For my second installment on this blog, I would like to pick up with some comments made in my previous post regarding George Washington's prayer journal. As could be expected, Jon Rowe and Brad Hart came down on the side that the journal is an utter fabrication that is clearly not the work of our Commander-in-Chief. This conclusion, which is based purely on speculation and not fact, has been tossed around irresponsibly for decades and has caused most people to believe in this utter falsehood.
Originally discovered in 1891, the Washington Prayer Journal has electrified both supporters and denouncers of Washington's Christian faith. As can be seen from a sample from this journal, the language used clearly supports a deep abiding faith in Jesus Christ, which has naturally caused friction between secularists and believers. Here is just a sample from the Journal for you examine:
"O most Glorious God, in Jesus Christ my merciful & loving father, I acknowledge and confess [illegible] guilt, in the weak and imperfect performance of the duties of this day. I have called on thee for pardon and forgiveness of sins, but so coldly and carelessly, that my prayers are become my sin and stand in need of pardon. I have heard thy holy word, but with such deadness of spirit that I have been an unprofitable and forgetful hearer, so that, O Lord, tho' I have done thy work, yet it hath been so negligently that I may rather expect a curse than a blessing from thee. But, O God, who art rich in mercy and plenteous in redemption, mark not I beseech thee what I have done amiss, remember that i am but dust, and remit my transgressions, negligences, & ignorances, & cover them all with the absolute obedience of thy dear Son, that those sacrifices which I have offered may be accepted by thee, in and for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ offered upon the cross for me..."
As can clearly be seen from the above text, George Washington (or the mystery author for you that doubt) invokes a deeply personal faith in salvation through Jesus Christ.
Of course this journal is not without its skeptics. Rupert Hughes, an alleged expert in handwriting (even though he lived in the 1920s when handwriting analysis was nothing like it is today) argued that the Washington Prayer Journal was an utter fraud:
"The impossibility of the work being in Washington's hand should be apparent to the most casual comparison. The writer of the Prayers, for instance, always crosses his final "t's," and all his "t's" are squatty and fat. Washington always wrote a tall thin "t," and usually ended it with a mere sidewise uplift. Little words like "and," "the," "this," and "most" are utterly unlike Washington's other examples, early or late. The capital "I" is not like his, nor the familiar "G," nor the "L," nor the "D," nor any of the capitals. The same is true of the small letters, their joinings and angles. The dates and days of the week are not in the least like his. "
Yet Dr. Tim LaHaye, a legitimate expert of theology who has had his own handwriting experts analyse the Washington Journal stated the following:
"That President George Washington was a devout believer in Jesus Christ and had accepted Him as His Lord and Savior is easily demonstrated by a reading of his personal prayer book (written in his own handwriting), which was discovered in 1891 among a collection of his papers. To date no historian has questioned its authenticity... An objective reading of these beautiful prayers verifies that were George Washington living today, he would freely identify with the Bible-believing branch of evangelical Christianity that is having such a positive influence on our nation."Another important factor to consider in this debate is the fact that George Washington's handwriting changed over the course of his lifetime. Don't believe me? See for yourself. Here are some handwriting samples of George Washington for you to see what I am talking about:
Sample from 1735:
Sample from 1752:
Sample from 1792:
After enduring the hardships of an eight-year war, it comes as no surprise that an elderly Washington was not as steady with his pen. Clearly his handwriting was much sharper and clearer in his youth, which is the age of the prayer journal.
In conclusion, this should serve as irrefutable evidence to anyone that is willing to be honest with themselves that George Washington was a passionate believer in Jesus Christ.