Great Necessities Call Out Great Virtues

These are the times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, and animated by scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant, wake into life and form the character of the hero and the statesman. —Abigail Adams to her son, John Quincy Adams

abigail-adams

2017-02-22T16:44:03+00:00 December 26th, 2015|Quotes|

The Peril of a “Boundless Field of Power”

If we are to agree with the ratification of a national bank, what is to stop the fed from imposing an income tax on laborers? If that is passed uncontested, what prevents the fed from levying a property tax, whereby property is never truly the possession of the buyer? If that is tolerated, what prevents the wholesale confiscation of arms under the guise of public safety? If even that is ratified, what precedence is there to resist the imposing of a nation-wide health care on the people? The answer…. there is none. And thus the forbidden door has been opened and we become prey to the “boundless field of power” as eloquently decried by Thomas Jefferson in the below response to the proposed creation of a national bank (15 Feb. 1791Papers 19:275–80):

thomas-jefferson

“I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that “all powers not delegated to the U.S. by the Constitution, not prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people” [10th Amendmt.]. To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition.”

2017-02-22T16:44:04+00:00 August 6th, 2014|Politics, Quotes|

Liberty and Godliness

“Whether this [independence] will prove to be a blessing or a curse, will depend upon the use our people make of the blessings which a gracious God hath bestowed upon 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 thou art, remember this; and in thy sphere, practice virtue thyself, and encourage it in others.” —Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry

2017-02-22T16:44:04+00:00 June 1st, 2014|Quotes|

Elias Boudinot on the Christianity of America

“Let us enter on this important business under the idea that we are Christians on whom the eyes of the world are now turned. . . . We can only depend on the all powerful influence of the Spirit of God, Whose Divine aid and assistance it becomes us as a Christian people most devoutly to implore. Therefore I move that some minister of the Gospel be requested to attend this Congress every morning . . . in order to open the meeting with prayer.” —Elias Boudinot, President of the Continental Congress, signer of the peace treaty to end the American war for independence, first attorney admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court Bar, framer of the Bill of Rights, Director of the U.S. Mint

Elias Boudinot

Elias Boudinot

2017-02-22T16:44:04+00:00 August 29th, 2013|Quotes|

God, Give Us Men!

God, give us men! A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;

Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office can not buy;

Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honor; men who will not lie;

Men who can stand before a demagogue
And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!

Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty, and in private thinking;

For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,
Their large professions and their little deeds,

Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land and waiting Justice sleeps.

Josiah Gilbert Holland

2016-08-01T20:51:45+00:00 July 25th, 2013|Quotes|

Time Magazine on the Bible

“After more than two centuries of facing the heaviest scientific guns that could be brought to bear, the Bible has survived—and is perhaps better for the siege. Even on the critics’ own terms—historical fact—the Scriptures seem more acceptable now than they did when the rationalists began the attack.” —From an article in Time magazine, 1974

2017-02-22T16:44:04+00:00 July 20th, 2013|Quotes|

On Omnipotent Moral Busybodies

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated: but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. . . . This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.” —C.S. Lewis

2016-08-01T21:32:58+00:00 June 25th, 2013|Quotes|

Have We Ceased to Be Good?

I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers – and it was not there . . . in her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there . . . in her rich mines and her vast world commerce – and it was not there . . . in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution – and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great. —Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

2016-08-01T21:32:11+00:00 December 29th, 2012|Quotes|

Proper Punctuation Positively Precludes Purgatory

A concise yet brilliant illustration as to the importance of proper writing and punctuation:

“Pause in the wrong place and the sense of a religious text can alter in significant ways. For example, as Cecil Hartley pointed out in his 1818 Principles of Punctuation: or, The Art of Pointing, consider the difference between the following:

‘Verily, I say unto thee, This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise.’
vs.
‘Verily I say unto thee this day, Thou shalt be with me in Paradise.’

Now, huge doctrinal differences hang on the placing of this comma. The first version, which is how Protestants interpret the passage (Luke xxiii, 43), lightly skips over the whole unpleasant business of Purgatory and takes the thief straight to heaven with Our Lord. The second promises Paradise at some later date (to be confirmed, as it were) and leaves Purgatory nicely in the picture for the Catholics, who believe in it.”
—From Eats, Shoots & Leaves, by Lynne Truss

2016-08-02T19:30:55+00:00 May 17th, 2012|Quotes|

The Dauntless Gallantry of Joshua Gianavel

Below is a brief snippet of an account of a a little-known hero of the Reformation—the 14th-Century Protestant Captain of the tiny Italian town of Roras (Rorá). This account is taken from Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and is an inspiring tale of bravery and moral fortitude that depicts the dauntless gallantry of Captain Gianavel and his band of men who fought against the atrocities of the barbarous Roman Catholics.

The three [Roman Catholic] armies were then put in motion, and the attacks [on the town of Roras] ordered to be made thus: the first by the rocks of Vilario; the second by the pass of Bagnol; and the third by the defile of Lucerne.

The troops forced their way by the superiority of numbers, and having gained the rocks, pass, and defile, began to make the most horrid depradations, and exercise the greatest cruelties. Men they hanged, burned, racked to death, or cut to pieces; women they ripped open, crucified, drowned, or threw from the precipices; and children they tossed upon spears, minced, cut their throats, or dashed out their brains. One hundred and twenty-six suffered in this manner on the first day of their gaining the town.

Agreeable to the marquis of Pianessa’s orders, they likewise plundered the estates, and burned the houses of the people. Several Protestants, however, made their escape, under the conduct of Captain Gianavel, whose wife and children were unfortunately made prisoners and sent under a strong guard to Turin.

The marquis of Pianessa wrote a letter to Captain Gianavel, and released a Protestant prisoner that he might carry it him. The contents were, that if the captain would embrace the Roman Catholic religion, he should be indemnified for all his losses since the commencement of the war; his wife and children should be immediately released, and himself honorably promoted in the duke of Savoy’s army; but if he refused to accede to the proposals made him, his wife and children should be put to death; and so large a reward should be given to take him, dead or alive, that even some of his own confidential friends should be tempted to betray him, from the greatness of the sum.

To this epistle, the brave Gianavel sent the following answer:

“My Lord Marquis, There is no torment so great or death so cruel, but what I would prefer to the abjuration of my religion: so that promises lose their effects, and menaces only strengthen me in my faith.

With respect to my wife and children, my lord, nothing can be more afflicting to me than the thought of their confinement, or more dreadful to my imagination, than their suffering a violent and cruel death. I keenly feel all the tender sensations of husband and parent; my heart is replete with every sentiment of humanity; I would suffer any torment to rescue them from danger; I would die to preserve them.

But having said thus much, my lord, I assure you that the purchase of their lives must not be the price of my salvation. You have them in your power it is true; but my comfort is that your power is only a temporary authority over their bodies: you may destroy the mortal part, but their immortal souls are out of your reach, and will live hereafter to bear testimony against you for your cruelties. I therefore recommend them and myself to God, and pray for a reformation in your heart.”

— JOSHUA GIANAVEL

This brave Protestant officer, after writing the above letter, retired to the Alps, with his followers; and being joined by a great number of other fugitive Protestants, he harassed the enemy by continual skirmishes.

2016-08-03T01:57:02+00:00 July 2nd, 2011|Quotes|