Page:Armatafragment00ersk.djvu/29

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addressed me in the purest English, saying in accents the sweetest and most impressive, “Unhappy stranger, fear nothing!—The benevolence of God extends over all his works, however divided for mysterious causes in the abyss of infinite space.—Even in this unknown and distant world He has preserved a man of your own country to comfort and protect you.” However impatient the reader must naturally be that I should advance without digression in a narrative so very extraordinary, yet I must pause here for a moment. It is the office of history not only to amuse but to instruct; to make men not only wiser, but better—to reconcile them to their various conditions, however clouded or disastrous—to impress them with a constant sense of the Divine Providence and presence—or, to describe it by almost a word in the sublime language of our great poet,

“To justify the ways of God to men.”

The first reflection, therefore, which the reader ought to make upon this extraordinarydeliver-