The Presidents Code – George Washington

The Presidents Code – George Washington

Name meanings in story form of the George Washington Presidency:

In the beginning, the Father planted a Garden on a hill with rivers, known as the Garden of Eden. Man was placed in the camp of the Lord. Man was called to rule in this peaceful mountain land and was given a mouth to speak unlike the other animals which God had created and whom Adam was given dominion over. God commanded Adam to be fruitful and multiply. He was placed in Paradise, a land of perfect liberty, where he was naked and innocent. Adam was placed in the Garden and commanded to dress and to keep it, he was to be the guardian of the Garden.

George Washington Prez code
President George Washington 4/30/1789-3/4/1797

George Washington was the Nation’s first President, who was also known as the Father of the United States. The office of President was formed with Washington in mind. As President he would set many precedents which subsequent Presidents would follow. Washington ran unopposed for President in the 1788 and 1792 elections receiving 100% of the popular and electoral votes. These various aspects of his life and Presidency correspond with his name meaning which displays a picture of the Heavenly Father planting the Garden in Eden.

George comes from the Greek word Γεωργιος ‘Georgios’ which means a farmer, one who works the earth. God is described as the “farmer” who planted the Garden of Eden.

 

Genesis 2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

 

Scripture likens God to a farmer, in fact He is the first farmer. This is seen in Matthew 13:37-43 in the parable of the sower as well as in Isaiah 28:23-29 where the prophet speaks of God teaching man how to farm. In John 15:1, the Father is called a ‘husbandman’ which in the Greek is γεωργός ‘georgos.‘ This word is the origin of the name George.

Washington means a people on a hill by a river, pointing to the Garden of Eden, the Mount or hill of God (Ezekiel 28:13-14) from whence sprang four rivers (Genesis 2:10). It is interesting to note that the United States was referred to as a ‘city on a hill’ by the Founders of this nation, referring back to the words of Jesus Christ in reference to this heavenly hill of God (Matthew 5:14).  America is also a place of many rivers which the prophet Isaiah may have foresaw thousands of years ago (Isaiah 18:7).

Here we see a pretty clear picture in the meaning of Washington’s name of the account in Genesis 2 where God the Father plants a garden called Eden. Further connecting the beginning of mankind’s history with the beginning of our Nation’s history is George Washington’s belief of the United States being formed by the Mighty Hand of God.

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“No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than 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.” {George Washington – 1st Inaugural Address}

 

I am sure that never was a people, who had more reason to acknowledge a Divine interposition in their affairs, than those of the United States; and I should be pained to believe that they have forgotten that agency, which was so often manifested during our Revolution, or that they failed to consider the omnipotence of that God who is alone able to protect them.” {Letter to John Armstrong 3/11/1792}

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As mentioned earlier, Washington was known as the Father of the United States. His character played out this moniker as he was looked upon by all his peers as their leader. The Hebrew word for father is אב ‘av’ which literally means the ‘strong leader.’ Throughout this Presidents Code there will be many references to the Hebrew and Greek languages as these are the languages of the Bible. Knowledge of these languages is not needed to understand the Bible or this book but it is a great tool to gain a deeper understanding of the Word of God. The word for father in Hebrew is a perfect example.

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During the War for Independence, Washington was the Commander-in-chief. This also depicts the father theme, as another meaning of אב ‘av’ is the one who protects his house or family. אב ‘av’ is also literally translated as ‘chief’ in the Bible (Joshua 21:14). As the General of the Armies of the United States, Washington led his country as a warrior. This parallels the Biblical description of the Lord as well who is spoken of as a warrior in the Scriptures (Exodus 15:2). He is also called the Lord of Hosts, or armies (Isaiah 47:4; 48:2; 51:15; 54:4; Malachi 1:14), the Captain the hosts of heaven (Joshua 5:14).

 

Those who knew and loved Washington called him simply, ‘the General.’ The word ‘general’ traces back to the root word ‘gen’ which means to give birth or beget, or literally the source of a thing. This is also strongly related to the Hebrew word אב ‘av.’

