The ingredients are goods and services, money, freedom, and the willingness of the individual to cooperate voluntarily with his fellow man. John Witherspoon was born into a ministerial family near Edinburgh on Feb. 5, 1723. Without this it may be something else, and have some other binding force, but it is not a contract. Looking back upon the inflation of the war, he wrote in, "I observe, that to arm such bills with the authority of the state, and make them a legal tender in all payments, is an absurdity so great, that [it] is not easy to speak with propriety upon it. ", "It seems to me, that those who cry out for emitting paper money by the legislatures, should take some pains to state clearly the difference between this and the European countries, and point out the reasons why it would be serviceable here, and hurtful there. Writing about the general topic of money, Witherspoon also gives us a clear understanding of "commerce"—free exchange and free enterprise. Consequently, America had to fight both the British Army and the evils of inflation and price-fixing. . Now nothing can be more radically unjust, or more eminently absurd, than laws of that nature.". For two or three years we constantly saw and were informed of creditors running away from their debtors, and the debtors pursuing them in triumph, and paying them without mercy.”, "Let us examine this matter a little more fully. "10, Witherspoon insisted that "tender laws, arming paper, or any thing not valuable in itself with authority are directly contrary to the very first principles of commerce." Remember, laws are not almighty . But if you make a law that I shall be obliged to sell my grain, my cattle, or any commodity, at a certain price, you not only do what is unjust and impolitic, but with all respect be it said, you speak nonsense; for I do not sell them at all: you take them from me. They show contempt for the average citizen—his sense of personal accountability, his intelligence, his self-reliance and discipline. Academic Requirements. If therefore we yield up our temporal property, we at the same time deliver the conscience into bondage. Perhaps it would give offense if I should say, it is an absurdity reserved for American legislatures; no such thing having ever been attempted in the old countries. View Actor-comedian John Witherspoon died in Los Angeles on Oct. 29, 2019. He traced most economic difficulties to the conflict between freedom and coercion. If we limit, Behind the different attempts at controlling prices was the staggering inflation. 481 0 obj <>/Filter/FlateDecode/ID[<98C1CAF76721AF49AD7E51FE627AA8B5>]/Index[451 78]/Info 450 0 R/Length 143/Prev 1618089/Root 452 0 R/Size 529/Type/XRef/W[1 3 1]>>stream . It has been brightened slightly for clarity. What is gold, say some, the value is all in the fancy; you can neither eat nor wear it; it will neither feed, clothe nor warm you. State and Continental currency was almost worthless. ̎ ��� �lX��u)�D�/���� R�5ȴ�r ���m&F� �]��$����8�2@� }Z� He went on to embrace the revolutionary cause. Actor John Witherspoon, best known for his roles in the "Friday" franchise, posted a video to his YouTube channel hours before died Tuesday at 77. O�4~�z���q���� 2The Works of the Rev. ... Constitution, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended) and applicable federal and state laws. . Witherspoon does not speak of a need for government compulsion in commerce: "Among all civilians, the transactions of commerce are ranged under the head of contracts. As a rugged Scotsman by birth, Rev. Born February 5, 1723 (Gifford, Scotland) Died November 15, 1794 (Princeton, New Jersey) Protestant theologian, educator. They are guided by a humanitarian spirit, but it is an idealism that ignores personal freedom and individual responsibility. . Source: Political Sermons of the American Founding Era: 1730-1805, 2 vols, Foreword by Ellis Sandoz (2nd ed. . D3�]9�s�/)�)��r��H���s���b�ӷb��-�:��w��k�m�v��`6���jý��ʿ���/�?�_��ei�S�dt:�$�G:Y��dʏ�d��7��!md���h����Ն��ֻ/�:N� C����S�f�°�P�t���!6��>˳�馍 �$vNr2國�(�#�z��j0��L6h^�٣�x陝�rn[��s�� pdWNF΋�9��W9����9^�D~�T۠����O���j>5�o�]���B��$ƿ�. "To fix the prices of goods, especially provisions in a market," he wrote, "is as impracticable as it is unreasonable.". 