National Day of Prayer – Colonial Period

National Day of Prayer – Colonial Period

National Day of Prayer 2

1Ti 2:1  I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
1Ti 2:2  For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
1Ti 2:3  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
1Ti 2:4  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
1Ti 2:5  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
1Ti 2:6  Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

Psa 50:14  Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:
Psa 50:15  And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

Psa 86:5  For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
Psa 86:6  Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.
Psa 86:7  In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.
Psa 91:14  Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
Psa 91:15  He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
Psa 91:16  With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

Isa 55:6  Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
Isa 55:7  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

2Ch 7:14  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Lam 3:40  Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.
Lam 3:41  Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.

The following comes from National Days of Prayer: A Historical Comparison – Dr. John S. Uebersax & The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States – Benjamin F. Morris

Virginia House of Burgesses — Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer
May 24, 1774

Virginia House of Burgesses -- Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer

TUESDAY, 24th of May, 14th George III., 1774.

This House, being deeply impressed with apprehension of the great dangers to be derived to British America from the hostile invasion of the city of Boston, in our sister colony of Massachusetts Bay, whose commerce and harbor are on the 1st day of June next to be stopped by an armed force, deem it highly necessary that the said 1st day of June be set apart by the members of this House as a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer, devoutly to implore the Divine interposition for averting the heavy calamity which threatens destruction to our civil rights, and the evils of civil war, to give us one heart and one mind firmly to oppose, by all just and proper means, every injury to American rights, and that the minds of his Majesty and his Parliament may be inspired from above with wisdom, moderation, and justice, to remove from the loyal people of America all cause of danger from a continual pursuit of measures pregnant to their ruin.

Ordered, therefore, That the members of this House do attend in their places, at the hour of ten in the forenoon, on the said 1st day of June next, in order to proceed, with the Speaker and mace, to the church in the city, for the purpose aforesaid; and that the Reverend Mr. Price be appointed to read prayers and to preach a sermon suitable to the occasion.

     Ordered, that this Order be forthwith printed and published.

          By the House of Burgesses,

               GEORGE WYTHE, C. H. B.

Massachusetts — Day of Public Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer
April 15, 1775

Massachusetts -- Day of Public Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer

In Provincial Congress
Concord, April 15, 1775

WHEREAS it hath pleased the righteous Sovereign of the universe, in just indignation against the sins of a people long blessed with inestimable privileges, civil and religious, to suffer the plots of wicked men on both sides of the Atlantic, who for many years have incessantly labored to sap the foundation of our public liberties, so far to succeed that we see the New England colonies reduced to the ungracious alternative of a tame submission to a state of absolute vassalage to the will of a despotic minister, or of preparing themselves to defend at the hazard of their lives the inalienable rights of themselves and posterity against the avowed hostilities of their parent state, who openly threaten to wrest them from their hands by fire and sword.

In circumstances dark as these, it becomes us, as men and Christians, to reflect that, whilst every prudent measure should be taken to ward off the impending judgment, or to prepare to act in a proper manner under them when they come, at the same time, all confidence must be withheld from the means we use, and repose only on that God who rules in the armies of heaven, and without whose blessing the best human counsels are but foolishness, and all created power vanity.

      It is the happiness of the church, that when the powers of earth and hell are combined against it, and those who should be nursing fathers become its persecutors, then the Throne of Grace is of the easiest access, and its appeal thither is graciously invited by that Father of Mercies who has assured it that “when his children ask bread, he will not give them a stone.”

THEREFORE, in compliance with the laudable practice of the people of God in all ages, with humble regard to the steps of Divine Providence towards this oppressed, threatened, and endangered people, and especially in obedience to the command of Heaven, that binds us to call on him in the day of trouble :

RESOLVED, That it be, and hereby is, recommended to the good people of this colony, of all denominations, that Thursday, the eleventh day of May next, be set apart as a day of public humiliation, fasting, and prayer; that a total abstinence from servile labor and recreation be observed, and all their religious assemblies solemnly convened, to humble themselves before God, under the heavy judgments felt and feared; to confess the sins they have commited; to implore the forgiveness of all our transgressions; a spirit of repentance and reformation; and a blessing on the husbandry, manufactures, and other lawful employments of this people; and especially that the union of the American colonies in defence of their rights (for which hitherto we desire to thank Almighty God may be preserved and confirmed; that the Provincial, and especially the Continental, Congresses, may be directed to such measures as God will countenance; that the people of Great Britain and their rulers may have their eyes opened to discern the things that make for the peace of the nation and all its connections ; and that America may soon behold a gracious interposition of Heaven for the redress of her many grievances, the restoration of all her invaded liberties, and their security to the latest generations.

