What should be clear is that early America was founded upon the deep, extensive influence Christianity on Western, particularly English or British though and culture. Early American society, culture, and thought were founded upon the historic Christianity inherited from the medieval period and the Protestant Reformation. That heritage was and is a priceless heritage. It is a heritage that is made greater by the fact that it was not limited to the narrow confines of the personal life of the individual, nor to the ecclesiastical structure of Christian influence reached beyond religion in the narrow sense in which most Americans today are accustomed to think of religion.
The impact of historic Christianity gave early Americans a great Christian heritage because it positively and predominantly (though not perfectly) shaped culture, education, science, literature, legal thought, legal education, and political thought. It shaped the fundamental laws of the several states and of the nation, the conduct of political life (or at least much of it), the provision for charity, and the launching of missions to the unsaved individuals and peoples within these United States and in foreign lands.
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