“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, the 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 God that made us! It behooves us, then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.
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 next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”
— April 30, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln’s Proclamation for a National Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer
Editor’s Note: God has been so gracious to us as people. Unfortunately, we have enjoyed the “continued blessing” but have neglected God in many, many ways. May God help us to return to the roots of Lincoln’s majestic declaration and honor Him with “thanksgiving” not “Turkey Day!”