Like you, we are glory seekers. We have wonderfully, “Tasted and seen, the Lord is good!” The greatest prize is in the pursuit of the fame, splendor and radiant beauty of our Sovereign! We came to Yeshua in the days of the Jesus... Read More...
Riverfront Property in Audio
I am so grateful and pleased to share freely the whole audio book of Riverfront Property: Connecting At The River Of Life! I’m confident you will receive a delicious drink! As you find your thirst quenched please recall those you know who would also love a drink, and pass the cup! Read More...
A Miracle Story
Thursday July 30, 1987, started out as just another hot summer day in Ellensburg, Washington, a town of about fifteen thousand souls in a picturesque valley a hundred miles east of Seattle... Read More...
Can you explain this to me? When crisis or tragedy strikes I come alert and aware, but it is not until I see people rising to help, mobilizing for rescue, that my heart is deeply moved, my throat tightens up and I feel the swelling tears.
What is this phenomenon I’ve witnessed in myself for years?
When our daughter was abducted and drown I was fully awake, fully contending. But I was moved to tears when I saw police officers and medical workers seeking to help with their every fiber. Then my heart swole three times its size, expanded with gratitude.
When the Twin Towers fell I was shocked, angered, and grieved, but no tears until I saw pictures of first responders and noble-minded citizens seeking to help.
I see riots in Portland and am alarmed and pained. But when I see the interview of a True-Blue black officer standing steady for what is right I am caught with that hard-to-swallow feeling in my throat.
I’ve experienced it recently with news from Beirut. Their apocalyptic explosion left miles of waste, loss of life and injury. Its horrifying, but I am moved to tears when I see people respond to comfort and relieve.
I read the story of the sinking of the Titanic. It’s tragic. But I’m choked-up when I learn of the noble rescue efforts of the crew and passengers on the Carpathia.
When I see things going South in our world I am alerted, but when I see righteous men and women of character take their stand in the gap, I am stirred with emotion!
I’m not sure what goes on inside my heart, but this could be part of it: I think of problems and tragedies as normal, but people rising up in noble intercession as exceptional!
Deborah sang with deep appreciation for those who volunteered to go into the fray. I’m wondering, can you relate? “My heart goes out to the commanders of Israel who offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless the LORD.” Judges 5:9
We should expunge “Hate crimes” from our vocabulary, and remove all “hate crimes” from our list of laws. “Hate crimes” should be outlawed!
YOU MAY LISTEN TO THIS BLOG HERE
The designation “hate crime” is nonsense. You can’t measure hate. You can’t know the motives of people’s hearts. You may speculate or surmise but you cannot know. You can however judge people by their actions!
It is impossible to know with certainty the motives of anyone.
If we keep creating new “hate crimes” we will be able to arrest anyone for any action we feel is motivated by hate. What’s more, we may arrest anyone based on our suspicion they may possess hateful thoughts. “I have a strong suspicious that in your heart you are a racist, and religious bigot. Therefore, you should be arrested!” This kind of “justice” is found in communist and totalitarian antichrist nations.
All hate crimes should be obliterated from our law books. If not, prepare for the motives police to knock on your door. “Hate Crime” laws create a new type of prejudice.
If I don’t like broccoli, tattoos, someone’s sexual orientation, or the color they paint their living room I could be in danger of being charged with a hate crime. “You must hate farmers, tattoos artists , celibates, and interior designers. After all, your don’t care for what they do. Therefore, you are full of hate!”
One of the dominant, nonsensical presumptions is that people who hate should be punished more severely.
For example, if a murderer kills because he hates another for social, religious, philosophical, or racial reasons he should get a more severe punishment than the cold-blooded psychopath.
To get a lesser punishment we might plead, “I was not hateful. There was nothing personal. I simply killed them for their stuff. No premeditation, no animosity, I’m simply making a living.”
We cannot measure the quality or magnitude of anyone’s hate, therefore “hate crime” laws are nonsensical. What’s more, such laws lend themselves to suspicion, speculation, and false accusations, based curiously on novel prejudices. Communist China has perfected this type of justice. Suspicion is enough to have your arrested and worse.
No person is capable of judging people’s motives, but we can judge actions and call people to account for breaking established laws.
