Page images

which may be supposed to make my situation peculiarly interesting both to you and myself; it is this :

“The time was when, many years ago, while I was yet a boy, I too 'went down to the sea in ships, and did business with seamen on the great waters.” From six years

of age, my desire was, that I might be a minister of the gospel. My father thought himself unable to afford me the requisite education. For a while I submitted in silence, but with great reluctance, to what seemed to be my hard fortune. My parents, though at that time poor, still, as far as they could, indulged my passion for learning. A young seaman came to attend our school. He told me how he had made some money by taking out and bringing home some goods. Desire of similar success, in the same way, and with a view to the prosecution of my education for the ministry, instantly sprung up in my breast. It was not long when wishes graduated into hope ; and hope soon ripened into resolution and action. Having, at last, though with great difficulty, obtained the consent of my parents, I went to sea, concealing from them, and from every one, my ultimate object, until the wonderful kindness of Providence seemed to have brought it within my

reach. In every little adventure I was successful. I bought and read books with the greatest avidity. When I had been four years at sea, I returned to school possessed of considerable means of going forward in my studies. Although, by this time, my father had begun to prosper in the world, and would have been able to assist me, yet the blessing of Providence on my own exertions rendered all pecuniary aid from others unnecessary. The Rev. David Greig of Lochgelly, under whose pastoral care I had the happiness to be placed, put into

my hand, about this time, the letters of the late Rev. and excellent Mr. Newton of Olney, in which the story of his sea adventures in his youth is told in a very striking and interesting manner. This book, of which I had never before heard, came into my hand just at the time when it was needed. Though I had been piously disposed from my childhood, and carried to sea, and brought from it on my return to school the same prevailing tendency of mind, still I had begun to dread that it would be presumptuous in any one such as I thuught myself to think of going into the ministry

“While in this state of mind, tempting offers were made to me if I would return to sea. The resolution of returning to sea was accordingly almost fixed, when the perasal

370 Rev. J. Hervey and the Sailors at Bideford. [Nov. of Newton's letters was the means of fixing the opposite resolution of pursuing my studies with a view to the sacred office. Could I at that early and distant period have foreseen that one day I should occupy the interesting situation in which I am just now placed, how would my heart have leaped within me in the prospect of preaching the glorious gospel of the blessed God in such circumstances, and to such an audience of seamen as this which I now address!

“I know, brethren, in some measure from early experience, what the circumstances, life, and habits of seafaring people are, and what striking opportunities such people have of seeing and considering the works of Jehovah in the deep. Perhaps I may be permitted, without being regarded as guilty of offensive egotism on the one hand, or of flattery on the other, to say that I have often been happy, and probably in some measure useful, in preaching to my fellowmen on land the glad tidings of spiritual and eternal salvation. But certainly I never felt more happy, or more hopeful of being useful than I now do, in preaching the same good news of salvation, life, and peace, to this nu. merous assembly of sailors in this house of God floating on the waters.

“ When I look on the honest faces of so many sons of the waves, and perceive you all to be listening with such close attention, I cannot but indulge the pleasing persuasion, that the power of the Lord is present to heal your souls by his own word, and to make your hearts glad in his great salvation."



[ocr errors]

At a meeting of sailors at Bideford to attend the preaching of the late Rev. Mr. Hervey, he thus addressed himself to the throng around him, “who go in ships to the deep waters.”

My brethren,- What we have mentioned of our Lord's saying Peace to the raging waves, may instruct you, to whom I address myself, in the hour of danger-may teach you the wisdom of securing an interest in the Lord Jesus, whose divine word even the winds and sea obey.

“ The hour is coming, dear sailors ! when you shall hail with shouts your native land no more. Oh I then, come unto Christ; get an interest in his merits, give up yourselves to his guidance. Let his word be your compass ; let his grace hold the helm, and so steer your course.

Let his blessing fill your sails : let his blood, his righteousness, his Spirit be the prize of your calling. Let this be the precious merchandize you court—this be the Pearl of great price you



AND DEATH. What is said of the mariner in respect to his ship, that he always sails within four inches of death, may be said of the soul in relation to the body,—that it is always within four inches of Eternity! If the ship split, the vessel sinks; if our earthen vessel break, the soul is gone, plunged for ever into the bottomless sea, and the bankless ocean of Eternity. This is the soul, therefore, that I desire to weep over, that shall preposterously launch into the deep before he knows whether he shall sink or swim.


