Short Excerpt of An Oration Delivered Before the Inhabitants of the Town of Newburyport, at their request, on the Sixty-First Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1837. By John Quincy Adams

” The Declaration of Independence cast off all the shackles of this dependency. The United States of America were no longer Colonies. They were an independent Nation of Christians, recognizing the general principles of the European law of nations.”

“…Thirdly, the Declaration of Independence announced the One People, assuming their station among the powers of the earth, as a civilized, religious, and Christian People, – acknowledging themselves bound by the obligations, and claiming the rights, to which they were entitled by the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.

They had formed a subordinate portion of an European Christian nation, in the condition of Colonies. The laws of social intercourse between sovereign communities constitute the laws of nations, all derived from three sources: – the laws of nature, or in other words the dictates of justice; usages, sanctioned by custom; and treaties, or national covenants. Superadded to these, the Christian nations, between themselves, admit, with various latitudes of interpretation, and little consistency of practice, the laws of humanity and mutual benevolence taught in the gospel of Christ. The European Colonies in America had all been settled by Christian nations; and the first of them, settled before the reformation of Luther, had sought their justification for taking possession of lands inhabited by men of another race, in a grant of authority from the successor of Saint Peter at Rome, for converting the natives of the country to the Christian code of religion and morals. After the reformation, the kings of England, substituting themselves in the place of the Roman Pontiff, as heads of the Church, granted charters for the same benevolent purposes; and as these colonial establishments successively arose, worldly purposes, the spirit of adventure, and religious persecution took their place, together with the conversion of the heathen, among the motives for the European establishments in this Western Hemisphere. Hence had arisen among the colonizing nations, a customary law, under which the commerce of all colonial settlements was confined exclusively to the metropolis or mother country. The Declaration of Independence cast off all the shackles of this dependency. The United States of America were no longer Colonies. They were an independent Nation of Christians, recognizing the general principles of the European law of nations.”…

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About notmanynoble

woodcutter from Washington State
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2 Responses to Short Excerpt of An Oration Delivered Before the Inhabitants of the Town of Newburyport, at their request, on the Sixty-First Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1837. By John Quincy Adams

  1. stan schmunk says:

    I admire him greatly but his interpretation of history is very shaky at best. The Declaration, Constitution and the Federalist Papers are all Christ-less and certainly the Gospel of Christ was NOT the motive of most of those European nations. Treatment of the Native Tribes and introduction of millions of enslaved Africans proves that Adams’ interpretation is false.

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    • notmanynoble says:

      As I have said before and will say again, there was no slavery in the northern colonies, slavery eventually impoverished the south, the declaration of indenpendence is based on the theistic principle of human rights preceding forth from a creator and in many of the colonies and states you couldn’t even vote unless you swore that you held the Christian religion to be true,https://notmanynoble.wordpress.com/was-america-formed-to-be-a-secular-non-theistic-nation/ Have you read Toqueville’s Democray in America, very good source of primary quotes and written by a man in around 1830 who came to study what caused the American experiment. Never were they perfect, never was Cromwell perfect but the goal of the northern puritan colonies was, as ti said on Cromwell’s grave; Christ, not man is King. Cromwell stayed in England to defend the protestants there but others came here. Notice that Adams says here “Superadded to these, the Christian nations, between themselves, admit, with various latitudes of interpretation, and little consistency of practice, the laws of humanity and mutual benevolence taught in the gospel of Christ. “little consistency of practice” not perfect. And sometimes far, far from perfect. But Crockett and others fought for the Indians, and often lost, but tried, and its said that one union soldier died for every 10 slaves that were freed in the civil war. The arguments of all those abolitionist societies were from the bible. No other culture in the world ever outlawed slavery, not muslim, not chinese, not american Indian, certainly not Rome. Only the Christina nations did. The puritans and quakers treated the indians fairly well, the baptist didnt do as well in the south. Not trying to persuade you, because I don’t think you can be persuaded. But your attitude and understanding are identical to what the left is teaching in every college across the country. I don’t agree with the idea that all our ancestors were nothing but “expansionists” with not a shred of Christianity among them. Im sure in your mind you know better than the men who lived then, but that again is your opinion, not mine

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