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Washington's Habits Of Devotion

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

MR. ROBERT LEWIS, a nephew of George Washington and his private secretary during the first part of his Presidency, is the authority for the statement, that it was Washington's custom to enter his library between four and five o'clock in the morning to read a chapter in the Bible, and, with the open book before him, to kneel down and pray earnestly to God, committing himself and the young nation to Divine care and guidance. And at the close of the day, when the work was done he would kneel in prayer, returning thanks for the blessings that had been received, and give himself up to heaven's watch-care for the night.

It is not the occasional prayer or act of benevolence that is of value, but the habitual acts of devotion and charity which tell in the development of a stalwart Christian character. There are some who overestimate the value of routine observances in religion, but equally to blame are those who have no set time for religious devotion. The Creator has set times for about everything in Nature; we know when the sun and moon will rise and set; when the flowers will bloom, and the harvests ripen ; when the tides will ebb or flow ; when the birds will fly away from us, and when they will return. Analogy suggests set times for religious devotion and service. There is no more reason why we should arise in the morning, eat our meals through the day, go to and return from our secular work at the same hour each day, than that we should have set times for the reading of the Scripture, for prayer, and for the worship of God. When there is no special inclination to do so, a systematic observance of Christian duty will often inspire the soul with the loftiest sentiment and refresh it with richest food. In this fast age, when cars, ships, horses and men are striving to reach such high speed, there are too many who will not stop long enough before beginning their earthly employments to say, " Give us this day our daily bread." A greater attention paid to daily observance of religious duty would bring increased power and usefulness to the individual and to the Church.

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