By Elizabeth Rogers Kotlowski
The history of liberty is the history of Christian self-government. In order to understand Christian self-government and federation it is necessary to understand the concept of "government". One of the biggest misunderstandings of our time is that "government" is synonymous with "state". However, government is a broader term. There are four basic forms of government--Christian self-government of the individual, family government, church government, and civil government. Writing in 1654, Hugo Grotius stated:
He knows not how to rule a kingdom, that cannot manage a province; nor can he wield a province, that cannot order a city; nor he order a city, that knows not how to regulate a village; nor he a village, that cannot guide a family; nor can that man govern well a family that knows not how to govern himself; neither can any govern himself unless his reason be lord, will and appetite his vassals: nor can reason rule unless herself be governed by God, and (wholly) be obedient to Him.
In this statement, Grotius has differentiated two different types of government--internal and external. He has implied that, in order for a man to know how to govern an external body of men (a family, village, city, province or kingdom), he must first know how to govern his own passions and lusts, and he himself must be governed internally by God's Laws (found in the Bible). Thus there are two types of government--internal and external. A man will either control himself by submitting to an internal power (God and His Laws as revealed in the Bible), or he will be controlled by an external power imposed on him from without by a tyrant, a state, or some other type of force.
Noah Webster has defined government as: "direction, regulation, control, constraint, the exercise of authority; direction, and restraint exercised over the action of men in communities, societies, or states; the administration of public affairs according to established constitution, laws and uses, or by arbitrary edicts".
In the study of the history of a nation, the reader must ask himself: Who or what is controlling, restraining, directing, regulating a man's life? Is he being controlled from his heart (internal source) or by an external source? Who or what is controlling individuals, events, institutions, documents? As the individual learns to think governmentally, he should always look for the source and direction or flow of power; then he will be able to discern who or what is controlling his life.
If Jesus Christ is Lord of all, and if every knee shall bow to the government of Christ, how does that fact affect man today? God has given man the freedom to choose while he has dominion on earth. In the book of Joshua, this has been clearly stated thus: "Choose you this day whom you will serve" (Josh. 24:15). In "that day" (when Christ returns to set up His kingdom), there will be no choice. God made man in His image or likeness. Man, like God, is a person with intelligence, a conscience, a capacity to love and to be creative. This places man above the other creatures God made. Because men and women were made in the image of God, they were given a special governmental role. In Genesis 1:26, "God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion ... over all the earth, and over every creeping thing". In Genesis 1:28, this grant of dominion (power to direct, control, govern) is reiterated, with the specifications to "replenish the earth, and subdue it".
According to the Christian worldview, man's dominion over the earth was an authority delegated to him by God. This command (Gen. 1:26 and 28) is known as the Cultural Mandate or Dominion Mandate . Man was also given the power of choice. When God said to man that he could eat of every fruit in the Garden of Eden except of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, man chose to disobey God's Law and to make his own law--that is, whatever looked and tasted good was acceptable to man. Thus were planted the first seeds of humanism. The penalty for that choice was death.
This wilful choice made by Adam to disobey God's commandment is called the Fall. Man fell from his sinless state. Only through being "born again" in Christ can he become a new creation in Christ and be capable of obeying God's Laws through the power of Christ in his heart. He can then understand the Dominion Mandate and carry it out in every area of life. However, before man can properly govern the external environment--family, church, or civil--he must learn how to govern himself. Thus, all government starts with Christian self-government.
Man, considered a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator, for he is entirely a dependent being.... And, consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his Maker for everything, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his Maker's will.
The wise writer of the book of Ecclesiastes informs us that to "fear God, and keep his commandments ... is the whole duty of man" (Eccles. ). This too, is the whole purpose of government. Christian self-government is the government or control of oneself. It is necessary because of the wickedness of man's heart. The motivation for Christian self-government is to please the Lord.
Since the root of the problem (lack of Christian self-government) is the wickedness of man's heart, God offers the perfect solution--that is, to give man a new heart. "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them" (Ezek. 36:26-7).
When God puts a new heart in man he will be controlled by the Spirit of God. He will be able to govern himself and the rebellion of his own heart. Therefore he will be able to rule well in other areas of life--family, church, school, business, and civil government. "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules his spirit than he that takes a city" (Prov. ). On the other hand, "He that has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls" (Prov. 25:28). Such a man, who lacks Christian self-government, will require external control. A nation of undisciplined individuals will require repressive measures to keep them from harming other people.
Another evidence of a self-governed individual is the ability of that individual to govern his tongue. Like the rudder of a ship controls the entire vessel, so the tongue, though small, controls the whole body. The tongue has also been likened to a fire, which, when it is out of control, can wreak great destruction. Thus, for the man who is not self-governed, the tongue can cause great havoc, similar to the vast devastation a bushfire can cause when started by an insignificant cigarette butt tossed carelessly by the roadside. So, Christian self-government is the foundation of all government.
Christian self-government is first practised in the family--another form of government that reflects the whole of society in miniature.
The family is man's first state, church, and school. It is the institution which provides the basic structure of his existence and most governs his activities. Man is reared in a family and then establishes a family, passing from the governed to the governing in a framework which extensively and profoundly shapes his concept of himself and of life in general.
The family was the first governing institution that God created (Gen. 1:26-28). God felt the family was so important that He established it as the core governing principle of the whole of His creation, which man was to rule, according to God's Laws. After man disobeyed God's Law, the order was reversed--instead of man ruling the creation, the created one or creature (the serpent) ruled over man (Gen. 3:15). The family is the training ground where Christian self-government is practised by precept and example. The result is Christian character. The family unit is the single most important institution in society, since upon this foundation of the family, all other social institutions are built. So Christian character is the foundation of good citizenship.
The purposes of the family are procreation and education. This was inherent in God's injunction to man to "be fruitful and multiply" (Gen. 1:28; 9:1,7). Procreation brings with it responsibility of stewardship over the children, who are the "heritage of the Lord"(Ps. 127:3). What God creates, He provides for and protects. Since parents are created in the image of God, they have a similar duty to protect, so this is the parents' first responsibility--to provide for the physical, psychological and spiritual needs of their children. Their second duty is to educate their children. It is important to note that education is the responsibility of the parents, not that of the state or the church. Though the church may be delegated to carry out some educational functions, the primary responsibility for education of children rests with the parents, who will be answerable to God for obeying His command to "bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4). Education may be defined as:
The bringing up, as of a child; instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations.
It is evident from Webster's definition, that education is more than mere instruction. It also consists of training--the correcting of the temper, the forming of habits, and the equipping for life. It is a process which can only properly take place in the home where God's Word is honoured and applied to the child's entire life, from morning until night. God recognised this when, in Deuteronomy 6:4-9, He commanded
Teach [His commandments] diligently to your children, and talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And you shall write them upon the posts of your house, and on your gates.
