Friday, July 03, 2009

THE AMERICANS WHO RISKED EVERYTHING
...the cost of freedom was considered by them to be "sacred honor"

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America




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, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

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:
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. 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.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity.

We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. —

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor. — John Hancock

New Hampshire: 
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts: 
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
 Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut: 
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
 William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
 Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania: 
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware:
 Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland:
 Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia:
 George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
 William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina: 
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia: 
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton


this has been an encore presentation

10 comments:

gigantor1231 said...

"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

This is a wonderful document with lofty desires and goals, however, what makes it real, living and of value is a people that are willing to carry out the nescessary actions to maintain the freedom under the one and only true God and Savior Jesus Christ. Whithout this component you are looking at nothing but words on a page. Unfortunately as time goes by and this nation becomes more entrenched in its immorality and sin this document holds little value.
There is a greater document penned by one greater and it is eternal in it's scope, true in every word. While the declaration of independence was sealed with the fading blood of our fellow man, the word of God was sealed by that blood that has eternal significance and holding power. This is the one and only true document that has lasting significance and meaning, it will never fade away, all other documents and declarations are only temporary and far less than perfect.
We are sojourners in this land, let our declaration of independence be that one that is eternal!

Carla Rolfe said...

From a homesick patriot in Canada on the 4th of July - thank you for posting this today.

candyinsierras said...

Thank you for posting this.

SJ Camp said...

Thank you Candy, I appreciate you commenting here.

Steve

SJ Camp said...

Gigantor:

Thanks for your thoughts as well. We can be grateful for these temporary documents under God's direction and grace when it comes to government (Roms 13:1-7).

Our nation has been very blessed, in part, due to the founders desire for justice and righteousness to rule the day against the tyranny of the king.

For that we may rejoice.

And yes, we look for a better city, The City of God.

Thank you always for your thoughts.
Steve

Jade said...

Steve, was it really unanimous in the vote for independence? If I recall NY abstained from the vote (to my shame!) for independence (though the NY representatives might have signed the document in the end; but in the initial vote they abstained, while the rest of the 12 states voted for independence). I guess it was kind of pretty hard when the British navy had their cannons aimed to the city at NYC harbor. :ob But the same could be said of Boston harbor and they didn't hesitate to vote for independence. Those Sons of Liberty were courageous!

Incidentally, one of the original copies of our Declaration of Independence was recently discovered in West London. How ironic. :ob

Also you should watch the HBO movie on John Adams. It's not so much of a "war" movie but more of the political struggle the colonists faced breaking away from Great Britain. What also reflects in this movie is the struggle between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson on what the constitution should reflect. As you know Jefferson was a deist, while Adams have more leanings toward Christian orthodox. Great movie to watch on Independence day and great music theme too!

Jade said...

gigantor1231 wrote:
There is a greater document penned by one greater and it is eternal in it's scope, true in every word. While the declaration of independence was sealed with the fading blood of our fellow man, the word of God was sealed by that blood that has eternal significance and holding power. This is the one and only true document that has lasting significance and meaning, it will never fade away, all other documents and declarations are only temporary and far less than perfect.

AMEN brother! As Christians our first allegiance is to the Triune God --- The Father, Son and Holy Ghost! But Praise the Lord that HE brought about the Independence of these United States! :o) It is right to give thanks and praise for that. May we continue to fight for the cause of God in this land and may it please the Lord that the beacon of His church may not be snuff out, in light of the liberalism that has plagued this country.

LivingDust said...

Its is fact that once again our citizens and our Republic are under insidious attack and oppression by those who have infiltrated and riddled our halls of government with lies, deceit, greed, malice, heaping debt and a desire to control every aspect of our society all in the name of "homeland security". When a cabal on Wall Street can bring our economy to its knees and our leaders turn to these very same greedy robber barons for the solution, then we know we are destitute and without representation.

My Father's Son said...

I've been pondering these words now for several weeks, and I would ask your input on a thought.

Jefferson wrote, "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."

In fact, God has given us these rights with respect to our fellow man. The DOI is not at all to be considered a religious document, though it likely reflects Jefferson's religious inclinations.

The Truth, however, is that God has not given us these rights in an absolute sense. We do not have the right to live as long as we like - the fall is evidence of such a fact.

How greatly I wish Jefferson had recognized this. Despite being a man of good character, I doubt we will see him in heaven.

Steve
(A guy that loves Jesus, and a member of the Monticello Association)

Tak178 said...

A document for the ages.

Here's to protecting this nation from enemies within and without.

May God truly bless and keep the United States of America.