Saturday, September 17, 2011

Elias Boudinot Jr. (1740-1821)

Elias Boudinot Jr. of Elizabeth, New Jersey, was elected as a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1777 to 1784. Furthermore, he served as president from 1782 to 1783. This illustrious American statesmen and lawyer served three terms in Congress and ten years as the Director of the Mint. Throughout his life, he supported several civic and educational causes. Elias Boudinot was a trustee of Princeton University for nearly half a century.

He became the president of the American Bible Society when it was founded in 1816. Upon accepting this office, he considered the position as “the greatest honor” which had been bestowed upon him “this side of the grave.”

He was a man of unwavering faith in God who called upon men to the work of making the Bible readily accessible to Americans. An annual salary of $400 was considered a good income. He generously gave a monetary gift of $10,000 to enable the formation and organization of the American Bible Society.

“'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself' - Let it then (as workmanship of the same Divine hand) be our peculiar constant care and vigilant attention to inculcate this sacred principle, and to hand it down to posterity...Good government generally begins in the family, and if the moral character of a people once degenerate, their political character must soon follow.”

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