The Israelites were to teach God's commandments to their sons and their grandchildren (Deut. 4:7-9). In fact, God told the Israelites that the reason he chose Abraham to be the father of the Jewish people was because He knew he would teach his children (Gen. 18:18-19). Furthermore, the Israelites were to instruct their children, not only in the commandments of God, but also in the works of God:
We will not hide them from our children, showing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength, and His wonderful works that He hath done. For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments (Ps. 78: 4-7).
This Godly principle of the parents teaching their children is also alluded to in the New Testament. For example, Paul, when writing to Timothy, reminded him he had been taught the Scriptures since he was a child, evidently by his mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois (1 Tim. 1: 5-6; 3:15-17).
Education is both instruction and training. As a gardener trains up a young sapling by assisting it to grow in the shape and direction he desires, so is a parent "to train up a child in the way he should go". If he does, that child will still be walking in that way when he is old and grey-haired (Prov. 22:6). Conversely, a child who is not trained and disciplined will not walk in godly ways. As the writer of Proverbs puts it, "The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself brings his mother to shame"(Prov. 29:15). Furthermore, parents are encouraged to "correct your son, and he shall give you rest; yes, he shall give delight unto your soul" (Prov. 29:17).
Parents that bring up their children in "the nurture and admonition of the Lord"(Eph. 6:4), will have wise children as "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Prov. 1:7). Because they have learned to meditate on God's commandments, they will be wiser than their enemies (Ps. 119:97-104), and "they will speak with the enemies in the gate" or seat of government (Psa. 127; Prov. 31:23). Having practised Christian self-government in the home, and later in the church, such children will be prepared to take their place as leaders, acting as "salt" and "light" in every area of society. Conversely, the results of poor family government affect society for evil.
Because the family is the basic unit of society, other forms of voluntary associations come under the government of the home, in addition to education. Farming, the first vocation, started as a family business, while other entrepreneur enterprises have often developed out of home industries. Vocations and other private associations are also training grounds for the practice of Christian self-government, but should not be allowed to compete in importance with the first institution God created: the family. It is also significant that God created the family before He created the church. Therefore, a man should remember that after God, his family duties should come first--before the demands of business or even the church.
The church is a government and an important one, not only in its exercise of discipline but in its religious and moral influence on the minds of men. Even men outside the church are extensively governed in each era, even if only in a negative sense, by the stand of the church. The failure of the church to provide biblical government has deadly repercussions on a culture.
The ability to rule over one's own house is a cardinal qualification for church leadership. Such a leader should be "one that rules well his own house, having his children in subjection with gravity; for if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the
The church derives its authority from Christ Himself, who is the head of the church. Christ Himself affirmed this when He said, "Upon this rock I will build my church" (Matt. ). Disputes among members should be handled according to biblical guidelines in light of the Law of God (Matt. -9; -20; 1 Cor. 6:1-11; 1 Pet. 3:8-11). We should strive to "follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord" (Heb. 12:14). Church authority is restricted to keeping the members from sinful behaviour and doctrinal error. In the final analysis, repentance, restitution and restoration should be the goals of counselling. Even the removal of an offending unrepentant member should be done with the object of bringing the brother to a place of repentance and restoration (Matt. 18:15-18; 1 Cor. 5:1-2, 13; Titus 1:10-16; 1 Tim. 1:18-20).
The church also has a governing role in providing for the economic needs of its members, especially those of the widows, the fatherless, the orphans and the needy (Acts 6:1-6; 1 Tim. 5:4; 8-10; 2 Cor. 8:1-15). After providing for its members, the church should reach out to others in need. The Bible has more to say about giving to the poor than giving to the priest. If the church is doing its job, there will be no need for a state welfare system. The role of civil government is to protect, not to provide. The financial needs of the church's governing operations should be met by the tithes and offerings of its members (Matt.22:21; 1 Cor. 16:1-4; 2 Cor. 9:6-15; Prov. 3:9-10; 19:17; 28:27; Mal. 3:10). It is within the context of the church that Christian self-government can be practised, but it should not stop there. God also ordained civil government.
In Genesis 10:31 to 11:4 an attempt to establish a one-world government is described. As the descendants of Noah contemplated building the Tower of Babel, they said, "come let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name; lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth". The Tower of Babel, however, was never finished. God had a different plan--to establish local government among His people. To avoid the dangers of centralisation, when a few people rule many, often leading to corruption and tyranny, God confused the languages of the people so they did not understand each other, and scattered them all over the earth (see the Dominion Mandate, Gen. 1:26-8).
Each language group formed its own distinct culture. So independent "states" developed, each with their own government. Power was decentralised. Subsequently, God divided the nation of Israel into twelve tribes, so that one tribe could not dominate the others. Each had its own court system. Local affairs were handled by the elders of the city. Such elders were known by the people and chosen on the basis of their ability to rule their own households. When Moses needed help, God told Moses to choose seventy elders to help him rule Israel, so only the more important matters were handled by Moses (Deut. 16:18; Prov. 21: 23; Ex. 18:21-22; Judges 9:1-6).
In Britain, local government also developed around the "towns", or the "lord" of the manor. Later the country was divided into larger units or counties, headed by a sheriff. While local government had always been strong in England, during King John's reign the local barons forced the King to sign the Magna Carta, when he was abusing the rights of the people. However, local government in Australia did not develop along the same autonomous lines. Due to the large size of the continent, the scattered nature of the settlement, and the small population of the early states, the powers of local government were delegated to local communities by the state. As a result, local government is hedged in by state restrictions, and has little power. Responsibilities of local government include sanitation, roads, town planning, public health and other local matters, but they have limited policy-making powers.
Because of his sinful nature, man has a tendency to abuse power and so God has designed a system of checks and balances. God established civil government to protect men when they failed to exercise Christian self-government. The story of Cain and Abel (Gen. 4:8) shows how early the tendency of man towards violence showed itself. In fact, it was this tendency towards unrestrained violence that caused God to send the Flood (Gen. 6:13). Civil government was established after the Flood. In Genesis 9:6, God said: "Whoso sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man".
The purpose of civil government is to protect man's life, to punish evil-doers, and to encourage doers of good (Rom. 13:3; 1 Pet. 3:13). It is God who established civil government. "There is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God" (Rom. 13:1; John 19:11). Therefore, all authority is delegated by God. Nobody has any power over another man's life, except that which is given to him by God. God's Law is the absolute authority. The voice of the people is not the voice of God; nor is the voice of the king the voice of God. The king or prime minister is under the Law of God just as the people are under the Law of God. Noted seventeenth century writer Samuel Rutherford in Lex Rex, challenged the assumption of the Divine Right of Kings. "The basic premise of government and, therefore, of law must be the Bible, the Word of God rather than the word of any man. All men, even the king, are under the law and not above it." John Locke's Second Treatise of Government was also based on the assumption that all government was founded on the absolutes of the Word of God. No human law has any validity that is not in agreement with the Law of God. English common law followed this tradition, and this was what the early settlers brought with them to Australia. It was later formalised in the. 14)::; Commonwealth of Australia Constitution, the highest law of the land.