Ordered, That the foregoing be copied, authenticated, and sent to all the religious assemblies in this colony.

By Order of the Provincial Congress,

            JOHN HANCOCK, President.

 

Continental Congress

 

Continental Congress

“The Journals of the Continental Congress contain numerous appointments of thanksgiving and fast days, and the resolutions expressing the wishes of Congress upon this subject were in the form of recommendations to the executive heads of the State Governments, reciting in appropriate terms the occasions which prompted the observance, and the favors which a benign Providence had conferred upon them as a people.”  {The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States – Benjamin F. Morris}

On June 17, 1775, John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail: “We have appointed a Continental fast. Millions will be upon their knees at once before their great Creator, imploring his forgiveness and blessing; his smiles on American councils and arms.”

 

Proclamation of a Day of Public Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer
June 12, 1775.

PROCLAMATION

MONDAY, June 12, 1775

      AS the great Governor of the world, by his supreme and universal providence, not only conducts the course of nations with unerring wisdom and rectitude, but frequently influences the minds of men to serve the wise and gracious purposes of his providential government, and it being at all times our indispensable duty devoutly to acknowledge his superintending providence, especially in times of impending danger and publick calamity, to reverence and adore his immutable justice, as well as to implore his merciful interposition for our deliverance :

This Congress, therefore, considering the present critical, alarming, and calamitous condition of these colonies, do earnestly recommend the twentieth day of July next to be observed by the inhabitants of all the English colonies on this continent as a day of publick humiliation, fasting, and prayer ; that we may with united hearts and voices unfeignedly confess and deplore our many sins, and offer up our joint supplications to the all-wise, omnipotent, and merciful Disposer of all events ; humbly beseeching him to forgive our iniquities, to remove our present calamities, to avert those desolating judgments with which we are threatened, and to bless our rightful sovereign King George the Third and inspire him with wisdom to discern and pursue the true interests of all his subjects ; that a speedy end may be put to the civil discord between Great Britain and the American Colonies without further effusion of blood ; and that the British nation may be influenced to regard the things that belong to her peace, before they are hidden from her eyes ; that these colonies may be ever under the care and protection of a kind Providence and be prospered in all their interests ; that the Divine blessings may descend and rest upon all civil rulers and upon the representatives of the people, in their several assemblies and conventions ; that they may be directed to wise and effectual measures for preserving the union and securing the just rights and privileges of the colonies ; that virtue and true religion may revive and flourish throughout the land ; and that America may soon behold a gracious interposition of Heaven for the redress of her many grievances, the restoration of her invaded rights, a reconciliation with the parent state, on terms constitutional and honorable to both, and that her civil and religious privileges may be secured to the latest posterity:

Ordered, That a copy of the above be signed by the President and attested by the Secretary, and published in the newspapers and in handbills.

 

Continental Congress, 1776

“Mr. W. Livingston, pursuant to leave granted, brought in a resolution for appointing a fast, which being taken into consideration, was agreed to, as follows:”

Recommendation of a Day of Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer
March 16, 1776

Recommendation of a Day of Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer March 16, 1776

IN  C O N G R E S S,

SATURDAY, March 16, 1776

In times of impending calamity and distress : when the Liberties of America are imminently endangered by the secret machinations and open assaults of an insidious and vindictive administration, it becomes the indispensible duty of these, hitherto free ‘ and happy Colonies, with true penitence of heart, and the most reverent devotion, publickly to acknowledge the over-ruling providence of God: to confess and deplore our offences against him ; and to supplicate his interposition for averting the threatened danger, and prospering our strenuous efforts in the cause of freedom, virtue, and posterity.

