Saturday, May 12, 2007

400 Years! Happy Birthday Jamestown

This weekend marks the beginning of the fifth century of English America. In a very real way, the observance of the signing of the Virginia charter on May 14, 1607, is a "birthday" celebration for America. The "American dream" began with this experiment in liberty. Though a commercial enterprise, its purpose was primarily for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God on earth. One hundred years ago, these words were inscribed on a monument to mark the 300th anniversary (concluding instructions to the colonists):

Lastly and chiefly, the way to prosper and achieve good success is to make yourselves all of one mind for the good of your country and your own, and to serve and fear God, the Giver of all goodness, for every plantation which our Heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted out.

Ah, yes, the American dream was still alive at the dawn of the twentieth century. Now, though, history is being re-written daily. Lest we forget our heritage, let us reflect with Stephen McDowell on the Uniqueness of the United States:

"America has been different than any nation in history. America has been exceptional. This has not been due to any inherent value of her people, but has been due to the valuable ideas upon which she was founded.

These include such ideas as: valuing the individual; freedom of worship; opportunity for all to labor and benefit from the fruit of their labor; freedom to elect representatives; freedom of expression of ideas; freedom to own property; freedom to get ideas, start businesses and create wealth; limited jurisdiction of civil government; the central role of the family."

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