Tuesday, December 16, 2008

President John Adams - National Day of Prayer

Several Presidents declared national days of fasting and prayer. For March 6, 1799, President John Adams said the following in his Proclamation of a National Day of Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer:

"No truth is more clearly taught in the Volume of Inspiration...than that a deep sense and a due acknowledgment of the growing providence of a Supreme Being and of the accountableness of men to Him as the searcher of hearts and righteous distributor of rewards and punishments are conducive equally to the happiness and rectitude of individuals and to the well-being of communities."
"As, moreover, the most precious interestes of the people of the United States are still held in jeopardy by the hostile designs and insidious acts of a foreign nation, as well as by the dissemination among them of those preinciples, subversive to the foundations of all religious, moral, and social obligations, that have produced incalculable mischief and misery inother countries;"
"That He would smile on our colleges, academies, schools, and seminaries of learning, and make them nurseries of sound science, morals, and religion;"

From The Ten Commandments & Their Influence on American Law, by William J. Federer

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

But read the following quote from a John Adams letter to see why separation of Church and State is critical to national harmony. This is copied from Sarah Posner at religion dispatches:

On June 4, 1812, Benjamin Rush had written to John Adams with news of a motion made at the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church to petition the President to declare a national fast in advance of impending war with Great Britain. To Dr. Rush’s dismay the motion was defeated by the delegates. Lamenting the lack of a national fast, Rush reminded Adams of his support for one during the revolution, in the face of opposition from Thomas Jefferson.

Adams’ reply to Rush just days later on the 12th of June must have surprised his revolutionary compatriot. Instead of calling again for a national fast, Adams blamed it for his political demise in 1800 explaining that:

It was connected with the general assembly of the Presbyterian Church, which I had no concern in. That assembly has allarmed and alienated Quakers, Anabaptists, Mennonists, Moravians, Swedenborgians, Methodists, Catholicks, protestant Episcopalians, Arians, Socinians, Armenians, &c, &c, &c, Atheists and Deists might be added. A general Suspicion prevailed that the Presbyterian Church was ambitious and aimed at an Establishment as a National Church. I was represented as a Presbyterian and at the head of this political and ecclesiastical Project. The secret whispers ran through them [all the sects] “Let us have Jefferson, Madison, Burr, any body, whether they be Philosophers, Deists, or even Atheists, rather than a Presbyterian President.” This principle is at the bottom of the unpopularity of national Fasts and Thanksgiving. Nothing is more dreaded than the National Government meddling with Religion. This wild Letter, I very much fear, contains seeds of an Ecclesiastical History of the U.S. for a Century to come.