| A short
presentation for "Presidents' Day"
written for a church show back in 1995, in those
dark hours of corruption and national depair.
Tweak it for today if you want to perform it.
Music was drawn from "Great Presidential
Marches" or somesuch; search the web and
you'll find something suitable.
it is technically (C) 1995, Andrew
Bartmess, performance rights are freely
granted provided all Glory is given to
God, and this boxed message is visible on
any printed hardcopy or electronic
version of "Jesu,
Joy of Man's Desiring" up
and under. A firm, echoing [pre-recorded]
voice from above speaks:)
at podium, looks up from unspecified
Abba, good to see you!
GW: It's not
my birthday, Lord. You know that... I was born on
February 22. This is February 20.
reduces to slight background.)
not what they think on Earth. Look at this:
Rift; George reacts as if looking out a
window. Long pause as he reviews modern
monstrous! What have they done to the country?
Look... And they... And there... And on top of
that, they moved my birthday? Why?
squeezed you together with Abe Lincoln.
fellow, stovepipe hat, can't stand the theater?
That Abe Lincoln?
It's called a "three day
fade-out under next graph.)
Outrageous! This isn't the country I fought for!
And...why aren't they praying more Lord? Where's
the Hosannas? Where's the praise? How can they
hope to run your country without You?
GOD: What is
your story, George Washington? What do YOU think
of this troubled nation?
Quiet on the Patomac"
in and under.)
you know that I am your humble servant. I was not
only the son of three generations of Americans,
but three generations of Christian
Americans. Some that followed me shame my name by
calling me a "Deist", as if I did not
believe in the sacrifice of Christ, as if YOU had
no direct hand in our lives!
At age of 13 I wrote
the "Rules of Civility" for myself, a
listing of what I had learned about the world:"The
one-hundred-and-eighth rule: When you speak of
God or his attributes, let it be Seriously and
with words of Reverence..." for any man
of education or simple student of nature can see
Your hand in all things! Long after my earthly
father's death, when I was fifteen, I studied
surveying, the first of many careers, and though
I prospered, I always gave the rightful credit to
you, Lord. Then as now I wept for fallen
of Columbia" in
GW: At 20, I
kept for myself a collection of daily prayers in
a pocket memo book, scribed in my own hand. I
remember it yet...
thou art a God of pure eyes, Pardon, I
beseech thee, my sins, remove them from thy
presence as far as the east is from the west
and accept of me for the merits of thy son,
Jesus Christ, that thou wouldst hear me
calling upon thee in my prayer, so give me
the grace to hear thee calling on me in thy
Word, that it may grant me wisdom,
righteousness, reconciliation and peace to
the saving of my soul in the day of the Lord
Jesus. Grant that I may hear it with
reverence, receive it with meekness, mingle
it with faith, and that it may accomplish in
me, Gracious God, the good work for which
thou has sent it. Bless my family, kindred,
friends and country, be our God and guide
this day and forever for His sake, who lay
down in the grave and rose again for us,
Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen!"
GW: Hah! Not a
bad memory for a man of 263! Now I ask you, does
that sound like a man who sees You as having no
direct hand in our lives? Deist! HA!
Van Buren's Grand March"
GW: In the
years that followed, I served in several
militias, rising through the ranks, earning a
reputation as an honest and fair man. Time and
again, I came home alive, with bullet holes
through my clothes. An Indian Chief I once fought
prophesied about me in those years:
"Listen!" he said, "The Great
Spirit protects that man, and guides his
destinies--he will become the chief of nations,
and a people yet unborn will hail him as the
founder of a mighty empire!" And with your
Grace, I did!
