A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

January 6, 2012

A Vision For America

     As a young child, I was enthralled with the stories of our American Revolution; the upstart colonials who dared to take on the great British Empire in order to establish a land that was free for all, regardless of religion or economic status, and provided equal opportunity for every citizen.
     A lot of these stories were legendary:  At one of the lowest ebbs in the Revolutionary War (and there were many), George Washington courageously attacked the British contingent at Trenton on Christmas night, amidst a ferocious winter storm.  His forces were ill-equipped and poorly outfitted; many with no suitable shoes, and leaving blood stains in the snow.
     But today I want to revisit a seldom-related story, that I faintly remember hearing long ago.  And before I proceed, I have already run it through Snopes, who says it is false.  And it may very well be.  I fail to understand why a couple from California (Barbara and David Mikkelson, the founders of Snopes.com) are the undisputed authorities on every issue.  So while I respect their right to give an opinion, they are just people, after all, and therefore their opinion is just that....an opinion.   And I find it hard to believe that anyone is free from all bias.  I will freely admit that I am a Patriot, and I am biased towards the good this country represents.  And to be honest, it doesn't really matter to me if this legend turns out to be of the urban variety, or the truth.  It is a fascinating story because of the times in our nation's history that it is revived.
"The Prayer At Valley Forge" by Arnold Friberg
     Here's the story:  In the bitter winter of 1777, George Washington was desperate.  Food was scarce, the Continental Congress could not, or would not, send funds to provide provisions for his troops.  General Washington knew morale was low among his men and the colonial population.  I can find nothing that disputes the fact that the General prayed for Providence to deliver them from certain defeat.  In fact, I recommend Sacred Fire, a book that allows Washington, in his words, to express his profound faith in Divine Providence to deliver the new country of America for His purposes.   But this is where our story becomes open to debate.
     According to a newspaper article printed in 1859 by reporter Wesley Bradshaw, he received the first-person account from one Anthony Sherman, who supposedly served under Washington.  In the account, Sherman relates, "You doubtless heard the story of Washington's going to the thicket to pray in secret for aid and comfort from God, the interposition of whose Divine Providence brought us safely through the darkest days of tribulation."
     Sherman then goes on to explain that after this period of prayer, Washington revealed an angelic visitation in which he receives warnings about coming troubles for the new republic.  After repeatedly being admonished, "Son of the Republic, look and learn", the Visitor shows Washington scenes that are representative of the American Revolution (America and Europe are shown in conflict); the War Between the States (visions of a specter from Africa spreading across the divided nation, as they battle against each other); and a future conflict in which a dark cloud envelops America, and the forces of Europe, Asia and Africa are aligned against her, and millions are engaged in mortal combat.
     While this long-ago article is registered in the Library of Congress, my research says that is not conclusive proof of its validity.  But what I find interesting is the times throughout our history when the popularity of this inspirational story has been restored.  It first appeared in 1859 just prior to the War Between the States; again in 1880, 1931 and 1950.  Obviously, the nation was in peril before the outbreak of the Civil War; and 1931, we were in the midst of the Great Depression; and in 1950, the fear of Communism endangering the American way of life was just on the horizon.  I was puzzled about the appearance of this legend in 1880, but it was just prior to the assassination of President James Garfield, and we now know that throughout our history there have been "shadow entities" at work.  So perhaps this timing is not coincidental.
     Regardless, I think that the fact that this legend is now being mentioned again, has great significance.  Whether General Washington's vision is historical and true, or whether it is a mythical legend that resurfaces whenever we are on the verge of national strife, what is the harm in giving it notice?
     As Anthony Sherman relates to Reporter Bradshaw in 1859, the Angelic visitor gives this warning:
"Son of the Republic, what you have seen is thus interpreted:  Three great perils will come upon the Republic.  The most fearful is the third, but in this greatest conflict, the whole world will not prevail against her. Let every child of the Republic learn to live for his God, his land, and the Union."
     I daresay none of us could refute the possibility of coming chaos, with the world aligned against us.  So whether or not Washington was truly given a vision of America's future, or this is just a morale booster that is dusted off and presented to a nation in need of hope and encouragement, it's a message that should be heeded.  We should all learn to live for our God, our land and our Union!

Psalm 89:19      "Once you spoke in a vision, to your faithful people you said: 'I  have bestowed strength on a warrior; I have raised up a young man from the people'."

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