5Ibid., p. 232. . Witherspoon understood the stability of gold just as he saw the weakness of paper. The true patriot today is one "who guides his affairs with discretion." ", "The evil is this: All paper introduced into circulation, and obtaining credit as gold and silver, adds to the quantity of the medium, and thereby . Dr. Witherspoon is remembered mainly for his tenure as President of the College of New Jersey (Princeton) and for having been the only clergyman to sign the Declaration of … What is the basis for a productive, creative society? The operation of political causes is as uniform and certain as that of natural causes. Our problem lies in the fact that too many politicians believe themselves to be the only possessors of "sharp-sightedness." He signed the Declaration of Independence, participated in the Continental To give, therefore, authority or nominal value by law to any money, is interposing by law, in commerce, and is precisely the same thing with laws regulating the prices of commodities, of which, in their full extent, we had sufficient experience during the war. Industry, therefore is a moral duty of the greatest moment, absolutely necessary to national prosperity, and the sure way of obtaining the blessing of God.”19, "This certainly implies not only abstaining from acts of gross intemperance and excess, but a humility of carriage, a restraint and moderation in all your desires .. . ... LeBron James for carrying civil rights … %%EOF If there were but one man upon the earth, he would be obliged to prepare a hut for his habitation, to dig roots for his sustenance, to provide skins or fig leaves for his covering, &c. in short, to do every thing for himself. Although Rev. They reject Wither-spoon’s faith that men are "good judges of their own profit." They are called in the technical language, Onerous contracts, where the proper and just value issupposed to be given or promised, on both sides. Industry, therefore is a moral duty of the greatest moment, absolutely necessary to national prosperity, and the sure way of obtaining the blessing of God.”, "This certainly implies not only abstaining from acts of gross intemperance and excess, but a humility of carriage, a restraint and moderation in all your desires .. . %PDF-1.6 %���� It is not uncommon to see a man who appears to be almost as stupid as a stone, and yet he shall be as adroit and dextrous in making a bargain, or even more so, than a man of the first rate understanding, who probably, for that very reason, is less attentive to trifling circumstances, and less under the government of mean and selfish views."18. 210. What would one of those who were stifled in the black hole at Calcutta, have given to get but near a window for a little air? Behind the different attempts at controlling prices was the staggering inflation. Martha Lou Stohlman, John Witherspoon —Parson, Politician, Patriot (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1976). Accordingly we found in this country, and every other society who ever tried such measures found, that they produced an effect directly contrary to what was expected from them. Witherspoon spoke to the average American on the occasion of the General Fast, a day of fasting and prayer. I must also observe, that there is in mankind a sharpsightedness upon this subject that is quite astonishing.”, "All men are not philosophers, but they are generally good judges of their own profit in what is immediately before them, and will uniformly adhere to it. Remember, laws are not almighty . His distaste for printed bills was founded upon firm economic judgment, and he was ready to defend precious metals. increases the price of industry and its fruits. Witherspoon preached his sermon during the critical period of our War for Independence. Money is itself a commodity. 1. Eighteen years after the War for Independence was finally won, Witherspoon published his Essay on Money, "As a medium of commerce; with remarks on the advantages and disadvantages of paper admitted into general circulation. John Witherspoon was an American Founding Father, a noted clergyman, and an educator.He played an influential role in his home country of Scotland and in his adopted country, the United States.Witherspoon was the only clergyman to … u�����U3X��q�,R��H}�wٴ3]d��~V,JZ�zhk+�h��JD*��?