Answering the Charge That George Washington was a Deist

George Washington's Christianity

This essay was written and given to me by reknowned Author William J. Federer, in response to the charges from secularists who claim the Founders and George Washington were not Christians. It is an excellent study and chronicle to debunk the revisionism being engaged by the Secular Left to expunge from our history and heritage – the role the Christian faith played in our foundations and our liberties.

George Washington & Christianity
By William J. Federer

As to the comment, “I do not necessarily believe that the Beneficent Being mentioned by President Washington, is exactly the same Christian God as is now generally believed,” the best place to go for an answer is to the writings of Washington himself and the first hand descriptions by those who knew him. Below is just a sampling of references regarding Washington and Christianity:

On the same day, in a personal letter to Colonel Benedict Arnold, September 14, 1775, regarding the advance into Canada, General George Washington enlarged:

“I also give it in charge to you to avoid all disrespect of the religion of the country, and its ceremonies. Prudence, policy, and a true Christian spirit will lead us to look with compassion upon their errors without insulting them. While we are contending for our own liberty, we should be very cautious not to violate the rights of conscience of others, ever considering that God alone is the Judge of the hearts of men, and to Him only in this case they are answerable.”1

On July 9, 1776, upon receiving a copy of the Declaration of Independence from the Continental Congress, General George Washington issued the orders from his headquarters in New York authorizing the Continental Army to appoint and pay chaplains in every regiment.

“The Hon. Continental Congress having been pleased to allow a Chaplain to each Regiment, with the pay of Thirty-three Dollars and one third pr month – The Colonels or commanding officers of each regiment are directed to procure Chaplains accordingly; persons of good Characters and exemplary lives -
To see that all inferior officers and soldiers pay them a suitable respect and attend carefully upon religious exercises. 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 endeavour so to live, and act, as becomes a Christian Soldier, defending the dearest Rights and Liberties of his country. The Hon. Continental Congress, impelled by the dictates of duty, policy and necessity, having been pleased to dissolve the Connection which subsisted between this Country, and Great Britain, and to declare the United Colonies of North America, free and independent States: The several brigades are to be drawn up this evening on their respective Parades at six O’Clock, when the Declaration of Congress, shewing the grounds and reasons of this measure, is to be read with an audible voice. The General hopes this important event will serve as a fresh incentive to every officer, and soldier, to act with Fidelity and Courage, as knowing that now the peace and safety of his Country depends (under God) solely on the success of our arms.”2

On Sunday, October 19, 1777, in a letter to Major-General Putnam, General Washington wrote:

“The defeat of General Burgoyne is a most important event, and such as must afford the highest satisfaction to every well-affected American. 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…. I am exceedingly sorry for the death of Mrs Putman, and sympathize with you upon the occasion. Remembering that all must die, and that she had lived to an honorable age, I hope you will bear the misfortune with that fortitude and complacency of mind that become a man and a Christian.”3

Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, pastor of the Lutheran church near Valley Forge and one of the founders of the Lutheran Church in America, noted concerning General Washington:

“I heard a fine example today, namely, that His Excellency General Washington rode around among his army yesterday and admonished each and every one to fear God, to put away the wickedness that has set in and become so general, and to practice the Christian virtues. From all appearances, this gentleman does not belong to the so-called world of society, for he respects God’s Word, believes in the atonement through Christ, and bears himself in humility and gentleness. Therefore, the Lord God has also singularly, yea, marvelously, preserved him from harm in the midst of countless perils, ambuscades, fatigues, etc., and has hitherto graciously held him in His hand as a chosen vessel.”4

On May 2, 1778, General George Washington issued these orders to his troops at Valley Forge:

“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 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 laud the more distinguished Character of Christian. The signal instances of Providential goodness which we have experienced and which have now almost crowned our labors with complete success demand from us in a peculiar manner the warmest returns of gratitude and piety to the Supreme Author of all good.”5

On May 12, 1779, General George Washington was visited at his Middle Brook military encampment by the Chiefs of the Delaware Indian tribe. They had brought three youths to be trained in the American schools. Washington assured them:

“Brothers: I am glad you have brought three of the Children of your principal Chiefs to be educated with us. I am sure Congress will open the Arms of love to them, and will look upon them as their own Children, and will have them educated accordingly. This is a great mark of your confidence and of your desire to preserve the friendship between the Two Nations to the end of time, and to become One people with your Brethren of the United States…. You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are. Congress
will do everything they can to assist you in this wise intention; and to tie the knot of friendship and union so fast, that nothing shall ever be able to loose it…. And I pray God He may make your Nation wise and strong.”6

Washington’s Prayer for the United States of America appears on a plaque in St. Paul’s Chapel in New York City and at Pohick Church, Fairfax County, Virginia, where Washington was a vestryman, 1762-84:

“Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy Holy protection; and Thou wilt incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow Citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the Field. And finally that Thou wilt 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 a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”7

On February 8, 1785, George Washington wrote from Mount Vernon to the President of the Continental Congress:

“Toward the latter part of the year 1783, I was honored with a letter from the Countess of Huntington, briefly reciting her benevolent intention of spreading Christianity among the Tribes of Indians inhabiting our Western Territory; and expressing a desire of my advice and assistance to carry this charitable design into execution. I wrote her Ladyship….that I wou’d give every aid in my power, consistent with the ease and tranquility, to which I meant to devote the remainder of my life, to carry her plan into effect…. Her Ladyship has spoken so feelingly and sensibly, on the religious and benevolent purposes of the plan, that no language of which I am possessed, can add aught to enforce her observations.”8

