Diary: James P. Stabler, 1827 (Volume 1)

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of the most respectable class _

About half past four, we weighed anchor, and pass'd the narrows a little before sunset _ At 9 oclock our Pilot was dicharged, (by whom I sent letters homeward) and we stood out to sea in a South Easterly direction.

1st day morning 6 mo 17th

After a poor nights rest from the motion of the ship, I got up about Sunrise & went up on Deck and what was to be seen? nothing but Sky and water _ one "wide unbounded prospect lies before us." Land has disappeared perhaps forever from our view! Home – with all its endearing charms has receded from our sight – And for aught I know (at the present moment), ere the [period] roles round when our barque may reach its haven. Some of us who are now with buoyant Spirits riding triumphantly over the countless billows of the Atlantic may exchange the safety of one Barque for

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that which may waft us over the narrow Sea that separtes time from Eternity! _: The reflection is really an awful one – but why should it be so? _ Some have affirmed that a familiarity with the Sublime and Stupendous in the works of nature will deface every feeling of awe with which we were inspired on beholding them for the first time.

The remark may be true – and why may not a contemplation of the uncertainty of Time, and that period of It which is to close our acquaintance with Earth and its dependencies become divested of its power to appal the Human mind? _ Because, there is but our thing that can: — and that is, a consciousness of our being prepared to enter into that "untried State" * where change shall be no more. If then the contemplation of such a scene does fill the Soul with awe, or dread, may * {shorthand}

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it not be an evidence that the subject is not So familiar as it should be — that the injunctions of the wise King to "consider thy latter end" is not as Scrupulously obeyed, as are our impulses to enjoy the moments as they pass — And why should death alarm us? — why should we regret for a moment, that which is inevitable – and may be converted to the greatest of all blessings a transition from trial to reward, from vicissitude and change to the fruition of every good – and this for a period or state more interminable than the rolling of those waves, which have been the cause of this digression from the intended plan of my notes.

Oh may I then with a heart filled with gratitude to Him who "rides upon the whirlwind and directs the storm" – who weigheth the mountains as in a balance and whom the winds and waves obey, for every mercy hitherto

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dispensed, confidently look up for preservation and support, during every trial that may yet be dispensed; — not more for succur and preservation to the poor dust which my Spirit animates, – for it matters but little in comparison to what becomes of that — whether it moulders with its kindred and native earth at home, or in a foreign clime, or finds a grave beneath the billows of the "Vasty deep" — but, that the "Soul may be kept embalmed and pure in living virtue.

That whom both must sever Altho' corruption may this frame command The immortal Spirit may forever bloom.

But to return from a digression as unexpected as perhaps as foreign to the purpose of my notes, as unexpectedly introduced. The Supper we have now been about 10 hours at Sea and not within a hundred miles of land — and since Breakfast have discovered a sail in S.W.

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direction. Motion of the vessel considerable but the water does not appear much rougher than I have seen the Potomac – except the swell. I have had no symptoms of Sea Sickness yet, that I know of, except that my head aches and seems very full of brains or something else possessing more gravity than the fumes of ether, all this notwg I have sometimes born the character of wearing a light head — the truth is my head is getting light if it never was before, and since writing the foregoing have thought – its might must have settled about the gastric regions.

No monsters of the deep yet to be seen except a few porpoises who are rolling themselves to and fro as if playing leap frog – Those who never saw them may imagine (if they have "fine imaginations" as somebody, or somebody else says.) a fish from 3 to 6 ft long dark coloured and two to 4 ft in girth

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