Liberty Park, USA

The Amnesia Collection


Has America Forgotten Its Divine Origin & Destiny?


Michael L. Chadwick     

Former Professional Staff Member, Subcommittee on the Constitution,
Committee on the Judiciary, U. S. Senate and Director of the National
Bicentennial Program on the U. S. Constitution, Washington, D. C.

Boise, Idaho: Liberty Park USA Publishing Company
P. O. Box 16184. Boise, Idaho 83715

Copyright © 2007 by Michael L. Chadwick. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2007 of Electronic Texts by Michael L. Chadwick. All rights reserved. No part of this electronic text may be reproduced, distributed, stored in electronic databases, personal computers, search engine databases, web sites or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods without the prior written permission of the publisher. Electronic fingerprints have been placed in the code and text to prevent copyright violations.

Table of Contents

Has America’s Forgotten Its Divine Origin & Destiny?



Chapter 1—The Holy Bible

Chapter 2—The Renaissance—The World Awakens from the Dark Ages

Chapter 3—The Reformation—The Holy Bible Is Given to the World

Chapter 4—Discovery of America—a Continent Kept Hidden from the World

Chapter 5—Settlement of America—the Pilgrims and Puritans Seek Religious Freedom

Chapter 6—Development of America—the Rise of God’s New Israel

Chapter 7—The Revolutionary War: the Beginning Stages

Chapter 8—The Declaration of Independence—A Spiritual Manifesto for the World

Chapter 9—The Revolutionary War—the Final Stages

Chapter 10—The Early Clergy—the Pulpits Are Aflame with Liberty

Chapter 11—Our Charters of Liberty: State Constitutions

Chapter 12—Our Charter of Liberty—the U. S. Constitution

Chapter 13—The Federalist—America’s Political Bible

Chapter 14—The Bill of Rights—America’s Ten Commandments

Chapter 15—A Foundation of Liberty: the Basic Principles of the Republican Government

Chapter 16—George Washington’s Farewell Address—Avoidance of Entangling Alliances

Chapter 17 —The Founding Fathers—Christian Statesmen of the Highest Order

Chapter 18— Republican Government: A New Model for the World

Chapter 19—The Monroe Doctrine: Promoting the Cause of Liberty Throughout the Americas

Chapter 20—The Free Market System—the Fruits of Economic Liberty

Chapter 21—The Civil War—the Curse of Slavery

Chapter 22—America’s Greatest Exports—Christianity & Liberty


Verses from the King James Version of the Holy Bible

Proclaim Liberty throughout the Land

     Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof....

—Leviticus 25: 10

A Nation under God

     Blessed is the nation who God is the Lord.     

—Psalms 33:12


     Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

—Proverbs 14: 34


     And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

—John 8: 32

Spirit of the Lord

     Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

—2 Corinthians 3: 17

Stand Fast in Liberty

     Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

—Galatians 5: 1


Statements by Early Clergy and Statesmen

Virtues of the Christian System

     Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age, by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls, of inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity and universal philanthropy, and, in subordination to these great principles, the lover of their country; of instructing them in the art of self-government without which they never can act a wise part in the government of societies, great or small; in short, of leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system....

—Samuel Adams, October 4, 1790

The Influence of Christianity

     To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity re diminished in any nation; either through unbelief, or the corruption of its doctrines, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom, and approximate the miseries of complete despotism.

—Dr. Jedediah Morse, April 25, 1799

The Holy Bible

     The moral principles and precepts contained in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.

—Noah Webster

America—a Christian Nation

     The proposition that the United States of America are a Christian and Protestant nation is not so much the assertion of a principle as the statement of a fact. That fact is not simply that the great majority of the people are Christians and Protestants, but t he the organic life, the institutions, laws, and official action of the government, whether that action should be legislative, judicial, or executive, is, and of right should be, and in fact must be, in accordance with the principles of Protestant Christianity.

—Reverend Charles Hodge, Princeton Seminary, 1876

America is a Christian Nation

     This is a Christian nation, first in name, and secondly because of the many and mighty elements of pure Christianity which have given it character and shaped its destiny from the beginning. It is preeminently the land of the Bible, of the Christian Church, and of the Christian Sabbath. It is the land of the great and extensive and oft-repeated revivals of a spiritual religion, —the land of a free conscience and of free speech, -the land of noble charities and of manifold and earnest efforts for t he elevation and welfare of the human race. The chief security and glory of the United States of America has been, is now, and will forever, the prevalence and domination of the Christian faith.

—B. Sutherland

Diffuse a Knowledge of the Bible

     Diffuse the knowledge of the Bible, and the hungry will be fed, and the naked clothed. Diffuse the knowledge of the Bible, and the stranger will be sheltered, the prisoner visited, and the sick ministered unto. Diffuse the knowledge of the Bible, and Temperance will rest upon a surer basis than any mere private pledge or public statute. Diffuse the knowledge of the Bible, and the peace of the world will be secured by more substantial safeguards than either the mutual fear, or the reciprocal interests, of princes or of people. Diffuse the knowledge of the Bible, and the day will be hastened, as it can be hastened in no other way, when every yoke shall be loosened, and every bond broken, and when there shall be no more leading into captivity....

—John Winthrop

The Religious Character of America

     Finally, let us not forget the religious character of our origin. Our fathers were brought hither by their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of their society, and to diffuse its influence through all their institutions, civil, political, or literary. Let us cherish these sentiments, and extend this influence still more widely; in the full conviction, that, that is the happiest society which partakes in the highest degree of the mild and peaceful spirit of Christianity.

—Daniel Webster



Part I—White House Guest Taken to Mayo Clinic

     On January 20, 2004 one of America’s most distinguished citizens and a close personal friend of the president was taken secretly to Scottsdale Arizona for emergency treatment. It appears that the VIP was visiting with the president in the Oval office prior to the State of the Union address, when he became disoriented and confused. Due to the celebrity status of the guest and the possible effect upon Wall Street and world financial markets (if word of his illness was discovered by the press), the Secret Service decided to secretly escort him to Andrews Air Force base outside Washington, D. C. He was quietly flown to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona on a U. S. Air Force Lear jet for a comprehensive examination and diagnosis.

     When the plane arrived in Phoenix, the Secret Service quickly escorted the VIP to a private entrance at the Mayo Clinic. A team of doctors had been alerted and were waiting for the guest when he arrived. The guest was given a battery of mental and physical examinations and tests.

     After several days of examinations, the group of distinguished doctors and medial examiners met in secret to discuss the findings of their week long examination of the VIP. The team of doctors was united in their diagnosis of their renowned guest. One of the most famous people in American history was suffering from an acute case of amnesia.

     The noted guest could not remember his name, where he came from, what he was doing at the present time or where he was going in the future.

Several Types of Amnesia

     Amnesia is “a disturbance in the memory of information stored in long—term memory, in contrast to short—term memory, manifested by total or partial inability to recall past experiences.” (Stedman’s Medical Dictionary.) The medical examiners pointed out to family and friends of the guest that there are several types of amnesia:

     “Anterograde Amnesia—Inability to remember ongoing events after the incidence of trauma or the onset of the disease that causes amnesia.

     “Emotional—Hysterical Amnesia—Memory loss caused by psychological trauma; usually a temporary condition.

     “Lacunar Amnesia—Inability to remember a specific event.

     “Korsakoff Amnesia—Memory loss caused by chronic alcoholism

     “Post- hypnotic Amnesia—Memory loss sustained from a hypnotic state; can include inability to recall events that occurred during hypnosis or information stored in long-term memory.

     “Retrograde Amnesia—Inability to remember events that occurred before the incidence of trauma or the onset of disease that caused the amnesia..

     “Transient Global Amnesia—Spontaneous memory loss that can last from minutes to several hours; usually seen in middle-aged to elderly people.” (Stedman’s Medical Dictionary.)

     Based upon a preliminary diagnosis and examination, the doctors ruled out the following types of amnesia: (1) Lacunar Amnesia because the memory loss experienced by the VIP involves more than a single event; (2) Korsakoff Amnesia because the patient did not consume alcohol; (3) post- hypnotic Amnesia because the patient had never been hypnotized; and (4) Transient Global Amnesia because the memory loss has lasted for several days instead of several hours.

Amnesia Is Usually a Temporary Condition

     The team of distinguished doctors believed the patient was suffering from a combination of Anterograde Amnesia, Emotional-Hysterical Amnesia and Retrograde Amnesia. They were quick to point out that it would be necessary to conduct further tests, studies and evaluations before a final diagnosis could be reached. The team also assured family and friends of the VIP guest that in most cases amnesia was just a temporary condition lasting for a few weeks or months.

     After extensive consultations with the distinguished group of doctors at the Mayo Clinic, close relatives and friends of the guest decided it would be best to seclude the VIP at a private resort in the desert of Arizona while a team of doctors at the Mayo Clinic and around America could devise a medical plan to help the guest regain his memory.

A Detailed List of Items Which the VIP Quest Could Not Remember

     The doctors and medical staff at the hospital prepared a detailed list of items which the VIP could not recall. Their special guest could not remember that:

1.     The Holy Bible is the Word of God.

2.     The universe was created by an eternal Godhead consisting of three distinct and separate divine Holy Beings knows as God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost.

3.     God created the earth.

4.     Adam and Eve were created by God and placed in the Garden of Eden.

5.     All life forms were created by God and placed upon the earth.

6.     After Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit all life became mortal.

7.     The Fall of Adam and Eve instituted death on earth.

8.     Adam was called to be the first prophet on earth.

9.     Adam and Eve were the first family on earth.

10.     The gospel of Jesus Christ was given to Adam by Holy Angels sent from the presence of God.

11.     The Law of Sacrifice was instituted to teach the children of Adam and Eve about the future birth and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

12.     All people on earth are sons and daughters of God the Father.

13.     Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Creator, Redeemer, Savior and King of Heaven.

14.     God gave unto Adam and Eve and their children the gift of free agency or the right to choose between good and evil, right and wrong, light and darkness, freedom and tyranny.

15.     Lucifer, an angel who was authority in heaven, along with one third of the hosts of heaven who were cast out of heaven for rebellion, fell to earth and became the devil.

16.     The Church of God was set up by Adam and Eve and the ordinance of baptism was initiated as entrance into the Church of God.

17.     Various children of Adam and Eve became disobedient and rebellious and decided to follow and worship Satan instead of God and His Son.

18.     God called great prophets throughout different periods of the earth history such as Noah, Moses, Isaiah and Jeremiah to teach repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

19.     Jesus is the Son of God and was born of a virgin named of Mary in Bethlehem.

20.     Jesus organized His Church and called Apostles to teach the gospel.

21.     Jesus came to earth to atone for the sins of all mankind.

22.     Jesus was crucified and voluntarily gave up His life to complete the Atonement.

23.     Jesus was resurrected on the third day and opened the way for all people to be resurrected.

24.     The principles of the gospel are designed to help individuals achieve peace, happiness and success in their lives and eternal life in the world to come.

25.     The books of the Holy Bible were compiled into one volume for the entire human race.

26.     Satan inspires men and women on earth to introduce false religions, false philosophies and false belief systems to blind and deceive people and lead them away from God and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

27.     Large numbers of people in the world are following Satan and his teachings today.

28.     In the last days there would be a great war between the forces of righteousness and the forces of evil.

29.     The world designed by Satan is called Babylon the Great by the prophets of God.

30.     All people on earth have a very important choice to make in their lives: to follow the Savior of the world and His gospel or succumb to the ways of the world and embrace the teachings of Satan and his followers and partake of the spoils of Babylon.

31.     All people on earth are accountable for their behavior, choices and sins.

32.     All people on earth will be rewarded for the good they did on earth.

33.     When you serve others you are only serving God.

34.     All people on earth are entitled to personal revelation and inspiration from God.

35.     God and His Son Jesus Christ love each and every person on earth.

36.     People on earth are commanded to love God with all their heart, soul and mind and to love thy neighbor as thyself.

37.     Obedience to the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ is the greatest obligation resting upon people on earth.

38.     Righteousness is crucial for nations if they want to receive the blessings of heaven.

39.     God hold nations as well as people responsible for their actions on earth.

40.     God raised up the Reformers in Europe and guided them in their quest for religious liberty

41.     Columbus was divinely chosen and inspired to discover the new lands.

42.     God is the author of Liberty and desires all people on earth to be free.

43.     Isaiah prophesied that in the last days a great nation would be established and export liberty throughout the world.

44.     America has a divine origin and a divine destiny to serve as God’s New Israel—the Lord’s base of operations in the last days.

45.     The founding fathers of America were raised up by God to redeem the land from Great Britain and establish a free nation.

46.     The Declaration of Independence, U. S. Constitution, Bill of Rights and George Washington’s Farewell Address were inspired by God for the benefit of the world.

47.     America is first and foremost a Christian nation.

48.     The Civil War was a punishment for the institution of slavery in America.

49.     In the not too distant future Jesus Christ will return to earth, destroy Babylon the Great, bind Satan, destroy evil and conspiring men and women and initiate the great Millennial reign of peace, freedom and happiness on earth.

50.     Jesus Christ will reign personally on the earth for a thousand years.

51.     Freedom, not slavery, bondage, exploitation and tyranny, is the wave of the future.

52.     Every person born on earth will be resurrected and reap eternal rewards based upon their faithfulness in the worlds to come.     

     No doubt, the treatment plan devised by the extraordinary team of doctors at the Mayo Clinic will help the VIP to regain his memory in the not too distant future. By the way, the name of the person on the medical chart was simply listed as Uncle Sam.


     The medical team has asked the author to prepare a series of papers on various subjects to help their patient regain his memory. The chapters in this volume and the sequels were prepared at the doctor’s request.

Part II—The Loss of Memory is Devastating for a Nation

     The loss of memory is as important for nations as it is for individuals. Arthur M. Schlesinger, writing in a famous treatise entitled, The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multi-cultural Society stated:

     “Writing history is an old and honorable profession with distinctive standards and purposes. The historian’s goals are accuracy, analysis, and objectivity in the reconstruction of the past. But history is more than an academic discipline up there in the stratosphere. It also has its own role in the future of nations.

     “For history is to the nation rather as memory is to the individual. As an individual deprived of memory becomes disoriented and lost, not knowing where he has been or where he is going, so a nation denied a conception of its past will be disabled in dealing with its present and its future. As the means of defining national identity, history becomes a means of shaping history.

     The writing of history then turns from a moderation into a weapon. ‘Who controls the past controls the future,’ runs the Party slogan in George Orwell’s 1984; ‘who controls the present controls the past.’” (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1992, pp. 46-47.)

History is a Weapon in the Wrong Hands

     History is a guide to the past, but just as important, it is a guide to the future. In the hands of the ruling elite, history becomes a weapon. “The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then have someone write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long the nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was.” (A historian in Milan Kundera’s, The Book of Laughter & Forgetting. Quoted in Schlesinger, p. 52.)

     The American people have lost their institutional memory of the Christian heritage that guided the nation for nearly 300 years. From 1620 until 1920 the people believed that America had a divine origin and destiny. That divinely decreed destiny was of America was to serve as the cradle of liberty and the home of Christianity.

A New Secular Religion Arises in America

     In 1920 a new civil religion emerged in America and it quickly began attacking Christianity. Know as secularism, this new belief system was based upon agnosticism and atheism. The Bible was replaced with the Origin of Man by Charles Darwin. An ideological civil war erupted between those who believe in God and those who believe in the evolutionary development of man from a single cell through natural processes. In this new secular religion there is no God and no Creator. There is no divine rights of man and no spark of divinity in man.

     The proponents of secularism quickly began to takeover the institutions of learning in America. First, the universities were seized and Christians were told to vacate the premises and not to return. Next, the philosophy of secularism began to trickle down into the public school system and gradually the entire nation was indoctrinated in a new religion without their even knowing it. They succeeded in removing Christianity from education in America through a strategy known as gradualism.

America Has Become a Secular State

     Once they gained control of the educational system in America, the secularists targeted other institutions such as government, media, publishing houses, foundations, courts and corporations. A new religion replaced Christianity and America became a secular state.


     From 1920 until 2004 Christianity has been in retreat. It is time to halt the growth of secularism in America. It is time to restore the Christian religion in America. It is time to take a stand in the war between good and evil, right and wrong, light and darkness, freedom and tyranny. It is time to stand firmly in the defense of Christianity and its noble principles and doctrines. It is time to defend the founding fathers and the founding documents of America. It is time to defend the divinity of Jesus Christ as the Savior and Redeemer of the world. It is time to accept the Holy Bible as the Word of God and adhere to its inspired messages and declarations. It is time to say, enough is enough. It is time to repeat the cry once heard throughout the American colonies, “Don’t Tread on me.” It is time to say no to the basic principles, philosophies and beliefs of secularism which are destroying the heart and soul of American society and the world at large.



     The discovery, settlement and development of America is part of a divine drama that God carefully orchestrated over the centuries. The prophet Isaiah foresaw the future role which America would play in the “last days” when he stated that “out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Isaiah 2: 3.) In this verse Isaiah was referring to the future establishment of the U. S. Constitution and its protection of political, economic and religious liberty. This prophecy occurred over 2500 years before the founding fathers gathered at Philadelphia to draft the world’s most famous charter of liberty.

     Few people know that Christopher Columbus felt he was an instrument of God in the discovery of the Americas. He felt that God had chosen him for a divine mission and he was true and faithful to that calling. He stated that, “the execution of the journey to the Indies .... was simply the fulfillment of what Isaiah had prophesied.” Columbus was fond of quoting Isaiah 55:5 which states: “Behold thou shalt call a nation which thou knewest not: and the nations that knew not thee shall run to thee, because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he glorified thee.”

     In a letter to the Spanish monarchs concerning the Enterprise of the Indies, Columbus stated that the adventure “all turned out just as our redeemer Jesus Christ had said, and as he had spoken earlier by the mouth of his holy prophets.” (Delno C. West & August Kling, The Libro de las profecias of Christopher Columbus. Gainesville: University of Florida Press. 1991, pp. 107.)

The Prophecy of a Great Land to Open Up

     The Admiral of the ocean also liked to quote from Medea, a tragedy by Seneca, which predicted that, “In the latter years of the world will come certain times in which the Ocean Sea will relax the bonds of things, and a great land will open up, and a new mariner like the one who was the guide of Jason, whose name was Typhis, will discover a new world.” (West & Kling, Ibid, p. 227.)

      The ancient prophets foresaw that a mighty nation would be established by God and it would serve as God’s New Israel in the “last days.” Those who discovered, settled and developed the American nation carried with them a very special book. It was the King James Version of the Holy Bible which had been published in 1611.

     In order to understand Christian heritage of America one must travel through the pages of world history and witness the hand of God moving among certain divinely chosen men who were raised up to perform special missions in the unfolding drama of forging a new nation that would revolutionize the world.

     Let us begin this exciting adventure and trek through the pages of history by looking at the special book which motivated men such as Christopher Columbus, the Pilgrims, the founding fathers and the early clergy in America to forge ahead through intense opposition and fierce trials.


Chapter 1—The Holy Bible

Part I—A Testimony of God & His Son Jesus Christ

     The Holy Bible contains the mind and will of God and His Son Jesus Christ. This sacred book of scripture has had a greater impact upon the inhabitants of the earth than any other book ever printed. There is a magical quality about its verses. The more you read them the greater insights you gain and the more clearly you see the world around you. The writings of the Holy Prophets reveal the beauty of richness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Old Testament

     There are twelve important reasons to study the Old Testament.

     (1).     It bears a powerful testimony concerning the existence of God the Eternal Father.

(2)     It reveals that God created the earth as the future home of His spirit sons and daughters.

(3)     It reveals that God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and that the partaking of the forbidden fruit brought about the Fall thereby introducing mortality and death into the world.


(4)     It reveals the importance of making and keeping covenants with God.

(5)     It reveals the lineage of the House of Israel and the important role which it would play in the development of events on earth.

(6)     It reveals that God is the author of liberty and that God has given each person on earth the opportunity to choose between good and evil, right and wrong, light and darkness and freedom and tyranny.

(7)     It reveals that God intervenes directly in the affairs of individuals and nations when the situation demands such intervention.

(8)     It reveals the blessing gains through obedience to the commandments of God and the gospel and the consequences of disobedience and rebellion.

(9)     It reveals the existence of Lucifer, the fallen angel who rebelled, along with a third of the hosts of heaven, against God the Eternal Father and His son Jesus Christ.

(10)     It contains the prophecies and warnings given to the world through the inspired prophets of God.

(11)     It reveals that the God of the Old Testament is really Jesus Christ.

(12)     It reveals that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem and complete His foreordained role as the Savior and Redeemer of the world thus bringing to pass the great Atonement.

New Testament

     There are twelve important reasons to study the New Testament.

(1)     It bears a powerful testimony that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior & Redeemer of the world.

(2)     It reveals that Jesus is the Son of God or the Man of Holiness.

(3)     It reveals the early life and ministry of Jesus Christ.

(4)     It reveals the important role which John the Baptist played in baptizing the Son of God.

(5)     It reveals the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ.

(6)     It reveals the calling of Apostles to bear testimony of the Savior.

(7)     It reveals the teachings of the Savior and the principles of the gospel He taught to the people in Israel.

(8)     It reveals the importance of obedience to gospel of Jesus Christ.

(9)     It reveals important prophecies concerning the last days.

(10)     It reveals the terrible agony the Savior went through in the Garden of Gethsemane and upon the cross at Calvary as He atoned for the sins of all mankind.

(11)     It reveals that the infinite and eternal Atonement is complete.

(12)     It reveals that Jesus was resurrected and ascended into heaven after spending forty days with His apostles, friends and saints.

     Great joy, happiness and satisfaction is gained when you spend a few minutes or more each day reading and pondering the Holy Scriptures and the inspired messages contained in the sacred pages.


Part II—The Bible—A Sealed Book

     Regrettably, to most people on earth the Holy Bible is a sealed book. It is sealed not by Deity, but by man because they refuse to open its pages and drink from the fountain of pure knowledge and truth.

     The Holy Bible has two seals upon it—the seal of ignorance and the seal of intellectuality. During the Dark Ages only a few people had access to the Holy Scriptures. During this time a number of false doctrines were introduced to the world by uninspired priests and clergy. The Renaissance and the Reformation broke the chains of darkness that had enslaved the world.

     The translation and publication of the King James Version of the Bible in 1611 is a turning point in world history. Now the people of the earth could read the Holy Scriptures for themselves and not be dependent upon a few elite priests or clergy to tell them what was contained in the sacred books of the Holy Bible.


     The second seal upon the Holy Bible is the seal of intellectuality. So-called intellectuals and scholars have published their own private interpretation of the Holy Scriptures and mislead millions of people throughout the ages. The apostle Paul warned that the inhabitants of the earth that “the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils:

     “Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.... (1 Timothy 4: 1-2.)

     Paul also warned us to, “Beware lest any man spoil you through vain philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments the world, and not after Christ. (Colossians 2: 18.)

The School of Higher Criticism Emerges

     One group of so-called intellectuals has spent their entire lives attacking the King James Version of the Holy Bible. They are proponents of a school of philosophy called “higher criticism.” Their mission is to destroy belief in God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Bible. We will discuss this group in a later chapter in this volume.

     The Holy Bible was prepared by God throughout the ages for the benefit and enlightenment of each and every person on earth. A careful study of its sacred pages will yield indescribable blessings for the person who prayerfully ponders and applies the teachings contained therein in their daily lives.

     The publication of the King James Version of the Holy Bible in England in 1611 was an important step in the establishment of the United States of America. We will discuss the publication of the Holy Scriptures in the section on the Reformation.

Part III—The Bible and the Foundation of Liberty

     The Holy Bible is one of the greatest handbooks on liberty in existence. It outlines that God is the author of liberty and that all mankind has been given the gift of free agency or the freedom to choose between good and evil, right and wrong, light and darkness, freedom and tyranny.

     When Moses descended from the top of the mountain with a set of stone tablet they contained the Ten Commandments. The remarkable words etched in stone by the finger of God form the foundation of the legal system throughout the western world.

     Writing in Exodus, Moses the great lawgiver stated:

     “And God spake all these words, saying,

     “I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

     “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.     

     “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

     “Thou shalt not bow down thy self to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generations of them that hate me;

     “And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

     “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

     “Remember the Sabbath day, to deep it holy.

     “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

     “But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

     For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.

     “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.


     “Thou shalt not commit adultery.

     “Thou shalt not steal.

     “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

     “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s....

     “And the Lord said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.

     “Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.” (Exodus 20: 1-17, 22-23.)

     Let us look at other scriptures that inspired men and women who play a key role in the discovery, settlement and development of America and its free institutions. It is important to remember that the establishment of America took centuries and the great drama had many scenes and many actors on the world stage. Each person that was raised up God played their part and fulfilled their mission in life. As we study world history, these special people become apparent because they always serve the people where they live and help better mankind in some unique way.

Part IV—Verses from the Old Testament and the New Testament

     “And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.” (Leviticus 25: 10.)

     “Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, the Lord reigned.” (1 Chronicles 16: 31.)

     “And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (2 Chronicles 20:15.)

     “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” (Psalms 9: 17.)

     “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalms 11: 3.)

     “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof: the world, and they that dwell therein.” (Psalm 24: 1.)

     “The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men.

      “From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.” (Psalms 33: 13-14.)

     “For the Lord most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth.

      “He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.

      “He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loveth. Selah.

      “Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises.

      “For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.

      “God reigned over the hearthen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.

      “The princes of this people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted.      (Psalms 47: 2-9.)     

     —“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.” (Psalms 53: 1.)

     —“Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.” (Psalm 62: 10.)

     —“That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.” (Psalms 83: 18.)

     —“For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” (Psalms 91: 11.)

     —“For the Lord is a great God, and a great king above all gods....

      “The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.” (Psalms 95:

     —“Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves, we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” (Psalms 100: 3.)

     —“When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.” (Psalms 102: 16.)

     —“The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.” (Psalms 103: 19.)

     —“So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever.

      “And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.” (Psalms 119: 44-45.)

     —“Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: gave me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.” (Psalms 119: 73.)

     —“They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.” (Psalms 125: 1.)

     —“Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman walketh but in vain.” (Psalms 127: 1.)

     —“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1: 7.)

     —“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

      “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

      “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. (Proverbs 3: 5-7.)

     —“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” (Proverbs 4: 7.)

     —“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14: 34.)

     —“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” (Proverbs 15: 3.)

     —“How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!” (Proverbs 16: 16.)

     —“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22: 6.)

     “He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.” (Proverbs 22: 16.)

     “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” (Proverbs 29: 2.)

     —Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” (Proverbs 29: 18.)

     “And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 2: 3.)

     “Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst.” (Isaiah 5: 13.)

     “Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5: 20.)

     “For the leaders of this people cause thee to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.” (Isaiah 9: 16.)

     “And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible....

      ‘And Babylon, the glory of the kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees; excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.” (Isaiah 13: 11, 19.)

     “What shall one then answer the messengers of the nation? That the Lord hath founded Zion, and the poor of the people shall trust in it.” (Isaiah 14: 32.)

     “For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.” (Isaiah 33: 22.)

     “Set up the standard toward Zion” retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction.” (Jeremiah 4: 6.)

     “Therefore thus saith the Lord; Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbor: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the Lord, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.” (Jeremiah 34: 17.)

     “Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence.” (Jeremiah 51: 6.)

     “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou has forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” (Hosea 4: 6.)

     “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered:

for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call. (Joel: 2: 32.)

     “the Lord shall roar our of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.

      “So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.” (Joel 3: 16-17.)

     “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow to it.

      “And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Micah 4: 1-2.)

     “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8: 32.)

     “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” (Romans 13: 1.)

     “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hat h made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5: 1.)

     —“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

      “And prevailed not; neither was there place found any more in heaven.

      “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth and his angels were cast out with him.

      “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

      “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

      “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth he hath but a short time.

      “And when the dragon saw that he was cast into the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child....

      “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Revelation 12: 7-13, 17.)

     From the above verses it is apparent that the Holy Bible is so rich in treasures of knowledge and truth that it is difficult to find words that adequately express a since of appreciation and wonder that we feel when we read and ponder its words. It is apparent that men and women throughout the ages have drawn strength and courage from the verses of the Holy Bible and they have gone forth and completed the missions that the Lord gave unto them. From the days of the reforms unto the founding fathers, the scriptures provided the inspiration and guidance which was needed to bring forth a mighty nation in the last days.


Chapter 2—The Renaissance: the World Awakens from the Dark Ages

     The Dark Ages was a very difficult time for a majority of the people in Europe. War, oppression, slavery, exploitation, tyranny, poverty, hunger, disease and famine stalked the land while the people waited upon the Lord for deliverance from a dark world.

     Henry W. Elson has written that, “The great majority of the people during the Middle Ages were wholly without an education. They lived their simple life on their farms as their fathers and grandfathers had done; they had their games and their festivals, they served their feudal landlords and paid heavy taxes, but they cared nothing for books and learning and knew little of the world around them.”

     The only educated people in Medieval Europe were the members of the aristocracies, the elite ruling families, merchants, financiers and the priests. The libraries of Europe were carefully guarded in the monasteries spread through Europe. These books, written mostly in Latin, were available to only a few select people.

Knowledge Was Carefully Controlled By the Elite

     Translations of the Holy Bible were chained to pulpits and accessible mainly to priests. Knowledge was carefully controlled by the elite and the masses of the people remained ignorant and in bondage. Education was even discouraged among the general population. Fortunately, few people could even read and write.

     The Lord never intended his children to live under such conditions. The time had arrived when the minds of the people were to be freed from the spiritual and intellectual bondage that they found themselves.

     It was time for a Renaissance or revival of learning among the people. The Lord was moving quietly behind the scenes and events began unfolding that would free the people.

     The divine drama which would lead to the discovery of a new continent and the birth of a new nation began with the Renaissance during the 14th and 15th centuries. Concerning this unique period in world history, Henry G. Bohen has written: “Nothing in this great world which concerns the well being of man takes place by accident, but is brought forward by divine will, precisely at the moment most suitable to our condition. So it was with astronomy, the Mariner’s compass, the steam engine, gas, the electric telegraph, and many other of those blessings which has progressed with civilization. The elements were there and know, but the time had not arrived for their fructication.”

A Divine Time Table for the Release of Knowledge from Heaven

     A study of world history reveals that there is a divine timetable for the release of knowledge from heaven. The inspiration and revelations given by God to people on earth at specific times and under specific conditions result in discoveries and inventions that are needed by the people. While most people might give all credit to an inventor or discoverer, the truth is that every discovery and invention in every field of human endeavor is inspired of God. The Lord knows when and under what circumstances it is necessary to release knowledge from heaven for the benefit of his children on earth. The prophets of old such as Adam, Enoch, Moses, John the Revelator were given visions of the history of the earth until the Lord returns in the near future. A study of their prophecies reveal that certain inventions and discoveries are carefully timed for release to key people on earth for the benefit of all humanity. The Renaissance was no exception.


     Although the Dark Ages were underway in Medieval Europe, other cultures were preserving the knowledge that had been handed down through the centuries. One such group is known as the Saracens, who, “during the dark ages, were almost the sole repositories of the scientific knowledge of the world. A part of this they gathered for themselves, for the Arabian scholars were original investigators, but a larger share of it they borrowed from the Greeks. While the Western nations were too ignorant to know the value of antiquity, the Saracens preserved them by translating into Arabic the scientific works of Aristotle, the treatises on medicine by Galen, and the astronomical writings of the Alexandrian Greeks; and this, this, when Europe, was prepared to appreciate these accumulations of the past.... (Meyer)

Trade Revived the Desire for Knowledge in Europe

     Trade with different parts of the world also stimulated a revival of learning in Europe. As a result of the new trade routes, modernized ships were being designed and the Mariner’s compass was invented. With this compass ships were able to undertake longer voyages and trade flourished between different cultures and different continents.

     From the days of Adam, the Lord has revealed knowledge in a multitude of areas. The accumulated knowledge was designed to bless the inhabitants of the earth. The books kept by Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and others have been handed down through the centuries. However, knowledge is power and evil and conspiring men have always sought ways to enrich and empower themselves by control of knowledge. The Dark Ages is an interesting time when only the elite were educated and in control of libraries.

Following the Death of the Apostles Spiritual Darkness Fell Across Europe

     One wonders if the Dark Ages would have arisen if men and women had not rejected the Savior and Redeemer of the world and His apostles and the glorious message of he gospel. Following the death of the apostles, it seems that spiritual and educational darkness fell upon the people, particularly in Europe.

      Regardless of the attempts to control knowledge during the Dark Ages, the Lord decided it was time to break up the educational monopoly in Medieval Europe and hasten the spreading of knowledge. The discovery of the printing press would change the world forever.

     The invention of moveable type would have been in vain if the art of making paper had not been discovered. The world is indebted to people such as Johannes Gutenberg and others who were instruments in the hands of God in bring forth new discoveries and inventions.

Invention of the Printing Press

     At the start of the 15th century it is reported over 220 printing presses were operating in various parts of Europe. The first book printed with moveable print was a Latin edition of the Bible. It was published between 1450 and 1455. Over 10,000 books were printed between 1570 and 1600. This was a remarkable achievement at the time.

     Education during the Dark Ages was under the control of the church and the clergy were the final word on interpretation of the scriptures. With the advent of printing, the common people could now read the Bible for themselves. This was very threatening to the priests in Medieval Europe. Many printing presses were seized and destroyed. Some priests felt that the printing presses were inventions of the devil.

Clergy Opposes the Publication of the Scriptures

     Writing on the origin of printing, Henry G. Bohen stated, “It may be wondered that Claxton (who was the earliest printer in England), like many of the foreign printers, did not begin with, or at least some time during his career, print the Scriptures, especially as Wycliffe’s translation had already been made. But there were good reasons. Religious persecution ran high, and the clergy were extremely jealous of the propagation of the Scriptures among the people. Knighton had denounced the reading of the Bible, lamenting lest this jewel of the church, hitherto the exclusive property of the clergy and divines, should be made common to the laity; and Archbishop Arundel had issued an enactment that no part of the Scriptures in English should be read, either in public or private, or be thereafter translated, under pain of greater excommunication. The Star Chamber, too, was big with terrors. A little later, Erasmus’ edition of the New Testament was forbidden at Cambridge, and in the country of Surrey the Vicar of Croydon said from the pulpit, ‘We must root our printing, or printing will root out us.’”

      In spite of the persecution that arose over publication of the Bible, the desire to learn how to read and write grew among the people of Medieval Europe. The forces that ruled Medieval Europe tried to suppress the reading of the Holy Bible, but they failed. (It is important to note that this experience contains an important lesson for us today. Why? Because the world is going into a new Dark Ages and powerful forces are now trying to eradicate Christianity once again. They will not succeed.)

      The desire to read spread throughout Medieval Europe and the world. Like a flood, it swept around the world as books, including editions of the Bible, were printed and distributed around the world.

John Wycliffe Prepares the First English Bible

     John Wycliffe was raised up by God to prepare the first English translation of the Bible. Richard Grafton is credited with publishing the first copy of the Bible in England. He published the Coverdale and Tyndale translations of the Bible.

     It is interesting to note that publishing of the Bible in England was done in secret. The exact location of the printing presses was a closely guarded secret. The printing was done in secret because people were being burned at the stake for questioning the authority of the priests. The work of Lord continues despite the persecution of the righteous by evil people. The invention of the printing press was to accelerate the spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world. And that is just what God intended when He inspired its invention.



Chapter 3—The Reformation—the Holy Bible is Given to the World

     During the Dark ages the enemy of all righteousness bound the souls of men and women with the chains of ignorance and superstition. With the advent of the printing press and the publication of the Holy Bible, the stage was set for the next great drama to unfold. The shackles of spiritual darkness which held the people in Medieval Europe and people in various parts of the world were about to be removed by a remarkable group of courageous men and women.

     After the death of the apostles of Jesus, a veil of spiritual darkness fell upon the earth and a spiritual tyranny arose that oppressed men and women for centuries. An ecclesiastical power had arisen in Rome that prohibited freedom of religion and freedom of conscience. The Inquisition is undoubted one of the darkest periods in religious history. Evil inquisitors roamed the countryside and brutally tormented innocent people for daring to question the power of the Pope and its edicts. A strict creed was enforced with the death penalty for violations. No king felt safe upon their throne and was watched carefully by ministers at court. The edicts of the church were to be obeyed at all costs.

The Great Schism in the Church of Rome

     During the 14th & 15th centuries people in Medieval Europe began to question the authority and absolute power of the Church of Rome. In the 14th century the Great Schism in the Church brought about the split into the Eastern and Western Catholic Churches. Following the Great Schism another split in the Church occurred and one Church was located in Rome and the other in Avignon, France. The selling of indulgences with the promise of absolving men from sin and various scandalous acts of priests led people to break away from the Church of Rome.

     The Protestant Reformation began when men and women sought to free themselves from the Church of Rome. John Wycliffe was born in Yorkshire, England in 1320. Wycliffe was a graduate of Oxford, a priest, a writer, a preacher and a professor who began to question the doctrines of the Catholic Church. He public ally voiced his disapproval with certain doctrines and was summoned to London to stand trial for heresy. Fortunately for Wycliffe, he had a powerful friend, the Duke of Lancaster, who saved him from being burned at the stake. Wycliffe directly challenged the Popes in public and gained a following that grew each year. He translated the Bible into English and helped launch a movement was unstoppable. He felt that the scriptures were the property of the people not just the priests. His noble efforts to free the minds of the people earned him the title, “Morning Star of the Reformation.”

The Rise of the Protestant Reformers

     After the death of John Wycliffe in 1384, John Huss, a reformer from Bohemia, obtained translations of Wycliffe’s writings which had spread all over Europe. Huss was a preacher and a teacher. He challenged the authority of the Church in Rome to forgive sins. He taught people to search the scriptures for find the words of eternal life. Of course, such activity was prohibited by the priests. Nevertheless, he converted thousands of people to the Protestant movement.

     Huss was summoned to a church council in Constance for heresy. Although promised by King Sigismund that he would be protected, he was tried and burned at the stake in July of 1415. As a result of his death the Bohemians rose up in rebellion and a war erupted which lasted for several years.

Martin Luther Challenges the Authority of the Pope

     One of the foremost reformers of this period was Martin Luther. He was an Augustine monk and teacher at the University of Wittenberg in Germany. Luther was born in Saxony in 1483 of humble parents and rose to become a great scholar before he challenged the authority of the Pope.

     Martin Luther questioned many of the doctrines of the Church and gradually came to believe that the penance system and the forgiveness of sins through indulgences was unacceptable.     

     Luther traveled to Rome and was dismayed by the scandalous stories being circulated about Pope Alexander VI and Julius II. He left with serious misgivings concerning the Church.

     In October of 1517 a Dominican monk arrived in Saxony to grant indulgences. These indulgences were specifically set up to raise funds for the construction of the Church of St. Peter in Rome. Serious reflection brought Luther to the conclusion that forgiveness of sins was due to a state of humility and prayer, not to be granted by the payment of money to a monk or official of the Church. Luther decided to challenge the policy of indulgences and wrote a list of 95 theses or statements and nailed them to the front door of the Wittenberg Church. The theses were written in Latin and the general public was not able to read them. The theses were obviously addressed to leaders of the Church and to the scholars in Saxony. Initially, Luther sought to correct what he perceived as a evil in Church practices. However, the 95 theses were copied and sent all over Europe. Copies of Luther’s statements arrived in Rome and the Pope quickly issued a summons for him to appear at the papal court in Rome to answer a charge of heresy.

The Charge of Heresy

     Luther was well aware that the charge of heresy most often led to burning at the stake. Luther had a friend, Frederick, the Elector of Saxony. As a result of his intervention, Luther was allowed to consult with officials of the Church in Germany. Luther was persuaded to keep quiet. However, it seems Luther had an appointment with destiny. Soon a German theologian came to Saxony and Luther was drawn into another debate. Soon his writings began to appear throughout Europe and the Pope issued a papal bull against the professor.

     People throughout Europe supported Luther and his writings were condemned by the Church as being heretical and people were warned not to support him. Luther was given 60 days to recant and repudiate all of his statements or be was to be delivered to the Church for punishment.

     Instead of repenting of his so-called heresy, Luther began writing other pamphlets and continued to advocate his reforms in public. His pamphlets carried such titles as, “To the Nobility of the German Nation,” and “On the Babylonish Captivity of the Church.” His writings continued to circulate throughout Europe and Luther received another invitation to come to Rome. Luther had no intention of traveling to his certain death. Luther further defied the Church of Rome when he publicly burned the papal bull on December 10, 1520 amidst a large crowd who had gathered to watch the famous event.

     Luther was summoned to appear before the Diet of Worms, an assembly of nobles, priests and princes of Germany. When he appeared before this powerful assemblage, he refused to recant. The Diet ruled that Luther was a heretic and recommended that he be excommunicated from the Church of Rome.

Luther Translates the Bible into German

     On his way home, Luther was met by a group of soldiers sent by his friend, the Elector of Saxony. He was taken to Wartberg for protection from those who wanted to burn him at the stake. While secluded in Wartberg he translated the Bible into German.

     The struggle for religious freedom spread throughout Europe. After Frederick of Saxony died, his brother protected Luther from being punished by officials of the Church. In 1529 another Diet assembled in Spiers to suppress the writings of Luther. The body issued an edict that prohibited any person from spreading the heretical writings of the Reformation. A number of Princes entered a formal protest against the authority of the Diet to suppress freedom of conscience. Out of their actions came the word “Protestant.”

     Those who broke away from the Church of Rome were called Protestants. Luther next drew up a list of 28 articles which outlined the basic teachings of the new movement and their reason for leaving the Church of Rome.

Henry VIII Challenges the Authority of Rome

     In England, Henry VIII had written a book attacking Martin Luther. Shortly thereafter, the King decided that he wanted to get rid of his wife, Catherine of Aragon. Henry VIII appealed to the Pope to grant him a divorce on the grounds that when he married Catherine she was the widow of Henry’s brother whose name was Arthur. This was not the real reason for the divorce. It appears that Henry VIII had become fond of another woman named Anne Boleyn. When the Pope refused to grant the divorce, Henry VIII took matters into his own hands by divorcing Catherine on his own authority. A breach occurred between the England and the Church of Rome. Since the reformation was spreading rapidly throughout Europe, it became easier for Henry VIII to get rid of Catherine.

     A Parliament was called and acts of the King were passed forbidding payments to the Bishop of Rome. Henry VIII was declared to be the “only supreme head on earth of the Church of England.” Parliament also sanctioned the divorce and the King married Anne Boleyn.

     The King soon dissolved hundreds of monasteries throughout England and he confiscated their treasuries.


     One good thing that came out of the escapades of the King was that the English Bible was permitted to be sent to the Churches of England. A number of changes in church policy was also initiated.

Priests were allowed to marry and the English Prayer Book was printed. Thirty-nine Articles which govern the Church of England came into existence.

     Henry VIII soon tired of Anne Boleyn and had her executed so he could marry again.

Catherine of Aragon Burns Protestants at the Stake

     After the death of Henry VIII, Mary, the daughter of Catherine of Aragon, became Queen and the roles were reversed. Soon Protestants were being burned at the stake. She carefully hand picked a new Parliament and they undid all that Henry VIII had set up. England was welcomed back into the Catholic world. During her rein more that 270 Christian martyrs were burned at the stake.

     After the death of Mary, her sister, Elizabeth became Queen and she was Protestant. Elizabeth undid all that Mary had set up and England became Protestant again. She reigned from 1558 unto 1602.

During her long reign, the Protestant Revolution became firmly entrenched in England.

     Other famous reformers of this important period of world history included Ulrich Zwingle, who was born in Wildhausen, Switzerland in 1484. Like Luther he was firmly dedicated to reforming the Church of Rome. He opposed the sale of indulgences and drove those to sold them from Zurich. He drafted 67 doctrinal statements for reform which were based on a direct appeal to the Bible. In 1531 his opponents attacked his followers and during the battle Zwingle was killed and his body burned.

John Calvin Begins Preaching in Switzerland

     After Zwingle came a reformed by the name of John Calvin. Calvin, who was French, had fled to Switzerland because of religious persecution. Calvin felt that members should be equal and that elders should govern the church. He organized the Presbyterian Church.

     In Scotland, the work of reformation was undertaken by John Knox, who was a follower of John Calvin. The followers of Know and Calvin were also called Puritans. They would take their creed with them to America.

     The Protestant Reformation was successful in Northern Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Britain and Scotland. It failed to gain much support in France, Spain and Italy.

     One interesting facet of the Reformation is that the different reformers did not work well with each other. They set up different church and adopted different creeds. They would bring their different creeds to America.

     The tremendous efforts of reformers such as Wycliffe, Huss, Luther, Zwingle, Calvin and others brought the issue of religious freedom to the forefront of the ideological war raging in Europe. The battle for freedom of religion would spread to other parts of the World.


Chapter 4—Discovery of America: a Continent Kept Hidden from the World

     One of the key players in the great drama unfolding throughout Europe was Christopher Columbus, a man of God. He firmly believed that he had been divinely called to discover a new land, help spread the Christian religion throughout the New World and help redeem Jerusalem before the second coming of Jesus Christ. He was a man of vision, courage, faith and determination who sought to do the will of God each day.


     Columbus wrote that, “At a very early age I began to navigate upon the seas, which I continued to this day.... Such has been my interest for more than forty years....I prayed to the most merciful Lord concerning my desire, and he gave me the spirit and the intelligence for it. (Delno C. West & August Kling, The Libro de las Profecias of Christopher Columbus. Gainesville Florida: University of Florida Press, 1991, p. 105.)

     We do not know the exact date he was born, but it was probably in the year 1451 in Genoa, Italy. Columbus’s name means Christ-bearer.

A Servant of the Most High God

     After his discovery of the New World, Columbus always signed his name on important documents with these words: “I am a servant of the Most High Savior, O Christ, Mary, Joseph! Christ-bearer.” His father was a master weaver and merchant. Columbus “learned his letters at a tender age and studied enough at the University of Pavia to understand the geographers, of whose teaching he was very fond. (Ferdinand Columbus, The Life of the Admiral Christopher Columbus by His Son Ferdinand, Translated by Benjamin Keen. New Brunswick, New jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1959, p.9)

     According to Las Casas, a priest and historian, “In matters of the Christian religion, without doubt he was a Catholic and of great devotion....He observed the fasts of the Church most faithfully, confessed and made communion often, read the canonical offices like a churchman or member of the religious order, hated blasphemy and profane swearing.” (Samuel Eliot Morison, Admiral of the Ocean Sea. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1942, Vol. 1, p. 63.)

Columbus Desires to Share the Spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ

     Columbus possessed a deep desire to carry the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the inhabitants of the New World. La Casas wrote, “He was extraordinary zealous for the divine service; he desired and was eager for the conversion of these people (Indians), and that in every region the faith of Jesus Christ be planted and enhanced ... ever holding great confidence in divine providence.” (Morison 1: 63-64.) Indeed, the prime motivation for Columbus’s desire to sail across the ocean was to spread the Christian religion throughout the New World.

     During the 15th century two important events occurred in the world that would help shape the mission of Columbus. The Ottoman Empire was expanding and it captured Constantinople in 1453. It had been a Christian city and the European sea merchants were fearful that it would negatively affect trade. After seizing Constantinople, the Turks expanded into the Aegean and Adriatic Seas and eventually captured Otranto, an Italian port city. In 1475 the Turks captured Caffa, the last Italian trading post in the Black Sea.

     By the time of 1520 the Ottoman Empire had conquered Palestine, Syria, Africa and parts of Central Europe. The expansion of the Ottoman Empire greatly affected the Italian sea merchants who had previously traded in the highly profitable spice and aromatic markets of Eastern Mediterranean. It is no wonder that navigators began to look for alternative routes to the spice markets.

The Gutenberg Bible Was Printed in 1456

     The second major event that paved the way for Columbus’s journey was the invention of the printing press by Johann Gutenberg in about 1455. The Gutenberg Bible was printed in 1456, a remarkable feat at that time.

     After the publication of the Holy Bible Columbus began an earnest study of its sacred pages and drew inspiration and courage from the verses.


     Christopher Columbus was a skillful sailor who took his profession very seriously. Since Genoa was a busy port with a deep harbor, ships, merchants and sailors crammed the busy street daily. He longed for the sea and spend his life in and around the ocean. In 1501 he wrote a letter to Ferdinand and Isabella where he stated, “I have passed more than forty years in this business and have traveled to every place where there is navigation up to the present time.” (John Boyd, Thatcher, Christopher Columbus, His Life, His Work, His Remains. New York: AMS Press, Inc. 1967, Volume 1: p. 12.) From the time of an early age, the young sailor was actively involved in merchant sea trading.

God Saves Columbus from Drowning at Sea

     In May of 1476 Columbus decided to sail with a Genoese merchant fleet heading for England. He was desirous to sail on the Atlantic Ocean. The fleet met with good weather until August 13th when French war ships launched a surprise attack as the fleet sailed near the coast of Portugal. Seven ships were lost and hundreds of sailors drowned. The sip which Columbus was sailing caught fire from the explosions and the crew had to abandon ship. At the time the ship was approximately six miles off shore. Columbus grabbed an oar floating in the water and made his way to shore.

     Ferdinand, the son of Christopher Columbus believed that his father’s life had been spared for God for a greater cause. He wrote that, “it pleased God, who was preserving him for greater things, to give him strength to reach the shore.” (Ferdinand Columbus, p. 14.) And so it was. Providence had intervened and saved the life the famous sailor who was destined to discover the new world. It appears that it was important for Columbus to be in Portugal for a season for reasons known only at the time by God.

     Once on shore Columbus made his way to Lisbon, Portugal where he entered the map-making business with a group of Genoese merchants. At the time Lisbon was the world center for discovery. Prince Henry the Navigator had established the world’s leading research center for oceanic travel and exploration. The sailors were attempting to reach India and Asia and some of the world’s leading sailors, explorers, map-makers and merchants were stationed in Lisbon. At this time Portugal was Europe’s leading maritime kingdom.

     Once in Lisbon the young sailor yearned to return to the sea and made trips to Iceland and the Madeira Islands. He was expanding his knowledge of the Atlantic Ocean.

Columbus Marries Felipa Perestrelloe Moniz

     As with nearly all young men, Columbus met a beautiful woman and fell in love. In approximately 1479 he married Felipa Perestrelloe Moniz, the daughter of Bartholomew Perestrello, a Portuguese noble. Once again the hand of Providence is manifest. Ferdinand, Columbus’s son, records of their courtship that his father “behaved very honorably and a man of handsome presence and one who never turned from the path of honesty, ... (Felipa) had such conversation and friendship with him that she became his wife.” (Ferdinand Columbus, p. 14.) The young couple had met at Catholic mass, a lesson for all young men looking for a bride.

Access to the Royal Courts of Europe

     Felipa was from a family of nobility and their marriage would allow Columbus access to the royal courts of Europe where one day soon he would begin presenting his plan to the monarchs of Spain to finance his voyage to the New World. Without the help of Felipa, Columbus would never had gained the access of the royal courts of Europe. The young couple lived on the Madeiras Islands for a few years until Columbus was prompted to return to the sea for his mission had not yet been competed. During the time they were living on the islands, Columbus sailed to the Gold Coast of Africa. They had a son which they named Diego.

     Las Casas noted that with the completion of this trip, “ Columbus was the most outstanding sailor in the world, versed like no other in the art of navigation, for which Providence chose him to accomplish the most outstanding feat ever accomplished in the world until now.” (Bartolome de Las Casas, History of the Indies. Translated & Edited by Andree Collard, Edited by Silvio A. Bedini, New York: Harper & Row, 1971, p. 17.)

A Continent Kept Hidden from the World

     Columbus was now ready to begin planning an expedition that would thrust the name of Christ-bearer into the pages of world history until the end of time. He called his bold plan the “Enterprise of the Indies. It was his dream to reach the Indies by sailing west instead of east. Once again Providence has a surprise for Columbus. He would not reach the Indies, but instead he would be guided to a New World, a continent that had been kept hidden by Providence for centuries to prevent the European powers from overrunning it and undermining the future plans of God.

     At the time of Columbus no one in Europe was aware of the North American continent. It was deliberately kept hidden from the world so the purposes of god concerning the last could be brought out. And Christopher Columbus was a key player in the great drama being orchestrated by Providence. America was being prepared as a special inheritance for a special people who would establish the mightiest nation on earth. The hand of God in the discovery of the Americas was clearly evident through the life of Christopher Columbus.

God Kept America Hidden From the World

     It is clear now that God deliberately kept the Americas hidden until after the breakup of the Roman Empire into various kingdoms that flourished in the 14th & 15th centuries in Europe. Over 250 years later, another Catholic by the name of Alexis de Tocqueville, a prominent Frenchman wrote that, “When the earth was given to men by the creator, the earth was inexhaustible; but men were weak and ignorant, and when they had learned to take advantage of the treasures which it contained, they already covered its surface and were soon obligated to earn by the sword an asylum for repose and freedom. Just then North America was discovered, as if it had been kept in reserve by the Deity and had just risen from the waters of the Deluge.” (Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America. New York: Random House, 1991 edition, Volume I, p. 291.)     

     In 1673 Urian Oakes, the president of Harvard University would state in a sermon that America has been kept in reserve for a special mission. He stated, “There [was] an Allotment, in the counsel of God, of these Ends of the Earth unto this part of our nation for the Bounds of their habitation. This wilderness was the place which God decreed [for)] you. And what he thought in his heart, he hath fulfilled with his hand, in bringing you to this good Land, and providing wonderfully for your well-being here.” (Harry S. Stout, New England Soul. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 73.)

A Heavenly Voice Declared That Columbus Was Given the Keys to the Ocean Sea

     After his discovery of the New World Columbus would write, “[The] land, until then, remain concealed.” (Watts, Prophecy & Discovery, 102, n.61.) During his last voyage to the American continent Columbus recorded that he heard a heavenly voice declare unto him that, “Of those barriers of the Ocean Sea, which were closed with such mighty chains, He [God] hath given thee the keys.” (Samuel Eliot Morrison, ed., Journals and Other Documents on the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus. New York: Heritage Press, 1963, p.378.)

     In another document we find that, “The secret of the Ocean Sea had not been penetrated earlier because God wanted it hidden until he was ready.” (Delno C. West and August Kling, The Libro de las Profecias of Christopher Columbus. An en face edition. Gainesville, Florida: University of Florida Press, 1992, p. 63)

A Special Calling & Mission

     Not only was the continent of America kept hidden from the world, it seems that the mission given to Columbus by God was also kept from the world too. No one, with the exception of himself and his family, knew of the special calling he had received from God. The intense opposition and trials that he faced in launching his Enterprise of the Indies demonstrate that his mission would only be fulfilled with the aid of divine intervention at critical times in his life.


