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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Patriotism

Quoting George Washington’s Farewell Address:

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. (October 19, 1796)

The Necessity Of Religious Principle

From George Washington’s Farewell Address:

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. (October 19, 1796)

George Washington On Liberty And Happiness

From George Washington’s First Inaugural Address:

[M]y fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe; who presides in the councils of nations; and whose providential aid can supply every human defect; that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the People of the United States, a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good. (April 30, 1789)

George Washington Speaks To A Hebrew Congregation

Quoting George Washington:

May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants—while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid. May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy. (George Washington Address to the Hebrew Congregation at Newport, Rhode, Island – August 17, 1790)

Acknowledging The Favor Of God

George Washington

Quoting George Washington:

Houses of Congress have …requested me to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the many signal favors of Almighty God. (Proclamation for a National Thanksgiving, October 3, 1789)

George Washington On The Eternal Rules Of Order

Quoting George Washington:

There exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness…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. (First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789)

Part X: George Washington’s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior

At the age sixteen, George Washington wrote out by hand, 110 Rules of Civility. These are based on a set of rules composed by French Jesuits in 1595. The rules have one major interest in common; a focus on other people rather than on our own self-interests which is so prevalent today. Some of his ideas may seem quaint to our modern minds but they are an excellent reminder of the importance of being a gentleman!

101 Rinse not your mouth in the presence of others.

102 It is out of use to call upon the company often to eat; nor need you drink to others every time you drink.

103 In company of your betters be not [damaged manuscript] than they are; lay not your arm but [damaged manuscript].

104 It belongs to the chiefest in company to unfold his napkin and fall to meat first; but he ought then to begin in time and to dispatch with dexterity that the slowest may have time allowed him.

105 Be not angry at table whatever happens and if you have reason to be so, show it not but on a cheerful countenance especially if there be strangers, for good humor makes one dish of meat and whey.

106 Set not yourself at the upper of the table but if it be your due, or that the master of the house will have it so, contend not, lest you should trouble the company.

107 If others talk at table be attentive but talk not with meat in your mouth.

108 When you speak of God or his Attributes, let it be seriously; reverence, honor and obey your natural parents although they be poor.

109 Let your recreations be manful not sinful.

110 Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.

Part IX: George Washington’s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior

At the age sixteen, George Washington wrote out by hand, 110 Rules of Civility. These are based on a set of rules composed by French Jesuits in 1595. The rules have one major interest in common; a focus on other people rather than on our own self-interests which is so prevalent today. Some of his ideas may seem quaint to our modern minds but they are an excellent reminder of the importance of being a gentleman!

91 Make no show of taking great delight in your the table; neither find great delight in your victuals; feed not with greediness; eat your bread with a knife; lean not on the table; neither find fault with what you eat.

92 Take no salt or cut bread with your knife greasy.

93 Entertaining anyone at table it is decent to present him with meat; undertake not to help others desired by the master.

94 If you soak bread in the sauce, let it be no more than what you put in your mouth at a time and blow not your broth at table; let it stay till it cools of itself.

95 Put not your meat to your mouth with your knife in your hand; neither spit forth the stones of any fruit pie upon a dish nor cast anything under the table.

96 It’s unbecoming to heap much to one’s meat keep your fingers clean; when foul wipe them on a corner of your table napkin.

97 Put not another bite into your mouth till the former be swallow; let not your morsels be too big.

98 Drink not nor talk with your mouth full; neither gaze about you while you are a drinking.

99 Drink not too leisurely nor yet too hastily. Before and after drinking wipe your lips; breathe not then or ever with too great a noise, for it is an evil.

100 Cleanse not your teeth with the tablecloth, napkin, fork, or knife; but if others do it, let it be done without a peep to them.

Part VIII: George Washington’s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior

At the age sixteen, George Washington wrote out by hand, 110 Rules of Civility. These are based on a set of rules composed by French Jesuits in 1595. The rules have one major interest in common; a focus on other people rather than on our own self-interests which is so prevalent today. Some of his ideas may seem quaint to our modern minds but they are an excellent reminder of the importance of being a gentleman!

81 Be not curious to know the affairs of others, neither approach those that speak in private.

82 Undertake not what you cannot perform but be careful to keep your promise.

83 When you deliver a matter do it without passion and with discretion, however mean the person be you do it to.

84 When your superiors talk to anybody neither speak nor laugh.

85 In company of those of higher quality than yourself, speak not ’til you are asked a question, then stand upright, put off your hat and answer in few words.

86 In disputes, be not so desirous to overcome as not to give liberty to one to deliver his opinion and submit to the judgment of the major part, specially if they are judges of the dispute.

87 [damaged manuscript] as becomes a man grave, settled, and attentive [damaged manuscript] [predict not at every turn what others say.

88 Be not diverse in discourse; make not many digressions; nor repeat often the same manner of discourse.

89 Speak not evil of the absent, for it is unjust.

90 Being set at meat scratch not, neither spit, cough, or blow your nose except there’s a necessity for it.

Part VII: George Washington’s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior

At the age sixteen, George Washington wrote out by hand, 110 Rules of Civility. These are based on a set of rules composed by French Jesuits in 1595. The rules have one major interest in common; a focus on other people rather than on our own self-interests which is so prevalent today. Some of his ideas may seem quaint to our modern minds but they are an excellent reminder of the importance of being a gentleman!

71 Gaze not on the marks or blemishes of others and ask not how they came. What you may speak in secret to your friend, deliver not before others.

72 Speak not in an unknown tongue in company but in your own language and that as those of quality do and not as the vulgar; sublime matters treat seriously-

73 Think before you speak; pronounce not imperfectly, nor bring out your words too hastily, but orderly and distinctly.

74 When another speaks, be attentive yourself; and disturb not the audience. If any hesitate in his words, help him not nor prompt him without desired; interrupt him not, nor answer him till his speech has ended.

75 In the midst of discourse [damaged manuscript] but if you perceive any stop because of [damaged manuscript]; to proceed: If a person of quality comes in while you’re conversing, it’s handsome to repeat what was said before.

76 While you are talking, point not with your finger at him of whom you discourse, nor approach too near him to whom you talk especially to his face.

77 Treat with men at fit times about business and whisper not in the company of others.

78 Make no comparisons and if any of the company be commended for any brave act of virtue, commend not another for the same.

79 Be not apt to relate news if you know not the truth thereof. In discoursing of things you have heard, name not your author always; a secret discover not.

80 Be not tedious in discourse or in reading unless you find the company pleased therewith.

General Orders, May 2nd, 1778

Quoting George Washington:

“The Commander in Chief directs that divine Service be performed every Sunday at 11 o’clock in those Brigades to which there are Chaplains; those which have none to attend the places of worship nearest to them. It is expected that Officers of all Ranks will by their attendance set an Example to 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 add 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.” (George Washington, General Orders, May 2nd, 1778)

If You Exclude Religious Principle, Morality Will Fail!

In the words of George Washington:

Of all the dispositions and habits which least 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 the Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the opposition, 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. (George Washington Farewell Address, September 19, 1796)

Washington And The Hand of Providence

 

George Washington

George Washington wrote this in a letter to Thomas Nelson August 20, 1778:

The Hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations.

George Washington On Oaths

 

George Washington

George Washington in his Farewell Address in 1796 commented on oath taking:

[W]here is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation deserts the oaths…?

George Washington On The Foundation Of National Policy

 

George Washington

George Washington in his First Inaugural Address on April 30, 1789 said:

The foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality, and the preeminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens, and command the respect of the world.

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