“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).
Patrick Henry is perhaps most remembered for his acclaimed speech that added accelerant to the flames of the American independence movement. Known as the greatest orator of his generation, the young ‘Lion of Liberty’ famously aroused the patriotic sentiments of his fellow legislators and gave voice to an entire generation of Americans with his exclamation, “Give me liberty, or give me death!”
Always the consummate Christian statesman, Patrick Henry remained a prominent figure in Virginia politics for decades, and his tireless advocacy for adding the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution proved indispensable in creating our system of ordered liberty under God.
Upon Patrick Henry’s death, the executors of his estate found a sealed envelope while wrapping up his affairs. It contained a short message that he had intended to remain secret until after his death, offering a warning and a charge for posterity:
Whether [American independence] will prove a blessing or a curse will depend on the use our people make of the blessings which a gracious God has bestowed on us. If they are wise, they will be great and happy. If they are of a contrary character, they will be miserable. Righteousness alone can exalt them as a nation. Reader! whoever you are, remember this; and in your sphere, practice virtue yourself, and encourage it in others. P.Henry
Patrick Henry and his contemporaries understood that national greatness is not determined by political, economic, or military power. Great nations acknowledge the authority of God and strive to follow His moral standards. The blessings of God only come from walking with Him—as individuals, as families, as churches, and as a nation.
PRAYER: Lord, you call the nations to acknowledge and revere you. Your truth, which is revealed in the words of Scripture, is the only firm foundation for enduring political stability and prosperity. Revive within our society the virtue and godliness that once made our nation great. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray, amen.