I’m teaching Government for The Network, a homeschool educational co-op that meets weekly at Grace Church in Des Moines, IA, this semester (I also serve on the board). Preparing for that class I’m rereading (and reading some for the first time) many of our founding documents, as well as, writings that inspired our founders.
Reading through The Federalist #2, written by John Jay who served as our first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, this passage stuck out:
It has often given me pleasure to observe that independent America was not composed of detached and distant territories, but that one connected, fertile, wide spreading country was the portion of our western sons of liberty. Providence has in a particular manner blessed it with a variety of soils and productions, and watered it with innumerable streams, for the delight and accommodation of its inhabitants. A succession of navigable waters forms a kind of chain round its borders, as if to bind it together; while the most noble rivers in the world, running at convenient distances, present them with highways for the easy communication of friendly aids, and the mutual transportation and exchange of their various commodities.
With equal pleasure I have as often taken notice that Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people – a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who, by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established general liberty and independence.
The country and this people seem to have been made for each other, and it appears as if it was the design of Providence, that an inheritance so proper and convenient for a band of brethren, united to each other by the strongest of ties, should ever be split into a number of unsocial, jealous, and alien sovereignties.
Jay along with Alexander Hamilton and James Madison who wrote 85 articles and essays under the pen name of Publius (meaning “the people” or “of the people”) promoted the ratification of the newly written U.S. Constitution. Jay recognized that while each state was sovereign in itself, Almighty God had brought these 13 colonies, now states, together. This new federal government was to be stronger, yet limited, as these states were stronger together than they were separated in a loose and increasingly ineffective confederation.
Together, because of God’s providence, they were to walk together in securing the blessings of liberty.