Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/358

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Messages and Papers of the Confederacy.

By the President of the Confederate States.


Again do I call upon the people of the Confederacy — a people who believe that the Lord reigneth and that his overruling providence ordereth all things — to unite in prayer and humble submission under his chastening hand, and to beseech his favor on our suffering country.

It is meet that when trials and reverses befall us we should seek to take home to our hearts and consciences the lessons which they teach, and profit by the self-examination for which they prepare us. Had not our successes on land and sea made us self-confident and forgetful of our reliance on him; had not love of lucre eaten like a gangrene into the very heart of the land, converting too many among us into worshipers of gain and rendering them unmindful of their duty to their country, to their fellowmen, and to their God — who, then, will presume to complain that we have been chastened or to despair of our just cause and the protection of our Heavenly Father?

Let us rather receive in humble thankfulness the lesson which he has taught in our recent reverses, devoutly acknowledging that to him, and not to our own feeble arms, are due the honor and glory of victory; that from him, in his paternal providence, come the anguish and sufferings of defeat, and that, whether in victory or defeat, our humble supplications are due at his footstool.

Now, therefore, I, Jefferson Davis, President of these Confederate States, do issue this, my proclamation, setting apart Friday, the twenty-first day of August ensuing, as a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer; and I do hereby invite the people of the Confederate States to repair on that day to their respective places of public worship, and to unite in supplication for the favor and protection of that God who has hitherto conducted us safely through all the dangers that environed us.

[SEAL.] In faith whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and the seal of the Confederate States, at Richmond, this twenty-fifth day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three.

Jefferson Davis.

By the President:

J. P. Benjamin, Secretary of State.