We think it is incumbent upon this people to humble themselves before God on account of their sins, for He hath been pleased in His righteous judgment to suffer a great calamity to befall us, as the present controversy between Great Britain and the Colonies. [And] also to implore the Divine Blessings upon us, that by the assistance of His grace, we may be enabled to reform whatever is amiss among us, that so God may be pleased to continue to us the blessings we enjoy, and remove the tokens of His displeasure, by causing harmony and union to be restored between Great Britain and these Colonies…. Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual…. Continue steadfast, and with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no many ought to take from us.
— from the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, October 22, 1774, concurring its president, John Hancock, on Massachusetts’ relationship with Great Britain.
The Massachusetts Provincial Congress (1774–1780) constituted the provisional government of the Province of Massachusetts Bay immediately prior to the American Revolution. Basing its constitution on the terms of the original colonial charter, it became the de facto government of the rebellious colonists during the revolution and after the British withdrew from Boston in March 1776. After the colonies declared independence from Britain, the Provincial Congress ceased in 1780 with the ratification of a constitution for the new state of Massachusetts