Abraham Lincoln

“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.”

Proclamation for a National Day of Fasting, Humiliation & Prayer, April 30, 1863

Source: Abraham Lincoln, “Proclamation Appointing a National Fast Day” in Collected Works. The Abraham Lincoln Association, Springfield, Illinois, ed. Roy P. Basler (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1953), 6:155-157. http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/...lincoln6%3A336