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Mr. Davis proposes to Fast.

Mr. Davis's continual resort to religion indicates something of the straits of a condemned malefactor, who, when he hears the carpenter at work upon the gallows, concludes to send for the chaplain. The Confederate President has issued another Proclamation for a public fast in his dominions, which, considering the condition of the flesh-pots in those demesnes, strikes us as just a little supererogatory. We have no fear that any of the Rebels will eat too much. There is yet another point upon which his friends should warn Mr. Davis. There is danger in his recent and rather awkward piety: for Fast-Days are a puritanical institution — they have Fast-Days in wicked, praying, hypocritical, religious and revolutionary New England--to tell the honest truth, the first Fast ever kept upon this continent by a Protestant congregation, was kept in Plymouth, by Praise-God-Bare-bones and other scurvy Pilgrim Fathers, whom it is the fashion in all Rebel newspapers and speeches to berate as incendiary and godless scoundrels. We bid Mr. Davis to take heed of too much austerity. At the same time we will do his subjects the justice to say that not only by man but by beast will his injunctions be obeyed. The Armenian Christians [378] make their horses fast with them; and should Mr. Davis be pleased, in default of any other, to declare the Armenian to be the State Religion, it will be a great saving of oats in a rather than else attenuated commissary department.

We regret to say that Mr. Davis, being a novice in these matters, has made the singular mistake of appointing a Fast, when he should have appointed a Thanksgiving. In his Proclamation, which is quite a compendium of practical piety, he solemnly sets forth that, whereas the affairs of the Confederacy are in a pretty prosperous condition — everything going on well — nothing but victories, bloody and decided — the Confederacy evidently under the peculiar care of its Creator — therefore, I, Jefferson Davis, do declare a day of Humiliation and Fasting! This is an anti-climax at which, but for the solemnity of the subject, we should be tempted to titter. But we are glad to learn that, upon one day of the year at least, the Confederates propose to be as humble as — Uriah Heep! Mr. Davis says that “in the midst of trials,” the Rebels “gathered together with thanksgiving;” and now in their prosperity, they propose to fast! There has been nothing like this since Sheridan cried at Cumberland's comedies and laughed at his tragedies. We sadly fear that Mr. Jefferson Davis's theological education has been neglected.

As there may be some religious patriarchs in like condition, and who may have doubts of their ability to fast, in a genteel, orthodox and acceptable manner, we advise them, before the 27th of March, which is [379] the day appointed, to take a few lessons of their “niggers.” Many of these are great adepts, through sad and involuntary experience, in the ascetic art of fasting; many of them are living monuments of the ability of man to exist upon next to nothing; and most of them have quite as much religion, to say the least of it, as their masters. Let Mr. Davis and his friends apply at the quarter-houses of the “men-servants and maid-servants,” as brother Davis calls them, for all necessary information.

There are scrupulous persons who might object to the prayers of Rebels, as, to a certain extent, blasphemous. But we do not. Let them pray. The cannibals of Sumatra pray. The greasy and mud-smeared savages of Central Africa pray. There is said to be no heathen without a religion — all the other heathens pray,--and pray why should not the Confederates?

March 11, 1863.

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