By Bill Federer
He sat in the pew next to George Washington at St. Paul’s Chapel in New York during the religious service following Washington’s Presidential Inauguration.
He helped ratify the U.S. Constitution and was a Congressman from Massachusetts.
On August 20, 1789, he proposed as the wording of the First Amendment (Annals of Congress, 1:766):
“Congress shall make no law establishing religion, or to prevent the free exercise thereof, or to infringe the rights of conscience.”
His name was Fisher Ames.
Fisher Ames compared monarchy to a republic, as recorded by Ralph Waldo Emerson in Essays, Second Series, (chapter 7, “Politics,” p. 97, 1844; Library of America, 1983):
“Monarchy is a merchantman, which sails well, but will sometimes strike on a rock, and go to the bottom; whilst a republic is a raft, which would never sink, but then your feet are always in water.”
Of America’s Republic, Fisher Ames wrote in an article titled “Monitor,” published in The New England Palladium of Boston, 1804, (Works of Fisher Ames, compiled by a number of his friends, Boston: T.B. Wait & Co., 1809, p. 272):
“We now set out with our experimental project, exactly where Rome failed with hers. We now begin, where she ended.”
Warning against the temptation to increase government, Fisher Ames stated in “Speeches on Mr. Madison’s Resolutions” (Works of Fisher Ames, compiled by a number of his friends, Boston: T.B. Wait & Co., 1809, p. 48):
“To control trade by law, instead of leaving it to the better management of the merchants…(is) to play the tyrant in the counting house, and in directing the private expenses of our citizens, are employments equally unworthy of discussion.”
At the Massachusetts Convention, January 15, 1788, Fisher Ames warned that democracy without morals would eventually reduce the nation to the basest of human passions, swallowing freedom:
“A democracy is a volcano which conceals the fiery materials of its own destruction.”
Fisher Ames commented in “The Dangers of American Liberty,” 1805 (published in Works of Fisher Ames: with a selection from his speeches and correspondence, Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1854, pp. 349):
“The known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness, which the ambitious call, and the ignorant believe to be, liberty.”
Russell Kirk described Fisher Ames in The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot (Washington D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2001, chapter 3, p. 81-85):
“As time runs on, Ames grows more intense. Democracy cannot last…When property is snatched from hand to hand…then society submits cravenly to the immorality of rule by the sword…
Of all the terrors of democracy, the worst is its destruction of moral habits. ‘A democratic society will soon find its morals…the surly companion of its licentious joys’…
Is there no check upon these excesses?…The press supplies an endless stimulus to popular imagination and passion; the press lives upon heat and coarse drama and incessant restlessness. ‘It has inspired ignorance with presumption’…
‘Constitutions,’ says Ames, ‘are but paper; society is the substratum of government’…
Like Samuel Johnson, (Ames) finds the key to political decency in private morality.”
Aaron McLeod wrote in “Great Conservative Minds: A Condensation of Russell Kirk’sThe Conservative Mind” (October 2005, Alabama Policy Institute, Birmingham, AL, chp. 3, p. 9-10}:
“Ames was pessimistic about the American experiment because he doubted there were sufficient numbers of men with the moral courage and charisma to preserve the country from the passions of the multitudes and the demagogues who master them.
He was convinced that the people as a body cannot reason and are easily swayed by clever speakers and political agents. In his words, ‘few can reason, all can feel’…
Democracy could not last, Ames thundered, ’for despotism lies at the door; when the tyranny of the majority leads to chaos, society will submit to rule by the sword.‘”
Aaron McLeod continued:
“To Ames, what doomed the American experiment was the democratic destruction of morals…
Ames believed that justice and morality in America would fail, and popular rule cannot support justice, without which moral habits fall away.
Neither the free press nor paper constitutions could safe-guard order from these excesses, for the first is merely a stimulus to popular passion and imagination, while the other is a thin bulwark against corruption.
When old prescription and tradition are dismissed, only naked force matters.”
George Washington died December 14, 1799.
Fisher Ames delivered a eulogy “An Oration on the Sublime Virtues of General George Washington,” February 8, 1800, at Boston’s Old South Meeting-House, before the Lieutenant Governor, the Council, and both branches of the Massachusetts Legislature (Boston: Young & Minns, 1800, p. 23):
“Our liberty depends on our education, our laws, and habits…
It is founded on morals and religion, whose authority reigns in the heart, and on the influence all these produce on public opinion before that opinion governs rulers.”
