Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
BY HIS EXCELLENCY
JOHN A. ANDREW,
FOR A DAY OF
PUBLIC THANKSGIVING AND PRAISE.
The example of the Fathers, and the dictates of piety and gratitude, summon
the people of Massachusetts, at this the harvest season, crowning the year with the rich proofs of the wisdom and love of
God, to join in a solemn and joyful act of united
praise and Thanksgiving to the Bountiful Giver of every good and perfect gift.
I do, therefore, with the advice and consent of the Council, appoint THURSDAY,
the 21st day of November next, the
same being the anniversary of that day, in the year of our Lord sixteen hundred
and twenty, on which the Pilgrims of Massachusetts, on board the Mayflower, united themselves in a solemn and written
compact of government, to be observed by the
people of Massachusetts as a day of Public Thanksgiving and Praise. And I invoke
its observance by all people with devout
and religious joy.
"Sing aloud unto God, our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of
Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery.
Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast
For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob."---Psalm
"O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard:
Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.
For thou, O God, hath proved us: thou has tried us, as silver is tried."--Psalm
Let us rejoice in God and be thankful, for the fulness with which he has blessed
us in our basket and in our store; giving
large reward to the toil of the husbandman, so that "our paths drop fatness:"
For the many and gentle alleviations of the hardships which in the present
time of public disorder have afflicted the
various pursuits of industry:
For the early evidences of the reviving energies of the business of the people:
For the measure of success which was attended the enterprise of those who go
down to the sea in ships, of those who search
the depths of the ocean to add to the food of man, and of those whose busy skill
and handicraft combine to prepare for various
use the crops of the earth and the sea:
For the advantages of sound learning, placed within the reach of all children
of the people, and the freedom and
alacrity with which these advantages are embraced and improved:
For the opportunities of religious instruction and worship, universally enjoyed
by consciences untrammelled by any human
For "the redemption of the world by Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the means
of grace, and the hope of Glory."
And with one accord, let us bless and praise God for the oneness of heart,
mind, and purpose in which He has united the
people of this ancient Commonwealth for the defence of the rights, liberties,
and honor of our beloved country.
May we stand forever in the same mind, remembering the devoted lives of our
fathers, the precious inheritance of Freedom,
received at their hands, the weight of glory which awaits the faithful, and
the infinity of blessing which it is our privilege, if
we will, to transmit to the countless generations of the Future.
And, while our tears flow in a stream of cordial sympathy with the daughters
of our people, just now bereft, by the
violence of the wicked and rebellious, of the fathers and husbands and brothers
and sons, whose heroic blood has made verily
sacred the soil of Virginia, and, mingling with the waters of the Potomac, has
made the river now and forever ours; let our
souls arise to God on the wings of Praise, in thanksgiving that He has again
granted us the privilege of living unselfishly
and of dying nobly, in a grand and righteous cause;
For the precious and rare possession of so much devoted valor and manly heroism;
For the sentiment of pious duty which distinguished our fallen in the camp
and in the field;
And for the sweet and blessed consolations which accompany the memories of
these dear sons of Massachusetts on to
And in our praise let us also be penitent. Let us "seek the truth and
ensue it," and prepare our minds for whatever duty
shall be manifested hereafter.
May the controversy in which we stand be found worthy, in its consummation,
of the heroic sacrifices of the people and
the precious blood of their sons, of the doctrine and faith of the fathers,
and consistent with the honor of God with justice
to all men. And,
"Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate
him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away."----Psalm lxviii. 1, 2
"Scatter them by thy power, and bring them down, O Lord our shield."----Psalm
Given at the Council Chamber, in Boston, this thirty-first day of October,
in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred
and sixty-one, and the eighty-sixth of the Independence of the United States
JOHN A. ANDREW.
HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR, WITH THE}
ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE COUNCIL.
OLIVER WARNER, Secretary.
God Save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.