Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863
“It is the duty of nations as well as of men to swear their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in holy scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord.“We know that by his divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world. May we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people.“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown.“But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.“It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore, invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”

Signed: A. LincolnOctober 3, 1863


Debbie C. said...

I absolutely love this and am struck by just how far we have veered off this course as a nation. God has truly been blessing us over and over again, now it's our turn to bless Him.

Patrice said...

This was great. I just read a book to my students about Sarah Hale. She is the lady who wrote letters to about 8 presidents asking them to make Thanksgiving a National Holiday. They all said, "No!" until Lincoln. She spent more than 30 something years writing those letters, but never gave up until she got the answer she desired. Thank God for men and women of perseverance and determination! May we all learn from those who have gone before and set the standard!

Debbie P. said...

I often wonder what it would take to get our nation back to it's godly roots. It is so awesome to be reminded just how this nation started, putting God first. I agree with you Patrice, we are so blessed to have had people with perseverance and faith in our nation's heritage.