The Congress, therefore, considering the warlike preparations of the British ministry to subvert our invaluable rights and privileges, and to reduce us by sire and sword, by the savages of the wilderness, and our own domestics, to the most abject and ignominious bondage : desirous, at the same time to have people of all ranks and degrees, duly impressed with a solemn sense of God’s superintending providence, and of their duty, devoutly to rely in all their lawful enterprises on his aid and direction do earnestly recommend, that Friday, the 17th day of May next, be observed by the said Colonies as a day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer ; that we may with united hearts confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and by a sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease his righteous displeasure, and through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain his pardon and forgiveness ; humbly imploring his assistance to frustrate the cruel purposes of our unnatural enemies ; and by inclining their hearts to justice and benevolence, prevent the further effusion of kindred blood. But if, continuing deaf to the voice of reason and humanity, and inflexibly bent on desolation and war, they constrain us to repel their hostile invasions by open resistance, that it may please the Lord of Hosts, the God of Armies, to animate our officers and soldiers with invincible fortitude, to guard and protect them in the day of battle, and to crown the continental arms by sea and land with victory and success: earnestly beseeching him to bless our civil rulers, and the representatives of the people, in their several assemblies and conventions; to preserve and strengthen their union, to inspire them with an ardent disinterested love of their country : to give wisdom and stability to their councils ; and direct them to the most efficacious measures for establishing the rights of America on the most honourable and permanent basis- that he would be graciously pleased to bless all his people in these Colonies with health and plenty, and grant that a spirit of incorruptible patriotism, and of pure undefiled religion, may universally prevail; and this continent be speedily restored to the blessings of peace and liberty, and enabled to transmit them inviolate to the latest posterity. And it is recommended to Christians of all denominations to assemble for public worship, and abstain from servile labour on the said day.     

By Order of Congress           JOHN HANCOCK, President.

     Attest. CHARLES THOMPSON, Secretary

GOD SAVE THIS PEOPLE.

Monday, December 9, 1776.

Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to prepare an
address to the inhabitants of America, and a recommendation to the
several States to appoint a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer.

The members chosen, Mr. Witherspoon, Mr. R. H. Lee, and Mr.
Adams.
Wednesday, December 11, 1776.

The committee appointed to prepare a resolution for appointing a
day of fasting and humiliation brought in a report, which was read
and agreed to, as follows : —

Whereas the war in which the United States are engaged with
Great Britain has not only been prolonged, but is likely to be carried to the greatest extremity, and whereas it becomes all public bodies, as well as private persons, to reverence the providence of God, and look up to him as the Supreme Disposer of all events and the arbiter of the fate of nations : therefore,

Resolved, That it be recommended to all the United States, as soon as  possible, to appoint a day of solemn fasting and humiliation, to implore  of Almighty God the forgiveness of the many sins prevailing among all ranks, and to beg the countenance and assistance of his providence in the prosecution of the present just and necessary war.

The Congress do also, in the most earnest manner, recommend to all the members of the United States, and particularly the officers, civil and military, under them, the exercise of repentance and reformation; and, further, require of them the strict observation of the articles of war, and particularly that part of the said articles which forbids profane swearing and all immorality, of which all such officers are desired to take notice.

It is left to each State to issue out proclamations fixing the day that
appears most proper within its bounds.

Ordered, That the above be published by the committee who brought in the report.

Friday, February 27, 1778: “Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to prepare a recommendation to the United States, to set apart a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer: the members chosen, Mr. Roberdeau, Mr. Huntington and Mr. Scudder.”

Saturday, March 7, 1778: The committee appointed to prepare a recommendation to the several states, for setting apart a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer, brought in the same; which was read and agreed to as follows:”

    Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer
    March 7, 1778

PROCLAMATION

Saturday, March 7, 1778

WHEREAS, Almighty God, in the righteous dispensation of his providence, hath permitted the continuation of a cruel and desolating war in our land; and it being at all times the duty of a people to acknowledge God in all his ways, and more especially to humble themselves before him when evident tokens of his displeasure are manifested; to acknowledge his righteous government; confess, and forsake their evil ways; and implore his mercy:

Resolved, That it be recommended to the United States of America to set apart Wednesday, the 22d day of April next, to be observed as a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer; that at one time, and with one voice, the inhabitants may acknowledge the righteous dispensations of Divine Providence, and confess their iniquities and transgressions, for which the land mourneth; that they may implore the mercy and forgiveness of God; and beseech him that vice, prophaneness, extortion, and every evil, may be done away; and that we may be a reformed and happy people; that they may unite in humble and earnest supplication, that it may please Almighty God, to guard and defend us against our enemies, and give vigour and success to our military operations by sea and land; that it may please him to bless the civil rulers and people, strengthen and perpetuate our union, and, in his own good time, establish us in the peaceable enjoyment of our rights and liberties; that it may please him to bless our schools and seminaries of learning, and make them nurseries of true piety, virtue and useful knowledge; that it may please him to cause the earth to yield its increase, and to crown the year with his goodness.

And it is recommended to the inhabitants of the United States to abstain, on that day, from labour and recreations.

