Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Thanksgiving Proclamation - U.S. Congress 1782

For your Thanksgiving edification, I thought I'd reproduce one of the earliest Thanksgiving proclamations issues from the Continental Congress of the United States in 1782. Given that many today claim that the Christian roots of this country are in doubt, I offer up just one piece of evidence that Christianity was not merely deemed important, but the congress encouraged all individuals to "testify to their gratitude to God for his goodness" and made the even bolder declaration that this could be done "by promoting... the practice of true and undefiled religion, which is the great foundation of public prosperity and national happiness."
This is taken from a full class I gave entitled "Thanksgiving and America's Christian Heritage." You may download this class at http://bit.ly/69hQ0P, but hurry - it won't be available for long!
IT being the indispensable duty of all Nations, not only to offer up their supplications to ALMIGHTY GOD, the giver of all good, for his gracious assistance in a time of distress, but also in a solemn and public manner to give him praise for his goodness in general, and especially for great and signal interpositions of his providence in their behalf: Therefore the United States in Congress assembled, taking into their consideration the many instances of divine goodness to these States, in the course of the important conflict in which they have been so long engaged----
Do hereby recommend to the inhabitants of these States in general, to observe, and request the several States to interpose their authority in appointing and commanding the observation of THURSDAY the twenty-eight day of NOVEMBER next, as a day of solemn THANKSGIVING to GOD for all his mercies: and they do further recommend to all ranks, to testify to their gratitude to GOD for his goodness, by a cheerful obedience of his laws, and by promoting, each in his station, and by his influence, the practice of true and undefiled religion, which is the great foundation of public prosperity and national happiness.
Done in Congress, at Philadelphia, the eleventh day of October, AD 1782.

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