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ON Monday, the 9th. of March, 1846, Her Majesty's Sloop Osprey left Wangaroa, in the Island of New Zealand, calling off Monganui, which she left the same day, rounding the North Cape at about half-past six in the evening, with a nine-knot breeze, hauling to the wind whilst rounding it: the brig was under top-gallant sails. During the night the wind came slanting off the land. On the morning of the 10th it was hazy, the wind dead-ahead, with drizzling rain throughout the day; we tacked as requisite, and towards the close of the evening made, what we all took to be, the Heads of Hokianga, and stood off for the night. As night advanced we experienced very heavy squalls off the land, obscuring the moon then about the full; sail was accordingly shortened as the wind increased, and the brig kept in a position, by "backing a filling" and "waving" during the night, so as to have a fair and convenient offing by day-break. Our situation was one, out of many, in which the Captain seldom took rest when the exigences of the service required his watchfulness in her behalf.
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At day-break on the morning of the 11th of March the the wind abated a little, but the weather still continued thick, with squalls less violent than on the preceeding night, until about half-past one, p. m., when the wind shifted more southward, and the weather cleared up a little, so as to enable us to make out the land, the appearance of which bid fair for Hokianga, the place of our destination; which, in my judgment, may hare been-- from the time we made sail, and the wind we then had --about 14 miles to the northward of us.
As we closed with what we supposed to be Hokianga, all eyes and glasses were directed to that position where the flag-staff stood, looking out for the "Directory Flag," when the bar is fit to take, and when not. Thus a Red Flag was reported visible upon such a point as to ensure our safety over the bar, which Red Flag accorded with the harbour signal, "Take the Bar, there is no danger." The bearing of the safe channel over the bar was, to bring the pilot's house on with the rocks off the South Point. I need not describe to the mariner the sort of haze which heavy surfs over breakers occasion in certain atmospheres along the sea coast, especially on lee-shores exposed to the whole set of the ocean. Through a misty veil of this description a "Kauri-gum" house appeared, said to be in the direction and point of bearing in which the pilot's house stands for Hokianga. The flag was afterwards reported to have been hoisted by the Pukeroa, a chief belonging to false Hokianga; whether as a decoy for ship-wreck and plunder, or from more friendly motives, remains a secret.
I ought to have remarked before that, on the evening of the 10th, two shotted guns were fired on our approach-
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ing this Hokianga, as a signal to the pilot, but no answer was returned from any part of the shore, although the brig was so near that the shot appeared to tell in the surf on the beach. I doubt much if any person in the ship suspected the error we were about to fall into, for there was time and space left to correct the mistake, had any person on board been better acquainted with the coast, or recollected any peculiar feature or landmark; but no person on board was heard to express an opinion that it was not the real Hokianga; for, during the time of our gradual approach from the northward, on the evening of the 10th, when two shotted guns were discharged, and afterwards from a southerly direction the day following, they would most probably have pointed out the mistake, rather than risk their lives with the loss of such a beautiful vessel, which in so short a time took place from want of a thorough knowledge of this most dangerous and deceiving part of the coast, so inaccurately surveyed at the time; with conflicting currents, of which no sufficient observation had then been taken, to enable any definite, rule to be laid down to allow for them in working a vessel's reckoning for the night; or when, in consequence of thick hazy weather, the sun becomes obscured, and consequently no observation can be taken, as in the present case. So we read in the Acts of the Apostles how St. Paul, in his voyage to Rome, was baffled and beaten about in the ship by the storm, and how uncertain the situation of the vessel was, when neither sun nor for many days appeared. So it is with man when he loses sight of the Son of God; when the light which He is willing to shed abroad in the heart of man is dimmed and obscured by the clouds of worldly pleasures, in-
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temperately indulged in, then are we driven hither and thither, without a guide, upon a sea of uncertainties, because that best of pilots, the "Son of Righteousness," who would have conducted our frail bark safely into the Heavenly Port, has been despised and rejected by us on board.
It was about half-tide when we attempted to take the bar, and half-past three in the afternoon, that--being nearly close hauled on the starboard tack, with topgallant sails set, and mainsail hauled up, just previous to her striking--she was taken in a squall; and at that most critical period, when it was thought requisite to keep sail upon the vessel, a dark misty veil was spreading itself before the entrance of the river; the haze from the surf accompanied by the squall, all tended to assist in mystifying us still more. So sure did the Captain feel that all was right, that he ordered the chronometers to be held, and took every precaution, in the event of the ship's striking, to be in readiness for whatever manoeuvre the exigency of the case might require; but alas! her taking the ground was sufficient to testify the mistake: our opinions were soon changed after taking the bar. So man strikes: not so much on hidden dangers as on the rocks and shoals he places by his own evil propensities; he forms the danger himself, and dashes headlong into it. Every man, in his proper senses, carries about with him his nautical implements of safety to work by; for instance, let him take his conscience for his chart or guide of life, where every danger is carefully surveyed and laid down by the skilful God of nature, with a true course given to avoid them; let his mind be his compass, and his watchword be ever "steady," and let its variations
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be marked with nicety, so as to keep his Port of Refuge to leeward, as a shelter from the storms of life; let the frail person be the bark exposed to the ups and downs of the sea of life, and mark well the drift of the current of time which empties itself rapidly into the recepticle of eternity; have frequent recourse to the Book of Directions--the Bible--keep the hand-lead constantly going with an attentive eye to the marks and deeps, and give the true soundings of the depths of Satan. There are lighthouses whose foundations are upon the Holy Hill, which shed their bright and effulgent light to warn us of danger; there are as it were ministering beacons placed near every rock and shoal of our carnal lusts, which point, as with a living finger, "This is the way," this is the true channel which clears you of danger, if therefore you are so bold and venturesome as to be drawn away of your own heart's lust and enticed, then you must strike.
Here I depict the vessel as symbolical of manhood in its confidence, thoughtlessness, and consequent ruin:--
TAKING THE BAR.
A change is here, her rest is o'er, her slumbering energy
Is now arous'd, she fearless braves the whirling, foaming sea!
So man-hood braves the storms of life, unthinking rushes on,
And folly, sin and sorrow, are the rocks he splits upon.
See! See! with fav'ring gale, she breasts the treacherous, ruthless surge,
Too-like vain thoughtless man, upon' the yawning grave's deep verge:
Destruction, snake-like, lurks beneath yon crested wave unseen,
A moment more, 'alas! she strikes, and is what man hath been.
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On taking the bar the brig was driven over it with irresistable violence, after which she made an attempt to broach to, but, being narrowly watched by the Captain, who remained unshaken in duty at a period when seamanship could never better display itself, the yards were quickly braced to port; but such was the impetuosity of the sea that it rendered all our efforts to save the vessel unavailable. She now became unmanageable, the well was sounded and four feet of water reported in the hold. The port anchor was let go to bring her head to the sea, but the surf, assisted by the spring tide, drove her so high as to bring the cable to the clinch, which was then let go by unshackling the chain, after which the starboard anchor was let go.
The gale the night previous had been so terrific as to cause a heavy sea to tumble in upon the shore, so that surf succeeded surf in one continual, mountainous, foaming roar, so loud, that even the word of command was inaudible. What remained to be done was, in the humble opinion of my shipmates, executed in the most seaman-like manner, with that steady conduct so well becoming command.
Perhaps there is no situation so critical as when a ship is thrown into disasters by surrounding dangers; it is then the hardy son of Neptune, like the Albatross, bracing his pinions to the storm, summons up his energies, and with that cool presence of mind which inspires the most timorous with confidence, issues the requisite directions. Amid the fury of the gale he stands undaunted, undismayed, as one of our poets said; --
England's march is on the mountain wave,
Her home is on the deep.
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And who, more than British seamen, show such self-possession in the hour of danger?
It was not therefore till the brig became quite unmanageable and past recovery, that a single thing was dismantled by hand. The sea first began her havoc by carrying away the main boom with the heavy surges which the vessel made, then the rudder was unshipped, starting the planks of the afterpart of the quarter-deck with it; by which means the water made a continual rush into the Captain's cabin; green seas made rapid breaches over the vessel, so that it became necessary to prepare for the safety of our lives by getting the boats out, which were more than once likely to be unshipped with the booms, by the body of sea pouring into the vessel: this was a task of great difficulty when the vessel was striking heavily, with the sea beating over her, and the crew not able to keep their hold; the boats dashing about in the slings, at one time amidst the foaming rollers, at another in contact with the backstays and shrouds, for, as every sea receded, the vessel made some very heavy weather-surges, but after much exertion on the part of officers and men, we succeeded, under all the foregoing disadvantages, in getting the gig and cutter overboard; the former was immediately swamped and dashed in pieces, the latter extricated herself from the slings, and was instantly driven in by the rollers upon the beach, with two men in her, who escaped safe to land. Judge what these men's feelings must have been alone upon this wild sod, who could do nothing but gaze upon the unfortunate vessel beating, amidst the surf. After repeated trials to get our large boat (the pinnace) out, we were obliged to give her up; being such a heavy boat,
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and the men not able to stand upon the deck without holding on, nothing could have prevented her going to pieces before she reached the land, --risking the lives of those who were in her: it was therefore through the forethought of the Captain that he ensured her for future service, by landing her again in board; and having recourse to the last measures, the stately masts were ordered to be cut away and the guns thrown overboard. It is as well to notice the quality of what was reported to be the New Zealand spars, from which the masts of the Osprey are said to have been made; and since we cannot make wrecks to try experiments in testing the quality of spars, it may be as well to report upon them in this disaster, for after the orders were given to cut away the rigging, which were promptly obeyed, these beautiful spars bent like osiers. "While eulogizing the spars I would not pass, over the credit due to the builder, for the workmanship and quality of the materials of which the Osprey was constructed, to which we certainly owe, through the providence of that God whose workmanship we all are, the safety of our lives.
