Front Cover
 Title Page
 The sea boy's grave

Group Title: sea boy's grave
Title: Sea boy's grave
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00057811/00001
 Material Information
Title: Sea boy's grave
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: J. Groom
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: 1850
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00057811
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltuf - ALK2726
alephbibnum - 002250966

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
    The sea boy's grave
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
Full Text








BMep on, der mintl Ind msel not
In JaW' bounds love;
8oon ,al you wake for war blit
Ad reign with Him above.
T happened, said the writer,
That as we approached the end
of our voyage, being in lat. 41 north,
long. west, the weather became
equally, and we had, occasionally, a
good deal of sea going, which made
things very uncomfortable on board.
A sailor, who had behaved very ill at
the outset of the voyage, and whom thp
men had declined keeping company
with, shortly after this treatment of
him began, had been seized with
fever; and although it had bern in
some measure subdued, yet the poor
fellow was in a very dangerous state
le bhad been a very bad man, and n

that he was apparently drawing near to
death, he was desirous that some care
and kindness might be shewn him, in
regard to his soul. The captain and
crew were very indifferent upon the
subject; and I had myself been so ill
that I was scarcely even able to get
out of my berth. There happened,
however, to be a little boy on board,
who went, among the sailors, by the
nick-name of Pious Jack;" or what
was, perhaps, equally to his honour,
or at least to the honour of the phil-
anthropist from whom he derived it,
(though intended for a deeper mark
of contempt,) they used to call him
Jack Raikes, from the circumstance of
his having been educated in one of
the Sunday Schools of the "truly
immortal Robert Raikes of Glouces-
ter," of which city, the boy, John
Pelham, was a native. Poor Jack,
however, cared very little for the
bneerI and scoffs of the seamen; and

the meekness, patience, and temper,
with which he endured the jibes and
jeers of many on board, often gave
me occasion to say-" Out of the
mouth of babes and sucklings thou
hast ordained strength, that thou
mightest still the enemy."
When Williams, the poor sailor,
was dying, and indeed all the time
he had been ill, nobody had shewn
him any kindness except little Jack,
and a negro woman who was on
board, the attendant of a child, a
Creole of the West Indies, whom she
was bringing over to some relations
in England. This woman, Cleopatra
by name, but who was always called
Cleo, ministered to the temporal wants
of the dying seaman, nursing him
with great tenderness, preparing with
her own hands whatever she thought
would be likely to tempt his sickly
The little Creole whom Cleo had

in charge was a sweet child, about four
years of age, or younger. I saw her
very seldom, for she generally amused
herself on deck, when the weather
would permit, playing with a pet kid
which had been spared for her sake
-which followed her wherever she
went, and which she had taught to
go down and up the companion lad-
der; and Cleo brought it in her arms
into my cabin, almost every morning,
when she came to ask me how I did.
This excellent negress was kindly
attentive to the sick and young, for
we had two or three of both on board;
and though she had little idea of the
profounder doctrines of Christianity,
yet she possessed some knowledge of
the truth, many benevolent and cha-
ritable feelings, and, above all, a deep
sympathy for the sour of the dying
man. She could not read herself,
but she.jmew that the Bible revealed
the Christian's God, and taught the

way to heaven; and she sat with de-.
vout attention, listening to every word
which the .dear boy Jack read from
that holy book, not only from day to
day, but whenever he could persuade
Williams to hearken to it; and in the
event that soon after followed, I have
much reason to hope, his pious cares
and humble prayers fur his poor mess-
mate, were abundantly blessed, both
to the seaman and to this interesting
daughter of the despised posterity ot
Things had gone on in this way for
some time, when one day Jack came
into my cabin, his face bathed in tears,
a look of horror in his countenance,
his whole frame trembling with agita-
tion, and himself unable to speak: I
thought from his appearance that poor
Williams was dead, and that, dying,
he had left poor Jack no "hope in his
What's the matter, JackI" I said,

