You are called to the Liberty Tree and the Hall of Libertyas on Boston commons!
We who fostered the fight for Liberty sprung up from the Puritan Age, by 1750 all of New England were descendants of the 1620 to 1640. Our descendants knew about Algernon Sydney who in stood against the “divine right of the king” and lost his head for it.
The Teutonic people handed down to their English descendants the “Folkmote,” which has been in the New England town-meeting. All the people of the town were warned to attend a meeting when called upon by selectmen, who might act upon their own authority, or upon the application of a certain number of townsmen. All of the people were on a level of political equality. Each individual had the right of delivering his own opinion, no matter how poor and humble. Our New England town-meetings played a most important part in the history of American Independence. Each New England town was called “an incorporated Republic.”
New England in particular has been Long in the fight for Liberty: Before Massachusetts was five years old and numbered five thousand souls, it was ready for war with King Charles. For when our fore-fathers heard that a royal governor was to be sent from England in opposition to our charter, these patriots appropriated six hundred pounds to fortify Boston harbor.
We knew that kings were not the English People neither the selfish merchants and traders that sided with Parliament wanting to restrict on American Trade. American Colonists, with the iron of the English common people in our blood, sent back defiant shouts to King and the men about him whom he had bought and corrupted, “Britons never, never will be slaves.”
It was the narrow-minded, illiberal, self-seeking, ruling class that brought upon England her difficulties with us colonist and caused the separation.
I began the fight for Liberty in 1743 at my Masters Commencement with the topic being “Whether it be lawful to resist the supreme Magistrate, if the commonwealth cannot be otherwise preserved!”
- thirty-three years before the Declaration of Independence;
- twenty-two before the Stamp Act ;
- in the reign of George II.;
- while Robert Walpole was Prime Minister;
- when Washington, Patrick Henry, John Adams, Warren, and Hancock were children, and Jefferson, Gerry, and Quincy yet unborn.
Again, Being Against the CORE TRANSGRESSIONS where I was vigilant for Liberty:
- Manufacturing shut down in 1750 – No steel or iron.
- Banking transformed, bailed out in England by international bankers on the continent and shut down banks in the colonies. My Fathers Land bank suffered this humiliation.
- 1765 – I wrote the RESOLUTIONS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF MASSACHUSETTS. OCTOBER 29, 1765. – 1. Resolved, That there are certain essential rights of the British Constitution of government, which are founded in the law of God and nature, and are the common rights of mankind, Rights are from God – No man can take property – all rights preserved in the Magna Charta – That by the declaration of the royal charter of this Province, the inhabitants are entitled to all the rights, liberties, and immunities of free and natural subjects of Great Britain to all intents, purposes, and constructions whatever.
It has always been clear to me That:
A man’s property is the fruit of his industry; and if it may be taken from him under any pretence whatever, at the will of another, he cannot be said to he free, for he labors like a bond slave, not for himself, but for another. Or suppose his property comes by inheritance or free gift, it is absolutely his own; and it cannot rightly be taken from him without his consent. This I take to be the commonly received opinion concerning liberty as regards taxation. And it is moreover generally understood, that upon this opinion the very being of a free government depends.
As to the continuing degradation that lead to the charges cited in the Declaration:
- 1766 – Governor declared trade illegal and executed search and seizure in Boston.
- 1768 – Quartering of troops in Boston
- 1768 – the legislatures disbanded and the Colonial Charters repealed
- We fought back with the Non-Importation agreement – 1771 – I lived Buy American! I never wore nor permitted my family to wear English cloth. I shout and communicated to all the colonies: “It behooves every American,” “to encourage home manufactures, that our oppressors may feel through their pockets the effects of their blind folly.”
- All the Acts of Parliament – Stamp Act, Sugar Act… The Intolerable Acts! Rules & Regulations impacting every aspect of the lives and Liberty of the Colonist.
I would always come back to: What is Liberty and the Rights of a Free People!
In all free states the constitution is fixed; it is from this that the legislative derives its authority therefore it cannot change the constitution without destroying its own foundation.
I am one of the most studied in Completely understanding the English Constitution and the Englishmen’s Rights. Liberty is my ruling idea, Liberty in the sacred law.
