America's Christian Heritage

George Washington

 

 

From the Father of Our Country,

President George Washington

The Below picture is Copyright 1999 by Arnold Friberg and used with permission by Friberg Fine Art.

President Washington

"Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being, who rules over the universe, who presides in the council of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States.." "...Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency" From President George Washington's Inaugural Address, April 30th, 1789, addressed to both Houses of Congress.

President Washington's Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, 1789

"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible" President George Washington, September 17th, 1796

"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports . . . And let us indulge with caution the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion . . . Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail to the exclusion of religious principle."

"...The Smiles of Heaven can never be expected On a Nation that disregards the eternal rules of Order and Right, which Heaven Itself Ordained."

"Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the rest is in the hands of God." Address to the Constitutional Convention 1787

"Without a humble imitation of the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, we can never hope to be a happy nation."


Washington A Deist? NOT!!!

The Following letter was written by George Washington's adopted daughter Eleanor (Nelly) Park Custis Lewis. She wrote this letter in 1833 in response to author Jared Sparks request for info on Washington's religious beliefs, for a book he was writing that was published under the title; "The Life of Washington".

"Woodlawn, 26 February, 1833.

"Sir,

"I received your favor of the 20th instant last evening, and hasten to give you the information, which you desire.

"Truro Parish is the one in which Mount Vernon, Pohick Church, and Woodlawn are situated. Fairfax Parish is now Alexandria . Before the Federal District was ceded to Congress, Alexandria was in Fairfax County. General Washington had a pew in Pohick Church, and one in Christ Church at Alexandria. He was very instrumental in establishing Pohick Church, and I believe subscribed largely. His pew was near the pulpit. I have a perfect recollection of being there, before his election to the presidency, with him and my grandmother. It was a beautiful church, and had a large, respectable, and wealthy congregation, who were regular attendants. "He attended the church at Alexandria, when the weather and roads permitted a ride of ten miles. In New York and Philadelphia he never omitted attendance at church in the morning, unless detained by indisposition. The afternoon was spent in his own room at home; the evening with his family, and without company. Sometimes an old and intimate friend called to see us for an hour or two; but visiting and visitors were prohibited for that day. No one in church attended to the services with more reverential respect. My grandmother, who was eminently pious, never deviated from her early habits. She always knelt. The General, as was then the custom, stood during the devotional parts of the service. On communion Sundays, he left the church with me, after the blessing, and returned home, and we sent the carriage back for my grandmother.

"It was his custom to retire to his library at nine or ten o'clock, where he remained an hour before he went to his chamber. He always rose before the sun, and remained in his library until called to breakfast. I never witnessed his private devotions. In never inquired about them. I should have thought it the greatest heresy to doubt his firm belief in Christianity. His life, his writings, prove that he was a Christian. He was not one of those who act or pray, 'that they may be seen of men.' He communed with his God in secret.

"My mother resided two years at mount Vernon, after her marriage with John Park Custis, the only son of Mrs. Washington. I have heard her say, that General Washington always received the sacrament with my grandmother before the revolution. When my aunt, Miss Custis, died suddenly at Mount Vernon, before they could realize the event, he knelt by her and prayed most fervently, most affectingly, for her recovery. Of this I was assured by Judge Washington's mother, and other witnesses.

"He was a silent, thoughtful man. He spoke little generally; never of himself. I never heard him relate a single act of his life during the war I have often seen him perfectly abstracted, his lips moving, but no sound was perceptible. I have sometimes made him laugh most heartily from sympathy with my joyous and extravagant spirits. I was probably, one of the last persons on earth to whom he would have addressed serious conversation, particularly when he knew that I had the most perfect model of female excellence ever with me as my monitress, who acted the part of a tender and devoted parent, loving me as only a mother can love, and never extenuating or approving in me what she disapproved in others. She never omitted her private devotions, or her public duties; and she and her husband were so perfectly united and happy, that he must have been a Christian. She had no doubts, no fears for him. After forty years of devoted affection and uninterrupted happiness, she resigned him without a murmur into the arms of his Savior and his God, with the assured hope of his eternal felicity. Is it necessary that any one should certify, 'General Washington avowed himself to me a believer in Christianity?' As well may we question his patriotism, his heroic, disinterested devotion to his country. His mottos were, 'Deeds, not Words'; and, 'For God and my Country.'

"With sentiments of esteem, I am, & c."
 


