Some years ago I bought this 25 volume set of books at a used book store. It is full of great speeches from history including many English and American statesmen. I have finished six volumes and would love to get to the rest, but life is only so long. Volume six has Washington’s First Inaugural Address and his Farewell Address, two addresses by John Adams, and five by Patrick Henry. One of the benefits of reading this kind of literature is being given a lesson in public speaking and persuasion. Though preaching is somewhat different, we all need a lot of help in this area.
“It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry Peace, Peace—but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” Patrick Henry.