I; now depict the Osprey, with her best stay gone, as bearing an analogy to man's deserting the path of virtue:--
THE MASTS GOING.
And now the friendly spars, which long had home each swelling sail,
Reluctant bid farewell to her, who when the roaring gale
Was at its height, to them could trust; and buoyant o'er the wave,
Would dare its malice, while they stood and spread their wings to save.
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'T was like th'adieu of two fond friends, the tongues of each rebel,
To speak that chilling word, perhaps a long and last---farewell.
For though unaided, 1
still they stood; they quiver'd, waving o'er
That form still beautiful in wreck, then fell--to rise no more.
The masts having now been cut away and the guns thrown overboard, tended greatly to ease the striking of the ship, as it lightened her very much, and by these means she continued to drive higher upon the beach as the spring tide made in, which continued until eight o'clock in the evening.
Now when many of the people of England hear of wrecks with the safety of the crew, they are too often heard to say, "Never mind the ship so long as no lives are lost." The observation may be very humanely and sympathetically applied, but why cast away the ship as such a trifling thing? Think what labor this beautiful piece of symmetry required before she was launched from the hands of the builder, and the diversity of materials which were necessary to make her perfect as a man of war, and fit to roam over the expansive ocean. These materials had undergone many changes under various processes, and every change or process which they passed through was attended with increasing expense; there was the expense of their primitive extraction from the earth, with their conversion, and the wages of every mechanic through whose hands they passed to complete the structure: in fact, it is beyond the comprehension of even a seafaring man to enter into the minute details through which the things of the earth have to pass before
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their final completion for the purpose intended. Take then this noble piece of architecture when fitted and equipped for contending with the elements; the tempest that unroofs our dwellings--that makes the thickly clad forest bow to the power of its influence--that lifts the giant oak in its course and fells it in its fury, is but one of the two destructive elements with which the unsheltered and lonely bark has to contend; yet view her with her bold and daring prow, under her wide spreading canvass and lofty masts, fearlessly making her way along the trackless deep, and whilst she heedlessly cleaves the sea with her stem, and receives but the spray of its fury, she rises as it were upon the sea of praise, and bows in its hollow with humility to Him who gave to the sea its decree. If you look over the stern, you behold the milky wake or short path that she leaves behind her, as if the sea were stagnated for a moment by her velocity; but how soon again does it resume its wonted career, as if no such body had ever displaced the water. Behold now the contrast: from all the splendour of her buoyant and majestic grandeur, in a few minutes the tall masts fall with tremendous crash--the sea that she had but a few moments' before bid defiance to, now usurps the authority--the immovable rocks are undermining her below, and the merciless sea is lashing her from above. How soon the work of years becomes the wreck of a moment! Think then, although the crew may be saved, what labor and loss the country has sustained! How soon is the fairest form of symmetry brought to wreck and destruction; an emblem, in truth, of the life of many who have been fitted out in life at no little expense to their parents, and no pains were thought too
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great in training their young minds for their calling.
At home they have been nurtured and brought up, until their spring of life has told them that they must bloom in another sphere; they have enjoyed, as it were, the tropical sun and quiet calm of the family circle: but as it is not in the calm, under a cloudless sky, that the best qualities of a ship are to be tested, nor how she will act when exposed to the violence of the elements; just so the character of the youth is tested, when, launched out into the world, supplied and equipped with every thing necessary, both bodily and morally, he has to contend with a world or sea of characters, as detrimental and destructive to his eternal welfare as sunken rocks are to the frail bark: who on leaving home bid fair to be a christian, but returned, alienated from the life that was in him. Those youthful moral lessons which were to be his safeguard through life, he soon becomes no longer conversant with; he imbibes the habits of impious and intemperate associates, who soon imperceptibly gain possession of his second nature; with these vices engendered he no longer honors his father or mother in their absence, nor does he return home with the contrite spirit of the scriptural prodigal son; his high spirit is not going to bow to those parents, who perhaps have been holding back the means of gratifying those passions in the indulgence of which his ruin was inevitable. Alas! too true an account may be read in the dismantled state of some, and the shattered constitutions of others, who, from the pinnacle of respect, have fallen to the lowest depths of degradation. Is not this a human wreck?
How majestically and buoyant our ship once rode out the gale! every thing best fitted for contesting with the
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element for which it was constructed. The human body too is a beautiful, wonderful, and mysterious piece of machinery, which the wise Contriver only can understand. What shall we say of that mass of matter called the brain, which gives will and action to the whole? Here lies the seat of learning, and here a conscience acquitting or condemning; it holds secret communion with the heart; and they never act more in harmony together, than when they are praising God for their being: let either receive but a slight injury, what human skill can repair it? Again deprive this amazing structure of one of its ornaments or members, and how soon the symmetry is defaced: we suffer their loss to preserve our body. Thus, in allusion to our present position, the hull of the ship was in danger; the safety of our lives depended upon the state of the hull, and the state of the hull upon our exertions to make her as light and as buoyant in as short a time as possible; that the body, or hull, of the ship might be preserved as entire as our exertions could make her for our safety. We read a similar account of the wreck of the vessel in which St. Paul was sent a prisoner to Rome; the sailors first set to work about lightening the ship, by throwing her cargo into the sea.
Here I may be induced to make some remark upon the voyage of this holy man, as it may tend to elucidate that part of the Acts of the Apostles, which is so often read over by many in too cursory a manner, without any reflection upon the merits of the Apostle; and as it is a nautical chapter, may afford ground for some nautical remarks illustrative of the gospel: for with respect to the voyage of St. Paul some beautiful outlines remain to be drawn. The reason is obvious for which he was
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sent a prisoner to Rome; it was, that his preaching Christ crucified, among the Jews, was not compatible with their earthly views; and as they were not willing to have that King of kings spiritually to reign over them, so neither would they receive the salvation his gospel offered; for which offence to them Paul was sent a prisoner to Rome. But God was with him, to whisper peace and consolation in the hour of trial, and to make even the wrath of his enemies to turn to his praise. Paul was firm and immovable in the faith delivered unto him, though least of the apostles: his Rock of Refuge was always near to shelter him. Because the Lord stood by him, he had the everlasting Comforter to hail him with these encouraging words, "Be of good cheer, Paul; as I stood by thee in Jerusalem, when thou didst testify of me there, so will I be with thee in the hour of danger, and bring thee safely through it; and I will also be with thee at Rome, where thou shalt bear witness of me." Judge, reader, what the Apostle's feelings must have been, when amidst the many signs and wonders that had been wrought among that people by the Lord of Glory, and the Apostle's hard struggles for their salvation, that he should be treated as his master! Well might he look back upon the alternate chosen, and at last rejected, city of Jerusalem, and weep to think that she had allowed her day of grace to pass from her, saying; like his Saviour, "O Jerusalem! O Jerusalem!"
The Apostle now embarks at a place called Caesarea, where the vessel had touched coastwise on her way to. Adramyttium, the port to which she was bound, from which Paul and the prisoners would then be transferred to Rome in another ship; thus embarking under the care
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of Julius the centurion, with an armed escort, he proceeds as a prisoner to Rome, leaving the work of his ministry for the Author and Finisher of his faith to complete in his own time.
The first thing we read about the Apostle after his embarkation, is his remark as a skilful pilot. He, no doubt, observed with the penetrating eye of an experienced and intelligent traveller, that either the ship was managed by an unskilful master, or was badly handled in her working, or indifferently equipped for the voyage; or perhaps he spoke from the stormy season at the time of the fast of expiation, about the 25th of September, when the equinoctial gales are prevalent. Whatever dangers the Apostle may have apprehended, he addressed all on board, saying:-- "Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives." But the Apostle's admonition was only treated with contempt, as if the spiritual teacher had no right to an opinion in nautical matters. But he spoke from the experience of former voyages, and the many dangers he had undergone; for we are informed by the Apostle himself, that he had been thrice shipwrecked, and had been a day and a night in the deep. So would many masters and owners be inclined to treat some experienced minister in our more modern age: but we must not bring the ancient days to clash with the present, but make some allowance as to time, place, and circumstances of the age. We read that the centurion of the guard, who was sent with Paul, believed the master and owner of the ship more than the Apostle, who seems to have seen the end from the beginning. The master, no doubt, had his selfish ends in
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view, perhaps from pretended zeal towards the centurion, to urge the voyage with the prisoners, as well as to get rid of the soldiers, who were only in the way on board. The owner, or supercargo, on the other hand, had his mercenary motives; there was his merchandize on board, which he wanted to press into the market, and therefore he felt intemperately anxious to expedite the voyage at any risk-- "all seek their own." These men impressed upon the short-sighted centurion, from false zeal on their part, the necessity of continuing the voyage; thus they disregarded and set at nought the Apostle's admonition, and the result was not an uncommon one in our more modern times.
How many vessels have suffered shipwreck from the injudicious and headstrong attempts of masters in putting to sea, the day of sailing being made the day of unusual excitement in our mercantile service, when the senses of the master are like the unsettled catspaws on the ocean, with no settled point to steer by! In vain may an experienced pilot remonstrate on the danger which threatens his vessel, when, with an oath, he exclaims, "I'll try it if the vessel goes down with me." The master forgets the mighty elements with which his deep-laden bark has to contend; he boldly exclaims, "I can trust to her;" but the inanimate thing has not the power of contradiction. The master may look over his head and behold a cloudless sky; he may consult his barometer, but his determined resolution is not going to be foiled by its indications; his eyes cannot behold the distant horizon, where the cloud, whose first appearance is only the size of a man's hand, is gradually darkening the heavens, and lifting up the waves in its course. Thus
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with, excited intrepidity he launches out into the deep, night spreads its dark mantle over the face of the ocean, the lightning flashes, and the thunder roars in the distance; these are the messengers announcing the approaching storm: the ship, unable to shew canvass to the approaching storm, becomes embayed--alas! becomes a wreck.