starting up on my elbow in bed,
"What has happened Williams-is
he dead?"
Dear sir," said the boy, regardless
of my question, Williams-poor
Williams! he is in agony of soul; he
says he is lost-that he is a ruined
sinner-that he must, sir, he must-
oh! I cannot say the word-he says
God will cast him into the place, (con-
tinued Jack, in a burst of inexpress-
ible anguish)-where is weeping and
gnashing of teeth!--- Oh I what
shall I say to him ?"
"Dearest boy," I said, "do not afflict
thine own soul so bitterly. It is well
that Williams feels all this-take it,
my child, as a token for good from the
hand of thy Heavenly Father, who
doubtless has not been unmindful of
thy many prayers and labours of love
towards this trembling penitent. Go
to him again; bid him call upon his
God; hath he not said, 'Call upon

me in the time of trouble, and I will
deliver theel' Tell him that God
is indeed, as he believes him to be,
a just God, who will by no means
clear the guilty without an atone-
ment; lead him to believe in the
blood of that atonement already made
for the sins of the many; tell him
God can be just, even while he par-
dons all his sins, if he throws himself
upon his mercy in Christ Jesus. Say
to him, it is not too late to believe-
neither is it too late for God to have
mercy; the Lord delighteth in mer-
cy; only let him seek repentance at
the throne of grace, and faith in the
blood that cleanseth from all sin.
Oh! say to him, God waiteth to be
"Sir," replied Jack, "I have told
him all this already, but he says he
cannot believe it. He says every
body's sins are forgiven but his, I
have told him the history of the thief

on the cross-of the labourer called
at the eleventh hour-of the lost
sheep-and all the parables about
God's love to sinners-and how Christ
came into the world on purpose to
save sinners, even the chief. But he
says, he cannot believe it; and he
will not pray!"
Nevertheless, go to him again, my
good dear boy; read to him the Ser-
vice for the Sick, and I will come
and pray with him." This I said, not
knowing that the boy was of himself
able to pray for another.
Accordingly, I rose with difficulty,
and having dressed myself, found my
way into the place where Williams
was sitting up in his hammock, his
face pale and ghastly, his eyes sunk in
his forehead, and his bosom labouring
with the heavy respiration of death.
The whole circumstances of the scene
will not easily be forgotten.
Jack and Cleo were both on their

knee beside his berth, and the little
chilklunconsciously, or at least not
well knowing the meaning of what
she did, had covered her face with her
hand; she was evidently looking
through her half-closed eyelids. Jack
was reading the Office for the Sick,
according to the custom of the Church
of England; Williams, deeply agitated,
his hands clasped, and his emaciated
fingers strongly, convulsively com-
pressed against each other, was now
and then attempting to pray. After
every petition, the little sea-boypaused
for the dying man's response, saying,
he would read no further, if Williams
still refused to pray to God.
Open thine eye of mercy, 0 most
gracious God," said the boy at last,
closing the book, and speaking, I sup-
pose, from memory, or perhaps out of
the abundance of his own heart,
" Open thine eye of mercy upon this
dying man, who most earnestly de-

sireth pardon and forgiveness, but will
not pray for it."
0! earnestly," exclaimed the
wretched man, with a voice so full of
the bitterness of death, that it sent
back the blood in a cold shiver to my
The looy here paused again, and
looked with an eye of unutterable
supplication upon Williams, beseech-
ing him, as if with the whole tender-
ness of his soul, to reiterate the peti-
tion; but Williams replied only with
a look of inexpressible horror, too
dreadful even to be thought upon.
For the sake of Christ," resumed
the little supplicant, (who knew not
that I had entered the apartment)
" For the sake of Christ, who bore
our sins in his own body upon the
cross, shew thy pity on Harry Wil-
The boy again paused, and taking
the hand of Williams, attempted by an

act of kind compulsion to raise it into
an attitude of supplication.
He has no hope, 0 Lord, but in
thy sweet mercy! Oh, visit him with
thy benign salvation!"
I have no hope," at last exclaimed
the man, wringing his uplifted hands
with an expression of supreme de-
spair, I have no hope!"
Oh look down from the height of
thy sanctuary, and hear the groaning
of this poor prisoner, and loose him
who seemeth now to be appointed un-
to death !"
"Oh! I am appointed unto death "
"0 Lord! wilt thou not regard the
cry of the destitute; behold he is de-
stitute; we can do nothing to help him
-help thou him, oh, our God!"
"Help me, oh! my God!"
"0 Lord, save I save this poor dy-
ing man; oh! save Harry Williams."
Lord, save Harry Williams," was
uttered by all present, even by the

