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notwithstanding, ungodly. The book of Esther is full of the hand of God, though his name is not expressly mentioned throughout it. There is a way of being with God in the conducting of every lawful worldly employment, as, alas! there is a way of being without Him amid the sanctities of the holiest offices. This remark, however, leaves the general statement untouched regarding the scanty preparation of human thoughts that are glorifying to God.

We cannot close these few desultory observations without looking a moment beyond the present world. In the better land, God will be in all the thoughts of all

. As when the sky is cloudless, the sun the bosom of heaven” with his radiance, and all earthly objects are seen in his light, so above will the soul be filled with God, and every creature be contemplated as reflecting his glory. Heaven, doubtless, is a place of inconceivable magnificence,—inconceivable, save to those who have walked the golden streets of the new Jerusalem, and wandered by the mazes of the river of life, and been surrounded by the day which needs no sun and precedes no night, yet the brightest heaven, after all, will be within the soul. In this respect, pre-eminently, believers shall enter into the rest of God. Let the struggling saint take courage. In the heavenly country, the thoughts which, with stronger grasp and wider range than ever, shall “wander through eternity,” shall no more wander amiss. And as into his home, so into his heart, “ there shall in no wise enter any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie,”—“ for the former things are passed away."




"They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters, these men

see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep."

The life of a sailor, beyond the lot of most other men, discloses to a reflecting mind an impressive series of divine mercies and judgments. In a calling so singularly chequered by varying scenes and changing incidents, life is spent amidst remarkable adventures and romantic deliverances, so as to invest its course with an unusual interest, and to crowd its experience with the most solemn and memorable instructions of heaven.

The individual by whom the materials of the following narrative were contributed, is himself a sailor; and has borne a prominent part in the painful scenes which are here depicted. His life has been prolonged by divine mercy through almost every scene of sea-faring experience, and it has been preserved by scarcely less than miracle, amidst perils to which not many sailors have been exposed. The following story in all its facts and experience, is properly his own ; and, therefore, throughout he is preserved as the speaker. Only in the matter of construction and expression, another party must be held responsible, into whose hands the full materials were committed to give them form. It was the devout desire of the original party not to forget Jelovah's benefits; having, like the Psalmist (Psalm 1xvi. 12), “ went through fire and through water,” he felt solicitous to say with the same holy minstrel (verse 16), “ Come and hear all ye that fear God, and I will tell you what he hath done for my soul.”

In the autumn of 1810, I accepted the command of the Australia of Dundee, bound for Sydney, New South Wales. On the 24 October our vessel set sail from Leith, having on board a general cargo of merchandize. Our ship's company consisted of twenty-eight persons, being thirteen of a crew, and fifteen passengers. My heart was buoyant with hope and pleasing anticipations as I bade my family farewell

, and weighed anchor for my destination. Everything gave promise of a propitious voyage. Our vessel was new and well found in every necessary, the crew were able, and well selected, and the passengers were agreeable, all being full of hope and fearless of evil. Indeed, if we could have anticipated results, my company were most unlikely and ill selected for enduring the hardships that awaited us ; three of the crew being but apprentice lads, and of the passengers, five being females, besides two boys and a girl of very tender years. But who has not seen, that while the helpless are sometimes the first to be visited by the storm, they frequently are found, also, to survive its fury; when the strong who were the most likely to brave its blast, are borne down and destroyed before it? “ I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong—for man also knoweth not his time : as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, so are the sons of men snared, when it falleth suddenly upon them.”

The commencement of our voyago was sufficiently propitious. We rounded Cape Wrath by an easy progress, and were in the latitude of Madeira in seven days from Cape Clear. Nothing remarkable occurred till after our departure from Rio de Janeiro, where we touched for a few days in the beginning of December. We were then bafiled with boisterous weather and contrary winds, till the 27th of that month, when the wind became fair, and the weather improved. On the evening of the 29th December, we had all sails set, with a strong fair wind, and a heavy sca. At this time, by recent observations, I found that we must have been in latitude 35° 51' south, and longitude 8° 8' east of Greenwich, or, in round numbers, about 600 miles from the nearest land, which was the Cape of Good Hope. Our passengers had as usual walked the deck after tea, until about eight o'clock, when, feeling it cold, they had gone below. In less than half an hour, I followed them to the after-cabin, having given the chief mate his orders for the night. We were all in excellent spirits, and speculating how soon, and how safely we should reach our destination with so good a wind. Alas! how little did we know the horrors that awaited us; destruction even then had begun its frightful work, and was silently, but too surely consuming our solitary and sea girded habitation. Soon after entering the cabin, I was affected with a sense of something burning ; supposing that the ladies might have set something in their bed-rooms on fire, I ran forward in the dark to their cabins, but found every thing safe. The sense of burning, however, became more strong and decided, I therefore snatched a light and found, to my dismay, that smoke was issuing from