Fisher Ames wrote inThe Mercury and New-England Palladium of Boston(Vol. XVII, No. 2,8,Tuesday, January 27, 1801, p. 1; John Thornton Kirkland,Works of Fisher Ames, 1809, p. 134-35; The Works of Fisher Ames, compiled by a number of his friends, T.B. Wait & Co., Boston, 1809, p. 134-135; Seth Ames, ed., Works of Fisher Ames, Vol. II, New York: Birt Franklin, 1971, pp. 405-406; Frederick C. Kubicek, Evolution-Guilty As Charged, Shippensburg, PA; Treasure House, 1993, p. 125):
“It has been the custom of late years to put a number of little books into the hands of children, containing fables and moral lessons…
Many books for children are…injudiciously compiled…the moral is drawn from the fable they know not why…
Some of the most admired works of this kind abound with a frothy sort of sentiment…the chief merit of which consists in shedding tears and giving away money…
Why then, if these books for children must be retained…should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a school book? Its morals are pure, its examples captivating and noble.
The reverence for the Sacred Book, that is thus early impressed, lasts long – and probably, if not impressed in infancy never takes firm hold of the mind.
One consideration more is important: In no book is there so good English, so pure and so elegant – and by teaching all the same book they will speak alike, and the Bible will justly remain the standard of language as well as of faith.”
D. James Kennedy summarized Fisher Ames words in “The Great Deception” (Fort Lauderdale, FL: Coral Ridge Ministries, 1989; 1993, p. 3; The Great Deception-a speech delivered December 1, 1992, Ottawa, IL):
“We have a dangerous trend beginning to take place in our education. We’re starting to put more and more textbooks into our schools. We’ve become accustomed of late of putting little books into the hands of children, containing fables and moral lessons.
We’re spending less time in the classroom on the Bible, which should be the principal text in our schools. The Bible states these great moral lessons better than any other man-made book.”
At age 46, Fisher Ames was elected Harvard’s president, but he declined due to an illness which eventually led to his death.
On July 4, 1808, exactly 32 years to the day after America declared its Independence, Fisher Ames died at the age of 50.
One of the most famous orators in Congress, Fisher Ames was quoted in theEncyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (Bela Bates Edward, editor of Quarterly Observer, Brattleboro, VT: Joseph Steen & Co.; Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo & Co.; New York: Lewis Colby, 1851, p. 78):
“No man ever did or ever will become truly eloquent without being a constant reader of the Bible, and an admirer of the purity and sublimity of its language.”
A Harvard graduate and a successful doctor in Boston, he left his career when the British passed the hated Stamp Act of 1765.
His name was Dr. Joseph Warren, born JUNE 11, 1741.
In 1774, King George III punished the colonists for the Boston Tea Party by enacting Intolerable Acts:
-blocking Boston’s harbor until citizens reimbursed the East India Tea Company;
-quartering British soldiers in private homes;
-allowing British officials to be unaccountable for their crimes; and
-replacing Massachusetts’ elected officials with royal appointees.
In response, Dr. Joseph Warren and Samuel Adams organized the Massachusetts Provincial Congress in protest.
In September of 1774, Dr. Joseph Warren wrote the Suffolk Resolves, urging Massachusetts to establish a free state, boycott British goods, form militias and no longer be loyal to a king who violates their rights:
“Whereas…the vengeance but not the wisdom of Great Britain, which of old persecuted, scourged, and exiled our fugitive parents from their native shores, now pursues us, their guiltless children, with unrelenting severity…
It is an indispensable duty which we owe to God, our country, ourselves and posterity, by all lawful ways and means in our power to maintain, defend and preserve those civil and religious rights and liberties, for which many of our fathers fought, bled and died, and to hand them down entire to future generations.“
Dr. Joseph Warren became President of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, April of 1775.
His brother, Dr. John Warren, founded Harvard Medical School.
In June of 1775, as British ships entered Boston’s harbor, 34-year-old Dr. Joseph Warren joined the militia.
Though appointed a Major General by the Provincial Congress, he chose to serve as a private, acknowledging General Israel Putnam and Colonel William Prescott had more military experience.
On June 17, 1775, Warren asked to be placed where the heaviest fighting would be and Putnam pointed to Bunker Hill.
He fought in the redoubt, repelling the British soldiers, till he ran out of ammunition.
The British made a third and final assault on the hill, and Warren was killed instantly by a musket ball in the head. His body was stripped, bayoneted until unrecognizable, and then shoved into a ditch.
Ten month later, Paul Revere helped identify his remains by an artificial tooth he had placed in his jaw.
A monument marks where he died.
Three years earlier Dr. Joseph Warren had stated on the anniversary of the Boston Massacre:
“If you perform your part, you must have the strongest confidence that the same Almighty Being who protected your pious and venerable forefathers, who enabled them to turn a barren wilderness into a fruitful field, who so often made bare His arm for their salvation, will still be mindful of you, their offspring…”
“May this Almighty Being graciously preside in all our councils.
