Where Real Liberty Comes From

My Country, ‘Tis of Thee by Samuel Francis Smith

“Our father’s God to, Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light;
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King!”

Nineteenth century Americans celebrated liberty as given to them by God and not the government.  Many saw God as their king and understood personal responsibility.  The words of this song and the Declaration of Independence helped influence Laura Ingalls’ understanding of liberty while celebrating the fourth of July on the prairie in De Smet,  South Dakota.  Her revelation of liberty occurred when she realized that her mom and dad would be telling her what to do for a little while.  When she left home, the wisdom she had learned from the Bible taught to her at home, church, and school would be her guide.  She understood that liberty meant that the government was not going to tell her how to live.  Real liberty comes from God and ordering one’s life according to His word.  “Let freedom ring!”

1For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants[a] of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.  1 Peter 2:15-17 ESV

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