On August 15, 1787, in a letter from Philadelphia to the Marquis de Lafayette, George Washington wrote:

I am not less ardent in my wish that you may succeed in your plan of toleration in religious matters. Being no bigot myself to any mode of worship, I am disposed to indulge the professors of Christianity in the church with that road to Heaven which to them shall seem the most direct, plainest and easiest, and the least liable to exception.9

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Churches in the United States, on May 26, 1789, wrote to President Washington:

“We derive a presage even more flattering from the piety of your character. Public virtue is the most certain means of public felicity, and religion is the surest basis of virtue. We therefore esteem it a peculiar happiness to behold in our Chief Magistrate, a steady, uniform, avowed friend of the Christian religion; who has commenced his administration in rational and exalted sentiments of piety; and who, in his private conduct, adorns the doctrines of the gospel of Christ; and on the most public and solemn occasions, devoutly acknowledges the government of Divine Providence.”10

In May of 1789, President George Washington replied to the General Assembly of Presbyterian Churches in The United States:

“Gentlemen: I receive with great sensibility the testimonial given by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, of the lively and unfeigned pleasure experience by them on my appointment to the first office of the nation. Although it will be my endeavor to avoid being elated by the too favorable opinion which your kindness for me may have induced you to express of the importance of my former conduct and the effect of my future services, yet, conscious of the disinterestedness of my motives, it is not necessary for me to conceal the satisfaction I have felt upon finding that my compliance with the call of my country and my dependence on the assistance of Heaven to support me in my arduous undertakings have, so far as I can learn, met the universal approbation of my countrymen. 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. I desire you to accept my acknowledgements for your laudable endeavors to render men sober, honest, and good citizens, and the obedient subjects of a lawful government, as well as for your prayers to Almighty God for His blessings on our common country, and the humble instrument which He has been pleased to make use of in the administration of its government.”11

In July of 1789, in writing to the Directors of the Society of the United Brethren for Propagating the Gospel among the Heathen, President Washington replied:

“Gentlemen: I received with satisfaction the congratulations of your society, and of the Brethren’s congregations in the United States of America. For you may be persuaded that the approbations and good wishes of such a peaceable and virtuous community cannot be indifferent to me. You will also be pleased to accept my thanks for the treatise you presented, (“An account of the manner in which the Protestant Church of the Unitas Fratrum, or United Brethren, preach the Gospel and carry on their mission among the Heathen,”) and be assured of my patronage in your laudable undertakings. In proportion as the general government of the United States shall acquire strength by duration, it is probable they may have it in their power to extend a salutary influence to the aborigines in the extremities of their territory. In the meantime it will be a desirable thing, for the protection of the Union, to co-operate, as far as the circumstances may conveniently admit, with the disinterested endeavors of your Society to civilize and Christianize the Savages of the Wilderness. Under these impressions, I pray Almighty God to have you always in His Holy keeping.”12

In response to the August 19, 1789, letter from the General Convention of Bishops, Clergy and Laity of the Protestant Episcopal Church of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina, President Washington replied:

“Gentlemen: I sincerely thank you for your affectionate congratulations on my election to the chief magistracy of the United States…. On this occasion it would ill become me to conceal the joy I have felt in perceiving the fraternal affection, which appears to increase every day among friends of genuine religion. It affords edifying prospects, indeed, to see Christians of different denominations dwell together in more charity, and conduct themselves in respect to each other with a more Christian-like spirit than every they have done in any former age, or in any other nation. I receive with the greater satisfaction your congratulations on the establishment of the new constitution of government, because I believe its mild yet efficient operations will tend to remove every remaining apprehension of those with whose opinions it may not entirely coincide, as well as to confirm the hopes of its numerous friends; and because the moderation, patriotism, and wisdom of the present federal Legislature seem to promise the restoration of order and our ancient virtues, the extension of genuine religion, and the consequent advancement of our respectability abroad, and of our substantial happiness at home. I request, most reverend and respected Gentlemen, that you will accept my cordial thanks for your devout supplications to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe in behalf of me. May you, and the people whom you represent, be the happy subjects of the divine benedictions both here and hereafter.”13

On October 20, 1792, from Philadelphia, President Washington wrote to Sir Edward Newenham:

“Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be deprecated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy which has marked the present age would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see their religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.”14

On March 15, 1790, President George Washington wrote to the Roman Catholics of the nation:

“I feel that my conduct, in war and in peace, has met with more general approbation than could reasonably have been expected and I find myself disposed to consider that fortunate circumstance, in a great degree, resulting from the able support and extraordinary candour of my fellow-citizens of all denominations…. America, under the smiles of a Divine Providence, the protection of a good government, and the cultivation of manners, morals, and piety, cannot fail of attaining an uncommon degree of eminence, in literature, commerce, agriculture, improvements at home and respectability abroad…. I presume that your fellow-citizens will not forget the patriotic part which you took in the accomplishment of their Revolution, and the establishment of their government; or the important assistance which they received from a nation in which the Roman Catholic faith is professed…. May the members of your society in America, animated alone by the pure spirit of Christianity, and still conducting themselves as the faithful subjects of our free government, enjoy every temporal and spiritual felicity.”15

While serving his Presidential term in New York, President Washington sent instructions to one of the overseers of his estate:

“I shall not close this letter without exhorting you to refrain from spirituous liquors; they will prove your ruin if you do not. Consider how little a drunken man differs from a beast; the latter is not endowed with reason, the former deprives himself of it; and when that is the case, acts like a brute, annoying and disturbing every one around him; nor is this all, nor, as it respects himself, the worst of it. By degrees it renders a person feeble, and not only unable to serve others but to help himself; and being an act of his own, he falls from a state of usefulness into contempt, and at length suffers, if not perishes, in penury and want. Don’t let this be your case. Show yourself more of a man and a Christian than to yield to so intolerable a vice, which cannot, I am certain (to the greatest lover of liquor), give more pleasure to sip in the poison (for it is no better) than the consequence of it in bad behavior at the moment, and the more serious evils produced by it afterwards, must give pain. I am your Friend, George Washington.”16

John Marshall, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who had previously fought with Washington in the Revolutionary War and served with him at Valley Forge, said of Washington:

“Without making ostentatious professions of religion, he was a sincere believer in the Christian faith, and a truly devout man.”17

Jared Sparks, a historian and professor of history at Harvard, was known for his studies of George Washington. He analyzed Washington’s character and gave this summary:

“A Christian in faith and practice, he was habitually devout. His reverence for religion is seen in his example, his public communications and his private writings. He uniformly ascribed his success as to the beneficent agency of the Supreme Being.”18

James Madison, the fourth President of the United States, stated:

“Washington was constant in the observance of worship, according to the received forms of the Episcopal Church.”19

The inscription at Mount Vernon describes Washington as:

“The hero, the patriot, the Christian. The father of nations, the friend of mankind, Who, when he had won all, renounced all, and sought in the bosom of his family and of nature, retirement, and in hope of religion, immortality.”20

Washington’s Bible was donated by his adopted son, George Washington Parke Custis, to the Pohick Church, Truro Parish, where Washington served as a vestryman, October 25, 1762 to February 23, 1784. The dedication stated:

“Presented to Truro Parish for the use of Pohick Church, July 11, 1802. With the request that should said church cease to be appropriated to Divine worship which God forbid, and for the honor of Christianity, it is hoped will never take place. In such case I desire that the vestry will preserve this Bible as a testimony of regard from the subscriber after a residence of 19 years in the Parish. George Washington Parke Custis.”21

In 1745, at thirteen years of age, George Washington copied some verses on “Christmas Day”:

“Assist me, Muse divine, to sing the Morn,
On Which the Saviour of Mankind was born.”22

In 1747, at the age of fifteen years old, George Washington fulfilled the role of being a godfather to a child in baptism. The next year, 1748, he served as the godfather in baptism to his niece, Frances Lewis. In 1751, George again was the godfather to his nephew, Fielding Lewis, and in 1760, he sponsored his nephew, Charles Lewis.23

On January 6, 1759, George Washington was married to Martha Dandridge Custis by Rev. David Mossom, rector of Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church, New Kent County, Virginia. After having settled at Mount Vernon, George Washington became one of the twelve vestrymen in the Truro Parish, which included the Pohick Church, the Falls Church, and the Alexandria Church. The old vestry book of Pohick Church contained the entry:

“At a Vestry held for Truro Parish, October 25, 1762, ordered, that George Washington, Esq. be chosen and appointed one of the Vestry-men of this Parish, in the room of William Peake, Gent. deceased.”24

On February 15, 1763, the Fairfax County Court recorded:

“George Washington, Esq. took the oath according to Law, repeated and subscribed the Test and subscribed to the Doctrine and Discipline of the Church of England in order to qualify him to act as a Vestryman of Truro Parish.”25

Being in communion with the Anglican Church, serving for over twenty years as a vestryman (trustee), and on at least three different occasions serving as churchwarden, Washington would have regularly repeated the Apostle’s Creed, which begins:

“I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.”26

In his diary, George Washington recorded his attendance at numerous Church and Vestry meetings:

“1768 – May 8th – Went to Church from Colonel Bassett’s.
May 22d – Went to Church at Nomini.
May 29th – Church at St. Paul’s.
June 5th – to Church at Alexandria.
June 12th – at Pohick.
July 16th – Went by Muddy Hole and Dog Run to the vestry at Pohick Church – stayed there till after 3 o’clock and only four members coming, returned by Captain McCartys and dined there.
August – Nomini in Westmoreland.
September 9th – proceeded [through Alexandria] to the meeting of our Vestry at the new Church [Payne’s] and lodged at Captain Edward Payne’s.
Nov. 15th – at Pohick.
Nov. 28th – Went to Vestry at Pohick Church.
1769 – March 3rd – Went to the Vestry at Pohick Church and returned at 11 o’clock at night.
Sept. 23rd – Captain Posey called here in the morning and we went to a Vestry.
1772 – June 5th – Met the Vestry at our new Church [Payne’s] and came home in the afternoon.
1774 – Feb. 15th – I went to a Vestry at the new Church [Payne’s] and returned in the afternoon.
Sept. 25th – Went to Quaker meeting in the forenoon, and to St. Peter’s in the afternoon; dined at my lodgings.
Oct. 2d – Went to Church, dined at the new tavern.
Oct. 9th – Went to the Presbyterian meeting in the afternoon; dined at Bevan’s.
Oct. 16th – Went to Christ Church in the morning; after which rode to and dined at the Province Island; supped at Byrn’s.”27

