“Numerous as are the Providential blessings which demand our grateful acknowledgements, the abundance with which another year has again rewarded the industry of the husbandman is too important to escape recollection….
“A System corrisponding with the mild principles of religion and philanthropy towards an unenlightened race of men, whose happiness materially depends on the conduct of the United States, would be as honorable to the national character as conformable to the dictates of sound policy…
“[I]n reference to the national security… the establishment of competent Magazines & Arsenals, and the fortification of such places as are peculiarly important and vulnerable, naturally present themselves to consideration. The safety of the United States, under Divine protection, ought to rest on the basis of systematic and solid arrangements; exposed as little as possible to the hazards of fortuitous circumstances.”*
President George Washington publicly recognized God’s blessings on our nation, advocated religious and benevolent outreach toward Indians, and argued that even though America is under “Divine protection” we should have a strong national defense. That is another lost episode in American history.
Read and Reflect: Read 2 Chronicles 26:1-15 and reflect on God’s blessing on Uzziah’s reign and his military preparations and compare them with Washington’s proposal.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you for the wisdom of President Washington in acknowledging your blessing on our productivity, the need to promote religious principle and benevolence toward the needy, and the necessity of providing for the defense for our safety. Give us leaders like Washington we pray, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
*Source Citation: Philander D. Chase, ed., The Papers of George Washington, Presidential Series, (Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 2000), 9:110-117. Original spelling and capitalization were preserved.