Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

which was exceeding abundant toward me. Why was the venerable name of God so precious to my soul? why those penitential tears, those sighs and groans at the aboundings of sin? Why retire to the hedges, woods, and holes of the rocks, there to mourn over my sins, and the sins of my fellow-soldiers ? Not unto me, O Lord, not unto me; but unto thy nanie be glory and praise.

Once more, I cannot help realizing the hand of God, and see great reason to magnify him for the riches of his goodness, in affording me temporal supplies, when my poor fellow-sufferers have been pining with hunger for days together, without a morsel of bread, and fatigued with tedious marches ; an enemy before us, a desolate country behind us, and our provisionwaggons under the necessity of continuing two or three days journey in the rear, for fear of falling into the hands of the enemy. O! with what greediness have I seen the corn plucked off, the roots pulled up, and eaten, dirty as they were, while marching along; and after an eligagement, steaks have been cut off the

rumps

of the horses which have been killed in the battle, and broiled on the fire. But even in this calamitous situation, I never remember to have been

a whole day without bread. Either my loaf, like the widow's oil, held out, or I have not had an appetite, or something has occurred for

my relief, so that I have had a sufficiency, if not a feast. This also I would attribute, not to my own economy, but to the benificent hand of God. Oh! that there were in nie an heart to render unto him according to the benefits which I have received !

When all thy mercies, O my, God,

My rising soul surveys,
Transported with the view I'm lost

In wonder, love, and praise.
Ten thousand thousand precious gifts

My daily thanks employ;
Oh! grant to me a cheerful heart,

Those blessings to enjoy!

A peace being concluded, we were ordered home; where by the good hand of God we arrived in -safety, in March 1763, having been absent from England two years and ten months.

[ocr errors]

CHAP. IV.

Voyage to Gibraltar and Morocco; and Return

to Gibraltar.

In prospect of being brought again to my beloved native country, I began to entertain pleasing hopes that my trials were at an end. But we had no sooner dropped anchor in the river, than we were informed, that our route lay at the Post-office at Gravesend, where we were to land, and from thence march immediately to Southampton, there to wait for a vessel appointed to carry us to Gibraltar.

This did not much terrify me, as I understood we were to be reduced to the peace establishment, before we left EngJand. Knowing that my friends bad made many attempts to procure my liberty, I entertained a hope that by their assistance it would now be easily obtained. For this purpose, I wrote to them as soon as we were landed, to inform them where we were bound, and the shortness of our stay in England. My brother was at Southampton in a few days after we arrived there. He thought himself furnished with every requi

site to procure my discharge. The morning before he came, we had been reduced ; a number of fine men were discharged, who would have gladly remained, not knowing where to go, or what to do for a living. As soon as my brother had taken refreshment, he sent for me; and we immediately waited upon the commanding officer, who was lieutenant-colonel of the regiment, and captain of the company to which I belonged. Having informed the colonel of his business, he was told it could not be complied with ; my brother endeavoured to remonstrate with him, but to no purpose; the reason assigned was, that, had my behaviour been like some of

my comrades, he would have sent nie about my business; but, as it was, he would not part with me on any terms.

This was a very great disappointment indeed, particularly as so many likely men, more fit for service than myself, had been discharged. I thought this was poor encouragement for good behaviour. This disappointment operated much upon my mind, and produced an unhappy change in my conduct.

I gave myself up to loose company, drinking, and other kinds of vice. But, alas ! this was like so many goads in my side, and only added to my affliction. I had still, blessed be God, a tender conscience; I was not wholly given up to work iniquity, I sinned and repented, my transgressions were as a rod to punish me, and my temporary gratifi-, cations were followed with bitter reflections ; nor did it answer any good purpose as to obtaining my liberty. Thus I was obliged to continue in the army. Great indulgences were shewn to me, and very little notice was taken of what I did ; so that I was left to punish myself by my own folly. Perhaps, infinite wis. dom might see meet to continue me longer in this situatinn. to humble me. tn nrove me. and

[ocr errors]

shew me what was in my heart. During our stay here, I obtained leave to go honie, and see my friends, who continued their utmost efforts to obtain my liberty, but all to no purpose. I took my leave of them, and returned to my duty. The ships being ready to receive us, I was again obliged to bid farewell to my native shore. The regiment with all our stores being embarked, we dropped down the river to Portsmouth, where we joined five other regiments, with the convoy ; but here we were detained by contrary winds, during which time I flattered myself, that my friends in London would obtain my discharge. This continued for near three

« AnteriorContinua »