The Christian form of government consists of three pillars. They are separation of powers, representation and a dual form of government. The first pillar, the separation of powers, is exemplified in Isaiah 33:22--"For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; He will save us". God ordained the separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers. The second pillar, representation, is based on the principle, "no taxation without representation" (Ex. 18:21). The common consent of the people is key. Governments are not created directly by divine decree, but a leader is chosen with the agreement of the people from among their own countrymen (Deut. 17:15; 2 Sam. 3:21). Notice that even though God told Samuel to anoint David as the new king (1 Sam. 16:13), he did not actually become king until many years later when the people entered into a covenant with David (2 Sam. 5:1-3).
This principle of representation is also violated by bureaucracy when non-elected officials, making laws, become a permanent non-representative government, thus putting the state above the law of the land. The third pillar, a dual form of government, is the establishment of state and federal governments. The states delegate certain powers, such as defence and national policy, to the federal government, but the states retain their sovereignty in all other matters.
However, for this Christian form of government to be successful, it must be upheld by three concepts: (1) federation, the voluntary union of the states under a federal constitution; (2) respect for private property; and (3) Christian self-government. The whole must rest on a foundation of knowledge and virtue based on the Bible. For without a self-governing people, on whom is stamped the character of Christ, the structure will fall. To have a self-governing nation, there must be first a self-governing people.
With the exception of the settlement of South Australia, the development of Christian self-government in Australia was slow. For the first fifty years, it simply did not exist. In the early days of Australia, in the absence of the fine British constitutional institutions, the governor's word was law. He made the law; he executed the law. He had the power of life and death over the lives of his subjects. He could pardon convicts or sentence them to flogging and death. Theoretically, New South Wales, like other British colonies, was under British Parliamentary rule, but since news took many months to get back "home", the governor had almost absolute power--that is, as long as he could keep the military on his side.
Christian self-government was not seriously considered for some years after the first settlement at Sydney Cove as the majority of the settlers were convicts. Since the purpose of the penal colony was their reformation and punishment, an autocratic military-type rule was established. All the governors were military officers. The development of Christian self-government was slow because of these unique conditions. Conflicts, which hindered the achievement of Christian self-government, were not between the Australians and the British Government, but rather between different groups of ex-convicts and free settlers who wanted more power.
After Governor Arthur Phillip completed his term, the colony came under the military rule of the New South Wales Corps, with Major Francis Grose as their Commandant. During this time, a powerful group of landowners, known as the "exclusives", emerged. This group was constantly scheming against the governors and would have nothing to do with the "emancipists", who were also anxious to acquire land and to improve their station in life. The exclusives were furious when Macquarie said:
Once a convict has become a free man, he should in all respects be considered on a footing with every other man in the colony, according to his rank in life and character.
This conflict continued in some form for the next fifty years. Transportation of convicts was a key issue. The landowners wanted it to continue because convicts supplied cheap labour, but the townsfolk and working class, including many ex-convicts, felt transportation deprived them of their rights as Englishmen. Finally, the issue was settled not by the colony of New South Wales but by the British Government. Transportation was abolished in 1838 by an act of Parliament.
As a result of the Bigge Report , the British Parliament passed the Judicature Acts of 1823 and 1828 creating executive and legislative councils. These consisted of the major officers of government and an equal number of private individuals, chosen by nomination of the governor. This was a first step towards Christian self-government, though the governor still remained the most powerful person in the colony and only a wealthy minority could participate. The convicts and emancipists were not represented. However, by the Act of 1828, the governor could not pass laws without the consent of the Council.
The British Government did not believe that representative government was possible in a colony that consisted of two-thirds convicts and emancipists. On the other hand, Bigge favoured the wealthy landowners, squatters or exclusives, who wanted Christian self-government. He was able to convince the British Government that the future of the colony lay in the production of wool for the growing number of British mills. The British Government was also anxious not to repeat the mistakes that led to the loss of the American colonies.
William Charles Wentworth, the son of an emancipist, was mainly responsible for the development of representative government. As a result of his work, the British Government passed an Act in 1842 that increased the Legislative Council to 36 members, of whom 24 were to be elected. Those who could vote were property owners whose property was worth more than 200 pounds, and householders paying a rent of 20 pounds a year. Emancipists could also vote if they fulfilled the conditions. The other 12 members were nominated by the governor but only six could be government officials. This Act greatly reduced the power of the governor, although he could still use the money from sales of land as he saw fit.
Under the 1842 Act, another important development for the Government of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania), was the recognition of the Port Phillip district as having separate interests. Six of the Council members were to come from that area. However, the Port Phillip settlers were not satisfied, although they contributed a large proportion of the revenues of the colony, because Sydney was too far away for them to participate effectively in the government. They wanted separation from New South Wales and a separate government that could better serve their interests. They appealed, therefore, to the British Government.
In 1850, as a result of these pressures and the recent successful inauguration of self-government in Canada, the British Government passed the Australian Colonies Government Act which made Port Phillip a separate colony, to be called Victoria, with its own Legislative Council (two-thirds elected). Similar Legislative Councils were set up in Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania.
Already the 1842 Act had stimulated more demands for self-government. In 1852 a committee of the Legislative Council, headed by William Wentworth, drew up plans for a constitution for the Government of New South Wales. These were approved in 1853, when the British Government passed a bill conferring a State Constitution on New South Wales. Similar constitutions were conferred on the other states between 1856 and 1859; and on Western Australia in 1890. Thus, Australia developed from a penal colony with authoritarian rule to representative Christian self-government. Though the struggles between power groups continued, the way had been paved for federation.
James Madison, chief architect of the US Constitution, described a federation when he said: "The powers delegated by the ... Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite". This is the concept of dual sovereignty. The Constitution establishes a dual form of government, consisting of state and federal governments, each exercising jurisdiction over its own sphere. One is not the extension of the other.
The establishment of the State Constitutions was the first step towards federation. Australia's transition from colonial status to Commonwealth took place with relative ease--without bloodshed, riots, or civil war. Alfred Deakin, who was the man responsible for the passage of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution through the English House of Commons, said that the "Federation and the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution were 'providential' and were secured only 'by a series of miracles'."
Deakin was born in Melbourne in 1856, and educated at Melbourne Grammar School and the University of Melbourne, where he studied law. A Christian statesman, Deakin became the first Attorney-General of the Commonwealth and founder of the High Court of Australia. After representing the colony of Victoria at the Colonial Conference in London in 1887, he dedicated all his energies to federation. He was Australia's second Prime Minister (after Edmund Barton), serving for three terms. In that capacity, he founded the Arbitration Court and the Australian Navy and chose Canberra as the location for the capital. He was also responsible for much of Australia's early legislation.
