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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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President Grover Cleveland’s Thanksgiving Day Proclamation

Grover Cleveland

By the President of the United States:

The goodness and the mercy of God, which have followed the American people during all the days of the past year claim our grateful recognition and humble acknowledgment. By His omnipotent power He has protected us from war and pestilence and from every national calamity; by His gracious favor the earth has yielded a generous return to the labor of the husbandman, and every path of honest toil has led to comfort and contentment; by His loving kindness the hearts of our people have been replenished with fraternal sentiment and patriotic endeavor, and by His Fatherly guidance we have been directed in the way of national prosperity.

To the end that we may with one accord testify our gratitude for all these blessings, I, Grover Cleveland, President of the United States, do hereby designate and set apart Thursday, the twenty-fourth day of November next as a day of Thanksgiving and Prayer, to be observed by all the people of the land.

On the day let all secular work and employment be suspended; and let our people assemble in their accustomed places of worship and with prayer and songs of praise, give thanks to our Heavenly Father for all that He has done for us while we implore the forgiveness of our sins and a continuance of His mercy.

Let families and kindred be reunited on that day and let their hearts, filled with kindly cheer and affectionate reminiscence, be turned to the source of all their pleasures and to the Giver of all that makes the day bright and joyous.

And in the midst of our worship and enjoyments let us remember the poor, the needy, and the unfortunate; and by our gifts of charity and ready benevolence let us increase the number of those who with grateful hearts shall join in our Thanksgiving.

In witness whereof I have set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be hereunto affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this twenty-fifth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and twelfth.

President James Madison Proclaims A Day Of Thanksgiving

James Madison

THANKSGIVING DAY 1814

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION

The two Houses of the National Legislature having by a joint resolution expressed their desire that in the present time of public calamity and war a day may be recommended to be observed by the people of the United States as a day of public humiliation and fasting and of prayer to Almighty God for the safety and welfare of these States, His blessing on their arms, and a speedy restoration of peace, I have deemed it proper by this proclamation to recommend that Thursday, the 12th of January next, be set apart as a day on which all may have an opportunity of voluntarily offering at the same time in their respective religious assemblies their humble adoration to the Great Sovereign of the Universe, of confessing their sins and transgressions, and of strengthening their vows of repentance and amendment. They will be invited by the same solemn occasion to call to mind the distinguished favors conferred on the American people in the general health which has been enjoyed, in the abundant fruits of the season, in the progress of the arts instrumental to their comfort, their prosperity, and their security, and in the victories which have so powerfully contributed to the defense and protection of our country, a devout thankfulness for all which ought to be mingled with their supplications to the Beneficent Parent of the Human Race that He would be graciously pleased to pardon all their offenses against Him; to support and animate them in the discharge of their respective duties; to continue to them the precious advantages flowing from political institutions so auspicious to their safety against dangers from abroad, to their tranquillity at home, and to their liberties, civil and religious; and that He would in a special manner preside over the nation in its public councils and constituted authorities, giving wisdom to its measures and success to its arms in maintaining its rights and in overcoming all hostile designs and attempts against it; and, finally, that by inspiring the enemy with dispositions favorable to a just and reasonable peace its blessings may be speedily and happily restores.

Given at the city of Washington, the 16th day of November, 1814, and of the Independence of the United States the thirty-eighth.

JAMES MADISON

A Thanksgiving Day Proclamation From President George Washington

George Washington

THANKSGIVING DAY 1789

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor – and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be – That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks – for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation – for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war –for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed – for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions – to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually – to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed – to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord – To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us – and generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

GO. WASHINGTON.

George Washington On The Duties Of Religion

George Washington

Quoting George Washington:

“While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.” (The Writings of Washington, pp. 342-343)

George Washington On Saving The People From Tyranny

General George Washington

Quoting George Washington:

“We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die: Our own Country’s Honor, all call upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions — The Eyes of all our Countrymen are now upon us, and we shall have their blessings, and praises, if happily we are the instruments of saving them from the Tyranny mediated against them.” (George Washington, General Orders, July 2, 1776)

America: Keeping To The Road

George Washington

Quoting George Washington:

“No country upon earth ever had it more in its power to attain these blessings than United America. Wondrously strange, then, and much to be regretted indeed would it be, were we to neglect the means and to depart from the road which Providence has pointed us to so plainly.”

Washington On The Foundation Of National Policy

George Washington

Quoting George Washington:

“(T)he foundation of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality; …the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained…” (First Inaugural, April 30 1789)

A Revolutionary Season In American Politics

 

Image of Lew Rockwell

Lew Rockwell

 

American politics has an educational value all its own if there is anything positive to be said about it at all. Elections encourage people to focus their minds and therefore, become more knowledgeable of what the politicians are actually doing in Washington. Perhaps, this time, Americans have learned that they cannot just wait till every election year rolls around to become involved in how we are being governed.  Lew Rockwell, who is president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, editor of LewRockwell.com, and the author of Speaking of Liberty, writes that:

It’s another revolutionary season in American politics, with voters preparing to do everything they can within the structure of the law to throw out the bad guys and the bad system they represent. The focus is on this amorphous thing called the Tea Party, which embodies a huge range of political impulses from libertarian to authoritarian, united under the common belief that everything is going wrong in Washington, with a common goal of upending the status quo. . . .

