American Minute with Bill Federer DEC. 23 - The American Crisis - 'Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered...'
American Minute with Bill Federer
DEC. 23 - The American Crisis - 'Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered...'
The Continental Army was driven out of New York and New Jersey.
dwindled from 20,000, after the Declaration of Independence was signed,
down to 2,000, and these were planning on returning to their farms at
year's end when their 6-month enlistment was up.
Then the Pennsylvania Journal
published an article, "The American Crisis," on DECEMBER 23, 1776,
written by Thomas Paine, an aide-de-camp of General Nathanael Greene.
General Washington ordered it read to his troops:
"These are the times that try men's souls.
The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country...
Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph...
we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.... Heaven knows how to put a
price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an
article as freedom should not be highly rated..."
Thomas Paine continued in "The American Crisis":
with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right
(not only to TAX) but 'to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER,' and
if...that...is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery...
So unlimited a power can belong only to God...
Almighty will not give up a people to military destruction...who have
so earnestly...sought to avoid the calamities of war...
have I so much of the infidel in me, as to suppose that He has
relinquished the government of the world...to the care of devils...
cannot see on what grounds the king of Britain can look up to heaven
for help against us: a common murderer, a highwayman, or a
Thomas Paine wrote further:
the report of a French fleet of flat-bottomed boats; and in the
(fifteenth) century the whole English army, after ravaging the kingdom
of France, was driven back like men petrified with fear...by a few
broken forces...headed by a woman, Joan of Arc.
heaven might inspire some Jersey maid to spirit up her countrymen, and
save her fair fellow sufferers from ravage and ravishment!..
as confident as I am that God governs the world, that America will
never be happy till she gets clear of foreign dominion..."
it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter, when
nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that...the country, alarmed
at one common danger, came forth to...to repulse it...
Throw not the burden of the day upon Providence, but 'show your faith by your works,' that God may bless you.
It matters not where you live, or what rank of life you hold, the evil...will reach you...
The blood of his children will curse his cowardice, who shrinks back at a time when a little might have saved the whole...
I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection.
the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and
whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto
"Not all the treasures of the world...could have induced me to support an offensive war, for I think it murder;
if a thief breaks into my house, burns and destroys my property,
and...threatens to kill me, or those that are in it, and to 'bind me in
all cases whatsoever' to his absolute will, am I to suffer it?...
Let them call me rebel...I feel no concern from it;
I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul
by swearing allegiance to one whose character is that of a sottish,
stupid, stubborn, worthless, brutish man.
I conceive likewise a
horrid idea in receiving mercy from a being, who at the last day shall
be shrieking to the rocks and mountains to cover him, and fleeing with
terror from the orphan, the widow, and the slain of America..."
are persons, too, who see not the full extent of the evil which
threatens them; they solace themselves with hopes that the enemy, if he
succeed, will be merciful.
It is the madness of folly, to expect
mercy from those who have refused to do justice; and even mercy, where
conquest is the object, is only a trick of war; the cunning of the fox
is as murderous as the violence of the wolf, and we ought to guard
equally against both."