All Hebrew words are pictographic in nature. The letter א ‘aleph’ is a picture of an ox which is used in the Hebrew language for a leader or one who has strength. ב ‘bet’ is a house. Literally, אב ‘av’ means the strong one of the house. In ancient times this pointed to the tent pole which was the support of the house. It is the origin and beginning of the home. So too, the father is the origin and beginning of the family unit.

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After the War for Independence, Washington retired to Mount Vernon but was persuaded by his fellow countrymen to attend the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787. There he was unanimously elected president of the convention. The delegates of the convention would design the presidency with Washington in mind and allowed him to define the office once elected. He was unanimously elected to the office receiving 100% of the electoral votes, the only President to do so. He also took 100% of the electoral votes in the election for his second term as well. This unchallenged state of Washington points to Father God as Scripture asks rhetorically, who can be compared to the LORD? (Psalm 89:6-8). There is none like Him (Exodus 15:11; Psalm 86:8; 113:5; Jeremiah 10:6).

 

Upon his death, Henry Lee wrote that Washington was “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen”. This aspect of Washington’s character also points back to the Hebrew word אב ‘av’ which is not only translated as father and chief as mentioned previously, but also has the meaning of ‘first’ or something that is principle or primary (1 Chronicles 24:6).

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It is also interesting to note that even during his life, Washington was looked upon with “God-like” awe. Richard Norton Smith, author of a biography on Washington called ‘Patriarch: George Washington and the New American Nation,’ relays that during his lifetime Washington “stopped being a person and became a diety”. This is not to say that Washington was a literal god, but he was idolized in the eyes of the nation as a hero figure who saved them from the hands of King George. As a result he was treated with reverence and awe by children as well as his peers.

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Further connecting George Washington to God is the white horse which he always rode upon named Nelson. Nelson means a ‘cloud.’ This is an interesting connection to God who rides upon a cloud (Isaiah 19:1; Revelation 1:7).

Washington Inaugural

In Washington’s first Inaugural address, he dedicated the nation to the True Parent of the United States who alone can bring blessing (Psalm 33:12).

 

“Having thus imparted to you my sentiments as they have been awakened by the occasion which brings us together, I shall take my present leave; but not without resorting once more to the benign Parent of the Human Race in humble supplication that, since He has been pleased to favor the American people with opportunities for deliberating in perfect tranquillity, and dispositions for deciding with unparalleled unanimity on a form of government for the security of their union and the advancement of their happiness, so His divine blessing may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations, and the wise measures on which the success of this Government must depend.”

 

Notice the language that Washington used. He alludes to our Divine Parent who had given American an opportunity to walk in tranquility just as the first man Adam was placed in a tranquil land. God gave Americans a Republican form of government which engenders liberty just as Adam was free in the Garden. In a Republic, it is up to the people to walk in a lawful way otherwise the Republic will fail and quickly turn into a form of dictatorship where the government rules over the people instead of for the people. So too, it was up to Adam to keep and guard the Garden but when he failed, sin crept into the world and Adam lost his dominion and was no longer a truly free man.

 

This is but one example of where Washington dedicated this country to the Lord. The United States was established as a Republic which was founded upon the Rock of the Bible, a place where man could walk freely and in peace, just as Adam in the Garden of Eden. Of course, this is not to say that the United States was literally a Paradise, but the ‘parable’ is seen in the early years of this country.

 

America did enjoy a period of freedom and peace during Washington’s administration. He set the precedent that the U.S. was to be neutral in regards to the affairs of other countries, which at that time saw Europe in the midst of war. He supported John Jay in creating the Jay Treaty between the United States and Britain which averted war and brought peace to Americans throughout his Presidency.

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By examining Washington’s own words, it is clear that he understood his position and the gravity of his actions upon future generations.

