Governor Jonathan Belcher's Proclamation

for Day of Prayer (1734)

[The following Proclamation for Day of Prayer, by Governor Jonathan Belcher (dated February 25, 1734) further illustrates Governor Belcher's view of church and state: Government should promote Christianity! It's all right for public rulers to honor and acknowledge God!]


Jonathan Belcher, Esq;

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

of the Massachusetts Bay in New England.

A Proclamation for a public FAST.

    UPON due consideration of the sovereign and universal Providence of Almighty GOD, and that all the affairs and interests of the people are under the influence of his gracious...[will] and that it is their duty and privilege, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, to make known their requests to Him, who is GOD that heareth prayer and to whom all flesh shall come;

    I have thought fit, with the advice of His Majesty's Council, to order and appoint Thursday the Twenty-seventh Day of March next, to be observed as a Day of Fasting and Prayer throughout this Province, hereby exhorting both ministers and people in their public assemblies and private devotions religiously to solemnize the same by humbling themselves under the mighty hand of GOD and the manifest tokens of His displeasure against this people and by sincere and penitent confession of the many and aggravated sins which have justly provoked Him, and by earnest and humble supplications for removing His righteous judgments inflicted on us, and preventing those that are impending over us, as also for bestowing on us all necessary blessings, spiritual and temporal: And in particular, That it would please GOD to bless our Sovereign Lord the KING, with his Royal Consort our most gracious QUEEN, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, the Duke, and the rest of the royal offspring, and the other branches of the Royal Family; That He would give success to His Majesty's councils for maintaining peace within the kingdoms and dominions under his happy government, and restoring it to the states and kingdoms in Europe now embroiled in war; That GOD would please to direct and prosper the administration of the government within this Province, and continue to us the enjoyment of our invaluable privileges, religious and civil; That He would mercifully remember us in the occasions of the spring and summer ensuing and command His blessing on our husbandry, merchandise and fishery, and prosper the works of our hands; That He would maintain peace in our borders and health in our habitations; And above all, That he would grant the gracious influences of His Holy Spirit to all orders of men among us, that so we may reform whatever is amiss, and find grace and favor in His sight, and be prepared for a thankful reception of these and all other needful blessings, and that the kingdom of our Lord and Savior JESUS CHRIST may come with great power and glory: And all servile labor and recreations are prohibited on the said Day.

    Given at the Council Chamber in Boston, the Twenty-fifth Day of February 1734, And in the Eighth 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,

        J. Willard, Secr.                         J. BELCHER.

        GOD save the KING.

BOSTON: Printed by John Draper, Printer to His Excellency the GOVERNOR and COUNCIL.  1734.

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