There is One who will make judgements over our lives based on motives.
God knows every thought and intention. He searches our hearts and make true judgements of heart contents.
Let’s not pretend we know the motives of others. Rather, let’s be humble and vulnerable before our Lord as He scrutinizes each of our hearts.
“We speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.” 1 Thess 2:4
“You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts.“ Luke 16:15
“TheLordsearches all hearts and understands every plan and thought.” 1 Chr 28:9
When we judge the motives of others we are in peril of mocking God, claiming His supernatural abilities to know the mysteries of hearts. Let us properly judge based on people’s actions, based on their fruit. But for pity sake, please put an end to the dangerous folly of “hate crimes!”
Do you agree? Disagree? Want to dialogue?
This article by Louis DeBroux shares one type of abuse of “hate crime ” laws.
I was listening to The Danish National Symphony Orchestra’s outstanding performance of The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. This has become a go-to song for inspiration. It stirs me deeply. Apparently, millions feel the same way.
Scrolling through the comments I read: “My neutered dog heard this and his testicles have grown back.” I laughed with tears for five minutes! It was good for the eyes.
I wonder, What it would take to grow back testicles on emasculated men?
It’s been said, “Our culture has taught young boys to be good little girls.” How many young men are wobbly about what it means to be a man? No wonder our sexual confusion. Boys are taught, “Men are rude and violent. You don’t want to be one of them! Men abuse women. You don’t want to be one of them. Men start wars. You don’t want to be a man.”
Some boys are neglected and become feral. They may become aimless and unrestrained, become abusive and violent, or cowering hermits. But the education many boys get today is almost worse than neglect.
Modern social innovators teach boys to be sensitive, to quench their rambunctious ways, to be passive, not damage the china or clang the tableware. In our pursuit of taming men, we have turned lions to sheep and eagles to chickens. In our taming the “savage beast” of manhood we have removed their fight for greater things, their courage to contend for a noble cause. And many seem proud of this accomplishment.
Who will teach boys to harness their masculine powers for good, rather than the bad and ugly? Boys need to be taught self-control, to play within the boundaries, and fight fair, but Lord have mercy on the ones who would steal away sport and sparring and rumble from hearts born to possess it!
May boys be raised again to have tough sinks and soft hearts. May boys harness their sanctified manhood to protect the vulnerable, to contend for the right and to pursue high-heaven ambitions! Boys should be inspired to yoke their masculine powers for The Good, The Glorious and The Magnificent!
“I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves,
so that when it is gone,
you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” Luke 16:9
Carolyn Grogan Graduating mana cum laude!
LISTEN TO THIS BLOG HERE:
Pam’s Mom, Carolyn, passed into eternity last night, 7/9/2020. It would be hard to find a Saint more eager and excited to be with her Lord. She is receiving a royal revelry! Carolyn is a woman who made many great investments. “Welcomed into eternal dwellings” rightly describes heaven’s scene!
I used to tease Carolyn over an agreement we had. “Carolyn, if you die before me I’ll come up with something nice to say about you. And if I die before you, you scratch your head and come up with something good about me.” She would laugh. So, I’m under obligation. But no head scratching necessary.
Carolyn loved to laugh! She would find any excuse to do so. Joy characterized her life as brightness characterizes the sun. Sometimes I thought she laughed too much, but I don’t think heaven was offended by her joy and the faith behind it.
Carolyn was an evangelist, a good-news-er! I recall times when we were together and she met a stranger. She would ask in various words, “Do you know my Lord Jesus?”
We wrote a book about our daughter’s resurrection but didn’t have much money to see it published. Carolyn volunteered to help with expenses. When I told her we did not know how the book would sell of if we would be able to repay her, her reply was, “I’ll take it in souls!” I know for a fact that thousands came to Christ though that story and the TV and radio interviews which carried it around the world!
Carolyn pitched in strongly to make the prayer meetings go to new levels. Most of her prayer was early in the morning with marked up bibles, inspirational books, prayer lists and worship music in the background. She is famous in our family for praying her immediate and extended family members into The Kingdom.
Carolyn delighted in her children, grands and greats! She had many qualities which make for a great Mom and grandmother. Fun, adventure, and celebration, sewing, cooking canning, and more. I prize a beautiful thick, warm sweater which she made for her husband, Frank, which I inherited.
