America, America, May God Shed His grace on Thee – Again!
In 1776, King George III ruled the largest empire that planet earth had ever seen, including the 13 American colonies. To revolt against it and declare independence, from a human perspective, was an invitation to disaster and an imposition of an unprecedented tyranny upon the fledgling nation of America. But our founders did it despite the odds against them and the cost before them.
John Hancock, the 39-year-old President of the Continental Congress, signed the Declaration first, reportedly saying "the price on my head has just doubled."
Next to sign was Secretary, Charles Thomson, age 47.
70-year-old Benjamin Franklin said: "We must hang together or most assuredly we shall hang separately."
The Declaration referred to God: "Laws of Nature and of NATURE'S GOD ..."
"All Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain unalienable Rights .."
"Appealing to the SUPREME JUDGE OF THE WORLD for the rectitude of our intentions ..."
"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”
This was revolutionary, as kings did not believe everyone was created equal. They believed they were created extra special. Their belief was called "the divine right of kings," namely, that the Creator gives rights to the king and he dispenses them at his discretion to whoever he wishes.
The Declaration of Independence bypassed the King, declaring that the Creator gives rights directly to each individual person.
Many of the 56 signers sacrificed their prosperity for their posterity.
Of the Signers: 11 had their homes destroyed; 5 were hunted and captured; 17 served in the military; and 9 died during the war.
27-year-old George Walton signed, and at the Battle of Savannah was wounded and captured.
Signers Edward Rutledge, age 27, Thomas Heyward, Jr., age 30, and Arthur Middleton, age 34, were made prisoners at the Siege of Charleston.
38-year-old signer Thomas Nelson had his home used as British headquarters during the siege of Yorktown. Nelson reportedly offered five guineas to the first man to hit his house.
Signer Carter Braxton, age 40, lost his fortune during the war.
42-year-old signer Thomas McKean wrote that he was "hunted like a fox by the enemy, compelled to remove my family five times in three month."
46-year-old Richard Stockton signed and was dragged from his bed at night and jailed.
50-year-old signer Lewis Morris had his home taken and used as a barracks.
50-year-old signer Abraham Clark had two sons tortured and imprisoned on the British starving ship Jersey.
More Americans died on British starving ships than died in battle during the Revolution.
53-year-old signer Rev. John Witherspoon had his son, James, killed in the Battle of Germantown.
60-year-old signer Philip Livingston lost several properties to British occupation and died before the war ended.
63-year-old signer Francis Lewis found out that the British plundered his home and carried away his wife, Elizabeth, putting her in prison. The British wanted to make an example of her, so they denied her a change of clothes, a bed, and gave her nothing but the most meager food. She was treated so harshly that she died shortly after being released.
65-year-old signer John Hart had his home looted and had to remain in hiding, dying before the war ended.
Regarding the day the Declaration was signed, John Adams wrote to his wife: "I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by SOLEMN ACTS OF DEVOTION TO GOD ALMIGHTY. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”
Adams continued in his letter to his wife: "You will think me transported with enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means. And that Posterity will triumph in that Days Transaction, even although we should rue it, which I trust in God we shall not.
When 54-year-old Samuel Adams signed the Declaration, he said: "We have this day restored THE SOVEREIGN to whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come."
America was and still is the greatest country on the face of the earth and the last bastion of true freedom. But we’re in serious trouble and the descent attitude we are in will crash land us shortly into despotism and loss of all basic freedoms.
May God’s people fall at the feet of the Sovereign over all sovereigns and repent of our sins and then rise up strong in the Lord to spread His kingdom more fully across our great land in every domain, and around the world for the fame of the name – KING JESUS!
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