 

Continental Congress, 1779

Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer
    March 20, 1779

Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer March 20, 1779

P R O C L A M A T I O N.

WHEREAS, in just Punishment of our manifold Transgressions, it hath pleased the Supreme Disposer of all Events to visit these United States with a calamitous War, through which his Divine Providence hath hitherto in a wonderful Manner conducted us, so that we might acknowledge that the Race is not to the Swift, nor the Battle to the Strong: AND WHEREAS, notwithstanding the Chastisements received and Benefits bestowed, too few have been sufficiently awakened to a Sense of their Guilt, or warmed with Gratitude, or taught to amend their Lives and turn from their Sins, that so he might turn from his Wrath: AND WHEREAS, from a Consciousness of what we have merited at his Hands, and an Apprehension that the Malevolence of our disappointed Enemies, like the Incredulity of Pharaoh, may be used as the Scourge of Omnipotence to vindicate his slighted Majesty, there is Reason to fear that he may permit much of our Land to become the Prey of the Spoiler, our Borders to be ravaged, and our Habitations destroyed:

RESOLVED,
    THAT it be recommended to the several States to appoint the First Thursday in May next to be a Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer to Almighty God, that he will be pleased to avert those impending Calamities which we have but too well deserved: That he will grant us his Grace to repent of our Sins, and amend our Lives according to his Holy Word: That he will continue that wonderful Protection which hath led us through the Paths of Danger and Distress: That he will be a Husband to the Widow, and a Father to the fatherless Children, who weep over the Barbarities of a Savage Enemy: That he will grant us Patience in Suffering, and Fortitude in Adversity: That he will inspire us with Humility, Moderation, and Gratitude in prosperous Circumstances: That he will give Wisdom to our Councils, Firmness to our Resolutions, and Victory to our Arms: That he will bless the Labours of the Husbandman, and pour forth Abundance so that we may enjoy the Fruits of the Earth in due Season: That he will bestow on our great Ally all those Blessings which may enable him to be gloriously instrumental in protecting the Rights of Mankind, and promoting the Happiness of his Subjects: That he will bountifully continue his paternal Care to the Commander in Chief, and the Officers and Soldiers of the United States: That he will grant the Blessings of Peace to all contending Nations, Freedom to those who are in Bondage, and Comfort to the Afflicted: That he will diffuse Useful Knowledge, extend the Influence of True Religion, and give us that Peace of Mind which the World cannot give: That he will be our Shield in the Day of Battle, our comforter in the Hour of Death, and our kind Parent and merciful Judge through Time and through Eternity.

Done in Congress, this Twentieth Day of March, in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-Nine, and in the Third Year of our Independence.

                                          JOHN JAY, President.

Attest. CHARLES THOMSON, Secretary.

Continental Congress, 1780

Saturday, March 11, 1780: The committee, appointed to prepare a recommendation to the several states to set apart the last Wednesday in April next as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer, brought in a draught, which was read and agreed to, as follows”:

    Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer
    March 11, 1780

Proclamation of Congress

Saturday, March 11, 1780

It having pleased the righteous Governor of the world, for the punishment of our manifold offences, to permit the sword of war still to harass our country, it becomes us to endeavor, by humbling ourselves before him and turning from every evil way, to avert his anger and obtain his favor and blessing: it is, therefore, recommended to the several States

That Wednesday, the twenty-sixth day of April next, be set apart and observed as a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer, that we may with one heart and one voice implore the sovereign Lord of heaven and earth to remember mercy in his judgments; to make us sincerely penitent for our transgressions; to prepare us for deliverance, and to remove the evil with which he hath been pleased to visit us; to banish vice and irreligion from among us, and establish virtue and piety by his Divine grace; to bless all public councils throughout the United States, giving them wisdom, firmness, and unanimity and directing them to the best measures for the public good; to bless the magistrates and people of every rank, and animate and unite the hearts of all to promote the interests of their country; to bless the public defence, inspiring all commanders and soldiers with magnanimity and perseverance, and giving vigor and success to the military operations by sea and land; to bless the illustrious sovereign and the nation in alliance with these States, and all who interest themselves in support of our rights and liberties; to make that alliance of extensive and perpetual usefulness to those immediately concerned, and mankind in general; to grant fruitful seasons, and to bless our industry, trade and manufactures; to bless all schools and seminaries of learning, and every means of instruction and education; to make wars to cease, and to establish peace among the nations.

And it is further recommended that servile labour and recreations be forbidden on the said day.