“In our progress toward political happiness my station is new; and if I may use the expression, I walk on untrodden ground. There is scarcely any part of my conduct which may not hereafter be drawn into precedent.” – {Letter to Catherine Macaulay Graham, English historian 1/9/1790}

In a letter to James Madison, who was primarily responsible for convincing Washington to attend the Constitutional Convention, Washington reiterated his understanding that all of his actions would set precedents for future generations.

“As the first of everything, in our situation will serve to establish a Precedent, it is devoutly wished on my part, that these precedents may be fixed on true principles.” {Letter to James Madison 5/5/1789}

In this quote, Washington speaks of the importance of Americans to walk in integrity according to the righteousness of God. He understood that everything he did would set a precedent for future Presidents, and since the President is the ‘head’ of the nation, he would be setting precedents for the entire nation as well. He endeavored to walk as a servant suitable to a Republican form of government to avoid all semblance of monarchy or despotism.

 

I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain, what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.” {Letter to Alexander Hamilton 8/28/1788}

 

His Presidency was defined by these precedents that he set. The English word ‘precedent’ traces back to the Hebrew word קדם ‘qedem’ which means ancient or east. This is a strong connection to the Garden of Eden which was planted in ancient times, in the East (Genesis 2:8). Note: the use of word origins will play a big part in this book. Numerous times in this ‘code’ it will be seen that an important aspect of a President will trace back directly to the Biblical narrative through the use of etymology.

 

Washington set a precedent of serving two terms which established a peaceful transition of power from one man to the next. He stepped down from the office allowing a peaceful transition to John Adams. This is a picture of the Father giving Adam dominion over the earth, a ‘peaceful transition’ from God to man (Genesis 1:26; Psalm 115:16).

 

As President, Washington admonished the nation to walk in the will of God, depending upon Him and thanking Him for His bountiful blessings. After the War for Independence, Washington sent a ‘Circular Letter’ to the Thirteen States with a word of blessing upon them and admonishing that the leaders of those states walk in God’s love.

I now make it my earnest prayer that God would have you, and the State 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…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.” {Circular letter to the States 6/8/1783}

In a speech to both Houses of Congress on November 19th 1794, Washington further displayed his belief in the importance of seeking the Most High.

 

“Let us unite, therefore, in imploring the Supreme Ruler of nations to spread His holy protection over these United States; to turn the machinations of the wicked to the confirming of our constitution; to enable us at all times to root out internal sedition, and put invasion to flight; to perpetuate to our country that prosperity, which His goodness has already conferred; and to verify the anticipations of this government being a safeguard to human rights.” {Writings of George Washington – Jared Sparks Volume XII pg 54}

In his first year as President, Washington issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation which proclaimed America’s dependence upon God. In this way, the nation would continue in the blessed state in which they began. This is a parallel of Adam obeying God and abiding in the Garden of Eden.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor–and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.” {Thanksgiving Proclamation 10/3/1789}

 

Washington associated one’s walk with God with one’s happiness and ability to live amongst others as an upright citizen.

 

While I reiterate the professions of my dependence upon Heaven as the source of all public and private blessings; I will observe that the general prevalence of piety, philanthropy, honesty, industry, and economy seems, in the ordinary course of human affairs, particularly necessary for advancing and conforming the happiness of our country. While all men within our territories are protected in worshipping the Deity according to the dictates of their consciences; it is rationally to be expected from them in return, that they will be emulous of evincing the sanctity of their professions by the innocence of their lives and the beneficence of their actions; for no man, who is profligate in his morals, or a bad member of the civil community, can possibly be a true Christian, or a credit to his own religious society. {Letter to the Presbyterian General Assembly, May 1789}

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As General, Washington instilled in his soldiers the importance of walking with God in righteousness.

 

While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian. {General Orders 5/2/1778}

 

Another aspect of Washington that connects him to the Heavenly Father is His desire to see mankind come to a knowledge of Jesus Christ (John 3:16; 2 Peter 3:9). It is only through the Lord Jesus that man can return to the Paradise which God created in the beginning. This will be discussed throughout this book as this is the primary theme of the Bible. As the ‘Presidents Code’ is based upon this Biblical narrative it will be a primary theme in this book as well.

