American Minute with Bill Federer JAN. 11 - 'To destroy us...our enemies must first seduce us from the house of God' -Yale President Timothy Dwight
American Minute with Bill Federer
JAN. 11 - 'To destroy us...our enemies must first seduce us from the house of God' -Yale President Timothy Dwight
A grandson of Princeton president Jonathan Edwards, he could read at age 4 and entered Yale at 13.
He was a chaplain in the Continental Army until his father died.
Then, as the eldest of 13 children, he worked the family farm to pay off debts.
He served in Massachusetts' first State Legislature.
His name was Timothy Dwight IV, and he died JANUARY 11, 1817.
He was Yale's 8th president, 1795 to 1817.
In his 22 years at Yale, he created Departments of Chemistry, Geology, Law, and Medicine.
He also founded Andover Theological Seminary.
Timothy Dwight pioneered women's education, and was critical of slavery and encroachment on Indian lands.
He befriended Henry Opukahaia, the first Hawaiian convert to Christianity, which led to missionaries sailing to the Islands.
During his administration, Yale grew from 110 to 313 students, with one of his students, Samuel Morse, inventing the telegraph.
Originally a Puritan college, Yale students had become enamored with "French infidelity" and the deistic "cult of reason."
Dwight met with students and answered their questions on faith.
By the time of his death, JANUARY 11, 1817, a third of the graduates were professing Christians, and 30 entered the ministry.
Get the book, America's God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations
On July 4, 1798, Timothy Dwight gave an address in New Haven titled "The Duty of Americans at the Present Crisis."
In this address, he explained how Voltaire's atheism inspired the
French Revolution and it's Reign of Terror, 1793-1794, where 40,000
people were beheaded and 300,000 were butchered in the Vendee:
"About the year 1728, Voltaire, so celebrated for his wit and
brilliancy and not less distinguished for his hatred of Christianity
and his abandonment of principle, formed a systematical design to
destroy Christianity and to introduce in its stead a general diffusion
of irreligion and atheism.
For this purpose he associated with
himself Frederick the II, king of Prussia, and Mess. D'Alembert and
Diderot, the principal compilers of the Encyclopedie, all men of
talents, atheists and in the like manner abandoned.
The principle parts of this system were:
1. The compilation of the Encyclopedie: in which with great art and
insidiousness the doctrines of ... Christian theology were rendered
absurd and ridiculous; and the mind of the reader was insensibly steeled
against conviction and duty.
2. The overthrow of the
religious orders in Catholic countries, a step essentially necessary to
the destruction of the religion professed in those countries.
3. The establishment of a sect of philosophists to serve, it is
presumed as a conclave, a rallying point, for all their followers.
4. The appropriation to themselves, and their disciples, of the places
and honors of members of the French Academy, the most respectable
literary society in France, and always considered as containing none but
men of prime learning and talents.
In this way they designed
to hold out themselves and their friends as the only persons of great
literary and intellectual distinction in that country, and to dictate
all literary opinions to the nation.
5. The fabrication of
books of all kinds against Christianity, especially such as excite
doubt and generate contempt and derision.
Of these they issued
by themselves and their friends who early became numerous, an immense
number; so printed as to be purchased for little or nothing, and so
written as to catch the feelings, and steal upon the approbation, of
every class of men.
6. The formation of a secret Academy, of which Voltaire was the
standing president, and in which books were formed, altered, forged,
imputed as posthumous to deceased writers of reputation, and sent
abroad with the weight of their names.
These were printed and
circulated at the lowest price through all classes of men in an
uninterrupted succession, and through every part of the kingdom."
Timothy Dwight continued:
"In societies of Illuminati...the being of God was denied and ridiculed....
The possession of property was pronounced robbery.
Chastity and natural affection were declared to be nothing more than groundless prejudices.
Adultery, assassination, poisoning, and other crimes of the like
infernal nature, were taught as lawful...provided the end was good....
The good ends proposed by the Illuminati...are the overthrow of religion, government, and human society, civil and domestic.
These they pronounce to be so good that murder, butchery, and war,
however extended and dreadful, are declared by them to be completely
The means...were...the education of
youth...every unprincipled civil officer...every abandoned
clergyman...books replete with infidelity, irreligion, immorality, and
Where religion prevails, Illumination cannot make disciples, a French
directory cannot govern, a nation cannot be made slaves, nor villains,
nor atheists, nor beasts.
To destroy us therefore, in this
dreadful sense, our enemies must first destroy our Sabbath and seduce
us from the house of God..."
Timothy Dwight concluded:
"Religion and liberty are the meat and the drink of the body politic.
Withdraw one of them and in languishes, consumes, and dies.
If indifference...becomes the prevailing character of a people...their
motives to vigorous defense is lost, and the hopes of their enemies are
Without religion we may possibly retain the freedom of savages, bears, and wolves, but not the freedom of New England.
If our religion were gone, our state of society would perish with it
and nothing would be left which would be worth defending."