A sweater Carolyn made
She was a God-send helping with our kids and concerns in Ellensburg and Goldendale, WA. She also enjoyed living with us in Sevierville, TN, and would adventure out on foot with her hat and stick to enjoy the beauty and see if there was a conversation to strike up.
As she aged the wrinkles always went upwards. The last leg of her race was a challenge as she struggled with memory loss. None-the-less her spirit always leaned toward the finish line where her Lord, standing at the tape, was cheering her across.
Many of us are jealous for her arrival and the joyful pomp and circumstance of reunion! May God bless each of us in our respective races, and give a special grace for strong kicks to our runs as we cross over!
Those tearing down national statues are operating on a reliable principle. “Tear down the objects which inform people’s perspectives and values and you will overcome them.”
Proverbs 21:22 affirms the same principle.
“A wise man scales the city of the mighty
and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.”
Our heavenly commission includes destroying and vandalizing. Our assignment involves overthrowing lying, deluding teachings vomited up by demons. We do so with heaven-forged weapons discharged with Holy Spirit gunpowder!
The good news is that every form of prejudice is coming down! But first, God wills to use us to do it! We contend, “The truth will set you free” and “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty!” Word powered by Spirit!
Christ is the head instigator of violence. He is roused as a mother bear robbed or her cubs. Lance Wallnau says, “God’s mercy is ferocious!” He is ferocious to rescue those robbed of their sanity, their freedom of mind, their courage and relationships. Jesus the “meek and mild” said,
“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s works.”
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
It takes courage to follow Jesus’ violent lead and become destroyers and warriors tangling with demons. Gideon had to pull down things inside himself to muster the courage to pull down the idol of Baal.
Gideon was told by the angel of the LORD to destroy the altar of Baal and pull down the Asherah pole. The city had given place to Baal. To fail to worship Baal, or worse to offend him, could mean Baal’s wrath again the city and devastation to their families. (Judges 6:25-32)
Before Gideon could pull down the physical altar he had to pull down things in his own mind. If he pulled down the altar would God be able to protect him from the wrath of Baal? Would the people, terrified that Baal had been offended, want to kill him? Could he pull down the fear of Baal and the fear of man in his heart?
Gideon took courage and did the inner work so he could do the external work! His inner heart-work and courageous action earned him a new name, “Jerubbaal” meaning, “Let Baal fight against him” implying Baal doesn’t have the stuff to take on Gideon.
WHICH OBJECTS SHOULD BE BROUGHT DOWN?
People pulled down Cristopher Columbus’ statue because they believe this continent should never have been discovered by Europeans. If in 1592 Winston had sail the ocean blue, or Patricia had sailed in 1692 to discover America it would be resented by someone, and their statues in time might come down. I wonder how many who brought down Columbus could give us an intelligent lecture on his life to justify his humiliation.
I’m sure that some statues should be torn down. For example, I don’t understand how we can have a statue of Stalin in Seattle. Yes, I know it is considered private art on private property but it is in full public view. The only “good” quality of that statue is that his hands are painted by citizen vandals, from time to time, blood red. Why have a statue of a man who killed 20 million of his own people in your back yard? I would think thousands of Russian Americans would demand its removal.
Anarchist destroy but have no plan afterwards. Their only aim is to destroy. Afterward they leave us in ruins. By the way, after the memorials are torn down, the history books containing their stories need to be destroyed, and then those who dare to preserve those histories. Our founding fathers reminded us that anarchy is always followed by despotism. Anarchy may kill its thousands, but the despotism which follows kills millions.
So spiritually what idols need to be toppled and demolished? It seems there is more demonic statuary among us than we can begin to despoil. Most of it is not in marble or bronze, but thoughts. Paul said,
“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion
raised against the knowledge of God
and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” 2 Cor 10:4-6.
We may start with lying prejudices inspired by pride and fear. Let’s get our crowbars, ropes and sledge hammers to tear down and demolish every form of prejudice from our hearts. Let’s overthrow racism, sexism, ageism, and presumptive divisions based on supposed intelligence, wealth, pedigree, national origin, political affiliation and religion.
