Quick! What famous patriot stood on the balcony of St. Johns church and said, “Give me
liberty or give me death?” You guessed right if you said, “Patrick Henry”.
Interestingly, you can still see the top of the church nestled against I-95
as you drive North through Richmond, Virginia.
Now see how you do with these trivia questions.
Answers are at the bottom of the page:
- In what country were fireworks invented?
- Which two presidents died on July 4, 1826?
- Who was the only “Yankee doodle dandy” president born on the 4th of
- How many men signed the Declaration of Independence?
- Who was the first signer of the Declaration of Independence?
- What is the name of the 2004 movie in which Nicholas Cage steals the Declaration of
Independence from the National Archives in Washington, DC?
Now, back to Patrick Henry. Did you know, “Give me liberty or give me death” are just the final seven words of his speech? Here, as Paul Harvey used to say, is the rest of the story: Mr. Patrick’s passionate speech was given in response to the Stamp Act of 1765. He bravely and
rightly said, “An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us. But we shall not fight our battle
alone. There is a just God that presides over the destinies of nations. The battle sir is not of the strong alone. 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 what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.
Have you ever wondered what makes a man or woman say such a thing? Or why is
liberty so prized that death is preferable to peace at any price?
I believe it is because God created us to be free while living in perfect harmony with Him and each other. However, on the day Eve gave Adam an apple to eat that freedom was lost and we were no longer born free. Our perfect God nature was replaced by a sin nature and we were enslaved by Satan. Thankfully, because God loves people more than anything, He provided a way out of this hopeless situation through the
life, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus who clearly said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32
I believe Jesus’ mission in the world was and is to set us free from our enslavement to sin. The tragedy is that, even though we live in a country where we are free to choose our liberty over sin, we often choose to remain in chains. I pray this 4th of July will be a joyful celebration of thankfulness for the hard fought for freedoms we enjoy but even more that it will be a time when we embrace the
freedom Jesus, our Great Redeemer, came to give us.
Happy Independence Day!
1. Fireworks were invented in China between 960 and 1279
2. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
3. Calvin Coolidge was born on July 4, 1872 in Plymouth, Vermont
4. Fifty Six
5. John Hancock 6. National Treasure