Page images
PDF
EPUB

we

and the moral perception of right and of the wind !" Indeed, wherever a dewrong. He is the link in creation which scription of Jehovah is drawn in the scripconnects the irrational brute with those im- tures, though under the metaphor of the material beings who can receive no con. most glorious and sublime objects, we must tamination through the influence of matter. continually reflect that these are but metaBut man, though endowed with reason, is phors which fade before the reality, as the not uncontrolled by the material form he reflected rays of moonlight, inhabits, His physical constitution and “ Softly alighting upon all below," infirmities affect his passions, and these disappear before the gorgeous beains of the again affect the mind. The process as well noon-day's sun. When we would contem. as the communication of thought being car plate the omnipresence of God, with David ried on by the means of matter, are effected “ ascend up into heaven,” his dwellingby its impurities and defects.

place, and there his glory “is the light thereIf we advance to the effects of the in- of," and he exhibits himself as his own fluence of matter upon the mind of man as temple, in which his favoured people shall manifested in religion, we must be struck worship. If we descend to the gloomy with its importance. The soul of man, as dwelling of departed spirits, even there is was before observed, being in some mea the solemn all-pervading presence of the sure assimilated to the Deity from whom it Most High. In the most distant, the most sprang, this would seem the most important solitary spot of world, as well as in the to cultivate, and to divest of deformity. frequented and commercial city, in the Here would piety place the seat of obe- deepest shades of darkness, as in the unshadience, and here it would expect to meet dowed day, God is unfolded to our view. with its reward. None but a thinking mind As finite beings, it is impossible for us could conceive of the existence or attributes entirely to comprehend the boundlessness of a Supreme Being, or could adore him of Jehovah, whether in his nature or in his as his Maker. None but a rational creature attributes. We can conceive of the poscould comprehend the beauty of moral good sibility of infinity, though our perception and the deformity of vice, or could feel that can extend but very little beyond ourselves. the one was as acceptable as the other was We are compelled, in the contemplation of loathsome to a pure and holy God. Nei- infinity, to take in at several distinct times ther could any but a moral and accountable so many distinct parts of the circle, but we being receive a probationary state of exist can never grasp a thousandth part of the ence, to be rewarded hereafter according to whole. We gaze upon the various objects his actions.

of the material creation, and, divesting them The mind of man can only conceive of of their imperfections, regard them as symGod by material representations, for of bols of the Most High. All matter being itself, unless possessing an intuitive faculty, circumscribed in extent, essentially motionit could know nothing of a Supreme Being. less in its nature, and void of reason, we We see the productions and works of imagine perfection in a contrast of these, Jehovah, and by a necessary and immuta- and hence conceive of an immaterial God. ble action of the mind, which recognizes a Thus, by the simplest act of reason, we perrelation between cause and effect, we are ceive that the Supreme Being cannot be enabled to perceive the necessity of His matter, and conceiving these qualities capaexistence, and to comprehend many ble of being negatived, we form some faint of his attributes by what is manifested in conceptions of what He is, by knowing what the material creation. When the Almighty He is not. With these reflections, we is unfolded to the view of man by revela- should be impressed with a sense of our tion, it is by means of symbols and the limited knowledge of the Most High. Beassumed forms of matter. Indeed, it would holding the stupendous objects of nature be impossible, owing to the present finite around us, and regarding them as the puny nature of our faculties, that we should com emblems of Jehovah, our own insignificance prehend any thing of so vast a being, but startles us, and we exclaim with the by the prefiguration of sensible objects. psalmist, “What is man, that thou art The majesty of the Most High is shadowed mindful of him ? and the Son of man, that thus faintly, lest the magnificent lustre of thou visitest him !" his sun-like beams should only dazzle and Again, when we would contemplate a confound the eye of mortality. What must future state, the nature of our existence be the nature of that Being, whose bound- bereafter, and the paradise in which the less pavilion, like the light of heaven, is blessed shall dwell, our views are too much stretched from east to west, who maketh the tinctured with the grossness of materiality. clouds his chariot, “who walketh on the wings Thus it has ever happened during the

