VIDEO Trees Replanted In Eden – God Is In Control

In Christ, we find our way home to paradise—not just in the future, but also right now.

There is no entry for “Christmas tree” in my field guide to trees of the eastern United States, and I cannot buy a table from a carpenter made with the wood of a Christmas tree. A Christmas tree becomes one only when we bring it into our home and dress it up with twinkle lights and tinsel. It is place and purpose, rather than species or variety, that identify an ordinary evergreen as a Christmas tree.

Through Christ, we have become rooted in a new and eternal place that is forever fresh like spring and fruitful like summer.

As a child, I helped choose our family Christmas tree from a field of Scotch pine in central Texas. Now that I am grown, I help my own children choose our annual tree from a field of Douglas fir in southeastern Pennsylvania, a practice we especially enjoy when there is snow on the ground and we can take turns pulling the tree back to our car on a sled. Whether we choose pine or fir, the lifespan of most Christmas trees is brief, but a friend recently introduced me to his family tradition of a “living Christmas tree.” For several years in a row, he and his wife have chosen an evergreen tree from a nearby garden center. This “living Christmas tree” includes a root ball well wrapped with burlap and twine. After a few days in the house, this tree can be replanted in the yard, and my friend now has a few transplanted Christmas trees flourishing around his home.

Followers of Jesus have something in common with Christmas trees. We, too, have been given a new place and a new purpose, and it is these that now identify us. No longer defined by categories like “slave or free” and “Greek or Jew,” we are, as Eugene Peterson writes so beautifully in his colloquial translation of Psalm 1, trees “replanted in Eden, bearing fresh fruit every month, never dropping a leaf, always in blossom” (Gal. 3:28 NASB; Psalm 1:3 MSG). Through Christ, we have become rooted in a new and eternal place that is forever fresh like spring and fruitful like summer. Our core identity as “replanted trees” stands in sharp contrast to those this version of Psalm 1 calls “the wicked, who are mere windblown dust” (Psalm 1:4).

Windblown dust is a troublesome thing, and when we feel its sting, we may be tempted to repeat a familiar cliché: “This is not our home. We are only passing through.” With these words, we claim a heavenly inheritance, but unfortunately, we claim it only for our future selves. Heaven becomes a place out there instead of near as Jesus promised when He preached, “‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’” (Matt. 4:17). The idea that we are “passing through” comforts only if we have forgotten where we stand: not in the kingdom of men or even Satan, but on firm ground reclaimed by the bountiful and beautiful kingdom of God.

Perhaps the notion of Christians as homeless wanderers persists because it echoes biblical imagery—for instance, in 1 Peter where we are described as “aliens” and “strangers” (1 Peter 2:11). However, in Ephesians we read, “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household” (Eph. 2:19). Are we strangers merely passing through this place called Earth? Or have we traded the identity of stranger for citizen? If we are citizens of a heavenly kingdom, is that kingdom here and now? Or is it something we only anticipate?

In Hebrews, the heroes of our faith who preceded Jesus are those who believed they were “exiles on the earth” in search of a “better country” (Heb. 11:13Heb. 11:16). But we who live after Jesus are digging our toes into the dirt of that better place Abraham could only imagine. When I return to 1 Peter to trace the contours of that word stranger, I find a passage concerned with our rootedness. No longer wanderers, we are “living stones” being built up into a solid, spiritual house (1 Peter 2:4-5). With Christ as our cornerstone, we are already home. If we remain strangers in some sense, it is only that we are strangers to the dust-blown reality of which Peterson writes. That reality is passing away. One day it will disfigure the earth no longer and creation will be completely renewed.

If we acknowledge the mystery of this fulfilled kingdom—if we truly believe that the kingdom Jesus proclaimed did not depart with Him but has instead established itself on earth through a Spirit-filled church—we will live each day with a profound sense of freedom. Why is this not always our experience? Perhaps it is because, though our roots are growing in a place where spring and summer reign supreme, we still feel the chill of a wintery world. We must still remind ourselves, as we do this time of year, that the Light of God “shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5 NIV). Those twinkling lights on our Christmas trees testify to this truth.