     Christopher Columbus knew from a young age that he had been chosen for a special mission. He acknowledged that the Holy Ghost had spoken to him “in my youth.” In the vision, the Holy Ghost told him, “He [God] caused your name [Christopher Columbus] to be wonderfully resounded throughout the earth ... and gave you the keys of the gates of the ocean which are closed with strong chains.” (West & Fling, Libro de las Profecias, pp. 48, 53-54.) He would never loose sight of his special calling from God. It would sustain him and drive his every action for the remainder of his life.

     In his famous Book of Prophecies Columbus paraphrased Job and wrote: “Before you formed me in the womb, you knew me, and before I left the womb, whatever pleased you was preordained for me. And those things that concerned me were written in your book, in the secret of your counsel.” (Quoted in Pauline Moffitt Watts, “Prophecy and Discovery: On the Spiritual Origins of Christopher Columbus’s ‘Enterprise of the Indies,’” American Historical Review, Volume 90, February, 1958, p. 54.)

Columbus Was Chosen By God for His Important Work

     Ferdinand wrote of his father, “The Admiral was chosen for his great work by our Lord, ... [and] his affairs were directed by a secret Providence.” (Ferdinand Columbus, pp. 3-4.)

     Cecil Jane, an historian wrote: “Above all he was deeply religious.... He was fully assured that he was under the special care of the Almighty; again and again, he declares that God always guided and guarded him, and in his very trials, he saw the hand of Providence so forming his character and so shaping his ends that he might be better fitted to fulfill that purpose which Heaven had decreed that he should fulfill. “ (Cecil Jane, The Four Voyages of Columbus: A History in eight Documents, Including Five by Christopher Columbus, in the original Spanish, with English Translations. New York: Dover Publications, 1988, Volume I, p. cviii.)

     Salvador de Madariago wrote: “A sense of mission entrusted to him from on high drives and illumines him..... No one can fail to feel that he is possessed of an idea, bent on an action, bearer of a message, entrusted with a mission.” (Salvador de Madariago, Christopher Columbus: Being the Life of the Very Magnificent Lord Don Cristobal Colon. New York: Macmillan, 1967, p 16.)

Columbus Was a Man With a Mission

     One of America’s leading historians, Samuel Eliot Morison wrote that, “Columbus was a Man with a Mission.... He was Man alone with God against human stupidity and depravity, against greedy conquistadors, cowardly seamen, even against nature and the sea.

     “Always with God, though, in that his biographers were right; for God is with men who for a good cause put their trust in Him. Men may doubt this, but there can be no doubt that the faith of Columbus was genuine and sincere, and that his frequent communion with forces unseen was a vital element in his achievement.” (Samuel Eliot Morison, Admiral of the Ocean Sea, pp. 46-47.)

     Morison also wrote that, This conviction that God destined him to be an instrument for spreading the faith was far more potent than the desire to win glory, wealth and worldly honors. (Samuel Eliot Morison, Admiral of the Ocean Sea, p. 47.)

     The idea that Christopher Columbus was chosen by God for a special role in the great drama that led to the discovery of the Americas is disturbing only to secularists who do not believe in God or that He raises up men and women on earth and gives them special missions. However, the reality is that God lives and governs in the affairs of men.

Columbus Was a Serious Student of the Bible and Prophecy

     A study of the books that Columbus studies demonstrates that he began an earnest study of the Bible and Prophecy around 1481. Columbus’s most famous book, the Libro de las Profecias, or Book of Prophecy was published around 1501-1502. Delno C. West, the editor of the Book of Prophecy stated that, “Christopher Columbus was a man with a vision. The vision came first, long before it reached fulfillment in the discovery.... Only after long years of single-minded dedication came at last a discovery.” (Delno C. West & August Kling, Libro de las Profecias, p. 2.)

      John Noble Wilford, another historian has written concerning the divine mission of Columbus that, “A remarkable document, prepared after his third voyage but long ignored by historians, reveals the depth and passion of Columbus’s belief that he was God’s messenger. This work can be read as compelling evidence that his spirituality was the force motivating his vision and sustaining him through years of ridicule, hardship, and achievement....

The Book of Prophecies

     “The manuscript is now known as Libro de las Profecias,, the Book of Prophecies, and it resides in Biblioteca Columbia at Seville. The first full translation of it into English has just been completed by Delno C. West.

     “Historians have ignored the Book of Prophecies, West charges, because they are ‘curiously reluctant to admit that the first American hero was influenced by prophetic ideas....’

     Columbus opened the Book of Prophecies with a letter to the king and queen. He described how God favored him with ‘the spirit of intelligence,...’He also wrote that neither reason nor mathematics nor maps of the world had enabled him to fulfill the Enterprise of the Indies. Instead, he firmly believed it had been God’s will:

     “‘With a hand that could be felt, the Lord opened my mind to the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies, and he opened my will to desire to accomplish the project. This was the fire that burned within me when I came to visit Your Highnesses. All found out about my project denounced it with laughter and ridiculed me.... Only Your Majesties had faith and perseverance. Who can doubt that this fire was not merely mine, but also of the Holy Spirit who encouraged me with a radiance of marvelous illumination....’

     “Some of this is a rehearsal of familiar Columbus expressions: the ridicule and rejection never to be forgotten, and his undying gratitude to the king and queen. But Columbus was also claiming, more explicitly than before, divine origins for his vision of sailing west to the Indies and suggesting that his was a critical element at the time of his negotiations with the monarchs. The Book of Prophecies calls for a serious reassessment of the decisive factors, spiritual as well as rational, motivating the enterprise that led to the discovery of America....” (John Noble Wilford, the Mysterious History of Columbus: An Exploration of the Man, the Myth, the Legacy. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991, pp. 217-220, 226-227.)

Columbus Had a Spiritual Map

     Wilford goes on to quote Delno C. West, the translator of the Book of Prophecies as saying, “Explorers do not go forth and probe about. They search for definite objects which they believe to exist based on the geographic information they have. Such information can be empirical or non-empirical. Columbus had what we call a ‘spiritual map’ in his mind as well as a physical map when he undertook each of his four voyages. The ‘spiritual map’ included those imagined areas of the world mentioned in the Scriptures either lost after iniquity, and/or predicted to be found in the ‘last days’ of the history of the world.’

     Christopher Columbus did in fact have a spiritual map. He was being guided by the Holy Ghost who knew perfectly what lay ahead and what the plans of God were for the Americas. Columbus stated, “Our Lord unlocked my mind, sent me upon the sea, and gave me fire for the deed. Those who heard of my enterprise called it foolish, mocked me and laughed. But who can doubt but that the Holy Ghost inspired me?” (Jacob Wasserman, Columbus, don Quixote of the Seas, translated by Eric Sutton. Boston: Little, Brown & company, 1930, pp. 19-20.)

The Holy Ghost Was Guiding and Inspiring Columbus

     From the time of his special calling, the Holy Ghost watched over and guided Columbus. More than once, Columbus acknowledged this guidance. Concerning this Providential guidance and prompting he said, “Who can doubt that this fire was not merely mine, but also the Holy Spirit who encouraged me with a radiance of marvelous illumination from his sacred Scriptures, by a most clear and powerful testimony from the forty-four books of the Old Testament, from the four Gospels, from the twenty-three Epistles of the blessed Apostles—urging me to press forward? Continually, without a moment’s hesitation, the Scriptures urge me to press forward with great haste.” (Letter to King & Queen of Spain. Delano C. West. Libro de las Porfecias of Christopher Columbus, pp. 49, 105.)

Enterprise of the Indies

     Let us now look at one of the most famous plans in the world, the Enterprise of the Indies. This is the plan that Columbus formulated to achieve his goal of reaching the Indies by sailing west.

     While he was living in Lisbon, Portugal he became an avid student of not only the Bible, but the writings of prominent philosophers, theologians, mathematicians, geographers and world explorers. Some of his favorite books included, Pierre d’ Ailly’s Imago Mundi (Image of the World), Pope Pius II’s Historia Rerum (History of the World) and Marco Polo’s Description of the World. Pierre d’ Ailly’s work is an overview of 15th century world geography.

     In 1474 the king of Portugal invited a prominent scholar and physician from Florentine to write a letter to the crown evaluating the prospect of reaching the Indies by sailing west into the Atlantic Ocean.

This letter became very important to Columbus. He acquired a copy of it and a world map of the land masses that were know to the navigators at this time. Later Columbus would use these documents to support his plan contained in the Enterprise of the Indies.

The Lord Reveals the Route Columbus Should Sail

     Although Columbus consulted a host of books, scholars, and map-makers, he always gave the credit for his trek to God. He wrote: “I have searched out and studied all kinds of texts: geographies, histories, chronologies, philosophies and other subjects. With a hand that could be felt, the Lord opened my mind to the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies, and he opened my will to desire t o accomplish the project.” (Delno C. West and August Kling, p. 105.)

     Armed with a vision and determination to succeed, Columbus, along with a vast collection of authoritative statements to support and give credibility to his new plan, he was now ready to obtain the financial support he needed to sail to the Indies. Funding for the project would have to come from the royal courts and treasuries of he monarchs of Europe.

     Since Columbus was well known in Lisbon, he have lived there for eight years and was married to a member of the nobility, he decided to approach the king of Portugal. In 1484 he gained a audience with John II, who had recently become king.

The Incredibly Long Journey to Secure the Funds for the Trip to the New World

     After the presentation in royal court, the king referred the enterpriser of the Indies plan to a maritime commission. This was to be the first disappoint in the long quest to secure funding for the trip to the New World. As is common with most commissions or bureaucracies, all it takes is one or two people to defeat a plan and the group of scholars and court advisors rejected it. They felt that the distance was too great for the trip to be made successfully.


     Columbus was very disappointed. He had spent eight years in Portugal. Felipa, his lovely wife had recently died and Columbus decided to take his five year old son by the name of Diego and moved back to Spain. As Columbus and his son sailed back to Spain they passed a large monastery overlooking the sea named, La Rabida. The facility would serve as home for little Diego while Columbus was away promoting his new plan. At the monastery, Columbus became close friends with Antonio de Marchena and Juan Perez, who were very supportive of his plan for religious reasons. In addition La Rabida would become a spiritual refuge for Columbus from the agonizing and incredibly difficult task of fund raising for the project he loved.

The Monastery of La Rabida Would Serve as a Spiritual Oasis

     La Rabida would serve as a spiritual oasis for the Columbus as he labored night and day to secure the funds necessary to make the voyage. The incredible pressure of fund raising, the constant ridicule and persecution that he would experience and endure in the years ahead took a toll on Columbus’s health, and spirit. The overwhelming task of fund raising for the voyage to the New World would severely test the determination and faith of Columbus in the days ahead. He was now facing the financial powers of Europe who had the funds necessary to underwrite the voyage, yet were reluctant to do so unless it enriched and empowered them. It was not a matter of a lack of funds, it was a lack of vision and dedication to the betterment of the world that was missing from the hearts and minds of the people holding the purse strings and keys to the treasures of Europe.

     Behind the thrones of Europe lay the immense wealth and power of the financiers and merchants that had been accumulating for centuries in private families. It was this group that controlled the rise and fall of kings, queens and princes. They were a power that Columbus did not realize that he would have to contend with when he launched his famous Enterprise of the Indies plan.

Two Conflicting Goals over the Trip to the New World

     Although the main goal of Columbus was to spread Christianity throughout the world, the goal of the financial powers of Portugal and Spain at this time was to enlarge their power and wealth. Columbus found a new enemy that he would now have to content with. The desire for wealth and worldly possessions, including , gold, silver, diamonds, castles, palaces, boats, lands, animals etc., has blinded men and women since the days of Adam and Eve. Columbus was now on an adventure that would severely try his faith and determination to succeed. He would have to somehow reach a balance between religion, finance and power.

     Concerning the monumental undertaking proposed by Columbus John Dyson wrote: “The scale of what this man was attempting was breathtaking. An obscure, poor, foreign, self-taught mariner with neither financial resources nor academic standing was endeavoring to sell to Christianity’s most powerful monarchs a highly unorthodox concept. In such circumstances, his nerve was nothing short of amazing.” (John Dyson, For Gold, God, and Glory. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991, pp. 80-81.)

Queen Isabella of Castile

     Columbus was now ready to present his plan to the Spanish monarchy. King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile were ruling over Spain. Their marriage would lead to a unified Spain.

     The Queen was not only a beautiful women with a clear complexion and blue eyes, she was a highly religious person. The Queen like Columbus and shared his desire and enthusiasm to spread Christianity throughout the world. The Enterprise of the Indies plan was very appealing to her, however, the King was merely interested in expanding his kingdom and increasing his wealth. He was a shrewd leader who was involved with leaders throughout Europe who shared similar goals. In his meetings with the Spanish crown Columbus would focus on religions ideals and aspirations with the queen and on financial rewards with the king.


     In May of 1486 Columbus approached the Crown and presented his bold plan. They listened and then referred the plan to a maritime commission headed by Fray Hernando de Talavera, the queen’s confessor. Columbus went before the commission and met the same success he had in Portugal. A division arose on the commission between the scholars. After several months of deliberations, the commission rejected the plan. The Crown ruled that the enterprise should be postponed indefinitely. Columbus was retained as an agent of the court and given a monthly salary.

Spain Involved in a War With the Moors

     At the time of the decision of the commission, Spain was heavily involved in a war with the Moors from Granada. The king and queen were worried about the ability of the Crown to finance a war and a large expensive voyage at the same time. Thus Columbus was forced to wait upon the Lord and seek refuge at La Rabida with his close friends.

     Concerning this difficult period of Columbus’s life, Las Casas wrote: “He began to sustain a terrible, continued, painful and prolonged battle; a material one of weapons would not have been so sharp and horrendous as that which he had to endure from informing so many people of understanding, although they presumed to know all about it, and replying patiently to many people who did not know him nor had any respect for his person, receiving insulting speeches which afflicted his soul.” (Samuel Eliot Morison, Admiral of the Ocean Sea, pp. 87-88.)     

Spanish Crown Loses Interest in Columbus Voyage

     In 1488 the Crown lost interest in Columbus’s plan and he was deeply depressed and frustrated. They even terminated his monthly fee as an agent of the court. In the middle of this unfortunate delay, Columbus second son was born and he was named Ferdinand. The child’s mother was Beatriz Enriquez de Harana. They never married. One suspects that Columbus was very cognizant of the importance of his marriage to Felipa and her heritage as part of the Portuguese nobility. He undoubtedly sought to preserve his standing before the Crowns of Europe.

Columbus Returns to Portugal

     In December of 1488 Columbus returned to Lisbon and began promoting his plan among the Portuguese. At the same time the explorer Bartholomew Dias returned from a successful voyage around the Cape of Good Hope on the southern tip of Africa. This voyage gave King John an ocean route to India. The Portuguese therefore lost interest in Columbus plan to sail west to India.

     Columbus next sent his brother, Bartholomew to see Henry VII of England. He was unsuccessful in interesting the King of England to finance the voyage. He then traveled to France where he met with King Charles VIII. The king of France had little interest in the plan.

Columbus Returns to Spain

     Columbus then returned to Spain and in 1490 he made another appeal to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. They once again referred the plan to the maritime commission which once again rejected it with a stern message. The Enterprise of the Indies was “impossible and vain and worthy of rejection.” (Samuel Eliot Morison, Admiral of the Ocean Sea, Volume I, p. 131.)

     One good thing did occur at this time. The Crown ignored the report of the maritime commission and suggested to Columbus that he resubmit his plan when the war with Granada ended.


     Columbus waited for several months but he soon lost patience with the Spanish Crown. Feeling overwhelmed, discouraged and defeated, he decided to travel to France and seek the support king once again in person. Before he left for France, his close friend Fary Juan Perez persuaded Columbus to make one last attempt to persuade King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to finance the voyage. Perez had previously served as the queen’s confessor and had persuaded her to listen one more time to Columbus. Queen Isabella agreed and sent Columbus 20,000 maravedis for him to but a nice set of clothes to appear before the Crown again.

Columbus Appears Before the Spanish Crown

     Dressed in his suit of clothing, Columbus once again appeared before the Spanish Crown in August of 1491. Once again he made his presentation and this time he made an unusual request. He asked the Crown for the hereditary titles of Viceroy and Governor of all the lands he discovered and for the office of Admiral of the Ocean Sea. He next asked for that these titles be passed down through his family forever and for one-tenth of all the gold, silver, pearls, gems, spices and items that were found in the lands that he discovered for Spain. Once again the Crown referred the proposal to the maritime commission once again.

     Columbus was very hopeful that the time had arrived to him to make his noble voyage. On January 2, 1492 Spain defeated the Moors and the war ended. With the war over, the Crown probably would have financed the endeavor except they thought Columbus price was too high.

The Spanish Crown Rejects the Plan of Columbus for the Third Time

     Perhaps the lengthy request that Columbus made was an attempt to entice King Ferdinand to focus on the possible financial rewards. Regardless of the motivation of Columbus for presenting the court with a detailed list of titles, etc. the Crown rejected the plan for the third time. Columbus was very distraught and decided to leave Spain forever and join his brother in France.

     He packed his mule and rode for Cordova. However, Providence had decided it was time for Columbus to make his maiden voyage to the New World. As Columbus left the Spanish Court for France, Luis de Santangel, the financial advisor to the Crown persuaded Queen Isabella to change her mind. He argued that the voyage “offered so little risk yet could prove of so great service to God and the exaltation of His Church, not to speak of the very great increase and glory of her realms and kingdoms.” (Ferdinand Columbus, p. 43.)

Queen Isabella Offers her Crown Jewels to Finance the Trip

     Queen Isabella was moved by the financial advisor’s arguments that she decided to pledge her Crown jewels in order fund the Enterprise of the Indies. The finance minister assured her that it would not be necessary to use the jewels to finance the trip and the Spanish Monarchs finally approved the plan of Columbus. His persistence, faith, courage, determination, and unwavering dedication to the Enterprise of the Indies plan finally bore fruit. He had worked on the plan in Lisbon for eight years and spent seven years marketing the plan to the heads of Europe. Finally after fifteen years of hard work, the plan was approved.

     Columbus felt that the Lord had softened the hearts of the Monarchs. He stated: “I spend seven years here in your royal court discussing this subject with the leading persons in all the learned arts, and their conclusion was that all was in vain. That was the end, and they gave it up. But afterwards it all turned out just as our redeemer Jesus Christ had said, and as he had spoken earlier by the mouth of his holy prophets. (Delno C. West and August Kling, p. 107.)

After Years of Poverty and Ridicule the Way

Is Opened for Columbus to Sail to the New World

     After enduring years of poverty, ridicule, persecution, opposition, calumny, reproach, ignorance, arrogant and scholars and prideful financiers, Christopher Columbus was now ready to embark on the most important voyage in the history of the world. His unwavering dedication, faith and unyielding heart won the day.

     Columbus never took credit for the grand plan he called the Enterprise of the Indies. He would always give the credit to God. One time he wrote, “The most holy Trinity ... inspired me with the idea, and afterward made it perfectly clear to me, that I could navigate and go to the Indies from Spain, by traversing the ocean westwardly.” (Paul Leicester Ford, Writings of Christopher Columbus. New York: Charles L. Webster & Company, 1892, p. 83.)

     One of the greatest attributes of Columbus was his unwavering faith. He had unshakeable faith in the existence of God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. He also had unshakeable faith in an idea. He never wavered in his belief that the Enterprise of the Indies was inspired of God. History bears testimony that the plan was indeed inspired of God.

First Voyage to the New World

     If Providence had opened the way for Columbus to persevere against overwhelming opposition, it would only seems logical to assume that the Spirit of the Lord was with Columbus as he sailed into uncharted waters. According to Paolo Emilio Taviani, Columbus “was the first to navigate in the open sea, the first, that is, to dare move away, deliberately and for a long period, from sight of land.” (Paolo Emilio Taviani, Christopher Columbus: The Grand Design. London: Orbis, 1985, p. 212.)

     On August 2, 1492 Columbus and his entire crew went to a little church near the docks for prayer. The next morning they set sail for the Canary Islands.

     On his first voyage to the New World Columbus actually made three discoveries. We do not often think of the other two discoveries, nevertheless, they were important. First he discovered a new land, second, he discovered a sea route to the Americas and third, he discovered a sea route back to the Old World. For 500 years ships have been sailing the routes discovered by Columbus. They are without question the most direct routes to the New World.

Columbus Is Prompted By the Spirit of the Lord To Make

a Number of Crucial Course Changes

     During the voyage to the New World Columbus made a number of inspired decisions that altered the history of the world. First, he decided to sail from Palos, Spain to the Canary Islands and from the islands sail toward the New World.

     The weather was nearly perfect throughout the trip. However, on September 23, just before they reached the New World the wind just stopped. A miracle then occurred. The crew became quite concerned that they would never be able to sail back to Spain. Suddenly, the sea arose and pushed the small vessel toward the New World without any wind. Columbus considered this act a divine miracle and wrote, “Later, when the sea made up considerably without wind, they were astonished. I saw this as a sign from God, and it was very helpful to me. Such a sign had not appeared since Moses led the Jews out of Egypt, and they dared not lay violent hands on him because of the miracle that God had wrought. As with Moses when he led his people out of captivity, my people were humbled by this act of the Almighty.” (Robert H. Fusion, The Log of Christopher Columbus. Camden, Me: International Marine Publishing, 1992, p. 66.)               


     During the voyage Columbus only changed course twice during the 33 day trip. And it appears that these course adjustments were also inspired of God. The first change occurred on October 7th when he noticed a flock of birds flying southwest. He decided to alter his course and went west southwest. If he had not changes course, the trip would have taken a day longer. This was the second inspired decision that Columbus made that was crucial for the trip. This was important because the crew were getting edgy and threatening to mutiny if they did not sight land soon. On October 10th the sailors mutinied and accused Columbus of deceiving them. They decided to throw Columbus overboard if they did not sight land in a day or so. Columbus promised the men that they would turn around and sail back to Spain if they did not spot land with two or three days.

     Concerning the incident, Columbus wrote, “I also told the men that it was useless to complain, for I had started out to find the Indies and would continue until I had accomplished that mission. With the help of Our Lord.” (Robert Fuson, The Log of Christopher Columbus, p. 72.)

     The third inspired decision that Columbus made was on October Just a few hours before they spotted land, he changed direction back to his original course. One again, this was providential. If Columbus had continued sailing in a west southwest direction he would have missed San Salvador and might have ended up on the deadly corral reefs along the coast of Long Island in the Caribbean. As a result of his course adjustment the crew spotted land and the mutiny died down.

     It is apparent that the Spirit of the Lord was guiding Columbus and his small vessel across the wide ocean. Las Casas wrote that, “God gave this man the keys to the awesome seas, he and no other unlocked the darkness.” (Bartolome de Las Casas, History of the Indies. p. 35.)

Crew Spots Land

     About 10:00 p.m. on October 11th saw light in the distance. On October 12th the crew spotted land. At daybreak the crew went ashore, kissed the sand and offered prayers of gratitude. The new Admiral of the Ocean Sea named the land San Salvador which means Holy Savior.

     After three days of exploring the island and greeting the natives people there, Columbus sailed to present day Cuba. The Indians as they were called came forward and kissed their hands and feet. They thought the Spaniards had come from heaven.

     On Christmas Eve the Santa Maria drifted into a corral reef and had to be abandoned near Hispaniola. A crew of 39 men stayed behind in a fort they named La Navidad.

     The time came for Columbus to sail back to Spain and inform the Monarchy of his new discoveries. At this time Columbus made another decision that was inspired. He did not return the way he came, but sailed northeast and caught the winds that were blowing out of the west. These winds took him back across the Atlantic to he Azores. Of his return trip Columbus wrote, “I have faith in Our Lord that He who brought me here will lead me back in His pity and mercy ... no one else was supportive of me except God, because He knew my heart.” (Robert Fuson, The Log of Christopher Columbus, p. 174.)

     The Spirit of the Lord was with Columbus and guided him throughout his travels. Samuel Eliot Morison wrote that, “there can be no doubt that the faith of Columbus was genuine and sincere, and that his frequent communion with forces unseen was a vital element in his achievement. (Samuel Eliot Morison, Admiral of the Ocean Sea, Volume I, p. 65.)

     The fact that Columbus discovered both of the great sailing routes to the Americas has been lost sight of by most people. Nevertheless, they remain to this day the best possible routes to the New World.

Violent Storm Tries Destroy Columbus

     While the Holy Ghost was guiding Columbus the enemy of all righteous was watching from a distance just waiting for the chance to destroy the new Admiral of the Ocean Sea. It appears that the enemy of all righteous is able to control the elements for a short time to accomplish his evil designs. On January 16, 1493 the two small vessels were overtaken by a violent storm. The storm was so severe that the crews feared they were going to be capsized and drowned. Columbus assembled the crew and they had prayer.


     In the midst of the violent storm Columbus had the crew assemble and select one who would make a pilgrimage to Santa Maria de Guadalupe if the Lord would spare their lives. He place a pea in a hat with a cross on it and as would have it, he chose first and picked the pea with the cross on it. He said he would make the pilgrimage.

     The storm continued to rage and once again Columbus assembled the crew and they again selected a member of the crew to make a pilgrimage to Santa Maria de Loreto in Italy.

     The fierce wind and high waves tossed the vessel to and from on the huge waves. Once again the crew was assembled and selected a crew member to make a pilgrimage to Santa Clara de Moguer. Columbus again picked the pea and pledged to make the pilgrimage.

     The storm refused to subside and Columbus assembled the crew again and they made a solemn covenant if the Lord spared their lives they would all go to church and pray. Later that evening the storm subsided and the next day they reached the Azores.

     After a week long stay in the Azores the two small vessels set sail for Portugal which was 800 mile away. On March 3rd another fierce storm struck and tore all the sails on the Nina. Once again the crew gathered and drew lots to determine who would make a pilgrimage to Santa Maria de la Cinta in Huelva.

The lot fell again to Columbus. The next day the storm blew them into the mouth of the Lisbon River and a happy crew made their way to the dock.

Columbus Returns to Spain

     On March 15, 1493 the crew sailed into Palos, Spain.

     In April Columbus appeared before King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to report on his new discoveries. At that time, “All the Court and the city came out to meet him; and the Catholic Sovereigns received him in public, seated with all majesty and grandeur on rich thrones under a canopy of cloth of gold. When he came forward to kiss their hands, they rose from their thrones as if he were a great lord, and would not let him kiss their hands but made him sit down beside them.” (Ferdinand Columbus, The Life of the Admiral Christopher Columbus by His Son Ferdinand, p. 101.)

     The reception which Columbus received is remarkable when contrasted with the years that proceeded the great Enterprise of the Indies plan. He had been faithful and fulfilled the mission given to him long ago by God.

     After the discovery of the New World by Columbus the Europeans Monarchs began to lay claim to the new lands in the Americas. The Pope took a direct hand in order to protect the new continent for Spain. He drew a line 100 leagues west of the Azores and declared the land for Spain. The Portuguese protested and they included them in the new assignment of land. King Ferdinand called the Americas “New Spain.” Portugal focused on Brazil and Spain centered on Florida, Mexico and other parts of South America. France seized Canada and claimed the entire Mississippi Valley. The English would end up settling in America.

     During the 1500s fleets of fishing boats from Europe would sail up the coast of North America to New England and take on tons of cod fish. It seems that the ocean was filled with them in abundance. The fishermen would return to Europe with their loads of fish. The fishermen did not seek to set up settlements, they were content to reap the harvest and return home again. It would be left to a new breed of settlers—a God-fearing and righteous people—to come to America and lay the foundation of America.

     It was now time for the next stage in the great drama of the last days.


Chapter 5— Settlement of America: Pilgrims and Puritans Seek Religious Freedom

     During the Middle Ages the monarchs and priests had joined in an evil alliance to keep the people ignorant so they could remain in a state of bondage and slavery. That is one reason they opposed the printing of the Holy Bible and that is why they fought the reformers who challenged the tyranny of the Old World. While Christopher Columbus was busy opening the New World, the Lord was preparing a new people to inhabit a new continent that would be dedicated to political, economic and religious liberty.

     The noble and valiant effort of such men as John Wycliffe and William Tyndale helped prepare the way for the great restoration of freedom that lay ahead. They were raised up by God to play a critical role at a critical time in world history. The shackles of the Old World were being broken up by the Lord and those whom He raised up to establish liberty.

     After the return of Columbus to Spain, news of the discovery of a new world quickly spread throughout the ports of Europe. New voyages set off for the New World. One group that sought to flee from the despotic rule of the kings of Europe and England at the time was referred to as Pilgrims.

     Spain, Portugal, France and England were the principal powers involved in the discovery and exploration of the Americas. All were ruled by despotic monarchs. Those who fled England and Europe at the time were indeed fleeing from captivity and bondage.

Pilgrims Seek Religious Liberty

     The Pilgrims consisted of about one hundred men, women and children. The small company that came to America was not seeking gold and silver. Instead they were seeking religious liberty. They simply wanted to be free to worship God according to their own conscience. They had left the Church of England and were called separatists. They felt that the Church of England when it broke off from Rome had retained certain doctrines and rituals which they felt were wrong.

     At this time the nations of Europe were under state religions. The religious authorities strictly enforced the creeds upon the people in order to preserve the control of the Church of Rome over the continent. Although England had broken free and established the Church of England, it was still a state religion and the people were not free to worship as they wanted. To disagree with the king on religious matters was akin to treason and the people were burned at the stake for heresy.

     In the case of James I of England, he began his reign by declaring that the people would confirm to the Church of England or he would run them our of England. The separatists (or Pilgrims) actually fled England to escape imprisonment and death. They went to live in the Holland in 1607 and 1608. The separatists stayed there only for a short time.

Of Plymouth Plantation

     One of the remarkable documents of this period is the account written by the first governor in New England. His name was William Bradford and his wonderful chronicle of the Pilgrims flight to America is recorded in the famous treatise entitled Of Plymouth Plantation. Concerning the flight of the Pilgrims to Holland, he recorded: “it is well know unto the godly and judicious, how ever since the first breaking our of the light of the gospel in our honourable nation of England, (which was the first of nations whom the Lord adorned therewith after the gross darkness of popery which had covered and overspread the Christian world), what wars and oppositions ever since, Satan hath raised, maintained and continued against the Saints, from time to time, in one sort or other. Sometimes by bloody death and cruel torments; other whiles imprisonments, banishments and other hard usages; as being loath his kingdom should go down, the truth prevail and the churches of God revert to their ancient purity and recover their primitive order, liberty and beauty. (William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647. Samuel Eliot Morison, editor. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1952, I, p. 3.)

Pilgrims Encounter a Fierce Storm on the Way to Holland

     It seems that the adversary was aware that the Pilgrims were destined to play an important role in the unfolding drama of the establishment of America. Bradford records that a fierce storm, not unlike the one that nearly destroyed Columbus on his voyage back from the New World nearly drowned the entire congregation before they reached Holland. Bradford tells us that, “They endured a fearful storm at sea, being fourteen days or more before they arrived at their port; in seven whereof they neither saw sun, moon nor stars, and were driven near the coast of Norway; the mariners themselves often despairing of life, and once with shrieks and cries gave over all, as if the ship had been foundered in the sea and they sinking without recovery. But when man’s hope and help wholly failed, the Lord’s power and mercy appeared in their recovery; for the ship rose again and gave the mariners courage again to manager her.... When the water ran into their mouths and ears and the mariners cried out, ‘We sink, we sink!’ they cried (if not with miraculous, yet with a great height or degree of divine faith), ‘Yet Lord Thou canst save! Yet Lord Thou canst save!’ Upon which the ship did not only recover, but shortly after the violence of the storm began to abate, and the Lord filled their afflicted minds with comforts as everyone cannot understand, and in the end brought them to their desired have, where the people came flocking, admiring their deliverance.” (William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, II, p. 13.)

     While they were in Holland many people fled England and came over to live in the new congregation. Bradford records that, “So they grew in knowledge and other gifts and graces of t he Spirit of God, and lived together in peace and love and holiness and many came unto them from divers parts of England, so as they grew a great congregation. (William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, III, pp. 17-18.)

     However, when they saw that their children were being drawn too much into the Dutch world, they decided to seek refuge elsewhere. According to Bradford, “The place they had thoughts on was some of those vast and unpeopled countries of America, which are fruitful and fit for habitation, being devoid of all civil inhabitants.” (William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, IV, p. 25.)

Separatists Decide To Seek a New Home in America

     In 1617 the separatists or Pilgrims decided to seek a new home in America. They were not unaware of the dangers ahead. Bradford tell us that, “It was granted the dangers were great, but not desperate. The difficulties were many, but not invincible. For though there were many of them likely, yet they were not certain. It might be sundry of the things feared might never befall; others by provident care and the use of the good means might in a great measure be prevented; and all of them, through the help of God, by fortitude and patience, might either be borne or overcome.” (William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, IV, p. 27.)

     The separatists decided to colonize the northern part of Virginia and obtained a patent or land grant from the Virginia Company in London. The separatists formed a company and obtained the funds for the voyage from merchants in London. They entered into a seven year agreement with the Virginia Company and agreed to supply the company with valuable goods from the New World in exchange for food and supplies from London.

Prayer and Fasting Before the Voyage

     Before the new Pilgrims set sail on September 6, 1620 for the New World they gathered for prayer and fasting. Bradford stated: “So being ready to depart, they had a day of solemn humiliation, their pastor taking his text from Ezra viii. 21: ‘And there at the river by Ahava, I proclaimed a fast, that we might be humble ourselves before our God, and seek of him a right way for us, and for our children, and for all our substance.’ Upon which he spent a good part of the day very profitably and suitable to their present occasion; the rest of the time was spent in pouring out prayers to the Lord with great fervency, mixed with abundance of tears.... So they left that goodly and pleasant city which had been their resting place near twelve years; but they know they were pilgrims, and looked not so much on those things, but lifted up their eyes to the heavens, their dearest county, and quieted their spirits.” (William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, VII, p. 47.)

The Voyage of the Mayflower

     The separatists were originally planning on sailing to America in two ships, the Speedwell and the Mayflower. However, the Speedwell started taking on water and the ship turned around and came back to port. All of the passengers (44 of the 102 passengers were separatists) traveled on board the Mayflower.

     The Pilgrims set out for America seeking freedom of religion and a new place for their congregation and families. Since they were English, they were well aware of the difficult transition that England had made when it left Catholicism and formed the Church of England. This humble group of people willingly gave up their homes in England for the opportunity to experience freedom of religion. They did not feel that the Church of Rome or the Church of England had the right to use compulsion to force worship of God. They felt that worship of God should be voluntary and were willing to brave the elements of the New World in search of a better way. Their faith and resolved would be put to the test in America. They remembered the story of how Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were cast into a fiery furnace for not following the Babylonian King. (See Daniel 3.) God had blessed them for their faithfulness and the Pilgrims felt that God was with them and would bless them too.

     The voyage to the New World on the Mayflower was perilous and the Pilgrims often wondered if they would reach the shores of America. However, Providence was watching over the small vessel just as He had watched over Columbus and his men earlier. And the one hundred and two people on the Mayflower knew that a Higher Power had delivered them safely to the New World. Bradford recorded that, “Being thus arrived in a good harbor, and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of Heaven who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all the perils and miseries thereof.” (William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, IX, p. 61.)

     The separatists were scheduled to land in Northern Virginia, however, a storm blew them off course and they ended up at Cape Cod. In light of the patent with the Virginia Company the captain of the Mayflower decided to sail southward. They soon encountered large waves and shoals and they returned to Cape Cod. From there they began surveying the area and finally decided to locate at Plymouth.

Mayflower Compact

     On November 11, 1620, just before they went ashore and began building their new settlement, the Pilgrims drafted one on the most famous documents in American history. It was the Mayflower Compact. This remarkably inspired document states:

     “In the name of God. Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and the Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid: And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience. In Witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth and of Scotland, the fifty-fourth, Anno Domini, 1620,

     The Mayflower Compact would launch the new colonists on the road to self-government and eventually to independence in 1776.

     It is clear now that the Pilgrims should not have sailed for the New World in the fall of the year. The Mayflower was originally scheduled to stop in Virginia, however, they ended up in New England instead. When they arrived in New England after a 66 day voyage it was not springtime but wintertime and Mother Nature were getting ready to drop her snow and cold weather upon the new visitors.


     When the small vessel anchored off shore and a small party went a shore they were met by unfriendly Native Americans who fired their weapons at the new visitors. The Pilgrims thought the Native Americans would be friendly, however, they had learned to be weary of the Englishmen who had visited the area previously.

God Prepares Squanto to Help the Pilgrims

     The story of Squanto is an example of the divine protection afforded those chosen by God for a special mission. Clearly Squanto had an important role to play in the establishment of the Plymouth Colony. In 1605 the English were exploring the Cape Cod region when they discovered the Nauset tribe. Captain Weymouth proceeded to kidnapped Squanto and took him to England where he learned to speak English. In 1614 Squanto returned to New England with Captain John Smith. The captain had planned to return Squanto to his tribe, however, he, along with over two dozen other native Americans, was kidnapped by Captain Thomas Hunt. Apparently Hunt intended to sell Squanto and the others into slavery in Spain. Fortunately Squanto escaped and went back to England where he worked for a merchant. In 1618 he was taken back to New England again by Captain Dermer. The captain and his crew were planning to explore the New England coastline. When the ship neared Cape Cod Squanto jumped overboard and traveled back to his tribe. When he arrived near Plymouth he found that his entire tribe had been killed by a plague. He then joined the Wampanoag, a nearby tribe.

Pilgrims Encounter a Terrible Winter in New England

     The winter turned our to devastating for the new arrivals from the Old World. It had been too late to plant and harvest food before the cold weather set it. The Pilgrims simply had their provisions which they had brought with them and the food they could gather from the forests. During the winter over one half of the 100 or so person company dies from starvation, freezing weather and disease.

     Concerning that horrible first winter William Bradford wrote: “But that which was most sad and lamentable was, that in two or three months’ time half of their company had died, especially in January and February, being the depth of winter, and wanting houses and other comforts; being infected with the scurvy and other diseases which this long voyage and their inaccommodate condition had brought upon them. So as there died some times two or three of a day in the foresaid time, that of 100 and old persons, scarce fifty remained. And of these, in the time of most distress, there was but six or seven sound persons who to their great commendations, be it spoken, spared no pains night nor day, but with abundance of toil and hazard of their own health, fetched them wood, made them fires, dressed them meat, made their beds, washed their loathsome clothes, clothed and unclothed them. In a word, did all the homely and necessary offices for them.... And what I have said of these I may say of many others who died in this general visitation, and others yet living; that whilst they had health, yea, or any strength continuing, they were not wanting to any that had need of them. And I doubt not but their recompense is with the Lord. (William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, XI, pp. 77-78.)

     Those who came to the new world were a special breed of people and those who died that first year are resting in the hands of the Lord. For they helped lay the foundation of a great nation and they will always be remembered for the sacrifices they made to prepare the way for the millions of people who would follow them from the Old World to the New World.

The First Thanksgiving Day in America

     In the fall of 1621 the Pilgrims gathered their harvests and joined with their new Native American friend for a celebration of gratitude for their blessings. Today we celebrate that special occasion and call it “Thanksgiving Day.”


     Squanto had played an important part in saving the Plymouth Colony. He not only showed the Pilgrims how to plant corn and other items, but he served as a guide and interpreter for them in their dealing with Chief Massaoit of the Wampanoag. Squanto helped the Pilgrims establish a peace treaty that lasted for nearly 50 years. With Squanto’s help the new colony began to prosper.

The Founding of Plymouth Colony

     The establishment of the Plymouth Colony was an important event in the history of the New World. As noted by German Arciniegas, “The very founding of the colony had been a declaration of independence. Those who one day decided to shake off the yoke of the Church of England had transferred themselves to Holland and from there emigrated to the New World....

     “When they embarked on the Mayflower, they were already morally independent and ready for adventure. Rebelling against the official Church, although they invoked the king’s name, they fled to elude his determination to subjugate the Puritans. They were bound for a colony that they themselves would have to organize, giving themselves their own laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and establishing their own government positions, for which they celebrated a pact....

     “They freely elected their deputies so that the community council would decree their taxes. By 1680, the New England settlers were already governing themselves, and if they formally looked to the king as their sovereign, they nevertheless had their own laws, traded according to their own norms, raised forces to defend themselves from the Indians. ‘Their link with England was more sentimental than imposed, they developed in complete liberty.’” (German Arciniegas, America in Europe: A History of the New World in Reverse. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1986, pp. 118-119.)

The Importance of the Covenant in Early America

     The concept of the covenant was very import to the Puritans. They transformed it into a system of self-government and set America on the road to independence.

     The New England area was settled mainly by immigrants from England. Ten years late the Massachusetts Bay Company was set up and it absorbed the settlers at Plymouth. The first governor of the company John Winthrop stated that, “All other churches of Europe are brought to desolation, and ... who knows but that God hath provided this place to be a refuge for many whom he means to save out of the general calamity ... seeing the church hath no place left to flee into but the wilderness.” (Alan Heimert and Andrew Delbanco, editors, The Puritans in America: A Narrative Anthology. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1985. p. 71,)

     The colonial Puritans had a sense of divine mission which drove them to flee to America. The great Puritan exodus from England was underway. In 1630 Charles I of England renewed his persecution of the separatists. This only increased their desire to flee the country. The migration to America was starting to drain England of some of its key people. It was not just the poor downtrodden masses that were going to America. It was lawyers, clergymen, businessmen and financiers.

The Royal Charter of the Massachusetts bay Company

     In March of 1629 a Royal Charter was granted to the Massachusetts Bay Company. The charter specified that the governor and his assistants would be allowed to make laws for the colony. The Charter did not mention where the new corporation was to hold its meetings. Officials for the king failed to catch the omission in the Charter. During the same week King Charles dissolved Parliament in order to rule England as a depot. Ironically the King had stopped the work of Parliament while at the same time granting the Massachusetts Bay Colony the right of self-government in the new Charter. The act of King Charles I paved the way for t he colony to become nearly independent of England. The road to local self government was underway in America.


     On March 23, 1630 over 1000 Puritans left England for America. One of the key figures on the ship was John Winthrop. He was a prominent lawyer in the Court of Wards prior to sailing to America. While traveling to New England Winthrop on board the Arabella in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, he drafted a very famous document. It is entitled, “A Model of Christian Charity.”

     The document states that, “We shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when ten of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies, when he shall make us a praise and glory, that men shall say of succeeding plantations: the Lord make it like that of New England: for we must Consider that we shall be like a City upon a Hill, the eyes of all people are upon us....” (John Winthrop. “A Model of Christian Charity.” (Conrad Cherry, God’s New Israel: Religious Interpretations of American Destiny. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1971, p43.)

Lack of Religious Tolerance in New England

     Although the Massachusetts Bay Colony was growing rapidly, it was not without its turmoil. The Puritans were religiously devout, however, they forget that toleration and respect for the views of others is a component of religious freedom. When Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson disagreed with some of the leader’s interpretations of the scriptures, they were banished from the colony.

     Roger Williams became of the leading advocates of religious liberty in America. He moved to Rhode Island and established the town of Providence. He proceeded to set up the Baptist Society of America. In 1638 Anne Hutchinson purchased the Island of Aquidneck to promote religious freedom. It later became Rhode Island.

     America was settled by righteous men and women who felt strongly about their religious beliefs. As you study the development of each colony you see that freedom of religion was the driving force that prompted thousands of people to travel across the wide expanse of the Atlantic Ocean to carve out a new home in the wilderness of America.

     The hand of Providence was visible in the settlement of America and he was guiding people from the nations of Europe to this land to establish a New Promised Land. It was as though they were being carried upon the sacred wings of eagles. They believed that Providence had been preserved America for a chosen people and that He selected it to be the home of a New Jerusalem.


Chapter 6—Development of America: Rise of God’s New Israel

     In the 1630s new immigrants were flowing into America and a new nation was finally beginning to take shape. However, this nation was not like the nations of Europe who were ruled by elite financial oligarchies, Monarchial Kings and priests. America had a divine origin and destiny. It was designed by God to serve as the home of Freedom, Liberty and Christianity. The Pilgrims and Puritans had fled religious tyranny and oppression in England and Europe. They did not want to set up another Europe.

     The early Puritans set out to establish a system of government that would ensure that their rights, privileges and liberties were upheld and perpetuated. As each of the colonies came into existence they adopted charters, covenants and constitutions that furthered the development of self-government in America. The basic law book for all the settlements was the Holy Bible.

     After the Mayflower Compact, the Puritans produced another document that would revolutionize the New World. It was known as the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut. A group of freemen gathered in New Haven, Connecticut on January 14, 1639 and produced a constitution that would govern the new colony. The importance of this document lies in the fact that it acknowledged that the origin of civil government was derived from God. It is based upon the teachings of the Apostle Paul who wrote that, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers, For there is no power but of: the powers that be are ordained of God.” (Romans 13: 1.)

Constitution of Connecticut

     The constitution of Connecticut stated:

     “I. That the Scriptures hold forth a perfect rule for the direction and government of all men in all duties which they are to perform to God and men, as well in families and commonwealths as in matters of church.

     “II. That as in matters which concerned the gathering and ordering of a church, so likewise in all public offices which concern civil order, -as the choice of magistrates and officers, making and repealing laws, dividing allotments of inheritance, and all things of like nature, -they would all be governed by those rules which the scripture held forth to them.

     “III. That all those who had desired to be received free planters had settled in the plantation with a purpose, resolution, and desire that they might be admitted into church fellowship according to Christ.

     “IV. That all the free planters held themselves bound to establish such civil order as might best conduce to the securing of the purity and peace of the ordinance to themselves, and their posterity according to God.” (Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, New Haven, Connecticut, 1639.)

Fundamental Orders of Connecticut

     The General Court under the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut was ordered to observe God’s law: “That God’s world should be the only rule for ordering the affairs of government in t his commonwealth.” (Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, New Haven, Connecticut, 1639.)

     On September 30, 1648 the synod of the New England churches met at Cambridge, Massachusetts and outlined the nature of civil government, the functions of the civil magistrates and the duties of each of its citizens. The document stated:

     “I. God, the Supreme Lord and King of all the world, hath ordained civil magistrates to be under him, over the people, and for his own glory and the public good; and to this end hath armed them with the power of the sword for the defense and encouragement of them that do well, and for the punishment of evil-doers.

     “II. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of magistrate when called there unto. In the management whereof, as they ought especially to maintain piety, justice, and peace, according to the wholesome laws of the Commonwealth, so for that end they may lawfully now, under the New Testament, wage war upon just and necessary occasions.

     “III.. They who, upon pretence of Christian liberty, shall oppose any lawful power, or the lawful exercises of it, resist the ordinances of God.... may be called to account and proceeded against by the censure of the church and by the power of the civil magistrate.

     “IV. It is the duty of the people to pray for magistrates, to honor their persons, to pay them tribute and other dues, to obey their lawful commands, and to be subject to their authority for conscience's sake."'

     "Civil government on the basis of the Bible and free principles of a pure Christianity was not the only object that the Puritans had in view in coming to the New World. They had also the great and good end of extending and establishing the kingdom of Christ, and of bringing the whole continent under the reign of Christianity and filling it with its saving blessings"

     "In 1643, a confederation between the colonies of Massachusetts, New Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven was formed, in which it is affirmed that `we all came into these parts of America with the same end and aim, namely, to advance the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to enjoy the liberties thereof with purity and peace, and for preserving and propagating the truth and liberties of the gospel"'

     Another colony which made an important contribution to the development of self-government in America was Pennsylvania. The colony was founded by William Penn. It was a proprietary colony and the English Crown has empowered him to govern it. Penn was very tolerant toward the religious views of others and was determined to establish a haven for those in Europe to escape the religious persecution and tyranny that existed in those countries.

William Penn’s Frame of Government

     On April 25, 1682 Penn drafted the “Frame of Government” for the colony of Pennsylvania. It stated that, “all persons living in this province, who confess and acknowledge the One Almighty and Eternal God to be the Creator, Upholder, and Ruler of the world, and that hold themselves obligated in conscience to live peaceably and justly in civil society, shall in no wise be molested or prejudiced for their religious persuasion or practice, in matters of faith and worship; nor shall they be compelled at any time to frequent or maintain any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever.” (Frame of Government, April 25, 1682.)

     The first legislative act in Pennsylvania outlined the purpose of civil government in the eyes of the Quakers. It stated that, “Whereas the glory of Almighty God and the good of mankind is the reason and end of government, and, therefore, government in itself is a venerable ordinance of God....” The act outlined that it was the purpose of the civil government to establish “laws as shall best preserve true Christian and civil liberty, in opposition to all unchristian, licentious, and unjust practices, whereby God may have his due, Caesar his due, and the people their due, from tyranny and oppression.” (Legislative Act, Pennsylvania, December, 1682.)

     If you examine the statutes, charters, constitutions, laws and governing documents drafted by the Pilgrims and Puritans and those who settled each of the colonies from 1620 through 1776 there is a common thread that binds them all together. That tread is the Holy Bible. While each of the colonies were founded by those with slightly different religious persuasions and viewpoints, they are looked to the Holy Bible for guidance and direction in formulating and administering their laws. They were all united in the belief that America had a divine origin and destiny. And they were all grateful to be apart of such a noble endeavor.

     The colonists endeavored to establish freedom and liberty throughout the colonies and to promote Christianity as the best hope for mankind. Those who lived in the colonies were avid students of the Bible. It was the one book that was read daily by almost everyone.

Prophecy on the Future of America

     In 1763 pastor Ebenezer Baldwin uttered a prophecy concerning the future of America. In a sermon he predicted that America would become “the Foundation of a great and mighty empire; the largest the world ever saw.” This empire would “be founded on such Principles of Liberty and Freedom, both civil and religious, as never before took place in the world.” He felt that America would become “the Principal Seat of the glorious kingdom, which Christ shall erect upon Earth in the latter days.” (Harry S. Stout, New England Soul, p. 308.)

     If you study the letters, pamphlets, and books written between 1620 and 1776 you find a similar thread running throughout them. And once again that thread is the Holy Bible and its principles, doctrines, commandments, laws, ordinances and prophecies. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the guiding light of America. No other book was esteemed so much as the Holy Bible.

     America was discovered, settled and developed by those who adhered to the basic principles of Christianity and who took the Holy Bible as their guide in all things. America is a Christian nation. And the God of this land is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world.


Chapter 7—The Revolutionary War: The Beginning Stages

     From 1620 until the 1720s the colonies labored to develop a system of local self-government into order to preserve the blessings of liberty for themselves and their posterity. However, by 1750 the colonists became convinced that there was a conspiracy in operation to destroy their liberties. The British Crown was fearful that the colonies were becoming too powerful and sought ways to curtail that power and to stop the flood of immigration from England and parts of Europe.

     The British merchants realized that America could easily become the most prosperous nation on earth if its growth was not checked and controlled from London. They also realized that if America continued to grow and prosper that it would one day become the most powerful nation on earth. The British Empire began developing plans to subvert America and bring them into further subjection to Great Britain.

     The British Crown decided that it would begin tightening trade restriction on the colonies. From the British point of view the colonies were only useful if they were profitable. Trade between England and America was carefully designed to build and expand the British Empire. The colonies were being exploited and the colonists were beginning to feel the burden of building the British Empire and financing its war efforts with France and other enemies.     

     The American colonies were considered the possessions of the Crown. The people in America were expected to ship raw materials to England in order for British industry to manufacture products that then would be sold back to the colonies. America’s manufacturing and industrial base was still in its infancy state but it was beginning to grow.

     The Puritans discovered that it was cheaper to buy manufactured products made at home than pay for them to be imported from England. In addition, the American made products were often superior to those made by the British.

British Empire

     The British Empire operated under a set of monopoly trade laws. In fact that is why the elite financial oligarchies that have ruled Europe and Asia for centuries have used the Empire Model to control world trade and markets. So-called free trade is never free at all. The name is merely used to deceive people into supporting monopolies and cartels around the world. All wars between nations are economic in origin and are really trade wars.

     The British Empire which was now spreading throughout the world was attempting to control world trade. The British merchants looked at America as a closed market which they could regulate in order to insure that the colonies sent raw materials to England and imported British manufactured goods.

     The colonists decided that enough is enough. It was a time to stop these unfair trade policies and develop America’s manufacturing and industrial base so it could provide for the needs of the American people and export products throughout the world. Of course such a course of action would destroy the British Empire.

     The colonists believed that the Kings and Princes were merely the agents of the real powers which operate in secret behind the Monarchies and Crowns of Europe and the Empires in Asia. Policies were being made by the Finance and Trade Ministers. A trade war was underway between the colonists and the British Empire. (See Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. Harvard University Press. 1967.)

     To make matters worse for the British, the colonists were building bigger, better and faster shipping boats than England and the daring Americans had no qualm about penetrating British markets around the world.

     The British really hated New England. These colonies were the heart of the Puritans and Protestant colonies in America. It was in New England that the resistance movement would fester and grow into a revolution. A group of might patriots were being raised up in New England to challenge the giant British Empire.

Parliament Passes the Molasses Act

     In 1733 Parliament passed the Molasses Act which curtailed Puritan rum business by putting a tariff on molasses made by the French and Spanish West Indies. The act was designed to punish three well know enemies of the British Empire: the Puritans of New England, the French and the Spanish. The Puritan merchants ignored the tariffs and began smuggling molasses into the colonies.


     In addition the colonies were starting to print their own currency. This greatly alarmed the British Financial Establishment because it maintained a monopoly on financial matters through the Bank of England.

     The British were aware that from the beginning the colonies in New England wanted to be completely independent of great Britain. New Englanders did not want to finance the maintenance and expansion of the British Empire and they wanted no part of the Anglican Church. The Crown has constantly threatened to place Anglican bishops in the colonies.

     The wise and astute New Englanders believed that the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, set up in London in 1701, was another arm of the conspiracy to subvert and control the colonies, particularly New England. In reality it was a vehicle to bring America’s Protestant dissidents into communion with the Anglican Church.

     The clergy from the Congregational, Presbyterian and Baptist Churches kept a close eye on the Society and the Anglican Church.

     The Reverend Jonathan Mayhew, a graduate of Harvard and pastor at Boston’s West Church was emphatic in warning the colonists of the dangers that lurked beneath the Society and efforts to introduce Anglican bishops into New England and other colonies. An Anglican bishop was really just an agent of the British government.

