Looking back on world history from our modern-times perspective is a great blessing. We see things in a larger setting. It is easier for us, looking back, to observe the finger of Providence in guiding so many world events to a desired result.
Answers Come When People Show Need
One of the greatest observations a student of history can make is the amazing fact that when monumental history-making questions were being debated or actions were being taken, there always seemed to appear on the scene guidelines and answers for the serious, struggling, searching students, if they would make the effort to search them out.
We think of Cicero, the great Roman statesman, who tried to save the Republic of Rome from degenerating into a complete dictatorship by reminding the people they must return to the Natural Law basis of virtue and morality.
We think of the 18th century Baron Charles de Montesquieu who used his inherited fortune to prove that separation of powers--an idea which had lain dormant in ancient writings of Polybius for 1800 years--could really work. His ideas were studied carefully by the Founders in writing the Constitution.
We think of John Locke who wrote Concerning Human Understanding and the Second Essay Concerning Civil Government showing that a free people could really govern themselves. The Founders drew heavily upon Locke's reasoning for their understanding of good government.
We think of Sir Edward Gibbon, who in 1787, the very year the Constitution was written, penned his masterpiece, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. It was as though a warning had been sounded to the new American nation to beware of those nation-destroying vices which have since engulfed us.
We think of Adam Smith, who, in his Wealth of Nations, laid out for the first time how nations could enjoy unprecedented prosperity under a system of free enterprise. It was published just in the nick of time in 1776 as the American Founders were pondering such questions.
We think of The Making of America, a definitive work on the substance and meaning of the Constitution, published just in time to help Americans celebrate the Bicentennial of the Constitution in 1987. In the last ten years, this book has been a blessing to humble citizens who have sought to understand our great Charter of Liberty.
The Greatest Help of All
Of course, none of these books could have been written without reliance on the greatest work of all--a work which is the foundation of all human progress--the word of God as contained in the Holy Scriptures. No real progress has been made without Biblical foundations, and no major development of history has ever occurred without having been foretold in Holy Writ. It is a direct fulfillment of the proclamation by the Prophet Amos who said: "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, save He reveal His secrets to His servants the prophets." (Amos 3:7)
Our Present Situation Calls for More Knowledge
It is altogether fitting then, that at this critical time in our nation's history, when America seems to be about ready to slide off into the abyss of fallen civilizations, at a time when good people are searching for answers and renewed hope, that a new book would appear on the scene, based on Biblical teachings and prophecies, that reminds Americans that brighter days are ahead for this nation. It is a book that vividly points to the Founders' belief that America has a divine, Biblical-based destiny and that the land will be used as an instrument in the hands of God to bring about great things for the whole world.
For Americans who can easily see that our nation is mired in the mud of iniquity, this new book, The Majesty of God's Law, by Dr. W. Cleon Skousen, will offer understanding and direction to weather the storm as we look toward America's brighter days of glory ahead.
We asked Dr. Skousen to write a summary of his new book to be included in this month's letter. He explains it this way:
The Majesty of God's Law Gives Answers for our Situation
"This is a book about America--past, present and future. It seeks to share the Founders answers to some very interesting and challenging questions.
Founders Believed Americato Be a Chosen Land
"For example, what was the basis for the conclusion of the Founders that America is the 'new Zion' of the Bible where God's law would someday be practiced? How did they and many European scholars identify America as the 'land beyond the rivers of Ethiopia'--or Africa--among the islands of the sea where the inhabitants had been 'scattered and peeled' but who were nevertheless identified by the prophets as a true remnant of the original tribes of ancient Israel?
"Why did the Founders call America 'the New Israel' where the Millennium would begin and the New Jerusalem would be built? And why did Thomas Jefferson believe that this is where Biblical Christianity would be restored?
Founders Believed the Kingdom of God to be in America
"Then there is the famous philosopher, George Berkeley, who was also an Episcopal bishop and who declared that the kingdom of God which Daniel saw in vision would be raised up in America. It was even understood that this is where the Millennium would begin and this is where the New Jerusalem would be built.
"Amazingly, all of this was not the rustic or primitive speculation of the leaders who built the first free people in modern times. These brilliant nation-builders knew more about the prophetic promises of the Bible than any cross section of public leaders in America today.
Founders Warned of America's Possible Decay
"And they also knew America would pass through a period of decay and perversion which would eventually require this choice land to go through a severe cleansing before it inherited the brilliant legacy of its manifest destiny. In fact--as we point out in our new book--Alexis de Tocqueville described in the most explicit terms the shredding of the Constitution as well as the agonizing perversion of our traditional culture through which we are presently passing.
"But this decay will not endure, and some day America will get back its original Constitution with a new system of law, a new capital, a new economy and a new name. It is an exciting story and in this new book we have tried to put it all together.
God's Perfect Law of Liberty
"The Majesty of God's Law is a study of the history and development of the only system of law which was revealed by God, himself. That is why it is called, 'God's law.'
"The Psalmist described the supreme excellence of God's law when he said:
'The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the ear: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.' (Psalms 19:7-8)
"The entire code of God's law is carefully enunciated in five chapters of this book. Under this judicial system there are only about a hundred statutes required to govern a community, a state, a nation or the world if these guidelines are in the hands of wise and virtuous judges.
"In order to make this system work, the people must be taught the law and then they must enter into a solemn covenant to honor and sustain its precepts.
Moses Knew God's Law Would Be