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Tony Abbott leaves the stage quoting the Bible

NEWS | John Sandeman
Tuesday 15 September 2015

In his final act as Prime Minister, Tony Abbott gave a short speech. In his final sentences he quoted the Bible.

“In my maiden speech here in this Parliament, I quoted from the first Christian service ever preached here in Australia. The reverend Richard Johnson took as his text ‘What shall I render unto the Lord for all his blessings to me?’

“At this, my final statement as Prime Minister, I say: I have rendered all and I am proud of my service. My love for this country is as strong as ever and may God bless this great Commonwealth.”

Johnson (and Abbott’s) text comes from Psalm 116:12. Johnson’s sermon was preached just over a week after the first fleet arrived, was not recorded, but it is likely that it was influenced by the next bit of the Psalm: “I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.”

In quoting only the first part of the passage, Tony Abbott is not talking about quite the same thing as Johnson; he’s not talking about salvation. But he is saying he is grateful to God, and that he did his best to serve him, and the nation.

Thank you Tony Abbott.

Image: Brian Costelloe | Flickr

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