     In January of 1750 he delivered a famous sermon entitled, A Discourse Concerning Unlimited Submission. In this sermon he said that, “ It is blasphemy to call tyrants and oppressors God’s ministers.” (Sermon, 1750.)

Writs of Assistance

     The British had also began granting Writs of Assistance to British customs officials to enter the peoples’ homes, ships, businesses and shops at any time to search for smuggled goods.

     In 1761 James Otis, a prosperous Boston Lawyer resigned his position as the King’s Advocate General to argue against the Writs. He gave a dynamic speech before the Court in Boston saying, “A man who is quiet and orderly is as secure in his house as a prince in his castle.... Should an Act of Parliament be against any of [God’s]... natural laws ... their declaration would be contrary to eternal truth, equity, and justice, and consequently void.”

     He forcibly argued that the British government and the colonies were on a collision course and that the Crown should stop pretending to have complete control over the colonies.

     Otis expanded his arguments and put them in a pamphlet entitled, Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved. The pamphlet served as one of the key intellectual documents for revolution and independence. Otis boldly declared that in America, “We have a King, who neither slumbers nor sleeps, but eternally watches for our good; who rain falls upon the just and unjust....

     “Tyranny of all kinds is to be abhorred, whether it be in the hands of one, or of t he few, or of the many.... The power of God Almighty is the only power that can properly and strictly be called supreme and absolute. In order of nature immediately under him comes the power of simple democracy, or the power of the whole over the whole. Subordinate to both these are all other political powers....

     “Government is founded on the will of God, the author of nature...

     “The grand political problem is all ages has been to invent the best combination or distribution of the supreme powers of legislation and execution. Those states have made the greatest figure, and have been most durable in which those powers have not only been separated from each other, but placed each in more hands than one, or a few.” (James Otis, Pamphlet, 1761. )

     The speech by James Otis circulated widely throughout New England and the other colonies. It was a brilliant discourse on liberty, the rule of law and the right of self-determination. It was printed not only in the colonies but in London.

     Otis re-enthroned the Puritan Revolution’s basic principle. God’s laws are superior to man’s laws and all man made laws should conform to God’s laws.


     The British Crown and government had become filled with corruption and they began trammeling on the hard won liberties of the American colonies. The colonies were not going to just sit back and be governed and taxed to death. A revolution was fermenting!

     In 1762 Parliament voted to place 10,000 British troops in the colonies. The purpose of the soldiers was to enforce the British Trade Laws.

     In 1764 Parliament passed the Revenue Act aimed at generating additional funds for the British Empire. The Act levied additional duties on foreign sugar and European luxuries such as wine, silk and linen. It also listed items which could only be exported to England.

Stamp Act

     On March 22, 1765 Parliament passed the Stamp Act. It was England’s first, direct, internal tax on the colonies. Every legal paper had to have a stamp and the tax could only be paid in sterling. This act infuriated the colonists. The Stamp Act would give rise to the famous declaration, “No taxation without representation.”

Sons of Liberty Formed

     The inspired oratory of James Otis motivated Samuel Adams to form the famous Sons of Liberty in Boston. The Sons of Liberty would become the central guidance system and backbone of the American Revolution. Samuel Adams and James Otis were brilliant organizers and motivators.

     Samuel Adams was a member of the Congregational Church and held prayer meetings daily at his home. He would become the Father of the American Revolution.

     Soon Sons of Liberty began springing up in every town in New England and the surrounding colonies.

     In June of 1765 Samuel Adams and James Otis sent a circular letter to leaders in the colonies inviting them to sent delegates to a Congress which was scheduled to convene in New York in October. Nine of the 13 colonies sent 27 delegates. It became known as the Stamp Act Congress. The delegates passed a series of resolutions demanding that Parliament rescind the Stamp Act. They also reminded the Crown of the colonies’ basic rights such as no taxation without representation.

     This was a monumental moment for the colonies. In fact it was a turning point in the American Rebellion. From the time the Congress adjourned the leaders of the colonies who favored independence began working closely together. The Sons of Liberty became a world class revolutionary band of freedom-fighters dedicated to preserving American liberties and opposing the tyranny of the British Empire and Crown.

     In 1766 Parliament repealed the Stamp Act. However, it was too little and too late. The fires of the American Revolution were starting to burn brightly all over New England.

Townshend Act

     In June of 1767 Parliament passed the Townshend Act which placed high duties once again on English products being imported into America. It only added more wood to the revolutionary fire that was already burning.

     Parliament also passed the Declaratory Act which stated the powers of Parliament were not in any way limited in regard to the colonies. It boldly declared that Parliament had the “full power and authority to make laws and statutes of sufficient force and validity to bind the colonies and people of America, subjects of the Crown of Great Britain, in cases whatsoever.” (Declaratory Act.)

     On October 1, 1768 two regiments of British soldiers arrived and were stationed in Boston. They were soon joined by two more regiments. The Crown was beginning its move to strike at the heart of the American Rebellion, the town of Boston. The message was loud and clear. Either the colonies submit to all of Parliament’s Acts and become completely subservient to London, or they would be forced by arms to do so.


     The Sons of Liberty organized a boycott of all British imports. In the meantime the New York Gazette published an article by one the leading aristocratic families in the colonies. William Livingston wrote: “Courage

Americas ... the finger of God points our a mighty empire to your sons.... the land we possess is a gift of Heaven to our fathers. Divine Providence seems to have decreed it to our latest posterity.... The day dawns in which the foundation of this mighty empire is to be laid by the establishment of a regular American Constitution. All that has hitherto been done seem to be little besides this collection of materials for the construction of this glorious fabric.’ Tis time to put them together. ... Our growth is so vast that before seven years roll over our heads the first stone must be laid—Peace or war: famine or plenty; poverty or affluence.... What an era this is to America; and how loud the call to violence and activity.!” (New York Gazette)

     The Sons of Liberty had a mighty challenge to persuade the leading citizens of the colonies to support their cause. However, the article by Livingston went a long way to persuading them to join the battle for liberty. He was soon joined by other leading citizens of the colonies.

A Farmer’s Letter

     During the winter of 1767-1768 a prominent lawyer from Pennsylvania wrote a series of letters which were published in newspapers throughout the colonies. They were compiled into a pamphlet entitled, “A Farmer’s Letter to the Inhabitants of the British Colonies.” John Dickinson outlined the natural rights of the colonists in these words: “Our vigilance and our union are success and safety. Our negligence and our division are distress and death. Let us consider ourselves as men—freemen—Christian freemen—separated from the world, and firmly bound together by the same rights, interests and dangers...

     Let these truths be indelibly impressed on our minds—that we cannot be happy without being free—that we cannot be free without being secure in our property, if without our consent others, may as by right, take it away—that taxes imposed on us by Parliament do thus take it away—that duties laid for the sole purpose of raising money are taxes—that attempts to lay such duties should be instantly and firmly opposed—that this opposition can never be effectual unless it is the united effort of the provinces.

     “The belief is these truths, I verily think, my countrymen, is indispensably necessary to your happiness. I beseech you, therefore, teach them diligently to your children, and talk of them when you sit in your houses, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up....

     “Prosperity does not depend on ministerial favors doled out to particular provinces. They form one political body, of which each colony is a member. Their happiness is founded on their constitution, and is to be promoted by preserving their constitution in unabated vigor, throughout every part. A spot, a speck of decay, however small the limb on which it appears, and however remote it may seem from the vitals, should be alarming...

Slavery is Ever Preceded by Sleep

     “Let us take care of our rights, and we therein take care of our prosperity.... Slavery is ever preceded by sleep.... of we are not affected by any reverence for t he memory of our ancestors who transmitted to us that freedom in which they had been blessed—if we are not animated by any regard for posterity, to whom, by the most sacred obligations, we are bound to deliver down the invaluable inheritance, then indeed any minister, or any tool of a minister, or any creature of a tool of a minister, or any lower instrument of administration, if lower there is a personage whom it may be dangerous to offend....


     “Whatever kind of minister he is that attempts to innovate a single iota in the privileges of these colonies, him I hope you will undauntedly oppose.... On such emergencies you may surely, without presumption, believe that Almighty God Himself will down upon your righteous contest with gracious approbation. You will be a band of brothers, cemented by the dearest ties, and strengthened with inconceivable supplies of force and constancy, by that sympathetic ardor, which animates good men, confederated in a single cause.... You are assigned by Divine Providence in the appointed order of things, the protection of unborn ages, whose fate depends on your virtue.” (John Dickinson, Pamphlet.)

     While the lawyers use logic to appeal to the educated in the colonies, Samuel Adams developed the emotional side of the argument for liberty. He designed a number of symbols to stir the hearts of the emerging patriots. The Liberty Tree is one of the most famous symbols in American History. The large elm was located in the Boston Common and provided an excellent opportunity for daily protests against British tax collectors and custom agents. Effigies of these officials were hung from the tree and lanterns were hung from the branches to show the colonies the way to liberty.

Patriotic Song

     Adams asked John Dickinson to compose a patriotic song for the protesters. He composed the following words:

     “Come join hand in hand, brave Americans all;

     “And rouse your bold hearts at fair Liberty’s call

     “No tyrannous acts shall suppress your just claim;

     “Or stain your dishonor America’s name.

     “In freedom we’re born and in freedom we’ll live

     “Our purses are ready

     “Steady, Friends, steady

     “Not as slaves, but as freemen our money we’ll give

     “Then join in hand brave Americans all;

     “Bu united we stand, by dividing we fall.

     “To die we can bear, but to serve we disdain,

     For shame is to freemen more dreadful that pain.

(John Dickinson, Song)

     James Otis and Samuel Adams began a concerted effort to gather key merchants, shop owners, ship builders, lawyers and prominent citizens to the cause of liberty. John Hancock was one of Boston’s wealthiest merchants. The British Crown believe that he was one of the most dangerous men in New England. Why? It was because he the chief financier of the Sons of Liberty and the chief financier of the American Rebellion and soon was to become the chief financier of the American Revolution.

Liberty Tree

     Adams and Otis kept up a steady parade of agitation before the Liberty Tree to the consternation of British officials in New England who were sending intelligence reports on t he activities of Hancock, Adams, Otis and other patriotic leaders to London. The battle lines were being clearly drawn and Providence had raised up a might group of men to fight for liberty.

     John Hancock’s famous sloop was named Liberty and one day while in the Boston Harbor British Commissioner of Customs arrested him for open defiance of British authority. Hancock was falsely charged with smuggling. The British were attempting to stop the financing of the Sons of Liberty. Hancock was saved by a so-called mob of friendly supported and the crown caught two British officials and gave them a taste of American street fighting. Joseph Harrison and Benjamin Hallowell, the two British officials were released and quickly retired from the British service.


     Upon seeing the streets full of protestors, the British quickly dropped their alleged case against Hancock. The war was underway in all but name only.

     General Thomas Gage who was in Boston with the British troops encouraged London to move quickly against Hancock and the Sons of Liberty.

     The Boston Gazette quickly wrote an editorial which stated that, “If an army should be sent to reduce us to slavery, we will put our lives in our hands and cry to the Judge of the earth.... Behold how they come to cast us out of this possession which Thou hast given us to inherit. Help us Lord, our God, for we rest on Thee.” (Boston Gazette.)

The Boston Massacre

     On March 5, 1770 Parliament repealed the Townsend Act. On the same day in New England there were street protests and confrontations between citizens of Boston and British Troops stationed in the city. It has been snowing during the day and in the evening a group of young people began hurling snow balls at the troops. Angry words filled the air and several soldiers gathered to help their besieged colleague. A fight broke out between the soldiers and the young protestors. One of the soldiers fired his musket, but he missed the young men. Another soldier fired his musket and hit a young man named Sam Gray. Soon the soldiers were firing their muskets and another young man named Crispus Attucks, a black man was killed. When the smoke finally cleared the area, three Bostonians were dead and two lay mortally wounded.

     News of the event spread like wildfire throughout the city and countryside. The tragic event was called the Boston Massacre. Cries of protest were heard throughout the colonies and the Sons of Liberty distributed leaflets and pamphlets on the tragic incident. They attacked the British occupation of Boston and the British army was forced to withdraw from the city to prevent further bloodshed and the start of a war.

     The Sons of Liberty began an even more concerted effort to root the British our of New England. The patriot leaders were well aware that there was a concerted effort underway to enslave the colonies again and destroy their religious liberty and political liberty. They believed that the British Crown and British Merchants were involved a conspiracy to strip the colonies of their hard earned liberties and place them in bondage again. The Sons of Liberty were determined that these conspirators would not succeed, even if it meant war with the most powerful nation one earth. (See Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. Harvard University Press. 1967.)

     A Boston Town Meeting in 1770 reported that, “A series of occurrences, many recent events, ... afford great reason to believe that a deep-laid and desperate plan of imperial despotism has been laid, and partly executed, for the extinction of civil liberty....” (Report of Town Meeting, 1770.)

     John Adams, the cousin of Samuel Adams had written earlier that, “There seems to be a direct and formal design on foot to enslave all America. This, however, must be done by degree. The first step that is intended seems to be an entire subversion of the whole system of our fathers by the introduction of the canon and feudal law into America.”. (Works, III, p. 464.)

Sons of Liberty Develop Intelligence Network

     The gradual increase of British officials in the colonials, the various acts of Parliament and the placement of British troops in and around Boston testified to the truth that a conspiracy was at work to destroy the liberties of America. The Sons of Liberty had developed a suburb intelligence network and they were well aware of the plans and movement of British officials in the colonies. For years the Sons of Liberty kept key officials under careful surveillance and scrutinized their every word and action.

     The Boston Massacre and the unlawful stationing of British Troops in Boston was going to become the rallying cry of the patriots throughout New England and the colonies.


     During this time there was a heated debate occurring in London. Many British officials such as William Pitt felt that the Crown was strangling the colonies and merely attempting to crush the new industries and manufacturing facilities that were spring up in New England and throughout the colonies. Other leaders such as Lord North felt that the competition to British industry should be subjugated or destroyed in necessary. He felt that the use of force to maintain the British Empire was an acceptable policy and argued strenuously for the presence of British troops in America. Of course the powerful British merchants and financiers behind the British Crown won the debate. America was a colony of Great Britain and they wanted the rebellion controlled or crushed if necessary in American. The business and financial polices of Great Britain were developed in the “City” not by the Crown. The British government was mere agents of the powerful figures that ran the “City” and the British Empire. The Sons of Liberty knew of these groups and knew of their determination to subjugate America and keep it a colony of the British Empire.

Committees of Correspondence

     Although powerful figures in England and Europe were plotting the demise of liberty in America, Providence ruled otherwise. In 1772 Samuel Adams formed the famous Committee of Correspondence, a remarkable communication device to allow the patriots in America to be in almost constant communication with each other. While England conspired against the colonies, the patriots devised new ways to preserve their liberties. Each major city in the colonies quickly set up Committees of Correspondence and the latest news about the rebellion and siege in Boston was relayed rapidly throughout America.

     The Sons of Liberty organized the first Committee of Correspondence and it served as the central guidance system for the entire American resistance and rebellion. The elite and secretive group consisted of Samuel Adams, James Otis, John Hancock and 18 other key figures in Boston. A total of 21 inspired men were orchestrating the defense of New England, the defense of the colonies, the defense of America, the defense of the God-given natural rights and the defense of freedom and liberty for mankind.

     The boycott of British tea organized by the Sons of Liberty in Boston was particularly effective and

help bring about the demise of the East India Tea Company in London. The company was a British monopoly and when the American market was closed it dramatically affected the company. The Crown retaliated against American tea companies with a tea duty.

     The Sons of Liberty seized on the opportunity to attack the government sustained monopoly and filled the newspapers, pulpits and town meetings with protests against the new tax. On November 3, 1773 the Sons of Liberty gathered around the Liberty Tree at the Boston Common with 500 protesters. The leaders rallied the people and they marched on the headquarters of the East India Company. The angry mobs shouted “Out with them. Out with them” This cry was herd throughout New England and the other sea port towns along the Eastern coast of America.

     On December 16, 1773 over 8000 Boston citizens gathered around the Old South Church. A leaflet prepared by the Sons of Liberty had been circulated by the Boston Committee of Correspondence. The leaflet stated, “Friends! Brethren! Countrymen! That worst of plagues, the detested TEA ... is now arrived in this harbor. The hour of destruction or manly opposition to the machinations of tyranny stares you in the face.” (Leaflet, 1773.)

Boston Tea Party

     That evening a group of patriots dressed up as Native Americans and boarded three vessels of the East India Tea Company in the Boston harbor and three the tea overboard. Thousands of pounds of the tea were destroyed and the harbor was full of tea the next morning.

     The Boston Tea Party was the beginning of the American Revolution The American patriots had sent London a message they would not soon forget—no taxation without representation.


     Concerning this historic epoch in American and World history, Bernard Bailyn, one of the nation’s foremost historians of the revolutionary war period stated: “The turning point was the passage of the Tea Act and resulting Tea Party in Boston in December 1773. Faced with this defiant resistance to intimidation, the powers at work in England, it was believed, gave up all pretense of legality—‘threw of the mask,’ John Adams said in a phrase that for a century had been used to describe just such climatic disclosures—and moved swiftly to complete their design.

     “In a period of two months in the spring of 1774 Parliament took its revenge in a series of coercive actions no liberty-loving people could tolerate: the Boston Port Act, intended, it was believed to snuff out the economic life of the Massachusetts metropolis; the Administration of Justice Act, aimed at crippling judicial processes once and for all by permitting trials to be held in England for offenses committed in Massachusetts; the Massachusetts Government Act, which stripped from the people of Massachusetts the protection of the British constitution by giving over all the ‘democratic’ elements of the provinces’ government—even popularly elected juries and town meetings—into the hands of the executive power; the Quebec Act, which, while not devised as part of the coercive program, fitted it nicely, in the eyes of the colonists, by extending the boundaries of a ‘papist’ province, and one governed wholly by prerogative, south into territory claimed by Virginia, Connecticut, and Massachusetts; finally the Quartering Act, which permitted the seizure of unoccupied buildings for the use of troops on orders of the governors along even in situations, such as Boston’s, where barracks were available in the vicinity.

A Deliberate Attempt to Enslave the Colonies

     “Once these coercive acts were passed there could be little doubt that ‘the system of slavery fabricated against America ... is the offspring of mature deliberation.’ To the leaders of the Revolutionary movement there was, beyond question, ‘a settled, fixed plan for enslaving the colonies, or bringing them under arbitrary government, and indeed the nation, too.’ By 1774 the idea ‘that the British government—The King, Lords, and Commons—have laid a regular plan to enslave America, and that they are now deliberately putting it in execution’ had been asserted, Samuel Seabury wrote wearily but accurately, ‘over , and over, and over again.’

     “The less inhibited of the colonial orators were quick to point out that ‘the MONSTER of a standing ARMY’ had sprung directly by the British ministry, near twelve years, for enslaving America;’ the Boston Massacre, it was claimed, had been planned by Hillsborough and a knot of treacherous knaves in Boston,’ Careful analysts like Jefferson agreed on the major point; in one of the most closely reasoned of the pamphlets of 1774 the Virginian stated unambiguously that through ‘single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinions of a day ... a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate and systematical plan of reducing us to slavery.’

     “So too the fastidious and scholarly John Dickinson, though in 1774 he still clung to the hope that inadvertence, at least on the part of the King, was involved, believed that, ‘a plan had been deliberately framed and pertinaciously adhered to, unchanged even by frequent changes of ministers, unchecked by any intervening gleam of humanity, to sacrifice to a passion for arbitrary dominion the universal property, liberty, safety, honor, happiness, and prosperity of us unoffending yet devoted Americans.’

The Shackles of Slavery

     “So too Washington, collaborating with George Mason in writing the Fairfax Resolves of 1774, agreed that the trouble had arisen from a ‘regular, systematic plan’ of oppression, the English government ‘endeavoring by every piece of art and despotism to fix the shackles of slavery upon us;’ he was convinced ‘beyond the smallest doubt,’ he wrote privately, ‘that these measures are the result of deliberation.... I am as fully convinced as I am of my own existence that there has been a regular, systematic plan formed to enforce them.’

     Designs for Destroying Constitutional Liberties


     “The more sensitive observers were to ideological issues—the more practiced in theoretical discourse—the more likely they were to find irrefutable evidence of what Richard Henry Lee called ‘designs for destroying our constitutional liberties.’


     “In 1766 Andrew Eliot had been unsure; the Stamp Act, he wrote, had been ‘calculated (I do not day design) to enslave the colonies.’ By 1768 things had worsened, and the distinction between ‘calculation’ and ‘design’ disappeared from his correspondence. ‘We have everything to fear and scarce any room to hope,’ he then wrote to Hollis; ‘I am sure this will put you in mind of 1641.’ He was convinced that the English government ‘had a design to new-model our constitution, at least in this province,’ and they would already have succeeded had they not been so occupied with other business at home. His friends in Boston concurred, and, beginning in 1770 wrote our in a series of town resolutions, instructions to representatives, and House declarations their convictions that ‘a deep laid and desperate plan of imperial despotism had been laid, and partly executed, for the extinction of all civil liberty.... the August and once revered fortress of English freedom—the admirable work of ages—the BRITISH CONSTITUTION seems fast tottering into fatal and inevitable ruin.’

     A Deliberate Conspiracy by the British to Destroy the Liberty of the Colonists


     “Specifics were sought, especially as to the date of the origins of the plot. Josiah Quincy—‘Wilkes Quincy,’ Hutchinson called him—found it in the Restoration of Charles II; others traced it to the administration of Robert Walpole; and John Adams, with one eye on Hutchinson, wrote in 1774 that ‘the conspiracy was first regularly formed and begun to be executed in 1763 or 4,’ later he traced it back to the 1750s and 1740s and the administration of Governor Shirley of Massachusetts.

A Machiavellian Plot to Enslave the Colonists

     “Nor were the specific stages pf its development neglected. They could be traced, if in no other place, in the notorious Hutchinson letters of 1768-69, those ‘profoundly secret, dark, and deep’ letters which, published in 1773, totally exposed Huchinson’s ‘Machiavellian dissimulations,’ John Adams wrote, and convicted him of ‘junto conspiracy;’ they gave proof, the Boston Committee of Correspondence wrote, that God had ‘wonderfully interposed to bring to light the plot that has been laid for us by our malicious and invidious enemies.’ (Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press, Harvard University Press, 1967, pp. 118-122.)

     The leaflets, private letters, pamphlets, sermons, speeches, journals and newspaper articles of the Revolutionary era clearly indicate that Providence intervened and guided the mighty patriots of the colonies to unite and expose the conspiracies that had been laid in London and parts of Europe to destroy the liberty of the colonists. The British Empire and the powers behind the Crown were moving to crush the emerging American nation before it became a threat to it and the other empires in Europe and Asia. It was deliberate. It was planned. It was evil. It was conspiratorial. And the evil and conspiring plans, developed by those whose lust for power and gain knew no bounds, were executed by the British government and its agents in England and in America.

Evil and Conspiring Men in England Plot to Enslave America

     Who were the evil and conspiring men in England and Europe that were plotting to enslave and destroy the liberties of the colonists? The answer may surprise the reader. Bailyn continues, “But who, specifically, were these enemies, and what were their goals? Josiah Quincy, at the center of affairs in London in the winter of 1774-75, was convinced ‘that all the measures against America were planned and pushed on by Bernard and Hutchinson.’ But most observers believed that local plotters like Hutchinson [Governor of Massachusetts] were only ‘creatures’ of greater figures in England coordination and impelling forward the whole effort.

     “There were a number of specific identifications of these master influences. One of the most common was the claim that at the root of the evil stood the venerable John Stuart, Lord Bute, whose apparent absence from politics since 1763 could be seen as one of his more successful dissimulations: ‘he as been aiming for years ... to destroy the ancient right of the subjects,’ and now was finally taking steps to ‘overthrow both ... King and state; to bring on a revolution, and to place another whom he [is] more nearly allied to upon the throne.’


     “Believing the people to ‘have too much liberty,’ he intended to reduce them to the ‘spiritless SLAVES’ they had been ‘in the reign of the Stuarts.’ So it had seemed to Arthur Lee, who had written from London at the beginning of the period that ‘Lord Bute, though seemingly retired from the affairs of the court, too plainly influences all the operations of government;’ the hard facts, he said, lead one to condemn ‘the unprincipled ambition and partiality of the Scots lord as having produced all the mischiefs of the present period,’ Eliot feared ‘this mysterious THANE,’ declaring in 1769 that ‘he as too much influence in the public measures.’

     “Five years later John Dickinson still lumped together ‘the Butes, Mansfields, Norths, Bernards, and Hutchinsons’ as the people ‘whose falsehoods and misrepresentations have enflamed the people,’ and as late as 1775 an informed American could write confidently from London that ‘this plan you may be assured was devised by Lords, North, Bute, and Jenkinson only.’

The Greed of the Financiers in Britain

     “A more general view was that a Stuart-Tory party, the ‘corrupt, Frenchified party in the nation,’ as it was described in 1766—‘evil minded individuals,’ Jonathan Mayhew believed, ‘not improbably in the interests of the houses of Bourbon and the Pretender’—was at work seeking to reverse the consequences of the Glorious Revolution. It was a similar notion that in all probability accounts for the republication of Rapin’s Dissertation on ... the Whigs and Tories in Boston in 1773' and it was this notion that furnished Jefferson with his ultimate understanding of the ‘system’ that sought to destroy liberty in America.

     “Still another explanation, drawing no less directly on fears that had lain at the root of opposition ideology in England since the turn of the century, emphasized the greed of a ‘monied interest’ created by the crown’s financial necessities and the power of a newly risen, arrogant, and irresponsible capitalist group, that battened on wars and stock manipulation.

     The creation of this group was accompanied ‘by levying of taxes, by a host of tax gathers, and a long train of dependents of the crown. The practice grew into system, till at length he crown found means to break down those barrier which the constitution had assigned to each branch of he legislature, and effectually destroyed the independence of both Lords and Commons.

The Ministers of the King

     “The most popular explanation, however —An explanation that rose from the deepest sources of British political culture, that was a part of the very structure of British political thought—located ‘the spring and cause of all the distresses and complaints of the people in England or in America’ in ‘a kind of fourth power that the constitution knows nothing of, or has not provided against.’ This ‘overruling arbitrary power, which absolutely controls the Kings, Lords, and Commons,’ was composed, it was said, of the ‘ministers and favorites’ of the King, who, in defiance of God and man alike, ‘extend their usurped authority infinitely too far,’ and, throwing off the Balance of the constitution, make their ‘despotic will’ the authority of the nation.’

     ‘For their power and interest is so great that they can and do procure whatever laws they please, having (power, interest, and the application of the people’s money to placemen and pensioners) the whole legislative authority at their command. So that it is a plain (not to say a word of a particular arbitrary Stuarchal power among them) that the rights of the people are ruined and destroyed by ministerial tyrannical authority, and thereby ... become a kind of slaves to the ministers of state.’

     “This ‘junto of courtiers and state-jobbers,’ thee ‘court-locusts,’ whispering in the royal ear, ‘instill in the King’s mind a divine right of authority to command his subjects’ at t he same time as they advance their ‘detestable scheme’ by misinforming and misleading the people.


     “The notion that, as Eliot put it, ‘If the King can do no wrong, his ministers may; and when they do wrong, they ought to be h-g-d,’ had served for generations in England to justify opposition to constituted government. It had been the standard argument of almost every opposition group from the earliest years of he eighteenth century, and it had been transmitted intact to the colonies, where now it received its final apocalyptic application. Its expression in the writings of the seventies in legion. It was heard in inland towns, like Farmington, Connecticut, where in 1774 as assembly of 1,000 inhabitants resolved:

     “‘That the present ministry, being instigated by the devil and led by their wicked and corrupt hearts, have a design to take away our liberties and properties, and to enslave us forever.... that those pimps and parasites who dared to advise their masters to such detestable measures be held in utter abhorrence by ... every American, and their names loaded with the curses of all succeeding generations.’

     “It was heard in the cities —in Philadelphia, where handbills addressed to tradesmen and mechanics warned that ‘a corrupt and prostituted ministry are pointing their destructive machines against the sacred liberties of the Americas, [attempting] ... by every artifice to enslave the American colonies and plunder them of their property and, what is more, their birthright, liberty.

     “It was heard continuously in Boston, whose Committee of Correspondence condemned the Coercive Acts as ‘glaring evidence of a fixed plan of the British administration to bring the whole continent into the most humiliating bondage,’ and whose Suffolk Resolves, addressed to the first Continental Congress, condemned ‘the arbitrary will of a licentious minister’ and the attempts of a wicked administration to enslave America.’” (Bailyn, pp. 122-126.)

     It should be clear by now that the Sons of Liberty and the other patriots in the colonies were justified in opposing the tyranny of the British government and those behind the Crown.

Coercive Acts

     Once the Coercive Acts passed the King sent additional troops to America. Although the British controlled Boston, the Sons of Liberty and the Committees of Correspondence controlled the cities and towns in New England. The clergy was active at the pulpit where the sermons were major discourses on liberty and resistance to tyranny authority was justified by God. The Presbyterians,, Baptists and Congregations aroused their members to enter the battle to save America’s religious, political and economic liberties. The churches appointed days of prayer, days of fasting and days of thanksgiving for their members.

     Since Boston Port was closed by British troops the other colonies began shipping food and supplies to their besieged colleagues in New England. One circular letter written on August 22, 1774, written to the people in New Jersey, stated, “The Christian sympathy and generosity of our friends through the continent cannot fail to inspire the inhabitants of this town with patience, resignation, and firmness, while we trust in the Supreme Ruler of the universe, that He will graciously hear our cries, and in His time free us from our present bondage, and make us rejoice in His great salvation.” (Boston Circular Letter, August 22, 1774.)

     On September 5, 1774 fifty-five delegates from the colonies convened at Carpenter’s Hall in Philadelphia for a meeting of the First Continental Congress. This was the most distinguished gathering in American history. The delegates included John Jay, William Livingston, Samuel Adams, roger Sherman, John Dickinson, John Rutledge, John Witherspoon, Richard Henry Lee, Patrick Henry and George Washington. The meeting opened with a lengthy prayer by the Reverend Jacob Duche. Later that evening the delegates received word that the British had bombed Boston.

     A group of towns around Boston had passed the Suffolk Resolves which declared the Intolerable Acts unconstitutional. They also suggested further economic sanctions against England and recommended that the colonies from an armed militia. The delegates at the Congress voted to approve the Resolves.

     On October 14, 1774 the Congress issued a Declaration of Rights. It listed the grievances which Congress had with England, it branded the Intolerable Acts as unjust and unconstitutional and denounced the collection of taxes without the involvement of the colonies. The document outlined that the colonists were entitled to natural rights such as life, liberty and property.

     When news of the Congress, the Suffolk Resolves and the Declaration of Rights reached London members of Parliament called them all acts of treason. William Pitt, an elderly member of the House of Lords made a stirring appeal for reason and calmness in light of recent events. A few weeks later Edmund Burke would make a lengthen speech arguing for reconciliation with America.


Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death

     On march 23, 1775 Patrick Henry walked into the Virginia House of Burgess and delivered one of the most eloquent speeches in world history. He stated:

     “Mr. President: No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope that it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen, if, entertaining as I do, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country.

A Question of Freedom or Slavery

     “For my own part I consider it as nothing less that a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offence, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty towards the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

     “Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and to provide for it.

The Lamp of Experience

     “I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years, to justify those hopes which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House? Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss.

     “Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with these war-like preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled, that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war anal. subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort.

     “I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purposes be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motives for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us; they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging.

     “And what have we to oppose them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer on the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves longer.


     “Sir, we have done everything that could be done, to avert the story which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope.

An Appeal to Arms and the God of Hosts

     “If we wish to be free—if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending—if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us.

     “They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

     “Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of the means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us.

There Is a Just God Who Presides Over Nations

     “Besides sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations; and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir we have no election. If were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat, but in submission and slavery. Our chains are forged. Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable—and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death

     “It is vain, sir to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry peace, peace, peace—but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death! (Patrick Henry, Address.)

     The people in the hall were stunned. Thomas Jefferson was standing in the back of the room and he said that the speech took his breath away. Does anyone doubt that he Spirit of the Lord rested upon Patrick Henry? The people in the room knew that they had just listened to an address inspired of God. This electrifying speech would be printed throughout the colonies and in London. It is one of the noblest speeches in the history of the world. The speech would send a shock wave throughout the colonies as men and women and boys and girls rallied to the cry, Give me Liberty or Give me Death!

     The War for Independence was underway and the armies of heaven were preparing to assist the armies of America. Providence had designed the Americas to be land of liberty and He was moving to bring about his designs for the New World.

Paul Revere’s Famous Ride

     The Continental Congress set up a Committee of Public Safety to train local militia and gather rifles and ammunition. They were being stored in Concord, New Hampshire. The countryside was swarming with British spies and it was not long until General Thomas Gage learned of the weapons storage facility in Concord. He decided to launch a surprise attack and capture the arms. He decided to stage a surprise attack on the evening of April 18, 1775.

     Gage has over 3,500 troops in Boston and he sent 1800 of them to Concord. However, the Sons of Liberty had their own intelligence system in place and they learned about the surprise attack and sent Paul Revere on his famous ride to warn the patriots that, “The British are Coming! The British are Coming!

     Two spies in Boston gave the signal—a light in the tower of Christ Church. Once he saw the signal revere jumped on his horse and made the most famous ride in history. The ride saved the lives of Samuel Adams and John Hancock who were in Lexington at the home of Reverend Jonas Clarke.

The Battle of Lexington

     The initial Battle of Lexington lasted only fifteen minutes. Over 1800 British soldiers descended on Lexington and only 100 brave Minutemen were there to await their arrival. Captain Jonas Parker knew that his small band of farmers would be overwhelmed in minutes, therefore, he ordered them to disband. However, one of the Minutemen fired and the British soldiers return the fire. In a few minutes ten Minutemen had lost their lives and nine were seriously wounded. However, that one shot was heard around the world.

     The British thought they would have a field day picking off the untrained Minutemen, however, they were mistaken. The entire region had been alerted and rebels were pouring into the area to help their besieged colleagues. Over 1000 militia arrived and engaged the British at the North Bridge in Concord. The British commander ordered his men to retreat. The militia took a shortcut and blocked their retreat.

     It seemed like the militia was coming from everywhere. The British quickly headed back to Boston and the Minutemen attacked them for miles.

     The Battle of Lexington turned out far different that it began. When the smoke finally cleared the fields around Concord there were 273 British killed and only 49 Americans, with 41 being wounded.

     News of the Battle of Concord was heralded throughout New England and militia began pouring into the Boston area by the hundreds. General Gage estimated that over 15,000 Minutemen had responded to the battle cry and the British were surrounded.

     The rebels began to build a fortification on Breed’s Hill as across the Charles River from Boston. The fortification would be defended by 1500 American soldiers. General Gage ordered a massive attack on the American soldiers. He knew that if lost this battle, the revolutionary War would be over before it began.

     The British ground forces would be led by General William Howe. He had 2,200 men. The British ships moved into position and began bombarding the rebel fortifications on Breed’s Hill with canon balls. The Minutemen were overwhelmed and quickly ran out of ammunition. In the end the British won the battle, but it took a terrible toll on them. They lost 1,150 men while the Americans lost only 400.

     The Battle of Breed’s Hill gave the American colonies confidence that they could defend the country and defeat the British. Although they won the battle, it was considered a disaster for the British.

George Washington Appointed Commander-in-Chief

     On May 10, 1775, the Second continental Congress met and appointed George Washington as Commander in Chief of the new American army. When he was nominated for the position by John Adams, Washington quietly left the room while the delegates voted on the proposal. He was unanimously elected and graciously accepted the position. He made only one request. He asked the Congress to retain Chaplains for the troops.


     George Washington was clearly raised up by God to preside over the American army and help launch a new nation. Washington lived at Mt. Vernon outside Washington and a member of the Anglican Church. After accepting the assignment from Congress he wrote the following to Martha, his wife, “You may believe me, my dear ... when I assure you, in the most solemn manner that, so far from seeking this appointment, I have used every endeavor in my power to avoid it, not only from my unwillingness to part with you and the family, but from a consciousness of its being a trust too great for my capacity....But as it has been a kind of destiny, that his thrown me upon this service, I shall hope that my undertaking it is designed to answer some good purpose.... I shall rely, therefore, confidently on that Providence, which has heretofore preserved and been bountiful to me, not doubting but that I shall return safe to you.” (John C. Fitzpatrick, editor, Writings of George Washington, Washington, D. C. : US Government Printing Office, 1931-1944. Vol. 3, pp. 293-294.)

Washington Implores His Soldiers to Seek the Blessings of Heaven

     George Washington took command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Massachusetts on July 2, 1775 and send out an order prohibiting “profane swearing, cursing and drunkenness.” The order also stated that Washington “requires and expects all officers and soldiers, not engaged in actual duty, a punctual attendance of Divine services, to implore the blessings of Heaven upon the means used for our safety and defense.” (Military Orders, July 2, 1775.)

     Washington spend the remainder of the year preparing his troops for battle. On December 3, 1775 he raised the new American flag on a small hill outside Boston. It contained the now famous thirteen stripes and contained the British Union Jack. That part of the flag would be replaced with stars in June of 1977.

     General Washington decided to take Dorchester Heights overlooking Boston. He transported 50 cannons and heavy guns on sleds over difficult terrain. During the night of March 4, 1776 he decided to move 3, 000 men to the base of the hill. This was a risky maneuver because they would be in full view of the British. Suddenly two miracles occurred. A very low fog came in and concealed the troops while a clear moon aided his troops on top of the hill who were building fortifications. Then a breeze came up and blew the noise away from those who were working on the top of the hill.

A Miracle at Dorchester Heights

     The next morning the British were stunned when they looked at Dorchester Heights. General Howe wanted to move immediately against Washington but then another miracle occurred. Suddenly dark clouds filled the sky and a terrible storm pelted the troops. The wind reached hurricane velocity and prevented the British from attaching. The American soldiers continued building fortifications throughout the storm and when the skies cleared, General Howe decided that an attack would be unwise.

     Several weeks later, General Washington fortified Nobs Hill. The British began to worry that their army was going to be surrounded and destroyed. To everyone surprise they decided to leave Boston.

     It was clear to Washington that Providence had helped him to free Boston without shedding any blood. The Army of Heaven was with Washington and his small band of patriotic soldiers. Later Washington would call the usual weather “a remarkable interposition of Providence.”

     Timothy Newell wrote in his journal on March 17, 1775 that, “Thus was this unhappy distressed town through a manifest interposition of Divine Providence relieved from a set of men whose unparalleled wickedness, profanity, debauchery and cruelty is inexpressible.”

Thomas Paine Writes One of the Most Famous Tracts in History

      Providence who had decreed that America was to be a land of liberty guided Washington throughout the entire war. He also raised up men who were not only mighty with the sword but mighty with the pen. One such individual who clearly was guided to enter the cause of liberty was Thomas Paine. The Spirit of the Lord rested upon him just as He had touched the mind of Patrick Henry and words of inspiration flowed from his pen.

     Common Sense is perhaps the most famous pamphlet ever written in the world. Published in 1776, the pamphlet sold over 120,000 in the first months and it is estimated that over 1,000,000 Americans read it before the Declaration was even signed. Paine outlined in very language the case for complete independence from England. Paine argued that: “Everything that is right or reasonable pleads for separation. The blood of the slain, the weeping voice of nature cries, ‘TIS TIME TO PART. Even the great distance at which the Almighty hath placed England and America is strong and natural proof that the authority of the one over the other was never the design of Heaven....

     “O ye that love mankind. Ye that dare oppose not only the tyranny but the tyrant, stand forth! Every spot of the Old World is overrun with oppression. Freedom hath been hunted ‘round the globe. Asia and Africa have long expelled her. Europe regards her like stranger, and England hath given her warning to depart. O receive the fugitive, and prepare in time an asylum for mankind!” (Thomas Paine, Common Sense. 1776.)

     In March of 1776 General Washington wrote a letter to the Massachusetts legislature wherein he noted that, “The interposition of ... Providence ... has manifestly appeared in our behalf through the whole of this important struggle....

     “May that being, who is powerful to save, and in whose hands is the fate of nations, look down with an eye of tender pity and compassion upon the whole of the United Colonies; may He continue to smile upon their counsels and arms, and crown them with success, whilst employed in the cause of virtue and mankind.” (John C. Fitzpatrick, editor, Writings of George Washington, Volume 4, pp. 441-442.)

The Fate of Millions Depends Upon Washington and His Soldiers

     On July 2, 1776 general Washington issued an order to his troops wherein he states, “The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves....The fate of unborn Millions will now depend, under God, on the Courage and Conduct of this army—Our cruel and unrelenting Enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance, or the most abject submission; this is all we can expect—We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die: Our own Country’s Honor, all call upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if were now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions.” (John C. Fitzpatrick, editor, Writings of George Washington, Volume 5, p. 211.)

God is Helping Washington and His Soldiers

     On July 28, 1776, Ebenezer Chaplin, a minister from Sutton, Massachusetts delivered a series of sermons on the hand of God in the war. He said, “It highly desires to be remembered what signal salvation God has wrought for since the commencement of the present war with Britain. How wonderfully God wrought for us at the first when we were raw and naked as to Defense in the several battles on the Islands near Boston and even in the Bunker Hill fight....

     “How wonderfully did God fight for us by His strong wind the night after our People took possession of the Heights of Dorchester in all which the hand of God is most visible.” (Harry S. Stout, New England Soul, pp. 302-303.)


Chapter 8—The Declaration of Independence: A Spiritual Manifesto for the World

     While the war was underway the Second Continental Congress was preparing to issue a formal statement. On June 7, 1776 Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion for the colonies to declare in favor of independence. On June 11, 1776 the Congress appointed a committee to draft a formal declaration.

The committee was composed of five distinguished citizens: Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston.

     Jefferson retired to a small room near Independence Hall in Philadelphia and began writing a document that would be read by millions and millions of people throughout America and the world. Once again the Spirit of the Lord rested upon this noble man and guided his pen to write words of truth and inspiration. The Declaration of Independence which Jefferson drafted is an inspired document. The Declaration is a spiritual manifesto to the world. It declares in clear and eloquent language that all rights are a gift of God. Rights do not originate with man, but with God and God alone.

     When the members of the Continental Congress assembled in the Pennsylvania State House to vote on the declaration it was a momentous day not only for America but for the entire world. Every man that walked into that room felt the enormous significance of what they were about to do. Every man knew what it meant to approve the new declaration. Already the British had tried to kill Samuel Adams and John Hancock.

Those Who Signed the Declaration Were Guilty of Treason in British Eyes

     All of the delegates knew that if General Washington failed to defeat the British they would all be hanged for treason. However, these were men of vision, faith and determination. They knew that America had been chosen by Providence to serve as a land of liberty. They know that America could not achieve her divine destiny unless she was free, sovereign and independent. They knew that General George Washington had been raised up to redeem the land through the shedding blood. They knew that the God of Israel was with Washington and his troops. And they knew that they had not arrived at this moment by accident. They too have been raised up by God to draft and approve the Declaration of Independence. They knew that they had a rendezvous with destiny. However, the decision to officially declare for independence was still a fiercely debated issue.

     On July 3, 1776 Jefferson had finished a second draft of the new declaration and it was ready to be presented to members of Congress. After a few minor changes, the declaration was ready for consideration. At the last minute some of the delegates began to waver. John Adams rose up and encouraged the delegates to approve the declaration. The delegates unanimously gave their consent and each one signed the famous document. It was done.

     The Declaration of Independence reads:

The Unanimous Declaration

Of the Thirteen United States of America

     “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of re's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should de are the causes which impel them to the separation.

Men Are Endowed By Their Creator With Certain Unalienable Rights

     “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rites, t at among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying the foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Natural Right of Revolution

     “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and is now a necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

List of Charges Against King George III

     “He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

     “He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

     “He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

     “He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

     “He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

     “He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

     “He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws of Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

     “He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

     “He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

     “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their substance.

     “He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

     “He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their acts of pretended Legislation: For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

     “For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

     “For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world: For imposing taxes on us without our Consent:


     “For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury: For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

     “For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighboring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

     “For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

     “For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

     “He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

     “He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

     “He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

     “He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

     “He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

     “In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

     “Nor have We been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

     “We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.

     “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


Laws of Nature, Unalienable Rights & Natural Rights

     One of the most important principles outlined in the Declaration of Independence is that “all men” are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” First, the document clearly acknowledges that God lives and is the author of liberty. Second, it points out the importance of the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” Third, it acknowledges the existence of “unalienable rights” or natural rights as they were often referred to at that time.


     The revolutionary patriots firmly believed in the existence of natural rights and they were willing to fight the most powerful nation on earth at the time in order to defend these rights. When they used the terms laws of nature, unalienable rights or natural rights what exactly did they mean?

William Blackstone

     In 1765 Sir William Blackstone published his monumental legal text entitled Commentaries on the Laws of England. The text was widely read in America and became one of the leading books that was used to train lawyers in England and America for over a century. Concerning the laws of nature Blackstone stated, “Man, considered as a creature must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator, for he is entirely a dependent being .... And consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his Maker for everything, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his Maker’s Will.

     “This Will of his Maker is called the Law of Nature. For as God when He created matter, and endued it with a principle of mobility, established certain rules for the perpetual direction of that motion; so, when he created man, and endued him with certain immutable laws of human nature, whereby that freewill is in some degree regulated and restrained, and gave him also the faculty of reason to discover the purport of those laws.

God Has Established Eternal Laws to Govern the Universe

     “Considering the Creator only as a Being of infinite power, he was able unquestionably to have prescribed whatever laws he pleased to his creature, man, however unjust or severe. But as he is also a Being of infinite wisdom, he has laid down only such laws as were founded in those relations of justice, that existed in the nature of things antecedent to any positive precept. These are the Eternal, immutable laws of good and evil, to which the Creator himself in all his dispensations conforms; and which he has enabled human reason to discover, so far as they are necessary for the conduct of human actions.

     “Such among others are these principles: that we should live honestly, should hurt nobody, and should render to every one his due; to which three general precepts Justinian has reduced the whole doctrine of law....

     “This Law of Nature, being coeval with mankind and dictated by God Himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them are as valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original.” (William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, Four volumes, London, 1765.)

     In addition to the writings of Blackstone and the pronouncements in the Declaration of Independence there are three crucial documents that outline the laws of nature, unalienable rights and natural rights. Together they form the foundation of the American system of political philosophy. It is this foundation upon which the political, economic and religious liberty of the American people rest.

Rights of the Colonists

     First, The Rights of the Colonists written by James Otis and Samuel Adams. It was adopted at a town meeting in Boston on November 29, 1772. It states:

     “Among the Natural Rights of the Colonists are these. First, a Right to Life; secondly to Liberty; thirdly to Property; together with the Right to support and defend them in the best manner they can—Those are evident Branches of, rather than deductions from the Duty of Self Preservation, commonly called the first Law of Nature—

     “All Men have a Right to remain in a State of Nature as long as they please: And in case of intolerable Oppression, Civil or Religious, to leave the Society they belong to, and enter into another.—

     “When Men enter into Society, it is by voluntary consent; and they have aright to demand and insist upon the performance of such conditions. And previous limitations as form an equitable original compact.—


     “Every natural Right not expressly given up or from the nature of a Social Compact necessarily ceded remains.—

     “All positive and civil laws, should conform as far as possible, to the Law of natural reason and equity.—

     “As neither reason requires, nor religion permits the contrary, every Man living in or out of a state of civil society, has a right peaceably and quietly to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience....

     “The natural liberty of Men by entering into society is abridg’d or restrained so far as is necessary for the Great end of Society the best good of the whole.—

     “In the state of nature, every man is under God, Judge and Sole judge, of his own rights and the injuries done him: By entering into society, he agrees to an Arbiter or indifferent Judge between him and his neighbors; but he no more announces his original right, than by taking a cause out of the ordinary course of law, and leaving the decision to Referees or indifferent Arbitrations....

     “‘The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man; but only to have the law of nature for his rule....’

     “In short it is the greatest absurdity to suppose it in the power of one or any number of men at the entering into society, to renounce their essential natural rights, or the means of preserving those rights when the great end of civil government from the very nature of its institution is for t he support, protection and defense of those very rights: the principal of which as is before observed, are life, liberty and property. If men through fear, fraud or mistake, should in terms renounce and give up any essential natural right, the eternal law of reason and the great end of society, would absolutely vacate such renunciation; the right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of Man to alienate this gift, and voluntarily become a slave....

     “A Common Wealth or state is a body politick or civil society of men, united together to promote their mutual safety and prosperity, by means of their union.

     “The absolute Rights of Englishmen, and all freemen in or out of Civil society, are principally, personal security, personal liberty and personal property.

     “All Persons born in the British American Colonies are by the laws of God and nature, and by the Common Law of England, exclusive of all charters from the Crown, well Entitled, and by the Acts of the British Parliament are declared to be entitled to all the natural, essential, inherent & inseparable Rights, Liberties and Privileges of Subjects born in Great Britain, or within t he Realm.

     “Among those Rights are the following:; which no men or body of men, consistently with their own rights as men and citizens or members of society, can for themselves give up, or take away from others.

     “First, ‘The first fundamental positive law of Commonwealths or States, is the establishing the legislative power; as the first fundamental natural law also, which is to govern even the legislative power itself, is the preservation of the Society.’

     “Secondly, The Legislature has not right to absolute arbitrary power over the lives and fortunes of the people....

     “Thirdly, The supreme power cannot Justly take from any person, any part of his property without his consent, in person or by his Representative.—

     “These are some of the first principles of natural law & Justice, and the great Barriers of all free states....” (James Otis & Samuel Adams, “The Rights of the Colonists”, November 29, 1772. Pamphlet.)

Letter to Inhabitants of Quebec

     The second great document which outlines the natural rights of man was written by John Dickinson. It is entitled, Letter to the Inhabitants of the Province of Quebec. It was adopted by the Continental Congress on October 26, 1774. It states:

     “The first grand right, is that of the people having a share in their own government by their representatives chosen by themselves, and, in consequence of being rules by laws, which they themselves approve, not by edicts of men over whom they have no controul.


     “This is the bulwark surrounding and defending their property, which by their honest cares and labours they have acquired, so that no portions of it can legally be taken from them, but with their own full and free consent....

     “The next great right is that of trial by jury. This provides, that neither life, liberty nor property, can be taken from the possessor, until twelve of his unexceptionable countrymen and peers of his vicinage, who from that neighbourhood may reasonably be supposed to be acquired with his character, and the characters of the witnesses, upon a fair trial, and full enquiry, face to face, in open Court, before as many of the people as chuse to attend, shall pass their sentence upon oath against him....

     “Another right relates merely to the liberty of the person. If a subject is seized and imprisoned, tho’ by order of Government, he may, by virtue of this right, immediately obtain a writ, termed a Habeas Corpus, from a Judge, whose sworn duty is to grant it, and thereupon procure any illegal restrain to be quickly enquired into and redressed.

     “A fourth right, is that of holding lands by the tenure of easy rents, and not by rigorous and oppressive services, frequently forcing the possessor from their families and their business, to perform what ought to be done, in all well regulated states, by men hired for the purpose.

     “The last right we shall mention, regards the freedom of the press. The importance of this consists, besides the advancement of truth, science, morality, and arts in general, in its diffusion of liberal sentiments on the administration of Government, its ready communication of thoughts between subjects, and its consequential promotion of union among them, whereby oppressive offices are shamed or intimidated, into more honourable and just modes of conducting affairs.

     “These are the invaluable rights, that form a considerable part of our mild system of government; that, sending its equitable energy through all ranks and classes of men, defends the poor from the rich, the weak from the powerful, the industrious from the rapacious, the peaceable from the violent, the tenants from the lords, and all from their superiors.

     ‘These are the rights, without which a people cannot be free and happy.” (John Dickinson, Letter to the Inhabitants of the Province of Quebec. Pamphlet.)

Virginia Declaration of Rights

     The third important document of the founding era of America that outlines the natural rights of mankind was written by George Mason on June 12, 1776. It is entitled the Virginia Declaration of Rights. It states:

     “A Declaration of Rights, made by the representatives of the good people of Virginia, assembled in full and free Convention, which rights do pertain to them and their posterity as the basis and foundation of government.

     “I. That all men by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot by any compact deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

     “II. That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them.

     “III. That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, Nation or community; of all the various modes and forms of government, that is best which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety, and is most effectually secured against the danger of maladministration; and that, when a government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform, alter or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.


     “IV. That no man, or set of men, are entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community but in consideration of public services, which not being descendible, neither ought the offices of magistrate, legislator or judge to be hereditary.

     “V. That the legislative, executive and judicial powers should be separate and distinct; and that the members thereof may be restrained from oppression, by feeling and participating the burthens of the people, they should, at fixed periods, be reduced to a private station, return into that body from which they were originally taken, and the vacancies be supplied by frequent, certain and regular elections, in which all, or any part or the former members to be again eligible or ineligible, as the laws shall direct.

     “VI. That all elections ought to be free, and that all men having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to the community, have the right of suffrage, and cannot be taxed, or deprived of their property for public uses, without their own consent, or that of their representatives so elected, nor bound by any law to which they have not in like manner assented, for the public good.

     “VII. That all power of suspending laws, or the execution of laws, by any authority, without consent of the representatives of the people, is injurious to their rights, and ought not to be exercised.

     “VIII. That in all capital or criminal prosecutions a man hath a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation, to be confronted with the accusers and witnesses, to call for evidence in his favour, and to a speedy trial by impartial jury of twelve men of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent he cannot be found guilty; nor can he be compelled to give evidence against himself; that no man be deprived of his liberty, except by the law of the land or the judgment of his peers.

     “IX. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

     “X. That general warrants, whereby an officer or messenger may be commanded to search suspected places without evidence of a fact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, or whose offence is not particularly described and supported by evidence, are grievous and oppressive, and ought not to be granted.

     “XI. That in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the ancient trial by jury of twelve men is preferable to any other, and ought to be held sacred.

     “XII. That the freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic governments.

     “XIII. That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural and safe defence of a free State; that standing armies in time of peace should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

     “XIV. That the people have a right to uniform government; and therefore that no government separate from or independent of the government of Virginia ought to be erected or established within the limits thereof.

     “XV. That no free government, or the blessing of liberty, can be. preserved to any people, but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality and virtue, and by      a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.

