Constitution Day, September 17, 2014
“Vigilant, a. Watchful; circumspect; attentive to discover and avoid danger, or to provide for safety.” (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)
A quote that one hears quite often on the theme of freedom or liberty is, “the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” Who said this? Many attribute this saying to Thomas Jefferson; some believe that it was stated by English statesman Edmund Burke. Actually the author is John Philpot Curran, an Irish statesman and orator. Here is Curran’s full quote in context:
It is the common fate of the indolent (lazy) to see their rights become prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of the crime and the punishment of his guilt.
Curran is saying that if you are lazy, those who are diligent but not godly are going to pilfer your rights. You are going to become a servant, and you deserve it, because you were not vigilant in preserving your liberties. This is a harsh, but it is a reality.
In 1 Peter 5:8-9 we are reminded to, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith.” The devil’s mission every day is to “rip you off.” He is trying to get you so bound by sin that you won’t have the liberty that God wants you to walk in. Believers must be vigilant and resist the devil every day in order to not fall prey to him.
The devil wants to get America off the track on which our forefathers set us. Satan desires us to have our laws based on the opposite of God’s Word. Believers must be vigilant and resist him in order for this not to happen. Our Constitution delineates a form of government based upon the principles of God’s Word. Since our founding period, it has been either altered or ignored to the point that we no longer have a Christian form of government. The spirit is gone, and now only the “letter” of our Constitution remains.
Can our original Constitution be revived? Yes, as the learned Noah Webster taught that each of us has a constitution in our mind, we can revive our original constitution by renewing our mind (Romans 12:2) by taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (II Cor. 10:5).
Eternal vigilance, in Jesus, is our battle cry!