Today is John Witherspoon’s birthday. He would be 285 years old.
John was born in Scotland, educated at the University of Edinburgh, and was a descendant of John Knox, a great leader of the Reformation. Witherspoon rose to significant influence within Scotland, politically and within the church, before accepting the position of president of a little university in New Jersey, later called Princeton.
John’s legacy became quite great, since his influence over many students went on to wonderful accomplishments…
“…out of his students came: thirty-seven judges, three of whom made it to the Supreme Court, ten of his former students became Cabinet officers, twelve were members of the Continental Congress, twenty-eight sat in the Senate, and forty-nine were United States congressmen.” (quoted from Wikipedia)
Having lived in Scotland, John had firsthand knowledge of the English crown and its abuses. This primed John to become a proponent of independence for the colonies. John not only signed the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, but also the Constitution.
One characteristic that strikes me is how parallel John’s teachings in the classroom and from the pulpit were. When man to grows to better understand himself, in contrast with the one true God, man comes to better understand just how well we should interact and be governed.