Thanksgiving: Part Four

November 25, 1999

Today is Thanksgiving a time to remember what God has done in our lives. This week I've been talking about the background and history of Thanksgiving.

It is interesting to note the influence the original Thanksgiving had on America even 200 years later. On the bicentennial celebration of the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock, Daniel Webster on December 22, 1820 declared the following: "Let us not forget the religious character of our origin. Our fathers were brought hither by their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of their society, and to diffuse its influence through all their institutions, civil, political, or literary."

The legacy of the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving is the legacy of godly men and women who sought to bring Christian principles to this nation. These spread throughout the nation for centuries. For example, most historians will acknowledge that America was born in the midst of a revival. This occurred from approximately 1740-1770 and was known as the First Great Awakening. Two prominent preachers during that time were Jonathan Edwards (best known for his sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God") and George Whitfield. They preached up and down the East Coast and saw revival break out. Churches were planted, schools were built, and lives were changed.

James Madison, often known as the architect of Constitution, said that: "We have staked the whole future of the American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future. . . Upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves, according to the Ten Commandments of God."

Happy Thanksgiving. I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries.