Tales of the Sea

J. T. Mawson.

Boundless Wealth and Perpetual Youth;   or, The Cruise of Juan Ponce de Leon
Sins Exposed;   or, The Tale of the Nancy Brig
The Uncertainty of Life;   or, The "Amazon," the "Drummond Castle," and the "Royal George"
Grace Darling's Story;   or, Willing and Able to Save
Unable to Save;   or, The Loss of the White Ship
Danger Despised;   or, Bow the "Thetis" was Lost
"Ready, Aye, Ready":   A Motto for Christians
A True Friend:   or, Nelson and Hardy
Misplaced Confidence;   or, Winstanley's Lighthouse
"A Sail on the Lee Bow";   or, The Burning of the "Kent"
Saved by Blood:   A Tale of Spanish Treachery
A Sea Captain's Folly;   or, Salvation Rejected
The Christian's Character;   or, Perrault's Generosity
A Despised Deliverer;   or, How Venice was Saved
Enciso's Expedition Against the Dead
The Value of One Soul:   A Deal Lifeboat Incident
Out of the Jaws of Death:   A Shark Story
God's Way of Deliverance;   or, How the Sea Saved Leyden
Salvation Neglected;   or, The Wreck of the "Royal Charter"
All Saved!   God be Praised

"There go the ships." From the noble liner with her freight of ten hundred souls down to the trim schooner. Taut and fair they look as they gallantly plough or gaily skim the sea, all having some port in view, we wish them a safe voyage. And yet some of them may never reach the port again. The tempest may seize them in its angry grip and leave them tangled and broken on some rock-bound shore.

"As the swift ships," so is your life. Old and young, rich and poor, are all sailing over the waters of Time. We put the trumpet to our lips and with earnest and friendly voice we cry, "Men and women, youths and maidens, Whither Bound?" Shall the voyage upon which you have started end in harbour and home, or in storm and wreck and ruin?

Ah! this is a question of stupendous importance. May it be faced and answered satisfactorily by every reader.

 * * *

Our book shall tell of Jesus, the one and only Saviour, of His grace and power and love and free salvation. He alone can save your soul and guide you clear of rock and shoal, through foes and storms to the hoped-for port beyond the fog. And this He offers to do without money and without price.

 * * *

Our book shall also warn of the dangers that lie ahead of those who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. Time is short. The "now" of God's salvation day may soon be past and gone. The barometer is going down and the storm cone is going up. Oh! Wake up! Wake up! Hasten away to Jesus, and do it now. That those who read may be saved eternally is the prayer of the writer.

Boundless wealth and Perpetual Youth; or, the Cruise of Juan Ponce de Leon.

"Boundless wealth and perpetual youth." Well the very mention of such things, so greatly to be desired, almost takes away one's breath, and we cannot wonder that in days long ago, when people were less enlightened and more superstitious than they are to-day, expeditions were fitted out, and went forth to search beyond the seas for the land where such things were said to exist. But to-day we laugh at the folly of our forbears, for everybody knows that the wealthiest are often the least satisfied, and that every rolling year — nay, every swing of the pendulum, puts youth further behind, and brings old age, wrinkles, pain, and the grave nearer and nearer.

And yet what would not men endure even in this enlightened day to lay hold of these things, to never grow old, but to have the buoyancy of youth for ever, and to be possessed of limitless wealth — well, you exclaim, that would be "Paradise regained."

In olden days it was firmly believed that a land existed somewhere surrounded by blue and stormless waters, whose springs yielded the blessing of which they had dreamed; nor was it only the credulous-minded who believed these things.

Peter Martyr, a man of eminent learning, wrote to Pope Leo X. in the 15th century: "Among the islands on the north side of Hispaniola, there is one, as they say, who have searched the same, in the which is a continual spring of running water of such marvellous virtue, that the water thereof, being drunk, perhaps with some diet, makes old men young again."*

{* Washington Irving's "Companions of Columbus."}

Small wonder, then, that Juan Ponce de Leon, a famous Spanish seaman, set sail with three ships from Porto Rico in search of this island, which was believed in, in Europe, and of which Indian tradition spoke.

He sailed towards the Bahamas, but failed to find the island there; nor had any of the natives heard of it, and though he himself drank of many springs in that group, he became not one whit more youthful in appearance or spirits.

Disappointed, but not discouraged, he refitted his ships, and taking a new course, arrived eventually off the coast of Florida.

The sea was very tempestuous, but at length he contrived to bring his ships to anchor. Everything was in the fresh bloom of spring; the trees were laden with blossom, and the fields covered with fragrant flowers when he landed. It was the beauty of the land which led him to name it Florida. Here he stayed three months, but found neither gold nor youth.

Returning to Porto Rico, he took a new route, and on the way sighted a new group of islands. Landing here, still bent upon his search, he discovered that the only inhabitant was a wrinkled old Indian woman. This fact, and probably the chagrin he felt at being again disappointed, led him to call the islands La Reja, or the Old Woman Group.

At last he gave up the search, and returned to Spain, poor in purse, a thoroughly disappointed and disillusioned old man.

Now Ponce de Leon failed to find what he sought, because he searched in the wrong place. In a world where sin is, death and pain and sorrow must be. And yet there are blessings for all who will have them — blessings brighter and fairer than ever poets dreamed or sung. Perennial youth and boundless wealth may be had for the asking, but these things are connected, not with earth, but with the heaven from which Jesus came.

By His coming and dying He opened that heaven for sinners, and all who believe in Him receive everlasting life, and are made the heirs of God. Here are perennial youth and boundless wealth for you; will you not go in for both?

You may have tried the springs of this world's pleasure in some measure, and discovered that they do not satisfy, and they never will.

This has been proved by thousands. Take the discoverers and explorers of the Western Hemisphere for example. Like Ponce de Leon, they all hoped to find that which should satisfy them; but of the greater part of them a historian writes: "They were cut off in the flower of their days, and few laid their bones in their father's grave." And if any of them became famous and lived to an old age, it was often to reap bitter disappointment — to be neglected, prosecuted, and even imprisoned.

True, indeed, are the words of the Son of God: "He that drinks of this water (the springs of earthly pleasure) shall thirst again." And equally true are the words that followed the foregoing: "But whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." (John 4:13-14.) No wonder that the one to whom these words were uttered said: "Sir, give me this water."

Oh, does not your heart desire it? If so, you may have it, for if you ask of Him who has it to give, He will give you this living water.

But it is all connected with heaven; that is the land of eternal life and incorruptible wealth, a land brighter and fairer than all the imagination of man can conceive.
"Dreams cannot picture that world so fair;
 Sorrow and death cannot enter there;
 Time does not breathe on its fadeless bloom:
 Beyond the cloud and beyond the tomb,
 It is there."

But who can discover that world for us, and bring us there in safety? Thank God He has opened the Golden Gates of that land of glory. He sent His Beloved Son to die for our sins that we might be made fit to be there. His invitation comes ringing down to you to-day. God wants to have you in heaven forever, eternally happy and enriched with the choicest blessings that are there, and all may be secured through the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, blessed is the prospect of those who trust in Him.

Nor have they to wait until they reach heaven to be happy and satisfied here and now; the Holy Ghost, which those that believe receive, makes them joyful and bright in the knowledge of God's wonderful love. They sail the waters of time to the land of glory, knowing full well that they will reach the port in safety, and the sun shines upon them as they sail — even the Sun of Jesus and His love.

Once again, will you have the present blessing of the Christian, and will you reach the home of the Saviour at last? There is room for you there. The blessing is near to you now. Oh, see to it that you do not miss it.

Sins Exposed; or, The Tale of the "Nancy" Brig.

In the month of September, 1799, a most interesting trial was in progress in the old Court-house of Kingston, Jamaica.

A ship had been captured which was gravely suspected of piracy and other crimes calculated to harm the persons and property of the subjects of the King.

