Appeared in Vol. 3 No. 4

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In the following article on Benjamin Rush, Donald J. D’Elia continues his series on the founding fathers which began with Thomas Jefferson in the last issue. Rush makes a particularly interesting study because he was avowedly Christian not to say Catholic in his approach to the American Revolution. Dr. D’Elia presents here both the early optimistic Rush and the later pessimist. The central drama concerns the building of the kingdom of God on earth-and America’s identity or dis-identity with that kingdom. The series will continue next quarter with John Adams.

It is well known among closer students of history, whether professional or lay, that modern secular culture is achieving dramatic results in abolishing the past as a critical factor in man’s consciousness.(1) Not the least successful technique, and one apparently much too subtle even for Orwell and Huxley to have conceived, is the manufacturing of historical pasts and understandings in the bourgeois consumer society, where they are hawked about by newspapers, weekly newsmagazines, television commentators, book publishers, and “schools” of historiography in the universities. Indeed, the degradation of the past has been accomplished so swiftly that millions of Americans, including Supreme Court justices, congressmen, and presidents can celebrate the Bicentennial of the United States, a nation founded historically on the God-given and “unalienable Rights” of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, while claiming that a woman ought to be able legally to murder her own child.(2)

Now there is simply no arguing from the historical record that abortion, or any other kind of murder is compatible in any way, however cleverly redefined, with the values of the Founding Fathers. It was criminal to them as it must always be to men of reason. This is not opinion but historical fact. Jefferson, John Adams, Madison, Washington, Rush, Franklin, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, and scores of other patriots of the American Revolution testify, without exception, to the objective reality of natural law and those “unalienable Rights” which it is government’s purpose to serve.

That the American nation was founded on natural law, as the Declaration of Independence makes clear, is something which legitimate history ought to take seriously. Even if the Declaration had said nothing about the natural rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, and all the other charters of our Revolution were equally silent on this great theme-which is demonstrably not the case-the truth would remain that the Fathers of this country knew in their sanity that commonwealths must be built on fundamental law. This was obvious to them as it had been to the overwhelming majority of the world’s people, East and West; the Law was “written in their hearts. “(3) More often than not, as was customary with the Founding Fathers, they took for granted in their writings and speeches “certain unalienable Rights” that no one in his right mind would question. Tyrannous government, they knew, needed to be reminded and chastised for its insolence; hence, the absolute, articulately worded Declaration of Independence. This point that governmental law must follow natural law is illustrated even more strikingly in the argument over the need for a written Bill of Rights, where its critics maintained with remarkable prescience that natural and positive law should not be confounded, lest the ever ambitious state encroach upon the former. They were right, of course, in fearing that their descendants, robbed of the common and true past, would be seduced into paying too generous a coin of tribute to Caesar.

Not only, in this pre-Kantian age, did the American patriot’s own reason teach him that government was his servant in these matters that touched the infinite worth and dignity of the human person. His mental attitudes and convictions were formed historically, in the widest sense, as well as ontologically. It is true that he was Protestant or post-Protestant, except for signer Charles Carroll of Carrollton and a few other Catholic leaders, but a Jefferson or an Adams was still, for all that, very much a son of the Catholic West in basic philosophic outlook. The Virginian admittedly succumbed to the fashionable naturalism of the Enlightenment, apparently never realizing the anti-intellectualism of his position; and crotchety John Adams, equally sincere and intelligent, but accepting the fact of Revelation, seems to have kept his crude and invincibly ignorant understanding of Catholicism to the end. Yet, both men, whatever the degree of their post-Protestantism, were typical of the Revolutionary leadership in recognizing and seeking to apply in their age time-honored Christian social principles. St. Thomas’s “Good is to be done and sought for, evil is to be avoided”(4) was the wisdom they accepted.


Given this unique character of the American founding fathers, we would expect to find some good and some bad-but all instructive-in a serious consideration of the political traditions they established. In order to maximize the positive, it is helpful to focus this study on Dr. Benjamin Rush (1746-1813), another Protestant signer of the Declaration of Independence, who was unique in being professedly Christian in every way about his understanding of the American Revolution. Rush’s Christocentric philosophy of the American Revolution may be viewed as a kind of summa of the times, indeed the most comprehensive doctrine from any Founding Father on the meaning of the independence of the United States in the economy of salvation.(5) A close analysis of the development of Rush’s theory will reveal both the strengths and weaknesses of the early American vision of the political order.

