Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Light blogging recently as we prepare for guests at the B-Daddy household for Thanksgiving. We will miss our missionary in-laws in Lithuania, God's blessing on their work with orphans there.

I give thanks to God for personal good fortune in marrying the best wife I could ever imagine, having the love of a good family and knowing how God loves us as proved by sending his son Jesus.

I am also thankful for living in a great country, not a perfect one. I am confident that our current economic troubles will be overcome, sooner we pray, but later if necessary to correct flaws in our thinking. The people of the country have a tendency to correct the excesses of previous eras and continue to build a more perfect union of our states.

No matter our current troubles, we should remember that the modern obasevance of Thanksgiving on the last Thursday in November dates to a proclamation that was made in the midst of a bitter Civil War where brother fought against brother and friend against friend. The war destroyed a good portion of the agricultural base of the nation and killed a larger percentage of the population of any war before or since. In spite of that ongoing tragedy or perhaps because of it, Abraham Lincoln saw fit to proclaim a day of thanksgiving. Here is the original proclamation (authored by William Seward):

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they 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 next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.


  1. This should be read at Thanksgiving. It's moving, beautiful and reminds us of the sacrifice for freedom and gratitude for righteousness while fighting the good fight and requests forgiveness with humility.

    I have never read this before.

    Thank you for sharing

  2. Happy Thanksgiving, hombre! Great excerpt from President Lincoln.

  3. Link forthcoming.

    Btw, I look forward to this being read before grace by my most gracious host later this afternoon.