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the fore bulk-head on the starboard side of the mainmast. It was but the work of an instant to clear away the goods with which that empty berth had been filled, if possible to reach the scat of the fire. My brother William, and four or five seamen withstood resolutely the suffo. cating smoke that surrounded them in this labour, while others stood arranged and ready with bucketfuls of water, to dash upon the first appearance of fire. But what was our horror to find, on emptying the berth, that the evil lay deeper, and was every moment on the increase ; in short, that the ship's hold was on fire! This was too soon apparent, for, on removing instantly a plank from the bulk-head, we saw the whole interior of the vessel like the womb of a volcano, and the entire cargo of coals and combustible goods in a blaze. It was impossible, from the superincumbent and intervening goods, to pour in water in sufficient quantity to extinguish so extensive a confiagration ; this I perceived at first glance, and therefore at once drore in the board to confine the flames, feeling in the agony of despair, that the ship was irrecorerably to be consumed.

It was an awful moment to every one of us. To die on so sudden summoning, and to be summoned to such a death, were sufficient to appal the stoutest heart. What were we to do-beneath us was a burning bier, and all beyond was a black and angry abyss. We could not abide where we were, and to go forth scarcely promised a better fate, for no little boat could live long in such a sea. I saw in the countenances of the haggard beings around me, that they were fully alive to either fate. Some, frantic with terror, sent forth cries, which found no echo from our shoreless and surrounding solitude ; others clung around me, tormenting me with questions which I could not answer; while the remainder stood silent and trembling, as if the presence of death had smitten them dumb. It was easy to discern their emotions in their demeanour-but why should I dilate on others' feelings, when I can but faintly recall my own? I have a confused recollection of a tumultuous throng of momentous interests rushing upon me with an overpowering rapidity, and of a certain effort of self-possession seeking to stem, while it received the tide. Visions of danger-of self-protection of death, mingled with thoughts of duty-of home-of a probably widowed wife and fatherless family-all flashed wildly through my brain. I felt that I stood in immediate contact with death, and the solemnities of a judgment to come rose in array before me. It is not for me to reveal the secrecies of such a situation ; but I can only say as one who has been “ in deaths oft,” and with all the solemnities of that hour before me, that I know but one confidence that has proved unfailing and infallible in such a crisis, and that is, a personal interest in the Lord Jesus Christ, and an implicit reliance on his perfect work.

As I looked around upon the shivering group that had enclosed me, I became filled with one solemn conviction, -it was my official responsibility; and I was fired with one desperate effort—the effort of rescue. Without a moment's delay, therefore, the plan of arrangements was fixed, and the orders were given. The mate was instructed to ease sail, and heave the ship to, in order to draw the fire forward, and clear the afterpart of the ship from smoke, so as to allow us to labour with efficiency. A hole was then cut in the deck, above the strongest seat of the fire, and an uninterrupted stream of water poured down through the opening; but the rapid increase of smoke and flame soon convinced us that all idea of subduing the fire, and saving the ship, was impracticable. We then covered the deck with the loose sails, to smother, as far as possible, the smoke and flame ; for by this time the deck-plank was blistering beneath our feet, and it was impossible to breathe amidships. Our next efforts were directed to launching the longboat, which, as usual, was secured on deck. This proved to be a work of great difficulty, and occasioned considerable delay, not unmixed with danger. The boat had been converted into a stall for two live bulls, and in attempting to get them over the side, one of them, in the confusion, unfortunately got out of the slings, and ran frantic along the deck. It was some time cre he could be filled ; and when the tackles were hooked on to the boat, it was impossible to breathe in that part of the ship. The men could only take a hasty pull, and then rush aft to breathe ; and it was only after repeated efforts, and great perseverance, that we got the bow of the long-boat sufficiently high for launching. We then manned the after-tackle, but, unfortunately, it unhooked aloft, and it required enormous exertions to get it replaced ; however, by fastening some guys round the rigging, and through the blessing of God on our efforts, we at length got the boat launched, and two good hands into her. To pass her aft, and preserve her from swamping, were matters of great labour; for the roll of the sea was so heavy, and the smoke was so dense over the lee-side, that we could not see what we were doing. While these things were going on, I had ordered the steward to prepare some bread, and small stores, to put into the