Like all of the colonial leaders who resisted the British government’s totalitarian ambitions in 1776, Rush was well educated at home and in school and college in the historical values of Christendom, values which he and his teachers could only derive from secondary Protestant authorities. Professor James J. Walsh clearly demonstrates in his book The Education of the Founding Fathers that the College of New Jersey (now Princeton), where Rush graduated, Harvard, Yale, the College of Philadelphia (now University of Pennsylvania), William and Mary, King’s College (now Columbia), Queens College (now Rutgers), and the other colonial colleges required work of their students very much like that of the medieval Catholic universities. Graduating seniors had to defend their theses publicly at commencements, following the tradition of scholasticism, and the titles and contents of these papers were little different from those debated, say, at the University of Paris in the thirteenth century.(6) The sacred freedom and immortality of the person, his rights and duties under natural law, and the claims of Revelation were medieval and enduring truths that Rush and every other Founding Father learned, in greater or lesser degree, in the colleges and schools of Christian America. Rush elaborated his own views in a letter to Jefferson:

I have always considered Christianity as the strong ground of republicanism. The spirit is opposed, not only to the splendor, but even to the very forms of monarchy, and many of its precepts have for their objects republican liberty and equality as well as simplicity, integrity, and economy in government. It is only necessary for republicanism to ally itself to the Christian religion to overturn all the corrupted political and religious institutions in the world.(7)

We may momentarily pass over the veiled reference to Catholicism (and Anglicanism) here to further establish Rush’s belief that the new American public order was built on Christian principles. In arguing that the Bible should be used to teach Christianity in the public schools, he wrote:

A Christian cannot fail of being a republican. The history of the creation of man, and of the relation of our species to each other by birth, which is recorded in the Old Testament, is the best refutation that can be given to the divine right of kings, and the strongest argument that can be used in favor of the original and natural equality of all mankind. A Christian, I say again, cannot fail of being a republican, for every precept of the Gospel inculcates those degrees of humility, self-denial, and brotherly kindness, which are directly opposed to the pride of monarchy and the pageantry of a court. (8)

While it is true that Rush may have confused legitimate monarchy with Divine right monarchy, he clearly recognized that the “divine right of kings or states”-totalitarianism is what Rush and the other founders of the American nation would call it today-violated God’s law. Everyone who knew history, knew this.

These and other truths about the nature and dignity of man, deriving ultimately from classical and medieval times, were `self-evident’ to the Signers of the Declaration of Independence and remain so to men and women of right thinking. Rush, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and the Revolutionary leadership in general, consciously or otherwise knowing the office and limitations of reason, had no doubt about man’s natural Rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, even if they naively credited minor Protestant thinkers like Richard Hooker, John Milton, and John Locke rather than St. Thomas, Cardinal Bellarmine, and Suarez. “Reason and religion have the same objects,”Rush asserted with that decisiveness characteristic of the Founders.”They are in no one instance opposed to each other. On the contrary, reason is nothing but imperfect religion, and religion is nothing but perfect reason.”(9) How could Rush and the others, born and reared in a culture already declining into post-Protestantism, appreciate the anti-historical character of the Protestant Revolution. But the point is that the Founding Father’s past as Western men had not been abolished, as is fast becoming the case with ours. Theirs had not been abolished, only changed and rendered superficial in its dimensions by their ancestors’s defection from the church, the Mother of history. They knew the `self-evident’ truths and built a nation on them, even if they did not know the ultimate historical sources and continuities. They believed that God watched over their city, and that was enough.

The curriculum at Princeton included logic, ethics, rhetoric, classical languages, Hebrew, natural philosophy, and metaphysics, subjects from the trivium and quadrivium of the Middle Ages. Logic and ethics were emphasized, and a young man came away from instruction with confidence in the nature and extent of his reasoning faculty and belief in absolute values. In the 1750’s, 60’s, and 70’s, when the Revolutionary generation was educated, the onslaught of Kantian subjectivism had not yet begun and men were sure of their ability rationally to arrive at truth. The corrosion of the Western mind had, in fact, started long ago, but Protestant America and its institutions enjoyed in relative isolation a kind of diluted synthesis of reason and Revelation which, in contrast to the ferment of doubt in Europe, was never seriously challenged until after the American Revolution, and then by a few Enlightenment philosophes like Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Elihu Palmer, and Ethan Allen.(10)

