Washington’s Inaugural Address

THE LEADER TIMES WEEKEND RELIGION ARTICLE FOR

February 27, 2016 by William H. Scarle, Jr. 813-835-0129

Since we are deep into a national presidential campaign, and I am writing this column on George Washington’s birthday, I thought it might be appropriate to share with my readers a part of Washington’s first Inaugural Address to both houses of Congress on April 30, 1789.

“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 this 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,

“That His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes; and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success, the functions allotted to his charge.

“In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own, nor those of my fellow-citizens at large, less than either.

“No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States.

“Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency;

“And in the important revolution just accomplished in the system of the their United government, the tranquil deliberation and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities, from which the event has resulted can not be compared with the means by which most governments have been established, without some return of pious gratitude, along with an humble anticipation of future blessings which the past seems to presage…

“We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained; and since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered as deeply, perhaps finally, staked of the experiment…

“I shall take my present leave; but not without resorting once more to the Benign Parent of the Human Race, in humble supplication that, since he has been pleased to favor the American people…His divine blessings may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations and wise measures of which the success of this Government must depend.”

(Bill Scarle can be contacted at ravscarle@verizon.net).  END-whs