Today is the 396th birthday of Algernon Sidney. For those of you who may not know, Algernon Sidney was a advocate for liberty all throughout his life, setting an example for those who would follow him. His most famous work, Discourses Concerning Government, was one that inspired many to fight for liberty, including the founding fathers. They read his works and looked up it his mighty example. In 1683, Algernon Sidney was accused of treason against the king for his writings, and was unlawfully sentenced to be executed. He was given the chance to take back what he had written and live, but he was not afraid of death because he knew he would leave the world showing all those who came after him that liberty is worth it. He was not concerned with his life, but only about those who could learn from him. December of that year, Sidney died as a martyr for liberty and sealed the truth of the words he had written.
Before he died, he gave a speech with some powerful words. At the end of this speech, as he drew closer to the end of his life, he proclaimed his purpose in writing and in dying, which was to “stir up such as are faint, direct those that are willing, confirm those that waver, give wisdom and integrity unto all.” This is the purpose he established for himself, and the one we are striving to carry on today. All of our words and actions should point toward this purpose, keeping in mind the sacrifice Sidney, and countless other men and women, made for this same reason. Today, as we reflect on the life this amazing man lived, we should also reflect on the lives we have lived so far. Have you lived in a way that continues to complete this goal that Sidney created? What are you willing to sacrifice for liberty?