Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/52

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and we especially thank Thee that Thou didst reserve this fair portion of the earth so long undiscovered, unpolluted with the wars and the crimes of the old world, that Thou mightest here establish a free government and a pure religion. We thank Thee that Thou hast allotted us our heritage here, and hast brought us upon it at such a time as this. We thank Thee for all the hallowed memories connected with the establishment of the independence of Colonies, and their sovereignty as States, and with the formation and maintenance of our government, which we had devoutly hoped might last, unperverted and incorruptible, as long as the sun and moon endure.

Oh, our Father, we have striven as an integral part of this great Republic, faithfully to keep our solemn covenants in the Constitution of our country; and our conscience doth not accuse us of having failed to sustain our part in the civil compact. Lord of all the families of the earth, we appeal to Thee to protect us in the land Thou hast given us, the Institution Thou hast established, the rights Thou hast bestowed. And now, in our troubles, besetting us like great waters round about, we, Thy dependent children, humbly entreat Thy fatherly notice and care. Grant to Thy servants now assembled, as the direct representatives of the people of this State, all needful grace and wisdom for their peculiar and great responsibilities at this momentous crisis. Give them a clear perception of their duties as the embodiment of the people; impart to them an enlightened, mature and sanctified judgment in forming every conclusion; a steady, Heaven-directed purpose and will in attaining every right end. Save them from the disturbing influences of error, of passion, prejudice and timidity; from divided and conflicting counsels; give them one mind, and one way and let that be the mind of Christ. If Thou seest them ready to go wrong, interpose Thy heavenly guidance and restraint If slow and reluctant to execute what duty and safety require, quicken and urge them forward. Let patient inquiry and candor pervade every discussion; let calm, comprehensive and sober wisdom shape every measure and direct every vote; let all things be done in Thy fear and with a just regard to their whole duty toward God and toward man. Preserve them in health, in purity, in peace ; and cause that their session may promote the maintenance of equal rights, of civil