021A - The Constitution

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May 1787: America was a nation in crisis. Where once the American states had been a people united in the common cause of fighting for freedom, now they were divided and bickering amongst themselves, even shedding the blood of their fellow Americans while foreign powers waited like vultures to devour them. Recognizing the crisis, James Madison and others convinced the states to send delegates to a convention in Philadelphia for the purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation, and saving what the Revolution had won.

Well, the delegates came, and for the next five months these wise men struggled, pondered, debated, counseled, compromised, and prayed. There were times in the process when it seemed the convention would collapse in impasse. At one of those darkest times, America’s elder statesman, the venerable Benjamin Franklin spoke:

“The small progress we have made in these last weeks is a melancholy proof of the imperfections of human understanding. … The longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth that God governs in the affairs of men. [And] if a sparrow cannot fall [to the ground] without His notice, is it probable that a great nation can rise without His aid?” *

And have His aid they did. Great truths and principles were sifted and stitched into the fabric of a masterpiece that today we call the United States Constitution.

On September 17, 1787, shortly after three-o-clock in the afternoon, the proposed Constitution was read to the assembled delegates. Upon hearing it, Dr. Franklin pleaded with his fellow delegates for unanimity, and declared his support of the document by saying:

“… I consent, Sir, to this Constitution [and I urge all others to do so] because I expect no [none] better, and [because] I am not sure [that] it is not the best.” *

It is said by some that Franklin wept as he signed the document, considering it to be the rising sun of America’s future.

Later, both George Washington and James Madison, two of the Convention’s most influential men, were to speak of the United States Constitution – as a miracle!

And indeed, a miracle it was! It was, and is – still is, a part of the plan of Almighty God for the protection of all men in their moral agency. Long may it be established, and its principles endure.

* Max Farrand, Records of the Federal Convention, 1:4,5,7-9
Glenn Rawson – September 14, 1999
Music: The Constitution – Deanne Casperson
Song: Freedom’s Light – Paul Engemann