On June 19, 1773, George Washington returned from Williamsburg to find his 16-year-old stepdaughter, Martha “Miss Patsey” Custis, dying. She was the daughter of Mrs. Martha Dandridge Custis Washington by her first marriage to Daniel Parke Custis, who had died when the girl was young. George Washington, being the only father Martha “Miss Patsey” Custis knew, knelt by her bed at prayed, only to have her die shortly thereafter. He wrote:

“The sweet, innocent girl entered into a more happy and peaceful abode than she had met in the afflicted path she had hitherto trod.”28

On June 1, 1774, Wednesday, the same day the British blockade of the Boston Harbor was to begin, the Colonies called for a Day of Fasting and Prayer “…to seek divine direction and aid.”29

George Washington’s diary entry that day was:

“Went to church and fasted all day.”30

On November 15, 1862, from his Executive Mansion in Washington, President Abraham Lincoln quoted General George Washington in his General Order Respecting the Observance of the Sabbath Day in the Army and Navy:

The President, Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, desires and enjoins the orderly observance of the Sabbath by the officers and men in the military and naval service. The importance for man and beast of the prescribed weekly rest, the sacred rights of Christian soldiers and sailors, a becoming deference to the best sentiment of a Christian people, and a due regard for the Divine Will demand that Sunday labor in the Army and Navy be reduced to the measure of strict necessity. The discipline and character of the national forces should not suffer nor the cause they defend be imperiled by the profanation of the day or name of the Most High. “At this time of public distress,” adopting the words of Washington in 1776, “men may find enough to do in the service of God and their country without abandoning themselves to vice and immorality.” The first general order issued by the Father of his Country after the Declaration of Independence indicates the spirit in which our institutions were founded and should ever be defended: “The General hopes and trusts that every officer and man will endeavor to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country.”Abraham Lincoln.31

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1.Footnote: Washington, George. September 14, 1775, in a personal letter to Colonel Benedict Arnold. Jared Sparks, ed., The Writings of George Washington 12 vols. (Boston: American Stationer’s Company, 1837; NY: F. Andrew’s, 1834-1847), Vol. III, p. 91. William J. Johnson, George Washington – The Christian (St. Paul, MN: William J. Johnson, Merriam Park, February 23, 1919; Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1919; reprinted Milford, MI: Mott Media, 1976; reprinted Arlington Heights, IL: Christian Liberty Press, 502 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, Illinois, 60004, 1992), p. 71. John Eidsmoe, Christianity and the Constitution – The Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, A Mott Media Book, 1987, 6th printing 1993), p. 122-123.

2.Footnote: Washington, George. July 9, 1776; previously $20.00 a month, approved July 1775. American Army Chaplaincy – A Brief History (prepared in the Office of the Chief of Chaplains: 1946), p. 6. Anson Phelps Stokes and Leo Pfeffer, Church and State in the United States (NY: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1950, revised one-volume edition, 1964), p. 35. John Clement Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, from the Original Manuscript Sources 1749-1799, 39 vols. (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1931-1944), Vol. V, pp. 244-245. Washington, George. July 9, 1776, order issued to the army in response to the reading of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress. Jared Sparks, ed., The Writings of George Washington 12 vols. (Boston: American Stationer’s Company, 1837; NY: F. Andrew’s, 1834-1847), Vol. III, p. 456. Writings of George Washington, (Sparks ed.), Vol. XII, p. 401, citing Orderly Book; also orders of August 3, 1776, in ibid., IV, 28 n. Abraham Lincoln quoted this order of Washington’s on November 15, 1862, to have his troops maintain regular sabbath observances. Abraham Lincoln, Letters and Addresses and Abraham Lincoln (NY: Unit Book Publishing Co., 1907), p. 261. William J. Johnson, George Washington – The Christian (St. Paul, MN: William J. Johnson, Merriam Park, February 23, 1919; Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1919; reprinted Milford, MI: Mott Media, 1976; reprinted Arlington Heights, IL: Christian Liberty Press, 502 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, Illinois, 60004, 1992), p. 83. John Clement Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, from the Original Manuscript Sources 1749-1799, 39 vols. (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1931-1944), Vol. V, p. 245. William Barclay Allen, ed., George Washington – A Collection (Indianapolis: Liberty Classics, Liberty Fund, Inc., 7440 N. Shadeland, Indianapolis, Indiana 46250, 1988; based almost entirely on materials reproduced from The Writings of George Washington from the original manuscript sources, 1745-1799/John Clement Fitzpatrick, editor), p. 73. John Clement Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, from the Original Manuscript Sources 1749-1799, 39 vols. (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1931-1944). John F. Schroeder, ed., Maxims of Washington (Mt. Vernon: Mt. Vernon Ladies’ Association, 1942), p. 299. Saxe Commins, ed., The Basic Writings of George Washington (NY: Random House, 1948), p. 236. Anson Phelps Stokes and Leo Pfeffer, Church and State in the United States (NY: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1950, revised one-volume edition, 1964), p. 35. Norman Cousins, In God We Trust – The Religious Beliefs and Ideas of the Founding Fathers (NY: Harper & Brothers, 1958), p. 50. Paul F. Boller, Jr., George Washington and Religion (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1963), p. 69. Frank Donovan, Mr. Jefferson’s Declaration (New York: Dodd Mead & Co., 1968), p. 192. A. James Reichley, Religion in American Public Life (Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institute, 1985), p. 99. John Eidsmoe, Christianity and The Constitution – The Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, A Mott Media Book, 1987, 6th printing 1993), pp. 120-121. Tim LaHaye, Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, Publishers, Inc., 1987), p. 108.