May He direct us to such measures as He Himself shall approve, and be pleased to bless.
May our land be a land of liberty, the seat of virtue, the asylum of the oppressed, a name and a praise in the whole earth, until the last shock of time shall bury the empires of the world in one common undistinguishable ruin!”
The sermon that Samuel Cooper gave on the day of commencement for the Constitution in 1780 is a truly wonderful read, it you are interested you may find it here:
He truly believed in what was being created in this United States of America and he played his part in teaching the people who followed him. He didn’t shy away and say pastors should stay out of politics. He and so many other pastors of his day were instrumental in shaping the future of this country. Far from thinking that their place was separate, they believed themselves an essential part of the fabric of the country. They probably would be amazed and horrified to find that far from a country that followed the tenets of Biblical Law, we are fast becoming a nation that has no center at all and in fact is just as likely to follow Shariah law. From the Online Library of Liberty we find the following about him and an excerpt from one of his sermons:
The Massachusetts clergyman Samuel Cooper (1725-1783) gave a patriotic sermon in 1780 to celebrate the adoption of the Articles of Confederation. He concludes by urging his listeners to help build “the new city” in America by making the wilderness fruitful, inviting the injured and oppressed to come to America, and to create a country which “breaths” the principles of “peace on earth, and good will towards men”
“… So favourable, through the divine superintendence, is the present situation of the powers in Europe, to the liberties and independence for which we are contending. But as individuals must part with some natural liberties for the sake of the security and advantages of society; the same kind of commutation must take place in the great republic of nations. The rights of kingdoms and states have their bounds; and as in our own establishment we are not likely to find reason, I trust we shall never have an inclination to exceed these bounds, and justly to excite the jealousy and opposition of other nations. It is thus wisdom, moderation and sound policy would connect kingdoms and states for their mutual advantage, and preserve the order and harmony of the world. In all this these free states will find their own security, and rise by natural and unenvied degrees to that eminence, for which, I would fain perswade myself, we are designed.
“It is laudable to lay the foundations of our republicks with extended views. Rome rose to empire because she early thought herself destined for it. The great object was continually before the eyes of her sons: It enlarged and invigorated their minds; it excited their vigilance; it elated their courage, and prepared them to embrace toils and dangers, and submit to every regulation friendly to the freedom and prosperity of Rome. They did great things because they believed themselves capable, and born to do them. They reverenced themselves and their country; and animated with unbounded respect for it, they every day added to its strength and glory. Conquest is not indeed the aim of these rising states; sound policy must ever forbid it: We have before us an object more truly great and honourable. We seem called by heaven to make a large portion of this globe a seat of knowledge and liberty, of agriculture, commerce, and arts, and what is more important than all, of christian piety and virtue. A celebrated British historian observes, if I well remember, that the natural features of America are peculiarly striking. Our mountains, our rivers and lakes have a singular air of dignity and grandeur. May our conduct correspond to the face of our country! At present an immense part of it lies as nature hath left it, and human labour and art have done but little, and brightened only some small specks of a continent that can afford ample means of subsistence to many, many millions of the human race. It remains with us and our posterity, to “make the wilderness become a fruitful field, and the desert blossom as the rose”; to establish the honour and happiness of this new world, as far as it may be justly our own, and to invite the injured and oppressed, the worthy and the good to these shores, by the most liberal governments, by wise political institutions, by cultivating the confidence and friendship of other nations, and by a sacred attention to that gospel that breaths “peace on earth, and good will towards men.” Thus will our country resemble the new city which St. John saw “coming down from God out of heaven, adorned as a bride for her husband.” Is there a benevolent spirit on earth, or on high, whom such a prospect would not delight?…
O thou supreme Governor of the world, whose arm hath done great things for us, establish the foundations of this commonwealth, and evermore defend it with the saving strength of thy right hand! Grant that here the divine constitutions of Jesus thy Son may ever be honoured and maintained! Grant that it may be the residence of all private and patriotic virtues, of all that enlightens and supports, all that sweetens and adorns human society, till the states and kingdoms of this world shall be swallowed up in thine own kingdom: In that, which alone is immortal, may we obtain a perfect citizenship, and enjoy in its completion, “the glorious Liberty of the Sons of God![”] And let all the people say, Amen!”
