Tomorrow we will celebrate the Anniversary of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence. Many of us as US citizens are painfully unaware of the history and turmoil that surrounded the signing of that great document. Although the Declaration was unanimously approved for July 4, 1776, the actual signing of the calligraphic copy (the one we all see reproduced and/or photographed) did not occur until August 2nd.
To learn more about the signers, and what they were placing into God's hands with their decisions, please join me on this review of Marilyn Boyer's book, "For You They Signed, The Spiritual Heritage of Those Who Shaped Our Nation." Boyer's insightful book is available from Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishing for $39.99 as a printed hard-bound copy, or $9.99 as a digital download (EPUB and MOBI versions.)
The Preface of the book begins with a quote from Woodrow Wilson: "A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we have come from, or what we have been about."
This hefty book, at 342 pages, contains detailed biographical sketches of all the 56 signers. These sections include not just when and where the signers were born and died, but they tell the stories of the men. The stories of their families, and how they served in their local communities. Many of them were local businessmen, state delegates or church leaders before signing, and most went on to serve in both state and national legislatures in our new government.
While reading through the book, you will find a variety of educational backgrounds, self-taught, educated at home, common schooled, Academy trained, and even John Witherspoon, from New Jersey, who originally hailed from Scotland, and received both Master's and Divinity degrees from the University of Edinburgh.
I would first recommend For You They Signed as a family read-aloud, whatever you family's size of make-up. It is a study in character, the characteristics of the signers, and their families. You can learn a lot, not only about their belief in God, but about the sentiments of their towns and neighbors. Secondly, it would also be acceptable for High School-aged students to read independently, and then discuss.
Yes, this book talks about God, a lot. Because He was a central part of the lives of almost every signer. The more you search out the true history of the lives of the Declaration's signers, and the farther away you get from today's 'politically correct' answers, the better you can understand these men. You will see that their service to country was an overflowing of their service to men on behalf of God.
It has taken me many months to write this review. My words seem so inadequate to express to you all that I have learned by reading this book. In a day when I struggle to understand so much of what our currently elected officials choose to do and endorse, I found so much refreshment and encouragement by learning how these 56 men truly pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor into God's hands to guide and protect them.
As you celebrate our country's Independence, join me in celebrating our personal dependence on God.
I leave you with a quote from John Quincy Adams that inspires me. "You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it."
I received a printed copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.