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name for the uncommon displays of his goodness towards you, to trust steadfastly in his faithful inercy, and to cry to him for salvation in every new distress, For, although we have acknowledged, that it is the special duty of the church to intercede in your behalf, yet, it is much more the duty of every SAILOR, to pray to God, incessantly for himseif.
Then let your hypoble faith address
Ilis mercy and his power,
In the distressing hour.
". In our further discussion of this subject, wa propose the following order,
First, Describe the nature of a seaman's occupation. Secondly, The wonderful works which God exlibits to his view.
Thirdly, Draw some inferences from the subject,
Lastly, Conclude the whole with an appropriate address,
First, Agreeable to our design, the nature of a sailor's occupation is to be considered. Under this head of discourse, many interesting particulars present themselves to view; but we shall restrict ourselves to three, Labour, Hazard, and Utility,
1st, The employment of seamen is LABORIOUS : no calling is prosecuted with greater fatigue than theirs. I advance this sentence, with a design to clear them from the charge of idleness; an accusation brougbt against them by some unexperienced land's-men.. This imputation is a manifest contradiction to reason and scripture; it is evidently unjust; and originates purely in the ignorance or prejudice of their minds. SAILORS are a class, who stand so remote from indolence, that our text declares them men of Business.” And Zebulón, the mariner's tribe, stands forth in the sacred scriptures, distinguished by its industry. Indeed, if those who áccuse seamen with sloth, would pay the slightest regard to the nature of their calling, it would convince them fully to the contrary. When they are at sea, besides attending to the helm and sails of the ship, (which require incessant attention and toil) they have sails to repair, matts, spun-yarn, gaskitts, spinnet, and reef-points to make, and numberless other things to do. Moreover, they often meet with adverse weather, which necessarily obliges all-hands to stand the deck, perhaps for several days and nights together, lashed by the resistless squall, and drenched with shipped
Whilst in all probability, a leaky vessel, obliges them to man the pumps; where, by the most promp exertion, turn by turn, they are scarcely able to save their ship and lives. Thus you see, that sailors labour hard for their 'reward, and still hårder (at times) for the preservation of their lives. And when they are arrived in a foreign port, it is far from being play-day with them; here, they have to discharge and load the vessel; to take down, repair, tar, and set up the rigging; to black the yards, to paint the masts and ship; and what with caulking, scraping, sarving, splicing, and pointing, every hand is full of laborious employ, But, doubtless, those seamen who are occupied in the whale fisheries, undergo by far the greatest fatigue; their day's-work is long, consisting of several months all of a piece, in which space, they enjoy but a seldom and uncertain respite from toil. Their cargo does not lay upon the key, ready for being shipped, but swims sagaciously in the sea ; requiring an unwearied watchfulness, and the most intense pursuit, attended with imminent risk to secure it. Therefore, SEAMEN, as you toil so laboriously for those things which perish in the using, see that you “Give all diligence" to secure “A better and more enduring substance."
That when you are unmoord below,
2dly, It is HAZARDOUS:' a thousand different dangers perpetually, threaten them. Formerly, sailors, because of the perilous nature of their employ, were esteemed as dead men. And notwithstanding the great discoveries which lately have been made in the art of navigation, their lives still hang in such a state of constant suspense, that we scarcely know whether to rank them with the living, or the dead. When traversing the stormy main, their distance from the regions of the dead, is no further than it is from the water.-Oh! narrow space. They live upon the very confines of eternity, and have their residence upon that immense grave, wbose gaping chasms has terrified millions; and then (as if greedy of its prey) has swallowed them up alive. Over whose breathless corpse they incessantly float-threatened with the same unhappy fate, But more especially, let us imagine to ourselves, their imminent danger in a storm. The wind blowing with terrible force, and roaring aloft with frightful noise; beneath, and all around, is a dreadful gulf, and billows sloping topmast high-comes rushing down, and sweeps the deck fore and aft. Boats, booms, companion, and perhaps part of the crew, are seen floating beneath the direful lee, and heard to cry aloud, help, help; but alas !—they call in yain. Bereft of power to give relief, their shipmates stand with horror, to see them struggle in the fatal deep, and hear them cry for aid, amidst the watery tumult. At length, overcome ;--they yield to the hostile waves, which break impetuously upon their heads, and sink them down,--to death. Amidst these disastrous storms, a sailor is necessarily obliged to climb the shrouds and man the yards, to reef or hand the sails, and strike the yards or masts, even in i midnight shades; and when the ship, pressed by the heavy squall, lays buried on her lee, labouring over the swelling surge rolling mountains high. Ah! how hazardous is the SEAMAN's situation, when aloft in such tremendous gales; should his foot slip, his hand miss its hold, the rattling 'snap, or the foot-rope break, in all probability he would be precipitated into the outrageous deep, and numbered with the silent dead. Again, realize to your minds, a vessel, environed by a storm, a dangerous sea, and a leeward shore; then say, where is peril to equal this? Verily, it is “ The valley and shadow of death !” And observe, this is not a seldom, but a frequent case ; it happens to seamen as often as storms themselves, but especially in domestic sailing. In this large assembly, I could point out many whose tales of woe, abundantly confirm the hazard inseparable from a sailor's employ, necessitated by mere peril, you were obligedto heave part of a valuable cargo overboard, to ease the ship, and preserve your lives; and even then, had not the Lord suddenly calmed or shifted the wind, or otherwise sent you succour, in a few minutes more, you must inevitably have perished in a watery grave.
Further, SEAMEN are exposed to the utmost risk, in consequence of their frequent TRANSITION Out of one extreme climate into another. Sometimes they are found in those countries which lay betwixt the TROPICS, where the sun is vertical, whose scorching beams exhaust their spirits, and render the excessive heat of day insufferable ; and here, the most fatal diseases are generally prevalent, Again they are wafted into those regions of the globe, situated near the POLES, and where the sun mounts but little above the horizon, enlightened by whose glimmering rays, nothing meets the eye, but fields of ice, snow, and vigorous frost ; here, they are so benumbed through the intense cold, that their blood is just ready to freeze in the veins. From these sudden changes into zones so extremely opposite to each other, the health and life of seamen, are held in perpetual danger. Moreover, mariners are in perils often from the ENEMY, but especially at pre sent, when almost every sea swarms with privateers, which are ever alert to take the defenceless; so that when they put to sea they know not whether they shall reach the destined port, or be lodged in a French prison; the unhappy lot of thousands. Lord, release them. Thus, when all things are considered, it appears evident, that the occupation of a Savior is attended with the greatest jeopardy.