Deakin, who had been nurtured in his faith by his mother, kept a spiritual diary. In 1905, he wrote: "sufficient to say that the religion of Jesus Christ is the life of the present, the light of the future, and the hope of the world". A man of prayer, Deakin prayed over the proposed Commonwealth of Australia Constitution continually. From 1884 to 1913 he wrote a Boke of Praer and Praes containing nearly 400 prayers! Many were related to major decisions in his public life, revealing his dependence on God.
Deakin seconded the motion by Sir Henry Parkes for the proposed Federation of the Australian States. Sir Henry Parkes has been called the "Father of Federation", because of his work as an ardent advocate of federation, although he did not live to see his dream fulfilled. Parkes (1815-96) was born in England, emigrated to Australia in 1839, and became involved in politics. He established a newspaper, the Empire (1856-58), to gain support for federation. Throughout his long parliamentary career, he consistently raised his voice in favour of federation, and was Premier of New South Wales five times.
Australia had progressed from an autocratic penal colony to representative Christian self-government in a short time.  By 1863, six more colonies had been founded, but the struggle for who should rule Australia continued unabated. Sir Henry Parkes advocated extension of the power of the people rather than that of the wealthy exclusives. However, the balance of power continued to fluctuate. This was accentuated by the rapid increase in the population following the gold rushes of the 1850s. With the growth of the economy, new power groups arose.
Trade, foreign relations, and defence were the major issues. Since the Crimean War (1853-56), Australians had feared invasion from the north by Europeans or Asians. In 1883, the government of Queensland, fearful of Germany, took possession of Papua New Guinea, forcing Britain to acquiesce in its acquisition. Federation was necessary so people could agree on national security matters, create more efficient immigration laws, facilitate intercolonial free trade and uniform communications.
Before the advent of federation to "protect" its economy, each colony imposed tariffs on incoming goods. There was no consistency in communications. Each colony had a different- size railway gauge! So, at the border between Victoria and New South Wales, goods had to be unloaded and reloaded onto other railway cars. As a result, costs soared. To compound these problems, if a debtor fled across the border, it was difficult to obtain a judgement against him. Furthermore, when an immigrant became a citizen, he became a resident of one colony, so he could not live or work in another. Obviously this was not the most efficient way to run a country.
Many leaders saw the need for these issues to be dealt with by the nation as a whole. However, the rivalry between the colonies was intense since colonial politicians did not readily give up their power; therefore, progress was slow. Even though a federal council existed after 1885, it had no executive power. New South Wales, the senior colony, never joined the council because of fear of losing its autonomy. The federation movement was strongest in Victoria, which had grown enormously since the gold rushes.
Two factors helped to hasten federation. For one thing, there emerged a growing spirit of nationalism, strengthened by fear of the growing flood of Asian immigrants. The well-known Australian poet and short story writer, Henry Lawson, helped to fuel the growing nationalistic spirit and a desire for independence. Other writers of the nationalistic school included Joseph Furphy, Price Warung and Banjo Paterson.
The final step towards federation was hastened by the great improvement in communications. Because of the great distance of the Australian colonies from Britain, news was "stale bread" (not just day-old but months old) by the time it reached the colonies. Old news did not sharpen mental acuity, so parochialism characterised political thinking. Trade was also slow. But the coming of the telegraph, newspapers, literacy, modern shipping and the growth of the railways resulted in improved communications, enabling people to stay better informed and travel with more ease to distant cities.
Conventions met in 1891 and 1897-98 to prepare draft constitutions for a federal union. In the 1891 draft, there was only one reference to religion--the forbidding of "any law prohibiting the free exercise of any religion". This lack of any reference to God caused a public reaction, which became an outcry in 1897 when the framers seemed content to proceed without any mention of God. Petitions with thousands of signatures, letters to the press, and fiery sermons put pressure on the convention, so that the delegates agreed to include the words "humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God" in the preamble of the Constitution. Thus, reliance on God was clearly expressed. It is most unlikely the Federation of the States would have been approved if the preamble had not included reference to Almighty God.
The subcommittee that redrafted the Constitution Bill in 1897 consisted of Sir John Downer, Edmund Barton and Alfred Deakin. The final draft then went to the colonies to be voted on by all electors. Two referendums were held (in 1898 and 1899) marking two years of fervent campaigning, two years of fierce debating and intrigue. The war for Australia was on. New South Wales (NSW), as the oldest most populated and prosperous colony, was the key to federation. The NSW colonists also had the most to lose and resisted to the last. Finally, the "Yes" vote won the day. Deakin offered a prayer of thanksgiving.
Father of Nations, receive our psalm of thanksgiving. Enable us to pursue the cause of unity in spite of the obstacles which at present appear to beset our path elsewhere. Guide us to appeal to that which is best and purest so as to make its development and mastery sure under our forms of government. Aid us to purify ourselves by our labours for the general weal and to invoke spiritual and moral principles so as to link us with our brethren on the highest plane to which we can at present attain. God preserve this people and grant its leaders unselfish fidelity and courage to face all trials for the sake of brotherhood. Thy blessing has rested upon us here yesterday and we pray that it may be the means of creating and fostering throughout all Australia a Christlike citizenship.
The Commonwealth Act was passed by the British Parliament on 5 July 1900 and received the Queen's assent on 9 July. The Commonwealth of Australia was born on 1 January 1901 with all six colonies as States of the Federation. At the time, Australia had a population of 3,756,894 (excluding most Aborigines).
However, the war for the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution is not over. Recently Prime Minister Paul Keating made the statement: "The Constitution was designed by the British Foreign Office to look over the Australian Government shoulder". Such a comment is an example of social engineering and reveals a complete ignorance of the historical facts. Initiated by Australians, the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution was drafted in Australia by Australians for Australians and approved by Australians in referenda. The principal architects of the Constitution were Samuel Griffith, Inglis Clark, Charles Kingston and Edmond Barton. The last three were native born Australians and Griffith lived in Australia since the age of nine years. Other contributors were Robert Garran, John Downer, John Quick, Phillip Fysh, John Forrest and Alfred Deacon--all Australians.
So the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution is distinctly Australian. Federation did not break the ties with the "mother" country, but the nature of Britain's relationship with Australia was changing from one of dependency to maturity. Queen Victoria died the same year, bringing to an end an era of enormous growth. The British Empire had reached its zenith and faced the challenge of the rise of peoples struggling for their national identities.
As Australia approaches the year 2001 and the first centenary of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution, many have been taking a hard look at the Constitution and have been pressing for constitutional changes. While the form of government established by the framers of the American Constitution was a federal republic, the framers of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution created a constitutional monarchy. This is pertinent because the key issue at stake before the Australian public in the 1990s is whether or not they should retain the constitutional monarchy or switch to a "republican" form of government. The author is completely opposed to any kind of change to an Australian republic. There seems to be much confusion between two models of republicanism--the Republic of the United States of America (based on biblical principles) and the humanistic republic proposed by the Australian Republican Movement (ARM) .
