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The Crisis

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol II. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

During the course of the present war, the situation of our public affairs, as well as the enemy’s, has several times been so nicely critical, that each alternately seemed to be upon the balance between total ruin and complete victory; and the event has been determined by causes so wholly unforeseen and beyond human power, that he must be a strangely blind and inattentive observer who does not discern and ascribe it to the overruling hand of Divine Providence. Hence we may infer, that though our cause being just, Heaven is on our side, and will finally crown it with such success, yet that the general prevalence of wickedness among us renders us unfit for the blessings of peace, lengthens out the calamities of war upon us, and prevents the success of our arms. If, then, we are really friends to the rights and freedom of our country, let every one of us forsake the evil of his ways, that draws down and continues the judgments of God upon the land. Let us consider that the highest interest of every individual indispensably requires it, and together with the common interest of our country unitedly claims it at our hands. Let us consider that while we continue in any vicious practices, we are not only ruining ourselves, but our country: we are troublers of the land, and the cause of its public calamities; we prevent the success of its arms, (the return and blessing,) and do it more harm than all its foreign enemies. But if we reform our lives, and put away evil from among us, particularly that uncharitableness which shows itself in extortion, preying upon one another’s necessities, and many other ways of injustice and oppression, together with debauchery, obscenity, horrible profaneness, and other gross immoralities, and act like reasonable creatures who must give an account of their actions, we may safely rely on Heaven for success in all our enterprises—for the return of peace and all its blessings—for happy lives and comfortable deaths.1


1 New York Journal, September 6.