Our ministry does not stop at destroying. We destroy what injures others so we may build up and plant what brings life! Jeremiah was called to be a destroyer, then, a builder!
“See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to
uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow,
to build and to plant.” Jer 1:10
HERE’S A QUESTION SEEKING YOUR RESPONSE
How do you as intercessor stand between our history and its lessons, and those who tear down historic values and perspectives?
May we repent from being social observers and commentators and become activist in both the prayer and social arenas. May we be so Heavenly minded that we become earthly good!
Your fellow intercessor,
Steven C Johnson
EXRA CREDIT QUESTIONS
Should children of slaves, sue the Democratic Party for reparations?
Should children of slaves repay the families of the 360,000 northern soldiers who died for their liberty?
“I think the lady doth protest too much, methinks.” Hamlet
A woman has been charged with starting 5 Police Cars in Seattle on fire. I helped buy those Police Cars so it’s rather irritating to have them destroyed.
The picture of this woman reminds me of Proverbs 14:1. “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” America cannot be overcome by external enemies but she can commit suicide.
I wish the news were capable of making a distinction between legitimate protesters and lawless hoodlums. How difficult can it be to distinguish between them?
“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.” Ezekiel 22:30
My stomach still gets queasy when I consider of it. Honestly, I’m moved to tears when I think back.
On September 1st, 2004 a group of Chechen rebels took over a Beslan school in Russia. It was the first day of school and many parents and relatives were there to celebrate the “First Bell”.
The Islamic militants held children, parents and teachers captive
for 52 hours while Russian troops were outside.
It ended in a conflagration of explosions and shooting.
Of 1,100 hostages 334 people were killed, including 186 children. 700 were wounded. 31 of the 32 attackers also died.
I prayed strongly for the deliverance of those hostages
while the siege was going on. I grieved for the brutality
and the loss of those precious lives.
During the siege I began to conceive of a whole new type of Christian Intercessor. I thought:
What if at the first note of the siege Christians around the world were rallied?
What if 1000 intercessors from 30 nations immediately boarded planes and flew to Russia to be on-location intercessors?
What if they took intercession to an altogether different level by standing between the school with its hostages, and the Russian soldiers?
I’ve been brewing the concept of a rapid deployment intercessory force for the past 16 years. Some would say:
That’s so unrealistic
It meddles with other nation’s internal affairs
It puts mobilized intercessors in mortal danger
It would be logistically too difficult
Who would be responsible if some of the intercessors never came home?
Yes, it would take a different breed of Christian to participate in such an intercession.
They would have to value others more highly than themselves. They would have to give up the luxuries of their own safety or comfort. They would have to put their lives on the line.
We pay soldiers, police and firemen to do dangerous things. There would be no pay for such intercessors, rather the expense of a plane ticket or all-night drive. Perhaps such people could not be found.
I’ve been gratified to learn of Saints from our congregation as well as others going to Capitol Hill in Seattle where there have been legitimate protests tainted by rioting. They have interceded and shown their light among sheep without a shepherd! It is a true blessing to see Saints in action, engaging for the sake of Christ and for those He loves!
Metro Seattle has a population of 4 million. What if 10% of them were Christians. What if 1% of the Christian’s really wanted to intercede for the welfare of their city, were willing to take up a different type of cross, and do it on location. Image four thousand Christians lifting their burning lamps, praying up a storm and sharing the earthshaking love of Christ in that setting!
I wonder what tragedies could be averted by embodied intercessors who would stand in the gap.
It’s been said, “Soldiers may run from the battle, but warriors run to it.” What do you think? Can we be intercessors – not just in our prayer closets but on the front line, person to person, incarnating ourselves in the culture?
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From the Desk of Peter Spencer:
“I just finished this book–it truly is refreshing with great revelation.
I also enjoyed hearing about Steve’s experiences that back up
what he is saying–this was refreshing in of itself and made me
thirsty for more of the River of God and the Holy Spirit!” — Peter Spencer, The Elijah List
“Riverfront Property: Connecting at the River of life.”By Steven C Johnson
Hold the book, and your fingers get wet.
Open the pages, and water pours!
• The physical Edenic River which springs from the city of Jerusalem
• The supernatural, sensational and transformational Inner River
• How to be a conduit of the River’s dynamic graces
“Riverfront Property: Connecting at the River of Life!”Great Reviews!
