An Easter message of faith and commitment to religious liberty from George Washington.
President George Washington addresses the United Baptist Church in Virginia, May, 1789.
Source: George Washington the Christian, by William Johnson, written 1919.
"After we had, by the smiles of Heaven on our exertions, obtained the object for which we contended, I retired at the conclusion of the war, with the idea that my country could have no further occasion for my services. and with the intention of never again entering into public life. but when the exigencies of my country seamed to require me once more to engage in public affairs, an honest conviction of duty superceded my former resolution and became my apology for deviating from the happy plan which I adopted.
If I could have entertained the slightest apprehension that the constitution framed in the convention where I had the honor to preside might possibly endanger the religious rights of any ecclesiastical society, certainly I would never have placed my signature to it, and if I could now conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny and every species of religious persecution. For you doubtless remember, that I have often expressed my sentiments that every man conducting himself as a good citizen, and being accountable to God alone for his religious opinions. out to be protected in worshiping the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience."-President George Washington