It is essential to clear up this misunderstanding as it has led to the rejection of the US Constitution as a Christian document (and the biblical principles for which it stands) by many Christian scholars. Gary North has said: "The United States Constitution is an atheistic, humanistic covenant.... It is not a Christian covenant document". However, he admits that he is .; "breaking with the fundamental thesis of the Rushdoony-Hall-Slater-Whitehead-CBN [Regent] University interpretation of American Constitutional history". North's argument has been dealt a final deathblow by lawyer, linguist, theologian and historian, Gary T. Amos, whose recent comprehensive work Defending the Declaration is described by Dr Herbert Schlossberg as "a superb piece of detective work.... Gary Amos has dug into the original documents and discovered that their inspiration and direction came from writers who were squarely in the Christian tradition". Charles Rice of the Notre Dame University School of Law, adds: "Professor Amos demonstrates that America's founding, as exemplified in the Declaration of Independence, was neither secular nor deist, but rooted in the Christian tradition of the common law".
The underlying ideas that inspired the American Revolution have frequently been identified with the French Revolution. In concept, the two events were poles apart. Amos reminds us that the Declaration of Independence does not use the word revolution (a word that offends many Christians because God has commanded obedience to authority). The term is misleading because the concepts underlying the Declaration are about changing the form of government lawfully (consistent with biblical principles), when the government has become tyrannical. There is a world of difference between the establishment of a government by the will of the people inspired by mob violence and the establishment of a government by elected representatives of the people, acting according to biblical law.
A republic is:
A commonwealth; a state in which the exercise of sovereign power is lodged in representatives elected by the people In modern usage, it differs from a democracy or democratic state, in which the people exercise the powers of sovereignty in person. Yet the democracies of Greece are often called "republics".
Australia's future--whether it will be a Christian constitutional monarchy or an atheistic republic and constitutional chaos--is to be decided in this decade, according to Australia's present Prime Minister. To the Australian who elects that a republic is inevitable, in accordance with media pacesetters, the writer would admonish that he ponders well before he votes.
The Monarchy and Australia's British heritage may seem like a vestigial organ, an unnecessary appendix of days gone by, but before Australians take the knife to it, let them examine it well to determine if it might not still serve some useful function. Eminent Australian historian Manning Clark noted that the British brought Protestantism to Australia and that in spite of all its evils, Protestantism included a form of government that guaranteed the freedoms of the individual, and that the British common law was the source of these liberties. In doing away with the Monarchy, Australians would not merely be excising an appendix but the heart of Australia's national being. The Monarchy with its British links and Christian heritage are "the heart of the foundations of our nation and its future", according to Charles Court, Premier of Western Australia, 1974-82. And Paul Johnson, eminent British historian wrote that:
The development of Australia rates as one of mankind's great achievements. With five years to go before the double century, one of the most advanced and prosperous societies on earth has been created. It is an achievement with few parallels in the history of human adventure.
The offices of the Australian Monarchy and Governor-General are inseparable from the development of Christian self-government in Australia, as reflected in the key individuals, events, institutions and documents in that nation's history. This book is an account of that development. To cut our ties with Britain would be to open ourselves to the whim of United Nations' charters and unholy alliances foreign to our national interests and a threat to our individual freedoms. In order to safeguard our liberties, it is appropriate to consider the seven biblical principles of government, as outlined in Chapter II. While the author could have selected others (for there are many), these were selected because of their relevance to education.
Biblical principles were chosen because Australia was founded as a Christian nation. In the Coronation service , the Queen swears her allegiance to Jesus Christ as her Lord and promises to obey His Laws. Secular government is a contradiction in terms because all nations must have laws to delineate right from wrong. This is the essence of morality. In the final analysis, morality is a matter of belief or religion.
Supporters of the ARM are vague about what they mean by a republic. They desire major constitutional changes with elimination of the Monarchy--which is seen by many Christians as a break with Australia's biblical heritage. Advocates of the Republican Movement give several reasons why Australia needs to become a "republic". Included among them are (1) the necessity for Australia to have an Australian head of state (rather than a "foreign" one); (2) the need to function as an independent nation; (3) the need to achieve a national identity; and (4) the need to improve economic performance.
Senator Rod Kemp shows how every one of these arguments is flawed. The Australia Act 1986 states the Monarch of Australia is a distinct position from the Monarch of the United Kingdom. (Queen Elizabeth II is Queen of Australia.) The Monarchy is also an international institution, shared by other commonwealth countries, including Canada, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Australia is already "an independent and sovereign federal nation". The Australia Act 1986 settled that. Even before 1986--during the 1975 constitutional crisis--the Queen affirmed Australia's independence. The chief threat to Australia's sovereignty is not from the Monarchy, but from the growing use by the federal government of its external affairs power--such as a signatory to UN international treaties--to pass legislation that overrides the sovereignty of the states and threatens the very basis of federalism. The accelerating build-up of foreign debt through government mismanagement also undermines Australia's independence. As for a national identity crisis, that is another myth propagated by the proponents of the republican agenda. If an Australian has an "identity crisis", the writer suggests he take a trip overseas to cure it. Aussies have a distinctive flavour and impact wherever they go! The inevitability of Australia becoming a republic is also nothing more than political brainwashing.
Senator Rod Kemp gives five reasons why Australia should retain a constitutional monarchy. Firstly, the fact is that Australia's Constitution has "served this country well". In an international survey of federal constitutions, conducted by Professor Ursula Hicks of Oxford University, Australia was described as "one of the world's most successful federations--along with the USA, Canada and Switzerland". Secondly, Sir Garfield Barwick argues that the Monarchy, as a non-partisan head of state, has been a rallying point for Australians in a country often divided by industrial and political factions. With the increasing emphasis on multiculturalism, there is more need than ever for unity. Thirdly, even supporters of the republican cause recognise that switching from a constitutional monarchy to a republic could be divisive. It could very well lead to constitutional chaos and fourthly, divert attention from needed parliamentary reforms. Lastly, the great advantage of a constitutional monarchy is that the head of state is above politics.
The motives behind the Republican Movement appear to be political and more in line with the agenda of the Australian Labor Party and of the United Nations than with biblical principles. The objective of the ARM is the replacement of the Monarchy with a national sovereignty through United Nations' treaties, which would override the rights of the states. This would upset the balance of powers between federal and state governments--the perfect set-up for the development of a dictatorship. To the humanists, the real problem with Australia's British heritage is her Christian roots. They fail to remember that the Bible was the book that came up with the idea of separation of powers (Isa. 33:22). Internationalist and humanist Gareth Evans, Minister for External Affairs, was reported as saying: "Children need protection from the influence of Christianity". The facts are that, contrary to the Monarchy being a problem for most Australians, it is recognized as a vital link to their English common law heritage with its roots in biblical law. American lawyer John Whitehead commented that we would be far freer under an absolute monarch who recognised that his (or her) authority was subject to God's Law, than under a democratically elected assembly that recognised only the arbitrary will of the majority as the highest law. To guard against arbitrary rule, the principle of the sovereignty of the law of the land is embodied in a constitution.
