ILLINOIS, STATE OF – Sermons and Biblical Studies


(December 3, 1818), was the 21st State admitted to the Union. On August 7, 1789, President George Washington signed into law an Act of Congress which prohibited slavery from entering the territory, entitled “An Ordinance for the Government of the Territory of the United States, North-West of the River Ohio,” Article VI.2512 On December 3, 1818, President James Monroe, signed the Act of Congress enabling the establishment of the government of Illinois, provided it followed the general tenets of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787.2513

The Northwest Ordinance stated:

SECTION 13. And, for extending the fundamental principles of civil and religious liberty, which form the basis whereon these republics, their laws and constitutions are erected: to fix and establish those principles as the basis of all laws, constitutions and governments, which forever hereafter shall be formed in the said territory: to provide also for the establishment of states, and permanent government therein, and for their admission to a share in the federal councils in an equal footing with the original states, at as early period as may be consistent with the general interest:

SECTION 14. It is hereby ordained and declared by the authority aforesaid, That the following articles shall be considered as articles of compact, between the original states and the people and states of the said territory, and forever remain unalienable, unless by common consent, to wit:

ARTICLE I. No person, demeaning himself in a peaceable and orderly manner, shall ever be molested on account of his mode of worship or religious sentiments in the said territory. …

ARTICLE III. Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.2514

The Constitution of the State of Illinois, adopted 1870, stated:

Preamble. We, the people of the State of Illinois, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and transmit the same unimpaired to succeeding generation … establish this Constitution.2515