God and The United States



God and President Lincoln

Proclamation Appointing a National Fast Day

Washington, D.C.
March 30, 1863

Senator James Harlan of Iowa, whose daughter later married President Lincoln’s son Robert, introduced this Resolution in the Senate on March 2, 1863. The Resolution asked President Lincoln to proclaim a national day of prayer and fasting. The Resolution was adopted on March 3, and signed by Lincoln on March 30, one month before the fast day was observed.

By the President of the United States of America.
A Proclamation.

Whereas, the Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the Supreme Authority and just Government of Almighty God, in all the affairs of men and of nations, has, by a 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, insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a 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 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 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, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do, by this my proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th. day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer. And I do hereby request all the People to abstain, on that day, from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.

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

In witness 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 thirtieth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty seventh.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward, Secretary of State.

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Thanksgiving Proclamation
By Abraham Lincoln, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

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.

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 Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

 

————————————— U.S. Congressional Thanksgiving Proclamations I777 By THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS-A PROCLAMATION Forasmuch as it is the indispensable duty of all men to adore the superintending providence of Almighty God; o to acknowledge with tbeir gratitude their obligation to him for benefits received, and to implore such farther blessings as they stand in need of; o and it having pleased him in his abundant mercy not only to continue to us the innumerable bounties of his common providence but also smile upon us in the prosecution of a just and necessary war, for the defence and establishment of our unalianable rights and liberties; o particularly in that he hath been pleased in so great a measure to prosper the means used for the support of our troops and to crown our arms with most signal success: It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive powers of these United States, to set apart Thursday, the 18th day of December next, for solemn thanksgiving and praise; ” that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor”; o and that together with their sincere acknowledgments and offerings, they may join the penitent confession of their mamfold sins, whereby they had forfeited every favor, and their humble and earnest supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance; o that it may please him graciously to afford his blessings on the governments of these states respectively, and prosper the public council of the whole; o to inspire our commanders both by land and sea, and all under them, with that wisdom and fortitude which may render them fit instruments, under the providence of Almighty God, to secure for these United States the greatest of all blessings, independence and peace; o that it may please him to prosper the trade and manufactures of the people and the labor of the husbandman, that our land may yield its increase; o to take school and seminaries of education, so necessary for cultivating the principles of true liberty, virtue and piety, under his nurturing hand, and to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. And it is further recommended, that servile labor, and such recreation as, though at other times, innocent, may be unbecoming the purpose of this appointment, be omitted on so solemn an occasion. Friday, October 3lst. I777. RESOLVED, That a committee of three be appointed to prepare a recommendation to the several states, to set apart a day for thanksgiving, for the signal success, lately obtained over the enemies of these United States: The members chosen, Mr. S. Adams, Mr. R. H. Lee, and Mr. Roberdeau. Saturday, November 1st, 1777. The comittee appointed to prepare a recommendation to the several states; to set apart a day of public thanksgiving, brought in a report; which was taken into considera ion, and agreed to. Friday, November 7th.1777 . Congress ORDERED, That a duplicate of the recommendation to t he several states to set apart a day of thanksgiving, signed by the president, be sent to the several states, and to General Washington and General Gates. 1778 BY THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS-A PROCLAMATION It having pleased Almighty God, through the course of the present year, to bestow many great and manifold mercies on the people of these United States; and it being the indispensable duty of all men gratefully to acknowledge their obligations to him for benefits received: RESOLVED, That it be, and hereby is recommended to the legis- lative or executive authority of each of the said states, to appoint Wednesday, the 3oth of December next, to be observed as a day of public thanksgiving and praise, that all people may, with united hearts, on that day, express a just sense of his unmerited favors;….. 1779 BY THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS-A PROCLAMATION Whereas it becomes us humbly to approach the throne of Almighty God, with gratitude and praise for the wonders which his goodness has wrought in conducting our fore-fathers to this western world; o for his protection to them and to their posterity amidst difficulties and dangers; o for raising us, their children, from deep distress to be numbered among the nations of the earth; o and for arming the hands of just and mighty princes in our deliverance; o and especially for that he hath been pleased to grant us the enjoyments of health, and so to order the revolving seasons, that the earth hath produced her increase in abundance, blessing the labors of the husbandmen, and spreading plenty through the land; o that he hath prospered our arms and those of our ally ; been a shield to our troops in the hour of danger, pointed their swords to victory and led them in triumph over the bulwarks of the foe; o that he hath gone with those who went out into the wilderness against the savage tribes;… 1780 BY THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS-A PROCLAMATION Whereas it hath pleased Almighty God, the Father of all mercies amidst the vicissitudes and calamlties of war, to bestow blessings on the people of these states, which call for their devout and thanksful acknowledgments, more especially in the late remarkable interposition of his watchful providence, in rescuing the person of our commander in chief and the army from imminent dangers, at the moment when treason was ripened for execution; o in prospering the labors of the husbandmen, and causing the earth to yeld its increase in plentiful harvests; o and, above all, in continuing to us the enjoyment of the gospel of peace. o It is therefore recommended to the several states to set a part Thursday, the 7th day of December next, to be observed as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer; o that all the people may assemble on that day to celebrate the praises of our Divine Benefactor; o to confess our unworthiness of the least of his favors, and to offer our fervent ‘ supplications to the God of all grace; o that it may please him to pardon our heinous transgressions and incline our hearts for the future to keep all his laws; o to comfort and relieve our brethren who are any wise afliicted or distressed; o to smile upon our husbandry and trade; o to direct our public councils, and lead our forces, by land and sea, to victory; o to take our illustrious ally under his special protection, and favor our joint councils and exertions for the establishment of speedy ‘ and permanent peace; o to cherish all schools and seminaries of education, and to cause the knowledge of Christianity to spread over all the earth. Done in Congress, this I8th day of October, I780, and in the fifth year of the independence of the United States of America. Wednesday, October I8th. I780. Congress took into consideration the resolution reported for setting apart a day of thanksgiving: and prayer, and agreed to. NORTHWEST ORDINANCE July 13, 1787 An ordinance for the government of the territory of the United States Northwest of the River Ohio ARTICLE III Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged. Holy Cross Parish, Algonac, Michigan Father Gabriel Richard received the triangular plot of land on which this parish was built by way of a grant from President John Quincy Adams on April 1, 1825. This area, known as Catholic Point, contains, among other buildings a church, a rectory, a convent, the former high school, a new high school, and a grade school.

About Charles Irvin

Fr. Charlie was ordained a priest June 3, 1967 and has served as pastor of St. Mary Student Chapel in Ann Arbor, founded Holy Spirit parish in Hamburg, MI, served as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi parish in Ann Arbor and was pastor of St. Mary parish in Manchester, MI when he entered Senior Priest status in 2001. In 1999 he was appointed Founding Editor of FAITH Magazine which has grown into Faith Catholic Publishing located in Lansing, MI. He is now very active in his “retirement.”