From the standpoint of funeral orations, my school's literature department had to wait nearly 2500 years for the next great oration after that of Pericles. It's a short speech that has generated many more words of philosophical interpretation, even re-molded a country that was being torn apart. Never mind that it is about someone's particular country. The words are a recipe for constructing one and not making it limited to a tribe - but inviting to those who uphold its values.
The prophets of WTBTS seem either silent or antithetical to the beliefs propounded by Lincoln. Yet even as much as they rant about Biblical prophets and their return, I am convinced that they missed the real thing. But most importantly, the final aspiration of the speaker and all those that admire him, was that that a free government - from the bottom up and not down from above from a tyrant, a slave owner or a theocrat - was a gift from God and a thing to be protected.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war.
We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground.
The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.
The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.
It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
-- Abraham Lincoln
Nov. 19, 1863