Proclamation Of A General Fast Day.
It is well becoming a people looking up to Providence for his blessing to recognise his mighty hand in all the affairs of life, be they good or evil. We therefore hail with pleasure the proclamation of the President of the United States, recommending the whole people, not a section thereof, to devote the first Friday in August as a day of humiliation, to call with one united voice on the Father of mercy to stay the pestilence [cholera epidemic] which has now for the third time visited the land, and brought sorrow <<285>>and desolation to many a household. And who is there who knows not of some me near friend who has been numbered with the dead by the hand of the fell destroyer? We therefore trust that our brethren will not be wanting on the day of general assembly; and though they may not fast thereon, as it is the festival of the fifteenth of Ab, they can still meet in their places of prayer, and entreat the God of mercy and truth to be favourable to the land, and to stay the plague, which now wasteth at the noon of day, and slayeth at the dead of night.
“At a season when the providence of God has manifested itself in the visitation of a fearful pestilence, which is spreading its ravages throughout the land, it is fitting that a people whose reliance has ever been in His protection should humble themselves before His throne, and, while acknowledging past transgressions, ask a continuance of the Divine mercy.
“It is therefore earnestly recommended that the first Friday in August be observed throughout the United States as a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer. All business will be suspended in the various branches of the public service on that day; and it is recommended to persons of all religious denominations to abstain as far as practicable from secular occupations, and to assemble in their respective places of worship, to acknowledge the Infinite Goodness which has watched over our existence as a nation, and so long crowned us with manifold blessings, and to implore the Almighty in His own good time to stay the destroying hand which is now lifted up against us.
“Washington, July 3, 1849.”