With Christ as our cornerstone, we are already home.

With the help of God’s Spirit, we defy the world’s winter winds to offer our neighbors the heavenly fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. And this fruit blesses not only our neighbors but all of earthly creation. For creation itself is groaning for the new world that is even now being revealed in us. Groaning as if in childbirth, even as we are being shown our true nature: We are children of the eternal king (Rom. 8:19Rom. 8:22).

Grafted into the true vine, laid like rocks on the most solid Rock of all, our transformed lives testify that heaven has drawn near and is reclaiming its rightful place on earth. If we ache, if we feel battered by the swiftly passing dust storms of the world, it is because we long for the kingdom soil beneath our feet to extend everywhere without boundaries. We feel that ache especially during the Advent season of Christmas anticipation. “Come, Lord Jesus,” we pray. “I am with you always,” Jesus answers (Matt. 28:20). Because Christ is with us, and because we are fruitful trees of Eden, every moment of our life is an opportunity to extend the reign of heaven on earth. Even our smallest offering, whether we bring a meal to a lonely neighbor or plant a tree in the ground, becomes one more resounding answer to an earth-shaking prayer: Thy kingdom come.

Illustration by Helen Musselwhite

https://www.intouch.org/read/magazine/faith-works/trees-replanted-in-eden/


God Is In Control, Habakkuk 1:2-4 – Pastor Chuck Smith – Topical Bible Study


 

America, We’ve Been Warned

 

God Blessing the Earth. Found in the collection of Nationalmuseum Stockholm. (Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

By Sam Rohrer | November 21, 2019

 

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Don’t say you haven’t been warned”? In a day where false alarms, exaggerated warnings and intentional scare tactics are used by a deceptive culture, it’s sometimes difficult to separate true warnings from deceptive false alarms. So how do you know?

When God warns, it’s real, and we’d better sit up and take notice. In the Bible, the word “woe” or warning is used nearly 100 times—98 to be exact. The Old Testament prophets used it. Christ used it many times Himself. The word occurs in the Book of Revelation in final judgment. In nearly every case where a woe is given, the warning of judgment is certain, and God’s punishment imminent.

For example, Noah warned the people for 100 years of a coming flood. The people heard. They considered. They rejected. They died. God gives us warnings so that we might live.

Then in Isaiah Chapter 5, God’s prophet pronounced six specific warnings of imminent judgment against identified national sins. These woes were sobering, the sins specific and God’s judgment certain. The message was to Israel, but the application is for America.

The first woe identified the sin of materialism. After God blessed the nation with security, wealth, houses and productive land, the people turned their back on Him. The result? God withheld His blessings, removed His protection, allowed rebellion within and threats of attack from without. Does this sound anything like America today?

The second woe is found in Isaiah 5:11, identified the sin of hedonism. Consumed with an intoxicating addiction to alcohol, drugs, entertainment and partying, the nation willfully rejected God and the consequences of evil choices. Again, sound like America?

Thirdly, Isaiah 5:18 identifies the horrible practice of literally promoting sin and evil. Without regard for God or moral truth, the nation dreamed of evil, sinned without remorse and even belittled God by profaning His name and His truth.

Isaiah 5:20 tells of the fourth woe—the sin of moral relativism. Even more dangerous is when a nation redefines moral truth into moral evil. This is accomplished by discarding the Ten Commandments as dangerous, killing the unborn through abortion, redefining marriage between two men or two women, and much more. Have these redefinitions been made in America? Yes—all have!

The fifth woe outlined in Isaiah 5:21 is the sin of arrogance and corruption. God hates pride because it embodies the sin of satanic defiance against God. Through pride, mankind pronounces himself to be God, which results in the rejection of God and eternal life.

Lastly, Isaiah pronounced the sixth woe by identifying the sin of corrupted leadership that is fueled by dependence on alcohol and drug addictions. He warned: Woe unto the political and military leaders who through addiction become bribed and incapable of sound judgment.

