The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 286 pages of information about The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African.

I was very much shocked at the custom of bull-baiting, and other diversions which prevailed here on Sunday evenings, to the great scandal of Christianity and morals.  I used to express my abhorrence of it to a priest whom I met with.  I had frequent contests about religion with the reverend father, in which he took great pains to make a proselyte of me to his church; and I no less to convert him to mine.  On these occasions I used to produce my Bible, and shew him in what points his church erred.  He then said he had been in England, and that every person there read the Bible, which was very wrong; but I answered him that Christ desired us to search the Scriptures.  In his zeal for my conversion, he solicited me to go to one of the universities in Spain, and declared that I should have my education free; and told me, if I got myself made a priest, I might in time become even pope; and that Pope Benedict was a black man.  As I was ever desirous of learning, I paused for some time upon this temptation; and thought by being crafty I might catch some with guile; but I began to think that it would be only hypocrisy in me to embrace his offer, as I could not in conscience conform to the opinions of his church.  I was therefore enabled to regard the word of God, which says, ‘Come out from amongst them,’ and refused Father Vincent’s offer.  So we parted without conviction on either side.

Having taken at this place some fine wines, fruits, and money, we proceeded to Cadiz, where we took about two tons more of money, &c. and then sailed for England in the month of June.  When we were about the north latitude 42, we had contrary wind for several days, and the ship did not make in that time above six or seven miles straight course.  This made the captain exceeding fretful and peevish:  and I was very sorry to hear God’s most holy name often blasphemed by him.  One day, as he was in that impious mood, a young gentleman on board, who was a passenger, reproached him, and said he acted wrong; for we ought to be thankful to God for all things, as we were not in want of any thing on board; and though the wind was contrary for us, yet it was fair for some others, who, perhaps, stood in more need of it than we.  I immediately seconded this young gentleman with some boldness, and said we had not the least cause to murmur, for that the Lord was better to us than we deserved, and that he had done all things well.  I expected that the captain would be very angry with me for speaking, but he replied not a word.  However, before that time on the following day, being the 21st of June, much to our great joy and astonishment, we saw the providential hand of our benign Creator, whose ways with his blind creatures are past finding out.  The preceding night I dreamed that I saw a boat immediately off the starboard main shrouds; and exactly at half past one o’clock, the following day at noon, while I was below, just as we had dined in the cabin, the man at the helm cried out, A boat!

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The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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