The American Revolution was not an event that began and ended at two fixed points in time. We mark the beginning of the War for Independence on July 4, 1776, and traditionally say the Revolution ended in 1783 with the Treaty of Paris, but the reality is that Independence Day merely marked a boiling point in a sweeping Liberty movement that began much earlier and which has not yet reached its culmination. The American Revolution is ongoing! The War for Independence is being waged today as fiercely as when our patriot forefathers squared off against the British invaders.
In 1787, Dr. Benjamin Rush made an illuminating remark. He said:
“There is nothing more common, than to confound the terms of American Revolution with those of the late American war. The American war is over: but this is far from being the case with the American revolution. On the contrary, nothing but the first act of the great drama is closed. It remains yet to establish and perfect our new forms of government; and to prepare the principles, morals, and manners of our citizens, for these forms of government, after they are established and brought to perfection” (Benjamin Rush, Address to the People of the United States, 1787, in Hezekiah Niles, ed., Principles and Acts of the Revolution, 234).
According to Dr. Rush, the genuine American Revolution consisted of the transformation and improvement of the “principles, morals, and manners” of the American People. What’s more, he saw this as a gradual process that, years after the War for Independence ended, had not yet finished. It was one thing to create a new nation with a novel system of government, but quite another thing to create a citizenry prepared for life under that government. Molding such a people – one worthy of republican institutions of self-government – was the true revolutionary task.
Another Founding Father, John Adams, concurred that the real American Revolution was not the short War for Independence, but a vastly more significant undertaking. He observed:
“But what do We mean by the American Revolution? Do We mean the American War? The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the Minds and Hearts of the People. A Change in their Religious Sentiments of their Duties and Obligations. . . .
“This radical Change in the Principles, Opinions Sentiments and Affection of the People, was the real American Revolution” (John Adams to Hezekiah Niles, February 13, 1818).
Both Dr. Rush and Mr. Adams agreed that the betterment of American principles and morals – both religious and political – was the real American Revolution. This Revolution happened in the hearts and minds of our countrymen long before the shot heard ‘round the world and continued long after the cannon ceased firing. One could look back to the Reformation or Renaissance to find the origin of the Liberty movement that eventually found its true expression in America. But for our purposes, we can trace the origin of the flame of Freedom to the First Great Awakening that took place roughly between the 1730s and 1760s.
It was during the First Great Awakening, when Americans turned their hearts back to the great God of the universe, that the revolution of principles spoken of by John Adams occurred. Church pulpits were ablaze with fiery sermons on Freedom. Preachers led the way in social reform and prepared Americans to defend their rights and stand like real men against despots. Schools were no less valuable. Teachers instructed children not only in constitutional principles and the science of good government, but in the “perfect law of liberty” given by Jesus Christ (James 1:25). In short, American Christians kneeled before the Lord in genuine humility, and then rose with staunch determination to follow Him and safeguard their God-given rights.
It was a band of Christian militiamen, inspired by their Reverend Jonas Clark, who defiantly stood with Captain John Parker on Lexington green in 1775 as an army of 700 Redcoats came to confiscate their firearms. It was a band of 56 patriots who signed and published the Declaration of Independence, announcing their determination to be free and their proclaiming their “firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence.” And it was the Christian Father of our Country, George Washington, who told the nation during his First Inaugural Address:
“No People can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.”
It was this acknowledgment of God and His laws, including the “perfect law of liberty” noted earlier, that gave our forefathers the strength and tenacity to stand against monarchical tyranny. They were an educated and bright People. They understood self-government and cherished their Freedom to worship their God according to the dictates of their conscience, their Freedom to speak, their Freedom to assemble, their Freedom to bear and use arms to protect themselves and their rights, and so forth. In short, it was their mental and spiritual devotion to their Faith, Families, and Freedom, and their fidelity to these loyalties, that called down Heaven’s blessings on their behalf.
Our noble forefathers did not stop progressing when they went back to the business of daily life after the Revolution. Rather, they went on to produce the inspired Constitution and Bill of Rights, expand the borders of the Republic, and, thus, the borders of Liberty, alter their local laws and customs, prepare to end the vice of slavery, and generally became an industrious, enlightened, and patriotic People.
