Giving thanks

Our friends at the Claremont Institute have posted a lovely reflection on “Giving thanks” with links to President Washington’s original 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation and President Lincoln’s 1863 reaffirmation. The Claremont reflection concludes:

As our soldiers fight and die in Iraq and around the world, we should remember the wartime wisdom of Lincoln and the founding wisdom of Washington on Thanksgiving Day. Guided by prayer, we should recall our higher purposes. We enjoy the fruits of our leisure this Thursday on account of the wisdom and sacrifices of others present and past.

Reading the Washington and Lincoln proclamations, we are in need of an explanation of “The Political Theology of Thanksgiving,” thoughtfully provided by Joseph Knippenberg.

At The Remedy, Matthew Peterson recalls the April 1777 letter from “a depressed John Adams” to his wife Abigail in which Adams concludes:

Is it not intollerable, that the opening Spring, which I should enjoy with my Wife and Children upon my little Farm, should pass away, and laugh at me, for labouring, Day after Day, and Month after Month, in a Conclave, Where neither Taste, nor Fancy, nor Reason, nor Passion, nor Appetite can be gratified?

Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present Generation, to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good Use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it.

We give thanks, and wish you a happy Thanksgiving.

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