History Facts: Declaration of Independence shows American Founding Fathers’ Faith in God

History Facts:

Declaration of Independence shows American Founding Fathers’ Faith in God

What Really Happened on July 4th

Stephen McDowell

 

John Hancock echoed the reliance upon God and the belief that the destiny of nations is in the hand of God as he said:

Let us humbly commit our righteous cause to the great Lord of the Universe…. Let us joyfully leave our concerns in the hands of Him who raises up and puts down the empires and kingdoms of the earth as He pleases.[8]

Thomas Jefferson’s original draft of the Declaration of Independence contained a recognition of God, in particular: the laws of nature’s God, the existence of a Creator, the equality of all men before God, Creator-endowed rights,[9] and the purpose of government to protect the God-given rights of God-made man. However, the reliance upon God was so universally adhered to among those in America that the Continental Congress insisted it be made clear in this seminal document. When the draft of the Declaration was debated before Congress, they added the phrase, “appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World, for the rectitude of our intentions,” as well as the words “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence.”[10] Thus, we see the Continental Congress declaring to the entire world their Christian convictions.

Not only does the Declaration of Independence reflect our Founders’ faith in God, but this document only came into being as a result of Biblical ideas that had been sown in the hearts of the colonists for over one hundred and fifty years. The American Revolution was a revolution of ideas long before it was a revolution of war. As the clergy and other leaders taught the colonists their God-given rights as men, Christians, and subjects, the inevitable result was a nation birthed in liberty.

John Adams wrote that the day of independence “will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.—I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty … from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”[12]

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