Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Thanksgiving Proclaimation...from 1888

Constant thanksgiving and gratitude are due from the American people to Almighty God for His goodness and mercy, which have followed them since the day He made them a nation and vouchsafed to them a free government. With loving kindness He has constantly led us in the way of prosperity and greatness. He has not visited with swift punishment our shortcomings, but with gracious care He has warned us of our dependence upon His forbearance and has taught us that obedience to His holy law is the price of a continuance of His precious gifts.

In acknowledgment of all that God has done for us as a nation, and to the end that on an appointed day the united prayers and praise of a grateful country may reach the throne of grace, I, Grover Cleveland, President of the United States, do hereby designate and set apart Thursday, the 29th day of November instant, as a day of thanksgiving and prayer, to be kept and observed throughout the land.

On that day let all our people suspend their ordinary work and occupations, and in their accustomed places of worship, with prayer and songs of praise, render thanks to God for all His mercies, for the abundant harvests which have rewarded the toil of the husbandman during the year that has passed, and for the rich rewards that have followed the labors of our people in their shops and their marts of trade and traffic. Let us give thanks for peace and for social order and contentment within our borders, and for our advancement in all that adds to national greatness.
And mindful of the afflictive dispensation with which a portion of our land has been visited, let us, while we humble ourselves before the power of God, acknowledge His mercy in setting bounds to the deadly march of pestilence, and let our hearts be chastened by sympathy with our fellow-countrymen who have suffered and who mourn.

And as we return thanks for all the blessings which we have received from the hands of our Heavenly Father, let us not forget that He has enjoined upon us charity; and on this day of thanksgiving let us generously remember the poor and needy, so that our tribute of praise and gratitude may be acceptable in the sight of the Lord.

Done at the city of Washington on the 1st day of November, 1888, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and thirteenth.

1 comment:

The Archer of the Forest said...

I would only add that I have a great appreciation for this mostly forgotten president if for no other reason than during the 1892 election against incumbent Benjamin Harrison (who had beaten Cleveland four years earlier by winning Indiana by massive vote fraud), Harrison's wife, Caroline, was dying of tuberculosis. Harrison did not personally campaign, and Cleveland followed suit out of sympathy to his political rival as not to exploit Mrs. Harrison's illness.

How times have changed...