist, pious, brave and fond of recording current events. For twenty-eight years, from 1643 to 1671, he represented the town in the General Court, and served on many important committees.
His history of the settlement of Massachusetts is best known under its sub-title, "The Wonder-working Providence of Zion's Savior," published anonymously in London in 1654. It is valuable as a minute record of civil and ecclesiastical procedure in the Bay Colony, and has been incorporated in the Massachusetts Historical Collection.

In 1669 the commissioners of the New England colonies requested Nathaniel Morton, Secretary of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, to compile a history of New England. He called the work which he published at Cambridge, Massachusetts, "New England's Memorial, or a Brief Relation of the Most Remarkable and Memorable Passages of the Providence of God Manifested to the Planters of New England." In that work we have this account of the acts of Roger Williams:

He persisted, and grew more violent in his way, insomuch as he staying at home in his own house, sent a letter, which was delivered and read in the public church assembly, the scope of which was to give them notice, That if the church of Salem would not separate not only from the churches of Old England, but the churches of New England too, he would separate from them: the more prudent and sober part of the church being amazed at his way, could not yield unto him: whereupon he never came to the church assembly more, professing separation from them as antichristian, and not only so, but he withdrew all private religious communion from any that would hold communion with the church there, insomuch as he would not pray nor give thanks at meals with his own wife nor any of his family, because they went to the church assemblies. . . which the prudent magistrates understanding, and seeing things grow more and more towards a general division and disturbance, after all other means used in vain, they passed a sentence of banishment against him out of the Massachusetts Colony, as against a disturber of the peace, both of the church and commonwealth. After which Mr. Williams sat down in a place called PROVIDENCE, out of the Massachusetts jurisdiction, and was followed by many of the members of the church of Salem, who did zealously adhere to him, and who cried out of the persecution that was against him: some others also resorted to him from other parts.

The Massachusetts "Body of Liberties," the first code of laws established in New England, was compiled by Nathaniel Ward (c. 1578-1652) a leading English Puritan minister, who had been trained as a lawyer. He came to the colony in 1634, and was for a time pastor at Ipswich. The "Liberties" were established by the Massachusetts General Court in December, 1641. Section 4 reads:

4. No man shall be punished for not appearing at or before any Civill Assembly, Court, Councell, Magistrate, or Officer, nor for the omission of any office or service, if he shall be necessarily hindred by any apparent Act or providence of God, which he could neither foresee nor avoid. Provided that this law shall not prejudice any person of his just cost or damage, in any civill action.

The Brief Narrative of John Eliot, missionary to the Indians, can be found in Harvard Classics (1910), Vol.43, p.147 - p.148:

Upon the 17th day of the 6th month, 1670, there was a Meeting at Maktapog near Sandwich in Plimouth-Pattent, to gather a Church among the Indians: There were present six of the Magistrates, and many Elders, (all of them Messengers of the Churches within that Jurisdiction) in whose presence, in a day of Fasting and Prayer, they making confession of the Truth and Grace of Jesus Christ, did in that solemn Assembly enter into Covenant, to walk together in the Faith and Order of the Gospel; and were accepted and declared to be a Church of Jesus Christ. These Indians being of kin to our Massachuset-Indians who first prayed unto God, conversed with them, and received amongst them the light and love of the Truth; they desired me to write to Mr. Leveredge to teach them: He accepted the Motion: and performed the Work with good success; but afterwards he left that place, and went to Long-Island, and there a godly Brother, named Richard Bourne (who purposed to remove with Mr. Leveredge, but hindered by Divine Providence) undertook the teaching of those Indians, and hath continued in the work with good success to this day; him we ordained Pastor:

In an undated description of Pennsylvania, written by William Penn as a prospectus to attract new settlers, we read:

I bless God, I am fully satisfied with the country and entertainment I get in it; for I find that particular content which hath always attended me, where God in his providence hath made it my place and service to reside. You cannot imagine my station can be at present free of more than ordinary business, and as such, I may say, it is a troublesome work; but the method things are putting in will facilitate the charge, and give an earlier motion to the administration of affairs. However, as it is some men's duty to plow, some to sow, some to water, and some to reap; so it is the wisdom as well as the duty of a man, to yield to the mind of Providence, and cheerfully, as well as carefully, embrace and follow the guidance of it….

