Freedom Hero: Samuel Adams

After centuries of freedom since the Declaration of Independence, sadly most Americans have forgotten the only successful formula for creating and maintaining lasting liberty. But now that we are facing a national crisis of monumental proportions, it is vital that we remember and apply the strategy of liberty of the Father of the American Revolution – Samuel Adams.

Samuel Adams was one of America’s great freedom heroes. Adams’ vibrant faith was central to the cause of liberty. A recent biographer, Ira Stoll, says Adams was “the archetype of the religiously passionate American founder, the founder as a biblical prophet, and apostle of liberty.” In his own writings Adams said, “The religion and public liberty of a people are so intimately connected, their interests are interwoven, and cannot exist separately.”

Samuel grew up in an amazing world of grassroots led, self-governing colonies. The Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, were interwoven with all their colonial laws and charters. Beginning in a Stone Age wilderness, these colonies had become increasingly prosperous for over a century. They had unique and rare political, economic and religious freedom.

Adams entered Harvard College at age 14. While he was there, the Great Awakening swept through the colonies. One third of New England was converted to Christ. Many students who came only to party at Harvard became devoted to the Studies of Divinity. During this time only voices of prayer and praise were to be heard in students’ rooms. The Great Awakening made a permanent impression upon Samuel Adams. “That impression is evident in Adams’ writings and actions, in his prayers each morning and in his family Bible-reading each evening,” Professor Marvin Olasky writes. “He frequently emphasized the importance of ‘Endeavors to promote the spiritual kingdom of Jesus Christ,’ and in good or bad times wrote of the need ‘to submit to the Dispensations of Heaven, Whose Ways are ever gracious, and just.’ During the struggles of the 1760s and 1770s, Adams regularly set aside days of fasting and prayer to ‘seek the Lord.’”

The colonists in the 1760s were facing an England that had fallen far from its previous strong Christian faith. This sincere faith had marked the intelligent Puritan era of a century before. Now the Church of England was substantially deistic and no longer held to the central doctrines of the faith such as the deity of Christ. England became filled with vice and immorality. The monarchy was led by a foolish king, George III, who had fits of insanity. Parliamentarians placed their own lust for power above the interests of the people. Rather than reining in the power of tyrants, as they once had done under Cromwell, the English now tolerated tax and spend despots and legislators.

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