Webster’s Definitive Voter Guide

posted in: America, History | 0
On October 16, 1758, one of our founding fathers was born. Noah Webster would be made famous, not just in defining words in his 1828 American Dictionary, but in defining a citizen’s principles of conduct. See what he says about the public voting responsibility in an excerpt from one of his books below.
302. Remedy for public evils.—The command of God is, “He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God,” 2 Sam. 23:3.
This command prescribes the only effectual remedy for public evils. It is an absurd and impious sentiment, that religious character is not necessary for public officers. So far is this from being true, that it is one of the principal qualifications, for any man making or administering laws.
When the form of government admits men to office by hereditary right, rulers may or may not be good men; the people have no choice, and must submit. But in representative governments, if rulers are bad men, it is generally the fault of the people. The electors may indeed be deceived in regard to the principles of the man they choose; they are sometimes most woefully deceived. But in general, the calamity of having evil counselors, legislators, judges, and ministerial officers, is the fault of the electors. They do not regard the precept, to choose “just men, who will rule in the fear of God.” They choose men, not because they are just men, men of religion and integrity, but soley for the sake of supporting a party. This is a fruitful source of public evils.
But as surely as there is a God in heaven, who exercises a moral government over the affairs of this world, so certainly will the neglect of the divine command, in the choice of rulers, be followed by bad laws and a bad administration; by laws unjust or partial, by corruption, tyranny, impunity of crimes, waste of public money, and a thousand other evils.
Men may devise and adopt new forms of government; they may amend old forms, repair breaches, and punish violators of the constitution; but there is, there can be, no effectual remedy, but obedience to the divine law. “
Noah Webster. Value of the Bible and Excellence of the Christian Religion: For the Use of Families and Schools (1834)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 19