Done in Congress, the Eleventh day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty, and in the fourth year of our Independence.

SAM. HUNTINGTON, President.
Attest, CHA. THOMSON, Secretary.

Continental Congress, 1781

On Tuesday, March 21, 1781, the United States, in Congress issued the following proclamation.

Day of Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer
    March 21, 1781

PROCLAMATION.

Tuesday, March 21, 1781

      At all times it is our duty to acknowledge the over-ruling providence of the Great Governor of the universe, and devoutly to implore his Divine favor and protection. But in the hour of calamity and impending danger, when, by fire and the sword, by the savages of the wilderness, and by our own domestics, a vindictive enemy pursues a war of rapine and devastation with unrelenting fury, we are peculiarly excited with true penitence of heart to prostrate ourselves before our great Creator, and fervently to supplicate his gracious interposition for our deliverance.

The United States in Congress assembled, therefore, do earnestly recommend that Thursday, the third day of May next, may be observed as a day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer, that we may with united hearts confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and by sincere repentance and amendment of life appease his righteous displeasure, and, through the merits of our blessed Saviour, obtain pardon and forgiveness; that it may please him to inspire our rulers with incorruptible integrity, and to direct and prosper their councils; to inspire all our citizens with a fervent and a disinterested love of their country, and to preserve and strengthen their union; to turn the hearts of the disaffected, or to frustrate their devices; to regard with Divine compassion our friends in captivity, affliction, and distress, to comfort and relieve them under their sufferings, and to change their mourning into grateful songs of triumph; that it may please him to bless our ally, and to render the connection formed between these United States and his kingdom a mutual and a lasting benefit to both nations; to animate our officers and forces, by sea and land, with invincible fortitude, and to guard and protect them in the day of battle, and to crown our joint endeavors to terminate the calamities of war with victory and success; that the blessings of liberty and peace may be established on an honorable and permanent basis, and transmitted inviolate to the latest posterity; that it may please him to prosper our husbandly and commerce, and bless us with health and plenty; that it may please him to bless all schools and seminaries of learning, and to grant that truth, justice, and benevolence and pure and undefined religion may universally prevail.

And it is recommended to all the people of these states, to assemble for public worship, and abstain from labour on the said day.

Continental Congress, 1782

Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer
    March 19, 1782

PROCLAMATION.

Tuesday, March 19, 1782.

      The goodness of the Supreme Being to all his rational creatures demands their acknowledgments of gratitude and love; his absolute government of this world dictates that it is the interest of every nation and people ardently to supplicate his favor and implore his protection.

When the lust of dominion or lawless ambition excites arbitrary power to invade rights or endeavor to wrest from a people their sacred and inalienable privileges, and compels them, in defence of the same, to encounter all the horrors and calamities of a bloody and vindictive war, then is that people loudly called upon to fly unto that God for protection who hears the cries of the distressed and will not turn a deaf ear to the supplications of the oppressed.

Great Britain, hitherto left to infatuated councils and to pursue measures repugnant to her own interest and distressing to this country, still persists in the design of subjugating these United States; which will compel us into another active and perhaps bloody campaign.

The United States in Congress assembled, therefore, taking into consideration our present situation, our multiplied transgressions of the holy laws of our God, and his past acts of kindness and goodness towards us, which we ought to record with the liveliest gratitude, think it their indispensable duty to call upon the several States to set apart the last Thursday in April next as a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer, that our joint supplications may then ascend to the throne of the Ruler of the universe, beseeching him to diffuse a spirit of universal reformation among all ranks and degrees of our citizens, and make us a holy, that we may be a happy, people; that it would please him to impart wisdom, integrity, and unanimity to our counsellors; to bless and prosper the reign of our illustrious ally, and give success to his arms employed in the defence of the rights of human nature; that he would smile upon our military arrangements by land and sea, administer comfort and consolation to our prisoners in a cruel captivity, protect the health and life of our commander-in-chief, grant us victory over our enemies, establish peace in all our borders, and give happiness to all our inhabitants; that he would prosper the labor of the husbandman, making the earth yield its increase in abundance, and give a proper season for the ingathering of the fruits thereof; that he would grant success to all engaged in lawful trade and commerce, and take under his guardianship all schools and seminaries of learning, and make them nurseries of virtue and piety; that he would incline the hearts of all men to peace, and fill them with universal charity and benevolence, and that the religion of our Divine Redeemer, with all its benign influences, may cover the earth as the waters cover the seas. Done by the United States in Congress assembled, &c. &c.