3.Footnote: Washington, George. Sunday, October 19, 1777, in a letter to Major-General Putnam. Jared Sparks, ed., The Writings of George Washington 12 vols. (Boston: American Stationer’s Company, 1837; NY: F. Andrew’s, 1834-1847), Vol. V, p. 105. William J. Johnson, George Washington – The Christian (St. Paul, MN: William J. Johnson, Merriam Park, February 23, 1919; Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1919; reprinted Milford, MI: Mott Media, 1976; reprinted Arlington Heights, IL: Christian Liberty Press, 502 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, Illinois, 60004, 1992), p. 100.

4.Footnote: Washington, George. Theodore G. Tappert and John W. Doberstern, trans. and ed., Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, The Notebook of a Colonial Clergyman (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1975), p. 195. Peter Marshall and David Manuel, The Light and the Glory (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1977), p. 323.

5.Footnote: Washington, George. May 2, 1778, orders issued to his troops at Valley Forge. George Washington, General Orders (Mount Vernon, VA: Archives of Mount Vernon). Henry Whiting, Revolutionary Orders of General Washington, selected from MSS. of John Whiting (1844), p. 74. Benson J. Lossing, The Pictorial Field-Book of the Revolution (1886), Vol. II, p. 140. John Clement Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, from the Original Manuscript Sources 1749-1799, 39 vols. (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1931-1944), Vol. XI, p. 343. William J. Johnson, George Washington – The Christian (St. Paul, MN: William J. Johnson, Merriam Park, February 23, 1919; Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1919; reprinted Milford, MI: Mott Media, 1976; reprinted Arlington Heights, IL: Christian Liberty Press, 502 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, Illinois, 60004, 1992), p. 112. Norman Cousins, In God We Trust – The Religious Beliefs and Ideas of the Founding Fathers (NY: Harper & Brothers, 1958), p. 51. Peter Marshall & David Manuel, The Glory of America (Bloomington, MN: Garborg’s Heart ‘N Home, 1991), 9.5. D.P. Diffine, Ph.D., One Nation Under God – How Close a Separation? (Searcy, Arkansas: Harding University, Belden Center for Private Enterprise Education, 6th edition, 1992), p. 8.

6.Footnote: Washington, George. May 12, 1779, from his “Address to Delaware Chiefs Indian Chiefs,” John Clement Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources: 1749-1799, 39 vols. (Washington, DC: Bureau of National Literature and Art, 1907), 1:64. John Clement Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, from the Original Manuscript Sources 1749-1799, 39 vols. (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1931-1944), Vol. XV, p. 55. William Barclay Allen, ed., George Washington – A Collection (Indianapolis: Liberty Classics, Liberty Fund, Inc., 7440 N. Shadeland, Indianapolis, Indiana 46250, 1988; based almost entirely on materials reproduced from The Writings of George Washington from the original manuscript sources, 1745-1799/John Clement Fitzpatrick, editor), pp. 132-133. Saxe Commins, ed., The Basic Writings of George Washington (NY: Random House, 1948), p. 356. Norman Cousins, In God We Trust – The Religious Beliefs and Ideas of the American Founding Fathers (NY: Harper & Brothers, 1958), p. 51. Paul F. Boller, Jr., George Washington and Religion (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1963), p. 68. John Eidsmoe, Christianity and the Constitution – The Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, A Mott Media Book, 1987, 6th printing 1993), p. 120. Gary DeMar, The Biblical Worldview (Atlanta, GA: An American Vision Publication – American Vision, Inc., 1992), Vol. 8, No. 12, p. 8. Gary DeMar, America’s Christian History: The Untold Story (Atlanta, GA: American Vision Publishers, Inc., 1993), p. 76. Stephen McDowell and Mark Beliles, “The Providential Perspective” (Charlottesville, VA: The Providence Foundation, P.O. Box 6759, Charlottesville, Va. 22906, January 1994), Vol. 9, No. 1, p. 8.

7.Footnote: Washington, George. June 8, 1783, original source of prayer is the concluding paragraph in Washington’s farewell circular letter sent to the governors of the thirteen states from his headquarters in Newburgh, New York. This version is used at Pohick Church, Fairfax County, Virginia, where Washington was a vestryman from 1762-1784. It also appears on a plaque in St. Paul’s Chapel in New York City. Tim LaHaye, Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Publishers, Inc., 1987), pp. xi-xii. John F. Schroeder, ed., Maxims of Washington (Mt. Vernon: Mt. Vernon Ladies’ Associations, 1942), p. 299. Tim LaHaye, Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, Publishers, Inc., 1987), pp. 108-109. George Otis, The Solution to the Crisis in America, Revised and Enlarged Edition (Van Nuys, CA.: Fleming H. Revell Company; Bible Voice, Inc., 1970, 1972, foreword by Pat Boone), p. 55.

8.Footnote: Washington, George. February 8, 1785, in a letter written from Mount Vernon to the President of the Continental Congress. William Barclay Allen, ed., George Washington – A Collection (Indianapolis: Liberty Classics, Liberty Fund, Inc., 7440 N. Shadeland, Indianapolis, Indiana 46250, 1988; based almost entirely on materials reproduced from The Writings of George Washington from the original manuscript sources, 1745-1799/John Clement Fitzpatrick, editor), pp. 298-299. John Clement Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, from the Original Manuscript Sources 1749-1799, 39 vols. (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1931-1944).

9. Footnote: Washington, George. August 15, 1787, in a letter written from Philadelphia to the Marquis de Lafayette. Jared Sparks, ed., The Writings of George Washington 12 vols. (Boston: American Stationer’s Company, 1837; NY: F. Andrew’s, 1834-1847), Vol. IX, p. 262. William J. Johnson, George Washington – The Christian (St. Paul, MN: William J. Johnson, Merriam Park, February 23, 1919; Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1919; reprinted Milford, MI: Mott Media, 1976; reprinted Arlington Heights, IL: Christian Liberty Press, 502 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, Illinois, 60004, 1992), pp. 153-154.

10. Footnote: Washington, George. May 26, 1789, in a letter received from the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. Jedediah Morse, D.D., Biographical Sketch of General George Washington, December 31, 1799. William S. Baker, Character Portraits of Washington, 1887, p. 77. William J. Johnson, George Washington – The Christian (St. Paul, MN: William J. Johnson, Merriam Park, February 23, 1919; Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1919; reprinted Milford, MI: Mott Media, 1976; reprinted Arlington Heights, IL: Christian Liberty Press, 502 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, Illinois, 60004, 1992), pp. 166-167. John Eidsmoe, Christianity and the Constitution – The Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, A Mott Media Book, 1987, 6th printing 1993), pp. 121-122.

11.Footnote: Washington, George. 1789, in a letter to The General Assembly of Presbyterian Churches in The United States. Jared Sparks, ed., The Writings of George Washington 12 vols. (Boston: American Stationer’s Company, 1837; NY: F. Andrew’s, 1834-1847), Vol. XII, p. 152. William J. Johnson, George Washington – The Christian (St. Paul, MN: William J. Johnson, Merriam Park, February 23, 1919; Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1919; reprinted Milford, MI: Mott Media, 1976; reprinted Arlington Heights, IL: Christian Liberty Press, 502 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, Illinois, 60004, 1992), pp. 167-168. William Barclay Allen, ed., George Washington – A Collection (Indianapolis: Liberty Classics, Liberty Fund, Inc., 7440 N. Shadeland, Indianapolis, Indiana 46250, 1988; based almost entirely on materials reproduced from The Writings of George Washington from the original manuscript sources, 1745-1799/John Clement Fitzpatrick, editor), p. 533. John Clement Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, from the Original Manuscript Sources 1749-1799, 39 vols. (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1931-1944). Norman Cousins, In God We Trust – The Religious Beliefs and Ideas of the Founding Fathers (NY: Harper & Brothers, 1958), p. 59.

12.Footnote: Washington, George. In writing to the Directors of the Society of the United Brethren for Propagating the Gospel among the Heathen. Jared Sparks, ed., The Writings of George Washington 12 vols. (Boston: American Stationer’s Company, 1837; NY: F. Andrew’s, 1834-1847), Vol. XII, p. 160. William J. Johnson, George Washington – The Christian (St. Paul, MN: William J. Johnson, Merriam Park, February 23, 1919; Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1919; reprinted Milford, MI: Mott Media, 1976; reprinted Arlington Heights, IL: Christian Liberty Press, 502 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, Illinois, 60004, 1992), pp. 168-169. Paul F. Boller, Jr., George Washington and Religion (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1963), pp. 163-194. John Eidsmoe, Christianity and the Constitution – The Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, A Mott Media Book, 1987, 6th printing 1993), p. 121.

13. Footnote: Washington, George. August 19, 1789, in a letter to General Convention of Bishops, Clergy and the Laity of the Protestant Episcopal Church of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. Norman Cousins, In God We Trust – The Religious Beliefs and Ideas of the Founding Fathers (NY: Harper & Brothers, 1958), p. 59. Jared Sparks, ed., The Writings of George Washington 12 vols. (Boston: American Stationer’s Company, 1837; NY: F. Andrew’s, 1834-1847), Vol. XII, pp. 162-163. William J. Johnson, George Washington – The Christian (St. Paul, MN: William J. Johnson, Merriam Park, February 23, 1919; Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1919; reprinted Milford, MI: Mott Media, 1976; reprinted Arlington Heights, IL: Christian Liberty Press, 502 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, Illinois, 60004, 1992), pp. 169-171.

14. Footnote: Washington, George. October 20, 1792, in a letter written from Philadelphia to Sir Edward Newenham. Jared Sparks, ed., The Writings of George Washington 12 vols. (Boston: American Stationer’s Company, 1837; NY: F. Andrew’s, 1834-1847), Vol. X, p. 309. William J. Johnson, George Washington – The Christian (St. Paul, MN: William J. Johnson, Merriam Park, February 23, 1919; Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1919; reprinted Milford, MI: Mott Media, 1976; reprinted Arlington Heights, IL: Christian Liberty Press, 502 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, Illinois, 60004, 1992), p. 211.

