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Lift your lamp beside the golden door, Break not the golden rule, avoid well the golden calf, know; not all that glitters is gold, and laissez faire et laissez passer [let do and let pass] but as a shining sentinel, hesitate not to ring the bell, defend the gates, and man the wall

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Noah Webster

The "Father of American Scholarship and Education." the father of cultural independence, philosopher, author, essayist, orator, political leader, public official, and crusading editor.

Wikipedia

American Exceptionalism

The Long Journey of Noah Webster (1980) by Richard Rollins pg 24
"America sees the absurdities--she sees the kingdoms of Europe, disturbed by wrangling sectaries, or their commerce, population and improvements of every kind cramped and retarded, because the human mind like the body is fettered 'and bound fast by the chords of policy and superstition': She laughs at their folly and shuns their errors: She founds her empire upon the idea of universal toleration: She admits all religions into her bosom; She secures the sacred rights of every individual; and (astonishing absurdity to Europeans!) she sees a thousand discordant opinions live in the strictest harmony ... it will finally raise her to a pitch of greatness and lustre, before which the glory of ancient Greece and Rome shall dwindle to a point, and the splendor of modern Empires fade into obscurity."
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Webster's "Speller"

Writes historian Rosalie J. Slater:
 
The publication of Noah Webster’s “Speller” in 1783 was followed with a “Grammar” in 1784, and a “Reader” in 1785. These were Parts I, II, and III of A Grammatical Institute of the English Language, whose title was suggested by President Ezra Stiles of Yale College. These volumes republished again and again became the basis of an American system of education and their influence grew with the history of the young republic. Indeed, Noah Webster’s The American Spelling book, the famous “blue-backed speller,” set a publishing record unlikely to be equaled by any school text in America. Over a period of one hundred years more than one hundred million copies were worn out by Americans as they learned their letters, their morality and their patriotism, from north to south, from east to west. Noah Webster’s “Speller” was compatible with the hearthside of a log cabin in the wilderness, it travelled on the flatboats of the Ohio, churned down the Mississippi and creaked across the prairies of the far west as pioneer mothers taught their children from covered wagons. Wherever an individual wished to challenge his own ignorance or quench his thirst for knowledge, there, along with the Holy Bible and Shakespeare, were Noah Webster’s slim and inexpensive Spellers, Grammars, Readers, and his Elements of Useful Knowledge containing the history and geography of the United States.

Education/Qualification
 Writes historian Rosalie J. Slater:

Noah Webster, who once stated that his political philosophy had been learned “in the school of Washington and of the great and worthy men who assisted in obtaining Independence, and in the formation and organization of the government,” was eminently qualified to teach the principles of the American Constitution.

The Constitutional Convention

Writes historian Rosalie J. Slater:

It was he who had first publicly promoted the idea of a constitutional convention as he travelled from New Hampshire to North Carolina during the years 1785-1787. His 48-page pamphlet entitled Sketches of American Policy, was carried to Mount Vernon in 1785 for George Washington’s perusal. During the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia the 29-year old school master was visited by many of the most outstanding delegates.
Webster’s Diary records visits with George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, Rufus King, Abraham Baldwin, Edmund Randolph, William Samuel Johnson, Oliver Ellsworth, Roger Sherman, William Livingston and John Marshall. 
Two days before the Convention adjourned Thomas Fitzsimmons, a delegate from Pennsylvania, wrote Noah Webster requesting him to prepare an essay in support of the now completed document [entitled An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal ConstitutionProposed by the Late Convention Held at Philadelphia]. The request came on September 1st, it was written on October 9th and published October 17th. Containing 55 pages it was dedicated to Benjamin Franklin. Dr. David Ramsay wrote from Charlestown: “I have read it with pleasure, and it is now in brisk circulation among my friends. I have heard every person who has read it express his high approbation of its contents. It will doubtless be of singular service in recommending the adoption of the new Constitution.”
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An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution Proposed by the Late Convention Held at Philadelphia

[Read Online via The Potowmack Institute: http://www.potowmack.org/2noahweb.html]

a pamphlet in support of the proposed constitution published originally under the pen-name 'An American Citizen', second in influence only to the Federalist Papers.

