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A Republic... If You Can Keep It

Posted By The Foundation for American Christian Education, Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Howard Chandler Christy, Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, 1940


“A lady asked Dr. Franklin, ‘Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?’ –‘A Republic,’ replied the Doctor, ‘if you can keep it.’
Quoted in Dr. Gai Ferdon, A Republic If You Can Keep It, frontispiece


September 17, 2015 marks the 228th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of the United States of America. On this day in 1787, 40 bold men from 12 states signed the document that would guarantee in writing the rights and liberties of citizens of the newly formed United States of America. They would no longer be subject to the arbitrary whims of lawmakers or monarchs, but be governed by a written document guaranteeing their rights and liberties. Several months later on June 21, 1788 the remaining nine states ratified the document, and a Bill of Rights was added to further insure protection for individuals and states from a central federal government.

We Americans hold a document so unique and remarkable it has only been amended 16 times in over 200 years. British Prime Minister William Gladstone once said of our Constitution, “…the most remarkable work known…in modern times to have been produced by the human intellect, at a single stroke.”

But, more importantly, our Constitution was not only the work of men who applied their education and knowledge to the task of crafting new governing ideas in writing, but it was also their understanding of the Bible, and the principles therein, applied to the subject of civil government. It was a governing document created for individuals who were already governed by the Word of God and had formed internally the character to be “self-governing.”

John Adams said, “ Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

And Noah Webster declared, “The religion which has introduced civil liberty, is the religion of Christ and his apostles…to this we owe our free constitutions of government.”

With grateful hearts and thanksgiving to God, let us acknowledge that our Constitution is unequaled in the world and continue to allow Him to refine our “character as gold,” the currency that builds our Republic.

Preamble to the 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.

Tags:  Constitution  Founding Fathers  republic 

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