little child; and Williams, softened
by their affectionate sympathy, and
doubtless also by the power of that
word which is both spirit and life,
melted into tenderness, and, falling
back on his pillow, shed a torrent of
These tears, the first that had
moistened his burning brain since the
commencement of his sickness, evi-
dently brought relief to his overbur-
dened spirit. As drops of rain to the
bruised reed, or as the evening breeze
to the smoking flax, they were just
what nature required at this moment
of deep extremity. I sat by him till
the emotion which swelled his heart,
and filled his languid eye, had some-
what subsided; but as, when more
composed, he was still too much ex-
hausted for conversation, I spoke to
him only good words, and comfort-
able words, not a few indeed, but not
too many; and commending him to

the Father of mercies, withdrew again
to my cabin.
I saw him not again for many days
after this, my own indisposition hav-
ing increased in consequence of leav-
ing my bed; but I heard of him daily,
and indeed many times a day, both
from Jack and the negro woman, and
each brought me every day accounts
more pleasing. Every moment the
boy could spare from the duties of
his station on board was occupied in
reading the Scriptures to Williams-
those Scriptures of truth, of which I
had here so evident a proof that they
were able to make a man wiLe unto
salvation, through faith that is in Je-
sus Christ. Williams was now often
seen engaged in prayer for himself,
and he began by degrees to talk less
of the justi w of God, a subject which
had always filled him with inconceiv-
able alarm, and more of his love. He
said, it was a thing he could not un-

derstand. Nor any man," said his
youthful father in Christ, for it
passeth knowledge!"
But though his soul's health was
evidently on the increase, his body
was hourly waxing weaker and weak-
er. I told Jack that I wished to see
Williams once more, before I could
see him here no more at all for ever;
and that, being now considerably bet-
ter myself, I would come and visit him
next day. Cleo, however, said that
she thought Williams now too near
his end for me to delay my visit till
to-morrow; so hearing this, I arose
in the evening and went again to his
The horror so strongly marked in
his every feature the first time I saw
him, had dwelt upon my mind with
a most acute and painfully retentive
feeling; and, on entering the little
place where he was lying in his cot,
I had a tremulous sort of dread at

the idea of looking on him again.
But how sweet was my surprise, when
I beheld in poor-no, in happj Wil-
liams, a countenance full of the most
touching complacency, and of a pla-
cidity so soft, that one would have
thought that death, which was evi-
dently upon the very threshold, was
the object, not of fear, but of long
desired approach. He had, moreover,
suffered much in the interval between
my former visit and this, and even that
very morning, from many doubts and
fears; now, however, they seemed to
have been all subdued; and he said
to me, with the triumph of one deeply
conscious to whom the glory was due,
" I am a conqueror through Him that
loved me! Oh! that wonderful love I"
I spoke to him some time of his
state, and of the grounds on which he
built his hope, and was much satis-
fied with all he said in reply. He
heard me with that attention which

the subject demanded, and with the
courtesy he felt due, perhaps, to one
who was, in regard to the distinctions
of the world, somewhat his superior;
but he seemed as if he thought (so
grateful was his heart) that he wrong-
ed his young friend in deriving conso-
lation from any one's conversation
but his. Every word the boy now
uttered, was as much a source of joy
to Williams as it had formerly been
prolific only of horror. He said to
him, two or three times that night,
referring to the struggle he had had in
the morning, It is calm now, Jack,
--all calm,-is this peace "
Yes," replied he, I trust it is
peace-the peace of God, which the
Bible saith passeth understanding."
"Who hath given me this peace 1"
said Williams, as if he delighted in
hearing the ascription of praise to his
divine Redeemer. Who hath given
me this peace"

