FIERY CONCLUSION

FIERY CONCLUSION

By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

"Give me liberty or give me death."
The individual who uttered this familiar line can be readily answered by most of us, but the "context" of this line is of a magnitude worthy of reflection.
I place key facts before you deemed pertinent to the single line issued by a courageous man.
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March 20, 1775
St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia

The Second Virginia Convention met privately at this church instead of the Capital in Williamsburg in order to avoid interference from the Royal Marines and acting Lieutenant-Governor Dunmore.
Patrick Henry was staunchly opposed to the idle station of men seeking reconciliation with the Crown which, he felt, would ultimately lead to an ongoing enslavement to it. He suggested a strongly contested resolution to forming a militia in Virginia which would both defend and protect the budding rights of a new country of free men.
Within this great upheaval of our nation's early formation in mind, the words of Patrick Henry erupt several days later.
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March 23, 1775 
St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia
On this date Patrick Henry presented the proposal to enlist militia men to every Virginia county. He respectfully submitted an extraordinary oration of which "part" will be shared to supplement his famous words.
His actual words were not transcribed but recollected and put together by the men who attendeded this gathering.
His address begins with Mr. President, which was a reference to Peyton Randolph, the Convention's president at Williamsburg.
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"MR. PRESIDENT: No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not thought to be disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely, and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offence, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.
Mr. President, it is natural to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.
... It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. 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! 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 of not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"
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Does not this stir up within our souls, dear reader, the rights and subjects regarding both patriotism and spiritual pilgrimage? Do not we read here and invite the pressing subject matter of our redemptive rights in it as well?
Surely the blood is worth standing for, fighting for, and believing in.
Surely the spilt blood of our Savior calls us to recognize Christ as presiding and residing in all truth and we must take our stand on it ... come what may.
It is not those who speak of redemption but those who "live out" redemption who are truly saved and help to procure the rights of others.
We must understand and live out the terms of our redemptive rights without fear of reprisal from man ... and then we shall find ourselves truly liberated from man.
And this then, may be the boast of our conduct heavenward:
We feared God before man and made our choices accordingly.
"Forbid it, Almighty God! I know of not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"
Hallelujah and Amen.
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"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."
Galatians 5:1