What is the result of continually ignoring God’s true warnings? Isaiah 5:24 says that God’s love will be turned to anger, His blessings will turn to judgment, murder and death of the people will increase, enemy nations will threaten to attack—suddenly and overwhelmingly—and all trusted defenses will fail.

It happened to Israel. It will happen to America if we don’t soon change our ways. It’s past time to look to God, repent and beg His mercy.

The similarities of the six woes in Isaiah Chapter 5 and how they relate to America today are astounding. What will we do to heed God’s warnings? Will we claim ignorance and say we were never warned?

While God is full of mercy, His justice will prevail. When God warns, we’d better listen because time eventually runs out. God has been warning America. America doesn’t care. Do you?

(The Hon. Sam Rohrer is president of the American Pastors Network, a national network of pastors with constitutional and biblical teachings that discusses today’s pressing issues. He was a Pennsylvania lawmaker for 18 years and hosts the daily “Stand in the Gap Today” national radio program on more than 400 stations and Host of the “Stand in the Gap” national television program.)

https://cnsnews.com/commentary/sam-rohrer/america-weve-been-warned

VIDEO Dolly Parton started making Christian music after God called her to share faith

By Kim Davis, The Western Journal  November 26, 2019

Country music icon Dolly Parton spoke at length about her decision to focus on making Christian music, revealing that she sees her music not as a job but as a “ministry.”

The 62nd Grammy Awards ceremony is set for Jan. 26, 2020, and Parton has two nominations for collaborations she has worked on in the past two years, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.

Parton’s first nomination is in the Gospel/ Contemporary Christian Music category for her collaboration on the single, “God Only Knows,” with the band King & Country.

The second is for her song “Girl in the Movies,” which she and Linda Perry penned for the 2018 Netflix move, “Dumplin’.”

In light of her recent nominations, Parton spoke with People, opening up about why she started focusing more on making Christian music.

“I’ve done so many things,” Parton, 73, told People. “And I see that I am in a position to help. People look at me like someone they’ve always known, like a mother or sister. If I say something good, people might listen.”

As for her decision to make Christian music, Parton revealed she felt that God was calling her to do so.

“I’ve just felt like God was calling me into that,” Parton said. “I’ve always felt like my music was more my ministry than a job. I just feel that this day and time, we need more people that are in a position to help to try to do something, if they can, to brighten the world a little bit. That’s what I’m hoping to do now.”

In addition to her collaboration with King & Country, Parton participated in two other faith-based song collaborations recently, including “There Was Jesus,” with Christian artist Zach Williams and “Faith” with DJ duo Galantis.

Parton revealed that the timing of making the three songs seemed orchestrated by God.

“I felt really blessed because I had decided just in the last few months that I was going to try to do more faith-based things or at least more uplifting music,” Parton said.

“Then right out of the blue came King and Country and their ‘God Only Knows.’ And then the Zach Williams song, ‘There Was Jesus.’ All three of those just came and I went, ‘Well, that must be an answer.’ I’ve got three faith-based songs out now, which I feel very good about.

“Whether you believe in God or not, we need to believe in something bigger and better than what’s going on because we’re not doing too hot. We need to try to do a little better.”

Parton continued by saying while she does not want to force her beliefs on anybody, she hopes that people will see her life as pointing to God and not to anybody else.

“I’m not trying to tell anybody how to be,” Parton said. “I just say who I am and how I am.”

“If there’s something you see in me that’s got a light, then I like to think that’s God’s light — not my light,” she continued.

“In my faith, it bothers me sometimes when I see people worshiping the stars and all that. I’m like, ‘Oh Lord, don’t ever let me go there.’ That’s why I want to ship that on up to God. I don’t need nobody worshiping me. If I do shine and radiate, I’d like to think that is God’s light and I’d like to pass that on. I want to direct people to Him, not me.”

Original here

Should Christians continue to evangelize Jews?