So should the master and owner, with the centurion, have listened to the words of the Apostle, and not have loosed from Crete, to have suffered from the tossing of the tempest. It is now that the virtues of this holy man shine in all their native splendour. Ever exposed to trials and afflictions since the spirit of God arrested him on his way to Damascus, he now stands in an element peculiar to himself. Neither bonds, nor imprisonments, nor the threatenings of death have shaken that faith for which he so earnestly contested among the Jews at Jerusalem; nor is he cast down or intimidated under the armed guard whose prisoner he was. The good fight of faith was the standard of his cause, and he braced up every Christian nerve to fight manfully under it. We view him now as the undaunted sailor in the midst of the storm, exhorting the crew to be of good cheer, and to maintain with patience, and bear with Christian fortitude, the trials to which they were now exposed; assuring them, with godly confidence, that their lives should be preserved. Need they have doubted the words of the Apostle, since the distress they had already suffered was brought on by slighting the counsels of the Apostle? But, as the danger increases, where do we find the master and owner? They behold all, as it were, upon the brink of wreck, and exclaim in all the
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anguish of their mind, why did we loose from Crete, in despite of the Apostle's warning, where we might have lain in safety until the stormy season was over? Why did we urge on the voyage to the centurion, for the sake of filthy lucre? And giving up all in despair, they wring their hands in all the madness of their folly.
The above sentence may serve as emblematical of many a thoughtless person, who, loose from the snug harbour or port of home, and forgetting the Guide of their youth, launch out into the sea of life with uncontrolled passions, in defiance of their parents' kind remonstrances, when, behold, the pitiless storm comes. Then see the frail bark driven to and fro! Why did she part the chain of relationship that linked her to her quiet home? Why leave the anchor of her hope irretrievably behind? As the storm increases she sees her danger, and makes many attempts to gain her homely port; but the wind fails her on every tack, like the want of faith that keeps hope in the back-ground, from which the evil heart shrinks. She again commits herself to the sea of life, and either founders in the gulf of misfortune, or strikes upon the rocks of ruin.
Again, we do not find the master, in this critical situation, and at a time when all the efforts of the seaman should be called into action, displaying with fortitude and activity the mind we should look for such a man in command to possess. With the responsibility of the ship, and so many lives depending upon his exertions, he beholds the waves lashing the rocky reef on his lee, with the ship in imminent danger, and in a desponding state he sinks under it; his manly courage under the azure sky fails him when the clouds gather black-
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ness. Where is he, that we hear not his commanding voice? Is he below, hiding himself from the danger; or is he unwilling to come into the presence of Paul, who is now doing the master's duty? When the master loosed from Crete, there may have been a clear blue sky, with a fair wind and smooth sea; which maybe compared to our days of prosperity, when we are basking in the sunshine of plenty--too often thoughtless of the pitiless storms of privations which pelt both within and without the dwellings of the poor--when all with us goes on calmly, and when no family differences or waves of adversity are breaking in upon us. This was, comparatively speaking, the season for the master and owner to prevail upon the centurion to spur on the voyage; and not only so, but, supposing the master and owner to be Jews, might they not, out of the revengeful spirit they had towards the gospel, do all in their power to prevent delay, that no time might be given to the Apostle to make proselytes on his way? But see in the time of danger how the scale turns. When the hearts of the seamen fail them, we may apprehend some danger at hand; and it is in the midst of this danger, when the star-like Paul shines with additional splendour, that the silence of the master and owner (supposing the master and owner to be two) naturally leads us to suspect that they are unmanned for duty, and probably have disappeared from the deck. The Apostle, seeing the ship left without leader or commander in the midst of danger, and the crew in a most undisciplined state, with] the centurion, soldiers and prisoners in confused fear, exhorts them to be of good cheer; but the seamen, or shipmen, now make for the boat, to avoid the seeming
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danger. Such is the character of the wicked: they flee when none pursueth, they are in fear where no fear is. The good tidings that the angel brought to Paul he was willing to communicate to all on board; his faithfulness and truth he did not hide from them; "be of good cheer," were words conveying the greatest incitement to duty, and confidence in Him whose promises are all sure. The seamen, we read, make for the boat, under pretence that they wanted to carry out anchors ahead; for we read that the vessel had already four anchors out astern. Some learned men write thus of the anchors of the ancients:-- "Large, stones originally I served as anchors, blocks of wood filled with lead, bags of sand, baskets of stone, anchors with one fluke, and even wooden anchors." The Apostle now observes the drift of their motives in wanting to lower the boat; he detects their dastardly manner of leaving the ship, when she was lying with four anchors down; and to prevent any recourse to the boat, said to the centurion and soldiers (the very men under whose immediate charge he was a prisoner), "except these men abide in the ship ye cannot be saved." Will the centurion now give credence to Paul? Yes; for the soldiers cut the boat away. Now mark the forethought of the Apostle as a seaman. If these sailors, or shipmen, had taken the boat and deserted the ship, the ship would have been unmanageable; and not only so, but might not a sudden destruction have overtaken these deserters as a punishment for their disobedience? And, besides, it would have thwarted the designs of the Almighty, who had already appointed the means for their safety, by a still small voice through the medium of an angel. When
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God speaks man must reverence his voice; for "though, man may devise his way, God will direct his steps."
Let us learn from this to observe, with prompt obedience and steadiness, every order given us. Every man's life is equally precious, and each one's endeavours should be alike strenuously united for the safety of the whole. The surest method of escape with our lives is not always by the boat. How often has the hull of the ship been left habitable, whilst many, being too premature in leaving her, have either been crushed to death in the attempt, or met a watery grave, whilst those who have remained by the ship have been saved. It was so in the Apostle's time, and it was so with us. "God's way is in the sea, and his path in the great waters." Now these shipmen had no direct orders to lower a boat and desert with her; they were in confusion when silence and order should most have prevailed. The ship was only now in seeming danger; "but the wicked are driven with every wind, and tossed." As Saint Paul had insured the lives of all on board from divine authority, they had nothing to fear: "Lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee," said the angelic messenger to Paul. But the shipmen, or sailors, like their master and owner, were not contented with their present place of safety and refuge, nor with the sure declaration of tho Apostle's promise that there should be no loss of life, but they wanted to pursue their mad career in opposition to discipline, and the plan already adapted to their safety; and may we not trace in some degree, to this very day as it were, their faithless, headstrong and perverse natures engendered into this generation, with their aversion to the ministers of Christ,
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and treating godliness with contempt? Now the plan in contemplation by the Apostle was attended with this result, that except the sailors had remained by the ship, all on board would have perished, because the means to be employed was the skill and exertion of these men, who, of all on board, only were acquainted with the maritime duties of the ship, which lay with four anchors down; and perhaps the heavy yards were lowered down, that the ship might hold the less wind, and so ride easier to the sea. Was this, therefore, a time for seamen to desert their ship? If they had, who would have been left on board to heave up the anchors, hoist the yards, make sail, and get the vessel under weigh? It is true, the soldiers and prisoners might have mustered sufficient strength for a great part of this duty; but still there would have been the skill and activity of the seaman wanting. In what a sad condition would our ships be left, under the same circumstances, in the present day? It would appear strange to our modern seamen, that a vessel should attempt to heave up four anchors when she was riding off a lee shore, and to so much sea as to require four anchors to hold her; but they had not the same confidence in their ground tackling in those days as we have now, not having the same materials for testing their strength. We should say, now a day, why attempt to start an anchor in such a dangerous situation, with no sea room to work the ship off the land; and, as we do not read of the vessel dragging her anchors, why not let her ride in safety, and, if it comes to the worst, then slip the cables and do the best. But, no doubt, from the imperfect manufacture of the ground tackling in those days, the vessel may have been observed to
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drag; and when we come to consider the very imperfect knowledge which the ancients had in manoeuvring their ships, we, who live in this enlightened age, have the greater reason to he thankful to God, who has provided us with the means of improvement for our safety, and should feel grateful spectators of his wisdom, in witnessing his wonderful contrivances through the instrumentality of mortal man.
In the Apostle's time sailing was dangerous and intricate; for when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, we read, they were lost in their reckoning, which brought them to the unknown island, and being fatigued with the no small tempest that lay upon them, anxiously awaited the dawn of day. Reader, hast thou ever experienced upon a bed of languishing sickness, how long and tedious have been the night watches, especially if not attended with patient endurance, and have you not anxiously wished for the day? The Psalmist describes those who go down to the sea in ships, as seeing the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep; for when he bloweth upon the face of the waters, the waves lift up their white-crested heads, and "both wind and sea obey him." Man cannot help seeing his works when he feels the influence of their power; "they reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits-end," in the words of the Psalmist.
Again, in the days. of the ancients, there was every thing to render sailing very dangerous, being destitute of nautical instruments and sailing directions for their guide. There were no contending builders then for the bold bow and clean run, or symmetry of appearance. The Apostle says, when his ship was caught and could
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not bear up into the wind, she was let to drive, probably on account of her high built quarters, or poop; and as she was not able to show much sail in the storm, her bow was brought to the sea, and so was driven or drifted by the tempest; and they must very often have been exposed to the danger of lee shores, through being unable to launch out to sea with any confidence. Sometimes they were blown off the land; and as storms are often accompanied by dense or heavy clouds, these, no doubt, often shut out the celestial lights from their view, so that they were driven, unaided by compass, tossed with the tempest, into extreme difficulties; as their soundings, or depth of water, began to shallow or lessen, and fearing lest they should be driven upon the rocks, they let go their anchors in the midnight storm.