According to David and Roslyn Phillips, the Christian character of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution is evident because it recognises the sovereignty of God and His Law, the dignity and yet the frailty of man. The Principle of the Christian Form of Government embodies each of these three concepts. The sovereignty of God is recognised in the Coronation service that installed the Queen as Head of State. She pledged "to maintain the laws of God and the true profession of the gospel". The dignity of man, made in the image of God and given jurisdiction over the earth (Gen. 1:26-29) is expressed through man's responsibility to participate in government by representation, with the consent of the governed, and by a dual system--state and federal parliaments. The frailty of man is recognised by the division of the functions of government into legislative, executive and judicial branches (even though under the Australian system the legislative and executive overlap).
It is interesting to speculate what changes might be made under a republican form of government as advocated by the ARM. Might the United Nations' Charters replace the Laws of God? Would the dignity of man made in God's image with certain God-given inalienable rights (such as life, liberty and property) be reflected in "A Charter of Human Rights"-- rights that are given and taken away by the state? Would there be tolerance for every god except the Christian's God? The frailty and sinfulness of man would surely be a myth of the past, as he strides forward arrogantly into the twenty-first century.
According to former chief justice Sir Harry Gibbs, even the "minimalist" republican position would require maximal changes in the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution. For example, if the Monarchy was done away with and the governor-general was replaced by a president, what powers would the president have? As representative of the Queen, the governor-general has very wide legislative and executive powers. No law can be passed without his consent. He appoints the members of the Executive Council and all the ministers of state; he is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. These powers are granted to the governor-general by the Constitution. He normally acts on the advice of his ministers, in accordance with constitutional conventions, but that is optional. In addition, the governor-general has reserve powers, which he may use according to his discretionary judgement.
If Australia were to become a republic, would the president have the same powers as the governor-general presently has? The constitutional conventions, which control the way the governor-general exercises these powers, are not laws and are not enforceable by the courts. The constitutional conventions are observed because they are regarded as binding following the tradition of political impartiality that has developed around the Monarch and her representatives. If the governor-general did not observe this tradition of impartiality, the Queen would replace him. This system provides a system of checks and balances which is the essence of the Christian form of government--be it a constitutional monarchy or a republic.
What will happen if the Monarchy is done away with and the governor-general is replaced by a president? If he would be elected, as in the case of the President of the United States. Although the supporters of the ARM argue to the contrary, it is clear that this would be a political position. Even with the separation of powers of the US Constitution, the executive powers of the American President are very great. If the executive and legislative powers of the office of governor-general were combined in an Australian presidency, without the tradition of political impartiality of the present office of governor-general, the results could be a dictatorship. If the president worked in collaboration with the prime minister, there would be no stopping them! They would not be bound by constitutional conventions, unless major changes were made to the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution. No "minimal" republican position is feasible.
If the powers of the governor-general are not to be conferred on a president, then how would they be distributed? Again, major constitutional changes would be necessary. Who would exercise the reserve powers necessary in the case of a governmental crisis? What would be the role of the High Court in the exercise of judicial powers? A republican suggestion that the new president follow conventions previously followed by the governor-general would require the intervention of the High Court to interpret these conventions. This would cause overlapping of the three functions of government--legislative, executive and judicial (Isa. 33:22). It is essential that any proposed constitutional changes observe the separation of these three areas of government, in order to avoid the abuse of governmental powers by sinful men. The establishment of a republic is no safeguard against the repetition of another governmental crisis, such as occurred in 1975.
Even the implementation of the "minimalist" republican position would call for major constitutional reform. The mere replacement of an impartial governor-general with an elected president would upset the balance of powers. Further, he may well use his office to centralise government by taking away powers which rightfully belong to the states. Perhaps, the threat to the sovereignty of the states is the greatest danger of the republican agenda. A balanced distribution of powers between separate state and commonwealth parliaments is essential to avoid a dictatorship. The Principle of the Christian Form of Government is built upon a system of checks and balances, or the distribution of power, to prevent any one power-hungry man or group from taking over the government, without the consent of the people through their elected representatives. In the Australian constitutional monarchy, these safeguards include the Monarchy, the reserve powers of the governor-general, two separate houses of parliament (so the senate should be retained), and the sovereignty of the states.
An important question on UN agenda raised by Richard W. Eason is: "What would be the philosophical foundation for Australia's new laws?" They would "almost certainly [be] those of the UN, the media barons, and the secular humanists who are cooking up this republican deal to rid themselves of the one remaining barrier to absolute authority over us". Their goal is to further the agenda of the UN to force Australia to join the Pacific Basin Economic Community (an Asian common market, allowing the free flow of goods and people), as part of the New World Order. Australia is being prepared for this by multi-culturalism, the engineering of bad economic policies, and financial dependency on foreign banks--all geared to facilitate Australia's ready cooperation in a plan that is satanic in origin. Our national sovereignty is to be yielded to Jesus Christ who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, not to a group of foreign bankers. A "politically correct" methodology is designed to undermine Australia's national identity in the name of globalism, whereby the world is destined to become one global village in which we will all live together as one big family happily ever after. Of course, since religious differences are divisive, the New Age religion would replace biblical Christianity. Thus, the republican suggestion that a change to a republic is the cure-all for Australia's ills is a fallacy; it would be just the beginning of her troubles.
The writer is not suggesting that Australia not be part of the world community. She is already a facilitator in the Pacific Rim, but Phillips questions that it is necessary for Australia to renounce her British heritage to be fully effective in Asia. Has Hong Kong's British heritage been a hindrance or an enhancement to trade in Asia? It is more probable that Asian peoples, with their long monarchical traditions, would have more respect for a nation which retained its historic connections, even if they are British.
Australians have often expressed a disrespect for the American "revolutionaries", who "rebelled" against Britain. It is ironic that the American Founding Father and writer of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, should write: "Prudence, indeed would dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes". Like some Australians today, the American colonists, in 1776, had several reasons for wanting to change their form of government. Here are a few:
Over a period of ten years, prior to the American colonists taking up arms in 1775, the King of England (King George III) had: impeded the legislative process; obstructed justice; interfered with elections, causing the people to relinquish the right of representation; made judges dependent on him; obstructed naturalisation laws; kept standing armies among the people and even forced the colonists to house and feed them in their homes at their own expense! When his troops murdered the inhabitants, he avoided justice by mock trials. He cut off colonial trade with the rest of the world; imposed taxes on the colonists without their consent; suspended their rights of trial by jury; arrested them without a cause; shipped them to London for trumped-up charges; abolished the English laws and charters; suspended their own legislatures; waged war against the unarmed people; stole their goods; burnt their towns, and killed their people. He transported large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the work of the destruction of the colonists; he captured fellow-citizens at sea and forced them to bear arms against their own countrymen or to act as executioners of their friends and family! He instigated domestic insurrections on their frontiers so as to excite the merciless Indians to plunder and kill the colonists, including their women and children.
