Unification News for October 1996


America: Destiny

by Chris Seidel-Poughkeepsie, NY

Christopher Seidel was born on Aug. 8, 1978 and graduated from high school in June 1996. He is now attending Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY. His parents belong to the 74 Couples Blessing held in New York City in 1977. Christopher likes science, languages, writing and public speaking. This essay was written for a class in Advanced Placement History during his junior year at Red Hook High School.

As the founding fathers built "the pillars of the temple of liberty" in our nation, they wished their institution to flourish in every capacity. However, as Andrew Jackson concluded in his farewell address, America had "already succeeded beyond the proudest hopes of those who framed it." Such results could never have sprung merely from a political experiment. Thus, it was America's destiny-the unalterable vision of her people-which preordained her glorious future.

First of all, the prevailing mood of the nation in its early history was neither pessimistic nor cynical, but rather hopefulness in highest form, a belief that all people were immediate unto God, and that this land America was a calling from the Lord Himself. In every corner of the nation, a religious, moral and humanistic revival was taking place, having astronomical effects upon each and every one of our institutions. In New England, Increase Mather professed that "Without doubt, the Lord Jesus hath a peculiar respect unto this place, and for this people." In other areas, men such as Edward Johnson proclaimed that this was the place where the Lord would create "a new heaven and new earth," while John Winthrop expounded that we had been saved while all others had been smitten. Timothy Dwight called Americans "this chosen race." This new land-founded after the Reformation had purified the church and printing had spread God's word among the people-assured the people that God had been preparing it for some ultimate manifestation of His grace. As Schlesinger maintains, "America had become divine prophecy fulfilled." This optimism and fervor were even carried into antebellum reform. Harriet Beecher Stowe predicted that in our nation "wars shall cease and the whole world, released from the thralldom of evil, would rejoice in the light of the Lord," while Melville professed that we were "the peculiar, chosen people-the Israel of our time; bearing the ark of the liberties of this world."

These views had tremendous ramifications for American culture. The notion of being a chosen nation awakened a desire to emphasize and uphold literacy in order to orient individuals with the directions and teachings of the Gospels. Work ethic had become a personal dynamic force since many believed they had been called from hearth and home to endure unbearable rigors and hardships for providential reasons. Belief had transmuted into attitude, which in turn facilitated action.

Lastly, history-at least up to 1776-had proved that corruption without exception had become the classical fate of all political states. The subversion of virtue by power and luxury, the unceasing reality that all secular communities are finite and problematic as well as the predilection of republics to venality, extortion and bribery were all ways in which corruption manifested itself in man's institutions. Yet if America had simply been a political experiment, could it have avoided all of these afflictions and still have prospered "beyond the proudest hopes of those who framed it"?

The idealistic aspirations of the people compelled America to hurdle over any obstacles which obstructed her path to perfection. They would not give up. The Northern victory in the Civil War corroborated our conviction of being a nation of providential appointment, and would give new spiritual and messianic impetus for decades to come. As we continue into our future, however, it would be wise to remember the message of Albert J. Beveridge who granted that God has "marked the American people as His chosen nation to finally lead in the regeneration of the world."

We would like to host Blessed children from overseas (or U.S. okay)

Preferably teenage girls age 15 to 18 (our daughter is 16)

Large home in the countryside in the vicinity of the Unification Theological Seminary

Good local high school (there is no fee for attending high school)

Possibility to regularly visit Belvedere and have a lot of B.C. friends!

Call Elisabeth Seidel (914)758-4137 or fax U.T.S. (914)758-2156


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