The outward freedom that we shall attain will only be in exact proportion to the inward freedom to which we may have grown at a given moment. And if this is a correct view of freedom, our chief energy must be concentrated on achieving reform from within.
The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. . . .If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.
Those who profess to favor freedom, yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without planting up the ground. They want rain without thunder or lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. The struggle may not be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will.
Relationships--of all kinds--are like sand held in your hand. Held loosely, with an open hand, the sand remains where it is. The minute you close your hand and squeeze tightly to hold on, the sand trickles through your fingers. You may hold onto some of it, but most will be spilled. A relationship is like that. Held loosely, with respect and freedom for the other person, it is likely to remain intact. But hold too tightly, too possessively, and the relationship slips away and is lost.
Comtemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen and then ask yourself, What should be the reward of such sacrifices... If ye love wealth better than freedom, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands that feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.
Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. This is not to say that firearms should not be carefully used and that definite safety rules of precaution should not be taught and enforced. But the right of the citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government and one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.
Freedom enables us to accept ourselves and become who we are in reality. Many a times, people trade in their reality for a role that they aren't meant to be. They willingly trade in their originality and freedom, and put on a mask to act, to please others. Such artificial , hollow and superficial life, doesn't matter how attractive it may seem, can become a chain and burdain. Be free. Be original. And you will be happy. The revilution for freedom always begins internally, on personal level first. Never trade in your freedom.
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.
I do not come into this pulpit hoping that perhaps somebody will of his own free will return to Christ. My hope lies in another quarter. I hope that my Master will lay hold of some of them and say, You are mine, and you shall be mine. I claim you for myself. My hope arises from the freeness of grace, and not from the freedom of the will.
And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.