The trial had lasted some days, and the case seemed just about to fall through, as there was nothing at all amongst the ship's papers that could be used in evidence against her except that they were perfectly new, and had not been handled at all, while the ship was said to have been sailing from port to port for two years.

It seemed evident to all that the prosecution must lose the case, and the sharp grey eyes of the Yankee skipper shone with excitement and triumph as his lawyer wound up a good speech in his defence by demanding the dismissal of the ship and substantial damages for wrongful detention.

Then rose the attorney for the Government. He held in his hand a bundle of papers, crumpled and soiled, which had but a few moments before been handed to him. His words were few, but startling; for turning to the Judge, he said: "May it please your honour I am now in a position to prove to you on the most undeniable evidence, and by a most disinterested witness, that the vessel in court is none other than the pirate ship "Nancy," and thus save you any further trouble in this case."

The face of the skipper flushed crimson he was taken completely by surprise; and, turning fiercely upon his men, he demanded to know who had betrayed them. But none of them had. The witness which the Government proposed to bring forward to prove their guilt was not one of the crew, but the bundle of papers which the lawyer held in his hand.

A great hush of eagerness fell on all present as he went on to tell the story of the way in which they had been discovered.

It was as follows: His Majesty's ship-of-war "Abergavenny" was cruising near the coast of San Domingo, when the commander, Michael Fitton, noticed the carcase of a bullock floating on the water, surrounded by sharks. One of these sharks was caught, and in its maw was found the true papers of the brig Nancy, and these papers were the parcel that had just been produced in court.

When the ship was first pursued these had been thrown overboard, and the captain thought they — the evidences of his guilt — were buried in the depths of the sea for ever; but instead they had been swallowed by the shark, and now they had a resurrection — a resurrection which proved to be to the confusion and condemnation of the captain and his crew.

This tale of the sunny Caribbean seas shall teach us a lesson, and that lesson shall be that sins cannot be hidden away by the sinner.

In this matter it is necessary to be personal, even at the risk of offending the reader. You cannot hide your sins from the eye of God; the day is coming when your sins will all be uncovered and exposed. The Scripture says: "Be sure your sin will find you out." And if you miss God's forgiveness through the Name of Christ Jesus, what a terrible finding out it will be!

You remember the story of Sir Ralph the Rover (as told us by Mrs. Hemans), who in malice cut the warning bell from the Inchcape Rock. Little did he expect that his sin would find him out as it did. "He roamed the seas for many a day," and doubtless forgot all about his wicked exploit; but when his ship's keel went crash upon that dreaded reef, his sin had found him out; it met him when he least expected it, and hurled him to despair and destruction. So it must be; if you do not acknowledge to God that you are a sinner indeed, and seek forgiveness in this day of God's grace, your sin will find you out in Eternity. Your sins will meet you at the judgment throne of God, and utter despair and condemnation will be your portion then, as you find yourself for ever banished from God and heaven and Christ and joy. You may excuse and seek to justify yourself now; in that day you will be speechless, for then you will see plainly that hell could be the only possible end of thy road of sin which you had chosen.

But why should you excuse yourself now, and why try to appear better than you are? To do so is worse than useless, for God knows you through and through. His eye never slumbers, and all your sins are faithfully recorded in His book. Don't forget those four soul-searching words, "Thou God seest me."

The Master of the "Nancy" gained nothing by pretending to be an honest man, nor will you gain anything in seeking to hide your sins from God; better by far for you to make a clean breast of all your guilt, and cry like the conscience-stricken publican: "God be merciful to me a sinner." You will be safe in taking this ground; for it is here alone that you can find the Saviour. He did not come to call the righteous. It was for sinners He came to seek and save the lost. He died for the ungodly. If you trust in this Saviour, His blood will cleanse away your sins; then they will never come against you in judgment. Instead, God will bury them in the deep and fathomless sea of eternal forgetfulness, from which no hand can bring them. (1 John 1:7; John 5:24; Micah 7:19.)

The Uncertainty of Life; or, The "Amazon," the "Drummond Castle," and the "Royal George."

I would urge even upon the most youthful of my readers the necessity of immediate decision for the Lord Jesus Christ, for, leaving aside for the moment the question of the present peace and joy of the Christian, there is the uncertainty of life.

This is a very serious matter. Death often snatches away first those who seem most likely to live and prosper. The voyage of life is short for some; they seem scarcely to have put out upon the sea of time before reaching eternity.

The Amazon was a gallant vessel, greatly praised by all who beheld her noble form as she sailed forth from the Southampton Docks upon her maiden voyage. She was the best and biggest of her kind — a perfect specimen of the art of shipbuilding as known at the time, for science and skill had combined to outstrip all former productions.

It was on Friday, the 2nd of January, 1852, that she sailed, the West Indies being her destination. At one o'clock on the following Sunday morning the awful cry of "Fire! Fire!" startled the sleepers from their beds, and the black night was made lurid by the forked flames from the doomed ship, and before morning's dawn only the wreckage of this fine vessel marked the spot where she had gone hissing down full fifteen hundred fathoms deep in the Bay of Biscay.

How like is this to many a young life cut off in an hour — gone from earth for ever! Oh, well it is for such if they have trusted Jesus as their Saviour, for in such a case to pass from earth means to be ushered into the presence of Christ, which is far better!

 * * * * *

Others sail prosperously, for a while everything seems to go well, they are within speaking distance as it were, of the realisation of their hopes, when suddenly all is over with them, and the world sees them no more.

The wreck of the good ship Drummond Castle will not yet be forgotten. The 148 passengers and 105 of the crew were no doubt all excited with the thought of "home" the voyage was all but over, and a parting concert was held in the saloon. A vote of thanks was moved to the captain, and in reply, he spoke of the meeting of long-separated friends on the morrow. Then the National Anthem was sung, and most of the passengers retired for the night.

A fog had settled down upon the sea, and the current had carried the ship out of its course. Suddenly there was an awful shock — the engines stood still, and all was silent save for the horrible grinding of the ship's keel upon the cruel Pierres Vertes off Ushant on the coast of France. Seven minutes after this the Drummond Castle had gone down, carrying 250 souls to their death.

How awfully sudden! And yet not more sudden than the cutting off of some. We have known such cases — men who have been cut down in their prime, with heads full of schemes and hearts full of ambition; but they have gone apparently without warning; the waters of time roll on, and, as far as this world is concerned, they are seen no more.

You may be full of vigour to-day, anticipating great success in this world, and forgetting the next. Oh, beware! you too may be cut off in a moment. You have had many warnings from God — warnings of love which longs to bring you clear of destruction; this may be your last. To-morrow may find you in the grip of death — dark and hopeless death.

 * * * * *

The Amazon went down at the start of her voyage. The Drummond Castle was wrecked almost in sight of the port. Swift and unexpected was the destruction of both, but who could have anticipated the sinking of the Royal George.

She was an old vessel it is true, and had seen long and honourable service, for she had been the flagship of such renowned Admirals as Anson, Hawke, Rodney, and Howe. But she neither met her destruction amid the whirlwind of war, nor the blast of the storm.
"It was not in the battle;
   No tempest gave the shock;
 She sprang no fatal leak;
   She ran upon no rock."

Snugly anchored off Spithead, in perfect weather and broad daylight, she sank beneath the wave.

Twelve hundred souls at least were aboard at the time — mothers, sisters, wives, sweethearts, and friends. Laughter and merriment rang throughout the ship, when a sudden gust of wind struck her upon her broadside, which had been heeled up for repairs, and over she went, drowning by her terrible capsizing over 700 souls like rats in a trap.

