Written by an unknown author, this sermon appears to have been written shortly after the events now known as the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770. A note in distinctly different handwriting identifies the sermon as "a sermon prepared soon after the Boston massacre, March 5, 1770." No other information is available regarding the history of this item.
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This manuscript sermon is a topical sermon as opposed to an exegetical sermon. While based on Psalm 85:6, the text of the sermon itself only references the text in the briefest way possible. The sermon, instead, takes time recounting both the history of the colonies in New England and the recent events of the massacre, referred to as "that fatal night." The unknown author lays out an explanation for the new misfortunes, as well as the means by which the people of New England can return to God's favor. Topics referenced include: the founding of the colony by non-separating Puritans, the founding of Harvard, the English Civil War, Charles II, the Stamp Act, the tightening of British control of the colony, and the increased military presence.