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“In one of the first Summer after their [the Pilgrims in America] sitting down at Plymouth, a terrible drought threatened the ruin of all their summer's husbandry.  From about the middle of May to the middle of July, an extreme hot sun beat upon their fields, without any rain, so that all their corn began to wither and languish, and some of it was irrecoverably parched up. In this distress they set apart a day for fasting and prayer, to deprecate the calamity that might bring them to fasting through famine; in the morning of which day there was no sign of any rain; but before the evening the sky was overcast with clouds, which went not away without such easy, gentle, and yet plentiful showers, as revived a great part of their decayed corn, for a comfortable harvest.  The Indians themselves took notice of this answer given from heaven to the supplications of this devout people; and one of them said, 'Now I see that the Englishman's God is a good God; for He hath heard you, and sent you rain, and that without such tempest and thunder as we use to have with our rain; which after our Powawing for it, breaks down the corn; whereas your corn stands whole and good still; surely, your God is a good God.'  The harvest which God thus gave to this pious people, caused them to set apart another day for solemn Thanksgiving to the glorious Hearer of Prayers!”


 -- Cotton Mather (1663-1729)