According to Noah Webster’s definition in his original 1828 Dictionary, a "deist" was:
In 1909, the Reverend W. Herbert Burk formulated plans for the Washington Memorial Chapel and Carillon at Valley Forge. Of the stained-glass window, Peace at Eventide, Dr. Burk writes:
"The Daily Sacrifice" George Washington’s Sunday Evening Prayer
George Washington’s Sunday Evening Prayer
George Washington’s Monday Morning PrayerO ETERNAL AND EVERLASTING GOD, I presume to present myself this morning before thy Divine majesty, beseeching thee to accept of my humble and hearty thanks, that it hath pleased thy great goodness to keep and preserve me the night past from all the dangers poor mortals are subject to, and hast given me sweet and pleasant sleep, whereby I find my body refreshed and comforted for performing the duties of this day, in which I beseech thee to defend me from all perils of body & soul. Direct my thoughts, words and work, wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the Lamb, and purge my heart by thy Holy Spirit, from the dross of my natural corruption, that I may with more freedom of mind and liberty of will serve thee, the ever living God, in righteousness and holiness this day, and all the days of my life. Increase my faith in the sweet promises of the gospel; give me repentance from dead works; pardon my wanderings, & direct my thoughts unto thyself, the God of my salvation. Teach me how to live in thy fear, labour in thy service, and ever to run in the ways of thy commandments. Make me always watchful over my heart, that neither the terror of conscience, the loathing of holy duties, the love of sin, nor an unwillingness to depart this life, may cast me into a spiritual slumber, but daily frame me more & more into the likeness of thy son Jesus Christ, that living in thy fear, and dying in thy favour, I may in thy appointed time attain the resurrection of the just unto eternal life. Bless my family, friends & kindred. Unite us all in praising & glorifying thee in all our works kbegun, continued and ended when we shall come to make our last account before thee blessed Saviour, who hath taught us thus to pray our Father, &c.
George Washington’s Wednesday Evening PrayerHOLY AND ETERNAL LORD GOD who are the King of heaven, and the watchman of Israel, that never slumberest or sleepest, what shall we render unto thee for all thy benefits: because thou hast inclined thine ear unto me, therefore will I call on thee as long a I live, from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same let thy name be praised. Among the infinite riches of thy mercy towards me, I desire to render thanks & praise for thy merciful preservation of me this day, as well as all the days of my life; and for the many other blessings & mercies spiritual & temporal which thou hast bestowed on me, contrary to my deserving. All these thy mercies call on me to be thankful and my infirmities & wants call for a continuance of thy tender mercies: cleanse my soul, O Lord, I beseech thee, from whatever is offensive to thee, and hurtful to me, and give me what is convenient for me. What over me this night, and give me comfortable and sweet sleep to fit me for the service of the day following. Let my soul watch for the coming of the Lord Jesus; let my bed put me in mind of my grave, and my rising from there of my last resurrection; O heavenly Father, so frame this heart of mine, that I may ever delight to live according to thy will and command, in holiness and righteousness before thee all the days of my life. Let me remember, O Lord, the time will come when the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall arise and stand before the judgment seat, and give an account of whatever they have done in the body, and let me so prepare my soul, that I may do it with joy and not with grief. Bless the rulers and people of this land and forget not those who are under any affliction or oppression. Let thy favour be extended to all my relations, friends and all others who I ought to remember in my prayers and hear me I beseech thee for the sake of my dear Redeemer in whose most holy words, I farther pray, Our Father, &c.
On April 30, 1789, George Washington was sworn into office as first president with his left hand upon the Bible, opened to Genesis, between chapters 49 and 50. Genesis 49:22-25, upon which his hand lay, was Washington’s inaugural Scripture. He swore allegiance to the U.S. Constitution with his right hand upraised, the event taking place in Federal Hall, New York.
As first president of the United States, George Washington received letters of congratulations from fourteen churches. In response, he penned personal addresses to these churches. 2 Following are a number of them:
To the Directors of the Society of the United Brethren
I receive with satisfaction the congratulations of your society, and of the Brethren’s congregations in the United States of America. For you may be persuaded, that the approbation and good wishes of such a peaceable and virtuous community cannot be indifferent to me.
August 19th, 1789
I sincerely thank you for your affectionate congratulations on my election to the chief magistracy of the United States.
...The satisfaction arising from the indulgent opinion entertained by the American people of my conduct will, I trust, be some security for preventing me from doing anything, which might justly incur the forfeiture of that opinion. And the consideration, that human happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected, will always continue to prompt me to promote the progress of the former by inculcating the practice of the latter.
On this occasion, it would ill become me to conceal the joy I have felt in perceiving the fraternal affection, which appears to increase every day among the friends of genuine religion. It affords edifying prospects, indeed, to see Christians of different denominations dwell together in more charity, and conduct themselves in respect to each other with a more Christian-like spirit; than ever they have done in any former age, on in any other nation.
...I request, most reverend and respected Gentlemen, that you will accept my cordial thanks for your devout supplications to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe in behalf of me. May you, and the people you represent, be the happy subjects of the divine benedictions both here and hereafter.
Francis Asbury’s Journals
The Reverend Francis Asbury, Pioneer in American Methodism, penned the following lines in his January 4, 1800 Journal entry, regarding Washington:
The above-cited original documents of American history, amply refute the revisionists’ indoctrination that George Washington was a "deist." They validate Washington’s belief in the existence of God, his adherence to revealed religion (the Scriptures) as the Word of God; and that he was a man of fervent prayer, unabashedly professing his faith in Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour, both in private and public life. What a testimony for the founder of the American Republic under God!
(Copyright 2002-2003 by Christian Heritage Ministries)