 

Oh, eternal and everlasting God, direct my thoughts, words and work. Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the Lamb and purge my heart by Thy Holy Spirit. Daily, frame me more and more in the likeness of Thy son, Jesus Christ, that living in Thy fear, and dying in Thy favor, I may in thy appointed time obtain the resurrection of the justified unto eternal life. Bless, O Lord, the whole race of mankind and let the world be filled with the knowledge of Thee and Thy son, Jesus Christ.”

 

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 my sins, but so coldly and carelessly that my prayers are become my sin, and they stand in need of pardon. I have sinned against heaven and before Thee in thought, word, and deed. I have contemned Thy majesty and holy laws. I have likewise sinned by omitting what I ought to have done and committing what I ought not. I have rebelled against the light, despising Thy mercies and judgment, and broken my vows and promise. I have neglected the better things. My iniquities are multiplied and my sins are very great. I confess them, O Lord, with shame and sorrow, detestation and loathing and desire to be vile in my own eyes as I have rendered myself vile in Thine. I humbly beseech Thee to be merciful to me in the free pardon of my sins for the sake of Thy dear Son and only Savior Jesus Christ who came to call not the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Thou gavest Thy Son to die for me. 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.” {Sunday Morning Prayer recorded in Washington’s Prayer Journal 4/21-23/1752}

 

These are but a few quotes from Washington’s own hand which display his character and his desire to see Americans enjoy a land that would not denigrate into lasciviousness as all nations before them. As a result, the United States could abide as a proverbial Garden of Eden of Liberty.

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Washington had a strong faith in the Most High, and as mentioned previously, attributed to Him the success of the War for Independence and the establishment of the Republic form of government the Founders created. As Washington believed that it was God that established and watched over the United States, he set a precedent that the president was merely a shepherd of the people of the United States, not a monarch who lorded over them but a servant of the Chief Shepherd who was to be an ensample to the flock (1 Peter 5:1-4).

 

We may, with a kind of grateful and pious exultation, trace the finger of Providence through those dark and mysterious events, which first induced the States to appoint a general Convention and then led them one after another into an adoption of the system recommended by that general Convention; thereby in all human probability, laying a lasting foundation for tranquility and happiness.” {Letter to Jonathan Trumbull 7/20/1788}

 

The felicitations you offer on the present prospect of our public affairs are highly acceptable to me, and I entreat you to receive a reciprocation from my part. I can never trace the concatenation of causes, which led to these events, without acknowledging the mystery and admiring the goodness of Providence. To that superintending Power alone is our retraction from the brink of ruin to be attributed.” {Letter to Annis Boudinot Stockton 8/31/1788}

 

May the same wonder-working Deity, who long since delivered the Hebrews from their Egyptian oppressors, planted them in a promised land, whose providential agency has lately been conspicuous in establishing these United States as an independent nation, still continue to water them with the dews of heaven and make the inhabitants of every denomination participate in the temporal and spiritual blessings of that people whose God is Jehovah.” {Letter to the Hebrew Congregations of the City of Savannah, Georgia, May, 1789}

 

“Although guided by our excellent Constitution in the discharge of official duties, and actuated, through the whole course of my public life, solely by a wish to promote the best interests of our country; yet, without the beneficial interposition of the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, we could not have reached the distinguished situation which we have attained with such unprecedented rapidity. To Him, therefore, should we bow with gratitude and reverence, and endeavor to merit a continuance of His special favors”. {Letter to John Adams 1797}

 

As President of the Constitutional Convention Washington saw the Hand of God directing the course of events. This is spoken of in more detail in the article: Shadows of Messiah – the Constitution.

