Devotion For Week Of February 12, 2012 - PATRICK HENRY


Galatians 5:1, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”

2 Thes. 2:15, “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.”

Everybody knows of Patrick Henry's famous speech on the floor of St. John's Church on May 23, 1775.  That speech ended with the phrase; "I know not what course others may take, but as for me, GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH."  Few though know what incident sparked these words.

Just prior to Henry's speech he had cause to ride into the town square of Culpeper, Virginia.  When he got there he found a large crowd, assembled around the public stocks, watching a man being whipped.  Henry could not imagine what crime this man had committed to warrant this kind of beating.  The man's back was laid open, his strength exhausted, and the only thing holding him up was the fact his hands and head could not slip out of the stocks.

Patrick Henry is quoted as saying; "When they stopped beating him, I could see the bones of his rib cage.  I turned to someone and asked what the man had done to deserve such a beating as this."  The reply was that the man was a Baptist preacher and that he refused to take a license from the Church of England and refused to abandon his Biblical conviction on "believer’s baptism" instead of the unbiblical teaching of pedo-baptism or the baptism of infants.

Patrick Henry is to have said that if this preacher was willing to give his life for his Goad and his faith what less was he willing to give for his country.  Henry was so challenged by the actions of this unnamed Baptist preacher for his convictions and faith, that Henry, when concerning his new country said; "Give ME liberty or give ME death."


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