These were no "light and transient causes". Can the ardent supporters of the ARM come up with a similar list? Do Australians have sufficient just and weighty reasons to change their form of government? I think not. Rather than the American colonists being the "rebels", it is the Australian republicans who are the rebels because they are trying to do away with the lawful form of government established by Australia's founding fathers. .i).Republic, Australian ;
The American Declaration of Independence is perhaps the most misunderstood document in history, and next to the Magna Carta, the most important. It is a unique document in the history of mankind because it demonstrates the art of how to change a government lawfully--according to biblical principles, and it articulates a standard of liberty that has come to be a model for all time. This is not the place for a careful analysis of the Declaration, but it would be profitable to have some understanding of the political theory behind the document for three reasons. Firstly, Australians will be voting on whether or not they should change their government. Secondly, in the next chapter, the writer will be comparing the constitutions of Australia and the United States of America. It is impossible to understand the Constitution of the United States of America without studying the Declaration of Independence because, like love and marriage, the two documents go together. Thirdly, it is important to establish that, like the US Constitution, the Declaration is a Christian document.
The framers of the Declaration of Independence did not see themselves as revolutionaries. Prior to the writing of the Declaration, the American colonists appealed to King George III many times, on the grounds of their rights as Englishmen. It was only when they realised, after ten long years of abuses, that the King was not going to listen, that they reluctantly took up arms to defend themselves against the invading English armies. Because the King had no respect for his own laws, he lost his right to rule. The Declaration does not use the word "revolution". Yet historians speak of the American Revolution of 1776, and many writers, including Christian scholars, have linked the event with the same irreligious spirit that inspired the French Revolution. Revolution means "a material or entire change in the constitution of government". The word is misleading because it has come to imply rebellion against lawful authority. The Declaration was about lawfully changing a form of government, which had become tyrannical and unlawful.
The Declaration argues that the rule of law (the laws of nature and of nature's God) should govern the affairs of men; that according to these laws, all men are created equal and are endowed by their Maker with certain "inalienable rights", including "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". The purpose of government is to protect these rights. A government derives its "just powers from the consent of the governed". A government is established by mutual consent or compact between two parties, who both agree to certain terms or conditions. A ruler does not have an absolute right to rule. If he breaks the terms of the agreement, then the covenant is broken. The other party (the people acting through representatives or lower rulers) is then free to abolish the government and to establish a new one.
The word "covenant" is found 286 times in the Old Testament alone. God has always dealt with His people in covenantal terms. A covenant or compact is a formal agreement between two parties, who exchange promises that are recorded in a charter. Such were the colonial charters between the English king and the American settlers of the first thirteen colonies. The conditions were that the king would rule and the people would obey. However, when the king committed a material breach of his promise to protect the inalienable rights of the people, he forfeited his right to rule.
King George III committed such a material breach. However, it is significant to note that the people did not change the government for some "light and transient causes". Rather, they changed government only after "a long train of abuses and usurpations" by the tyrannical king. The Bible gives a precedent for such an action in the story of Athaliah the tyrant, who had illegally made herself Queen of Israel, after she had attempted to kill off the complete royal line of Judah. One of the king's infant sons, Joash, was rescued and raised secretly by Jehoiada the priest until he was seven years old, when he was made king in a public ceremony. In this case, the queen had violated the covenant of government through her acts of tyranny, and so lost the right to rule. The lower rulers or magistrates and representatives of the people decided to establish a new government. They executed Athaliah and entered into a new covenant of government with Joash. Though they had to use force, their revolution was legal (Deut. 17:15; 29:1-21; 2 Chron. 22:10 to 23:16; 2 Kings 11:1-21.)
The Christian theory of revolution is also known as the doctrine of interposition or "resistance to tyranny through lower magistrates", when lower law-abiding magistrates "interpose" themselves between the tyrannical higher ruler and the people. This doctrine of interposition has its roots in the Bible and its expositors, from . C. scholar); Manegold (the Roman Catholic scholar who influenced the Gregorian Reform of 1075-1122) to the Magna Carta (1215). The "profound" influence of the Magna Carta upon the American founding fathers is "an accepted fact". Martin Luther, the igniter of the Protestant Reformation in 1517, wrote on the theory of interposition. This theory was further developed by John Calvin in his Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536), which had a wider impact, especially in the American colonies. The French Calvinist manifesto, Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos (Defence of Liberty Against Tyrants), published in 1579 under the pen-name of Stephen Junius Brutus, was also solidly based on Scripture, and it quickly became a classic on the subject of interposition. In 1644, there appeared another book that was also to become a classic. Samuel Rutherford's Lex Rex or The Law and the Prince, written to refute Robert Maxwell's defence of the "divine right" of kings, developed the argument of the Vindiciae The key concepts of compact, condition and material breach are all present. Rutherford further perfected the Christian theory of interposition. He wrote that before a change of government is warranted, there must be a series of tyrannous acts; one act is not sufficient. After pursuing every legal means (letters, protests, etc.) available to them, the lower magistrates must make a formal public declaration that the king is a tyrant and name the wrongs he has committed. A study of the Declaration of Independence and Lex Rex will reveal that every key idea relating to revolution in the Declaration can be found in Lex Rex, written 132 years earlier. The framers of the Declaration were so influenced by Calvinistic doctrine that some British observers called the American Revolution "the Presbyterian revolt".
Another compact theory writer who had a profound effect on the framing of the Declaration, was John Locke. His book, Second Treatise of Government (1688) shows many similarities with Rutherford's Lex Rex and Brutus' Vindiciae. There are differences, but the revolutionary theory of all three works is consistent with Scripture. They demonstrate the same Christian roots traceable from medieval times--through the Roman Catholics, the French Huguenots, and the English Calvinists.
The Christian basis of the Declaration of Independence has also been questioned because of the founders' use of the terms "Supreme Judge" and "Divine Providence" as names for God. In the last paragraph of the Declaration, the signers appeal to "the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of [their] intentions", and they call on "DIVINE PROVIDENCE" for His protection. Some scholars believe that "Divine Providence" and "Supreme Judge" were deist terms or words used in Greek (Stoic) philosophy. However, Gary Amos, in his book Defending the Declaration, demonstrates that both these terms are clearly part of a long Christian tradition. The name of God was held in such high regard by Christians that it was common practice in Puritan, and especially in Church of England circles, to refer to the name of God only indirectly. Thus the expressions "Divine Providence" and "Supreme Judge" were in common usage at one time. Likewise, pious Jews did not say the most important name for God (Yahweh) aloud. They simply said: "The Name". On one point the Declaration has been justly criticised because it did not abolish slavery (although Jefferson had written it into the original draft). America paid a costly price for that in the Civil War.
