Many are familiar with Patrick Henry’s famous quote, “Give me liberty or give me death,” but few are aware of what preceded it. I am posting it today because Christians and Conservatives today find themselves in a similar situation and should heed his words. Patrick Henry was a member of the First Continental Congress and the first governor of Virginia. In an address delivered at the Virginia convention at St. John’s Church, Richmond, Virginia on March 23rd, 1775, he said:
Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of the means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed with the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone, it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to return from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged. Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable, and let it come!
It is vain, sir to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, peace, peace! But there is no peace… Our brethren are already in the field. Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me: Give me liberty, or give me death!
Christianity was the acknowledged faith of the colonists. On the cusp of our Declaration of Independence from England, one of Great Britain’s Crown-appointed governors wrote to the Board of Trade in England:
“If you ask an American, ‘Who is your master?’ He will tell you, ‘None, nor any governor, but Jesus Christ.’”
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
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