Sunday, November 20, 2011

February 21, 1786 - Thanksgiving Proclamation

On February 21, 1786, President (Governor) John Langdon of New Hampshire issued A Proclamation for a Day of Public Fasting and Prayer.

A Proclamation For A Day of Public FASTING and PRAYER Throughout this state [1786] 
Vain is the acknowledgment of a Supreme Ruler of the Universe, unless such acknowledgments influence our practice, and call forth those expressions of homage and adoration that are due to his character and providential government, agreeably to the light of nature, enforced by revelation, and countenanced by the practice of civilized nations, in humble and fervent application to the throne for needed mercies, and gratitude for favours received. 
It having been the laudable practice of this State, at the opening of the Spring, to set apart a day for such denomination, to assemble together on said day, in their respective places of public worship; 
that the citizens of this State may with one heart and voice, penitently confess their manifold sins and transgressions, and fervently implore the divine benediction, that a true spirit of repentance and humiliation may be poured out upon all orders and degrees of men, and a complete and universal reformation take place: 
that he who gave wisdom and fortitude in the scenes of battle, would give prudence and direction to extricate us from succeeding embarrassments, build up support and establish this rising Empire. 
Particularly, that he would be pleased to bless the great Council of the United States of America, and direct their deliberations to the wise and best determinations,succeed our embassies at foreign Courts, bless our Allies and national Benefactors:
that he would always be pleased, to keep this State under his most holy protection; that all in the legislature, executive and judicial departments, may be guided and supported by wisdom, integrity, and firmness, that all the people though this State, and through the land, may be animated by a true estimation of their privileges, and taught to secure, by their patriotism and virtue, what they have acquired by their valour: 
that a spirit of emulation, industry, economy and frugality, may be diffused abroad, and that we may all be disposed to lead quiet and peaceable lives, in all godliness and honesty: 
that he would be graciously pleased to bless us in the seasons of the year, and cause the earth to yield her increase, prosper our husbandry, merchandise, navigation and fishery, and all the labour of our hands, and give us to hear the voice of health in our habitations, and enjoy plenty of our borders: 
that unanimity, peace and harmony, may be promoted and continue, and a spirit of universal philanthropy pervade the land that he would be pleased to smile upon the means of education, and bless every institution of useful knowledge; 
and above all, that he would rain down righteousness upon the earth, revive religion, and spread abroad the knowledge of the true GOD, the Savior of man, throughout the world. 
And all servile labour and recreations are forbidden on said day. 
GIVEN at the Council-Chamber in Portsmouth, this twenty-first day of February, in the year of our LORD, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-six, and in the tenth year of the Sovereignty and Independence of the United States of America.

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