What a fearful night must this have been for all on board! Fourteen days of fasting, of labour and fatigue, did they endure, and all to end in wreck at last! But melancholy as the scene may appear, the Light of Israel had not forgot his mercy and truth, that not a hair of their head should fall from any one on board. If the faith of any on board was weak, God's promise was sure. Our instability is one thing, and God's immutability is another; and what he decrees is stamped with his seal of truth, as was proved in the following manner:-- The first thing the shipmen did was to cast or throw their cargo overboard, in order to lighten the vessel, to thrust her up higher upon the beach (having discovered from the ship a small creek with a shore, probably some little sandy bay or nook, clear of rocks), rather than ride out another night in danger, fearing, if she parted her cables in the night, and took a wrong direction, that inevitable
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destruction awaited them. However, whatever the Apostle did, he knew that all his exertions would be crowned with the sure and saving promise, that there should be "no loss of any man's life."
Bear in mind, reader, the time the Apostle went to work: it was early in the day. How go the days of thy life? Hast thou begun early to cast out the weight and burden of sin, which so easily besets thee on thy voyage to the land of thy eternal rest?
The ship now being lightened, weighs her anchors and stands in before the wind. All eyes behold the scene of danger. Every wave that lifts the ship is hastening her destruction; each is succeeded by the other, sending their white foam with vengeance before them in angry roar upon the beach. Now is the time for the trial of their faith. Are the crew thinking of the words which the angelic messenger had brought the Apostle--"Be of good cheer?" Or are they still faithless in the hour of danger. Not so with Paul. He never mistrusted the word of God; he is prepared for the catastrophe about to follow. "Be of good cheer," were the words of comfort whereby his afflicted soul was sustained amidst all the dangers to which he was exposed; and He who holds the waters in the hollow of his hand, watched over his servant Paul as he did over all the righteous prophets of old; and, no doubt, but for this one saint of God, not one soul would have been saved from the wreck. The sea now hurls the ship on shore, and, whilst the forepart remained stationary, the afterpart was lifted and beaten about by the sea, which soon caused the vessel to part, or break in two. Now is the time when every man must do his best for the safety
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of his life. But the soldiers (the guard) who were sent with the prisoners, overlooking that Providence which rules every event in life, thirst for the blood of the prisoners, and counsel even to kill Paul with them, who was made by God the instrument of their safety, and who with the rest of the prisoners shared all things common, and whose heinous offence, in the eyes of the Jews, may have been similar to the Apostle's, in the defence of the gospel. We read that the centurion kept them from their purpose: it may not have been from any good feeling towards the prisoners that the centurion did so, for the gospel was to him a stumbling block and rock of offence, and, no doubt, he would have willingly removed it out of the way; but the Light of Israel was not then to be quenched with human gore, nor since by the funeral pile of martyrdom, Christ, who was the end of the law for righteousness, was the beginning of the gospel for salvation. It was, perhaps, more in compliance with the orders the centurion had received from the sanhedrim (or Jewish council), to deliver up the prisoners safe to the Roman authority, that he kept the soldiers from killing the prisoners.
Again, there may be heard some to say, why did not the Lord make the sea more calm and less dangerous for the Apostle, since he was brought into all these dangers or struggles for the cause of Christ? But we are not to challenge that infinite wisdom, which mortals should tremble at and adore. God's way of dealing with his servants is to try or prove them, either in the wilderness to hunger and thirst, or to be tried by the tempter of souls. Sometimes we are tossed about upon a sea of difficulties, exposed to dangers and trials, and we are
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often too hard of belief that others can have trials to scourge and chastise the bent of their natural affections, or, in other words, afflictions of equal weight. But God is very just in his distribution: he takes, and gives, and withholds as he thinks best for his creatures. It is chiefly by temptations and trials of afflictions, of whatever sort they are, that our faith towards God and his Son are brought to the touchstone of trial; it is in the storm that he proves our faith. He who walked on the waters to go to Jesus, would have sunk for want of faith, had not Jesus taken him by the hand and pulled him into the ship; and many of us would allow ourselves to sink under the weight of our afflictions, rather than go to Jesus, who would calm our grief, or stay our angry passion, and speak peace to our souls. The same disciple, whose faith failed him on the water, we find deserting his Lord and Master, and denying him when questioned by his enemies. And yet Rome pretends to build her church upon this reed shaken by the wind, and claims it as her infallible right, forsaking that Rock which was to be her chief corner stone, her sure foundation stone; and as a proof that her foundation is not a sure and secure one, let us look at her gradual decline, or her edifice crumbling into decay.
It seems also to be the time to try the faith of the church, by the storm of controversies with which she seems to be involved; but let the storm pelt about her, give the little dark clouds time to pass over, and she will convince her enemies how powerful her light of truth is. Let patience do her perfect work, however slow her operation may be, the church that has most light and truth on her side, needs no greater weapons to fight her
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battles with. She will never be left without the Champion Captain of her salvation, to conduct her onward in the conflict. She must fight the good fight of faith, and make full proof of her ministry, in holding fast that which was committed to her, even that sound doctrine, which some from pride cannot endure, being wise above what is written; others, from ignorance, will not come to the knowledge of the truth, because with them it is hard to be understood. As the church militant clings closer to her Deliverer in her conflict, to come forth from the field triumphant; so man flies to God for refuge when his life is depending on his mercies, but his heart, after deliverance, grows gradually cold and weaned from him..
Our public papers have shown up cases of wreck, where there have not been some wanting to murmur against the government, for not placing the survivors in some eminent stations; but every man who engages himself in the service of his sovereign or country, enters into all its exigencies or casualties; and we underrate the value of the goodness of God, and deal unjustly with him, if we throw in his mercies as a claim upon the government. No government in the world could make a better provision for her subjects in cases of wreck than Great Britain; but there may be some heard, in a dissatisfied tone, to say, "This is the least a government ought to do;" but discontent is the ruling passion of the age we live in. Do all governments, I ask, treat their subjects as honourably as Great Britain? Take, for instance, the Portuguese, Spanish and Brazilian governments, with their treatment of the wounded volunteers, whom they sent back to England, after, these
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men had fought their battles, and secured the crowns to their legal possessors; see the way they settled their accounts, by lingering and uncertain instalments, with no other dependance but upon fluctuating funds; and not only so, but see the disgraceful, inhuman feeling towards our countrymen, sent home with incurable and putrifying wounds, many of whom left the British navy under the most alluring promises of reaping a rich harvest. And what did the British seaman sacrifice by it, but his comforts in every shape for the present, and his loss of service in the future; or, crippled for life, without any compensation for his wounds, he was fed upon any refuse the agents acting for the government chose to contract for? And how could the complaints of the seamen be redressed by such unstable governments? Where is there, at best, any inducement for the British seaman to better his condition under a foreign flag? If it be because of the punishments inflicted for certain breaches of duty, he can go nowhere where such punishments are more mitigated than in the British navy; but choose which he will, there must be some punishment or other inflicted for a breach of duty: men's passions must be brought under due subjection; there must be some authority exercised, some limits prescribed, if only to keep men within the bounds of social intercourse with each other. Let us, therefore, feel thankful that we are serving under such a superior government as that of England, and show our patriotic spirit by discharging our several duties to it faithfully. If any, instead of repining at their lot in life, had meditated upon then past deliverance, snatched as they were from the jaws of death in wreck by the hand of a merciful God; had
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felt how good and gracious the Lord had been, in rescuing them from the devouring flood, and adding so many more years to their lives, whilst the mourners were then going about the streets mourning for those who perished; had checked the murmur, by making themselves more familiar with the prayer of the Psalmist, so beautifully suited to the incident, "Let not the water-floods overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me;" impressed with these feelings, they would have bowed with submission and gratitude to God, setting aside complaints, and would have learnt in whatever situation God had spared their lives, and had placed them, therewith to be content.
I would draw some inferences, by remarking what resemblance there was between, our wreck and that of the Apostle's. First, conflicting currents, and without previous survey, drew us to this unknown or mistaken land. Secondly, we cast anchor, and afterwards lightened the ship by throwing overboard all the heavy materials, to make the ship as light and buoyant as possible; and, when she had taken the beach, how that the forepart of the vessel remained fast, whilst the hinder or afterpart was broken by the sea. Thirdly, how we were all saved from wreck through obedience to command. And, lastly, the character of the natives, who were barbarous heathens, and who yet showed us no little kindness, having gathered up the broken pieces of the wreck and kindled fires for us.
Thus, for four successive hours, did the Osprey continue to beat upon the shore of Here-kino, near False Hokianga. The carpenters, in the mean time, were
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active at their work, cutting away the gunwhale of the brig, which enabled us to launch the pinnace with success. After this important duty was executed, a raft was constructed by the carpenters and crew; and what is most worthy of remark is, that all was order and good management throughout. At about eight in the evening the tide began to leave us, which, as it continued to ebb, soon left us stationary, having by degrees settled some depth in the quicksand, with which the coast for a little distance, both north and south of where the Osprey was wrecked, abounds. Whilst we remained stationary, the white foam would sweep around us, followed by the howling and lashing of the sea, tearing up the foundation of the deep in its resistless course. But the merciless surf could not exceed the bounds appointed by God; there was the mark, and there was the impress of God's handy-work, and fulfilment of his word, when he gave to the sea its decree, that it should not exceed the bounds appointed by him. During the ebb, every one was employed in getting the stores, and what articles were most required, in readiness for landing; for we could not tell with what anger the next flood would set in. By half-past one or two in the morning, with the assistance of the pinnace and cutter, and the help of hawsers, the boats were dragged to and fro through the surf. Shortly after two in the morning, every soul was clear of the ship, and every thing the Captain could save this tide, was speedily taken above high water mark, and sentinels placed over them; I think the Captain was the last man who left the ship. When we first struck on the bar, the sandy beach, which extended about a mile from low water mark to the base of the sandy mountains above
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it, appeared from the ship as smooth as if no human footsteps had ever left a print upon them; but in the morning, after our wreck, we could trace the beaten tracks of the numerous tribes like ploughed fields. The different tribes stationed themselves in groups about us, many of whom, by the time we had all landed, had kindled a fire upon the beach, around which they were all assembled and seated; and when we had got safe to land, we joined in with them, too glad to warm ourselves and dry our clothes; but whether we were amongst friends or foes, from the state the country was then in, we had to prove; but though completely in their power, we were fortunately safe with them. The view of these natives (a sight which would terrify many people in England) was, indeed, anything but likely to inspire us with confidence as regarded our safety: their countenances and copper skins, rendered more terrific by the gleaming red light of the fire, and the extraordinary workings of their tatooed features in conversation, gave them a very uninviting appearance.
