[lit-ideas] philosopher kings

  • From: JulieReneB@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2004 15:36:06 EDT

This is a passage which was read (I don't recall by whom) at Reagan's 
funeral.  The link is to the entire thesis which is interesting to read, given 
date of writing, etc.  But the passage below struck my so strongly, considering 
the condition of the country today.  It was an inadvertent ringing indictment 
of the Bush administration's leadership and no one seemed to notice.  Winthrop 
was one of the puritan founders and governor of one of Mass. 
A Model of Christian Charity --- by Gov. John Winthrop, 1630
<<Now the only way to avoid this shipwreck, and to provide for our posterity, 
is to follow the counsel of Micah, to do justly, to love mercy, to walk 
humbly with our God. For this end, we must be knit together, in this work, as 
man. We must entertain each other in brotherly affection. We must be willing to 
abridge ourselves of our superfluities, for the supply of othersâ?? 
necessities. We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, 
patience and liberality. We must delight in each other; make othersâ?? 
our own; rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always 
having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, as members of 
the same body. So shall we keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. 
The Lord will be our God, and delight to dwell among us, as His own people, and 
will command a blessing upon us in all our ways, so that we shall see much 
more of His wisdom, power, goodness and truth, than formerly we have been 
acquainted with. We shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when ten of 
shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies; when He shall make us a 
praise and glory that men shall say of succeeding plantations, "may the Lord 
it like that of New England." For we must consider that we shall be as a city 
upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal 
falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to 
His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the 
world. We shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of God, 
and all professors for God's sake. We shall shame the faces of many of God's 
worthy servants, and cause their prayers to be turned into curses upon us till 
be consumed out of the good land whither we are going. 
And to shut this discourse with that exhortation of Moses, that faithful 
servant of the Lord, in his last farewell to Israel, Deut. 30. "Beloved, there 
now set before us life and death, good and evil," in that we are commanded 
this day to love the Lord our God, and to love one another, to walk in his ways 
and to keep his Commandments and his ordinance and his laws, and the articles 
of our Covenant with Him, that we may live and be multiplied, and that the Lord 
our God may bless us in the land whither we go to possess it. But if our 
hearts shall turn away, so that we will not obey, but shall be seduced, and 
worship other Gods, our pleasure and profits, and serve them; it is propounded 
us this day, we shall surely perish out of the good land whither we pass over 
this vast sea to possess it. 
Therefore let us choose life, 
that we and our seed may live, 
by obeying His voice and cleaving to Him, 
for He is our life and our prosperity. >>
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