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and romantic, but terrific harbour, and cast anchor before the little town-beautiful and romantic from being encircled in the arms of two projecting hills, and forming the entrance to the charming valley of Jamestown; and terrific, if you, perchance, turn your eye on either side, where battery rises above battery in the adjoining cliffs commanding the whole harbour.
A boat, containing the representatives of several different nations—the Hindoo, the African, the Islander, and the Englishman-came alongside. We landed; wound our way along the shore under a perpendicular rock of an hundred feet, and by a road, adorned on either side with the Indian fig tree, entered the town through an arched gate-way under the terrace, passed by the government castle, a neat little church, several public buildings, the governor's beautiful gardens, and ascended, through the principal street, to the upper part of the town, where we were cordially welcomed by the family of the American consular agent.
For reasons which need not now be detailed, we were detained on the island a month, and had ample time to survey this extraordinary spot, and to become acquainted with the character and condition of its inhabitants. We ascended its loftiest peaks, from which, as from a tower in the midst of the ocean, we surveyed the vast expanse of blue waters meeting the distant barrier. We wound our way down to the bottom of its low, beautiful and rich valleys, covered with the productions of different latitudes, till, in the depths of its ravines, we renewed our acquaintance with the ever-green foliage and the delicious fruits of India.
But I have not introduced the island to describe it, but because it is the residence of a beloved disciple of the Lord Jesus, dwelling in obscurity amidst a thoughtless world, well known at the court of heaven, favoured with the royal presence, and, though poor and ignoble in the eyes of a misjudging world, known and honoured by the children of the great king. His unassuming piety, his unlettered wisdom, his holy zeal, his unpretending sincerity, are worthy the admiration and the instruction of far more favoured disciples.
We were occupying a house which stands at the head of that romantic valley, where, according to the express desire of the fallen hero of France,* his remains, till lately, reposed, and on the bend of
* Napoleon, Emperor of France, was carried to St. Helena as a captive in November, 1815, he died there May 5, 1821, and his remains were removed in 1840, and deposited, with imposing ceremonies, under the dome of the Hospital of Invalids in the city of Paris.
the principal road to Long Wood. It was about sunset on one of those dark evenings often experienced during this season of the year, when a cloud enveloped the place, sweeping over it from hill to hill, and drenching it with rain or dense vapor. We were enjoying the luxury of the blazing faggots, rather for old friendship’s sake than from any actual need of its warmth. A gentle tap was heard at the door. I opened it; and there stood before me a sedate youth, of about twenty years of age, rather tall, with a dark complexion, and a mild and modest demeanor. His frame, as well as his countenance, indicated the ravages of severe disease.
A stranger's salutations passed, he addressed me as nearly as I can recollect in these words :“ Sir, I have been informed that a man of God is living here.
I heard of your arrival, and have come to see you." I invited him in, and offered him a chair. He complied with some hesitation, evidently doubting whether he should not give offence to somebody present by the familiarity to which he was invited. An hour passed swiftly and pleasantly away. He talked only of heavenly things. He seemed overjoyed at the interview. We prayed; he drew from his pocket a collection of hymns, and sang one of them, which he had spelled out and committed to memory, for he could
scarcely read. He then rehearsed to me the dealings of God in bringing him into the fold of the great Shepherd. Emotions of joy and sorrow alternately heaved his bosom as he related the following unvarnished tale of his Christian experience. I shall relate the substance of it in the third
person, making no attempt to preserve his peculiar dialect.
Edward Smith (for this I found to be his name) had been a servant boy in an English family. When very young he often felt a concern for the salvation of his soul; but being surrounded only by those who were as ignorant, and far more thoughtless than himself, and being unable to read and having no superior who interested himself in his behalf, he sighed alone; sometimes suppressing his convictions, and at other times sending up the publican's petition to the Father of all mercies. Thus he struggled on, groping his way in darkness, seeking light and joy but finding none, till he was fifteen or sixteen years of age. The reader must here be reminded that St. Helena, with its five thousand souls, though nominally Christian, then contained but few pious persons ; few who (themselves being judges) have any reasonable hope that they have been born of the Spirit. Well might young Edward say, no man cares for my soul.”
His health now failed, and, being unable longer
to do the service to which he had been accustomed, he had more leisure to ponder on the great concern which seems always to have been a burden upon his heart. It now pressed upon him with redoubled weight, and he ventured to seek relief in opening his mind to a young tradesman in Jamestown, who, by the low standard of piety on the island, was reputed to be a pious man. But he derived very little comfort or instruction from this
He had been long under the secret teachings of the Holy Spirit. He knew how poor and miserable and blind and naked he was. He knew that help could come only from God. He continued to mourn in secret, lying low at the foot of the cross, not daring to look up; and almost despairing that a crucified Redeemer would deign to regard such a worm. During this period he was not only the child of poverty and of ignorance, but he
very child of affliction. He had suffered most severely from sickness and pain, and once or twice had been brought, by protracted illness, to the verge of the grave. The hand of the Lord for a long time laid heavily upon him, but never did he complain or charge God foolishly. From the furnace of affliction he sent up the penitent's prayer, and received an answer of peace.
His joys now became as ecstatic as his sorrows