I married Martha in 1759, and
became in turn a successful farmer, respected
military authority, member of the House of
Burgesses, and firstmost, a responsible
churchman. In the days before the Revolution our
house in Mt. Vernon held no tea or any of the
boycotted British goods because I knew that the
boycott was the last peaceful method to prevent a
war with England. Our rights trampled, injustice
masquerading as law; I fear I saw it coming...an
old soldier can always smell a battle in the
out of previous music under last graph. Begin
with the opening drum/music track from "1776"
GW: In 1775,
at Concord, the King's troops fired first. I knew
then that the Crown had lost whatever favor of
yours it ever enjoyed, and the British empire had
begun it's decline. I later wrote: "The
smiles of heaven can never be expected on a
nation that disregards the eternal rules of order
and right, which Heaven itself has
ordained." We were in the right, Lord! And
you were with us! The day after I took control of
the Continental Army, I ordered my troops to
remember your hand in our lives.
"Attention!" I told them, "The
General...requires and expects of all officers
and soldiers not engaged in actual duty, a
punctual attendance on Divine service, to implore
the blessing of Heaven upon the means used for
our safety and defense." For how could we
win without your blessing?
On July 6 of 1776, I
held Tom Jefferson's Declaration of Independence
in my hand and read it to the cheering troops.
Afterwards, I told them:
"The fate of unborn
millions will now depend, under God, on the
courage and conduct of this Army...Our cruel and
unrelenting enemy leaves us no choice but brave
resistance or the most abject submission...if we
now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to
the whole world. Let us rely upon the goodness of
the cause, and the aid of the Supreme Being in
whose hands victory is, to animate and encourage
us to great and noble actions..."
down and out, FX in: Cold winter winds and
Harrison's Funeral March"
up and under first few sentences of
GW: I thought
of You the night we crossed the Delaware midst
snow and hail, and surprised the British and
their Hessian mercenaries at their Christams Eve
revelries. There we turned the tide of the war;
by your Hand we took a thousand prisoners in
forty-five minutes of fighting. I lost two men,
and only three were wounded. Henry Knox described
the fray thusly; "The hurry, fright and
confusion of the enemy," he wrote, "was
not unlike that which will be when the last trump
is sounded." It was surely like that for
this old soldier! You know, Father, I've always
hated that famous painting of my army crossing
the Delaware! As if I were fool enough to stand
up in a boat!
eased back to allow winter wind FX to
GW: By the
time of Valley Forge, that bloody winter of '77,
while my men froze in the cold, the King's Army
was looting and burning our churches to supply
their troops. I saw Satan's hand in that;
are not fighting against people made of flesh
and blood, but against persons without
bodies--the evil rulers of the unseen world,
those mighty satanic beings and great evil
princes of darkness who rule this world, and
against huge numbers of wicked spirits in the
spirit world." Ephesians 6:12!
But you know that,
Lord...you wrote it!
In Philadelphia, Fat
George's troops turned a church into a riding
academy for their cavalry, burning the pews and
pulpit for fuel and putting a grog shop in the
kitchen. Over 50 non-Anglican churches were
obliterated by the British during the bitter war.
I lived with my men in the cold of Valley Forge
when I might have been warm. I made no secret of
my faith, I hid it not as some might. We still
held Sunday Service, even in the freezing cold,
and I told the men who stood shivering with me:
"To the distinguished character of a
patriot, it should be our highest glory to add
the more distinguished character of a
Your hand was there eternally, as
"Acts of God" saved us, over and over. A heavy
fog here, a fortunate flood, a bad storm which
floundered our enemies ships but left ours
afloat; I always saw you plan at work. "Praise the
Lord for He is good; His mercy endurath
forever." Yours again! Your Spirit can
to "Cheer Boys,
Cheer" in and
GW: In the
aftermath of the revolution, I saw the formation
of a strong American government, a unified state
that owed its very life to you Lord, and your
church. E Pluribus Unum...Out of many, one. In
God we Trust! I said then: "The hand of
Providence has been so conspicuous in all this,
that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks
faith, and more than wicked that has not
gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations
GW: I fought
for your ways at the Constitutional Convention,
fought to always do the right thing, the moral
thing. I knew those faces, almost every one.
