The rivers of human blood, and all the calamities and horror which overspread a great part of the continent, the distant report of which is sufficient to make our ears tingle, are all to be ascribed to this cause. God is not acknowledged—yea, in some places, He has been formally disowned and renounced. Therefore men are left to themselves, their furious passions are unchained, and they are given up, without restraint, to the way of their own hearts. A more dreadful judgment than this cannot be inflicted on this side of hell.
And though we are still favored with peace at home, the dreadful storm is at no
great distance; it seems to move our way, and we have reason to fear it may burst upon
us. But I would be thankful for the appointment of this day, for I should think the
prospect dark indeed, if I did not rely on the Lord’s gracious attention to the united
prayers of those who fear and trust Him, and who know it is equally easy for Him to
save or to destroy, by many or by few (1Sa 14:6). Our fleets and armies may be well
appointed, and well commanded; but without His blessing upon our councils and enterprises,
they will be unable to defend us. He can take wisdom from the wise, and
courage from the bold, in the moment when they are most needed. He can disable
our forces by sickness or dissension. And by His mighty wind, He can dash our ships
to pieces against the rocks, against each other, or sink them as lead in the mighty
waters. “Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it
not” (Lam 3:37)?
John Newton, from http://www.chapellibrary.org/files/2514/7189/6559/idao.pdf