Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Thanksgiving Proclamation

I wish all our readers a very meaningful Thanksgiving. I can think of no better way to observe the day on VP than to repeat our annual post of the Thanksgiving proclamation of one of the greatest Americans who ever lived:

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor - and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be - That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks - for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation - for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war - for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed - for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions - to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually - to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed - to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord - To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us - and generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

George Washington
No doubt those who like to believe that this country was not founded by religious men nor upon Judeo-Christian presuppositions would rather Washington had never written such a proclamation, but there it is.

I encourage each of us to take time this day to follow our first president's advice and reflect upon all that we have to be grateful for, and reflect, too, upon the nature of our relationship to the God from whom all our blessings flow.

I also urge us to take a moment to pray for those of our acquaintances who find themselves grieving a loss or suffering pain, to pray that God may hold them especially close to His bosom and give them consolation and comfort.

Finally, we should keep in mind those who languish in poverty, either physical, psychological, or spiritual and ask that God reveal how we ourselves might bring them some measure of relief.

Have a lovely Thanksgiving, one filled with the spirit of gratitude and service.