By Michael Brown, CP Op-Ed Contributor

The Church of England has received praise from the Jewish community for its major statement repudiating anti-Semitism in Church history. At the same time, “While Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis welcomed the report in the main, he simultaneously launched a blistering reproach of Anglican leaders for failing to disavow their institution with those who still seek to convert Jews to Christianity.”

Personally, as a Jewish believer in Jesus, I’m thrilled to see this statement, since many Jews have a terrible view of Jesus due to centuries of mistreatment at the hands of professing Christians. In fact, Church history is one of the biggest reasons that Jewish people, especially religious Jews, do not even consider the possibility that Jesus is the Messiah.

I devoted an entire book to this subject, including insightful quotes like this, from the 19th century Old Testament scholar Franz Delitzsch. He said, “The Church still owes the Jews the actual proof of Christianity’s truth. Is it surprising that the Jewish people are such an insensitive and barren field for the Gospel? The Church itself has drenched it in blood and then heaped stones upon it.”

Yet many Christians are unaware of this bloody history.

As noted by the Catholic scholar Edward Flannery, “The vast majority of Christians, even well educated, are all but totally ignorant of what happened to Jews in history and of the culpable involvement of the Church. … It is little exaggeration to state that those pages of history Jews have committed to memory are the very ones that have been torn from Christian (and secular) history books.”

Now, in a 100-page report titled God’s Unfailing Word: Theological and Practical Perspectives on Christian–Jewish Relations, the Church of England seeks to set this right, noting that “Christians have been guilty of promoting and fostering negative stereotypes of Jewish people that have contributed to grave suffering and injustice.”

Indeed, “Within living memory, such ideas contributed to fostering the passive acquiescence if not positive support of many Christians in actions that led to the Holocaust.”

With sensitivity and clarity, this important document utterly repudiates this ugly history, making no excuses and not attempting to minimize the guilt.

It also addresses antisemitic attitudes toward the State of Israel, such as, “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.” (For the record, the statement rightly affirms “that it is not anti-Semitic to apply to the State of Israel the same standards of justice that are used with regard to other democratic nations.”)

Yet the statement also affirms the Church’s calling to share the Gospel with all people, including the Jewish community.

As expressed in the Foreword by Archbishop Justin Welby, “To share the hope of salvation within us, a hope coming from Jesus Christ, is core to what Christians do, but we are told to do so with gentleness and grace. Any sense that we target Jewish people must carry the weight of that history.”

To be sure, Welby is careful to add that, the Chief Rabbi, who wrote an Afterword to the document, “has opened, with characteristic honesty and affection, a challenge upon which we must reflect. We cannot do that reflection honestly until we have felt the cruelty of our history.”

Thankfully, however, Welby does not repudiate Christian evangelism of Jews. He simply calls for sensitivity and respect in light of Church history and in honor of the Jewish community. And Welby does not repudiate groups like Jews for Jesus, whose central mission is to the share the Gospel with Jews.

But of course, how can the Church disavow Jewish evangelism and be true to its mission?

After all, Jesus was born King of the Jews and died King of the Jews. And after His resurrection, He opened His disciples’ minds so they could understand that He was the prophesied Messiah of Israel. And He sent them to start their mission in Jerusalem, reaching their fellow-Jews.

In fact, all of Yeshua’s first followers were Jews, and the Apostle Paul, who wrote almost half of the New Testament, was himself a Jew. And it was Paul who taught that the Gospel was “to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile” (Romans 1:16).

But not only is it a fundamental contradiction of the Gospel to withhold the message of the Jewish Messiah from the Jewish people. It is also a cruel thing to do, since Jews need Jesus as much as anyone else. I for one might not have made it to my 18th birthday (due to foolish drug abuse) had not Christians shared the Good News with me. And I cannot thank God enough for changing my life through the death and resurrection of my Savior.

And I can point to multiplied tens of thousands of Jews around the world today who are thrilled that Christians shared their faith with them. They are thrilled with their relationship with God and have found something they never found within their own traditions.