Moreover, most of the academies and colleges had been established as seminaries for the preparation and training of ministers, and they possessed an ethos which excluded skepticism in any recognizably modern form. Realism was unquestioned, but it was still a moderate or `common sense’ realism.(11) The young minds formed in this liberal arts tradition were quick to see the invasion of their natural and civil rights when the time came. There was nothing muddled about their logic, their apprehension of reality. The best of them always tried to bring their facts under the governance of principles and, scorning what would later be called moral relativism, grasped right from wrong with a precision of understanding. ‘Indeed, in a true sense, American independence was won not on the playing fields but in the lecture halls of the colonial colleges. And it is this blending of faith and reason in a strongly metaphysical atmosphere which accounts for much of the good, especially in theory, behind the original American dream.

The degree to which faith and reason were combined in the thinking of the professors who taught Rush-and most if not all of the other college men who made up half of the delegates to the Continental Congress-may be illustrated in Rev. Samuel Davies (1721-1761), president of the College of New Jersey and Rush’s most influential teacher. Before coming to Princeton, Davies had played a leading role in the revival of Christianity known as the Great Awakening which swept the colonies at mid-century and helped cause the American Revolution in ways that historians are just beginning to understand.(12) A brilliant, largely self-educated classicist and orator, Davies had attended an evangelical Presbyterian seminary or “School of the Prophets” in Pennsylvania, where he had been taught that reason and Revelation complemented each other in an organic synthesis of truth. At Princeton, which was modeled on Davies’ Alma Mater, Rush and other young patriots were inculcated with the perennial truth that man is made in the image of God and accordingly possesses infinite worth and natural rights and duties.

Davies exhorted his students in Religion and Public Spirit, a commencement address of 1760, to be  “proper Agents” of God charged with “an indispensable Obligation” to be like David, “the Servant of God and his Generation.”(13) “He suffered, he fought, he reigned, he prophecied, he sung, he performed every Thing, to serve his Generation, according to the Will of God.”(14) Each of them, Davies said with profound Christian sincerity, must be formed of true religion and true public spirit, “the truly good and useful Man; a proper Member of human Society; and even of the grand Community of Angels and Saints.” He continued:

Public Spirit and Benevolence without Religion is but a warm Affection for the Subjects, to the Neglect of their Sovereign; or a Partiality for the Children in Contempt of their Father, who is infinitely more worthy of Love. And Religion without Public Spirit and Benevolence is but a sullen, selfish, sour and malignant Humour for devotion, unworthy that sacred Name. “For if a Man love not his Brother, whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?”(15)

Rush and his fellow-students must be apostles of love.


This ideal of Christendom, and his role as an apostle in its realization, together explain Benjamin Rush’s part in the American Revolution. The fact that Rush was as a Protestant cut off from a living and specific interpreter of the principles upon which Christendom must be based likewise explains the weaknesses in Rush’s approach. It must first be said that both as a member of Congress and as a volunteer physician at the Battle of Princeton, he was inspired by President Davies’s dream of a new Christian order of love. “I am and have been several years before the memorable 1776 a republican in principle,” he wrote of his Christian theory of the American Revolution, “not only because I conceive republican governments are most conformable to reason but to revelation likewise. The pride of monarchy and the servility of that state which it induces in all its subjects are alike contrary to the humility and dignity of the Christian character.

It is the Spirit of the Gospel (though unacknowledged) which is now rooting monarchy out of the world. Truth in this case is springing up from that earth which helped the woman …. How truly worthy of a God who styles himself Love is that religion which is opposed to everything which disturbs or violates the order and happiness of society, whether that society consists in the relation of individuals or of nations to each other . . . . I anticipate with a joy which I cannot describe the speedy end of the misery of the Africans, of the tyranny of kings …. Connected with the same events, I anticipate the end of war and such a superlative tenderness for human life as will exterminate capital punishments from all our systems of legislation. In the meanwhile let us not be idle with such prospects before our eyes. Heaven works by instruments, and even supernatural prophecies are fulfilled by natural means. It is possible we may not live to witness the approaching regeneration of our world, but the more active we are in bringing it about, the more fitted we shall be for that world where justice and benevolence eternally prevail. (emphasis added)(16)

