One of the most famous statements in American history has been with me since my earliest memories. It was made by a 21 year old man in New York City on the morning of September 22, 1776. Here is a piece from an eye witness:
“He asked for writing materials, which I furnished him: he wrote two letters, one to his mother and one to a brother officer.' He was shortly after summoned to the gallows. But a few persons were around him, yet his characteristic dying words were remembered. He said, 'I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.'"
When I was young WWII was just over and we were entering the “No-Win” era beginning with Korea. Captain Nathan Hale’s final statement was on the lips and in the hearts of most men and boys, as a mark of ultimate manhood and love for our country. It would be a good idea for moderns to have the courage and hope of Nathan Hale, rather than the current defeatist attitude proclaimed by so many.
Of course we young’uns were not aware of the pre-execution character of Captain Hale. One statement that Nathan left us tells much about his true patriotism and overall character.
“I wish to be useful, and every kind of service necessary to the public good becomes honorable by being necessary.” Nathan Hale
Mr. Hale did not stand on the edge of life thinking, “I’m here, therefore you owe me something,” but rather wrapped his life around a statement by the Apostle Paul who said in Galatians 5:13, “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”
What do you see as the primary purpose of your life?
“Only one life twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.” Anonymous.
Copyright © 2014 Larry Lilly
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