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Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day

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Published by glennpease
Compiled by EDWARD M. DEEMS, A.M., PH.D.

Compiled by EDWARD M. DEEMS, A.M., PH.D.


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Published by: glennpease on Jul 20, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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THAKSGIVIG DAY Compiled by EDWARD M. DEEMS, A.M., PH.D. SUGGESTIVE THOUGHTS AD ILLUSTRATIOS (ovember) WHE, after the ingathering of the first harvest in a new world, Governor Bradford sent four men out to shoot wild fowl that the infant colony " might after a more special manner rejoice together," he little dreamed to what that pious act would grow. For many years the autumnal " feast of ingathering " was merely an occasional festival, as unexpected prosperity or unhoped-for aid in adversity moved our Pilgrim ancestors to a special act of praise. It was not until our Revolutionary War that the Feast became national, and after 1784 it was only occasionally observed except in ew England. It was our civil war which brought the people to a new sense of national oneness, and since 1863, the President of the United States has annually issued a Thanksgiving proclamation. But what President or prophet in 1864 could have dreamed that a quarter century later the lines of such a proclamation would go out into all the world, that islands in the Southern Sea, and in the broad Pacific Ocean should be summoned with us to observe a day of joyful thanksgiving? On such a day as this, when in Cuba and Hawaii and the Philippines there are hearts uplifted with thankfulness that the United States
Government exists and is theirs, the thoughtful mind cannot but occupy itself with the question, To what end is this vast and marvelous expansion of a government which a century and a half ago was not even a prophecy? To many it will seem but the action of a natural law the law of Progress ; but are there not an elect few at least who will recognize in it the workings of another natural law that of Redemption? For these two laws are equally natural and equally imperative. They rule in different spheres, but they rule none the less. And happy is that nation which has entered the higher sphere in which the law of Progress is perceived to be simply the means by which the law of Redemption shall prevail. In all ages of the, world there have been men whose function it was to redeem. Prophets, poets, law-givers, martyrs have been aware of this high calling, not as something exceptional, singling them out from all the world, but as something inevitable and universal, their singularity being but a symbol of that which should one day be the rule. From time to time there have been nations which at least fitfully and as by a flash of insight perceived that they were called to redeem the world. Israel was such a nation; from first to last, amid all its darkness, errors, shortcomings, the conviction that it was called to a work of Redemption has been an integral element in the Hebrew character, and by virtue of it the Jewish people through vicissitudes unparalleled, have remained a people. France was such a
nation for the brief wild period of the Revolution ; its inspiring spirit was the conviction that it was set for the redemption of society, its worst blunders, blun ders that were nothing short of crimes, were but a startling proof of the vital truth that the mission of Redemption must have as its basis religious and not political sanctions. That is the truth that our nation needs to learn to-day. Already it is pro foundly impressed with its calling to something other than mere Progress ; already THAKSGIVIG DAY 341 the prophetic vision that its progress is in order to Redemption is dawning upon the national consciousness. May the profound conviction that the work of Re demption is possible only in alliance with God be the gift of this Thanksgiving Day ! E. THE FIRST THAKSGIVIG I AMERICA BY HERY AUSTI

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