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forget nor escape, compelled me to open my mouth; but it was not with those of old to say, “ Lord, be merciful to me a sinner !” “What shall I do to be saved ?” or “ Lord! what wilt thou have me to do ?" No! but it was to insult the Majesty of heaven with a string of proposals and promises; how, on my part, I would in future live and act, if He, on his part, would save me from my present danger!! Gracious God! why did the waves spare me, thus to add one sin and presumption to another ! When thy merciful ear heard me protesting against a course of life, of which I no further disapproved than as I feared it might expose me to thy just anger, why didst thou not doom me to that “hell which is moved from beneath to meet the sinner at his coming ?"
Precious and adorable Intercessor! It was thy plea, thy presence at the right hand of Power, which prevailed to the averting of that judgment, which otherwise must have been poured out in full vials of wrath on one whose prayers were a very abomination in the sight of thine offended Father !—“The heart of man is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked !" Yes! let pride and ignorance write or say ever so much to the contrary, I have nothing more to do than to examine what my own is, and what it has been ; and all their vain janglings fall to the ground. What else could induce me, the instant I was clear of the wreck, to forget all my vows and proposals, and to sing, with others,
" Where's the tempest now? who feels it?
And yet so far was this my conduct from being considered an outrage against morality and good order by my superiors, that they absolutely showed me much marked attention, and considered me “a very worthy young man
I mention this, lest any advocate for the purity and dignity of human nature should say that I was so notoriously reprobate beyond others, as to be no fair specimen of the descendants of Adam. On the other hand, that my goodness did not make me “meet to receive or deserve grace of congruity,"* will still appear from the sequel of my narrative.
* Art. XIII. Of Works before Justification.
+ Should the reader's curiosity ask what became of these officers, to whose ignorance and misconduct the loss of this ship must ever be attributed ? I reply, the master was reduced in the list of the navy, and the captain was broke, and rendered incapable of ever serving again.
THOU HAST MADE ME TO SERVE WITH THY SINS, THOU HAST WEARIED ME WITH THINE INIQUITIES.”
Isaiah xliii. 24.
Yes, most gracious God! I plead guilty to this thy charge; I acknowledge my rebellion; I know I have walked in a way that was not good; I have walked after my own thoughts, and provoked thee to anger continually to thy face. O that I may henceforth live under the abiding and increasing sense of thy long forbearance and tender compassion, and never, never grieve thy blessed Spirit more! Surely, were I in hell itself, I must proclaim thee in thine own words; and while evil spirits vented their execrations, methinks I must often cease from my weeping and wailing to say, Nay, for “ He is Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin." And now, such of my readers as are disposed to see this character of a covenant God further exemplified in the life of an unworthy fellow-sinner, must follow me from the German Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. As yet I had never been afflicted with any dangerous illness; at least I was too young and thoughtless to consider the small-pox, measles, and a typhus fever as such, when I
passed through them. But soon after the E
my next ship, arrived in those seas, the garrison of Genoa, then in possession of the French army, being starved out, was obliged to capitulate. This event threw several hundreds of the half-famished soldiers into our hands, when a sudden change from starvation to good living produced several deaths among them, and introduced a pestilential fever among ourselves. Our ship was, in consequence, obliged to repair to Minorca; the sick were put on shore for refreshment, and five of the most desperate cases, including myself, were left at the hospital. From the hour of quitting the dreary wreck of the N-to that in which I was left at sick quarters, and became perfectly delirious, I had never employed my reason or my thoughts on the subject of my vows and proposals of leading a better life. Three years had elapsed since I rushed from the means of grace on shore; and, up to this period, I had never read one sentence of the word of God. I had gone, like Pharaoh, from one degree of hardened rebellion to another, until the presence of the Lord seemed to be withdrawn, and Satan permitted almost to reign the undisturbed possessor of my heart. No remorse of conscience, no desires to do better, no remembrance of former mercies, had for some time past, found place within me. Gracious God! why was I not hurried from the ravages of a burning fever into those of a burning hell! Only because thou art God, and not man!
This foreign hospital was a place where, as far as I can remember, no man seemed to care for his own soul, much less for that of his fellow. Here were no chris
tian visitors either to instruct the ignorant and dying, to cheer the drooping spirits of the contrite, (should such be there,) or to speak a word of alarm to the hardened impenitent. Had one such entered my apartment, and known but so much of my history as has already been brought forward, what must his feelings have been! From attending a little while to my incoherent ravings, he would have turned aside to weep, and to say, " Alas, my brother!" Perhaps he would have soliloquized over my couch, and asked, “ Is this indeed - - ? he who all his life long has received mercies only to abuse them?
! where are now thy profane jests, thy songs, thy oaths ? where thy friends and companions in sin and folly, thy dreams of honour, thy desires of renown? Behold thy life is drawing to its close; thy mind is already as good as dead; one only of thy companions in sickness remains, but thou art unconscious of all ! Thou regardest not him who is living, nor those who are committed to their graves. Alas, my brother! may that God whose power is almighty, and whose mercy is a great deep, be more merciful to thee than men dare aspire to hope.” Indeed, charity itself, which continually hopeth all possible things, and rejoiceth in that hope, could hardly have expected that I should be spared to add yet a numerous train of offences to the already dark catalogue. But the Lord's ways are not as our ways, neither are his thoughts as our thoughts."
At the end of ten or twelve days, when my reason returned, I had then just strength sufficient to cast my eyes round the ward, to enquire after my companions,