     “XVI. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love and charity towards each other.” (Virginia Declaration of Rights, June 12, 1776.)

Natural Rights Come From God

     It seems clear that the revolutionary patriots had a profound understanding and love of liberty. They knew their rights and were willing to defend them at all costs. It is important to realize that they believed that their natural rights came from God and not the Crown or state. The writings of the revolutionary patriots clearly outlined these principles in their writings. In a letter to Committee of Correspondence in Barbados John Dickinson wrote: “Kings or parliaments could not give the rights essential to happiness, as you confess those invaded by the Stamp Act to be. We claim them from a higher source—from the King of kings, and Lord of all the earth. They are not annexed to us by parchments and

seals. They are created in us by the decrees of Providence, which establish the laws of our nature. They are born with us; exist with us; and cannot be taken from us by any human power, without taking our lives. In short, they are founded on the immutable maxims of reason and justice.” (Circular Letter, john Dickinson.)

     Alexander Hamilton made a similar statement when he said, “The Sacred Rights of Mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the Hand of Divinity itself, and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.”      In a letter to King George III Thomas Jefferson boldly declared that, “The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.”

     The Declaration of independence was written to people throughout the world. It eloquently stated that God is the author of liberty and that the laws of nature or natural rights were written in stone by the finger of the Supreme governor of the universe. These unalienable rights can never be erased or eliminated by Kings, Queens, Presidents, Dictators, Legislators, Parliaments or any governing body on earth. Liberty is an Eternal principle and the heritage of all people throughout the world.


Chapter 9—The Revolutionary War: The Final Stages

     The history of the Revolutionary War is like reading the Old Testament. It is full of so many miracles that it is clear that the hand of Providence was over the colonies and the Spirit of the Lord was guiding and aiding Washington and his men as they labored to defeat the most powerful military force on earth and preserve the freedoms and liberties of the American people.

     In a letter to legislature in Massachusetts in March of 1776, General George Washington wrote that, “the interposition of ... Providence ... has manifestly appeared in our behalf the whole of this important struggle....

     “May that Being, who is powerful to save, and in whose hands is the fate of nations, look down with an eye of tender pity and compassion upon the whole of the United Colonies; may He continue to smile upon their counsels and arms, and crown them with success, whilst employed in the cause of virtue and mankind.” (John C. Fitzpatrick, editor, The Writings of George Washington, Volume 4, pp. 441-442.)

     In March of 1776, Washington wrote that, “It is an indispensable duty, my brethren, which we owe ourselves, to rouse up and bestir ourselves, and, being animated with a noble zeal for the sacred cause of liberty, to defend our lives and fortunes, even to the shedding of the last drop of blood.... To save our country from the hands of our oppressors ought to be dearer to us even that our own lives, and next [to] the eternal salvation of our own souls, [it] is the thing of greatest importance, —a duty so sacred that it cannot justly be dispensed with for the sake of secular security.” (Harry S. Stout, The New England Soul, p. 298.)

The American Motto

     The motto for Washington, his officers and troops, members of Congress, the Sons of Liberty and patriots throughout the colonies from taken from the Apostle Paul who said, “Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty wherein Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage..” (Galatians 5: 1.)


     In a sermon entitled, “Christian and Civil Liberty and Freedom Considered, Reverend Judah Champion stated, “Methinks we may this day, well nigh see the ghosts of our departed progenitors, and hear those blessed worthies, in solemn accents, through the vast Heaven, addressing us, saying, ‘Stand fast in t he liberty wherewith Christ hath made you free.’ God, angels and spirits in glory all look [on the cause of the colonies with Divine approval.]

     “Under the Jewish Theocracy, God destroyed those who were intimidated and discouraged their brethren. We may be sorely chastised, but the righteous cause so dearly purchased will prevail. The Lord of Hosts will arm the whole creation—level the artillery of Heaven—send all his Angels, and martial all the elements in battle array, against his enemies, before his cause shall suffer.” (Harry S. Stout, The New England Soul, p. 299.)

     The sermon of Judah Champion was prophetic. The Lord of Heaven and His angels would watch over and aid Washington and his humble army.

     On July 9, 1776 General Washington reminded his troops that, “The blessings and protection of Heaven are at all times necessary but especially so in times of public distress and danger—The General hopes and trusts, that every officer and man, will endeavor so to live, and act, as becomes a Christian Soldier defending the dearest Rights and Liberties of his country.” (Fitzpatrick, Writings of George Washington, Volume 5, p. 245.)

Hand of Providence

      The hand of Providence was soon manifested in America. In August of 1776 the largest military force in British history had just gathered off Staten Island outside New York under the guidance of General William Hose. Over 32,000 soldiers were assembled to take New York. Among the soldiers were over 9,000 German mercenaries.

     General Washington had assembled over 18,000 troops but they were fearful that they would not be able to defend the city. Washington moved his army to Long Island and began fortifying Brooklyn Heights. General Howe moved his forces in small boats to Long Island and waited for the opportunity to attack the American soldiers. Washington moved to Manhattan and left Major General John Sullivan in charge of the forces at Brooklyn Heights.

     Sullivan moved his troops out of the fortifications that they had built into an open field and prepared to engage the enemy. That is exactly what Howe was waiting for and he prepared to attack. Howe attacked and over 1000 American soldiers were killed and over 1000 were taken prisoner. Washington watched the battle with field glasses from Manhattan. Howe next surrounded

over 8,000 American troops in Brooklyn and prepared to attack.

     General Howe had successfully surrounded the American troops and it appears that the Revolutionary War was going to come to an abrupt end. It was at this critical moment that a series of miracles occurred to protect Washington and his men.

Three Miracles

     The first miracle occurred when General Howe paused instead of attacking. For no apparent reason he stopped his forces from capturing New York and crushing Washington. The second miracle occurred when Howe began his move to attack the American soldiers a violent storm arose which prohibited him from moving his ships into position on the East River. Gale winds kept Howe’s ships at bay while Washington organized a rescue operation. Providence had stopped the British warship and Washington spent the night evacuating his men by ferrying they to safety at times within shouting range of the enemy.

     The third miracle occurred when a dense fog arose to protect Washington and his soldiers. Bruce Lancaster tells us that, “There was deadly peril once more in the late hours as the wind died, but suddenly, miraculous as the gales that had tied down the British fleet, a dense fog blanketed shore and river. Thick and binding it held while the oarsmen labored on through the sixth consecutive hours of rowing. They had snatched a whole army from defeat, death and capture.” (Bruce Lancaster, The American Revolution. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1987, p149.)


     For over 12 hours the storm and then fog kept the British fleet at bay while Washington moved over 8,000 men, horses, wagons and artillery across the river. Once the American troops were safe the fog lifted. General Howe was astonished. The entire American Army has just vanished as it had at Dorchester Heights.

     John Fiske, a prominent historian wrote that, “The Americans had been remarkably favored by the sudden rise of a fog which covered the East River. Several soldiers recorded in their journals the miracles.

Major Ben Tallmadge wrote, “At this time a very dense fog begin to rise. It seems to settle in a particular manner over both encampments. I recollect this peculiar Providential occurrence perfectly well, and so very dense was the atmosphere that I could hardly discern a man six yards distant.” (Journal Entry.)

     General Howe next decided to capture Philadelphia. Washington moved to troops to Pennsylvania and made preparations to block Howe. Once again the weather would come to the General’s aid.

Miracle at Trenton

     A large number of British forces were camped at Trenton, New Jersey. Washington moved his troops nearby and waited upon the Lord. A terrible snow storm arose and Washington made his famous crossing of the Delaware River and surprised the British soldiers. The British did not believe that Washington would attack during such a terrible storm and ignored intelligence reports of American troop movement.

     During a snow blizzard and freezing weather General Washington moved 2,400 soldiers across the river on long boats. The fierce wind concealed any noise and Washington was able to take the British by surprise. Over 1500 German mercenaries (Hessians) surrendered. Washington captured six canons and over 1200 rifles and pistols. The Americans only suffered two casualties. Two soldiers collapsed during the move and froze to death.

     In the eyes of Washington another miracle had occurred to aided his small army. Without the snow storm on Christmas Day they would not have been able to defeat the British at Trenton.

     In January of 1777 General Washington again crossed the Delaware River and nearly captured Lord Cornwallis’ forces. During the Battle of Princeton the British marched in their famous battle line formation and were preparing to walk right through the American soldiers. The American troops began to panic. When Washington saw the plight of his men he mounted his horse. Paul Lancaster reported that, “Mounted on a white horse, the commander in chief himself raced out far into the van[guard], in the thick of bullets and bayonets. An aide, watching, flung his cloak over his eyes to shut out what he was sure to the death of this chief. When the smoke cleared, Washington and his white horse were still there, plunging from this know of fugitives to that.”

     The British had been unable to kill General Washington. Unseen forces were watching over him

just as they had for Christopher Columbus. One of Washington’s officer recorded in his journal that, “Our army love[s] their General very much, but they have one thing against him, which is the little care he takes of himself in any action. His personal bravery, and the desire he has of animating his troops by example, make his fearless of danger. This occasions us much uneasiness. But Heaven, which has hitherto been his shield, I hope will still continue to guard so valuable a life.” (John C. Fitzpatrick, Writings of George Washington, Volume 6, p. 470, note 44.)

     On January 22, 1777 General Washington wrote a letter to his stepson, John Parke Curtis where he outlined the lack of supplies and suffering of his troops. He then remarked, “How we shall be able to rub along till the new army is raised, I know not. Providence has heretofore saved us in a remarkable manner, and on this we must principally rely.” John C. Fitzpatrick, editor, Writing of George Washington, Volume 7, p. 53.)

     It appears that Providence the blessings of heaven are predicated upon personal faith, sacrifice and endurance of trials, tribulations and hardships. It seems that the blessings come when there appears no other solution. The story of Valley Forge is one of unwavering courage in the face of overwhelming opposition and suffering. General Howe had captured Philadelphia and he and his officers and men were comfortably spending the winter in the city. On the other hands, General Washington and his small army were camped outside of Philadelphia at Valley Forge.


     The Continental Congress has been unsuccessful in their efforts to raise funds and supplies for the war. They had printed a currency of paper money but people were reluctant to accept it because they considered it worthless. The American army was suffering for a serious lack of funds and supplies.

     In 1977 the Congress did order that 20,000 Bibles be imported for distribution in America.

Valley Forge

     At Washington moved into Valley Forge for the winter of 1777 and 1778 his men made over 700 small wooden huts to keep out the snow and cold weather. Bruce Catton and William B. Catton stated, “With Howe’s army snugly settled in Philadelphia, Washington’s battle-worn Continentals went into the bleakest of winter quarters at Valley Forge two dozen miles away...Unless the men who camped there remained firm in the faith, all that had been won at Saratoga would be lost forever here in Pennsylvania...

     “Washington had taken 15,000 men to Valley Forge, by mid-winter ... nearly half of them were

out of action from illness or lack of clothing. Some were just plain naked and could not even go out to build the cabins they were to live in unless they could borrow a pair of pants. It was common to se men doing guard duty without shoes, or going out in the snow naked to the waist to gather firewood. In the matter of rations they were no better off, and at times the army seemed about to go out of existence for sheer lack of basic supplies.” (Bruce Catton and William B. Catton, The Bold and Magnificent Dream: America’s Founding Years, 1492- 1815. Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1978.)

     The tremendous sacrifice of Washington and his men at Valley Forge is a lesson in patience, faith, courage, determination, trust, obedience to God under all circumstances. The incredibly brave patriots that withstood the winter of 1777 and 1778 literally left their footprints in blood as they struggled for survival.

     A. J. Langguth stated that, “On Christmas Day the men were still in draft tents. The number of sick increased, and they were treated more often with grog than with medicine. Some of the men did not have a single shirt or pair of breeches, and they went through camp wrapped in blankets and walked barefoot through the snow to haul water from the creek. For sentry duty they would stand with their naked feet inside t heir hats. Feet and lets froze, turned black and were amputated.

     “George Washington pleaded with the Congress for clothing and food. Even though his men were naked and starving, he said, they weren’t deserting now and they didn’t mutiny. When they could, they joked instead; one unit announced a dinner party limited to men with out a pair of trousers.... A French volunteer was struck by t he contrast between the men’s attitude and their condition. So ragged, he said. And so merry.” (A. J. Langguth, Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988.)

Frequent Prayers at Valley Forge

     The unbelievable suffering of the brave soldiers at Valley Forge drove the great general to his knees. In the U. S. Capital there is a private chapel for members of Congress. There is a stained glass window which depicts Washington kneeling in prayer at Valley Forge. Reverend Mason Locke Weems reported that Washington was frequently seen on his knees in prayer. He wrote that, “In the winter of ‘77, while Washington, with the American army lay encamped at Valley Forge, a certain good old friend, of the respectable family and name of Potts, if I mistake not, had occasion to pass through the woods near headquarters. Treading his way along the venerable grove, suddenly he heard the sound of a human voice, which as he advanced increased on his ear, and at length became like the voice of one speaking much in earnest. As he approached the spot with a cautious step, whom should be behold, in a dark natural bower of ancient oak, but the commander in chief of the American armies on his knees at prayer! Motionless with surprise, friend Potts continued on the place till the general, having ended his devotions, arose, and a countenance of angel serenity, retired to headquarters: friend Potts then went home, and entering his parlour called out to his wife, ‘Sarah, my dear! Sarah! All’s well! All’s well! George Washington will yet prevail!

     “‘What’s the matter, Isaac?’ replied she; ‘thee seems moved.’


     “‘Wee, if I seem moved, ‘tis no more what I am. I have this day seen what I never expected. Thee knows that I always thought the sword and the gospel utterly inconsistent; and that no man could be a soldier and a Christian at the same time. But George Washington has this day convinced me of my mistakes.’

     “He then related what he had seen, and concluded with this prophetic remark—‘If George Washington be not a man of God, I am greatly deceived—and sill more shall I be deceived if God do not, through him, work out a great salvation for America.

     “There are numerous other accounts of George Washington at prayer at Valley Forge. In 1832, eighty-year old Devault Beaver claimed to have received the account directly from Isaac Potts. Another account came from Dr. James Ross Snowden, whose father knew Potts, and yet another from Benson J. Lossing. General Knox, Washington’s close associate at Valley Forge was recorded as saying that Washington frequently used the grove for prayer.” (Marcus Cuncliffe, editor, The Life of Washington, by Mason Weems. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press, Harvard University, 1962, p. xxxi, note 43.)

     On April 23, 1777 Washington wrote to an officer and reminded him that the blessings of heaven come after great exertion on our part. He said, “All agree our claims are righteous and must be supported; yet all, or at least, too great a part among us, withhold the means, as if Providence, who has already done much for us, would continue his gracious interposition and work miracles for our deliverance, without troubling ourselves about the matter.” (John C. Fitzpatrick, editor, Writings of George Washington, Volume 7, p. 456.)

France To Aid the Americans

     In 1778 France, the age old enemy and rival of England, decided to help the Americans. Benjamin Franklin had been in Paris and negotiated a treaty of friendship and commerce. France was reluctant to enter the war if the American army was not going to win. However, after the surrender of General Burgoyne and his 6,000 men to Benedict Arnold at Saratoga., the French were sufficiently encouraged to support American Independence. This was good news to Washington and the members of the Continental Congress. Supplies then miraculously flowed to Valley Forge.

     The decision by France to help Washington would open the way for general acceptance of Catholics in America. Before France’s support for the war, the Catholics in America had been severely persecuted.

God is Defending the American Colonists

     On May 5, 1778 Washington stated the following in orders to his troops: “It having pleased the Almighty ruler of the Universe propitiously to defend the Cause of the United American-States and finally by raising up a powerful Friend among the Princes of the Earth to establish our liberty and Independence up[on] lasting foundations, it becomes us to set apart a day for gratefully acknowledging the divine Goodness and celebrating the important Event which we owe to his benign Interposition.” (John C. Fitzpatrick, editor. Writings of George Washington, Volume 11, p. 354.)

     A month later Washington wrote a private letter to Landon Carter stating, “to paint the distresses and perilous situation of this army in the course of last winter, for want of cloths, provisions, and almost every other necessary, essential to the well-being, (I may say existence,) of an army, would require more time and an abler pen than mine’ nor, since our prospects have so miraculously brightened, shall I attempt it, or even bear it in remembrance, further than a memento of what is due to the great Author of all the care and good, that have been extended in relieving us in difficulties and distress.” (John C. Fitzpatrick, editor, Writings of George Washington. Volume 11, 492.)

     In June of 1778 British forces began moving to New York. The American rebels ambushed them almost the entire way. Washington was in pursuit and on the White Plains of New York he won another victory.


     Washington was ever mindful of the origins of their victories over the overwhelming British forces. On June 30, 1778 he issued an order which said, “Seven o’clock this evening is appointed that We may publickly unite in thanksgiving to the supreme Disposer of human events for the Victory which was obtained on Sunday over the Flower of the British Troops.” (John C. Fitzpatrick, Writings of George Washington. Volume 12, p. 131.)

The Arrival of Marquis de Lafayette

     The arrival of Marquis de Lafayette in America was an act of Providence. His presence demonstrated the willingness of France to help America. He had close political ties to the leaders in France and was able to persuade them to advance funds and troops for the cause. He became one of the great leaders of the Revolutionary War and a close personal friend of Washington for life.

     In July of 1778 French Admiral D’Estaing arrived of f the shore of New York with a fleet of warships, however, when he saw the size of the British fleet he refused to engage them. He sailed to Newport and once again refused to engage the British. He then sailed for the West Indies where he remained for a year. Later Admiral D’ Estaing would try to take Savannah with over 4,500 French troops, however he would fail in the effort.

     In December of 1778 he wrote to Benjamin Harrison concerning the difficulties that the army was encountering, “I feel more distress on account of the present. Appearances of things that I have done at any time in the commencement of the dispute; but it is time to bid you once more adieu. Providence has heretofore taken us up where when all other means and hope seemed to be departing from us, in this I will confide.” (John C. Fitzpatrick, editor, Writings of George, Washington. Volume 13, p. 468.)

     In 1779 General Washington sensed that the British were more determined than ever to end the war and crush his army. The entry of France into the war had infuriated the Crown. His troops were still drastically short of supplies and the soldiers were fighting on empty stomachs.

     The British were moving to split America into two battlefields, the north and south, in order to divide and neutralize the American army. They conceded that New England had won its independence. The middle colonies were probably lost. The British hope to keep America divided by splitting off the south and making it a separate nation. In May of 1779 Charleston was lost and 5,000 American soldiers were captured.

     Washington spend the winter of 1779 and 1780 in Morristown, New Jersey. He received letters daily from his officers complain of a shortage of food, horses, wagons, field equipment and arms. The army was so desperate that food and supplies was being confiscated from local communities.

French Army Arrives in America

     In the Spring of 1780 Compte de Rochambeau arrived from France with 5,000 troops and landed in Newport, Rhode Island. However, the British had abandoned the area in order to fortify and take the south. Without a navy he was not effective in the war effort. One of the greatest challenges General Washington faced during the Revolutionary War was that he had to fight the British without a Navy. The British navy secured the ports along the Atlantic coast and were able to resupply their troops throughout the war. Washington was forced to battle on the ground.

     In September of 1780 an American Judas betrayed General George Washington. The story of Benedict Arnold is one of the saddest in American history. He would join the British and later fight against fellow Americans in the south.

Deliverance by Providence to Become Apparent

     On March 26, 1781 Washington wrote an interesting letter to one of his officers. He seemed to understand the purposes of the suffering of his army over the last several years. He said, “Our affairs are brought to an awful crisis, that the hand of Providence, I trust, may be more conspicuous in our deliverance.


     “The many remarkable interpositions of the divine government, in the hours of our deepest distress and darkness, have been too luminous to suffer me to doubt the happy issue of the present contest.” (John C. Fitzpatrick, editor, The Writings of George Washington, Volume 21, p. 378.)

     In August of 1781 Washington received word of the arrival of a massive fleet of French warships.

The warships were under the command of Admiral Comte Francois de Grasse. His fleet arrived in Chesapeake Bay on August 12, 1781. The British warship were forced to retreat. General Cornwallis now found that the British were surrounded by French ships. In the meantime, Rochambeau and his 5,000 troops joined Washington’s army where plans were underway to attack Cornwallis who was surrounded in Yorktown.

     The French Admiral then proceeded to bound the British navy with fierce cannon balls. They suffered a terrible defeat. After Admiral de Grasse’s stunning victory Cornwallis’s fate was sealed. Admiral de Grasse put a complete blockade of Chesapeake Bay into effect and the British were cut off from supplies and reinforcements. General Washington and a force of 16,000 men assembled near Yorktown.

American and French forces then descended upon the British. On October 19, 1781 General Cornwallis surrendered. The war was over. The humble army of General Washington made up farmers and small shop owners had defeated the largest military force on earth. Of course that victory would not have been possible without the valuable aid of France and the noble soldiers and sailors who fought bravely to defend America.

Surrender of General Cornwallis is Yorktown

     General Cornwallis, as is customary, turned his sword over to General Washington.

     After the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown General George Washington issued an order where he told his soldiers that, “Divine Service is to be performed tomorrow in the several Brigades or Divisions.

     “The Commander-in-Chief earnestly recommends that the troops not on duty should universally attend with the seriousness of Deportment and gratitude of Heart which the recognition of such reiterated and astonishing interpositions of Providence demand of us.” (John C. Fitzpatrick, editor. The Writings of George Washington, Volume 23, p. 247.)

     On November 2, 1781 gave a farewell address to his troops. In this moving speech, he acknowledged that God had given them victory. He said, “But before the Commander in chief takes his final leave of those he holds most dear, he wishes to indulge himself a few minutes in calling to mind a slight review of the past....

     “A Contemplation of the complete attainment (at a period earlier that could have been expected) of the object for which we contended against so formidable a power cannot but inspire us with astonishment and gratitude. The disadvantageous circumstances on our part, under which the war was undertaken, can never be forgotten. The singular interpositions of Providence in our feeble condition were such, add could scarcely escape the attention of the most unobserving, while the unparalleled perseverance of the Armies of the [United] States through almost every possible suffering and discouragement for the space of eight long year was little short of a standing miracle.” (John C. Fitzpatrick, editor, Writings of George Washington, Volume 27, 223.

One Miracle After Another

     And so it was a miracle. There is no other way to account for the victory of Washington and his forces in the Revolutionary War except to acknowledge that God decreed that America would be a land of liberty. The hand of God was over Washington and his army. He protected them, guided them and when necessary he brought about miraculous circumstances to aid them.


     Edmund Morgan, a noted historian of the Puritans, has written, “When a crowd of American farmers opened fire on the regular troops of the British army some two hundred years ago, the action must have seemed foolhardy to any impartial observer. Such an observer might have been a little surprised at the events that immediately followed, when the farmers put the regulars to rout, chased them from Concord to Boston, and laid siege to that town. But however impressive this performance, it did not alter the fact that the British army was probably the most powerful in the world, having succeeded scarcely a dozen years before in defeating the armies of France, England’s only serious rival. For a handful of colonists, unorganized, without any regular source of arms or ammunition, with no army and no navy, to take on the world’s greatest power in open war must still have looked like a foolhardy enterprise.

     Somehow or other it proved not to be. Yet is remains something of puzzle that the farmers were able to bring it off.” (Edmund S. Morgan, The Genius of George Washington. New York. W. W. Norton, 1980.)

Divine Intervention Throughout the Revolutionary War

     The victory in the Revolutionary was not a puzzle to George Washington. In a letter to friends in Alexandria, Virginia on November 20, 1781, he wrote, “The great Director of events has carried us through a variety of Scenes during this long and bloody contest.” (John C. Fitzpatrick, editor. The Writings of George Washington, Volume 23, p. 356.)

     On August 10, 1782, Washington wrote, “If my endeavors to avert the evil, with which this Country was threatened, by a deliberate plan of Tyranny, should be crowned with success that is wished; the praise is due to the Grand Architect of the Universe; who did not see fit to Suffer his Superstructures, and justice, to be subjected to the ambition of the princes of this World, or to the rod of oppression, in the hands of any power on earth.” (John C. Fitzpatrick, editor, Writings of George Washington, Volume 24, p. 497.)     

     While in New York, after the war, Washington spoke to a religious group that tried to give his the praise for the recent victory. He humbly deflected their praise with these words. “The illustrious and happy event on which you are pleased to congratulate and welcome me to this City, demands all our gratitude....

     “Disposed, at every suitable opportunity to acknowledge publicly our infinite obligations to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for rescuing our Country from the brink of destruction; I cannot fail at t his time to ascribe all the honor of our late successes to the same glorious Being. And if my humble exertions have been made in any degree subservient to the execution of the divine purposes, a contemplation of the benediction of Heaven on our righteous Cause, the approbation of my virtuous Countrymen, and the testimony of my own Conscience, will be a sufficient reward and argument my felicity beyond anything which the world can bestow.” (John C. Fitzpatrick, editor. Writings of George Washington. Volume 27, p. 249.)

     With the exception of Abraham Lincoln, he is one of the most humble men ever to walk the hollowed land of America. In a letter to his close friend Marquis de Lafayette, Washington said, “At length, my dear marquis I am become a private citizen on the banks of the Potomac, and under the shadow of my own vine and my own fig tree. Free from the bustle of a camp and the busy scenes of public life, I am solacing myself with those tranquil enjoyments which the soldier who is ever in pursuit of fame ... can have little conception.” (James Thomas Flexner, Washington: the Indispensable Man. New York: New American Library, 1984, p. , pp. 184.)

     On November 27, 1783, shortly before he resigned his commission as Commander-in-chief, George Washington wrote, “The establishment of Civil and Religious Liberty was the Motive which induced me to the Field; the object is attained, and it now remains to be my earnest wish and prayer, that the Citizens of the United States would make a wise and virtuous use of the blessings, placed before them.” (John C. Fitzpatrick, editor. The Writings of George Washington, Volume 27, p. 249.)

Washington Says Goodbye to Officers

     On December 4, 1783, Washington met with his officers for the last time to bid them all farewell. It was a touching scene. There was not a dry eye in the room. One of Washington’s officers recorded the following, “The time is now drew near when the Commander-in-Chief intended to leave ... for his beloved retreat at Mount Vernon. On Tuesday, the fourth of December [1783], it was made known to the officers then in New York that General Washington intended to commence his journey on that day.


     “At twelve o’clock the officers repaired to Fraunces Tavern in Pearl Street, where General Washington had appointed to meet them and to take his final leave of them. We had been assembled but a few moments when His Excellency entered the room. His emotion, too strong to be concealed, seemed to be reciprocated by every officer present.

     “After partaking of slight refreshment, in almost breathless silence, the General filled his glass with wine, and turning to his officers, he said, ‘With a heart full of love and gratitude, I now take leave of you. I most devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honorable.’

     “After the officers had taken a glass of wine, General Washington said, ‘I cannot come to each of you, but shall feel obliged if each of you will come and take my hand.’

     General Knox, being nearest to him, turned to the Commander-in-Chief, who, suffused in tears, was incapable of utterance, but grasped his hand, when they embraced each other in silence. In the same affectionate manner, every officer in the room marched up to, kissed, and parted with his General-in-Chief.

     “Such a scene of sorrow and weeping I had never before witnessed, and hope that I may never be called upon to witness again.... Not a word was uttered to break the solemn silence... or to interrupt the tenderness of the ... scene. The simple thought that they were then about to part from the man who had conducted us through a long and bloody war, and under whose conduct the glory and independence of our country had been achieved, and that we should see his face no more in this world, seemed to me utterly insupportable.

     “But the time of separation had come, and waving his hand to his grieving children around him, he left the room, and passing through a corps of light infantry, who were paraded to receive him, he walked silently on to Whitehall, where a barge was waiting. We all followed in mournful silence to the wharf, where a prodigious crowd has assembled to witness the departure of the man who, under God, had been the great agent in establishing the glory and independence of these United States.

     “As soon as he was seated, the barge put off into the river, and when out in the stream, our great and beloved General waved his hat and bid us a silent adieu.” (Bruce Lancaster, The American Revolution. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1987, pp. 342-345.)

Washington Surrenders His Commission

     George Washington’s last official act as Commander-in-Chief was to surrender his commission to the Continental Congress that had assembled in Annapolis Maryland. On December 23, 1783 Washington once again acknowledged the hand of God in the Revolutionary War. He said, “I resign with satisfaction the Appointment I accepted with diffidence. A diffidence in my abilities to accomplish so arduous a task, which however was superseded by a confidence in the rectitude of our Cause, the support of the Supreme Power of the Union, and the patronage of Heaven.

     “The Successful termination of the War has verified the most sanguine expectations, and my gratitude for the interposition of Providence, and the assistance I received from my Countrymen, increases with every review of the momentous Contest....

     “I consider it an indispensable duty to close this last solemn act of my Official life, by commending the Interests of our dearest Country to t he protection of Almighty God, and those who have the superintendence of the, to his holy keeping.

     “Having now finished the work assigned me, I retire from the great theatre of Action; and bidding an Affectionate farewell to this August body under whose order I have so long acted. I here offer my Commission, and take my leave of all the employments of public life.” (John C. Fitzpatrick, editor, Writings of George Washington, Volume 27, pp. 284-285.)

A Modern Moses Delivers His People

     When the war ended the people hailed him as the new Moses and his fame spread rapidly throughout every city in America. He was the most known and beloved figure in America. Instead of seeking office, he humbly retied to Mt. Vernon. Why? George Washington knew that Providence had chosen America for a special mission. The Supreme Governor of the Universe had sent forth a decreed from the Courts of Heaven. America was to be cradle of liberty for the world and the home of Christianity. There would be little rest for Washington. His nation would be soon calling upon him once again to serve the nation. His days at Mt. Vernon would be short lived.

     America’s unique mission in the world was known to John Adams. John R. Howe, Hr, explains, “That the Revolution was a period of trial fit for testing and tempering American character, Adams was convinced, was not an accident of history, but part of a grand design intended to mold the American people for the job history had assigned them. History was not governed by ‘Blind and Unintelligent Necessity.’ It was rather the visible working out of Providential will ....

     “America’s struggle was God’s. The American people were His present agents for effecting His design. Our trial, Adams wrote to Josiah Quincy in 1775, ‘seems to be in the designs of providence... America’s fight against British tyranny was clearly ‘the work of the Lord....’

     Even as God was using Americans to accomplish His purposes, however, He was in the process of making them more effectual agents....

     “God was using the trials of the Revolution not to punish Americans, but to cleanse them further for the tasks He had appointed them; to purify them, as Adams frequently suggested, in ‘the furnace of affliction....’ By meeting and overcoming adversity, they would emerge strengthen and renewed. In this struggle, God would support them. The God for whom they did battle would not allow them to fail. And He would reward their obedience.... It made a difference that the American people had divine resources at their disposal.” (John R. Howe, The Changing Political Thought of John Adams. Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1966, pp. 46-49.)

     Concerning the end of the Revolutionary War Benjamin Rush would write, “ The American war is over: but this is far from being the case with the American Revolution. On the contrary, nothing but the first act of the great drama is closed.” (Harry S. Stout, New England Soul, p. 315.) And so it was.


Chapter 10— The Early Clergy: the Pulpits Are Aflame With Liberty

     From the days of William Bradford and the arrival of the Pilgrims and Puritans on the shores of the New World, the sermon has played a key role in shaping the minds of men. And in America the sermon played a prominent role in shaping the future leaders of America and instilling in them a sense of America’s divine origin and destiny.

     Harry S. Stout tells us that, “The sermon stood alone in local New England contexts as the only regular (at lest weekly) medium of communication. As a channel of information, it combined religious, educational, and journalistic functions, and supplied all the key terms necessary to understand existence in this world and the next. As the only event in public assembly that regularly brought the entire community together, it also represented the central ritual of social order and control. Seldom, if ever before, did so many people hear the same message of purpose and direction over so long a period of time as did the New England ‘Puritans.’

     “The seventeenth-century founders of New England set out to create a unique and self-perpetuating ‘people of the Word,’ and by extending the sermon to all significant facets of life—social and political, as well as religious—they achieved exactly that. Throughout the colonial era the regular ‘planting’ of churches in most towns kept pace with the growth of population so that by the time of the Revolution there were 720 Congregational churches in New England.


     “In like manner the number of college-educated, ordained ministers grew with the population, resulting in a constant ratio of preachers to general population that was among the lowest—if not the lowest—in the Protestant world. Twice on Sunday and often once during the week, every minister in New England delivered sermons lasting between one and two hours in length.

     “Collectively over the entire span of the colonial period, sermons totaled over five million separate messages in a society whose population never exceeded one half million and whose principal city never grew beyond seventeen thousand. The average weekly churchgoer in New England (and there were far more churchgoers that church members( listened to something like seven thousand sermons in a lifetime, totaling somewhere around fifteen thousand hours of concentrated listening. These striking statistics become even more significant when it is recalled that until the last decade o f the colonial era there were at the local level few, if any, competing public speakers offering alternative messages. For all intents and purposes, the sermon was the only voice of regular voice of authority.) (Harry S. Stout, The New England Soul: Preaching and Religious Culture in Colonial New England. New York: Oxford University Press. 1986, pp.3-4.)

Sermons on Liberty

     During the Revolutionary era the pulpits were literally aflame with liberty. During the critical time in America’s conflict with Great Britain England, the Congregational ministers in New England were delivering 2000 sermons a week. Harry S. Stout tells us that, “In Revolutionary New England, ministers continued to monopolize public communications, and the terms they most often employed to justify resistance and to instill hope emanated from the Scriptures and from New England’s enduring identity as an embattled people of the Word who were commissioned to uphold a sacred and exclusive covenant between themselves and God.

     “The idea of a national covenant supplied the ‘liberties’ New Englanders would die protecting, as well as ‘conditions’ that promised deliverance and victory over all enemies. It also provided the innermost impulsion toward radical thought and violent resistance to British ‘tyranny’ in New England.

     “Covenant theology as it evolved over five generations of New World preaching comprised a view of history and corporate identity that could best be labeled ‘providential.’ In t his view God entered into covenants with nations, as well as individuals, and promised that he would uphold them by his providential might if they would acknowledge no other sovereign and observe the terms of obedience contained in his Word.

     “Covenanted peoples like those of ancient Israel and New England were the hub around which sacred (i.e. real) history revolved. Such peoples might be ignored or reviled by the world and figure insignificantly in the great empires of profane history, but viewed through the sacred lens of providential history they were seen as God’ special instruments entrusted with the task of preparing the way for messianic deliverance.” (Harry S. Stout, New England Stout, p. 7.)

God’s New Israel

     The early clergy firmly believed that America was divine chosen and commissioned to serve God’s “New Israel” and the new “Promised Land.” They firmly believed that the people in America had been chosen as God’s ‘special instruments’ to fulfill a glorious destiny. The early clergy firmly supported the war for independence and they believed that God had raised up a modern Moses to deliver the people of America from bondage and tyranny.

     Jonathan Edwards was one of the key leaders of the Great Awakening in the early part of the 17th century. His classic sermon entitled, “The Latter-day Glory is Probably To Begin in America” launched the early clergy right into the Revolutionary War period. In this classic sermon, Edwards stated that, “It is not unlikely that this work of God’s spirit, so extraordinary and wonderful, is the dawning, or at least a prelude of that glorious work of God, so often foretold in scripture, which, in the progress and issue of it, shall renew the world of mankind....


     “We cannot reasonably think otherwise, than that he beginning of this great work of God must be near. And there are many things that make it probable that his work will begin in America. —It is signified that it shall begin in some remote part of the world, with which other parts have no communication but by navigation, in Isaiah 60: 9. ‘Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tashish first, to bring my sons from afar.’ It is exceeding manifest that this chapter is a prophecy of the prosperity of the church, in its most glorious state on earth, in the latter days; and I cannot think that any thing else can here be intended but America by the isles that are far off, from whence the first-born sons that glorious day shall be brought....

     “... America was discovered about the time of the reformation, or but little before: Which reformation was the first thing that God did towards the glorious renovation of the world after it had sunk into the depths of darkness and ruin, under the great anti-Christian apostasy. So that, as soon as this new world stands forth in view, God presently goes about doing some great thing in order to make way for the introduction of the church’s latter-day glory—which is to have it first seat in, and is to take its rise from the new world....

     “And if we may suppose that this glorious work of God shall begin in any part of America, I think, if we consider the circumstances of the settlement of New England, it must needs appear the most likely, of all American colonies, to be the place whence this work shall principally take it rise. And, if these things be so, it gives us more abundant reason to hope that what is now seen in America, and especially in New England, may prove the dawn of that glorious day; and the very uncommon and wonderful circumstances an events of this work, seem to me strongly to argue that God intends it as the beginning or forerunner of something vastly great. (Jonathan Edwards, Sermon )

     The early clergy firmly believed the words of Edwards and they saw “something vastly great” occurring with the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War. Therefore, they were very instrumental in rally the colonists to support the war against England. The pulpits of the Congregationalists, Presbyterians and Baptists were aflame with sermons on freedom and liberty.


     In a sermon entitled, “The American States Acting Over the Part of the Children of Israel in the Wilderness and Thereby Impeding Their Entrance Into Canaan’s Rest,” Nicholas Street stated, “... We are ready to marvel at the unreasonable vileness and cruelty of the British tyrant and his ministry, in endeavoring to oppress, enslave and destroy these American states....”

     “... The British tyrant is only acting over the same wicked and cruel part, that Pharaoh king of Egypt acted towards the children of Israel above 3000 years ago....     

     “ ... I now boldly assert him to be a cruel tyrant, who seeks to govern us without law, without reason, or the sacred dictates of revelation; impiously declaring that he has a right to give is laws binding in all cases whatsoever....

     “It is no great matter for men to trust in God when everything looks fair and prosperous; they then deceive themselves, thinking they trust in God, whereas they trust in the fair prospect that is before them. But this is the trial of our sincerity, when everything looks dark and gloomy, according to human prospects, then to commit our cause to God and trust in him for a favourable issue. This is truly trusting in God And these shifting scenes of adverse and prosperous appearances are designed to humble us and prove us, that we may know what is in our hearts....

     “And God is trying us and proving us by all the variety of his dispensations, that we may know what is in our hearts, and whether we will keep his commandments or no....

     “And God is visiting us with these things with general judgments; and ‘tis likely God will keep us in this wilderness of trouble to humble us and prove us, that we may see our errors, and know that God has a righteous controversy with us at this day....” (Sermon, East Haven, Connecticut. April, 1777.)


     In a sermon entitled, “The United States Elevated to Glory and Honour, Ezra Stiles delivered on May 8, 1783 admonished his listeners to remember that, “Liberty, civil and religious, has sweet and attractive charms. The enjoyment of this, with property, has filled the English settlers in America with a most amazing spirit, which has operated, and still will operate, with great energy. Never before has the experiment been so effectually tried, of every man’s reaping the fruits of his labour and feeling his share in the aggregate system of power. The ancient republics did not stand on the people at large; and therefore no example or precedent can be taken from them. Even men of arbitrary principles will be obliged, if they would figure in these states, to assume the patriot so long as they will length be charmed with the sweets of liberty....

     “While oppressed by the heavy weight of this combined force, heaven inspired us with resolution to cut the Gordian know when the die was cast in the glorious act of INDEPENDENCE. This was sealed and confirmed by God Almighty in the victory of General Washington at Trenton, and in the surprising movement and battle of Princeton; by which astonishing effort of generalship, General Howe, and the whole British army, in elated confidence and in open-mouthed march for Philadelphia was instantly stopped, remanded back, and cooped up for a shivering winter in the little borough of Brunswick. Thus God ‘turned the battle to the gate;’ and this gave a ‘finishing to the foundation’ of the American republic....

     “What but a miracle has preserved the UNION OF THE STATES, the PURITY OF CONGRESS, and the unshaken PATRIOTISM OF EVERY GENERAL ASSEMBLY? It is God who has raised up for us a great and powerful ALLY, an ally which sent us a chosen army and a naval force; who sent us a Rochambeau and a Chatelleus, and other characters of the first military merit and eminence, to fight side by side with a Washington and a Lincoln, and the intrepid Americans, in the siege and battle of York-Town. It is God who so ordered the balancing interests of nations as to produce an irresistible motive in the European maritime powers to take our part. Hence the recognition of our independence by Spain and Holland, as well as France.

     “So wonderfully does Divine Providence order the time and coincidence of the public national motives, co-operating in effecting great public events and revolutions.

     “But the time would fail me to recount the wonder working Providence of God in the events of this war. Let these serve as a specimen and lead us to hope that God will not forsake this people, for whom he has done such marvelous things (whereof we are glad and rejoice this day) having at length brought us to the dawn of Peace. O peace! thou welcome guest! all hail, thou heavenly visit and calm the tumult of nations, and wave thy balmy wing to perpetuity over this region of liberty. Let there be a tranquil period for the unmolested accomplishment of the Magnalia Dei, the great events in God's moral government, designed from eternal ages to be displayed in these ends of the earth.

     “And here I beg leave to congratulate my country upon the termination of this cruel and unnatural war, the cessation of hostilities, and the prospect of peace. May this great event excite and elevate our first, our highest acknowledgments to the SOVEREIGN MONARCH of Universal Nature, to the Supreme Disposer and Controller of all Events; let our pious, sincere and devout gratitude ascend in one general effusion of heart-felt praise and hallelujah, in one united cloud of incense, even the incense of universal joy and thanksgiving to God, from the collective body of the United States.


     “And while we render our supreme honors to the Most High, the God of armies, let us recollect with affectionate honor the bold and brave sons of freedom, who willingly offered themselves and bled in the defense of their country. Our fellow-citizens, the Officers and Soldiers of the Patriot Army, who, with the Manlys, the Joneses, and other gallant commanders and brave seamen of the American navy, have heroically fought the war by sea and by land, merit of their once bleeding but now triumphant country, Laurels, Crowns, Rewards, and the highest honors. Never was the possession of arms used with more glory, or in a better cause; since the days of Joshua the son of Nun. O WASHINGTON! how do I love thy name! how have I often adored and blessed thy God for creating and forming thee the great ornament of human kind! upheld and protected by the Omnipotent, by the Lord of Hosts, thou hast been sustained and carried through one of the most arduous and most important wars in all history. The world and posterity will, with admiration, contemplate thy deliberate, cool, and stable judgment, thy virtues, thy valour and heroick achievements, as far surpassing those of Cyrus, whom the world loved and adored. The sound of thy fame shall go out into all the earth, and extend to distant ages. Thou has convinced the world of the Beauty of Virtue-for in thee this Beauty shines with distinguished lustre. Those who would not recognize any beauty in virtue in the world beside will yet reverence it in thee. There is a glory in thy disinterested benevolence, which the greatest characters would purchase, if possible, at the expence of worlds, and which may excite indeed their emulation, but cannot be felt by the venal great-who think every thing, even virtue, and true glory, may be bought and sold, and trace our every action to motives terminating in self.” (Sermon, before Governor Jonathan Trumbull and the General Assembly of the State Connecticut. 1783)


     In a sermon entitled, “The Republic of the Israelites: An Example to the American States, Samuel Langdon stated, “And now, my fellow Citizens, and much honored Fathers of the State, you may be ready to ask-"To what purpose is this long detail of antiquated history on this public occasion?" I answer-Examples are better than precepts; and history is the best instructor both in polity and morals. I have presented you with the portrait of a nation, highly favoured by Heaven with civil and religious institutions, who yet, by not improving their advantages, forfeited their blessings and brought contempt and destruction on themselves.

     “If I am not mistaken, instead of the twelve tribes of Israel, we may substitute the thirteen States of the American union and see this application plainly offering itself, viz. That as God in the course of his kind providence hath given you an excellent constitution of government, founded on the most rational, equitable, and liberal principles by which all that liberty is secured which a people can reasonably claim, and you are empowered to make righteous laws for promoting public order and good morals; and as he has moreover given you by his Son Jesus Christ, who is far superior to Moses, a complete revelation of his will and a perfect system of true religion, plainly delivered in the sacred writings; it will be your wisdom in the eyes of the nations, and your true interest and happiness, to conform your practice in the strictest manner to the excellent principles of your government, adhere faithfully to the doctrines and commands of the gospel, and practice every public and private virtue.

     “By this you will increase in numbers, wealth, and power, and obtain reputation and dignity among the nations; whereas, the contrary conduct will make you poor, distressed and contemptible.

     “The God of heaven hath not indeed visibly displayed the glory of his majesty and power before our eyes, as he came down in the sight of Israel on the burning mount; nor has he written with his own finger the laws of our civil polity. But the signal interpositions of divine providence, in saving us from the vengeance of a powerful irritated nation from which we were unavoidably separated by their inadmissible claim of absolute parliamentary power over us; in giving us a WASHINGTON to be captain-general of our armies; in carrying us through the various distressing scenes of war and desolation, and making us twice triumphant over numerous armies, surrounded and captivated in the midst of their career; and finally giving us peace with a large territory and acknowledged independence; all these laid together fall little short of real miracles and an heavenly charter of liberty for these United-States. And when we reflect how wonderfully the order of these states was preserved when government was dissolved, or supported only by feeble props; with how much sobriety, wisdom, and unanimity they formed and received the diversified yet similar constitutions in the different states; with what prudence, fidelity, patience, and success the Congress have managed the general government under the great disadvantages of a very imperfect and impotent confederation; we cannot but acknowledge that God hath graciously patronized our cause and taken us under his special care, as he did his ancient covenant people.” (Sermon. Concord, New Hampshire. Before the General Court at the Annual election, June 5, 1788.)



     Let us now look a few selections from the remarkable sermons of the early clergy.

The Early Pulpits of the Clergy Are Aflame with Liberty

     God forbid that any son of New England should prove such a profane Esau as to sell his birthright! Our ancestors, though not perfect and infallible in all respects, were a religious, brave, and virtuous set of men, whose love of liberty, civil and religious, brought them from their native land into the American deserts. By their generous care it is, under the smiles of a gracious providence, that we have now here a goodly heritage.Johnathan Mayhew, Election Sermon, 1754

     All power is originally from God, and civil government his institution, and is designed to advance the happiness of his creatures. Civil power ought therefore ever to be employed agreeable to the nature and will of the supreme Sovereign and Guardian of all our rights.—Benjamin Stevens, Election Sermon, 1761

     Through our civil joy [for the repeal of the Stamp Act] has been expressed in a decent, orderly way, it would be but a poor, pitiful thing should we rest here, and not make our religious, grateful acknowledgments to the Supreme Ruler of the world, to whose superintending providence it is to be ascribed that we have had `given us so great deliverance.' Whatever were the means or instruments in order to this, that Glorious Being, whose throne is in the heavens and whose kingdom ruleth over all, had the chief had herein. He sat at the helm, and so governed all things relative to it as to bring it to this happy issue. It was under his all-wise, overruling influence that a spirit was raised up in all the colonies nobly to assert their freedom as men and as English-born subjects.-Charles Chauncey, Thanksgiving Sermon, 1766,

     Life, liberty, and property are the gifts of the Creator.—Daniel Shute, Election Sermon, 1768

     Government is divinely authorized, and it is the will of heaven that it should be: but every people (acting freely) have a right to enjoy their own government.—Eliphalet Williams, Election Sermon, 1769.

     But while, in imitation of our pious forefathers, we are aiming at the security of our liberties, we should all be concerned to express by our conduct their piety and virtue, and in a day of darkness and general distress carefully avoid everything offensive to God or injurious to men ... Let every attempt to secure our liberties be conducted with a manly fortitude, but with that respectful decency which reason approves and which alone gives weight to the most salutary measures. Let nothing divert us from the paths of truth and peace, which are the ways of God, and then we may be sure that He is with us, as He was with our fathers, and never leave nor forsake us.-Samuel Cook, Election Sermon, 1770

     The Scriptures cannot be rightfully expounded without explaining them in a manner friendly to the cause of freedom.—Charles Turner, Election Sermon, 1773.

     If God be for us, who can be against us? The enemy has reproached us for calling on his name, and professing our trust in him. They have made a mock of our solemn fasts, and every appearance of serious Christianity in the land. On this account, by way of contempt, they call us saints; and that they themselves may keep at the greatest distance from this character, their mouths are full of horrid blasphemies, cursing, and bitterness, and vent all the rage of malice and barbarity. And may we not be confident that the Most High, who regards these things, will vindicate his own honor, and plead our righteous cause against such enemies to his government, as well as our liberties. O, may our camp be free from every accursed thing! May our land be purged from all its sins! May we be a truly holy people, and all our towns cities of righteousness.—Samuel Langdon, Election Sermon 1775.

     Unlimited submission and obedience is due to none but God Alone. He has an absolute right to command; he alone has an uncontrollable sovereignty over us, because he alone is unchangeably good. He never will nor can require of us, consistent with his nature and attributes, anything which is not fit and reasonable. His commands are all just and good. And to suppose that he has given to any particular set of men a power to require obedience to that which is unreasonable, cruel, and unjust, is robbing the Deity of his justice and goodness.-Samuel West, Election Sermon, 1776

     For my part, when I consider the dispensations of Providence toward this land ever since our fathers first settled in Plymouth, I find abundant reason to conclude that the great sovereign of the universe has planted a vine in this American wilderness which he has caused to take deep root, and it has filled the land, and that he will never suffer it to be plucked up or destroyed.

     Our fathers fled from the rage of prelatical tyranny and persecution, and came into this land to enjoy liberty of conscience, and they have increased to a great people ... Could I see a spirit of repentance and reformation prevail through the land, l should not have the slightest apprehension of fear of being brought under the iron rod of slavery, even thought all the powers of the globe were combined against us,

     And though I confess that the irrelgion and profaneness which are so common among us give something of a damp to my spirits, yet I cannot help hoping, and even believing, that Providence has designed this continent for to be the asylum of liberty and true religion.—Samuel West, Election Sermon, 1776.

     In the rise and in the whole progress of the unnatural controversy between Great Britain and the now United Independent American States, the hand of God has been, I must think, very conspicuous. When we consider the remarkable union of thirteen disconnected, and many of them distant provinces, and the spirit, which burst forth like a flame nearly at the same time in all parts of the land; when we consider the weak, defenseless, and unprepared state of the country when hostilities were commenced, and in what an unexpected manner, and how quick, a supply of military stores was obtained; when we consider the mighty force that has come against us, both by sea and land, and the success that has attended our young troops and even our militia in many warm encounters with European regular forces; when we consider the little, the very little progress that our enemy has made toward accomplishing their injurious design in three successive campaigns . . . who can refrain his astonishment, and adoration of the supreme invisible hand that rules the world. —Chauncey Whittelsey, Election Sermon, 1778.

     No man denies but that originally all were equally free. Men did not purchase their freedom, nor was it the grant of kings, nor from charter, covenant, or compact, not in any proper sense from man: But from God. They were born free.

     But, behold, sin reign'd and disturb's the peace of men. And then tyrants presently began to reign also. Like our clothing they are the mark of lost innocence. The people trusting too much in the hands of some to defend them, they presently used it to oppress them ....

     Gross ignorance and sloth in the people must lay the foundation. Ignorance is... the mother of slavery....-Samuel Webster, Election Sermon, 1777.

     We stand this day upon Pisgah's top, the children of the free woman, the descendants of a pious race, who from the love of liberty and the fear of God, spent their treasure and spilt their blood. Animated by the same great spirit of liberty, and determined under God to be free, these states have made one of the noblest stands against despotism and tyranny that can be met with it in the annals of history, either ancient or modern. One common cause, one common danger, and one common interest has united and urged us to the most vigorous executions. From small beginnings, from great weakness, impelled from necessity and the tyrant's rod, but following the guidance of heaven, we have gone through a course of noble and heroic actions, with minds superior to the most virulent menaces, and to all the horrors of war, we trusted in the God of our forefathers.—Phillips Payson, Election Sermon, 1778.

     The finger of God has indeed been so conspicuous in every stage of our glorious struggle, that it seems as if the wonders and miracles performed for Israel of old were repeated over anew for the American Israel, in our day. —Phillip Payson, 1782.

     It has been often remarked that the people of the United States come nearer with ancient Israel than any other nation upon the globe. Hence our American Israel is term frequently used; and common consent allows it apt and proper.—Pastor Abriel Abbot, Thanksgiving sermon, 1799

Over 1800 Sermons on Liberty and Righteousness

     During the Revolutionary War period there were 1800 sermons and 400 pamphlets published. These mighty sermons sustained and motivated the people to forge ahead into the unknown with faith, trust and courage. The clergy led the nation in prayer. They delivered powerful sermons on the merits of the Revolutionary War and the cause of liberty. Washington joined with the clergy and other leaders to urge the citizens and soldiers to seek the guidance of Heaven and the blessings of Providence on all their efforts to secure the blessings of liberty for themselves and their posterity. Their prayers were graciously answered and the small rag tag army of George Washington was triumphant and the United States of America emerged as a free, sovereign and independent nation.

Righteousness Exalts a Nation

     Throughout this unique period in American history the early clergy were standing beside the founding fathers and guiding the nation's spiritual development. They understood the admonition that "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach unto the people. (Proverbs 14:34). They presided over major colleges and universities. Their lectures echoed the principles of liberty outlined in the Holy Scriptures. And on Sunday they stepped into the pulpit for lengthy sermons on the principles of freedom and liberty. In fact the early pulpits of America were aflame with the words of liberty.

     The early colonists relied upon one book for inspiration and guidance. And that book was the Holy Bible. Noah Webster echoed the views of the early founding fathers and clergy when he stated that the Bible is the source of individual liberty. He wrote: "It is extremely important to our nation, in a political as well as religious view, that all possible authority and influence should be given to the scriptures for these furnish the best principles of civil liberty, and the most effectual support of republican government."

     The Holy Bible was quoted by the founding fathers and the early clergy more than any other book in print. The colonial leaders, the founding fathers and the clergy of early America realized the importance of the Word of God in promoting and upholding freedom and liberty. The foundation of America's political, economic and religious liberty rest upon the Holy Scriptures.

     With the guidance of Heaven, the early colonists, the founding fathers and clergy won that monumental struggle with Great Britain and secured the blessings of liberty for themselves and their posterity.



Chapter 11—Our Charters of Liberty: State Constitutions

     Once the Revolutionary War was over the new citizens of American began the work of constructing new charters of liberty to govern the former colonies of England. While General George Washington and his valiant officers and troops were on the battlefield, other patriots were busy laying the foundation of civic institutions to protect the natural rights of mankind which has now been secured through the war.


