I love reading quotes from the writings of godly people, because they are nuggets of wisdom and truth. I want to introduce you to Noah Webster, and to some of the things he said about the Bible and about selecting candidates for public office.
Noah Webster practically invented public education in America. His American Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1828, was our first dictionary. His “Blue-Backed Speller” was the most widely used textbook in America for a hundred years. He said “Education is useless without the Bible.” And he explained why this is true.
“The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all of our civil constitutions and laws. …All of the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.
“In selecting men for public office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate—look to his character. It is alleged by men of loose principles, or defective views of the subject, that religion and morality are not necessary or important qualifications for political stations. But the scriptures teach a different doctrine. They direct that rulers should be men who rule in the fear of God, men of truth, hating covetousness.
It is to the neglect of this rule that we must ascribe the multiplied frauds, breaches of trust, speculations and embezzlements of public property which astound even ourselves; which tarnish the character of our country and which disgrace our government.
When a citizen gives his vote to a man of known immorality, he abuses his civic responsibility; he not only sacrifices his own responsibility; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but those of his neighbor; he betrays the interest of his country.”
Mr. Webster’s advise makes perfect sense, but we have done just the opposite of what he said. We have been led to believe that religion has no place in politics, or in government; but that’s not true. Our Constitution and our government are based on principles of the Bible, and that’s why they work so well.