I awoke this morning way earlier than I wanted to. You see, I have today off from both the happy obligations that consume most of my waking moments and keep me from my favorite things, my wife and children.
Alright – I was also really looking forward to sleeping in. But something has been bouncing around inside my head since I read it yesterday on the show. (Listen by clicking here)
It’s George Washington’s First Presidential Proclamation of Thanksgiving.
Specifically, it is the phrase “signal favors”.
It appears in the first paragraph of the first Thanksgiving Day Proclamation:
“…to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God…”
Someday I’ll write a book about this, but for now I just wanted to let you know that I’m not kidding when I say that my show is my therapy. That’s because talking with you each morning fills me with hope. It reminds me that there is a God, that He rules in heaven, and that He alone has given us “…an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for [our] safety and happiness.”
That’s because I count you as a “signal favor”: a sign from God that He loves me and cares about my liberty enough to send me daily reminders in human flesh.
So I wish you and yours a Very Happy Thanksgiving.
I also encourage you to take some time this Thanksgiving Day to recount to each other “the many and signal favors of Almighty God.”
In His Service,
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 and 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 favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, 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 has 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 trangressions; 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 shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, 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.