THE GROUNDING LEADERS OF THE DAY – that united the core principles of the colonies more than anything else has been the teaching and leadership of Rev. Thomas Allen leader of “The Berkshire Constitutionalists”, Rev. John Wise, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Witherspoon, Andrew Elliot, Gilbert Tennent, Doctors Lowell, Cooper, my Father-in-law Checkley, Byles, Chauncy, Thacher, Prince, Mayhew and Mather. It was the First Great Awakening that brought the minds and hearts of those in the Churches refreshed with the Pure Ideals of Liberty and a clear understanding that again, our Forefathers established New England on the Principles that there was No king but King Jesus. The full truths of the Bible were refreshed and made active in the lives of the people uniting us in in Principles and Truth so that we could understand tyranny.
Refreshed in the understanding of UNALIENABLE RIGHTS I wrote:
“If men, through fear, fraud, or mistake, should in terms renounce or give up any natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renounciation. The right to freedom being the gift of God, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave.”
TEACHING THESE PRINCIPLES OF LIBERTY
I asked to speak about this Declaration of Independence and on August 1, 1776, from the steps of the Congress I spoke what I had written but you would not be able to sit for the two hour it took to deliver it all. With that, here are some of the core concepts from my perspective on the Declaration:
Our forefathers threw off the yoke of popery in religion: for you is reserved the honor of levelling the popery of politics. They opened the Bible to all, and maintained the capacity of every man to judge for himself in religion. Are we sufficient for the comprehension of the sublimest spiritual truths, and unequal to material and temporal ones? Heaven hath trusted us with the management of things for eternity, and man denies us ability to judge of the present, or to know from our feelings the experience that will make us happy. “You can discern,” say they, “objects distant and remote, but cannot perceive those within your grasp. Let us have the distribution of present goods, and cut out and manage as you please the interests of the future.” This day, I trust the reign of political protestantism will commence. We have explored the temple of royalty, and found that the idol we have bowed down to, has eyes which see not, ears that hear not our prayers, and a heart like the nether millstone. We have this day restored the Sovereign, to whom alone men ought to be obedient. He reigns in Heaven, and with a favorable eye beholds his subjects assuming that freedom of thought, and dignity of self-direction which He bestowed on them. From the rising to the setting sun, may His kingdom come.
Having been a slave to the influence of opinions early acquired, and distinctions generally received, I am ever inclined not to despise but pity those who are yet in darkness. But to the eye of reason what can be more clear, than that all men have an equal right to happiness? Nature made no other distinction than that of higher or lower degrees of power of mind and body. But what mysterious distribution of character has the craft of statesmen?
“Honour, justice and humanity call upon us to hold, and to transmit to our posterity, that liberty, which we received from our ancestors. It is not our duty to leave wealth to our children: but it is our duty, to leave liberty to them. No infamy, iniquity, or cruelty can exceed our own, if we, born and educated in a country of freedom, entitled to its blessings, and knowing their value, Lacking Courage we desert the post assigned to us by Divine Providence, surrender succeeding generations to a condition of wretchedness, from which no human efforts, in all probability, will be sufficient to extricate them; the experience of all states mournfully demonstrating to us, that when arbitrary power has been established over them, even the wisest and bravest nations, that ever flourished, have, in a few years, degenerated into abject and wretched vassals.” – (written for the Resolutions of Committee for the Province of Pennsylvania – 1774)
A political minister will study to lull us into security by granting us the full extent of our petitions. The warm sunshine of influence would melt down the virtue which the violence of the storm rendered more firm and unyielding. In a state of tranquility, wealth and luxury, our descendants would forget the arts of war and the noble activity and zeal which made their ancestors invincible. Every art of corruption would be employed to loosen the bond of union which renders our resistance formidable. When the spirit of liberty which now animates our hearts and gives success to our arms is extinct, our numbers will accelerate our ruin, and render us easier victims to tyranny
If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our country- men.
Courage, then, my countrymen! Our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an ayslum on earth for civil and religious liberty. Dismissing, therefore, the justice of our cause as incontestable, the only question is. What is best for us to pursue in our present circumstances?
I Say Liberty!
For me, I will oppose tyranny at the threshold, though the fabric of liberty fall, and I perish in its ruins. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if men break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.”
Now go and hear the word of this Declaration of Independence and seek Liberty! Giving it to your posterity.