But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18
Darrow versus Witherspoon
Never underestimate the influence that one person may have on the legal profession. Just one individual standing firm on an idea can lead to enormous results. Such was the case with two men, one godly and the other wicked.
John Witherspoon was born in Scotland and came to colonial America with the Bible and some books that were to help shape the views of America's Founding Fathers: Lex Rex by Samuel Rutherford and Aaron's Rod Blossoming by George Gillespie.
WITHERSPOON AND PRINCETON
Witherspoon became President of New Jersey College (later Princeton University). Princeton had been founded by Scotch-Irish Presbyterians in a log cabin as a school to teach Bible preachers and missionaries. It had a strong Calvinistic view of the Holy Scriptures, God, man, sin, and salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord.
From its inception, Princeton held to the importance of the Ten Commandments, not as a means of salvation, but as God's Moral Law. It was seen as the yardstick by which to judge man's thoughts, words and deeds—both individually and as a society.
The Calvinists at New Jersey College realized that all the Ten Commandments were repeated in the New Testament as valid for Christians today, whether Jew or Gentile (see for example both Ephesians 6:1-3 and Hebrews 4:9).
LAW AND SOCIETY
They also knew that God's Law must be enforced on all of society, whether or not all persons within the society agreed with it. Since God is the Sovereign and Creator, His will must be obeyed. Since God is loving and wise, His Law is best for his creatures.
They saw the Law of God as a means to restrain evil. This was the understanding of men like John Witherspoon. He taught men like James Madison, who later became known as the Father of the U.S. Constitution and the fourth President of the USA.
John Adams said of John Witherspoon, "He was a true son of Liberty but first he was a son of the Cross". John Witherspoon was an educator, clergyman, mentor of many of America's Founding Fathers, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
His godly influence can be seen in the check and balances of our U.S. Constitution, which called for three equal but separate branches of the Federal Government. His idea of limited government due to the sinful nature of men is what made America great.
His concept of the rights and liberty of men is clearly reflected in our Bill of Rights. To this day, even our Supreme Court building has an engraving of Moses coming down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments in his arms.
DARROW, EVOLUTION AND MASS MURDER
Contrast this with the tremendous influence of Clarence Darrow. He was a lawyer in the early twentieth century, renowned for his oratory skill to move judges and juries.
Early in his career, Darrow was a labor attorney, but after being charged with attempting to bribe juries, he was forced to leave California, never to practice law there again. Later, Darrow practiced criminal law and defended some of the most immoral positions.
In the infamous Scopes Trial, Darrow defended the theory of evolution in public education. He also defended murderers Leopold and Loeb, on the basis that it was a case of survival of the fittest.
Today, our entire system of public education teaches evolution as proven fact, when there is much scientific evidence (such as in the field of genetics) to contradict it.
Today we have mass murders committed by teenagers (such as at Columbine High School) who hold to the survival of the fittest. We have forgotten God's Ten Commandments, one of which clearly states, "Thou shalt not kill (murder)."
It is probably safe to say that Witherspoon is now in Heaven where he may rest from his labors and his works do follow him.
It is also probably safe to say that Darrow is in Hell, in eternal torment and everlasting punishment for his sins. All men will be judged, according to their works, by the standard of God's Law.
"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment . . . ." (Hebrews 9:27)
George Theiss is a combat veteran of Vietnam who now follows the Lamb of God. He and his wife, Christy, have been married 42 years (in 2019). They have 8 grown children. You can contact George at email@example.com
Copyright © 2002 through 2019 by George Theiss