Who could have foreseen this terrible tragedy? Every thing appeared so peaceful and secure, and none were prepared for such a calamity. But while we feel a pang for the brave —
"The brave that are no more,
 All sunk beneath the wave,
 Fast by their native shore,"
let not the lesson be lost upon us. We know not what a day may bring forth. Many hope to have the chance of turning to Christ on their deathbeds: you may never have one. The cold waters of death may gather round you and swallow you up speedily, and without warning.

O we warn you now do not refuse to listen, for he that being often reproved and refuses to regard the reproof, shall be suddenly cut off, and that without remedy. Christ is the Saviour. Decide for Him to-day. His blood can cleanse away your sins, and fit you for heaven then come life or death, all is well — peace and safety will be yours through Him.

Grace Darling's Story;  or, Willing and Able to Save.

Above the swirling waters of the North Sea, off the coast of Northumberland, rise the Farne Islands. Gaunt and desolate, and almost uninhabited, they are anything but inviting in themselves, and yet they possess a great interest, for it was from the lighthouse of one of them — the Longstone — that Grace Darling started forth on the morning of the 6th September, 1838, to save the shipwrecked crew and passengers of the steamship Forfarshire.

Few there are who have not heard of this heroic maiden and of the deed which has made her name so famous, yet I here re-tell the story in order to illustrate another of the greatest importance to you. Grace Darling had lived for years with her parents in the Long-stone Lighthouse, and had doubtless become used to the fierce storms which raged about her sea-girt home; but rarely had she seen one so terrible as that which she braved on that memorable morning.

All through the preceding night the inhabitants of the lighthouse had been unable to rest, for before the sun went down they had seen an ill-fated vessel battling with the gale, and they thought they heard above the noise of the sea some cries of distress. They were not mistaken, for at four o'clock in the morning the vessel had struck a rock about one mile away. At daybreak the lighthouse keeper descried the wreck, and could also see that the crew were still clinging to the mast, and in constant danger of being overwhelmed by the great waves that were beating about them.

One thing was certain, those poor sufferers were in great danger; they needed not to be told of this; they well knew that any moment might find them engulfed in the sea.

 * * * * *

Has it ever struck you that your case illustrated in theirs? I know the application may not be very pleasant, but it is awfully true. If you are unconverted, whether young or old, you are in great danger — in danger of being engulfed for ever in the sea of righteous judgment.

Those perishing souls upon the Forfarshire needed a saviour, and so do you.

So madly ran the sea, as William Darling watched the struggles of those sailors, that he judged it impossible to save them, and so also thought the people on the mainland, for the boatmen of Bamborough refused to run the risk of an attempt. But Grace Darling had taken the glasses, and she watched with pitying eyes the perishing sailors. Her pity nerved her to urge her father to attempt a rescue, and to her joy he yielded to her entreaties. The father, mother, and daughter launched the boat, and father and daughter each taking an oar, began to row that tempest-tossed mile.

Ah, some had appeared who were willing to save them! None could doubt that, as Grace Darling and her father bravely stepped into the boat. Whether they were able was another question; but the fact of the attempt being made proved their willingness.

We have glad news to declare, though your danger is worse a thousandfold than that of those shipwrecked mariners. A Saviour has appeared who is willing to save you. He is none other than Jesus, the Son of God.

As the heart of Grace Darling was moved to pity as she looked out from her lighthouse home, so was the heart of the Son of God as He looked forth upon perishing men, and the love and pity of His heart prompted Him to come forth to save them.

It was the will of God that He should do so, and He said, "Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God." (Hebrews 10:9.)

But before sinners could be saved the Saviour had to go through a storm of judgment and death — a storm the fierceness of which no tongue can tell or mind conceive; and Jesus the Saviour knowing this, came forth; He stepped from heaven to earth, and onward to Calvary's tree.

Oh, there can be no doubt as to His willingness to save. This has been proved by his wondrous down-coming. He undertook to rescue sinners from sin and death and judgment; He loved them so much that He died for them.

You are a sinner. Jesus loves you, and has proved how willing He is to save you by dying for you.

 * * * * *

But let us finish our story. The task that Darling and his daughter had undertaken was an almost impossible one. At every instant during that fearful journey they were in danger of being swamped by the sea, and yet they kept on until at length they reached the wreck.

There were only nine survivors, and they were so numbed by the cold, weak and exhausted, that it was with difficulty they were got into the boat; but God's mercy was over them, and at length they were all safely housed in the lighthouse. Grace Darling had accomplished her desire. She proved that she was not only willing to save them, but able also.

"Willing and able to save" — let these words fasten themselves on your memory, for they are so true of Jesus. If He had not been willing to save, He would never have come down from heaven to die. If he had not been able to save, He would never have arisen from the dead; but His resurrection proves that He has finished the work which He came to do. He has come out of the storm yea, He has quelled it for ever for those who trust in Him. He is now in heaven; yes, Jesus the Crucified is now enthroned at God's right hand, and He is there as a Saviour, willing and able to save even to the uttermost.

You are not too far away; you are not too great a sinner. He is greater than your sins, greater than the judgment your sins deserved; and this great Saviour is waiting to be your Saviour. Oh, will you not trust Him now?
"He is willing, He is able
   Doubt no more."

On a tablet to Grace Darlings memory is inscribed: —
"Out of her silent grave
 She bids us this lesson prove:
 The greatest power for good below
 Is the might of unselfish love."

An epitaph well fitting her self-forgetting act on that terrible September morning. But if you would see unselfish love in all its perfection, you must look to the Cross of Jesus. And how mighty is His unselfish love. It has subdued the hearts of millions; it has taken more hearts captive than tongue of men can count. Heaven will be filled to its utmost bounds with a multitude from earth, and every soul there will have been won and saved by the exceeding might of the Saviour's unselfish love. May you be amongst the number.

Unable to Save; or, The Loss of the "White Ship."

I have tried to show you in our last chapter that we need a Saviour who is able and willing to save, and this is of such special importance that I must lay stress upon it. Love and power must go together or there will be no salvation. A well-known sea incident from England's history will prove this.

Henry I. of England, with his son William, the heir to the throne, had been spending some time in France, receiving the homage of the barons of Normandy which was then a British possession. They were about to return to England when a celebrated sea-captain, Thomas Fitz-Stephen by name, came forward and begged the King to cross the channel in his vessel the "White Ship."

The King had already chosen his vessel, so could not accompany Fitz-Stephen, but he allowed Prince William and his company to sail with him.

The King set sail, leaving the White Ship to follow later. Fitz-Stephen boasted that his ship was the fastest afloat, and would overtake the King's barge even if they did not sail until midnight. In consequence cask after cask of wine was opened and freely drunk, and the Prince and his gay companions danced on the deck in the moonlight. When the vessel was ordered to start there was not one sober man amongst the fifty sailors who manned her.

And here I would remark that sinful indulgence often brings swift retribution. None can plunge into sin with impunity. All sin is terrible in the end, no matter how fascinating it may be at the start, and amongst the many sins of which we would warn the youthful reader is that of wine drinking; it may be pleasing at first, but in the end it bites and stings and destroys.

At midnight the sails were set and the oars rattled in the oar-locks, and the "White Ship" shot out of the harbour of Barfleur.

The sea was smooth, and everything seemed to go merrily for a tithe; when, suddenly the splash of the oars gave place to a terrible crash, and the stillness of the night was broken by an awful cry from three hundred lips. The "White Ship" had struck upon the Cutte-raze rocks, a great rent had been made in her side, the waters were rushing in, and she was going down.

Fitz-Stephen hastily lowered the boat, and forcing the Prince and a few nobles into it, he said: "Push off quickly, the land is not far off, the rest of us must die."

They plied the oars, and swiftly through the water they sped, leaving behind them the terror-stricken people on the sinking ship. They had not gone far, however, when the Prince heard the voice of his sister Marie calling bitterly for help. This was too much for him, for he loved his sister, and he cried: "Row back again at all costs we must save my sister."