George Washington's Vision

Editors log;  I ran across Washington's vision several years ago.  The original source was the forerunner to today's Star's and Stripes magazine (published for our men and women in the armed forces).

Originally called The National Tribune, the newspaper was billed as a "Monthly Journal devoted to the Soldiers, Sailors, and Pensioners of the United States, and the instruction of the Family Circle."

However, at the time I came across this, I was skeptical and decided to track down the original source some time later.  I finally verified the authenticity of the article by obtaining a copy of the magazine on microfilm film reel from the Library of Congress.  I then made photocopies of which I now have in my possession.


George Washington's Vision

"The last time I ever saw Anthony Sherman was on the fourth of July, 1859, in Independence Square. He was then 99 years old, and becoming very feeble. But though so old, his dimming eyes rekindled as he gazed upon Independence Hall, which he had come to visit once more.

"'Let's go into the hall,' he said. 'I want to tell you of an incident of Washington's life -- one which no one alive knows of except myself; and if you live, you will before long see it verified. Mark the prediction, you will see it verified.

"'From the opening of the Revolution we experienced all phases of fortune, now good and now ill, one time victorious and another conquered. The darkest period we had, I think, was when Washington after several reverses, retreated to Valley Forge, where he resolved to pass the winter of 1777. Ah! I have often seen the tears coursing down our dear commander's careworn cheeks, as he would be conversing with a confidential officer about the condition of his poor soldiers. You have doubtless heard the story of Washington's going into the thicket to pray. Well, it was not only true, but he used to pray often in secret for aid and comfort. And God brought us safely through the darkest days of tribulation.

"'One day, I remember it well, the chilly winds whistled through the leafless trees, though the sky was cloudless and the sun shone brightly. He remained in his quarters nearly all the afternoon, alone. When he came out I noticed that his face was a shade paler than usual, and there seemed to be something on his mind of more than ordinary importance. Returning just after dusk, he dispatched an orderly to the quarters of an officer, who was presently in attendance. After a preliminary conversation of about half an hour, Washington, gazing upon his companion with that strange look of dignity which he alone could command, said to the latter:

"I do not know whether it is owing to the anxiety of my mind, or what, but this afternoon, as I was sitting at this table engaged in preparing a dispatch, something in the apartment seemed to disturb me. Looking up, I beheld standing opposite me a singularly beautiful being. So astonished was I, for I had given strict orders not to be disturbed, that it was some moments before I found language to inquire the cause of the visit. A second, a third, and even a fourth time did I repeat the question, but received no answer from my mysterious visitor except a slight raising of the eyes.

"But this time I felt strange sensations spreading over me. I would have risen but the riveted gaze of the being before me rendered volition impossible. I assayed once more to speak, but my tongue had become useless, as if paralyzed. A new influence, mysterious, potent, irresistible, took possession of me. All I could do was to gaze steadily, vacantly at my unknown visitor.

"Gradually the surrounding atmosphere seemed to fill with sensations, and grew luminous.  Everything about me seemed to rarefy, the mysterious visitor also becoming more airy and yet more distinct to my eyes than before. I began to feel as one dying, or rather to experience the sensations which I have sometimes imagined accompany death. I did not think, I did not reason, I did not move. All were alike impossible. I was only conscious of gazing fixedly, vacantly at my companion.

"Presently I heard a voice saying, 'Son of the Republic, look and learn,' while at the same time my visitor extended an arm EASTWARD. I now beheld a heavy white vapor at some distance rising fold upon fold. This gradually dissipated, and I looked upon a strange scene. Before me lay, spread out in one vast plain, all the countries of the world -- Europe, Asia, Africa and America. I saw rolling and tossing between Europe and America the billows of the Atlantic, and between Asia and  America lay the Pacific. 'Son of the Republic,' said the same mysterious voice as before, 'Look
and learn.'

"At that moment I beheld a dark, shadowy being, like an angel, standing, or rather floating in midair, BETWEEN EUROPE AND AMERICA. Dipping water out of the ocean in the hollow of each  hand, he sprinkled some UPON AMERICA with his right hand, while with his left he cast some OVER EUROPE. Immediately a cloud arose FROM THESE COUNTRIES, and joined in mid-ocean. For a while it seemed stationary, and then it moved slowly WESTWARD, until it ENVELOPED AMERICA in its murky folds. Sharp flashes of lightning gleamed through it at intervals, and I heard the smothered groans and cries of the American people.