According to one contemporary figure of significant renown, American greatness reached its zenith during the Age of Jackson. He observed:
“In continuation of such noble sentiments, Gen. [Andrew] Jackson, upon his ascension to the great chair of the chief magistracy: said, “As long as our government is administered for the good of the people, and is regulated by their will; as long as it secures to us the rights of person and property, liberty of conscience, and of the press, it will be worth defending; and so long as it is worth defending, a patriotic militia will cover it with an impenetrable aegis.”
“General Jackson’s administration may be denominated the acme of American glory, liberty and prosperity, for the national debt, which in 1815, on account of the late war, was $125,000,000, and lessened gradually, was paid up in his golden day; and preparations were made to distribute the surplus revenue among the several states: and that august patriot, to use his own words in his farewell address, retired leaving “a great people prosperous and happy, in the full enjoyment of liberty and peace, honored and respected by every nation of the world”” (Joseph Smith, General Smith’s Views of the Powers and Policy of Government of the United States, February, 1844).
Andrew Jackson was one of the greatest American heroes. Today, he is hated and castigated by an ignorant generation that has lost touch with America’s original values and has been deceived by culture-destroying Marxists. But the truth is that General Jackson put America first, fought for his country his whole life as a soldier and statesman, fastidiously upheld the Constitution as president, waged veritable war against the conspiratorial banking cartel that wanted to enslave the Union, and was an honorable man of his word.
Additionally, President Jackson was the only president to ever pay off the national debt in full. The American People prospered under his hand and it was during his administration that Alexis de Tocqueville visited the United States and remarked:
“The progress of society in America is precipitate, and almost revolutionary. . . .
“. . . The Americans of the United States must inevitably become one of the greatest nations in the world; their offset will cover almost the whole of North America; the continent which they inhabit is their dominion, and it cannot escape them . . . Riches, power, and renown, cannot fail to be theirs at some future time” (Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Vol. 1, 434-435).
The American People did not stop their rapid progress and march toward destiny after the War for Independence. That was but a prelude to greater things. For them, as for Benjamin Rush, the American Revolution was ongoing; a process, not an event.
However, after the Age of Jackson, the Republic began to decline in important ways. Over time, we became so prosperous, powerful, and prominent in the world that we began to shed our humility, forget our past, and neglect our participation in self-government. We became reluctant to enforce the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and apply the Constitution as broadly as it was intended to be applied. The Civil War later rocked the nation, caused deep wounds, and resulted in a massively enlarged government that began intruding into our lives as never before.
In spite of the trials of the Nineteenth Century, on the whole, our People put their trust in God and looked to the Constitution and the men who made it for guidance. As the decades slipped by, the pull of prosperity and allure of modern conveniences took us away from the pursuit of Liberty and thrust us into the pursuit of materialism. We stopped studying the art of law. We ignored our governmental duties, allowing an organized group of traitors to come to power over us. We lived our lives in relative peace and disinterest as they hijacked our economy through the Federal Reserve. They put their men – FDR, Wilson, Carter, Bush, Obama, and others – into the presidency. They changed our laws and amended the Constitution in frightful ways. They thrust a dagger in Lady Liberty’s back and began twisting it menacingly.
Closer to home, the agents of cultural Marxism went to work to warp our view of marriage and families. They promoted hedonism and placed sex on a pedestal. They pushed filth and degeneracy, greed and selfishness, perversion and humanism. We began to lose our faith in the Creator – the source from whence our forefathers said came our unalienable rights of life, Liberty, and property. And so it has gone for over a century until now we see the fruit of the gruesome harvest – chaos, rioting, violence, hatred, division, unchecked governmental power, neglect of the Constitution, scientific and medical tyranny, anti-Christian bullying, high-tech censorship, societal distrust, and rampant unbelief in God.
Despite this growing darkness, many of the good people of this nation are waking up. It is in darkness, after all, that the light shines brightest. People from coast to coast have realized that the conspiracy – call it the “swamp,” “deep state,” the “Establishment,” or whatever name you will – is very real and threatens to overturn our Faith, Families, and Freedom. The American giant is beginning to stir and push back against the bands that traitors have tied around her. Lady Liberty is waking up from her deep sleep.