various eras of superstition in all coun. will appear more evident, when we reflect tries—the pleasures of heaven have been that heaven, being the abode of the Most supposed to consist in those gratifications High, and of immaterial spirits, cannot that have delighted most in this world. be supposed to consist of any enjoyments The Indian, who had revered the Great of sense, but rather of mental and spiritual Spirit during his life, expected when he pleasures. In order then to take up his died to dwell in extensive hunting grounds. residence in so pure a region, man must be Ossian, in his beautiful poems, imagines divested of his material nature, and receive men in a separate state to retain the same a capability of comprehending and enjoydispositions which animated them in this ing the pleasures of heaven unrestrained by life. The ghosts of departed heroes ride the influence of matter, for, as St. Paul upon the winds, and, bending their aerial asserts, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the bows, they pursue deer formed of clouds. kingdom of God.” Indeed, the heathen of all nations seem to Finally, the material part of our existhave entertained the same notions in form- ence, or, in scripture language, the flesh, ing for themselves a future state of bliss. is one of the principal engines of temptaMahomet also unfolded his voluptuous tion used by our great adversary for the paradise to his disciples, as a temptation destruction of man. “ To be carnally to obedience. (Paley.) “ His robes of silk, minded,” or in defiance of moral rectitude his palaces of marble, his rivers and shades, to seek the gratifications of sense,” is death; his groves and couches, his wines, his while “to be spiritually-minded," or by the dainties; and above all, his seventy-two mortification of sense to draw off the soul virgins assigned to each of the faithful, of to a contemplation of God," is life and resplendent beauty and eternal youth; in- peace.” Hence the importance and value toxicated the imaginations, and seized the of faith, which leads a man to withstand passions, of his Eastern followers.” And, the fascinations of sense, and live in constrange as it may appear, even among stant preparation for a pure and unseen Christians the same disposition prevails, world. In the present state of existence, a of investing paradise with the pleasures of just and perfect conception of holiness, of sense.

the existence and nature of Jehovah, and This disposition may in some measure be of the paradise prepared for those that love accounted for by the necessity that heaven and serve the Most High, is much dimmed and the material world should be symbo- by the influence of matter upon the mind. lized by those sensible objects they most Our spiritual knowledge increases or deresemble. The ideas of man can extend no creases according as we resist or yield to further than to those objects which he has the temptations of sense; but even in the seen, or, from resemblance can conceive. highest state of excellence, so feeble is morThat glorious world then could only be tal vision, that we cannot but confess now described by likening it to what we from we see through a glass darkly;" yet by the experience can understand. Thus, in the same Spirit which has imparted that degree expression used by St. John, “ the city was of vision we at present enjoy, may we pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the hereafter see these sublime and spiritual foundations of the wall of the city were objects “face to face," and “know, even garnished with all manner of precious as we also are known.” stones,” we are only to understand the Beaconsfield.

J. A. B. description as figurative. Gold is the most valuable of all metals, and free from liability to corruption, while precious stones

THE CONFESSIONS OF A PIRATE. fill the mind' with ideas of worth and splendour, such being to man the fittest

(From the Bolton Chronicle of June 4th, 1831.) emblems of transcendent excellence. Like- The New York Evening Post contains one wise, in visions and prophecies, where beasts of the most extraordinary confessions ever are mentioned, we are to understand their read ---the confessions of a man whose crimes attributes rather than the beasts themselves. make all the horrors of fiction comparatively Instead of the music of the golden harps, tame and trifling. The necessity of putting we are rather to understand the celestial beyond question the truth of a tale so truly harmony of the soul continually responding appalling, has necessarily overcharged the the chord of love. Indeed, upon the original paper with minute details and rewhole, we are rather to regard heaven as a petitions, for which, its general truth having state of existence, than as a fixed dwelling- been established, the necessity no longer place invested even with the most refined exists, and we shall therefore abridge the pleasures of sense. The necessity of this whole into narrative.

