General George Washington
Soldier and Churchman
[B. February 22nd , D. December 17th]
O ETERNAL GOD, through whose mighty power our fathers won their liberties of old; Grant, we beseech thee, that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain these liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord,Amen
We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old. How thou didst drive out the heathen with thy hand, and plantedst them; how thou didst afflict the people, and cast them out. For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them. Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob. Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us. For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me. But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us. In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.
Romans 4: 1-3
What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Colonel Washington was a regular churchman and member of Truo Church (Church of England) in Virginia, where he served as Warden in 1767; he regularly took communion there. General Washington, as commander of the Colonial Army in the War of Independence, respected all faiths, and worshipped with several denominations. This ecumenical charity continued in his role as the first President of the Republic and its first Commander in Chief.
His quotations below speak most clearly of his beliefs.
"May that being, who is powerful to save, and in whose hands is the fate of nations, look down with an eye of tender pity and compassion upon the whole of the United Colonies; may He continue to smile upon their counsels and arms, and crown them with success, whilst employed in the cause of virtue and mankind."
[1776 Address to the Massachusetts Legislature]
"….should providence be pleased to crown our Arms in the course of the Campaign, with one more fortunate stroke, I think we shall have no great cause for anxiety respecting the future designs of Britain. I trust all will be well in his good time."[Letter to Israel Putnam, October 19, 1777]
"…the General hopes and trusts, that, every officer and man, will endeavour so to live, and act, as becomes a Christian Soldier defending the dearest Right and Liberties of his country."
[July 9, 1776, General Orders of the Day]
"If we make Freedom our choice, we now determine to be enslaved or free. If we make Freedom our choice, we must obtain it, by the Blessing of Heaven on our United and Vigorous Efforts."
[To his officers and soldiers of the Pennsylvania Associators, August 8, 1776.]
"...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."
[Thanksgiving Proclamation, October 3, 1789]"George Washington and Religion
Note: The Order salutes all the members whose ancestors fought under General Washington on this holiday. For example, Centurion Zetta of Kentucky had two ancestors who were long-time friends with Washington from the time when he was a youth surveying the Western lands, and they served under him in the French and Indian War and the War of Independence: Valentine Crawford (her 4th great grandfather) who died in an accident during the war, and his brother William who was burned by Indians at the stake during the war. Here is the Washington-Crawford Letters Collection that gives a good glimpse of Washington the commander.
George Washington, General, Churchman [Washington's Birthday Observance]
Today in the United States, our American brothers celebrate the birth of a great Christian centurion of the 18th Century, George Washington. We have added him to our calendar on the day he joined our Lord, Dec 14th, and also recognize him on this holiday with our American centurions.
Posted by Primus Pilus at 9:16 AM