A Monument to Washington

Washington Monument, Lincoln Reflecting Pool, National Mall, Washington DCThe Washington Monument was dedicated on February 21, 1885, and during the ceremony a prayer was offered by Reverend Henderson Suter.

As you read the part of that prayer that I have excerpted, notice the high regard that Rev Suter had for President Washington. 

        As we stand beneath the lofty height of this memorial work, and mark the symmetry of its form, we would remember Washington’s high character, and all the virtues which in him, builded-up the man.

A leader fearing God; a patriot unstained by self; a statesman wishing only the right, he has left us an example for whose following, we supplicate thy help, for ourselves and for all who are now and hereafter be, the instruments of thy providence to this land and nation.

        O God the high and mighty Ruler of the universe, bless today, and henceforth, thy servant the President of the United States and all others in authority.

        To our Congress ever give wisdom.  Direct and prosper all their consultations.  May our judges be able men, such as fear God, men of truth—governed in judgment only by the laws.  May our juries be incorruptible, ever mindful of the solemnity of the oath, and of the great interests depending on its keeping.

        O God…Heal every wound opened by human frailty, or by human wrong.  Let the feeling of brotherhood have the mastery over all selfish ends, that with one mind and one heart, the North and the South, and the East and West, may seek the good of the common country, and work out that destiny, which has been allotted us among the nations of the earth.   

Rev. Suter described Washington as, “A leader fearing God; a patriot unstained by self; a statesman wishing only the right . . .” Contrast this description with the political climate and moral fiber you see in our elected officials of today. 

Either something is missing or I’m missing something, but I think there is a stark contrast between now and the time of Washington and his peers.  Many of these men were signers of the Declaration of Independence, and their resolve is seen in the final sentence of this cherished proclamation: “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

The need of the hour is a spiritual awakening that begins with prayer: “I urge that requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanks be offered on behalf of all people, even for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.  Such prayer for all is good and welcomed before God our Savior, since he wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 2:1-4).”

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