Following the hated Stamp Act of 1765, the British committed the Boston Massacre in 1770, firing into a crowd, killing five. Colonists responded with the Boston Tea Party in 1773. The British then blocked Boston Harbor in 1774 to starve the city into submission. The President of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress was James Warren, husband of Revolutionary War author Mercy Otis Warren. James Warren proposed Sam Adams form Committees of Correspondence to inform the nation of injustices committed in Boston. President James Warren, who died NOVEMBER 28, 1808, approved the Massachusetts Resolution: “In Provincial Congress, Watertown, June 16, 1775- As it has pleased Almighty God in his Providence to suffer the calamities of an unnatural war to take place among us…the most effectual way to escape those desolating judgments…will be that we repent.” The Resolution continued: “Among the prevailing sins of this day, which threaten the destruction of this land, we have reason to lament the frequent prophanation of the Lord’s Day, or Christian Sabbath..It be recommended by this Congress, to the people…that they…pay a religious regard to that day, and to the public Worship of God thereon.”
- Ben Affleck On The Set Of ‘Argo’ (huffingtonpost.com)
|On OCTOBER 26, 1774, the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts reorganized their defenses with one-third of their regiments being “Minutemen,” ready to fight at a minute’s notice. These citizen soldiers drilled on the parade ground, many times led by a deacon or pastor, then went to church for exhortation and prayer. The Provincial Congress charged: “You…are placed by Providence in the post of honor, because it is the post of danger…The eyes not only of North America and the whole British Empire, but of all Europe, are upon you. Let us be, therefore, altogether solicitous that no disorderly behavior, nothing unbecoming our character as Americans, as citizens and Christians, be justly chargeable to us.” The Provincial Congress issued a Resolution to Massachusetts Bay, 1774: “Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual…Continue steadfast, and with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us.” Boston patriot Josiah Quincy stated: “Under God, we are determined that wheresoever, whensoever, or howsoever we shall be called to make our exit, we will die free men.”|
[John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, Henry P. Johnston, ed. (New York: G.P. Putnams Sons, 1890), Vol. 1, p. 161.]
“And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep forever.”
~Thomas Jefferson (1781)
via Samuel at Gilgal
- The Unknown History Of The Founding Fathers and Slavery (via Samuel at Gilgal) (loopyloo305.wordpress.com)
- The Importance Of The Bible To The Christian (via Samuel at Gilgal) (loopyloo305.wordpress.com)
- A Remarkable Prayer Of Two Words (via Samuel at Gilgal) (loopyloo305.wordpress.com)
- Screwtape On Picking Churches (via Samuel at Gilgal) (loopyloo305.wordpress.com)
- Afflictions Overcome (via Samuel at Gilgal) (loopyloo305.wordpress.com)
- Faith And Schools From The Founders View (loopyloo305.wordpress.com)
- Proving America’s Christian Heritage From the Words of Our Founding Fathers and Past Patriots (jackwoodard.wordpress.com)
Hilarious! Once again Sarah Palin is right, journalists are wrong. You’d think by now that they would bother to check their facts, but Oh No, not them, too much work! So they get that facts wrong and people see that Sarah is smarter than you average bear, while they spend time making excuses for why they didn’t get it right. Once might have be luck, but the luck theory starts to get old when she does it again and again. Wise up Journalists, do your job, check facts and quit believing your hype that Sarah Palin is stupid and you are smart! If you had half the brains that she does, you would at the very least, check before you print!
Friday, June 3, 2011
As with most people, I simply took at face value the popular version that Paul Revere warned that the British were coming, the British were coming.
Not having any real reason to look into it any deeper, Sarah Palin’s statement that Revere warned the British that the colonial militias were waiting seemed odd.
But it appears that the popular version is not complete.
In fact, as pointed out at Conservatives4Palin, Revere did in fact tell the British that the colonial militias, who had been alerted, were waiting for them. Here is the original historical text written by Revere (spelling in original, bold added):
I observed a Wood at a Small distance, & made for that. When I got there, out Started Six officers, on Horse back,and orderd me to dismount;-one of them, who appeared to have the command, examined me, where I came from,& what my Name Was? I told him. it was Revere, he asked if it was Paul? I told him yes He asked me if I was an express? I answered in the afirmative. He demanded what time I left Boston? I told him; and aded, that their troops had catched aground in passing the River, and that There would be five hundred Americans there in a short time, for I had alarmed the Country all the way up. He imediately rode towards those who stoppd us, when all five of them came down upon a full gallop; one of them, whom I afterwards found to be Major Mitchel, of the 5th Regiment, Clapped his pistol to my head, called me by name, & told me he was going to ask me some questions, & if I did not give him true answers, he would blow my brains out. He then asked me similar questions to those above. He then orderd me to mount my Horse, after searching me for arms
Palin’s short statement on the video was less than clear; that sometimes happens but the part of the statement which has people screaming — that Revere warned the British that the colonial militias were waiting – appears to be true.
I’ve learned something new today, about Paul Revere.
- Only Sarah Palin can Derail Mitt Romney (via Poll Insider) (loopyloo305.wordpress.com)