Copyright Order of Centurions. Reviewed 6:38 AM 1/22/2014
John Peter Gabriel Muhlenburg
Pastor, Patriot, Soldier and Senator
(October 1, 1746 – October 1, 1807)
Now is the time to fight!
Painting of Muhlenberg with Uniform below Geneva Gown
"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace."
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven, A time to be born, and a time to die.... A time to weep, and a time to laugh.... A time of war, and a time of peace. It is a time for war! And not only in New England. War has come to Virginia! The British have marched on our own city of Williamsburg, seizing our supply of gunpowder and munitions. Soldiers are entering private homes, homes just like ours. It is time for war! ‘We are only farmers,’ you may say. Patrick Henry has rallied five thousand men — farmers just like you — to fight back and drive the British out. It is time to act! Many of us came to this country to practice our religious freedoms. It is time to fight for those freedoms that we hold so dear. It is time for war! Let us pray. I am a clergyman, it is true. But I am also a patriot — and my liberty is as dear to me as to any man. Shall I hide behind my robes, sitting still at home, while others spill their blood to protect my freedom? Heaven forbid it! I am called by my country to its defense. The cause is just and noble. I am convinced it is my duty to obey that call, a duty I owe to my God and to my country. The Bible tells us there is a time for all things and there is a time to preach and a time to pray but the time for me to preach has passed away, and there is a time to fight, and that time has come now. Now is the time to fight! Call for recruits! Sound the drums
John Peter Gabriel Muhlenburg was born in Pennsylvania in 1746. He attend school in Pennsylvania and then went to Germany for three years to the University at Halle where his father had also attended. While in Germany he served in the Dragoons. He was ordained in 1786 in the Lutheran church in New Jersey, and then went to England to be ordained in the Anglican Church in 1772.
In 1774 he was elected by the local people to serve in the Virginia House of Burgesses. He was a patriot, and when the news of fighting came he decided he had a calling to fight for liberty.
After his farewell sermon (above). He removed his preaching gown and revealed his uniform. That day he recruited over 300 men and marched off to war with the 8th Virginia (German Regiment) and their commanding officer as a Colonel in the Continental Army. Their first battle was at Columbia, South Carolina. They fought at Brandywine where he was brevetted Brigadier. He was also at the Winter of Valley Forge and the battles of Germantown and Monmouth. At Yorktown commanded the 1st Brigade of Light Infantry in Lafayette's Division where he personally led his men in an assault against strong defenses.
Writing to his brother [William Augustus Muhlenberg, Protestant Episcopal Church] he said, " You say, as a clergyman nothing can excuse my conduct. I am a clergyman, it is true, but I am a member of society as well as the poorest laymen, and my liberty is as dear to me as to any man. Shall I then sit still, and enjoy myself at home, when the best blood of the continent is spilling? Heaven forbid it! ... But even if you were on the opposite side of the question, you must allow that in this last step I have acted for the best. You know that I have been chairmen to the committee of delegates from this country from the first. Do you think, if America should be conquered, I should be safe? Far from it. And would you not sooner fight like a man than die like a dog? I am called by my country to its defence. The cause is just and noble. Were I a bishop, even a Lutheran one, I should obey without hesitation, and so far from thinking that I am wrong, I am convinced it is my duty so to do, a duty I owe to my God and to my country."
After the war he continued to serve his country as a US Representative and Senator.
The Forgotten Heroes of Liberty, by Joel Tyler Headley
In my home state of Kentucky, we have a county named after General Muhlenburg
See more at Wikipedia