In this proclamation for Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer, Hancock urged citizens to seek “forgiveness through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour,” and further pray that God would “endue the people with the spirit of truth, harmony, and concord…to the advancement of the Redeemers kingdom.”
Size: 13″ x 19″ (Sizing is approximate)
Commonwealth of Massachusetts By his Excellency John Hancock, Esquire, governor of the commonwealth of Massachusetts.
A Proclamation for a Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer
The practice of this government is appointing annually, a day for humiliation and prayer, in a public manner to implore the blessing of heaven upon the affairs of the ensuing year, appears rational and laudable.
I have therefore thought fit, by and with the advice of the council, to appoint Thursday, the twenty-ninth day of March next, to be observed throughout this commonwealth, as a day of solemn fasting, humiliation, and prayer, hereby calling upon ministers and people of every denomination, to humble themselves under the mighty hand of God, by a penitent confession of their sins, and to implore his forgiveness, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior with humble and fervent supplication, that it would please Him mercifully to direct the government of the commonwealth, and give a public spirit to all persons whatsoever, especially to such as are in civil authority, and endue the people with the spirit of truth, harmony, and concord, and with a true sense of the value of the liberties and privileges they enjoy under our present happy constitution. That he would bless the federal legislature of the United States; that by wisdom and virtue, the strength and permanency of the Union, and the welfare and prosperity of the individual states, may be promoted and established. To bless their allies, and render the connection formed with them beneficial that he would be pleased to bless our husbandry and grant us suitable seasons for the fruits of the earth; and in His due time, a plentiful harvest.
That he would prosper our trade, navigation, and fishery, and give success to all our lawful undertakings, both public and private — that He would continue health to us, and prevent the spreading of any mortal or contagious sickness — to smile upon our university, and other seminaries of learning, affording to the instructors of our youth, a happy spirit of government and education, so that useful knowledge may be disseminated through our land — to cause industry, frugality and temperance to prevail universally among us. And that He would finally overrule all events to the advancement of the Redeemer’s kingdom, and the establishment of universal peace and good will among men.
And it is earnestly recommended that all unnecessary labor and recreation, may be suspended on the said day.
Given at the council chamber in Boston, the twenty-fourth day of February, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two, and in the sixteenth year of the independence of the United States of America.
By his Excellency’s command,
John Avery, junior secretary.
God save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts!