Republication of Pastor Clark's narrative of the '75 “. . . shot heard 'round the world” and his one-year anniversary sermon. Includes historical background on Jonas Clark, “Paul Revere's Ride” and three other commemorative poems, facsimile of the original 1776 Sermon booklet cover and extensive illustration.
Introduction: The Battle of Lexington
Have you ever wondered who fired the “shot heard 'round the world” that fateful morning of April 19, 1775? Who were those brave men who stood against the best-trained army in the world? The following is Jonas Clark's Sermon on the one-year anniversary and his eyewitness narrative of those events.
None other but Jonas Clark could give such an accounting, for he was the pastor of those “embattled farmers” who stood their ground. Clark is herein giving an honest and accurate accounting of the Battle of Lexington. He is also giving testimony of the events of April 19 and answers the great question, “Who fired the first shot?”
There was no better-prepared place to inaugurate the first battle of the War for Independence than the little village of Lexington. For pastor Clark “discussed from the pulpit the great questions at issue and that powerful voice thundered forth the principles of personal, civil and religious liberty and the right of resistance, in tones as earnest and effective as it had the doctrines of salvation by the cross.” (J. T. Headley, Heroes of Liberty: Chaplains and Clergy of the American Revolution, 21.) “It was to the congregation, educated by such a man, that Providence allowed to be entrusted the momentous events of April 19, events which were to decide the fate of a continentthat of civil liberty the world over.” (Headley, 23)
Today, the Battle of Lexington is little spoken of, for as a nation we have forgotten our history. We have neglected the heroes of our freedom and liberty. But there was a time when this day was remembered and odes were written to commemorate the occasion. Paul Revere's Ride and the Concord Hymn are two examples. (See Appendix, pages 7588.)
Our history books no longer tell the true story of Lexington, so we must.
America is perishing for the need of preachers who apply God's holy Word to every area of life including personal, civil and religious liberty. The Church needs more pastors like Jonas Clark, a preacher who taught the great doctrines of salvation in Christ alone and the Biblical right to resistance, which gave his congregation courage to stand in the face of great odds. The Battle of Lexington should inspire every man, in all stations of life, to stand and make a difference.
Rev. Christopher Hoops, Roseville, California