They rowed back to the side of the wreck, and William held out his arms to catch the Princess, but at that moment so many jumped into the boat that it was overturned, and at the same moment the "White Ship" went down.

One man only escaped to tell the story, and when the sad news reached the King he fainted away, and was never seen to smile again.

Prince William would have saved his sister if he could, his love for her was great enough to induce him to try; but he was not able, and they perished together.

But what a different story we have to tell of our Saviour. He came into the world to save sinners, and there was no doubt at all as to the result of his coming from the very beginning. You will remember that the angels sang his praises with joyful tongues when he was born in Bethlehem. They sang because they knew He could not break down or fail. If there had been any doubt as to this in their minds, they would have kept their song until the work of salvation was finished. The Princess Marie cried out in her distress, and that cry touched the heart of her brother, and brought him back to attempt to rescue her; but Jesus' love led Him to come to save before ever we cried to Him; before we felt our need or saw our danger He braved the storm and suffered death. His love brought Him down, as we have already seen; His resurrection proves that He has finished the work, and that His power is sufficient to save. His love is as great as His power.

Oh! what a Saviour He is, just the Saviour you need, full of love and full of power; then see to it that He is your Saviour.

Danger Despised; or, How the "Thetis" was Lost.

H.M.S. Thetis was steaming up the Mediterranean, bound for Naples, with the British Ambassador and his suite on board. It was late in the evening, and dinner was just over. The captain of the vessel had been for some time eagerly scanning the charts; but now he stood before the company in the saloon rather more excited than usual, and with his watch in his hand, he addressed the company somewhat as follows: "Ladies and gentlemen, I have a story to tell you which will probably be of interest to you. About two years ago I was cruising with the Thetis in these waters, and had orders to search for a reef said to exist hereabouts, and report accordingly. I spent days in the search, but found nothing. Now, one of my officers did not agree with my conclusions, and he managed to come out here again and renew the search. He pretended to find the reef, and reported the same. He was believed at home and promoted, and now that reef is noted in the charts. I believe the whole thing to be a myth, and I vowed then if ever I sailed the Mediterranean again I would run my ship clean over the spot. We are exactly there now, and in five minutes time shall have passed the imaginary danger.

 * * * * *

There was a great stillness in the saloon as the captain's eyes followed the minute hand of his watch. Presently, with a ring of triumph in his voice, he said: "We have passed the spot; I have proved my point — there is no reef."

 * * * * *

He had scarcely uttered the words, when first a grating on the keel of the vessel, and then an awful crash awoke him to his folly, but it was too late then to undo the mischief. The vessel heeled over, and in a few seconds was in a sinking condition. By great efforts the whole of the ship's company was saved; but the captain refused to quit his ship, and as the Thetis made her last plunge he was seen with set face and clenched teeth holding hard on to the bridge of the vessel he had so madly thrown away.

There are thousands who treat eternal matters as the captain of the Thetis treated this reef. They laugh at the idea that danger threatens them, because they themselves have not seen it. But God's Word plainly testifies as to this matter. Sin and its consequences, death, judgment, and hell-fire are realities, and God warns men of them that they might take the way of escape which He has provided.

But many refuse to believe the Bible; they think they know better than God, and despise the danger of which He warns.

This is a great snare of the devil. You see, if he can persuade a man that he may live as he likes and be all right at last, that man will go on in his self-willed and sinful course, despising and rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ.

I tell the story of the Thetis by way of warning. Oh! be not guilty of the captain's folly. Thank God for His warnings of mercy, and take His way of salvation.

It is not wise to close the eyes to danger but this is what the devil would have you do in order to destroy you. Do not play into his hands and be lost for ever, but believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and through Him find perfect safety from every danger that threatens you.

"Ready, Aye, Ready." A Motto for Young Christians.

If ever you happen to be in Landport, in the south of England, search out the monument to Sir Charles Napier there, you will find inscribed upon it these three forceful words, "Ready, Aye, Ready." Nothing else is said about him, but it is quite sufficient. It was his motto throughout his service in the British Navy, and as a sailor he lived up to it.

He would be a poor sailor indeed who was not ready for every emergency, and would be constantly in trouble. But if the sailor needs to be ever on the lookout for hidden rocks and shoals and ready for sudden squalls, how much more the Christian, for if your Christian life is to be one of joy to yourself and glory to the Lord, you must be "ready, aye, ready."

The first thing that the Christian is ready for is the coming of the Lord. He is coming as the Bridegroom, and those who are ready will go in with Him to the marriage supper. There is death also, and those who are not ready to leave this world are not Christians at all.

None are made ready however, by their own work, but by the work of Jesus. His blood has washed away their sins and made them fit for heaven above.

On the burning "Birkenhead."
Amongst those British soldiers, who stood with set faces shoulder to shoulder as the ship went down, was a Christian. As the last boat left the ship he handed his Bible to a comrade whose lot it was to go, and said to him, "Find out my mother if ever you reach England, she gave me that Bible when I left home, and tell her that I know how a fellow feels when the angels in heaven rejoice over his repentance." Ah! he was ready. When the Birkenhead went down he went up to be with Jesus, who had saved his soul.

It is well to be ready for the future, to meet the Lord when the call comes, and thank God every Christian has been made ready for this great event. Ready to go when the Lord calls. Ah! that is well, and happy indeed is the soul that can say with confidence, "I am ready."

Now the next thing to see to is that we are ready to serve the One who has saved us, while we wait for His coming again. You will remember that the Word of God says, "The love of Christ constrains us. … He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live to themselves, but to Him which died for them, and rose again." (2 Corinthians 5:14-15.) Are we ready for this?

To say "No" to self and "Yes" to Christ, to refuse our own way and will and live to Him. Well, this can only be as His love constrains us; but if we taste the sweetness of that love and see its greatness, we shall say, "Ready, aye, ready," to be wholly surrendered to and altogether for Him who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Then we need to be ready every day to meet the wiles and snares of Satan, his gins and snares and pitfalls are laid with great subtlety, and he is ever ready to trip us up and make us fall. We must keep our weather eye open. "Be sober, Be vigilant." (1 Peter 5:8.) "Watch and pray." (Matt. 26:41) are words of exhortation to which we need to take heed. But it is great encouragement for us to bear in mind that our great High Priest lives on high to make intercession for us, and that the Holy Spirit dwells within our hearts to keep us in the right way. May we be ever "ready, aye, ready" to be led and guided by Him so that our lives shall glorify our Lord Jesus Christ.

A True Friend; or, Nelson and Hardy.

Everyone will agree that it is a downright good thing to have a real and true friend — one in whom you may always trust, who will stand by you at all times, and never play you false. Such a friend is well worth having.

Now I can introduce you to a Friend of this kind. He will never deceive you, and upon Him you may always safely depend. The Book which never lies says "He sticks closer than a brother" and "loves at all times," and those who know Him best are the readiest to bear witness to the fact that all the Bible says of Him is true. His name is Jesus. This is the Friend in whom I glory, and it would be well if He were the boast of every one who reads this page.

Yes, Jesus is the Friend of whom I write and the Friend whom you need; in every walk of life you need Him, whether, so to speak, you ship behind the mast or walk the quarter-deck, whether your responsibilities are great or small, your trials heavy or light, you cannot get on aright without Him.

The most successful life is a stupendous failure, when judged in the light of Eternity if it is lived without the Lord Jesus Christ.

But He is not only indispensable to you, He is all sufficient — fully equal to every emergency in which you may find yourself.

Now do not turn away as though He were not worthy of your notice, or the time will come when you will heartily wish you knew Him. When will that be? When the hollow shams that please you now have ceased to be, and you are confronted with the tremendous realities of the vast Forever, and the reason why it would be well for you to know Him at that supreme moment is because He is greater than all that could make you afraid then.

He is greater than your sins, greater than the judgment they deserve, greater than the power of death, the grave, and Satan; in short, we who know Him proclaim Him to be the greatest and most blessed Person in God's universe.

