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Date: 03 Aug 2006
Time: 14:28:15 -0400
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The Secret Destiny of America
by Manly P. Hall
published in 1944
THE UNKNOWN WHO SWAYED THE SIGNERS OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
Faced with the death penalty for high treason, courageous men debated long before they picked up the quill pen to sign the parchment that declared the independence of the colonies from the mother country. For many hours they had debated in the State House at Philadelphia, with the lower chamber doors locked and a guard posted -- when suddenly a voice rang out from the balcony. A burst of eloquence to the keynote, “God has given America to be free!” ended with the delegates rushing forward to sign. ...The American patriots then turned to express their gratitude to the unknown speaker. The speaker was not in the balcony; he was not to be found anywhere. How he entered and left the locked and guarded room is not known. No one knows to this day who he was.
Some years ago, while visiting the Theosophical colony at Ojai, California, A.P. Warrington, esoteric secretary of the society, discussed with me a number of historical curiosities, which led to examination of his rare old volume of early American political speeches of a date earlier than those preserved in the first volumes of the Congressional Record.
He made particular mention of a speech by an unknown man at the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The particular book was not available at that moment, but Mr. Warrington offered to send me a copy of the speech, as he did; but unfortunately neglected to append the title or the date of the book. He went to India subsequently, and died at the Theosophical headquarters at Adyar, in Madras. Then, in May, 1938, the speech appeared in The Theosophist, official organ of the society published in Adyar. In all probability the original book is now in the library of the Theosophical society. There is no reason to doubt the accuracy and authenticity of Mr. Warrington’s copy, but I am undertaking such investigation as is possible to discover the source of the speech.
On July 4, 1776, in the old State House in Philadelphia, a group of patriotic men were gathered for the solemn purpose of proclaiming the liberty of the American colonies. From the letters of Thomas Jefferson which were preserved in the Library of Congress, I have been able to gather considerable data concerning this portentous session.
In reconstructing the scene, it is well to remember that if the Revolutionary War failed every man who signed the parchment then lying on the table would be subject to the penalty of death for high treason. It should also be remembered that the delegates representing the various colonies were not entirely of one mind as to the policies which should dominate the new nation.
There were several speeches. In the balcony patriotic citizens crowded all available space and listened attentively to the proceedings. Jefferson expressed himself with great vigor; and John Adams, of Boston, spoke and with great strength. The Philadelphia printer, Dr. Benjamin Franklin, quiet and calm as usual, spoke his mind with well chosen words. The delegates hovered between sympathy and uncertainty as the long hours of the summer days crept by, for life is sweet when there is danger of losing it. The lower doors were locked and a guard was posted to prevent interruption.
According to Jefferson, it was late in the afternoon before the delegates gathered their courage to the sticking point. The talk was about axes, scaffolds, and the gibbet, when suddenly a strong bold voice sounded -- “Gibbet! They may stretch our necks on all the gibbets in the land; they may turn every rock into a scaffold; every tree into a gallows; every home into a grave, and yet the words of that parchment can never die! They may pour our blood on a thousand scaffolds, and yet from every drop that dyes the axe a new champion of freedom will spring into birth! The British King may blot out the stars of God from the sky, but he cannot blot out His words written on that parchment there. The works of God may perish: His words never!
“The words of this declaration will live in the world long after our bones are dust. To the mechanic in his workshop they will speak hope: to the slaves in the mines freedom: but to the coward kings, these words will speak in tones of warning they cannot choose but hear...
“Sign that parchment! Sign, if the next moment the gibbet’s rope is about your neck! Sign, if the next minute this hall rings with the clash of falling axes! Sign, by all your hopes in life or death, as men, as husbands, as fathers, brothers, sign your names to the parchment or be accursed forever! Sign, and not only for yourselves, but for all ages, for that parchment will be the textbook of freedom, the bible of the rights of man forever.
“Nay, do not start and whisper with surprise! It is truth, your own hearts witness it: God proclaims it. Look at this strange band of exiles and outcasts, suddenly transformed into a people; a handful of men, weak in arms, but mighty in God-like faith; nay look at your recent achievements, your Bunker Hill, your Lexington, and then tell men, if you can, that God has not given America to be free!
