The Reverend John Witherspoon is a noteworthy example of a patriotic pastor who accomplished great good for our country. He entered the University of Edinburgh in Scotland at age fourteen, graduated from a theological course of study and was licensed to preach at age twenty-two. Reverend Witherspoon accepted an appointment as president of Princeton (College of New Jersey) in 1768. His extensive knowledge, patriotic sentiments, and sound judgment were needed to form a new state constitution for New Jersey when the British invaded in 1776. Who better understood the proper role of government and rulers than God's ministers in the pulpit? Governments are instituted among men to secure our God-given rights to life, liberty, and property. Evil-doers must be punished by "just men who rule in the fear of God." 2 Samuel 23:3 "A ruler is a minister of God to you for good...a minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that does evil." Romans 13:4 Who better understood the principles of freedom under the rule of law than those with a strong Biblical world view? The Reverend John Witherspoon's contributions to establish good government in New Jersey led to his election as a delegate to the 2nd Continental Congress, where he voted for independence from England and dependence upon God. He was a member of congress until 1782. Throughout this time of honorable service, he had been placed on the most important committees, playing a large role in military and financial matters. He astounded his colleagues with the versatility of his knowledge.
Pastors with extensive knowledge, patriotic sentiments and sound judgment are needed today to be actively involved in the public life of our country. Who better than God's men with God's counsel and God's heart for His people? The patriotic Reverend John Witherspoon is such an inspiring role model for our pastors today.