A couple of weekends ago, I had the extreme pleasure of visiting one of my most favorite places – A weekend at Williamsburg, VA, as a birthday gift from my dear husband.
I’m far too much of a realist to ever fancy the notion that living during this period would have been anything but difficult.
Yet, this period of American History fascinates me.
It was a harsh time when equality was anything but the norm.
Yet it was also a time of heroism and idealism, where those who formed and fashioned policy should not have been able to abort the plans of the greatest nation on earth. Only by the hand of God, fashioning His plans through them, could such a small force overpower such a great giant as Britain. Yet, they did.
I am not intimating that our nation is favored by God because we are special. I am saying that any nation who acknowledges God as the source for true freedom, and fashions policy based upon his laws, will be blessed as long as they do so.
These men who wrote such amazing documents as the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, turned politics of their day on it’s head. Leaders and warriors the world over marveled at this idea of a free Democracy, held in the palm of “Providence”.
“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers – and it was not there . . . in her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there . . . in her rich mines and her vast world commerce – and it was not there . . . in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution – and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville,
This man also wrote on the politics of his day,
“It would seem as if the rulers of our time sought only to use men in order to make things great; I wish that they would try a little more to make great men; that they would set less value on the work and more upon the workman; that they would never forget that a nation cannot long remain strong when every man belonging to it is individually weak; and that no form or combination of social polity has yet been devised to make an energetic people out of a community of pusillanimous and enfeebled citizens.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville,
Who is Alexis de Tocqueville? He was a French sociologist and political theorist (1805-1859) who traveled to the United States in 1831 to study its prisons and returned with a wealth of broader observations which he encoded in “Democracy in America” (1835), one of the most influential books of the 19th century.
Are we still able to learn from those who lived before us, or have we blinded our eyes and deafened our ears to what they proclaimed, thinking we are great just because we are. That circular logic is dangerous and most feeble. However, I don’t believe it is too late for us to remember where we came from, flawed as it was, and head back onto the better path.
Thanks for listening!
With love and prayers,
p.s. You may also wish to read: Advent Day Eleven – The Gift of Freedom