During the month of February, we celebrated the birthdates of our two greatest presidents. One started us going in the right direction, the other kept us together when we were about to destroy ourselves.
It would be comforting to have a president like those two anytime and especially now as we flounder as nation and wonder what is going to happen next. A house divided against itself cannot survive.
We celebrated Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on February 12 and George Washington’s birthday on February 22. What messages of wisdom could we receive from these two incomparable leaders?
George Washington received the official notification of his election as the first President of the United States on Tuesday, April 14, 1789. Before leaving for New York for his inauguration, he was determined to visit his ailing mother, Mary Washington, for the last time. She died on August 5, 1789 at 82 years of age.
General Washington, hero and Commanding General of the Revolutionary War, took his oath of office on April 30, 1789, on the balcony of the Federal Hall in New York City, with his hand on the open Bible.
Once inside President Washington delivered his address to the Congress. He said, “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 the 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.”
Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865, was our sixteenth and arguably our most popular president ever. His courage and leadership enabled America to survive the Civil War and remain the “United States.”
Wherever I have traveled in the world, I have heard more people talk about President Lincoln than any other president. He belongs to the world and the ages.
For more than 25 years, I lived in Decatur, Illinois, the city in which Lincoln was dubbed the “rail splitter.”
In 1846, when Lincoln was running for Congress from the seventh district of Illinois, a rumor circulated that he was not a Christian. This prompted “Honest Abe” to say, “That I am not a member of any Christian Church is true; but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures; and…I do not think I could, myself, be brought to support a man for office whom I knew to be an open enemy of, and scoffer at religion.”
George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were devout as well as devoted men who believed in the United States of America. They lived by the Word of God and governed by The Constitution of The United States. America always needs such a president.
© 2014 Wm. C. Ellis
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