ex

The miserable wretch from whose own furnish droghers to transport the goods to lips the following particulars were collected, Havannah, which was done by him for was at length convicted of murder on the more than three years. high seas, and was to have been executed The Maria now put to sea, with a crew on the 22d of May. He is a native of the of about fifty men, principally Spaniards State of Rhode Island, and is known in and Americans, with every hope of infamous America by the name Charles Gibbs, success. The first vessel she fell in with was but from the wording of the paragraph, we the Indispensable, an English ship, bound to suspect it is not his real name. From his Havannah, which was taken and carried to confession, carefully compared with known Cape Antonio. The crew were immefacts, there is every reason to believe, that diately destroyed: those who resisted were he was concerned in the robbery of more hewn to pieces; those who offered no re. than forty vessels, and in the destruction of sistance were reserved to be shot and more than twenty, with their entire crews. thrown overboard. A French brig, with a Many of those destroyed had passengers on cargo of wine and silk, was taken shortly board, which makes it probable that he had after. The vessel was burnt, and the crero been an agent in the murder of nearly FOUR murdered. HUNDRED HUMAN BEINGS !!

Gibbs was now unanimously chosen to The account that he gives of himself is, be their leader in all their future enterprises. that he served first in the navy of the To reap a golden harvest without the United States, and was on board the Chesa- hazard of encountering living witnesses of peake when captured. After his their crimes, it was unanimously resolved to change, he abandoned all idea of following spare no lives, and to burn and plunder the sea for a subsistence, and returned to without mercy. Rhode Island; but after a few months he He now directed his course towards the entered again. The death of an uncle now Bahama Banks, where they captured a put him in possession of about two thou- brig, believed to be the William, from New sand dollars, with which he established York, for some port in Mexico, with a himself in the grocery business at Boston, cargo of furniture ; destroyed the crew, but not succeeding, he again went to sea, took the ship to Cape Antonio, and sent Eventually, he served on board the Co- the furniture and other articles to their lumbian privateer Maria, Capt. Bell, and friend at Havannah. Some time during here begins the history of his piracies. this cruise, the pirate was chased for nearly

The crew being dissatisfied in conse a whole day by a United States ship, supquence of the nonpayment of their prize, posed to be the John Adams; they hoisted money, a mutiny arose; the crew took pos- patriot colours, and finally escaped. In session of the schooner, and landed the the early part of the summer of 1817, they officers near Pensacola. They cruised for took the Earl of Moira, an English ship a short time without any success, and it from London, with a cargo of dry goods. was then unanimously determined to hoist The crew were destroyed, the vessel burnt, the black flug, and declare war against all and the goods carried to the Cape. There nations. Their bloody purpose was not they had a settlement with their Havannah carried, however, into immediate execution. friend, and the proceeds were divided acThey boarded a number of vessels, and cording to agreement. allowed them to pass unmolested, there Gibbs then repaired to Havannah, introbeing no specie on board, and their cargoes duced himself to the merchant, and made not being convertible into any thing valu- further arrangements for the successful proable to themselves. At last one of the secution of his piracies. When there, he crew, named Antonio, suggested, that an became acquainted with many of the Engarrangement could be made with a man in lish and American naval officers, inquired Havannah, that would be mutually bene- respecting the success of their various expeficial ; that he would receive all their goods, ditions for the suppression of piracy, and sell them, and divide the proceeds. This made himself acquainted with the speed of suggestion being favourably received, they their vessels, and all their intended moveran up within two miles of the Moro Castle, ments. and sent Antonio on shore to see the mer On his arrival at Cape Antonio, he found chant, and make a contract with him. Pre- that his comrades were in a state of comvious to this, Gibbs was chosen to navigate plete mutiny and rebellion, and that many the vessel. Antonio succeeded in arrang- of them had been killed. ing every thing according to their wishes, checked the disturbance, and all agreed and Cape Antonio was appointed as the to summit to his orders, and put any one to place of rendezvous. The merchant was to death who should dare to disobey him.

