George Washington's Sacred Fire by Peter A. Lillback
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is an excellent book for those who want to know more about our first President's faith. It is very long but worth the read. The author does a great job using first source documents. I am very happy to report that without a doubt President George Washington was a believer in our Lord Jesus Christ! The book has ten appendixes and the endnotes start on page 959 and go through 1155. The author, Peter A. Lillback, did much research for this fantastic book! I highly recommend it.
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Here are just a few of the great quotes from the book:
The highest message of the [Washington] monument at its very pinnacle declares, “Laus Deo” or “Praise to God!” Similarly, the many inner messages of the monument that are found chiseled in stone along the ever-rising stairs, such as, “Search the Scriptures,” “Holiness to the Lord,” “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” are left unread, since the mandated way to the top is by speeding elevator, and the daunting and contemplative walk up the stairs is typically closed. p. 192
And most interestingly for the new nation, it included an order for the celebration of July Fourth. The Service for July 4th was listed as “A Form of Prayer and Thanksgiving to Almighty God, for the inestimable Blessings of Religious and Civil Liberty; to be used yearly Fourth of July” and included the following prayer:
O God, whose Name is excellent in all the earth, and thy glory above the heaven, who as on this day didst inspire and direct the hearts of our delegates in Congress, to lay the perpetual foundation of peace, liberty, and safety; we bless and adore thy glorious Majesty, for this thy loving kindness and providence. And we humbly pray that the devout sense of this signal mercy may renew and increase in us a spirit of love and thankfulness to thee its only author, a spirit of peaceable submission to the laws and government of our country, and a spirit of fervent zeal for our holy religion. Which thou hast preserved and secured to us and our posterity. May we improve these inestimable blessing for the advancement of religion, liberty, and science throughout this land, till the wilderness and solitary place be glad through us, and the desert rejoice and blossom as the rose. This we beg through the merits of Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen. pp. 300-301
“The most sublime picture in American history is of George Washington on his knees in the snow at Valley Forge. That image personifies a people who know that it is not enough to depend on our own courage and goodness; we must also seek help from God, our Father and Preserver.” ~Ronald Reagan p. 397
As surprising as it sounds in a secular America, the first act of the first Congress was to pray, despite a myriad of Christian denominations represented. This prayer not only began in America, but it began the continuing congressional tradition of prayer and the work of chaplains among our government officials. p. 486
THAT it is an indispensable duty which we owe to God, our country, ourselves and posterity, by all lawful ways and means in our power to maintain, defend and preserve these civil and religious rights and liberties for which many of our fathers fought, bled and died, and to hand them down entire to future generations. (emphasis ours) ~Continental Congress
Here is what the commander-in-chief [George Washington] ordered on July 4, 1775:
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. p. 551
The president (Washington) wrote in his Farewell Address, “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.” p. 551
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