“It’s the best thing I can remember seeing of its kind, which is a combination of thematic Bible study and Christian energy drink. Steve’s explanation of what the Bible says about rivers, water, and spiritual life is as good as it gets.”
– Dr. Jeff Treder”Riverfront Property makes me thirsty. The love of God and the river of life flow in these pages. Get a fresh drink here! Now I want to run through a rain shower, stand under a waterfall, and soak in the ocean. Come Holy Spirit, pour out on us!”
– Harold R. Eberle, President of Worldcast Ministry”Herman Melville, in his novel Moby Dick, wrote that ‘meditation and water are wedded forever.’ In Riverfront Properties, Steven Johnson reveals to us—through his experiences, expertise, and putting together an abundant Scriptural puzzle—that also wedded forever with water is revelation. Johnson’s prose flows and bursts with striking insight and childlike delight. If you, too, want to rush and gush with the Spirit, dive into and swim through this dripping book inspired by the River Master!”
– Geoff Pope”Steve Johnson is one of the most remarkable people I have ever met. From the first time I met him I was drawn to the River of God so evident in him. I am not surprised that his book is remarkable as well. Steve writes from his own personal experience with the River Master and from the overflow of God presence flowing through him. After reading the book and experiencing the seminar I am even more hungry for the ever-increasing flow of God’s presence in my life and in the city where I pastor.”
– Chuck Farina. Pastor of New Hope Church, Abilene, Texas
“For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd:
He will lead them to springs of living water.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Rev 7:17)
About The Author
Steve Johnson stirs the Church to prepare a landing strip for the Lord’s return. He helps Saints discover their gifts and callings, and network in collaborative Kingdom ventures. He cultivates the visions and values of Christ’s Kingdom. He is a lover of Israel and Israel’s Messiah. Steve is a graduate of George Fox University and Palmer Theological Seminary. He is available as an impartational guest minister and as the facilitator of Riverfront Property Seminars. Steve and Pam Johnson live in Seattle, WA and are active in their church and community. They have four adult children and are pleased that grandchildren are showing up!
**Note: You will not be ordering this item from The Elijah List. Your order will be processed on the River Front Property site. Please contact them directly with any order inquiries or questions about this product.
As a fair warning, this audio will be a challenge to listen to and understand for most people today.
It was delivered in a time when people had larger vocabularies and where words carried nuances and weights we are unfamiliar with. Washington was not warned to “dumb down” his language. For those simply looking to expand their vocabularies this speech will give a tremendous stretch. You may need to have a dictionary nearby.
This speech is also challenging for the delivery was presented in a day when attention spans were not limited to sound bites.
President Washington’s audience had a felt and vested interest in the success of their new country. The nation was in its toddlerhood, being just three decades old. The “cares, labors, and dangers” associated with the rebellion and establishment of their most novel government were still felt and jealously guarded. There was a determination in His audience to see the “experiment” succeed.
Although many moderns would like to undermine the President’s character, and the cause for which he gave his strength, in that day he was generally revered as, “First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen.” At times he was referred to as “His Excellency” because his character and competence exceeded his pay grade. It might be remembered that although George Washington was elected, his election looked more like a conscription by the people than a modern political race.
George Washington’s counsel, warning and admonitions could never be timelier. Take note as he addresses, “the fury of party spirit,” warns against “the mischiefs of foreign intrigue,” and warns to “guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.”
It will take some auditory grit and determination to listen to and understand our President’s final message to his countrymen. You must note that President Washington’s concerns and admonitions are the wrestlings of our nation today.
I hope the wisdom, the warnings and optimism of our first President will be heard by modern patriots. I hope the hearing will help save us from our national amnesia and inspire us to go. further up and further in, to the vision, which inspired our founders to contend for a great republic.
Steven C Johnson
President George Washington’s farewell address,
September, 19th, 1796
LISTEN HERE TO THE FULL ADDRESS
Friends and Fellow Citizens:
The period for a new election of a citizen to administer the executive government of the United States being not far distant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made.