"Christ," said the boy, in a voice
so solemn and so soft that it seemed
rather like the breathing of some min-
istering cherub than the articulation,
though whispered, of a human voice,
"Christ is our peace; he hath made
peace for us."
Yes," answered Williams, by
the blood of the cross!"
Whether it was that the near pre-
sence of death naturally tends to un-
nerve us, or that my spirits were weak
from long confinement, I cannot tell;
but I felt compelled at this moment
to steal away, to hide the emotion ga-
thering round my heart, and which I
was unable any longer to reprems.
Well, thought I, might Williams say,
his little instructor had taught him
two wonderful things-" the know-
ledge of a love that paseth knowkdge,
and the feelings of a peace ta paet
understanding I"
I lay awake all that night, corn

muning with my own heart upon my
bed, and meditating on the things I
had seen and heard in poor Harry's
berth. No sound disturbed the deep
repose of all on board, except the man
at the helm, as he pattered over my
head, steering us through the mighty
waters, and chanting from time to
time some seaman's doleful ditty. It
was in the midst of this calm, that
the spirit of Harry Williams winged
its flight aloft; and doubtless, no soon-
er had he crossed the circle of the
earth than he entered into the presence
of Him whom the heaven of heavens
cannot contain, and mingled with the
thousand thousands of ministering
spirits, which, thick as stars, sur-
round him!" Oh beatitude past
utterance!" Who knows the rapture
of a soul redeemed!
The next day but one, the body of
this interesting being-for how soon
do they who are beloved by the

Master, become precious in the eyee
of the household!-the next day but
one, the body of Williams was com-
mitted to the mighty deep.
The poor boy, on this occasion,
seemed to feel, as if for the first time,
that his friend and pupil was indeed
no more. But when he heard the
heavy plunge of the corpse in the
water-when he heard the waves with
a gurgling sound close over the body,
and shut out for ever all that remain-
ed of dear Harry Williams, the boy,
unable any longer to control the vio-
lence of his feelings, uttered a pierc-
ing cry,--and, so infectious is un-
feigned sorrow, his grief seemed to
find its way to the hearts of most of
those who were present; and many a
hardened Tar, whose iron countenance
gave no indications of a heart within,
that day felt his cheek bedewed with
I could but look upon the whole

circumstances of this day's scene, a a
kind of merciful and providential pre-
paration for what followed; for, three
days after the time of which I am
speaking, drawing nearer and nearer
to our desired haven, and being not far
from the Land's End, there sprung up
such a gale of wind from the W. S. W.
that we missed the port in the channel
for which we were bound, and making
for the Downs, expected to have come
to anchor there; but the wind shift-
ing, and continuing more boisterous
than at the first, we knew not well
where we were. It would be in vain
for me to attempt to describe the feel-
ings of those on board; suffice it to say,
that the moment of danger is not the
best time for any one to seek to obtain
peace with God; and that which ought
to be the object of every day's labour,
must not be left to hours of peril and
sickness to accomplish. Now, indeed
is always an accepted time, and God

forbid that I should dare to limit the
mercy that is measureless; but they
who have neglected the great salvation
in the day of sunshine and calm, come
with a load of aggravated provocations
before God, when they draw near to
him only in the whirlwind and the
The wind being now somewhat
abated, we hoped in the course of the
fourth day from our leaving the Chan-
nel to make the Firth of F- and
this, through the mercy of God, we at-
tained. For in the afternoon of the
25th of March, we came to soundings,
and the captain ordered out two an-
But oh! we should never be un-
thankful for small mercies; and these
we had surely accounted small, for
our ingratitude was visited by severer
rebuke than we had ever anticipated,
even in the most perilous moments
hitherto. The storm, which during

the last two or three hours had sub-
sided into a sudden calm, followed only
by the mountainous swelling of the
sea, burst out again towards sunset
with tremendous and redoubled fury,
and, driving us from our moorings,
carried us among the islands of the
Firth, where at half past eleven
o'clock, ih the absence of moon and
stars, and amid cries of Breakers
ahead!" we struck upon a sunken
rock, the main-mast coming down
with a crash like the wreck of nature.
As the flood-tide set in, the break-
ers on the rock became more and more
tremendous. The boat was hoisted out;
the shore, however, presented, in my
opinion, no hope whatever of safety, for
it was one unbroken reef of rocks and
shelving stones, on which the sea was
dashing with a noise like thunder, and
a spray that went up as it were to the
heavens. I, therefore, determined to
abide by the wreck; and seeing I could

