Pilgrim Pursuit of Happiness
By Leo Martin of Plymouth, MA
The Declaration of Independence states that one of our unalienable rights is the pursuit of happiness. It is clear from the records of both Virginia and Massachusetts at the time that this phrase meant the right to privately own property. However, what is also clear is that the unalienable right we have is to pursue happiness and not obtain happiness.
Today Americans often mistake the meaning of this phrase and think that their government owes them happiness in all flavors, to be claimed by them at any time.
What Leo Martin has done is to clearly articulate the meaning of this phrase by going to the root of our country, the Pilgrims. No other people at the time of our nation’s initial development portray, as families and a migrating Church, the meaning of pursuing happiness under the Hand of a Sovereign God better than this tiny band!
Though never in a majority and never wealthy; these Pilgrims considered themselves to be rich in spiritual treasure. Though they never sought a shrine to honor themselves, centuries of Americans have honored them as the spark, the root and founders of our God-given liberties… sadly, today the contribution made by these humble and truly great founders has mostly been forgotten.
It is time we returned to what truly made America great. It is time we remembered the true source of the liberty they sparked when they first invoked the Biblical covenant that brought God’s protection and blessings upon the land. They humbly pledged to serve God and manifest that by simple faith, heart-felt devotion and iron-clad character.
While the seeds they planted eventually grew into a tree much larger, more glorious and diverse than they may have ever anticipated, their love of family, their commitment to liberty and justice, and their faith in God stand as a beacon pointing us today in the direction to which our nation must turn to recover from her profound amnesia.
Let this little book, written by the great historian-patriot, Leo Martin, be read and re-read to your children and grandchildren, that the stories of our past may come alive again.
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