     The Sons of Liberty, which were organized by Samuel Adams and James Otis in 1772 set up the Committees on Correspondence. The committees were organized in all the colonies and acted like a government in exile. It was the Committees that organized the First and Second Continental Congresses.

     Since the days of the Mayflower Compact and the Fundamental Order of Connecticut, the colonists had been learning the art of self-government. With the adopting of the Declaration of Independence, the former colonies became new states as conventions adopted new state constitutions.

     The seeds of liberty planted in New England by the Pilgrims and Puritans had grown into the mighty Liberty Tree on the Boston Commons. And lanterns hung by the Sons of Liberty guided the former colonists as they now became official citizens of the new states.

     Between 1776 and 1783 the former colonies set up state constitutions to govern the people. The unique aspect of these constitutions is that they were written by delegates of the people. They followed the advice of John Adams, who had written. “There is no good government but what is republican. That the only valuable part of the British Constitution is so; because the very definition of a republic is ‘an empire of laws, and not of men.’ (Thoughts on Government, Boston, 1776.)

     In America the Rule of Law would become paramount. The states and the America people were to be governed by laws adopted by their representatives, hence the tern Representative Government.

     The Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 clearly outlined the goals of the people to govern themselves under a system of laws. There would be no more taxation without representation. The constitution clearly outlined the new form of representative government.


Massachusetts Constitution of 1780


     “The end of the institution, maintenance and administration of government, is to secure the existence of the body-politic; to protect it; and to furnish the individuals who compose it, with the power of enjoying, in safety and tranquility, their natural rights, and the blessings of life: And whenever these great objects are not obtained, the people have a right to alter the government, and to take measures necessary for their safety, prosperity and happiness.

     The body-politic is formed by a voluntary association of individuals: It is a social compact, by which the whole people covenants with each citizen, and each citizen with the whole people, that all shall be governed by certain laws for the common good. It is the duty of the people, therefore, in framing a Constitution of Government, to provide for an equitable mode of making laws, as well as for an impartial interpretation, and a faithful execution of them; that every man may, at all times, find his security in them.

     “WE, therefore, the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Great Legislator of the Universe, in affording us, in the course of His providence, an opportunity, deliberately and peaceably, without fraud, violence or surprise, of entering into an original, explicit, and solemn compact with each other; and of forming a new Constitution of Civil Government, for ourselves and posterity; and devoutly imploring His direction in so interesting a design, Do agree upon, ordain and establish, the following Declaration of Rights, and Frame of Government, as the CONSTITUTION Of the COMMONWEALTH Of MASSACHUSETTS.

Part the First

     “Art. I. All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights, among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing and protecting property; in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.


     “ II. It is the right as well as the duty of all men in society, publicly, and at stated seasons, to worship the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe. And no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshiping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; or for his religious profession or sentiments; provided he doth not disturb the public peace, or obstruct others in their religious worship.

      “As the happiness of a people, and the good order and preservation of civil government, essentially depend upon piety, religion and morality; and as these cannot be generally diffused through a community, but by the institution of the public worship of God, and public instructions in piety, religion and morality. Therefore, to promote their happiness and secure the good order and preservation of their government, the people of this Commonwealth have a right to invest their legislature with power to authorize and require, the several towns, parishes, precincts, and other bodies—politic, or religious societies, to make suitable provision, at their own expense, for the institution of t he public worship of God, and for the support and maintenance of public protestant teachers of piety, religion and morality, in all cases where such provision shall be made voluntarily.      

     “AND the people of this Commonwealth have also a right to, and do, invest their legislature with authority to enjoin upon all the subjects an attendance upon the instructions of the public teachers aforesaid, at stated times and seasons, if there be any on whose instructions they can conscientiously and conveniently attend.

     “PROVIDED notwithstanding, that the several towns, parishes, precincts, and other bodies politic, or religious societies, shall, at all times, have the exclusive right of electing their public teachers, and of contracting with them for their support and maintenance.

     “AND all monies paid by the subject to the support of public worship, and of the public teachers aforesaid, shall, if he require it, be uniformly applied to the support of the public teacher or teachers of his own religious sect of denomination, provided there be any on whose instructions he attends: otherwise it may be paid towards the support of the teacher or teachers of the parish or precinct in which the said monies are raised.

     “AND every denomination of Christians, demeaning themselves peaceably, and as good subjects of the Commonwealth, shall be equally under the protection of the law: And no subordination of any one

sect or denomination to another shall ever be established by law.

     “IV.-THE people of this Commonwealth have the sole and exclusive right of governing themselves as a free, sovereign, an independent state; and do, and forever hereafter shall, exercise and enjoy every power, jurisdiction and right which is not, or may not hereafter, by them expressly delegated to the United States of America in Congress assembled.

     “V.-ALL power residing originally in the people, and being derived from them, the several magistrates and officers of government, vested with authority, whether legislative, executive, or judicial, are their substitutes and agents, and are at all times accountable to them.

     “VI.-NO man, nor corporation, or association of men, have any other title to obtain advantages, or particular and exclusive privileges, distinct from those of the community, than what arises from the consideration of services rendered to the public; and this title being in nature neither hereditary, nor transmissible to children, or descendants, or relations by blood, the idea of a man born a magistrate, lawgiver, or judge, is absurd and unnatural.

     “VII-GOVERNMENT is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men: Therefore the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity and happiness require it.

     “VIII.-IN order to prevent those, who are vested with authority, from becoming oppressors, the people have a right, at such periods and in such manner as they shall establish by their frame of government, to cause their public officers to return to private life; and to fill up vacant places by certain and regular elections and appointments.


     “IX.-ALL elections ought to be free; and all the inhabitants of this Commonwealth, having such qualifications as they shall establish by their frame of government, have an equal right to elect officers, and to be elected, for public employments.

     “X.-EACH individual of the society has a right to be protected by it in the enjoyment of his life, liberty and prosperity, according to standing laws. He is obliged, consequently, to contribute his share to the expense of this protection; to give his personal service, or an equivalent, when necessary: But no part of the property of any individual, can, with justice, be taken from him, or applied to public uses without his own consent, or that of the representative body of the people: In fine, the people of this Commonwealth are not controllable by any other laws, than those to which their constitutional representative body have given their consent. And whenever the public exigencies require, that the property of any individual should be appropriated to public uses, he shall receive a reasonable compensation therefor.

     “XI.-EVERY subject of the Commonwealth ought to find a certain remedy, by having recourse to the laws, for all injuries or wrongs which he may receive in his person, property, or character. He ought to obtain right and justice freely, and without being obliged to purchase it; completely, and without any denial; promptly, and without delay; conformably to the laws.

     “XII.-NO subject shall be held to answer for any crime or offence, until the same is fully and plainly,, substantially and formally, described to him; or be compelled to accuse, or furnish evidence against himself. And every subject shall have a right to produce all proofs, that may be favorable to him; to meet the witnesses against him face to face, and to be fully heard in his defence by himself, or his council, at his election. And no subject shall be arrested, imprisoned, despoiled, or deprived of his property, immunities, or privileges, put out of the protection of the law, exiled, or deprived of his life, liberty, or estate; but by the judgment of his peers, or the laws of the land.

     “AND the legislature shall not make any law, that shall subject any person to a capital or infamous punishment, excepting for the government of the army and navy, without trial by jury.

     “XIII.-IN criminal prosecution, the verification of facts in the vicinity where they happen, is one of the greatest securities of the life, liberty, and property of the citizen. XIV.-EVERY subject has a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches, and seizures of his person, his houses, his papers, and all his possessions. All warrants, therefore, are contrary to this right, if the cause or foundation of them be not previously supported by oath or affirmation; and if the order in the warrant to a civil officer, to make search in suspected places, or to arrest one or more suspected persons, or to seize their property, be not accompanied with a special designation of the persons or objects of search, arrest, or seizure: and no warrant ought to be issued but in cases, and with the formalities, prescribed by the laws.

     “XV.-IN all controversies concerning property, and in all suits between two or more persons, except in cases in which it has heretofore been other ways used and practiced, the parties have a right to a trial by jury; and this method of procedure shall be held sacred, unless, in causes arising on the high-seas, and such as relate to mariners wages, the legislature shall hereafter find it necessary to alter it.

XVI.-THE liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom in a state: it ought not, therefore, to be restrained in this Commonwealth.

     “XVII-THE people have a right to keep and to bear arms for the common defence. And as in time of peace armies are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be maintained without the consent of the legislature; and the military power shall always be held in an exact subordination to the civil authority, and be governed by it.

     “XVIII.-A FREQUENT recurrence to the fundamental principles of the constitution, and a constant adherence to those of piety, justice, moderation, temperance, industry, and frugality, are absolutely necessary to preserve the advantages of liberty, and to maintain a free government: The people ought, consequently, to have a particular attention to all those principles, in the choice of their officers and representatives: And they have a right to require of their law-givers and magistrates, an exact and constant observance of them, in the formation and execution of the laws necessary for the good administration of the Commonwealth.

     “XIX.-THE people have a right, in an orderly and peaceable manner, to assemble to consult upon the common good; give instructions to their representatives; and to request of the legislative body, by the way of addresses, petitions, or remonstrances, redress of the wrongs done them, and of the grievances they suffer.


     “XX.-THE power of suspending the laws, or the execution of the laws, ought never to be exercised but by the legislature, or by authority derived from it, to be exercised in such particular cases only as the legislature shall expressly provide for.

     “XXI.-THE freedom of deliberation, speech and debate, in either house of the legislature, is so essential to the rights of the people, that it cannot be the foundation of any accusation or prosecution, action or complaint, in any other court or place whatsoever.

     “XXII-THE legislature ought frequently to assemble for the redress of grievances, for correcting, strengthening, and confirming the laws, and for making new laws, as the common good may require.

     “XXIII.-NO subsidy, charge, tax, impost, or duties, ought to be established, fixed, laid, or levied, under any pretext whatsoever, without the consent of the people, or their representatives in the legislature.

     “XXIV.-LAWS made to punish for actions done before the existence of such laws, and which have not been declared crimes by preceding laws, are unjust, oppressive, and inconsistent with the fundamental principles of a free government.

     “XXV.-NO subject ought, in any case, or in any time, to be declared guilty of treason or felony by the legislature.

     “XXVI.-NO magistrate or court of law shall demand excessive bail or sureties, impose excessive fines, or inflict cruel or unusual punishments.

     “XXVII-IN time of peace no soldier ought to be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner; and in time of war such quarters ought not to be made but by the civil magistrate, in a manner ordained by the legislature.

     “XXVIII.-NO person can in any case be subjected to law- martial, or to any penalties or pains, by virtue of that law, except those employed in the army or navy, and except the militia in actual service, but by authority of the legislature.

     “XXIX.-IT is essential to the preservation of the rights of every individual, his life, liberty, property and character, that there be an impartial interpretation of the laws, and administration of justice. It is the right of every citizen to be tried by judges as free, impartial and independent as the lot of humanity will admit. It is therefore not only the best policy, but for the security of the rights of the people, and of every citizen, that the judges of the supreme judicial court should hold their offices as long as they behave themselves well; and that they should have honorable salaries ascertained and established by standing laws.

     “XXX.-IN the government of this Commonwealth, the legislative department shall never exercise the executive and judicial powers, or either of them: The executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them: The judicial shall never exercise the legislative and executive powers, or either of them: to the end it may be a government of laws and not of men.


The Frame of Government

     THE people, inhabiting the territory formerly called the Province of Massachusetts-Bay, do hereby solemnly and mutually agree with each other, to form themselves into a free, sovereign, and independent body-politic or state, by the name of THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS.

Chapter I

The Legislative Power

Section I

The General Court

     ART. I.-THE department of legislation shall be formed by two branches, a Senate and House of Representatives: each of which shall have a negative on the other.

     THE legislative body shall assemble every year, on the last Wednesday in May, and at such other times as they shall judge necessary; and shall dissolve and be dissolved on the day next preceding the said last Wednesday in May; and shall be styled, THE GENERAL COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS.

     II.-No bill or resolve of the Senate or House of Representatives shall become a law, and have force as such, until it shall have been laid before the Governor for his revisal: And if he, upon such revision, approve thereof, he shall signify his approbation by signing the same. But if he have any objection to the passing of such bill or resolve, he shall return the same, together with his objections thereto, in writing, to the Senate or House of Representatives, in which soever the same shall have originated; who shall enter the objections sent down by the Governor, at large, on their records, and proceed to reconsider the said bill or resolve: But if, after such reconsideration, two thirds of the said Senate or House of Representatives, shall, notwithstanding the said objections, agree to pass the same, it shall, together with the objections, be sent to the other branch of the legislature, where it shall also be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of the members present, shall have the force of a law: But in all such cases the votes of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays; and the names of the persons voting for, or against, the said bill or resolve, shall be entered upon the public records of the Commonwealth.

     AND in order to prevent unnecessary delays, if any bill or resolve shall not be returned by the Governor within five days after it shall have been presented, the same shall have the force of a law.

     III.-THE General Court shall forever have full power and authority to erect and constitute judicatories and courts of record, or other courts, to be held in the name of the Commonwealth, for the hearing, trying, and determining of all manner of crimes, offenses, pleas, processes, plaints, actions, matters, causes and things, whatsoever, arising or happening within the Commonwealth, or between or concerning persons inhabiting, or residing, or brought within the same; whether the same be criminal or civil, or whether the said crimes be capital or not capital, and whether the said pleas be real, personal, or mixed; and for the awarding and making out of execution thereupon: To which courts and judicatories are hereby given and granted full power and authority, from time to time, to administer oaths or affirmations, for the better discovery of truth in any matter in controversy or depending before them.

     IV.-AND further, full power and authority are hereby given and granted to the said General Court, from time to time, to make, ordain, and establish, all manner of wholesome and reasonable orders, laws, statutes, and ordinances, directions and instructions, either with penalties or without; so as the same be not repugnant or contrary to this Constitution, as they shall judge to be for the good and welfare of this Commonwealth, and for the government and ordering thereof, and of the subjects of the same, and for the necessary support and defence of the government thereof; and to name and settle annually, or provide by fixed laws, for the naming and settling all civil officers within the said Commonwealth, the election and constitution of whom are not hereafter in this Form of Government otherwise provided for; and to set forth the several duties, powers and limits of the several civil and military officers of this Commonwealth, and the forms of such oaths or affirmations as shall be respectively administered unto them for the execution of their several offices and places, so as the same be not repugnant or contrary to this Constitution; and to impose and levy proportional and reasonable assessments, rates, and taxes, upon all the inhabitants of, and persons resident, and estates lying, within the said Commonwealth; and also to impose, and levy reasonable duties and excises, upon any produce, goods, wares, merchandize, and commodities whatsoever, brought into, produced, manufactured, or being within the same; to be issued and disposed of by warrant, under the hand of the Governor of this Commonwealth for the time being, with the advice and consent of the Council, for the public service, in the necessary defence and support of the government of the said Commonwealth, and the protection and preservation of the subjects thereof, according to such acts as are or shall be in force within the same.


     AND while the public charges of government, or any part thereof, shall be assessed on polls and estates, in the manner that has hitherto been practiced, in order that such assessments may be made with equality, there shall be a valuation of estates within the Commonwealth taken anew once in every ten years at least, and as much oftener as the General Court shall order.

Chapter I

Section II


     ART. ITHERE shall be annually elected by the freeholders and other inhabitants of this Commonwealth, qualified as in this Constitution is provided, forty persons to be Counsellors and Senators for the year ensuing their election; to be chosen by the inhabitants of the districts, into which the Commonwealth may from time to time be divided by the General Court for that purpose: And the General Court, in assigning the numbers to be elected by the respective districts, shall govern themselves by the proportion of the public taxes paid by the said districts; and timely make known to the inhabitants of the Commonwealth, the limits of each district, and the number of Counsellors and Senators to be chosen therein; provided, that the number of such districts shall never be less than thirteen; and that no district be so large as to entitle the same to choose more than six Senators.

     AND the several counties in this Commonwealth shall, until the General Court shall determine it necessary to alter the said districts, be districts for the choice of Counsellors and Senators, (except that the counties of Dukes County and Nantucket shall form one district for that purpose) and shall elect the following number for Counsellors and Senators, viz:

Suffolk                    Six

Essex                         Six

Middlesex                    Five

Hampshire                    Four

Plymouth                    Three

Barnstable                    One

Bristol                         Three

York                         Two

Dukes County and Nantucket          One

Worcester                    Five

Cumberland                    One

Lincoln                    One

Berkshire                    Two

     II.THE Senate shall be the first branch of the legislature; and the Senators shall be chosen in the following manner, viz: There shall be a meeting on the first Monday in April annually, forever, of the inhabitants of each town in the several counties of this Commonwealth; to be called by the Selectmen, and warned in due course of law, at least seven days before the first Monday in April, for the purpose of electing persons to be Senators and Counsellors. And at such meetings every male inhabitant of twenty-one years of age and upwards, having a freehold estate within the Commonwealth, of the annual income of three pounds, or any estate of the value of sixty pounds, shall have a right to give in his vote for the Senators for the district of which he is an inhabitant. And to remove all doubts concerning the meaning of the word "inhabitant" in this constitution, every person shall be considered as an inhabitant, for the purpose of electing and being elected into any office, or place within this State, in that town, district, or plantation, where he dwelleth, or hath his home.


     THE Selectmen of the several towns shall preside at such meetings impartially; and shall receive the votes of all the inhabitants of such towns present and qualified to vote for Senators, and shall sort and count them in open town meeting, and in presence of the Town Clerk, who shall make a fair record in presence of the Selectmen, and in open town meeting, of the name of every person voted for, and of the number of votes against his name; and a fair copy of this record shall be attested by the Selectmen and the Town-Clerk, and shall be sealed up, directed to the Secretary of the Commonwealth for the time being, with a superscription, expressing the purport of the contents thereof, and delivered by the Town Clerk of such towns, to the Sheriff of the county in which such town lies, thirty days at least before the last Wednesday in May annually; or it shall be delivered into the Secretary's office seventeen days at least before the said last Wednesday in May, and the Sheriff of each county shall deliver all such certifications by him received, in to the Secretary's office seventeen days before the said last Wednesday in May.

     AND the inhabitants of plantations unincorporated, qualified as this Constitution provides, who are or shall be empowered and required to assess taxes upon themselves toward the support of government, shall have the same privilege of voting for Counsellors and Senators, in the plantations where they reside, as town inhabitants have in their respective towns; and the plantation-meetings for that purpose shall be held annually on the same first Monday in April, at such place in the plantations respectively, as the Assessors thereof shall direct; which Assessors shall have like authority for notifying the electors, collecting and returning the votes, as the Selectmen and Town-Clerks have in their several towns, by this Constitution. And all other persons living in places unincorporated (qualified as aforesaid) who shall be assessed to the support of government by the Assessors of an adjacent town, shall have the privilege of giving in their votes for Counsellors and Senators, in the town where they shall be assessed, and be notified of the place of meeting by the Selectmen of the town where they shall be assessed, for that purpose, accordingly.

     III.AND that there may be a due convention of Senators on the last Wednesday in May annually, the Governor, with five of the Council, for the time being, shall, as soon as may be, examine the returned copies of such records; and fourteen days before the said day he shall issue his summons to such persons as shall appear to be chosen by a majority of voters, to attend on that day, and take their seats accordingly: Provided nevertheless, that for the first year the said returned copies shall be examined by the President and five of the Council of the former Constitution of Government; and the said President shall, in like manner, issue his summons to the persons so elected, that they may take their seats as aforesaid.

     IV.THE Senate shall be the final judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of their own members, as pointed out in the Constitution; and shall, on the said last Wednesday in May annually, determine and declare who are elected by each district, to be Senators, by a majority of votes: And in case there shall not appear to be the full number of Senators returned elected by a majority of votes for any district, the deficiency shall be supplied in the following manner, viz. The members of the House of Representatives, and such Senators as shall be. declared elected, shall take the names of such persons as shall be found to have the highest votes in each district, and not elected, amounting to twice the number of Senators wanting, if there be so many voted for; and, out of these, shall elect by ballot a number of Senators sufficient to fill up the vacancies in such district: And in this manner all such vacancies shall be filled up in every district of the Commonwealth; and in like manner all vacancies in the Senate, arising by death, removal out of the State, or otherwise, shall be supplied as soon as may be after such vacancies shall happen.

     V.PROVIDED nevertheless, that no person shall be capable of being elected as a Senator, who is not seized in his own right of a freehold within this Commonwealth, of the value of three hundred pounds at least, or of both to the amount of the same sum, and who has not been an inhabitant of this Commonwealth for the space of five years immediately preceding his election; and, at the time of his election, he shall be an inhabitant in the district, for which he shall be chosen.

     VI.THE Senate shall have power to adjourn themselves, provided such adjournments do not exceed two days at a time.


     VII.THE Senate shall choose its own President, appoint its own officers, and determine its own rules of proceeding.

     VIII.THE Senate shall be a court with full authority to hear and determine all impeachments made by the House of Representatives, against any officer or officers of the Commonwealth, for misconduct and mal-administration in their offices. But, previous to the trial of every impeachment, the members of the Senate shall respectively be sworn, truly and impartially to try and determine the charge in question, according to evidence. Their judgment, however, shall not extend further than to removal from office and disqualification to hold or enjoy any place of honor, trust, or profit, under this Commonwealth: But the party, so convicted, shall be, nevertheless, liable to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment, according to the laws of the land.

     IX.NOT less than sixteen members of the Senate shall constitute a quorum for doing business.

Chapter I

Section III

House of Representatives

     ART. ITHERE shall be in the legislature of this Commonwealth, a representation of the people, annually elected, and founded upon the principle of equality.

     II.AND in order to provide for a representation of the citizens of this Commonwealth, founded upon the principle of equality, every corporate town, containing one hundred and fifty rateable polls, may elect one Representative: Every corporate town, containing three hundred and seventy-five rateable polls, may elect three Representatives; and proceeding in that manner, making two hundred and twenty-five rateable polls the mean increasing number for every additional Representative.

     PROVIDED nevertheless, that each town incorporated, not having one hundred and fifty rateable polls, may elect one Representative: but no place shall hereafter be incorporated with the privilege of electing a Representative, unless there are within the same one hundred and fifty rateable polls.

     AND the House of Representatives shall have power, from time to time, to impose fines upon such towns as shall neglect to choose and return members to the same, agreeably to this Constitution.

     THE expenses of travelling to the General Assembly, and returning home, once in every session, and no more, shall be paid by the government, out of the public treasury, to every member who shall attend as seasonably as he can, in the judgment of the House, and does not depart without leave.

     III.EVERY member of the House of Representatives shall be chosen by written votes; and for one year at least next preceding his election shall have been an inhabitant of, and have been seized in his own right of a freehold of the value of one hundred pounds within the town he shall be chosen to represent, or any rateable estate to the value of two hundred pounds; and he shall cease to represent the said town immediately on his ceasing to be qualified as aforesaid.

     IV.EVERY male person, being twenty-one years of age, and resident in any particular town in this Commonwealth for the space of one year next preceding, having a freehold estate within the same town, of the annual income of three pounds, or any estate of the value of sixty pounds, shall have a right to vote in the choice of a Representative or Representatives for the said town.

     V.THE members of the House of Representatives shall be chosen annually in the month of May, ten days at least before the last Wednesday of that month.

     VI.THE House of Representatives shall be the Grand Inquest of this Commonwealth; and all impeachments made by them shall be heard and tried by the Senate.

     VII.ALL money-bills shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments, as on other bills.

     VIII.THE House of Representatives shall have power to adjourn themselves; provided such adjournment shall not exceed two days at a time.


     IX.NOT less than sixty members of the House of Representatives shall constitute a quorum for doing business.

     X.THE House of Representatives shall be the judge of the returns, elections, and qualifications of its own members, as pointed out in the constitution; shall choose their own Speaker; appoint their own officers, and settle the rules and orders of proceeding in their own house: They shall have authority to punish by imprisonment, every person, not a member, who shall be guilty of disrespect to the House, by any disorderly, or contemptuous behavior, in its presence; or who, in the town where the General Court is sitting, and during the time of its sitting, shall threaten harm to the body or estate of any of its members, for any thing said or done in the House; or who shall assault any of them therefor; or who shall assault, or arrest, any witness, or other person, ordered to attend the House, in his way in going, or returning; or who shall rescue any person arrested by the order of the House.

     NO member of the House of Representatives shall be arrested, or held to bail on mean process, during his going unto, returning from, or his attending, the General Assembly. XI.-THE Senate shall. have the same powers in the like cases; and the Governor and Council shall have the same authority to punish in like cases. Provided, that no imprisonment on the warrant or order of the Governor, Council, Senate, or House of Representatives, for either of the above described offenses, be for a term exceeding thirty days.

     AND the Senate and House of Representatives may try, and determine all cases where their rights and privileges are concerned, and which, by the Constitution, they have authority to try and determine, by committees of their own members, or in such other way as they may respectively think best.

Chapter II

Executive Power

Section I


     ART. I.THERE shall be a Supreme Executive Magistrate, who shall be styled, THE GOVERNOR OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, and whose title shall beHIS EXCELLENCY.

     II.THE Governor shall be chosen annually: And no person shall be eligible to this office, unless at the time of his election, he shall have been an inhabitant of this Commonwealth for seven years next preceding; and unless he shall, at the same time, be seized in his own right, of a freehold within the Commonwealth, of the value of one thousand pounds; and unless he shall declare himself to be of the Christian religion.


     III.THOSE persons who shall be qualified to vote for Senators and Representatives within the several towns of this Commonwealth, shall, at a meeting, to be called for that purpose, on the first Monday of April annually, give in their votes for a Governor, to the Selectmen, who shall preside at such meetings; and the Town Clerk, in the presence and with the assistance of the Selectmen, shall, in open town meeting, sort and count the votes, and form a list of the persons voted for, with the number of votes for each person against his name; and shall make a fair record of the same in the town books, and a public declaration thereof in the said meeting; and shall, in the presence of the inhabitants, seal up copies of the said list, attested by him and the Selectmen, and transmit the same to the Sheriff of. the county, thirty days at least before the last Wednesday in May; and the Sheriff shall transmit the same to the Secretary's office seventeen days at least before the said last Wednesday in May; or the Selectmen may cause returns of the same to be made to the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth seventeen days at least before the said day; and the Secretary shall lay the same before the Senate and the House of Representatives, on the last Wednesday in May, to be by them examined: And in case of an election by a majority of all the votes returned, the choice shall be by them declared and published: But if no person shall have a majority of votes, the House of Representatives shall, by ballot, elect two out of four persons who had the highest number of votes, if so many shall have been voted for; but, if otherwise, out of the number voted for; and make return to the Senate of the two persons so elected; on which, the Senate shall proceed, by ballot, to elect one, who shall be declared Governor.

     IV.THE Governor shall have authority, from time to time, at his discretion, to assemble and call together the Counsellors of this Commonwealth for the time being; and the Governor, with the said Counsellors, or five of them at least, shall, and may, from time to time, hold and keep a Council, for the ordering and directing the affairs of the Commonwealth, agreeably to the Constitution and the laws of the land.

     V.THE Governor, with advice of Council, shall have full power and authority, during the session of the General Court, to adjourn to prorogue the same to any time the two Houses shall desire; to dissolve the same on the day next preceding the last Wednesday in May; and, in the recess of the said Court, to prorogue the same from time to time, not exceeding ninety days in any one recess; and to call it together sooner than the time to which it may be adjourned or prorogued, if the welfare of the Commonwealth shall require the same: And in case of any infectious distemper prevailing in the place where the said Court is next at any time to convene, or any other cause happening whereby danger may arise to the health or lives of the members from their attendance, he may direct the session to be held at some other the most convenient place within the State.

     AND the Governor shall dissolve the said General Court on the day next preceding the last Wednesday in May.

     VI.IN cases of disagreement between the two Houses, with regard to the necessity, expediency or time of adjournment, or prorogation, the Governor, with advice of the Council, shall have a right to adjourn or prorogue the General Court, not exceeding ninety days, as he shall determine the public good shall require.

     VII.THE Governor of this Commonwealth, for the time being, shall be the commander-in-chief of the army and navy, and of all the military forces of the State, by sea and land; and shall have full power, by himself, or by any commander, or other officer or officers, from time to time, to train, instruct, exercise and govern the militia and navy; and, for the special defence and safety of the Commonwealth, to assemble in martial array, and put in warlike posture, the inhabitants thereof, and to lead and conduct them, and with them, to encounter, repel, resist, expel and pursue, by force of arms, as well as by sea as by land, within or without the limits of this Commonwealth, and also to kill, slay and destroy, if necessary, and conquer, by all fitting ways, enterprises and means whatsoever, all and every such person and persons as shall, at any time hereafter, in a hostile manner, attempt or enterprize the destruction, invasion, detriment, or annoyance of this Commonwealth; and to use and exercise, over the army and navy, and over the militia in actual service, the law martial, in time of war or invasion, and also in time of rebellion, declared by the legislature to exist, as occasion shall necessarily require; and to take and surprise by all ways and means whatsoever, all and every such person or persons, with their ships, arms, ammunition and other goods, as shall, in a hostile manner, invade, or attempt the invading, conquering, or annoyance this Commonwealth; and that the Governor be intrusted with all these and other powers, incident to the offices of Captain-General and Commander-in-Chief, and Admiral, to be exercised agreeably to the rules and regulations of the Constitution, and the laws of the land, and not otherwise.

     PROVIDED, that the said Governor shall not, at any time hereafter, by virtue of any power by this Constitution granted, or hereafter to be granted to him by the legislature, transport any of the inhabitants of this Commonwealth, or oblige them to march out of the limits of the same, without their free and voluntary consent, or the consent of the General Court;     except so far as may be necessary to march or transport them by land or water, for the defence of such part of the State, to which they cannot otherwise conveniently have access.

     VIII.THE power of pardoning offenses, except such as persons may be convicted of before the Senate by an impeachment of the House, shall be in the Governor, by and with the advice of Council. But no charter of pardon, granted by the Governor, with advice of Council, before conviction, shall avail the party pleading the same, notwithstanding any general or particular expressions contained therein, descriptive of the offence, or offenses intended to be pardoned.


     IX.ALL judicial officers, the Attorney-General, the Solicitor-General, all Sheriffs, Coroners, and Registers of Probate, shall be nominated and appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Council; and every such nomination shall be made by the Governor, and made at least seven days prior to such appointment.

     X.THE Captains and subalterns of the militia shall be elected by the written votes of the train-band and alarm list of their respective companies, of twenty-one years of age and upwards: The field-officers of Regiments shall be elected by the written votes of the captains and subalterns of their respective regiments: The Brigadiers shall be elected in like manner, by the field officers of their respective brigades: And such officers, so elected, shall be commissioned by the Governor, who shall determine their rank.

     THE Legislature shall, by standing laws, direct the time and manner of convening the electors, and of collecting votes, and of certifying to the Governor the officers elected. THE Major-Generals shall be appointed by the Senate and House of Representatives, each having a negative upon the other; and be commissioned by the Governor.

     AND if the electors of Brigadiers, field-officers, captains or subalterns, shall neglect or refuse to make such elections, after being duly notified, according to the laws for the time being, then the Governor, with advice of Council, shall appoint suitable persons to fill such offices.

     AND no officer, duly commissioned to command in the militia, shall be removed from his office, but by the address of both houses to the Governor, or by fair trial in court martial, pursuant to the laws of the Commonwealth for the time being.

     THE commanding officers of regiments shall appoint their Adjutants and Quarter-masters; the Brigadiers their Brigade-Majors; and the Major-Generals their Aids: and the Governor shall appoint the Adjutant General.

     THE Governor, with advice of Council, shall appoint all officers of the continental army, whom by the confederation of the United States it is provided that this Commonwealth shall appoint,-as also all officers of forts and garrisons.

     THE divisions of the militia into brigades, regiments and companies, made in pursuance of the militia laws now in force, shall be considered as the proper divisions of the militia of this Commonwealth, until the same shall be altered in pursuance of some future law.

     XI.NO monies shall be issued out of the treasury of this Commonwealth, and disposed of (except such sums as may be appropriated for the redemption of bills of credit of Treasurer's notes, or for the payment of interest arising thereon) but by warrant under the hand of the Governor for the time being, with the advice and consent of the Council, for the necessary defence and support of the Commonwealth; and for the protection and preservation of the inhabitants thereof, agreeably to the acts and resolves of the General Court.

     XII.ALL public boards, the Commissary-General, all superintending officers of public magazines and stores, belonging to this Commonwealth, and all commanding officers of forts and garrisons within the same, shall, once in every three months, officially and without requisition, and at other times, when required by the Governor, deliver to him an account of all goods, stores, provisions, ammunition, cannon with their appendages, and small arms with their accountrements, and of all other public property whatever under their care respectively; distinguishing the quantity, number, quality and kind of each, as particularly as may be; together with the condition of such forts and garrisons: And the said commanding officer shall exhibit to the Governor, when required by him, true and exact plans of such forts, and of the land and sea, or harbours adjacent.

     AND the said boards, and all public officers, shall communicate to the Governor, as soon as may be after receiving the same, all letters, dispatches, and intelligences of a public nature, which shall be directed to them respectively.

     XIII.AS the public good requires that the Governor should not be under the undue influence of any of the members of the General Court, by a dependence on them for his support-that he should, in all cases, act with freedom for the benefit of the public-that he should not have his attention necessarily diverted from that object to his private concerns-and that he should maintain the dignity of the Commonwealth in the character of its chief magistrate-it is necessary that he should have an honorable stated salary, of a fixed and permanent value, amply sufficient for those purposes, and established by standing laws: And it shall be among the first acts of the General Court, after the Commencement of this Constitution, to establish such salary by law accordingly.


     PERMANENT and honorable salaries shall also be established by law for the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court.

     AND if it shall be found, that any of the salaries aforesaid, so established, are insufficient, they shall, from time to time, be enlarged, as the General Court shall judge proper.

Chapter II

Section II


     ART. I.THERE shall be annually elected a Lieutenant-Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, whose title shall be His HONOR-and who shall be qualified, in point of religion, property, and residence in the Commonwealth, in the same manner with the Governor: And the day and manner of his election, and the qualifications of the electors, shall be the same as are required in the election of a Governor. The return of the votes for this officer, and the declaration of his election, shall be in the same manner: And if no one person shall be found to have a majority of all the votes returned, the vacancy shall be filled by the Senate and House of Representatives, in the same manner as the Governor is to be elected, in case no one person shall have a majority of the votes of the people to be Governor.

     II.THE Governor, and in his absence the Lieutenant-Governor, shall be President of the Council, but shall have no vote in the Council: And the Lieutenant-Governor shall always be a member of the Council, except when the chair of the Governor shall be vacant.

     III.WHENEVER the chair of the Governor shall be vacant, by reason of his death, or absence from the Commonwealth, or otherwise, the Lieutenant-Governor, for the time being, shall, during such vacancy, perform all the duties incumbent upon the Governor, and shall have and exercise all the powers and authorities, which by this Constitution the Governor is vested with, when personally present.

Chapter 11

Section III

Council, and the Manner of Settling Elections by the Legislature

     ART. I.THERE shall be a Council for advising the Governor in the executive part of government, to consist of nine persons besides the Lieutenant-Governor, whom the Governor, for the time being, shall have full power and authority, from time to time, at his discretion, to assemble and call together. And the Governor, with the said Counsellors, or five of them at least, shall and may, from time to time, hold and keep a council, for the ordering and directing the affairs of the Commonwealth, according to the laws of the land.

     II.NINE Counsellors shall be annually chosen from among the persons returned for Counsellors and Senators, on the last Wednesday in May, by the joint ballot of the Senators and Representatives assembled in one room: And in case there shall not be found, upon the first choice, the whole number of nine persons who will accept a seat in the Council, the deficiency shall be made up by the electors aforesaid from among the people at large; and the number of Senators left shall constitute the Senate for the year. The seats of the persons thus elected from the Senate, and accepting the trust, shall be vacated in the Senate.

     III.THE Counsellors, in the civil arrangements of the Commonwealth, shall have rank next after the Lieutenant-Governor.

     IV.NOT more than two Counsellors shall be chosen out of any one district of this Commonwealth.


     V.THE resolutions and advice of the Council shall be recorded in a register, and signed by the members present; and this record may be called for at any time by either House of the Legislature; and any member of the Council may insert his opinion contrary to the resolution of the majority.

     VI.WHENEVER the office of the Governor and Lieutenant-Governor shall be vacant, by reason of death, absence, or otherwise, then the Council or the major part of them, shall, during such vacancy, have full power and authority, to do, and execute, all and every such acts, matters and things, as the Governor or the Lieutenant-Governor might or could, by virtue of this Constitution, do or execute, if they, or either of them, were personally present.

     VIIAND whereas the elections appointed to be made by this Constitution, on the last Wednesday in May annually, by the two Houses of the Legislature, may not be completed on that day, the said elections may be adjourned from day to day until the same shall be completed. And the order of elections shall be as follows; the vacancies in the Senate, if any, shall first be filled up; the Governor and Lieutenant-Governor shall then be elected, provided there should be no choice of them by the people: And afterwards the two Houses shall proceed to the election of the Council.

Chapter II

Section IV

Secretary, Treasurer, Commissary, etc.

     ART. I.THE Secretary, Treasurer and Receiver-General, and the Commissary-General, Notaries-Public, and Naval-Officers, shall be chosen annually, by joint ballot of the Senators and Representatives in one room. And that the citizens of this Commonwealth may be assured, from time to time, that the monies remaining in the public Treasury, upon the settlement and liquidation of the public accounts, are their property, no man shall be eligible as Treasurer and Receiver-General more than five years successively.

     II.THE records of the Commonwealth shall be kept in the office of the Secretary, who may appoint his Deputies, for whose conduct he shall be accountable, and he shall attend the Governor and Council, the Senate and House of Representatives, in person, or by his deputies, as they shall respectively require.

First Constitutions and Declarations of Rights

Chapter III

Judiciary Power

     ART. I.THE tenure that all commission officers shall by law have in their offices, shall be expressed in their respective commissions. All judicial officers, duly appointed, commissioned and sworn, shall hold their offices during good behavior, excepting such concerning whom there is different provision made in this Constitution: Provided, nevertheless, the Governor, with consent of the Council, may remove them upon the address of both Houses of the Legislature.

     II.EACH branch of the Legislature, as well as the Governor and Council, shall have authority to require the opinions of the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court, upon important questions of law, and upon solemn occasion.

     III.IN order that the people may not suffer from the long continuance in place of any Justice of the Peace, who shall fail of discharging the important duties of his office with ability or fidelity, all commissions of justice of the Peace shall expire and become void, in the term of seven years from their respective dates; and, upon the expiration of any commission, the same may, if necessary, be renewed, or another person appointed, as shall most conduce to the well being of the Commonwealth.


     IV.THE Judges of Probate of Wills, and for granting letters of administration, shall hold their courts at such place or places, on fixed days, as the convenience of the people shall require. And the Legislature shall, from time to time, hereafter appoint such times and places; until which appointments, the said Courts shall be holden at the times and places which the respective judges shall direct.

     V.ALL causes of marriage, divorce and alimony, and all appeals from the Judges of Probate, shall be heard and determined by the Governor and Council until the Legislature shall, by law, make other provision.

Chapter IV

Delegates to Congress

     THE delegates of this Commonwealth to the Congress of the United States, shall, sometime in the month of June annually, be elected by the joint ballot of the Senate and House of Representatives, assembled together in one room; to serve in Congress for one year, to commence on the first Monday in November then next ensuing. They shall have commissions under the hand of the Governor, and the great seal of the Commonwealth; but may be recalled at any time within the year, and others chosen and commissioned, in the same manner, in their stead.

Chapter V

The University at Cambridge, and Encouragement of Literature, etc.

Section I The University

     ART. I.WHEREAS our wise and pious ancestors, so early as the year one thousand six hundred and thirty six, laid the foundation of Harvard-College, in which University many persons of great eminence have, by the blessing of GOD, been initiated in those arts and sciences, which qualified them for public employments, both in Church and State: And whereas the encouragement of Arts and Sciences, and all good literature, tends to the honor of GOD, the advantage of the Christian religion, and the great benefit of this, and the other United States of America-It is declared, That the PRESIDENT AND FELLOWS OF HARVARD COLLEGE, in their corporate capacity, and their successors in that capacity, their officers and servants, shall have, hold, use, exercise and enjoy, all the powers, authorities, rights, liberties, privileges, immunities and franchises, which they now have, or are entitled to have, hold, use, exercise and enjoy: And the same are hereby ratified and confirmed unto them, the said President and Fellows of Harvard-College, and to their successors, and to their officers and servants, respectively, forever.

     II.AND whereas there have been at sundry times, by divers persons, gifts, grants, devises of houses, lands, tenements, goods, chattels, legacies and conveyances, heretofore made, either to Harvard-College in Cambridge, in New-England, or to the President and Fellows of Harvard-College, or to the said College, by some other description, under several charters successively: IT IS DECLARED, That all the said gifts, grants, devises, legacies and conveyances, are hereby forever confirmed unto the President and Fellows of Harvard-College, and to their successors, in the capacity aforesaid, according to the true intent and meaning of the donor or donors, grantor or grantors, devisor or devisors.


     III.AND whereas by an act of the General Court of the Colony of Massachusetts-Bay, passed in the year one thousand six hundred and forty-two, the Governor and Deputy-Governor, for the time being, and all the magistrates of that jurisdiction, were, with the President, and a number of the clergy in the said act described, constituted the Overseers of Harvard-College: And it being necessary, in this new Constitution of Government, to ascertain who shall be deemed successors to the said Governor, Deputy-Governor and Magistrates: IT IS DECLARED, That the Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Council and Senate of this Commonwealth, are, and shall be deemed, their successors; who, with the President of Harvard-College, for the time being, together with the ministers of the congregational churches in the towns of Cambridge, Watertown, Charlestown, Boston, Roxbury, and Dorchester, mentioned in the said act, shall be, and hereby are, vested with all the powers and authority belonging, or in any way appertaining to the Overseers of Harvard-College; PROVIDED, that nothing herein shall be construed to prevent the Legislature of this Commonwealth from making such alterations in the government of the said university, as shall be conducive to its advantage, and the interest of the republic of letters, in as full a manner as might have been done by the Legislature of the late Province of the Massachusetts-Bay.

Chapter V

Section II

The Encouragement of Literature, etc.

     WISDOM, and knowledge, as well as virtue, diffused generally among the body of the people, being necessary for the preservation of their rights and liberties; and as these depend on spreading the opportunities and advantages of education in the various parts of the country, and among the different orders of the people, it shall be the duty of legislators and magistrates, in all future periods of this Commonwealth, to cherish the interests of literature and the sciences, and all seminaries of them; especially the university at Cambridge, public schools, and grammar schools in the towns; to encourage private societies and public institutions, rewards and immunities, for the promotion of agriculture, arts, sciences, commerce, trades, manufactures, and a natural history of the country; to countenance and inculcate the principles of humanity and general benevolence, public and private charity, industry and frugality, honesty and punctuality in their dealings; sincerity, good humour, and all social affections, and generous sentiments among the people.

Chapter VI

Oaths and Subscriptions; Incompatibility of an Exclusion from Offices;

Pecuniary Qualifications; Commissions; Writs; Confirmation of Laws; Habeas Corpus;

The Enacting Style; Continuance of Officers; Provision for a future Revisal

of the Constitution, etc.

     ART. I.-ANY person chosen Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Counselor, Senator, or Representative, and accepting the trust, shall, before he proceed to execute the duties of his place or office, make and subscribe the following declaration, viz.

     "I, A. B. do declare, that I believe the Christian religion, and have a firm persuasion of its truth; and that I am seized and possessed, in my own right, of the property required by the Constitution as one qualification for the office or place to which I am elected."

     AND the Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, and Counsellors, shall make and subscribe the said declaration, in the presence of the two Houses of Assembly; and the Senators and Representatives first elected under this constitution, before the President and five of the Council of the former Constitution, and, forever afterwards, before the Governor and Council for the time being.

AND every person chosen to either of the places or offices aforesaid, as also any person appointed or commissioned to any judicial, executive, military, or other office under the government, shall, before he enters on the discharge of the business of his place or office, take and subscribe the following declaration, and oaths or affirmations, viz.

     "I, A. B. do truly and sincerely acknowledge, profess, testify and declare, that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is, and of right ought to be, a free, sovereign and independent State; and I do swear, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the said Commonwealth, and that I will defend the same against traitorous conspiracies and all hostile attempts whatsoever: And that I do renounce and adjure all allegiance, subjection and obedience to the King, Queen or Government of Great Britain, (as the case may be) and every other foreign power whatsoever: And that no foreign Prince, Person, Prelate, State or Potentate, hath, or ought to have, any jurisdiction, superiority, pre-eminence, authority, dispensing or other power, in any matter, civil, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this Commonwealth; except the authority and power which is or may be vested by their Constituents in the Congress of the United States: And I do further testify and declare, that no man or body of men hath or can have any right to absolve or discharge me from the obligation of this oath, declaration or affirmation; and that I do make this acknowledgment, profession, testimony, declaration, denial, renunciation and abjuration, heartily and truly, according to the common meaning and acceptation of the foregoing words, without any equivocation, mental evasion, or secret reservation whatsoever. So help me GOD."

     "I, A. B. do solemnly swear and affirm, that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on me as according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the rules and regulations of the Constitution, and the laws of this Commonwealth." "So help me GOD."

     PROVIDED always, that when any person, chosen or appointed as aforesaid, shall be of the denomination of the people called Quakers, and shall decline taking the said oaths, he shall make his affirmation in the foregoing form, and subscribe the same, omitting the words " I do swear," "and adjure," "oath or," "and abjuration," in the first oath; and in the second oath, the words "swear and;" and in each of them the words "So help me GOD;" subjoining instead thereof, "This I do under the pains and penalties of perjury."

     AND the said oaths or affirmations shall be taken and subscribed by the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Counsellors, before the President of the Senate, in the presence of the two Houses of Assembly; and by the Senators and Representatives first elected under this Constitution, before the President and five of the Council of the former Constitution; and forever afterwards before the Governor and Council for the time being: And by the residue of the officers aforesaid, before such persons and in such manner as from time to time shall be prescribed by the Legislature.

     II.-No Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Judge of the Supreme Judicial Court, shall hold any other office or place, under the authority of this Commonwealth, except such as by this Constitution they are admitted to hold, saving that the Judges of the said Court may hold the offices of justices of the Peace through the State; nor shall they hold any other place or office, or receive any pension or salary from any other State or Government or Power whatever.

     No person shall be capable of holding or exercising at the same time, within this State, more than one of the following offices, viz:-Judge of Probate-Sheriff-Register of Deeds and never more than any two offices which are to be held by appointment of the Governor, or the Governor and Council, or the Senate, or the House of Representatives, or by the election of the people of the State at large, or of the people of any county; military offices and the offices of justices of the Peace excepted, shall be held by one person.

No person holding the office of judge of the Supreme Judicial Court-Secretary-Attorney General-Solicitor General-Treasurer or Receiver General-Judge of Probate-Commissionary General-President, Professor, or Instructor of Harvard College-Sheriff-Clerk of the House of Representatives-Register of Probate-Register of Deeds-Clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court-Clerk of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas-or Officer of the Customs, including in this description Naval Officers-shall at the same time have a seat in the Senate or House of Representatives; but their being chosen or appointed to, and accepting the same, shall operate as a resignation of their seat in the Senate or House of Representatives; and the place so vacated shall be filled up.

     AND the same rule shall take place in case any judge of the said Supreme Judicial Court, or Judge of Probate, shall accept a seat in Council; or any Counsellor shall accept of either of those offices or places.

     AND no person shall ever be admitted to hold a seat in the Legislature, or any office of trust or importance under the Government of this Commonwealth, who shall, in the due course of law, have been convicted of bribery or corruption in obtaining an election or appointment.


     III.-IN all cases where sums of money are mentioned in this Constitution, the value thereof shall be computed in silver at six shillings and eight pence per ounce: And it shall be in the power of the Legislature from time to time to increase such qualifications, as to property, of the persons to be elected to offices, as the circumstances of the Commonwealth shall require.

     IV.-ALL commissions shall be in the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, signed by the Governor, and attested by the Secretary or his Deputy, and have the great seal of the Commonwealth affixed thereto.

     V.-ALL writs, issuing out of the clerk's office in any of the Courts of law, shall be in the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: They shall be under the seal of the Court from whence they issue: They shall bear test of the first Justice of the Court to which they shall be returnable, who is not a party, and be signed by the clerk of such court.

     VI.-ALL the laws which have heretofore been adopted, used and approved in the Province, Colony or State of Massachusetts Bay, and usually practiced on in the Courts of law, shall still remain and be in full force, until altered or repealed by the Legislature; such parts only excepted as are repugnant to the rights and liberties contained in this Constitution.

     VII.-THE privilege and benefit of the writ of habeas corpus shall be enjoyed in this Commonwealth in the most free, easy, cheap, expeditious and ample manner; and shall not be suspended by the Legislature, except upon the most urgent and pressing occasions, and for a limited time not exceeding twelve months.

     VIII.-THE enacting style, in making and passing all acts, statutes and laws, shall be "Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same."

     IX.-TO the end there may be no failure of justice or danger arise to the Commonwealth from a change of the Form of Government-all officers, civil and military, holding commissions under the government and people of Massachusetts Bay in New-England, and all other officers of the said government and people, at the time this Constitution shall take effect, shall have, hold, use, exercise and enjoy all the powers and authority to them granted or committed, until other persons shall be appointed in their stead: And all courts of law shall proceed in the execution of the business of their respective departments; and all the executive and legislative officers, bodies and powers shall continue in full force, in the enjoyment and exercise of all their trusts, employments and authority; until the General Court and the supreme and executive officers under this Constitution are designated and invested with their respective trusts, powers and authority.

     X.-IN order the more effectually to adhere to the principles of the Constitution, and to correct those violations which by any means may be made therein, as well as to form such alterations as from experience shall be found necessary-the General Court, which shall be in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five, shall issue precepts to the Selectmen of the several towns, and to the Assessors of the unincorporated plantations, directing them to convene the qualified voters of their respective towns and plantations for the purpose of collecting their sentiments on the necessity or expediency of revising the Constitution, in order to amendments.

     AND if it shall appear by the returns made, that two thirds of the qualified voters throughout the State, who shall assemble and vote in consequence of the said precepts, are in favor of such revision or amendment, the General Court shall issue precepts, or direct them to be issued from the Secretary's office to the several towns, to elect Delegates to meet in Convention for the purpose aforesaid.

     THE said Delegates to be chosen in the same manner and proportion as their Representatives in the second branch of the Legislature are by this Constitution to be chosen. XI.-THIS form of government shall be enrolled on parchment, and deposited in the Secretary's office, and be a part of the laws of the land-and printed copies thereof shall be prefixed to the book containing the laws of this Commonwealth, in all future editions of the said laws.

Attest. SAMUEL BARRETT, Secretary     JAMES BOWDOIN, President


     The state constitutions form the foundation and backbone of the American system of government. The founding fathers believed in the concept of rule of law, written constitutions, representative government and local self-government.

     The Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 eloquently outlined the new form of government that was now taking over America. It was the model for other states, just as Virginia’s Declaration of Rights was the model for the nation when it came to outlining the natural rights of mankind.

     The citizens of the new states now faced a new challenge—governing the new confederacy of states.


Chapter 12—Our Charter of Liberty—the U. S. Constitution

     After the Declaration of Independence was written, the delegates at the Continental Congress established a committee to draft a new constitution to govern the ‘united colonies.” On July 12, 1776a committee of Congress reported a plan for a new government. The new plan was debated and amended and eventually emerged as the Articles of Confederation. It was adopted on November 15, 1777. It was submitted to the states for ratification and every state except Maryland ratified it within two years.

     At the time there was a dispute over state boundaries and the western lands. The small states feared oppression and domination by the larger states. The Articles of confederation did not officially become law until March 1, 1781.

The Issue of Representation

     The dispute over land was not the only issue creating problems for the new confederacy. The issue of representation in the new confederacy erupted as the small states feared domination by the large states in the new Congress. Conflict over trade barriers and import duties also divided the new states. The issue of paper currency was also creating problems. State jealousies and inequalities would dominate the debates from 1781 to 1787. Another important issue which arose to the forefront was the important issue of state sovereignty. Where did the ultimate political power reside. Was it in the states or in Congress? This issue would become a critical issue for the members of Congress throughout the years between the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and state constitutions and the drafting of a new constitution in 1787. It would also be a hotly debated issue among proponents and opponents of states rights or state sovereignty for the next two centuries.

The Debate Over State Sovereignty

     At the heart of the issue was the question of whether the states which were sovereign powers under their state constitutions retained all the attributes of sovereignty after they entered the confederacy. It is clear from reading the Articles of Confederacy that they did cede certain powers to the new government, however, the states were merely delegating only certain powers. They were not delegating all the power to govern their new states to the new confederacy. If that were true, then there would have been no need for state constitutions. Is important to note that the States existed prior to the creation of the confederacy and they retained full and complete sovereignty over their territories or states. The key to remember is that the states at the time of their creation became free, sovereign and independent entities retaining all power to govern within their borders. Obviously, the people, through their elected representatives, were free to delegate Certain Powers to the new confederacy. However, the delegation of the Certain Powers did not nullify the States or eliminate their state constitutions. The concept of state sovereignty as enthroned in the state constitutions is the foundation of representative government in America.

     One of the major defects in the Articles of Confederacy was the lack of provisions for an executive and judicial branch of government. Obviously the new confederacy could not govern without a more comprehensive constitution. By 1786 it became clear to the leaders of the new states that a new remedy was needed.

     A movement to reform the articles was underway among Congress and key leaders in the states. In September of 1786 a convention met in Annapolis to discuss trade dispute among the states. Five states sent delegates. Two key members of the convention, James Madison of Virginia and Alexander Hamilton of New York, used the meeting to press for major changes in the Articles of Confederation. They persuaded the delegates to pass a resolution calling for a constitutional convention to meet in Philadelphia in May of 1787. The new Congress refused to give its approval to the call for a convention.

Federal Convention of 1787

     James Madison returned to Virginia and kept up pressure for the calling of a constitutional convention to revise the Articles. In November of 1786 he succeeded and Virginia passed a resolution urging all the States to send delegates to a convention in Philadelphia. With a few days other states passed similar resolutions. Congress finally agreed . The most important convention in the history of the world was about to convene in Philadelphia.

