The Advancing Wave
In perilous times, great men share their wisdom. Words from the past give us clues to the present, and more importantly, hope for the future. Robert E. Lee once said:
The truth is this: The March of Providence is so slow and our desires so impatient; the work of progress is so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long and that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are discouraged. It is history that teaches us hope.
Americans are confused and frightened about what is happening in our country. They know something is terribly wrong and they see the advancing wave of socialism and many don’t know where to turn or what to do about it — sometimes it seems hopeless. Maybe it’s time for an American history lesson — a lesson in what our governmental educational system hasn’t taught us.
In the freezing December winter of 1776, the bone tired and defeated remains of Washington’s revolutionary troops fled before the invading enemy. In the battle for New York, 90% of the revolutionary Army had been lost. In practically hopeless despair, bands of Continental soldiers deserted and returned home. In contemplating the rout by General Howe’s powerful British army, Americans and British alike thought the rebellion was finished. All the British had to do was clean up the remnant.
However, one of the tattered and shabbily clothed foot soldiers who remained with Washington’s retreating forces thought differently. This particular patriot was an artist, a dreamer, a man of words. He occasionally wrote articles for a Philadelphia newspaper. Between stops in the retreat, Thomas Paine scribbled out the following.
These are times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country, but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of men and women. Tyranny, like hell is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: ‘Tis dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to set a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed, if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.
These magnificent lines stirred the heart and soul of Americans. The entire article soon became a pamphlet which was reprinted over and over again and as fast as a horse can run, it touched all corners of the thirteen states. The black cloud of despair began to disappear and Thomas Paine’s “American Crisis” brought patriots to Washington’s side; men who had deserted returned. The American citizenry gathered hope.
It has been noted that the great revival of spirit came about not through victory but through defeat. The awakening was borne from tragedy and impending disaster not by victory.
In his Pulitzer-prize winning book Washington’s Crossing, David Hackett Fischer writes, “Dr. Benjamin Rush who had a major role in the event, believed that this was the way a free republic would always work, and the American republic in particular. He thought it was a national habit of the American people not to deal with a difficult problem until it was nearly impossible. Dr. Rush said, “Our republics cannot exist long in prosperity. We require adversity and appear to possess most of the republic spirit when most depressed.”
Providence works in strange ways; tota1 and unexpected reversal came quickly. On Christmas night, George Washington gathered what was left of his small army, crossed the ice choked Delaware River and did the impossible. The patriots not only routed and defeated a well armed force of Hessian soldiers in Trenton. The next day, the Americans miraculously held off and decimated a much superior force of British troops until darkness fell. General Cornwallis believed that in the morning, they had the Continental forces cornered. However, in the middle of the dark night, the muddy ground froze solid, allowing Washington’s small force of troops and artillery to not only escape, but to defeat the British in Princeton. It was a spectacular victory gained under impossible odds. George Washington gave the credit to God’s intervention.
I hope the words of Thomas Paine’s “American Crisis” and Washington’s victories inspire today’s Americans and give them hope and the desire to fight, because tyranny has once again reared its ugly head — and tyranny, like hell is not too easily conquered.
Then, remember Dr. Benjamin’s comments about our American character and our republican spirit to overcome adversity.
We Americans who own firearms have been much more aware of the impending political danger that our nation now faces. Why do I say that? Because we gun owners have been witnessing the radical leftist assault upon our Constitutional rights for many, many years. We personally have witnessed the vicious and untruthful attacks upon our Constructional rights, especially our Second Amendment rights. The gun-confiscating opposition has been persistent, cunning and devious. For decades, this cabal of radical socialists has been working tirelessly to penetrate elective offices; not to mention the mainstream media and our educational institutions. The battles we now must fight are political; we MUST make major gains into the next election.
Norman Thomas, founder of the ACLU and an early American leader of the socialist party, said at the beginning of the twentieth century: “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism, but under the name of liberalism they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation without ever knowing how it happened.”
To a frightening degree, the socialists are on the cusp of success. They’ve unfortunately and sadly made a great step in achieving their goal by slowly but effectively gaining control of the leadership of the Democratic party, and in the process, rooting out any democrat officeholder with conservative credentials. Calling themselves “liberals, moderates” and even “blue dogs.” The proof is in the pudding: they have collectively and by acclamation, elected Pelosi and Reid as their leaders.
Never forget, what has been elected can be un-elected, what bills have been passed can be repealed.
Now in power, the leftists are arrogantly coming out of the socialist closet and proposing legislation that is destructive to our freedoms. Fortunately, many of our fellow Americans are now in shock — awaking to the dire threat and are righteously angry. “Why weren’t we told?” many ask. “You were,” we gun owners could reply. “You just weren’t listening — fortunately, good friend, now you are.”
We knowledgeable firearms owners have some education and re-education to do. Let’s face it, Americans are now in deep political and financial trouble because of bad information that many of our fellow citizens believed to be factual.
Will Rogers, the famous cowboy humorist, hit the nail on the head when he said: “Ignorance ain’t our problem, it’s all we know that ain’t true.” The Oklahoma cowboy was right — there’s a lot we’ve been taught that ain’t true.
Case in point: American history.
David Hackett Fischer, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in History, wrote a fabulous and accurate account of Washington’s crossing of the Delaware and the pivotal impact it made on the final outcome of the Revolutionary War. Commenting on the moral conduct of the American Revolutionary soldiers of 1776, the author stated in Washington’s Crossing:
They set a high example, and we have much to learn from them. Much of recent historical writing have served us ill in that respect. In the late twentieth century, too many scholars tried to make the American past into a record of crime and folly. Too many writers have told us that we are the captives of our own darker selves and helpless victims of our history. It isn’t so, and never was. The story of Washington’s crossing tells us that Americans in an earlier generation were capable of acting in a higher spirit — and so are we. (Fischer D page 379.)
And so are we gun owners. Therefore, we knowledgeable firearm owners have a leadership and educational role to fulfill — and that is to intelligently educate our friends and neighbors in understanding the truth about our nation’s history. Getting them to understand our Constitutional form of free government and how and why it has worked so beautifully. We all must study American history and understand our own deep roots of freedom.
I also highly recommend Dr, Jerry Newcombe’s new book, The Book that Made America. It is full of important information on the men who founded our nation and the literature that they read. The book brings out facts that every American should know and doesn’t. The book that Made America clearly details why this country was called by every President from Washington to Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, a “Christian Nation.”
It also contains a critical speech given by Ben Franklin to the Constitutional delegates. The delegates were in disarray and the convention was on the verge of collapse until the wise old man brought order to the gathering. This great commentary is every bit as important as Thomas Paine’s “American Crisis,” Patrick Henry’s famous “Give me liberty or give me death” oration or Abraham Lincoln’s dramatic and historic Gettysburg Address.
Robert E. Lee was absolutely right that history teaches us hope. Let us all acquire an increased knowledge of America’s past and marvel at the Providential hand of God working for those who believe in His Son Jesus.