Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/443

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First Congress.

ness of his goodness and majesty of his power, that we may be safely and successfully led, through the chastenings to which we are being subjected, to the attainment of an honorable peace; so that while we enjoy the blessings of a free and happy government we may ascribe to him the honor and the glory of our independence and prosperity."

A recommendation so congenial to the feelings of the people will receive their hearty concurrence; and it is a grateful duty to the Executive to unite with their representatives in inviting them to meet in the courts of the Most High. Recent events awaken fresh gratitude to the Supreme Ruler of nations. Our enemies have suffered repeated defeats, and a nefarious scheme to burn and plunder our capital, and to destroy our civil government by putting to death the chosen servants of the people, has been baffled and set at naught. Our armies have been strengthened, our finances promise rapid progress to a satisfactory condition, and our whole country is animated with a hopeful spirit and a fixed determination to achieve independence.

In these circumstances it becomes us, with thankful hearts, to bow ourselves before the throne of the Most High, and, while gratefully acknowledging so many mercies, confess that our sins as a people have justly exposed us to his chastisement. Let us recognize the sufferings which we have been called upon to endure, as administered by a Fatherly hand for our improvement, and with resolute courage and patient endurance let us wait on him for our deliverance.

In furtherance of these objects, now, therefore, I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, do issue this, my proclamation, calling upon the people of the said States, in conformity with the desire expressed by their representatives, to set apart Friday, the eighth day of April, as a day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer; and I do hereby invite them on that day to repair to their several places of public worship and beseech Almighty God "to preside over our public councils, and so inspire our armies and leaders with wisdom, courage, and perseverance, and so manifest himself in the greatness of his goodness and in the majesty of his power, that we may secure the blessings of an honorable peace and of free government, and that we, as a people, may ascribe to him all the honor and glory of his name."