General James Edward Oglethorpe, the founder of the Colony of Georgia, was the beneficiary of God's Providence, according to Joel Chandler Harris, in 1733:

Providence favored Oglethorpe in this matter. He had to deal with an Indian chief full of years, wisdom, and experience. This was Tomochichi, who was at the head of the Yamacraws. From this kindly Indian the Georgia Colony received untold benefits. He remained the steadfast friend of the settlers, and used his influence in their behalf in every possible way, and on all occasions. Altho he was a very old man, he was strong and active, and of commanding presence. He possessed remarkable intelligence; and this, added to his experience, made him one of the most remarkable of the Indians whose names have been preserved in history…. Thus, with Oglethorpe to direct it, and with Tomochichi as its friend, the little Georgia Colony was founded, thrived and flourished.

From John Adams' chronicle of the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia, 1774:

7. Wednesday. Went to Congress again, heard Mr. Duche read prayers; the collect for the day, the 7th of the month, was most admirably adapted, though this was accidental, or rather providential. A prayer which he gave us of his own composition was as pertinent, as affectionate, as sublime, as devout, as I ever heard offered up to Heaven. He filled every bosom present….

George Washington describes his capture of Boston, 1776:

Upon their discovery of the works next morning, great preparations were made for attacking them; but not being ready before afternoon, and the weather getting very tempestuous, much blood was saved, and a very important blow, to one side or the other, was prevented. That this most remarkable interposition of Providence is for some a wise purpose, I have not a doubt.

In his original draft of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson had written:

And for the support of this declaration, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.

But Congress amended it to read:

And for the support of this declaration, [with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence,] we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.

Samuel Adams, from a speech delivered at the State House in Philadelphia, "to a very numerous audience," on August 1, 1776:

There are instances of, I would say, an almost astonishing providence in our favor; our success has staggered our enemies, and almost given faith to infidels; so we may truly say it is not our own arm which has saved us. The hand of Heaven appears to have led us on to be, perhaps, humble instruments and means in the great providential dispensation which is completing. We have fled from the political Sodom; let us not look back lest we perish and become a monument of infamy and derision to the world.

Doctor Albigence Waldo was a surgeon from Connecticut, of Puritan ancestry, who had volunteered his services to General Washington in the Fall of 1777 and remained throughout that memorable winter with the army at Valley Forge. This is perhaps the best account of the heroism displayed in the darkest period of American affairs, before the French alliance assured money, ships and troops in aid of the Revolution. It is part of a daily diary kept by Dr. Waldo during his military service, beginning on December 12, 1777.

Dec. 24th.—Party of the 22d returned. Huts go on slowly—cold and smoke make us fret. But man kind are always fretting, even if they have more than their proportion of the blessings of life. We are never easy—always repining at the Providence of an All wise and Benevolent Being—blaming our country—or faulting our friends. But I don't know of anything that vexes a man's soul more than hot smoke continually blowing into his eyes, and when he attempts to avoid it, is met by a cold and piercing wind….

On September 23, 1780, Benedict Arnold's treasonous plot was exposed.


TREASON of the blackest dye was yesterday discovered.
General Arnold, who commanded at West Point, lost to every sense of honor, of private and public obligation, was about to deliver up that important post into the hands of the enemy. Such an event must have given the American cause a dangerous, if not a fatal wound; but the treason has been timely discovered, to prevent the fatal misfortune. The providential train of circumstances which led to it affords the most convincing proof that the liberties of America are the object of Divine protection. At the same time that the treason is to be regretted, the general cannot help congratulating the army on the happy discovery.

In November, 1783, General Washington bade his army farewell. The scene which attended Washington's farewell to the rank and file of his army at Rocky Hill, near Princeton, New Jersey, on Sunday, November 2, 1783, was only less affecting than his formal leave-taking with his leading officers at Fraunce's Tavern in New York a month later when Washington said: "With a heart full of love and gratitude I must now take my leave of you. I most devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honorable…. I shall be obliged to you if each will come and take me by the hand." Many of the officers, including Washington, wept audibly.

His much more elaborate address at Princeton, written in the third person, is said to have been prepared by Alexander Hamilton. In tone it is very similar to Washington's splendid letter of June 8, 1783, to the Governors of the States with regard to the necessity of establishing a firm and dignified Federal Government. An excerpt:

A contemplation of the complete attainment (at a period earlier than could have been expected) of the object, for which we contended against so formidable a power, cannot but inspire us with astonishment and gratitude. The disadvantageous circumstances on our part, under which the war was undertaken, can never be forgotten. The singular interpositions of Providence in our feeble condition were such, as could scarcely escape the attention of the most unobserving; while the unparalleled perseverance of the armies of the United States, through almost every possible suffering and discouragement for the space of eight long years, was little short of a standing miracle.

