Proclamation for a National Day
of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer
President Abraham Lincoln
April 30, 1863
"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven.
We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity.
We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown.
But we have forgotten God.
We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied
and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness
of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and
virtue of our own.
Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the
necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!
It behooves us, then to humble ourselves before the offended Power,
to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness."