The Cabin, on board the Providence, bound for the Fair Havens, the Cape of Good Hope, and Trinity Bay, in the New-found-land.
April 2, 1808.
SAILING is often dangerous in fine weather, when we are apt to get too secure. I had a sad storm yesterday, and difficult work to manage the helm. Satan stirred my old man up at a most awful rate; and they were raging and cursing below deck till I trembled above. I could not find my log-book, and visitors crowded in upon me continually, till I grew wretched, and Satan advised me to let down the boat under colour, and so flee out of the ship, desert the service, and leave the crew without a pilot. 0, what a creature is man! Of all the fearful conceptions that ever I have conceived of death, the king of terrors, and the worst imagination that ever I imagined of ghosts, devils, savages, bears, tigers, lions, and wolves - put them all together, and paint them in the most fearful, frightful, or formidable light - all never terrified the doctor so much as a real sight and sense of William Huntington has done, when I have seen him in God's light. And I do believe that I can say with reverence, the Lord knows that I lie not in this confession. These views, in the light of an angry God shining in a broken law, send the vessel of wrath to the bottom. All false hopes, false faith, human righteousness, false notions of a God all mercy, &c. &c. he goes through these briers and thorns, and burns them all together. This is the last gasp of free will, and the eternal death of legal hope. But this death is attended with new life; we rise to newness of life: the dead, "the dead hear the voice of the Son of God and live." After the sad storm of yesterday was blown over, and I had been exercised with many texts, striving one against the other, the last verse of the xxv th of Matthew's gospel abode with me, and I was long in it, and led through with a high hand indeed. And now I am in a strait betwixt two, not knowing which to wonder at most; the badness of the doctor's heart, or the unfailing goodness of God's dear Son!
God for ever bless thee, fellow invalid. Adieu!