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Barlow's 11th.article declaring "friendliness with Islam"

Reader comment on item: In 1796, U.S. Vowed Friendliness With Islam

Submitted by Barry Holroyd (European Union), Nov 8, 2006 at 11:49

Dear Dr Pipes

Your latest article on the "1797 Treaty of Tripoli" caught my eye, containing as it does, Barlow's 11th. spurious article reading "As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion…………."

Having just enjoyed reading some of Richard M.Riss' publications on "Christian Evidences," published at http://www.grmi.org/Richard_Riss/ev2.html. I was very taken with the quotations Riss (who is Assistant Professor at Zarephath Bible Institute, New Jersey) made, of University and College Presidents from that period in your country's history, quotations giving eloquent testimony to the dominance that Bible-believing Christians had in the USA then, and thinking it might interest you (especially Riss' comments on Church/State separation), I quote some of them in the lengthy cutting below, from his article .

With kind regards and best wishes

Barry Holroyd


George M. Marsden provided an interesting contrast when he compared a few statements made about the status of Christianity in American culture, two in 1873, and another only about fifty years later. The first statement was made by Theodore Woolsey, the retired president of Yale University: "In what sense can this country be called a Christian country? In this sense certainly, that the vast majority of the people believe in Christ and the Gospel, that Christian influences are universal, that our civilization and intellectual culture are built on that foundation." On the same occasion in 1873, William F. Warren agreed: "There was never a time when the leavening progress of Christ's kingdom among men was so rapid and irreversible as the present."

1 Fifty-one years later, in 1924, H. L. Mencken remarked that "Christendom may be defined briefly as that part of the world in which, if any man stands up in public and solemnly swears that he is a Christian, all his auditors will laugh."

2 There was a paid chaplain to the U.S.Congress even before the end of the Revolutionary War, and prior to the founding of the national congress, all of the early congresses of each of the thirteen colonies always opened with prayer. From the very beginning, prayer has always opened the national congress. Many of those who came to America from Europe did so for religious freedom. Most of them established their own civil governments based upon the Bible. It was therefore obviously totally foreign to the basic nature of America at the time of the writing of the U.S. Constitution to have any separation that would imply a secular state. The idea of a secular state is a twentieth-century invention, common to the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The purpose of the first amendment was to prevent a single sect from gaining pre-eminence, not to discourage religious practices. Many of the individual states of the union had state churches, supported by the state government, but this was not considered to be in conflict with the first amendment. In all but one of the thirteen states, people were taxed to support the preaching of the gospel and to build churches. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 set aside federal property in the Northwest territory for schools. Passed again by Congress in 1789, it stated, "Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of learning shall forever be encouraged."

4 In 1811 the supreme court of the state of New York upheld an indictment for blasphemous utterances against Christ. In his ruling, Chief Justice Kent stated, "We are Christian people, and the morality of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity."

5 The same court gave a similar ruling in 1861: "Christianity may be conceded to be the established religion."

6 Joseph Story, in his 1829 inaugural address as Dane Professor of Law at Harvard University, stated that "there never has been a period in which Common Law did not recognize Christianity as laying at its foundation."

7 Thus, it is not surprising that when the Pennsylvania state supreme court affirmed the conviction of a man on charges of blasphemy against the Holy Scriptures, it said: Christianity, general Christianity is, and always has been, a part of the common law of Pennsylvania . . .not Christianity founded on any particular religious tenets; nor Christianity with an established church and tithes and spiritual courts; but Christianity with liberty of conscience to all men."

8 Most of the great educational institutions in Europe and America were founded upon the great truths of Christianity. Among the first of them were the Universities of Paris and Oxford, founded in the middle of the twelfth century. Universities became quite widespread in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and they were ecclesiastical foundations chartered by the Pope. While some, like the university of Bologna, were best known for law, and others for subjects like medicine, normally theology was an honored subject in all of them. In America, Harvard College was founded in 1636 for the training of ministers. In New England's First Fruits (1643), we read: After God had carried us safe to New England and we had builded our houses, provided necessaries for our livelihood, reared convenient places for God's worship, and settled the civil government; one of the next things we longed for and looked after was to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity, dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers shall lie in the dust.

9 In his History of Harvard University, Josiah Quincy printed excerpts from the diary of Increase Mather, one of the early presidents of Harvard. His statements are full of devotion to God and to the students in his charge. On September 3, 1693, he wrote, "As I was riding to preach at Cambridge, I prayed to God--begged that my labors might be blessed to the souls of the students; at the which I was much melted."

