Simply Speaking: Sam Adams
Samuel Adams, according to too many in today’s society, is a beer. Actually, Sam was the Adams who encouraged his cousin John to become more actively involved in the fight for independence from England. John, you will remember, was featured in a 2008 television miniseries chronicling his role as a leading figure in America’s fight for independence and later as the second President of the United States.
Without his cousin Sam Adams’ encouragement, however, we may never have heard of John Adams.
Sam Adams was not one to run away from a meaningful fight, some even label(ed) him a firebrand, which may be either bad or good, depending on the eye of the beholder. Sam put it this way, "If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom - go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."
Part of the reason for Sam Adams’ seemingly lesser place in American history could be linked to the same reasons Patrick Henry seems more or less held only to those words in his speech to the Virginia House of Burgess in 1775, "I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death." Both Sam Adams and Patrick Henry were ultra-strong advocates of states’ rights. Politically-correct historians and our modern culture seem hooked on the idea of a national manifest destiny rather than state sovereignty and its attendant rights.
As a matter of fact, Sam Adams predicted sectional war if states’ rights were not respected. He hit that one right on the button, with the outbreak of war in 1861, only 58 years after his death. In a different, yet related very real sense, that war continues to this day, evidenced by Red and Blue States, with their contradicting views on how we should be governed.
Another quote pointing up his states’ rights focus may be seen when he spoke, "The liberties of our Country, the freedom of our civil constitution are worth defending at all hazards: And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks." These words were spoken in 1771, five years prior to the Declaration of Independence, and sixteen years prior to the adoption of the federal constitution.
The colonies in 1771 were under a loose Articles of Confederation constitution and Sam Adam’s "Country" was more than likely Massachusetts.
Perhaps the current Tea Party movement and stance taken by many other patriots of our time agree with another of Sam Adams’ 1771 warnings, "Instead of sitting down satisfied with the efforts we have already made, which is the wish of our enemies, the necessity of our times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude, and perseverance.
Let us remember that ‘if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom.’ It is a very serious consideration, which should deeply impress our minds, that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers of the event."
So then, shall we imbibe in the wisdom and bravery of Patrick Henry and Sam Adams, emulating their words and actions. Let’s drink to it, perhaps in the words of Andy Griffith in his ‘What It Was Was Football’ response to "Buddy, have a drink," in which he said, "I believe I will have another Big Orange."
The other guy was undoubtedly drinking a Samuel Adams Beer.
May Yahweh bless through Yeshua, Christ the King.
What It Was Was Football found at http://www.themadmusicarchive.com/song_details.aspx?SongID=867.