     The states appointed seventy-four delegates to the Federal Convention, however only fifty-five delegates would arrive in Philadelphia. The list of delegates was impressive. Of those that assembled in Philadelphia twenty-one were veterans of the Revolutionary War, forty-six had served in their states (colonial assemblies or State legislatures), twenty-four were members of the First and Second Continental Congresses, thirty-nine had served in the new Congress under the Articles of Confederation which had been meeting in New York City, ten had played major roles in the drafting of their state constitutions, six had signed the Declaration of Independence and twenty of t hem were serving as governors or would serve as governors in the future.

     George Washington headed the list of delegates. He was followed by Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Roger Sherman, Rufus King, Nicholas Gilman, William Livingston, Robert Morris, James Wilson, Gouverneur Morris, John Dickinson and Charles C. Pinckey. Thomas Jefferson was in Paris and John Adams was in London on diplomatic missions.

     James Madison arrived in Philadelphia eleven days early and began preparations for the convention. Of the Virginia delegation Madison was the scholar. At his request his close friend Thomas Jefferson had been sending him hundreds of books from Paris on political theory, laws of nations, world history, ancient governments, biographies and works by famous men of the enlightenment and reformation.

     For almost a year Madison had devoted his entire attention to preparing for the Federal Convention in Philadelphia. He sensed its importance to America and to the world. He had labored long and hard to assemble the delegates in Philadelphia.      From the time of the Annapolis Convention and the Philadelphia Connection Madison had been studying ancient confederacies. He produced a lengthy study entitled, “Vices of the Political System of the United States.”

Arrival of George Washington

     George Washington arrived in Philadelphia on May 13, 1787 amidst the chiming of bells and the fire of artillery. He would be elected president of the convention.

     Philadelphia was the home of Benjamin Franklin, who at gained world renown for his discoveries and famous Almanac. It was Franklin who would write in a letter to a friend, “God grant that not only the lover of liberty but a thorough knowledge of the rights of man may pervade all the nations of the earth, so that a philosopher may set his foot anywhere on its surface and say, ‘This is my country.’ (Catherine Drinker Bowen, The Miracle at Philadelphia. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. 1966, p. 17.)


     The convention was scheduled to convene on May 14, 1787, however, it was not until May 25th that a quorum was present. Seven states were required to constitute a quorum.

     At the time of the meeting there were two other groups in Philadelphia. They were the Presbyterians and the Society of the Cincinnati, which was composed of the officers of the Revolutionary War. These conventions had not been scheduled by accident. The Federal Convention of 1787 had its own Secret Service watching over the delegates to ensure that the meeting was not disrupted by enemies of America. The clergy were there with their prayers and the Cincinnati with their swords and pistols. In addition, an unseen power would arrive when the delegates began their meeting. The Spirit of the Lord would guide the delegates and given them the inspiration they needed to accomplish their important task. After all, billions and billions of people would be affected by the outcome of this convention. The face of Providence was smiling upon the delegates. They were not alone.

Amend and Revise the Articles of Confederation

     The assigned task of the convention was to revise and amend the Articles of Confederation. However, James Madison and a small group of delegates wanted a new constitution. Therefore when the convention finally started the Virginia Plan was introduced and formed the central point of debate throughout the remainder of the convention. The Virginia Plan completely set aside the Articles of Confederation. It created a national government. The Virginia Plan was opposed by the New Jersey Plan. The debate was underway which determine the fate of freedom and liberty in America.

     Madison also did something extraordinary during the convention. He sat near the front so he could hear all the debates and he recorded the speeches of the convention on shorthand. During the evening he would go back to his room and write them out. He also recorded all the votes of the convention. Without Madison’s Notes on the federal Convention of 1787 we would be practically in the dark as to the proceedings of this remarkably important convention. Undoubtedly, James Madison was inspired to record the proceedings, a task he later said almost killed him. Madison would not allow the proceedings of the convention be published until after all of the delegated to the famous convention had died.

     The Virginia plan laid out the perimeters of a national government. It was a very comprehensive and well-thought out document. Madison and a group of close friends had spend over a year preparing the plan. The plan divided government into three branches: legislative, judicial and executive. It outlined the powers each of three branches of government. As one might expect, the delegates came from different background and different states, therefore a heated debate arose over each of the provisions. The debate would go on for three and one half months. There was contention particularly over representation in the House of Representatives and the Senate. It was the small states verses the large states and neither seemed to compromise. The Great Comprise as it became known was that each state would have an equal vote in the Senate and in the House of Representatives apportionment would be made by Congress on the basis of representation.

Franklin Recommends That the Delegates Appeal to God

     At one point the debates became quite intense. Benjamin attempted to calm the delegates with these words:

     “Mr. President,

     “The small Progress we have made, after 4 or 5 Weeks' close Attendance and continual Reasonings with each other, our different Sentiments on almost every Question, several of the last producing as many Noes as Ayes, is, methinks, a melancholy Proof of the Imperfection of the Human Understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political Wisdom, since we have been running all about in Search of it. We have gone back to ancient History for Models of Government, and examin'd the different Forms of those Republics, which, having been formed with the Seeds of their own Dissolution, now no longer exist; and we have view'd modern States all round Europe, but find none of their Constitutions suitable to our Circumstances.


     “In this Situation of this Assembly, groping, as it were, in the dark td find Political Truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought

of humbly applying to the Father of Lights to illuminate our Understandings? In the Beginning of the Contest with Britain, when we were sensible of Danger, we had daily Prayers in this Room for the Divine Protection. Our Prayers, Sir, were heard; - and they were graciously answered. All of us, who were engag'd in the Struggle, must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our Favor.

     “To that kind Providence we owe this happy Opportunity of Consulting in Peace on the Means of establishing our future national Felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? or do we imagine we no longer need its assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time; and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this Truth that GOD governs in the Affairs of Men. And if a Sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that "except the Lord build the House, they labour in vain that build it" I firmly believe this; and I also believe, that, without his concurring Aid, we shall succeed in this political Building no better than the Builders of Babel; we shall be divided by our little, partial, local Interests, our Projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a Reproach and a Bye-word down to future Ages. And, what is worse, Mankind may hereafter, from this unfortunate Instance, despair of establishing Government by human Wisdom, and leave it to Chance, War, and Conquest.

     “I therefore beg leave to move,

     “That henceforth Prayers, imploring the Assistance of Heaven and its Blessing on our Deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to Business; and that one or more of the Clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that Service. (Madison’s Notes on Federal Convention of 1787.)

     Although the convention did not hire a minister to say official prayers, the Presbyterian Convention was meeting nearby and they were saying their prayers for the delegates. Debate continued throughout the long and hot summer. The sessions were held in secret allowing the delegates to speak freely on the issues.

     The Virginia Plan was finally accepted and after many changes and amendments it formed the basis of a new Constitution for the United States of America. Madison and his Federalists as they became known won the debate. They persuaded the delegates who merely wanted to revise and amend the Articles of Convention to support the new plan of government for the nation.

     On September 17, 1787 the new Constitution was ready to be signed. As delegates went to the front of Independence Hall to put their signature on the parchment, Madison recorded, “Whilst the last members were signing it, Doctr. Franklin looking towards the Presidents chair, at he back of which a rising son happened to be painted, observed to a few members near him, that painters had found it difficult to distinguish in their art a rising son from a setting son. I have, said he, often and often in the course of the session, and the vicissitudes of my hopes and fears as to its issue, looked at that behind the President without being able to tell whether it was a rising or setting. But now at length I have the happiness to know that it is a rising and not a setting sun.” (Madison’s Notes on the Federal Convention of 1787.)

Fulfillment of Prophecy

     The drafting of the U. S. Constitution was a major step in the process in setting a land of liberty in the New World. It was to play such a dominant role in the last days that the prophet Isaiah was allowed to see the coming forth of this remarkable document. He then prophesied that, “For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 2: 3.)

Miracle at Philadelphia

     There has been so much tension, discord, disagreement and division among the delegates inside the convention this it is a miracle that they were able to produce such a remarkable document. Even the delegates to the Federal Convention thought that the final product was a miracle. In a letter to Thomas Jefferson just after the convention adjourned, James Madison wrote that it was “impossible to consider the degree of concord which ultimately prevailed as less than a miracle.” Catherine Drinker Bowen, The Miracle at Philadelphia, p. 278-279.)

     In a letter to Marquis de Lafayette outlining the recent events in Philadelphia, George Washington

wrote, “As to my sentiments with respect to the merits of the new Constitution, I will disclose them without reserve.... It appears to me ... little short of a miracle, that the Delegates from so many different States (which states you know are also different from each other in their manners, circumstances and prejudices) should unite in forming a system of national government, so little liable to well founded objections.” (John C. Fitzpatrick, editor, The Writings of George Washington, Volume 29, pp. 409-410.)

Divine Inspirations Given to the Founding Fathers

     William Samuel Johnson, a delegate at the constitutional convention from Connecticut wrote that, “I cannot but impute it to a signal intervention of divine providence, that a convention of States differing in circumstances, interests, and manners, should be so harmonious in adopting one grand system.” (George C. Groce, William Samuel Johnson: a Maker of the Constitution. Morningside Heights, New York: Columbia University Press, 1937, p. 156.)

     In a newspaper article that appeared in the New York City, James Madison wrote that, “The real wonder is that so many difficulties should have been surmounted, and surmounted with a unanimity almost as unprecedented as it must have been unexpected. It is impossible for any man of candor to reflect upon this circumstance without partaking of the astonishment. It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it a finger of that Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the revolution.” (The Federalist, No. 37: 16.

     Charles Pinckney, a delegate to the convention from South Carolina acknowledged the hand of God in the drafting of the new constitution when he said, “When the general convention met, no citizen of the United States could expect less from it than I did, so many jarring interests, and prejudices to reconcile! The variety of pressing dangers at our doors, even during the war, were barely sufficient to force us to act in concert, and necessarily give way at time to each other. But when the great work was done and published, I was not only most agreeable disappointed, but struck with amazement. Nothing less than that superintending hand of Providence, that so miraculously carried us through the war (in my humble opinion) could have brought it about so complete, upon the whole.” (Paul Liecester Ford, editor, Essays on the Constitution of the United States, Published During Its Discussion by the People, 1787-1788. Brooklyn, New York: Historical Printing Club, 1892, p. 412.)


Virtues of the Founding Fathers

     The framers of the U. S. Constitution are often referred to as the founding fathers. They were a remarkable group of men. Although of diverse background, intellectual training and religious persuasion, they were the greatest collection of patriots that the world has ever seen. Their love of freedom and liberty was unparalleled. No group of men, in ancient or modern history, even remotely compares to the men who were assembled by Providence to write a new constitution to govern the United States of America. The framers were good, wise, honorable and noble men which had been raised up by God for their important role in establishing a land of liberty in America. They were inspired by God to draft the U. S. Constitution. Although the U. S. Constitution is not perfect, it is, no doubt, the best document of its kind in the world.


     In the latter years of his life, James Madison wrote a stirring tribute to the men his was privileged to spend the summer of 1787 in Philadelphia with. He states: “Whatever may be the judgment pronounced on the competency of the architects of the Constitution, or whatever may be the destiny of the edifice prepared by them, I feel it is a duty to express my profound and solemn conviction, derived from my intimate opportunity of observing and appreciating the views of the Convention, collectively and individually, that there never was an assembly of men more pure in their motives, or more exclusively or anxiously devoted to the object committed to them, than were the members of the Federal Convention of 1787, to the object of devising and proposing a constitutional system which should best supply the defects of that which it was to replace, and best secure the permanent liberty and happiness of their country. (The Federalist, p. xi.)

Hand of Providence over America

     On April 29, 1789, after being selected to serve as the first president of the United States, George Washington stated that, “When I contemplate the interposition of Providence, as it was visibly manifested, in guiding us through the Revolution, in preparing us for the reception of a general government, and in conciliating the good will of the People of America towards one another after its adoption, I feel myself oppressed and almost overwhelmed with a sense of divine munificence.” (John C. Fitzpatrick, editor. The Writings of George Washington, Volume 30, p. 289.)

     A few days later at his inaugural, President George Washington stated, “It would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official Act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the Universe, who presides in the Councils of Nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that his benedictions may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the People of t he United States, a government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes....

     “In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own; nor those of my fellow-citizens at large, less than either.

God Has Guided the Formation of the American Nation

     “No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs

of men more than the People of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.” (John C. Fitzpatrick, editor. The Writings of George Washington, Volume 30, pp. 292-293.)

     In September of 1789 members of the First U. S. Congress passed a resolution which stated, “Resolved, That a joint committee of both Houses be directed to wait upon the President of the United States, to request that he would recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a government for t heir safety and happiness.” (Joseph Gales, editor, The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States. Washington, D. C. L Gales & Seaton, 1834, Volume I p. 914.)

A National Day of Thanksgiving

     In response to the request from Congress, President George Washington issued a proclamation calling for a national day of thanksgiving which said, “Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor...


     “Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th. Day of November next to be devoted by the People of these states to the service of that great Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquillity, union and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

     “And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of t rue religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity has He alone know to be best.” (John C. Fitzpatrick, editor, The Writings of George Washington. Volume 30, pp. 427-428.)

     Let u s now look at the remarkable document known as the U. S. Constitution.



U. S. Constitution


     WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this CONSTITUTION for the United States of America.

Article I.

     SECTION. 1. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

     SECTION. 2. [Cl. 1.] The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

     [Cl. 2.1 No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty-five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

     [Cl. 3.1 Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, [which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.] The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to choose three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.]


     [Cl. 4.] When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

     [Cl. 5.] The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

     SECTION. 3. [Cl. 1.] The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

     [Cl. 2.1 Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.

     [Cl. 3.1 No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

     [Cl. 4.] The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

     [Cl. 5.] The Senate shall choose their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

     [Cl. 6.] The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

     [Cl. 7.1 Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States; but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

     SECTION. 4. [Cl. 1.] The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of choosing Senators.

     [Cl. 2.] The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

     SECTION. 5. [Cl. 1.1 Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

     [Cl. 2.1 Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for Disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

     [Cl. 3.1 Each House shall keep a journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the journal.

     [Cl. 4.] Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

     SECTION. 6. [Cl. 1.1 The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.


     [Cl. 2.1 No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time; and no person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

     SECTION. 7. [Cl. 1.] All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

     [Cl. 2.1 Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it becomes a Law, be presented to the President of the United States: If he approves, he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such Reconsideration two-thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of that House, it shall become a law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress, by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

     [Cl. 3.1 Every Order, Resolution, or Vote, to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

     SECTION. 8. The Congress shall have Power [Cl. 1. ] To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

     [Cl. 2.] To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

     [Cl. 3.] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

     [Cl. 4.] To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

     [Cl. 5.] To coin Money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

     [Cl. 6.] To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

     [Cl. 7.] To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

     [Cl. 8.1 To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries; [Cl. 9.] To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

     [Cl. 10.] To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

     [Cl. 11.] To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

     [Cl. 12.] To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

     [Cl. 13.] To provide and maintain a Navy;

     [Cl. 14.] To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces; [Cl. 15.] To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections, and repel Invasions;


     [Cl. 16.] To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

     [Cl. 17.] To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;-And

     [Cl. 18.1 To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or officer thereof.

     SECTION. 9. [Cl. 1.] [The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

     [Cl. 2.] The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

     [Cl. 3.1 No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

     [Cl. 4.] No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

     [Cl. 5.] No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

     [Cl. 6.1 No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.

     [Cl. 7.1 No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

     [Cl. 8.] No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind what ever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

SECTION. 10. [Cl. 1.1 No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of

Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

     [Cl. 2.] No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Control of the Congress.

     [Cl. 3.1 No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

Article II.

     SECTION. I. [Cl. 1.] The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:


     [Cl. 2.1 Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector. [The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately choose by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the list the said House shall in like Manner choose the President. But in choosing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two-thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall choose from them by Ballot the Vice President.]

     [Cl. 3.] The Congress may determine the Time of choosing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

     [Cl. 4.1 No Person, except a natural-born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to that Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

     [Cl. 5.] In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation, or Inability, both the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

     [Cl. 6.1 The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

     [Cl. 7.] Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or affirmation:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will, to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."

     SECTION. 2. [Cl. 1.] The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

     [Cl. 2.1 He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint, Ambassadors, other public Ministers, and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

     [Cl. 3.1 The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.


     SECTION. 3. He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

     SECTION. 4. The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Article III.

     SECTION. 1. The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

     SECTION. 2. [Cl. 1.] The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;-to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers, and Consuls;-to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;-to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;-to Controversies between two or more States; between a State and Citizens of another State;between Citizens of different States, between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

     [Cl. 2.1 In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers, and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

     [Cl. 3.) The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but, when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

     SECTION. 3. [Cl. 1.] Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

     [Cl. 2.] The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

Article IV.

     SECTION. 1. Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

     SECTION. 2.[Cl. 1.] The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

     [Cl. 2.1 A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.

     [Cl. 3.] [No Person held to Service or Labor in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labor, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labor may be due.]


     SECTION. 3. [Cl. 1.1 New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned, as well as of the Congress.

     [Cl. 2.] The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

     SECTION. 4. The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.

Article V.

     The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided [that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and] that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Article VI.

     [Cl. 1.] All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

     [Cl. 2.1 This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

     [Cl. 3.1 The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Article VII.

     The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.


     The U. S. Constitution created a political and legal structure to govern America. The Constitution consisted of a preamble and seven articles. Article I defines the powers of the legislative branch of government and creates the House of Representatives and the Senate. It outlined the specific powers that were delegated to the Congress by t he States. Article II deals with the executive branch of government

     and creates the office of President and Vice President. It outlines the duties of the Chief Executive of the government. Articles III defines the powers of the judicial branch of government and creates a Supreme Court and other inferior courts. It outlines the duties of the judges. Article IV defines certain powers of states and citizens. Article V outlines the process in which the Constitution may be amended. Article VI outlines the oath that members of Congress take to support the Constitution. Article VII deals with the ratification process to put the Constitution into effect.

     The Constitution carefully divided the national government into three distinct branches—legislative, executive and judicial. The founding fathers were well aware that ancient and modern history outlined the dangers of concentrating power into the hands of one person or a few. They felt such a procedure was a formula for tyranny. They wisely divided the powers of government into three branches and then very careful granted the national government certain specific powers. They created a limited government, not an unlined one. The founders then wisely provided a series of checks and balances to ensure that power was not concentrated into one branch of government. And they gave the people the key to controlling power in the national government by providing for a system of frequent elections. In the original Constitution, the people elected the House of Representatives through popular election, the State Legislatures elected the members of the U. S. Senate and a group of electors met in the state capitals and elected the President and Vice-President.

     The Constitution is an brilliant document which if it is interpreted and administered as it was designed by the framers limits the powers of the national government and allows the cities, counties and states to legislate for the needs of the people.

     In the framers viewpoint the States were the Supreme power in America, not the national government. The States had unlimited power, within the scope of natural law and rights, however, the national government was a government of limited power.

     The genius of the Constitution has withstood the test of time. It has governed the national government of the United States of America for over 200 years and only sixteen amendments have been added to the Bill of Rights, the original ten amendments which were adopted in 1791

     The Constitution is an extraordinary document that was designed to “form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” The to its success is the election of good, wise and honorable men and women who serve the nation with distinction, honor, virtue and interpret and uphold the original intent of the framers in the tradition of the founding fathers.


Chapter 13—The Federalist: America’s Political Bible

     Once the constitution was drafted, it was then sent to the States for ratification. The States then convened conventions to adopt the constitution. Its adoption was by means insured in spite of the prominence and high esteem which the people held those who drafted it. The debates were heated and contentious. The proponents of State Sovereignty felt that he framers of Philadelphia hid given too much power to the new national government. The proponents of the constitution became knows as Federalist because they favored a nation or federal government. The opponents became known as anti-Federalists. The newspapers were full of articles praising and criticizing the new constitution. Pamphlets and leaflets were printed and circulated among the people.

     "It is difficult to form any judgment whether the plan will be adopted or rejected," Alexander Hamilton stated shortly after the Federal Convention had finished drafting the U.S. Constitution in September of 1787. "It must be essentially a matter of conjecture. The present appearances and all other circumstances considered, the probability seems to be on the side of its adoption. But the causes operating against its adoption are powerful. . . ." (John C. Hamilton, The Federalist. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott and Co. 1866, p. xxxiv.)


     Hamilton was correct in his observations. Powerful forces were opposed to the new Constitution. The same day the document was published in New York City, September 27, 1787, a letter appeared in the New York journal bitterly denouncing it. Though it carried the name Cato, the letter was actually written by Governor George Clinton. Another series of denunciatory letters also appeared under the name Brutus, but these were drafted by Robert Yates, a judge of the State's Supreme Court and a delegate to the Federal Convention. He had withdrawn from the Convention after it had become apparent that the delegates were setting aside the Articles of Confederation in favor of a national government.

     The series of letters angered Hamilton, who had just returned to the city from Philadelphia. Three days after Cato's first letter appeared, Hamilton wrote a terse epistle, using the name Caesar, warning the opponents that they must endorse the Constitution or face the consequences. Cato announced that he would not even respond to Caesar's threats.

Birth of the Essays

     Hamilton chose a new strategy. Rather than engage in heated debate with Cato and Brutus, he decided it would be more fruitful to draft a series of essays on the principles of the new Constitution. In a letter, presumably to George Washington, he outlined the new plan. "Since my last [letter]," he wrote, "the chief of the state party has declared his opposition to the government proposed, both in private conversation and in print. That you may judge of the reason and fairness of his views I send you the two essays, with a reply by `Caesar'. On further consideration it was concluded to abandon this personal form, and to take up the principles of the whole subject. These will be sent to you as published, and might with advantage be republished in your gazettes.” (Paul Leicester Ford, editor, The Federalist. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1898, p. xxii.)

     The purpose of the essays was to persuade the citizens of New York to embrace the government proposed at the Constitutional Convention. Hamilton invited John Jay, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and James Madison, a delegate to the Continental Congress, to assist him in his endeavor. The plan called for publication of the essays in New York City newspapers. The New York State Ratifying Convention would be meeting in a few months and the authors felt a sense of urgency in setting the plan in motion.

     Hamilton concentrated on the defects of the Articles of Confederation and various clauses of the Constitution. Madison discussed the theoretical foundations of republican government and the general powers of the new national government. Jay focused on foreign affairs.

     The first essay, prepared by Hamilton, appeared in the Independent Journal on October 27, 1787. After seven were published, the essays began appearing at the rate of four a week. Concerning their rapid appearance, James Madison wrote: "The haste with which many of the papers were penned in order to get through the subject whilst the Constitution was before the public, and to comply with the arrangement by which the printer was to keep his paper open for four numbers every week, was such, that the performance must have borne a very different aspect without the aid of historical and other notes which had been used in the Convention, and without the familiarity with the whole subject produced by the discussion there. It frequently happened, that, whilst the printer was putting into type parts of a number, the following parts were under the pen and to be furnished in time for the press." (Hamilton, p. xxxvi.)

     The essays continued to appear in rapid order and quickly became debater's handbooks for the proponents of the Constitution, who were called Federalists. According to Archibald McLean, a proprietor of the Independent journal, the series of articles was to consist of "twenty [in] number, or at the utmost twenty five. " (Hamilton, Letter to Colonel Robert Troup, pp. xxxvii.). Hamilton However, the energetic pens of Madison, Hamilton and Jay soon stretched the essays to eight-four. Each appeared under the name Publius to conceal the authors' identities.

     The magnitude of the project is underscored when one realizes that while Brutus produced only sixteen essays, Publius prepared eighty-four in the same amount of time.

Publications of the Federalist

     On March 22, 1788, the first thirty-six essays were printed in book form so that they might be sent to the various states where the Constitution was still being considered. The title page read: "The Federalist: A Collection of Essays, written in favor of the NEW CONSTITUTION, AS AGREED UPON BY THE FEDERAL CONVENTION. September 17, 1787, IN TWO VOLUMES. Volume 1, NEW YORK. Printed and sold by J. and A. McLean, No. 41 Hanover Square 1788.” (Hamilton.)

     The preface to this remarkable volume stated: "It is supposed that a collection of the papers which have made their appearance in the Gazettes of this City, under the Title of Federalist, may not be without effect in assisting the public judgment on the momentous question of the Constitution for the United States, now under consideration of the people of America. A desire to throw full light upon so interesting a subject has led, in a great measure unavoidably, to a more copious discussion than was at first intended. And the undertaking not being yet completed, it is judged advisable to divide the collection into two Volumes of which the ensuing Numbers constitute the first. The second Volume will follow as speedily as the Editor can get it ready for publication.

     "The particular circumstances under which these papers have been written have rendered it impracticable to avoid violations of method and repetitions of ideas which cannot but displease a critical reader. The latter defect has even been intentionally indulged, in order the better to impress particular arguments which were most material to the general scope of the reasoning.

     "Respect for public opinion, not anxiety for the literary character of the performance, dictates this remark. The great wish is, that it may promote the cause of truth, and lead to a right judgment of the true interests of the community. " (Hamilton, pp. xxxvii-xxxviii.)

     The writing of the final forty-eight essays was completed in May of 1788 and published in a second volume on the twenty-eighth of that month. One of the essays was divided into two parts, creating a total of eighty-five. Although now published in book form, the essays continued to appear in New York newspapers until August 15, 1788.

     After its publication, Hamilton sent fifty-two sets of the two-volume Federalist to Governor Edmund Randolph of Virginia. Presumably, Hamilton sent copies to prominent individuals in other States as well. No one knows for sure, however, how much the essays influenced the delegates to the various ratifying conventions.

     Douglas Adair, a leading twentieth century historian, believed that "the Federalist's propaganda value, as first published in the newspapers, should not be overrated; the essays probably influenced few votes among the general electorate. In the Virginia and New York Conventions, however, the bound volumes were enormously valuable. The pro-Constitution party in both states was eager for a clause by clause discussion of the proposed government. Under this procedure, with Publius' systematic analysis of the document at hand, the Constitutionalist leaders were able to arrange the order of debate beforehand, to coach specific speakers to talk on the various parts of the Constitution, and generally to organize and manage its defense in a systematic way. " (Douglas Adair, "The Authorship of the Disputed Federalist Papers," William and Mary Quarterly (1944), I (3rd Series), 236n.)

     Although the Constitution was ratified by Virginia on June 25, 1788, and New York on July 26, it had gone into effect nearly a month earlier on June 21, with the ratification of the ninth State-New Hampshire.

The Leading Commentary on the Constitution

     On August 13, 1788, Alexander Hamilton sent George Washington a copy of The Federalist. In accepting the papers, Washington wrote: "When the transient circumstances and fugitive performances which attended this crisis shall have disappeared, the, work will merit the notice of posterity, because in it are candidly discussed the principles of Freedom and the topics of government, which will always be interesting to mankind, so long as they shall be connected in civil society. "( George Washington, Writings, edited by J.C. Fitzpatrick, Washington, 1939, Vol. XXX, p. 657.)

     Washington's statement was prophetic. Chancellor James Kent, eminent American jurist of the nineteenth Century, said of The Federalist: "There is no work on the subject of the Constitution, and a republican and federal government generally, that deserves to be more thoroughly studied. . . .


     "I know not, indeed, of any work on the principles of free government that is to be compared in instruction and in intrinsic value to this small and unpretending volume of The Federalist: not even if we resort to Aristotle, Cicero, Machiavelli, Montesquieu, Milton, Locke, or Burke. It is equally admirable in the depth of its wisdom, the comprehensiveness of its views, the sagacity of its reflections, and the fearlessness, patriotism, candor, simplicity, and elegance with which its truths are uttered and recommended." (Chancellor James Kent, Commentaries on America Law. New York: E. B. Clayton, James Van Norden, Vol. 1, p. 241.)

     Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to his close friend James Madison, on November 18, 1788, labeled The Federalist "the best commentary on the principles of government ever written." (The Works of Thomas Jefferson,: edited by Paul L. Ford. Federal Edition, New York: G.P. Putnam's & Sons, 1904, Vol. V, p. 434.) He also said that The Federalist was one book "to which appeal is habitually made by all, and rarely declined or denied by any as evidence of the general opinion of those who framed and those who accepted the Constitution of the United States, on questions as to its genuine meaning." (Quoted in Martin Diamond, "Democracy and the Federalist: A Reconsideration of the Framers' Intent." American Political Science Review, Vol. L, No. 1, March 1959, p. 53.)

     Jefferson's view was also shared by Chief Justice John Marshall: "The Federalist has always been considered as of great authority. It is a complete commentary on our Constitution, and is appealed to by all parties in the question to which that instrument has given birth. Its intrinsic value entitles it to its high rank, and the part two of its authors performed in framing the Constitution put it very much in their power to explain the views with which it was framed. " (Cohens v. Virginia, 6 Wh. 264 (1821). Jefferson and Marshall were not alone in considering The Federalist the foremost commentary on the Constitution. In a letter to Thomas Jefferson on February 8, 1825, James Madison wrote: "The Federalist may fairly enough be regarded as the most authentic exposition of the text of the federal Constitution, as understood by the Body which prepared and the Authority which accepted it. " (Quoted in Hamilton Albert Long, The American Ideal of 1776. Philadelphia: Your Heritage Books, Inc., 1976, p. 148.)

     The Federalist still continues to be the most authoritative interpretation of the Constitution. As noted by Clinton Rossiter, a former professor at Cornell University, The Federalist is "now valued not merely as a clever defense of a particular charter, but as an exposition of certain timeless truths about constitutional government. . . . The message of The Federalist reads: no happiness without liberty, no liberty without self-government, no self-government without constitutionalism, no constitutionalism without morality-and none of these great goods without stability and order. (Clinton Rossiter, The Federalist Papers. New York: New American Library, Inc., 1961, pp. vii, xvi.)

     A careful reading of The Federalist is a rich and rewarding experience. It is important to understand The Federalist and its key principles in order to preserve America’s free institutions.


Chapter 14—The Bill of Rights: America’s Ten Commandments

     At the closing weeks of the Federal Convention which convened in Philadelphia in 1787 several of the delegated argued strenuously for a bill of rights to be included in the original constitution. One of the key proponents of a bill of rights was George Mason. The staunch defended of natural rights has written the famous Declaration of Rights for Virginia in 1776. Several of the state constitutions has also included bills of rights when they were drafted. However, the delegates felt that since the constitution granted the national government only specific powers, it was not necessary to add a bill of rights because the national government was already prohibited from legislating or intervening the area of natural rights. Therefore, they chose not to add one to the constitution. Of course this did not sit well with George Mason and he refused to sign the new constitution in protest.


     George Mason was not alone. During the ratification debate among the states, it was made very clear that the States would only ratify the new constitution if there was a guarantee that Congress would add a bill of rights when it convened. James Madison and other pledged to add a bill of rights when the new government convened in Washington, D. C.

     After the Constitution was ratified and elections were held throughout the States, the newly elected officials met in Washington, D. C. in 1789 to set up the new government. James Madison had been elected to serve in the House of Representatives from Virginia. True to his word, one of the first orders of the new Congress was to establish a bill of rights. Madison took the lead on the issue and introduced a resolution which contained twelve amendments. After extensive discussion and debate, two amendments were eliminated and Congress adopted the Bill of Rights. They were forwarded to the States where they were adopted and went into effect on December 15, 1781.

     Once again the framers of the Bill of Rights provided the national government with a specific set of concrete guidelines. The Bill of Right was designed by its framers to limit the powers of the national government. That is why you find language like “Congress shall make no law.” It is the a set of Ten Commandments from the States. The States were the forces behind the drafting and adoption of the Bill of Rights. The States wanted to insure that the national government stayed with the carefully assigned jurisdictions outlined in the Constitution.

The Concept of State Sovereignty

     The concept of State Sovereignty is a key component of the new form of government set up by the farmers of the State Constitution and the U. S. Constitution. The States were jealous of their powers and wanted to guarantee that the national government respected them. This is why the delegates to the Federal Convention of 1787 drafted a document of limited and specific powers.

     The Bill of Rights was specifically drafted to limit the power of the national government. Thomas Jefferson echoed this sentiment when he said, “I hope ... will be formed, to guard the people against the federal government.” He also said that a “Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth.... And what no government should refuse.” (David Stedman, Our Ageless Constitution, p. 45.)

     Once the Bill of Rights was accepted the First Amendment, it ensured that there would be no national church and no officially sanctioned and upheld state religion in American as there had been in England and the nations of Europe, particularly Italy. Freedom of religion was enshrined in American law as people now possesses freedom of conscience and no longer has to worry about being burned at the stake or throw into dungeons for opposing the state religions of Europe.

     The famous Bill of Rights read:

Bill of Rights

     The first ten Amendments were proposed by Congress in 1789, at their first session; and, having received the ratification of the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States, they became a part of the Constitution December 15, 1791, and are known as the Bill of Rights.

Amendment I

     Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

     A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

     No Soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

     The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

     No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject, for the same offense, to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled, in any criminal case, to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

     In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII

     In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

     Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

     The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

     The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively or to the people.


Chapter 15—A Foundation of Liberty: The Basic Principles of the U. S. Constitution


     The principles of the U. S. Constitution are eternal in nature. The principles which are the foundation of this inspired document will be as valuable, important, useful and effective in 500 years or 1,000 years or 10,000 years from now as they are when they were drafted. The constitution and the principles thereof were designed to secure the blessings of liberty forever. Let us now look at the key principles which under gird this astonishing document which Thomas Jefferson said was the wisest ever presented to man.

     In interesting to note that the former Prime Minister of England once stated that, “The American Constitution is the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.”

     Let us now look at the basic principles which form what the founding fathers called collectively referred to as republican government.

Principle No. 1—God-Given Unalienable Rights

     In once sense you could look at the Declaration of Independence as a Preamble to the Constitution. In that eloquent document Thomas Jefferson captured the views of all the patriots, clergy, founders and people of early American when he declared to the world that, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

     The Declaration of Independence declared in plan and simple language that God exists and is the Author of Liberty. All of the rights of mankind are a gift of God. He has bestowed them upon all mankind, not just a few in America. Therefore the existence of the Laws of Nature or natural rights existed before man ever formed any government on earth. They were ordained by God and cannot be taken away by government. Therefore, the Sovereignty of God and the Rights He has bestowed upon all mankind form the solid, granite foundation upon which the State Constitutions and the U. S. Constitution rest. No power on earth can remove this foundation with incurring the Fury and Wrath of God.

     The Apostle Paul wrote, that, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” (Romans 13: 1.)

     Sir William Blackstone, the famous English Jurist wrote that, “Man ... must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator....This will of his Maker is called the law of nature.... this law of nature ... is of course superior to any other... No human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this: and such of them as are valid derive all their force from the original.”

Principle No. 2—Virtue

     The framers of the constitution knew that virtue among the people and its elected officials was a n important ingredient in maintaining the principles of freedom and liberty. The Declaration of Independence has used such important words as, “Nature’s God,” the “Creator,” the “Supreme Judge of the World,”

     and “Divine Providence. The Bible was the “Original Constitution” for the founding fathers. It contained the teachings of the prophets and the Lord Jesus Christ. These moral principles, as contained in the Old and New Testaments, form the foundation of virtue. And virtue is necessary to defend, sustain and uphold, representative government.

     Sir William Blackstone has written, “Man has been subjected by his Creator to the moral law, of which his feelings, or conscience as it is sometimes called, are the evidence with which his Creator has furnished him .... The moral duties which exist between individual and individual in a state of nature, accompany then into a state of society ...their Maker not having released them from those duties on their forming themselves into a nation.”

     Samuel Adams, one of the first governors in Massachusetts wrote that, “We must look to the Armies for our defense, but virtue is our best security. It is not possible that any state should long remain free, where virtue is not supremely honored.” John Adams wrote that, virtue must underlay all institutional arrangements if they are to be healthy and strong. The principles of democracy are as easily destroyed as human nature is corrupted.” John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court wrote, “Let virtue, honor, the love of liberty ... be ... the soul of this constitution, and it will become the source of great and extensive happiness to this and future generations. Vice, ignorance, and want of vigilance, will be the only enemies able to destroy it. In his Farewell Address to the nation, George Washington stated that, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.”

     Robert C. Winthrop, a descendent of the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, stated the following before the Massachusetts Bible Society, "All societies of men must be governed in some way or other. The less they may have of stringent State Government, the more they must have of individual self-government. The less they rely on public law or physical force, the more they must rely on private moral restraint. Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled, either by a power within them, or by a power without them; either by the Word of God, or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or the bayonet.

     "It may do for other countries and other governments to talk about the State supporting religion. Here, under our own free institutions, it is Religion which must support the State."

Principle No. 3—Knowledge of Civic Duties

     The American Constitution is based upon the premise that the citizens of America are informed participants in the process of self-government. It is impossible to govern a city, county, state or nation without understand the basic principles of representative government. Therefore, knowledge of civic duties is paramount in a free society. In order to govern and watch over those in government at all levels, the people must understand their State Constitutions, the Declaration of Independence, the U. S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They must understand the basic principles upon these document rest or they will be incapable of self-government. The founding fathers believed that a knowledge of American history, government, economics and the Christian religion was essential to maintaining the political, economic and religious liberties of the people.

     Thomas Jefferson, in the “Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge for Virginia”, wrote that, “... experience has shown, that even under the best forms (of government), those entrusted with power, have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny; and it is believed that t he most effectual means of preventing this would be, to illuminate ... the minds of the people ... to give them knowledge of those facts, which history exhibiteth. History, by apprizing them of the past, will enable them to judge of the future ... it will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men; it will enable them to know ambition under every disguise it may assume; and knowing it, to defeat its views.” (David Stedman, Our Ageless Constitution, p. 31.)


     This view was shared by Jefferson’s close friend and fellow Virginia James Madison. He wrote that, “Although all men are born free, slavery has been the general lot of the human race. Ignorant—they have been cheated; asleep—they have been surprised; divided—the yoke has been forced upon them. But what is the lesson? ... the people ought to be enlightened, to be awakened, to be united, that after establishing a government they should watch over it... It is universally admitted that a well-instructed people alone can be permanently free.” (Stedman, Our Ageless Constitution, p. 31.)

     The founding fathers promoted school and colleges and the clergy promoted churches throughout the new states to help the people understand the noble heritage that had been bequeathed to them.

Principle No. 4—Written Constitutions

     The student of history is aware of the edicts of Emperors and the proclamations of Kings and the orders of Dictators who have enslaved masses of people throughout the eons of time. The framers of the Constitution were students of ancient and modern history. They believed that the people should be governed by law, especially the laws of God. The Holy Bible was the “Ancient Constitution” of the founding fathers. The statutes, commandments, ordinances and teachings of the Gospel of God were clearly written down for all to read.

     From the time of the Mayflower Company, the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut through the Virginia Declaration of Rights and the Declaration of Independence, the framers of the Constitution believed that the laws of the people should be written down on parchment in covenants, charters and constitutions

     The concept of governing by written constitutions is foreign to most people throughout history, but the framers felt it was an important principle of representative government.

Principle No. 5—Rule by Law

     Once again as one looks at the history of the world you find it has been governed by kings, emperors and dictators. These men and some women ruled by arbitrary decisions through edicts and commands and proclamations. They were not drafted by representatives of the people but by one person or a few people. The history of the earth is mostly a history of tyranny, oppression, exploitation and slavery. The flame of liberty has not burned brightly at all. That flame was lit in America when the Pilgrims and Puritans landed on the shores of the New World and issued the famous Mayflower Compact. From 1620 until 1776 the colonies perfected the art of rule by law until in became ingrained the political fabric and landscape of early America.

     Thomas Jefferson states, “In questions of power ... let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” (Stedman, Our Ageless Constitution, p. 38.)

     It is simply a question of rule by men or rule by law under God. The early framers of the State Constitutions and the U. S. Constitution chose the rule of law. America was, by careful and deliberate design, to be a nation built upon a government of law and not of men.     

Principle No. 6—Federalism

     After the Continental Congress declared America’s independence from England, the former colonies began drafting State Constitutions to govern themselves. At the time of their formation the States became free, sovereign and independent. The principles of State Sovereignty became a cornerstone of representative government. The Constitution created a national government with carefully defined and delegated powers. The framers of the Constitution did not create a document to replace the State Constitutions, but a charter to govern in certain national areas.

     At the federal Convention in 1787 in Philadelphia the framers of the Constitution created a federal system of government where the political authority was divided between the States and the national government. The national government was designed to carry on such activities as military and diplomatic functions. Political power was very carefully divided among two spheres of authority.


     In the Federalist James Madison would argue that, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs; concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” (Federalist 45:12.)

     The wise division of power between the States and the Federal Government was designed to preserve liberty and keep political power closest to the people.

Principles No. 7—Separation of Powers

     The framers of the Constitution were students of history and history reveals that the flame of liberty has burned brightly on too few occasions down through time. Most of mankind has spent their entire lives living under one form or other of tyranny. The history of Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, Medieval Europe and modern Europe has been dominated by kings, emperors and dictators.

     The framers of the Constitution had just fought a war to free themselves from the tyranny of King George III and his ministers. They fought that war to gain political, economic and religious liberty for themselves and their posterity. After one and fifty years of local self-government in the colonies, the early patriots were anxious to design charters of liberty that would increase their liberties.

     The framers of the State Constitutions and the U. S. Constitution wisely separated the powers of government between the legislative, executive and judicial to prevent the concentration of power which destroys liberty.

     James Madison outlined the virtues of the separation of powers doctrine in the Federalist when he said, “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounces the very definition of tyranny.” (Federalist 47:3.)

Principles No. 8—System of Checks & Balances

     One of the most ingenious parts of the Constitution is the system of checks and balances which were carefully interwoven into the three branches of government. Nowhere is history has this system ever been implemented. The framers carefully designed the three branches of government so that they overlap into each other just enough to create enough tension to balance the powers of government.

     The system of checks and balances was designed by the framers of the Constitution to prevent the concentration of power into one branch of government. If a concentration of power did occur it would because one branch of government abdicated its power and became subservient to another branch. The system was also designed to arm each branch of another to prevent an encroachment of power upon one another.

     Some of the checks in the Constitution allow the Vice-President to preside over the Senate and cast a tie-breaking vote; Congress has power to impeach and remove the President for high crimes and misdemeanors; Congress has power to override a presidential veto by a two-thirds vote; the judiciary has the power to review the actions of the President; Congress had power to regulate the original jurisdiction of inferior federal courts; the President is given power to veto acts passed by Congress’ the Judiciary may review laws of Congress and Congress may not abolish the Supreme Court.

     There are twenty-two remarkable checks and balances in the Constitution. It is a unique system designed to preserve liberty and prevent the tyranny of one branch of government over the over and to prevent the tyranny of one branch of government (i.e. Executive Branch) over the State Governments.

Principle No. 9—Frequent Elections

     The framers of the Constitution believed that the legislative branch of government was the most powerful. Therefore, they placed the most power closest to the people through the doctrine of frequent elections. In addition they gave the legislative branch power over the purse strings of the government.

     The Constitution states that, “All Bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of representative.” In other words, without the consent of the House of Representatives, the federal government cannot spent one time.

     The President of the United States was to be selected by a group of Electors. Members of the U. S. Senate were to be appointed by State legislatures. However, members of the most powerful branch of government, the House of Representatives, were to be directly elected by the people in each of the states according to population.

     In addition, the Constitution states that, “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” The U. S. Senate cannot pass a single law without the concurrence of the House of Representatives.

     Members of the House of Representatives are directly elected by the people every two years—a remarkable device which allows the people in the States to control the federal government in Washington.

Principle No. 10—Limited Government

     The framers of the Constitution very wisely and very carefully delegated specific powers to each branch of the federal government. It was their clear intention to create a national government limited powers. If the framers had created an unlimited government when they met in Philadelphia in 1787 it would never have been ratified by the States who were unbelievably jealous of their sovereign powers.

     Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution specifically limits the powers of Congress to tax and spent for the areas clearly delineated in the clauses that followed, specifically clauses 2 through 18. Clause 1 is not a grant of power. It is simply a preamble to the specific grant of powers that followed.

     Once again if the framers of the Constitution had granted Congress, the President or members of the Supreme Court unlimited powers, the Constitution would never have been ratified and today we would still be operating under the Articles of Confederation or some modification of it.

     The framers created a national government to accomplish certain specified duties. The States, not the Federal Government, were to reign Supreme in the new Republic.

Principle No. 11—Silver and Gold Coins

     Since the invention of the printing press, one of the great curses of mankind has been paper currency. There is nothing to prevent those who control the printing presses from just printing more paper currency and flooding the economy with it. Of course to do so creates inflation.

     The framers of the Constitution were aware of the machinations of the Bank of England and other central banks around the world that issued and controlled paper currencies. Their own experience with the Continental paper currency taught them a valuable lesson. You must back a paper currency with silver and gold.

     The Constitution gave Congress the power in Article I, Section 8, Clause 5, “To coin Money, regulate the value thereof....” This is one of the most important clauses in the entire Constitution and it is the only clause that was in effect only for a limited period. And it was changed, not by an amendment as required by the Constitution, but by Congress through a series of laws that empowered the bankers in New York City.

     Josiah Quincy, in a letter to George Washington, stated, “There never was a paper pound, a paper dollar, or a paper promise of any kind that ever yet obtained (became) a general currency but by force or fraud, generally by both.” (Stedman, p. 37.)     


     The original system set up by the framers allowed for a paper currency to be backed one hundred per cent by gold and silver. That is a person holding a dollar bill could exchange it for gold and silver any time he chose. However, due to the weight of carry precious metals, most people preferred to exchange paper currency. The history of banking and currency in America is fascinating and reads like a detective story. It is full of all kinds of good and evil people.

     The framers knew by experience and through a study of history since the 1600s, that it was necessary to have paper currency completely backed by gold and silver.

Principle No. 12—Representative Government

     One of the most unique aspects of the American system of government is that is allows for the people to select their elected officials. Through the process of elections, the people are governed by men and women who have chosen to draft laws for them. If the elected officials pass a bad law, they can be removed at the next election and the law can be removed.

     The framers felt that the concept of representative or republican government was the best form of government on earth. This unique system allowed for indirect representation. They felt that democracies, where people take part in every decision of government, were too volatile and destructive of liberty. They wisely and carefully crafted a new form of government—the republican system of government.

     People, who are busy running businesses and families, came together and selected a good, wise and honorable person to represent then at the local, county, state or national level of government. The concept of representative government allows the people to indirectly control the drafting of all laws throughout the cities, counties, state and national government. However, one of the key aspects of representative government was an informed electorate. If the people forget the basic principles of freedom and liberty, it is not long before power in concentrated and tyranny emerges in one form or another.

     Representative government only works if there is an informed electorate and virtuous elected officials. The framers of the Constitution wisely blended the concept of a democracy and representation into what is often referred to as a democratic republic.

Principle No. 13—Public Debt: A Curse upon Posterity

     Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution allows Congress to ability to “borrow money on the Credit of the United States” and to “pay the debts.” The powers given to Congress were granted only for the specific purposes enumerated in Section 8. The framers were concerning that unwise and cunning men would attempt to load the nation with huge debt for personal gain. They admonished Congress to use public funds only for the specific purposes outlined in the Constitution. They did not want to saddle posterity with a huge public debt.

     Thomas Jefferson was very outspoken against public debt. He saw as a way to enslave the American people and warned them incessantly about it. He said, “we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude.” At another time he warned, “I ... place economy among the first and most important of republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared.” He also noted, “If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy.”

He also said, “the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the guise of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.... We shall consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them.”

     Jefferson was not alone in cautioning the American people to prevent elected officials from using the funds of the government to enslave them with debt and interest. Samuel Adams said that, “The Utopian schemes of leveling [redistribution of wealth], are as visionary and impractical as those which vest all property in the Crown. (These ideas) are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government, unconstitutional.”

     George Washington said that, “No pecuniary (fiscal) consideration is more urgent than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt.” (Stedman, Our Ageless Constitution, p.30.)

Principle No. 14—Writ of Habeas Corpus

     In Article I, Section 9, Clause 2 of the Constitution states that, “The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the Public Safety may require it.” The Writ is designed to prevent the unlawful imprisonment of a person by the government. The Writ allowed a person who was imprisoned to petition the judge that he be brought before the court and be informed of his crime.

     As James Iredell has noted, “By the privileges of ‘habeas corpus,’ no man can be confined without inquiry, and if it should appear that he been committed contrary to law, he must be discharged.” (Stedman, Our Ageless Constitution, p. 50.)

Principle No. 15—Trial By Jury

     The framers of the Constitution felt strongly one of the greatest safeguards of liberty is the concept of trial by jury. Through this unique system, twelve jurors are selected from among the peers of the accused, and they determine the guilt or innocence of the person before the court.

     In 1774 the Continental Congress stated, “The first grand right is that of the people having a share in their government by their representatives chosen by themselves, and ... of being ruled by laws which they themselves approve, not edicts of men over whom they have no control....

     “The next great right is that of trial by jury. This provides that neither life, liberty nor property can be taken from the possessor, until twelve of his ... countrymen ... shall pass their sentence upon oath against him.” (Stedman, Our Ageless Constitution, p. 41.)

Principles No. 16—Property Rights

     The colonists fought a long and bloody war with England over the right of taxation without representation. They had grown tired of the Crown arbitrary confiscating the fruits of their labor. The taxes of the Crown were draining the colonies of their precious sterling and sending it to London.

     Writing in the Federalist, James Madison stated, “Government is instituted no less fir protection of property, than of the persons, of individuals.” (Federalist 54:10.)

     John Adams wrote:. “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God ... anarchy and tyranny commence. PROPERTY MUST BE SECURED OR LIBERTY CANNOT EXIST!” (Stedman, Our Ageless Constitution, p. 34.)

     James Madison declared that, “Government is instituted to protect property of every sort....This being the end of government, that is NOT a just government, ;;; nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has ... is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of t he rest.” (Stedman, Our Ageless Constitution, p. 34.)


Chapter 16—George Washington’s Farewell Address:

Avoidance of Entangling Alliances with Foreign

     U.S. foreign policy has deeply affected the personal lives of all Americans, far more than they may realize. In fact, its tremendous influence is felt in every nation in the world. From the secret council chambers of the White House and the esoteric labyrinths of the State Department there issues forth policies which other nations await with both hope and fear.

     In the past 200 years U.S. Foreign Policy has moved from a position of guarded "separatism" into an era of vigorous involvement in global affairs.


The Original Doctrine of Separatism

     As the United States emerged on the world scene in the 18th Century, American leaders took a united and fixed position against entangling alliances with any foreign powers unless an attack against the United States made such alliances temporarily necessary. This was referred to as the doctrine of "separatism" or "isolationism." This term over the years has implied complete seclusion from other nations. However, the policy of the founders was to cultivate a wholesome relationship with all nations, while remaining aloof from their sectional quarrels. They wanted to keep American markets open to all countries unless certain nations engaged in hostilities against the United States.

     The founder's original policy was similar in many ways to that of modern Switzerland, which has successfully remained neutral and aloof from entangling alliances during two world wars and numerous European quarrels. During these periods of intense military action, Switzerland did not follow a policy of "isolationism," but one of universal diplomatic relations with all who might wish to come to Switzerland to buy, sell, borrow or bank. She took a hostile posture toward none. In general terms, this is analogous to the doctrine of "separatism" practiced by the early American leaders. Thomas Jefferson described this policy in his first inaugural address when he said:

     "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none." (Britannica, Annals of America, Vol. 4, p.145.)

     George Washington spelled it out in more detail in his Farewell Address when he advised his successors to "Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all." (Op. cit., Vol. 3, p. 612.) He then went on to say, "The nation which indulges toward another an habitual hatred or habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest." ((Op. cit., Vol. 3, p. 612.) Washington then concluded, "The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect faith. Here let us stop." (Britannica, pp. 613-614.)

Founders' Effort To Reconcile "Separatism" with Manifest Destiny

     American separatism did have one aspect which was clearly distinct from Swiss neutrality: the founders accepted the doctrine of "Manifest Destiny". This placed upon the American people the responsibility of serving as the vanguard nation for the moral and political emancipation of all mankind. Freedom, education and progress for all men was a common denominator in the thinking of early American leaders.

     As John Adams wrote:

     "I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence for the illumination of the ignorant, and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth." (Ernest Lee Tuveson, Redeemer Nation. University of Chicago Press, 1974, p. 25.)

     In the same spirit, James Madison wrote: "Happily for Americans, happily we trust for the whole human race, they [the founders] pursued a new and more noble course." (Federalist Papers, No. 14, Mentor Edition, p.104.)

     Beginning with the protection of the western hemisphere from further encroachments by European powers, the early foreign policy of the United States focused on separatism and at the same time undertook to promote the idea of human emancipation "all over the earth."

"Separatism" Replaced by "Internationalism"

     The policy of "separatism" (or "isolationism") and Manifest Destiny was the dominant foreign policy of the United States for the first 125 years of its existence. However, with the advent of World War I, the doctrine of "separatism" left the mainstream of prominent thinking and was replaced by a new concept known as "internationalism."

     The doctrine of "internationalism" called for the intimate involvement of the United States in important dimensions of world economics, world politics, and world social conditions.

Modern Separatists Resisted the

Change in Foreign Policy

     The doctrine of separatism did not die without a fight. This was particularly evident just before World War I and was also reflected in the rise of the "America First Committee" just before World War II.

     One of the principal spokesmen against U.S. entry into World War I was Congressman Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr., father of the famous Lone Eagle who made the first airplane flight over the Atlantic. Congressman Lindbergh felt history vindicated the position of the separatists when he wrote in 1923:

     "Take for example our entry into the World War [in 1917]. We did not think. We elected a president for a second term because he said he `kept us out of war' in his first term. We proved by a large vote that we did not want to go to war, but no sooner was the president re-elected than the propaganda started to put us to war. Then we became hysterical, as people always have done in war, and we believed everything bad against our enemy and believed only good of our allies and ourselves. As a matter of fact all the leaders were bad, vicious. They lost their reason and the people followed ....

     “We cannot properly blame the people of any of the European nations, unless we blame ourselves. None of them were free from danger of the others.... We, however, were not in danger, statements by profiteers and militarists to the contrary notwithstanding .... The greatest good we could do the world at that time was to stay out, and that would have been infinitely better for ourselves, for we could have helped the world had we conserved our resources. There never was a nation that did a more unstatesmanlike thing than we did to enter the war.

     “We came out without establishing a single principle for which we entered .... The one compelling duty of America is to put its own house in shape, and to stand upon an economic system that will make its natural resources available to the intelligence, industry and use of the people. When we do that the way to world redemption from the folly of present chaos will stand out in our country so clearly, honestly and usefully that we shall be copied wherever peoples do their own thinking." (Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr., The Economic Pinch. New York: 1923, pp. 233-295.)

     Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and George Washington all warned the American people of the incredible costs and dangers of entangling alliances with foreign nations and international institutions. In light of events in the 20th century, it is clear that their words of warning were prophetic. Let us now look at the inspired Farewell Address of George Washington—one of the greatest human beings ever to walk the earth.


Farewell Address by George Washington


     “FRIENDS AND FELLOW-CITIZENS. The period for a new election of a citizen, to administer the executive government of the United States, being not far distant, and the time actually arrived, when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made.


     “I beg you, at the same time, to do me the justice to be assured, that this resolution has not been taken without a strict regard to all the considerations appertaining to the relation which binds a dutiful citizen to his country; and that, in withdrawing the tender of service, which silence in my situation might imply, I am influenced by no diminution of zeal for your future interest; no deficiency of grateful respect for your past kindness; but am supported by a full conviction that the step is compatible with both.

     “The acceptance of, and continuance hitherto in, the office to which your suffrages have twice called me, have been a uniform sacrifice of inclination to the opinion of duty, and to a deference for what appeared to be your desire. I constantly hoped that it would have been much earlier in my power, consistently with motives which I was not at liberty to disregard, to return to that retirement from which I had been reluctantly drawn. The strength of my inclination to do this, previous to the last election, had even led to the preparation of an address to declare it to you; but mature reflection on the then perplexed and critical posture of our affairs with foreign nations, and the unanimous advice of persons entitled to my confidence, impelled me to abandon the idea.

     “I rejoice that the state of your concerns, external as well as internal, no longer renders the pursuit of inclination incompatible with the sentiment of duty or propriety; and am persuaded, whatever partiality may be retained for my services, that, in the present circumstances of our country, you will not disapprove my determination to retire.

     “The impressions, with which I first undertook the arduous trust, were explained on the proper occasion. In the discharge of this trust, I will only say, that I have, with good intentions, contributed towards the organization and administration of the Government the best exertions of which a very fallible judgment was capable. Not unconscious, in the outset, of the inferiority of my qualifications, experience in my own eyes, perhaps still more in the eyes of others, has strengthened the motives to diffidence of myself; and every day the increasing weight of years admonishes me more and more, that the shade of retirement is as necessary to me as it will be welcome. Satisfied, that, if any circumstances have given peculiar value to my services, they were temporary, I have the consolation to believe that, while choice and prudence invite me to quit the political scene, patriotism does not forbid it.

     “In looking forward to the moment which is intended to terminate the career of my public life, my feelings do not permit me to suspend the deep acknowledgment of that debt of gratitude which I owe to my beloved country, for the many honors it has conferred upon me; still more for the steadfast confidence with which it has supported me; and for the opportunities I have thence enjoyed of manifesting my inviolable attachment, by services faithful and persevering, though in usefulness unequal to my zeal. If benefits have resulted to our country from these services, let it always be remembered to your praise, and as an instructive example in our annals, that under circumstances in which the passions, agitated in every direction, were liable to mislead, amidst appearances sometimes dubious, vicissitudes of fortune often discouraging, in situations in which not infrequently want of success has countenanced the spirit of criticism, the constancy of your support was the essential prop of the efforts, and a guarantee of the plans by which they were effected. Profoundly penetrated with this idea, I shall carry it with me to the grave, as a strong incitement to unceasing vows that Heaven may continue to you the choicest tokens of its beneficence; that your union and brotherly affection may be perpetual that the free constitution, which is the work of your hands, may be sacredly maintained that its administration in every department may be stamped with wisdom and virtue that, in fine, the happiness of the people of these States, under the auspices of liberty, may be made complete, by so careful a preservation and so prudent a use of this blessing as will acquire to them the glory of recommending it to the applause, the affection, and adoption of every nation which is yet a stranger to it.


     “Here, perhaps, I ought to stop. But a solicitude for your welfare, which cannot end but with my life, and the apprehension of danger, natural to that solicitude, urge me on an occasion like the present, to offer to your solemn contemplation, and to recommend to your frequent review, some sentiments, which are the result of much reflection, of no inconsiderable observation, and which appear to me all-important to the permanency of your felicity as a people. These will be offered to you with the more freedom, as you can only see in them the disinterested warnings of a parting friend, who can possibly have no personal motive to bias his counsel.-Nor can I forget, as an encouragement to it, your indulgent reception of my sentiments on a former and not dissimilar occasion.

     “Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.

     “The unity of government, which constitutes you one people, is also now dear to you. It is justly so; for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee, that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national Union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.

     “For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of AMERICAN, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels and joint efforts, of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.

     “But these considerations, however powerfully they address themselves to your sensibility, are greatly outweighed by those, which apply more immediately to your interest. Here every portion of our country finds the most commanding motives for carefully guarding and preserving the union of the whole.

     “The North, in an unrestrained intercourse with the South, protected by the equal laws of a common Government, finds in the productions of the latter great additional resources of maritime and commercial enterprise and precious materials of manufacturing industry. The South, in the same intercourse, benefiting by the agency of the North, sees its agriculture grow and its commerce expand. Turning partly into its own channels the seamen of the North, it finds its particular navigation invigorated; and, while it contributes, in different ways, to nourish and increase the general mass of the national navigation, it looks forward to the protection of a maritime strength to which itself is unequally adapted. The East, in a like intercourse with the West, already finds, and in the progressive improvement of interior communications, by land and water, will more and more find, a valuable vent for the commodities which it brings from abroad, or manufactures at home. The West derives from the East supplies requisite to its growth and comfort, and, what is perhaps of still greater consequence, it must of necessity owe the secure enjoyment of indispensable outlets for its own productions to the weight, influence, and the future maritime strength of the Atlantic side of the Union, directed by an indissoluble community of interest as one Nation.-Any other tenure by which the West can hold this essential advantage, whether derived from its own separate strength, or from an apostate and unnatural connection with any foreign Power, must be intrinsically precarious.


     “While, then, every part of our country thus feels an immediate and particular interest in union, all the parts combined cannot fail to find in the united mass of means and efforts greater strength, greater resource, proportionably greater security from external danger, a less frequent interruption of their peace by foreign nations; and, what is of inestimable value, they must derive from union an exemption from those broils and wars between themselves, which so frequently afflict neighboring countries not tied together by the same governments, which their own rival ships alone would be sufficient to produce, but which opposite foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues would stimulate and embitter. Hence, likewise, they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican liberty. In this sense it is, that your union ought to be considered as a main prop of your liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other.

     “These considerations speak a persuasive language to every reflecting and virtuous mind, and exhibit the continuance of the UNION as a primary object of patriotic desire. Is there a doubt whether a common government can embrace so large a sphere? Let experience solve it. To listen to mere speculation in such a case were criminal. We are authorized to hope that a proper organization of the whole, with the auxiliary agency of governments for the respective subdivisions, will afford a happy issue to the experiment. 'Tis well worth a fair and full experiment.

     “With such powerful and obvious motives to union, affecting all parts of our country, while experience shall not have demonstrated its impracticability, there will always be reason to distrust the patriotism of those who in any quarter may endeavour to weaken its bands.

     “In contemplating the causes which may disturb our Union, it occurs as a matter of serious concern that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties by geographical discriminations, Northern and Southern,-Atlantic and Western; whence designing men may endeavour to excite a belief that there is a real difference of local interests and views. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence, within particular districts, is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heart-burnings which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection. The inhabitants of our Western country have lately had a useful lesson on this head; they have seen, in the negotiation by the Executive, and in the unanimous ratification by the Senate, of the treaty with Spain, and in the universal satisfaction at that event throughout the United States, a decisive proof how unfounded were the suspicions propagated among them of a policy in the general government and in the Atlantic States unfriendly to their interests in regard to the MISSISSIPPI; they have been witnesses to the formation of two treaties, that with Great Britain and that with Spain, which secure to them everything they could desire, in respect to our foreign relations, towards confirming their prosperity. Will it not be their wisdom to rely for the preservation of theses advantages on the UNION by which they were procured? Will they not henceforth be deaf to those advisers, if such there are, who would sever them from their brethren and connect them with aliens?

     “To the efficacy and permanency of your union, a Government for the whole is indispensable. No alliances however strict between the parts can be an adequate substitute. They must inevitably experience the infractions and interruptions which all alliances in all times have experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have improved upon your first essay, by the adoption of a Constitution of Government better calculated than your former for an intimate union, and for the efficacious management of your common concerns. This Government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established Government.


     “All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put in the place of the delegated will of the nation, the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of fashion, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common councils, and modified by mutual interests.

     “However combinations or associations of the above descriptions may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people, and to usurp for themselves the reins of government; destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.

The Need to Guard against Assaults against the Constitution

     “Toward the preservation of your Government, and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the Constitution, alterations, which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown. In all the changes to which you may be invited, remember that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments as of other human institutions; that experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing Constitution of a country-that facility in changes, upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion, exposes to perpetual change, from the endless variety of hypothesis and opinion: and remember, especially, that for the efficient management of your common interests, in a country so extensive as ours, a government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty is indispensable. Liberty itself will find in such a government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest guardian. It is, indeed, little else than a name, where the government is too feeble to withstand the enterprise of faction, to confine each member of the society within the limits prescribed by the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property.

     “I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the state, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party, generally.

     “This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

     The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight) the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

     “It serves always to distract the public councils, and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the doors to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the Government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.


     “There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the Government, and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And, there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be, by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

     “It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism.

     “A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position. The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositories, and constituting each the guardian of the public weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern, some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them. If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for, though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit which the use can at any time yield.

The Importance of Religion & Morality

     Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

     “It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who, that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?

Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.

     “As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible; avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it; avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the debts, which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives, but it is necessary that public opinion should cooperate. To facilitate to them the performance of their duty, it is essential that you should practically bear in mind, that towards the payment of debts there must be revenue; that to have revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant; that the intrinsic embarrassment, inseparable from the selection of the proper objects (which is always a choice of difficulties), ought to be a decisive motive for a candid construction of the conduct of the Government in making it, and for a spirit of acquiescence in the measures for obtaining revenue which the public exigencies may at any time dictate.

     “Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all, religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it? It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and, at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt, that, in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages, which might be lost by a steady adherence to it? Can it be, that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?

     In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another an habitual hatred, or an habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence, frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the Government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The Government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times, it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations has been the victim.

     “So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter, without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others, which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions, by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favored nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base of foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

     As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils! Such an attachment of a small or weak, towards a great and powerful nation, dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.

     “Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government. But that jealousy, to be useful, must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defence against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation, and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.

Europe Has a Set of Concerns That Are Foreign to America

     “The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop.

     “Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

     Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people, under an efficient government, the period is not far off, when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon, to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not likely hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.

     “Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice?

Steer Clear of Permanent Alliances With Foreign World

     “It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But, in my opinion, it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.

     “Taking care always to keep ourselves, by suitable establishments, on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies. Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing, with powers so disposed, 'in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them, conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view, that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its dependence for whatever it may accept under that character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.

     “In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish; that they will control the usual current of the passions, or prevent our nation from running the course, which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations. But, if I may even flatter myself, that they may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good; that they may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism; this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare, by which they have been dictated.


     “How far in the discharge of my official duties I have been guided by the principles which have been delineated, the public records and other evidences of my conduct must witness to you and to the world. To myself, the assurance of my own conscience is, that I have at least believed myself to be guided by them.

     “In relation to the still subsisting war in Europe, my Proclamation of the 22nd of April 1793 is the index to my plan. Sanctioned by your approving voice, and by that of your representatives in both Houses of Congress, the spirit of that measure has continually governed me, uninfluenced by any attempts to deter or divert me from it.

     “After deliberate examination, with the aid of the best lights I could obtain, I was well satisfied that our country, under all the circumstances of the case, had a right to take, and was bound in duty and interest to take, a neutral position. Having taken it, I determined, as far as should depend upon me, to maintain it, with moderation, perseverance, and firmness.

     “The considerations which respect the right to hold this conduct, it is not necessary on this occasion to detail. I will only observe, that, according to my understanding of the matter, that right, so far from being denied by any of the belligerent powers, has been virtually admitted by all.

     “The duty of holding a neutral conduct may be inferred, without anything more, from the obligation which justice and humanity impose on every nation, in cases in which it is free to act, to maintain inviolate the relations of peace and amity towards other nations.

     “The inducements of interest for observing that conduct will best be referred to your own reflections and experience. With me, a predominant motive has been to endeavour to gain time to our country to settle and mature its yet recent institutions, and to progress without interruption to that degree of strength and consistency which is necessary to give it, humanly speaking, the command of its own fortunes.

     “Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope, that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after forty-five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.

     “Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love towards it, which is so natural to a man who views in it the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations, I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat, in which I promise myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow citizens, the benign influence of good laws under a free government, the ever favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers.” (Gazette of the United States, September 17th, 1796.)


Chapter 17—Republican Government: A Model for the World

     Since the dawn of mankind people have sought to devise political, economic and social systems which would improve their freedom, prosperity and happiness. Man has experimented with one system after another in a vain attempt to develop a set of precepts which would raise him from his impoverished state. All too often these systems have resulted in tyranny, oppression, economic stagnation and decay, and misery for the majority of the people.

A Political, Economic and Social Revolution Occurred

In America in the 1700s

     In the later half of the 1700s, however, following the climax of a political, economic and social revolution which had been gestating for a century and a half, a new political, economic and social system emerged in North America. Called republicanism, it set forth a form of government which allowed for the free exercise of the inalienable rights of mankind.

The Concept of Republicanism

     Professor Neal Riemer of Pennsylvania State University outlined this new revolutionary system in a paper entitled "The Republicanism of James Madison."

     "For Madison a republic was a government which derived ‘all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people’ and which rested `on the capacity of mankind for self-government.' In republican theory, if not always in republican practice, it was ‘politic as well as just that the interests and rights of every class should be duly represented and understood in the public Councils.’ It was also a fundamental republican principle ‘that men cannot be justly bound by laws in making which they have no part.' A republican government was one which was ‘administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure, for a limited period, —or during good behavior.’ Even during this ‘short duration of their appointments' to government `the trust should be placed not in a few, but (in) a number of hands.’

The Vital Principle of Republican Government

     "The ‘fundamental’ and ‘vital’ principle of such republican government was ‘lex majoris partis, the will of the majority;’ and the ‘majority who rule in such governments’ were regarded as ‘the safest Guardians both of public Good and private rights.’ Such majority rule, however, must be reasonable and just; the government was not to be one of unlimited power. It was instituted to secure ‘life and liberty, with the right of acquiring and using property, and generally of pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.’ Whenever the government should be ‘found adverse or inadequate to the purposes of its institution’ the people had ‘an indubitable, unalienable, and indefensible right to reform or change it.’

The Philosophical Foundation of Republicanism

     "Much —of this general republican philosophy sounds like familiar echoes of the Declaration of Independence, of the Virginia Bill of Rights, of John Locke, of the English Bill of Rights of 1689, and of James Harrington." (Political Science Quarterly, vol. 69, 1954, pp. 46-47)

     James Madison’s commitment to the principles of republican government formed the foundation of his political thought. After the constitution had been drafted in Philadelphia it underwent an intensive scrutiny by the state conventions that were called to ratify it. Madison had joined John Jay and Alexander Hamilton in New to write a series of 85 essays which were published in the daily newspapers of New York. The publication of these essays gave Madison the opportunity not only to explain the constitution to the people there, but to expand on his views of republican government.

Republican Government Must Be Derived from the People

     Madison outlined his views on republican government in Essays Nos. 10, 14, 39, 48, 51 and 55.

     A republican government was to be based upon the people, not an oligarchy, monarchy or few people. That is the secret of its success. He stated, “It is essential to such a government, that it be derived from the great body of the society, not from an inconsiderable proportion, or a favored class of it; otherwise a handful of tyrannical nobles, exercising their oppressions by a delegation of their powers, might aspire to the rank of republicans, and claim for their government the honorable title of republic. It is sufficient for such a government, that the persons administering it be appointed, either directly or indirectly, by the people; and that they hold their appointments by either of the tenures just specified; otherwise every government in the United States, as: well as every other popular government that has been or can be well organized or well executed, would be degraded from the republican character." (Federalist No. 39.)

The Ultimate Authority Resides in the People Alone

     The source of power in a republican government is the people. In Essay No. 46, Madison stated, "Notwithstanding the different modes in which they [the federal and state governments] are appointed, we must consider both of them, as substantially dependent on the great body of the citizens of the United States.... The Federal and State Governments are in fact but different agents and trustees of the people, instituted with different powers, and designated for different purposes.

     “The adversaries of the Constitution seem to have lost sight of the people altogether in their reasonings on this subject; and to have viewed these different establishments not only as mutual rivals and enemies, but as uncontrolled by any common superior in their efforts to usurp the authorities of each other. These gentlemen must here be reminded of their error.

     “They must be told that the ultimate authority, wherever the derivative may be found, resides in the people alone; and that it will not depend merely on the comparative ambition or address of the different governments, whether either, or which of them, will be able to enlarge its sphere of jurisdiction at the expense of the other. Truth no less than decency requires, that the event in every case, should be supposed to depend on the sentiments and sanction of their common constituents." (Federalist No. 46.)

Republican Government Presupposes the Existence

of Virtuous Qualities in Mankind

     A key component of republican government is the belief in the capacity of men for self-government. Madison and the other framers of the U. S. Constitution believed that Providence had given the American people a wonderful opportunity to show the world the virtues of self-government. However, they knew that history reveals that man tends rather easily toward tyranny. They sought ways to guard against tyranny in America. Madison affirmed his faith in the capacity of man for self-government in Essay No. 55 in these words: "As there is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust: So there are other qualities in human nature, which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence. Republican government presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form. Were the pictures which have been drawn by the political jealousy of some among us, faithful likenesses of -the human character, the inference would be that there is not sufficient virtue among men for self-government; and that nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another." (Federalist No. 55)

     Self-government is based on a simple faith in the potential and capability of man to uphold a system which allows him a maximum degree of freedom.

A Republican Government Allows You to Extend

The Sphere of Government over a Large Area

     One of the unique aspects of the theory of republican government is that it allows for the extension of government over a large area thus controlling factions which has a tendency to dominate government. In Essay No. 10, Madison writes: "The smaller the society, the fewer probably will be the distinct parties and interests composing it; the fewer the distinct parties and interests, the more frequently will a majority be found of the same party; and the smaller the number of individuals composing a majority, and the smaller the compass within which they are placed, the more easily will they concert and execute their plans of oppression. Extend the sphere, and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens; or if such a common motive exists, it will be more difficult for all who feel it to discover their own strength, and to act in union with each other." (Federalist No 10.)

Rendering an Unjust Combination of a Majority of Society Improbable

     In Essay No. 51 Madison writes: "It is of great importance in a republic ... to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part. Different interests necessarily exist in different classes of citizens. If a majority be united by a common interest, the rights of the minority will be insecure. There are but two methods of providing against this evil: The one by creating a will in the community independent of the majority, that is, of the society itself; the other by comprehending in the society so many separable descriptions of citizens, as will render an unjust combination of a majority of the whole, very improbable, if not impracticable.

     “The first method prevails in all governments possessing an hereditary or self-appointed authority. This is at best but a precarious security; because a power independent of the society may as well espouse the unjust views of the major, as the rightful interests, of the minor party, and may possibly be turned against both parties. The second method will be exemplified in the federal republic of the United States. Whilst all authority in it will be derived from and dependent on the society, the society itself will be broken into so many parts, interests and classes of citizens, that the rights of the individual or of the minority, will be in little danger from interested combinations of the majority.

The Security for Civil Rights

     "In a free government, the security for civil rights must be the same as for religious rights. It consists in the one case in the multiplicity of interests, and in the other, in the multiplicity of sects. The degree of security in both cases will depend on the number of interests and sects; and this may be presumed to depend on the extent of country and number of people comprehended under the same government. This view of the subject must particularly recommend a proper federal system to all the sincere considerate friends of republican government: Since it shows that in exact proportion as the territory of the union may be formed into more circumscribed confederacies or states, oppressive combinations of a majority will be facilitated, the best security under the republican form, for the rights of every class of citizens, will be diminished; and consequently, the stability and independence of some member of the government, the only other security, must be proportionally increased.

The End of Government and Civil Society

     "Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society. It ever has been, and ever will be pursued, until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit. In a society under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign, as in a state of nature where the weaker individual is not secured against the violence of the stronger: And as in the latter state even the stronger individuals are prompted by the uncertainty of their condition, to submit to a government which may protect the weak as well as themselves: So in the former state, will the more powerful factions or parties be gradually induced by a like motive, to wish for a government which will protect all parties, the weaker as well as the more powerful.

The Example of Rhode Island

     "It can be little doubted, that if the state of Rhode Island was separated from the confederacy, and left to itself, the insecurity of rights under the popular form of government within such narrow limits, would be displayed by such reiterated oppressions of factious majorities, that some power altogether independent of the people would soon be called for by the voice of the very factions whose misrule had proved the necessity of it.

The Extended Republic of the U. S.

     "In the extended republic of the United States, and among the great variety of interests, parties and sects which it embraces, a coalition of a majority of the whole society could seldom take place on any other principles than those of justice and the general good; and there being thus less danger to a minor from the will of the major party, there must be less pretext also, to provide for the security of the former, by introducing into the government a will not dependent on the latter; or in other words; a will independent of the society itself. It is no less certain than it is important, notwithstanding the contrary opinions which have been entertained, that the larger society, provided it lie within a practicable sphere, the more duly capable it will be of self government. And happily for the republican cause, the practicable sphere may be carried to a very great extent, by a judicious modification and mixture of the federal principle.” (Federalist No. 51.)

Madison's Answer to the Problem of Governmental Control of the Governed

     In Essay No. 51, Madison extended his discussion of ways to control factions in a government that seek to dominate one another. One ingenious solution was to extend the sphere of government, which a republican government is designed to do, and then place “auxiliary precautions” into the written constitution such as checks and balances while at the same time separating political authority into three distinct branches of government and you have formula that allows for maximum degree of freedom.

     Essay No. 10 is more than just an exposition of Madison's "theory of factions. It outlines Madison's solution to the problem of "control of the governed," which is one of the two requisites for the establishment and preservation of free government. Madison felt that through an "enlargement of the sphere," it would be an effective devise "to break and control the violation of faction," which has been the cause of the demise of popular government.

Madison Exposes a Misconception Traceable

to an Interpretation of Montesquieu

     In order to support the theory of an "enlargement of the sphere," Madison had to expose the fallacies of the prevailing misconception at the time which was traceable to an interpretation of Montesquieu. In his Spirit of the Laws, he argued that a republican form of government could exist and function only in a small, constricted area. Madison refuted this viewpoint in Essays Nos. 10 and 14. Madison felt the confusion lay in a basic misconception concerning the distinction between a republic and a democracy.

A Republic May Be Extended over a Large Area

     Madison writes in Essay No. 14 that: "The error which limits Republican Government to a narrow district ... seems to owe its rise and prevalence, chiefly to the confounding of a republic with a democracy: And applying to the former reasonings drawn from the nature of the latter. The true distinction between these forms ... is, that in a democracy, the people meet and exercise the government in person; in a republic they assemble and administer it by their representatives and agents. A democracy consequently will be confined to a small spot. A republic may be extended over a large region.... Under the confusion of names, it has been an easy task to transfer to a republic, observations applicable to a democracy only, and among others, the observation that it can never be established but among a small number of people living within a small compass of territory." (Federalist No. 14.)

America Has Discovered the Basis of Extensive Republics

     Madison felt the "turbulent democracies" of antiquity and the governments of modern Europe were not legitimate models for evaluating the system of republican government that was emerging in America. He stated: "If Europe has the merit of discovering this great mechanical power [representation] in government, by the simple agency of which, the will of the largest political body may be concentred, and its force directed to any object, which the public requires; America can claim the merit of making the discovery the basis of unmixed and extensive republics. It is only to be lamented, that any of her citizens should wish to deprive her of the additional merit of displaying its full efficacy on the establishment of the comprehensive system now under her consideration." (Federalist No. 14.)

The Founders at the Convention Pursued a New and More Noble Course

Not Only for America but for the World

     Madison believed that the republican system of government could revolutionize the world if they look at its merits and embraced its virtues. At the conclusion of Essay No. 14, he said, “Happily for America, happily, we trust, for the whole human race, they pursued a new and more noble course. They accomplished a revolution which has no parallel in the annals of human society. They reared the fabrics of governments which have no model on the face of the globe. They formed the design of a great Confederacy, which it is incumbent on their successors to improve and perpetuate. If their works betray imperfections, we wonder at the fewness of them. If they erred most in the structure of the Union, this was the work most difficult to be executed; this is the work which has been new modeled by the act of your convention, and it is that act on which you are now to deliberate and to decide.” (Federalist No. 14.)

Republican Government Is Compatible with the Natural Rights of Mankind

     Many of the founding fathers felt that the American experiment in liberty and self-government would serve as a light upon the hill for the oppressed of all nations. Thomas Jefferson was convinced that:

     "The Republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind, my prayers and efforts shall be cordially distributed to the support of that we have so deeply established. It is indeed an animating thought, that while we are securing the rights of ourselves and our posterity, we are pointing out the way to struggling nations, who wish like us to emerge from their tyrannies also. Heaven help their struggles, and lead them, as it has done us, triumphantly through them." (Quoted in Adrienne Koch, Power, Morals, and the Founding Fathers. London: Cornell University Press, 1961, p. 151.)

America—the Workshop of Liberty for the World

     James Madison, often called the architect of republican government in the U.S., stated: "The free system of government we have established is so congenial with reason, with common sense, and with a universal feeling, that it must produce approbation and a desire of imitation, as avenues may be found for truth to the knowledge of nations. Our Country, if it does justice to itself, will be the workshop of liberty to the Civilized World, and do more than any other for the uncivilized." (Koch, p. 105)


Chapter 18—The Founding Fathers—Christian Statesmen of the Highest Order

     The founding fathers of the American Republic were noble men raised up by Providence to lay the foundation of political, economic and religious liberty and to establish a government that was designed to free mankind from all forms of bondage and tyranny. Although each of the founders belonged to a different denomination or church, they were Christians who held a firm belief in God and the Holy Bible. Let us look a few of their remarkable statements about the importance of the Christian religion and morality.

     John Adams stated in the early spring of 1765: "I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence for the illumination of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth."

     Benjamin Franklin stated, “Here is my creed. I believe in one God, Creator of the Universe. That he governs it by his providence. That he ought to be worshiped. That the most acceptable service wee render to him is in doing good to his other children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental principles of all sound religion.”

     Thomas Jefferson stated, “That there is only one God, and He all perfect. That there is future state of rewards and punishments. That to love God with all thy heart and thy neighbor as thyself, is the sum of religion.”

     Thomas Jefferson stated: “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?”

     John Adams said, “The substance of Christianity as I understand it is eternal and unchangeable and will bear examination forever.”

     John Adams wrote in his journal on July 26, 1796 the following: “The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity, and humanity.

     John Adams wrote on August 14, 1796 that: “One great advantage of the Christian religion is that it brings the great principle of the law of nature and nations-Love your ^neighbor as yourself, and do to others as you would that others should do to you to the knowledge, belief, and veneration of the whole people. Children, servants, women, and men, are all professors in the science of public and private morality.

     “No other institution for public and private morality, no other institution for education, no kind of political discipline, could diffuse this necessary kind of information so universally among all ranks and descriptions of citizens. The duties and rights of the man and the citizen are thus taught from early infancy to every creature. The sanctions of a future life are thus added to the observance of civil and political, as well as domestic and private duties. Prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude, are thus taught to be the means and conditions of future as well as present happiness.”

     Samuel Adams stated that, “Revelation assures us that ‘righteousness exalteth a nation,’ Communities are dealt wit h in this world by the wise and just Ruler of the Universe. He rewards or punishes them according to their general character. The diminution of public virtue is usually attended with that of public happiness, and the public liberty will not long survive the total extinction of morals.”


     Samuel Adams, in a letter to John Scollary in 1776 stated, “I have long been convinced that our Enemies have made it an Object, to eradicate from t he Minds of the People in general a Sense of true Religion and Virtue, in hopes thereby the more easily to carry their point of enslaving them.”

     John Jay writing in 1787 stated in: "With equal pleasure I have often taken notice that Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people—a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established their general liberty and independence." (Essay No 2 of The Federalist.)

     Alexander Hamilton, speaking of the new Constitution said in 1787 that: “I sincerely esteem a system, which, without the finger of God, never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests.

     James Madison, writing in Federalist No. 39 stated in 1787, “Belief in a God all Powerful wise and good is so essential to the moral order of the world and to the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources.

     George Washington declared in 1789 that: “Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit, in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes ....

     “No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men, more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency;

     “And in the important revolution just accomplished in the system of their united government, the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities from which the event has resulted cannot be compared with the means by which most governments have been established without some of pious gratitude, along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage....

     “We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained; and since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered as deeply, perhaps finally, staked on the experiment.” (Inaugural Speech to Both Houses of Congress. April 30, 1789.)

     George Washington, in his Farewell Address to the nation, stated: “Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and t o cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity.... And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure—reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles. It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. (1796)

     John Adams stated that, “Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

     James Madison stated in his first inaugural address that, “In these (the virtues of my fellow citizens) my confidence will under every difficulty be best placed next to that which we have all been encouraged to feel in the guardianship and guidance of that Almighty Being whose powers regulates the destiny of nations, whose blessings have been so conspicuously dispensed to this rising Republic, and to whom we are bound to address our devout gratitude for the past, as well as our fervent supplications and best hopes for the future.” (James D. Richardson, editor, A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents. New York: Bureau of National Literature, Inc. 1898, Volume I, p. 44-53.)


Chapter 19—The Free Market System—Fruits of Economic Liberty

     In the fall of 1787, John Jay, a prominent lawyer from New York City wrote, “It has often given me pleasure to observe, that independent America was not composed of detached and distant territories, but that one connected, fertile, wide-spreading country was the portion of our western sons of liberty.

     “Providence has in a particular manner blessed it with a variety of soils and productions, and watered it with innumerable streams, for the delight and accommodation of its inhabitants. A succession of navigable waters forms a kind of chain round its borders, as if to bind it together; while the most noble rivers in the world, running at convenient distances, present them with highways for the easy communication of friendly aids, and the mutual Transportation and exchange of their various commodities.

     “With equal pleasure I have often taken notice, that Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people—a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who, by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established general liberty and independence.

     “This country and this people seem to have been made for each other, and it appears as if it were the design of Providence, that an inheritance so proper and convenient for a band of brethren, united to each other by the strongest ties, should never be split into a number of unsocial, jealous, and alien sovereignties.” (Federalist, 2: 5-7.)

The Importance of Rule of Law

     Once the founding fathers had broken the chains of bondage and freed the colonies from the grips of the British Empire, they were not able to develop their own economy. After the Revolutionary War was won, the statesmen stepped into the light and began drafting State Constitutions. These constitutions guaranteed and protected the private property rights of the people. The rule of law was now in effect throughout the new States. With the drafting of the constitutions the framers also established the principle of written constitutions. Next the U. S. Constitutions was adopted.

     Step by step the framers of the State Constitutions and the U. S. Constitutions were building the bases of a free market system. The atmosphere was now ripe for the growth and spread of manufacturing and industrial enterprises to provide for the growth and expansion of America as the people began to move into the West.

A Free Market among the States

     One of the most important clauses of the U. S. Constitution allowed Congress, “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian Tribes.” (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3.) The Constitution allowed for the growth of a free market or common market among the states. As new States were admitted into the Union, the common market expanded. Congress passed laws allowing the free flow of goods across state lines and ended the trade wars among the states that had led to the Annapolis Convention in 1786.

     The next remarkable aspect of the Constitution is that is allowed Congress, “To coin Money, regulate the value thereof.” Congress was allowed to, “Fix the Standards of Weights and Measures.” As part of its powers, Congress passed laws allowing the new government to collect duties and excises on imported goods into America.

The Importance of America’s Manufacturing and Industrial Base

     Alexander Hamilton, now Secretary of the Treasury, wrote his famous treatise on manufacturing and the importance of protecting America’s new manufacturing and industrial base from exploitation of the British Empire and other nations around the world who wanted to sell their manufactured products to America.

     Most people are stunned to learn that there were no Federal personal income taxes on individuals or corporations until the adoption of the 16th amendment ion on February 3, 1913.

     The people of the states paid taxes, but there was no Federal Income Tax System until 1913.

     America grew into the most free and prosperous nation on earth because of the economic liberties established by the founding fathers in the State Constitutions and the U. S. Constitutions and in the laws passed by Congress at the start of the new national government in 1791. The Free market System was designed in America, not in England, not in Scotland, not in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, South America or Canada. It was designed in America by the founding fathers

     It was the founding fathers love for political, economic and religious liberty that led to the establishment of the most free and prosperous nation in the history of the world. It is not an out growth of mercantilism. It is pure American economic liberty.

The Principles of the Free Market System in America

     The America Free market System is totally unique in the world. It is a remarkable combination of the following : (1) political, economic and religious liberty; (2) the Puritan work ethic; (3) private property rights; (4) abundant natural resources; (5) expansive farm land ; (6) a system of tariffs and excise taxes on imports; (7) limited government; (8) free exchange of goods and services among the American people; (9) exports of surplus goods; (10) absence of government regulations; (11) profit motive; (12) lack of taxes on corporations at the Federal level; (13) lack of taxes on individuals at the Federal level; (14) uniform system of weights and measures; (15) common language; (16) uniform currency; (17) a common market among the states; (18) navigable rivers; (19) numerous open water ports; and (20) contract law.

     Economic liberty was not imported into America. It was born and raised in America. The Pilgrims, the Puritans, the patriots, the soldiers, the Sons of Liberty, the statesmen and early people of America created, through their toil, labor, sacrifice and hard work, the remarkable system that we have today.

     The framers of the State Constitutions and the U. S. Constitution gave us the formula for political, economic and religious liberty, which forms the basis for the free market.


Chapter 20—The Monroe Doctrine: Promoting Liberty Throughout the Americas

     The incredible success of the American Revolutionary War was heralded around the world. The patriots of 1776 and General George Washington and his troops were heroes to millions of people who were living in bondage. The principles of political, economic and religious liberty enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, the Virginia Declaration of Rights, the State Constitutions, the U. S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights belong to all mankind. They are not just the heritage of America.

     When Thomas Jefferson penned the following words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers ins such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

     “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and that accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

     “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for the future security.” (Declaration of Independence, July 2, 1776.)

     These words electrified not only the colonists, but people throughout the world who have been living under bondage, tyranny, oppression and slavery. These words inspired and motivated them to resist the evil and conspiring men and women to had enslaved them and were exploiting them for personal gain and power.

     The words of Jefferson motivated and justified the American colonies into rebelling and declaring Independence from the British Empire. It would motivate military and political leaders throughout the world to duplicate their efforts and follow their example.

     The Declaration of Independence declared for all mankind that there are “certain unalienable Rights,” which are a gift of the Creator to all mankind and these Rights cannot be abridged by kings, emperors, dictators or sheiks without incurring the Wrath of Heaven.

British Empire and Spanish Empire Dominate New World

     North and South American were discovered and settled by two mighty empires—the British Empire and the Spanish Empire. After the European powers divided the New World into spheres of influence, the Spanish Empire would control and exploit Mexico, Central and South America and the British Empire would control and exploit North America. After the War of Independence, Great Britain retained control of Canada, however the former colonies were now free, sovereign and independent States.

     There is an important difference in these two empires. It deals with the manner of governance. The people to fled to New England and settled the thirteen colonies operated under Royal Charters of one sort or another. The people began governing the colonies and established a history of local self-government from 1620 to 1776.

     The people in Mexico, central America and South America were the original “Native Americans” and they were already a large body when the Spaniards came and began shipping hundreds of shiploads of gold from the countries of South America back to Spain. The Spaniards imposed a monarchial system of government on South America and rulers came from Spain to rule the newly acquired colonies and the backward Indians. The people in Mexico, Central America and South America never had the opportunity to learn how to govern themselves because they were enslaved by the Spanish Government and Empire. People of pure Spanish bloodlines rules these counties and set up vast and expensive estates where they lived in luxury on the spoils of the people who made to serve their new masters.


     The enormous precious metals, which should have been used to develop the nations of Mexico, Central America and South America along with other natural resources, were shipped to Spain and Europe and used to enrich the elite financial and business oligarchies that ruled behind the Crowns of Europe.

     When the British Empire, who had expanding its empire all over the world, had drained it treasuries in various wars, it sought to increase taxes in the American colonies. The taxation of the colonies did not sit well with Samuel Adams and James Otis and a host of others who rebelled and the rest is history.

     The Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution stirred the hearts of people in Mexico, Central American and South America who also desired their countries to become free and independent of the Spanish Empire just as the American colonies had become free of the British Empire.

Wars of Independence in South America

     The Monroe Doctrine was issued by President James Monroe on December 2, 1823. It was designed to help those brave “Liberators” of Mexico and South America who were laboring to rid of the Southern Hemisphere of the Spanish Empire.

     The South American Revolutions began when Napoleon rose to power in Europe. Napoleon marched into Portugal and the Royal family fled to Brazil, their South American colony under the protection of the British navy. Prince John, the son of Queen Maria ruled Brazil as regent. Napoleon also deposed Ferdinand VII, the King of Spain. Spanish Americans used this event to start the wars of independence in South America.

     The independence movement in South America was very different that the independence movement in America. The people in south America were deliberately kept poor and took no part in their government. The leaders of the rebellion in these countries faced almost overwhelming obstacles.

     One of the great leaders to arise in South America was Simon Bolivar. He had been born to wealthy parents of pure Spanish descent in Caracas. At the age of 16 he was sent to Spain for his education. In 1802 he married the daughter of a Spanish nobleman and returned to Venezuela. His wife later died and he vowed never to marry again.

     In 1807 Bolivar visited the United States to learn more about American history. He became a great admirer of George Washington and the officers who fought the Revolutionary War.

     When Napoleon invaded Spain, Bolivar decided to support and lead the revolutionaries who refused to accept Napoleon’s brother as their new King. In 1811 he joined the patriots who declared independence for Venezuela. The new declaration stated that, “These united provinces are, and ought to be from this day forth, in fact and of right, free, sovereign, and independent states.” This was language directly taken from the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780.

     During the Administration of James Madison wars of independence erupted throughout South America. The leaders of the revolts in South America saw the rise of Napoleon as an opportunity to seek independence for their countries.     

     Simon Bolivar, Bernardo O’ Higgins and Jose de San Martin and other leaders battle for freedom in South America. In Mexico Miguel Hidaldo and Jose Maria Morelos were guiding a rebellion in Mexico. The rebellion in Mexico led to their independence on November 6, 1813. One by one the nations of South America declared their independence of Spain. The wars for independence quickly gained support in America. Hundreds of volunteers from America, England, Scotland and Ireland joined the patriot’s leaders in South America in their effort to end the tyrannical rule of the Spanish Empire in the Americas.

     Henry Clay led the efforts to secure recognition of the new governments in Mexico, Central America and South America. In fiery oration he described the “glorious spectacle of eighteen millions of people struggling to burst their chains and be free.” The new governments in South American began developing constitutions patterns after the U. S. Constitution.

Formation of the Monroe Doctrine

     However, there were those in Washington such as John Quincy Adams who felt that the new Republics did not have the political and economic structure in place to sustain the new governments. At the same time, the new Administration of James Monroe was fearful of offending Spain while treaty negotiations were underway over Florida.

     Monroe and Adams did not want to intervene with the Powers of Europe and decided for the moment to let Spain and the rebels continue their battles for control of the Americas.

     The issue of finance and trade quickly came to the forefront. While trade between Spain and South America has slowed to a tricky, trade with England boomed on the other hand. The British financiers and merchants quickly moved into take advantage of the wars for financial gain. The large British Trading Houses were quickly established in South America and mining concessions were granted to them.

     After the defeat of Spain in 1814, the King of Spain regained his throne and immediately sent an army and navy to regain control of their colonies in Mexico and South America. By 1816 King Ferdinand had regained control of his colonies. The battles for control of the colonies only intensified.

     Events in Mexico and South America were quickly changing and the new governments pressed the Monroe Administration in Washington to officially recognize the new Republics of South America.

     By 1821 the “Liberators” were pushing the Spanish troops out of the Americas. Argentina and Chile established their independence. By 1822 there was only one Spanish army left in South America. And they surrendered after the Battle of Ayacucho. A mutiny of Spanish soldiers in Vera Cruz forced the Spanish Viceroy to recognize the independence of Mexico and Central America. By the fall of 1822 all of the nations had achieved their independence. Mexico and Brazil set up republics. The European controlled only Belize, Bolivia and the Guianas.

     On March 8, 1822, President James Monroe declared that the new governments of La Plata, Chile, Peru, Columbia and Mexico should be recognized as free and independent governments. Diplomatic relations were quickly established with these new nations.

     In 1823 there were rumors of a joint Franco-Spanish military force being assembled to be sent to South America. It appeared that the Alliance formed by the Powers of Europe still had their eyes on the America. Since the British financiers and merchants had firmly established themselves in South America, the thought of the Spanish returning was unacceptable. On August 16, 1823 Canning in the Foreign Office contacted Benjamin Rush, the American Ambassador in London. Rush quickly sent a series of dispatches to Washington outlining the reasons why the Franco-Spanish plans should be stopped.. They arrived in October. President James Monroe sent copies of the dispatches to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. In a cover letter Monroe stated that he believed that the Administration should accept the advice of Canning.

The Need to Stop the Exploitation of the Americas

     Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were both in retirement at Monticello and Montpelier respectively. However, they recognized the importance of the request from London to stop the Powers of Europe from continuing their exploitation of Mexico, Central America and South America. Jefferson felt that the issue of cooperation with Great Britain was, “The momentous which has ever been offered to my contemplation since that of Independence...America, North and South, has a set of interests distinct from those of Europe, and peculiarly her own... One nation, most of all, could disturb us in this pursuit; she now offers to lead, aid and accompany us in it.... With her the, we should most sedulously cherish a cordial friendship.” (Samuel Eliot Morison, The Oxford History of the American People. New York: Mentor Book, 1965, Volume II, p. 148.) James Madison concurred with Jefferson.

     James Monroe was at his home in Oak Hill. All three Virginians pondered a tremendously important foreign policy issue. It was one that would determine the fate of tens of millions of people.

     John Quincy Adams was very distrustful of the British. He felt they always had a secret financial agenda. And he was right.


     On November 7, 1823, at the cabinet meeting with the President he remarked, “It would be more candid, as well as more dignified, to avow our principles explicitly to Great Britain and France, than to come in a cockboat in the wake of a British man-of-war.” Morison, p. 148.)

     John Quincy Adams was serving as Secretary of State at the time. He was concerned over another major foreign policy issue. Russia was seeking to claim Alaska and territory clear to Oregon. They had closed the Bering Strait.

     Adams believed that the new governments in Mexico, Central America and South America would not evolve into republic like America had done after 1776. He feared they would be dominated by military dictatorships and powerful faction still determined to exploit these countries. However, he felt the United States should issue a firm warning to the Power of Europe that these countries were not to be t he objects of further colonization.

Deception in London

     Adams wondered if the rumors concerning further intervention in South America by European Powers were true or whether they had been hatched in London to persuade America to intervene in order to protect British trade and financial interests with the new countries. With the decline of Spain in the Americas, the financial and commercials interests of Great Britain has increased significantly with South America. It appears that the merchants were very interested in the gold mines and other natural resources still there.

     Adams was also cognizant of George Washington’s warning to avoid “entangling alliances” with the powers of Europe. And in his mind, that included England.

     The Russian minister in Washington had also infuriated Adams when he told him that republicanism was doomed to fail in America. Adams noted on November 7th that, “the communication lately received from the Russian Minister afforded, as I though, a very suitable and convenient opportunity for us to take our stand against the Holy Alliance, and at the same time to decline the overture of Great Britain.

     Another issue was complicating things in Washington. Greece was fighting for its independence and Madison had wanted to aid them. Monroe was troubled. Should be offend the Holy Alliance and support Greece. He wanted to recognize the independence of Greece. However, Adams argued against becoming involved the issues of Europe. In the end John Quincy Adams won.

     On December 2, 1823 in the annual message to Congress, President James Monroe informed the world that the Western Hemisphere would no longer be available for further colonization by the Powers of Europe. No word was mentioned that Great Britain had orchestrated the message from behind the scenes. Regardless of British involvement, the message needed to be sent. The famous address became known as the “Monroe Doctrine.” Although the declaration carried the name of Monroe, it was the work of John Quincy Adams.

Monroe Doctrine

     The famous doctrines stated:

     ". . . the occasion has been judged proper for asserting, as a principle in which the rights and interests of the United States are involved, that the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers....

     "It is only when our rights are invaded or seriously menaced that we resent injuries or make preparation for our defense. With the movements in this hemisphere we are of necessity more immediately connected, and by causes which must be obvious to all enlightened and impartial observers.


     “The political system of the allied powers is essentially different in this respect from that of America. This difference proceeds from that which exists in their respective governments; and to the defense of our own, which has been achieved by the loss of so much blood and treasure, and matured by the wisdom of their most enlightened citizens, and under which we have enjoyed unexampled felicity, this whole Nation is devoted.

     “We owe it, therefore, to candor and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and those powers to declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety.

     “With the existing colonies or dependencies of any European power we have not interfered and shall not interfere. But with the governments who have declared their independence and maintained it, and whose independence we have, on great consideration and on just principles, acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States....

     "It is impossible that the allied powers should extend their political system to any portion of either continent without endangering our peace and happiness; nor can anyone believe that our southern brethren, if left to themselves, would adopt it of their own accord.

     It is equally impossible, therefore, that we should behold such interposition in any form with indifference. If we look to the comparative strength and resources of Spain and those new governments, and their distance from each other, it must be obvious that she can never subdue them. It is still the policy of the United States to leave the parties to themselves, in the hope that other powers will pursue the same course." (“Monroe Doctrine,” Papers of the President. December 2, 1823.

Promoting Liberty in the Americas

     The Monroe Doctrine stated in bold and clear terms that the Americas are not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers. It also acknowledged that the political systems of Europe are “essentially different ... from those of America. It also warned that America would “consider any attempt” on the part of European powers “to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety.”

     In keeping with the doctrine of avoidance of entangling alliances established by George Washington in famous Farewell Address to America, the Monroe Doctrine states, “With the existing colonies or dependencies of any European power we have not interfered and shall not interfere.” A very important passage of the doctrine states, “In the wars of the European powers in matters relating to themselves we have never taken any part, nor does it comport with Our Policy so to do.”

     The Monroe Doctrine is an inspired document. It was designed to promote liberty in the Americas. Four great patriots had their had in drafting the document: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe and John Quincy Adams, the son of John Adams. This would not be the first time or the last time that Providence would use the British government to help His people.

     The doctrine was designed to promote freedom, not to be used as a tool to foster British imperialism in the Americas.


Chapter 21—The Civil War: The Curse of Slavery

     From 1620 until 1776 the people in New England and the Middle colonies were forging a new beginning in a new World. The Pilgrims, Puritans and the early colonists were God-fearing and righteous men and women who braved a wide ocean and the harsh elements of New England to forge a new home. In none of their letters, leaflets, pamphlets, sermons, statutes, laws, compacts, charters and books do we find any justification for the evil practice of slavery.

     Where did slavery in America arise? It arose in the Southern colonies. And it was not long before it became a curse for the nation. While it is true that most of humanity has lived in bondage, tyranny, oppression and slavery, this abominable practice was not supposed to exist in the New World. America was to be the cradle of liberty for all people, not just the white race

God is the Father of Our Spirit Bodies

      Those who settled America were familiar with the teachings of Holy Bible. The scriptures tell us that every person born on this earth is a spirit son or daughter of God. They also tell us that every person on earth is a son or daughter of Adam and Eve. Let us look at the several scriptures found in the King James Version of the Bible.

     “And they fell upon their faces, and said O God, the God of the Spirits of all flesh. Shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation?” —Number 16: 22.     

     “Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation.” —Number 27: 16

     “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” —Ecclesiastes 12: 7.

     “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.”—Job 32: 8.

     “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure.”—Ecclesiastes 12: 1.

     “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” —Matthew 5: 48.

     “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

     “Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

     “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hollowed be thine name.” —Matthew 6: 7-8.

     “For if forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you....” —Matthew 6: 14.

     “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.” —Luke 23: 46.

     “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” —John 17: 5.

     “Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

     “Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my God and your God.” —John 20: 17.     


     “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” —Romans 8: 16.

     “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” —1 Corinthians 6: 20.

     “Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?” —Hebrew 12: 9.

     “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” —James 2: 26.

Adam and Eve—the Father and Mother of Our Mortal Bodies

     And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness....     

     “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” —Genesis 1: 26-27.

     “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived....” —Genesis 4: 1.

     In the eyes of God, all of his children are equal, not equal in talents and dispositions, but equal before the law and the throne of God. Throughout history certain men and women have become prideful, arrogant and lifted up above others. They bestow or buy earthly titles to set themselves above their fellow beings on the earth. The Holy Bible tells us that God loves each and every one of his spirit sons and daughters perfectly. Equality is an eternal principle of heaven

Inequality Leads to Slavery

     Slavery on earth arises out of a perception of inequality. That is one person, group or race believe they are better than another person, group or race. The Holy Scriptures tell us that everyone is equal before God. Hence the two great commandments, “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” and “love thy neighbor [in reality your spirit brother or spirit sister] as yourself.” (Matthew 22: 36-40.)

     Slavery is also born out of the desire of men and women to rule over others and force them into servitude and bondage to enrich themselves or their kingdom or serfdom or government.

     The history of the earth is one of bondage, oppression, tyranny and slavery. Throughout the ages certain men and women have sought a multitude of ways to enrich themselves at the expense of someone else. They have created class divisions and various blood lines in order to preserve their various tyrannies over others. They have forced people into bondage so they could acquire or maintain wealth. They maintain various governmental systems only to enrich and empower themselves. Every one of the artificial aristocracies is based on inequality and slavery or bondage of one kind or another.

     The Pilgrims and Puritans who came to America fled from the physical and spiritual tyrannies that dominated England and Europe. They did not come to America to set up new forms of tyranny. They came here to establish a nation dedicated to political, economic and religious liberty and system of government where everyone was equal before the law.

No Kings and Queens in America

     There was to be no kings and queens in America. These titles are designed to place a small group of people in power so they can rule over others. The true King of Kings and Lord of Lords is Jesus Christ.

All Men Are Created Equal by God

     In 1776 Thomas Jefferson wrote a document that was designed to revolutionize the world. In the Declaration of Independence, he stated, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

     In these inspired words, Jefferson announced to the world that in America, that God is the author of the natural rights of mankind. He also announced to the world that the patriots of 1776 believed that “all men are created equal,” that is equal before the law. He stated that “all men” on earth are entitled to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is impossible to enjoy these things if you are living in bondage or slavery or oppression and tyranny. That is why the Declaration is a spiritual manifesto for the entire world.

     The framers of the State Constitutions and the U. S. Constitution announced to the world that they believed in the natural rights of mankind and sustained the noble and great principles outlined in the Declaration of Independence. If so, how do you account for slavery of one race in America?

     Slavery and the Declaration of Independence are at the opposite ends of the political spectrum.

Debate over Slavery

     During the Federal Convention of 1787 the framers had a lively debate over representation and the institution of slavery. The Northern States wanted to abolish it and the Southern States wanted to keep it. The Southern States did not want to acknowledge the simple truth that all Black people are the spirit sons and daughters of God and the descendants of Adam and Eve.

     The belief that they were not human was just an excuse to enslave them and force them into servitude in order enrich themselves upon the labors of others. The institution of slavery is an evil and abominable practice in light of the great spiritual truths echoed in the Declaration of Independence. The cruel and inhumane practice of slavery allowed the plantation owners to become the new aristocracy of the South. The pretense of superiority of plantation owners over Black men and women, boys and girls was an illusion. They were all equal in the sight of God. They were all His children. And all were, in reality, all brothers and sisters.

George Mason’s Prophecy on the Civil War

     During the heated debates over slavery and representation, George Mason, the author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, made a truly eloquent speech and uttered a prophecy that literally would come true in less than 100 years. He said, “This infernal traffic originated in the avarice of British Merchants. The British Government constantly checked the attempts of Virginia to put a stop to it. The present question concerns not the importing States alone but the whole Union. The evil of having slaves was experienced during the late war. Had slaves been treated as they might have been by the enemy, they would have proved dangerous instruments in their hands. But their folly dealt by the slaves, as it did by the Tories.

     “(He mentioned the dangerous insurrections of the slaves in Greece and Sicily; and the instructions given by Cromwell to the Commissioners sent to Virginia, to arm the servants and slaves, in case other means of obtained its submission should fail. Maryland and Virginia he said had already prohibited the importation of slaves expressly. North Carolina had done the same in substance.)

     “All this would be in vain if South Carolina and Georgia be at liberty to import. The Western people are already calling out for slaves for their new lands; and will fill the country with slave if they be got through South Carolina and Georgia. Slavery discourages arts and manufactures. The poor despise labor when performed by slaves. They prevent the immigration of Whites, who really enrich and strengthen a Country. They produce the most pernicious effect on manners.

     “Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant. They bring the judgment of heaven on a Country. As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes and effects Providence punished national sins, by national calamities.

     “(He lamented that some of our Eastern brethren had from a lust of gain embarked in this nefarious traffic. As to the States being in possession of the Right to import, this was the case with many other rights, now to be properly given up. He held it essential in every point of view, that the General Government should have the power to prevent slavery.” (Comments by James Madison in brackets. Madison’s Notes on the Federal Convention of 1787. Speech by George Mason, August 22, 1787. Also Max Farrand, The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1911, Volume 2, p. 370.)

Analysis of Mason’s Prophecy on the Civil War

     George Mason was an outspoken advocate of the natural rights of mankind. Slavery was an abomination to him. He argued strenuously in the Federal Convention to put language into the constitution outlawing the practice. He felt so strongly about natural rights that when the delegates refused to put a bill of rights into the constitution, he refused to sign it on September 17, 1787.

     There are a number of key points that Mason made in his speech to the convention. First, he announced that the “infernal traffic originated in the avarice of British merchants.” The entire existence of the British Empire was based upon slavery of one form or another. All empire are likewise structured. An empire first conquers a people, then plunders them, next it enslaves them and finally it exploits them and their children until they die or rebel and throw off the yoke of bondage and slavery. This pattern has repeated itself on earth for nearly 6000 years.

