Leeser A Prayer for the Union, 1860

A Prayer for the Union, by the Rev. Isaac Leeser, in the Portuguese Synagogue, Franklin Street

Published in the Occident, December 20, 1860
At the close of his sermon on Saturday December the 8th, the Rev. Isaac Leeser gave utterance to the following prayer:
O, Lord God of our fathers! We beseech Thee to listen to our prayers in bhalf of these States. Grant, if it be Thy will, that their union may be preserved entire, and that nothing may disrupt the bonds which unite this Republic
Give wisdom to those charged with the administration of the Government that they may be animated with the spirit of conciliation and truth, so that by their moderation and counsels the evil which now appears to impend over this land may be speedily dissipated, and peace and brotherly love resume their sway over the minds of the people.
Let us also entreat Thee to be with the national council now assembled in the capital of the land; that their deliberations may be conducted with a sincere desire to do justice to all; that they may be enabled to heal the discord which has lately been manifested, and save the Republic from ruin.
But if it has been decreed from before Theethat the cup of confusion shall not pass away from our lips, and that we are doomed to drains its bitter contents, then do thou, O Father of Mercy, stay the hand of violence, and suffer not that the opposing factions shall enkindle the torch of war, and dip their hands in brother’s blood.
Permit not death-dealing armed ships to carry destruction on the coasts of the Atlantic or Pacific, and avert the calamity of hostile armies sweeping with violence, rapine and murder, over the fields and cities of this country.
Do this for the sake of Thy servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, our fathers; do it for the sake of Thy attributes of mercy, which Thou didst reveal to Thy prophet moses, when he stood before Thee on the rock at Horeb, and saw Thy goodness pass before Him. And let Thy indignation be removed from us, according to Thy promise then made, inasmuch as Thou art the all-powerful One, merciful, gracious and long-suffering, who are abundant in forgiving iniquity; and if we be deemed unworthy of this favor, do it for the sake of Thy Holy name, by which we are called. Amen.

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