�\w �˛�e��P�ZP��T�1S����9P�2u�Ի/��4�%(f ���-�T�wN׽�%�Ă��1��rz&�غ��F=��J�~P�D��9��:]�}C�둇A��,[%��`j��TȺ�{(G��H/l��˕�H�w�εr+��ʹ��U�%W�e��_�l John Knox Witherspoon (February 5, 1723 – November 15, 1794) was a Scots Presbyterian minister and a signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of New Jersey. ", Witherspoon voted an emphatic "Nay!" . Superficial philosophers, and even some men of good understanding not attending to the nature of currency, have really said so. II, p. 427, "The Dominion of Providence over the Passions of Men.". When Rev. The true patriot is the citizen who acts according to his own "free and unbiased judgment." Please do not edit the piece, ensure that you attribute the author and mention that this article was originally published on FEE.org, "There is not a single instance in history," declared Rev. The Witherspoon Society is a body of laypeople within the Presbyterian Church (USA) in existence since 1979 that is activist in liberal and progressive causes that takes its name from John Witherspoon. �����ME� U�Y��o�`%�f2���+�l;�ʁvU�lʼV-�;��Rz�l�qy~~����g^���:��9ޕK�nC��ω�\� � �P$ l� Heroic Colonial Christians (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1966(. "¹ Speaking as a minister, Rev. Witherspoon began attending the University of Edinburgh at age fourteen. Rev. State and Continental currency was almost worthless. Dr. Witherspoon is remembered mainly for his tenure as President of the College of New Jersey (Princeton) and for having been the only clergyman to sign the Declaration of Independence. John Witherspoon (February 5, 1723 – November 15, 1794) was a Scottish American Presbyterian minister and a Founding Father of the United States. It is beyond the power of despotic princes to regulate the prices of goods . What would one of those who were stifled in the black hole at Calcutta, have given to get but near a window for a little air? Looking back upon the inflation of the war, he wrote in Essay on Money: "I observe, that to arm such bills with the authority of the state, and make them a legal tender in all payments, is an absurdity so great, that [it] is not easy to speak with propriety upon it. Monetary considerations aside, Dr. Witherspoon’s observation points to one of the problems still facing the American economy. But if you make a law that I shall be obliged to, "Perhaps I ought rather to have said that they cannot be directed by it, but they may be greatly counteracted; as people have naturally a strong disposition to resist force, and to escape from constraint. Habits of industry prevailing in a society not only increase its wealth, as their immediate effect, but they prevent the introduction of many vices, and are intimately connected with sobriety and good morals. But do not mistake this, it is not carried on by general universal interest, nor even by well informed national interest, but by immediate, apparent, and sensible personal interest. Varnum Lansing Collins, President Witherspoon, 2 vols. whether the evil that is done by augmenting the circulating medium, is or is not over-balanced by the facility given to commerce, and the credit given to particular persons, by which their industry and exertions are added to the common stock."7. . "Ibid., p. 226. Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices. ¹5Works (2nd edition: 1802), op cit., pp. They are called in the technical language, Freedom guided Witherspoon’s economic beliefs. Expenses and prices go up. If it is necessary to force them, does not this system produce a most ludicrous inversion of the nature of things. The featured image is a detail from John Witherspoon (1794) by Rembrandt Peale (1778–1860), after a painting by Charles Willson Peale (1741–1827), and is in the public domain, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Liberty was in the balance—would Americans be ruled by oppressive government authority or would they be free to accept their just right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"? h�bbd```b``��& ���� ��;A��Bi�H2�t�E�H�-`5 �;,�"R@$cH�";�-|�& Man’s temporal rights—"life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"—were God-given. Habits of industry prevailing in a society not only increase its wealth, as their immediate effect, but they prevent the introduction of many vices, and are intimately connected with sobriety and good morals. In May 1776, Rev. IV, p. 203. Without entering into the nicer distinctions of writers upon this subject, it is sufficient for me to say, that commerce, or buying and selling, is found upon that species of contracts that is most formal and complete. John Witherspoon, (second edition: Philadelphia: W.W. Woodward, 1802), Vol. It has been found, by the experience of ages, that money must have a standard of value, and if any prince or state debase the metal below the standard, it is utterly impossible to make it succeed.”, "Let us examine this matter a little more fully. whether the evil that is done by augmenting the circulating medium, is or is not over-balanced by the facility given to commerce, and the credit given to particular persons, by which their industry and exertions are added to the common stock. 