This is the text of a Proclamation for a Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer issued by John Hancock, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The proclamation was issued on March 4, 1793, declaring April 11, 1793 as a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
BY HIS EXCELLENCY
John Hancock, Esquire,
GOVERNOR of the COMMONWEALTH of MASSACHUSETTS.
For a Day of Public FASTING, HUMILIATION, AND PRAYER.
WHEREAS it hath been the Practice of the People inhabiting the Territory of this Commonwealth, from their first Settlement, at this Season of the Year, unitedly to acknowledge their entire Dependence on the SUPREME BEING, and to humble themselves under a Sense of their utter unworthiness of his Favors, by Reason of their Transgression; and whereas the Practice appears to have a Tendency to cultivate the Fear of God, and a due Regard to HIS LAWS:
I HAVE THEREFORE THOUGHT FIT, by, and with the Advice of the COUNCIL, to appoint, and I hereby do appoint, THURSDAY, the Eleventh Day of April next, to be observed throughout this Commonwealth, as Day of solemn FASTING, HUMILIATION and PRAYER:— Calling upon Ministers, and People of every Denomination, to assemble on that Day, in their respective Congregations; that with true contrition of Heart we may confess our Sins; resolve to forsake them, and implore the Divine forgiveness, through the Merits and Mediation of JESUS CHRIST, our SAVIOUR— Humbly supplicate the Supreme Ruler of the Universe to prosper the Administration of the Federal Government, and that of this Commonwealth, and the other States in the Union; enduing them with Firmness, Wisdom, Unanimity and Public Spirit; and leading them in their respective public Councils, to such Determinations as shall be adapted to Promote the great end of Government:— The Welfare and Happiness of the People:— To restore and maintain Peace in our Borders: Continue Health among us, and give us Wisdom to improve HIS Blessings, for HIS Glory, and our own Good:— To smile upon our Agriculture, and mercifully prevent the diminishing the Fruits of the Earth, by devouring Insects, unseasonable Weather, or other Judgments; that so our Land may abundantly yield its Increase:— That HE would protect and prosper our Navigation, Trade, Fishery, and all the Works of our Hands:— To confirm and continue our invaluable Religious and Civil Liberties:— To prosper the University, and other Seminaries and Means of Education:— To cause Industry, Frugality, and all Moral and Christian Virtues to prevail among us:— To bless the Allies of the United Sates, and particularly to afford his Almighty Aid to the French Nation, and still Guide them into such Measures, as shall tend effectually to establish a Government founded upon Reason, Justice, and the Welfare of the People.— And finally to over-rule all the Commotions in the World, to the spreading the true Religion of our Lord JESUS CHRIST, in its Purity and Power, among all the People of the Earth.
And I do earnestly recommend that all unnecessary Labour and Recreation may be suspended on the said Day.
GIVEN at the COUNCIL-CHAMBER, in Boston, the Fourth Day of MARCH, in the Year of our LORD, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety-Three, and in the Seventeenth Year of the Independence of the United States of America!
By His Excellency’s Command,
with the Advice and Consent of the COUNCIL,
JOHN AVERY, jun. Secretary.
GOD save the Commonwealth of MASSACHUSETTS!
Printed at BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, at the State Press, by THOMAS ADAMS, PRINTER to the HONORABLE THE GENERAL COURT-1793.