George Washington

Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, Signer of the Constitution,
First President of the United States.

“First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” Richard Henry Lee.

1732 Born on February 22nd in Westmoreland County, Virginia
1749 Surveyor’s License received, College of William and Mary
1752 Colonel in the Virginia Militia
1755 Commander-in-Chief of the Virginia Militia
1759-74 Member of the House of Burgesses, Virginia
1774-1775 Member of the Continental Congress
1775-83 Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army
1787 Chairman of the Constitutional Convention
1787 September 17th, 1787, Signed the U.S. Constitution
1789-97 First President of the United States
1798-99 Lieutenant-General and Commander-in-Chief, Armies of the United States
1799 Died on December 14th, at Mount Vernon, Virginia

 

It has been widely publicized that George Washington was a deist. Is this true?

According to Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, a “deist” is,

One who believes in the existence of a God, but denies revealed religion; one who professes no form of religion, but follows the light of nature and reason, as his only guides in doctrine and practice; a free-thinker.

The many hand-written prayers composed by George Washington for morning and evening, entitled, The Daily Sacrifice, disprove this fallacy. Following is one of these Scriptural prayers:

Sunday Evening Prayer

“O MOST GLORIOUS GOD, in Jesus Christ my merciful and loving father, I acknowledge and confess my guilt, in the weak and imperfect performance of the duties of this day. I have called on thee for pardon and forgiveness of sins, but so coldly and carelessly, that my prayers are become my sin and stand in need of pardon. I have heard thy Holy Word, but with such deadness of spirit that I have been an unprofitable and forgetful hearer, so that, O Lord, tho’ I have done thy work, yet it hath been so negligently that I may rather expect a curse than a blessing from thee. But, O God, who art rich in mercy and plenteous in redemption, mark not, I beseech thee, what I have done amiss; remember I am but dust, and remit my transgressions, negligences and ignorances, and cover them all with the absolute obedience of thy dear Son, that those sacrifices which I have offered may be accepted by thee, in and for the sacrifice Jesus Christ offered upon the cross for me; for His sake, ease me of the burden of my sins, and give me grace that by the call of the Gospel I may rise from the slumber of sin unto newness of life. Let me live according to those holy rules which thou hast this day prescribed in thy Holy Word; make me to know what is acceptable in thy sight and therein to delight. Open the eyes of my understanding, and help me thoroughly to examine myself concerning my knowledge, faith and repentance. Increase my faith, and direct me to the true object, Jesus Christ, the way, the truth and the life. Bless, O Lord, all the people of this land, from the highest to the lowest, particularly those whom thou hast appointed to rule over us in church and state. Continue thy goodness to me this night. These weak petitions I humbly implore thee to hear, accept and answer for the sake of thy dear Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.”1

George Washington’s June 11th, 1783 circular letter to the Governors of the States, concludes with a fervent prayer for them, called “Washington’s Prayer for the Nation:”

“I now make it my earnest prayer, that God would have you and these States over which you preside, in His holy protection – that He would incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government, – to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the field, and finally, that He would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, Humility and pacific temper of mind, which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation. George Washington.”

These are but a few of Washington’s prayers, from which we conclude that he believed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Son of God; His shed blood on Calvary’s cross for the remission of his sins; giving witness to his humble dependence upon Almighty God and His “Holy Word” – the Bible.

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Bibliography:

1

Burk, W. Herbert, D.D. Washington’s Prayers. (Facsimile of original). Published for the benefit of Washington Memorial Chapel, Norristown, Pennsylvania, 1907, pp. 37-83. Library of Congress, Rare Book Collection.

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