Well, if He is greater than all these terrible things, He is surely greater than this world, more glorious than its greatest glory, more powerful than its utmost might; He is greater and better than the things that please you; He is greater than your foes and trials; and being so is the very Saviour and Friend you need.

How happy is the portion of those who belong to the Lord Jesus! He is sufficient in every time of need. His power and grace are ever put forth on their behalf, for He is at all times true to them.

An incident from the life of Lord Nelson, may in some sort of a way illustrate for us the unfailing love and Friendship of the Saviour. It is well known that Nelson had a strong and life-long affection for his lieutenant Hardy. On one occasion this affection was put severely to the test. Nelson was then Commodore, and his flag flew from the mast of the frigate Minerve. On the 11th February, 1797, he sailed from Gibraltar to join the fleet under the command of Sir John Jervis.

Nelson had no sooner weighed anchor than he perceived two Spanish battleships moving in pursuit of him, the foremost of which was gaining upon him. As the Minerve was inferior in size and equipment to the Spanish vessels all sails were set to get out of their reach.

At this moment a sailor fell overboard, and Hardy, who had just been released from Spanish captivity, leaped into a boat with a party of men to attempt a rescue; their efforts proved useless, and they sought to regain their ship; but the current was against them, and then to their consternation they found that the foremost Spanish ship was now within gun shot.

It was also evident that if Nelson waited to pick them up, his ship would be overtaken, and run the risk of being destroyed or captured.

He took in the situation at a glance, and at once decided to take the risk of saving his friend. "I will not lose Hardy," he exclaimed; back the mizzen top-sail." At once the Minerve's course was changed, and she began to drift towards Hardy and in the direction of the Spanish ship Terrible. Now was the Spaniard's opportunity to avenge themselves upon Nelson, and he fully expected an engagement and prepared his ship for action.

But the Dons feared his prowess, and were utterly taken by surprise at this daring manoeuvre, so much so that the Terrible shortened sail in order to allow her companion to come up before commencing an attack. This gave Nelson the time he desired; he was able to save Hardy from falling into the hands of the Spaniards again, and setting his studding sails, he got clear away from the foe. It was a daring thing to do, but it proved the reality of his friendship; he risked his ship, his reputation, his liberty, and his life in order to stand by his friend and save him from his perilous surroundings, and I am sure that Hardy would never doubt the sincerity of Nelson's love to him after such an exhibition of it.

But let us think for a moment of the constancy and love of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was said of Him when here on earth, He is the friend of publicans and sinners, and verily, though this was said in bitter derision, He has gained for Himself this title, gained it by proving the reality of His love. It was written in olden days — "If a man would have friends, he must show himself friendly"; and truly the Son of God has shown Himself to be friendly in order that He might gain friends. He could say, "greater love has no man than this — that a man lay down His life for His friends." This is what He did, and having done it He offers Himself to all. You, yes, even you, may accept Him, you may trust in Him as your Saviour; then you will prove how great a Friend He is. You will be able to sing: —
"I have found a Friend in Jesus,
   O, how He loves!"

And His love will never change.

Having saved you He will care for you all the way home. It is true that Christians have many foes in this world. Satan desires to harm them and hates them bitterly because they belong to Christ; but he cannot destroy them, for Jesus has said of them "they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand."

Nor need we fear the foe, for our Lord Jesus Christ has also said "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." And he is greater than all our foes. He proved His greatness by overcoming them all upon the cross.

He did not merely risk the conflict with the foes in order to save sinners, He met them in stern battle, and, by dying Himself, has gained the victory, and He has now risen triumphantly from the grave. He is the conqueror, His right hand has gotten Him the victory, and the Christian can say, "I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me."

When in the midst of the raging tempest of Galilee's lake the disciples were just as safe as they were when Jesus in His majesty rose and quelled the storm; they were as safe in the storm because He was with them, and you are safe if a believer in Jesus, safe for ever. His name and glory and word are all pledged to bring you to the harbour of heaven in perfect safety. The foe shall not again enslave you because you belong to Him. But if you are not His, if you cannot say, "I am His and He is mine for ever and for ever," your danger is most terrible. Oh, that your eyes may be opened to see it; that you may discover your sinfulness and the need of this Saviour, then you will turn to Him and turning to Him you will prove Him to be a present and eternal Saviour, "a Friend that loves at all times, a Brother born for adversity."

Misplaced Confidence; or, Winstanley's Lighthouse.

There are many ways in which Satan seeks to destroy souls, one of which is to induce people to put their confidence in an unworthy object. Disappointment and disaster must always follow upon this, no matter howsoever sincere the misplaced trust.

The mariner sees the light of the wreckers' fire gleaming across the dark wave, and firmly believes it to be the harbour light, and for his misplaced trust he loses his ship and is robbed of his possessions. The captain follows the guidance of a deceptive chart, and his ship smashes upon the rocks. In like manner the sinner, who turns to any hope or trusts in any saviour but the God-provided One must eventually lose his soul.

It is my desire to press home upon you this solemn fact; and, in order to do this, I will recall the story of "Winstanley's Lighthouse," which will serve my purpose well.

Winstanley was, without doubt, a well-meaning man, and his desire to build a lighthouse on the Eddystone Rocks was most commendable, but his work was not trustworthy.

Such a lighthouse was certainly needed, for many a homeward-bound craft, with its gallant crew, had met destruction just in sight of home upon that terrible reef.

Now Winstanley firmly believed that he was able to build the desired lighthouse, and he set about the great work; but when he exhibited his model, those who understood the aggressive power of the sea warned him that his proposed wooden structure would never survive a storm. But he persisted in his designs, and at length accomplished his task, and declared, when it was finished, that he only desired to be in it in the fiercest storm that ever blew. He had it painted and decorated with various mottoes, one of which was "Pax in Bello," meaning, I suppose, that it would be secure and peaceful in the midst of warring elements.

It was completed in the year 1696, and certainly stood the test for a time, but at length Winstanley's desire for a great storm was gratified. He had gone out to the lighthouse towards the end of November, 1703, to superintend some repairs, when "The Great Storm" commenced, which lasted for days. When that storm had exhausted itself the people looked out across the water from the Plymouth Harbour, but no trace of Winstanley's lighthouse could be seen. He and it together had been swept into the sea. His confidence was misplaced, and destruction was the result.

 * * * * *

Now there is a storm of judgment coming which will test every man, woman, and child; your works will be put to the test, and your safety will altogether depend upon where your faith rests. If you are hoping for salvation because of anything that you have done or been, you will find that you have trusted an unworthy object—a house built upon the sand which cannot withstand the storm. You may be sincere in your belief in yourself; in spite of that you will be lost for ever. Winstanley had strong faith in his lighthouse, but that did not save his life in the storm. You may believe in your good works, that will not save you from hell. The fact is, you are a sinner, and you need a Saviour — One Who can be safely trusted. This saviour must not be one of your own devising, for however right your intentions may be, you would surely make mistakes in this matter.

Your Saviour must be the One Whom God has sent into the world, even the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the worthy object for your faith. You may safely trust in Him. He has weathered the fiercest of storms. When upon the Cross he passed through the storm of God's righteous judgment against sin: He was there as the sinner's Substitute.
"The tempest's awful voice was heard;
   O Christ, it broke on Thee;
 Thy open bosom was my ward;
   It bore the storm for me.
 Thy form was scarred; Thy visage marred.
   Now cloudless peace for me."

Can you truthfully sing these words? Thank God, no storm can ever reach the one who has trusted in Jesus. They are sheltered for ever, for He is the one true and only Covert from the tempest. All refuges and foundations will be swept away when the fierce hurricane of righteous judgment blows, and the poor dupe who has trusted to these unworthy objects will be shelterless and truly undone in the midst of the pitiless blast.

