“The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. And we must not select a few favorite passages to the exclusion of others. Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian” (A.W. Tozer).
“Of the Divine character of the Bible, I think no man who deals honestly with his own mind can entertain a reasonable doubt that it is indeed the Word of God” (Simon Greenleaf, Royal Dane Professor of Law at Harvard University).
“It is impossible to enslave mentally or socially a Bible-reading people. The principles of the Bible are the groundwork of human freedom” (Horace Greely, American abolitionist).
“Pile them [the world’s religious books other than the Bible], if you will, on the left side of your study table; but place your own Holy Bible on the right side--all by itself, all alone--and with a wide gap between them. For ... there is a gulf between it and the so-called sacred books of the East which severs the one from the other utterly hopelessly, and a forever ... a veritable gulf which cannot be bridged over by any science of religious thought” (M. Montiero-Williams, Boden professor of Sanskrit at Oxford University, who spent 42 years studying Eastern sacred books, cited from Sidney Collet, All about the Bible).
“The whole hope of human progress is suspended on the ever growing influence of the Bible” (W.H. Seward, U.S. Secretary of State to U.S. President Abraham Lincoln).
“So great is my veneration for the Bible that the earlier my children begin to read it the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens of their country and respectable members of society. I have for many years made it a practice to read through the Bible once every year” (John Quincy Adams, America’s 6th President).
“My advice to Sunday Schools no matter what their denomination is: Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet anchor of your liberties; write its precepts in your heart, and practice them in your lives. To the influence of this Book we are indebted for the progress made in true civilization and to this we must look as our guide in the future. ‘Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people’ (Proverbs 14:34)” (Ulysses S. Grant, U.S. General).
“That Book [the Bible] is the rock on which our Republic rests” (Andrew Jackson).
“A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education” (Theodore Roosevelt, America’s 26th President).
“A man has deprived himself of the best there is in the world who has deprived himself of the Bible” (Woodrow Wilson, America’s 28th President).
“I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man” (Abraham Lincoln, America’s 16th president).
"In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible has never failed to give me light and strength” (Robert E. Lee).
"The grand old Book still stands; and this old earth, the more its leaves are turned and pondered, the more it will sustain and illustrate the pages of the Sacred Word” (Charles A. Dana).
“The New Testament is the very best book that ever was or ever will be known in the world” (Charles Dickens).
“I am a man of one Book” (John Wesley, co-founder of the Methodist Church).
“The Bible is the truest utterance that ever came by alphabetic letters from the soul of man, through which, as through a window divinely opened, all men can look into the stillness of eternity, and discern in glimpses their far-distant, long-forgotten home” (Thomas Carlyle).
“There are more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history” (Sir Isaac Newton).
“I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by men who were inspired. I study the Bible daily” (Sir Isaac Newton).
"I have known ninety-five of the world's great men in my time, and of these eighty-seven were followers of the Bible. The Bible is stamped with a Specialty of Origin, and an immeasurable distance separates it from all competitors” (W. E. Gladstone).
"That book accounts for the supremacy of England” (Queen Victoria).
“All human discoveries seem to be made only for the purpose of confirming more and more strongly the truths contained in the sacred Scriptures” (Sir William Herschel).
“The secret of my success? It is simple. It is found in the Bible” (George Washington Carver).
“[I throw] myself on the protection of Him whose law book is the wonderful Bible. My dear sister I would not part with this book for countless universes. I feel ready to make every sacrifice to carry out the will of Him who so loved us as to give His only begotten son to die for me” (Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, professor at the Virginia Military Institute, Civil War general, letter to his sister Laura, April 1, 1853).
“The Book of Proverbs is a far better guide for a young man in business than Adam Smith or the Times newspaper” (David Thomas, 1884).
“The Bible contains knowledge, wisdom, holiness and love” (Thomas Hartwell Horne, 1780-1862).
