They came to escape an oppressive, unlawful government. They came not as rebels, for they were anything but, but as law-keepers, not unwillingly self-bound to obey the laws of nature and of nature’s God, including to honor their agreements with the king.
Many had experienced a repressive church, aimed not at drawing anyone nearer to God but at exercising and deepening its control over its adherents. That control had taken many forms – from placing autocratic authority into the hands of mortal men to manipulating English translations of the very Word of God to seem to command, from the voice of God Himself, submission to men in “biblical offices.”
They moved “in the name of God.” And when they covenanted and combined themselves into a civil body politick (they combined THEMSELVES – they WERE the civil body; it was not something that they created that stood apart from them: this is the very essence of self-government), it was for their BETTER ordering and preservation. Yet their self-government was local; they remained loyal subjects of their sovereign king.
Fast-forward a century and a half; there had arisen a new king – one not at all committed to keeping the king’s part of the governing agreement with his subjects. This new king was so madly driven to keep under his thumb these lawful colonists in the “new world” that he committed lawless acts of war against them, decreeing them out of his protection (the first role of government), thus rendering them free and independent from him.
Most have been taught to believe that what is still the freest nation on earth became free by an act of their own declaration of freedom, but that view of American history is fiction: NO people have ever been made free by their own declaration. What was declared on July 4, 1776, was what was already legally so: that the united States of America were free and independent because the king had made it so by ejecting them from the British colonies and making war against them. The States wrote the Declaration out of “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind,” and that not to effect any legal or political change, for there was no global body of opinions to which they could appeal, let alone which had the authority to grant their desire for independence from Britain. It was the colonists’ answer to the American Prohibitory Act, of December 22, 1775 (about which few are aware in this ongoing era of revisionist history and, accordingly, which we will revisit in future articles), and constituted their next-step legal filing, as it were, against the burgeoning tyranny of the Crown.
Think of the Declaration of Independence as an international press release. Many nations had previously been home to various colonists; and many nations had been engaging in economic relations with these relatively new nations (“States”); and these united States had been, then, obligated to communicate the truth of their forced separation from the English colonies (the first “Brexit”?) to the other nations of the world. Indeed, notification to other nations of the threat of English tyranny was likely as necessary as a warning to the other nations of the world as it was to buttress the foundation of the new American government in the world’s eyes. It was no mistake then when, a few years later, the American states put an absolute limitation upon their own cooperative confederacy and prohibited their new Congress from EVER abridging their freedom of speech, or of the press. In this day in which we as the People of a nation and, by extension, of the world face the greatest threat ever to our freedom – indeed, to our very lives – it is necessary that we maintain and utilize that speech and that press to fully inform the world, and to warn each other, of the real nature of that threat.