“As you have been called on to be grateful for the bounties of Providence, at few periods have they been more abundantly or extensively bestowed than at the present….
“Let us be grateful for these blessings to the beneficent Being who has conferred them… If we may dare to judge of His future designs by the manner in which His past favors have been bestowed, He has made our national prosperity to depend on the preservation of our liberties, our national force on our Federal Union, and our individual happiness on the maintenance of our State rights and wise institutions. If we are prosperous at home and respected abroad, it is because we are free, united, industrious, and obedient to the laws. While we continue so we shall by the blessing of Heaven go on in the happy career we have begun….
“A comparatively small sum is stipulated on our part to go to the extinction of all claims by French citizens on our Government….The frank acknowledgement and provision for the payment of those…affords a practical illustration of our submission to the divine rule of doing to others what we desire they should do unto us [Matt. 7:12]….
“In conclusion permit me to invoke that Power which superintends all governments to infuse into your deliberations at this important crisis of our history a spirit of mutual forbearance and conciliation. ”*
President Jackson’s address to Congress included a call to gratitude to God and an acknowledgment that our policy toward France in repaying a debt is based on the Golden Rule. That is another lost episode in American history.
Read and Reflect: Read Matt. 7:12 and compare the Golden Rule with President Jackson’s statement on foreign policy.
Prayer: Father, we thank you for the wise teaching of the Master, to treat people like we would like to be treated. We also thank you for a President who incorporated that teaching into his foreign policy. Give us leaders who value the practical benefits of obeying your word, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
*Source Citation: James D. Richardson, ed., A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 11 vols. (Washington, D.C.: Bureau of National Literature and Art, 1907, 1910), 2:544-549, 555-558.