On July 3, 1776, John Adams sat down to write his wife, Abigail. In ending the second page and spilling onto the third, he wrote:
The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America
I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.
You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. — I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. — Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.
Two hundred forty one years later we can only marvel at the prophetic nature of his prescience.
And what of the state of affairs of his nation today?
Well, it is no less tumultuous than it was back in 1776. The fodder, the anger, the vitriol; it’s all there. But these things should never cast upon us any fears.
So many of us feel the gloom that weighed so heavily upon Adams on July 3, 1776. But he gave us the solution to conquering those fears. First, he kept his eyes on the ravishing light and glory that would befall his nation once the goals the Creator placed upon it were achieved. And second, he maintained a steady and unshakable faith in the utility of his “solemn Act of Devotion to God Almighty.”
Americans are truly an exceptional people, and their country no less so. We are the product of people who believed in the concept of natural law, or God’s law. Indeed, our forefathers so strongly believed in the existence of a set of divinely created rules, founded on the presumption that every man has a direct and immutable relationship with God, that they were willing to devote their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to see that system of government respecting such a divine relationship become a reality.
Today, we hear so much talk casting aspersions upon our nation’s most hallowed institutions — we focus our attentions so firmly on the various players of our present plight, be they persons or things — that we fail to focus on the foundation that strengthened Adams during his time of gloom; an unshakable longing for the ravishing light and glory that will gently bathe America when she finally becomes a nation at peace with the Creator.
Today, two days later than Adams predicted, there will be Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other. And thank God there will be!
But tomorrow, we must steady ourselves and refocus our energies towards achieving that glorious society that can only exist when we are in compliance with the precepts of Natural Laws and when we abide by the dictum that demands we love God with all our might and love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
This July 4th, I hope many wonderful things for your family and you, and I pray, despite our persistent shortcomings, that God continues to bless these United States of America.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act.