His energy

During this cruise, which was made in Havannah, who sold them. We had, he the latter part of 1817, and the beginning of said, a contract with the house, and re1818, a Dutch ship from Curaçoa was cap- ceived half the proceeds. tured, with a cargo of West Indian goods “ While I was in the schooner Marand a quantity of silver plate. The pas- garetta, we took the American ship Carosengers and crew, to the number of thirty, line, and run her on shore at Cape Antonio were all destroyed, with the exception of a (Cuba.) The United States armed vessel, young female about seventeen, who fell the Enterprise, came alongside shortly after, upon her knees and implored Gibbs to and before we had a chance of taking any save her life. The appeal was successfulthing out of her, the crew, or some of the and he promised to save her, though he crew, of the Enterprise landed; we had knew it would lead to dangerous conse a fight with them; some of our men were quences among his crew. She was carried killed, and I believe some of theirs. We to Cape Antonio, and kept there about two were beaten, and driven to the mountains, months; but the dissatisfaction increased, where we remained some days. We then until it broke out at last into open mutiny, separated; some got to Trinidada, south and one of the pirates was shot by Gibbs side Cuba ; others got to Havannah. The for daring to lay hold of her with a view of crew of the Enterprise destroyed our fort, beating out her brains. Gibbs was com took the goods from the Caroline, and our pelled, in the end, to submit her fate to a two vessels, the Margaretta and Picciana." council of war, at which it was decided When asked why they were so cruel as that the preservation of their own lives made to kill so many persons when they had her sacrifice indispensable. He therefore secured all their money, his answer is worthy acquiesced in the decision, and gave orders of observation :to have her destroyed by poison, which was

« The laws are the cause of so many immediately done.

murders. Because a man has to suffer This, he says, hurt his feelings more than death for piracy; and the punishment for any other act of his life, and is the only one murder is no more. Then, you know, all he can say he felt sorry for! Her father, witnesses are out of the way; and I am mother, and all her relations perished on sure, if the punishment was different, there board the vessel.

would not be so many murders." The piratical schooner was shortly after On one occasion, Gibbs states that he wards driven ashore near the Cape, and so cruised for more than three weeks off the much damaged that it was found necessary Capes of the Delaware, in the hope of fallto destroy her. A new sharp-built schoonering in with the Rebecca Sims, a Philadelwas in consequence provided by their faith- phia ship, bound for Canton. They knew ful friend in Havannah, called the Picciana, that she would have a large quantity of and despatched to their rendezvous. In specie on board, but they were disappointed this vessel they cruised successfully for in their booty. The ship passed them in more than four years. Among the vessels the night. taken and destroyed, with their crews, he

Some time in the course of 1819, he remembered the brig Jane, of Liverpool; states that he left Havannah, and came to brig, (name forgotten) of New York, from the United States, bringing with him about the Spanish Main; brig Belvidere, of Bos- 30,000 dollars. He passed several weeks ton, taken in the Gulf; two French brigs in New York, and then went to Boston, in the Gulf of Mexico; ship Providence, whence he took passage for Liverpool, in of Providence-took from her 10,000 dol- the ship Emerald. Before he sailed, howlars. She was suffered to pass, as eraminant ever, he had squandered a large part of his could not consent to destroy his own towns- money by dissipation and gambling. He men. [A gleam of humanity like that of remained in Liverpool a few months, and Lady Macbeth.] Ship William, of Sal. then returned to Boston in the ship Topaz, town, name unknown ; took from her a Capt. Lewis. His residence at Liverpool, large quantity of plate, some gilt-edged at that time, is satisfactorily ascertained paper, and from twenty to thirty piano- from another source, besides his own confortes. A French ship, cargo wine; ship fession. A female, now in New York, was Earl of Moira, of London: and the ship well acquainted with him there, where, she Indispensable, of London.

says, he lived like a gentleman, with, appaThere were many other vessels taken and rently, abundant means of support. In destroyed, and among them Americans. speaking of his acquaintance with this Every thing valuable was taken from them, female, he says, “I fell in with a woman, and vessels and crews destroyed. The who, I thought, was all virtue : but she goods were sent to a Spanish house in the deceived me; and I am sorry to say, that

a heart that never felt abashed at scenes with himself. He has written her two letof carnage and blood, was made a child ters since his continement. of for a time by her; and I gave way to

