The very first national Thanksgiving was announced in gratitude for that American victory at Saratoga in 1777. The Continental Congress put aside Thursday, December 18th that "the great people may express the grateful feelings of the hearts, and consecrate themselves towards the service of the divine benefactor."
Washington in prayer at Valley Forge
On December 17, 1777, yesterday the very first national Thanksgiving, George Washington is at winter quarters at Valley Forge. He authored:
Tomorrow to be the day set apart through the honorable Congress for Public Thanksgiving and praise, and duty calling us devoutly to convey our grateful acknowledgments to God for that manifold benefits he’s granted us, the overall directs … the chaplains perform divine service.
Get more information at the entire text from the 1777 announcement and for other Thanksgiving proclamations from the Continental Congress, 1778-1784.
Just like many proclamations speak towards the religious facets of Thanksgiving, a lot of Thanksgiving sermons talk to the political problems with a full day.
The officiating clergyman generally takes this chance to provide some subject of the national character, and also to enforce upon his congregation focus on their political responsibilities. Individuals subjects that they would hardly feel at liberty to go over within the pulpit around the Sabbath, he avails themself of the chance to provide.
From: Colonial and Her Institutions, by Certainly one of Her Sons.
Boston: John Allen & Co., 1835.
Thanksgiving sermons frequently address political issues. Rev. J.S. Gardiner started his Sermon Preached at Trinity Church in Boston, at the time hired for Publick Thanksgiving through the Condition of Massachusetts, 12 ,. 1, 1808
I’d ask, for which purpose shall we be this very day put together? Shall we be not here met together in social worship, in behavior training to civil authority, as well as in compliance using the wise use of our pious ancestors?… The times hired, by civil authority, for fasts and thanksgivings, have have you been, within this country, peculiarly appropriated towards the thought on political topicks.
Gardiner then delivered a separate oration on foreign policy and constitutional issues, ending having a strongly-worded diatribe against Jefferson and Bonaparte.
Thanksgiving sermons were sometimes accustomed to praise prominent citizens.
One of the topics appropriate for an occasion such as this, if we are met together to ‘offer unto God THANKSGIVING,’ may very correctly be believed the expertise of distinguished public benefactors
preached William P.Lunt in the 1852 Thanksgiving discourse (A Discourse Delivered in Quincy, Massachusetts, on Thanksgiving Day, November. 25, 1852). Lunt then memorialized the lately deceased Daniel Webster,
He sleeps close by the Rock which the Pilgrim exiles of freedom, weary with wandering, walked once they arrived around the shores from the " New World ". Fit resting-spot for the truly amazing American
Nathan Holman, within an otherwise rather gloomy sermon (A Sermon Delivered at Attleborough, East Precinct, November 21st, 1811, to be the Anniversary Thanksgiving in Massachusetts) found reason behind giving thanks within the illustration of his ancestors.
It’s also dependent on pleasure that people inhabit individuals colonies that have been grown in righteousness. Our ancestors were eminently pious… The benefits which attended their exertions, and also the results of their hopes are visible even presently day. As God has owned, and fortunate, and prospered this nation beyond a parallel, even from the first settlement, we’ve need to hope that, though he might punish us for the great degeneracy, yet he’ll away from once wholly forsake us.
Thanksgiving was seen as an particularly American holiday. Patriotism and also the values of public service were common styles for Thanksgiving sermons as with A Sermon Preached At Dorchester, November. 26, 1807, at the time of Public Thanksgiving by Thaddeus Mason Harris:
About this festive anniversary we commemorate, so we exult in, the safety in our persons and qualities, our national honor and welfare. What we should rejoice in, we’ll cherish we’ll maintain. The romance of liberty is really ingrafted into our hearts, the sword which cuts it, or that hews lower the support beams which support our Independence, should be of firmer blade and also have a keener edge than that people opposed and blunted that was thirty-2 yrs ago wielded against us.
Thanksgiving & the Social Conscience