10 In 1693, Virginia secured a similar institution for the training of its clergy, William and Mary College. Then, in 1701, a college was established in Saybrook, Connecticut, which was moved to New Haven in 1716 and named Yale in 1718. The purpose of the college was to establish a school in Connecticut "so the Interest of Religion might be preserved, and the Truth propagated to succeeding generations."

11 The founding of Yale was aided by the Mather family shortly after Increase Mather's ejection from the presidency of Harvard in 1701 due to the increasing influence of less conservative Christians. One of the early presidents of Yale, Thomas Clap, was also a devout Christian. One of his biographers, Louis Leonard Tucker, wrote of him as follows: The stress on religion, an indigenous feature of the Yale system, if not intensified, at least remained constant during Clap's tenure. . . .For the president, religion was the serious business of the human race. A close friend recalled in later years that Clap frequently told him that learning was important but religion "is the great object of my fear and concern." In his Annals of Yale, Clap underscored the place of religion: "Above all, Care is taken to instil into their [the students'] Minds, the principles of true Religion, in Doctrine and Practice, by publick and private Discourses and personal conversations." It was more from conviction than force of habit that he described Yale in his official writings as a "Seminary of Religion and Learning." Nor was the sequential order of these terms merely accidental. . . . In 1743, Clap drew up a general curriculum for his students to which he appended this exhortation: "Above all have an Eye to the great End of all your Studies, which is to obtain the Clearest Conceptions of Divine Things and to lead you to a Saving Knowledge of God in His Son Jesus Christ."

12 The College of Rhode Island (Brown University) was founded by Baptists in 1764 as their major center for the training of the ministry. Ninety years later, Rev. Dr. Cutting, in the New York Recorder, Sept. 20, 1854, stated, "Never were men more decided in religious faith than the settlers of Rhode Island. . . . We suppose this to be the true spirit of Brown University."

13 Two years after the founding of Brown University, the pro-revivalists among the Dutch Reformed obtained a charter in New Jersey for Queen's College (Rutgers University). With respect to Smith College, the third article of the will of its founder, Sophia Smith, stated: Sensible of what the Christian religion has done for myself, and believing that all education should be for the glory of God and the good of man, I direct that the Holy Scriptures be daily and systematically read and studied in said college, and that all the discipline shall be pervaded by the spirit of evangelical Christian religion.

14 The list of colleges and universities founded in America for similar purposes is almost endless. Even as late as in 1891, Russell H. Conwell introduced institutional features in his Baptist Temple in Philadelphia, leading to the establishment of Temple University. Yet, by the middle of the twentieth century, every single one of these institutions was dominated by a world view that was stridently and actively anti-Christian. Wilbur M. Smith wrote: Going into the very center of Yale's religious life, that is, the famous Divinity School, we state, with sadness, that Dr. Douglas Clyde Macintosh, a member of the faculty of the Divinity School since 1909, and the Dwight professor of Theology in the same institution from 1916-1933, is one who has repudiated all the miracles concerning Christ, and has gone so far as to declare, as we noted before, that "The Jesus of Christian tradition must die that He may live." . . . Concerning Smith College, . . . for eight years, 1923-1930, Dr. Harry Elmer Barnes held the chair of Historical Sociology, and was allowed to drill into the thousands of students that sat under him, his own hatred for the Christian religion. He has said that he is "unutterably opposed to all vestiges of the old supernaturalism," and he wrote a whole book, not one of great influence, but one of vicious bitterness, significantly called, The Twilight of Christianity. Elsewhere this prolific writer, an outstanding historian, has said: "It behooves all honest and informed friends of religion to construct the framework of the new religion on a tenable superstructure. To do so it appears to the writer that they will have to surrender these essential characteristics of the older religion: (1) the reality and deity of the biblical God; (2) the uniqueness and divinity of Jesus and His special relevance for contemporary religion; (3) the belief in immortality." It is a long way from the will of the founder, to such a position of antagonism to the things which she considered fundamental. Another famous school for young women is Bryn Mawr College. President Rhoads, in his inaugural address, spoke of the founder of Bryn Mawr, Dr. Joseph Wright Taylor, in the following words: "It was his prayer that Bryn Mawr should become in the highest and most blessed sense a school of Christ, in which the student should learn of Him under the training and gracious discipline of His Holy Spirit, the lessons of His truth and love." It was at Bryn Mawr, we remember, that Professor William Lyon Phelps was told that he would not be allowed to express his faith in evangelical Christian truths, if he were a member of the faculty. It was at Bryn Mawr that one of the outstanding antagonists of even theism itself was a member of the faculty for forty-four years, Dr. James Henry Leuba, the psychologist, who, in his book, God or Man, devotes an entire chapter to what he calls "The Evils Done by Christianity." . . . Amherst College was once one of the most markedly Christian collegiate institutions in America, but the President of Amherst College from 1912-1924 was Alexander Meiklejohn, who, in his latest book, Education between Two Worlds, has come out emphatically as a denier of the existence of God. . . . Columbia University began as King's College, in the city of New York. The advertisement in the New York Gazette for June 3, 1752, affirmed, "The chief thing that is aimed at in this college is to teach and engage the Children to know God in Jesus Christ, and to love and serve Him, in all Sobriety, Godliness, and Righteousness of life, with a perfect heart, and a willing mind."

