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Lord? Now, we may well hope to see every ship manned with pious sailors!"
At last the hour arrived for chapel, and I said to George, "Will you and your shipmates go with us?” "By all means, sir."
As we were walking along together to the house of prayer, I confess I felt very deeply for these shipwrecked mariners: and in my sermon I mentioned the case to the congregation, and several of my friends felt a peculiar pleasure in furnishing them with a few guineas for pocket money. As I put the last sum into the hands of the mate, he exclaimed, "Indeed, sir, we shall have so much money that we shall not know what to do with it."
A little before their departure, I called upon them at their lodgings, and found them in their bed-room reading the precious volumes with which they had been furnished. It gave me great joy to see them so occupied.
I said to them, "My young friends, it is singular that we should ever have met."
"Yes, indeed, sir," they replied, "it was a kind providence for
"And now we are going to part. again until the voyage of life is over. Should we not go to prayer?"
"If you please," they all replied.
Perhaps we shall never meet
We then kneeled down before the throne of grace, and a more solemn and affecting season I have seldom witnessed. When we arose from our knees, the tear was rolling down Robert's manly cheek; and though he tried to conceal it, he could not. Perhaps, thought I, the angels are beginning to rejoice over him as a sinner brought to repentance.
Andrew also shewed evident marks of deep inward emotion, when we spoke of the need of pardon, and of the danger of neglecting the precious soul. I was happy to see his cheek moisten too. The mate and myself, though our hearts seemed harder than our neighbours, were not without feeling at this interesting scene; and, I hope, we shall never forget it.
THE BIBLE IN FRANCE.
"Cast thy bread upon the waters; for thou shalt find it after many days." A French colporteur, about three years ago, visited a hamlet near Chartres, and offered the Bible for sale, from house to house.
Most whom he accosted, insolently refused it; while a few consented, after his pressing invitations, to take a copy. Among these was a shoemaker, who seemed to pay greater attention than the rest to the colporteur's observations: apart from this, he had every reason to think that his visit to the hamlet would be attended with little fruit. In August last, he revisited this place; and judge of his delight when, on entering the shoemaker's shop, he seized our colporteur by the hand with warmth, and told him, at once, that immediately after he had purchased a Bible from him, (having had his attention drawn, by what he said, to the importance of its contents,) he fell to reading it; that he took a greater interest every day in the perusal; that passages which at first he had found obscure were soon cleared up to his mind by others; and that, while learning to see himself a sinner, under condemnation, he had at the same time been enabled to look upon himself as pardoned, justified, and saved by Jesus Christ! Thus enlightened, without any human assistance, this worthy man became changed in his demeanour; and He who caused the light to shine out of darkness, has been mercifully pleased to accomplish the work of grace and regeneration in his heart. The neighbours soon took notice of the alteration. He was rallied he was persecuted. The priests took up the matter: his business was ruined; and he himself, with his wife and five small children, were plunged into poverty and want. But, notwithstanding all this, he remains immoveable; and, so far from murmuring, rejoices in having found the Pearl of great price, the treasure of which no one can deprive him.
AN AFFECTING LETTER.
Written by George King, partly at sea, the rest, a few days before his death. He was only three days ill: died on the 21st of April, at St. Jago de Cuba, the European burying place, in the West Indies. (On board "The Armata," Capt. Jackson.)
At sea, Feb 28, 1841.
MY DEAR ELIZA,-As I am getting near a place where the unhealthiness of climate has proved so fatal to many, I have been considering I ought to prepare myself, at least as far as I can, for any event it may please Providence to decree me; and it is with the most painful pleasure I address you, perhaps for the last time, my dearest wife. I pray God it may not be; but that we may meet in happiness, and climb the hill together, and descend the vale of life, pleased with each other, and happy in our dear children. The thoughts of this is cheering; but how often are our brightest prospects suddenly clouded. You, I know, wish to hear me say I have been seeking pardon from an offended God through the mediation of a crucified Saviour; but, indeed, the thoughts of your situation is, and I cannot help it, more in my thoughts than any thing else, knowing, should I be cut off, you and our dear children would be left destitute. But, my dear, you must call the truths of that faith
you have been brought up in to your aid, and trust in the right hand of God to sustain you, and that he will take up our dear children. I have often made resolves in my mind to endeavour to alter my life, as I was convinced we should both be much more happy-at least, solid happiness-and have prayed often, and in bitterness of heart, that God would be pleased to change my wicked heart, and give me a right understanding, and a relish for the things that pertain to my eternal salvation; and I scarcely ever saw you on your knees, by our bedside, but my conscience would smite me, to think that another should be pleading at the throne of grace for me, and I such a wretch as to neglect and be careless of doing it for myself. I have been earnestly entreating that God would make the smallest ray to shine in my poor benighted heart, when you have enquired if I was asleep. My heart must be very hard, and evil seems to be always present with me; for how to perform that which is good, I find not-the good that I would, I do not— but the evil which I would not, that I do-but you will not fail. My earnest wish to obtain mercy from above, is with the pleasing idea of passing a never-ending eternity of happiness with you; for what greater extent of bliss can we picture, than sharing heaven with those we most loved on earth! I cannot bear the thought that death should sever the ties that held our souls together. I should wish to watch over and protect you, and see you prosperous and happy, and to know your thoughts reverted sometimes to the memory of one who sincerely loved you, though our short journey was so clouded by mists and storms, and be the first to welcome you to that happy shore, "where tempests never beat, nor billows
I have settled my few worldly concerns in my account book, as a debtor and creditor account of all I owe, and what is owing to me from the ship I need not say any thing concerning. I shall request the captain to sell every thing belonging to me, and remit the money to you. Concerning our dear children: you will bring them up, with God's help, in the way they should go. I should wish my mother, brother, and sister, to take Charley, or which you please, and do what they can, for my sake; and let me beg you, particularly, not to grieve, for my sake. Preserve your health for your children. Call to your aid those promises and consolations you know you can trust to, and believe that all is working together for good; for though our bodies may mix with their kindred dust, five thousand miles apart, yet our souls will mingle in that happy place where the parting word shall no more distress us. Here, perhaps, I shall lay a stranger, on a foreign soil, whom fever has arrested in his career, deliriously calling upon kindred names, and the loved ones of that home, where he will never more return; but I pray God will
Remember me for good,
Show me the atoning blood,
April 2nd. The yellow fever is amongst us: we have four laid up. The Eliza, of Newport, lying close to us, has two dead: one jumped overboard, this morning, delirious.
April 4th. One of our number has this morning been called to appear before his Master, and another is on the verge of eternity. May the Lord enable me to see clearly how I stand! May no de lusive hope bear me up! Nothing but Christ, and him crucified, will dispose me. Oh! enable me to rely entirely on Him who is powerful to save all that come unto him.
April 10th.-Another is called to his account-this makes the third-and each younger and stouter than myself: still I am spared. Surely God is merciful to me. Time has been given to me, while others have been cut down almost without warning. Be ye also ready!
"HOW OLD ART THOU ?"
Count not thy days that have idly flown,
Nor speak of the hours thou must blush to own,
But number the hours redeemed from sin,
Will the shade go back on thy dial-plate?
Life's waning hours, like the sybil's page,
Oh, rouse thee and live! nor deem that man's age
But in days that are truly wise.
A. FOSTER, PRINTER, KIRKBY LONSDALE.