Our country, the USA, is by all accounts leaving the founding fathers' beliefs of good government. Some decry it, others welcome it. It is grieving to Christians because the society is leaving the morality and gospel of the Word of God that used to be accepted. Why is this, and what is the hope for future greatness in this country?
Dr. Samuel Miller, Professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, said in 1830:
"The formation of the youthful mind to knowledge, virtue, and religion, is, in all countries, of incalculable moment. But in THIS FAVORED COUNTRY, it is manifestly a matter of most peculiar interest. In many other communities, the form of government furnishes a substitute for popular purity. The strong and the prompt arm of power may be brought to bear continually, and may be applied with success to curb the excesses of unlawful indulgence, and to arrest the violence and the progress of crime. But the vital principle of our government is the intelligence and virtue of the people. Here public sentiment is every thing; and those whose character is now forming, are soon to govern that sentiment, and to hold in their hands the peace, the order, and the happiness of the community. Now the hope of maintaining in any social body without Religion, is a chimera. It never was, and never can be realized. It follows, of course, then, that the religious education of our Youth is, under God, our only hope. It ought to be the prime object of every lover of his country's welfare. The Patriot as well as the Christian ought to desire it, and pray for it without ceasing. WIthout it, the elective franchise, highly as we prize the privilege, will be a curse instead of a blessing. Without it, the liberty with which the great Governor of nations has been pleased to make us free, will only serve, in the end to rivet upon us more ignoble and more wretched chains than any human despot ever forged. If I should see the formation of youthful character upon the principles of the gospel, becoming the object of earnest and general attention, I should consider it as an infinitely surer pledge of the stability of our national priviledges, and the continued progress of our national greatness, than all the human devices in the world could furnish; than all the secular improvements, which seem to be the idol of so many millions of our population. Thinking men ought to know, that these mere secular improvements, though mulitiplied and extented to any imaginable degree, can never make a people happy:--nay, that their extension without a corresponding moral and religious improvement, will infallibly serve to render any population more active in corruption, more fruitful in crime, and more opulently and spendedly miserable...If, then, we wish to transmit all our priviledges, civil and religious, unimpaired, to the latest posterity, let our young men be deeply imbued with the spirit of the BIBLE.--- If we wish to avert from our country the curse of an ecclesiastical establishment, that bane of both church and state, let the BIBLE, and NOTHING BUT THE BIBLE, be impressed upon the minds of our youth, as the ONLY INFALLIBLE RULE OF FAITH AND PRACTICE. Here, and here only, do we find those principles which are equally opposed to slavery and licentiousness. Every young man who has been trained in spirit of the Bible, will be, as far as his influence goes, an impregnable barrier against every species of oppresion, civil or religious; and equally against every species of disorder. Only let the great mass of our population for the next forty years, drink deep into the spirit of the BIBLE, and we may probably consider our stability and happiness as a nation finally secured." (Lectures To Young People, W. B. Sprague, Sprinkle Publications 1988 reprint of 1830 edition; pages xii-xiii, and xvii; emphasis his)
Our current state of affairs can only testify to the insight of Miller. May Christian fathers be encouraged to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; Christian mothers to love their children and while keeping home instruct them in the fear of God; and all Christians to pray for our Children that though holy by virtue of their relation to believing parents, they may be born again spiritually in due time.
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:15-17
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