Columbia University today has the greatest concentration of antisupernaturalists on its faculty of any university in our country, including the three famous men of the Department of Philosophy, John Dewey, William P. Montague, and Will Durant, as well as a great host of rationalists scattered in other departments. For over fifty years Mark Hopkins was a professor of Psychology and Philosophy at Williams College (1830-1887), and published in 1846 his famous Lectures on the Evidences of Christianity, one of the most important apologetic works to appear in the nineteenth century. A successor, not his immediate successor, but the one holding the same chair, for over a quarter of a century, since 1905, was Professor James Bissett Pratt. And it is this Professor Pratt who has said, "Men can get on without the Bible." And what of Princeton University? Its president for twenty years, from 1868 to 1888, was Dr. James McCosh, scholar, theologian, Calvinist, defender of the faith; and for the next four years, to 1892, its president was the distinguished philosopher, Dr. Francis L. Patton, one of the outstanding apologists of the last half century; both of them mighty servants of God, glorying in the pre-eminence and the redemption and the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. All that has gone in Princeton University.

For example, as we have noticed before, the one who for many years was the distinguished head of the important department of Biology, Dr. Edward Grant Conklin, in his last book, just recently published, denies the supernatural, denies the personality of God, and says that "The religion of sciences leaves us to faith in the work and dignity and almost boundless possibilities of man." . . . Dartmouth College was founded by Eleazar Wheelock, an ordained clergyman, who wanted to establish a school where Indians of New England could be trained in thetruth of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and who was the first president of Dartmouth (1769-1779). He was followed by his son, John Wheelock, president for a third of a century (1779-1815). As a later president said, at Dartmouth's centenary celebration, "Dartmouth College was conceived in the fervor of piety; born in the throes of a great missionary zeal, dedicated at birth to Christ; cradled the first year in a revival,and stands wedded to religion--until death."

One of its greatest presidents, under whom Dartmouth experienced unusual growth, Nathan Lord (1828-1863), was one who, says the latest historian of Dartmouth, "based the entire philosophy of life upon a belief in the literal accuracy and inerrancy of Holy Writ . . . He was insistent that God should be the main spring of all the activities of man." It was Nathan Lord himself who, in a famous letter to the alumni of Dartmouth College on its anniversary in 1869, said: "For Christ the college was founded and has been administered. To Christ all its influence in all time belongs." . . . And what is the condition of Dartmouth today? In the first place, chapel is not compulsory, nor any religious meeting. Furthermore, no course in Bible is compulsory. All of its religious courses are called electives.

Eight courses in the latest catalogue of Dartmouth are designated in the Department of Biblical History and Literature, one in Archeology and History, one in Philosophy of Religion, one in the Great World Religions, and one in Ethics. The catalogue would not really indicate that any course is to be found in Dartmouth College strictly devoted to the interpretation of the Word of God. There are more courses offered in Dartmouth College today in the one subject of Biography than in the whole realm of biblical history, religion, and religious literature. These are what we might call only technical matters of curriculum.

