As citizens of the United States of America celebrate their Independence Day, it is time for my annual lament over the success of their 18th-century rebellion from the crown. Americans, and the world, would have been better served by remaining subjects of His Britannic Majesty George III. A democratic trans-Atlantic empire, free of slavery and with an unwritten evolving constitution, might well have been in the cards.
In 1776 the aforementioned king directed the Church of England to pray for the success of efforts to put down the ill-advised tumult in the thirteen errant colonies. Here are two prayers uttered to that end.
O Lord God of our salvation, in whose hands are the issues of life and death, of good and evil, and without whose aid the wisest counsels of frail men, and the multitude of an host, and all the instruments of war are but weak and vain; incline thine ear, we pray thee, to the earnest and devout supplications of thy servants, who, not confiding in the splendour of any thing that is great, or the stability of any thing that is strong here below, do most humbly flee, O Lord, unto thee for succour, and put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. Be thou to us a tower of defence against the assaults of our enemies, our shield and buckler in the day of battle, and so bless the arms of our gracious Sovereign, in the maintenance of His just and lawful rights, and prosper His endeavours to restore tranquillity among His unhappy deluded subjects in America, now in open rebellion against His Crown, in defiance of all subordination and legal government, that we being preserved by thy help and goodness from all perils and disasters, and made happily triumphant over all the disturbers of our peace, may joyfully laud and magnify thy glorious Name; and serve thee from generation to generation in all godliness and quietness, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O Blessed Lord, who hast commanded us by thy beloved Son to love our Enemies, and to extend our charity in praying even for those, who despitefully use us, give grace we beseech thee, to our unhappy fellow subjects in America, that seeing and confessing the error of their ways, and having a due sense of their ingratitude for the many blessings of thy Providence, preserved to them by the indulgent care and protection of these kingdoms, they may again return to their duty, and make themselves worthy of thy pardon and forgiveness: Grant us in the mean time not only strength and courage to withstand them, but charity to forgive and pity them, to shew a willingness to receive them again as friends and brethren, upon just and reasonable terms, and to treat them with mercy and kindness for the sake of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.