“The Bible may seem very small against the imposing shelves of many a large library; yet with this one volume in our hand we may stand within the largest library on earth and truthfully say that all the tens of thousands of books therein collected cannot teach us more about the fundamental realities of the universe and of human life than we learn in these Scriptures. To struggle through hundreds of the profoundest and most erudite of other books, whether ancient or modern, and yet remain ignorant of this book, is infinite deprivation; whereas to know no other volume but this is to be made wise unto salvation, and to be furnished with a knowledge of fundamental realities which comes to us stamped with Divine certainty” (J. Sidlow Baxter, Explore the Book, 1960).
“The Bible is no mere book, but a Living Creature, with a power that conquers all that oppose it” (Napoleon, cited from Halley’s Bible Handbook).
“We cannot read the history of our rise and development as a nation, without reckoning with the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic. … Where we have been the truest and most consistent in obeying its precepts, we have attained the greatest measure of contentment and prosperity” (Franklin D. Roosevelt, America’s 32nd President, Fireside Chat, Oct. 6, 1935).
Following are a few statements about the Bible by America’s founding fathers and early political leaders:
Many of America’s founders were members of and supporters of the American Bible Society, which was founded in 1816. The first president of the Bible Society, Elias Boudinot, had been President of the Continental Congress during the War of Independence. The second president of the Bible Society, John Jay, was the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
John Adams (1735-1826), second President of the United States. “I have examined all religions, and the result is that the Bible is the best book in the world” (Works, Vol. X, p. 85, letter written to Thomas Jefferson).
John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), sixth President of the United States. In 1811, Adams wrote the following to his son: “Let us then search the Scriptures. ... The Bible contains the revelation of the will of God; it contains the history of the creation, of the world and of mankind; and afterwards the history of one peculiar nation, certainly the most extraordinary nation that has ever appeared upon the earth” (Letter from John Quincy Adams to George Adams, Sept. 1 and 8, 1811).
Patrick Henry (1736-1799), general in the Continental Army, ratifier of the U.S. Constitution, Governor of Virginia, author of the famous “give me liberty or give me death” speech. “The Bible ... is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed” (Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry, William Wirt, 1818, p. 402).
John Jay (1745-1829), Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Governor of New York. He wrote the following to his eldest son, Peter: “The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts” (The Winning of the Peace, unpublished papers of John Jay, edited by Richard Morris, Vol. II, p. 709).
Elias Boudinot (1740-1821), President of the Continental Congress, framer of the Bill of Rights. “For nearly half a century have I anxiously and critically studied that invaluable treasure [the Bible]; and I still scarcely ever take it up that I do not find something new--that I do not receive some valuable addition to my stock of knowledge or perceive some instructive fact never observed before. In short, were you to ask me to recommend the most valuable book in the world, I should fix on the Bible as the most instructive both to the wise and ignorant. Were you to ask me for one affording the most rational and pleasing entertainment to the inquiring mind, I should repeat, it is the Bible; and should you renew the inquiry for the best philosophy or the most interesting history, I should still urge you to look into your Bible. I would make it, in short, the Alpha and Omega of knowledge” (The Age of Revelation, or the Age of Reason Shown to Be an Age of Infidelity, 1801, p. xv, from the “Dedication: Letter to his daughter Susan Bradford”).
Benjamin Rush (1746-1813), signer of the Declaration of Independence, a founder of the Philadelphia Bible Society. “By renouncing the Bible, philosophers swing from their moorings upon all moral subjects. ... It is the only correct map of the human heart that ever has been published” (Letters of Benjamin Rush, 1951, Vol. I, p. 475). “[T]he only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government is the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible” (Essays, Literary, Moral and Philosophical, 1798, p. 112). “The Bible contains more knowledge necessary to man in his present state than any other book in the world” (Essays, 1798, p. 93).
Robert Treat Paine (1731-1814), signer of the Declaration of Independence, Attorney General of Massachusetts. “I believe the Bible to be the written word of God and to contain in it the whole rule of faith and manners” (The Papers of Robert Treat Paine, Vol. I, p. 49).
