Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company & Conversation by George Washington

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Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company & Conversation by George Washington

Written by: Prophecy in the News

Why do great nations fall? Historians attribute the collapse of great nations and various civilizations to many different things. Disease, political corruption, mass immigration, economic stagnation, climate change, and foreign invasion to name a few. Society can blame their disasters on many things, but in most circumstances, the failure of mankind comes from the result of failed morals.

In 1776, the first volume of a six-volume work by the English historian, Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), was published. This work was titled, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. In this work, Gibbon identified five major causes behind the fall of one of history’s greatest empires. Declining demographics, insufficient technology or climate change didn’t make the list for their downfall. The first reason for this decline was the breakdown of the family. Gibbon also listed increased taxation, insatiable craving for pleasure, an unsustainable buildup of armaments, and the decay of religion.

According to Gibbon, the root cause of the collapse of the Roman society, was their loss of civic virtue and individual morality. Gibbon believed the laws of morality were as unchanging as the laws of mathematics and physics. But in the great nation of America, we fail to learn from history, we ignore it, and in many cases, we don’t even care. We are quick to take down the memorials and statues from our past, so we don’t have to be reminded of how hard we have struggled to become a free nation for all.

Edmund Burke (1729-1797), the English statesman and colleague of Gibbon, summarized his beliefs about morality in a letter to the sheriffs of Bristol in 1777. In this letter he wrote, “All who have ever written on government are unanimous, that among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.”

Those were powerful words. Think about it… “When people are generally corrupt, liberty (freedom) cannot long exist.”

In the dictionary, the word “liberty” means: the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views.

What immediately came to my mind was the way that those who run Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, the media and other social outlets, put their oppressive restrictions on us, “We The People” to try and mold us to fit their way of life, their behavior and their political views. We, especially Christians in general, are no longer allowed to fully express the way we believe. When we try, they use their authoritative power to shut us down and demonize us. Those authoritative figures and companies are corrupt, yet have many excuses to justify it.

The first president of the United States, George Washington, said in his famous farewell address, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”

You see, Gibbon, Burke and Washington believed that the safeguards of society were not military legions or productive merchants or even prosperous consumers, but “high morals and sincere religion.” In our America today, most politicians and educators reject this belief. Morals in America have simply been thrown out the window. Sadly, we have become a society of “anything goes.” Will America experience a collapse more devastating than the fall of Rome? Yes, we believe it will because our nation has rejected the foundation of national stability: the laws of morality.

1 Corinthians 15:33 (KJV) says, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”

Every single day as Christians, we continue to “KEEP LOOKING UP” for the return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Men have been looking for His return for centuries and we all know someday He will return for His bride, those who have been “born again” and have Him in their hearts. The signs of the time certainly look like that return is near, but until that day, we are to do our best to continue to preach the Gospel of salvation and do our part in the changing of our society for the better. We have the opportunity to bring morals back to our nation, one person at a time. You ask yourself, how in the world can I make a difference? First, your vote in local and presidential elections gives you a voice. Next, you can make your voice known on social media. Tell others you are a Christian and be proud of it. Support Facebook and Twitter pages such as the ones we have at Prophecy in the News. Share our messages of Jesus with those around the world, to your friends and family. Working together is the only way we can change the world for the better. Let’s bring our morals as Christians to the mass of people. Last, and one of the most important things you can do, be a mentor to the young people in your life. Show them that the way of the world will take them down a path of heartache. There is always hope in Jesus Christ!

When George Washington, c.1747, was fourteen or fifteen years old, he copied by hand 110 rules for polite living. These maxims originated in France in the 1600s. They reflect the good manners, respectfulness, and kindness that Washington was known for in his adult life. They are known as the “Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company & Conversation.” You may get a chuckle out of a few of them, but how true they are.

  • Every action done in company ought to be with some sign of respect to those that are present.
  • If you cough, sneeze, sign or yarn, do it not loud but privately, and speak not in your yarning, but put your handkerchief or hand before your face and turn aside.
  • Shake not the head, feet, or legs; roll not the eyes; lift not one eyebrow higher than the other, wry not the mouth, and bedew no man’s face with your spittle by approaching too near him when you speak.
  • Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for ‘tis better to be alone than in bad company.
  • Speak not injurious words neither in jest nor earnest; scoff at none although they give occasion.
  • Think before you speak, pronounce not imperfectly, nor bring out your words too hastily, but orderly and distinctly.
  • When another speaks, be attentive yourself and disturb not the audience. If any hesitate in his words, help him not nor prompt him without desired. Interrupt him not, nor answer him till his speech be ended.
  • Be not curious to know the affairs of others, neither approach those that speak in private.
  • Undertake not what you cannot perform but be careful to keep your promise.
  • Speak not evil of the absent, for it is unjust.
  • Being set at meat scratch not, neither spit, cough or blow your nose except there’s a necessity for it.
  • Put not another bite into your mouth ‘til the former be swallowed. Let not your morsels be too big for the jowls.
  • If others talk at table be attentive, but talk not with meat in your mouth.
  • When you speak of God or His attributes, let it be seriously and with reverence. Honor and obey your natural parents although they be poor.
  • Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.

Blessings from God comes from obedience to God’s laws, and curses come from disobedience. Do your part to make our world a better place. God will reward you for it in heaven someday!


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Prophecy in the News

Prophecy in the News