Benjamin Rush on Education


Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and one of America’s most influential Founding Fathers, was one of the first Founders to call for free, national, public schools.  A distinguished physician and scientist, he understood the role of an educated citizenry as regards the stability  of a republic, stating:

I believe no man was ever early instructed in the truths of the Bible without having been made wiser or better by the early operation of these impressions upon his mind…

If moral precepts alone could have reformed mankind, the mission of the Son of God into our world would have been unnecessary.  He came to promulgate a system of doctrines, as well as a system of morals.  The perfect morality of the Gospel rests upon a doctrine which, though often controverted, has never been refuted; I mean the vicarious life and death of the Son of God.  This subline and ineffable doctrine delivers us from the absurd hypothesis of modern philosophers concerning the foundation of moral obligation, and fixes it upon the eternal and self-moving principle of LOVE.  It concentrates a whole system of ethics in a single test of Scripture: “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you.”  By withholding the knowledge of this doctrine from children, we deprive ourselves of the best means of awakening moral sensibility in their minds.  We do more; we furnish an argument for withholding from them a knowledge of the morality of the Gospel likewise; for this, in many instances, is as supernatural, and therefore as liable to be controverted, as any of the doctrines or miracles which are mentioned in the New Testament.  The miraculous conception of the Savior of the world by a virgin is not more opposed to the ordinary course of natural events, nor is the doctrine of the atonement more above human reason, than those moral precepts which command us to love our enemies or to die for our friends….

Contemplating merely the political institutions of the United States, I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them.  We profess to be republicans, and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government; that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible; for this divine book, above all others, favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws, and all those sober and frugal virtues which constitute the soul of republicanism. 

The American Patriot’s Bible – Dr. Richard G. Lee, General Editor;  Thomas Nelson, Inc. 2009, pg. 740.

“Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testament…be read and taught as a divine revelation in the [school] – its general precepts expounded…its evidences explained…and its glorious principles of morality inculcated?…Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament?”1844 U.S. Supreme Court

When we as a nation and its leaders know, pursue and pray for the righteousness that God desires, as modeled by the Founding Fathers of America (i.e. our Godly heritage), then God will respond to our obedience and faith in Him with blessing and exultation for our nation, as He promised.  Psalm 33:12 states: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” and Proverbs 14:34 says: “Righteousness exalts a nation…”

I have a passion to educate American citizens and inspire them to re-establish our country’s foundations with the Biblical principles that God had originally designed for us.  I have prepared an educational presentation intended to ignite a spark in the hearts of fellow believers to remain silent no longer.  I proclaim the truths of America’s Godly heritage and provide action ideas for all ages.  “If God is for us, who can be against us?”Romans 8:31

Blessings, Tom Hughes
[email protected]

2 Responses to Benjamin Rush on Education

  1. Karen says:

    Wow. I didn’t know my great great grandpa was so grounded in scriptures and so right about freedom of medicine, bible based education, effects of alcohol and anti- slavery. We think alike. I’m glad I found his quotes and his writings today. I was looking for a possible restored home of his to visit, when I found his quotes. I’ll be reading more.

  2. Frank Kay says:

    I found his statement in the “American Patriot’s Bible” and some of his other quotes that if our America would come back to God we would find a great freedom that has ben lost through the ages just because we have let Satan take over. Start with putting the Bible back in our public schools and also in our Government.

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