The American Revolution, to this Signer of the Declaration of Independence, was nothing less than the divine opportunity for man to reconstruct the world on Christian principles. “At present we wish `liberty to the whole world’,” Rush noted to a friend. “But the next touch of the celestial magnet upon the human heart will direct it into wishes for the salvation of all mankind.“(17) And in his ecumenical address of 1788 to all Christian ministers, including Roman Catholic priests, he pleaded for their leadership as agents of social charity:

America has taught the nations of Europe by her example to be free, and it is to be hoped she will soon teach them to govern themselves. Let her advance one step further-and teach mankind that it is possible for Christians of different denominations to love each other and to unite in the advancement of their common interests. By the gradual operation of such natural means, the kingdoms of this world are probably to become the kingdoms of the Prince of Righteousness and Peace.(18)

Americans were predestined in God’s salvific plan to be the first of the world’s people to live in a premillennial state of grace and brotherly love. The reign of natural law and rights, victorious over British totalitarianism and celebrated in the Declaration of Independence, would soon give way to the Messianic Kingdom. History, whole in its mysterious Christian character and unperverted by secularizing mentalities, was being fulfilled.

Regrettably for Rush, it was precisely in the specific application of Christianity to American institutions that the general principles of the natural law were no longer a sufficient guide. For Rush, unable to authoritatively identity that church which unfolds the kingdom of God on earth, confused God’s kingdom with the American state. The “Spirit of the Gospel,” Rush believed, had produced the miracle of the Federal Constitution. “I do not believe that the Constitution was the offspring of inspiration, but I am as perfectly satisfied that the Union of the States, in its form and adoption, is as much the work of a Divine Providence as any of the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testaments were the effects of a divine power.”(19) The Federal and State Constitutions were, as republican forms of government, “the best repositories of the Gospel: I therefore suppose they are intended as preludes to a glorious manifestation of its power and influence upon the hearts of men.”(20) “Justice has descended from heaven to dwell in our land, and ample restitution has at last been made to human nature by our new Constitution for all the injuries she has sustained in the old world from arbitrary government, false religions, and unlawful commerce.”(21) Again, we pass over the reference to Catholicism, despite its significance here, in order to clarify Rush’s views. For as he put it, “The language of these free and equal governments seems to be like that of John the Baptist of old. ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord-make his paths strait’. “(22) Christ, the Lord of history, the “`life of the world,’ `the prince of life,’ and `life’ itself, in the New Testament”(23) was liberating man once and for all from violence of every kind; and the new Federal Constitution, Rush believed, guaranteed man’s right to participate in divine life and freedom. (24)

Rush’s Christocentric theory of the American Revolution was, as we have noted, much more explicit and systematic than that of the other Fathers. And, of course, there is no denying that with some of the Revolutionary leadership a tenaciously held belief in natural law had become detached from its historical source in Christ. Even with Rush himself in his middle years, it is clear that the Zeitgeist of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment was dangerously close to obscuring whatever remained of Catholic Truth in the Modern world. As has been suggested, republican constitutions-like his King James Bible-were in effect divinized, even though wisdom and Rush’s contemporary and favorite poet, Alexander Pope, warned, “For forms of government let fools contest; Whate’er is best administer’d is best.”(26) Politics was assigned an unwarranted primacy in his vague doctrine of “Christian republicanism,” foreshadowing nineteenth-century Marxism’s politicizing of reality. A heady millenialism, defiant of centuries of cautioning by St. Augustine and others, was ingratiated into the whole as a thinly disguised variant of the Enlightenment’s bourgeois historicism and progressivism. And America, not Christ and His Church, threatened to usurp the role of Liberator of mankind in an easily recognized messianism. (27)

It was precisely this eschatological chauvinism-this confusion of America with the kingdom of God-that prevented Rush, even in his most idealistic moments, from following his Master’s advice to “Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God and his justice.”(28) There was no distinction between first and second in his mind when it came to God’s kingdom and America, Republicanism and the Church. Thus his magnificent efforts to change the world, by his own confession, foundered in temporalism and, ultimately, ended in bitter disillusionment with all kinds of revolutionary activism. “Since the year 1790,” Rush wrote at the close of the century,