A general feeling is beginning to filter out and permeate the nation wherever good people still reside. It’s palpable and vibrant. The feeling is that revolution is upon us – the time for cleansing and refreshing is nearly here. Perhaps unconsciously, millions of Americans feel what Thomas Jefferson felt and articulated. He said:
“[W]hat country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure” (Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, November 13, 1787).
But how will we rally ourselves and refresh the tree of Liberty? Everywhere I go, on every social media page I visit, in church congregations, and in private conversations, I see people asking roughly the same questions: “Where is the next George Washington? Where is our generation’s Thomas Jefferson? When will the next Boston Tea Party happen? When will someone step forward to lead another revolution to reclaim our Freedom?”
As these questions demonstrate, the sincere desire for change – for a return to our roots – is there. It may be in its infancy, but it is growing and rapidly gaining strength. It needs focus, however. It needs leaders. It needs experienced patriots to form us into a fighting force for Freedom.
In an attributed letter of Samuel Adams to James Warren on October 24, 1780, we find these relevant words: “If ever the Time should come, when vain & aspiring Men shall possess the highest Seats in Government, our Country will stand in Need of its experienced Patriots to prevent its Ruin.”
Where are we to find such men and women? Where are the John Adamses and George Washingtons? Where are the Sons of Liberty and militiamen of Concord Bridge? Who will step forward to lead the next chapter in the ongoing American Revolution?
The answer is two-fold. First, though you and I may not be the next George Washington, we may be like those men who marched in his army, crossed the frigid Delaware with him on Christmas morning, and together endured winter in Valley Forge. We may not command the patriot force, but we may be part of it. It may be our eternal honor to march alongside other patriots, either figuratively or literally, to victories as glorious as Yorktown.
No, we may never wear the general’s cap, but we can wear the revolutionary uniform. What good is even the greatest general without his fighting men? What good are fighting men without virtuous women supporting them? And in the war of ideas and principles, women – as mothers and as homemakers – have an absolutely essential role to play. We cannot effect a new revolution without their selfless service in the home, for as goes the home goes the nation.
To elaborate, I ask, what good is a Declaration of Independence without men to win, and then maintain, Independence? There could have been no Age of Jackson with its prosperity and expansion without those willing to establish and sustain the great institutions of our Republic. Thankfully, earlier patriots have already established beautiful constitutional institutions for us. We don’t need to think outside the box – we need to merely dust out the box of the filth that has cluttered it. And we can kick-start the process by educating ourselves in correct principles.
To repeat, this war is primarily waged on the battlefields of the mind and heart. It is waged on Facebook and Twitter, in public school classrooms and around the dinner table, in private conversations with friends and worship services with your neighbors. It is waged on election day as well as every other day. Our just and holy cause is furthered by acts of service in our communities, by giving proper instruction to our children, by coherent and sincere social media posts, by participation in peaceful assemblies, and by a million other little acts, words, and moments that come in daily life.
Together, these seemingly small deeds constitute a revolution in principles, morals, and manners. Do not think you need George Washington to ride before you in order to participate in the ongoing American Revolution. It is your distinct privilege to fight these battles every day in your home, at church, at work, online, and in the most basic interactions with your countrymen. There will be no great political revolution until we first reform our minds and hearts as our ancestors did prior to challenging the British at Lexington and Concord.
Second, though we all must be engaged in the daily acts of revolution just described, there must be individuals who step forward to rally, unify, and lead those who love Liberty. These figures must have dignity and credibility. They must be men of honor, goodness, virtue, truth, and stability. They must be men of high ideals and lofty standards. They must be noble in heart, valiant in spirit, but humble enough to kneel before their God and petition His blessings upon our cause.
Patriot leaders must be found and thrust to the forefront. As it often goes, the most qualified for leadership are those who want nothing more than to live in peace. They don’t seek the limelight, but merely to do their part, quietly, to support their Faith, Family, and Freedom.
