More than twenty years ago, after viewing the remains of forgotten civilizations of the distant past, I noted that a similar dark fate had in our own century overtaken world powers like Great Britain, and I warned that America might be next.
Trampling the ruins of former world empires with a horde of irreverent tourists, I told, in a series of reports to the Los Angeles Mirror, of the faded glory of those great nations of the past, and its troubling lesson for the present. In my book Glimpses of a Sacred Land (Wilde, 1953) I flashed a clear caution for the United States:
Everywhere one travels in the Near East today he can find the rubbled remnants of great empires of the past.… One by one they have fallen, either to extinction or second rate powers: Babylonia, Assyria, Persia, Egypt, Syria, Greece and Rome. In some of these lands, the wonder of their past can be recovered only from the dust heaps disclosed to the archaeologist’s shovel.… The whole course of history pays its testimony to the nature and activity of God: He sends disobedient nations down to their doom [pp. 223 f.].
There is a “crisis in America” today, I forewarned:
a basic moral and spiritual collapse.… Europe and the United States are closer to moral chaos than men realize.… We are rapidly losing clear-cut lines of faith: sacred and cherished terms, like justice, law, order, democracy, human dignity, are given glib meanings not alone by men who speak against Christianity, but by some who presume to speak for it.… A seeming fatal sickness of spirit is descending on our era [pp. 219 f.].
I cautioned that America’s “real glory” was departing, and cited political rottenness, sectional interests, and the instability of the home as aspects of national deterioration. ...1