“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 the course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
These compelling words embodied the patriotic spirit of Patrick Henry—a brilliant orator where love of liberty, won at any cost, fueled the fire of the American Revolution. Patrick Henry was an American hero. The legacy of Patrick Henry lives on not only in his monumental achievement of American independence and western liberty, but also in the example he set for future generations of leaders.
Imitate Patrick Henry Patrick Henry’s fundamental characteristics should inspire all leaders to learn from his life. Before the American Revolution our country was under the throes of political and religious tyranny from the British. Patrick Henry held a deep conviction that “where political tyranny begins, true government ends.”
Henry was certain that God had called him to an inescapable accountability to oppose the lawless encroachments of government over “citizen’s rights” and “freedom of religion.” The American Revolution owes much of its success to the bold and passionate life work of Patrick Henry whose trumpet of revolution was heard loud and clear in the congressional halls of justice.
Patrick Henry was a man of deep religious faith and virtue. He was a man of persistence. He learned the hard way that life is neither fair nor easy, and that the path to success and greatness was perseverance. Henry was a man of passion. He passionately advocated measures that he sincerely held to be in the best interest of the country. He spoke and acted from his heart with honest conviction that moved the hearts of others.
Henry was a man of perception. He foresaw the coming war of independence long before his confused colleagues. He also foresaw the dangers of federal abuse of the constitution because he had an astounding knowledge of the human heart. He was a man of patriotism. His patriotism was rooted in his love for liberty first. To him being a patriot meant standing on the firm foundation of God’s justice in the face of opposition, injustice, and censorship. A patriot was one who stood for his country because his country stood for right.
Lastly, Henry was a man of piety. His Christian faith sustained him through adversity and loss. His faith comforted him and energized him during conflict. It shaped his character and governed his policies. His view of liberty that he strove to protect was rooted in his Christian world view. The only God that Henry would bow to was the God of the Bible.
The only enemy to freedom is tyrannical government that presumes to take the place of God. Henry serves to every generation of leaders as a model of Christian patriotism, and uncompromising statesmanship. Happy 4th of July!
-Pastor Virgil Amundson