It is instructive to know that George Washington did not want to lead the Continental Army. Yet, he threw himself into the task when the People’s representatives called on him to do so. After the War for Independence, he retired to the peace and quite of his farm. Yet, when his countrymen selected him to be the first president, he came out of retirement and fulfilled that duty honorably. The same is true of Thomas Jefferson, who retired to Monticello before being drafted by his country to serve in the government. And that is the key word – serve. We don’t need self-important politicians, but public servants who labor on our behalf to secure for us the blessings of Liberty.
Today, we must find those people in our communities who are prepared for a call to service. They may not want to serve, they may not want to hold a position of public trust, they may not want to wade into the treacherous swamp of modern politics, but they will respond to the call the serve because their hearts burn with the fire of Freedom. It is our duty as citizens to find the next Thomas Jefferson and draft him into leadership. It is our duty as freemen to find the next George Washington and urge him to lead us against the traitors who have entrenched themselves in our nation. In short, we may say that the next George Washington will not appear unless We the People call him into service.
Dear reader, America is the greatest nation on earth, bar none. There has never been a greater Republic. There has never been a People who did more good for the cause of Freedom than the People of the United States. Our country is sick with an alien virus – the Red Plague of communism with its horrid atheism, immorality, and totalitarianism. We must recognize that this plague is hostile to everything our People stands for and that it will result in our demise as a free nation if we do not recognize it, quarantine it, and exterminate it.
Let’s first extinguish the virus in our hearts and minds by turning back to the God who granted us life and Liberty, to the Constitution which holds our Union together, and to the Founding Fathers who marked the path to Freedom for all peoples in all generations. Let’s rekindle the unique American spirit. On the eve of battle in 1776, George Washington encouraged his men to “remember . . . that you are Freemen, fighting for the blessings of liberty” (George Washington General Orders, August 23, 1776). Let’s do our part to remind ourselves, and teach our precious children, that we are freemen fighting for our Faith, Families, and Freedom!
Speaking at Mount Rushmore on July 3, 2020, President Donald Trump made the following pledge which we can all claim as our own. It can be our starting place as revolutionary Americans. It can be our promise to ourselves and our children:
“[L]et us go forward united in our purpose and re-dedicated in our resolve. We will raise the next generation of American patriots. We will write the next thrilling chapter of the American adventure. And we will teach our children to know that they live in a land of legends, that nothing can stop them, and that no one can hold them down. They will know that in America, you can do anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve anything.
“Uplifted by the titans of Mount Rushmore, we will find unity that no one expected; we will make strides that no one thought possible. This country will be everything that our citizens have hoped for, for so many years, and that our enemies fear — because we will never forget that American freedom exists for American greatness. And that’s what we have: American greatness.
“Centuries from now, our legacy will be the cities we built, the champions we forged, the good we did, and the monuments we created to inspire us all.
“My fellow citizens: America’s destiny is in our sights. America’s heroes are embedded in our hearts. America’s future is in our hands. And ladies and gentlemen: the best is yet to come.”
Yes, the best is still to come! We will yet see dark days. They will inevitably grow darker than they are now. But even as our enemies make their final, vain attempt to subjugate our nation, our People will awaken, arise, and rally behind the inspired standard of Liberty. We will recapture the Faith of our forefathers, fortify our Families, and reclaim our Freedom. Victory will be ours!
My soul gushes with thanksgiving to my God for the blessings He has rained down upon America! I love America! I love the Constitution and the honorable men who created it, which includes one of my own ancestors, Caleb Strong, to whom I pay tribute. I love the unrivaled heritage of Freedom we posses here in America. Let us never take it for granted. Let’s gather our children around us today, read to them the Declaration of Independence, and convey to them how much we love this land and the unparalleled rights we enjoy here.
This Independence Day, be more than a spectator; participate in your Independence. I urge my fellow Americans to fall on their knees, cry to their Father in Heaven, petition the Lord for His strength, and then rise with renewed determination to be Sons of Liberty. We are American freemen. Liberty is our birthright and our destiny. May God help us become soldiers in this sacred struggle, to find and support our Washingtons and Jeffersons, and honorably play our part in this ongoing American Revolution!
July 4, 2020