Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Source of Abe Lincoln's Thanksgiving

From our country's early history, the Thanksgiving holiday was celebrated in many individual states. Finally in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation instituting the National Day of Thanksgiving as a official holiday. The October 3, 1863 proclamation began:
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.
The empty suit currently occupying the White House often compares himself to Lincoln (aided by his adoring media), yet these words would be foreign to him. We've previously documented the differences between BHO and Lincoln on our National Day of Prayer. When asked by a reporter for a self-assessment in comparison with former leaders, BHO credited Lincoln as being only one of three presidents that has been as good a president as himself. The other two were FDR, whose war on free enterprise led to the Great Depression, and LBJ, whose "War on Poverty" has cost the country trillions of dollars and actually increased the poverty levels.

Yet, when our nation marked the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address earlier this week, BHO was a no-show. He did join with many other politicians, celebrities and others in filming a recital of the address to encourage the others to memorize the speech. Unlike every other participant however, he purposely left out the words "under God" in his version of the address. While Lincoln encouraged and defended religious freedom, BHO has used his influence to suppress freedom of belief and speech in the military, government, schools and other public venues. To Obama, it is the federal government rather than the Creator that is autonomous and responsible for the blessings we enjoy.

Further evidence for President Lincoln's reliance on the Almighty is seen in his proclamation issued the following year (Proclamation 118 on Thanksgiving Day, October 20, 1864).

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another year, defending us with His guardian care against unfriendly designs from abroad and vouchsafing to us in His mercy many and signal victories over the enemy, who is of our own household. It has also pleased our Heavenly Father to favor as well our citizens in their homes as our soldiers in their camps and our sailors on the rivers and seas with unusual health. He has largely augmented our free population by emancipation and by immigration, while He has opened to us new sources of wealth and has crowned the labor of our workingmen in every department of industry with abundant rewards. Moreover, He has been pleased to animate and inspire our minds and hearts with fortitude, courage, and resolution sufficient for the great trial of civil war into which we have been brought by our adherence as a nation to the cause of freedom and humanity, and to afford to us reasonable hopes of an ultimate and happy deliverance from all our dangers and afflictions:

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday in November next as a day which I desire to be observed by all my fellow-citizens, wherever they may then be, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe. And I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid that on that occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and supplications to the Great Disposer of Events for a return of the inestimable blessings of peace, union, and harmony throughout the land which it has pleased Him to assign as a dwelling place for ourselves and for our posterity throughout all generations.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 20th day of October, AD 1864, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-ninth.

By the President: ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

Secretary of State

Unfortunately, the moral state our nation has deteriorated much over the past century. We must hope and pray that our nation will return to the worldview of reliance on God rather than government or self.

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