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II. RELIGION AND THE STATE.
There can be no political happiness, without liberty; there can be no liberty without morality; and there can be no morality, without religion.
DAVID RAMSAY, M.D.
Without religion, there can be no democratic society... Religion is the common source of all the benevolent ideas that exercise influence on mankind. . . . The American people are religious, by their origin, by conviction, and by democratic principles. M. POUSSIN,
Minister of France to the United States.
MUTUAL INFLUENCE OF GOVERNMENT AND RELIGION.
Whilst just Government protects all, in their religious rites, true Religion affords Government its surest support.
RELIGIOUS INFLUENCE OF THE UNION.
I believe, its mild yet efficient operations will tend to remove every remaining apprehension of those with whose opinions it may not entirely coincide, as well as
to confirm the hopes of its numerous friends; and the moderation, patriotism, and wisdom of the present Federal Legislature seem to promise the restoration of order and our ancient virtues, the extension of genuine religion, and the consequent advancement of our respectability abroad, and of our substantial happiness at home.
NATIONAL JUSTICE AND BENEVOLENCE.
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.
RELIGION AND MORALITY, THE PILLARS OF HUMAN
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 cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections 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 our oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice?
RELIGION, DISTINGUISHED FROM MORALITY.
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.
RELIGIOUS DUTIES OF NATIONS.
It is the duty of all nations, to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.
NATIONAL HOMAGE TO GOD.
It would be peculiarly improper to omit, in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that 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 the administration, to execute with success the functions allotted to its 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
* His Inaugural Address, April 30th, 1789.
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 important 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 an 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.
It always affords me satisfaction, when I find a concurrence in sentiment and practice between all conscientious men, in acknowledgments of homage to the great Governor of the Universe, and in professions of support to just civil government.
NATIONAL RELIGIOUS THANKSGIVING.
It having pleased the Almighty Ruler of the Universe, to defend the cause of the United American States, and finally to raise us up a powerful friend