We also pass out some of the signer’s personal declarations of what they believed about Jesus Christ and have them read as well so we can arm our guests with the truth of our godly heritage in this country. Here is a sampling so you can use them for your celebration if you wish. Lots more are contained in For You They Signed.
Samuel Adams (cousin of John Adams) of Massachusetts: “I rely on the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon for all my sins.”
Charles Carroll: “On the mercy of my Redeemer I rely for salvation and on His merits; not on the works I have done in obedience to His precepts.
John Witherspoon: “I entreat you in the most earnest manner to believe in Jesus Christ, for there is salvation in no other.”
Robert Treat Paine: “I am constrained to express my adoration of…the Author of my existence, in full belief of… His forgiving mercy revealed to the world through Jesus Christ, through whom I hope for never-ending happiness in a future state.”
Benjamin Rush: “My only hope of salvation is in the infinite, transcendent love of God manifested to the world by the death of His son upon the Cross. Nothing but his blood will wash away my sins.”
Roger Sherman: “I believe that there is only one living and true God, existing in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.. and that at the end of the world, there will be a resurrection from the dead, and a final judgment of all mankind, when the righteous shall be publically acquitted before Christ the Judge, and be admitted to everlasting life and glory, and the wicked be sentenced to everlasting punishment.”
John Adams: “Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God … What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be.”
Thomas Jefferson: “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever
Benjamin Franklin: “Here is my Creed. I believe in one God, the Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His Providence. That He ought to be worshipped.
Roger Sherman (Connecticut): “I believe that there is one only living and true God, existing in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, the same in substance equal in power and glory. That the scriptures of the old and new testaments are a revelation from God, and a complete rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.
Benjamin Rush (Pennsylvania): “Christianity is the only true and perfect religion, and that in proportion as mankind adopts its principles and obeys its precepts, they will be wise and happy.”
John Hancock ( Massachusetts): In circumstances as dark as these, it becomes us, as Men and Christians, to reflect that, whilst every prudent Measure should be taken to ward off the impending Judgements…All confidence must be withheld from the Means we use, and reposed only on that GOD who rules in the Armies of Heaven and without whose Blessing the best human Counsels are but Foolishness—and all created Power Vanity.
I ask one of our sons to read the speech given by Patrick Henry to the signers urging them to sign the document even if it was with last drop of their blood. (speech is also in For You They Signed)
Then one of our sons or guests will be chosen to read the Declaration of Independence.
We then honor those attending who are veterans or current members of the armed forces.
Our younger children put on a parade using the CD soundtrack and songs from Take Your Hat Off When the Flag Goes By or creating their own presentation using patriotic songs and quotes. Our grandchildren participate as well. We pass out CD’s to all the kids who will be a part of our celebration in advance so they can learn the songs. The children then dress up in patriotic costumes and carry the flag as they put on this presentation for our guests so that we can all remember why this country broke from England and what the founding documents really mean.
We then gather the children around and listen to Uncle Rick’s Independence Day story. We often have a new Uncle Rick CD to pass out to children attending. Last year we gave Uncle Rick Tells Stories About the Signers of the Declaration of Independence CD.
The rest of the day is spent with a pinata for the kids and sack races and we end up with some fireworks!!
Let us remember what Independence Day is all about and make an impression on our children and guests!!