At an early date in our history, 1746, the French fitted out a powerful fleet for the destruction of New England. This fleet consisted of forty ships of war, and seemed to all human judgment a sufficient force to render that destruction certain. It was put under the command of the resolute and experienced Duke d ‘Anville, and set sail on its terrible errand, from Chedabucto, in Nova Scotia.
In the meantime, our pious forefathers, apprised of danger, and feeling that their safety was in God, appointed a season of fasting and prayer, to be observed in all their churches.
While the Rev. Mr. Prince was officiating in Old South church (Boston), on this fast-day, and praying most fervently to God to avert the dreaded calamity, the wind suddenly rose (the day had till now been perfectly clear and calm), and became so powerful as to rattle violently all the windows in the building. The man of God, startled for a moment, paused in his prayer, and cast a look round upon the congregation. He then resumed his supplications, and besought Almighty God to cause that wind to frustrate the object of their enemies, and save the country from conquest and popery.
The wind increased to a tempest, and that very night the greater part of the French fleet was wrecked on the coast of Nova Scotia. The Duke d’Anville, the principal general, and the second in command, both committed suicide. Many died with disease, and thousands were consigned to a watery grave. The small number that remained alive returned to France without health and without spirits. The enterprise was abandoned, and never again resumed.
- Present Conflict of Science with Religion
Touching Incidents and Remarkable Answers to Prayer - 1893