Daniel Webster (1782-1852), U.S. Secretary of State: “... to the free and universal reading of the Bible ... men [are] much indebted for right views of civil liberty” (Address delivered at Bunker Hill, June 17, 1843). “The Bible is a book of faith, and a book of doctrine, and a book of morals, and a book of religion, of special revelation from God. I have read it through many times: I now make a practice of going through it once a year. It is a book of all others for lawyers, as well as divines; and I pity the nan who cannot find in it a rich supply of thought and rule for conduct” (cited from Jeff Ray, Expository Preaching, 1940). “If there is anything in my thoughts or style to commend, the credit is due to my parents for instilling in me an early love of the Scriptures. If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering; but if we and our posterity neglect its instructions and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity” (cited from J. Sidlow Baxter, Explore the Book, 1960).
Noah Webster (1758-1843), judge, legislator, educator, author of the American Dictionary of the English Language. “The moral principles and precepts found in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. ... All the ... evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible” (Webster, History of the United States, 1832, “Advice to the Young, p. 339). “... our citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament, or the Christian religion” (History of the United States, 1832, p. 6). “The Bible is the chief moral cause of all that is good and the best corrector of all that is evil in human society--the best book for regulating the temporal concerns of men” (The Holy Bible ... with Amendments of the Language, 1833, p. v).
Roger Sherman (1721-1793), signer of the Declaration of Independence, framer of the Bill of Rights. “The volume which he consulted more than any other was the Bible. It was his custom, at the commencement of every session of Congress, to purchase a copy of the Scriptures, to peruse it daily, and to present it to one of his children on his return” (The Globe, Washington D.C., Aug. 15, 1837).
James McHenry (1753-1816), signer of the U.S. Constitution, founder and president of the Baltimore Bible Society. “All Christians allow that the Old and New Testaments taken together, are the only books in the world which clearly reveal the nature of God, contain a perfect law for our government, propose the most powerful persuasions to obey this law, and furnish the best motives for patience and resignation, under every circumstance and vicissitude of life. Even those writers who deny their divinity, have yet acknowledged that the matters contained in them are, at least, calculated to make mankind wiser and better. These surprising and salutary effects the scriptures have unequivocally produced, and whenever they are read and attended to, will continue to produce. Facts so fully ascertained and so clearly demonstrating the great importance of circulating the sacred writings have (within these few years past) called the attention of men more particularly to this subject, and given rise to the establishment of Societies whose object is to encourage their circulation. ... public utility pleads most forcibly for the general distribution of the Holy Scriptures. Without the Bible, in vain do we increase penal laws and draw entrenchments around our institutions. ... Bibles are strong protections. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses and at the same time enjoy quiet conscience” (One Hundred and Ten Years of Bible Society Work in Maryland, 1921, pp. 13, 14).
John Jay (1745-1829), first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, governor of New York. He wrote the following to his eldest son, “Your aunt tells me that you love your books, and that you daily read in the Bible and have learned by heart some Hymns in the book I sent you. These accounts give me great pleasure, and I love you for being such a good boy. The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts” (John Jay to Peter Jay, 1784, Jay Papers).
Fisher Ames (1758-1808), judge, representative to the Federal Congress, author of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. “We are spending less time in the classroom on the Bible, which should be the principal text in our schools” (Palladium magazine, Sept. 20, 1789).
Lewis Cass (1782-1866), U.S. Senator, Secretary of State under James Buchanan, Secretary of War under Andrew Jackson, governor of Michigan Territory. “God, in His providence, has given us a Book of His revealed will to be with us at the commencement of our career in this life and at its termination; and to accompany us during all chances and changes of this trying and fitful progress, to control the passions, to enlighten the judgment, to guide the conscience, to teach us what we ought to do here, and what we shall be hereafter” (Cass, 1846, cited from Bill Federer, American Minute).
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