The elective franchise, if guarded as the ark of our safety, will peaceably dissipate all combinations to subvert a Constitution, dictated by the wisdom, and resting on the will of the people.Thomas Jefferson, The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia, John P. Foley, ed. (New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1900), p. 842.
The rational and peacable instrument of reform, the suffrage (votes) of the people.Thomas Jefferson, The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia, John P. Foley, ed. (New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1900), p. 842.
A share in the sovereignty of the state, which is exercised by the citizens at large, in voting at elections is one of the most important rights of the subject, and in a republic ought to stand foremost in the estimation of the law.Alexander Hamilton, The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, Harold C. Syrett, ed. (New York, Columbia University Press, 1962), Vol III, pp. 544-545.
The people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government and to reform, alter, or totally change the same when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.Samuel Adams – 1722-1803, Known as the “Father of the American Revolution”, Signer of The Declaration of Independence, cousin of John Adams, and Governor of Massachusetts
Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote…that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.Samuel Adams – 1722-1803, Formed the Committees of Correspondence, instigated the Boston Tea Party, called for the first Continental Congress, helped draft the Massachusetts Constitution, and served as Lt. Governor and Governor of Massachusetts
The Importance of who you vote for
Those who are chosen to a place in government, must be men truly fearing God, wise and learned in the truths of Christ…Neither will any Christian of a sound judgment vote for any, but those who earnestly contend for the faith.Edward Johnson, Puritan contemporary of Mass. Governor John Winthrop
Governments, like clocks, go from the motion men give them; and as governments are made and moved by men, so by them they are ruined too. Wherefore governments rather depend upon men than men upon governments. Let men be good and the government cannot be bad…But if men be bad, let the government be never so good, they will endeavor to warp and spoil it to their turn…[T]hough good laws do well, good men do better; for good laws may want [lack] good men and be abolished or invaded by ill men; but good men will never want good laws nor suffer [allow] ill ones.William Penn – 1644-1718, Founder of Pennsylvania, quoted from: Thomas Clarkson, Memoirs of the Private and Public Life of William Penn (London: Richard Taylor and Co., 1813) Vol. I, p.303.
Men must be governed by God or else they will be ruled by tyrants.William Penn
Providence has given our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as privilege and interest of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.John Jay – 1745-1829, First Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, President of the Continental Congress, Governor of the State of New York, one of three writers of the Federalist Papers, U.S. Minister to Spain, and author of the Jay Treaty preventing the United States from involvement in the war between France and England.
Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust be men of unexceptionable character. The public cannot be too curious concerning the character of public men…Samuel Adams, The Writings of Samuel Adams, Harry Alonzo Cushing, editor (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1907), Vol. III, p. 236-237, to James Warren on November 4, 1775.
When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, “just men who will rule in the fear of God.” The preservation of government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded. If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws.Noah Webster, – 1758-1843, Advisor to the Founding Fathers, statesman, educator, lexicographer and author of Webster’s Dictionary. History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1832), pp. 336-337, 349.
If men of wisdom and knowledge, of moderation and temperance, of patience, fortitude and perseverance, of sobriety and true republican simplicity of manners, of zeal for the honor of the Supreme Being and the welfare of the commonwealth; if men possessed of these other excellent qualities are chosen to fill the seats of government, we may expect that our affairs will rest on a solid and permanent foundation.Samuel Adams, The Federalist, Jan 16-04
The people in general ought to have regard to the moral character of those whom they invest with authority either in the legislative, executive, or judicial branches.John Witherspoon – 1723-1794, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Member of the Continental Congress, President of the College of New Jersey, later, Princeton. Among his students: A President (James Madison), Vice President, three Supreme Court Justices, ten Cabinet members, twelve Governors, twenty one Senators, and thirty Constitutional Convention and state leaders. The Works of John Witherspoon (Edinburgh: J. Ogle, 1815), Vol. IV, p. 267.
Those who wish well to the State ought to choose to places of trust men of inward principle, justified by exemplary conversation.John Witherspoon, The Works of John Witherspoon Edinburgh: J. Ogle, 1815), Vol. IV, p. 266.
When a citizen gives his suffrage (vote) to a man of known immorality he abuses his trust; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor, he betrays the interest of his country.Noah Webster, Letters to a Young Gentleman Commencing His Education to which is subjoined a Brief History of the United States (New Haven: S. Converse, 1823), p. 19.
When the righteous rule, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.William Paterson – 1745-1806, Signer of the Constitution, U.S. Senator, Governor of New Jersey, and Supreme Court Justice reminding his fellow justices of Proverbs 29:2. United States Oracle (Portsmouth, NH), May 24, 1800.
Look well to the characters and qualifications of those you elect and raise to office and places of trust.Matthias Burnett, Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Norwalk, An Election Sermon, Preached at Hartford, on the Day of the Anniversary Election, May 12, 1803 (Hartford: Printed by Hudson & Goodwin, 1803), p. 27.
The importance of Virtue
The virtue which is necessary to preserve a just administration and render a government stable, is Christian virtue, which consists in the uniform practice of moral and religious duties, in conformity with the laws of both God and man. This virtue must be based on a reverence for the authority of God, which shall counteract and control ambition and selfish views, and subject them to the precepts of divine authority. The effect of such a virtue would be, to bring the citizens of a state to vote and act for the good of the state, whether that should coincide with their private interests or not.Noah Webster, Founding Father – 1758-1843, Known as the “Schoolmaster of the Nation”
[R]eligion and virtue are the only foundations, not of republicanism and of all free government, but of social felicity under all government and in all the combinations of human society.John Adams 8/28 1811
“The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People in a greater Measure, than they have it now, they may change their Rulers and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty.”John Adams – 1735-1826, 2nd President of The United States, on June 21, 1776
Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.Justice Joseph Story – 1779-1845, U.S. Supreme Ct. 1811-1845
A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.”Samuel Adams
Now more than ever the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature…[I]f the next centennial does not find us a great nation…it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.James Garfield, “A Century of Congress” published in Atlantic, July 1877.
