In his First Inaugural Address, President James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, said that the Constitution is the “the cement of the Union.” This seems like a fairly obvious observation. However, today, many people, and most politicians, act as if the Constitution is an antiquated document, an idea whose day has past, or an optional suggestion instead of the supreme law of the land that connects and welds together all fifty states.
On this September 17, 2022 Constitution Day, we will explore what the Constitution did for America, why it truly is the glue that holds us together as a People, and why it must be upheld and restored to its original purity.
The years between the Treaty of Paris in 1783, which ended the War for Independence, and the framing of the Constitution in 1787, were turbulent. Most teachers brush over them and most people don’t know that the fledgling United States nearly collapsed into total chaos. George Washington, who had retired in December 1783, marveled at the total state of confusion and anarchy that prevailed in the newly independent states under the Articles of Confederation. In late 1786, as Shays’ Rebellion frothed and agitated the nation, he wrote to James Madison:
“Fain would I hope, that the great, & most important of all objects—the foederal governmt.—may be considered with that calm & deliberate attention which the magnitude of it so loudly calls for at this critical moment: Let prejudices, unreasonable jealousies, and local interest yield to reason and liberality. Let us look to our National character, and to things beyond the present period. No morn ever dawned more favourable than ours did—and no day was ever more clouded than the present! Wisdom, & good examples are necessary at this time to rescue the political machine from the impending storm. . . .
“How melancholy is the Reflection, that in so short a space, we should have made such large strides towards fulfilling the prediction of our transatlantic foe! “Leave them to themselves, and their government will soon dissolve.”1 Will not the wise & good strive hard to avert this evil? Or will their supineness suffer ignorance and the arts of self interested designing disaffected & desperate characters, to involve this rising empire in wretchedness & contempt? What stronger evidence can be given of the want of energy in our governments than these disorders? If there exists not a power to check them, what security has a man of life, liberty, or property? To you, I am sure I need not add aught on this subject, the consequences of a lax, or inefficient government, are too obvious to be dwelt on. Thirteen sovereignties pulling against each other, and all tugging at the foederal head will soon bring ruin on the whole; whereas a liberal, and energetic Constitution, well guarded, & closely watched, to prevent incroachments, might restore us to that degree of respectability & consequence, to which we had a fair claim, & the brightest prospect of attaining” (George Washington to James Madison, November 5, 1786).
And, again, as Shays’ Rebellion came to a close in February 1787, Washington wrote to Henry Knox:
“[I]f three years ago, any person had told me that at this day, I should see such a formidable rebellion against the laws & constitutions of our own making as now appears I should have thought him a bedlamite—a fit subject for a mad house” (George Washington to Henry Knox, February 3, 1787).
From George Washington to James Wilson to Alexander Hamilton, our Founding Fathers collectively noticed, and voiced with trepidation in their writings, the anarchy, confusion, and near collapse of the Confederacy. What changed from 1787 when the nation was on the brink of collapse to 1790 when President George Washington delivered his second annual message to Congress, stating:
“In meeting you again I feel much satisfaction in being able to repeat my congratulations on the favorable prospects which continue to distinguish our public affairs. The abundant fruits of another year have blessed our country with plenty and with the means of a flourishing commerce.
“The progress of public credit is witnessed by a considerable rise of American stock abroad as well as at home, and the revenues allotted for this and other national purposes have been productive beyond the calculations by which they were regulated. This latter circumstance is the more pleasing, as it is not only a proof of the fertility of our resources, but as it assures us of a further increase of the national respectability and credit, and, let me add, as it bears an honorable testimony to the patriotism and integrity of the mercantile and marine part of our citizens. The punctuality of the former in discharging their engagements has been exemplary. . . .
“The disturbed situation of Europe, and particularly the critical posture of the great maritime powers, whilst it ought to make us the more thankful for the general peace and security enjoyed by the United States, reminds us at the same time of the circumspection with which it becomes us to preserve these blessings” (George Washington, Second Annual Message to Congress, December 8, 1790).
How did the astonishing 180-degree turn happen? What changed? What made it all possible? Answer: The Constitution.
In 1789, Benjamin Franklin remarked in one of his last ever letters: “Our new Constitution is now established, everything seems to promise it will be durable” (Benjamin Franklin to Jean-Baptiste Le Roy, November 13, 1789). Dr. Franklin was prophetic. That Constitution, drafted under the inspiration of God’s Spirit in 1789, has remained in effect to this day, making it the longest-lasting constitution in world history. It has been more than durable; it has unlocked American greatness, ingenuity, creativity, and paved the way for the extension and guarantee of rights to every segment and class of society. It was nothing short of a miracle.
That is precisely what James Madison and others called it. Mr. Madison gratefully observed:
“The happy Union of these States is a wonder; their [Constitution] a miracle; their example the hope of Liberty throughout the world. Woe to the ambition that would meditate the destruction of either!” (James Madison, September, 1829)
How did this miracle come about? I testify from the depth of my soul, because I know it from the Holy Spirit, that the U.S. Constitution was inspired by Almighty God! It is a true document; rightly called “American scripture.” It is a new covenant for this special land; a Zion-like law that secures Liberty for God’s children.
Our Founding Fathers acknowledged God’s hand in their Revolution and in the establishment of the nation numerous times. For instance, when newly-elected President George Washington delivered his First Inaugural Address he gave us the true key to the Constitution’s success. Said he:
“[I]t 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, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. 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. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those 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 can not be compared with the means by which most governments have been established without some return of pious gratitude, along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage. These reflections, arising out of the present crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind to be suppressed. You will join with me, I trust, in thinking that there are none under the influence of which the proceedings of a new and free government can more auspiciously commence” (George Washington, First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789).