783-784. Not governmental social-planning, but personal responsibility! With regard to attempts at corrupting a nation’s currency, Witherspoon observed that "the only thing resembling it in the English history is, James the second coining base metal, and affixing a price to it by proclamation; a project contemptible in the contrivance, and abortive in the execution. Who, then, should regulate prices? Perhaps it would give offense if I should say, it is an absurdity reserved for American legislatures; no such thing having ever been attempted in the old countries. . 0 The buyer and seller themselves, without interference from politicians! When proposals for price-fixing came up, he protested vigorously —both in speech and print. To make laws therefore, regulating the prices of commodities, or giving nominal value to that which had no value before the law was made, is altering the nature of the transaction altogether.”8, "Thus we know, that in cities, in case of a fire, sometimes a house, without the consent of its owner, will be destroyed to prevent the whole from being consumed. ", "Hence it may be seen, that the resolution of the question, whether it is proper to have paper money at all or not, depends entirely upon another, viz. Please, enable JavaScript and reload the page to enjoy our modern features. It is intended to tell part of the story of the early American understanding of religious liberty, and to leave to the reader its bearing upon the current controversy, so utterly wrongly pictured by many as a “Catholic” issue or one merely about moral and sexual matters. Congressman John Lewis was a significant presence at the 1963 March. S�P�&� The individual’s "industry"—his daily labor or his business—might bring in more greenbacks, but their value will be shrinking. Individuals were free to choose or reject obedience to their Creator. You need to share this post with everybody you know including your Pastor! (second edition: Philadelphia: W.W. Woodward, 1802), Vol. "Let us then begin," he says, "by considering what gave rise to money, and what is its nature and use? John Witherspoon ollege General atalogue 2016-2017 John Witherspoon College • Rapid City, SD Bible-Anchored • Christ-Centered People-Focused • Kingdom-Driven . . (Philadelphia: W.W. Woodward, 1800(, Vol. After completion of his studies in 1743, Witherspoon was ordained and started his ministry at Beith, Scotland. He obtained a solid education in grammar school and later completed a divinity degree at the University of Edinburgh. Accordingly we found in this country, and every other society who ever tried such measures found, that they produced an effect directly contrary to what was expected from them. The movement, which began in the early 2000s, has organized demonstrations, sought reform via the legal system and media, defended victims of human rights abuses, and written … Witherspoon came to the Colonies in 1768 to assume the presidency of the College of New Jersey, he brought with him his evangelical Christian faith and a profound intellect. Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read John Witherspoon and the Founding of the American Republic: Catholicism in American … He was an important 'Founding Father' and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. "12. It is beyond the power of despotic princes to regulate the prices of goods . It would have regulated prices of labor, manufactures, imports and provisions. During this period, he attempted to bring sound economic wisdom to Congressional deliberations. We have our own government officials, educators, and socio-political writers who in "ignorance, without any bad intention," propose coercive measures in economic matters. TRUE RELIGION AND CIVIL LIBERTY. . Is it agreed that all commerce is founded on a complete contract? 