OPENING PRAYER

 

By the Rev. Hon. Owen Lovejoy

National Meeting of the Republican Party

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

February 22, 1856

Almighty and most merciful God our heavenly Father, we approach thy throne of mercy through Jesus Christ our Redeemer. We adore Thee as the Most High that ruleth among the nations of the earth. Thou dost raise up and cast down nations and empires as in Thy wisdom and might it pleaseth Thee best. We render Thee thanks for the favor shown to our Pilgrim Fathers, who came to this country to enjoy a pure Faith and freedom to worship God. We thank Thee that thou didst watch over and protect them and the exposures and perils of a newly settled people. We thank Thee that thou wast with our Fathers in the struggles of the Revolution and didst crown their arms with victory and success. We thank Thee that thou didst guide by thy wisdom those who laid the foundations of our Government broad and deep in the principles of civil and religious Liberty. We thank Thee for the success which has attended our experiment of self government, and for the example of civil and religious freedom, which we have been permitted to exhibit before the world. We thank Thee for all the prosperity and for the many blessings thou hast bestowed upon us as a People. From a few scattered bands upon the Atlantic coast, we have multiplied our numbers, and extended our homesteads. We have become a vast empire extending from Ocean to ocean. We thank Thee that we are permitted to meet in Convention to day, to consider the interests of the Republic. May thy blessing rest upon us. May thy blessing rest upon our Land now and evermore. Remember especially, O Lord, our brethren in a distant Territory, exposed to rapine and murder. Save them from violence and bloodshed; and enable them if driven to extremity, to defend their homes and our country’s heritage of Freedom. Wilt Thou remove from office the President of these United States, who has proved recreant and treacherous to the high trusts committed to his care. And wilt Thou move upon the hearts of the People to elect one to fill the Executive Chair; who will administer the Government in accordance with the great principles of Justice, Truth, and Freedom, which underlie the Constitution which binds us together as a confederacy. To this end may thy blessing rest upon us here. Bless and assist the officers of the Convention; guide us by thy heavenly wisdom in all our deliberations; lead us to lay down such principles and to adopt such measures as are calculated to secure the results we all desire. Hear us, O Lord, in these our petitions, and graciously forgive us our sins, and accept us through Jesus Christ our Redeemer, Amen.