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Doc. 121. Gov. Andrew's proclamation for a day of public Thanksgiving and praise, Nov. 21, 1861.

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 Jacob.
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 day.
For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob.

--Psalm 81, vs. 1 to 4.

O bless our god, ye people, and make the voice of his praise be heard:
Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.
For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.

--Psalm 66,vs. 8, 9.

Let us rejoice in God and be thankful; for the [266] 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 fitness :” --

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 has attended the enterprise of those who go down to the sea in ships, of those who search the depth 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 authority:--

For “the redemption of the world by 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 rebellions, 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 to 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 immortality.

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 and 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 68. vs. 1 and 2.

Scatter them by thy power, and bring them down, O Lord, our shield.

--Psalm 69, v. 11.

Given at the Council Chamber, 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 of America.

John A. Andrew.
By His Excellency the Governor with the advice and consent of the Council. Oliver Warner, Secretary.
God save the Commonwealth of Massachtsetts.

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