Upon the subject, then, of leaving her by moonlight, I shall depict her as applicable to man's fallen state, friend after friend deserting him in adversity:--
How chang'd the scene! 2
the surf, the wind, all nature seems at rest;
The moon-beams brightly glisten on each tranquil billow's crest,
As lazily they roll on shore; upon her too they gleam,
As if they mourn'd her fate, and lent their silvery, friendly beam
To light her wearied crew to land. All, all desert her now,
Who late did glory in her speed, exulting as her bow
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Clave swiftly through the dark blue wave; but danger smothers all
Such feeling now, however much they sorrow in her fell.
We had each now to choose for ourselves a place of repose for the night, hollowing out our beds in the sand, with pieces of the wreck to form head-boards to keep the sand from covering us. There we lay, in our wet clothes, as in living graves; but, although it was upon a cold sandy beach, exposed to the bleak southern wind, far from England's home and her happy hearth, yet to us it was a luxurious bed. We know not what hardships we are capable of enduring until put to the trial; but the greatest hardships are rendered lighter, when, without complaint or repining, we view them as a part of the mixture of which this frail life is made up. We could contemplate the mercies of that God, who had snatched us from the jaws of death; and this was a sweet remembrance, that He who spared our lives from the first death, can make the second to have no power over us, but can give us life eternal. The roaring of that sea which had cast us upon its boundaries, was heard to echo among the hills beyond us; but neither the lashing of the waves upon the shore, nor the clouds of sand as they were borne onward by the breeze, and swept over us, disturbed our rest, but lulled us to refreshing sleep. Alas! even the thoughts of past deliverance were too soon chased away in the forgetfulness of slumber, and perhaps, with many, without a prayer, or even an ejaculation to Him who had brought us safe out of the deep, and had set us in safety on dry land. "O that men would therefore praise the Lord for his goodness, and for the wonders that he doeth for the children of men."
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Yes, and he gave us the moonlit firmament of heaven for a canopy, and he shut the floodgates of heaven that it should not rain upon us; God began his work in mercy, and his goodness followed.
Reader, have you your chamber tastefully decorated with costly tapestry, and are you without an ornament more precious to the soul? Do you complain of restless nights upon your downy bed, and not feel restless under the more grievous burden of your sin? Have you all that can purchase the passing vanities and vexations of this life, and have not enough of spiritual worth to purchase that "pearl of great price?" leave your mansions of splendour for a moment, and come and share my bed of sand in a waste howling desert; you, that the least breath of air may inconvenience, come and share the cold south winds, without a covert but that of heaven; you, that stand encircled with all these blessings, which is your providential lot in this life, do you feel with a feeling heart, and see with the seeing eye, the wants of those your fellow creatures, who crave your charity? If so, give with a Christian and sympathizing heart out of the superfluities you possess.
Thus did God, in mercy, deal with us; for there was no loss of life at the time of the wreck, but only of the ship: not one perished, but all got safe to land. In a few short hours the morning dawned upon us, when our eyes were all directed to our once floating home, which, but for this unforeseen event, might have triumphed for many years amidst the battle and the breeze.
It happened, very fortunately for us, that previous to our wreck, we entered a young man on the ship's books who had been living a few years on the island, who un-
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derstood sufficiently the Maori language (at which the natives were not a little surprised, hearing one speak in their own language), through the medium of whom we could communicate with each other. In the midst of much bodily fatigue and mental grief, the Captain's first object was to communicate with the senior officer at the Bay of Islands, through the route by Hokianga; accordingly, at day-break the next morning, the second Lieutenant, with the interpreter and a native guide, took their departure for Hokianga.
During the flood tide, and whilst the ship was beating about--(what seaman's heart could not feel for that model, still so beautiful in wreck!)--we breakfasted in the best manner we could; a tin panakin and a preserved meat tin canister were saved, here and there which enabled us to boil some tea, and to pass it from one to the other. Our fires were kindled from pieces of the wreck, which our friendly natives, out of a well-disposed feeling, had stacked up for us, until it should meet the Captain's wish to dispose of it. After breakfast, and during the period the tide was ebbing, we were looking out the most level places for pitching our tents. As soon as the tide enabled us to work with the pinnace and cutter, with the assistance of hawser and hauling lines, we went to work to recover all we could that tide. When we got on board, we found the water nearly up to the lower deck, by pumping at which, and by scuttling, we were enabled by degrees to work at the hold. Fortunately, our midship bread-bin, which was sunk about three feet below the lower beck, was water-tight, as was proved by the agitated state of the water in the hold, so that our bread was kept dry; the damage it
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suffered was in getting it through the surf. No natives worked in our boats, but only assisted in getting our stores above high water mark. When the tide would no longer allow us to work at the wreck, we set to work about rigging our tents.
I shall now offer a few lines upon the temporary refuge afforded, as applicable to man's temporary state of probation on earth, to prepare him for another and a better world.
THE TENTS OF KEDAR.
Upon the barren sand their tents are pitch'd: the sun
Shines brightly on the busy scene, as, burden'd, one by one
The seamen tread along the beach, light-hearted; for their song
Rings merry, as the Osprey's stores they cheerful bear along:
The danger's o'er, and ne'er, they think, will it occur again;
Of joy they form the day, nor reck if morrow's light brings pain.
Oh! was there one whose grateful heart pour'd forth its humble prayer
To Him who stretch'd his hand to save; who safe had brought them there;
Whose countless mercies still were theirs, protecting, aiding those
Who, but for Him, would now have been in ruthless death's repose.
On the sabbath that followed our wreck, that beautiful collect selected by our church for deliverance from the dangers of the sea, was read in her service to the crew; and steel-like must have been that heart, unaffected by the still continued mercies, evidently visible to every one of us, in the daily provision made for us. At every opportunity which the ebb tide presented, the crew were employed in clearing out the wreck; and, as we were but a mile and a-half from the river Here-kino, whose entrance is both shallow and dangerous, only
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admitting vessels of light draught of water to enter, we hired a small schooner then lying at Hokianga, about twenty miles to the southward of our wreck, to enter the river Here-kino, in order to embark the stores which the crew had transported to its banks from the place of the wreck. Our heavy stores required great manual strength to drag them through the sand, until the Captain could engage oxen for the purpose of relieving the crew from fatigue, and to expedite the duties; but there was so much delay with the oxen, in forcing them through a country so thickly clad with forest, that much of our work was forwarded before their arrival.
God gave us strength to carry out our daily labour, and every scheme of his providence favoured our designs. Well might the Psalmist burst out with raptures in beholding the mercies of God surrounding him on every side: --"0 Lord, what is man, that thou art so mindful of him"--a being of so short a stay, in whom the heart is too willing to do evil? What are we, but worms grovelling in the mire of selfishness and un-charitableness? But what art thou, O God, in the immensity of thine inexhaustable gifts to man, in thine abundant mercies, in thy continuance of them notwithstanding our careless reception of them? O never let us forget what thy all-merciful hand has already done for us, who deserved no such favour from the Almighty! Not only did he save us from the late impending danger, but we had a farther display of the deity in a continual repetition of his all-sustaining help. Our camp was comfortable; every one seemed resigned to his lot; the damp biscuit and salt beef, although covered with sand,
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was very palatable upon this wild shore. Cease, ye discontented--who have your laps heaped with plenty-- from your complaints, and be thankful.
Our camp was pitched in a valley of sand, which would have received much moisture or dampness had any quantity of rain fallen; but God witheld it: callous indeed must have been the heart which experienced His repeated acts of mercy, and yet was dead to every feeling of gratitude. Thus did God think upon us as upon His Israel of old, for, to the eye of faith, He stood before us as by the rock of Horeb, and with His hand he smote the rocks which towered above us, and there came water out, so that the refreshing stream separated the parched sands which lay about a half-mile to the northward of our camp. Earthly pilgrim, are you weary and sinking with thirst on your journey through this wilderness? Faith will conduct you to some pure stream to refresh your weary soul; let not thy faith fail thee at Horeb, but rather let it stimulate thee more because it is the last stage to the promised land.
Here the little stream was pursuing its serpentine course, in a gentle, silent rill, from the hills which formed its cooling covert and filtered through the rocks--nature's purest filterer--down to the vallies beneath them. What mercies for contemplation! Would it not seem that God, whose care is over all his creatures, had placed this stream in the sandy desert to refresh the way-worn traveller, or shipwrecked mariner? Thus it may be truly said, that the "wilderness and solitary place was made glad for us, and the desert did rejoice and blossom with the presence of the Lord." This little stream was hid from our camp by the intervening hillocks of sand through which it
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washed its way into the boundless expanse of ocean. Here I am lost in the immense greatness of God's love to man, and man's ungodly ingratitude in not acknowledging it; for though we had no rain for the first fortnight of our encampment, yet did God open another fountain of his goodness, the scriptural emblem of his love, even this refreshing stream. God made the "parched ground to become a pool, and the thirsty land to spring with water:" the hearts which then ejaculated praise, and which were lifted up with thanksgiving to the throne of grace, were too few; but these should be our pious meditations in our hours of reflection.
