“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” This inscription is engraved on the north side of the Los Angeles City Hall. Charles Bridges in his Commentary on Proverbs 14:34 cites Bishop Sanderson’s Sermon on Exodus 23:1-3 which bears repeating and emphasizing.
“Even an heathen sage spoke of moral righteousness–the pillar and support of the city.–Plato de Legibus, book vi, “Those princes and commonwealths, who would keep their governments entire and uncorrupt, are, above all things, to have a care of religion and its ceremonies, and preserve them in due veneration. For in the whole world there is not a greater sign of imminent ruin, than when God and His worship are despised.’ Such was the testimony of the infidel and profligate politician– Machiavel.–Discourses on Livy.”
Bridges posits, “If it be not beneath statesmen to take lessons from the Bible, let them deeply ponder this sound political maxim, which commends itself to every instinct of the unsophisticated mind.”
He also delivers a final exhortation to us as a people who may be living in a period of prosperity, reminding us, “Not the wisdom of policy, extent of empire, splendid conquests, flourishing trade, abundant resources–but righteousness—exalteth a nation.”
“Sin is a reproach to any people.” Bridges states, Greece in her proud science; Rome in the zenith of her glory–both were sunk in the lowest depths of moral degradation.”
He warned his beloved Britain of the flood of infidelity, lawlessness, and ungodliness; the want of a full recognition of God in thy public acts–this is thy reproach. Let the little remnant in the midst of thee remember their high responsibility.”
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall ot be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” Matthew 5:13.
Is this not a warning for us as well?