The Fruitful Fields And Healthful Skies Of Our Beneficent Father
President Abraham Lincoln, on October 3, 1863, 150 years ago,in the midst of the greatest conflict our native land has endured thus far, invited the nation to embrace a spirit of Thanksgiving to our Creator, the God of us all.
From this time forward, the citizens of the United States of America would be asked to pause each fourth Thursday in November to ponder and consider their many blessings - seen and unseen.
Listen with your heart to President Lincoln's words so many years ago.
"This year that is drawing toward 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 can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.......
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...."
Yesterday, Thanksgiving Day 2013, we, as an American people, had the most precious privilege of celebrating the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation of October 3, 1863.
May God be praised for our native land, a promised land to us, the United States of America!