The worst obstacle we had to encounter was from the clouds of sand which mixed with our food, of which the Officers and foremast men were alike partakers. Few of us had faith strong enough in the belief that God would prepare a table for us in the wilderness, and so soften the hearts of these wandering and ferocious tribes, who delight in war, to lay aside their warlike implements of destruction, and to take to the ploughshares and pruning hooks, emblems of civilization, and share with us their humble fare. Surely a gleam of gospel light is shedding its beams, by the christian efforts of the missionaries, upon this heathen part of the coast; nor shall the word of God, which goeth out of his mouth through his missionary messengers, return unto him void; though thorns and briars spring up among them to choke their labour, yet their labour shall not be in vain in the Lord. These thorns and briars, let it be understood, are men of incorrigible character, who, despising government, and thinking discipline too hard a task-master to serve under, leave their ships (mostly whale ships), in a state of
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mutiny, and scatter themselves among the different tribes, join them in their wandering life, get a knowledge of their language, and do all they can to raise a barrier in the way, by opposing the gospel and the efforts of these good men. I speak what I know, and testify what I have seen. Nor are there those wanting who escape from Sidney and Hobart Town who creep in among the natives, and do despite to the missionary labours. They use the same words which stamped mortality upon the whole human race, or words leading to the same end, with which the arch deceiver deceived the world; "Ye shall not surely die," said he; and that which has already brought them to the brink of ruin they introduce among the aborigines, and poison their minds, and restrain their intellects with the same deadly drug which has brought their own souls under the dominion of Satan, and thus keep the missionary labours in the back-ground; but amidst evil report and good report truth will speak in the end and not lie, the word of the Lord has gone out and shall accomplish the work of salvation.
Away with that cross, the Idol of art,
And take up the cross of a penitent heart;
Once was it seen on Calvary's height,
When the rocks and the mountains did yield to that might
Which abolish'd all types, the shadows they ceas'd,
There was access to heaven through Christ the High Priest.
'Tis not the hewn timber, it is not the nail,
Nor yet the carv'd image, man's sins can avail;
But that living Christ, in whose image we trace
The saviour of sinners, the giver of grace;
'Tis He holds the key of the heavenly gate,
And smiles at the pomp of the mortal in state.
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After we had lightened the vessel considerably we were employed in sinking water-tanks in the sand, and filling them with shot and ballast, to get a foundation for a purchase to spring the ship out of her bed, which she had settled deeply in. About this time the oxen we had so much wished for arrived, and drew a portion of the wreck, lying well to the northward, to a more convenient position; the springs were now tried with all the manual and animal strength we could muster, but it had not the desired effect, the ship having settled five feet in the sand, so that nothing more than a list to port was effected, the brig, until this time, always inclining to starboard. The following day the springs were again tried, but had no effect. In the evening a report was raised by a native, who said he had seen a light in the offing in a northwardly direction. Who can express the joy which the shipwrecked mariner feels at the sight of a vessel! but the joy is still heightened when he beholds the British flag of freedom come to rescue him from his perilous situation. At this report many of us gathered round the flag-staff, which was planted upon a little rising hillock, giving us a rather commanding view of the sea, a blue light and rocket were shewn to indicate the direction of our camp; after remaining some time by the flag-staff, waiting an answer, none was returned; whether the natives were trying to use a stratagem to decoy us from our magazine, which was well guarded at all times, of whether they were mistaken by any luminous appearance on the water I cannot say.
The natives up to this time were quite civil and quiet; they are rather intrusive in their habits, and apparently ungrateful for any little benefit conferred; on presenting
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them with any thing they catch at it greedily, without a thank, or even a look indicative of kindness, but I may be wrong with regard to their inward feelings, being so little acquainted with their customs. If one happens to squat down opposite your tent door, he is gradually joined by nearly the whole of his tribe, whose eyes seem riveted to certain objects, which seem to baffle the understanding of this wandering race of Adam. They are great hands for bartering, and dearly have they paid for it in their lands, for before civilization had taught them the value of it, the chiefs exchanged certain portions for saws, hatchets, guns, powder and shot, and wearing apparel; but, as Heki our opponent chief said, they had no idea, when bartering for these implements, that they were to relinquish for ever all claim to the land; they looked upon it as a lease, and when these articles perished with the using, the lease expired. They keep their money in a little bag slung round their neck, and shew evident signs of knowing its value, for they seldom produce more than a shilling at a time, under an impression that this coin might obtain the article they fancy. No distinction is made by them between gentle or simple, they have a notion that all feel an equal interest with them in their way of trade; still there may be observed a free and good-natured trait in their character, for whatever is given to one will soon be distributed amongst their relatives and friends, or tribes a pattern this is to the more refined and civilized nations of the earth; their wants are comparatively few, they have all an independent spirit, all very much upon a level with each other; as regards their substance, or riches, a very little suffices them, and a single blanket
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makes many of them appear rich, which is worn by men and women in a similar way to which a shawl is worn, but the corners always dragging on the ground: I have seen an immense pig given for a blanket, and this pig driven many miles through the thickly wooded country for the purpose of exchange, they then think themselves richly clad, it is all their covering, and with many their tent day and night. Repine not at your poverty, ye poor of England, for the poorest among you are seldom reduced to this state of poverty; yours, in many instances, is brought on by improper uses, or, by abuses of the many blessings which God has scattered around you; when your laps have been filled with plenty then have ye turned your backs ungratefully upon the blessed Giver, and consumed it upon your lusts. When the great source of our happiness is made a secondary consideration we lose the value of His blessings, and, these once lost, human nature feels its degraded position, as was the ease with our first father Adam in Eden.
The next thing we did was to get one of the guns out which took such command of us amidst the heavy surges of the vessel that we could not get it overboard at the time; this gun was transported by the oxen and crew to the place of embarkation, and the boat's gun was mounted near the flag-staff which stood upon a commanding hillock, about thirty feet above the level of the sea. The next morning, a numerous tribe of friendly natives made their appearance, heavily laden, coming along the north beach; the cargo of these friendly tribes was most gladly received, and I wish I could say thankfully, by all, for their burden proved to be potatoes, amounting to seventy-six baskets, each basket containing about forty
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pounds in weight. When this tribe had got within a short distance of our camp, every man let fall his basket from his back, and, joining another friendly tribe who were already with us, commenced giving us their war dance, after which the chief advanced, making us a present of the potatoes, which were all uniformly piled up in our camp ready for issue. This luxury was brought a distance, I was told, of twelve miles, through a thickly clad forest land for our use; for, as soon as Nopera, our friendly chief, had heard of our disaster, he sent to others of our friendly chiefs, to assist him in making provision for the supplying our wants, as he feared nothing might be saved from the wreck, to afford us any sustenance.
I trust there is not a heart wanting in Christian England, for Christ's sake and the gospel's, to send forth the means, conjointly, for the wider spread of that gospel, the dawn of which has already begun to show the prominent effects of its blessed promulgation, turning the spears into pruning hooks, and breaking in pieces their idols, so, that tribe no more wars now against tribe; they are beginning to enjoy what happy Israel once did before they quenched the light of Israel, or, falling back to gross idolatry, forsook the Lord who bought them with a price of his peculiar love. They begin to feel the blessed effects of that truth, whereby man may enjoy peace under his own vine, and his own figtree, and that peace is an earnest of that spirit which the world cannot give; strengthen then the hands of the missionary labourer, to establish a spiritual building upon Christ the sure foundation stone, for I stay not to remind you how active the great Mother of Harlots and abomination of the earth is to compass sea and land, to
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make one proselyte. Let us remodel Jerusalem, upon a spiritual plan, and render the temple of Zion impregnable, by truth; then let Rome bring her battering-rams of delusion, and try Zion's strength.
The earthly Jerusalem fell, becoming weak by sin in the creature, but the Jerusalem above shall ever stand secure, as a city not made with hands, whose builder and maker is God. It is this city that the gospel invites us, spiritually, to become inhabitants of; its gates are open day and night to receive the repenting and humble suppliant. Let us who live in the light of the gospel, and who enjoy its privileges, strive to rescue these poor wandering tribes from something worse than heathenism, the bondage of popery; the brightest gem in the British crown is the light of the gospel, purely disseminated by Christ-like missionaries for the increase of Christ's kingdom; but the furtherance of this gospel is dependant upon means. This is what I feel in duty bound to note, and it is the greatest return I can make, in asking, through the medium of the British nation, support to the protestant missionary societies in their labours of the ministry; making good the words of the prophet Daniel, that, with the march of steam, many may run too and fro with the gospel of salvation, that knowledge may be increased, that all the tribes of the earth may become one family, under one gospel dispensation in Christ.
Ah! little did the Osprey know,
That here her short career should end;
That where she came to seek a foe,
She should be glad to find a friend.
For we have not only a portion of our food to thank them for, but for our Wares (or huts) for our temporary
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shelter, which they would assist us in building for a trifling acknowledgement, rudely constructed as our habitations were, they afforded us a luxuriant shelter; indeed, we had nothing to complain of, for we enjoyed many comforts, even on this wild shore, above many of our fellow creatures; the little that we did possess was great wealth in the eyes of the natives, who thought that all our comforts were attended with too much care and trouble. What, if some of these simple children of nature had come to England, and witnessed therein some of our purple and fine linen dressed gentry, making their attire their Sabbath-day's idol, who could lavish away any time at the mirror, reflecting with admiration their corruptible image, but who would not sit half the time to edify under a sermon, where the soul may be taught to reflect the image of the heavenly; what would they think if they were to witness this dress idolatry? These babes in Christ would ask you if your contributions were raised to make them such traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure as yourself. To our shame, do we too often sacrifice the love of God for the love of dress; we mourn over a soiled garment, but never mourn over a heart soiled with the deeper stain of sin. These simple children of Adam would tell you, with their dawn of light upon their souls, that the missionaries taught them to be Christians, that they were told to be Christ-like in the power of Godliness, and to be influenced by the spirit of Christ, and the truths of Christ's gospel. Worship God, through Christ, in spirit and in truth, is no high-flown, unintelligible, language, because it stands aloof from the wisdom of this world, like the fishermen of Galilee, they become "rooted and
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built up in Christ," established in the faith, as they have been taught by the word of God. These poor natives were clothed with richer garments than attracting shades of silks and satins, to shew off the perishing body to its best worldly advantage; they were clothed with humility; the cankerworm of pride was not at the root of their dignity, for they have been taught to walk humbly with their God, and to say with David, "Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me;" they have put on the wedding garment of holiness, having hated the garments spotted by the flesh, in its vanity and love for this world. Now the little wearing apparel which we possessed, beside our actual covering, the natives thought might be dispensed with. Owing to their simple mode of cooking they require no cooking utensils, they have no earthly care, they possess as though they possessed not; they leave no emblazoned monuments to perpetuate their memory, or mansions to call after their own name, in memorial of their ancestry, but they are true sojourners upon earth.
