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Lincoln's Proclamation

At a critical moment in our nation's history God raised up a spiritual leader to guide us through our most perilous times. Abraham Lincoln, discerning the spiritual condition of the country, called for a time of humiliation, prayer and fasting. The Senate unanimously endorsed his proclamation. We are again passing through perilous times. Pray for a leader of similar convictions to rise to lead us in this present hour of need.

Lincoln's Proclamation of Humiliation, Prayer and Fasting

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 30th day of March, A. D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-seventh.

- ABRAHAM LINCOLN

By the President:

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address

The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh."

If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another

drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

Washington's Inaugural Address

It would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official Act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the Universe, who presides in the Councils of Nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the People of the United States, a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes: and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success, the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own; nor those of my fellow-citizens at large, less than either. No People can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency. Since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven, can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained:

George Washington's Farewell Address

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensablee supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness – these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens...Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

- George Washington, Farewell Address 1796

The Punishment of Samaria (Isaiah 9:8-21)

8The Lord sent a word against Jacob,

And it has fallen on Israel.

9All the people will know—

Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria—

Who say in pride and arrogance of heart:

10“The bricks have fallen down,

But we will rebuild with hewn stones;

The sycamores are cut down,

But we will replace them with cedars.”

11Therefore the Lord shall set up

The adversaries of Rezin against him,

And spur his enemies on,

12The Syrians before and the Philistines behind;

And they shall devour Israel with an open mouth.

For all this His anger is not turned away,

But His hand is stretched out still.

13For the people do not turn to Him who strikes them,

Nor do they seek the Lord of hosts.

14Therefore the Lord will cut off head and tail from Israel,

Palm branch and bulrush in one day.

15The elder and honorable, he is the head;

The prophet who teaches lies, he is the tail.

16For the leaders of this people cause them to err,

And those who are led by them are destroyed.

17Therefore the Lord will have no joy in their young men,

Nor have mercy on their fatherless and widows;

For everyone is a hypocrite and an evildoer,

And every mouth speaks folly.

For all this His anger is not turned away,

But His hand is stretched out still.

18For wickedness burns as the fire;

It shall devour the briers and thorns,

And kindle in the thickets of the forest;

They shall mount up like rising smoke.

19Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts

The land is burned up,

And the people shall be as fuel for the fire;

No man shall spare his brother.

20And he shall snatch on the right hand

And be hungry;

He shall devour on the left hand

And not be satisfied;

Every man shall eat the flesh of his own arm.

21Manasseh shall devour Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh;

Together they shall be against Judah.

For all this His anger is not turned away,

But His hand is stretched out still.

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