Thanksgiving Proclamations – Abraham Lincoln

Thanksgiving is a time of unity when all men of various religions can gather to give thanks to God, despite their differences in understanding (Colossians 3:14-17).

Psa 67:3  Let the peoples thank You, O God; let all the peoples thank You.
Psa 67:5  Let the peoples give thanks to You, O God; let all the peoples give thanks to You.

Psa 100:1  A Psalm of praise {תודה ‘todah’} Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands (Literally all the earth).

The Hebrew word for thanksgiving is תודה ‘todah’ which literally means to raise up the hands in praise, confession, and thanksgiving.  The yearly Thanksgiving proclamations given by the President of the United States, who is the ‘head’ of the country, is literally a proclamation that the LORD God is our Lord.

Psa 33:12  Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
Psa 144:15  Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.

Thanksgiving & His mercy/grace
Psa 136:1  O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psa 136:2  O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psa 136:3  O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.

There primary Greek word translated as ‘thanks’ in the Scriptures is εὐχαριστία ‘eucharistia’ which consists of the words εὖ ‘eu’ meaning to be well off and χαρίζομαι ‘charizomai’ to dwell in grace.  χαρίζομαι ‘charizomai’ comes from the root word χάρις ‘charis’ which means grace and mercy.  Thanksgiving is a proclamation by the United States that we live by His grace and mercy.  Numerous times this concept is seen in the proclamations of the Presidents.

Another Greek word translated as ‘thanks’ is ἐξομολογέω ‘exomologeō’ which means to confess or give praise to, similar to the Hebrew word תודה ‘todah.’

Rom 14:11  For it has been written, “As I live, says the Lord, that every knee will bow to Me, and every tongue confess to God.” Isa. 45:23
Php 2:10  that at the name of Jesus “every knee should bow,” of heavenly ones, and earthly ones, and ones under the earth,
Php 2:11  and “every tongue should confess” that Jesus Christ is “Lord,” to the glory of God the Father.

Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess.  Amazingly, the Hebrew word for kneel, ברך ‘berekh’ is also translated as ‘give thanks’ (2 Samuel 14:22) as the word literally means to kneel before another and give honor to.  This is the essence of Thanksgiving.

Rom 15:9  and for the nations to glorify God for mercy, even as it has been written, “Because of this I will confess to You in the nations, and I will give praise to Your name.” Psa. 18:49

 

Thanksgiving Proclamations – Abraham Lincoln

THANKSGIVING DAY 1862 for victory in battle by ABRAHAM LINCOLN
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION

Proclamation 88 – Day of Public Thanksgiving for Victories During the Civil War
April 10, 1862
It has pleased Almighty God to vouchsafe signal victories to the land and naval forces engaged in suppressing an internal rebellion, and at the same time to avert from our country the dangers of foreign intervention and invasion.
It is therefore recommended to the people of the United States that at their next weekly assemblages in their accustomed places of public worship which shall occur after notice of this proclamation shall be have been received they especially acknowledge and render thanks to our Heavenly Fathers for these inestimable blessings, that they then and there implore spiritual consolation in behalf of all who have been brought into affliction by the casualties and calamities of sedition and civil war, and that they reverently invoke the divine guidance for our national counsels, to the end that they may speedily result in the restoration of peace, harmony, and unity throughout our borders and hasten the establishment of fraternal relations among all the countries of the earth.
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 10th day of April A.D. 1862, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-sixth.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN

THANKSGIVING DAY 1863 by ABRAHAM LINCOLN
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION

Proclamation 103 – Day of Thanksgiving, Praise, and Prayer, August 6, 1863
July 15, 1863
The 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.
In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.
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. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore if, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.
In testimony 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 3d day of October A.D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Executive Order
May 9, 1864
 To the Friends of the Union and Liberty:

Enough is known of the army operations within the last five days to claim our especial gratitude to God, while what remains undone demands our most sincere prayers to and reliance upon Him, without whom all human efforts are in vain. I recommend that all patriots, at their homes, in their places of public worship, and wherever they may be, unite in common thanksgiving and prayer to Almighty God.

Executive Order
September 3, 1864
The signal success that Divine Providence has recently vouchsafed to the operations of the United States fleet and army in the harbor of Mobile, and the reduction of Fort Powell, Fort Gaines, and Fort Morgan, and the glorious achievements of the army under Major-General Sherman in the State of Georgia, resulting in the capture of the city of Atlanta, call for devout acknowledgment to the Supreme Being, in whose hands are the destinies of nations. It is therefore requested that on next Sunday, in all places of public worship in the United States, thanksgiving be offered to Him for His mercy in preserving our national existence against the insurgent rebels who so long have been waging a cruel war against the Government of the United States for its overthrow; and also that prayer be made for the divine protection to our brave soldiers and their leaders in the field, who have so often and so gallantly periled their lives in battling with the enemy, and for blessing and comfort from the Father of Mercies to the sick, wounded, and prisoners, and to the orphans and widows of those who have fallen in the service of their country; and that He will continue to uphold the Government of the United States against all the efforts of public enemies and secret foes.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

THANKSGIVING DAY 1864
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION

It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another year, defending us with His guardian care against unfriendly designs from abroad and vouchsafing to us in His mercy many and signal victories over the enemy, who is of our own household. It has also pleased our Heavenly Father to favor as well our citizens in their homes as our soldiers in their camps and our sailors on the rivers and seas with unusual health. He has largely augmented our free population by emancipation and by immigration, while He has opened to use new sources of wealth and has crowned the labor of our workingmen in every department of industry with abundant rewards. Moreover, He has been pleased to animate and inspire our minds and hearts with fortitude, courage, and resolution sufficient for the great trial of civil war into which we have been brought by our adherence as a nation to the cause of freedom and humanity, and to afford to us reasonable hopes of an ultimate and happy deliverance from all our dangers and afflictions :
Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday in November next as a day which I desire to be observed by all my fellow-citizens, wherever they may then be, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe. And I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid that on that occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and supplications to the Great Disposer of Events for a return of the inestimable blessings of peace, union, and harmony throughout the land which it has pleased Him to assign as a dwelling place for ourselves and for our posterity throughout all generations.
In testimony 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 20th day of October, A.D. 1864, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-ninth.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

 

Thanksgiving Proclamation

 

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