I shall need too the favour of that being in whose hands we are: who led our fathers, as Israel of old, from their native land; and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries & comforts of life; who has covered our infancy with his providence, & our riper years with his wisdom & power: & to whose goodness I ask you to join in supplications with me, that he will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils, & prosper their measures, that whatsoever they do shall result in your good, & shall secure to you the peace, friendship, & approbation of all nations.
Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1805
Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Wise leaders freely acknowledge the need of a higher power.
In the previous post, Thomas Jefferson asked his constituent’s help in his second term. Now, he asked God’s. He affirmed God’s hand in establishing, protecting, provisioning and empowering America.
He asked their prayers be added to his, for enlightened leaders, guidance in their debates, and success in their efforts. The citizens’ good and peace with other nations were the goals.
While the President was not a Christian, neither was he a deist, as often described. Deists held the “clockmaker” doctrine, that God made the universe (the clock), wound it up, and left it to run itself. Jefferson believed in a more benevolent God, one involved in human affairs and who rewarded in an afterlife based on good deeds in this one.