30th.—I slept uncommonly well last night, which I attribute to my having taken a cold bath immediately before retiring to bed; breeze unfavourable, lat. 6° 42' at noon. It is not recommended to come closer to the coast than 18 long. We are now opposite Sierra Leone, and are entertained by the sailors with agreeable tales of the corsairs, seven of whom, my story tellers asserted, they have seen beheaded at Cadiz. Our determination is to fight manfully, if we should be attacked by an equal force; if by an overwhelming one, to submit quietly at once. Some of these pirates have eighty men and ten or twelve guns; we have but twenty men and two six pound carronades, and small arms.
August 1st.—Fine morning. Breeze strong. Found that we had made but nine miles southing since yesterday. Read prayers, and an excellent sermon of Burder's. This admirable preacher of a pure religion must have done wonders with his parishioners. I give him the credit of the manifest reform which appears to have taken place in my congregation; he cannot be read or heard without interest and improvement. He speaks to the heart more in the eloquence of feeling than language; but whatever he says, he strongly impresses. His sermon on the text, "Christ is the way," is calculated to make a man a Christian, and to keep him one. On these occasions all on board regularly attend, with three or four exceptions.
2nd.—I have been occupied most of this day in writing
- I cannot too strongly applaud the conduct of Mr. Moore in this respect; nor too warmly recommend the imitation of it to others similarly circumstanced. Every person, however humble in ability, may be the instrument of incalculable benefit. Let him take a few Bibles, Prayer-books, and well-selected volumes of sermons; let him produce and use them on the Sabbath, and in his own little circle keep the day holy. He may at first meet with indifference or opposition, but let him persevere, as in the instances of Buchanan and Henry Martin, and he will at length be listened to with reverential attention. Sailors have strong impressions of religion; and the ocean is a scene, of all others, the most likely to excite the adoration of Him, "who weigheth the waters by measure."—Editor.