Friday, February 17 1758

This being the day appointed by proclamation for a general fast and humiliation before Almighty God for obtaining pardon of our sins and for averting those heavy judgments which our manifold provocations have most justly deserved, imploring his blessing and assistance on the arms of his Majesty by sea and land, for restoring and perpetuating peace, safety and prosperity to Himself and to this kingdom, myself, two boys and servant were at church in the morning; the text in the latter part of the 10th verse of the 4th chapter of the prophet Amos: “Your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.” Myself, two boys and servant at church in the afternoon; we had only prayers.

After evening service we dined on the remains of yesterday’s dinner with the addition of a plain suet pudding and some turnips. In the day read part of the New Whole Duty of Man. And in the evening Thomas Davy at our house, to whom I read part of Sherlock on death.

This fast-day, to all outward appearance has (in this parish) been observed with a great deal of decorum and, I hope, true piety, the church in the morning being more thronged than I have seen it lately. Oh, may religion once more rear up her head in this wicked and impious nation and triumph over vice and immorality! Then may we once more hope for success from our fleets and armies when our commanders shall be inspired with the love of God and his most holy religion. Then (and not until then) will all private interest and connection of friends give way and become subordinate to the love of their king and country that then might not the sons of Britain expect but that the forces of the proud Gaul, so fond of universal monarchy, would give way as they did once to an Edward and a Henry. Then might we also hope to see justice impartially delivered from the bench and rapine and violence banished from among the son of Albion and the holy gospel of Christ preached with that energy and ardor as would become the profession of the preacher.

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