Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Noah Webster's Distinctly Christian Education System Shielded the Republic From the Enlightenment

Noah Webster invested his entire life into the task of placing every aspect of life under the authority of Jesus Christ. In his personal and family life he ordered every activity by the principles of the Word of God. Having graduated from Yale at about the same time as the birth of America, he was burdened with the need to maintain America as a Christian Constitutional republic. He believed that in order to maintain liberty all ties with the old world must be severed. It would require a distinctly Christian education system to avoid propagation of foreign philosophies of government that may jeopardize this Christian Constitutional government.

The early life of Noah Webster was dedicated to building an educational system that would impart, “a love of virtue, patriotism, and religion”, based on scripture. These were the three characteristics that he deemed as necessary to maintaining the American Christian republic. He, like most Americans of his time time “affirmed that the principles of republican government have their origins in the Scriptures.”

Noah Webster provided a steady stream of text books that were rooted in Christian morality. In his Moral Catechism he wrote, “God's Word, contained in the Bible, has furnished all necessary rules to direct our conduct.” Noah Webster published his “Speller” in 1783, followed by a “Grammar” in 1784, and a “Reader” in 1785. These works were shortly followed by his “Elements of Useful Knowledge”, which contained the history and geography of the United States. The crowning glory of all of his works was the Dictionary of the American English Language. All of these works were based in the Christian worldview. Mr. Webster comprehended that only a public educated in this Christian worldview would be equipped to withstand an onslaught from anti-Christian philosophies.

Indeed it was his text books that carried Biblical principles over the American countryside. His “speller”, which became popularly known as the “Blue Backed Speller”, sold over one hundred million copies over a one hundred year period. As a result the American public was prepared to accept Mr. Webster's analysis of the philosophies of the French Revolution when her missionaries launched their attacks on Christianity and republicanism.

Noah Webster took up the pen against these subversive doctrines in his Minerva Magazine during 1790's. He warned that “If...that system of raising a multitude of isolated private clubs over the nation as its guardian – should spread thro the country, we may bid adieu to our Constitution.” The Christian nature of America's education system overcame the attacks of the Jacobins. The Enlightenment thinking of the French Revolution was never able to gain a foothold in the thinking and activities of 18th and early 19th century America. It wasn't until the 20th and 21st centuries, long after Americans began to reject Biblical Christianity, that these anti-Christian and anti-republican philosophies were able to hijack the American system of government.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Fisher Ames, Warrior Against Democracy, the Enlightenment, and the Sovereignty of Man

Many know Fisher Ames as the man who moved for the House version of the First Amendment on August 20, 1789. The most important actions by Fisher Ames were his long-standing wars against the destructive philosophies of democracy, the enlightenment and the sovereignty of man. Because of Fisher Ames' power in Congress, in these matters Thomas Jefferson singled him out for defeat in his 3rd run for Congress. Ames received 1,627 votes out of 2,900 votes cast.

Fisher Ames was concerned that the French Revolution would find a foothold in the American mind. His logic and eloquence held audiences spellbound in his defense of the Christian idea of man and government, as against the sovereignty of man espoused by the Democracy and enlightenment movement coming from the French Revolution. His opinion of the destructive nature of the French Revolution is clear. He warned, “The morbid cause of the French Revolution lies deep; it is not a rash on the skin; it is a plague that makes the bones brittle and cankers the marrow.” And, “democracy will kindle its own hell, and consume in it.” Finally, “Liberty has never lasted long in a democracy; nor has it ever ended in any thing better than despotism.”

Ames saw the deep-seated flaw of federalism. It sought, from the very beginning, to dominate the American system of government. He illustrated its flaws by saying,
'Suppose a missionary should go to the Indians and recommend self-denial and the ten commandments, and another should exhort them to drink rum, who would first convert the heathen? Yet we are told, the vox populi is the vox dei; and our demagogues claim a right divine to reign over us.” Fisher Ames recognized what is being revealed in America today; that evil men see themselves as God, and unless bound, they will lord over whomever and whatever they can.

There is a lesson in the way Fisher Ames saw his mission against democracy, the enlightenment, and the sovereignty of man. He believed that a small minority can act as a check against the destructiveness of these systems of thought, until gradually men will become ready to “pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor...” to the cause.

History has never been ruled by majorities but by dedicated, motivated minorities. You have seen the havoc wrought on America by minorities playing their power games, homosexual “rights”, welfarism, and evangelistic atheism, to name just a few. This was not Ames' game. No, he believed that the minority of men of strong faith and Biblical ethics would overcome the lies of the French Revolution.

It is the French Revolution that threatens America today. There may not be enough churchmen dedicated to “pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor” to deliver America from this evil. The dedicated minority, however, can check the evils being perpetrated by false philosophies.