It pleased God to touch the heart of that one, and to make him an instrument of good to those around him. His deceased comrades had left families, who had been brought up in ignorance of their God and Saviour, all the women being Otaheitan idolaters. One Bible, and one only, which had been occasionally read by Christian and Young, remained this inestimable treasure having been rescued from the Bounty. Here was a merciful provision for guiding Adams, and those around him, in the right way, and making them wise unto salvation! It may even be hoped that the blessing had not been wholly lost upon Christian and Young.
Besides the Holy Scriptures, Adams had the comfort and advantage of possessing a Common Prayer-book, one copy of which had also been recovered from the ship; and of this book he made constant use.
In the year 1800, having then reached his thirty-sixth year, he found himself the only man on the island. The younger part, consisting of twenty children, looked up to him with reverence and affection. In that year his son George, who yet survives, was born. About ten years after this, John Adams had two remarkable dreams, which presented to him in vivid colours his past transgressions, and the awful nature of the punishment threatening to await them. In one of these dreams, he imagined that he saw an awful being approaching, and about to thrust him through with a dart. The other vision represented to him the horrors of a future place of torment. These terrible dreams not only alarmed him at the time, but produced on him a lasting and wholesome impression, and effectually moved his conscience. May we not believe this to have been the influence of the Holy Spirit, whose merciful design it was to give him a better knowledge of himself, and a sense of the justice and goodness of God, and to bring him, an humble suppliant, to the throne of grace, for the pardon of his sins, through the merits of a crucified Saviour? "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." (Rev, iii. 20.)
Let no one say that there is any encouragement to superstition in these remarks. That which is uppermost in the thoughts, though it may not have ripened into good resolutions, much less into right practice, is frequently displayed in a manner strong as reality, in those solemn hours when the world is shut out, and deep sleep falleth upon man. An idea which lias been presented to the mind whilst we are awake, often assumes, by reflection, and during the hours of sleep, a solemnity and importance which it did not before possess. And perhaps there are no inward admonitions more affecting, or more fruitful of good, than those which relate to our children, and to the obligations under which we are laid to conduct the young in the right way. Happy are they who are wise enough to make a good use of that which appears to have been sent to them for a good end.