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We Hold These Truths...
by Darris McNeely
It is among the most remarkable coincidences in history. It was called a "visible and palpable" manifestation of "Divine favor." Fifty years to the day from the signing of the Declaration of Independence, on July 4, 1826, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the two most intimately connected with this document of freedom, died within hours of each other.
In Quincy, Massachusetts, Adams' heart stopped at just past six in the evening. A thunderstorm had sprung up, and as the second U.S. president drew his last breath, "There was a final clap of thunder that shook the house, the rain stopped and the last sun of the day broke through dark, low hanging clouds--'bursting forth...with uncommon splendor at the moment of his exit'" (David McCullough, John Adams, 2001, p. 647). Through the prophet Daniel, God said He places and removes rulers of nations. We might wonder if God orchestrated the exit from mortality of these two giants of American history.
Thomas Jefferson had authored the Declaration and Adams had been its prime advocate on the floor of Congress. Its words speak a fundamental message of human freedom. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..." The words continue to stir powerful emotions among people who are yet to experience freedom from fear, from injustice and the tyranny of evil.
Today's war against terrorism seeks to turn back powerful forces bent on destroying the blessings of freedom and abundance enjoyed by Americans for more than two centuries. It is still difficult for most Americans to understand why others hate our system and way of life. And while America has many problems that need correcting, she is still a benevolent nation, which does not seek to conquer but to liberate.
Last month President George W. Bush stood among the graves of fallen soldiers on Omaha Beach in Normandy and commented on this very fact. Throughout its history America has never sent its soldiers beyond its borders to conquer nations. The sound of approaching American troops has meant liberation to people held under systems that denied fundamental human freedoms.
As we go to press with this issue of World News and Prophecy, we watch very carefully the escalating tension between two nuclear powers, India and Pakistan. Western nations are evacuating their citizens from both countries, fearing the worst possible scenario of nuclear war in South Asia. Islamic fundamentalism plays a key role in this crisis, as pointed out elsewhere in this issue. Many experts fear a destabilized Pakistan could result in nuclear weapons falling into the hands of al Qaeda militants, the worst possible nightmare for any Western nation.
Hope is hard to hold at times. The world scene can be very bleak and troubling. It is even hard to have confidence in the government to protect its citizens from attack. America braces itself not only for another terrorist attack, but also for further revelations of the total breakdown of security and intelligence systems that led to Sept. 11.
As we approach July 4 this year, there may be a muted tone to the celebration of American independence, which is all the more reason to recall the divine reasons for the emergence of America from the mists of history. And even though America has not restored freedom to the entire earth--only God's Kingdom will do that--it may well be a type of the time to come when we'll see the restoration of all things (Acts 3:19-21). wnp
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Keywords: Jefferson, Thomas Adams, John freedom democracy terrorism