John Hubbard Church was a Massachusetts native, being born in Rutland on March 17, 1772. He graduated from Harvard University in 1797 after which he studied theology and began preaching shortly thereafter. In 1798, Church received an ordination as the minister of a church in Pelham, New Hampshire, where he would serve until he passed away in 1840. During the course of his ministerial duties he would receive additional degrees from Dartmouth College and Williams College in 1813 and 1823 respectively.
This sermon specifically examines the providential history of the New England area, going back to the original settlers such as the Pilgrims who resolutely risked everything in order to establish a place where they could worship God according to the dictates of their own conscious. This sincere desire for religious liberty was infused in every aspect of the culture and the governments they established looked to the Bible for guidance in many matter of policy. One of the common ways which early American governments acknowledged God was by issuing proclamations calling upon the inhabitants to pray to God. Typically, these proclamations fall into two groups, one which focused on “prayer, fasting, and humiliation,” while the other emphasized “prayer and thanksgiving.” These proclamations would instruct citizens to gather at their preferred churches and many times the preachers would offer a sermon which reinforced the intention of their prayers. This message was offered by Rev. John Church on to accompany the proclamation which had been issued for April 5, 1810.
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