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The Two Republics, or Rome and the United States of America

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    CHAPTER XXIV. THE NEW REPUBLIC

    Civil government wholly impersonal—It is the scriptural idea—How are the powers that be, ordained—The American doctrine is scriptural—The Declaration asserts the truth—Government and religion rightly separate—Governmental authority not religious—Daniel and the government—It is intentionally so—The Presbytery of Hanover—Their second memorial—Madison’s Memorial and Remonstrance—Christianity does not need it—It undermines public authority—Virginia delivered—Ratification of the Constitution—The Christian idea

    THEN came the American Revolution, overturning all the principles of the papacy, and establishing for the enlightenment of all nations, THE NEW REPUBLIC,—the first national government upon the earth that accords with the principles announced by Jesus Christ for mankind and for civil government.TTR 663.1

    The American Revolution did not consist in the establishment of a government independent of Great Britain, but in the ideas concerning man and government that were proclaimed and established by it. This Revolution is the expression of two distinct ideas. First, that government is of the people; and, second, that government is of right entirely separate from religion.TTR 663.2

    The first decided step in this grand revolution was taken when the Declaration of Independence was signed. That immortal document declares:—TTR 663.3

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”TTR 663.4

    Thus in two sentences was annihilated the despotic doctrine which, springing from the usurped authority of the papacy, to sit in the place of God and to set up and pull down kings, and to bestow kingdoms and empires at its will, had now become venerable, if not absolutely hallowed, by the precedents of a thousand years—the doctrine of the divine right of kings; and in the place of the old, false, despotic theory of the sovereignty of the government and the subjection of the people, there was declared the self-evident truth, the subjection of government, and the sovereignty of the people.TTR 663.5

    In declaring the equal and inalienable right of all men to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, there is not only declared the sovereignty of the people, but also the entire capability of the people. The declaration, in itself, presupposes that men are men indeed, and that as such they are fully capable of deciding for themselves as to what is best for their happiness, and how they shall pursue it, without the government’s being set up as a parent or guardian to deal with them as with children.TTR 664.1

    In declaring that governments are instituted, by the governed, for certain ends, and that when any government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness, it is likewise declared that instead of the people’s needing to be cared for by the government, the government must be cared for by the people.TTR 664.2

    This is confirmed by the national Constitution, which is but the complement of the Declaration. Thus says—TTR 664.3

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