God is America’s benefactor. He is our support. He is the true Father of America. The Constitution is His document. It came by miraculous means to inspired individuals raised up by Him for the purpose of establishing a free nation as a beacon of liberation to the world. The secular record supports the idea that the Founding Fathers based the Constitution on the civil law of Moses revealed to ancient Israel. W. Cleon Skousen’s book The Majesty of God’s Law is the best text available on the subject and I urge you to read it, study it, and begin to apply it.
America’s progress from a darkened, savage continent to a land of light and Liberty is remarkable by any standard. Who can honestly claim God’s hand was not in it? Who can doubt that He didn’t bring humble Christian settlers here to plant His standard in this blessed soil? Who can dispute that the American Revolution didn’t have God’s blessing or deny the many manifestations of divine favor, including mysterious fog and sudden hurricanes? And, finally, who but the most cynical can truly rebuff the idea that the Constitution was a “miracle” bearing the Lord’s divine stamp of approval?
America is a great nation. We were once greater and we have slid backward nearly into the abyss, but we are still great. Our People are largely good-hearted, though gravely misled. We have wandered away from the Gospel law not because we are evil, but because we have not been trained up in the way we should go (Proverbs 22:6) by pastors, teachers, parents, and other authority figures. However, there is an awakening happening. A polarization is happening, too, as those who truly are evil are gathering together and those who still have some feeling of goodness in their hearts are grouping together.
Despite our flaws, and regardless of the fact that a criminal conspiracy has seized control of our government (which is ultimately our fault as a People for allowing it to happen), our national potential is unsurpassed. Our destiny is prophetic. Our future is sure.
God will preserve a righteous remnant to inhabit this special land. He has so decreed it in revelations past and present. One of the earmarks of one who may qualify to be part of this “righteous remnant” is one’s knowledge of and fidelity to the constitutional law of the land, which mirrors God’s Mosaic law. One cannot reject God’s law – even His civil law – and stand approved in God’s sight. Freedom and faith go hand-in-hand.
God and Liberty were once intertwined in the minds of our early American forefathers. To the degree that they have become disconnected, we have fallen as a People. If we want to rise again, we must link the two, protect and secure both, and live according the laws of each.
America is a covenant land foreseen by ancient seers such as Isaiah. It is a heated battlefield precisely because the Adversary understands America’s importance in God’s divine economy. He knows that we are a special People. He knows our awesome potential. He also knows that we are beginning to wake up and shake off the chains of our mind and that we will soon want to shake off our legalistic chains. He is ramping up his tyrannical operations and preparing to launch a dictatorship the likes of which we have never seen in America. However, God is in His end game, too.
Be a part of the revolution for our Faith, Families, and Freedom. Take a stand for Liberty. Stand in the gap. Make your voice known. Plant your own personal standard deep in the soil. Rush to the standard of truth which has been erected and which will never fail. Get close to God and follow His Son, Jesus Christ, who is the proper King and Lawgiver of this land. Until He personally returns, His civil law is the U.S. Constitution and His stamp of approval rests upon it.
Begin your insurgency against tyranny today by rereading the Constitution. Learn it. Live it. Love it. Founding Father James Wilson made a remark that I hope sinks down deep into your soul and animates you to action:
“Were I called upon for my reasons why I deem so highly of the American character, I would assign them in a very few words—That character has been eminently distinguished by the love of liberty, and the love of law. . . .
“But law and liberty cannot rationally become the objects of our love, unless they first become the objects of our knowledge. The same course of study, properly directed, will lead us to the knowledge of both. Indeed, neither of them can be known, because neither of them can exist, without the other. Without liberty, law loses its nature and its name, and becomes oppression. Without law, liberty also loses its nature and its name, and becomes licentiousness. In denominating, therefore, that science, by which the knowledge of both is acquired, it is unnecessary to preserve, in terms, the distinction between them. That science may be named, as it has been named, the science of law.
“The science of law should, in some measure, and in some degree, be the study of every free citizen, and of every free man. Every free citizen and every free man has duties to perform and rights to claim. Unless, in some measure, and in some degree, he knows those duties and those rights, he can never act a just and an independent part.”
It is logically impossible to say you love the Constitution if you don’t understand it. If you don’t know the Constitution, how can you truly appreciate it or defend it? You can’t. The study of law – the divine science of Liberty revealed by God and reestablished in America – is the burden and duty of every American.
I repeat: Learn the Constitution, love the Constitution, live the Constitution. There could be no more fitting tribute on this special Constitution Day.
September 17, 2022
Recommended resources for studying the Constitution:
The Making of America by W. Cleon Skousen
The Majesty of God’s Law by W. Cleon Skousen
The 5,000 Year Leap by W. Cleon Skousen
Elementary Catechism on the Constitution of the United States: For the Use of Schools by Arthur J. Stansbury
Stand Fast By Our Constitution by J. Reuben Clark, Jr.
A View of the Constitution of the United States of America by William Rawle
The Founders’ Key: The Divine and Natural Connection Between the Declaration and the Constitution and What We Risk by Losing It by Larry P. Arnn
Original Intent: The Courts, the Constitution, and Religion by David Barton
The Ten Commandments and Their Influence on American Law by William J. Federer
The Original 13: A Documentary History of Religion in America’s First Thirteen States by William J. Federer
Political Sermons of the American Founding Era, 1730-1805, two volumes, ed. by Ellis Sandoz
Celebrate Liberty! Famous Patriotic Speeches and Sermons edited by David Barton