I was amazed to read the conclusion of the study of a (communist) Chinese study on the secret of America’s relative greatness and success. It almost echoed a quote often attributed to Alexis De’Toqueville, from the earliest beginnings of our national experiment in Republican self-government.
The Chinese study concluded ;
One of the things we were asked to look at was the success, in fact, the pre-eminence of the West, all over the world. We studied everything we could from the historical, political, economic and cultural perspective. At first, we thought it was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years we have realised that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity. That is why the West is so powerful. The Christian moral foundation of social and cultural life was what made possible the emergence of capitalism and then the successful transition to democratic politics. We don’t have any doubt about this. “The Victory Of Reason:How Christianity led to Freedom,Capitalism and the success of the West” by Rodney Stark
Two Hundred Years ago A French scholar(Believed to be Alexis De’Toqueville but unsubstantiated) wrote this summation of the Greatness of the young nation which is eerily similar,
In the end, the state of the Union comes down to the character of the people. I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there. In the fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there. In her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits, aflame with righteousness, did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.
Of course the scriptures assert the very same thing, as in Psalm 31;
...Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works. There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.
Oh that our pulpits would once again thunder with Righteousness! Oh that we would all turn again in humble repentance to Him who has so favored us in blessing and deliverance! Unless we repent, we shall surely perish!