In God We Trust
by Seattle ALC
For many decades this phrase has symbolized our American heritage. This trust on the part of our country’s founding fathers has brought abundant blessings to their posterity.
For more than two hundred years, our nation has prospered at the hand of the One whom our first president called “The Almighty Being who is the Great Author of every public and private good and whose invisible hand conducts the affairs of men more than the people of these United States.” America’s very beginning and advancement to the status of a free and independent nation, and as a world power are the result of Divine Providence.
It can be rightly said that our heritage is that of those who feared the name of God–who held it in reverence and in honor, desiring to hear His voice, to seek His blessing, and to follow His guidance.
In an address to his cabinet in Philadelphia on September 17, 1796, President Washington made known his decision to end his political career. He acknowledged the debt of gratitude which he felt he owed to his beloved country for the many honors it had conferred upon him and for the confidence with which it had supported him in the office of president. Then, as a true elder statesman, he gave wise counsel to those who would succeed’ him in holding the reins of government. Along with the very necessary and timely instruction on how to preserve the newly formed union so that regional differences and local interests would not divide it, he placed special emphasis on the importance of religion and morality in national as well as private life. The following paragraphs are quoted from this farewell speech.
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
“In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish, that they will control the usual current of passions or prevent our nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations. But if I may even flatter myself that they may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good–this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare by which they have been dictated.”
Unfortunately, religion and morality, which President Washington considered indispensable, are being abandoned among many of our citizens today. Individual moral decay is rampant. And as far as our public national life is concerned, the honoring teaching and practice of religion and morality are considered to be unconstitutional. We have gone far afield from the pathways which our forefathers trod. We merit divine discipline on an individual as well as on a national level.
As we celebrate this 217th anniversary of our country’s independence, let us in earnestness call upon God for His help and seek His blessing. The prayer of Prophet Habakkuk would serve our needs well. He prayed: “0 Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years: in the midst of the years make known. In wrath, remember mercy.”
From the archives of the late Pastor A.C. Holmgren- July 1993
Submitted by Pastor Stan “
“Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. “ Hebrews 13: 7,8
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