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John Locke


John Locke (1632-1704), was an English philosopher whose writings had a profound influence on our Founding Fathers, and in turn, the writing of the Constitution.  Of nearly 15,000 items of the Founding Fathers which were reviewed; including books, newspaper articles, pamphlets, monograms, etc., John Locke was the third most frequently quoted author.  In his Two Treatises of Government, 1690, he cited eighty references to the Bible in the first treatise and twenty-two references to the Bible in the second.

"Thus the Law of Nature stands as an eternal rule to all men, legislators as well as others.  The rules that they make for other men's actions, must...  be conformable to the Law of Nature, i.e. to the will of God... no human sanction can be good, or valid against it."  John Locke, The Second Treatise of Civil Government, 1690 (reprinted Buffalo, NY: Promethesus Books, 1986), p. 75.  David Barton, the Myth of Separation (Aledo, TX: WallBuilder Press, 1991), p. 199.

"Laws human must be made according to the general laws of Nature, and without contradiction to any positive law of Scripture, otherwise they are ill made."  John Locke, The Second Treatise of Civil Government, 1690 (reprinted Buffalo, NY: Promethesus Books, 1986), p. 76, n. 1.  David Barton, the Myth of Separation (Aledo, TX: WallBuilder Press, 1991), p. 199.

"(The) great and Chief End, therefore, of Mens uniting into Commonwealths, and putting themselves under Government, is the preservation of their property....

For Men being all the Workmanship of one Omnipotent, and infinitely wise Maker:  all the Servants of one Sovereign Master, sent into the World by his Order, and about his Business, they are his Property, whose Workmanship they are, made to last during his, not one another's Pleasure....

Those Grants God made of the World to Adam, and to Noah, and his Sons... has given the Earth to the Children of Men, given it to Mankind in common....

God, who hath given the World to Men in common, has also given them reason to make use of it to the best Advantage of Life and Convenience."  Verna M. Hall, Christian History of the Constitution of the United States of America (San Francisco: Foundation for American Christian Education, 1975), pp. 58, 63-64, 91.  Marshall Foster, The American Covenant (Thousand Oaks, CA: The Mayflower Institute, 1992), pp. 111-112.

"He that shall collect all the moral rules of the philosophers and compare them with those contained in the New Testament will find them to come short of the morality delivered by our Saviour and taught by His disciples:  a college made of ignorant but inspired fishermen....

Such a law of morality Jesus Christ has given in the New Testament, but by the latter of these ways, by revelation, we have from Him a full and sufficient rule for our direction, and conformable to that of reason.  But the word and obligation of its precepts have their force, and are past doubt to us, by the evidence of His mission.

He was sent by God:  His miracles show it; and the authority of God in His precepts can not be questioned.  His morality has a sure standard, that revelation vouches, and reason can not gainsay nor question; but both together witness to come from God, the great Lawgiver.

And such a one as this, out of the New Testament, I think, they would never find, nor can anyone say is anywhere else to be found....

To one who is persuaded that Jesus Christ was sent by God to be a King and a Saviour to those who believe in Him, all His commands become principles; there needs no other proof for the truth of what He says, but that He said it; and then there needs no more but to read the inspired books to be instructed."  John Locke, The Reasonableness of Christianity.  Stephen Abbott Northrop, D.D., A Cloud of Witnesses (Portland, OR: American Heritage Ministries, 1987), pp. 289-290.

"The Bible is one of the greatest blessings bestowed by God on the children of men. - It has God for its author; salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture for its matter. - It is all pure, all sincere; nothing too much; nothing wanting."  Tyron Edwards, D.D., The New Dictionary of Thoughts - A Cyclopedia of Quotations (Garden City, NY:  Hanover House, 1852, The Standard Book Company, 1963), p. 46.