Great Key to the Rise and Fall of Liberty – Jedediah Morse

Jedediah Morse

Called Unto Liberty, Founding Era Sermons, Jedediah Morse

OUR dangers are of two kinds, those which offend our religion, and those which offend our government. They are, however, so closely allied that they cannot, with propriety, be separated. The foundations which support the interests of Christianity, are also necessary to support a free and equal government like our own. In all those countries where there is little or no religion, or a very gross and corrupt one, as in Mahometan and Pagan countries, there you will find, with scarcely a single exception, arbitrary and tyrannical governments, gross ignorance and wickedness, and deplorable wretchedness among the people.

To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoy. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, either through unbelief, or the corruption of its doctrines, or the neglect: of its institutions ; in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom, and approximate the miseries of complete despotism. I hold this to be a truth confirmed by experience. If so, it follows, that all efforts made to destroy the foundations of our holy religion, ultimately tend to the subversion also of our political freedom and happiness. Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all the blessings which flow from them, must fall with them.


Source: Jedediah Morse: “A Sermon, Exhibiting the Present Dangers, and Consequent Duties of the Citizens of the United States of America”: Delivered at Charlestown, April 25, 1799. The day of the national fast, (1799). Jedediah Morse is known as “The Father of American Geography.