By: Catherine Ulrich Brakefield
“We have staked the whole future of our new nation, not upon the power of government; far from it. We have staked the future of all our political constitutions upon the capacity of each of ourselves to govern ourselves according to the moral principles of the Ten Commandments.” –
James Madison, the fourth president of the United States is recognized as being the "Father of the Constitution." However, he contributes his wisdom to his reliance on God and His laws as he writes:
"Our Constitution represents the work of the finger of Almighty God."
Throughout the course of American history, God provided America with stout-hearted men who stood up for their beliefs because of their beliefs in a finite power.
Madison did not sit back and expect God to perform His miracles. Madison undertook an extensive study of other world governments. His incessant delving in his search for the best government for this newly formed government caused him to see that America needed a strong federal government. One that would help regulate the state legislatures and help raise federal money for their failing army.
It would be a system of checks and balances to ensure no branch had greater power over the other. He suggested that governors and judges have roles in local government to help manage the state legislatures because they were more capable of knowing how a nation established under Christian principles should be run.
Madison said, "If men were angels, no government would be necessary."
The framers of our constitution were aware of this. They were realists pertaining to the dark nature of man, especially when the Holy Spirit of Christ wasn't present. They anticipated the worst possibilities in any civil government, and so the system of checks and balances was implemented. Madison said:
"…the primary political motive of man was self-interest, and that men, whether acting individually or collectively, were selfish and only imperfectly rational."
The constitution completed, it needed ratification by nine of the thirteen states. Some governors and people of those states weren't enthusiastic about handing over their rights to a young, newly formed republic. Madison understood, explaining the checks and balances this way.
“The people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived.”
After numerous debates, the United States Constitution was signed in September 1787. The document was ratified by the states in 1788 and finally, after twelve long years, the United States of America had a constitution that would uphold Christian values and God-ordained inalienable rights!
"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed—unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."
Madison repeated his belief that the constitution of this United States was designed for the citizen first and foremost.
"Americans need not fear the federal government because they enjoy the advantage of being armed, which you possess over the people of almost every other nation."
For Madison and his constituents, their confidence in their fellow Americans was endless.
"If a man is not fit to govern himself, how can he be fit to govern someone else," Madison often said.
Madison and the framers of the constitution felt that education was the key to lasting freedom, yet, felt without God's wisdom, destruction of what America stood for could shake the very foundation of this new country. Madison's warning continues to ring in the ears of every conscientious American to this twenty-first century day.
“Cursed be all that learning that is contrary to the cross of Christ,” Madison said.
The American citizen's future was firmly placed into the benevolent hands of God. Understanding this theme, should encourage every American.
“The future and success of America is not in this Constitution, but in the laws of God upon which this Constitution is founded.”
During the presidential election of 1808, Madison was elected as the fourth chief executive. But if he thought his presidency would be smooth sailing, he was wrong.
Britain and France bullied American ships bringing their merchandise across the foaming seas to American ports. Britain captured American sailors for its own navy and encouraged American Indians to battle our western settlers!
To the loyal Madison who pictured every American person as a brother, this was not to be endured. Madison declared war against Britain in 1812. Congress was furious. Where was the funding going to come from? Many states would not support "Mr. Madison's War" or allow their militias to join the campaign. When the White House glowed in a heap of embers from British cannons in 1814, it looked like the end to the American Dream. Outraged Americans weren't about to surrender, like Andrew Jackson in the battle for New Orleans, victory was swift and decisive!
America's bullies were put in their place, and Madison was hailed a hero in the eyes of every American. Madison humbly writes:
"If our nation is ever taken over, it will be taken over from within."
The founders of our constitution respected the people, they had high ideals pertaining to the American's know-how and moral compass, having the capacity to govern themselves according to the moral principles of the Ten Commandments. Lest we forget, it is our moral obligation to uphold Madison's and our forefathers' love for God and brotherhood. I include the Ten Commandment our forefathers established our constitution upon:
Ben McConnell is a proud Irish immigrant who is determined not to give up despite hunger and deprivation. He clings to his mustard seed faith believing—nothing is impossible.
Maggie Gatlan is a rebel disguised as a Southern belle. Bens and Maggie’s journeys delve deeply into the truth about faith and devotion.
“… Brakefield’s flowing descriptions pull you into Swept into Destiny and keep immersed in the world of the Antebellum south…This isn’t just a world of beaus, belles, and balls, but of moral ambiguity and searches for truth…” L.H. Reader
An award-winning author, Catherine's inspirational historical romances include Wilted Dandelions, her faith-based Destiny series Swept into Destiny, Destiny’s Whirlwind, Destiny of Heart, and Waltz with Destiny.
She and lives with her husband of 49 years and their Arabian horses in Addison Township, Michigan. Her children grown, Catherine loves spoiling her two handsome grandsons and two beautiful granddaughters! For more information: See catherineulrichbrakefield.com