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stranger, and more so at my conduct, I remember he laid by his flail, and came and viewed me for some seconds, with evident pity and surprise. He spoke, but I neither understood what he said, nor could I make him sensible of much which I wished to communicate; but judging from my ice-clad state, that I must be extremely cold, he made signs for me to go to a fire; this, however, I refrained from doing for the present, having witnessed the fatal effects of such a step in others.
Before I quitted the island, I had tied a little bundle (all my then worldly wealth) on my shoulder, containing a shirt, a pair of stockings, and a pair of woollen trowsers. This bundle I had again and again endeavoured to disengage myself of, while toiling in the water, but the cold had so benumbed my hands as to prevent me accomplishing my desire. Vexed as I had been, and angry at my little load, I now found it a great mercy, that I had not succeeded in throwing it away: its contents, being still dry, proved an invaluable treasure. At length I made the farmer sensible that I wanted it untied, and my icy clothes stripped off. These kind offices he soon performed, and in ten minutes time, partly from my own bundle, and partly from the poor farmer's wardrobe, I was dry and warm clad; the good Samaritan having previously ran in and brought a glass of gin, which I drank, and found my strength and spirits quickly revived. By this time the rest of the family were informed of their visitor, and two elderly matrons came and gazed on me for some minutes without speaking. Perhaps they had sons who had left them, and, as they seemed to think, might be as forlorn
in some distant land as I appeared to be in theirs. There certainly was much parental kindness, and a portion of grief in their countenances.
These kind women took me from the threshing-floor into their sitting-room, brought me a little more gin, * and then hastened to get ready some dried beef and coffee, all of which I partook of with the family. It was nine o'clock when I arrived at this friendly asylum, so that it appeared I had been nearly two hours in the water. Being the only person who sought refuge here, I partook of the undivided kindness and attention of all the household, with whom I remained till three in the
* The pernicious effects of ardent spirits were not at that time so well understood as they are now, either by myself or the public. I am now quite certain that a cup of hot coffee would have been far more beneficial than this gin, even within doors, and infinitely more so when exposed to a storm. Before we quitted the wreck, a portion of brandy had been served out for the men to drink on their journey over the ice and through the snow—the effects of which were most pernicious. I now speak from recollection and experience; neither I nor any other individual drank much on the occasion, but what I did take, though it produced a momentary glow on the stomach, and a transient animation of spirits, yet it left the whole frame so weakened and wasting, that from that very day, I made up my mind, never, if exposed to such circumstances again, to drink any. During this second journey, which was more trying than the former, we had no spirituous liquors among us; and we bore up with so much more strength as not to lose one man by the way. Most thoroughly am I now convinced that all men at sea and on shore, in all changes of weather and climate, and in all the various labours and callings of life, would do well to abstain entirely from the use of distilled spirits, except for medicinal purposes.
afternoon; when finding that the whole of my companions had proceeded, either in carts or on foot, to CI became anxious to follow. But my kind host would not abate his attention, until, having accompanied me the whole of the road, he saw me housed, and in the midst of my shipmates. This done, he journeyed homeward, through the snow and storm of a dreary night, apparently much delighted with having had an opportunity of administering to one in distress—of being enabled to say,
“He was a stranger, and I took him in." Peace be unto him, and unto all his household ! May the God and Father of all mercies smooth their declining path with many consolations, and in their last and closing trial may the Redeemer's voice proclaim, “Come, ye blessed children of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” The poor tear of gratitude which now falls on my paper may never be known to you, but your reward of grace shall not fail ! When
kind benefactor had left me, I sat down as unmindful of God and his providences, as though the world existed independently of him. Nay, in no one part of that day had he been in any of my thoughts. When a young man has “ lived without God and without Christ" on the shore, there is but little probability of a moral reformation at sea. In my own case I know, that from the time I first embarked, up to the period of which I am now treating, I had gradually advanced in contempt of the Almighty, and in the love and practice of sin. For a short time I felt some scruples of conscience at the horrid and prevalent vice of swearing, but
a few months entirely effaced them: and I not only joined the blasphemer without compunction, but actually considered it as the mark of a high spirit, a sort of necessary accomplishment. In addition to all this, I shortly became acquainted with some of the most vile and infamous writings that ever appeared in this kingdom. The circumstance of their being prohibited only served to enhance their value. I read them again and again, and for hours together employed myself in making extracts from them. But I have not the smallest recollection, while belonging to this ship, of ever seeing a Bible, though I once endeavoured to call to mind that sacred volume; not with the view of remembering and applying any of its sublime and awful contents to my heart, but to dress up a ludicrous account of some late adventures among the midshipmen in its peculiar language and solemn phraseology! And O how vain was I at the approbation which these wretched epistles met with from fools like myself who made a mock at sin! With what delight did I hear them say, that I had thrown in my verily verilys, and my lo and beholds, to much advantage! Nor did all or any of the events connected with this shipwreck, in the smallest degree awaken
mind to serious reflection or convictions of sin. Indeed, it seemed to have pleased the Almighty to give me up for a season to follow the devices and desires of my own blind and rebel heart, and thus to allow Satan to fill me with my own ways. Throughout all the perils and mercies I had passed, I had neither once implored the divine assistance, nor once returned thanks for my deliverances! No sooner had I joined my
companions at C-, than I lost sight of the difficulties I had undergone. Drunkenness, oaths, and profane songs, were in our assembly; but none of us regarded the works of the Lord, nor considered the operations of his hands; none inquired, Where is the Lord my deliverer and my redeemer ?
The next morning presented a melancholy spectacle, similar to what had appeared the day after our first journey. Several, who apparently had sustained no harm by their exposure to the weather, were no sooner housed beneath a warm cover, than dreadful inflamation began to seize their hands and feet, the whole limb becoming one entire blister, attended for many days with all the agony of a severe burn or scald. Several had been left in this state at the island, but a far greater number were added to the list after our second journey. I, however, escaped on both occasions entirely unhurt, and on both occasions I continued entirely unmindful of the goodness of the Lord; demonstrating, by my conduct, that “madness is in the heart of man," and that neither mercies nor judgments are of themselves sufficient to humble, or even to check him in his sinful