Let’s take a different course in today’s Coffee Break talking about the author of our national anthem, lawyer Francis Scott Key, and a brief picture of what he saw and experienced as he wrote The Star Spangled Banner. We all know the name, Francis Scott Key, but few know much else about him other than his famous anthem. Born August 1, 1779 at the family plantation -- Terra Rubra -- near Keymar, Maryland, Francis Scott Key was both an American lawyer and an amateur poet.
As you will see in today’s discussions, founding father and signer of the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Rush, was a genius of the highest order. Gifted by God, he put those gifts to work and blessed both this nation and other nations as well. The signs and symbols, the Scripture references that abound in our founding fathers' commentaries, and their labors of love and covenant to establish this great nation make abundantly clear that they purposed to have "one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
As has already been noted, Alexander Hamilton was a man of faith, a man with an implicit trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. The tragedy today is that the truths surrounding all of our nation’s founding fathers has been scrubbed from our educational system, beginning in the first grade of grammar school and continuing on into our colleges and universities. Before we move on to discuss the life of Benjamin Rush, let me wrap up our discussions on Alexander Hamilton and then deviate for a little bit to talk about the Liberty Bell, and the significance it played in our nation’s founding.
We concluded last week’s Coffee Break beginning our discussion concerning Alexander Hamilton. Most people who study Economics and Banking know that Hamilton was essentially the father of our current economic system. What most people do not know is just how Covenant oriented he was, and how that orientation affected both his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, as well as the integral place faith had in the formation of our government.
I want to finish up with Daniel Webster today and then move on to a look at Alexander Hamilton. Yesterday, we finished up his December 1820 speech to the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention. Today, let's take a look at an address he made at Dartmouth. This speech must easily have taken an hour or more to deliver, and it would take a week of Coffee Breaks to try and cover the whole thing, so let me rather take some extracts from his address -- and address which clearly denotes his personal convictions and thought processes concerning the Lord and His interaction with mankind.
We started talking about Daniel Webster yesterday, and I was concerned that the discussion would take up a whole lot more time than I wanted to spend for the day so we'll finish up talking about him today. We finished the day with a portion of his December 1820 speech to the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention; and in a minute, we'll go back to it for some more.
Let's see if we can finish up with a couple of Supreme Court decisions today -- decisions, that is, that took away more of our First Amendment guarantees to religious liberties in America. One thing that I think you will find interesting in this Coffee Break is a link to Justice William Rehnquist's argument in the Wallace v. Jaffree case; and I believe that many of you will find his (lengthy, but) complete argument very interesting reading. Here's the link: http://www.belcherfoundation.org/wallace_v_jaffree_dissent.htm
Let's talk about someone whose name is synonymous with education and learning, and someone whose name is likely more used today than even that of George Washington. We're talking, of course, about Daniel Webster, whose name is on the overwhelming majority of the dictionaries used in schools and institutions of higher learning.
Last week, I started sharing a statement from David Barton concerning some notes that James Madison wrote concerning the Federal Convention of 1787. I realized later that I cut off what he was saying, so let’s go back today and get the first part, and then finish with James Madison’s full statement concerning that convention. "Although authorized by the Congress of the Confederation, the Constitutional Convention of 1787 was nevertheless cloaked with secrecy and confidentiality. The official papers of the Convention sat in the Department of State, untouched, until 1818. Yet in retrospect, the gathering reveals both the men and the issues they faced during the founding era. Through analysis of both the Philadelphia debates and the various ratification conventions, we realize the concerns and needs of a developing nation.
In last week’s Coffee Break, I deviated somewhat from the discussions on our nation's founding fathers -- those who were actively involved in the politics and policies that brought those American colonists together to form a cohesive nation under God -- to talk about a couple of preachers (Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield) whose lives, whose teaching and preaching became integrated into the thoughts and decision-making processes that formulated our Articles of Association in 1774; the Declaration of Independence in 1776; the Articles of Confederation in 1781 and the United States Constitution in 1788.