6lbid., p. 233. john witherspoon was a presbyterian preacher John Witherspoon was born in Scotland in 1722. They are an attempt to apply authority to that which is not its proper object, and to extend it beyond its natural bounds; in both which we shall be sure to fail. The measures had only made food and supplies even more scarce. It is not uncommon to see a man who appears to be almost as stupid as a stone, and yet he shall be as adroit and dextrous in making a bargain, or even more so, than a man of the first rate understanding, who probably, for that very reason, is less attentive to trifling circumstances, and less under the government of mean and selfish views. They are not wealth; they are but the sign or representative of commodities. "Experience," he warns, "has every where justified the remark, that wherever paper is introduced in large quantities, the gold and silver vanishes universally. John Witherspoon in 1776, "in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire. Paper money was always Wither-spoon’s thorn in the side. Vol. Mr. Bearce is a free-lance writer in Houston, Texas. Mr. Chen is a Chinese civil rights lawyer and activist who has been a persistent voice for freedom, human dignity, and the rule of law in his native country. Likewise, he saw that God meant for individuals to have political and economic freedom in the earthly life. Money is the medium of commercial transactions. Instead of producing moderation and plenty, they uniformly produced dearness and scarcity. 528 0 obj <>stream 222-223. His truly important contribution to American liberty and independence, though, was revealed by his stalwart labors as a member of the Continental Congress. An estimated $200 million of paper money had been issued by 1781. Statist-minded politicians and economists in the United States should explain why their own blueprints for a planned economy in America will work any better here than do their socialistic counterparts in Africa, Europe, Asia, or South America. The Witherspoon Society is a body of laypeople within the Presbyterian Church (USA) in existence since 1979 that is activist in liberal and progressive causes that takes its name from John Witherspoon. But let any circumstances take place that render them rare, and difficult to be obtained, and their value immediately rises above all computation. Freedom of exchange! Besides urging individuals to seek their eternal welfare, he emphasized individual responsibility in the present, temporal life: "I exhort all who are not called to go into the field to apply themselves with the utmost diligence to works of industry. Henry Steele Commager and Richard B. Morris (eds. 17 THE DOMINION OF PROVIDENCE OVER THE PASSIONS OF MEN. In 1768 he decided to come to America after being offered a position as president of the College of New Jersey (today Princeton University). By "the price of industry and its fruits," Witherspoon meant the higher costs for employment, land, tools, and business expansion. . As society increases, the partition of employments is greatly diversified; but still the fruits of well directed industry, or the things necessary and useful in life are what only can be called wealth. Not the dictates of government, but individual initiative! John Witherspoon - John WitherspoonJohn Witherspoon was born near Edinburgh, Scotland on February 5, 1723 into a ministerial family. John Witherspoon and the Founding of the American Republic: Catholicism in American Culture - Ebook written by Jeffry H. Morrison. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1998). Money is the medium of commercial transactions. To give, therefore, authority or nominal value by law to any money, is interposing by law, in commerce, and is precisely the same thing with laws regulating the prices of commodities, of which, in their full extent, we had sufficient experience during the war. 244, 245. If but one or two more were joined with him, it would soon be found that one of them would be more skillful in one sort of work, and another in a different; so that common interest would direct them, each to apply his industry to what he could do best and soonest; to communicate the surplus of what he needed himself to that sort of work to the others, and receive of their surplus in return. This is adapted from my 1993 short book, John Witherspoon and the Presbyterian Constitution. If the gold and silver is indeed going away from us, that is to say, if the balance of trade is much against us, the paper medium has a direct tendency to increase the evil, and send it away by a quicker pace. Freedom guided Witherspoon’s economic beliefs. A descendant of Protestant Reformer John Knox, Witherspoon was educated at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and afterwards served as … Born in Scotland and educated at Edinburgh, Witherspoon came to America in … A renowned theologian from Scotland, John Witherspoon educated many young men who became prominent leaders of the Founding generation. By Ted Schroder ... John Witherspoon (1723-1794) was the sixth President of Princeton (the College of New Jersey), a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and from 1776 to 1782 a leading member of the Continental Congress. . Regrettably, "many of the advocates for such laws, and many of those who are instrumental in enacting them, do it from pure ignorance, without any bad intention."