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of ardent spirits, excepting for medical purposes, and to discountenance the causes and practice of intemperance;" which was submitted to them on the ensuing day, for voluntary subscription by those who care for their souls, or even desire restoration to character and to virtuous society, and who have wisdom and resolution to enter into the engagement, and set to their
The great body of the people cheerfully enter into the proposed agreement.
This has been a day of calm and peaceful enjoyment in the soul, and truly a great day on board the “ Earl Grey.” I humbly trust that the Lord Jesus is honoured this day, and his rich and free grace magnified ;—that there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over these sinners, who have this day publicly professed their adherence to his cross and his cause; and that this solemn profession will be found connected with a holy and useful life, and terminate in the full enjoyment of everlasting bliss.
Jan. 5th.—Abraham Button, a prisoner, aged 21 years, died this afternoon. He was a quiet, simpleminded, inoffensive, and industrious man, had the appearance of a hard-working country labourer ;
and was one of those prisoners who, since they embarked, appear to have been brought to repentance through faith in Christ Jesus. His views of himself and of the Saviour were truly scriptural. All fear of death had been mercifully removed by the power of the gospel believed, and he died in the soothing enjoyment of a calm and settled peace, his purified heart evidently
resting in his Saviour's love. I communicated with him as often as I was able, and was always much gratified by his happy state of mind. He had made an open
declaration of his faith in Christ several weeks before his death, which seemed to affect the whole of the prisoners, those especially who watched over him during his illness; the character and spirit of whose attentions, united with the general tenor of their conversation and life, tended to evince that their own hearts were under the influence of Divine truth.
Jan. 6th.—The funeral of Abraham Button took place. While I visited the sick, the people assembled of their own accord in the prison, for devotional exercises; and nearly the whole of them voluntarily continued in prayer until the bell tolled for the funeral, when they all repaired in a body to the upper deck. The funeral service I read myself; and on no occasion did I perform this solemn and impressive duty with more comfort to my own mind, though we were all much affected by the deceased's death, and the nature of our devotional exercises. I had the most pleasing conviction that God had taken to himself the soul of a Christian brother, whose body we were committing to the deep, to await the morning of the resurrection—when the sea shall give up its dead, and the bodies of the saints shall be fashioned like unto the Saviour's glorious body, and made fit for an indissoluble union with the soul, that all the members of Christ, their ever-living Head, may serve and enjoy God through the endless ages of eternity!
At the afternoon meeting, W— B— gives us all a very interesting and most satisfactory account of the state of Abraham Button's mind, both before and after he was taken ill. His opportunities of becoming intimately acquainted with the deceased were much greater than mine; and his statements perfectly tally with what came under my own observation.
The people's attention is called to those texts which set forth the state and character of God's children, and likewise of the ungodly. Further additions are this day made to the number of those who confess Christ.
Jan. 7.—The people are again seriously addressed on the subject of temperance. Eight more of the prisoners avow their relinquishment of sin and Satan, and profess their devotedness to Christ and to holiness, through grace. Ninety of my people have now publicly avouched the Lord to be their God, and have professedly taken up the cross to follow him fully, in his own Divine strength. They are very attentive to their duties, and seem to be under the abiding influence of the gospel of peace. W. B. occasionally reads to the people portions from “ Instruction and Management.”
The prisoner A-J— has been hitherto a source of great grief to me, and to the well-disposed among his companions. Nothing seemed to produce permanent impression upon his mind. The effects of the thunder-storm had gradually died away; and although he was much alarmed when the sea fell on board of us, awoke from his sleep in a terrible fright, and came running to me in the hospital, in almost a state of frenzy, apprehensive that the ship was going down under his feet, yet the impression made at that time also was permitted to die away. How true it is, that no permanent or saving change can be effected in the human heart by any cause short of the almighty power of the Holy Spirit! At length, observing the prisoner T- G- one day conducting, in prayer, the devotions of his fellowprisoners, his mind was forcibly struck; and he could not help secretly exclaiming, “What! T- Gpray! Can he pray? Has T-G- come to Jesus? and is he accepted? Then why not I?” said he to himself, and burst into tears. He continued deeply affected; and throughout the night was in a state of great concern about the safety of his soul. Two or three of the converts to Christianity spent almost the whole night with him, successively or together praying with him, instructing him, and endeavouring to lead him to Christ, who will not upbraid sinners, or ungraciously cast their sins in their face (James i. 5), when they draw near in lowly self-abasement to his feet.
One of these men acquainted me with this poor prisoner's case, begging that he might be allowed to see me; and the result of my interview with him this day, and of my inquiries concerning him is, that I dare not refuse to recognise A- J— as a man whose heart the Lord hath touched, and disposed to bewail his past life, embrace the Saviour, and live according to his commandments, under the purifying influence of his love.
NOTICE OF J— H-, A-D-, AND J— 5— 127
J-H, one of my most active and efficient pettyofficers, a man of great natural firmness, who has been most useful to me and to his fellow-prisoners, observing everything that may be going on both above and below decks, and whose conduct during the voyage has been most unexceptionable, communicated with me to-day on the subject of his spiritual and eternal interests ; and gives evidence of being brought back to God through the faith of his dear Son. This prisoner is a very manly person in his disposition, habits, and carriage; and the proofs of his sincerity are peculiarly satisfactory. Oh, I trust the Lord the Spirit is performing all this work! If so, all will stand-even to the end. That which he does not do, will come to nought, and the spiritually convicted sinner will remain under an awfully increased load of
January 8th, the Lord's-day.-A prayer-meeting was voluntarily held this morning, before breakfast, by all the professed followers of Christ.
A—D— and J— J— used literally to hate one another, and were perpetually betraying a disposition to quarrel when below. Observing J— amongst those who had professed to turn to the Lord, the mind of D— was arrested; he began to reason from J—'s case to his own, and thence to draw encouragement. The sight of his companion in iniquity, in the midst of those who had turned their backs on sin and Satan, and were enjoying happiness in the service of God, filled D- with amazement, and led him also to