Friday, March 23, 2012

Today, March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry stood before the House of Burgesses in St. Johns Church, Richmond Virginia and cried out his famous plea for resistance to tyranny. America had no funds and no trained militia. It would seem madness to aggravate the British government in any way that led to war. Such was the prevailing opinion of the time and yet Mr. Henry was not governed by fear of prevailing opinions. He well knew, “There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up 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…. If we wish to be free--if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending--if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained--we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us! … Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace--but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! [He speaks here of Boston besieged by a British fleet!] 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!”
Ascribing glory forever and ever to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, who says to us, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
Read Patrick Henry’s entire speech here.

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