Thirty of the fifty-five delegates served as my
officers in the war, and three more were my
aides! When the petty private interests and
empire builders bullied and pushed and prodded
the delegates, I held fast. I told them:
"If, to please the people, we offer what we
ourselves disapprove, how can we afterward defend
our work? Let us raise a standard to which the
wise and honest can repair; the outcome is in the
hands of God."
in & under "Johnny has Gone for a
GW: I was
weary, in poor health, but the people demanded I
go to the Presidency. (It's just as well I agreed
to do so...twice the Convention actually tried to
make me KING!) When I went to the new Office of
the President on April 1st, 1789, I had
"feelings not unlike a culprit who was going
to the gallows." I told them "integrity
and firmness is all I can promise." I was
tired, but the job was unfinished. I might have
just gone home to Mt. Vernon and lived the quiet
life I had earned, but a good farmer plows a full
row, and doesn't stop halfway done. You can't win
the war and lose the peace.
to "Hail to the
Once I was in office,
the people rejoiced, sure that my steady hand
would lead the nation. My hand, as if without the
Almighty I could do anything at all! At
Baltimore, they rang bells and fired guns. At
Philadelphia, I met mounted calvary beneath
arches of triumph. At Trenton, the ladies strewn
my path with flower petals. At Elizabeth Point,
thirteen pilots in white livery rowed me across
to celebrations in New York City, flanked by a
parade of barges and to salutes fired from
outfitted warships. More to your Glory than mine,
Father, and the ever-ready hand of Providence
that protected the nation you helped found.
Lincon's Funeral March")
After two exhausting
terms as President, I returned to Mt. Vernon
tired and worn, and three years later I passed
from that life to this. (George hushes, as if
in great pain) "'Tis well," I said
at the last, "Father of Mercies, take me to
BEAT dramatic pause; George falls naturally,
head bowed,into prayer...)
transgressions, negligences and ignorance,
and cover them all with the absolute
obedience of thy dear Son, and---
Voice of God begins softly, growing as He
recites along with George...)
those sacrifices which I have offered may be
accepted by thee, in and for the sacrifice of
Jesus Christ offered upon the cross for
awed, slows and stops, letting God
...for His sake, ease me of the burden of my
sins, and give me grace that by the call of
the Gospel I may rise from the slumber of sin
into the newness of life...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...for the sake of thy
Dear Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
my Sunday evening prayer from my youth-time
prayer book. I always knew You were
GOD: Look at
the nation, George. What do you see?
against brother. Not one nation but many groups
and powers, fighting for control, in the open and
beneath the surface. E Unum, Pluribus! They pay
lip service to you on the coins and in the state
house, but don't do what you command. At my
innaugreation, I pledged to you and kissed the
Christian Bible...little sign of that fealty
today. They chain Christ's hands and bind his
mouth! Many of the leaders rarely lead,
consulting the polls and playing the numbers...as
if a immoral thing is a right thing because too
many of the people think some of your holy
eternal Law is "old fashioned."
to "Battle Hymn of the Republic.")
GW: It reminds
me of a letter I wrote to a friend about the
Constitution that we labored to create...
structure has been erected by architects of
consummate skill and fidelity; it's
foundations are solid; it's compartments are
beautiful as well as useful; it's
arrangements are full of wisdom and order and
its defenses are impregnable from without. It
has been reared for immortality, if the works
of man may greatly aspire to such a title.
"It may, nevertheless, perish in an hour
by the folly, or corruption, or negligence of
its only keepers, the people. Republics are
created by the virtue, the public spirit, and
intelligence of the citizens. They fall when
the wise are banished from public councils,
because they dare to be honest, and the
profligates are rewarded because they flatter
the people in order to betray
fades out under this last, until very
The adversary is on
the march, Lord! Can they not see it? Many see
Your freedoms as chains, and the Devils's chains
as freedoms! Many of them are walking into the
Dark One's camp and laying down their armor! The
Dark One pulls strings high and low...
GOD: What does
an old soldier smell?
pauses a beat in recognition...looks up.
GW: How much
Bugle call, softy in the distance)
GOD: Not long
at all, George.