In 1776, the Continental Congress approved what has become known as “The Declaration of Independence.” Though this title is not mentioned in the document itself, posterity and the content of the document established the title. It was, indeed, a declaration of independence.
The Declaration begins with a soul-stirring reminder of the significance of this act, and the God-given entitlement to respond to tyranny.
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them…”
The causes for the separation are are preceded by The Preamble. This may very well be one of the most powerful statements ever expressed in the English language.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
“The pursuit of Happiness” was an 18th Century expression best described as self-rule. Jefferson understood real freedom to be found in self-sufficiency, not in government dependency. This kind of happiness cannot thrive or survive under governmental tyranny.
In the 21st Century, “pursuit of happiness” has been dissected and tortured by secularists until it is barely recognizable. It has become a tired horse mounted by the forces of liberalism. Assisted by tyrannical judges, it has been ridden into the ground in an attempt to turn self-sufficiency and freedom from tyranny into a passion for personal licentiousness.
The body of The Declaration contains “the causes which impel them to separation.” They express an American virtue, the absolute intolerance for tyranny. It is in the DNA of the American idea.
“It is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
Though addressed to King George, the causes of the separation are not driven by a personal grudge against the King of England, or a hatred for the people of Great Britain. They are referred to as facts that must be stated.
“The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”
What follows is the list of causes that brought about the crisis, and severed ties between a free people and the source of the tyranny they abhorred. The birth of a free people was based upon a rejection of tyranny. The death of a free people begins the day they begin to ignore it. Growing accustomed to tyranny a slow but sure process to complete the suicide of a free people. No one has described this better than Os Guinness in his book, “A Free People’s Suicide.”
“A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.”
The Declaration held The King responsible for being the tyrant, but it also held the people of England accountable for allowing the tyranny to be directed towards their fellow-citizens in America. The Declaration called for an absolute separation from the English government and the creation of another one in America. The Declaration would lead to war, but it also contained a hope for peace.
“We must therefore…hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.”
The Conclusion of The Declaration of Independence expresses the level of commitment the signers of the document brought to the causes they had expressed.
“And for the support of this Declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
The signers were not blind to the consequences of their action, but they were not clairvoyant. They were separating themselves from the richest nation in the world, and challenging the combined might of the largest navy and most successful army on earth. They could not have possible foreseen what it would cost them. Thank God they didn’t flinch when it came to paying the price.
It took the vision of John Adams to see beyond the storm clouds of war and into a brighter future for these United States.
“I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these states. Yet through all the gloom I see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is worth all the means. This is our day of deliverance.” – John Adams
Adams would write to his wife, Abigail, about this special day. To be clear, he thought it would be celebrated on July 2nd. He missed the date, but his sentiment was spot on. You can’t miss it.
“It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.” – John Adams
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY! Go out and celebrate accordingly. Observing the local ordinances of your city and state, FIRE AWAY!
May these words of John Adams be ever true, and may we be faithful to pass his priceless legacy on to our children. Pray for our nation. It is in great danger, but the greatest enemy of this nation may very well be a prayerless church. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!