I beg you, at the same time, to do me the justice to be assured that this resolution has not been taken without a strict regard to all the considerations appertaining to the relation which binds a dutiful citizen to his country; and that in withdrawing the tender of service, which silence in my situation might imply, I am influenced by no diminution of zeal for your future interest, no deficiency of grateful respect for your past kindness, but am supported by a full conviction that the step is compatible with both.
The acceptance of, and continuance hitherto in, the office to which your suffrages have twice called me have been a uniform sacrifice of inclination to the opinion of duty and to a deference for what appeared to be your desire. I constantly hoped that it would have been much earlier in my power, consistently with motives which I was not at liberty to disregard, to return to that retirement from which I had been reluctantly drawn. The strength of my inclination to do this, previous to the last election, had even led to the preparation of an address to declare it to you; but mature reflection on the then perplexed and critical posture of our affairs with foreign nations, and the unanimous advice of persons entitled to my confidence, impelled me to abandon the idea.
I rejoice that the state of your concerns, external as well as internal, no longer renders the pursuit of inclination incompatible with the sentiment of duty or propriety, and am persuaded, whatever partiality may be retained for my services, that, in the present circumstances of our country, you will not disapprove my determination to retire.
The impressions with which I first undertook the arduous trust were explained on the proper occasion. In the discharge of this trust, I will only say that I have, with good intentions, contributed towards the organization and administration of the government the best exertions of which a very fallible judgment was capable. Not unconscious in the outset of the inferiority of my qualifications, experience in my own eyes, perhaps still more in the eyes of others, has strengthened the motives to diffidence of myself; and every day the increasing weight of years admonishes me more and more that the shade of retirement is as necessary to me as it will be welcome. Satisfied that if any circumstances have given peculiar value to my services, they were temporary, I have the consolation to believe that, while choice and prudence invite me to quit the political scene, patriotism does not forbid it.
In looking forward to the moment which is intended to terminate the career of my public life, my feelings do not permit me to suspend the deep acknowledgment of that debt of gratitude which I owe to my beloved country for the many honors it has conferred upon me; still more for the steadfast confidence with which it has supported me; and for the opportunities I have thence enjoyed of manifesting my inviolable attachment, by services faithful and persevering, though in usefulness unequal to my zeal. If benefits have resulted to our country from these services, let it always be remembered to your praise, and as an instructive example in our annals, that under circumstances in which the passions, agitated in every direction, were liable to mislead, amidst appearances sometimes dubious, vicissitudes of fortune often discouraging, in situations in which not unfrequently want of success has countenanced the spirit of criticism, the constancy of your support was the essential prop of the efforts, and a guarantee of the plans by which they were effected. Profoundly penetrated with this idea, I shall carry it with me to my grave, as a strong incitement to unceasing vows that heaven may continue to you the choicest tokens of its beneficence; that your union and brotherly affection may be perpetual; that the free Constitution, which is the work of your hands, may be sacredly maintained; that its administration in every department may be stamped with wisdom and virtue; that, in fine, the happiness of the people of these States, under the auspices of liberty, may be made complete by so careful a preservation and so prudent a use of this blessing as will acquire to them the glory of recommending it to the applause, the affection, and adoption of every nation which is yet a stranger to it.
Here, perhaps, I ought to stop. But a solicitude for your welfare, which cannot end but with my life, and the apprehension of danger, natural to that solicitude, urge me, on an occasion like the present, to offer to your solemn contemplation, and to recommend to your frequent review, some sentiments which are the result of much reflection, of no inconsiderable observation, and which appear to me all-important to the permanency of your felicity as a people. These will be offered to you with the more freedom, as you can only see in them the disinterested warnings of a parting friend, who can possibly have no personal motive to bias his counsel. Nor can I forget, as an encouragement to it, your indulgent reception of my sentiments on a former and not dissimilar occasion.
Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.
The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.
For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.
But these considerations, however powerfully they address themselves to your sensibility, are greatly outweighed by those which apply more immediately to your interest. Here every portion of our country finds the most commanding motives for carefully guarding and preserving the union of the whole.