Really now, how can a Christian withhold the water of life from a Jewish person? How can they have God’s heart and not tell everyone — including their Jewish friends and neighbors — about Yeshua, the Savior and Lord?

In the Afterword to the report, Chief Rabbi Mirvis wrote, “I must, though, convey a substantial misgiving I have with this document, despite the progress it undeniably represents and articulates. Namely, that it does not reject the efforts of those Christians, however many they may number, who, as part of their faithful mission, dedicate themselves to the purposeful and specific targeting of Jews for conversion to Christianity.”

And Mirvis lamented “that even now, in the 21st century, Jews are seen by some as quarry to be pursued and converted.”

But that is not the heart of ministries like Chosen People or Jews for Jesus or my own ministry. What motivates us is love. What motivates is the burden of the Lord. What motivates is a burning desire to share the Good News with our own, larger family.

We are not trying to put a notch on our belts. We are not boasting about numbers of Jewish converts as if competing in a contest. And we don’t like the word “conversion,” since it gives the impression that we want Jews to stop being Jewish and convert to a new religion.

Instead, what we long to see is for Jews, as Jews, to embrace Jesus as their Messiah and King. We have no desire to destroy Jewish heritage or our connection to our people and our Land.

Instead, we want to connect our people to our heavenly Father in a new and living way through the once-for-all sacrifice of the Lamb of God. What could be more Jewish than that?

And so, as a Jewish follower of Jesus indebted to the prayers and loving witness of faithful Christians, I make this appeal. Yes, by all means, learn about the story of the Church and the Jewish people, and please distance yourself from anti-Semitic attitudes and deeds. We dare not repeat the fateful errors of the past.

But do not distance yourself from sharing the Gospel with your Jewish friends, neighbors, and co-workers. We, the Jewish people, need Him as desperately as anyone else. Only bring the message with love, sensitivity, and compassion. You will be doing a service to God and to people.

Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Jezebel’s War With America: The Plot to Destroy Our Country and What We Can Do to Turn the Tide. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or YouTube.

https://www.christianpost.com/voice/should-christians-continue-to-evangelize-jews.html

Rand Paul: ‘Don’t Forget the First Thanksgiving Only Happened When the Pilgrims Rejected Socialism’

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting April 23, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee has approved to the nomination of CIA Director Mike Pompeo to be the next Secretary of State. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

 

Alex Wong/Getty Images
HANNAH BLEAU
28 Nov 2019

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) wished his fellow Americans a Happy Thanksgiving on Thursday and added a brief history lesson to his holiday message, reminding all that the first Thanksgiving “only happened when the pilgrims rejected socialism.”

“Happy Thanksgiving! Take this day to be thankful for friends and family and don’t forget the first Thanksgiving only happened when the pilgrims rejected socialism,” Paul tweeted alongside an article titled,  “Why the Pilgrims Abandoned Common Ownership for Private Property”:

The article Paul provides explains how the original communal living arrangements of the Plymouth Colony failed them. The colony’s first governor, William Bradford, extensively documented the phenomenon:

For the young men that were able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children, without recompense. The strong, or men of parts, had no more division of food, clothes, etc. then he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labor, and food, clothes, etc. with the meaner and younger sort, thought it some indignant and disrespect unto them. And for men’s wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc. they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could husbands brook it.

Bradford ultimately transformed their way of living, dismantling the communal structure and assigning each family a plot of land to tend to themselves, which he called a “very good success”:

And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number for that end . . .This had a very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field and took their little ones with them to set corn, which before would allege weakness, and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.

Bradford continued:

By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine, now God gave them plenty, and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God. And the effect of their planting was well seen, for all had, one way or other, pretty well to bring the year about, and some of the abler sort and more industrious had to spare, and sell to others, so as any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day.

The Foundation for Economic Justice elaborated:

Communal socialist failure was transformed into private property/capitalist success, something that’s happened so often historically it’s almost monotonous. The “people over profits” mentality produced fewer people until profit—earned as a result of one’s care for his own property and his desire for improvement—saved the people.