Massachusetts, 1795
Massachusetts governor Samuel Adams’ February 28, 1795 proclamation:

Day of Public Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer
February 28, 1795

Day of Public Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer February 28, 1795

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

By the GOVERNOR.

A   Proclamation

For a Day of PUBLIC FASTING, HUMILIATION and PRAYER.

         THE supreme Ruler of the Universe, having been pleased, in the course of his Providence, to establish the Independence of the United States of America, and to cause them to assume their rank, amount the nations of the Earth, and bless them with Liberty, Peace and Plenty; we ought to be led by Religious feelings of Gratitude; and to walk before Him, in all Humility, according to his most Holy Law. – But, as the depravity of our Hearts has, in so many instances drawn us aside from the path of duty, so that we have frequently offended our Divine and Merciful Benefactor; it is therefore highly incumbent on us, according to the ancient and laudable practice of our pious Ancestors, to open the year by a public and solemn Fast.-That with true repentance and contrition of Heart, we may unitedly implore the forgiveness of our Sins, through the merits of Jesus Christ, and humbly supplicate our Heavenly Father, to grant us the aids of his Grace, for the amendment of our Hearts and Lives, and vouchsafe his smiles upon our temporal concerns:

I HAVE therefore thought fit to appoint, and with the advice and consent of the Council, I do hereby appoint Thursday, the Second Day of April next, to be observed as a Day of Public Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer throughout this Commonwealth:-Calling upon the Ministers of the Gospel, of every Denomination, with their respective Congregations, to assemble on that Day, and devoutly implore the Divine forgiveness of our Sins, – To pray that the Light of the Gospel, and the rights of Conscience, may be continued to the people of United America; and that his Holy Word may be improved by them, so that the name of God may be exalted, and their own Liberty and Happiness secured.-That he would be graciously pleased to bless our Federal Government; that by a wise administration, it may be a sure guide and safe protection in national concerns, for the people who have established, and who support it-That He would continue to us the invaluable Blessings of Civil Liberty; guarding us against intestine commotions; and enabling the United States, in the exercise of such Governmental powers, as are devolved upon them, so that the honor and dignity of our Nation, upon the Sea and the Land, may be supported, and Peace with the other Powers of the World, upon safe and honorable terms, may be maintained.

That he would direct the administration of our Federal and State Governments, so that the lives, liberties and property of all the Citizens, and the just rights of the People, as Men and Citizens, may be forever acknowledged, and at all times defended, by Constitutions, founded upon equal rights; and by good and wholesome Laws, wisely and judiciously administered and duly executed.

         That he would enable Legislators and Magistrates of this Commonwealth, to discharge the important duties incumbent on them, that the People may have good reason to feel themselves happy and safe, and lead quiet and peaceable lives in all Godliness and Honesty.

         That he would incline the Natives of the Wilderness, to listen to reasonable offers of Peace, that tranquility and security may be established on the Frontiers Of our Country;-That he would graciously regard the Lives and Health of the People of this and our sister States, and preserve them from contagious and wasting diseases: To crown the ensuing Year with Plenty and Prosperity, by his blessing on our Husbandry, our Fisheries, our Commerce, and all the labor of our Hands-to affect our minds with a sense of our entire dependence upon Him, and of his great goodness towards us, that when we may present ourselves before Him, at the close of the Year, with our thank-offerings, our Hearts may by his grace, be prepared to do it in a manner acceptable to Him. That He would be graciously pleased to establish the French Republic, and prosper others who are contending for the Rights of Men, and dispose all Nations to favor the same principles , and return to Peace and Friendship.

That He would in his great Mercy, remember the unhappy state of our Fellow-Citizens and others, who are groaning under bondage, in a foreign Land. That He would soften the Hearts of those who have led them captive, inclining that People to show them favor during their Captivity, and in His own due time open a door for their relief: -And finally, that He would over-rule all the confusions that are in the Earth, of the speedy establishment of the Redeemer’s Kingdom, which consisteth in Righteousness and Peace.

And I do recommend to the People of this Commonwealth, to abstain from all unnecessary Labor and Recreation on the said Day.

         GIVEN at the Council-Chamber, in Boston, this Twenty-eighth Day of February, in the Year of our Lord, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety-five, and in the Nineteenth Year of the Independence of the United States of America..

SAMUEL ADAMS.
Attest: John Avery, jun. Secretary

GOD save the COMMONWEALTH of MASSACHUSETTS!

 

National Day of Prayer

blessing 4

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