but die, I resolved, while I had life,
to leave no means of self-preservation
unimproved; so, lashing myself to a
spar. I silently watched the embarka-
tion of Cleo and her child, dear Jack,
and some others of the sailors, in the
boat. With much difficulty the men
were enabled to set a little bit of sail,
and made for the shore in the presence
of hundreds of spectators, who, col-
lected from the various villages, were
looking with anguish upon our miser-
able situation. When they put off
from the wreck, they went pretty well
for about a quarter of a mile or so,
the sail keeping them buoyant, and
the boat standing with her head
against the waves. But while we were
beginning to watch with inexpressible
anxiety as she drew nearer and nearer
the surf, a tremendous squall involved
them all in darkness, and torrents of
rain quite shut them out from our

view. But oh! how shall I relate
what followed!-the sky cleared al-
most as suddenly as it was overcast-
the squall subsided-the sun shone
out,-we looked, and looked again till
our eye-balls were almost bursting
from their sockets; we strained our
vision again to look; and the cry,
"Where's the boat where's the boat"
the shriek from the spectators on the
cliffs, and the groans from my fellow
sufferers on the wreck, came at once
with a louder and more fearful sweep
than even the wildest ravings of the
tempest. Again it returned, in one
simultaneous burst of anguish. The
sea indeed answered the demand, and
gave up the boat, but she gave not up
the dead; the former appeared driven,
with her keel above the waters, but her
interesting freight were gonefor ever/
Oh! the horrors of that moment
-And yet, amid all its horrors, while

I clung, shivering, to the shrouds of
the vessel, expecting every moment to
be swallowed up of the merciless sea,
I felt, as it were, a smile pass over
my lips and eyes, like a beam of light
kindled by some invisible, some super-
natural object, as I followed in spirit
the sailor boy, and beheld him, with
his ransomed companions, enter into
the joy of his Lord.
The wreck, contrary to all human
calculation, continued to hold together
till next morning; when the storm
having been succeeded by a calm, that
came smiling, as it were, at the ruin its
predecessor had accomplished, my fel-
low-sufferers and myself were brought,
by the kind care of the fishermen and
peasant on the coast, safe to land.
When I got to land, I went to bed
in a little cottage, whose generous
owner hospitably opened her door to
receive me. I was faint and exhaust-

ed; and having been long ill before, I
hardly expected to survive at all: but
the Lord giveth strength equal to our
day, even as he tempers the wind
to the shorn lamb."
In the evening, being refreshed by
some hours of sleep, I arose, and went
to view the bodies of those who had
been washed ashore. On the low, but
decent bed of the little village ale-
house, Cleo and her Massa's child"
were lying. They were clasped toge-
ther in one inseparable embrace, the
child's head reposing on the bosom of
her nurse-and the swarthy arms of
Cleo were locked around her little
darling. Poor Jack!-less honoured,
but surely not less worthy of honour,
was laid out on a sheet on the floor, a
blue chequered shirt his only shroud!
His countenance wore a sweet and
heavenly expression; and stooping
down I robbed his dear head of a little

lock of auburn hair, that lay upon his
temple. His effects,-alas! how poor
and yet how rich! were spread upon
a table in the room, and consisted of a
little leather purse, in which was a
well kept halfcrown and a solitary six-
pence. His Bible, which he had ever
accounted his chief riches, and from
which he had derived treasures of wis-
dom and knowledge, was placed by his
side. I took it up, and observed en-
graven on its clasps of brass, these
words:-" The gift of Robert Raikes,
to J. R. Pelham, Glo'ster."-O Raikesl
(thought I) 0 Raikes! this is one
gem of purest light indeed; still it is
but one of the many thousand gems
which shall encircle thy radiant head in
that day when the Lord of Hosts shall
make up his jewels! For they alone
are had in everlasting memory whose
deeds partake of heaven.

i3 HYMN.
BuwsT with snares on every hand,
In life's uncertain path I stand:
Saviour divine! diffuse Thy light
To guide my doubtful footsteps right.
Engage this roving, treaeh'rous heart,
To fix on Mary's better part,
To scorn the trifles of a day
For joys that none can take away.
Then let the wildest storms arise;
Let tempests mingle earth and skies;
No fatal shipwreck shall I fear,
But all my treasures with me bear.
.If Thou, my Jesus! still be nigh,
Cheerful I live, and joyful die;
Secure, when mortal comforts flee,
To find ten thousand worlds in Thee.

See also Narratives for Sailors, No. 45, 61,
73, 110, 124, 219, and 234, on J. Gnoomes
List of Publications.

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