Skip to main content

Samuel Davies, Champion of Liberty, Part Two

 By Pastor Dewey Roberts - Posted at Vanguard Presbyterian Church:

The Revolutionary War (1776-1783)

There were two other events that happened after the death of Samuel Davies (February 4, 1761) in which he played an indirect, but very close part. The first of those events was the Revolutionary War. That war has been called the ‘Presbyterian Rebellion’ because most of the leading voices in it were Presbyterians. That was certainly true of Patrick Henry (1736-1799) whose immortal words, “Give me liberty or give me death!” are well-known throughout the world even today. As I was preparing my speech for the three hundredth anniversary celebration of Samuel Davies’ birth on November 3, 2023, my wife and I went to lunch at a local restaurant. There was a young man there on that occasion who was wearing a shirt with Henry’s words on the front of it. Henry was a Presbyterian and had been a member of Davies’ church, Polegreen Presbyterian Church, from the very beginning, Henry’s mother was a daughter of one of Davies’ elders in that church and she drove him to the worship service in her horse drawn buggy every Lord’s Day from 1748 until his marriage in 1755. On the ride back home, Henry had to recite as much of the sermon as he could remember. It was in those exercises that the oratorical skills of Henry were developed and refined. As an adult, he referred to Davies as the greatest orator he ever heard.

The connection of Davies with the Revolutionary War is two-fold. First, there is the connection through Henry who would have heard the various war sermons of Davies in the 1750’s when the Virginian parson was rallying the citizens to a sense of their imminent danger with that French and Indian War. Davies never made a statement that exactly parallels Henry’s famous words before the Virginia House of Burgesses on March 23, 1775, but he said similar things. He talked about fighting for “life and liberty.” He warned of the loss of both religious and pollical freedom; the loss of life to the brutal attacks of the Indians; and, the necessity of fighting valiantly for those things that should not be lost without a fight. When Henry stood before the gathered body in St. John’s Church (known then as Henrico Parish Church) in Richmond, Virginia, the whole cause of the Revolutionary War was in the balance. The ensuing vote passed only by four votes. Either Henry swayed at least four people to vote on his side of the issue or his speech does not deserve to be called one of the most important speeches in the history of the world. Henry’s speech was the deciding factor in that vote, without a doubt. Those present there that day certainly considered it to be so and history has agreed. Samuel Davies was not alive on that day in 1775, but his words two decades earlier inspired the one who championed that day. Without Samuel Davies, would there have been a Patrick Henry to rally Virginians? Maybe, but it is doubtful.


Popular posts from this blog

Christian leader shot in the head while preaching at Glendale street corner

Image Source:  Christian leader shot in the head while preaching at Glendale street corner ( By Ben Bradley - Posted at Arizona's Family:  Published November 16, 2023 GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — A congregation is in shock after a beloved religious leader was shot in the head while preaching on a Glendale street corner on Wednesday night. In an update on Friday morning, Glendale police say 26-year-old Hans Schmidt, a husband and father of two, remains in critical condition. It happened on the northwest corner of 51st and Peoria avenues around 6 p.m. Friends say Hans Schmidt was standing with a megaphone on the street corner, preaching the gospel to people passing by, something he’d apparently done countless times before. Only this time, someone pulled out a gun and shot him. Friends and family can’t understand why. “Who knows why someone would want to take it out on a preacher like that because he’s speaking the gospel and good news to everybody. He’s out to help the commun

'Bomb the churches': Trans-identified man indicted for threats to sexually assault Christian girls

Screenshot of video showing booking photo for Jason Lee Willie, of Nashville, Illinois. Screenshot/YouTube/SocialLifestyle By Ian M. Giatti - Posted at The Christian Post: Court docs: Suspect identified as 'open pedophile,' vowed 'many more and larger attacks on Christians' Published November 27, 2023 A trans-identified Illinois man and alleged self-described “pedophile” is facing charges for making social media threats to sexually assault Christian girls and commit copycat attacks similar to the attack at a Christian school in Tennessee earlier this year. Jason Lee Willie of Nashville, Illinois, was charged Nov. 7 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois with 14 felony counts of interstate communication of a threat to injure, according to a federal indictment . The threats, which are dated between March and August, include repeated references to Christians, black Americans, the Republican Party, and others. Among the alleged threats cited in the in

Thanksgiving and our Christian heritage

By Angela Wittman "Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people."   ( 1 Chronicles 16:8, KJV ) While preparing for the gathering of family and friends this Thanksgiving season, let’s not forget to also prepare our hearts in humble gratefulness to God for the blessings and grace which He has bestowed upon us as individuals and as a nation. Here is a bit of history about Thanksgiving which you may not have been taught in school as taken from the website “A Puritan’s Mind” by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon : The celebration we now popularly regard as the ‘First Thanksgiving’ was the Pilgrims' three-day feast celebrated in early November of 1621 (although a day of thanks in America was observed in Virginia at Cape Henry in 1607)... The Pilgrims left Plymouth, England, on September 6, 1620, sailing for a new world that offered the promise of both civil and religious liberty. The Pilgrims had earlier left England in 1608, as the Church of England