Take warning, dear reader. Fly to Jesus. Put your trust in the One in whom millions have already trusted, and you shall be for ever safe.

 * * * * *

But there is another solemn consideration in connection with this matter. It is this:— you are deceiving yourself, you are probably deceiving others, too.

I can well understand some ship bearing up the channel during the fierce storm which destroyed Winstanley's lighthouse, looking out anxiously for the warning light, and believing that they were far from the dangerous rocks because they could not see it, until to their dismay they found themselves wrecked upon them. And what would be to blame for this? Why, Winstanley's unworthy lighthouse. And what if, because you are trusting a false saviour, others, hoping that you are right, follow your guidance and share your destruction? Are you not blameworthy? Then, for your own sake, and the sake of others, fly to Jesus, and do it now. Then, for ever safe yourself, your light will shine brightly for the guidance of others.

"A Sail on the Lee Bow"; or, The Burning of the "Kent."

"Sail on the lee bow!" rang out the sailor who had mounted the foretop; "A sail on the lee bow!" How that cry thrilled every soul upon the burning Kent, and raised them in a moment from the depths of despair to the height of ecstatic hope.

The Kent was a new ship bound for Bengal, with a troop of soldiers and other passengers, making in all 641 souls. On her fifth day from England she got into a violent gale, and from that time until her doom she had evil weather.

The storm was bad enough, but when in the midst of it a pale-faced man rushed on deck, shouting "Fire! fire!" the consternation and terror can be well imagined.
"Then rose from sea to sky the wild farewell;
 Then shrieked the timid, and stood still the brave,
 Then some leaped overboard with frantic yell,
 As eager to anticipate their grave."

Presently through the hatchways thick volumes of smoke rushed, and with a cargo of five hundred barrels of gunpowder aboard, there seemed little chance of saving the ship.

In the desperate hope of overcoming the fire the captain ordered the lower decks to be scuttled, and the lower ports to be opened.

The sea rushed in with great force, and for the time checked the fury of the flames, but the ship became waterlogged, and began to go down.

The ports were closed again, but every effort made to put out the fire and keep the Kent afloat seemed but deferring the terrible end that awaited those six hundred and forty souls.

Everyone by this time had given up hope, and many had crowded directly over the powder magazine, hoping that the explosion would put a speedy end to their suffering. Then it was that the cry, "Sail on the lee bow!" rang through the ship like an electric shock.

With great eagerness every eye scanned the horizon in the direction indicated, and there, sure enough, they saw at length a vessel plunging into sight out of the grey gloom.

Distress signals were instantly hoisted and minute guns fired. In reply the Cambria, as the vessel proved to be, hoisted the British colours and crowded all sail.

She was but a small brig of two hundred tons, and the seas were making a clean break over her; often she seemed half buried by some of them, but on she came, head to the gale, and presently lay as near by the Kent as the explosive character of her cargo would permit with safety.

Again keen distress wrung every heart, for it seemed very evident that owing to the smallness of the would-be rescuer all on board the burning ship could not be saved.

"The women and children first, and see that any man who presumes to get into a boat until they are safe is instantly cut down," cried the colonel of the regiment; "then let the juniors amongst the men follow."

Far into the night, across mountains of waves, backwards and forwards, from one ship to the other, the frail boats plied, until at length the fire became so fierce that further endeavour was impossible.

At about one hour past midnight the fire reached the gunpowder, and with a roar that seemed to hush the storm into silence, the Kent blew up, then the darkness of the night settled down on the sea, closing up the awful tragedy of a ship on fire.

The Cambria and her crew did well, as any other British ship would have done under like circumstances, for out of those 641 souls 520 were crowded into her narrow space, and three days afterwards she was moored in Falmouth Harbour.

"A sail on the lee bow!" Never would that one cry, so laden with hope, be forgotten by those rescued souls, and it shall be our text to-day. It meant hope and salvation for those who needed it most desperately.

There are the same blessings, certain hope and perfect salvation, for others who need them equally. But from whence can these come? From Jesus the Son of God, and we cry, "There is a Saviour at hand."

To Joseph the Angel Gabriel announced: "Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21.)

 To the shepherds of Bethlehem the angels sang: "Behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For to you is born this day a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10-11.)

Old Simeon, taking that Blessed and Holy Babe in his arms, could say: "Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace; for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation." (Luke 2:29-30.)

Jesus Himself said "The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which is lost." (Luke 19:10.)

The Apostle Paul, by the Holy Ghost, proclaims: "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief." (1 Tim. 1:15.)

Yes, there is a Saviour, and He is close at hand. You have no need to fear, my reader; if you desire to be saved, He can and will save you.

The Cambria could not offer to save all upon the doomed Kent. But Jesus offers to save all sinners, and only those who neglect or reject His salvation will be lost.

The officers, soldiers, sailors, and passengers of the Kent attended a solemn thanksgiving to God for His providence to them ere they left Falmouth, while Captain Cook of the Cambria and his gallant crew were richly rewarded by the Government.

Aye, and those who trust in Jesus are filled with thanksgiving, and will never let Him hear the end of it. In heaven above they'll sing: "Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." (Revelation 1:5-6.) And the prayer of the writer is that you may be amongst that happy and blood-washed company.

Saved by Blood: A Tale of Spanish Treachery.

During the sixteenth century the Spaniards were a great power in Europe, for their fleets dominated the seas and their armies were mighty upon the land. More often than not they were fighting the battles of the Pope of Rome and endeavouring to subdue Protestant countries to his hateful yoke.

At the time of which I write Holland was under Spanish dominion, and in order to arrest the march of Protestantism in that country Charles V. and his son Philip, kings of Spain had introduced the relentless Inquisition.

Sad indeed was the lot of the Hollanders then; they were greatly oppressed, robbed of their possessions, cast into prison, tortured and put to death on the merest suspicion of favouring Luther and his doctrines.

The Duke of Alva, an inhuman tyrant, was governor of the country, and he used to boast that he had himself ordered the execution of nearly nineteen thousand people.

 * * * * *

This went on until it could be endured no longer, and the country rose in rebellion, under the leadership of William of Nassau, Prince of Orange, against the might of Spain. At this rising the rapacious cruelty of the popish soldiers found full play; whole towns were put to the sword, and blood flowed everywhere.

Meanwhile the city of Rotterdam had seemed to escape the worst of these horrors, but early one autumn morning the inhabitants were startled from their slumber by the news that the Spanish fleet had entered the river Maas and was riding at anchor before the town.

Great was their dismay, for they knew that the Spaniard's thirst for blood was almost insatiable; but they determined to resist the invader, and sell their lives and homes dearly. In the midst of this storm of grief and consternation the burgomaster received a letter from the Spanish admiral, Count de Bossu, stating that he had no wish to harm them, and desiring to be merely permitted to march his men through their town, so as to join the main body of the army.

With the guns of the Spanish ships frowning upon them, they judged it better to submit to his proposals, and went to their homes calmed and satisfied. Alas for them, they little realised how treacherous was their foe!

There was, however, in the city a wealthy burgher who had absolutely no faith in the promises of the Spanish admiral, and as he thought of the terrible slaughter that would probably follow the admittance of the Spaniards, he determined if possible to save some of the people.

His home was a large mansion at the corner of the public square; this he determined to turn into a house of refuge. His wife entered into his project, and the furniture was all taken out and thrown into a back yard, then the windows were smashed and the shutters closed, so as to give the house a wrecked and deserted appearance.

Meanwhile the Spaniards had entered the city, the admiral gave the signal for a general slaughter by cutting down the gateman with his own sword; thousands were massacred, and an agonising cry of despair rang forth from the blood-stained streets.

By this time the house of the wealthy burgher was filled from attic to cellar. Fully a thousand people, it is said, were crowded within its walls. Then the master of the house took a kid which had been kept in readiness, and, killing it just inside the door, allowed the blood to stream across the threshold and into the streets beyond.

