Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/256

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250 Southern Historical Society Papers.

vices, may be kept always attuned to praise and gratitude. Then, undoubtedly, as we have already stated, the mercy for which we are at this time assembled to express our thanksgiving with the voice of grateful adoration deserves to be classed amongst the special and extraordinary mercies of Jehovah's merciful and gracious providence. When, a few days ago, at the suggestion of our highly-esteemed President, we observed a day of solemn fasting, humiliation and prayer, on account of our recent disasters, men's hearts sank within them, and there was a dread at every throb of the electric wire, lest it should bring to us fresh tidings of calamitous reverse and defeat. We had heard of the surrender of our little army and the destruc- tion of a portion of our utterly inadequate fleet at Roanoke, while the dispatches from the far West were sadly disheartening. Truly were our spirits downcast and disquited. But now, now! how sud- denly all is changed ! The sunshine of a favoring Providence beams upon every countenance! Our arms have been marvellously crowned with a brilliant success ! A handful of men, as it were, have defeated thousands ! Heroes have suddenly arisen who have made them- selves names high up on the monuments of fame, which shall never, never perish ! Officers and crews have alike shown themselves equal to the most fearful emergencies ! And the happy result is that the fierce weapons of our insolent invaders are broken; the enemies' mighty ships are spoiled; our long- blockaded port is once again thrown open, and our hearts are filled with joy and gratitude at the great and glorious victory!

" And now, whom are we to thank for all this? Doubtless I may take upon myself the liberty of expressing, on the part of the people, their acknowledgment to you, individually and collectively for this distinguished and valorous deed. Our Government cannot be too lavish in tendering the thanks of the nation to the wise and gallant men who, by their undaunted bravery and their prudential counsels and by their unhesitating devotion to their country's sacred cause, have rolled back the tide of invasion from our immediate shores. But thine hand, O Lord God Almighty ! and Thine alone hath really brought about this happy result ! Thine, O Lord, is the greatness \ Thine, O Lord, is the power ! Thine, O Lord, is the victory ! Thine, O Lord, is the majesty ! And, therefore, are we now assembled to bring before the Lord our God the glorious tribute of our praise and thanksgiving.

11 1 invite you, therefore, my brave friends, without any further re- marks, to join me in this act of gratitude to the Almighty, who has