John Witherspoon: "A true son of liberty...but first, he was a son of the Cross." - November 15
- 2013 15 Nov
He lost two sons in the Revolution, was the only clergyman to sign the Declaration and served on 120 Congressional Committees. His name was John Witherspoon, and he died NOVEMBER 15, 1794. Born in Scotland, a descendant of John Knox, John Witherspoon was President of Princeton, leader of a New Jersey committee to abolish slavery, and taught 9 of the writers of the U.S. Constitution, including James Madison. Other students became Vice-President, Supreme Court Justices, Cabinet Members, Governors, Senators and Congressmen. John Adams described Witherspoon as "A true son of liberty...but first, he was a son of the Cross." On May 17, 1776, the day Congress declared a Day of Fasting, Rev. John Witherspoon told his Princeton students: "He is the best friend to American liberty, who is most...active in promoting true and undefiled religion...to bear down profanity and immorality of every kind. Whoever is an avowed enemy of God, I scruple not to call him an enemy of his country. It is in the man of piety and inward principle that we may...find the uncorrupted patriot, the useful citizen, and the invincible soldier." John Witherspoon concluded: "God grant that in America true religion and civil liberty may be inseparable."