“It is not given to our poor human intellect to climb to the skies, and to pierce the Council of the Almighty One. But methinks I stand among the awful clouds which veil the brightness of Jehovah’s throne.
Methinks I see the recording Angel come trembling up to that throne and speak his dread message. ‘Father, the old world is baptized in blood. Father, look with one glance of Thine eternal eye, and behold evermore that terrible sight, man trodden beneath the oppressor’s feet, nations lost in blood, murder, and superstition, walking hand in hand over the graves of the victims, and not a single voice of hope to man!’
He stands there, the Angel, trembling with the record of human guilt. But hark! The voice of God speaks from out the awful cloud: ‘Let there be light again! Tell my people, the poor and oppressed, to go out from the old world, from oppression and blood, and build my altar in the new.’
“As I live, my friends, I believe that to be His voice! Yes, were my soul trembling on the verge of eternity, were this hand freezing in death, were this voice choking in the last struggle, I would still, with the last impulse of that soul, with the last wave of that hand, with the last gasp of that voice, implore you to remember this truth -- God has given America to be free!
“Yes, as I sank into the gloomy shadows of the grave, with my last faint whisper I would beg you to sign that parchment for the sake of those millions whose very breath is now hushed in intense expectation as they look up to you for the awful words: ‘You are free.’”
The unknown speaker fell exhausted into his seat. The delegates, carried away by his enthusiasm, rushed forward. John Hancock scarcely had time to pen his bold signature before the quill was grasped by another. It was done.
The delegates turned to express their gratitude to the unknown speaker for his eloquent words.
He was not there.
Who was this strange man, who seemed to speak with divine authority, whose solemn words gave courage to the doubters and sealed the destiny of the new nation?
Unfortunately, no one knows.
His name is not recorded; none of those present knew him; or if they did, not one acknowledged the acquaintance.
How he had entered into the locked and guarded room is not told, nor is there any record of the manner of his departure.
No one has claimed to have seen him before, and there is no mention of him after this single episode. Only his imperishable speech bears witness to his presence.
There are many interesting implications in his words.
He speaks of the ‘rights of man,’ although Thomas Paine’s book by that name was not published until thirteen years later.
He mentions the all-seeing eye of God which was afterwards to appear on the reverse of the Great Seal of the new nation. ...
[editor’s note: it is hear that the author interjects his opinion that the unknown speaker was one of the agents of the secret Order of the Quest, although he fails to explain the ability to enter and exit locked and guarded rooms. It should be noted that the author praises these secret orders and indicates he is a member of at least some of them. It is not unusual that these secret societies would use an incident apparent to the work of God the Father in establishing free agency, to support their allegations of great power and influence. Satan has always used a counterfeit to further his own efforts. On one hand it leads those who are week in Spirit to believe that theirs is the way to true power, and on the other hand, it negates the ability of the Spirit to influence men to the truth of His divine purposes of institutions inspired by Him to bring forth His works by turning those from them that see only evil in certain symbols and signs.
One but need read by way of the Spirit to know that the words of the stranger can have no other influence but that of our loving Creator to further his gift of free agency to us all. But men influenced by the adversary will continue to put forth many truths to get man to swallow one falsehood or to incapacitate him from fighting this war for free agency with the arsenal of weapons necessary to win, namely the whole truth, by slandering such inspirational incidents by association with their own evil organizations.
The author previously quoted the story of the mysterious Professor that designed the flag, from the same source as us while making some very important and subtle changes without making the reader aware he had done such. Although the author had no reason to change the content of this article since he in the end used the circumstances to his own nefarious end, the reader must solicit the assistance of the Spirit to filter out the falsehoods and retain the truth. This being not the only account of this episode, we have included others to further assist the reader, as follows. The author concluded:]
Of those who did not ‘reveal their true identity’, or the work which they came to accomplish, one is the mysterious Professor who inspired the design of our flag, and remains unknown and unnamed. And similarly, another is the unknown speaker whose words removed indecision about signing the Declaration of Independence; it is not known who he was, and the incident is preserved only in a rare old book, the very existence of which it is difficult to prove.
