Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Inauguration of George Washington

Inauguration of George Washington

“No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.”  {George Washington – 1st Inaugural Address}

In Washington's first Inaugural address, he dedicated the nation to the True Parent of the United States who alone can bring blessing (Psalm 33:12).  This is interesting to note as George Washington's Presidency depicts the Father planting the Garden of Eden in the beginning in the "Presidents Code".

"Having thus imparted to you my sentiments as they have been awakened by the occasion which brings us together, I shall take my present leave; but not without resorting once more to the benign Parent of the Human Race in humble supplication that, since He has been pleased to favor the American people with opportunities for deliberating in perfect tranquillity, and dispositions for deciding with unparalleled unanimity on a form of government for the security of their union and the advancement of their happiness, so His divine blessing may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations, and the wise measures on which the success of this Government must depend."

Notice the language that Washington used.  He alludes to our Divine Parent who had given American an opportunity to walk in tranquility just as the first man Adam was placed in a tranquil land.  God gave Americans a Republican form of government which engenders liberty just as Adam was free in the Garden.  In a Republic, it is up to the people to walk in a lawful way otherwise the Republic will fail and quickly turn into a form of dictatorship where the government rules over people instead of for the people.  So too, it was up to Adam to keep and guard the Garden but when he failed, sin crept into the world and Adam lost his dominion and was no longer a truly free man.

This is but one example of where Washington dedicated this country to the Lord.  The United States was established as a  Republic which was founded upon the Rock of the Bible, a place where man could walk freely and in peace, just as Adam in the Garden of Eden.  Of course, this is not to say that the United States was literally a Paradise, but the 'parable' is seen in the early years of this country. 

America did enjoy a period of freedom and peace during Washington's administration.  He set the precedent that the U.S. was to be neutral in regards to the affairs of other countries, which at that time saw Europe in the midst of war.  He supported John Jay in creating the Jay Treaty between the United States and Britain which averted war and brought peace to Americans throughout his Presidency.

Washington's first act as President was prayer to the Lord of Heaven.  Following is a quote from his first Inaugural Address.

“Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids 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, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own, nor those of my fellow- citizens at large less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency; and in the important revolution just accomplished in the system of their united government the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities from which the event has resulted can not be compared with the means by which most governments have been established without some return of pious gratitude, along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage.

These reflections, arising out of the present crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind to be suppressed. You will join with me, I trust, in thinking that there are none under the influence of which the proceedings of a new and free government can more auspiciously commence...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, perhaps, as deeply, as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.”

While being inaugurated, Washington set a few more precedents which are important to mention.  In a low voice Washington solemnly swore to execute the office of the President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, to 'preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.' He then added, 'So help me God,' and kissed the Bible, thereby establishing the first presidential tradition.  Succeeding presidents have followed in Washington's footsteps by asking for God's help in fulfilling this oath although this is not technically prescribed in the Constitution. 

The Bible which Washington kissed was opened to Genesis 49–50.  This is the portion of Scripture speaking to what would befall Jacob’s sons in the last days.  This was a declaration of Washington that he was being established as the President of God's 'American Israel,' a term used by many preachers of the period.

Washington then delivered his inaugural message to the United States Congress.  After the message, Washington and the entire Congress went down the street to St. Paul’s cathedral for a church service to pray for the new nation.  Washington and all of the nation’s leaders went into St. Paul’s cathedral and spent two hours dedicating America in prayer to the Most High.

The Presidents Code - George Washington

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