I have taken no part in the disputes or parties of our country. My retirement from political pursuits and labors was founded upon a conviction that all I had done, or could do for my country would be fruitless, and that things would assume the same course in America, that they had done in Europe, and from similar causes, and that disorder would reign everywhere until the coming of the Messiah. This disorder is perhaps necessary to form a contrast to his divine and peaceful government. `Offences must come.’ Tyranny, anarchy, war, debt, standing armies &c are the natural consequences of liberty and power uncontrolled by the spirit of Christianity. They must therefore exist, perhaps to furnish an opportunity of a display of divine power in destroying them …. I have abstracted my attention from the operations of human governments, and directed it wholly to that kingdom in wh:ch there shall be absolute monarchy with perfect freedom, uncontrolled power, with universal justice,, perpetual safety without fleets and armies, unparalleled splendor supported without taxes or a national debt, and general equality of rights without disrespect for superiors. This kingdom I believe will be administered in person by our Saviour upon our globe.(29)


It is this last despair that any good can be done in the public order that reveals the full import of the shortcomings of Rush’s earlier optimistic position. It also fully explains Rush’s hints that Catholicism was a corrupt religion, similar in the nature of its corruption to monarchy. For Rush never came to grips with any principle of authority on this earth. In his initial identification of the kingdom of God with American Republicanism, he had expected all good to arise spontaneously from mankind as a whole. The Constitution itself had replaced a long-rejected hierarchy as the chief vehicle of grace. This alone was thought sufficient to activate the operations of the natural law Rush cherished in his heart. The absurdity of this position became obvious by events, and Rush then set aside all political ambition to wait for the coming of a kingdom characterized, as he said, by the absolute monarchy of God. It is a pity that he could find no reflection of this heavenly order in the world of time. He failed to see any connection between authority wielded by God and authority wielded by men. In consequence, he could give natural law neither its divine moorings nor its specific human application.

Had Rush recognized that papal authority was precisely the missing link between divine law and human stewardship, he would have avoided both his confusion of republicanism with the kingdom of God and his later despair of ever building Christendom. For Rush would have then discovered an external and inviolable principal of human and divine authority against which he might have very specifically judged even the directions of the American state. In the central authority of Christ’s own Church, Rush would have found the means to preserve and act on his understanding of the natural law. As it was, this founding father, bewildered by the failure of his first dream, was forced to abandon his former legitimate hope of applying natural law to nature. But even in his confusion he at least settled on half of the truth. He recognized rightly not that nothing positive can be done here below, but that perfect peace and harmony can come only at the Parousia-that there is no paradise to be built on earth by men, and no political form to guarantee its success. Rush finally began to distinguish the spiritual from the temporal kingdom.

And so, having exhausted an honest but superficial doctrine of the American Revolution, one essentially more Enlightenment than Christian, Benjamin Rush advanced in his later years beyond what the less Christian Founding Fathers could hope to see. He glimpsed an eternal Christendom, resembling in some ways what Pope Paul VI has called in our day the dawning “civilization of love”.(30) This, at least, was truly a Christocentric commentary on the American Revolution, born of experience itself. In our search for the real America in these Bicentenniel years we could do no better than to meditate on the relevance of this Christocentric philosophy for our own times of national and world crisis.


1 Cf. John A. Lukacs, Historical Consciousness; or, the Remembered Past (New York: Harper & Row, 1968); and Frederick D. Wilhelmsen, The Paradoxical Structure of Existence (Dallas: University of Dallas Press, 1970), esp. ch. VIII.

2 Edward J. Melvin, C.M., A Nation Built on God (Huntington, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., 1975), passim.

3 Rom. 2:14-15; C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man (New York: The MacMillan Co., 1965), passim.

4 Summa theol., I-II, q. 94, a.2; Cletus Dirksen, C.P.P.S., Catholic Social Principles (St. Louis, Mo.: B. Herder Book Co., 1961), ch. 5, passim; A. P.d’Entreves, Natural Law: An Introduction to Legal Philosophy (London: Hutchinson University Library, 1951), passim.

5 D.J. D’Elia, Benjamin Rush: Philosopher of the American Revolution (Philadelphia: The American Philosophical Society, 1974) (Transactions, new ser., v. 64, part 5), passim.

6 James J. Walsh, Education of the Founding Fathers of the Republic; Scholasticism in the Colonial Colleges; a Neglected Chapter in the History of American Education (New York:- Fordham University Press, 1935), passim.

