This month, I wanted to explore how our Founding Fathers have influenced our perspective of history through the years. Our first three presidents were men with strengths and weaknesses, excellent capabilities, and flaws. Yet each man gave a gift of Christian leadership which helped shape our nation.
Here are a few historical quotes that give us a rare glimpse of our first three presidents and their thoughts regarding the providential foundation of our nation. You can read the complete Presidential Profile by clicking on each President’s link listed below each of our President’s quotes.
George Washington – First US President
George Washington is known for his courage in leading our nation through its birth pains into nationhood.
“Real men despise battle, but will never run from it.” ~George Washington
“I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.” ~George Washington [L]
“Religion and morality are the essential pillars of society.” ~George Washington
“What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ.” ~George Washington
“Where there is no vision, there is no hope.” ~George Washington
“Truth will ultimately prevail where there are pains taken to bring it to light.” ~George Washington
John Adams – Second US President
John Adams is known for his integrity. Adams was admired as a great intellectual and was regarded as a remarkable political philosopher.
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” ~John Adams
“But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.” ~John Adams
“The general principles on which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.” ~John Adams
“We recognize no sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus.” ~John Adams
“The Destiny of America is to carry the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all men everywhere.” ~John Adams
Thomas Jefferson – Third US President
Thomas Jefferson is admired for his ability to simplify intellectually complicated philosophies into understandable truths for the everyday man. Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence.
Thomas Jefferson assisted in revising the laws of Virginia. He founded the University of Virginia and wrote its curriculum. And Jefferson gathered the teachings of Jesus into a book to aid in the evangelization of the Indians. He called it, The Philosophy of Jesus, but others refer to his rendering of the Gospels as The Jefferson Bible.
Thomas Jefferson is greatly esteemed for his intellectual contributions to Virginia and the United States, his magnificent architectural influence in our nation’s early years, and his foresight to buy land from Napoleon known as The Louisiana Purchase which doubled the United States’ size.
“Religion is deemed in other countries incompatible with good government and yet proved by our experience to be its best support.” ~Thomas Jefferson
“The Bible is the cornerstone of liberty;…students perusal of the sacred volume will make us better citizens.” ~Thomas Jefferson
“The constitutional freedom of religion [is] the most inalienable and sacred of all human rights.” ~Thomas Jefferson [TJ]
“The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.” ~Thomas Jefferson
“The federal government is our servant, not our master.” ~Thomas Jefferson
“The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.” ~Thomas Jefferson [AZ]
Each of our presidents made great personal sacrifices to establish a nation founded on the principles of His Word. Yes, they were human and made mistakes. Yet, we can learn from each man’s strengths and weaknesses. Just as we prefer for others to highlight and remember our strengths rather than focusing on our weaknesses, let us remember the gift of leadership each of our first three presidents gave us.
Christian Living Recommendations:
Liles, Maryn. [L] Celebrate Presidents Day with 125 Quotes from George Washington. Printed by Parade on February 20, 2023. Retrieved October 1, 2023, from 125 George Washington Quotes Still Famous Today – Parade: Entertainment, Recipes, Health, Life, Holidays
Thomas Jefferson Quotes. [AZ] Published by AZ Quotes. Retrieved October 20, 2023, from TOP 25 QUOTES BY THOMAS JEFFERSON (of 1811) | A-Z Quotes (azquotes.com)
Thomas Jefferson Quotes. [TJ] Mark A. Beliles & Stephen K. McDowell, America’s Providential History, 1989, pg. 178. Original quote by George Bancroft, History of the United States, Volume VI, 1878, pg 42.