It can hardly be doubted that God’s providence had a lot to do with the victory of the American colonists in their war of independence against Great Britain, the world’s mightiest power. The colonies had been founded by those with deep Biblical convictions. The Puritans in New England had come to the New World to establish a Bible commonwealth, in which God’s Word would reign supreme in the lives of its citizens.
When George III imposed his tyranny over the colonies, the voices from the pulpits were loud and unequivocal. John Calvin, in his Institutes, had preached that it was lawful for a people to overthrow a tyrannical system of government that made a mockery of God’s law. In his Prefatory Address to the King of France, Calvin wrote in 1536:
Calvin further wrote:
Thus, the colonists believed that it was their duty to oppose a tyranny that violated God’s law and the concept of Christian freedom. This was the spiritual resolve that led the leaders of the colonies to write the Declaration of Independence.
George Washington, of all our great leaders, was certainly blessed with God’s providence. By all accounts, he should have been killed in the French and Indian War (1754-1763), but was miraculously saved. At the Battle at the Monongahela, Washington and the British army were ambushed by the French. Every officer on horseback was killed except Washington. He later wrote to his brother John on July 18, 1755:
Washington was only 23 when he faced that ordeal of death on the battlefield. He emerged unscathed with his faith deeper and stronger than ever. God had protected him, and he became the military leader of the greatest war for independence ever fought in all of history. On June 1, 1774, when the Colonies were seeking God’s will in making their momentous decision to sever their ties with England, Washington wrote in his diary: “Went to church and fasted all day.”
When he became Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army he appointed chaplains for every regiment, recognizing that his men needed spiritual nourishment as well as the bodily kind, for this was a war that could not be won without miracles.
One such miracle occurred on August 27, 1776. British General Howe had trapped Washington and his 8,000 troops on Brooklyn Heights on Long Island, and he intended to advance the next morning to destroy them. But Washington gathered every vessel he could find and spent all night ferrying his men across the East River. In the morning there was still a large number of soldiers facing annihilation by Howe. But a heavy fog descended on the area enabling the rest of Washington’s troops to escape the British trap. That too was nothing less than a miracle!
When Washington became our first President under the new Constitution of the United States, he said at his Inaugural Address:
Many of our legislators and judges seem to have forgotten what Washington said. It is up to us to restore to America its Godly heritage and to never forget the miracles that made us the great nation that we have become.
About the Author
Sam Blumenfeld has written eight books on education, including his latest book, The Marlowe-Shakespeare Connection.