 

Painting by Arnold Friberg, a reflection of a testimony from a Valley Forge Quaker named Isaac Potts and recorded in "Diary and Remembrances" of Rev. Nathaniel Randolph Snowden, a Presbyterian minister.
Painting by Arnold Friberg, a reflection of a testimony from a Valley Forge Quaker named Isaac Potts and recorded in “Diary and Remembrances” of Rev. Nathaniel Randolph Snowden, a Presbyterian minister.

 

Ronald Reagan described the above picture as the “most sublime picture in American history” which displays the need for American people to know “that it’s not enough to depend on our own courage and goodness; we must also seek help from God, our Father and Preserver”.

Following is the description of the above image from Isaac Potts who witnessed Washington kneeling in prayer during the War for Independence.

I was riding with him (Mr. Potts) near Valley Forge, where the army lay during the war of the Revolution. Mr. Potts was a Senator in our state and a Whig. I told him I was agreeably surprised to find him a friend to his country as the Quakers were mostly Tories. He said, “It was so and I was a rank Tory once, for I never believed that America could proceed against Great Britain whose fleets and armies covered the land and ocean. But something very extraordinary converted me to the good faith.”

 

What was that?” I inquired. “Do you see that woods, and that plain?” It was about a quarter of a mile from the place we were riding. “There,” said he, “laid the army of Washington. It was a most distressing time of ye war, and all were for giving up the ship but that one good man. In that woods,” pointing to a close in view, “I heard a plaintive sound, as of a man at prayer. I tied my horse to a sapling and went quietly into the woods and to my astonishment I saw the great George Washington on his knees alone, with his sword on one side and his cocked hat on the other. He was at Prayer to the God of the Armies, beseeching to interpose with his Divine aid, as it was ye Crisis and the cause of the country, of humanity, and of the world.

 

Such a prayer I never heard from the lips of man. I left him alone praying. I went home and told my wife, ‘I saw a sight and heard today what I never saw or heard before’, and just related to her what I had seen and heard and observed. We never thought a man could be a soldier and a Christian, but if there is one in the world, it is Washington. We thought it was the cause of God, and America could prevail.”

 

It is this imagery of Washington on his knees in prayer to the Lord of Hosts which established him as Father of his country.

 

In this hour of darkness and danger, when ‘foes were strong and friends were few,’ when every human prospect presented to the commander at Valley Forge was disheartening, he retires to a sequestered spot, and there laid the cause of his bleeding country at the throne of grace. That country had appealed in vain to the justice of her acknowledged sovereign; HE pleads her cause before the King of kings. He had before complained to Congress that there was a deficiency in the chaplaincy of the army. But it was not the form he relied on. It was not a religious awe, as a matter of mere policy, with which he sought to imbue the minds of soldiery religiously educated. He sought to link our cause, by a sincere devotion, to the immutable throne of justice; to find wisdom to guide his own action; to place the country in the RIGHT, so that he might bring upon her prosperity, as the natural result of justice to the injured.

 

How full of interest is this scene! How instructive! How sublime! Let our children come up from their cradles through the remotest generations to contemplate this picture. Let parents open it to their admiring families. Let it be hung on the parlor walls, ornament the center tables, be pictured on the tapestry, be grouped with every cradle scene, recited in every nursery, that it may meet the early vision, and affect the young heart of every child who may breathe the free air of this land of freedom – ‘WASHINGTON IS AT PRAYER.’ Well did he earn the title of ‘PATRIARCH’ – ‘THE FATHER OF HIS COUNTRY.’ As we honor him, and teach our children to give him honor, may we also love and honor, and teach our children to acknowledge the God of our fathers, who alone giveth the victory.” {The Family Circle 1847}

 

The imagery of Washington praying to God at Valley Forge was etched in the minds of American as the true foundation of America’s success in the War for Independence.

