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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Edmund Burke Quote #1

From "Speech Before the House of Commons in Support of William Dowdeswell's Amendment to the Address of Thanks," November 18, 1768:
There is no such thing as governing the whole body of the people, contrary to their inclinations. It is not votes and resolutions, it is not arms that govern a people.
If this is true--and I certainly am inclined to believe it--then we may think of the political history of the last fifty years or so as symptomatic. For too long, many of us have operated on the assumption that most Americans remember and cherish the United States as we long for it to be, as a constitutional republic under God, designed with the objective of protecting man's God-given rights. But if Burke is right, the gradual slide leftward has not been something done entirely against the will of the majority of the people in this country. It may have been done, perhaps, with a sly nod, weasel-words, and a wink, but not "contrary to the inclinations of the whole body of the people."

The task now before conservatives is to change the inclinations of our people, to recreate the state of the heart and spirit and the attitude of mind that prevailed in this country at the time of the Revolution and the Constitutional Convention, that resulted in what has been the greatest country this world has ever known. This means that we are going to have to have, if not another Great Awakening, more success in evangelism and discipleship.

I hope we're up to it. It's going to take a while. And frankly, it seems to me that way too many conservatives act as though evangelism and discipleship are the preacher's job.

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