and I now went down to see what progress he had made for our supply, leaving the mate on deck to roll some water casks aft, and after slinging them well, to drop them over the quarter to the long-boat. Every moment, by this time, was invaluable; for the flames had now made their appearance up the fore-hatch, and very soon caught the rigging and sails. I can never sufficiently commend the energy of the mate, and the steadiness and good behaviour of the men during these exertions. There was no swearing, no inclination to fly to spirits ; every man was obedient to orders, and anxious to do his utmost. Even the passengers revealed the same excellent spirit : I heard no screams from the females, and even the children ceased to cry. All seemed to feel that every effort was making for their safety, and they silently acquiesced in the arrangements.

Our preparations were soon made. Two small bags of bread, two hams, two cheeses, two or three canisters of preserved meat, and a few bottles of wine, with a sextant, some charts, an almanack, my Bible and Psalm-book, and some flannel shirts and blankets, &c., were all that we could secure amid the suffocating smoke. These were immediately carried on deck, and secured in the skiff, which still hung at the stern-davits. The mate, in the meantime, had rolled two casks of rain-water aft, which was all that he could obtain. secure their safe transmission to the long-boat in such a sea, was no easy matter. I therefore confided to the mate to lift them into the boat, and he left the ship for this purpose. The first cask was well directed, but in lifting it over the gun wale of the boat, it fell upon the mate, and an


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other seaman, who were dreadfully bruised; it was a marvel, indeed, that they were not killed. In consequence of their being disabled, the second cask got out of the slings, and we lost it. This was a very serious matter, but it was irreparable, as the whole front part of the ship was now on fire, and quite impassable for any purpose. Finding that I could make no farther provision for the people, I put the ladies and three children in the skiff, with two seamen, who were ordered to cut the faulds, so soon as she touched the water, while we lowered them from the davits. This was done in safety, which was a special mercy, as the boat was greatly overloaded; having, beside the stores, and the above company, two of the passengers, who, unknown to me, had concealed themselves under the thafts. There were now left on board the ship five or six persons, together with myself. These immediately launched the small-boat, which hung on the main-deck, and got safely into it, so that, for a little season, I stood the last living thing amid the burning mass. My position was alike novel and awful; two horrid deaths were before me-one on either hand—and I stood but upon a point between them. At that moment the flame was playing fearfully over all the rigging; the topping-lifts had been burnt through, and the trysail-boom came swinging down on the taffrail; the trysail itself was on fire as high up as the third reef, and the mainmast every moment was expected to fall above me. With a heavy heart, I felt that I must quit for ever the ship and property, of which I could no longer retain the charge. Another and a still more sacred trust was beneath me; and as I looked down upon the twenty-seven bapless beings, ghastly amid the glare of the burning ship, and tossed above the billows that soon might be our mutual tomb, I felt-oh, I deeply felt—that the charge of such beings was not mine. Calmly as my momentary solitude would permit, I lifted my soul to Him who "rules the raging of the sea," and cast myself and company into his everlasting arms.

If ever fervent prayer was productive of immediate peace, my heart felt it at that moment ; for the words of God thrilled through me at the instant, as if his own finger had inscribed them upon my bosom,—“ Call upon me in the day of trouble, I will deliver thee.” I was recalled, however, from my reverie, by the mate imploring me to come into the boat, and as I could do no more, I obeyed the summons ; 80, sliding down the tackles, I got safely into the boat, among my wretched companions. At that instant the mainmast fell with a tre.. mendous crash over the side, and the flames shot up with frightful fury from the cabin-skylight, as if to intimate that the work of destruction was nearly completed, and that our ill-fated vessel was no longer fit to be a refuge for living beings.

" One woe was past;" and although we knew well that others were awaiting us,

it still an act of marvellous mercy that so many persons had “ come out of the midst of the fire” with “ not an hair of any of our heads singed." It is needless to speculate as to the cause of our disaster ; but as it undoubtedly began in the lower hold among the coals, it was most probably produced by spontaneous combustion. When the last person left the ship, it must have been about eleven o'clock, so that in less than three hours we had been cast forth from security and comfort, amidst cold, and nakedness, and watching, to




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