The George Washington Who Arrived at Boston

From Washington: The Man of Action, by Frederick Trevor Hill (1914)

From Washington: The Man of Action, by Frederick Trevor Hill (1914)

At the ending of the last article, part 2 of “The George Washington who was headed for Boston,” I said, “As we consider this man who was traveling north from Philadelphia to take command of the Continental army at Boston, we must consider the fact that he was looking to God for victory. And since he was looking to God for victory, it was very important to him that he and the men under him live for this righteous cause, honor God and seek God’s blessing.”

This is why, when Washington got there, he was determined to live by his faith and expected others to do the same. On July 4, 1775, which was just two days after he had arrived in Cambridge and formally took command, he issued the following general order:

The General most earnestly requires, and expects, a due observance of those articles of war, established for the Government of the army, which forbid profane cursing, swearing and drunkenness.

Ted Cruz 2016


And in like manner, he requires and expects of all Officers and Soldiers not engaged in actual duty, a  punctual attendance on divine service, to implore the blessings of heaven upon the means used for our safety and defense. [1]

Notice the last statement here. If they were not on duty, they were to attend “Divine services to implore the blessings of Heaven upon the means used for our safety and defense.” Do you know any American generals today who have given that command to their troops, let alone commanded them concerning the other things listed in the order? No, the understanding today is believe whatever you want to believe, do whatever you want to do: curse, swear, and get drunk. No command is given to attend Christian services and pray for God’s blessing on the army.

But that is not the way it was when Washington took command of the Continental army. The general’s expectations were made clear the first day: You were not to do things that offended God, and you were to be in worship and pray for God’s blessing upon the army. Why? Because a war was starting in which they would need God’s help.

Woodrow Wilcox


If Washington’s general order doesn’t make that clear enough, what the general said that same day when he had the army assembled before him should have. For he gave a speech which included Psalm 101.

To understand what Washington had in mind when he read Psalm 101 and gave his speech, let us read Psalm 101 in full. For he clearly selected that psalm for a reason:

I will sing of mercy and justice; to You, O Lord, I will sing praises. I will behave wisely in a perfect way. Oh, when will You come to me?

I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know wickedness.

Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy; The one who has a haughty look and a proud heart, him I will not endure.

My eyes shall be on the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me; He who walks in a perfect way, he shall serve me. He who works deceit shall not dwell within my house; He who tells lies shall not continue in my presence.

Early I will destroy all the wicked of the land, that I may cut off all the evildoers from the  city of the Lord.—Psalm 101:1-8

Notice here, in reading this psalm that George Washington read to his soldiers, and in considering the general order that was issued that same day, we get a clear understanding of what Washington had in mind. Clearly he was presenting himself as sharing the attitude of King David, the one who wrote that psalm.

Washington was presenting himself as one who sung praises to the Lord, one who was determined to behave wisely in the sense of honoring God with his life, as one who would set nothing wicked before his eyes, and not allow wicked people to dwell within his house. When Washington reads, “A perverse heart shall depart from me,” and “He who tells lies shall not continue in my presence,” he was clearly giving a warning to his soldiers and especially to his officers of what his intentions were. He was not going to tolerate wicked people in his command, especially wicked officers.

Also, notice the last statement regarding “the city of the Lord.” In Old Testament times, Jerusalem had been seen as the city of the Lord, for that was where the temple was. The greatest danger for that city, which did happen, was that the evildoers would get control and corrupt the city.

While Washington D.C. today is not the city of the Lord, we have no trouble seeing what corruption can do to a city that is important to the life of the nation. And so, Psalm 101 here is talking about evildoers getting into a city and corrupting it by living evil lives themselves and promoting the acceptance of their evil values in a place which has been dedicated to God.

When you realize that this psalm was read in conjunction with the order of the day, forbidding evil behavior, I am convinced that what Washington was doing was drawing a line in the sand. What he was saying was, “You undermine this godly cause by bringing wickedness into this place, and I will cut you off.” Washington had a strong belief in the need to honor God.

Why did Washington come to this belief? Because he believed God was real and if people wanted God’s blessing, they must live a life that honors God.

Notice here, this reveals a George Washington the secular humanists would hide from us and have hidden from school students since the 1960s. This is why it probably comes to you as new information. But it is none the less true and reflects the true George Washington, the Washington who was a Christian and not the deist the revisionist historians claim him to be.

Peter Lillback, in writing his book, George Washington’s Sacred Fire, spent fifteen years doing the research and consulted a great deal of Washington’s personal writings. It is a thoroughly documented book citing a large number of Washington’s own statements in documents that came from his own hand, what researchers would call primary documents. Therefore, if you have trouble rejecting the deception that George Washington was a deist, a deception which was clearly intended to promote a liberal agenda, I would encourage you to read Lillback’s book and notice the very careful and thorough documentation. The revisionist historians have lied to us.

Why have they lied to us? They came to their own study of Washington with presuppositions about life and God, presuppositions which made their hearts open to believe the lie because they wanted to believe the lie.

But Washington was not the man they say he was. He was a man of prayer and a man of faith, a man willing to dedicate his life to a great cause.

With that being the case, the George Washington who arrived in Cambridge on July 2, 1775 and took command of the Continental Army was a man who was determined to honor God with his life and expected the soldiers in his command to do the same. It was a good start and a good goal to set for himself and for the army. It certainly would be a good goal for us as well.

However, keep in mind, sometimes noble goals are declared on a day when the sun is shining, on a day when people are in good health, on a day when the circumstances look good. This certainly was the case with Washington, for when he arrived, the situation in Boston was optimistic and hopeful.

However, the life that Washington was about to embark upon would bring more trials than he could have possibly imagined. While things did go well at Boston, from that point on, it would be an extremely arduous war, a war which would bring many reverses, many disappointments and many times of great stress. Washington would need his strong faith in God in the days ahead, and he would also need his belief in the goodness of their cause. Those two things would help him to remain steady and determined.

[1] The Papers of George Washington Digital Edition, Theodore J. Crackel, ed. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008.

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Bob Wittstruck was a pastor for 33 years, was the associate director of the Black Hills Creation Science Association, and is a supporter of both Christian schooling and home schooling. His latest book, The Forgotten Factor of History God Rules, is being printed in February or March of 2016. His email address is [email protected]
Bob Wittstruck
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