The following letter, dated Princeton, New Jersey, July 15, 1783, was written by Elias Boudinot, the president of the Continental Congress, to our ministers plenipotentiary, Adams, Franklin and Jay, who were in Paris negotiating the treaty of peace with Great Britain, which concluded the Revolutionary War. It was Boudinot who signed its ratification.
A few days before this letter was written, Congress, being openly defied and menaced by a considerable number of Pennsylvania recruits, who objected to being discharged from the army without pay, had hurriedly adjourned from Philadelphia to Princeton.

The sergeants describe the plan laid by these officers as of the most irrational and diabolical nature, not only against Congress and the council, but also against the city and bank. They were to be joined by straggling parties from different parts of the country, and after executing their horrid purposes were to have gone off with their plunder to the East Indies.
However incredible this may appear, the letters from Sullivan to Colonel Moyland, his commanding officer, from Chester and the capes, clearly show that it was a deep-laid scheme. It appears clearly to me that next to the continued care of Divine Providence, the miscarriage of this plan is owing to the unexpected meeting of Congress on Saturday, and their decided conduct in leaving the city until they could support the Federal government with dignity.

The treaty of peace between Britain and America begins as follows:


IN the name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity.
It having pleased the Divine Providence to dispose the hearts
—of the most serene and most potent Prince George the Third, by the Grace of God King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Duke of Brunswick and Luneburg, Arch Treasurer and Prince Elector of the Holy Roman Empire, &c., and of the United States of America, to forget all past misunderstandings and differences that have unhappily interrupted the good correspondence and friendship which they mutually wish to restore; and to establish such a beneficial and satisfactory intercourse between the two countries. . . .
Treaty With Great Britain, Harvard Classics (1910), Vol.43, p.185

Madison records Ben Franklin's words in the Constitutional Convention:

In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard; and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor. To that kind Providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity.

Congress was sitting in New York on April 30, 1789, when Washington took the oath of office as Chief Executive. From his Inaugural Address:

Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit, in this first official act, my fervent supplications to the Almighty Being, who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own; nor those of my fellow-citizens at large, less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the affairs of men, more than the people of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency. And, in the revolution just accomplished in the system of their united government, the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities, from which the event has resulted, cannot be compared with the means by which most governments have been established, without some return of pious gratitude along with a humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage.
These reflections, arising out of the present crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind to be suppressed. You will join with me, I trust, in thinking that there are none under the influence of which the proceedings of a new and free government can more auspiciously commence.

In his Farewell Address, Washington reminded the nation:

Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion, and Morality are indispensable supports.—In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. —The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them.—A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity.—Let it simply be asked where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion.—Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure—reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.—

Yet ASSICON and other Secular Humanists would exclude religion -- and most of American history -- from the schools. Washington continued:

Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.—Religion and Morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it?—It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and, at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a People always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence.—Who can doubt that in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages, which might be lost by a steady adherence to it? Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a Nation with its virtue? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature.—Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?

Major General Henry Lee gave an eloquent tribute to the "Father of His Country" before the two Houses of Congress on December 26, 1799, twelve days after Washington died at Mount Vernon:

Desperate, indeed, is any attempt on earth to meet correspondingly this dispensation of Heaven; for, while with pious resignation we submit to the will of an all-gracious Providence, we can never cease lamenting, in our finite view of Omnipotent Wisdom, the heart-rending privation for which our nation weeps.

In short, according to the Founding Fathers, the United States of America is one huge, massive, cosmic violation by God of the "free will" of Great Britain.

I would add two things:
First, not a single one of these quotes came from David Barton. The search term I used in computer research was Providen*, and there are over 1300 additional references I could have cited.
Second, having spent over two hours culling through these documents, I have a renewed anger at the impudence and arrogance of Secular Humanists for ripping religion out of the schools, ostensibly based on the constitutional mandate of the Founding Fathers. Arrogance exceeded only by ignorance.

Kevin C. 
And they shall beat their swords into plowshares 
and sit under their Vine & Fig Tree. 
Micah 4:1-7 

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