Devotion for the Week of July 25, 2016 - PRESIDENT LINCOLN’S EFFECTIVE PROCLAMATION

PRESIDENT LINCOLN’S EFFECTIVE PROCLAMATION

          Whereas, The Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the Supreme Authority and just government of Almighty God in all affairs of men and nations, has by resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for National prayer and humiliation.

          And whereas, it is the duty of nations, as well as of men, to own 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 the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.  And inasmuch as we know that by His Divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments in this world.  May we not greatly fear that the awful calamity of the cruel war, which now isolates the land, be a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptive sins, to the needful end of our National reformation as the 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, enriched and strengthened us.  And 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 behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the Offended Power, to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

          Now, therefore, the compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do, by this my proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, April 30, 1863, as a day of National Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer.  And I do hereby request all the people to abstain on that day from all their ordinary, secular pursuits, and to unite in their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the discharge of the religious duties peoper to that solemn occasion.

          All this being done in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in hope, authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the nation will be heard on High and answered with blessings, no less the pardon of our national sins, the restoration of our divided and suffering country to its former happy condition of unity and peace.

          In witness hereof I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the Seal of the U. S. to be affixed.

          Done at the City of Washington, the 30th day of March, in the year of our Lord, 1863.

Signed by Abraham Lincoln

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