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ror. I gnashed my teeth, and cursed myself—and, with bitter tears and yells, blasphemed the name of God. It is true my friend, that I did so. God forgave that wickedness. The Being, whom I then cursed, was, in his tender mercy, not unmindful of me, Lof me, a poor, blind, miserable, mistaken worm. But the waves dashed on me, and struck me on the face, and howled at me; and the winds yelled, and the snow beat like drifting sand into my eyes, and the ship, the ship was gone, and there was I left to struggle, and buffet, and gasp, and sink, and perish, alone, unseen, and unpitied by man, and, as I thought too, by the everlasting God. I tried to penetrate the surrounding darkness with my glaring eyes, that felt leaping from their sockets; and saw, as if by miraculous power, to a great distance through the night, but no ship, nothing but whitecrested waves, and the dismal noise of thunder. I shouted, shrieked, and yelled, that I might be heard by the crew, till my voice was gone,—and that too, when I knew that there were none to hear me. At last I became utterly speechless, and, when I tried to call aloud, there was nothing but a silent gasp and convulsion,— while the waves came upon me like stunning blows, reiterated, and drove me along, like a log of wood, or a dead animal.
All this time I was not conscious of any act of swimming; but I soon found that I had instinctively been exerting all my power and skill, and both were requisite to keep me alive in the tumultuous wake of the ship. Something struck me harder than a wave. What it was I knew not, but I grasped it with a passionate violence, for the hope of salvation came suddenly over me, and with a sudden transition from despair, I felt that I was rescued. I had the same thought as if I had been suddenly heaved on shore by a wave. The crew had thrown overboard every thing they thought could afford me the slightest chance of escape from death, and a hencoop had drifted towards me. At once all the stories I had ever read of mariners miraculously saved at sea, rushed across my recollection. I had an object to cling to, which I knew would enable me to prolong my
existence. I was no longer helpless on the cold weltering world of waters; and, the thought that my friends were thinking of me, and doing all they could for me, gave to me a wonderful courage. I may yet pass the night in the ship, I thought; and I looked round eagerly to hear the rush of her prow, or to see through the snow-drift the gleaming of her sails. This was but a momentary gladness. The ship I knew could not be far off, but, for any good she could do me, she might have been in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean. Ere she could have altered her course, I must have drifted a long way to lee-ward, and in that dim snowy night how was such a speck to be seen? I saw a flash of lightning, and then, there was thunder. It was the ship firing a gun, to let me know, if still alive, that she was somewhere lying to. But wherefore? I was separated from her by a dire necessity,+by many thousand fierce waves, that would not let my shrieks be heard. Each succeeding gun was heard fainter and fainter, till at last I cursed the sound, that, scarcely heard above the hollow rumbling of the tempestuous sea, told me, that the ship was farther and farther off, till she and her heartless crew had left me to my fate. Why did they not send out all their boats to row round and round all the night through, for the sake of one whom they pretended to love so well? I blamed, blessed, and cursed them by fits, till every emotion of my soul was exhausted, and I clung in sullen despair to the wretched piece of wood, that still kept me from eternity. Every thing was now seen in its absolute, dreadful reality. I was a Castaway—no hope of rescue. . It was broad daylight, and the storm had ceased; but clouds lay round the horizon, and no land was to be seen. What dreadful clouds! Some black as pitch,
and charged with thunder; others like cliffs of fire;
and here and there all streamered over with blood. It was indeed a sullen, wrathful, and despairing sky. The sun itself was a dull brazen orb, cold, dead, and beamless. I beheld three ships asar off, but all their heads were turned away from me. For whole hours they would adhere motionless to the sea, while I drifted away from them; and then a rushing wind would spring up, and carry them, one by one, into the darkness of the
stormy distance. Many birds came close to me, as if to flap me with their large spreading wings, screamed round and round me, and then flew away in their strength, and beauty, and happiness. I now felt myself indeed dying. A calm came over me. I prayed devoutly for forgiveness of my sins, and for all my friends on earth. A ringing was in my ears, and I remember only the hollow fluctuations of the sea with which I seemed to be blended, and a sinking down and down an unfathomable depth, which I thought was Death, and into the kingdom of the eternal Future. I awoke from insensibility and oblivion with a hideous, racking pain in my head and loins, and in a place of utter darkness. I heard a voice say, “Praise the Lord.” My agony was dreadful, and I cried aloud. Wan, glimmering, melancholy lights, kept moving to and fro. I heard dismal whisperings, and now and then a pale silent ghost glided by. A hideous din was over head, and around me the fierce dashing of the waves. Was I in the land of spirits? But, why strive to recount the mortal pain of my recovery, the soul-humbling gratitude that took possession of my being? I was lying in the cabin of a ship, and kindly tended by a humane and skilful man. I had been picked up apparently dead and cold. The hand of God was there. Adieu, my dear friend. It is now the hour of rest, and I hasten to fall down on my knees before the merciful Being who took pity upon me, and who, at the intercession of our Redeemer, may, I hope, pardon all my sins.
To the Parent, I would say, your offspring are the children of God. On you they depend for education. God has commanded you to train them betimes, to know and to serve, to love and to enjoy him. The paths of
business are equally the paths of temptation and duty.
Religion belongs to every thought, and word, and deed. As then the Bible is the only standard of duty, why do you not interweave it with the whole scheme of secular education? To the Instructer, I would say, you stand
in the place of Parent and Guardian. Their duties are unquestionably yours. To you is transferred, not only the obligation to teach, but more especially the selection of appropriate books, and the regulation of the order and proportion of studies. What Parent or Guardian has ever interfered with your plans? How entirely, and with what a cordial confidence, have they appointed you to think, to consult, to decide, to act for them? Why then have you excluded the Bible of those very Parents and Guardians, from the whole scheme for the education of their children and wards? To the Patriot, I would say, can you doubt, that to the Bible, your country owes not only her religious liberty, and her entire moral condition, but, to a great extent, her civil and political rights, her science, literature and arts? The Bible is emphatically the book of truth and knowledge, of freedom and happiness to your country. Children you regard as public property; and you know, that they will honor and serve their country best, the more théy are instructed in the Scriptures, and imbued with their spirit. Why then, do you withhold the full benefit of those sacred oracles, by thus proscribing them, in every scheme of education? To the Christian, I would say, you admit the divinity of the Scriptures, their absolute authority, and inestimable worth. You concede, that they are the common property of all; that even children may profit by them, since they are so simple and plain, that the way-faring man, though a fool, shall not err therein. Why then do you not give them this lamp of life, as well as the lamp of knowledge to guide them daily, with harmonious beams, in their preparation for the inseparable duties and business of life. To the Scholar, I would say, we offer you a more ancient, venerable, noble classic, than is to be found in the whole compass, of Grecian and Roman Literature.
1 Behold! they come—those sainted forms,
And earth puts on its rudest frown; But colder, ruder was the hand, That drove them from their own fair land, Their own fair land—refinement’s chosen seat, Art's trophied dwelling, learning's green retreat; By valour guarded, and by victory crowned, For all, but gentle charity, renowned. With streaming eye, yet steadfast heart, Even from that land they dared to part, And burst each tender tie; Haunts, where their sunny youth was passed, Homes, where they fondly hoped at last In peaceful age to die; Friends, kindred, comfort, all they spurned— Their fathers’ hallowed graves; And to a world of darkness turned, Beyond a world of waves. "
2. When Israel's race from bondage fled,
S Yet, strong in weakness, there they stand,