Thanksgiving is a unique national religious holiday. It was the first religious celebration for the settling and founding of the American state. As noted in previous posts, the first Thanksgiving Day proclamation was in 1619 at the Berkeley Plantation state. The plantations were states because they formed civil societies based on natural law. Later in colonial history, the plantations began forming constitutional forms of governance as well as a confederation. In 1776, all plantation states came together to create the United States of America and to form the first national constitution. All of which, conformed to the Law of Nations.
All of the plantation states were formed based on two-part compacts. Like our national compact consisting of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, the plantation states (colonies) were founded by a written covenant. The Plymouth Combination is the most famous version.
Although Thanksgiving became a national holiday in the 1960s, there have perpetual proclamations like the Berkeley Plantation Proclamation and many national proclamations like the Continental Thanksgiving Proclamation, for example President George Washington’s Thanksgiving Day Proclamation. Throughout American history, each and every Thanksgiving Proclamation has been a call for collective gratitude to the biblical God with whom the governed consented to covenant with at the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Therefore, it behooves Americans to continue to repent of wrongs done against God and to offer thanks for helping our ancestors to gain the freedom and inherent rights. Like Esau of biblical history, we have in large measure forfeited our birthright for bread and circus. It might be a good time to reflect on how to regain that birthright of independence as defined in the natural law Declaration of Independence and the Bible.
As a starting point, we might consider the Proclamation given by President George Washington:
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 favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable 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 transgressions; 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 show 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.
Washington also was known to preach biblical sermons to the troops when he though necessary during the Revolutionary War.