Now, how long have our christian privileges been continued to us in England? We have not advanced at all in proportion to the gospel light that we have so long enjoyed in favoured England; arts and science may have taken rapid strides in our land, but, has godliness, I ask, kept pace with it? What will it profit the greatest philosopher, though he wander among the stars, and follow their courses through the heaven's bright region, if he lose that brightest star which hung over Bethlehem, and ushered into this world of sin "a man of sorrows," to expiate that sin, and redeem man's soul from the pow-
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er of hell? Some who are wise above what is written have missed the prize of our high calling in Christ Jesus. The man who meditates upon the works of God, and takes pleasure therein, must bow with a deep sense of his humiliation to God's adorable greatness. God is great and we know him not, neither can his works be searched out.
Such was then the advantage of civilization over heathen darkness, for the fallow ground of heathenism had at the time of our wreck not been wholly broken up by the missionary labourers; the gospel plough needed good exercise over the hearts of many of the natives. Now, as we could not speak their language, we, at least, might have shewn by our actions the beauty and the value of Christianity, how it ought to influence our moral and christian conduct when it lay in our power to display it to such advantage to the natives, for many of them appeared to work cheerfully, and to show us no little kindness; for a good distance over the heavy sands they might be seen carrying large bundles of sticks and rushes, these being all the materials necessary to form our humble abodes with; there was also a marked good naturedness in these people, for if ever we had occasion to pass them during their scanty meal of shell-fish and potatoes their hands were instantly extended, or their motions indicated our welcome to partake of their humble fare. This would have been the time for sobering down the epicurean whose god is his belly, to a more temperate enjoyment of those blessings for which we are daily dependants from our merciful God and Creator. It is right and good that man should pass through the school of trials and afflictions in this world, in order that
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he may become acquainted with his mortal condition, and seek a more continuing world to come.
Now the treatment that we received from many of the natives was as the dawn of that prediction, wherein Isaiah says, that "the lion and the lamb shall feed together" under the happy effects of the gospel dispensation; and how could I more beautifully illustrate this passage than by throwing such an unmistakeable light upon it? Whilst partaking of their humble meal with them, I saw that God had, by his missionary agents, softened the hearts of these people whose delight was in war; for their swords were laid aside for the plough, and their spears for the pruninghooks, and tribes were ceasing to war with tribes. He who provided for the children of Israel in the wilderness, and for Elijah in a land of drought, provided sustenance for us also upon these barren sands.
The crew and oxen were this day employed in dragging the ballast to the place of embarkation; the natives and part of our own men hauled upon the springs, one of which carried away. A strict and careful survey was now held on the state of the ship, and the report was as follows:-- The upper deck was ripped up by the rudder whilst the ship was striking heavily; outside, the whole of false keel gone, the tenon of stern post, thirty feet of main keel and starboard garboard streak gone; twenty-five feet of second streak, and similar damage on port side; every butt which could be examined was started; fore part, inside butts and bolts were started: lower deck started above an inch from ship's side; lower deck beams and the butts of the keelson started, the fittings between the midship floors started; and the
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ship's back evidently broken: yet these defects were but light when we consider the time that we were beating about in the tremendous surf, and through which divine providence brought us, and landed us safely.
I now advance to the thirteenth day of our wreck, on which we had rain, because the earth lacked moisture, and to us in the camp it was not without its blessing also, for the stream was copiously supplied for our use. It proved our tents also, by means of which we improved and made them watertight. Thus, with deliverance from danger, and making provision for our wants in so miraculous a manner, did the Deity display himself with every attribute peculiar to his merciful greatness. But, although the cup overflowed with blessings, still, I fear, there were ungrateful hearts, who lightly esteemed these precious gifts, coming from the hand of God. And why did God not withold them? Because "his mercy endureth forever!"
The springs, that I just now said were carried away in our endeavour to swing the ship, were now replaced, and shifted from the quarter port, through the rudder head case, and hauled upon, but the ship scarcely shifted her position; but in the evening, when the spring tide was at its height, and the swell was setting in, she was seen beating with her broadside to the beach; the crew were turned out, and the hawsers hauled taut, and secured for the night. Thus did the sea, with her immense purchase, achieve in a few moments what days of labour might never have accomplished. To day, a part of Nopera's tribe arrived, sent by this worthy chief, for he had twice taken a passage in our ship, from the Bay of Islands to Auckland, and he felt much grieved
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at the melancholy tidings of our loss, and lost no time in sending a part of his tribe, from the east side of the island to the west, where we were wrecked, to render us any assistance that we might require, and to see that we were peaceably dealt with among the less civilized tribes amongst whom we were wrecked.
Another trait in their character which puts to the blush the usage of civilized nations, is, that in the time of war every stratagem is considered fair by the latter, whereas every thing, on the part of the former, is open handed, frank, and even confiding toward their enemies. In the recent action at Rue-Pake-Pake, unarmed Englishmen might stroll close to their Pahs, or wood-piled fortifications, which they were besieging, and might even converse with them without molestation, or insult; and see, after Kawita was driven from his strong hold, himself and tribe come unsuspiciously among the very soldiers who were their opponents.
The wandering, unsettled life, which these simple children of nature lead, totally unfits them for any steady continued occupation; which is much to be regretted, both by the European settlers and for themselves, as nothing could conduce more to their mutual comfort than the one relying on the exertions of the other. The resources, healthy climate, and fertile soil of New Zealand, I thought, presented a most inviting inducement to the enterprising capitalist, or labourer, and could these advantages be known, and be duly appreciated at home, I doubt if there would be so many inmates either in the workhouse or jail; honest and hard working emigrants would not only benefit themselves, but would add to the commerce of the country; and they would feel, even as emigrants, with him who exclaims, --
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Though banish'd from thy shores awhile,
Dear to my heart's thy fame and glory;
While I leave thee, sea girt isle,
Happy England I adore thee.
Next to the love of life, perhaps there is no feeling that clings so closely as the love of home, of our birth-place; and dead must be that heart to every social feeling that could forget it: in absence from home, in a foreign land, that cherished spot will still be uppermost in our thoughts, and the most trivial circumstance, which reminds us of something similar which has occured there in our youth, will often bring a train of pleasing reflections with it.
The crew were now employed transporting stores to the place of embarkation: two sail also hove in sight, one was the schooner that we expected from Hokianga, the the other was a stranger, hull down in the offing, which passed to the southward. This night was very squally with much rain, the thunder mingled its roaring with that of the sea, and the lightening illumined the whole camp, and we had reason to be thankful that our temporary tents stood secure amidst the storm.
Reader, how do you stand when the destructive elements of your nature are threatening to break in upon your peace? Have you pitched the tent of your hope upon the Rock of Ages? And, do you look with the eye of faith to see that your foundation is secure in Christ? See then that your outward works accord with the graces within, that your works may walk hand in hand with your faith. Let us consider ourselves like our tents, but as temporary tabernacles for the Spirit's dwelling in this lower world, having here no permanent abode,
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no city of any long continuance, but merely passing through a probationary state to prepare ourselves for another and a better world.
The next thing we did was to haul upon the springs very early in the morning; about an hour after they were hauled upon they parted, and immediately afterward the starboard cable parted a few feet outside the hawsehole, so that there was nothing more than a hawser hanging slack over the starboard bow, fastened to a kedge anchor upon the beach, while the spray from the surf was beating over the vessel as she was inclining to edge a little towards the river Here-kino, the crew still being employed in conveying stores to the place of embarkation. This was a day of unusual fatigue to the crew, owing to the heavy rain which had fallen for the last two days, so that every step we took with our loads we sunk ancle deep into the sand.
Our hired schooner, which we sighted in the offing yesterday, entered the river under all hazard of the dangerous rollers which were setting in at the intricate entrance of it. After the vessel had passed these rollers, the wind that had brought her safely over them suddenly died away, so that the vessel was becalmed between the two headlands, having at the same time the strong ebb tide to encounter, for, into this river all the adjacent valleys were pouring their streams. Whilst standing upon a sandy-spit at the entrance of this quiet river, you behold on the one hand the sea lashing the rocks, which intersect the sands, bounding and receding in its restless course, then rolling in exhausted upon the sand girt strand. On the other hand you behold a mill-pond stream, whose still surface is calmed by the sheltering hills,
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whilst the eye loses the source of the stream as it narrows into the verdant valleys, and shuts out the view by the foliage of the forest as it embowers the cooling springs; outside you behold the war of elements, and hear their wild commotion; inside all nature seems at rest, in Eden stillness, and you hear nothing but the birds chanting their Maker's praise, as it were in Paradise.