"A second time the angel dipped water from the ocean and sprinkled it out as before. The dark cloud was then DRAWN BACK to the ocean, in whose heavy billows it sank from view.

"A third time I heard the mysterious visitor saying, 'Son of the Republic, look and learn.' I cast my eyes upon America and beheld villages and towns and cities SPRINGING UP ONE AFTER  ANOTHER UNTIL THE WHOLE LAND FROM THE ATLANTIC TO THE PACIFIC WAS DOTTED WITH THEM. Again, I heard the mysterious voice say, 'Son of the Republic, the END OF THE CENTURY cometh, look and listen.'

"And this time the dark shadowy angel turned his face SOUTHWARD. From AFRICA I saw an ill-omened specter approach our land. It flitted slowly and heavily over EVERY town and city of  the latter. The inhabitants presently set themselves in BATTLE ARRAY AGAINST EACH OTHER. As I continued looking I saw a bright angel on whose brow rested a crown of light, on which was traced the word 'UNION.' He was bearing the American flag. He placed the flag between the DIVIDED NATION and said, 'Remember, ye are BRETHREN.'

"Instantly, the inhabitants, casting down their weapons, became friends once more and UNITED around the National Standard.

"Again I heard the mysterious voice saying, 'Son of the Republic, look and learn.' At this the dark, shadowy angel placed a TRUMPET to his mouth, and blew three distinct blasts; and taking water from the ocean, he sprinkled it upon Europe, Asia and Africa.

"Then my eyes beheld a fearful scene. From each of these continents arose thick black clouds that were soon joined into one. And through this mass there gleamed a DARK RED LIGHT by which I saw HORDES OF ARMED MEN. These men, moving with the cloud, MARCHED BY LAND AND SAILED BY SEA TO AMERICA, which country was enveloped in the volume of the cloud. And I dimly saw these VAST ARMIES DEVASTATE THE WHOLE COUNTRY and burn the villages, towns and cities which I had seen springing up.

"As my ears listened to the thundering of the cannon, clashing of sounds and the shouts and cries of MILLIONS in mortal combat, I again heard the mysterious voice saying, "Son of the Republic, look and learn." When this voice had ceased, the dark shadowy angel placed his TRUMPET once more to his mouth, and blew a long and fearful blast.

"Instantly a LIGHT AS OF A THOUSAND SUNS shone down from above me, and pierced and broke into fragments the dark cloud which enveloped America. At the same moment the angel [?] upon whose head still shone the word 'Union,' and who bore our national flag in one hand and a SWORD in the other, DESCENDED FROM THE HEAVENS ATTENDED BY LEGIONS OF WHITE SPIRITS. These immediately joined the inhabitants of America, who I perceived were  WELL-NIGH OVERCOME, but who immediately taking courage again, closed up their broken
ranks and renewed the battle.

"Again, amid the fearful noise of the conflict I heard the mysterious voice saying, 'Son of the Republic, look and learn.' As the voice ceased, the shadowy angel for the last time dipped water from the ocean and sprinkled it upon America. Instantly the dark cloud rolled back, together with the armies it had brought, leaving the inhabitants of the land victorious.

"Then once more, I beheld the villages, towns and cities SPRINGING UP where I had seen them before, while the BRIGHT ANGEL, planting the azure standard he had brought in the midst of them, cried with a loud voice: 'While the stars remain, and the heavens send down dew upon the earth, SO LONG SHALL THE UNION LAST.' And taking from his brow the CROWN on which blazoned the word 'Union,' he placed it upon the standard while the people KNEELING DOWN said, 'Amen.'

"The scene instantly began to fade and dissolve, and I at last saw nothing but the rising, curling vapor I at first beheld. This also disappeared, and I found myself once more gazing upon the mysterious visitor, who in the same voice I had heard before, said, 'Son of the Republic, what you have seen is thus interpreted. THREE GREAT PERILS will come upon the Republic. THE MOST FEARFUL FOR HER IS THE THIRD. But the whole world united shall not prevail against her. Let every child of the Republic LEARN TO LIVE FOR HIS GOD, his land and Union.' With these words the vision vanished, and I started from my seat and felt that I had seen a vision wherein had been shown me the birth, the progress, and the destiny of the United States.

"'Such, my friends,' the venerable narrator concluded, 'were the words I heard from
Washington's own lips, and America will do well to profit by them.'"