15.Footnote: Washington, George. March 15, 1790, in addressing the Roman Catholic Churches in America. Paul F. Boller, Jr., George Washington and Religion (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1963), pp. 163-194. John Eidsmoe, Christianity and the Constitution – The Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, A Mott Media Book, 1987, 6th printing 1993), p. 121. William Barclay Allen, ed., George Washington – A Collection (Indianapolis: Liberty Classics, Liberty Fund, Inc., 7440 N. Shadeland, Indianapolis, Indiana 46250, 1988; based almost entirely on materials reproduced from The Writings of George Washington from the original manuscript sources, 1745-1799/John Clement Fitzpatrick, editor), pp. 546-547. John Clement Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, from the Original Manuscript Sources 1749-1799, 39 vols. (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1931-1944).

16.Footnote: Washington, George. In a letter of instruction to one of the overseers of his estate while serving his Presidential term in New York. Mrs. C.M. Kirkland, Memoirs of Washington (1857), p. 208. William J. Johnson, George Washington – The Christian (St. Paul, MN: William J. Johnson, Merriam Park, February 23, 1919; Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1919; reprinted Milford, MI: Mott Media, 1976; reprinted Arlington Heights, IL: Christian Liberty Press, 502 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, Illinois, 60004, 1992), pp. 200-201.

17.Footnote: Washington, George. John Marshall, The Life of George Washington Abridged Edition, 2 vols. (1832; first edition in 5 vols. 1804-7), Vol. II, p. 445. (John Marshall was chosen by the Washington family to write the biography of George Washington.) William J. Johnson, George Washington – The Christian (St. Paul, MN: William J. Johnson, Merriam Park, February 23, 1919; Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1919; reprinted Milford, MI: Mott Media, 1976; reprinted Arlington Heights, IL: Christian Liberty Press, 502 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, Illinois, 60004, 1992), p. 260. John F. Schroeder, ed., Maxims of Washington (Mt. Vernon: Mt. Vernon Ladies’ Association, 1942), p. 274. Tim LaHaye, Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, Publishers, Inc., 1987), p. 102.

18.Footnote: Washington, George. Jared Sparks, ed., The Writings of George Washington 12 vols. (Boston: American Stationer’s Company, 1837; NY: F. Andrew’s, 1834-1847), Vol. I, p. 535. William H. McGuffey’s Eclectic Sixth Reader (NY: American Book Company, 1907, revised 1920), pp. 42-43. William J. Johnson, George Washington – The Christian (St. Paul, MN: William J. Johnson, Merriam Park, February 23, 1919; Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1919; reprinted Milford, MI: Mott Media, 1976; reprinted Arlington Heights, IL: Christian Liberty Press, 502 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, Illinois, 60004, 1992), p. 261.

19.Footnote: Washington, George. James Madison’s comments regarding Washington. Doctor Randolph H. McKim, New York Tribune (May 26, 1902), p. 7. William J. Johnson, George Washington – The Christian (St. Paul, MN: William J. Johnson, Merriam Park, February 23, 1919; Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1919; reprinted Milford, MI: Mott Media, 1976; reprinted Arlington Heights, IL: Christian Liberty Press, 502 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, Illinois, 60004, 1992), p. 257.

20.Footnote: Washington, George. Inscription at Mount Vernon. Charles Fadiman, ed., The American Treasury (NY: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, 1955), p. 477.

21.Footnote: Washington, George. July 11, 1802, inscription that his adopted son, George Washington Parke Custis, wrote in George Washington’s Bible at the occasion of its donation to the Pohick Church in Truro Parish.

22.Footnote: Washington, George. 1745, in some verses copied on “Christmas Day,” at thirteen years of age. W. Herbert Burk, Washington’s Prayers (1907), p. 12. William J. Johnson, George Washington – The Christian (St. Paul, MN: William J. Johnson, Merriam Park, February 23, 1919; Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1919; reprinted Milford, MI: Mott Media, 1976; reprinted Arlington Heights, IL: Christian Liberty Press, 502 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, Illinois, 60004, 1992), p. 21.

23. Footnote: Washington, George. 1747, 1748, 1751, 1760, serving as a godfather in baptismal ceremonies. John Stockton Littell, D.D., George Washington: Christian (1913), p. 7. William J. Johnson, George Washington – The Christian (St. Paul, MN: William J. Johnson, Merriam Park, February 23, 1919; Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1919; reprinted Milford, MI: Mott Media, 1976; reprinted Arlington Heights, IL: Christian Liberty Press, 502 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, Illinois, 60004, 1992), p. 21.

24.Footnote: Washington, George. October 25, 1762, in an entry in the vestry book of the Pohick Church in Truro Parish, Virginia. W.M. Clark, Colonial Churches (1907), p. 126. William J. Johnson, George Washington – The Christian (St. Paul, MN: William J. Johnson, Merriam Park, February 23, 1919; Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1919; reprinted Milford, MI: Mott Media, 1976; reprinted Arlington Heights, IL: Christian Liberty Press, 502 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, Illinois, 60004, 1992), p. 49.

25.Footnote: Washington, George. February 15, 1763, in the records of the Fairfax County Court. W.M. Clark, Colonial Churches (1907), p. 126. (Washington’s position as a vestryman was again recorded on a leaf from the Pohick Church record, August 19, 1765; manuscripts in the library of the New York Historical Society. Benson J. Lossing, The Pictorial Field-Book of the Revolution, 2 vols. (1860), Vol. II, p. 215). William J. Johnson, George Washington – The Christian (St. Paul, MN: William J. Johnson, Merriam Park, February 23, 1919; Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1919; reprinted Milford, MI: Mott Media, 1976; reprinted Arlington Heights, IL: Christian Liberty Press, 502 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, Illinois, 60004, 1992), pp. 49-50.