It was a sad speech of a dying king, “I must now die before I begin to live.” It is the sad condition of many dying men, that their work is to do when their hour is come; when the enemy is in the gate their weapons are to look for; when death is at the door their graces are to look for; when the bridegroom is come their oil is to buy; the pursuer of blood is upon them, and the city of refuge is not so much as thought of by them. In a word, the seven years of plenty are wasted, and no provision for the years of famine. TIME is spent, and nothing laid up for Eternity.

I will, therefore, now finish every work I have to do, that to die may be the last work I may have to finish.


Nothing is so sure as death, and nothing so uncertain as the time. I may be too old to live; I can never be too young to die; I will, therefore, live every hour as if I were to die the next.


As the tree falleth, so it lieth ; and where death strikes down, there God lies out, either for mercy or misery; so that I may compare it to the Red Sea. If I go in an Israelite my landing shall be in glory, and my rejoicing in triumph, to see all my enemies dead upon the sea shore ; but if I go in an Egyptian, if I be on this side of the cloud, on this side of the covenant, and yet go in har. dened among the troops of Pharaoh, justice shall return in its full strength, and an inundation of judgment shall overflow my soul for ever.

Or else I may compare it to the sleep of the ten virgins, of whom it is said They slumbered and slept. We shall all fall into this sleep.

Now, if I lie down with the wise I shall go in with the bridegroom; but if I sleep with the foolish, without oil in my lamp, without grace in my soul, I have closed the gates of mercy upon my soul for ever.

I see, then, that this life is the time wherein I must go forth to meet the Lord. This is the hour wherein I must do my work—and that the day wherein I must be judged according to my works. I know not how soon I may

fall into this sleep; therefore, Lord, grant that I may live every day in thy sight, as I desire to appear at the last day in thy presence.




October has been fearfully distinguished by fatal shipwrecks around the coasts of Great Britain and Ireland. Our limits, however, will by no means allow us to give even a list of them in the Pilot; nevertheless, for the purpose of an appeal to favoured landsmen, for whose security, supplies, and happiness, seamen are labouring amid threatening dangers and deaths, we give insertion, occasionally, to a few melancholy examples. Among those which have been reported during the late prevailing gales, the most affecting appears the case of the Clarendon, West Indiaman. This we copy from the public papers.

• A fine West Indiaman, the Clarendon, commanded by Captain Walker, an old experienced mariner in that trade, left Basseterre-roads, St. Kitt's, on the 28th of August, with a cargo of sugar, rum, cedar, and pimento. Her crew, inclusive of the master and officers, consisted of sixteen persons, with passengers from the island in her,

amongst whom were Lieutenant Shore, an officer of the army, stationed some years in the West Indies, his lady, and four daughters ; Mr. Pemberton, a planter, of considerable wealth, returning to Europe for his health; Miss Pemberton, his daughter, an interesting child, twelve years of age, coming to England for her education ; Mr. Shepherd, whose connections are resident in Exeter; and a Miss Gawley, the daughter of an officer's widow living at Portsea. The Clarendon, after a boisterous passage, made the Lizard Lights, on the coast of Cornwall, on the 6th instant. She beat about in the hurricane until Sunday morning. Just at the break of day the ill-fated vessel struck on the south side of the Isle of Wight, immediately under Black Gang Chine, and in five minutes was in a thousand pieces. All on board perished except three. James Harris, the second mate, saved himself by diving under the wreck of the mast and yards, and just reached the shore when one of the inhabitants caught hold of him and dragged him on shore. Two other men were saved in a similar manner. On Wednesday afternoon a coroner's inquest was held on twenty bodies, in Chale Church, and a verdict of Accidental Death' recorded. • Never shall I forget,' says the writer of this account,

the melancholy spectacle ! some of the bodies in the coffins, and some not, all the coffins not being finished. Poor Lieutenant Shore seemed to have a smile on his countenance, and the appearance of one of his daughters, apparently about three or four years of age, dressed in her night-gown and night-cap, with her plump and innocent face, was enough to break one's heart. I have no doubt they died instantly the ship struck, from the bruises they received with the shock, and that very few were drowned.'

“ All the bodies except two were recovered on Thursday.”



On the same dreadful night, October 8-9, the Marlborough, another large merchantman, was wrecked at Torbay, near Plymouth, and Captain Rutt and the whole crew perished. The particulars of the latter calamity are not yet (Oct. 20) known. A number of other vessels have

« PreviousContinue »