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A REMARKABLE INSTANCE OF THE

POWER OF KINDNESS.

BY G. C. SMITH, OF PENZANCE.

A few months since, a vessel sailed from Eng. land, with a captain, whose habitual blasphemy, drunkenness, and tyranny, so disgusted the crew, that some of the most fatal consequences might have taken place, but for the sudden and alarming illness of their cruel and depraved commander. The mate took charge of the ship, and the captain, greatly afflicted in his cabin, was left, by the unanimous voice of a hardened crew, to perish. He had continued nearly a week in this neglected state, no one venturing to visit him, when the heart of a poor boy on board was louched with his sufferings, and he determined to enter the cabin and speak to him. He descended the companion-ladder, and opening the state-room door, called out, “ Captain, how are you?" A surly voice replied, “What's that to you ?—be off."

Next morning, however, he went down again—" CaptainI hope you are better.” “O, Bob, I'm very bad ; been very ill all night." “Captain, please to let me wash your hands and face; it will refresh you very much." The captain nodded assent. Having performed this kind office, the boy said, “ Please, master, let me shave you.” He was permitted to do this also; and, having adjusted the bedclothes, he grew bolder, and proposed some tea. The captain knew he had no mercy to expect from his crew, and had determined not to solicit any : "I'll perish,” said his obstinate, perverse soul, “ rather than ask one favor of them." But the kindness of this poor boy found its way to his heart; and, in spite of all his daring, independent spirit, his bowels melted, and his iron face displayed the starting tear.

The captain now declined apace: his weakness was daily increasing, and he became gradually convinced that he should not live many wecks at farthest. His mind was filled with increasing terror as the prospect of death and eternity drew nearer to his confused and agitated view. He was as ignorant as he was wicked. Brought up among the worst of seamen in early life, he had imbibed all their principles, followed their practices, and despised remonstrance or reproof. A man-of-war had finished his education; and a long course of successful voyages, as master of a vessel, had contributed to harden his heart, and led him not only to say there is no God, but to act under that persuasion. Alarmed at the idea of death, and ignorant of the way of salvation, with a conscience now thundering conviction to his guilty soul, he cried one morning, just as Bob opened the state-room door, and affectionately inquired,

Well, master, how is it with you this morn• ing ?” " Ah, Bob, I'm very bad; my body is getting worse and worse, but I should not mind

that so much, were it not for my soul. O, Bob, what shall I do? I'm a great sinner. I'm afraid I shall go to hell—I deserve it. Alas, Bob, I'm a lost man.” “O no, master," said the boy, " Jesus Christ can save you." "No, Bob, no, I cannot see the least prospect of being saved. 0, what a sinner I have been! what will become of me?" His stony heart was broken, and he poured out his complaints before the boy, who strove all he could to comfort him, but in vain.

One morning the boy just appeared, when the captain sung out, "O, Bob, I've been thinking of a Bible. I know there is not one in the cabin; go forward and see if you can find one in the men's chests.” The boy succeeded, and the poor dying man beheld him enter with tears of joy. “Ah, Bob, that will do—that will do ; you must read to me, and I shall soon know whether such a wicked man as I am can be saved, and how it is to be done. Now, Bob, sit down on my chest, and read to me out of that blessed book." “ Where shall I read, master ?” “I do not know, Bob. I never read it myself; but try and pick out some places that speak about sinners and salvation.

“ Well, master, then I'll take the New Testament; you and I shall understand it better, for, as my poor mother used to say, there are not so many

hard words there." The boy read for two hours, while the captain, stretching his neck over the ed-place, listened with the eagerness of a man

on the verge of eternity. Every word conveyed light to his mind, and his astonished soul beheld sin as he had never seen it before. The justice of God in his eternal ruin struck him with amazing force; and, though he had heard of a Saviour, still the great difficulty of knowing how he could be saved appeared a mystery unfathomable. He had been ruminating a great part of the night on some passages Bob had read, but they only served to depress his spirits and terrify his soul.

The next morning, when the boy entered the state-room, he exclaimed, “O, Bob, I shall never live to reach the land. I am dying very fast you'll soon have to cast me overboard; but all this is nothing-my soul, my poor soul? O, I shall be lost forever. Can't you pray ?” “No master, I never prayed in my life, any more than the Lord's Prayer my mother taught me." "O, Bob, pray for me; go down on your knees and cry for mercy; do, Bob, God bless you for it. O kneel down and pray for your poor wicked captain.” The boy hesitated, the master urged, the lad wept, the master groaned, • God be merciful to me a sinner!" Both cried greatly. “0, Bob, for God's sake kneel down and pray for me." Overcome by importunity and compassion, the boy fell on his knees, and with heavy sobs cried out, “O Lord, have mercy on my poor dying captain ! O Lord, I'm a poor, ignorant, wicked sailor-boy. Lord, I don't know what to say. Lord, the captain says I must pray for him, but I don't know how. Lord, have mercy on him. He says he shall be lost-Lord, save him! He says he shall go to hell-Lord, take him to heaven! He says he shall be with devils—O that he may be with angels! Don't let him perish, O Lord! Thou knowest I love him, and am sorry he's so ill. The men won't come near him, but I'll do the best I can for him as long as he lives; but I can't save him. O Lord, pity my poor captain: see how thin and weak he is! O comfort his troubled mind! Ohelp me, Lord, to pray, for my master.” The captain was too much affected to speak. The simplicity, sincerity, and humility of the lad's prayer had so much impressed his mind, that he lay groaning inwardly with spiritual anguish, and wetting his couch with his tears. Bob retired on deck, for the scene had quite overcome him. In the evening he again read the Bible to the captain, whose soul appeared to receive every word with indescribable eagerness. The next morning, on entering the state-room, the boy was struck with the extraordinary change visible lu his master's features. That gloomy horror which had so long added to the natural ferocity of his weather-beaten countenance was fled, and while his afflictions had softened and more fully exhibited the various parts of his countenance, the circumstance of the past night had settled

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