He refuses to tell the name of any perdissipation, to drown the torment." sons concerned with him in his piracies,

He subsequently returned to Boston, but admits there are now many living in sailed for Havannah, and again commenced the United States. his piratical career. In 1826, he revisited Though he gives no evidence (says the the United States, and hearing of the war American writer) of a contrite heart, yet he between Brazil and the republic of Buenos evidently dwells with great unwillingness Ayres, he sailed from Boston in the brig Kitty, upon the crimes of which he acknowledges of Portsmouth, with a determination, as he himself guilty. Since his trial his frame is states, of trying his fortune in the defence somewhat enfeebled, his face paler, and his of a republican government. Upon his eye more sunken; but the air of his bold, arrival, he made himself known to Admiral enterprising, and desperate mind still res Brown, and communicated his desire to mains; he is affable and communicative, join their navy. The Admiral accompanied and, when he smiles, exhibits so mild and him to the Governor, and a lieutenant's gentle a countenance, that no one could commission being given him, he joined take him to be a villain. a ship of 34 guns, called the Twenty fifth of May. There he remained, in the capa

A ROMISH PARODY ON THE "TE DEUM." city of fifth lieutenant, for about four months. Having succeeded in gaining the The following Parody, which was pub. confidence of Admiral Brown, he put him lished in 1733, under the sanction of the in command of a privateer schooner, and General, and all the other authorities, of he sailed for Buenos Ayres, made two good the Franciscan Order, and with the approcruises, and returned safely to port. He bation of the Inquisition, is to be found at then bought one-half of a new Baltimore the end of the “ Primazia Serafica na Reschooner, and sailed again, but was cap- giam da America, by Fr. Appollinario da tured seven days out, and carried into Rio Conceiçam," and is probably his work. Janeiro. He remained there until peace Most Protestants will perhaps think the took place, then returned to Buenos Ayres, author has gone as far in magnifying his and thence to New York.

Saint as could be prudently permitted by After the lapse of about a year, which he a Church which renounces, as a foul stigma, passed travelling from place to place, the term idolatrous. Gibbs states, that the war between France “We praise thee, O Francis! We acand Algiers altracted his attention.-Know. knowledge thee to be our Patriarch. ing that the French commerce presents a All the earth doth worship thee, the fine opportunity for plunder, he determined Father Seraphical. to embark for Algiers, and offer his services To thee all Minorites cry aloud, the to the Dey. He accordingly took passage Heavens and all the corded families. from this port in the Sally Ann, belonging To thee the Seraphic Martyrs and Conto Bath, landed at Barcelona, crossed to fessors continually do cry. Port Mahon, and endeavoured to make bis Holy, holy, holy, Standard-bearer of the way to Algiers. The vigilance of the Lord God of Sabaoth! French fleet prevented the accomplishment

Heaven and Earth are full of the miraof his purpose, and he proceeded to Tunis. cles of thy grace. He afierwards took passage to Marseilles, The glorious company of the Franciscans and thence to Boston. From Boston he praise thee; sailed to New Orleans, and there entered The goodly fellowship of the Nuns praise as one of the crew of the brig Vineyard. thee; To a question why he, who had been The noble army of the Third Order praise accustomed to command, should enter as a common sailor on board the Vineyard, he The Holy Seraphic Religion throughout answered, that he sought employment, to all the world doth acknowledge thee; assuage the horrors of reflection.

The Father of profoundest humility; Gibbs was married in Buenos Ayres, Thine honourable, true, and Apostolic where he now has a child living. His wife Institute; is dead. By a singular concurrence of cir Also thy holy spirit of poverty. cumstances, the woman with whom he be Thou art the Image of Christ the King of came acquainted in Liverpool, and who is Glory. said at that time to have borne a decent Thou art, as it were, the Second Son of character, is now lodged in the same prison the Father everlasting.

thee;

« PreviousContinue »