Scottish-American Presbyterian minister and Founding Father of the United States (1723-1794)
John Knox Witherspoon (February 5, 1723 – November 15, 1794) was a Scots Presbyterian minister and a signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of New Jersey. He was president of the College of New Jersey (1768–94; now Princeton University).
- It is very evident that both the prophets in the Old Testament and the apostles in the New are at great pains to give us a view of the glory and dignity of the person of Christ. With what magnificent titles is he adorned! What glorious attributes are ascribed to him! All these conspire to teach us that he is truly and properly God - God over all, blessed forever!
- From his sermon "The Absolute Necessity of Salvation through Christ", 2 January 1758
- Mistake me not, my brethren: I am not speaking against learning in itself; it is a precious gift of God, and may be happily improved in the service of the gospel; but I will venture to say, in the spirit of the apostle Paul's writings in general, and of this passage in particular, Accursed be all that learning which sets itself in opposition to the cross of Christ! Accursed be all that learning which disguises or is ashamed of the cross of Christ! Accursed be all that learning which fills the room that is due to the cross of Christ! and once more, Accursed be all that learning which is not made subservient to the honour and glory of the cross of Christ!
- From the sermon "Glorying in the Cross", published in 1768. Misquoted since 1845 as "Cursed be all that learning that is contrary to the cross of Christ; cursed be all that learning that is not coincident with the cross of Christ; cursed be all that learning that is not subservient to the cross of Christ." So quoted by S. S. Cox in October 1845, in Permanent Documents of the Society for the Promotion of Collegiate and Theological Education at the West, Volume 1, p. 30.
- It is only the fear of God, can deliver us from the fear of man.
- From his sermon "Ministerial Character and Duty". Usually misquoted as "It is only the fear of God that can deliver us from the fear of man."