2016-10-18 Lest we forget

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

October 18, 2016

This is a letter to our friends –

Lest we forget

An English philosopher, John Locke, inspired colonial America’s pulpits and pews. His words have inspired me.

“To understand political power right (correctly), and derive it from its original (its beginning), we must consider what state all men are naturally in, and that is a state of perfect freedom, to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions, and persons as they think fit, within the bounds of the Law of Nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man.”

It is a good thing to think back to the very basics of “perfect freedom”. The earth has everything you need to sustain a healthy life. You are its only resident – “perfect freedom”. Yet even that freedom has limits – the “Law of Nature”. (Defy the law of gravity and fly off a cliff. The law inflicts harsh penalties!)

Add a second resident – The Law of Nature further limits your “perfect freedom”. (Your actions may not interfere with the other’s actions.)

Now add 10 then 100 then 10,000 residents and we have a need to “understand political power”.

“The State of Nature has a Law of Nature to govern it, which obliges everyone: and Reason which is that law, teaches all mankind who will but consult it, that all are equal and independent. No one ought to harm another in his Life, Health, Liberty, or Possessions.”

Many of Locke’s phrases are to be found in America’s early documents.

“For men being all the workmanship of One Omnipotent and Infinitely wise Maker: All the servants of One Sovereign Master, sent into the world by His order, and about His business, they are His property, whose workmanship they are, made to last during His, not one another’s pleasure.”

Some scholars doubt Locke’s Christian commitment. Locke was asked, “What is the shortest and surest way for a young gentleman to attain a true knowledge of the Christian religion?” His response –

Let him study the Holy Scriptures, especially in the New Testament. Therein are contained the words of eternal life. It has God for its Author, Salvation for its end, and Truth without any mixture of error for its matter.”

Good advice for us all!

These columns are archived since 12/10/09

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