The health-care bill is also a source of American public anger. People are not deceived into believing that whatever reforms we are getting are going to fix the problems of the current system; they will make them worse. As it is, the freedom remaining in the system is the only reason that the system serves us at all. Take that away, and you take away a lifeline.

The revolt, then, is in high gear. It’s not the first time, and it won’t be the last. The governed have long been very unhappy about the government, and they periodically wake up and seek to change it. It’s been some 16 years since the last go-round of such revolutionary sentiment. It is arguably stronger today than it was back in 1994.

The good aspects of this have nothing to do with political outcomes, despite what people believe. The political environment focuses the mind on important issues like freedom, economics, culture, power and its uses, and the role of the state. As they debate with their neighbors, follow election coverage, listen to the candidates, and watch the process, people learn and study and, most importantly, think and rethink.

If you begin with a skeptical attitude toward the government, watching and thinking can lead to a radicalization and ultimate embrace of a consistent opposition to government involvement. This is why election season always ends up creating a huge flood of new libertarians who buy books, feel the inspiration to get active (perhaps for the first time), and dedicate themselves to reducing the power of the state in whatever way they can.

Continue reading. . . .

Lame-Ducks Can Be Expensive

 

Jim DeMint headshot

Jim Demint

 

It’s been reported that Democrats are considering as many as 20 pieces of legislation to bring up for a vote during the lame-duck session following this election.  This must not happen.  We must stop Congress from wasting billions of dollars on pork-barrel projects.  Jim Demint writes:

Some companies have a policy that once someone is fired, they aren’t allowed back on the premises out of fear they might do further damage to the company. It’s too bad Congress doesn’t have the same policy. Because before they’re replaced in January, all of the Democrats who are put out of a job in November will be able to come back and rob the nation blind.

More than a dozen senators will come back to Washington and decide how much more tax money to take from Americans, without being accountable to any of them. Higher taxes, cap-and-trade, amnesty, and card check will be top-priority items for the Fired Congress, otherwise known as the lame-duck Congress. They’re also likely to roll unfinished appropriations bills into a massive, pork-stuffed omnibus to snag every last possible earmark on their way out of Washington.

Continue reading. . . .

George Washington On The Conduct Of Americans

George Washington

Quoting George Washington:

“It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn.”

George Washington On Immigration

April 30: George Washington becomes the first ...

George Washington

Quoting George Washington:

“The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.”

Law Would Require Children To Be Questioned About Sexual Identity

Last Thursday, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee passed a bill to require federal health officials to question anyone seeking health care in community health centers about their sexual orientation and “gender identity.” As a former principal in the public schools, I was appalled to learn that this new law would require questioning school children, in their in-school health clinics; about their “gender identity” and asking if they are gay, lesbian, or bisexual. This is simply a recruiting strategy by the homosexual lobby in Washington to plant the seeds of uncertainty in the minds of children at an early age when they are not developmentally ready to make accurate assessments of this nature. This law is a deceptive means to undermine the influence of biblical family values by making the alternatives seem to be morally equal choices. Do you want the schools asking your child these questions?  Is this a proper role of government?

When The Constitution Becomes Meaningless

Thomas Sowell

From the pen of the senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust, Thomas Sowell:

How did we get to the point where many people feel that the America they have known is being replaced by a very different kind of country, with not only different kinds of policies but very different values and ways of governing?

Something of this magnitude does not happen all at once or in just one administration in Washington. What we are seeing is the culmination of many trends in many aspects of American life that go back for years.

Neither the Constitution of the United States nor the institutions set up by that Constitution are enough to ensure the continuance of a free, self-governing nation. When Benjamin Franklin was asked what members of the Constitution Convention were creating, he replied, “A republic, madam, if you can keep it.”

In other words, a Constitutional government does not depend on the Constitution but on us. To the extent that we allow clever people to circumvent the Constitution, while dazzling us with rhetoric, the Constitution will become just a meaningless piece of paper, as our freedoms are stolen from us, much as a pick-pocket would steal our wallet while we are distracted by other things.

Continue reading. . . .

A Sermon For Freedom

Star Parker

When he founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was urged to drop the “Christian” label in order not to offend northern liberals. King refused to yield on this point. Star Parker, who is the founder and president of CURE, the Coalition for Urban Renewal & Education, writes:

August 28 marks the 47th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream speech.”

On that steamy summer day in 1963, hundreds of thousands of Americans, black and white, converged on the mall in Washington and heard this black pastor deliver what was essentially a sermon for freedom.

Compared to the unrest then on university campuses, violent outbreaks in urban areas, and the protests of the civil rights movement, today’s turmoil seems relatively sedate.

Nevertheless, we do live today in a deeply troubled nation and it’s instructive to think about what has changed since the sixties and what hasn’t.

One constant is the turmoil. It’s tempting to think that normal is times when things smoothly buzz along – but this is an illusion. The beauty of freedom is openness for dissent and discussion of life’s endless problems and ambiguities.

What changes is what we argue about and how we define our problems. And one notable contrast between today and the sixties is our sense of religion and its relationship to the freedom we so cherish.

Continue reading. . . .

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