Persian Letter Series: Letter 35 – Usbek to Jemshid, his cousin, a dervish at the illustrious monastery of Tabriz

This is the sixth post in a series of posts examining excerpts from Charles Montesquieu’s book Persian Letters.  Each post in this series examines a selected excerpt for study and discussion.  The following is an excerpt from Letter 35:

Whatever you do, truth will always emerge, shining through the darkness which surrounds it.  A day will come when the Eternal will see only the true believers on the earth; time, which consumes all things, will destroy error itself; all men will see with amazement that they are under the same flag; everything, even the Law, will be accomplished: the sacred books will be removed from the earth, and carried away to the celestial archives.

Comments on the excerpt above:

This passage speaks louder knowing that Montesquieu had studied the Koran.  Yes, the man that was most influential upon the writers of the U.S. Constitution was more knowledgeable about the Koran than 99% of all non-Muslim Americans in 2011.   Don’t you find that interesting?

His point here is that regardless of your religion, there is a truth or natural law that we are all bound to. Trying to suppress the truth is foolish.

All of the founding fathers of the United States of America sought the truth and wanted liberty to pursue it.  They learned from Montesquieu that the separation of powers amongst men and man’s freedom to choose his religion and be tolerant of others was necessary to write the constitution of a great republic.  Adhering to a well thought out constitution was our best chance to give our children the opportunity to learn the truth by way of liberty.  A constitution that could evolve at the same speed as man was what they wrote.  But, republics of any constitution face a dangerous enemy: greed.  Monopoly of power is an ugly byproduct of the disease called greed.   Like a living organism, as the monopoly of power gathers momentum in smalls circles of men, it tries to cast a shadow on truth.  And man’s greed might be strong enough to kill even a great republic, but the truth can never be held down for long.

Mann tracht, Gott lought

Man plans, God laughs (translation)

          -Yiddish proverb

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