"We have been recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.
But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us."
- Abraham Lincoln, Thanksgiving Day Proclamation of 1863
There are few subjects that I agree with President Lincoln on; not the least of which his disregard for the U.S. Constitution. One must admit though that the man knew people. He knew Americans best of all. The above quote is over 140 years old but rings as true today about this nation as if it had been spoken yesterday.
President Lincoln hits at the heart of the matter. If we refuse to recognize God's grace then he will withdraw it. On a national level he will remove his protection. On a personal level the offer of redeeming grace can only stay open for so long.