SWP No. 171b: Laws Passed
(Proclamation for Appointing Thursday, January 14, 1696-7, as a Day of General Fasting and Prayer )
By the Honble the Lt. Govr. Council & assembly of his Majtye Province of ye Massachusetts Bay;in General Court assembled./
Whereas the Anger of God is not yet turned away; but his Hand is still stretched out against his people; in manifold judgments; particularly, in drawing out to such a Length, the Troubles of Europe, by a perplexing War. And more Especially, respecting our selves in this Province, in that God is pleased still to go on in diminishing our substance cutting short our Harvest; blasting our most promising Undertakings; more ways than one, Unsettling of us; and by his more immediate Hand, snatching away many out of our Embraces by suddain & violent deaths; even at this time when the Sword is devouring so many; both at home and abroad; and that after many Days of publick and Solemn addressing of Him. And altho, considering the many Sins prevailing in the midst of us, We cannot but wonder at the Patience and Mercy moderating these Rebukes; yet we cannot but also Fear, that there is somthing still wanting to accompany our Suplications. And doubtless there are some particular Sins, which God is angry with our Israel for, that have not been duely seen and resented by us, about which God expects to be sought, if ever He turn again our Captivity.
Wherefore its Commandd & Appointd that Thursday the Fourteenth of January next be observed as a Day of Prayer with Fasting throughout this Province; strictly forbidding all Servile Labour thereon. That so all God's people may offer up fervent Supplications unto him for ye preservation & prosperity of his Majtys. Royal person & Governmt and Success to attend his Affaires both at home & abroad that all Iniquity may be put away, which hath stirred Gods holy Jealousie against this Land; that He would shew us what we know not, and help us, wherein we have done amiss, to doe so no more: And Especially, that whatever Mistakes, on either hand, have been fallen into; either by the body of this People, or any Orders of Men, referring to the late Tragedie raised amongst us by Satan and his Instruments, through the awfull Judgment of God; he would humble us therefore, and pardon all the Errors of his Servants and People that desire to Love his Name, And be attoned to His Land. That He would remove the Rod of the Wicked from off the Lot of the Righteous; That He would bring the American Heathen, and cause them to hear and obey his voice;
The Acts & Resolves, Public and Private, of the Privince of Massachusetts Bay, vol. 7; vol. 2 of the Appendix, Resolves, Etc., 1692-1702. Boston: Wright & Potter, p. 132.