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The New Zealand Evangelist

The General Fast

The General Fast.

In a calamity so terrific—coming so directly from the hand of page 119 God—in which human power was unavailing—in which prayer and supplication were the only means that could prevail; after the awful shock on Thursday morning, the general feeling of the community was, that a day of fasting and prayer ought to be observed throughout the settlement. The ministers were about to memorialize the Governor to appoint a day, that so all business being suspended, it might be universally and simultaneously observed. But before this was done, they received notice from his Excellency, that he and his Council were about to issue a Proclamation, that Friday, the 20th, should be observed for this purpose, and requesting them to make such arrangements as would be necessary for their respective congregations. Friday was accordingly observed with great solemnity by all classes, Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Jews, as a day of fasting, prayer, and humiliation, and several public services were held in all the congregations. As the Wesleyan, Independent, and Primitive Methodist Chapels were destroyed, the Ministers of the Evangelical Alliance held united services in the Scotch Church. From the great numbers that assembled, and from apprehensions of danger should alarm be excited, the forenoon service was held in the open air. The ministers of the Alliance held services also at the Hutt, Johnsonville, Karori, and on board the Subraon, in which a number of families had taken refuge from the impending danger. The day was fine, the audiences were unusually large, and the services solemn and impressive. The Sabbath following was a delightful day, and the attendance upon public worship was every where more numerous and equally attentive. The existence of the Evangelical Alliance has been of great service and signal benefit at this time.