As you pass this portal, I pray that a better vantage out and across the natural order of all God has created might come into view for you, especially as to man’s place in this grand and glorious design, the physical, mental, and spiritual world we live in day by day. This natural order, the mystery and wonder of it, and of which I speak throughout these pages, the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God, is set forth in the first paragraph of “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.”
Finally, I pray you will come to better understand and appreciate this natural order. As you read about how my life has been changed, how, by living with only the simplest and most basic things, then by orienting my body, mind, and spirit ─ stimulated by the realization that Nature is the true and manifest evidence of God ─ through this process, you will see how I came to believe beyond doubt (wisdom through unshakable faith) that there is a living, caring, and forgiving God.
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
In Congress, July 4th, 1776
The happiest man is he who learns from nature the lesson of worship.
Every rational creature has all nature for his dowry and estate. It is his, if he will. He may divest himself of it; he may creep into a corner, and abdicate his kingdom, as most men do, but he is entitled to the world by his constitution. In proportion to the energy of his thought and will, he takes up the world into himself.
Nature stretcheth out her arms to embrace man, only let his thoughts be of equal greatness. Willingly does she follow his steps with the rose and the violet, and bend her lines of grandeur and grace to the decoration of her darling child.
The visible heavens and earth sympathize with Jesus. And in common life, whosoever has seen a person of powerful character and happy genius, will have remarked how easily he took all things along with him, — the person, the opinions, and the day, and nature became ancillary to a man.
Ralph Waldo Emerson