Paul’s reminder parallels Rush Limbaugh’s annual telling of the “true” story of Thanksgiving.

On Thursday, the conservative talk show radio host said:

“And the success and prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans and began what came to be known as the ‘Great Puritan Migration.’” The word of the success of the free enterprise Plymouth Colony spread like wildfire and that began the great migration. Everybody wanted a part of it. There was no mass slaughtering of the Indians. There was no wiping out of the indigenous people, and eventually — in William Bradford’s own journal — unleashing the industriousness of all hands ended up producing more than they could ever need themselves.

So trading post began selling and exchanging things with the Indians — and the Indians, by the way, were very helpful. Puritan kids had relationships with the children of the Native Americans that they found. This killing the indigenous people stuff, they’re talking about much, much, much, much later. It has nothing to do with the first thanksgiving.

“The first Thanksgiving was William Bradford and Plymouth Colony thanking God for their blessings. That’s the first Thanksgiving,” Limbaugh explained.

“Nothing wrong with being grateful to the Indians; don’t misunderstand. But the true meaning of Thanksgiving — and this is what George Washington recognized in his first Thanksgiving proclamation,” he added.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/11/28/rand-paul-dont-forget-first-thanksgiving-only-happened-pilgrims-rejected-socialism/


Daniel Webster: America Rests Upon Gratitude For Our Government Of And For The People

‘When, from the long distance of a hundred years, they shall look back upon us, they shall know, at least, that we possessed…gratitude for what our ancestors have done for our happiness.’

Daniel Webster: America Rests Upon Gratitude For Our Government Of And For The People

Nov 28, 2019

 

This excerpt from “The First Settlement of New England” by famed American orator and U.S. Sen. Daniel Webster is selected from the “What So Proudly We Hail” collection of Thanksgiving original documents and information about them. The collection introduces the speech: “In 1820, the bicentennial of the Pilgrims’ arrival at Plymouth Rock—well before Thanksgiving became a national holiday—the great statesman, orator, and United States Senator Daniel Webster (1782–1852) delivered this oration (excerpted) at the landing site.”

The online What So Proudly We Hail curricula, extended from a worthy book of the same name, includes videos, poems, discussion guides, and other excellent resources for families, schools, and civic organizations.

Standing in relation to our ancestors and our posterity, we are assembled on this memorable spot, to perform the duties which that relation and the present occasion impose upon us. We have come to this Rock, to record here our homage for our Pilgrim Fathers; our sympathy in their sufferings; our gratitude for their labors; our admiration of their virtues; our veneration for their piety; and our attachment to those principles of civil and religious liberty, which they encountered the dangers of the ocean, the storms of heaven, the violence of savages, disease, exile, and famine, to enjoy and to establish.

And we would leave here, also, for the generations which are rising up rapidly to fill our places, some proof that we have endeavored to transmit the great inheritance unimpaired; that in our estimate of public principles and private virtue, in our veneration of religion and piety, in our devotion to civil and religious liberty, in our regard for whatever advances human knowledge or improves human happiness, we are not altogether unworthy of our origin.

There is a local feeling connected with this occasion, too strong to be resisted; a sort of genius of the place, which inspires and awes us. We feel that we are on the spot where the first scene of our history was laid; where the hearths and altars of New England were first placed; where Christianity, and civilization, and letters made their first lodgement, in a vast extent of country, covered with a wilderness, and peopled by roving barbarians. We are here, at the season of the year at which the event took place.

The imagination irresistibly and rapidly draws around us the principal features and the leading characters in the original scene. We cast our eyes abroad on the ocean, and we see where the little barque, with the interesting group upon its deck, made its slow progress to the shore. We look around us, and behold the hills and promontories where the anxious eyes of our fathers first saw the places of habitation and of rest. We feel the cold which benumbed, and listen to the winds which pierced them.

