I had a singular experience, which is very vivid to my mind. The precise year I cannot say, and I may be mistaken in the name of the vessel. But somewhere about the year 1860, the bark Benjamin Burgess sailed from Boston for Cienfugos. The crew were mostly from the house of which I had charge. There had been, and there still was, a powerful religious influence pervading our house.
I said to the men as they were going on board: “Remember, I shall pray for you every day.” I made it a practice, directly after 12 M., to retire, and pray, and commune with God. One day, after the bark had been gone about six weeks, while bringing up before the Lord the different cases, this crew was presented with unusual interest.
I was thrown into an agony of feeling before God, and I cried to him to have mercy on that crew. Such were my feelings. I noted the time. After the terrible struggle in prayer for God to save that crew, with strong cries and tears, there came into my feeling a great peace, as though prayer were answered, and that crew made safe.
Unbeknown to me, the bark was chartered to go to Antwerp, and thence to Boston. On their arrival back, I said “Boys, did you have a hard time in either passage? “ “Yes,” said they, “a fearful time on the voyage from Cienfugos to Antwerp. We were being driven upon the rocks in a terrible gale and storm. Captain Snow said to us: “Boys, there is no hope and no deliverance, unless God helps us; ” and sure enough, to our great astonishment, there came a wind from off the shore, and we were saved.”
The day of my agony of prayer before the Lord for that crew, that they might be saved, was the day they were having that terrible experience on the bark.
I have no comments to make on that experience. I simply give the facts in the case.
— N. Hamilton, in Christian Witness
Touching Incidents and Remarkable Answers to Prayer - 1893