There is a remarkable paragraph in the sacred writings, which may he very well accommodated to my present purpose, and merits particular attention. You have it in Deuteronorny, 4:5-8:
Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, who shall hear all these statutes, and say, surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people: for what nation is there so great, which hath God so nigh unto them as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, which both statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law which I set before you this day.
If I am not mistaken, instead of the twelve tribes of Israel, we may substitute the thirteen states of the American union, and see this application plainly offering itself…
On the people, therefore, of these United States, it depends whether wise men, or fools, good or bad men, shall govern.… Therefore, I will now lift up my voice and cry aloud to the people….
From year to year be careful in the choice of your representatives and the higher powers [offices] of government.
Fix your eyes upon men of good understanding and known honesty; men of knowledge, improved by experience; men who fear God and hate covetousness; who love truth and righteousness, and sincerely wish for the public welfare….
Let not men openly irreligious and immoral become your legislators…. If the legislative body are corrupt, you will soon have bad men for counselors, corrupt judges, unqualified justices, and officers in every department who will dishonor their stations….
Never give countenance to turbulent men, who wish to distinguish themselves and rise to power by forming combinations and exciting insurrections against government….
I call upon you also to support schools in your towns…. It is a debt you owe to your children!