However, although the Declaration of Independence is not perfect, it is founded on Judeo-Christian political philosophy, and deserves to be studied by every Australian for its "ideals of law, justice, equality, liberty, inalienable rights, and Christian self-government", which like Australia's British heritage, have their roots in the Magna Carta and the English common law. America produced the Declaration of Independence just as England produced the Magna Carta. Though ridiculed by many, the Declaration expresses the universal yearnings for liberty of all mankind. "The American Revolution is unique because it began by declaring all these ideas as part of the foundation of a nation. A new political order was born on the earth." In 1776, the Declaration changed thirteen English colonies into free and independent states, on the basis of "the laws of nature and of nature's God". The Declaration, embodying the principles of these laws, provided the legal foundation for the Constitution of the United States of America, framed in 1787. The Declaration is the source for understanding the framers' original intent.
Slater, Teaching and Learning America's Christian History: The Principle Approach, pp. 184-209. Rousas J. Rushdoony in Politics of Guilt and Pity (Fairfax: Thoburn Press, 1978), pp. 331-2, lists seven types of government. The present author prefers to include education, vocational and other voluntary associations under family government, as they are an extension of the authority of the home.
"The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked" (Jer. 17:9); "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murderers, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man" (Mark 7: 21-23); "Put off concerning the former [life] the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts" (Eph. 4:22); "The heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live" (Eccles. 9:3). Note: The internal qualities of the heart have an external effect in conduct. The lack of internal government by the Law of God leads to a lack of control or restraint in a man's external conduct.
"Whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men. Knowing that of the Lord you shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for you serve the Lord Christ" (Col. 3:23-4); Eph. 6:5-9.
See also: "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God ... Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:3, 5); "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away, all things are become new" (2 Cor. 5:17).
Wines, E. C. The Hebrew Republic (Uxbridge, Mass.: American Presbyterian Press, 1980), pp. 98-103. See also a description of twenty principles of government, pp. 1-64. The Hebrew Republic is a reprint of Commentary on the Laws of the Ancient Hebrews, Book 2. For further study, see Rousas John Rushdoony, Institutes of Biblical Law (Fairfax: Thoburn Press, 1970) p. 740.
For further biblical validation of the principle of decentralisation versus centralisation, the reader is urged to study the concept of "Babylon" which is derived from the "Babel". It could be a fruitful exercise (using a Strong's Concordance) to trace the word "Babylon" through the Bible, especially the books of Daniel and Revelation.
Election of representatives is one of the three keys to the Principle of the Christian Form of Government (Deut. 1:12-15). The two other keys are separation of legislative, executive and judicial functions of government (Isaiah 32:22); and the dual structure of government--federal and state.
 The biblical model is that the states should retain control of government to better serve local interests with the exception of certain matters better addressed by a federal government, such as national defence and immigration policy.
Quoted Deakin's 1905 notes, pp. 29 from back (9 April 1905)--a brown/blue mottled exercise book with purple spine. Quoted in J. A. La Nauze, Alfred Deakin: A Biography (Melbourne: Angus & Robertson, 1979), p. 70. First printing in 1965 by Melbourne University Press.
Quoted Deakin's 1905 notes, pp. 29 from back (9 April 1905)--a brown/blue mottled exercise book with purple spine. Quoted in J. A. La Nauze, Alfred Deakin: A Biography (Melbourne: Angus & Robertson, 1979), p. 70. First printing in 1965 by Melbourne University Press.
ibid., p. 27. See also Quick and Garran in their authoritative book on the Constitution. Words alone do not make a constitution "Christian". The form or structure must be based on biblical (moral) principles. However, the letter of the law is not sufficient; the spirit of the law must also be present in the people. That is why a constitution based on biblical principles will only work if it is supported by a people in which those same biblical principles are operating. Christian character is essential, hand in hand with self-government (which is learned first in the home, then practised in the church, and in local civil government).
ibid., pp. 26-38. For an excellent discussion of religious issues in the emerging commonwealth from 1891-1906, see Richard Ely, Unto God and Caesar (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1976). See also Walter Phillips, Defending 'A Christian Country': Churchmen and Society in New South Wales in the 1880's and After (Brisbane: Queensland University Press, 1981).
Robert Garran, Prosper the Commonwealth (Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1958), pp. 90-98. According to the Australian Dictionary of Biography, John Quick came to Australia when he was two years old and Philip Fysh when he was 24 years old.
ibid., p. 404. American scholars referred to (with suggested readings): Rousos John Rushdoony, This Independent Republic (Fairfax, VA: Thoburn, 1978); Verna M. Hall, ed., The Christian History of the Constitution of the United States of America, 2 vols. and The Christian History of the American Revolution; Rosalie June Slater, Teaching and Learning America's Christian History; prominent constitutional lawyer John Whitehead: The Second American Revolution (Westchester: Crossway Books, 1982); and Founding Dean of Regent (formerly CBN) University Law School, and leading constitutional lawyer Herbert W. Titus: "The Declaration, the Constitution, and the Laws of Nature and Nature's God", The Christian Legal Society Quarterly (September 1991); "The Law of Our Land", Journal of Christian Jurisprudence 6 (1986); "God, Man, and Law: The Covenant Framework", Teaching materials, Winter Quarter. (Virginia Beach: Regent University, 1987); "Constitutional Law Supplemental Materials 1 & 2", Teaching materials, Winter Quarter (Virginia Beach: Regent University, 1988). Herbert W. Titus' latest book, God, Man, and Law: The Biblical Principles (Oak Brook: Institute in Basic Life Principles, 1994) is an edited version of his teaching materials on common law. It is available from the Institute of Basic Life Principles, Box One, Oak Brook, Illinois 60522-3001.
Rod Kemp, "Australia's Future: Constitutional Monarchy or Constitutional Chaos?" See also Alan Cadman, "Christian Monarchy or Atheistic Republic?" A paper presented at the National Citizens' Conference, pp. 24-26 January 1992.
Sir Harry Gibbs, "Remove the Queen, and the Whole Structure Could Fall", The Australian, 7 June 1993. The following is a summary of an edited text of a paper presented by Sir Harry Gibbs at a seminar organised by Australians for Constitutional Monarchy held in Sydney on 4 June 1993.
A dual form of government is the third pillar of the Principle of the Christian Form of Government. The states should retain sovereignty in all matters not delegated by the states to the federal government.
For a full exposé of the conspiracy, see the New York Times' best seller The New World Order: It Will Change the Way You Live (Melbourne: Word Publishing, 1991) by Pat Robertson, founder and chancellor of Regent University, Virginia Beach, USA Pat Robertson is also founder and chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) and the Family Channel, and host of the popular news-talk program, "The 700 Club", seen across North America and in 84 other countries.