Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving any who happen by.

In thinking lately of our country, and of the difficulty in giving thanks for recent events, one could not be blamed for seeking solace in George Washington's first Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789. But there is also this, undated, from his prayer journal, a prayer for Guidance:

O eternal and everlasting God, I presume to present myself this morning before thy Divine majesty, beseeching thee to accept of my humble and hearty thanks, that it hath pleased thy great goodness to keep and preserve me the night past from all the dangers poor mortals are subject to, and has given me sweet and pleasant sleep, whereby I find my body refreshed and comforted for performing the duties of this day, in which I beseech thee to defend me from all perils of body and soul....

Increase my faith in the sweet promises of the gospel; give me repentance from dead works; pardon my wanderings, and direct my thoughts unto thyself, the God of my salvation; teach me how to live in thy fear, labor in thy service, and ever to run in the ways of thy commandments; make me always watchful over my heart, that neither the terrors of conscience, the loathing of holy duties, the love of sin, nor an unwillingness to depart this life, may cast me into a spiritual slumber, but daily frame me more and more into the likeness of thy son Jesus Christ, that living in thy fear, and dying in thy favor, I may in thy appointed time attain the resurrection of the just unto eternal life bless my family, friends, and kindred.

Yes, we are a different country.


Lydia McGrew said...

Golly, he doesn't _sound_ like a deist, does he? (Okay, I haven't researched it, but I'm alluding to the casual way in which those who wish to downplay the Christian connections of our country's founding will say that the founders were all or mostly deists.)

I can't help noting the phrases from the Book of Common prayer--"humble and hearty thanks," "all perils of body and soul."

Happy Thanksgiving, Bill!

William Luse said...

Even in the Thanksgiving Proclamation I thought I detected echoes of that Book's cadences. It was, after all, the heritage of every Englishman who left to come here. Maybe it should be thought of as one of our founding documents.

Happy Thanksgiving