On seeing the Military Association going to Church on
the Fast-Day in their Uniform
The Courier (March 14, 1799)
"Sackcloth and ashes were in ancient times
The dress in which the Jews bewail'd their crimes,
Marks of contrition for their former guilt,
And signs of sorrow for the blood they spilt.
But modern times a different scene display,
And Britain keeps her Fasts another way.
Dress'd in the pomp of military glare,
OUR CHRISTIANS go to say their Form of Pray'r;
Not to lament the evils they have done,
And humbly pray in future such to shun;
Not to lament the numbers who have died
Victims to Pow'r, Injustice and to Pride;
Not to lament the Nation's great distress,
And sorrow for its num'rous crimes confess;
They only pray that Heav'n would interpose,
And pour its vengeance on their guilty Foes:—
On Atheists, Rebels, and on Regicides,
And ev'ry one who Ministers derides;
Like Pharisees of old they dare to plead
Their own good works, and think they most succeed."