By Mark Bowser
As he finished strapping the underbelly belt of the saddle around his horse, a chill went through his chest right to the bone. Was it the late winter breeze or something else entirely John Jones didn’t know. What he did know is that his life would change after tonight. It had to. Enough was enough.
John kissed his wife Betsy and their two year old daughter Jessica and off he road the five miles to the Richmond meeting. There was an important community meeting at St. John’s Church. It was rumored that George Washington himself would be there.
As John road along, he knew his life was changing. He was just a simple Virginia farmer. But he knew that the further that he rode from his farm that faithful night was symbolic of how far is life would travel from the farm…at least for awhile.
St. John’s Church was packed. John found a place to stand in the back. He was shoulder to shoulder with men on either side. There were farmers just like him. He saw Sam Jeffers who was a fellow farmer who lived on the other side of the county. There too, was Thomas Smith who ran the general store where he got his seed and supplies. And sitting near the front, John caught a glimpse of George Washington.
At that moment, someone yelled, “Open the windows. There is a crowd outside who came to hear too.”
It was disturbing what the speakers were talking about. Breaking away from England? Has it really come to that? “I don’t know.” thought John. “Sure, as of late, England had tightened her talons, but war?”
At that moment, John’s thoughts were interrupted by a man strolling confidently toward the lectern. It was Patrick Henry. Henry was a lawyer, but other than that John knew nothing else of the man.
A hush came over the vast assembly of humanity in the compact, Richmond church. Henry began to speak, “We have petitioned, we have remonstrated, we have supplicated, we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and parliament. Our petitions have been slighted…with contempt, from the foot of the throne.”
Henry addressed the fear that was ringing in the minds of John and so many others in the church that evening. “They tell us, sir, that we are weak, unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger. Will it be the next week or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction?”
All eyes were now on Patrick Henry. He was building to a climax like a weary climber who gains energy at the site of the peak. “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 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…Our brethren are already in the field. Why stand we here idle…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.”
They were strong words Patrick Henry spoke that night. Words with more validity to our current situation then we might think. The words he spoke that night can’t be verified historically. There is no recording, no video tape, no instant news that was hanging on his every word. Whether the speech on March 23, 1775 was of actuality word for word is of no concern to us. Our concern is of the truth of its message. A truth that has been passed down from one American generation to the next. A truth that must ring true again today.
We need another St. John’s Church meeting today calling a sleepy nation back to arms. No, not a call for guns and bullets, but one of words and philosophy. The Obama Administration has been taking apart our American liberties bit by bit. Each bit in and of itself is hardly noticed, but together are forging a chain of bondage so harassing that one day we will wake from our slumber unable to move for the America we knew is no more.
That is why I cry with full voice that we need Liberty Now! We must harness the courage and gather the troops for battle. Our brothers and sisters are already in the field. We must join them because we need Liberty Now.
Very soon, I will have a new book coming out called The Indispensable George Washington which is a look at George Washington’s Farewell Address and how it is a lighthouse and alarm ringing for us today. Stay Tuned! In the meantime, I encourage you to check my other books to the right.
Make it A Great Day! God bless you!