Friday, October 27, 2023

Prayers From The Anglican Church

“Father, what we do not know, teach us;

What we have not; give us,

What we are not, kindly make us

For Your Son’s sake.


~ an Old Anglican Prayer

"Blessed Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:

Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them,

that by patience, and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace, and ever hold fast

the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen."

~ an Old Anglican Prayer

"Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you most 

humble and hearty thanks. for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all people; 

We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; 

but above all for your inestimable love." 

~ an Old Anglican Prayer

Friday, October 20, 2023

Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address

"Fellow countrymen: at this second appearing to take the oath of the presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends is as well known to the public as to myself and it is I trust reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future no prediction in regard to it is ventured.

"On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it ~ all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place devoted altogether to saving the Union without war insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war ~ seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. 

And the war came.

Friday, October 13, 2023

George Washington's Farewell Address

The period for a new election of a citizen to administer the Executive Government of the United States being not far distant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made.

I beg you at the same time to do me the justice to be assured that this resolution has not been taken without a strict regard to all the considerations appertaining to the relation which binds a dutiful citizen to his country; and that in withdrawing the tender of service, which silence in my situation might imply, I am influenced by no diminution of zeal for your future interest, no deficiency of grateful respect for your past kindness, but am supported by a full conviction that the step is compatible with both.

The acceptance of and continuance hitherto in the office to which your suffrages have twice called me have been a uniform sacrifice of inclination to the opinion of duty and to a deference for what appeared to be your desire. I constantly hoped that it would have been much earlier in my power, consistently with motives which I was not at liberty to disregard, to return to that retirement from which I had been reluctantly drawn. The strength of my inclination to do this previous to the last election had even led to the preparation of an address to declare it to you; but mature reflection on the then perplexed and critical posture of our affairs with foreign nations and the unanimous advice of persons entitled to my confidence impelled me to abandon the idea. I rejoice that the state of your concerns, external as well as internal, no longer renders the pursuit of inclination incompatible with the sentiment of duty or propriety, and am persuaded, whatever partiality may be retained for my services, that in the present circumstances of our country you will not disapprove my determination to retire.

Friday, October 06, 2023

Lincoln and Stanton

Edwin M. Stanton was a complex and driven man — who combined the moral certainty of an Old Testament prophet with the compulsion of a crusader: He served his country without fail during the Civil War as Secretary of War in Abraham Lincoln's cabinet. “His abilities were great and they were combative abilities. Whether because of his timidity, his ambition, or his fierce nervous ardor, he battled savagely,” wrote historian Allan Nevins, who noted that Stanton “had been a stubborn champion of the Union in the darkest months of its history. He had dealt with treason and stratagem without mercy. His patriotism was of the most unflinching kind.”

Fellow Lincoln cabinet member John Palmer Usher later wrote that Stanton “. . . was devoted to the cause he was striving to serve and gave all his energies to it. Night after night he remained in his office until a late hour and sometimes until daylight; not infrequently would his carriage be found standing at the door waiting for him when daylight came.” Stanton aide Albert E. H. Johnson recalled: “While President Lincoln in everything he did or said was to one purpose, the exercise of power within the scope of the constitution, Mr. Stanton was for saving the Union whether the constitution was saved or not, since war with him could brook no hampering or limiting bounds, and as he said, to save the constitution at the expense of the Union, would only result in destroying both. This point of view also greatly illustrated one of the many differences between the two men, Lincoln, having a heart greater than his head — the other, Stanton, having a head greater than his heart."

The Lincoln-Stanton partnership was an awkward one. “No two men were ever more utterly and irreconcilably unlike,” one of Stanton’s aides recalled decades after the Civil War. Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin wrote: “The secretiveness which Lincoln wholly lacked, Stanton had in marked degree; the charity which Stanton could not feel, coursed from every pore in Lincoln. Lincoln was for giving a wayward subordinate seventy times seven chances to repair his errors; Stanton was for either forcing him to obey or cutting off his head without more ado. Lincoln was as calm and unruffled as the summer sea in moment of the gravest peril.; Stanton would lash himself into a fury over the same condition of things. Stanton would take hardships with a groan. Lincoln would find a funny story to fit them. Stanton was all dignity and sternness, Lincoln all simplicity and good nature.”