American Minute: Heaven Favored the Coming Forth of the Constitution

partAmerican Minute with Bill Federer

“Done…the SEVENTEENTH DAY of SEPTEMBER, in the year of our LORD one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven.”

This is the last line of the U.S. Constitution.

Professors Donald S. Lutz and Charles S. Hyneman published an article in American Political Science Review, 1984, titled “The Relative Influence of European Writers on Late 18th-Century American Political Thought.”

They examined nearly 15,000 writings of the 55 writers of the U.S. Constitution, including newspaper articles, pamphlets, books and monographs, and discovered that the Bible, especially the book of Deuteronomy, contributed 34 percent of all direct quotes made by the Founders.

When indirect Bible citations were included, the percentage rose even higher.

Presiding over the Constitutional Convention was George Washington, who wrote ten days after his Presidential Inauguration to the United Baptist Churches of Virginia, May 10, 1789:

“If I could have entertained the slightest apprehension that the Constitution framed by the Convention, where I had the honor to preside, might possibly endanger the religious rights of any ecclesiastical Society, certainly I would never have placed my signature to it.”

On October 6, 1935, FDR stated:

“We cannot read the history of our rise and development as a nation, without reckoning with the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic.”

John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, had remarked, September 8, 1777:

“The Americans are the first people whom Heaven has favored with an opportunity of deliberating upon, and choosing the forms of government under which they should live. All other constitutions have derived their existence from violence or accidental circumstances.”

James Wilson, who signed the Declaration and Constitution, and was appointed to the Supreme Court by George Washington, remarked at Pennsylvania’s ratifying convention, November 26, 1787:

“Governments, in general, have been the result of force, of fraud, and accident. After a period of 6,000 years has elapsed since the creation, the United States exhibit to the world the first instance…of a nation…assembling voluntarily…and deciding calmly concerning that system of government under which they would wish that they and their posterity should live.”

In 1802, Daniel Webster stated in a Fourth of July Oration:

“We live under the only government that ever existed which was framed by the unrestrained and deliberate consultations of the people. Miracles do not cluster. That which has happened but once in 6,000 years cannot be expected to happen often. Such a government, once gone, might leave a void, to be filled, for ages, with revolution and tumult, riot and despotism.”

Daniel Webster continued:

“The history of the world is before us… Ambitious men must be restrained by the public morality; when they rise up to do evil, they must find themselves standing alone. Morality rests on religion. If you destroy the foundation, the superstructure must fall…

The civil, the social, the Christian virtues are requisite to render us worthy the continuation of that government which is the freest on earth.”


The Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.


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