 

“Few scenes have had so much moral grandeur in them as this. Repeated disaster and defeat had disappointed the army and the nation. Suffering, to an extreme degree, was in the camp, and thousands of brave men were without the necessities of life. The independence of the nation was in jeopardy. Attempts were made to stab the reputation of the commander, and to degrade him from office. Provision for the army was to be made, murmurs and discontents suppressed, calumny to be met, plans formed for a future campaign, the nation to be inspirited and aroused; an active enemy was in the neighborhood, flushed with recent victory, and preparing to achieve new triumphs; and in these circumstances the Father of his Country went alone and sought strength and guidance from the God of armies and light. The ear of Heaven was propitious to his prayer; and who can tell how much of the subsequent brilliant success of the American armies was in answer to the prayers of the American general at Valley Forge? To latest times it will and should be a subject of the deepest interest that the independence of our country was laid, not only in valor and patriotism and wisdom, but in prayer. The example of Washington will rebuke the warrior or the statesman who never supplicates the blessing of God on his country. It will be encouragement for him who prays for its welfare and its deliverance from danger.” {Christian Keepsake – Rev. Albert Barnes pg 265}

 

It is clear that Washington was a man of prayer, who sought the guidance and strength of the Most High to lead the nation, first as General and then as President.

 

“Eyewitness accounts exist of Washington engaging in morning devotions. Biographer Jared Sparks recorded the following account from Washington’s nephew George W. Lewis: “Mr. Lewis said he had accidentally witnessed [Washington’s] private devotions in his library both morning and evening; that on those occasions he had seen him in a kneeling position with a Bible open before him and that he believed such to have been his daily practice.“ {The Life of George Washington – Jared Sparks pg 522-523}

 

During the Revolutionary war, General Robert Porterfield stated he “found him on his knees, engaged in his morning’s devotions.” Alexander Hamilton corroborated Porterfield’s account, stating “such was his most constant habit.” A French citizen who knew Washington well during the Revolutionary War and the presidency stated “Every day of the year, he rises at five in the morning; as soon as he is up, he dresses, then prays reverently to God.”

 

There are numerous examples of Washington’s leadership being based upon his relationship with God, especially as General of the Armies of the United States. When British troops opened fired on Americans in April of 1775, Washington spoke of the importance of keeping God on our side:

“I grieve for the death of my countrymen; but rejoice that the British are still determined to keep God on our side…The smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained.” {The Life of General Washington – Rev. Mason L. Weems pg 182}

The first order of General Washington to his troops was given on 7/4/1775, the day after he took command of the army:

“The General most earnestly requires and expects a due observance of those articles of war established ‘for the government of the army, which forbid profane cursing, swearing, and drunkenness. And in like manner he requires and expects of all officers and soldiers, not engaged in actual duty, a punctual attendance on Divine service, to implore the blessing of Heaven upon the means used for our safety and defense.”

Rev. William Emerson, who was a chaplain of the army, wrote that Washington ordered his chaplains to lead their regiments in prayers every morning. Numerous times Washington ordered days of fasting and prayer for his troops along with the giving of thanksgiving. Washington gave orders that vice and immorality be discouraged and forbade gambling amongst his troops. On July 9th 1776, Washington specifically ordered his troops to behave themselves as Christian soldiers:

“The honorable Continental Congress having been pleased to allow a chaplain to each regiment, with the pay of thirty-three dollars and one-third per month, the colonels or commanding officers of each regiment are directed to procure chaplains accordingly, persons of good characters and exemplary lives, and to see that all inferior officers and soldiers pay them a suitable respect. The blessing and protection of Heaven are at all times necessary, but especially so in times of public distress and danger. The General hopes and trusts, that every officer and man will endeavor so to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier, defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country.”

