So many people claim our country was not founded on Christian principles yet it is set forth in statute and proclamation by George Washington, James Madison, John Adams and Abraham Lincoln. It is recorded in history that many would like to ignore or say does not exist. Are there better men to follow the example of in history? They loved, supported, worshiped, and gave thanksgiving to their maker, I hope you do as well.
Here is but a small list to support this claim:
The Pilgrims at their landing at Plymouth on December 26th 1620. “The Pilgrims’ own historian and future Governor, William Bradford, documented that the band anchored in Plymouth Harbor. Those who first went ashore fell upon their knees and blessed the God of heaven.”
The Pilgrims continued their faith even in the adversity of death and illness their first winter and by the following fall this entry was noted in William Bradford’s journal, “But the light of Christ was burning far more brightly in the Pilgrim community, and the Anglo-Native relationships were far more benevolent in the autumn of 1621 as the surviving Pilgrim family members gathered in their first harvest—They set apart a time for Christian and community thanksgiving.
So we know that many who settled in the United States initially were fleeing religious persecution. So lets fast forward to George Washington’s time.
So in the Journal of The House of Burgesses of Virginia 1773-1776, edited by John Pendleton, Kentucky
Tuesday, the 24th of May, 14 Geo. III 1774
“This House being deeply impressed with Apprehension of great Dangers, to be derived to British America, from the hostile Invasion of the City of Boston, in our Sister Colony of Massachusetts Bay, whose Commerce and Harbour are, on the first Day of June next, to be stopped by armed Force , deem it highly necessary that the said first Day of June be set apart, by the Members of this House as a Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer, devoutly to implore the Divine Interposition, for averting the heavy Calamity which threatens Destruction to our civil Rights, and the Evils of civil War; to give us one Heart and one Mind to oppose, by all just and proper Means, every Injury to American Rights....Ordered, therefore, that the Members of this House do attend in their Places, at the Hour of ten in the Forenoon, on the said first Day of June next, in order to proceed with the Speaker, and the Mace, to the Church in this City, for the Purposes aforesaid; and that the Reverend Mr. Price be appointed to read Prayers, and the Reverend Mr. Gwatkin, to preach a Sermon, suitable to the Occasion.”
This was acknowledged in George Washington’s own diary for an entry of the 1st of June stating, “ went to Church and fasted all Day.”
On January 1st 1795, when he was then President of the United States he made a proclamation setting aside February 19, 1795 for national thanksgiving and prayer. Her is an excerpt from that proclamation....
Appendix no. 5, volume 11, U.S. Statutes at Large
“When we review the calamities which afflict so many other nations, the present condition of the United States affords much matter of consolation and satisfaction. In such a state of things it is, in an especial manner, our duty as a people, without devout reference and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledgement are many and great obligations to all mighty God, and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experience. Deeply penetrated with this sentiment I George Washington, President of The United States, do recommend to all religious societies and denominations and to all persons whomsoever within the United States, to set apart and observe Thursday, the 19th day of February next, as a public day of Thanksgiving and Prayer; and on that day to meet together, and render their sincerity and hearty thanks to the great Ruler of the Nations for the manifest and signal mercies which distinguish our lot as a nation and at the same time, humbly and fervently to beseech the author of these blessing graciously to prolong them to us - to imprint our hearts a deep solemn sense of our obligations to Him for them - to teach us rightly to estimate their immense value - to preserve us from the arrogance of prosperity, and from hazarding the advantages we enjoy by delusive pursuits - to dispose us to merit the continuance of his favors, by not abusing them, by our gratitude for them, and by a correspondent conduct as citizens and as men; to render this country more and more a safe and propitious asylum for the unfortunate of other countries; to extend among us true and useful knowledge; to diffuse and establish habits of sobriety, order, morality, and piety, and finally to impart all the blessings we possess, or ask for ourselves, to the whole family of mankind.”
The long lasting affects of acknowledgement of God the father as King of Kings and Lord of Lords permeates our country today but are those blessings being lifted for a reason?
The invitation from Jesus is always open. Be on your knees for Jesus as the darkness has many, Be a part of God’s remnant, there is always room at the cross for one more so claim your inheritance! God is Love, the way the truth and the life everlasting, abide with him. Remember many other very famous, strong men and women do and have.
In part two I will present the balance of our founding fathers and their statutes and proclamations.
Gary Bergel from William Bradford’s “Of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647,” “The Pilgrim Way” by Robert M. Bartlett © 1971, United Church Press, Philadelphia, PA, and “The Church of the Pilgrimage” history by Gary L. Marks at www.8townsqaure.org.
Derik Prince, _Shaping History-Through prayer and Fasting_Whitaker House Publishing 1975 & 2002
Love and peace,