Blog Archives

DEFINING SIN: Declaring Independence (4)

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         Keep yourself free from sin. [1Timothy 5:22]

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JULY 4, 1776

         It’s been 240 years since the Declaration of Independence was written. America declared to the entire world on the above date that it had grown to adult status and would be moving on into full independence.

         It was a forced departure. The distant government had come down way too hard on individual liberties and had not appreciated what the colonists had achieved. It instead treated them as mere chattel, took them for granted, and insisted on rule simply for the sake of rule. It was dictating from afar with little or no respect for the people.

         Their strong arm had the opposite effect. The American colonists thus made the right decision to secede and rid themselves of an overreaching, bureaucratic, close-minded, and entrenched power concerned only for its own interests.

         Therefore, the United States of America was founded on the principles of freedom, God-given individual rights, and personal liberty at any and all costs. The only possible way to facilitate these was for Americans to say goodbye to their arrogant overlords and be willing to fight.

         And now, 240 years later, on a much lesser scale but in the same spirit, the British people have said the same things to the European Union. Why? Because the leadership of the European Union has become extremely top heavy, unresponsive, dictatorial, and unappreciative of the British. As I said before, the EU needs the UK much more than the UK needs the EU. Let’s hope the United Kingdom maintains its backbone, doesn’t cave, and makes the absolute best of the current British Exit.

WHAT HAPPENED TO US?

         And now, with the express agreement of the American people by voting into office those who are doing the very opposite of that which our Founders fought and died for, America has become much like the EU. America has caved in long ago to a leadership structure that is far worse than what the leadership of England was prior to the Revolution.

         Has the American government at present become what it was designed by the Founders to be? Not at all, but it is not the government’s fault. The government itself is largely benign. There’s a lot of great people working in government. The Word of God says government in general is actually good and necessary. Americans should never be anti-government. But limited government is best. Limited government is the government of a free, strong, and independent people. The desire for limited government was exactly what the American Revolution was all about.

         The Constitution as written by the Founders certainly advocated for extremely limited government and the promotion of great individual freedom. As the government has grown in scope and power, however, individual freedom has greatly shrunk. This is a basic mathematical corollary. When one increases the other decreases. It’s impossible to have big government and great liberty at the same time. It works the same with light and darkness.

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

         On July 4, 1776 there existed a pronounced desire for individual freedom, a spirit of independence, the strength and courage to seek it, unlimited hope, a belief in the future, and tremendous opportunity. Today, there is comparatively less of all of the above. Liberty is fading.

         This fade to darkness is due only to the following: A turning away from the Lord Jesus, a growing acceptance of and redefinition of sin, and a huge lessening of human morality and righteous resolve. 

         How did this happen? Does the escalation of America’s moral failing dovetail with the nanny state and mammoth government? Are the two related? Are they connected? There is no way the Founders envisioned our current arrangement. Individual freedom is presently not only crashing but burning.

        Here’s how government growth happened in part: It responded to those lobbying the most. These are the ones who gain the most influence. This is what created the blatant dual standard of justice that has become so obvious as of late. Individual Americans have never managed to create a large enough voting bloc to lobby for their own interests and are therefore left out of the inner circle of great influence. It is in part why the great Middle Class of America that once was is no more.

         Much of this has happened due to a basic Divide and Conquer strategy that has worked perfectly. Such a strategy not only promotes division, it also promotes hate.

         Also, Americans put far too much trust in political parties. Political parties always have their own personal agendas and until this year, only promote their own. And even though the original framers of the government structure built it in such a way to eliminate or at least limit the inevitable greed and corruption they were all too familiar with that was used against them, the limitations have failed.

         Though built with strong checks and balances to severely limit corruption, those checks and balances have largely been overcome and eliminated by corruption. It is not necessarily the case that the founding documents have changed in letter to violate the founding principles; it is that the founding principles are largely ignored. The Bill of Rights is routinely violated every day and the violations are increasing with no apparent solution in sight. Without great change, individual rights will continue being outlawed one by one. The more disruptions that take place in society, the less freedom there will be and the more individual rights will be violated, except for the rights of those in the protected class. Darkness has thus descended upon the land. The remedy?

