The State of the world.
The usual day of Thanksgiving was observed throughout the Northern
and Middle States, with the usual ceremonies.
If it had been a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer, it would have accorded far better with the circumstances of the times, and the disposition of nearly the whole civilized world.
It is certain, at least, that appearances never indicated a near impending future more pregnant with calamity, so wide-spread that it may be called universal without too bold a figure of speech.
The world appears to have been asleep from 1816 to within a very short period before the present.
So general was the lull in the political elements, that many good people began to believe that the Millenium was at hand.
Peace Societies sprang up in various parts of the world, and they vainly hoped, by united action and by the aid of Providence
, to put an end forever to the horrors of war. How far they were from the truth, it is not necessary to revert to Sebastopol
, nor to India
, nor to Italy
, to perceive.
The indications all around us breathe of war — fierce, irreconcilable, civil war. If we turn our eyes to Europe
, what do we see?
A whole continent armed to the teeth and ready to break cut upon the first signal of strife.
— in the very midst of the oldest Empire on earth — while a civil war of unexampled bitterness is raging among the children of the land, an army of "barbarians" is advancing upon its capital.
Everywhere, throughout the earth, the minds of men seem to be full of uneasiness, anticipating something terrible, they know not what.
We hope there is no person more thoroughly convinced of the power of prayer than we. But this seems to us to be no time for thanksgiving, unless in that truly Christian spirit which accepts every judgment as a mercy.--But such a spirit is not that in which the order for observing a day of Thanksgiving is generally conceived.
The hand of the Lord
is heavy upon us — upon the whole world.
We ought to acknowledge that fact, by prayer and humiliation.