Washington wrote of the importance of Americans to rely upon Almighty God:

The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and they consigned to a state of wretchedness, from which no human efforts will probably deliver them. The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance or the most abject submission. This is all that we can expect. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die. Our own country’s honor calls upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us rely upon the goodness of the cause, and the aid of the Supreme Being, in whose hands victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble actions.” {The Writings of George Washington – Jared Sparks Volume III pg 404}

On May 2nd 1778, Washington ordered divine service to be performed followed by a day of thanksgiving on May the 5th:

The Commander-in-chief directs that Divine service be performed every Sunday at 11 o’clock, in each Brigade which has a Chaplain. Those Brigades which have none will attend the places of worship nearest to them. It is expected that officers of all ranks will, by their attendance, set an example for their men. While we are duly performing the duty of good soldiers we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of a Patriot it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of a Christian. The signal instances of Providential goodness which we have experienced, and which have almost crowned our arms with complete success, demand from us, in a peculiar manner, the warmest returns of gratitude and piety to the Supreme Author of all Good.”{Revolutionary Orders of Washington – Henry Whiting pg 174}

It having pleased the Almighty Ruler of the Universe propitiously to defend the cause of the United American States, and finally by raising us up a powerful friend among the Princes of the earth, to establish our Liberty and Independence upon a lasting foundation; it becomes us to set apart a day for gratefully acknowledging the Divine Goodness, and celebrating the event, which we owe to His benign interposition.” {Revolutionary Orders of Washington – Henry Whiting pg 177}

These are but a few examples of Washington’s leadership as General and the importance he placed upon prayer and walking in righteousness. In his resignation as General, Washington made his final act one of recognition and prayer to God.

Happy in the confirmation of our independence and sovereignty, and pleased with the opportunity offered the United States of becoming a respectable nation, I resign with satisfaction the appointment I accepted with diffidence, a diffidence in my abilities to accomplish so arduous a task, which, however, was superseded by a confidence in the rectitude of our cause, the support of the supreme power of the Union, and the patronage of Heaven. The successful termination of the war has verified the most sanguine expectations; and my gratitude for the interposition of Providence, and the assistance I have received from my countrymen, increases with every review of the momentous contest.

I consider it an indispensable duty to dose this last solemn act of my official life, by commending the interests of our dearest country to the protection of Almighty God, and those who have the superintendence of them to His holy keeping.” {Writings of George Washington – Jared Sparks Volume VIII pg 492}

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Another good example of the imagery of Washington kneeling in prayer is seen in the “birth” of America which occurred on September 7th, 1774. Washington and the rest of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia joined in prayer with Jacob Duche leading. Duche read the 35th Psalm which was a passage from the Book of Common Prayers for that day. Amazingly, the Psalm speaks of the Lord delivering His people from persecution, which at that time was being realized in America in the form of King George’s tyranny. It was here that America was said to have been born, in prayer to God in the name of Jesus Christ. John Adams described the scene in a letter to his wife Abigail:

“You must remember this was the morning after we heard the horrible rumor of the cannonade of Boston. I never saw a greater effect upon an audience. It seemed as if heaven had ordained that psalm to be read on that morning. After this Mr. Duche unexpectedly to everybody struck out into an extemporary prayer,which filled the bosom of every man present. Episcopalian as he is, Doctor Cooper himself never prayed with such fervor, such ardor, such earnestness and pathos, and in language so eloquent and sublime, for America, for the Congress, for the province of Massachusetts Bay,and especially the town of Boston. It had an excellent effect upon everybody here.””Washington was kneeling, and Henry, and Randolph, and Rutledge, and Lee, and Jay, and by their sides there stood, bowed in reverence, the Puritan patriots of New England.” {Life of George Washington – Washington Irving Volume 1 pg 461}

Washington Inaugural prayer

Washington’s first act as President was prayer to the Lord of Heaven. Following is a quote from his first Inaugural Address.

 

“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 councils 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 a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge.

 

In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own, nor those of my fellow- citizens at large less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those 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; and in the important revolution just accomplished in the system of their united government the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities from which the event has resulted can not be compared with the means by which most governments have been established without some return of pious gratitude, along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage.

 

These reflections, arising out of the present crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind to be suppressed. You will join with me, I trust, in thinking that there are none under the influence of which the proceedings of a new and free government can more auspiciously commence…since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained; and since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered, perhaps, as deeply, as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.”