     The British Merchants not only enriched them on the sale of slaves, but enriched themselves on the products produced by the slaves and their children and children’s children. They also introduced slavery into America as a strategic weapon to control the colonies in the future if they decided to rebel against their masters—the powers behind the Crown in England. They were going to use the Black race to divide and conquer America if the need arose. As we shall see that is exactly what they did in the Civil War.

     Second, the British Government continually stopped the efforts of Virginia to outlaw and stop the institution of slavery in America. Greed and lust for gain is the main cause of slavery in all parts of the world.

     Third, the institution of slavery affects the “whole Union.” Slavery would soon affect the entire nation and lead to the loss of the lives of hundreds of thousands of young Americans and cost billions of dollars in damage.

     Fourth, the institution of slavery would increase in American if it was not stopped soon. It would create a host of social problems for the American people.


     Fifth, slavery discourages arts and manufactures because the products are being made by human beings in bondage.

     Sixth, the presence of slaves takes away jobs from Americans.

     Seventh, every slave owner is a “petty tyrant.”

     Eighth, the institution brings the judgment of Heaven on the nations who enslave His children.

     Ninth, since nations “cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world, they must be in this” world

     Tenth, through a series of “causes and effects” Providence so arranges events that “national sins” are punished by “national calamities.”

     Eleventh, slavery in the East was prompted by a “lust of gain.”

     Twelve, the right to import slaves should be given up and the new government should prevent the increase of slavery in America.

     The brief remarks of George Mason is one the most dynamic speeches in American history. It was a prophecy about the civil war. He correctly noted that God would not only punish America, but He would remove it the nation.

     The institutions of slavery could not co-exist with the principles of political, economic and religious liberty. America was to be a land of liberty, not a land of slavery.

     The debate over slavery was so intense in the convention that it almost brought an end to the entire convention. The Southern delegates threatened to leave and stop the convention if slavery was outlawed immediately. The delegates from the Northern States worked up a compromise where importation of slaves in the Southern States would slavery would be permitted to continue until 1808. Also Blacks were to be counted only as three fifths of a person for apportionment of the House of Representatives. Mason and other delegates found these clauses intolerable, but if a compromise had not been reached it would have ended the convention and there would have been no U. S. Constitution.

     Mason’s prophecy would now have to be fulfilled. Eventually the Civil War would erupt over the institution of slavery. Also a number of constitutional amendments would be necessary in the future to rid the land of this evil practice which was tarnishing the noble principles of the Declaration of Independence and the natural rights of man.

Abraham Lincoln

     While evil and conspiring men were using the institution of slavery to enrich themselves and their posterity, Providence sent to earth a noble and great spirit to eliminate slavery and preserve the Union and the U. S. Constitution. His name was Abraham Lincoln and he would be born, not in the plush estates located on Southern plantations, but in a log cabin in the back woods of Kentucky to Thomas and Nancy Hanks Lincoln on February 12, 1809.

     Abraham Lincoln is one the greatest beings to ever walk the American soil. He stands along the side of George Washington in stature, character and nobility. They both gave their lives for America—one to set up the nation and one to preserve it. Abraham Lincoln was called to offer his life in the service of the nation.

     Abraham Lincoln was born into the humblest of circumstances possible. His saintly, mother, unable to read and write, would recite prayers and scriptures from memory for young Abe. She raised him in the Baptist faith and creed which taught at the time that, “Nothing can hinder the execution of the designs of Providence.” (Stephen B. Oats, With Malice Toward None. New York: Mentor Book, 1977, p. 5.)

     By the time that Abe Lincoln was fifteen years old he had only one year of formal educations. He taught himself to read and write. In his early years, the family only had one book—the Holy Bible. He read it over and over again at night by candle light. As a young boy he came to dislike the institution of slavery. Young Abe, as he was referred to, loved to listen to his father tells stories at night and he developed a third for knowledge at a young age.

Lincoln’s Love of Learning

     Stephen Oats, a leading historian, stated, “And he enjoyed reading ... losing himself in the adventures of Robinson Crusoe or t he selected fables of Dilworth’s Spelling Book. Books were rare in frontier Indiana, but Lincoln consumed the few he found, reading the same volume over and over. He would bring his took to the field and would read at the end of each plow furrow while the horse was getting his breath; and he would read again at the noon break. Perhaps his favorite volume was Parson Weems Life of Washington, which sketched the American story with a romantic brush, mythologizing the founding fathers as immortal statesmen who endowed America with ‘the genius of Liberty.’ Young Lincoln was entranced with the fabled beginnings and star-flung destiny of the young Republic. And Weem’s description of the Revolutionary War—especially the battle of Trenton—so thrilled the boy that he could almost hear the rattle of musketry and smell the acrid scent of gunpowder in the Indiana wind. As he labored in the fields, he dreamed of Washington and Jefferson, came to idolize them as heroic men who shaped the course of history.” (Oaks, p. 12.)

     At the age of twenty-two he became aware of his lack of education and embarked on a lifetime of learned to compensate for his lack of formal schooling and college education. He developed a love for law books and began reading the Statute Books of Indiana and the Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution. He began to become interested in politics and would spend hours watching lawyers and legislators debating the issues of the day shortly after he moved to New Salem.

     In 1834 young Abraham Lincoln was encouraged by a Springfield attorney to study law as a way to enter politics. He was impressed by the young lawyers who had never attended college or law school. At this time those who wanted to become lawyers apprenticed under a practicing lawyer. They would read William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England, state statutes and other law books until they felt ready to take the bar examination. The young law student was then given an oral exam by a group of lawyers who comprised the local bar. If he passed the young law student was allowed to open his law practice.

     Lincoln would spend Sundays talking with Mentor Graham’s schoolmaster about issues that he had not resolved in his mind. Although he was deeply religious he never joined a local church because he did not like the disputes that raged among the various denominations. He had a firm belief in God and studied the Bible religiously.

Study of American History

      Although his study of law was demanding, he always found time t o study his favorite subject of American history. He was fascinated by the Revolutionary War and keenly interested in the time of the formation of the national government. According to Oaks, “Lincoln worshiped the Founding Fathers as apostles of liberty who’d begun an experiment in popular government on these shores, to show a doubting Europe that people could govern themselves without hereditary monarchs and aristocracies. And the foundation of the American experiment was the Declaration of Independence, which in Lincoln’s view contained the highest political truths in human history: that all men are created equal and that all are entitled

to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Which was Lincoln meant that men like him were not chained to the conditions of their births, that they could better their station in life and harvest the fruits of their own talents and industry. Thus he had a deep, personal reverence for the Declaration [of Independence], deemed it ‘the sheet anchor’ of American republicanism, insisted that all his political sentiments flowed from that sacred document.” (Oaks, pp. 32-33.)

     The words in the Declaration of Independence that Lincoln studied over and over again were the following: “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.


     “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its power in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” (Declaration of Independence, July 2, 1776.)

     These noble principles formed the foundation of Abraham Lincoln’s political philosophy and he would adhere to them faithfully throughout his entire life. The grand principles in the Declaration which stated that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” would form the basis for his complete rejection of the institution of slavery. He would eventually give his life for these principles.

Abolitionist Movement in America

     The legislative session of 1836 and 1837 were concerned with the growing conflict between North Abolitionists who wanted to end slavery and the Southern Plantation Owners who wanted to maintain the cruel and evil practice at all costs. William Lloyd Garrison began publishing the Liberator in Boston arguing for the immediate emancipation of slaves in America.

     The Southern Plantation Owners and their politicians in Washington sought to stop the growing abolition movement in the Northern States. They were concerned that Congress would pass a national emancipation law.

     In 1837 the Illinois state legislature passed a number of pro-slavery resolutions. Lincoln, who was now a member of the State legislature voted no. It was the first time that he took a public position on the issue of slavery. He had been careful before the votes because of the tremendous racial prejudice that existed against the Blacks.

     Yet from an early age he hated the institution of slavery.. He mother and father had taught him that slavery was wrong, the minister where the Lincoln family attended church had taught him it was wrong and he had deducted from his reading of the Bible and the Declaration of Independence that it was wrong. Now he was faced with an enormous challenge—how do you rid the nation of such a cruel and evil practice when it had become an “institution” in the South. He would spend years pondering this question.

Contain Slavery in the South

     Lincoln initially felt that slavery would die out if it was kept contained in the South. According to Oaks, he “believed that the Founding Fathers felt the same way, that they too had expected slavery to perish someday. Why else had they outlawed the international slave trade, excluded slavery from the old Northwest territories, if not to restrict the growth of slavery and place in on the road to extinction?

     “Still, slavery gnawed at him. He realized that the institution was a bight on America’s experiment in popular government, realized what a profound moral contradiction it was that slavery should exist at all in a self-proclaimed free and just republic, one founded on enlightened ideals of the Declaration of Independence. He who regarded the Declaration as ‘the sheet anchor’ of American liberty understood only too well how human bondage mocked that noble document. At the same time, as a student of law and the Constitution, Lincoln conceded that slavery was protected by a veritable web of constitutional, legal, and political safeguards.” (Oaks, p. 41.)

     The institution of slavery had been introduced into America deliberately to enrich the lives of the British Merchants and to use as a future weapon to destroy the nation through racial prejudice and racial wars if the American people tried to break away from the financial and commercial chains that had been carefully and slowly wrapped around the new country by the “financial wizards” and “merchants” in the financial district know as the “City” in London. Their secret strategy would soon be unveiled in America.


     On March 1, 1837 Abraham Lincoln officially became a lawyer and he decided to make Springfield, Illinois his home. By this time Lincoln had become an avid reader of newspapers and they were full of reports of violent encounters between the abolitionists and slave owners. It seemed that mob violence was sweeping the nation. Lincoln was very upset over the rioting and killing.

     In November of 1837 a mob in Alton, Illinois murdered Elijah Lovejoy, a local editor and strict abolitionist. It seemed to Lincoln that anarchy and mob violence was going to destroy the nation.

Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions

     On November 27, 1837 Abraham Lincoln gave an arousing address against anarchy in America before the Young Men’s Lyceum in Springfield, Illinois. The title of the address when gave was, “The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions.”

     In his speech Abraham Lincoln stated:

     “In the great journal of things happening under the sun, we, the American people, find our account running under date of the nineteenth century of the Christian era. We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We find ourselves under the government of a system of political institutions conducing more essentially to the ends of civil and religious liberty than any of which the history of former times tells us. We, when mounting the stage of existence, found ourselves the legal inheritors of these fundamental blessings. We toiled not in the acquirement or establishment of them; they are a legacy bequeathed us by a once hardy, brave, and patriotic, but now lamented and departed, race of ancestors. Theirs was the task (and nobly they performed it) to possess themselves and through themselves us, of this goodly land, and to uprear upon its hills and its valleys a political edifice of liberty and equal rights; 'tis ours only to transmit these-the former unprofaned by the foot of an invader, the latter undecayed by the lapse of time and untorn by usurpation -to the latest generation that fate shall permit the world to know. This task of gratitude to our fathers, justice to ourselves, duty to posterity, and love for our species in general, all imperatively require us faithfully to perform.

     “How then shall we perform it? At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years.

     “At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time, or die by suicide.

     “I hope I am over wary; but if I am not, there is even now something of ill omen amongst us. I mean the increasing disregard for law which pervades the countrythe growing disposition to substitute the wild and furious passions in lieu of the sober judgment of courts, and the worse than savage mobs for the executive ministers of justice. This disposition is awfully fearful in any community; and that it now exists in ours, though grating to our feelings to admit, it would be a violation of truth and an insult to our intelligence to deny. Accounts of outrages committed by mobs form the every-day news of the times. They have pervaded the country from New England to Louisiana; they are neither peculiar to the eternal snows of the former nor the burning suns of the latter; they are not the creature of climate, neither are they confined to the slaveholding or the non-slaveholding States. Alike they spring up among the pleasure-hunting masters of Southern slaves, and the order-loving citizens of the land of steady habits. Whatever then their cause may be, it is common to the whole country....


     “I know the American people are much attached to their government; I know they would endure evils long and patiently before they would ever think of exchanging it for another yet, notwithstanding all this, if the laws be continually despised and disregarded, if their rights to be secure in their persons and property are held by no better tenure than the caprice of a mob, the alienation of their affections from the government is the natural consequence; and to that, sooner or later, it must come.

     “Here, then, is one point at which danger may be expected. The question recurs, "How shall we fortify against it?" The answer is simple.

     “Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well-wisher to his posterity swear by the blood of the Revolution never to violate in the least particular the laws of the country, and never to tolerate their violation by others. As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and laws let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor-let every man remember that to violate the law is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own and his children's liberty. Let reverence for, the laws be breathed by every American mother to the lisping babe that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in primers, spelling-books, and in almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice.

     “And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay of all sexes and tongues and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.” (Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 1, pp. 35-50.)

Lincoln Studies a Group of Slaves Shackled Together

     In August of 1841 Lincoln took a vacation and went to visit Josha Speed at his parent’s plantation in Kentucky. As he sailed back to Springfield, Illinois Lincoln had an experience that changed his life. While sailing down the Ohio River on a steamer, he sat near a group of twelve Black slaves that were all chained together. The Blacks had been torn from their families and friends in Kentucky and were being transported back to the Deep South. He studied the slaves for hours. They played the fiddle, sang and danced and made the best of a horrible situation. Lincoln realized at that moment that there was divinity in them just as in all people. They were non inhuman, but very human and a loving people by nature. The spectacle would haunt him the rest of his life.

     On November 4m 1842 Lincoln married Mary Todd. He was now thirty three old and she was twenty-three.

     On August 6, 1846 Lincoln was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives. However, he would begin serving his term in Congress until December 6, 1847 when Congress convened again.

     The slavery issue continued to plague the nation.

     In 1850 Lincoln returned with his family to Springfield and began practicing law. He service in Congress was sort. Although out of public office, he continued to be involved in Whig politics. Hen also spent considerable time studying abolitionist material. Many people believed that slavery could be phased out through a process of gradual abolition and the implementation of a massive colonization plan whereby the slaves would be shipped back to Africa and payment made to plantation owners for their losses.

Kansas-Nebraska Act Passed by Southern Democrats

     On May 24, 1854 the U. S. Senate passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act and President Franklin Pierce signed the infamous bill into law. The Act repealed the Missouri Comprise which had set up a line of demarcation between the northern section of the territory purchased in the Louisiana Purchase. The bill was authored and pushed through Congress by Stephen Douglas and powerful Southern politicians under the control of the Southern plantation owners. These men were in turn under the control of British Merchants and Financiers who were secretly planning to divide the American nation into three separate regions.

      They had been building up a power base in the South since the adoption of the election of George Washington as President in 1791.


     The Missouri Compromise prohibited slavery from being extended into the vast frontier territory. This bill would eventually launch the Civil War. It was that explosive in nature. It created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska. It also extended the right of slavery into all federal territories.

Slave Power of the South

     Salmon Chase of Ohio wrote a rousing “Appeal of Independent Democrats,” which “branded Douglas’s measure as part of a sinister ‘Slave Power’ conspiracy to seize the frontier and strengthen Southern control of the federal government. In speeches widely quoted in the Northern press, Chase also amplified an argument he’d been expounding for several years: that the Founding Fathers had deplored slavery and tried to seal its doom by restricting is growth, that they regarded freedom and equality as the natural condition of men and envisioned a future America when the ‘solemn pledge’ of the Declaration [of Independence] would apply to all. Yet the aggressive Slave Power had now taken over the government and dedicated itself to wrecking the noble dreams of the founders by extending slavery everywhere.” (Oaks, p 122.)

     The writings of Solmon Chase had a deep affect upon Lincoln. He had been studying them carefully along with newspaper articles criticizing Douglas and the Act which Congress had passed. Lincoln “believed Chase and other free-soil exponents absolutely right about Douglas and his Southern Allies: they had instituted a revolt against the goals and ideals of the Founding Fathers and altered the whole course of the United States regarding human bondage. It had become fundamental to Lincoln’s thought that slavery would ultimately perish in America, that the Republic would one day cease to be a divided land, and that the liberating visions of the founders would at last be realized. But now he feared all that was changed. Now Douglas and his Southern-dominating party had reversed the policy of slave containment begun by the founders. Now under the deceitful guise of popular sovereignty Douglas and his cronies had opened the gates for slavery to grow and expand and continue indefinitely. Unless free-soilers stopped them, Southerners would drag manacled Negroes across the frontier, adapting slave labor to whatever conditions they found there, putting the blacks to work in mines and on farms, and making bondage powerful and permanent in America. Then the Republic would never remove the cancer which infected its political system, would never remove the wretched contradiction, as Lincoln put it, ‘of slavery in a nation originally dedicated to the inalienable rights of man.’” (Oaks, p. 123.)

Lincoln Challenges the Kansas-Nebraska Act

     As a result of deeply held convictions and the writings of people such as Solmon Chase, Lincoln became an outspoken critic of Douglas and the new Act of Congress. The new Republican party was gaining momentum, however Lincoln had devoted years of faithful service to the Whip party. So he hesitated and pondered the situation, as he was prone to do.

     Stephen Douglas returned to Illinois to defend his Act and actions in Congress. Everywhere he went, Douglas was met with cheering crowds calling him a traitor and a Judas. He decided to take his views directly to the people. He would stump the state and give speeches everywhere. He would be met by Lincoln.

     On October 3, 1850 Stephen Douglas believed a along speech defending the Kansas-Nebraska Act. After the speech Lincoln told the crowd that he would answer Douglas the next day.

     Lincoln had labored long and hard to prepare the strongest rebuttal to Douglas than he could envision. This speech would be a turning point in his life. This speech would eventually land Abraham Lincoln in the White House.

     As he stood in the state house and began delivering his speech, he “felt a powerful calling now—a sense of mission, to save the Republic’s noblest ideals, turn back the tide of slavery expansion, and restore America to the ground of her Founding Fathers.” (Oaks, p. 125.)


     The founding fathers from the Northern States and the Middle States deliberately did not use the word slave or slavery in the Constitution because they had to gradually remove the curse of slavery or the Southern States would rebel and secede from the Union. Interestingly enough, that is exactly what they would do the 1860s. The founding fathers had prohibited slavery in the Northwest Territories and outlawed the international slave trade in America. Then the early statesmen of America prohibited slavery from spreading westward by passage of the Missouri Compromise of 1820.

     Now the Kansas-Nebraska Act was going to set the nation on a new foundation—one of bondage, not freedom as envisioned by the patriots of 1776 and 1787. This Act could destroy the Union of States. It had to be opposed and Lincoln took upon himself to counter the deliberate lies and deception of Douglas and defend the noble principles contained in the Declaration of Independence. He stated that the Missouri Line had to be restored if the Republic was to last.

Basis of Lincoln’s Argument

     Lincoln argued that slavery was a “total violation” of the right of men for self-government. Slavery denied to men the sacred rights outlined in the Declaration of Independence and guaranteed in State Constitutions. He stated, “Nearly eighty years ago we began by declaring that all men are created equal; but now from that beginning we have run doe to the other declaration, that for Some men to enslave OTHERS is a ‘sacred right’ of self government.”

     He boldly exclaimed, “Fellow Countrymen—Americans south, as well as north, shall we make no effort to arrest this? Already the liberty party throughout the world, express the apprehension ‘that the one retrograde institution in America, is undermining the principles of progress, and fatally violating the noblest political system the world ever saw.’”

     “Our republican robe is soiled, and trailed in the dust. Let us turn it white, in the spirit, if not the blood, of the Revolution [of 1776]. Let us turn slavery from its claims of ‘moral right’, back up its existing legal rights, and its arguments of ‘necessity.’ Let us return to the position our fathers give it; and there let it rest in peace. Let us re-adopt the Declaration of Independence, and with it, the practices, and policy, which harmonize with it. Let north and south—let all Americans—let all lovers of liberty everywhere —join in the great and good work. If we do this, we shall not only save the Union, but we shall have so it, as to make, and to keep it, forever worthy of saving....” (Oaks, p. 128.)

Stephen Douglass Refutes Lincoln

     After Lincoln moving speech, Douglas arose and attempted to rebuttal him. Naturally both sides of the issue claimed victory. Lincoln would give many more speeches against the evils of the Kansas-Nebraska Act.

     In 1855 Lincoln reluctantly came to the conclusion that the slavery issue would not be settled by peaceful mean. He wrote to a friend, “Our political problem now is, ‘Can we, as a nation, continue together permanently—forever—half slave, and half free.” (Oaks, p 132.

     Lincoln would later remark, that, “As a nation, we began by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’ We now practically read it, ‘all men are crated equal, except Negroes.” The term Negroes was commonly used at this time instead of Blacks. (Oaks, p. 133.)

     The debate over the existence and extension of slavery continued without 1855 and 1856. The Republican Party how now become a national party. Lincoln was ready to join the new party. He felt that the way to right a terrible evil was through the political and legal process. Lincoln felt that the nation must be preserved and the Republican Party was the vehicle to do it. The party must fight o keep slavery of the new territories and to end the domination of Congress by powerful Southern politicians and those who kept them power—the plantation owners and the British Merchants.


     Lincoln was a man of great faith and integrity. He believed that slavery was wrong and that opposition to it was right. Therefore, he decided to dedicate the remainder of his life to preserving the dreams of the patriots of 1776 and 1787, the noble principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Union was being torn into two over the issue of slavery.

     Lincoln threw himself into the election of 1856. The central issue before the Republican Party was whether the noble principle that, “all men were created equal” would survive or forever be destroyed by the Slave Power in the South.

Dred Scott Case

     On March 6, 1857 the Supreme Court handed down the infamous Dred Scott case. Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney declared in the majority opinion that Blacks were not and had never been citizens of the United States and that the language of the Declaration of Independence did not apply to them. He argued that the Blacks were “beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” (Oaks, p. 143.)

     The Dred Scott decision also stated that Congress did not have the authority to prohibit the spread of slavery into federal territories.

     The Republican Party immediately attacked the decision as “cruel, inhumane, and unfair.” (Oaks, pp. 143-144.)

     Lincoln immediately went to work to prepare an critique of the Dred Scott decision. He went to the Illinois Supreme Court library and practically lived there for two weeks. He poured over legal case, speeches, editorials, pamphlets, and articles on t he case.

     Lincoln challenged the Supreme Court’s definition of equality. He argued that, when Thomas Jefferson used the term in the Declaration of Independence, he did no mean to say that all men were created equal in intellect, talents, interests or physical size. Jefferson and the doctrine of natural rights simply holds that all men are created or stand equal before the law. There is not one set of laws for the wealthy and one set of laws for the poor. That different sets of laws develop and exist in society is due to the lust for power and gain which possess evil and conspiring men and women. They end up corrupting entire societies and civilizations wherever they are found.

     Lincoln argued that all men, black, white, red, or yellow, were equal before the law and equal in

their unalienable right to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness.

     Throughout history tyrants of all sizes, shapes and color have proclaimed the inequality of man and justified in their minds, not the mind of God, that they were somehow superior and had a right to rule over others. They were mistaken. All men are equal before the law.

A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand

     In June of 1858 the Illinois Republican Party Convention was held in Springfield. Lincoln was unanimously nominated to run for U. S. Senate against Stephen Douglas. At the convention Lincoln gave his famous “House Divided” speech.

     In remarks at the close of the convention he said: “If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could better judge what to do, and how to do it. We are now far into the fifth year since a policy was initiated with the avowed object and confident promise of putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only not ceased but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed.


      "’A house divided against itself cannot stand." I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved-I do not expect the house to fall-but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new, North as well as South

     “Have we no tendency to the latter condition?

     “Let any one who doubts carefully contemplate that now almost complete legal combination-piece of machinery, so to speak-compounded of the Nebraska doctrine and the Dred Scott decision. Let him consider not only what work the machinery is adapted to do, and how well adapted; but also let him study the history of the construction, and trace, if he can, or rather fail, if he can, to trace the evidences of design and concert of action among its chief architects, from the beginning.

     “The new year of 1854 found slavery excluded from more than half the States by State constitutions, and from most of the national territory by congressional prohibition. Four days later commenced the struggle which ended in repealing that congressional prohibition. This opened all the national territory to slavery, and was the first point gained. “(Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume III, pp. 1-15.)

A Conspiracy to Spread Slavery throughout America

     He them made a statement that was heard, not only Washington, D.C. and throughout the South, but in London. He stated that the Slave Power had conspired to extend slavery throughout the federal territories and the western part of the United States And they had conspired destroy the dream of the founding fathers for America to be a land of liberty for all people. Lincoln accused Stephen Douglas, powerful Southern Politicians, Franklin Pierce, certain members of the Supreme Court, Southern plantations owners and British financiers and merchants of being part of a carefully planned conspiracy to destroy the liberties of the American people. However, he did it in eloquent language. He knew that the abolitionists were against a powerful group of men, men that only God could defeat.

A Deliberate Conspiracy to Destroy the Union

     Lincoln stated: “We cannot absolutely know that all these exact adaptations are the result of preconcert. But when we see a lot of framed timbers, different portions of which we know have been gotten out at different times and places and by different workmen,-Stephen, Franklin, Roger, and James, for instance, and we see these timbers joined together, and see they exactly make the frame of a house or a mill, all the tenons and mortises exactly fitting, and all the lengths and proportions of the different pieces exactly adapted to their respective places, and not a piece too many or too few, not omitting even scaffolding-or, if a single piece be lacking, we see the place in the frame exactly fitted and prepared yet to bring such piece in-in such a case we find it impossible not to believe that Stephen and Franklin and Roger and James all understood one another from the beginning, and all worked upon a common plan or draft drawn up before the first blow was struck.” (Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume III, pp. 1-15.)

     Lincoln would remark to a group of Republican during the campaign for the senate, that, “I have always slavery, I think as much as any abolitionist.” (Oaks, p. 162.)

     The effort to promote slavery throughout the new territories was designed to destroy America and eliminate the noble principles of political, economic and religious liberty designed by the founding fathers. The spread of slavery throughout America was part of the “London Plan” to turn the nation back into a colony of England. Lincoln and his fellow Republicans were determined to arrest the development and confine slavery in the South where hopefully it would die a quick death.

     Stephen Douglas and his group of conspirators were trying to destroy the Declaration of Independence. In speeches across the state, Lincoln fought long and hard to drive home the point that the future of America’s free institutions was at stake. The Slave Power was trying to destroy the eternal principle that all men are created equal.


     Stephen Oaks noted that the pro-slavery forces were trying to set up a new standard in America, one that “advocates the natural, moral, and religious right of one class to enslave another. Yes, that was the grim pro-slavery conspiracy that Lincoln saw at work in the United States. And once the conspirators achieved their ends, one they nationalized slavery and overthrew the Declaration of Independence, America would become a despotism bases on class rule and human servitude. The Northern fee-labor system would be expunged, the blessings of the Revolution obliterated. America’s noble experiment in popular government vanquished from this earth.” (Oaks, p. 172.)

Lincoln Attacks Slavery Arguments

     After four months of the campaign the results of the election favored Stephen Douglas. The speeches that he gave during the campaign would become legendary. Even though he lost the election, he won the debate and nobly defended America and its free institutions.

     In Lincoln’s view, “slavery not only besmirched the ideals of the Declaration, but violated the principles of self-help, social mobility, and economic independence—all of which lay at the center of Republican ideology. All of which gave the Republicans a vision of a future America—a better America than now existed—an American of self-made agrarians, merchants, and shop keepers who set examples and provided jobs for self-improving workers ... an America though, that would never be should slavery, caste, and despotism triumph on these shores.” (Oaks, p. 180.)

Lincoln Selected to Run for President

     In January of 1860 Norman Judd, the Chairman of the Republican State Central Committee for Illinois met with Lincoln and several prominent lawyers in Springfield to discuss the upcoming presidential race. He had just returned from meetings with members of the Republic National Committee in New York and they supported the idea of running Lincoln for president. The National Republican Convention was going to be held in Chicago. Lincoln agreed and they began planning the campaign for president.

     Lincoln traveled to New York to meet the leaders of the National Republican Party.

Lincoln Address Republican Leaders in New York

     On February 27, 1860 Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the most famous speeches on the slavery issue in American history. The members of the Republican National Committee were stunned, yet impressed with the great intellect of Lincoln and his command of the subject at hand. In the speech, Lincoln gave a detailed analysis of the votes and positions taken by the framers of the Constitution and the early members of Congress who passed the Northwest Ordinance. He said: “ The sum of the whole is that of our thirty-nine fathers who framed the original Constitution, twenty-one-a clear majority of the whole—certainly understood that no proper division of local from Federal authority, nor any part of the Constitution, forbade the Federal Government to control slavery in the Federal Territories; while all the rest had probably the same understanding. Such, unquestionably, was the understanding of our fathers who framed the original Constitution; and the text affirms that they understood the question "better than we." (Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume V, pp. 293-328.)


     In order to drive the point home ever further he stated: “It is surely safe to assume that the thirty-nine framers of the original Constitution, and the seventy-six members of the Congress which framed the amendments thereto, taken together, do certainly include those who may be fairly called "our fathers who framed the government under which we live." And so assuming, I defy any man to show that any one of them ever, in his whole life, declared that, in his understanding, any proper division of local from Federal authority, or any part of the Constitution, forbade the Federal Government to control as to slavery in the Federal Territories. I go a step further. I defy any one to show that any living man in the whole world ever did, prior to the beginning of the present century (and I might almost say prior to the beginning of the last half of the present century), declare that, in his understanding, any proper division of local from Federal authority, or any part of the Constitution, forbade the Federal Government to control as to slavery in the Federal Territories. To those who now so declare I give not only "our fathers who framed the government under which we live," but with them all other living men within the century in which it was framed, among whom to search, and they shall not be able to find the evidence of a single man agreeing with them.” (Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume V, pp. 293-328.)

     The speech won the approval of the influential citizens in New York who guided the Republican National Party. As an orator, Lincoln had few equals and none greater. While in New York Lincoln was entertained and dined at the Astor House.

Lincoln Wins Republican Nomination

     On May 18, 1860 Abraham Lincoln received the Republican nomination for the presidency.

Once news reached the South of his nomination, the rumors immediately began circulating that if Lincoln won, the South would secede from the Union and establish a separate confederacy of slave states. The campaign was underway. Lincoln campaigned tirelessly and endlessly.

     On November 6, 1860, he received word that he had defeated Stephen Douglas and was now the President-elect of the United States.

     The hate mail poured in from all over t he South Three weeks after the election Lincoln received word that there was a dangerous secession movement underway in the South. The London Plan was underway. Agents were at work to divide and conquer America once again.

     Abraham Lincoln was a very spiritual man and from a young age he had numerous dreams and visions. After he was elected he began having a number of dreams and visions throughout the remainder of his presidency. Oaks reports that, “One day, unable to bear the mob at the Statehouse, he came home to rest, lying down on a sofa in his chamber. He glanced across the room at a looking glass on the bureau and saw himself reflected at almost full length. But his face had two separate and distinct images. Startled, he got up and approached the glass, but the illusion vanished. He lay back down, and the double image appeared, clearer than before. Now one face was flushed with life, the other deathly pale. A chill passed through him. Later he told Mary about it and she became very upset. She interpreted the vision to mean that he would live through his first administration, but would die in his second. Lincoln tried to put it out of his mind, but ‘the thing would come up once in a while and give me a little pang, as though something uncomfortable had happened.’” (Oaks, p. 212.)

     Shortly after being elected President a little girl wrote to him and said he face was so thin that he should grow a beard. He decided to follow the little girl’s advice.

Southern States Violate the U. S. Constitution

     In December of 1860 Congress convened and James Buchanan delivered a speech where he argued that the Southern States did not have the constitutional right to secede from the Union because they didn’t like the results of the presidential election.

     On December 20, 1860 a secession convention was held in South Carolina. Lincoln’s advisors warned him that unless he wanted a civil war that he would have to compromise on the slavery issue in the new territories. Lincoln disagreed with them.

     The secession movement gained steam and by January 19, 1861 Mississippi, Florida, Georgia and Alabama had seceded from the Union Louisiana and Texas also voted to leave the Union.

     In January rumors began to circulate in Washington, D. C. that the president was going to be assassinated. Special security measures were taken to protect the president.


     Despite overwhelming opposition, Lincoln remained firm on his decision not to allow slavery in the territories of the United States. He was besieged all sides with arguments that he change his mind, yet he stood on the plain and simple principles contained in the Declaration of Independence.

Jefferson Davis Selected to Lead Confederacy

     On February 16, 1861 Lincoln received word that Jefferson Davis had been sworn in as the new president of the Confederacy. That same day he was to receive another message just as devastating.

Assassination Plot to Kill Lincoln

     Lincoln had been crossing the country in a train on a twelve day trip to Washington, D. C. and was in Philadelphia at a hotel when , Allan Pinkerton, founder of the Pinkerton Detective Agency in Chicago asked to see him. Pinkerton’s agency provided security for the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad. He informed Lincoln that his agents had uncovered a plot to assassinate the president as the switched trains in Baltimore. It was eleven o’clock at night, but they felt he should leave immediately instead of waiting to leave for Washington, D. C. tomorrow. A short while later he received word from his Secretary of State that his enemies hid plan to assassinate him in Baltimore and to avoid the city altogether.

Lincoln Visits Independence Hall

     Lincoln refused to go. The next day was George Washington’s birthday and he planned to speak at Independence Hall. For a long time Lincoln had wanted to visit the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. He was about to let his enemies destroy this wonderful opportunity. It is a wonderful address. The President stated: “I am filled with deep emotion at finding myself standing in this place, where were collected together the wisdom, the patriotism, the devotion to principle, from which sprang the institutions under which we live. You have kindly suggested to me that in my hands is the task of restoring peace to our distracted country.

     “I can say in return, sir, that all the political sentiments I entertain have been drawn, so far as I have been able to draw them, from the sentiments which originated in and were given to the world from this hall. I have never had a feeling, politically, that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence.

     “I have often pondered over the dangers which were incurred by the men who assembled here and framed and adopted that Declaration. I have pondered over the toils that were endured by the officers and soldiers of the army who achieved that independence. I have often inquired of myself what great principle or idea it was that kept this Confederacy so long together. It was not the mere matter of separation of the colonies from the motherland, but that sentiment in the Declaration of Independence which gave liberty not alone to the people of this country, but hope to all the world, for all future time. It was that which gave promise that in due time the weights would be lifted from the shoulders of all men, and that all should have an equal chance.

     “This is the sentiment embodied in the Declaration of Independence. Now, my friends, can this country be saved on that basis? If it can, I will consider myself one of the happiest men in the world if I can help to save it. If it cannot be saved upon that principle, it will be truly awful. But if this country cannot be saved without giving up that principle, I was about to say I would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender it. Now, in my view of the present aspect of affairs, there is no need of bloodshed and war. There is no necessity for it. I am not in favor of such a course; and I may say in advance that there will be no bloodshed unless it is forced upon the government. The government will not use force, unless force is used against it.

     “My friends, this is wholly an unprepared speech. I did not expect to be called on to say a word when I came here. I supposed I was merely to do something toward raising a flag. I may, therefore, have said something indiscreet. But I have said nothing but what I am willing to live by, and, if it be the pleasure of Almighty God to die by.” (Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume Vi, pp. 156-158.)


     That evening the President of the United States was taken in secret to Washington, D. C. on another train while the presidential train proceeded as planned. He was accompanied by Ward Hill Lamon, a close friend of the family. He was armed with knifes and pistols.

     The plot to assassinate the president was spoiled by the agents of the Pinkerton Detective Agency from Chicago. It’s fame would grow in the years ahead.

     The hand of Providence was watching over Lincoln. It was not his time to die. His mission had not been completed.

Inaugural of the New President

     In March the President was scheduled to his First Inaugural Address before Congress. As the day approached Lincoln chose his words very carefully . He knew what was at stake. He wrote and rewrote the words with thoughtful care and attention. Secretary of State Seward reviewed the speech and made a few minor suggestions to placate the South. He removed a section on federal forts and arsenals that had been captured by the Confederacy. He would not remove anything else. He was convinced that, “the future of freedom and self-government depended on him to stand firm. After all, he had been freely and fairly elected. He would not violate the Republican platform and his ‘pledges’ to the people who had voted for him and his party. He would preserve tie Union and the principle of self-government on which the Union was based: the right of a free people to choose their leaders and to expect the losers to acquiesce in that decision. If Southerners, did not like him, they could vote him out in 1864. But they had no right whatever to separate from the Union and he was not going to let them go, for that would set a catastrophic precedent that any unhappy state could leave the Union at any time. No, he regarded the philosophy of secession as ‘an ingenious sophism’ which had no logic, historical, or legal defense. The Constitution specifically stated that the Constitution itself and the national laws made under its authority were the supreme law of the land. Therefore the states could not be supreme as the secessionists claimed; the Union was supreme, perpetual, and permanent, and could not be legally wrecked by a disaffected minority. The principle of secession was disintegration. And no government—not this one or any other in history—had ever established which allowed for its own destruction.” (Oaks, pp. 234-235.)

Lincoln’s Plan for Dealing with Secession

     On March 4, 1861 the President deliver his remarks and outlined a plan for dealing with the seceding states. “It is seventy-two years since the first inauguration of a President under our National Constitution. During that period fifteen different and greatly distinguished citizens have, in succession, administered the executive branch of the government. They have conducted it through many perils, and generally, with great success. Yet, with all this scope of precedent, I now enter upon the same task for the brief constitutional term of four years under great and peculiar difficulty. A disruption of the Federal Union, heretofore only menaced, is now formidably attempted.

     “I hold that, in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution, the Union of these States is perpetual. Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national governments. It is safe to assert that no government proper ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination.

Continue to execute all the express provisions of our National Constitution, and the Union will endure forever-it being impossible to destroy it except by some action not provided for in the instrument itself.

Again, if the United States be not a government proper, but an association of States in the nature of contract merely, can it, as a contract, be peaceably unmade by less than all the parties who made it? One party to a contract may violate it -break it, so to speak; but does it not require all to lawfully rescind it?

Descending from these general principles, we find the proposition that, in legal contemplation the Union is perpetual confirmed by the history of the Union itself. The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774. It was matured and continued by the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It was further matured, and the faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in 1778. And, finally, in 1787 one of the declared objects for ordaining and establishing the Constitution was "to form a more perfect Union."

     “But if the destruction of the Union by one or by a part only of the States be lawfully possible, the Union is less perfect than before the Constitution, having lost the vital element of perpetuity.

     “It follows from these views that no State upon its own mere motion can lawfully get out of the Union; that resolves and ordinances to that effect are legally void; and that acts of violence, within any State or States, against the authority of the United States, are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances.

     “I therefore consider that, in view of the Constitution and the laws, the Union is unbroken; and to the extent of my ability I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States. Doing this I deem to be only a simple duty on my part; and I shall perform it so far as practicable, unless my rightful masters, the American people, shall withhold the requisite means, or in some authoritative manner direct the contrary. I trust this will not be regarded as a menace, but only as the declared purpose of the Union that it will constitutionally defend and maintain itself.

     “In doing this there needs to be no bloodshed or violence; and there shall be none, unless it be forced upon the national authority. The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the government, and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere. Where hostility to the United States, in any interior locality, shall be so great and universal as to prevent competent resident citizens from holding the Federal offices, there will be no attempt to force obnoxious strangers among the people for that object. While the strict legal right may exist in the government to enforce the exercise of these offices, the attempt to do so would be so irritating, and so nearly impracticable withal, that I deem it better to forego for the time the uses of such offices....

     “In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect, and defend it."

     “I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

(Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume VI, pp. 169-185.)

     Upon completion of his remarks, Abraham Lincoln was sworn into office as the sixteenth president of the United States by Chief Justice Taney.

Confederate Troops Fire on Fort Sumter

     On April 12, 1861 Confederate troops fired upon and then captured Fort Sumter. The war had begun. On April 14th Lincoln, “announced to his cabinet that the rebels had fired the first shot, forcing on him the decision of ‘immediate dissolution, or blood.’ Therefore he would mobilize 75,000 militia to suppress the rebellion and call for Congress to convene in special session on Independence Day. Officially, his administration interpreted the present conflict not as a war between the states, but as a domestic insurrection against the national government. Since secession was constitutionally illegal, Lincoln refused to concede that the Deep Southern states had eve left the union. Rather he contended that rebellious citizens had taken over in Dixie and established a ‘pretended’ Confederate which Washington would never recognize. Lincoln’s objective now was t o suppress Southern rebels as rapidly as possible and restore the national authority in the territory they had seized.” (Oaks, p. 245.)


     Almost overnight Washington, D. C. became an armed camp as soldiers marched into the city. The President adopted a number of emergency measures to bring to rebellion to a speedy halt. He set up a naval blockade of the Southern coast and added over 75,000 new troops to the war effort.

     The President was surrounded by Southern traitors and spies and security was very tight around the new president, however, he ignored the threats to his life and would frequently walk by himself over to the War Department.

     Lincoln looked upon the war as one to preserve the Union. He had not entered the war to free the slaves, not yet anyway.

British Merchants Aid the South

     Although the British Government agreed to observe the blockade of the Southern ports, the British merchants had a different view. They were the authors of the London Plan. This secret plan, drawn up

in the “City” in London called for American to be split up in three smaller governments to prevent the USA from taking over the world markets. The British Empire remain Supreme at all costs. The London group was in league with Southern plantation owners and merchants and a group of powerful politicians.

     Stephen Oaks stated that, “English opinion tended to sympathize with the underdog rebels, who only five or six million whites were fighting an established government with some twenty million and most of the railroads and factories. British policymakers, on the other hand, favored the Confederacy for entirely different reasons: Confederate independence might cause more defections from the Union, which in turn would divide North America into three and perhaps four impotent states, eradicate any potential U. S. commercial rivalry, and leave mighty industrial Britain in sole command of the world’s markets.” (Oaks, pp. 263-264.)

     The war did not go as the President had initially planned. The conflict would not end soon because the South wad determined to maintain the Confederacy at the cost of tens of thousands of lives if necessary. And that is just exactly happened. The war dragged on and Lincoln was forced to call up more troops.

     In 1862 he conceded that the war would not end soon. He came to believe that he “was an instrument of Providence who’d been placed on this Earth, in the center of this war, for God’s own designs.” (Oaks, p. 317.)

     The prophecy of George Mason was unfolding. While preparing for his Cooper Institute speech, he read through all six volumes of the Notes on the Federal Convention of 1787. He could not have missed George Mason’s comments and his prophecy. Mason correct when he said that nationals sins are punished by national calamities. And war is a terrible calamity.          

The Need to Free the Slaves

     As the ear dragged on Lincoln came to realize that he must free to slaves in the Southern states if the rebellion was ever to stop. However, he knew that he had to word his action very diplomatically. He would speak of the war as an effort to preserve the Government, the Union and the Constitution. If he freed the slaves in the process, then that was just a necessary part of achieving the above goals.

     He had also had to accept the reality that the South has seceded not over the slave issue, but because it wanted to be an independent confederacy where slavery was never outlawed and it was free to set up its own government. This was a part of the London Plan. He knew about the plan, yet the reality of it was now sinking deep into his mind.

     The Southern States were determined to set up a new Confederacy or a new nation. Lincoln knew that the slavery issue, although paramount from a moral standpoint, was a secondary issue to Southerners. It was only a device or excuse they used to secede from the Union. They wanted to build a new Empire in the South, not be part of a free, sovereign and independent Republic comprised of States.


     As the war continued Lincoln spent considerable time in reflection trying to ascertain the will of God. He wrote, “The will of God prevails. I am almost ready to say that this is probably true—that God wills this contest, and wills that it hall not end yet. By His mere quiet power, on the minds of the now contestants, He could have either saved or destroyed the Union without a human contest. He could give the final victory to either side any day. Yet the contest proceeds.” (Oaks, p. 343.)

Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation

     In September of 1862 Lincoln realized that he would have to act on the slavery issue. He prepared a preliminary emancipation proclamation. It was warning to the Southern States that unless they returned to the union by January 1, 1863, he would free the slaves. The proclamation states:

     “Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America, and commander-in-chief of the army and navy thereof, do hereby proclaim and declare that hereafter, as heretofore, the war will be prosecuted for the object of practically restoring the constitutional relation between the United States and each of the States, and the people thereof, in which States that relation is or may be suspended or disturbed.

That it is my purpose, upon the next meeting of Congress, to again recommend the adoption of a practical measure tendering pecuniary aid to the free acceptance or rejection of all slave States, so called, the people whereof may not then be in rebellion against the United States, and which States may then have voluntarily adopted, or thereafter may voluntarily adopt, immediate or gradual abolishment of slavery within their respective limits; and that the effort to colonize persons of African descent with their consent upon this continent or elsewhere, with the previously obtained consent of the governments existing there, will be continued.

     “That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.” (Collected works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume VIII, pp. 36-41.)

Emancipation Proclamation

     The South refused to concede and the President kept his word on January 1, 1863, he issued the famous Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves throughout the entire Union.

     “WHEREAS, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit: "That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State, or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.

     "That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof respectively shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be in good faith represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall in the absence of strong countervailing testimony be deemed conclusive evidence that such State and the people thereof are not then in rebellion against the United States."


     “Now, therefore, 1, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as commander-in chief of the army and navy of the United States, in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do, publicly proclaimed for the full period of 100 days from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof, respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit:

     “Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana (except the parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James, Ascension, Assumption, Terre Bonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the city of New Orleans), Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkeley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Anne, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth), and which excepted parts are for the present left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

     “And by virtue of the power and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States and parts of States are, and henceforward shall be, free; and that the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

     “And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defense; and I recommend to them that, in all cases where allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.

     “And I further declare and make known that such persons of suitable condition will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

     “And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God.

     “In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

     “Done at the city of Washington, this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh.” (Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume VIII, pp. 161-164.)

     The President used the war powers clause of the Constitution to justify his actions. The news of the proclamation spread throughout American like a raging wild fire. The Blacks in all States were unbelievably happy and relieved, yet unsure exactly what it meant because they were still under the control of their slave masters in the South.

Proclamation on National Fast Day

     On March 30, 1863, Lincoln appointed a National Fast Day. The proclamation reads:

     “WHEREAS, the Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the supreme authority and just government of Almighty God in all the affairs of men and of nations, has by a resolution requested the President to designate and set apart a day for national prayer and humiliation:

     “And whereas, it is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord:

     And insomuch as we know that by his divine law nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown; but we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us:

     “It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

     “Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views, of the Senate, I do by this my proclamation designate and set apart Thursday the 30th day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting, and prayer. And I do hereby request all the people to abstain on that day from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite at their several places of public worship and their respective homes in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion. All this being done in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the divine teachings, that the united cry of the nation will be heard on high, and answered with blessings no less than the pardon of our national sins, and the restoration of our now divided and suffering country to its former happy condition of unity and peace.

     “In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

     “Done at the city of Washington, this thirtieth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-seventh.” (Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume VIII, pp. 235-237.)

Proclamation for Thanksgiving Day Observance

     On October 3, 1863 the President asked the American people to observe the last day in November as a day of thanksgiving giving for the blessings bestowed upon the nation. The proclamation reads:

     “THE year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate, and soften the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequal magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and provoke their aggressions, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict; while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

     “Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battle-field, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

     No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the most high God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

     “It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment

of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.

     “In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

     “Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.” (Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume Ix, pp. 151-153.)

Gettysburg Address

     After the Battle of Gettysburg, a number of State Governors wanted to make the battlefield into a national cemetery. The dedication was scheduled for November of 1863. The sponsors of the event asked Edward Everett, the most noted orator of the day to speak. They also invited the President to speak. No one expected such words to flow from the mouth of the humble President from Illinois. Hardly anyone remembers what Everett said that day, but every child in America used t o memorize the immortal words of Lincoln. The address states:

     “FOURSCORE and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

     “Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

     “But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate-we cannot consecrate-we cannot hallow-this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

     “It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us-that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.(Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume IX, pp. 209-210.)

     Throughout the long, bloody and costly war, the President has prayed earnestly to understand the true purposes of the great conflict that had divided the nations and shed the blood of so many soldiers and left others wounded for life. Near the end of the ear he finally concluded the Civil War was a punishment upon the nation for allowing slavery to take hold and flourish in America, a land which God had firmly decreed would be a land of liberty for all people.

     Stephen Oaks tells us that, “in his search for the meaning this vast struggle, he’s come t o view it finally as a divine punishment for the sin of slavery, as a terrible retribution visited by God on a guilty people, in North as well as South.” (Oaks, p. 446.)

     The President had finally acknowledged in his heart that George Mason’s prophecy was true.


     On March 4, 1965 a unique event occurred at the second inaugural in Washington. It occurred such seconds before the President spoke. Oaks records that, “Lincoln rose and stepped to the speaker’s stand; as he did so the sun broke through the clouds, flooding the entire gathering with brilliant light. Then the clouds closed in again.” (Oaks, p 446.) Later in the day Lincoln met Noah Brooks, a friend and said to him, “Did you see that sunburst? It made my heart jump.” Providence had smiled upon His humble servant Abraham Lincoln that day.

     During the same day another interesting event occurred. After the speech there was reception at the White House. Frederick Douglass, the famous abolitionist, came to the reception but was stopped at the front door by the police because he was Black Someone told Lincoln that he was at the front door, but they wouldn’t let him in. Abraham Lincoln immediately sent for Douglass and he was escorted into to see the President. The President remarked, “Here comes my friend Douglass. I am glad to see you. I saw you in the crowd today, listening to my address. There is no man in the country whose opinion I value more than your. I want to you know you think of it.” Douglass said it was “a sacred effort.” The President then said, I am glad you like it.!” (Oaks, p. 447.)

     On April 9, 1865 General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox. The long terrible ordeal was over. News of the end of the war rolled across the country. People could not believe that it had finally ended. Providence had decree that the time had come to cease hostilities and bind up the wounds.

     While Lincoln was relieved, he lost no time celebrating but went right to work on a massive reconstruction program for the nation.

     On April 14, 1865 Abraham Lincoln and wide made their way to the Ford theater. Soon a shot rang out and the president lay wounded. The president lived through the night but died the next morning at 7: 22 a.m. At that moment Abraham Lincoln steeped into the Spirit World was greeted by his angelic mother and father, family and friends who had long since passed through the portals of death.

     The mission of Abraham Lincoln was complete and like the prophets of old, he sealed his testimony with his blood. He was raised up by God to preserve the Union, save the Constitution from destruction by evil and conspiring men and to rid the nation of the curse of slavery. From the day he was born in a humble cabin until he entered Ford’s Theater, Providence watched over His divinely chosen servant. He inspired him, guided him and preserved from danger throughout his life on earth.

     The prophecy of George Mason was now concluded. The curse of slavery had been removed from the soil of America. Now the nation was free to move forward and complete its divinely appointed mission to serve as the cradle of liberty and the home of Christianity.


Chapter 22—America’s Greatest Exports: Christianity and Liberty

     The early colonial leaders and clergy firmly believed that hand of Providence had formed the United States of America and guided, protected and inspired the patriots and statesmen throughout the revolt against Great Britain, the Revolutionary War, the formation of the early State Constitutions, the drafting of the U. S. Constitution, the writing of the Bill of Rights and the launching of the new national government in 1791.

     The Pilgrims, Puritans, early settlers, ministers, pastors, clergy, farmers, shop owners, craftsmen and women, patriots and statesmen of colonial America also believed that the Holy Bible is the Word of God and it served as the Ancient Constitution for them as they designed the charters of liberty for America. No other book was referred to or quoted from 1620 to 1820 than the Holy Bible. It forms the foundation of liberty in America.

     America has become the most free and prosperous nation on earth because of the political, economic and religious liberties bequeathed to the posterity of those early settlers. America has turned into a nation of manufacturing and industrial plants that produce products that are sent all over the world. America has become a major exporter of goods and services to the world.

America is the Cradle of Liberty

     America is the cradle of liberty for the entire world. James Madison wrote, “The free system of government we have established is so congenial with reason, with common sense, and a universal feeling, that is must produce approbation and a desire of imitation, as avenue may be found for truth to the knowledge of nations. Our country, if it does justice to itself, will be the Workshop of Liberty to the Civilized World, and do more than any other for the uncivilized.” (Adrienne Koch, Power, Morals, and the Founding Fathers, p. 105.)

     Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The Republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind, my prayers and efforts shall be cordially distributed to the support of that we have so deeply established. It is indeed an animating thought, that while we are securing the rights of ourselves and our posterity, we are pointing out the way to struggling nations, who wish like us to emerge from their tyrannies also. Heaven help their struggles, and lead them, as it has done us, triumphantly through the. (Koch, p. 151.)

America Is the Lord’s Base of Operations

     America is also the Lord’s Base of Operations for the last days. From America Christianity is sent throughout the world. In 1799 Dr. Jedediah Morse wrote, “To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoy. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, either through unbelief, or the corruption of its doctrines, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom....

     “Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all the blessings which flow from them, must fall with them.”

     Daniel Webster wrote, “Finally, let us not forget the religious character of our origin. Our fathers were brought hither by t heir high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its influence through all their institutions, civil, political, or literary. Let us cherish these sentiments, and Extend this Influence still more widely; in the full conviction, that that is the happiest society which partakes in the highest degree of the mild and peaceful spirit of Christianity.”

     On October 4, 1790 Samuel Adams stated, “Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age, by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls, of inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity and universal philanthropy, and, in subordination to these great principles, the love of their country; of instructing them in the art of self-government without which they never can act a wise part in the government of societies, great or small; in short, of leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system....”

Promote the Teachings of the Holy Bible

     The great preacher of the Great Awakening in the 1720s stated, “Diffuse the knowledge, of the Bible, and the hungry will be fed, and the naked clothed. Diffuse the knowledge of the Bible, and the stranger will be sheltered, the prisoner visited, and the sick ministered unto. Diffuse the knowledge of t he Bible, and Temperance will rest upon a surer basis that any mere private pledge or public statue.

     “Diffuse the knowledge of the Bible, and the peace of the world will be secured by more substantial safeguards that either the mutual fear, or the reciprocal interests, of princes or of people. Diffuse the knowledge of the bible, and the day will be hastened, as it can be hastened in no other way, when every yoke shall be loosened, and every bond broken, and when there shall be no more leading into captivity...”

     America is a under a divine decree to uphold Christianity and liberty for all mankind. Our greatest exports, while very important, are not goods and services. They are the principles of Christianity and Liberty!


Promoting the Freedom, Sovereignty, & Independence of America