 * * * * *

Just then the clash of steel, and shrieks of the stricken people, told that the Spaniards had reached the square. They looked upon the house, and seeing the blood upon the steps leading to it, they passed it by. That blood seemed to say, "The sword has already fallen here; there has been slaughter enough pass elsewhere."

Thus were the refugees in the house with the blood-stained threshold saved from the carnage which was everywhere rampant in the city.

 * * * * *

We do not liken the judgment of God to the treachery and rapacity of the Spaniards. Judgment is His strange work, and if He unsheathes His sword it is in perfect righteousness; but men had sinned, and in so doing had put God in the place of the Judge, and though his heart is full of tender pity, His wrath must fall upon sin. Yet God has found a way of escape for guilty sinners, He has provided a place of shelter; and the house of the wealthy citizen of Rotterdam shall stand as an illustration of this. It was the fact of blood having been shed that protected those terror-filled people; apart from that, they would have shared the fate of their fellow-citizens. And the only way to escape the righteous judgment of God is to be sheltered by the blood that has been shed — even the precious blood of Jesus. His death has satisfied the claims of justice, and if you make His blood your plea, you are safe for evermore.

 * * * * *

You will remember that when the avenging angel passed through the land of Egypt, this was the God-ordained way of safety.

Not the good deeds of the people of Israel, not the fact that their fathers knew God and had taught them of Him; no, they had to abide within the blood-sprinkled houses until the judgment had passed by.

My reader, the judgment is assuredly coming. Oh, fly to the shelter of the precious blood of Christ, shed for sinners like you and me.

That corner house still stands in Rotterdam; over its portal is inscribed, "The house of a thousand terrors." If I had the power to give it another title it should be named "The house of the blood-stained threshold," and it should be a monument to the fact that the way of safety from judgment is through blood-shedding, and that God has said "When I see the blood, I will pass over you." (Exodus 12:13.)

"Without shedding of blood is no remission." (Hebrews 9:22.)

"The blood of Jesus Christ … cleanses from all sin." (1 John 1:7.)

A Sea Captain's Folly; or Salvation Rejected.

How sad must have been the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ when He had to say to the Jews of old: "Ye will not come to Me that ye might have life." And again, when He stood outside Jerusalem and wept over the sinners therein, because they had rejected Him, and refused the salvation He would have brought to them. And how strangely sad it is to-day to see men and women and youths and maidens still rejecting this Saviour choosing the way of destruction rather than safety and blessing. I greatly doubted whether any tale of the sea could illustrate such folly as this, but I have a letter open before me now which records a case which, I think may do so.

The facts in this letter are as follows: A ship was stranded during a gale on the rocks near Boulmer, a small fishing village on the coast of Northumberland. The brave and kind-hearted fishermen at once manned their little lifeboat, and after much tossing and a weary struggle, they succeeded in reaching the wreck. But their disappointment can well be imagined, when, after risking their lives in their gallant attempt to rescue the shipwrecked crew, the captain absolutely refused to get into their boat, nor would he allow any man of his crew to do so.

The fishermen besought him to allow them to save them; but the captain refused to believe that this was their object, and cried out that they had come to plunder the ship and rob him of all he possessed. The fishermen replied: "Man, we have come to save you! — we have come to save you!"

At length the captain allowed his men to get into the lifeboat, but he himself refused to quit his ship. Sadly, they had to turn from him, leaving him to his fate, while they reached the shore in safety.

The ship went to pieces, and a few days after the captain's body was picked up at Newton-by-the-Sea, about six miles from the scene of the wreck.

We can have very little patience with the madness of this captain, and I expect will say he deserved his fate, and yet we could find an excuse for him, for there have been men hardhearted enough to pretend to save, when they only intended to destroy. But there can be no excuse for the rejector of Christ. Who ever heard of Him deceiving and robbing a sinner? Nay! On the other hand, He Himself said: "It is more blessed to give than to receive"; and He delights to take this more blessed place. He came from heaven to earth to proclaim God as the "Giving God." He went even to death that He might save men, and that they might become the recipients of God's blessing.

Still, there is the notion that to become a Christian means to be robbed of mirth and pleasure, and the world with its attractions. But these things are but the glitter that dazzles the eye in order to obscure the bitterness and the misery at the end. You may depend upon it that the best things the world can possibly offer can only bring disappointment. And if the world and its prizes are sought after to the exclusion of Christ; sorrow, death, and hell will follow in their train. The Word of God tells us that Satan is the god of this world, and he is a deceiver and a thief. He robs men of their souls, of happiness and heaven, and he accomplishes this very often by giving them some fancied advantage in this world, which they fear they would lose if they were to become Christians.

But let us face this question: What is the best that this world has to offer? Can fame, honour or wealth really fill the heart? We will take the testimony of England's greatest seaman, Lord Nelson.

As a young naval captain he had said to a friend: "I shall live to be envied." And truly he did; his highest ambition must have been overtopped by the pinnacle of honour which he reached.

His great victory over the French in the Battle of the Nile filled Europe with his fame. He himself said of that fight: "Victory is not a name strong enough for such a scene — it is a conquest."

In the House of Commons Mr. Pitt, in announcing the fact that Nelson was to be raised to the peerage, said: "Admiral Nelson's fame will be co-equal with the British name. No title can express what we think, or add anything to him." Thus he was honoured and enriched by his country; but, in a letter to a friend at this time, he wrote: "The only people who I envy are those whose estate measures six feet by two." On another occasion he wrote to the Earl St. Vincent: "There is no real happiness in this world."

This is the experience of landsmen and seamen alike. Then why lose your soul for those things which do not satisfy now, and which you must eventually lose for ever. Oh! be not deceived; look ahead into Eternity. Put the things which are of the greatest importance first. Take salvation now from the hand of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then you will be able to say with the writer: —
"Better than grandeur,
 Better than gold,
 Better than fame ten thousand-fold,
 Is the love of Christ, who died for me,
 Who shed His blood to set me free."

The Christian's Character; or, Perrault's Generosity.

Our "Tales of the Sea" are written more especially for those who are unconverted, that they might be led to see their danger and turn to Jesus the Saviour, for all that they need. But we must have a few pages also for those who have believed in the precious Name of the Lord. It may be that some who were unconverted when they commenced to read these tales have ere this turned their hearts to Heaven, and said, "Christ for me." How happy if this is so! One thing is certain — if this is your case you will never regret having made such a decision.

Now it is the privilege of every Christian, whether young or old, to show forth in this world the character of their Lord and Saviour. In fact if we are not doing this, we are certainly coming short of God's design in leaving us here. But if we are to be like Christ, and thus be true and practical Christians, we must understand first what He was and what He has done. Before we turn to the story of Perrault's noble generosity, I will give you an incident which happened at the burning of the troopship "Birkenhead" in 1852, which shall feebly illustrate what the Lord has done and given for us.

Upon the ship there was a young officer — a mere youth, fresh from school. He helped to row one of the boats between the doomed ship and the shore with boatload after boatload of women and children. As the boat was making its last trip to the shore, the big ship made its last plunge, carrying 438 souls into the blue depths of the sea. Two men, who managed to escape the wreckage, reached the boat, and were taken in, in consequence of which it was laden to the water's edge. A third swam up, and catching the side of the boat, begged to be taken out of the shark-infested waters; but it would have meant the sinking of the boat if his pleadings had been listened to, and he was refused. His agony and dread moved the heart of the young officer. He rose deliberately from his place in the stern of the boat and plunged into the sea, giving up his place to the drowning sailor. He struck out for the shore, but was never seen again.

It was a brave deed, the sacrifice of a noble heart; but our thoughts turn from it to the sacrifice of Christ. He took our place in the waters of judgment; He gave Himself for us. "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." He died that we might live, and that He might reveal to us the true character of God; and we understand now, as we look at the Cross of Christ, that God is love, He is the giving God — the God of matchless grace.

