George Washington

"A Personal Prayer" – at age 20

Most Glorious God, in Jesus Christ, my merciful and loving Father; [1] I acknowledge and confess my guilt in the weak and imperfect performance of the duties of this day.

 

I have called on Thee for pardon and forgiveness of my sins, but so coldly and carelessly that my prayers are become my sin, and they stand in need of pardon.

 

I have sinned against heaven and before Thee in thought, word, and deed.

 

I have contemned Thy majesty and holy laws.

 

I have likewise sinned by omitting what I ought to have done and committing what I ought not.

 

I have rebelled against the light, despising Thy mercies and judgment, and broken my vows and promise.

 

 

I have neglected the better things. My iniquities are multiplied and my sins are very great.

 

 

I confess them, O Lord, with shame and sorrow, detestation and loathing and desire to be vile in my own eyes as I have rendered myself vile in Thine.

 

I humbly beseech Thee to be merciful to me in the free pardon of my sins, for the sake of Thy dear Son and only Savior Jesus Christ who came to call not the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

 

Thou gavest Thy Son to die for me. Make me to know what is acceptable in Thy sight, and therein to delight,open the eyes of my understanding, and help me thoroughly to examine myself concerning my knowledge, faith, and repentance, increase my faith, and direct me to the true object,

Jesus Christ the Way, the Truth, and the Life."

[SOURCE: George Washington - Authentic handwritten manuscript book, April 23, 1752]. Age 20


Popular passages

Page 185 - RELIGION

  1. Let it simply be asked, where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? 
  2. And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion.
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Page 216 - CONSTITUTION

  1. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the constitution which at any time exists, until changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all.
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Page 149 - POLITICAL PARTIES

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Page 141 - DECLINE of HIGHEST OFFICE

  1. States being not far distant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person who is to be clothed with that important trust,
  2. it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice,
  3. that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made.‎
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Page 59 - 

  1. They planted by your care! No, your oppressions planted them in America. They fled from your tyranny, to a then uncultivated and inhospitable country, where they exposed themselves to almost all the hardships to which human nature is liable, and, among others, to the cruelties of a savage foe, the most subtle, and I will take...
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Page 147 - SPAIN

  1. Spain, and in the universal satisfaction at that event throughout the United States, a decisive proof how unfounded were the suspicions propagated among them of a policy in the general government and in the Atlantic states unfriendly to their interests in regard to the Mississippi. 
  2. They have been witnesses to the formation of two treaties — that with Great Britain and that with Spain — , which secure to them every thing they could desire, in respect to our foreign relations, toward confirming...‎
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Page 186 - RELIGION

  1. Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. 
  2. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness,
  3.  these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. 
  4. The mere politician, equally with the pious man. ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity.
  5. .‎Appears in 712 books from 1796-2008

Page 149 - POLITICAL PARTIES

  1.  ... the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels, and modified by mutual interests.
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References to this book