The American patriots of the fourth quarter of the eighteenth are called founders in history and

in common parlance today. But Lincoln saw another dimension. Hear him as He begins the Gettysburg Address:

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty . . .”

Did you hear him? Listen! Did you hear? These “fathers” were not founders, they were mid-wives! Notice it is not, “conceived in liberty;” it is, “conceived in Liberty!” Liberty is from God. Actually, it is more than that. Liberty is a quality of God. That capitalization is not used casually. Liberty was born from above!

Just two weeks ago I wrote: “A clear reading of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution for the United States of America shows that, from the beginning, Americans have acted with the confidence that We the People have a sovereignty under God and the government together with the officers of that government (at any level) are subject to We the People. That American reality is called into question today by the secular forces at large and, too often, from Christian pastors and leaders.”

But for the American revolutionaries (and us), rights are gifts from our Sovereign God. Government cannot give what it does not have. Governments can only take.

On the other hand, for the French revolutionaries, and, in our time, the left and Islam, rights are made up by an all-powerful government. Rights are parceled out to the supplicants. What they always do, however, is impose restrictions and penalties and taxes and regulations that choke and smother Liberty.

Let us commit to turn our country back to her birthright and her promise. Now, enjoy with me the 266 words of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

“Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us–that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion–that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”

About Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson: a mature Christian who understands the sweep of history, the unique role of America and these times clearly and precisely.
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