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establish the peace and freedom of America, upon a solid and lasting foundation; the General commands all officers and soldiers, to pay strict obedience to the orders of the Continental Congress, that, by their unfeigned and pious observance of their religious duties, they may incline the Lord and Giver of victory, to prosper our arms.
That the troops may have an opportunity of attending public worship, as well as to take some rest after the great fatigue they have gone through, the General, in future, excuses them from fatigue duty, on Sundays, except at the shipyards, or on special occasions, until further orders.
As a Chaplain is allowed to each regiment, see that the men regularly attend divine worship. 1777.
The situation of the army frequently not admitting of the regular performance of divine service on Sundays, the Chaplains of the army are forthwith to meet together, and agree on some method of performing it at other times, which method they will make known to the Commander-in-chief.
To-morrow being the day set apart by the honorable Congress for public thanksgiving and praise; and duty calling us devoutly to express our grateful acknowledgments to God, for the manifold blessings he
*December 18th, 1777.
has granted us, the General directs, that the army remain in its present quarters, and that the Chaplains perform divine service with their several corps and brigades; and earnestly exhorts all officers and soldiers, whose absence is not indispensably necessary, to attend with reverence the solemnities of the day.
Divine service is to be performed to-morrow,* in the several brigades and divisions.
The Commander-in-chief earnestly recommends, that the troops not on duty should universally attend, with that seriousness of deportment and gratitude of heart, which the recognition of such reiterated and astonishing interpositions of Providence demands of
PRIVATE WORSHIP, AND PRACTICAL PIETY.
I have often been told by Colonel Ben Temple, (of King William county, (Virginia,) who was one of his aids in the French and Indian war, . . . . . that, on sudden and unexpected visits into his marquee, he has more than once found him on his knees at his devotions. Rev. M. L. WEEMS, 1808.
observed, [at Valley Forge.] The Father of his country
The Commander-in-chief of the American armies was constantly to retire, for the purpose of secret devotion. went alone, and sought strength and guidance from the God of armies and of light. The independence of our country was laid, not only in valor, and patriotism, and wisdom, but in prayer. ALBERT BARNES, D. D.
On Sundays, unless the weather was uncommonly severe, the President and Mrs. Washington attended divine service at Christ Church, [Philadelphia;] and in the evenings, the President read to Mrs. Washington, in her chamber, a sermon, or some portion from the sacred writings. No visitors, with the exception of Mr. Speaker Trumbull, were admitted on Sundays.
GEORGE W. P. CUSTIS, Grandson of Mrs. Washington.
* October 21st, 1781, just after the capitulation of Lord Cornwallis.
I accidentally witnessed Washington's private devotions in his library, both morning and evening. On these occasions, I saw him in a kneeling posture, with a Bible open before him. I believe such to have been his daily practice.
ROBERT LEWIS, nephew, and private secretary of Washington.
General Braddock was buried in his cloak, the same night, on the road, to elude the search of the Indians. Washington, on the testimony of an old soldier, read the funeral service over his remains, by the light of a torch. E. C. M'GUIRE, D. D.
My mother resided, two years, at Mount Vernon, after her marriage with John Parke Custis, the only son of Mrs. Washington. I have heard her say, that General Washington always received the sacrament with my grandmother, before the Revolution. MISS CUSTIS, twenty years an inmate of Washington's family.
From the lips of a lady of undoubted veracity, yet living, and a worthy communicant of the Church, I received the interesting fact, that, soon after the close of the revolutionary war, she saw him partake of the consecrated symbols of the body and blood of Christ, in Trinity Church, in the city of New York.
GEORGE T. CHAPMAN, D. D.
We 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 doctrine of the Gospel of Christ.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, May, 1789.
The pew I hold in the Episcopal Church at Alexandria, shall be charged with an annual rent of five pounds, Virginia money; and I promise to pay annually, to the minister and vestry of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Fairfax parish. April 25th, 1785.
I shall always strive, to prove a faithful and impartial patron of genuine, vital religion.
FASTING, HUMILIATION, AND PRAYER,
June 1st, Wednesday.-Went to Church, and
fasted all day.
HABITUAL GRATITUDE FOR GOD'S BOUNTIES.
We are not graceless † at Mount Vernon.
FOLLOWING THE EXAMPLE OF CHRIST.
Humility and a pacific temper of mind, . . were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion; . . without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation.
GENEROUS FORGIVENESS OF ENEMIES.
When the order issued, for embarking the troops in Boston, no electric shock, no sudden flash of light
*The Virginia House of Burgesses had set apart this day, as a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer, devoutly to implore the Divine interposition, for averting the heavy calamity which threatened destruction to their civil rights, and the evils of civil war, and to give them one heart and one mind, firmly to oppose, by all just and proper means, every injury to American rights."
He always said grace at table.
ning, in a word, not even the last trump, could have struck them with greater consternation. They were at their wit's end; and, conscious of their black ingratitude, chose to commit themselves to the mercy of the winds and waves, in a tempestuous season, rather than meet their offended countrymen ; and with this declaration I am told they have done it,that if they could have thought, that the most abject submission would have procured peace for them, they would have humbled themselves in the dust, and kissed the rod that should be held out for chastisement.
Deluded mortals !
it not be good to grant a generous amnesty, and conquer these people, by a GENEROUS FORGIVENESS?
4. CHRISTIAN MISSIONS
The Pale Faces came, and they said, "You fought with us; you have forfeited your right to this land and must go away." But General Washington said, "Come back, and remain in your land, and make your homes with us." Then the Prophet said, "The white men are bad, and cannot dwell in the regions of the Great Spirit, except General Washington." PETER WILSON,
A native Iroquois, before the New York Historical Society, 1847.
MISSIONS AMONG THE INDIANS.
A system corresponding with the mild principles of religion and philanthropy toward an unenlightened * The royalists.