The vessel, whose dangerous situation I have before alluded to, was now obliged to anchor; we observed her in this perilous situation, and a boat, which we kept in the river, was instantly manned and sent out to the schooner, to render assistance if needful. The stream drove our boat out with great rapidity, so that she was quickly alongside the schooner. The boat having executed her orders, put off again from the schooner to return, but encountered the same difficulty as the schooner did; the boat made for the south shore, and dodged the eddy currents under the rocks, which lay about half a cable's length from the schooner, then with their best strength the boat's crew gave way cheerily for the north side of the river, where we were encamped, but when the boat caught the eddy tide on the north shore, then she was in as fast as she had been set out; this was owing to a flat sandy spit, which, forming a little nook or bay, broke the sluice of tide, by which a boat was always enabled to gain this point, when she was beached and dragged over the point by the crew. I have particularized this trifling occurrence merely to show the intricate and conflicting nature of the currents, for which, masters of Coasters, who are continually among; them (some of them ten or fifteen years), cannot lay
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down any rules, from their experience, to guide the navigator who may casually visit the coast.
This also was a very wet day, and on these occasions much unusual fatigue was experienced from the nature of the quicksands, by the continuance of wet weather; but not one of the crew could say that they were worked like horses, for the captain paid strict attention to the men's not being overburdened; there were, therefore, no hard taskmasters set over the men, to exact anything beyond their due strength, and every one was sober and capable of discharging his proper duties; for, on this barren waste, there were no poisonous drug shops to inflame the brain and cause disorder, in fact, there was no inducement whatever for intemperance, every man rightly estimated his small portion of grog, and applied it to its proper use; and I challenge the whole of the British navy to produce fewer on their sick lists, in proportion to their ship's company, than there were in our camp during the fifty-two days upon the sandy shores of New Zealand; and however loud some partisans may be in exclaiming against the present scheme which our government has thought fit to adopt, in staying the noxious plague of intemperance, (this we must expect, since we are of different passions and opinions, and we have all, more or less, our darling propensities which require a stimulous peculiar to that propensity, ) the less scope allowed for that which constitutes an evil the less there will be to generate the evil; for what has given rise to that word tyranny in our service? but chiefly that most arduous and unpleasant task of suppressing drunkenness, which every lover of order must acknowledge is not an easy matter among a body of men where this evil is a growing
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one. Discipline, too, is often misapplied for tyranny, and too easily imposed upon the weakminded people of England: because some chastisement has been necessary for the lawless and disobedient, for the well-being of the ship's company, parties have spread, through the medium of contentious letters, many scandalous reports, to the injury of the service. I remember, when paid off from a ship, in 1840, seeing and hearing the name of one of the best and ablest seamen, as well as one of the most perfect gentlemen our navy has produced, balladed and ridiculed about the streets of Portsmouth, when the ship was the pride of the British navy, in her appearance, both inside and out, as well as for her discipline throughout! I belonged to the ship nearly the whole commission, and I can bear testimony to the gentleman, as well as the seaman in this popular man.
I now advance with another day dawning upon our life. The cloudy weather, which had for the last two days denied us a glimpse of the clear blue firmament, was now removed, and the blessed sun, which cheers all nature with its enlivening rays, burst upon our camp; and was there no eye a grateful spectator of this blessed orb? Was there no voice ejaculating the praise of Him who said, "Let there be light?" Who that has dwelt in nature's wildest retreats, whether cast where her spontaneous production supplies him with food, or in the barren wilderness, cannot see more of the wonders of creation than in the palace, the handy work of man? King David could admire, from his palace windows, the green pastures and the refreshing stream, and could draw from them some beautiful similies, as in the twenty-third Psalm; though he held the sceptre of Israel he forgot
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not the crook and the flock of his low estate; and, happy indeed is the man who can rejoice under every dispensation of God's providence.
Yesterday, everything about us appeared gloomy, with the cold damp sands, and our tents drenched with water; but could we not recognize the hand of God, even in the gloom? Only let us call to rememberance his many acts of mercy, and we shall soon find that his benefits vastly more than compensate for the temporary annoyances, as we term them. But let us weigh them in the impartial balance, and see how much of gratitude there will be wanting on our part to make up the difference; for though everything yesterday wore a lowering aspect, how beautifully is the scene changed to day! Whilst standing upon a rising hillock, my heart gratefully rejoiced at the features of creation, and in the God of nature, who had given it such lovely tints; yesterday, the sands that had a damp and dark appearance, are now bleaching in the sun's glowing beams, and cheerful appeared the face of nature, even on that barren spot. The tents, too, which but yesterday wore a wet and comfortless appearance, as if deserted, to day appear with their snow white caps, and life in motion around them. Well might Balaam express his admiration, when he lifted up his eyes and beheld Israel abiding in their tents, being convinced, as he was, that the Lord had blessed Israel, and, that however a man's heart may devise his own way, God will direct his steps. Solitary he stood upon the top of Peor, when he felt that it was no use to contend any longer with the God of Israel, for the cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, had not yet deserted the children of Israel. Balaam beheld from
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mount Peor the beautiful encampment of Israel on the plains of Moab, and the river which separated them from the promised land, which they had been forty years endeavouring to obtain; and now God is about making good his promise, in bringing these wandering tribes to some settled place, for a temporary rest, in the order and harmony which Balaam observed in the camp. Balaam might have known that the blessing of God rested still upon Israel, after preserving them in such a wonderful manner, for forty years, and that his cursing Israel would only have recoiled upon his own head; for, how could he curse whom the Lord had blessed? He saw, plainly, that the beautiful arrangement of the camp of Israel indicated the presence of the Lord. This spiritual seer must have seen that the glory of the Lord had not yet departed from Israel, and this was what made him give utterance in these strains of admiration, "How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel." The sea, too, whose blue bosom is so cheering to a seaman's eye, though veiled before from our view, now sparkled in the bright sun light, and, though the cause of our disaster, how tranquil, how contented the appearance of that surf, which, unable to encounter the strong ebb, rolled lazily upon the beach! A few short hours, and, with tumultuous foaming roar, it will dash wildly over the still beautiful remains of her, who had been our floating home.
Our employment to day was in loading the schooner. Many of the natives, who had encamped around, now began to take their departure from our camp. After the most urgent part of our work was completed at the wreck, in saving what stores we could, we had a wash-
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ing day at our little watering stream, where the sand flies were so numerous that in a few minutes they covered our legs, face, and arms; the moment they pitched upon us they drew blood, and while they were indolently feeding upon us, we took our hands, and, brushing down our legs, we destroyed hundreds; but they left no long irritation after their bites.
The dawn of another day ushered in the sun-beams to cheer us in our labour. We now began to embark provisions in the Aurora (a schooner), for Hokianga, to be there in readiness to recruit our stock upon our arrival, after our labour should be over at the wreck.
Two sail hove in sight to day, one was the Neptune, schooner, from Monganui, the other a stranger passing to the southward. Our schooner, not being able to enter the river, owing to the strong tide setting out, remained in the offing. A strong southerly wind blew all night and the surf broke heavily along the beach, with threatening weather over head, but by two o'clock in the afternoon it cleared up a little, and we observed a sail standing to the northward; we fired a gun, but the ship must have been too distant, to have heard our report. One part of the crew was employed in carrying rope and conveying shot to the place of embarkation, and the other part in ripping copper off the ship's bottom.
The next day was employed in ripping off copper and beating it flat, and transporting it ready for embarkation. The Neptune, schooner, again hove in sight, to day, but an unfavourable wind prevented her entering the river. We were next employed in stripping the chain-plates, and conveying them to the place of embarkation; stripping the tents of a portion of the canvass for sending
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away, drying and making up sails.
This day was very wet and squally, so that the sand was sent, damp as it was, in clouds over our tents. It was now that we began to build Wares (or huts), as the sails were required for sending away; and, blessed be God, our rude habitations stood amidst the fury of the sand-storm, for the drift sand helped to support it on one side, and sweeping round made a trench on the other. And this brings me to a portion of that scripture which I heard repeatedly ridiculed, that "a house built upon the sand shall fall." Let us all take heed upon what ground we build our immortal hopes, and what sort of foundation we have chosen for our building to stand secure upon. Are we building upon our own merits? Are we trusting in our own righteousness to secure our salvation? Are we trusting to our dead works without faith? Take heed how you build upon such a rotten foundation, and remember, reader, that "all scripture is given by inspiration, and is profitable for instruction and correction in righteousness," and not for ridicule and contempt.
Owing to the reduction of tents, through part of the canvas being sent away, we found it necessary to have Wares (or huts) constructed large enough for the number of their intended inmates; these huts were built of the native reed, called by the natives Toi-Toi, and the wild shrub, which they call Kaikatoa, growing round the base of the mountains at a little distance from our camp. As soon as our intentions were suggested to the natives many of our habitations were soon in progress, but I cannot say much for the mode of architecture, for many of our huts were neither wind, water, or sand-tight; yet, to us, they proved a shelter, when compared
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to only the weather-board of the native, which is simply a perpendicular structure, made of sticks and rushes, under the lee of which they shelter themselves; our abodes were mansions in comparison with the native structures.
Our employment this day was still the same, ripping off copper, removing the bulk-heading from the wreck to the shore, and transporting it to the place of shipping.
The Monga-monga tribe, from Hokianga, paid us a visit to day, bringing with them a quantity of potatoes, they also gave us their war dance on approaching our camp. This was a squally wet day, with the wind from the eastward. The crew were now employed in transporting part of the provisions to the place of embarkation. The Neptune, schooner, hove in sight from the northward, and the wind, which had for the last five days been unfavourable, now enabled her to enter the river, amidst the great danger of rollers and rocks at its entrance.
Our next employment was to load the schooner with the stores which were waiting for her at the place of embarkation, and the next day, at noon, the vessel was loaded, and ready for sea. The beach now began to look clear of stores, and the camp, too, had been dismantled of all the furniture that we could conveniently spare, and now looked as if our exit was approaching. A strong wind was now blowing from the westward, which sent in a heavy swell upon the beach. The next thing that we were employed about was to strip the iron work from the spars, the wood supplying us with fuel; the beach in front of the wreck was now clear, and the heaviest of our work over.
Reader, when your daily labour is over, how do you