Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, and Nathan Hale : Patriots to the End, Faithful to Both the Cause of Liberty and to Their SaviorSubmitted by Libera_me on Tue, 04/30/2013 - 08:20
We have been studying the history of this country, and in particular the events leading up the Revolutionary War and The Declaration of Independence. Part of the assignment from our reading yesterday was a brief summary of Nathan Hale's testimony to Captain Hull. Captain Hull begged him not to go as a spy, arguing: "Your nature is too frank, and open for deceit and disguise! General Washington -nor any commander- has any right to ask you to assume the garment of friendship for the betrayal of others!"
Nathan Hale saw things in a different Light, however. His reply was clear and firm: "I think I owe it to my country to do the thing which seems so important to General Washington, and I know of no other way of getting the desired information than assuming a disguise and passing into the enemy's camp."
His friend, despairing, urged: "But think of the disgrace of it! If you were caught, you would be hung as a criminal! Dear Nathan, I beg of you, Don't Go!"
Nathan Hale responded, gently but firmly: "He (Jesus) took upon Himself the disguise of the men He came to live among, for the good of many and the cause of right. He was arrested and hanged - on a cross! Who am I that I should set up my judgement against His example and General Washington's will?"
His friend made one more attempt, then, realizing he could not stop his friend, kept silent.
Nathan Hale's final confession: "I regret that I have but one life to give for my country."
Samuel Adams, one of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence was equally firm in his faith. He was the 'ringleader' according to some, along with Hancock. He lead a group of Patriots called by some 'Adam's Mohawks' because of their desire to live as simply as possible. He also was responsible for the formation of the Committees of Correspondence, which would later become the Committees of Safety. Sam Adams was also one of the first of the Patriots to argue for natural rights that government could not justly violate.
Shortly after the British Crown appointed its own governor, Governor Gage, a personal message was sent to Samuel Adams. His Directive? Stop your opposition to the Crown, and receive great benefits from personal bribes, (He didn't know Adams very well, evidently. Adams didn't care too much for money) He courageously replied:
"Then you may tell Governor Gage that I trust that I have long since made my peace with the King of Kings (Jesus). No personal consideration shall induce me to abandon the righteous cause of my country: and tell Governor Gage it is the advise of Samuel Adams to him, no longer to insult the feelings of an exasperated people!"
Later, Adams would express concerns with the forming of a strong central government, withholding his signature. "I confess," He wrote to Richard Henry Lee, "as I enter the building, I stumble at the threshold, I meet with a national Government, instead of a Federal Union of States." Though neither Adams nor Hancock signed, they agreed to support the Constitution, as long as some amendments could be added later. These would include the Bill of Rights, which Samuel Adams had worked to see pass.
Patrick Henry, homeschooled by his father, learned to read and was taught the history of the Greeks, Romans and the Reformation. Patrick Henry was greatly influenced by Pastor Samuel Davies, a Presbyterian from Hanover, Pa. Later, his critics would say he spoke like a 'preacher'. Henry had the foresight to see, and logically concluded, as the Stamp Act was passed-
"This is the rise of tyranny."
Patrick Henry was concerned about the rights of individual states, and what could happen if the Articles of Confederation were replaced with a strong central government. His primary concern was that:
"You will never be able to control the size of this government, if you give it that authority. It will become a gargantuan, uncontrollable thing that will feed upon itself."
Concerning slavery, he said: "In a country above all others fond of liberty, many defend a principle as repugnant to humanity as it is inconsistent with the Bible and destructive to liberty." Though he owned slaves, he chose to deal with them as gently as possible, which he saw as the furthest advance he could make toward justice at the time. (Some slaves were treated more like modern 'employees' than slaves in those days)
As to his faith:
"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this country was founded not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
In a letter to his daughter, on August 20,1796, he wrote:
"Amongst other strange things said of me, I hear it said by the deists that I am one of their number; and indeed that some good people think that I am no Christian. This thought gives me much more pain than the appellation of Tory; because I think religion of infinitely higher importance than politics; and I find much cause to reproach myself that I have lived so long and given no decided and public proofs of my being a Christian. but indeed my dear child, this is a character I prize far above all this world has or can boast."
May those of us who claim the name of Christian stand for the rights of their citizens as they did!