Imatges de pÓgina

water gradually rising, I stood upon a chair, to keep me above, its surface; by midnight it had risen above three feet. The shrieks of the surrounding women and children, and the moaning of the cattle, especially of dying camels, was horrible. To increase my distress, the pins gave way, and the tent fell upon me, when no calls for assistance could be heard. Providentially it was a small Indian tent, with a centre pole, round which it clung; had it been the colonel's usual marque, of English canvas, I must have been smothered. At last, finding myself nearly exhausted, I determined to make one effort more, in which I happily succeeded. Guided through the lake by tremendous flashes of lightning, after many difficulties, I reached the hut whither they had conveyed the colonel, and there found the surgeon general, and several other gentlemen, drying their clothes round a large fire in the centre: with them I passed the remainder of this miserable night, among serpents, scorpions, and centipedes, which the fire within, and the heavy rain without, had driven from their hiding places. Several of our men were stung by the scorpions, and bit by the snakes and centipedes, none fatally. "Such was our night: the next morning the camp exhibited a scene of woe; the train of artillery was sunk several feet into the earth, and covered by the water. To convey them and the heavy stores to Dhuboy required the utmost exertion, and with the assistance of elephants, could not be accomplished in less than seven days, although only a distance of six miles."


Darleston, Staffordshire, Aug. 20, 1813.

NOT only "They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters, see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep," but those also who earn their bread in the bowels of the earth, have innumerable proofs that the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth; and that he bears long with the wicked, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. My earnest desire and prayer to God is, that this end may be more generally answered, and that it may not fail with

respect to one of those concerning whom the following lines are written.

On Tuesday, August 10, 1813, while twelve men and four lads were employed in raising coal in Bradley Colliery, near Moorcroft Iron-works, upwards of 50 yards below the surface of the ground, about 10 o'clock in the morning, the ground suddenly sunk in, at the distance of about 50 yards from the shaft; rendering, by the immense quantity of water, stone, and sand, that fell, the way for a great distance to most of the colliers then at work, altogether inaccessible. Two men and three boys, being on the shaft side of the falling mass, escaped with very little hurt: two men of the remaining number, who were the nearest (yet behind) the sinking soil, essayed to run through it, while falling; but only one of these, a member of our Society at B―n, made his escape unhurt; but how, is only known to that God whom he served. From the nature of the soil, it was generally supposed that the remaining nine men, and one lad, would very soon be buried in the immense mass which fell, which included a circumference of about 100 yards. Hopes were entertained by very few, that they might be yet alive, but as this did not appear absolutely impossible, the most vigorous exertion was made to get as soon as possible to the enclosed. A number of miners, who relieved each other occasionally, were employed day and night, most diligently, in this humane labour. The ground was visited daily by thousands, among whom were the relatives of the miserable prisoners, whose anxiety cannot possibly be delineated; the air was rent with the shrieks of the bereaved wives and children; the public around were shocked at the awful catastrophe; and the countenances of people of all descriptions, from men of the first rank in life to the meanest lad, sufficiently indicated the general sympathy. Unwearied exertions were used to extricate the suffering colliers, and afford relief to their distressed families. While the miners were employed, first in removing part of the sand, and afterwards in cutting through the solid coal about 70 yards in an horizontal direction, the wives and children of those who were shut up in the bowels of the earth, were alternately elated by hope, and depressed by despair; but the latter more generally prevailed among both them and the public; for they who were best acquainted with the nature of those pits, were of opinion, that the enclosed must

all have died in a few moments after the ground fell, and they were shut in.

On the Monday following, August 16, about 4 o'clock in the morning, the ears of those at work were suddenly arrested by a knocking, which seemed to be at the distance of a few yards from them with mingled joy and astonishment, they listened, and soon heard a similar sound; they knocked by way of signal and were answered accordingly; and soon after they heard these words distinctly, "Go to the left." Language would fail to des cribe the universal joy that was felt by the thousands, who received the pleasing intelligence, and very soon assembled on the spot.