The North, in an unrestrained intercourse with the South, protected by the equal laws of a common government, finds in the productions of the latter great additional resources of maritime and commercial enterprise and precious materials of manufacturing industry. The South, in the same intercourse, benefiting by the agency of the North, sees its agriculture grow and its commerce expand. Turning partly into its own channels the seamen of the North, it finds its particular navigation invigorated; and, while it contributes, in different ways, to nourish and increase the general mass of the national navigation, it looks forward to the protection of a maritime strength, to which itself is unequally adapted. The East, in a like intercourse with the West, already finds, and in the progressive improvement of interior communications by land and water, will more and more find a valuable vent for the commodities which it brings from abroad, or manufactures at home. The West derives from the East supplies requisite to its growth and comfort, and, what is perhaps of still greater consequence, it must of necessity owe the secure enjoyment of indispensable outlets for its own productions to the weight, influence, and the future maritime strength of the Atlantic side of the Union, directed by an indissoluble community of interest as one nation. Any other tenure by which the West can hold this essential advantage, whether derived from its own separate strength, or from an apostate and unnatural connection with any foreign power, must be intrinsically precarious.
While, then, every part of our country thus feels an immediate and particular interest in union, all the parts combined cannot fail to find in the united mass of means and efforts greater strength, greater resource, proportionably greater security from external danger, a less frequent interruption of their peace by foreign nations; and, what is of inestimable value, they must derive from union an exemption from those broils and wars between themselves, which so frequently afflict neighboring countries not tied together by the same governments, which their own rival ships alone would be sufficient to produce, but which opposite foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues would stimulate and embitter. Hence, likewise, they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. In this sense it is that your union ought to be considered as a main prop of your liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other.
These considerations speak a persuasive language to every reflecting and virtuous mind, and exhibit the continuance of the Union as a primary object of patriotic desire. Is there a doubt whether a common government can embrace so large a sphere? Let experience solve it. To listen to mere speculation in such a case were criminal. We are authorized to hope that a proper organization of the whole with the auxiliary agency of governments for the respective subdivisions, will afford a happy issue to the experiment. It is well worth a fair and full experiment. With such powerful and obvious motives to union, affecting all parts of our country, while experience shall not have demonstrated its impracticability, there will always be reason to distrust the patriotism of those who in any quarter may endeavor to weaken its bands.
In contemplating the causes which may disturb our Union, it occurs as matter of serious concern that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties by geographical discriminations, Northern and Southern, Atlantic and Western; whence designing men may endeavor to excite a belief that there is a real difference of local interests and views. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heartburnings which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection. The inhabitants of our Western country have lately had a useful lesson on this head; they have seen, in the negotiation by the Executive, and in the unanimous ratification by the Senate, of the treaty with Spain, and in the universal satisfaction at that event, throughout the United States, a decisive proof how unfounded were the suspicions propagated among them of a policy in the General Government and in the Atlantic States unfriendly to their interests in regard to the Mississippi; they have been witnesses to the formation of two treaties, that with Great Britain, and that with Spain, which secure to them everything they could desire, in respect to our foreign relations, towards confirming their prosperity. Will it not be their wisdom to rely for the preservation of these advantages on the Union by which they were procured ? Will they not henceforth be deaf to those advisers, if such there are, who would sever them from their brethren and connect them with aliens?
To the efficacy and permanency of your Union, a government for the whole is indispensable. No alliance, however strict, between the parts can be an adequate substitute; they must inevitably experience the infractions and interruptions which all alliances in all times have experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have improved upon your first essay, by the adoption of a constitution of government better calculated than your former for an intimate union, and for the efficacious management of your common concerns. This government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.
All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.
However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.
Towards the preservation of your government, and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the Constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown. In all the changes to which you may be invited, remember that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments as of other human institutions; that experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution of a country; that facility in changes, upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion, exposes to perpetual change, from the endless variety of hypothesis and opinion; and remember, especially, that for the efficient management of your common interests, in a country so extensive as ours, a government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty is indispensable. Liberty itself will find in such a government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest guardian. It is, indeed, little else than a name, where the government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction, to confine each member of the society within the limits prescribed by the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property.
I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.
This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.
The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.
Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.
There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.
It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position. The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositaries, and constituting each the guardian of the public weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern; some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them. If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit, which the use can at any time yield
Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?
Promote then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.
