These are also times that try men’s souls — here is another one from “optimism week” (week 8) in the archives:
How can anyone be optimistic in a time when the headlines are sickening on a daily basis? If you’re having trouble avoiding despair, read these few quotes from guys who knew how to persevere through tough times.
“The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.” ~ Patrick Henry, speech at the Virginia Convention, 1775
“With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance employ for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than to live as slaves.” ~ John Dickinson and Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of the Cause and Necessity of Taking up Arms, 1775
“There is a time for all things, a time to preach and a time to pray, but those times have passed away. There is a time to fight, and that time has now come.” ~ Peter Muhlenberg, from a Lutheran sermon read at Woodstock, Virginia, 1776
“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” ~ Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 1, 1776
“Our own Country’s Honor, all call upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions – The Eyes of all our Countrymen are now upon us, and we shall have their blessings, and praises, if happily we are the instruments of saving them from the Tyranny mediated against them. Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and shew the whole world, that a Freeman contending for Liberty on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.” ~ George Washington, General Orders, 1776
“[T]he hour is fast approaching, on which the Honor and Success of this army, and the safety of our bleeding Country depend. Remember officers and Soldiers, that you are Freemen, fighting for the blessings of Liberty — that slavery will be your portion, and that of your posterity, if you do not acquit yourselves like men.” ~ George Washington, General Orders, 1776
“I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.” ~ Thomas Paine, The Crisis, No. 1, 1776
“No morn ever dawned more favorable than ours did; and no day was every more clouded than the present! Wisdom, and good examples are necessary at this time to rescue the political machine from the impending storm.” ~ George Washington, letter to James Madison, 1786
“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” ~ Thomas Paine
“I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm’s way.” ~ John Paul Jones, letter to M. Le Ray de Chaumont, 1778
First posted November 22, 2013.