    "Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United State"
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Sketches of American Policy.

[Read Online via The Potowmack Institute:http://www.potowmack.org/1noahweb.html]

Webster describes the unacceptable circumstance that a legislature becomes a "council of advice" rather than a law making body if the laws have no powers of enforcement. This concept resembles the libertarian fantasy's "code of ethics" where positive law becomes simply a matter of advice. We hang the Ten Commandments on wall: Thou shall; Thou shall not. The Ten Commandments is not a frame of government with powers of enforcement.
Webster also describes a nation at the mercy of an individual who can defeat any legislation. His individual is a monarch who can veto any bill coming out of a parliament for any reason at all and without accountability.
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Quotes

"Language, as well as the faculty of speech was the immediate gift of God."

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"The duties of men are summarily comprised in the Ten Commandments, consisting of two tables; one comprehending the duties which we owe immediately to God-the other, the duties we owe to our fellow men."  Noah Webster.

"When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, just men who will rule in the fear of God.  [Exodus 18:21] The preservation of a republican government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good, so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded. If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws. Intriguing men can never be safely trusted." -Noah Webster The history of the United States pg 336
http://books.google.com/books?id=omcAAAAAYAAJ&lpg=RA1-PR4&ots=wBCaRUWZRx&dq=Noah%20Webster%2C%20The%20History%20of%20the%20United%20States&pg=RA1-PR4#v=onepage&q=Noah%20Webster,%20The%20History%20of%20the%20United%20States&f=false

"All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible." [Noah Webster. History. p. 339]
"The Bible was America’s basic textbook in all fields." [Noah Webster. Our Christian Heritage p.5]

"Education is useless without the Bible" [Noah Webster. Our Christian Heritage p.5 ]

"The principles of all genuine liberty, and of wise laws and administrations are to be drawn from the Bible and sustained by its authority. The man therefore who weakens or destroys the divine authority of that book may be assessory to all the public disorders which society is doomed to suffer." Noah Webster (original source document not yet found)

"There are two powers only which are sufficient to control men, and secure the rights of individuals and a peaceable administration; these are the combined force of religion and law, and the force or fear of the bayonet. Noah Webster "(original source document not yet found)

"Almost all the civil liberty now enjoyed in the world owes its origin to the principles of the christian religion." Noah Webster, Noah Webster, History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1832), p. 300, Sec. 578.

"[T]he religion which has introduced civil liberty, is the religion of Christ and his apostles." Noah Webster, Noah Webster, History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1832), p. 300, Sec. 578.

"This is genuine christianity, and to this we owe our free constitutions of government." Noah Webster, Noah Webster, History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1832), p. 300, Sec. 578.
He declared government was responsible to: "Discipline our youth in early life in sound maxims of moral, political, and religious duties." Noah Webster

"Education is useless without the Bible." Noah Webster
"The Bible was America's basic text book in all fields." Noah Webster
"God's Word, contained in the Bible, has furnished all necessary rules to direct our conduct." Noah Webster

"In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed...No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people." -1828, in the preface to his American Dictionary of the English Language
  
"The brief exposition of the constitution of the United States, will unfold to young persons the principles of republican government; and it is the sincere desire of the writer that our citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament or the Christian religion. Noah Webster, 1832, History of the United States

"The religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and His apostles, which enjoins humility, piety, and benevolence; which acknowledges in every person a brother, or a sister, and a citizen with equal rights. This is genuine Christianity, and to this we owe our free Constitutions of Government. Noah Webster, 1832, History of the United States

"The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all of our civil constitutions and laws....All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible. Noah Webster, 1832, History of the United States

"When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers just men who will rule in the fear of God. The preservation of a republican government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; Noah Webster, 1832, History of the United States

"If the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made not for the public good so much as for the selfish or local purposes; Noah Webster, 1832, History of the United States

"Corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded." Noah Webster, 1832, History of the United States

"If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws." Noah Webster, 1832, History of the United States

"Corruption of morals is rapid enough in any country without a bounty from government. And...the Chief Magistrate of the United States should be the last man to accelerate its progress." Noah Webster, 1832, History of the United States

http://www.seekfind.net/NoahWebster.html

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