Monday, September 19, 2011

Evangelical Christian Fundamentalist Richard Henry Lee

As the Lord is the Disposer of human events, it is ironic the fate that prohibited Richard Henry Lee from writing the Declaration of Independence. Lee had given the formal declaration to break free from Britain, therefore would have been given the task of primary draughtsman, however his wife was sick, forcing Lee to leave for Virginia. Lee's misfortune was Thomas Jefferson's gain. Lee may have been President, and Jefferson perhaps forgotten among the A-list founding fathers. I look forward to asking Mr. Lee about the day he left for Virginia.

Lee, who ratified the Constitution, and helped draft the Bill of Rights, was an Orthodox Christian:
For six months before his death, Mr. Lee was almost entirely confined to his house. He saw his end approaching, and through faith in the merits of the Redeemer, viewed it with tranquil firmness. He had well fulfilled all the duties of life. As a patriot, as a friend to the liberty of mankind, as a parent, friend, and neighbour, he, like the younger Cato, whose character he much resembled, could say, "let guilt or fear disturb man's conscience, Cato knows neither of them;" and that "nature, worn out with care, sunk down to rest." It was the rest, prepared for those, whose virtues the great Parent of good, has approved; and which will be enjoyed by all, who devote their lives to the happiness of their fellow men, and to the duties they owe to their saving God.

Mr. Lee had early studied the evidences of the Christian religion, and had, through life, avowed his belief in its divine origin. He admired the perfection of its morality, and the sublimity of its peculiar theology. He was a member of the Episcopal Church; and although a hearty friend to all who professed the Gospel, he was strongly attached to the Church to which he belonged. The author found amongst his manuscripts, two votes passed by the two first meetings of the general convention of that Church, in the United States, in which their thanks are returned to Mr. Lee, for the interest he had taken in its prosperity.

Let not the infidel say, that Mr. Lee's assent to the truths of Christianity, was given in the twilight of his reason, and proclaimed at the approach of death. In the vigour of his mind, amid the honours of the world and its enjoyment, he had declared his belief, in Jesus Christ, as the saviour of men! For many years of his life, he had partaken, in public, of the emblems of that propitiatory atonement, which he made upon the cross, "for the sin of the world."

The eloquent Erskine has truly said, after reviewing a glorious list of believers in Christianity, "Thus we find all that is great, or wise, or splendid, or illustrious, amongst created beings, all the minds gifted beyond ordinary nature, if not inspired by their Universal Author, for the advancement and dignity of the world, though divided by distant ages, and by the clashing opinions distinguishing them from one another, yet joining, as it were, in one sublime chorus, to celebrate the truths of Christianity, and laying upon its holy altars, the neverfading fruits of their immortal wisdom." To that list may be added the name of Richard Henry Lee.
--Memoir of the life of Richard Henry Lee, and his correspondence ..., Volume 1
  By Richard Henry Lee

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