by T. De Witt Talmage

A Favored Nation
T. DeWitt Talmage
Isaiah 26:15

As sometimes in the summer noon when all the harvest-fields are flooded with light the air is suddenly darkened and you look up to find that it is the wing of hawk or eagle flying over the plain, so these sheaves of Northern wheat and Southern rice gathered in this Thanksgiving service are suddenly shadowed with the black wing of Death. Our beloved Vice-President, Thomas A. Hendricks, has departed. But it would be unwise to make this occasion somber and funereal, and so I adjourn until my lecture to-morrow night the tribute to my warm personal friend, Thomas A. Hendricks. For surely if the departed Governor, who had by his own proclamation again and again called the people to thanksgiving, were allowed to speak, he would charge the officiating clergy to-day to stir the gladness and joy and gratitude of the people by recital of our national blessings, and in no wise be hindered by personal grief.

The optimists and pessimists and grain merchants and fruit dealers and dry-goods men and farmers have told us such diverse stories about the real condition of this country, that I was in a great fog on the subject; so that last week I appealed to the headquarters at Washington for accurate information, and I have now not the surmises or the guesses to present, but the facts received yesterday by letter from the United States Department of Agriculture, and I hereby publicly acknowledge my indebtedness to those obliging and skilful officials, especially Mr. Nesbit and Mr. Dodge. On this day, celebrative of temporal blessings, we will take larger liberty of thought and illustration than we allow ourselves in the Sabbath pulpit.

As a firm foundation on which to build your thanksgivings today observe:

Fact the first: That the wheat crop of the country yields this year three hundred and fifty million bushels. And add to that the surplus which we had over from last year, and you will find that America owns more wheat to ...

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