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March 15, 2022

True Authority over Nations

by Professor Robert J. Barth

True Authority over Nations

The American founders held certain truths to be self-evident. These truths explain unalienable rights from the Creator. Governments are instituted among men by the consent of the governed to protect these rights. All human governments are subject to the laws of nature and of nature’s God, which are the parameters or limits of lawful authority and of liberty. The American philosophy of government presupposed the existence of the Creator and this truth guided the establishment of law and government in this nation.

Most of the Declaration of Independence expresses legal truths and principles, but the last paragraph reveals the heart and commitment of the founders.  They thought it was extremely important to declare their intentions so the world and all posterity would know their faith and resolve to risk their lives and fortunes to secure liberty. The closing words of the Declaration solemnly sealed together with an oath the lives of the signers to accomplish the purposes set forth.  Uncertain about the outcome, they trusted the Creator’s providence to judge if their intentions were pure and their purposes were correct. They could have made no greater sacrifice than what they did. History reveals that the Divine Providence ultimately blessed their sacrifice for future generations to enjoy.

As representatives of the thirteen colonies, the signers appealed “to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions.”  With no turning back, these spokesmen for the people of the colonies published and declared “that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved.”  The final words manifest the supreme pledge of unity. “And for the support of this Declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” While we may not know the tone of his words, but we know his intent when Benjamin Franklin said, “We must all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

By signing the Declaration of Independence the 56 signers risked conviction of high treason against the King of England. Franklin knew that they had signed their death warrants. The death would not have been simple or quick and included hanging until unconscious, then revived and disemboweled and beheaded.  Truly, the Supreme Judge of the world did judge the rectitude of the signers’ intentions and protected the cause of birthing a nation established upon the laws of nature and of nature’s God.

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About the Author

Professor Robert J. Barth
A graduate of the University of Illinois (B.S. 1976), Professor Robert J. Barth received his Juris Doctor from Southern Illinois University School of Law in 1979. He received his Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Regent University in 1986. From 1986 to 1995, Professor Barth was associated with Regent University School of Law in several capacities, including assistant dean for academic and student affairs, and editor of the Journal of Christian Jurisprudence. He has written several articles, and as the director for academic programs, he has authored Oak Brook College’s book, Renewing Your Mind as You Study Law.

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