Monday, November 8, 2010

Great Works: George Washington's Sacred Fire



I recently finished reading George Washington's Sacred fire by Peter A. Lillback.  I highly recommend you pick up a copy for your library.  This book takes head-on scholars, who for the last 80 years, have argued that our First President was not a Christian but rather an aloof Deist.  Deism in Washington's time was nearly equivalent to today's Secular Progressive worldview.  After reading the book and its overwhelming citations and scholarly proofs, I am convinced that he indeed was a Christian and an ardent one at that.

Here are a few quotes that I found edifying:

Popularity

" Though I prize, as I ought, the good opinion of my fellow citizens; yet, if I know myself, I would not seek Or retain popularity at the expense of one social duty or moral virtue."

Minority Rule

"If the laws are to be so trampled upon with impunity, and a minority (a small one too) is to dictate to the majority, there is an end put...to republican government; and nothing but anarchy and confusion is to be expected hereafter."

Leadership Principals

"I have found no better guide hitherto, than upright intentions and close investigation..."

"Laws or ordinances unobserved, or partially attended to, had better never have been made; because the first is a mere nihil. and the second is productive of much jealousy and discontent."

Morality

"It may be proper to observe that a good moral character is the first essential in a man, and that the habits contracted at your age are generally  indelible, and your conduct here may stamp your character through life.  It is therefore highly important that you should endeavor not only to be learned but virtuous."
 
Happiness and Government

" The foundations of our National policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality; and the pre-eminence of a free Government, be exemplified by all the atributes which can win the affections of its Citizems, and command the respect of the world...there is no truth more thoroughly established, than that there exists in the economy and course of nature, an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness, between duty and advantage, between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy..."

"Since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven, can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained: And since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the Republican model of Government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people."

"A good general government, without good morals and good habits, will not make us a happy People; and we shall deceive ourselves if we think it will."

These quotes don't even scratch the surface.  Pick up a copy and be enlightened my the story and wisdom of such a great man.

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