Christian Heritage - John Quincy Adams - 6th President
John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United Sates, (son of John Adams, Vice President of George Washington for 8 years, and then President for 4 years) - was an eloquent speaker and a tireless advocate of Christian Morality and wisdom. His first son was named George Washington Adams after the close family friend.
Numerous speeches, including these two 4th of July excerpts, clearly show that the United Sates was formed as a Nation Under God. Imagine yourself sitting in this 4th of July sun, listening to the great man talk. He fortified his own career in government with several positions that gained him recognition from such famous people as: Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. We can only surmise the perspective gained from stories the founders must have told him. Before becoming president, he held such positions as: diplomat for the Netherlands, U.S. senator, diplomat for Russia, and Secretary of State.
True to his heart, John Quincy Adams remained in politics until the day he died. In fact, he collapsed on the floor of the House of Representatives on February 21, 1848 and died two days later. His last words were: "This is the last of earth- I am content."
Fourth of July speaker 2 excerpts (1821 &1831)
From the day of the Declaration, the people of the North American union, and of its constituent states, were associated bodies of civilized men and Christians, in a state of nature, but not of anarchy. They were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of the Gospel, which they nearly all, acknowledged as the rules of their conduct. They were bound by the principles which they themselves had proclaimed in the declaration. They were bound by all those tender and endearing sympathies, the absence of which, in the British government and nation, towards them, was the primary cause of the distressing conflict in which they had been precipitated by the headlong rashness and unfeeling insolence of their oppressors. They were bound by all the benefi- cent laws and institutions, which their forefathers had brought with them from their mother country, not as servitudes but as rights. They were bound by habits of hardy industry, by frugal and hospitable manners, by the general sentiments of social equality, by pure and virtuous morals; and lastly they were bound by the grappling-hooks of common suffering under the scourge of oppression. Where then, among such a people, were the materials for anarchy! Had there been among them no other law, they would have been a law unto themselves. They had before them in their new position, besides the maintenance of the independence which they had declared, three great objects to attain ; the first, to cement and prepare for perpetuity their common union and that of their posterity; the second, to erect and organize civil and municipal governments in their res- pective states: and the third, to form connexions of friendship and of commerce with foreign nations. For all these objects, the same Congress which issued the Declaration, and at the same time with it, had provided. (pg 28-29)
It is not by the contrivance of agents of des- truction, that America wishes to commend her inven- tive genius to the admiration or the gratitude of after times; nor is it even by the detection of the secrets or the composition of new modifications of physical nature. "Excudent alii spirantia mollius eera." Nor even is her purpose the glory of Roman ambition; nor " tu regere imperio populos" her memento to her sons. Her glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is the march of mind. She has a spear and a shield; but the motto upon her shield is Freedom, Inde- pendence, Peace. This has been her declaration: this has been, as far as her necessary intercourse with the rest of mankind would permit, her practice. My countrymen, fellow-citizens, and friends; could that Spirit, which dictated the Declaration we have this day read, that Spirit, which " prefers before all temples the upright heart and pure," at this moment descend from his habitation in the skies, and within this hall, in language audible to mortal ears, address each one of us, here assembled, our beloved country, Britannia ruler of the waves, and every individual among the sceptred lords of humankind; his words would be, " Go thou and do likewise !" (pg34)
Source: Anniversary of Independence, at the city of Washington on the fourth Of July 1821. (four years before being elected the 6th President)
The Declaration of Independence was a manifesto issued to the world, by the delegates of thirteen distinct, but UNITED colonies of Great Britain, in the name and behalf of their people. It was a united declaration. Their union preceded their independence; nor was their independence, nor has it ever since, been separable from their union. Their language is, "We the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled, do, in the name and by the authority of the good PEOPLE of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare that these United Colonies, are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States." It was the act of one people. The Colonies are not named; their number is not designated; nor in the original Declaration, does it appear from which of the Colonies any one of the fifty-six Delegates by whom it was signed, had been deputed. They announced their constituents to the world as one people, and unitedly declared the Colonies to which they respectively belonged, united, free and independent states. The Declaration of Independence, therefore, was a proclamation to the world, not merely that the United Colonies had ceased to be dependencies of Great Britain, but that their people had bound themselves, before GOD, to a primitive social compact of union, freedom and independence. (pg 6-7)
The body politic of the United States was formed by the voluntary association of the people of the United Colonies. The Declaration of Independence was a social compact, by which the whole people covenanted with each citizen of the United Colonies, and each citizen with the whole people, that the United Colonies were, and of right ought to be, free and independent states. To this compact, union was as vital as freedom or independence. From the hour of that Declaration, no one of the States whose people were parties to it, could, without violation of that primitive compact, secede or separate from the rest. Each was pledged to all, and all were pledged to each by a concert of souls, without limitation of time, in the presence of Almighty God, and proclaimed to all mankind. (pg 17-18)
The Declaration of Independence was not a declaration of liberty newly acquired, nor was it a form of government. The people of the Colonies were already free, and their forms of government were various. They were all Colonies of a monarchy. The king of Great Britain was their common sove- reign. Their internal administrations presented great varieties of form. The proprietary governments were hereditary monarchies in miniature. New York and Virginia were feudal aristocracies. Massachusetts Bay was an approximation to the complex government of the parent state. Connecticut and Rhode Island were little remote from democracies. But as in the course of our recent war with Great Britain, her gallant naval warriors made the discovery that the frigates of the United States were line of battle ships in disguise, so the ministers of George III., when they brought their king and country into collision with these transatlantic dependencies, soon found to their astonishment, that the United American Colonies were republics in disguise. The spirit of the people, throughout the Union, was republican; and the absurdity of a foreign and a royal head to societies of men thus constituted, had remained unperceived, only because until then that head had been seldom brought into action.
The Declaration of Independence announced the severance of the thirteen United Colonies from the rest of the British Empire, and the existence of their people from that day forth as an independent nation. The people of all the Colonies, speaking by their representatives, constituted themselves one moral person before the face of their fellow men.
The Declaration of Independence was the crown with which the people of United America, rising in gigantic stature as one man, encircled their brows, and there it remains; there, so long as this globe shall be inhabited by human beings, may it remain, a crown of imperishable glory !
The Declaration of Independence asserted the rights, and acknowledged the obligations of an independent nation. It recognised the laws of nations, as they were observed and practised among Christian communities. (pg 19-20)
In no delusion of national vanity, but with a feeling of profound gratitude to the God of our Fathers, let us indulge the cheering hope and belief, that our country and her people have been selected as instruments for preparing and maturing much of the good yet in reserve for the welfare and happiness of the human race. (pg 38)
Source : Pamphlet Titled, "An oration addressed to the citizens of the town of Quincy, on the fourth of July, 1831" delivered by John Quincy Adams 2 yrs after his presidency ended.