Thursday, September 17, 2009

James Kent, Founder and Christian

One could include James Kent as a founding father, although not as one of the men who signed the founding documents. But he had a large enough role in our early justice system that he is known as the Father of Jurisprudence. Remembering that many today say most of our founders were atheists or deists, consider his words from a letter to his children:

My children, I wish to talk to you. During my early and middle life I was, perhaps, rather skeptical with regard to some of the truths of Christianity. Not that I did not have the utmost respect for religion and always read my Bible, but the doctrine of the atonement was one I never could understand, and I felt inclined to consider as impossible to be received in the way Divines taught it. I believe I was rather inclined to Unitarianism; but of late years my views have altered. I believe in the doctrines of the prayer books as I understand them, and hope to be saved through the merits of Jesus Christ. . . . My object in telling you this is that if anything happens to me, you might know, and perhaps it would console you to remember, that on this point my mind is clear: I rest my hopes of salvation on the Lord Jesus Christ.

As found in William Kent, Memoirs and Letters of James Kent, (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1898), pp. 276-277.

See the Google Books Extract to read this in context.

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