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peril through fear of him.
The boat was soon filled—forty-two souls sought safety in her, and every foot of standing space was completely occupied. There was a scanty supply of provision and water, and two or three nautical instruments, but the boat could not be managed, nor could it even live with such a number on board. The other boat was lowered, and the captain, with a portion of the passengers and crew, occupied it. The two boats lay, side by side, at the stern of the ship, to which they were attached by lines, reluctant to part from it and from their companions and friends who remained on board. But the moment of separation was not long delayed. In three brief hours after the collision took place the ship filled, and as she sunk into the yawning gulf, the lines that connected the boats to her were cut, and the shrieks and wailings of many a hapless soul died upon the ears of that night as the eddying waters closed over that good ship.
The day dawned ; and the survivors of the wreck could now realise more perfectly their forlorn condition. With a degree of self-possession, fortunately not rare among men of his profession, the captain informed the mate, who had charge of the long boat, in what latitude and longitude they then were, and at the same time took the names of the
As they were about to separate, the captain addressed a few words of encouragement to the company on board the long boat, urging them to be of good cheer, and suggesting the hope that all might yet be well. He then bade them farewell, and in fifteen minutes was out of sight.
To make our narrative intelligible, we must return to the ship as she bounded over the waves before the disastrous interruption of her voyage. We find on board a gay, thoughtless assemblage from various parts of the wide world, all intent upon some real or fancied good, and all buoyed up with the hope of ultimate success in their pursuits. The children have no cares which a cup of water, a crust of bread, or a pillow will not drive away. There is more than one anxious heart there, however, that beats almost wholly for them, and more than one tender eye that follows them in all their motions, and watches them with sleepless solicitude.
There are others who seem to be absorbed in themselves, holding little converse, and having, as it would seem, little sympathy with the social and mirthful groups that meet and separate and meet again, in the different quarters of the ship, as the long day passes over. Some sleep away the lazy hours-some read—some sing—some write—and
not a few seek in vain to drown their cares and troubles in the intoxicating cup.
But there is one who belongs to none of these classes. You may see him in the after cabin at early morning, and again in the still hours of evening, with a small, thick, tastily-bound volume in his hand, full of paper marks, and bearing testimony to the fidelity with which it has been read, as well as to the care with which it has been preserved. Mark his steps through the live-long day. Though he is evidently infirm and fond of retirement and meditation, still he has a kind word for all. He sympathises with the sick and feeble. He smiles approvingly on all the innocent amusements and employments that pass before him, and enters, with peculiar interest, into all the little joys and trials, hopes and disappointments of the children, as they frolic upon
deck. The passenger who occupies the same apartment with him, will tell you that this young man addresses himself to some imperative duty which he performs with sacred diligence and punctuality. Before he commits himself to sleep, and again when he awakes to the light of a new day, his mind seems turned away from earth towards heaven. Nothing diverts him from his purpose-nothing interferes with his appointed hour. If you have an opportunity to look into the blank leaf of that little volume, you will find his name and his mother's name inscribed upon it; and if you listen to his morning and evening orisons, you will find that a godly mother is remembered before God as the chief blessing of his life.
On the eve of that melancholy night, when the fearful catastrophe we have described occurred, this sober, but cheerful and friendly young man, had remembered God. He had thought deeply of His watchful providence of His mighty power, so sublimely displayed in the wonders around himof his own dependence-of the uncertainty of life, and of the blessed hope of a glorious immortality to which we are begotten by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. With a contented mind, a peaceful conscience, and a calm but firm reliance
the mercy and faithfulness of the God whom he loved and served, he committed himself to sleep; and when the outcry of danger reached his ear, it filled him with surprise, but not with terror. He had nothing to fear, and every thing to hope. He was sustained by the persuasion that all things must work together for good to those that love God-and that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth,
nor any other creature, should be able to separate him from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus
In the midst of all the confusion and terror of that disastrous night, he was calm and unmoved, except by the danger and distress of others. When the boat was lowered, he felt it to be his duty to avail himself of any means of escape which a kind providence should furnish, and not knowing, in the darkness of the night and the general distraction that prevailed on every side, what was the capacity of the boat, or what number had already taken refuge in her, he sprang on board.
When the dawn of day revealed their forlorn and perilous condition, they saw, at a glance, the impracticability of managing their frail bark, or even keeping her above water, with such a load. The weather was severely cold, and the sea rough and threatening. The mate, in an under tone, had intimated to the captain before their separation, that it was impossible that a leaky boat should live with such a burden, and that it would be necessary to cast lots, or to decide in some summary way, who should die. The captain urged him to do the best he could, and not resort to such a revolting course but in the very last extremity.