26. Footnote: Washington, George. Paul F. Boller, Jr., George Washington & Religion (Dallas: Southern Methodist University, 1963), p. 27. A. James Reichley, Religion in American Public Life (Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1985), p. 94. Pat Robertson, America’s Dates With Destiny (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1986), p. 108.

27. Footnote: Washington, George. 1768-1774, attendance at various Church and Vestry meetings recorded in his diary. W.M. Clark, Colonial Churches (1907), pp. 121-126. Rev. Randolph H. McKim, D.D., Rector of the Church of the Epiphany, Washington, D.C., New York Tribune (May 26, 1902), p. 7. E.C. M’guire, The Religious Opinions and Character of Washington (1836), p. 143. (E.C. M’Guire was the son-in-law of Mr. Robert Lewis, Washington’s nephew and private secretary.) William J. Johnson, George Washington – The Christian (St. Paul, MN: William J. Johnson, Merriam Park, February 23, 1919; Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1919; reprinted Milford, MI: Mott Media, 1976; reprinted Arlington Heights, IL: Christian Liberty Press, 502 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, Illinois, 60004, 1992), pp. 51-57, 66-67.

28. Footnote: Washington, George. June 19, 1773, at the death of his stepdaughter, Martha “Miss Patsey” Custis. Paul Leicester Ford, The True George Washington (1903), p. 29. William J. Johnson, George Washington – The Christian (St. Paul, MN: William J. Johnson, Merriam Park, February 23, 1919; Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1919; reprinted Milford, MI: Mott Media, 1976; reprinted Arlington Heights, IL: Christian Liberty Press, 502 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, Illinois, 60004, 1992), pp. 60-61.

29.Footnote: Washington, George. June 1, 1774, in a Day of Fasting and Prayer issued by the Colonies, following the Committee of Correspondence report of the passage of the Boston Port Bill. Verna M. Hall and Rosalie J. Slater, The Bible and the Constitution of the United States of America (San Francisco: Foundation for American Christian Education, 1983), p. 31.

30.Footnote: Washington, George. June 1, 1774, in an entry in his diary. E.C. M’guire, The Religious Opinions and Character of Washington (1836), p. 142. (E.C. M’Guire was the son-in-law of Mr. Robert Lewis, Washington’s nephew and private secretary.) William J. Johnson, George Washington – The Christian (St. Paul, MN: William J. Johnson, Merriam Park, February 23, 1919; Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1919; reprinted Milford, MI: Mott Media, 1976; reprinted Arlington Heights, IL: Christian Liberty Press, 502 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, Illinois, 60004, 1992), p. 62. John Eidsmoe, Christianity and The Constitution – The Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Baker Book House, 1987), p. 136.

31.Footnote: Lincoln, Abraham. November 15, 1862, from his Executive Mansion in Washington, D.C., issued a General Order Respecting the Observance of the Sabbath Day in the Army and Navy. James D. Richardson (U.S. Representative from Tennessee), ed., A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents 1789-1897, 10 vols. (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, published by Authority of Congress, 1897, 1899; Washington, D.C.: Bureau of National Literature and Art, 1789-1902, 11 vols., 1907, 1910), Vol. VI, p. 125. [see General George Washington’s July 9, 1776, order issued to the army in response to the reading of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress. Jared Sparks, ed., The Writings of George Washington 12 vols. (Boston: American Stationer’s Company, 1837; NY: F. Andrew’s, 1834-1847), Vol. III, p. 456. Writings of George Washington, (Sparks ed.), Vol. XII, p. 401, citing Orderly Book; also orders of August 3, 1776, in ibid., IV, 28 n. William J. Johnson, George Washington – The Christian (St. Paul, MN: William J. Johnson, Merriam Park, February 23, 1919; Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1919; reprinted Milford, MI: Mott Media, 1976; reprinted Arlington Heights, IL: Christian Liberty Press, 502 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, Illinois, 60004, 1992), p. 83. John Clement Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, from the Original Manuscript Sources 1749-1799, 39 vols. (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1931-1944), Vol. V, p. 245. William Barclay Allen, ed., George Washington – A Collection (Indianapolis: Liberty Classics, Liberty Fund, Inc., 7440 N. Shadeland, Indianapolis, Indiana 46250, 1988; based almost entirely on materials reproduced from The Writings of George Washington from the original manuscript sources, 1745-1799/John Clement Fitzpatrick, editor), p. 73. John F. Schroeder, ed., Maxims of Washington (Mt. Vernon: Mt. Vernon Ladies’ Association, 1942), p. 299. Saxe Commins, ed., The Basic Writings of George Washington (NY: Random House, 1948), p. 236. Anson Phelps Stokes and Leo Pfeffer, Church and State in the United States (NY: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1950, revised one-volume edition, 1964), p. 35. Norman Cousins, In God We Trust – The Religious Beliefs and Ideas of the Founding Fathers (NY: Harper & Brothers, 1958), p. 50. Paul F. Boller, Jr., George Washington and Religion (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1963), p. 69. Frank Donovan, Mr. Jefferson’s Declaration (New York: Dodd Mead & Co., 1968), p. 192. A. James Reichley, Religion in American Public Life (Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institute, 1985), p. 99. John Eidsmoe, Christianity and The Constitution – The Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, A Mott Media Book, 1987, 6th printing 1993), pp. 120-121. Tim LaHaye, Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, Publishers, Inc., 1987), p. 108.

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