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ried on by cautious and precarious gradations, the issue of it cannot be involved in the least possible degree of uncer. tainty. All that the grace of Jesus does shall stand for eternity, and eternity shall celebrate the commencement, the progress, and the consummation of its operations. This grace will be the only, the delightful theme of the whole ransomed world, in life, in death, in heaven. The cross of Christ, the great and marvellous works of free, eternal, discriminating grace, will be all their glory, While life, and thought, and being last, Or immortality endures."
ANECDOTE OF A SAILOR.
MR. Pratt, in the second volume of his Gleanings, relates an affecting anecdote of a sailor on board the Venerable, the ship in which admiral Duncan commanded the fleet in the action against the Dutch, off Camperdown. He received the account from Dr. Duncan, lord Duncan's chaplain and relative, who, in the action, assisted the surgeon and his mate in binding up the wounds, and amputating the limbs of the unfortunate sufferers. "A mariner,” says the Doctor, "of the name of Covey, was brought down to the surgery, deprived of both his legs; and it was necessary, some hours after, to amputate still higher. "I suppose," said Covey, with an oath, "those scissors will finish the business of the ball, master mate?" "Indeed, my brave fellow," cried the surgeon, "there is some fear of it." "Well, never mind," said Covey, "I have lost my legs to be sure, and mayhap lose my life; but," continued he, with a dreadful oath, we have beat the
Dutch! We have beat the Dutch! So I'll even have an. other cheer for it; Huzza! Huzza!”
This anecdote is rendered more interesting still, by some prior and subsequent circumstances attending this poor sailor. Covey was a good seaman, and noticed among his shipmates for his intrepidity; but he was preeminent in sin as well as in courageous actions. About a fortnight before the English fell in with the Dutch fleet, he dreamed that they were in an engagement, in which both his legs were shot off, and that he was out of his mind. The dream made this courageous seaman tremble, and sometimes attempt to pray; but, not liking to retain God in his thoughts, he endeavored to obliterate the impressions from his memory, and the recollection of his sins from his conscience, by drinking and blasphemous intercourse with the ship's company. His efforts, however, were in vain. The thoughts of his sins, of God, and of death, harrassed his mind day and night, and filled him with gloomy fore bodings of what awaited him in this world, and the next, till the sight of the Dutch fleet, and their conversation with cach other concerning the heroic achievements they should perform, dispelled the gloomy subject from his mind. As the two fleets were coming into action, the noble admiral, to save the lives of his men, ordered them to lie flat on the deck, till, being nearer the enemy, their firing might do the more execution. The Dutch ships at this time were pouring their broadsides into the Venerable, as she passed down part of the Dutch fleet, in order to break their line. This stout hearted and wicked Covey, having lost all the impressions of his former reflections, heaped in rapid succession the most dreadful imprecations on the eyes, and limbs, and souls, of what he called his cowardly shipmates, for
lying down to avoid the ball of the Dutch. He refused to obey the order till, fearing the authority of an officer not far from him, he in part complied, by leaning over a cask which stood near, till the word of command was given to fire. At the moment of rising, a bar shot carried away one of his legs, and the greater part of the other; but, so instantaneous was the stroke, though he was sensible of something like a jar in his limbs, he knew not that he had lost a leg till his stump came to the deck, and he fell. When his legs were amputated higher up, and the noise of the battle had ceased, he thought of his dream; and expected, that as one part of it was fulfilled, the other would be so too. Indeed, considering the pain of amputating and dressing both legs, and the agitation of his mind from fearing the full accomplishment of his dream, it appears next to a miracle that he retained his reason in the most perfect state; but this was to be explained to him at a future period. Some time after, he came out of Haslar hospital, capable of walking by means of two wooden legs, and two crutches; but his spirits were sorely dejected, from fearing that as his sins had brought upon him the judgments of God in the loss of his limbs, they would bring it upon him in the loss of his reason, and the loss of his soul.
Having heard of Orange Street chapel, Portsea, he came on the first sabbath evening after his leaving the hospital. The text that evening was Mark v. 15. "And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind." The minister represented this demoniac as a fit emblem of sinners in general; but especially of those who live without rule and order, drunkards, blasphemers, and injurious
to themselves and others; but his sitting at the feet of Jesus clothed, and in his right mind, as an engaging representation of the sinner converted to God by the gospel, made sensible of the evil of sin, the value of his soul, and the necessity of salvation through a crucified Redeemer; enjoying peace of mind, having fellowship with Christ and his people, submitting to the authority of the scriptures, and receiving instructions from Christ the friend of sinners. Covey listened with attention and surprise; wondered how the minister should know him among so many hundred people; or who could have told him his character and state of mind. His astonishment was still more increased, when he found him describe, as he thought, the whole of his life, and even his secret sins. He could not account for it, why a minister should make a sermon all about him, a poor wooden legged sailor. His sins being brought afresh to his mind, filled him with horrors tenfold more gloomy than before. Despair for some minutes took a firm hold on his spirits; and he thought he was now going out of his mind, should die, and be lost; till the minister declared Jesus Christ was as willing to save the vilest of sinners, as he was to relieve this poor creature possessed of the devil; and that a man was restored to his right mind He now began to understand the true interpretation of his dream. He thought he had been out of his mind all his life, and that to love and serve Jesus Christ would be a restoration to his right again. He was now almost overwhelmned with pleasure, While hearing of the astonishing love of Jesus Christ to sinners, hope took the place of despair, and joy of grief and horror! Those eyes which had never shed a tear when he lost his legs, nor when the shattered parts of his limbs were
when he believed in him.
amputated, now wept in copious streams, flowing from strong sensations of mingled joy and sorrow!
Some weeks after this, he called and related to me the whole of his history and experience. He was surprised to find that I had never received any information about him at the time the sermon was preached, which so exactly met his case. Something more than twelve months after this time, he was received a member of our church, having given satisfactory evidences of being a genuine and consistent Christian. A few weeks since, hearing he was ill, I went to visit him. When I entered his room, he said, "Come in, thou man of God! I have been longing to see you, and to tell you the happy state of my mind. I believe I shall soon die; but death has now no terrors in it. "The sting of death is sin, but, thanks be to God, he has given me the victory through Jesus Christ.' I am going to heaven! O! What has Jesus done for me, one of the vilest sinners of the human race!" A little before he died, when he thought himself within a few hours of dissolution, he said, "I have often thought it was a hard thing to die, but now I find it a very easy thing to die. The presence of Christ makes it easy. The joy I feel from a sense of the love of God to sinners, from the thought of being with the Savior, of being free from a sinful heart, and of enjoying the presence of God for ever, is more than I can express! O how different my thoughts of God, and of myself, and of another world, from what they were when I lost my precious limbs on board the Venerable! It was a precious loss to me! If I had not lost my legs, I should perhaps have lost my soul!" With elevated and clasped hands, and with eyes glistening with earnestness, through the tears. which flowed down his face, he said, "O, my dear minisVol. I. * 27