¹¹. His death last month left a gaping hole in the fabric of American civil rights activism. It is in your power by this means not only to supply the necessities, but to add to the strength of your country. endstream endobj 452 0 obj <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>]/OFF[]/Order[]/RBGroups[]>>/OCGs[483 0 R 484 0 R 485 0 R 486 0 R 487 0 R 488 0 R]>>/Outlines 414 0 R/Pages 447 0 R/StructTreeRoot 432 0 R/Type/Catalog>> endobj 453 0 obj <>/ExtGState<>/Font<>/ProcSet[/PDF/Text/ImageC]/XObject<>>>/Rotate 0/TrimBox[36.0 36.0 648.0 828.0]/Type/Page>> endobj 454 0 obj <>stream It is in your power by this means not only to supply the necessities, but to add to the strength of your country. Work in Congress, though, enabled him to demonstrate his clarity of thought and his ability to get to the heart of a problem. IV, p. 203. Witherspoon’s sermon, based on Psalm 76:10, was entitled The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men. In 1777 Congress was considering whether or not it should recommend to all the States the "Connecticut Act for Regulating Prices" —a plan already adopted by a convention of four New England States. ", Dr. Witherspoon is remembered mainly for his tenure as President of the College of New Jersey (Princeton) and for having been the only clergyman to sign the, Eighteen years after the War for Independence was finally won, Witherspoon published his, "Take for examples air and water. h$��K��xc��F*��Ԫ[��Ȁ��}�J_A�HK%���n��JJY�1�,��3�P�I�B�S\�ɤi�"zp)� �:��F���9��a~�U�:{�e��B�_�ϵ�D�N���t4g�kOz��lTWx���Y?P1Պߓ�%D|'BBY��>>���$�{��i1I�OO����݁x�H�S2�m>+�Uᬄ�8~�vN �"O')�Ы"�J�*o��+�)[�ҿz�OO��z�A���H�l6y2�$z�l��������T'�+����dˠ�㓡'�YǻJ�E*Ά�����ۋo�m��W�e�� �b6wF7U���P����x�Ϛ��&ն�F �n��,FX/���&�iv}S�� E�&)��rOtā芞x!�b ſ�+1�ű8��L����HD2���"��ť�,� i��We].�e1�Y���&�D�E*��8Y܈��(O&�J\���?�'�������4������L����3�@n��H'�kx1OF�(�R|_�7q+� O�(�e�~�\/p�1Z̾}ؗZy�*�C„^ۏ����)̐����G�^?̖�۳d����l9�e�g���:Oi-�t��]�i�� His sermon, "The Dominion of Providence over the Passions of Men," touched upon both man’s spiritual and earthly needs. And what will the crew of a ship at sea, whose water is nearly expended, give for a fresh supply?"4. . John Witherspoon was born near Edinburgh, Scotland on February 5, 1723, into a ministerial family. h��Zko۸���1E�R$EJ�vsS7�I�n�)��$�ʏ�r��_�%[��Ƕ�X\`[0��_sx�V)���H{RJ䁧���t"��Qy�Y��G^�\��r���!�b�I_B V(�Z��� MS����a,�(� �Г�,�J(Ğ2*��4�X�QL5�l��=#a��xY�1�U]��g�@�z��I+��Xb/ ", "Well! Racial tensions were at a height, and the Civil Rights movement had given way to the Black Power movement. John Witherspoon was born in 1723 in Gifford, a small village near Edinburgh. ), The Spirit of Seventy-Six (New York: Harper and Row Publishers, 1967), pp. John Witherspoon.1 Though the story is apocryphal, it illustrates the patriotic leadership of this Presbyterian minister and the level of respect accorded him by his generation. "This directly points out to us, that a barter of commodities, or communication of the fruits of industry, is the first principle or rather indeed constitutes the essence of commerce. How does free enterprise operate? Politically active, Witherspoon was a delegate from New … Are there any who refuse it when it is good? A merchant ship, the SS John Witherspoon, saw service during World War II. "13 Again, laying aside the specific topic of paper currency, we have a general admonition that should be heeded. If iron were as rare as gold, it would probably be as valuable, perhaps more so. Today, there is still a "sharpsightedness" on the part of individuals who are left free to manage their own interests. Economic difficulties to the john witherspoon civil rights of your country `` Nay! 1723 to Scottish. Passions of men. `` of them survived can be more radically unjust, or more eminently,...: J.B. 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