As the men at work approached nearer to those confined, in the direction they were requested to come, they heard them from within say, "Make haste to us, or we shall all be lost!" A few minutes before one at noon, the miners gained entrance to the doleful prison, out of which were brought alive eight men, and one boy! Every necessary precaution was taken, to prevent any accident that might follow, from the inflammable air, which was supposed to be in that part of the work, where the men were confined; so that when they were extricated, all the candles were put out, beds in another part of the work were prepared for them, and many medical gentlemen from the neighbouring places being present, paid them every possible attention, from the moment they were discovered, till they were conveyed to their several places of abode.

Five of them I visited while they remained in the pit, and the whole of them I have seen several times since. On inquiry, they gave me to understand, that the only apparel each of them had during their confinement, was a cap, breeches, and shoes; and that they occasionally clasped each other, to keep themselves warm. They had nothing to subsist on but the water that occa sionally dropped from the roof of their dreary abode, and their own urine, which they received at first in the top of their caps, and afterward in an old iron pan, which they found and used for that purpose.

They felt but little appetite for food, they told me, after they had spent what they supposed to be two or three days; nor did they hear any thing, till about the time they heard the men at work; but from the great distance they were from them, they had but little expectation at first, of being found alive. They told

me, that they earnestly wished to have had some one with them, who could have taught them how to address themselves to God, for not one of them was properly instructed on the subject: yet impressed with the nature of their situation, and the importance of prayer, they began to pray and sing praises to the Most High!

The one who attempted to make his escape, (with him who did escape,) has lately been found dead, having left behind him to deplore his untimely death, a wife and six children; the other nine are likely soon to be restored to their former strength, which I trust, will not be employed, as formerly, in a life of transgression; it is to be hoped, that these and many around, from seeing and hearing of this great salvation, will turn to that God who hath wrought it; for surely "This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes."



October, 1817.


AGREEABLY to your request, I give you the outlines of the fast twenty years of my life.

I embraced Deism, when between twenty and thirty years of age. This was contrary to what might have been expected from my religious education, being blest with religious parents, who were careful to inculcate the principles of morality and religion on my mind :—and particularly, my Mother, who has been for near fifty years an acceptable member of the Methodist Church, and at this time, enjoys good health of body and much of the power of religion. After I arrived at the age of maturity, I left my father's house, in pursuit of such avocations, as I thought, were calculated to make me permanently happy. I also became unfortunately allied to persons highly prejudiced against the Christian Religion. Among these, means were used which completely destroyed the good impressions made on my mind in the VOL. I.


early part of my life:--and, in defiance of all my former convictions of the truth of revelation, I went down to Deism.

With this belief I lived until February last, when it pleased God, by a singular act of his Providence, to alarm my conscience, and bring me once more to serious reflection. About this time one of my servants, an old man, say about sixty years of age, died very suddenly, and in a situation which precluded him from having a human being near, even to close his eyes.Having no family, he had lived at some distance from my dwelling by himself and consequently, his death was not discovered until the day after it occurred. This circumstance made ft to me dreadful and melancholy, and caused me seriously to reflect on death. He had been a member of the Methodist Church near thirty years, and to the day of his death a pious and holy man. While viewing his lifeless corpse, somehow, these words were extorted from me-" poor fellow, you are happy, no doubt,”—“" but, how can he be happy," I replied to myself; "we have always differed in opinion, and certainly one of us must be wrong."-I therefore began to reason on the subject, and as I progressed I found myself more and more unhappy. I began to conclude, that my philosophy and reason would not support me in the awful hour of death-I brought my past life into review, and found it had been truly abandoned and grossly immoral-having indulged in my wicked temper so long, that it became ungovernable. Although possessed of wealth, more than enough, yet my desire for money became so great, that no day appeared long enough to pursue after it. Parts of Sabbaths were employed in doing out of the way jobs about my plantations, and looking after my stock: and the spare hours from nursing the mammom of unrighteousness, were employed in seeking information to sap the foundation of the Christian Religion. All these gathered like a mighty cloud on my mind, and I became more than wretched. Thus I was driven to the word of God for succour. I resolved, if the Bible contained of itself, sufficient arguments to convince me of its truth, without the aid of any other book, I would then believe it, and renounce my former opinions-otherwise I would die a Deist.

Accordingly I commenced the investigation-but during the first week, found the task so irksome, that I was obliged to limit myself to six chapters a day. After reading seven or eight days, I began to feel more interested, and was able to rise to

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