Memorable Atlantic Storms
Friday, 23.—In the evening another storm began. In the morning it increased so that they were forced to let the ship drive. I could not but say to myself, “How is it that thou hast no faith?” being still unwilling to die. About one in the afternoon, almost as soon as I had stepped out of the great cabin-door, the sea did not break as usual, but came with a full, smooth tide over the side of the ship. I was vaulted over with water in a moment, and so stunned that I scarcely expected to lift up my head again till the sea should give up her dead. But thanks be to God, I received no hurt at all. About midnight the storm ceased.
Sunday, 25.—At noon our third storm began. At four it was more violent than before. At seven I went to the Germans. I had long before observed the great seriousness of their behavior. Of their humility they had given a continual proof by performing those servile offices for the other passengers, which none of the English would undertake; for which they desired and would receive no pay, saying, “it was good for their proud hearts,” and “their loving Saviour had done more for them.” And every day had given them an occasion of showing a meekness which no injury could move. If they were pushed, struck, or thrown down, they rose again and went away; but no complaint was found in their mouth. There was now an opportunity of trying whether they were delivered from the spirit of fear, as well as from that of pride, anger and revenge.
In the midst of the psalm wherewith their service began, the sea broke over, split the mainsail in pieces, covered the ship, and poured in between the decks, as if the great deep had already swallowed us up. A terrible screaming began among the English. The Germans calmly sang on. I asked one of them afterward, “Were you not afraid?” He answered, “I thank God, no.” I asked, “But were not your women and children afraid?” He replied, mildly, “No; our women and children are not afraid to die.”
Friday, 30.—We had another storm, which did us no other harm than splitting the foresail. Our bed being wet, I laid me down on the floor and slept soundly till morning. And, I believe, I shall not find it needful to go to bed (as it is called) any more.
Sunday, February 1.—We spoke with a ship of Carolina; and Wednesday, 4, came within soundings. About noon, the trees were visible from the masts and in the afternoon from the main deck. In the evening lesson were these words: “A great door, and effectual, is opened.” Oh, let no one shut it!
Thursday, 5.—Between two and three in the afternoon, God brought us all safe into the Savannah river. We cast anchor near Tybee Island, where the groves of pines, running along the shore, made an agreeable prospect, showing, as it were, the bloom of spring in the depth of winter.