How did prayer stop the French invasion of America of 1746?

In 1746, French Duke d’Anville sailed for New England, commanding the most powerful fleet of the time – 70 ships with over 10,000 troops. He intended to recapture Louisburg, Nova Scotia, and destroy from Boston to New York, all the way to Georgia…

It was early that autumn, in Boston Massachusetts. John Adams who was later destined to be the first Vice President of the United States, and the second President of the United States was only a boy of around 10. The entire community was in turmoil. Governor Shirley had even proclaimed a Fast Day to pray for deliverance from the peril at hand. 6,000 troops, Massachusetts men all, some veterans of the earlier French War with their old outdated weapons, some young men in hunting shirts with their own muskets, had gathered at Boston Common in preparation of the upcoming attack.

The great warrior-admiral d’Anville and his fleet of square-rigged ships bristling with guns was rapidly approaching by way of the Atlantic Ocean. This fleet was massive, a hundred transports jammed with troops and ships of war belonging to Louis XV of France. d’Anville’s orders where to burn Boston to her foundations.

The fleet was at their doorstep. In Boston, reverend Thomas Prince, from the pulpit of the Old South Meeting-house prayed before his congregation. The morning was clear and calm. People had walked to church through sunshine. “Deliver us from our enemy!” the minister implored. “Send thy tempest, Lord, upon the waters to the eastward! Raise Thy right hand. Scatter the ship of our tormentors and drive them hence., Sink their proud frigates beneath the power of Thy winds!” He had scarcely pronounced the words when the sun was gone and the morning darkened. All the church was in shadow. A wind shrieked so hard that the great church bell struck twice. Thomas Prince paused in his prayer, both arms raised. “We hear thy voice, O Lord! We hear it! Thy breath is upon the waters of the eastward, even upon the deep, The bell tolls for the death of our enemies!” He bowed his head; when he looked up, tears streamed down his face. “thine be the glory, Lord. Amen and amen!”

Historian Catherine Drinker Bowen related that as he finished praying, the sky darkened, winds shrieked and church bells rang ‘a wild, uneven sound…though no man was in the steeple.’ A hurricane subsequently sank and scattered the entire French fleet. With 4,000 sick and 2,000 dead, including d’Anville, Vice-Admiral Cornelle’s threw himself on his sword.The French attack never came. A week later details were provided by other vessels entering Bostom from the northeastward. The French fleet was nearly lost. All who survived the sudden storm suffered from a pestilential fever. The great Admiral Duc d’Anville was dead. The few reminaing ships, half manned, were limping off to the southward. There would be no French invasion of America!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote a Ballad of the French Fleet:

‘Admiral d’Anville had sworn by cross and crown,
to ravage with fire and steel our helpless Boston Town…
From mouth to mouth spread tidings of dismay,
I stood in the Old South saying humbly: ‘Let us pray!’..
Like a potter’s vessel broke, the great ships of the line,
were carried away as smoke or sank in the brine.’
_________

Taken from: http://www.thelibertybook.com and William J Federer’s American Minute

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2 Responses

  1. […] October 20, 2008 by 1familyman Just before this election of 2008, there is much turmoil and foreboding; trust is low and fear is peaked.  The true spirit of America is endowed by it’s relationship with the Creator.  Now, indeed, is a time for prayer and fasting that a true man of Godliness will stand at the helm as America heads into this storm.  Join me and pass the word on to your friends, leaders and representatives.  10/21/08 is my day of prayer and Fasting.  Hat Tip to : Larry Temple’s Blog: Cross, Crown and Covenant. How did prayer stop the French invasion of America of 1746? […]

  2. Jonathan Edwards refers to this mighty deliverance in his ‘Humble Attempt to promote explicit agreement and visible union of God’s people in extaordinary prayer for the revival of religion and the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom on earth’ written the following year in 1747. Praise God for His mercy to His people and the for the power of fervent and united corporate prayer. Hallelujah!

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