Constitution Party News

A Christmas Surprise

A Christmas Surprise

Image: Washington Crossing the Delaware - Emmanuel Leutza - 1851

Here is a brief thought to consider as we are winding up on Christmas Day.  It is our hope that you have had a blessed and enjoyable celebration.

On Christmas night 1776, General George Washington and his ragtag army of around 2000 men did something entirely unexpected.  Washington determined to make a night crossing of the Delaware River and execute a surprise attack on the Hessian camp in Trenton, New Jersey.

Since August of that year, Washington and his army had been driven out of New York, subsequently suffering the loss of 5000 men killed, wounded or injured. He found himself in an extreme condition.  Enlistments for the American soldiers were about to expire.  The British and their hired Hessian mercenaries were so confident in the weakness of the battered American army that it’s surrender was assumed.  The Hessians were a feared fighting force, but a victory was needed to bolster morale and turn the tide of the war.  Even upon receiving warnings from spies and deserters that such an attack was in the making, the idea must have been considered a preposterous notion by the informed but overconfident Hessian Colonel Rall.

The crossing wasn’t just difficult, it was as if nature worked against the plan.  Driving rain and strong winds in near freezing temperatures pounded the crossing effort, followed by a march in deep snow, which providentially must have contributed to the perception that such an attack could not reasonably be attempted.  However, General Washington was beyond reasonable.  The attack, even though delayed by hours and forced to take place in daylight instead of pre-dawn as planned, caught the invaders completely by surprise after their night of celebration.  What many on both sides of the effort considered impossible, was a significant triumph that succeeded in strengthening the morale of the army and turning the tide of the war.

The cause of liberty, of freedom and independence, appears to have a cost attached.  In his first article of The American Crisis, published only three days previous to this triumph of the Washington and the American army,  Thomas Paine penned these words,

“Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”
- The American Crisis, December 23, 1776 - Thomas Paine

As we wrap up what many of us worldwide commemorate as the birth of Jesus Christ, maybe we can also remember to seek His direction and providence for, “… so celestial an article…” if it is our intention to keep it.

Every signatory to the Declaration of Independence, assented to these words,

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

Will we put our hope in He whose birth we celebrate, whose life we seek to emulate and whose triumph over all things we might participate?
Now, today, is a day of decision for America … for you, and for me.
1999: Name changed to “Constitution Party” by delegates at the National Convention to better reflect the party’s primary focus of returning government to the U.S. Constitution’s provisions and limitations.


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