 

While being inaugurated, Washington set a few more precedents which are important to mention. In a low voice Washington solemnly swore to execute the office of the President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, to ‘preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.’ He then added, ‘So help me God,’ and kissed the Bible, thereby establishing the first presidential tradition. Succeeding presidents have followed in Washington’s footsteps by asking for God’s help in fulfilling this oath although this is not technically prescribed in the Constitution.

 

The Bible which Washington kissed was opened to Genesis 49–50. This is the portion of Scripture speaking to what would befall Jacob’s sons in the last days. This was a declaration of Washington that he was being established as the President of God’s ‘American Israel,’ a term used by many preachers of the period.

 

Washington then delivered his inaugural message to the United States Congress. After the message, Washington and the entire Congress went down the street to St. Paul’s cathedral for a church service to pray for the new nation. Washington and all of the nation’s leaders went into St. Paul’s cathedral and spent two hours dedicating America in prayer to the Most High. Washington’s desire to dedicate this country to God and lead Americans in this faith was seen throughout his Presidency but is best summed up in his own words in his Farewell Address and his last words to Congress in 1796.

Washington farewell

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity. Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens, The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. ILet it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice?

And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who, that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?

Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and Morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be that good policy does not equally enjoin it? It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and, at no distant period, a great Nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt, that, in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages, which might be lost by a steady adherence to it? Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a Nation with its Virtue? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature.” {Farewell Address 9/19/1796}

 

“In recurring to the internal situation of our country, since I last had the pleasure to address you, I find ample reason for a renewed expression of that gratitude to the Ruler of the Universe, which a continued series of prosperity has so often and so justly called forth”

“The situation in which I now stand, for the last time, in the midst of the representatives of the people of the United States, naturally recalls the period when the administration of the present form of government commenced; and I cannot omit the occasion to congratulate you and my country, on the success of the experiment, nor to repeat my fervent supplications to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe and Sovereign Arbiter of the United States, that the virtue and happiness of the people may be preserved; and that the government, which they have instituted for the protection of their liberties, may be perpetual.” {Washington’s last speech to Congress 12/7/1796}

A summation of the parable found in Washington’s life are the words which he wrote in a manuscript which was sold at auction in April of 1891. It was a handwritten manuscript of Washington’s which contained his daily morning and evening prayers entitled “Daily Sacrifice”. In his Monday morning prayers Washington prayed that God would mold him into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. In examining Washington’s life, this seems to be the overriding theme displayed. Washington was just a man but gave up his own desires because he understood the position that the Lord had placed him in and knew that everything he did would be scrutinized by future generations. He sought to live the life of a man of faith, uprightness and righteousness. In doing so Washington did indeed bring forth the image of God’s Son in parable form.

Washington was a man of faults and weakness but his overall fruits were that of a man who sincerely sought to serve the Lord in honesty and with integrity of heart. I will leave it to the reader to do their own research and come to their own conclusions as the purpose of this book is not to go into in-depth biographies of each President, but I believe the picture that the Lord brought forth in Washington bears out his name meaning. This will be seen in the rest of the Presidents as well. Each President has had strengths and weaknesses and varying degrees of Biblical faith. Yet, the Lord in His wisdom and greatness has used each of these men to serve His purposes.

“Increase my faith in the sweet promises of the gospel; give me repentance from dead works; pardon my wanderings, & direct my thoughts unto thyself, the God of my salvation; teach me how to live in thy fear, labor in thy service, and ever to run in the ways of thy commandments; make me always watchful over my heart, that neither the terrors of conscience, the loathing of holy duties, the love of sin, nor an unwillingness to depart this life, may cast me into a spiritual slumber, but daily frame me more & more into the likeness of thy son Jesus Christ, that living in thy fear, and dying in thy favor, I may in thy appointed time attain the resurrection of the just unto eternal life bless my family, friends & kindred unite us all in praising & glorifying thee in all our works begun, continued, and ended, when we shall come to make our last account before thee blessed saviour, who hath taught us thus to pray, our Father.”{Daily Sacrifice – Monday Morning Prayer}

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