         “Let there be light.” [Genesis 1:3] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued…]

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

PLEASE SUPPORT THIS POWERFUL SERIES:

DEFINING SIN: The New “Evil is Good-Good is Evil” Paradigm (1)

DEFINING SIN: The Lord Jesus Endorsed the Old Testament Definition of Sin (2)

DEFINING SIN: The Growing Movement To Ban the New Testament as Anti-Semitic Hate Speech (3)

Storming the Gates of Hell: The Spiritual Freedom, Maturity, and Responsibility of Real Christians

         “THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED, TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.” [Luke 4:18-19]

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         Today is the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, also known as “The Great Charter of the Liberties.” An English document intended for rudimentary freedoms toward a restoration of basic liberties, it was immediately annulled by Pope Innocent III then reissued a year later. The Magna Carta began a centuries-long process toward political and spiritual freedom that eventually led toward the establishment of the freedoms gained in the American Revolutionary War.

         We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

         Any American who reads the above passage from the Declaration of Independence and still doesn’t get it is an American in name only, just like so many clueless “Christians” who are Christian in name only.

         This is a definitive statement that agrees perfectly with scripture and acknowledges the powerful fact that the Creator of us all has granted freedom to us all, that He has created us all equally, and that it is up to each individual to seek strongly with no reservation one’s own individual God-granted life, liberty, and happiness. Before one can set others free, one must himself be free.

         We have been blessed in this nation with the legal support to become and be real Christians freely, with constitutional backing, and unlike the vast majority of tyrannical nations in this world throughout time, it makes it relatively simple to obey the commandments of God and spread the Gospel message.

         And yet, we have a seeming majority of so-called Christians who deny it all. In their ridiculous opinion, Christians have no rights to seek anything whatsoever and must be forever banished to being powerless little non-people who are then supposed to somehow carry out the great obligations the Creator has placed upon them.

         Where does this goofy, unbiblical, and anti-human idea come from?

         Oh yeah—clergyites. You know, the guys with all the power, prestige, honor, answers, and control. Modern day clergyites are the direct spiritual descendants of the first century Pharisees, those who wanted to control every single aspect of every person’s life. These are the people who promise spiritual freedom but force everyone to sit down in pews all lined up in neat rows and never, ever utter a single word, and believe and practice only that which is dictated to them.

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS

         The institutional clergy middlemen serve primarily not as ministers of light, but as blockages of the spiritual ministry of the Lord Jesus. Their insistence upon strong central authority has resulted in a free and strong people becoming unfree, spiritually wimpy, and incredibly quiet.

         As a result, after so many centuries, these people have created a massive underclass of submissive, spiritually ignorant, Biblically illiterate nobodies who have become so conditioned to their illicit rule and heavy-handed regulations that they rarely, if ever, utter a single peep against what has been perpetrated upon them for fear of incurring their wrath, but mostly, and much more importantly, for fear of incurring God’s wrath.

         And yet, God is the very one who wants us all to be free! Why then, are  God’s” ministers holding everyone in check? Why are they all demanding that we serve them? Why do they all insist that they must be honored to the nth degree while all the pew-sitters get squat?

         Could it be because such a system does not serve God as much as it serves them?

         “They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men.” [Matthew 23:4-7]

         I am not arguing against proper authority, and the Lord Jesus has certainly authorized proper authority within His community. But I do argue very strongly AGAINST unrestricted clergyite excess and FOR the individual authority of every believer, BECAUSE GOD HAS GRANTED HIS AUTHORITY TO US ALL, not simply a miniscule subset of self-pronounced thoroughbreds.

         How in the world are a mass of ultra-conditioned and manipulated no-namers in the devil’s eyes afraid to speak up against a celergyite ever going to effectively speak up against and fight the devil? The entire process is backwards. The Lord Jesus needs great, powerful people filled with His powerful Holy Spirit to take the battle to the enemy exactly the way the Lord and His people did in the early years. It is the only possible way to defeat the invisible forces of evil.

THE DEFEAT OF BRUTAL ROME

         In case one has forgotten, the Roman Empire was ruled by brutal dictators and sub-tyrants on every level who had no feeling whatsoever for anyone who refused Roman rule, especially real Christians. There were ongoing Christian persecution campaigns from the very beginning that lasted at intervals over centuries, and it was all because the early believers insisted on serving the Lord Jesus as God and no other.