Beneath us is the Rock, on which New England received the feet of the Pilgrims. We seem even to behold them, as they struggle with the elements, and, with toilsome efforts, gain the shore. We listen to the chiefs in council; we see the unexampled exhibition of female fortitude and resignation; we hear the whisperings of youthful impatience, and we see, what a painter of our own has also represented by his pencil, chilled and shivering childhood, houseless, but for a mother’s arms, couchless, but for a mother’s breast, till our own blood almost freezes.

The mild dignity of CARVER and of BRADFORD; the decisive and soldierlike air and manner of STANDISH; the devout BREWSTER; the enterprising ALLERTON; the general firmness and thoughtfulness of the whole band; their conscious joy for dangers escaped; their deep solicitude about danger to come; their trust in Heaven; their high religious faith, full of confidence and anticipation; all of these seem to belong to this place, and to be present upon this occasion, to fill us with reverence and admiration . . .

‘It Rests on No Other Foundation Than Their Assent’

The nature and constitution of society and government in this country are interesting topics, to which I would devote what remains of the time allowed to this occasion. Of our system of government the first thing to be said is, that it is really and practically a free system. It originates entirely with the people and rests on no other foundation than their assent.

To judge of its actual operation, it is not enough to look merely at the form of its construction. The practical character of government depends often on a variety of considerations, besides the abstract frame of its constitutional organization. Among these are the condition and tenure of property; the laws regulating its alienation and descent; the presence or absence of a military power; an armed or unarmed yeomanry; the spirit of the age, and the degree of general intelligence. In these respects it cannot be denied that the circumstances of this country are most favorable to the hope of maintaining a government of a great nation on principles entirely popular.

In the absence of military power, the nature of government must essentially depend on the manner in which property is holden and distributed. There is a natural influence belonging to property, whether it exists in many hands or few; and it is on the rights of property that both despotism and unrestrained popular violence ordinarily commence their attacks. Our ancestors began their system of government here under a condition of comparative equality in regard to wealth, and their early laws were of a nature to favor and continue this equality.

A republican form of government rests not more on political constitutions, than on those laws which regulate the descent and transmission of property. Governments like ours could not have been maintained, where property was holden according to the principles of the feudal system; nor, on the other hand, could the feudal constitution possibly exist with us.

Our New England ancestors brought hither no great capitals from Europe; and if they had, there was nothing productive in which they could have been invested. They left behind them the whole feudal policy of the other continent. They broke away at once from the system of military service established in the Dark Ages, and which continues, down even to the present time, more or less to affect the condition of property all over Europe. They came to a new country.

There were, as yet, no lands yielding rent, and no tenants rendering service. The whole soil was unreclaimed from barbarism. They were themselves, either from their original condition, or from the necessity of their common interest, nearly on a general level in respect to property. Their situation demanded a parcelling out and division of the lands, and it may be fairly said, that this necessary act fixed the future frame and form of their government.

The character of their political institutions was determined by the fundamental laws respecting property. The laws rendered estates divisible among sons and daughters. The right of primogeniture, at first limited and curtailed, was afterwards abolished. The property was all freehold. The entailment of estates, long trusts, and the other processes for fettering and tying up inheritances, were not applicable to the condition of society, and seldom made use of . . . .

‘Every Feeling of Humanity Must Forever Revolt’

I deem it my duty on this occasion to suggest, that the land is not yet wholly free from the contamination of a traffic, at which every feeling of humanity must forever revolt,—I mean the African slave trade. Neither public sentiment, nor the law, has hitherto been able entirely to put an end to this odious and abominable trade.

At the moment when God in his mercy has blessed the Christian world with a universal peace, there is reason to fear, that, to the disgrace of the Christian name and character, new efforts are making for the extension of this trade by subjects and citizens of Christian states, in whose hearts there dwell no sentiments of humanity or of justice, and over whom neither the fear of God nor the fear of man exercises a control.

In the sight of our law, the African slave trader is a pirate and a felon; and in the sight of Heaven, an offender beyond the ordinary depth of human guilt. There is no brighter page of our history, than that which records the measures which have been adopted by the government at an early day, and at different times since, for the suppression of this traffic; and I would call on all the true sons of New England to cooperate with the laws of man, and the justice of Heaven.

If there be, within the extent of our knowledge or influence, any participation in this traffic, let us pledge ourselves here, upon the rock of Plymouth, to extirpate and destroy it. It is not fit that the land of the Pilgrims should bear the shame longer.

I hear the sound of the hammer, I see the smoke of the furnaces where manacles and fetters are still forged for human limbs. I see the visages of those who by stealth and at midnight labor in this work of hell, foul and dark, as may become the artificers of such instruments of misery and torture.

Let that spot be purified, or let it cease to be of New England. Let it be purified, or let it be set aside from the Christian world; let it be put out of the circle of human sympathies and human regards, and let civilized man henceforth have no communion with it . . .

‘The Voice of Acclamation and Gratitude’

The hours of this day are rapidly flying, and this occasion will soon be passed. Neither we nor our children can be expected to behold its return. They are in the distant regions of futurity, they exist only in the all-creating power of God, who shall stand here a hundred years hence, to trace, through us, their descent from the Pilgrims and to survey, as we have now surveyed, the progress of their country, during the lapse of a century.

We would anticipate their concurrence with us in our sentiments of deep regard for our common ancestors. We would anticipate and partake the pleasure with which they will then recount the steps of New England’s advancement. On the morning of that day, although it will not disturb us in our repose, the voice of acclamation and gratitude, commencing on the Rock of Plymouth, shall be transmitted through millions of the sons of the Pilgrims, till it lose itself in the murmurs of the Pacific seas.

We would leave for consideration of those who shall then occupy our places, some proof that we hold the blessings transmitted from our fathers in just estimation; some proof of our attachment to the cause of good government, and of civil and religious liberty; some proof of a sincere and ardent desire to promote every thing which may enlarge the understandings and improve the hearts of men.

And when, from the long distance of a hundred years, they shall look back upon us, they shall know, at least, that we possessed affections, which, running backward and warming with gratitude for what our ancestors have done for our happiness, run forward also to our posterity, and meet them with cordial salutation, ere yet they have arrived on the shore of Being.

Advance, then, ye future generations! We would hail you, as you rise in your long succession, to fill the places which we now fill, and to taste the blessings of existence where we are passing, and soon shall have passed, our own human duration.

We bid you welcome to this pleasant land of the fathers. We bid you welcome to the healthful skies and the verdant fields of New England. We greet your accession to the great inheritance which we have enjoyed.

We welcome you to the blessings of good government and religious liberty. We welcome you to the treasures of science and the delights of learning. We welcome you to the transcendent sweets of domestic life, to the happiness of kindred, and parents, and children. We welcome you to the immeasurable blessings of rational existence, the immortal hope of Christianity, and the light of everlasting Truth!

Photo By Internet Archive Book Images – https://www.flickr.com/photos/internetarchivebookimages/14597125217/Source book page: https://archive.org/stream/popularhistoryof00brya/popularhistoryof00brya#page/n471/mode/1upNo restrictionsLink

 

https://thefederalist.com/2019/11/28/daniel-webster-america-rests-upon-gratitude-for-our-government-of-and-for-the-people/

God Restores Our Soul

November 18, 2019 by Jack Flacco

God is our shepherd, our bulwark, our awesome strength. In Him, we have everything and lack nothing. He encourages us to rest in pleasant fields where He gives us relief. He takes us by the hand and leads us to calm waters where we find peace.

He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

(Psalm 23:2-3)

God shows us the path to walk, which leads to righteousness. All glory belongs to His name. Even in our darkest moment, we will not fear, for He is with us. He is our comfort and our hope. Whatever evil surrounds us will be no more.

God will bless us in the presence of our enemies. The outpouring of His love is generous such that at times we will not know what to do with it all. Our cup will overflow daily with His blessings.

God’s mercy for us will never end. His goodness surrounds our lives always. When all else fails, God is there to keep us safe and to lead us to dwell with Him forever.

God restores our soul.

God Restores Our Soul