The Importance of Voting
The punishment of wise men who refuse to take part in the government is to live under the government of worse men.Plato
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.Martin Luther King Jr. – 1929-1968, Baptist Minister, Civil Rights Leader, and Nobel Peace Prize winner
Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressman and government officials, but the voters of this country.Franklin D. Roosevelt – 1882-1945, 32nd President of the United States
Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves-and the only way they could do this is by not voting.Franklin D. Roosevelt
The people who say they have not time to attend to politics are simply saying they are unfit to live in a free community.Teddy Roosevelt – 1858-1919, 26th President of the United States
Should things go wrong at any time, the people will set them to rights by the peaceable exercise of their elective rights.Thomas Jefferson, The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia, John P. Foley, ed. (New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1900), p. 842.
Impress upon children the truth that the exercise of the elective franchise is a social duty of as solemn a nature as man can be called to perform; that a man may not innocently trifle with his vote; that every elector is a trustee as well for others as himself and that every measure he supports has an important bearing on the interests of others as well as on his own.Daniel Webster, The Works of Daniel Webster (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1853), Vol. II, p. 108, from remarks made at a public reception by the ladies of Richmond, Virginia, on October 5, 1840.
Our destruction, if it come at all, will be from…the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness and negligence.Daniel Webster – 1782-1852, One of the greatest orators of American history, he served as a U.S. Congressman, Senator, and as Secretary of State for three Presidents
Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don’t vote.William E. Simon, former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury
The ballot is stronger than the bullet.Abraham Lincoln– 1809-1865, 16th President of The United States
Elections belong to the people. It is their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.Abraham Lincoln
Thanks to our good old Constitution, and organization under it…(the country) only needs that every right thinking man, shall go to the polls, and without fear or prejudice, vote as he thinks.Abraham Lincoln
Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.John Quincy Adams – 1767-1848, 6th President of the United States
The church must take right ground in regards to politics…The time has come for Christians to vote for honest men…God cannot sustain this free and blessed country, which we love and pray for, unless the Church will take right ground.Charles Finney – 1792-1875, Educator, author, evangelist, and President of Oberlin College
There has been a marked increase in the tendency to remain away from the polls on the part of those entitled to vote…Election day in the olden times was generally considered more or less sacred – one to be devoted to the discharge of the obligations of citizenship.Calvin Coolidge – 1872-1933, 30th President of the United States
If the people fail to vote, a government will be developed which is not their government… The whole system of American Government rests on the ballot box. Unless citizens perform their duties there, such a system of government is doomed to failure.Calvin Coolidge
I think it is a disgrace that half the Christians in America aren’t even registered to vote, and of those who are, only half go to the polls…when we withhold our influence and participation, we yield by default to those who promote immoral and destructive policies.Dr. James Dobson – 1936- Founder and President of Focus on the Family, author, speaker, defender of traditional marriage and family, advisor to high government officials
In a world that might say one vote doesn’t matter…it does matter becaue each person is of infinite worth and value to God… Your vote is a declaration of importance as a person and a citizen.Billy Graham – 1918- Evangelist, author and statesman
Bad politicians are elected by good people who don’t vote.Billy Graham
Finally, ye…whose high prerogative it is to…invest with office and authority or to withhold them and in whose power it is to save or destroy your country, consider well the important trust which God…has put into your hands. To God and posterity you are accountable for them.Reverend Matthias Burnet – 1749-1806
Let not your children have reason to curse you for giving up those rights and prostrating those institutions which your fathers delivered to you.Reverend Matthias Burnet, Election Sermon, preached at Hartford, CT on May 12, 1803
The future of this republic is in the hands of the American voter.Dwight D. Eisenhower – 1890-1969, 34th President of the United States
The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.John F. Kennedy – 1917-1963, 35th President of The United States
The love of correct principles – not the love of a party – is the key to effective political involvement; the government of this nation will be blessed only to the extent that God-fearing and moral individuals are placed into office.”David Barton – Historian, President of Wallbuilders, counselor to elected officials
I am the only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do, and what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do.Edward Everett Hale – 1755-1776, American patriot in the War for Independence, hanged by British as a spy
It will be conceded…that a Christian’s first duty is to God. It then follows, as a matter of course, that it is his duty to carry his Christian code of morals to the polls and vote them. Whenever he shall do that, he will not find himself voting for an unclean man, a dishonest man…If Christians should vote their duty to God at the polls, they would carry every election and do it with ease…Their prodigious power would be quickly realized and recognized, and afterward there would be no unclean candidates upon any ticket, and graft would cease…If the Christians of America could be persuaded to vote God and a clean ticket, it would bring about a moral revolution that would be incalculably beneficent. It would save the country.Mark Twain – 1835-1910, (Samuel Langhorne Clemens), American author, humorist
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”-Ronald Reagan
The choice before us is plain: Christ or chaos, conviction or compromise, discipline or disintegration. I am rather tired of hearing about our rights and privileges as American citizens. The time is come — it now is — when we ought to hear about the duties and responsibilities of our citizenship. America’s future depends upon her accepting and demonstrating God’s government.Dr. Peter Marshall – 1902-1949, Presbyterian minister, immigrant from Scotland, Chaplain of The United States Senate, in a message January 13, 1947 calling upon America to make a decision
…that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom-and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.Abraham Lincoln – 1809-1865, 16th President of The U.S. President
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