Justice Story became committed to the principles of Christianity. Throughout his lengthy legal career, he consistently expressed his strong beliefs about the importance of Christianity to civil government and his conviction that American law and legal practices must never be separated from Christian principles. As he explained:
One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the Common Law. . . . There never justice joseph story has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying at its foundations. . . . [The law] pronounces illegal every contract offensive to [Christianity’s] morals. It recognizes with profound humility [Christianity’s] holidays and festivals, and obeys them [even to the point of suspending all government functions on those days]. It still attaches to persons believing in [Christianity’s] Divine authority the highest degree of competency as witnesses.
David Barton shows us that some of Justice Story’s most famous and authoritative legal writings were his 1833 works expounding the Constitution of the
The first [amendment] is, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. . . . ” . . . We are not to attribute this prohibition of a national religious establishment to an indifference to religion in general, and especially to Christianity, which none could hold in more reverence than the framers of the Constitution. . . . Indeed, the right of a society or government to [participate] in matters of religion will hardly be contested by any persons who believe that piety, religion, and morality are intimately connected with the well being of the state and indispensable to the administrations of civil justice.