As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it, avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertion in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives, but it is necessary that public opinion should co-operate. To facilitate to them the performance of their duty, it is essential that you should practically bear in mind that towards the payment of debts there must be revenue; that to have revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant; that the intrinsic embarrassment, inseparable from the selection of the proper objects (which is always a choice of difficulties), ought to be a decisive motive for a candid construction of the conduct of the government in making it, and for a spirit of acquiescence in the measures for obtaining revenue, which the public exigencies may at any time dictate.
Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it? It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt that, in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages which might be lost by a steady adherence to it ? Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue ? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?
In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence, frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations, has been the victim.
So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.
As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils? Such an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.
Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.
The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop. Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.
Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people under an efficient government. the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.
Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice?
It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But, in my opinion, it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.
Taking care always to keep ourselves by suitable establishments on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.
Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing (with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them) conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.
In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish; that they will control the usual current of the passions, or prevent our nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations. But, if I may even flatter myself that they may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good; that they may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism; this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare, by which they have been dictated.
How far in the discharge of my official duties I have been guided by the principles which have been delineated, the public records and other evidences of my conduct must witness to you and to the world. To myself, the assurance of my own conscience is, that I have at least believed myself to be guided by them.
In relation to the still subsisting war in Europe, my proclamation of the twenty-second of April, I793, is the index of my plan. Sanctioned by your approving voice, and by that of your representatives in both houses of Congress, the spirit of that measure has continually governed me, uninfluenced by any attempts to deter or divert me from it.
After deliberate examination, with the aid of the best lights I could obtain, I was well satisfied that our country, under all the circumstances of the case, had a right to take, and was bound in duty and interest to take, a neutral position. Having taken it, I determined, as far as should depend upon me, to maintain it, with moderation, perseverance, and firmness.
The considerations which respect the right to hold this conduct, it is not necessary on this occasion to detail. I will only observe that, according to my understanding of the matter, that right, so far from being denied by any of the belligerent powers, has been virtually admitted by all.
The duty of holding a neutral conduct may be inferred, without anything more, from the obligation which justice and humanity impose on every nation, in cases in which it is free to act, to maintain inviolate the relations of peace and amity towards other nations.
The inducements of interest for observing that conduct will best be referred to your own reflections and experience. With me a predominant motive has been to endeavor to gain time to our country to settle and mature its yet recent institutions, and to progress without interruption to that degree of strength and consistency which is necessary to give it, humanly speaking, the command of its own fortunes.
Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after forty five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.
Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love towards it, which is so natural to a man who views in it the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations, I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat in which I promise myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign influence of good laws under a free government, the ever-favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers.
“…the day he comes to be glorifiedin his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed.”(1 Thessalonians 1:10)
There will be no disappointment among the saints at the appearing of Jesus. No one will say, “The advertisements and trailers made it look great, but the movie was a bust.”
Spielberg and Lucas have produced incredible stuff but nothing will compare with this wide-screen production!
Only a few shepherds saw it the first time but everyone will see the panoramic sequel. You won’t miss it, wherever you stand on the planet. In fact every eye will see His glorious coming with heaven’s epic entourage! The cast will be so immense that Christ’s escorts will seem like water droplets making up an all-encompassing cloud.
There are times when we are with family and friends and there is an immediate weather report.
“Hey guys! Come quick, you need to see this!” We are amazed as we come to the patio and see the glorious sunrise, torrential monsoon rains, a double rainbow or baseball sized hail.
We will need a new word to replace “awesome” when Christ returns.
We look forward to vacations, birthdays, graduations, weddings and births of babies. The Return is the Christian’s blessed hope and eager expectation. We are, “awaiting the blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13). Whatever our age or circumstances, lovers of Jesus have something to look forward to!
In contrast, those who have stiff-armed Jesus must sober up!
How can we resist the One who has come to rescue us?
How can we say, “No” to the offer of His saving hand?
How can we say “No” to the advances of the Bride Groom?
They will hide in caves and call on the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” (Rev 6:16-17)
Adoration of the Lamb, Hubert and Jan van Eyck (ca. 1390 – 1441)
Many think of the Second Coming of Jesus as a doctrine rather than a
young woman’s hope for the perfect wedding to the perfect man.
The crown is not for those who “believe” that Jesus
is returning. It is for those who “long for” His returning.
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (2 Tim 4:8)