There is more to be said than that. In the student periodical published by Dartmouth, and about Dartmouth, The Dartmouth, in 1927, the following terrible statement appears: "Dartmouth has always been considered a liberal college. Graduate and undergraduate alike take pride in the freedom of thought that is permitted here. . . . On the religious question it is only to be expected that Dartmouth shows a large percentage of atheists and agnostics. Dartmouth is proud of her disbelievers." . . . The famous Mexican artist, at that time, we believe, a member of the faculty at Dartmouth, Jos‚ Clemente Orozco, was asked to paint a series of fourteen panels setting forth an epic of civilization, in the great Baker Library, for which he was given three thousand square feet of wall space. The last of these fourteen panels, photographs of which are reproduced in an elaborate brochure on this particular work published by Dartmouth College, is called, "Modern Negation of the Spirit." Under it, at least in the official description of it, is the following statement: "Here a militant Christ figure is shown, axe in hand, and His cross at his feet, symbolic of an aroused and aggressive spirituality. He stands against a great junk heap in which appear the destroyed symbols of antiquated creeds and of the confessional forms of all religions."

The words hardly communicate what the picture so dreadfully sets forth. It is actually a picture of Christ with a hideous, ascetic, glaring, almost satanic gaze, with an axe in His hand, having chopped down His own cross, which rests on the ground before Him. In other words, in our modern day we have come to such a place of wisdom and freedom and emancipation that these can only be represented by a picture in which the cross itself is shown as a despised symbol. To the voice that was heard from heaven, saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased," Dartmouth answers, "This is one who in His holy death we despise and reject."

This is what sixty years have done to one college in America. A perfect illustration of the skeptical and anti- religious influence which Dartmouth officially is determined to exercise is given in a book published by Dartmouth in 1924, Essays Toward Truth: Studies in Orientation. These chapters, so the title page tells us, were selected by Kenneth Allen Robinson, William B. Pressey, James Dow McCallum, of the Department of English, Dartmouth College. These essays, we are told in the Preface, "Represent no one point of view, advance no propaganda, and dispose of nothing completely. Their purpose is rather to present many points of view, some of them definitely conflicting. Their purpose is to stimulate the student to develop his own capacity for rational thinking and thereby achieve for himself the beginnings of a social perspective and a social philosophy." When, however,one looks at the material in this book and the authors whose essays are here brought together, one realizes that what these professors mean by "rational thinking" is thinking strictly apart from any divine revelation, thinking that leaves out God, and thinking that centers exclusively in man. Among the authors of these essays are James Harvey Robinson, Alexander Meiklejohn, John Dewey, Bertrand Russell, John Haynes Holmes, and James Bissett Pratt.

All these men are antisupernaturalists, and some of them are pronounced atheists.1

5 1 History, Essays, Orations, and other Documents of the Sixth General Conference of the Evangelical Alliance, Held in New York, October 2-12, 1873, ed. by Philip Schaff and S. Irenaeus Prime (New York, 1874), pp. 527, 249-54, as quoted by George M. Marsden, "From Fundamentalism to Evangelicalism: A Historical Analysis," in David F. Wells and John D. Woodbridge, eds., The Evangelicals (New York: Abingdon Press, 1975), p. 122. 2 H. L. Mencken, Prejudices, Fourth Series (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1924), pp. 78-79, as quoted by Marsden, p. 123. 3 John S. North, Introduction to Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1980), pp. viii-ix. 4 Quoted by Terry Eastland, "In Defense of Religious America," Commentary (June 1981), p. 39. 5 Quoted in Ibid. 6 Quoted in Ibid. 7 Perry Miller, ed., The Legal Mind in America (New York: Doubleday, 1962), p. 178. 8 Quoted by Eastland, p. 39. 9 Quoted by Samuel Eliot Morison, The Founding of Harvard College (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1935), p. 432. 10 Quoted by Josiah Quincy, The History of Harvard University (Boston: Crosby, Nichols, Lee & Co., 1860), vol. I, p. 475. 11 Thomas Clap, Yale Annals, p. 2, as quoted by Richard Warch, School of the Prophets, Yale College, 1701-1740 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1973), p. 20. 12 Louis Leonard Tucker, Puritan Protagonist: President Thomas Clap of Yale College (Chapel Hill, N.C.: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1962), pp. 78-79. 13 Quoted by Reuben Aldridge Guild, Life, Times, and Correspondence of James Manning and the Early History of Brown University (Boston: Gould and Lincoln, 1864), p. 46, footnote 1. 14 Quoted by Ernest Gordon, The Leaven of the Sadducees (Philadelphia, 1926), p. 116. 15 Wilbur M. Smith, Therefore Stand (Boston: W. A. Wilde Co., 1945), pp. 113-120.


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