Governor Jonathan Belcher's Proclamation

for Day of Prayer (1731)

[The following Proclamation for a Day of Prayer, by Governor Jonathan Belcher (dated March 3, 1731), illustrates Governor Belcher's view of church and state: That government should encourage religion! It's O.K. for an American government to honor and acknowledge God!]



Captain General and GOVERNOR in Chief in and over His Majesty's Province

of the Massachusetts Bay in New England.

A Proclamation for a general FAST.

    UPON due consideration of the Universal Providence of Almighty GOD, and our absolute dependance thereon for prosperity and success in all our interests and concerns, and also of our indispensable duty, devoutly to acknowledge the same by humble and earnest supplications, and in particular by imploring the Divine blessing on the affairs and occasions of the year ensuing;

    I have thought fit, with the advice of His Majesty's Council, to order and appoint Thursday the Sixth Day of April next, to be observed throughout this province as a day of FASTING and PRAYER, exhorting both ministers and people, in their public assemblies and private devotions, religiously to solemnize the same by a sincere and penitent confession of our manifold and aggravated sins, whereby GOD has been provoked to manifest His holy anger against us....


...and that He would bless and prosper the kingdoms and dominions under His Majesty's gracious and wise government, and succeed His Majesty's councils for the preservation of the peace of Europe and the general prosperity of his people; That He would graciously please to give direction and success in the administrations of the government of this Province; That He would grant us a convenient seed time and a plentiful harvest; That He would smile upon our merchandise, navigation and fishery, and defend the same from the depredations of pirates; That He would establish our PEACE and continue our HEALTH, and keep off mortal distempers [small pox, etc.] from us; That He would please to grant us favor in the eyes of our KING, and prolong our invaluable privileges, religious and civil; And, above all, that He would pour out His SPIRIT upon all orders and degrees of persons in this land and excite them to a general repentance and reformation; And that the kingdom of our Lord and Savior JESUS CHRIST may come in its great power and glory: And all servile labor and recreations are prohibited on the said Day.

    Given at the Council Chamber in Boston the Third Day of March 1731. In the Fifth Year of the Reign of Our Sovereign Lord GEORGE the Second, by the Grace of GOD of Great Britain, France and Ireland, KING, Defender of the Faith, and etc.

By His Excellency's Command, with

    the Advice of the Council,

        Josiah Willard, Secr.                     J. BELCHER.

        GOD save the King.

BOSTON: Printed by B. Green, Printer to His Excellency the GOVERNOR and COUNCIL, 1731.

Home - Policy Analysis - Christian Law Library - Christian History Library

Historical Biographies - Belcher Bulletin - Publications - Belcher History Center

About Governor Jonathan Belcher - About the Belcher Foundation - Copyright/Disclaimer - Site Index