"How Long Will America Last?"
by Allen B. Clark firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE: Noah Webster's First Edition (1828) of an American Dictionary of the English Language.
Republished in facsimile edition by Foundation for American Christian Education
"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty" II Corinthians 3:17
"If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" Psalms 11:3
In 1976, America's Bicentennial Year, Dallas' Rabbi Levi Olan said, "Jul 4th is a celebration of freedom rooted in a religious sense of thanksgiving to God."
(Preface) The Seed of the Giant Sequoia
"Sequoia gigantes, or Big Tree, grows only on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California at elevations varying from 5,000 to 8,500 feet above sea level. Individuals of this species are the largest living things on the face of the globe....
The Sequoia gigantes seems to go on living indefinitely and may stand as long as one hundred generations....
The age of living sequoias is difficult to determine but the actual ring count of cut trees has indicated that many are from 3,000 to 4,000 years old. Some of these trees in California were already majestic giants when the star of Bethlehem rose in the heavens. Here they remained while the Chain of Christianity moved westward with 'signs following'-the liberty of the individual, and of nations. Just yesterday in a sequoia's life, came the flowering of these Bethlehem principles in government-'We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness-That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men..."
Will our government last anywhere near as long as these sequoias?
I have a copy of this dictionary right beside my reading chair and frequently refer to it. It is an extraordinary work by a Founding Father of our United States of America as much as those we typically identify as such. It quotes definitions from great works of literature as well as from the Holy Bible. Current day Webster's dictionaries known to us all cannot compare to the depth, lustre, vision, and inspiration of our language that comprised the original 1828 version.
"Noah Webster spent a lifetime endeavoring to liberate America from European ties of 'folly, corruption, and tyranny.' He sought to build an educational system in the school, the church and the home embodying 'a love of virtue, patriotism, and religion.' In the Preface to his History of the United States he wrote: 'Republican government loses half its value, where the moral and social duties are imperfectly understood, or imperfectly practiced. To exterminate our popular vices is a work of far more importance to the character and happiness of our citizens than any other improvements in our system of education.'" (page 10).
Independence Day Collect Book of Common Prayer
"Lord God Almighty, in whose Name the founders of our country won liberty for themselves and for us, and lit the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain our liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen"