Monday, August 11, 2014

"Men Are Bound to Preserve Our Own Lives..."

A trip to Lexington Green can be quite inspiring.  We went last week and when we returned home, I did a little research into the person of the Reverend Jonas Clark(e) and a few other clerics of that day.  He was an avid supporter and promoter of Liberty in Massachusetts. Following the brief Battle at Lexington, the church house was used as a mortuary for the eight killed in action.  
But I digress...
I came across another pastoral firebrand for Liberty, the Reverend Simeon Howard of Boston.  This post offers a brief collection of excerpts from a sermon he delivered in June of 1773. (Full sermon here )

A Sermon Preached to the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in Boston

Simeon Howard


"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free..."
..."In a state of nature, or where men are under no civil government, God has given to every one liberty to pursue his own happiness in whatever way, and by whatever means he pleases, without asking the consent or consulting the inclination of any other man, provided he keeps within the bounds of the law of nature..."

"When any one’s liberty is attacked or threatened, he is first to try gentle methods for his safety, to reason with, and persuade the adversary to desist, if there be opportunity for it; or get out of his way, if he can; and if by such means he can prevent the injury, he is to use no other.

But the experience of all ages has shewn, that those, who are so unreasonable as to form designs of injuring others, are seldom to be diverted from their purpose by argument and persuasion alone. Notwithstanding all that can be said to shew the injustice and inhumanity of their attempt, they persist in it, till they have gratified the unruly passion which set them to work. And in this case, what is to be done by the sufferer? Is he to use no other means for his safety, but remonstrance or flight, when these will not secure him? Is he patiently to take the injury and suffer himself to be robbed of his liberty or his life, if the adversary sees fit to take it? Nature certainly forbids this tame submission, and loudly calls to a more vigorous defence. Self-preservation is one of the strongest, and a universal principle of the human mind: And this principle allows every thing necessary to self-defence, opposing force to force, and violence to violence. This is so universally allowed that I need not attempt to prove it."

"But it is only defensive war that can be justified in the sight of God. . . ."

"A people who would stand fast in their liberty, should furnish themselves with weapons proper for their defense, and learn the use of them."

"Even when the injury offered is great in itself, or big with fatal consequences, we should, if there be opportunity, endeavor to prevent it by remonstrance or by offering to leave the matter in dispute to indifferent judges, if they can be had. If these endeavors are unsuccessful, it then becomes proper to use more forceable means of resistance."

"A people may err by too long neglecting such means and shamefully suffer the sword to rust in its scabbard when it ought to be employed in defending their liberty. The most grasping and oppressive power will commonly let its neighbors remain in peace if they will submit to its unjust demands. And an incautious people may submit to these demands, one after another, till its liberty is irrecoverably gone,before they saw the danger. . . ."(emphasis added)

"War, though a great evil, is ever preferable to such concessions as are likely to be fatal to public liberty. . . . "

"Men are bound to preserve their own lives, as long as they can consistently with their duty in other respects. Would not he, who should lose his life by neglecting to resist a wild beast, be criminal in the sight of God? And can he be innocent who loses it by neglecting to oppose the violent attacks of wicked men, oftentimes as fierce and cruel as the most savage beast?

Men are also bound, individuals and societies, to take care of their temporal happiness, and do all they lawfully can, to promote it. But what can be more inconsistent with this duty, than submitting to great encroachments upon our liberty? Such submission tends to slavery; and compleat slavery implies every evil that the malice of man and devils can inflict. Again,

The regard which we owe to the happiness of others makes this a duty.

Every man is bound by the law of nature and revelation, to provide in the best manner he can, for the temporal happiness of his family, and he that neglects this, has, according to the declaration of an inspired apostle, denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. But in what way can a man be more justly chargeable with this neglect, than by suffering himself to be deprived of his life, liberty and property, when he might lawfully have preserved them?"

Finally, for this post: 

". . . Since the preservation of public liberty depends so much upon a people’s being possessed of the art of war, those who exert themselves to encourage and promote this art act a laudable part, and are entitled to the thanks of their brethren. . . ."

To those in the short list list that follows, I offer my sincere gratitude for your efforts to rally and equip Patriots across this nation for the coming difficulties.  Whether you work alone or in a group, offer general or task-specific training, in person, book or digital format - thank you.

Sam K,  DGT, M-DT, Sparks31, Guerillamerica, Brock Townsend, CA of WRSA

Please, if you're a part of the effort to prepare Patriots, add your name to this list.

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