Today in History: Death of John Witherspoon


Statue of John Witherspoon on Connecticut Avenue, Washington, D.C. (source)

~ John Knox Witherspoon ~
February 5th, 1723 – November 15th, 1794

Scottish Presbyterian minister
Sixth president of Princeton University, 1768-1794
New Jersey delegate to the Second Continental Congress
Signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation

“Upon the whole, I beseech you to make a wise improvement of the present threatening aspect of public affairs, and to remember that your duty to God, to your country, to your families, and to yourselves, is the same.  True religion is nothing else but an inward temper and outward conduct suited to your state and circumstances in providence at any time.  And as peace with God and conformity to him, adds to the sweetness of created comforts while we possess them, so in times of difficulty and trial, it is in the man of piety and inward principle, that we may expect to find the uncorrupted patriot, the useful citizen, and the invincible soldier.  God grant that in America true religion and civil liberty may be inseparable, and that the unjust attempts to destroy the one, may in the issue tend to the support and establishment of both.”

– Excerpt from Witherspoon’s 1776 sermon,
“The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men”


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