Reverend Cutler defined several evils that endanger the liberty of the people. One being the "breaking down [of] the institution of marriage"; "when our cities are crowded almost with adulterers and effeminates, when a whole steam-boat can be loaded down at once with lewd women, to be transported from one section of country to another, followed by as many abandoned men; and, above all, when the nation uphold and defend a system of oppression by which more than two millions of the population are subjected to a state of adultery and concubinage [slaves could be legally married], are not our liberties in danger?" Another evil was "the existence of Slavery, by which one sixth of the nation are treated as nonentities - denied the privilege of reading the Bible - men turned into brutes - human souls made chattels, to be bought and sold, and used for the gratification of irresponsible masters; who, contrary to our Bill of Rights and the first principles of our free government, have seized and bound their fellow men in cruel bondage." Cutler, an ardent abolitionist, dedicated nearly a third of his sermon to describing the evils of slavery.
The Thanksgiving Day sermon concluded with three important points. Firstly, "[t]hat we have infinite reason for gratitude that the Lord reigns, and that he will overrule all events for the glory of his kingdom." Secondly, "[t]he gospel will prevail to restore to all men their inalienable rights, and to protect them in the enjoyment of liberty." Lastly, "We will bless God for his infinite mercy and forbearance towards this nation." The sermon concluded with: "Let the wicked rage and the people imagine a vain thing, but we will rejoice in the Lord, we will praise him for his long suffering and patience towards this our beloved country. 'Praise ye the Lord, for it is good to sing praises unto our God, for it is pleasant, and praise is comely.'"
Cutler's sermon was well received by the townspeople, so much so that the manuscript was sent to Concord to be printed that same year. David Campbell, Jeremiah Morrison, and Stephen Fessenden wrote to Reverend Cutler in order to ask him to make the sermon available for publication. In their letter they noted "there was so much satisfaction manifested with your Sermon this day delivered, and it was thought so appropriate in the present crisis of our public affairs, that before leaving the house the undersigned [Campbell, Morrison, and Fessenden] were appointed a committee to request a copy for publication, with as little variation as you shall deem it expedient to make." Reverend Cutler replied that the "request was not in the least anticipated. I have no apology for the defects of the Sermon, except that it was prepared in a feeble state of health, in the ordinary course of ministerial labour; and your desire that it should appear with 'little variation' or correction. If in your opinion it is in the least adapted to preserve our free institutions from the encroachments of anarchy and licentiousness, it is at your disposal."
THANKSGIVING DAY IN WINDHAM
- John-Taylor-Gilman Dinsmoor, and his wife Mehitable, had several children. The only time all of the children and both parents "had the pleasure of simultaneously meeting" was at a Thanksgiving meal; likely held in the 1840s or 1850s.
- Robert Dinsmoor, the "Rustic Bard", wrote a poem titled "Thanksgiving Day":
When corn is in the garret stored,
And sauce in cellar well secured;
When good fat beef we can afford,
And things that're dainty;
With good sweet cider on our board,
And pudding plenty;
When stock, well housed, can chew their cud,
And at my door a pile of wood,
A rousing fire to warm my blood -
(Bless'd sight to see,)
It puts my rustic muse in mood,
To sing for thee.
When we of health enjoy a share,
And feast upon some wholesome fare,
Our hearts should rise in grateful prayer,
And bless the donor
In thankful songs, let voices rare,
Exalt his honor.
Perhaps in leisure hours you choose
To pass the time, and to amuse,
The Unitarian scheme peruse;
But, sir, take heed,
Their subtle reasoning may confuse,
And wreck your creed.
Lowell and Channing may debate,
As politicians, wise and great,
Predict their country's future fate,
By reasoning clear;
And shew blind rulers of the State,
What course to steer;
But shall they teach us to degrade
Him, who is all creation's Head?
The mighty God, who all things made,
Call him a creature?
Say Godhead never was display'd
In human nature!
Whoe'er such doctrine well allows,
Debar themselves from Christ's pure house;
Renouncing their baptismal vows,
As vague and mean;
And infidelity espouse,
As Deists clean.
Though none can tell how this may be,
That God is one, yet persons three,
Existing from eternity,
Faith must receive it;
'Tis nought but infidelity,
To disbelieve it.
Your parents own'd this doctrine true,
And did their solemn vows renew,
E'en when that name was call'd on you,
With water shed;
Sprinkling like rain or sacred dew,
Thine infant head.
This doctrine our Great Teacher taught,
To know this mystery, Williams sought,
Though far surpassing human thought,
He own'd it true;
And deem'd all other science nought,
When this he knew.
As you, dear sir, must witness be,
His pupils sang doxology, -
How oft you've seen his bended knee
Embrace the ground,
To Three in One, and One in Three,
In prayer profound !