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[48] repeated defeats, and their 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 8th 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 counsels, and so inspire our armies and leaders with wisdom, courage and perseverance; and so to 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 all to the honor and glory of His name.”

Not simply in his official station, but in his private life and influence as well, Mr. Davis was pronounced in his Christian character, and no one who has seen him, as it has been my privilege to do, in the freedom of his beautiful home at Beauvoir, and heard him talk of the struggles of the past, the trials of the present, and the hopes of the future, can doubt for a moment that his faith is built on ‘the rock Christ Jesus,’ and that he has for years taken Jesus as ‘the man of his counsel’ and the guide of his life.

General R. E. Lee, the great commander of the Army of Northern Virginia from June, 1862, to the surrender at Appomattox Court House, was one of the noblest specimens of the Christian soldier that the world ever saw.

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