Tag Archives: Liberty

Reared for Immortality

If these Commentaries shall but inspire in the rising generation a more ardent love of their country, an unquenchable thirst for liberty, and a profound reverence for the Constitution and the Union, then they will have accomplished all that their author ought to desire. Let the American youth never forget that they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils and sufferings and blood of their ancestors, and capable, if wisely improved and faithfully guarded, of transmitting to their latest posterity all the substantial blessings of of life, the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, property, religion, and independence. The structure has been erected by architects of consummate skill and fidelity; its foundations are solid; its compartments are as beautiful as well as useful; its arrangements are full of wisdom and order; and its defences are impregnable from without. It has been reared for immortality, if the work of man may justly aspire to such a title. It may, nevertheless, perish in an hour by the folly or corruption or negligence of its only keepers, — THE PEOPLE. Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest; and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people in order to betray them. – Joseph Story, Supreme Court of the United States 1811-1845, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States


Daguerreotype_of_Joseph_Story,_1844“Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest; and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people in order to betray them.”

 


 

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For the Glory of God

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” Psalms 118:29

As with any holiday, looking back upon its history tends to be commonplace, yet so much of this holiday’s history is lost to revision or explicit omission. The writings from our nation’s original architects, or those nearest to the origins, suit us best—still—as references from which we can learn. My amazement never wanes while reading of the “adventures” taken by the brave men, women, and children settling this great nation. The absolute trust they had in God’s daily provision is a picture of faith that we should all aspire.

The language used so naturally in reference to Scripture in William Bradford’s writings shows how integral their faith was in their lives. The Pilgrims endured many trials and tests because of their strong belief in freedom and worship. Their story is foundational to our Liberty and to this great nation “Under God.”

Although the original Mayflower Compact has been lost, William Bradford recounted the text in his writings “Of Plimoth Plantation” (sp. intentional). Bradford called this the “first foundation of their government in this place.” As to the reason for the Compact, he says “when they came ashore, they would use their own liberty; for none had power to command them.”

Signing of the Mayflower CompactThe Mayflower Compact

“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, King, defender of the Faith, etc.

Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith and honor 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 politic; for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to 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 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, 1620.”

Happy Thanksgiving – Anno Domini 2014

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18

The Sacred Fire of Liberty

“…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 as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.” – George Washington’s First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789

Distinctive Signature of George Washington
Distinctive Signature of George Washington

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Vote Under God

As another election cycle comes around, Exodus 18:21 provides the measure Christians are to use in selecting our political leaders.

Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought Moses’ wife and children to visit Moses in the wilderness. Jethro observed Moses serving as judge for the people all day. Jethro offered his wisdom to Moses saying that sitting alone as judge was not good. He then offered these incredible requirements to create the first form of government with moral tests.

“Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.”

We as Christians must require these things of those we vote into office:

ABLE

Does your candidate have the necessary qualifications? We are all called by God to a purpose (Ephesians 2:10), but we are not all called to run for office. Sometimes it takes testing an individual at a small, more local level office before we can know whether they can be entrusted with representation over larger responsibility. I was recently teaching my son about the parable of the shrewd manager, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much…” (Luke 16:10), explaining how as a young man that he must prove himself in the small things and over time with wisdom, experience and continued competency, he would be able to handle increasing responsibility. Know your candidates record, require an accounting of their past performance in office.

FEAR GOD

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭1‬:‭7‬ NKJV)  To call yourself God-fearing should raise the expectation from voters extremely high.  Fearing God means not caving into our own sinful nature. Paul talks about “perfecting Holiness in the fear of God.”(II Corinthians 7:1)  With true fear of The Lord, a candidate understands that above all else they will answer to their maker, before their lobbyists, before even their constituents.

TRUTHFUL

Is your candidate characterized as a seeker of Truth, are they truthful? Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name. (‭Psalms‬ ‭86‬:‭11‬ NKJV) We should expect two things from our candidates when it comes to Truth. They should be a seeker of The Truth, walking in Truth, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life”(John 14:6) We should expect truth be spoken…always.

HATES COVETOUSNESS

To covet is to have a strong desire to have that which belongs to another. Coveting after other peoples things can lead to sin. Covetousness also means to gain dishonestly. Make sure your candidate understands that they are caretakers of Liberty. Our Liberty comes from God, not government.  It is the governments responsibility to protect that Liberty with all their being.image

We the people are responsible for our own Liberty. We are created with a free will, understanding that we are responsible for the choices we make.  We, as voters, must utilize that free will to place candidates that are able, God-fearing, truthful and without covetousness, lest we face the consequences of voting the wrong candidate or worse not voting at all.

 

“You shall appoint for yourself judges and officers in all your towns which the LORD your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you.” (‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭16‬:‭18-20‬ NASB)

The Spirit of Liberty

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the minds of other men and women; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias; the spirit of liberty remembers that not even a sparrow falls to earth unheeded; the spirit of liberty is the spirit of Him who, near two thousand years ago, taught mankind that lesson it has never learned, but has never quite forgotten; that there may be a kingdom where the least shall be heard and considered side by side with the greatest. – Billings Learned Hand, speech at “I Am an American Day” ceremony, Central Park, New York City, May 21, 1944

Learned HandTEXT

Natural Rights of the Colonists as Men

Samuel AdamsAmong 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. These are evident branches of, rather than deductions from, the duty of self-preservation, commonly called the first law of nature. – Samuel Adams, The Rights of the Colonists, 1772

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Democracy Seeks Equality in Liberty

DeTocqueDemocracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude. – Alexis de Tocqueville, September 12, 1848