On God’s Reign and Society

“Too often the world turns its eyes to the high places, thinking that from them will come its revelations and its great events, forgetful that a greater wisdom is in those who ‘mind not high things, but condescend to men of high estate.’ The greatest epoch in all human history began in a manger. This great American [speaking of Abraham Lincoln], the foremost world figure of the nineteenth century, came out of a frontier clearing and spent his early manhood in a village of a few hundred souls.

“In the memory of these facts there lies a solid basis for our faith. There is in the people themselves the power to put forth great men. There is in the soul of the nation a reserve for responding to the call to high ideals, to nobility of action, which has never yet been put forth. There is no problem so great but that somewhere a man is being raised up to meet it. There is no moral standard so high that the people cannot be raised up to it. God rules, and from the Bethlehems and Springfields He sends them forth, His own, to do His work. In them we catch a larger gleam of the Infinite” — Calvin Coolidge, February 12, 1922, at the Lincoln Birthplace, Springfield, Illinois.

While frequently on the speaker’s circuit as Vice President, Mr. Coolidge is here articulating an assurance that under God’s rule solutions to our problems do not come by Washington’s decree but, being spiritual in their essence, it takes righteous standards to address them. It is God, not people, who elevate individuals for the times through moral character. God even now prepares men and women of integrity who are being prepared for the problems confronting us. By looking to heavenly principles rather than the material accumulations of affluence, security and progress, a nation turns back to the foundations that stand. Ultimately, all problems are spiritual ones.

As Coolidge knew, like the Founders before him, a “nation that is morally dead will soon be financially dead.” Sound economics mean nothing without a firm grasp of moral principles. In the haste to cut away all reliance upon God and His moral order for society, we are simply hastening our own destruction. We are denying the eternal means of redemption when we live in defiance of our nature’s spiritual needs. The redefinition of marriage into something it has never been, the systematic denial of rights belonging to the smallest and weakest of society, and the refusal to acknowledge our Creator, our Lord and our Savior, will not spare us from reaping what we now sow. The fruits of our optimism will forever elude us if they do not rest in the clear moral standards originating from our Lawgiver and Lord.

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