Yes, you read the title correctly. No, it was not a fluke mistake.
There was actually a hurricane that saved Boston as the result of people praying! Today we are going to dive into exactly how this hurricane saved the New England town and why it even came about. So hang on, here we go!
In the 1740’s, the American colonies were caught in the middle of an ongoing struggle between France and Great Britain. Both of the world powers were vehemently fighting to gain control of the North American continent. This struggle became known by the American colonists as ‘King George’s War’.
I am not going to dive into the nitty gritty of King George’s War today. I am just going to give you a run down of events leading up to the hurricane that saved Boston.
In 1745, Great Britain took control of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia — an important French port city. It was one of the busiest ports in the North American continent. In fact it was the third busiest, Boston and Philadelphia being the first two. Not only was it a major port city, but it was also a well fortified French fort that protected the St. Lawrence River, ensuring that they could continue to trade. As you can imagine, King Loui XV was not terribly thrilled that Great Britain had captured Louisbourg. He was determined to take it back no matter the cost. He wouldn’t just rest at re-taking Louisbourg though. No, he was set on retaliating by conquering all of New England as well. His retaliation included a plan to burn Boston to the ground. He sent Duc D’Anville, with one of the largest war fleets ever seen in history up to that point, to go capture New England.
During this time, the colonists received word that the French were going to retaliate. The colonists had supported Great Britain’s capture of Louisbourg because the French had a history of treating them unjustly. When the news came though that the French would retaliate, the colonists knew they would be the first ones in D’Anville’s crosshairs. They looked to Great Britain for protection, but none was given. They would be left to face the fury of D’Anville and his fleet on their own.
William Shirley, Massachusetts’ governor, reacted quickly to the news of the coming threat. He declared a day of fasting and prayer, imploring the New England colonists to beseech God to intervene on their behalf. They had no way of protecting themselves against the massive war fleet. They could only pray for God’s mercy.
In Boston, throngs of people gathered in The Old South Meeting House for the sole purpose of praying for God’s deliverance. The citizens fasted and prayed that God would keep them safe and save the city. Thomas Prince, a preacher in Boston, began to pray out loud in the midst of the crowd that had gathered, “Deliver us from our enemy! Send Thy tempest Lord, upon the waters to the eastward! Raise Thy right hand. Scatter the ships of our tormentors and drive them hence. Sink their proud frigates beneath the power of Thy winds!”
Eye witness accounts say that as he finished praying, a dark tempest rose up. The winds were violent and though no-one was in the bell towers, the steady ringing of church bells filled the darkened sky. The bells were ringing in a “wild and uneven sound” due to the sheer force of the wind.
It was the beginning of a massive hurricane that would scatter the entire French fleet!
This hurricane did more than just re-route the war fleet. It sunk many of the ships, washed overboard the crew and soldiers aboard, and sent the fleet scattering as far as the Caribbean. Some have argued that it was a stroke of fate that brought the violent storm up right at the time the people were praying and fasting. Some have even argued that it was not unusual for a fleet of ships to be scattered in such a way, but I couldn’t disagree more.
If there is still any doubt in your mind that this was indeed the Hand of Providence moving, consider this: During the hurricane, a bolt of lightning came down and struck a large ammunition supply aboard one of the ships, killing many of the sailors and soldiers on board and damaging the ship.
That right there is not a stroke of fate. It is not a coincidence that a bolt of lightning just happened to strike the ammo supply. That was The Timeless Anchor moving in mighty ways.
You can’t tell me this entire account is all a coincidence. No, it is just one more example that God governs in the affairs of men. It is a testimony to the awesome power of prayer. It is just another instance where we can find The Timeless Anchor working.
What do you think of this incident? Let me know in the comments!! I would love to hear your thoughts!