“Inner Thoughts” Rodrigo Rodriguez, from the album “Inner Thoughts” (2006)
I wrote this on July 4th, Wednesday, but life intervened and I got busy with business related activities and am only getting back to this now, Friday morning.
My American cousins are celebrating Independence Day today. That happy coincidence that found them Midwestern farmers, south of the 49th when things firmed up border-wise, while my grandfather sold the farm and returned to his Nova Scotian home town and married his childhood sweetheart.
Those decisions, made for immediate personal reasons, flow on across the generations and affect the futures of entire families. Little do we realize how we change the future for generations yet unborn.
The United States Declaration of Independence was drafted by Thomas Jefferson, and then edited by the Committee of Five, which consisted of Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston.
It was then further edited and adopted by the Committee of the Whole of the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. The second paragraph of the first article in the Declaration of Independence contains the phrase “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.
Jefferson’s “original Rough draught” is on exhibit in the Library of Congress. This version was used by Julian Boyd to create a transcript of Jefferson’s draft, which reads:
We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness; …
The Committee of Five edited Jefferson’s draft. Their version survived further edits by the whole Congress intact, and reads:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ——
A number of possible sources or inspirations for Jefferson’s use of the phrase in the Declaration of Independence have been identified, although scholars debate the extent to which any one of them actually influenced Jefferson.
Jefferson declared himself an Epicurean during his lifetime: this is a philosophical doctrine that teaches the pursuit of happiness and proposes autarchy, which translates as self-rule, self-sufficiency or freedom. The greatest disagreement comes between those who suggest the phrase was drawn from John Locke and those who identify some other source
But, are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights … is powerful. A powerful phrase indeed, rooted in natural law, and once upon a time considered an absolute Truth, before the Progressive Relativists outlawed all Truth and replaced it with fashionable consensus amongst “all right thinking people”.
A thought pops up in my fuzzy head, my “Neanderthal” head. Why are “modern” Protestant Bible translations copyrighted? How can one copyright the inspired word of God? Does this mean that in fact these “versions” are not the Word of God? Rambling thoughts on ownership of God’s Word…
Wisdom 7 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA) Seems the primary English translation from the Latin Vulgate, the Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible is not “copyrighted”. So lets look at more Wisdom:
1 I myself also am a mortal man, like all others, and of the race of him, that was first made of the earth, and in the womb of my mother I was fashioned to be flesh.
2 In the time of ten months I was compacted in blood, of the seed of man, and the pleasure of sleep concurring.
3 And being born I drew in the common air, and fell upon the earth, that is made alike, and the first voice which I uttered was crying, as all others do.
4 I was nursed in swaddling clothes, and with great cares.
5 For none of the kings had any other beginning of birth.
6 For all men have one entrance into life, and the like going out.
7 Wherefore I wished, and understanding was given me: and I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came upon me:
8 And I preferred her before kingdoms and thrones, and esteemed riches nothing in comparison of her.
9 Neither did I compare unto her any precious stone: for all gold in comparison of her, is as a little sand, and silver in respect to her shall be counted as clay.
10 I loved her above health and beauty, and chose to have her instead of light: for her light cannot be put out.
11 Now all good things came to me together with her, and innumerable riches through her hands,
12 And I rejoiced in all these: for this wisdom went before me, and I knew not that she was the mother of them all.
13 Which I have learned without guile, and communicate without envy, and her riches I hide not.
14 For she is an infinite treasure to men! which they that use, become the friends of God, being commended for the gift of discipline.
15 And God hath given to me to speak as I would, and to conceive thoughts worthy of those things that are given me: because he is the guide of wisdom, and the director of the wise:
16 For in his hand are both we, and our words, and all wisdom, and the knowledge and skill of works.
17 For he hath given me the true knowledge of the things that are: to know the disposition of the whole world, and the virtues of the elements,
18 The beginning, and ending, and midst of the times, the alterations of their courses, and the changes of seasons,
19 The revolutions of the year, and the dispositions of the stars,
20 The natures of living creatures, and rage of wild beasts, the force of winds, and reasonings of men, the diversities of plants, and the virtues of roots,
21 And all such things as are hid and not foreseen, I have learned: for wisdom, which is the worker of all things, taught me.
22 For in her is the spirit of understanding: holy, one, manifold, subtile, eloquent, active, undefiled, sure, sweet, loving that which is good, quick, which nothing hindereth, beneficent,
23 Gentle, kind, steadfast, assured, secure, having all power, overseeing all things, and containing all spirits, intelligible, pure, subtile.
24 For wisdom is more active than all active things: and reacheth everywhere by reason of her purity.
25 For she is a vapour of the power of God, and a certain pure emanation of the glory of the almighty God: and therefore no defiled thing cometh into her.
26 For she is the brightness of eternal light, and the unspotted mirror of God’s majesty, and the image of his goodness.
27 And being but one, she can do all things: and remaining in herself the same, she reneweth all things, and through nations conveyeth herself into holy souls, she maketh the friends of God and prophets.
28 For God loveth none but him that dwelleth with wisdom.
29 For she is more beautiful than the sun, and above all the order of the stars: being compared with the light, she is found before it.
30 For after this cometh night, but no evil can overcome wisdom.
So it seems that the Founders and Framers were more in tune with Douay-Rheims than our contemporary Progressive Liberals … endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights … would the Founders even recognize modern North American society, our culture of death? Why does our society flee from the light and deny all Truth? Birds of a feather, and by their works …