7 August 22, 1800, Lyman H. Butterfield, ed., Letters of Benjamin Rush, 2 vols. (Philadelphia: The American Philosophical Society, 1951), II, 820-821; Rush to John Adams, July 21, 1789, ibid., 1, 523.

8 Of the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic in Essays, Literary, Moral and Philosophical (2nd ed., Philadelphia, 1806), pp.8-9; D.J. D’Elia, The Republican Theology of Benjamin Rush in Pennsylvania History XXXIII (April, 1966), pp. 187-203.

9 Considerations on the Injustice and Lnpolity of Punishing Murder by Death (Philadelphia, 1792), pp. 12-13; d’Entreves, passim.

10 On Jefferson, see D.J. D’Elia, Jefferson, Rush, and the Limits of Philosophical Friendship in Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, CXVII, No. 5(llctober, 1973) pp. 333-343; Ethan Allen’s Reason the Only Oracle of Mau appeared in 1784, Paine’s Age of Reason in 1794-96, and Elihu Palmer’s Principles of Nature in 1797. The seminal work, of course, is Msgr. Romano Guardini’s The End of the Modern World, edited with an introduction by Frederick D. Wilhelmsen (Chicago: Henry Regnery Co., 1968).

11 See, e.g., Francis L. Broderick, Pulpit, Physics, and Politics: The Curriculum of the College of New Jersey, 1746-1794 in William & Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., VI (January, 1949), pp. 52, 57, et, passim. On the widely accepted Scottish Philosophy of Common Sense, S.A. Grave’s book by that title is well worth consulting (Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 1960). Excellent on the philosophic background in general is Guardini’s study and Etienne Gilson and Thomas Langan, Modern Philosophy: Descartes to Kant, vol. III of Etienne Gilson, ed., A History of Modern Philosophy (New York: Random House, 1963).

12 William B. Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit; or Commemorative Notices of Distinguished American Clergymen of Various Denominations, from the Early Settlement of the Country to the Close of the Year Eighteen Hundred and Fifty-Five (9 vols., New York, 1857-1869) III, pp. 140-146. See, e.g., Alan Heimert, Religion and the American Mind: From the Great Awakening to the Revolution (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1966), passim.

13 Religion and Public Spirit, A Valedictory Address to the Senior Class, Delivered in Nassau Hall, September 21, 1760, (New York) 1761, pp. 3-5.

14 Ibid., p.4.

15 Ibid., pp. 4-5.

16 Rush to Jeremy Belknap, June 21, 1792, Rush Letters I, p. 620.

17 Rush to Rev. Elhanan Winchester, November 12, 1791, ibid., p. 612.

18 Rush to “Ministers of the Gospel of All Denominations: An Address upon Subjects Interesting to Morals”, June 21, 1788, ibid., p. 466-467.

19 Rush to Elias Boudinot? “Observations on the Federal Procession in Philadelphia”, July 9, 1788, ibid., p. 475.

20 Rush to Rev. Elhanan Winchester, November 12, 1791, ibid., p. 611.

21 Rush to Elias Boudinot? See note 19.

22 Rush to Rev. Elhanan Winchester, November 12, 1791, ibid., pp.611-612

23 Rush, Three Lectures upon Animal Life, in Medical Inquiries and Observations (5th ed., 2 vols., Philadelphia, 1818) I, pp. 53-54.

24 George W. Corner, ed., The Autobiography of Benjamin Rush: His “Travels through Life” together with His Commonplace Book for 1789-1813 (Philadelphia: The American Philosophical Society, 1948), p. 161.

25 Rush to James Kidd, November 25, 1793, Rush Letters II, p. 746.

26 Essay on Man.

27 The theme is well developed in Mrs. Anne Carroll’s Wanderer Forum Lectures.

28 Matt. 6:33 (emphasis added); cf. John Cardinal Wright, The Fact and Nature of the Nativity Revolution in L’Osservatore Romano (English ed.) January 6, 1977, pp. 5, 10.

29 Rush to Granville Sharp, April 2, 1799, John A. Woods, ed., Correspondence of Benjamin Rush and Granville Sharp 1773-1809 in Journal of American Studies I (April 1967), pp. 32-33.

30 See, e.g., the Holy Father’s Joy and the Cross in the Civilization of Love in L’Osservatore Romano (English ed.), January 22, 1976, p. 1