To this account, we add another from a more modern, however perhaps no more credible source.
THE LIGHT OF LIBERTY
by Paul H. Dunn
...My own parents had a great love for and appreciation of America. They spent much time as my brothers and sisters were growing up citing experiences of our county’s history, of the great contributions made to its freedom by our Founding Fathers, and of the divine nature of the Constitution. On one occasion my father shared with us an account which Thomas Jefferson once gave concerning the Declaration of Independence:
“On that day of our nation’s birth in the little hall in Philadelphia, debate raged for hours. The men gathered there were honorable men hard-pressed by a king who flouted the very laws they were willing to obey. Even so, to sign a declaration of independence was an irretrievable act that the walls resounded with the words treason, the gallows, the headsman’s axe, and the issue remained in doubt.
“Then a man rose and spoke. Jefferson described him not as a young man, but one who had to summon all his energy for an impassioned plea. He cited the grievances that had brought them to this moment, and finally, his voice failing, he said, ‘They may turn every tree into a gallows, every home into a grave, and yet the words of that parchment can never die. To the mechanic in the workshop, they will speak hope; to the slave in the mines, freedom. Sign that parchment. Sign if the next moment the noose is around your neck, for that parchment will be the textbook of freedom, the Bible of the rights of man forever.’
“He fell back exhausted. The fifty-six delegates, swept up by his eloquence, rushed forward and signed a document destined to be as immortal as a work of man can be. When they turned to thank him for his timely oratory, he was not to be found, nor could any be found who knew who he was or how he had come in or gone out through the locked and guarded doors.”
The similarity to the first account is great as an abbreviated version and only a few additional descriptive occurrences. Whether he quoted in part from the previous book or gained access to the account reported in both cases as having come from Thomas Jefferson, is unknown. It would be complicated for your editor to do the necessary research in the Library of Congress with the distance involved.
Another account of both instances, the Flag and Declaration is as follows:
AMERICA'S THIRTEEN COLONIAL STATES
The Committee of Three, with Franklin as chairman, was appointed by the Colonial Congress on Sept. 13, 1775, to design a flag. They met on Dec. 13, 1775, at that certain Cambridge secret home, including its host and hostess.
There they found "a stranger, or professor," who looked to be over 70 years of age, who had a curious box filled with ancient writings which he closely guarded. He knew all details of the past 100 years of American history.
George Washington, the fourth and honorary member, and Benjamin Franklin made him the 6th member of this committee. The "Stranger" then requested that their hostess be made the 7th member.
The "Stranger" also asked to be the first speaker. He then submitted a drawing of his flag. It was accepted at once and the "Stranger" disappeared.
This flag was made. George Washington personally hoisted it on Jan. 1, 1776, over his camp and army, on a specially prepared pole, and both his and the English army at a distance, saluted it with 13 cheers and 13 guns. It is called the "Grand Union," also the Cambridge flag, and has the Union Jack in place of the stars.
The "stranger" stated that in order to unite the 13 colonies in their separation from their mother country, the Union Jack was necessary to begin with and later on would be changed. The Union Jack was replaced June 14, 1777, with a blue field having 13 stars in a circle, which became our second national flag, and was designed by Elizabeth (Betsy) Ross.
Now it was apparently this same "Stranger" who again appeared at Philadelphia on July 4, 1776. Speaker after speaker had failed to rally the delegates (who feared for their lives) to sign the prepared Declaration of Independence. The old bellman finally said, "No they will never sign it."
When one o'clock came, a penetrating voice rang out, ringing with holy zeal. The debating stopped and everyone listened. It was not the voice of mortal man -- for it stirred their inner souls. His divine counsel and commanding voice strengthened their faith and gave them courage to back it up. The speaker ended with these words: "God has given America to be free."
The immediate signing of the document began, and the prepared bell of liberty, at 2 p.m., sent their decree around the world. A child, a nation, destined for God's greatest blessings, was born -- their Declaration of Liberty was signed -- but the "Stranger" was gone. (As quoted in The Three Nephites, Ogden Kraut, pgs. 46-47)
In this case we have quoted some three sources to overcome any question of dubious origin.