         And guess what? The Christians won! The community of the Lord grew like a powerful, well-cultivated garden and spread over the entire empire regardless of any and every method the devil and Roman leadership used to stop it. The Lord Jesus made real disciples by the millions!

         For a current equivalent, do some research on what’s been happening in China over the last 30-40 years. Millions and millions are filled with the Spirit of the Lord and are taking over in the same way.

         How did it happen then, that we in America somehow lost that early fervor and strength of our forebears to the point that we willingly submit to so-called “pastors” whose idea of a spiritual army involves surrendering to their authority on every level? And the vast majority of these guys are mere talking heads and powerless blowhards less manly than most of the men in the pews.

         And we wonder why America is going down the drain. The greatest potential resource God has is being wasted while sitting perpetually on the bench and never getting in the game because every position on the field has been taken over by T-balling clergyites making a mockery of God’s work.

         When individual Christians are taught to surrender their God-given authority and freedom to wimpy controllers of a false system that effectively gets NOTHING done in a real spiritual fight, it plays perfectly into the hands of the devil himself who would rather face a bunch of illiterate wimps any day of the week than one single real Christian, because he knows that one single real Christian will hurt him.

         God wants and needs believers who can do damage to the devil’s kingdom.

         As it stands, though, the vast majority of “Christians” in America have been trained by religious quacks to do the very opposite of what the Lord Jesus instructed. It is a form of enchantment. What kind of theological magic is this, in which people think they are serving God but deny the authority of the Lord and refuse His freedom within their assemblies?

         Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. [2Corinthians 3:17]

         Most so-called believers put no fear on the devil whatsoever. Most are no threat. Most do not attack him. Most just sit around and go through the motions completely oblivious to the battle all around them, while sinners go unsaved, miracles go unperformed, the sick go unhealed, the needy go unassisted, and no one is ever filled to overflowing with His life-giving and power-producing Holy Spirit.

         And if anyone is confused on the issue, what good does it do to assist people according to natural means only and deny them freedom from sin and the forces of evil? The Lord Jesus was always a proponent of establishing spiritual freedom first. It was and remains His primary objective.

         Therefore, the Lord has no need of powerless pew-sitting converts. He needs DISCIPLES. He needs people who can do damage to the devil’s illicit kingdom and rescue souls from it.

         In short, He needs all of us to be KNOWN IN HELL:

         God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out.

         But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, “I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this.

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         And the evil spirit answered and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?”

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         And the man, in whom was the evil spirit, leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

         This became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, who lived in Ephesus; and fear fell upon them all and the name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified. Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing. [Acts 19:11-20] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. 


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

The Declaration of Independence 2013

        On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of the Virginia House of Burgesses introduced a resolution that essentially became the actual Declaration of Independence. The short document stated thus:

Resolved, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances.       

That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation.

        The resolution was debated the next day and then tabled until July 1. In the meantime, a committee was formed to consider the question of independence. It was composed of five members: John Adams, Ben Franklin, Robert Livingston, Roger Sherman, and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was enlisted to write the document. After editing, the Declaration was voted upon for acceptance by Congress on July 2, and formally accepted on July 4, 1776. It is interesting to note, however, that it was not actually a declaration of independence. That honor belonged to the resolution of Richard Henry Lee. The original title of the formal document written by Thomas Jefferson was the following:

A Declaration by the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA in General Congress assembled

         The final draft adopted on July 4, 1776 contained the more familiar title of:

The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America

         When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

         Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

         Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

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© 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

The Declaration of Independence 2012

        On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of the Virginia House of Burgesses introduced a resolution that essentially became the actual Declaration of Independence. The short document stated thus:

Resolved, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances.        

That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation.

        The resolution was debated the next day and then tabled until July 1. In the meantime, a committee was formed to consider the question of independence. It was composed of five members: John Adams, Ben Franklin, Robert Livingston, Roger Sherman, and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was enlisted to write the document. After editing, the Declaration was voted upon for acceptance by Congress on July 2, and formally accepted on July 4, 1776. It is interesting to note, however, that it was not actually a declaration of independence. That honor belonged to the resolution of Richard Henry Lee. The original title of the formal document written by Thomas Jefferson was the following:

A Declaration by the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA in General Congress assembled

         The final draft adopted on July 4, 1776 contained the more familiar title of:

The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America

         When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

         Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

         Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

© 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.