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Patrick Henry (1736 – 1799)


Prominent figure in the American Revolution, known and remembered primarily for his stirring oratory.
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Patrick Henry
Show me that age and country where the rights and liberties of the people were placed on the sole chance of their rulers being good men, without a consequent loss of liberty?
Henry quotes
There is an insidious campaign of false propaganda being waged today, to the effect that our country is not a Christian country but a religious one—that it was not founded on Christianity but on freedom of religion. It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by "religionists", but by Christians—not on religion, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.
Henry
This is all the inheritance I can give to my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed.




Henry Patrick quotes
I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging of the future but by the past.
Henry Patrick
They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?
Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of Liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.
Patrick Henry quotes
A King, by disallowing Acts of this salutary nature, from being the father of his people, degenerated into a Tyrant and forfeits all rights to his subjects' obedience.
Patrick Henry
Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell; and George the Third — ["Treason!" cried the Speaker] — may profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it.
Henry Patrick quotes
Let us trust God and our better judgment to set us right hereafter. United we stand, divided we fall. Let us not split into factions which must destroy that union upon which our existence hangs. Let us preserve our strength for the French, the English, the Germans, or whoever else shall dare invade our territory, and not exhaust it in civil commotions and intestine wars.
Henry
I am not a Virginian, but an American.
Henry Patrick
The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.
Patrick Henry
Suspicion is a virtue as long as its object is the public good, and as long as it stays within proper bounds. ... Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel.




Patrick Henry quotes
It is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope and pride. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.
Patrick Henry
That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.
Henry quotes
If we wish to be free; if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending; if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained — we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms, and to the God of hosts, is all that is left us.
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