Now we who belong to Jesus are born of God, and we have received His Spirit that we might not live after the flesh, which is always selfish, but that we might be like Christ — always ready to serve others, not thinking of our likes and dislikes, but seeking the blessing and good of those around us.

Perrault was a Canadian, one of the party which the famous Sir John Franklin led on an expedition to the Polar Seas in the year 1819. Their sufferings during the whole of the expedition were very great; but in the early winter of 1820 they found themselves ice-bound in those cheerless regions with but a very small supply of food. This was carefully distributed day by day, but at length it was exhausted.

They were a band of brave and heroic men, but when they saw the last of the food handed out a great despondency settled upon them.

At this very distressing time, when they were all feeling keenly the fierce pangs of hunger, their hearts were greatly touched by a wonderfully act of unselfishness on the part of Perrault.

Day by day, as he had received his allowance of meat, he had put a portion by, of which none but himself knew, and now, when his companions had nothing, and starvation stared them in the face, he brought out the whole of his supply and divided it amongst them.

 Standing round the fire, their feelings were too deep for words. They wept their thanks as they silently partook of that which his unselfish generosity had supplied them.

A lump came into my throat when I first read that story, and I have very little doubt that Perrault was a Christian. Certainly it was a Christian act, and I do not wonder that the hearts of his comrades were deeply touched.

We read, "The Lord loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor. 9:7), "Do good to all men" (Gal. 6:10), "To do good and communicate forget not" (Hebrews 13:16), and many other exhortations; and it is by finding our joy in acting according to these exhortations that the character of God shines out through us, and the folk with whom we come into contact learn that our God is a giving God. But a good many people whom we know have no need of temporal help. We can still show forth Christ in our dealings towards them in self-forgetting service and love. In this way we shall be following the Lord, who came not to be ministered to, but to minister.

But more important than all is to be able to distribute to them the Living Bread. Rich and poor, old and young, alike need Christ as Saviour — aye, they are starving without Him. If we know Him let us not weary in telling others of Him, and thus we shall be able to share what we have with them.

The blessed thing about so doing will be that our own supply will not be the less.

What Perrault gave away he lost, in a sense; but the more we speak of Jesus, and share what we know of Him with others, the greater our joy in Him becomes. As we scatter the blessing, we receive abundant measure ourselves — then
"Hide not the precious light,
 But keep it burning bright
 Until we hear His sweet
   Well done.'"

A Despised Deliverer; or, How Venice was Saved.

When Venice was "Queen of the Adriatic," not only because of her beauty, but because of her wealth and power, she had many enemies. Doubtless many of these were made by the arrogance of her rulers, while some were her foes because they were jealous of her greatness.

About the year 1378 several of the neighbouring states formed a strong confederacy in the hope of humbling her pride and destroying her power. In this the State of Genoa took the lead. A fierce war was the result, and most of the fighting took place upon the sea.

It happened about this time that an epidemic broke out in the Venetian fleet, which carried off a great number of the fighting men. In this weakened state the Genoese opened an attack upon them, and drove them into Venice. Enraged at this reverse, the fickle Venetians took the admiral Vettor Pisani, and cast him into prison. There he lay for some time, and though he loved his country, he was unable to render her any assistance.

Meanwhile the successes of Peitro Doria, the Genoese admiral, continued, and in one engagement he took 5,000 Venetians prisoners. This made him certain of final success, while it reduced Venice to the verge of despair. This was deepened when the Genoese fleet appeared before the ramparts of the city.

It was then hastily decided that the only chance of saving the city was to treat for peace, and delegates were sent out, offering to make very great concessions; in fact the Venetians were ready to give up everything to the invaders but their liberty.

Doria answered with a bitter sneer, saying there should be no peace for Venice until he had entered the place a complete conqueror, and bridled the bronze horses in the square of St. Marks, and he at once prepared to blockade the city and reduce it by famine.

In their extremity the Venetians remembered the man whom they had despised and treated unjustly. Pisani was taken out of prison, and besought by the Senate to defend his country. This he gladly undertook to do, refusing the adulation of the people, and the honour which the Doge of Venice would have put upon him.

He was a man of vigour and decision, and soon had a fleet equipped, and gave battle to the invaders. The tide of victory now turned, and instead of the Venetians being forced to surrender, they drove the Genoese into the harbour of the town of Chiaggia, which they had taken some time before. Here they held out for a while, but in one battle they lost very heavily, and Doria was killed, then they yielded to Pisani, who dictated terms to them, which were most honourable to his people. Thus did the one whom the Venetians had accounted unworthy of their confidence become their deliverer.

This incident shall illustrate for us a more serious matter, and one which concerns each reader of this page.

The truth is not always pleasant, but it is necessary to make it known. Every man, woman, and child needs a deliverer from a foe who will give no quarter. Nothing but abject and utter surrender to his power will satisfy the devil, who is the foe of man; the power which he wields is death. All that men have will they give to escape death, but it is of no avail. As Doria refused to be bought off, so death refuses to relinquish his claims it must be a conflict to the bitter end, utter defeat or complete victory.

Who amongst the strongest and the wisest of the earth-born race can grapple with this foe and overcome? There is none; a deliverer must be found, or all will be lost.

Joyous news! There is a Deliverer, One who cannot fail those who trust in Him. He is the One whom men despised; the One whom they set at naught and reviled in bitter scorn, naming Him "The Nazarene." But all this changed not the love of Jesus. He would meet the foe on the behalf of poor sinners, "who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." He has met the foe, and in single combat has gained a glorious victory. He died for our sins, but has risen again from the dead, and now a happy and eternal deliverance is the portion of all His people, and they will share for ever in the fruits of His victory.

How do you stand with regard to Jesus?

Have you thankfully bowed to Him and accepted Him as your Saviour? If not, you are still exposed to the relentless power of the foe.

There are thousands who despise this only Saviour. Oh! the madness and base ingratitude of so doing!

 * * * * *

You have doubtless read of John Davies, a celebrated English seaman and explorer. In the year 1604 he was sailing for India when he fell in with a party of Japanese drifting out to sea in a leaky junk and without provisions. They were a cut-throat looking set of men, and he believed them to be pirates in spite of their protestation of honesty, but he took pity on them in their perilous situation, and took them aboard his ship. These very men plotted together and murdered their benefactor in cold blood.

What would be said to-day of such an act of black ingratitude. Why the wretches would be hounded down and hung by the neck for their base crime. And even the most tender-hearted would acknowledge that such an end was richly deserved.

This world is guilty of an act of infamy, which throws the murder of John Davies into the shade. The holy Son of God, full of grace and compassion, came into this world to bring the blessings of heaven to men, and they took him with wicked hands, and crucified and slew Him. And if you have not yet bowed to Him and owned Him as your Lord, you are still on the side of the world that was guilty of such an act. Judgment, swift and terrible, must fall upon this world some day; if you would escape it, take side with Jesus. Trust Him as your Saviour. Honour Him as your Lord. The Venetians did not withhold the honour that was Pisani's due when they discovered his real worth. You have heard of Jesus, what He is, and what He has done. Is He not worthy of your praise? Then despise Him not, reject Him not; but trust Him now.

Enciso's Expedition against the Dead.

Many and interesting are the incidents recorded of the adventures of the early discoverers of America. The coolness with which they appropriated everything worth taking, and claimed the New World for the Old, was most extraordinary, and somewhat ridiculous to the mind of the twentieth century people.

There was amongst these adventurers a man who had practised law in San Domingo, named Martin Enciso, who eventually became quite noted for his exploits.

One of his first expeditions was a very remarkable one. Those who had gone forth before him had gone against the living; he went forth to rob the dead.

He had been induced to give up his law practice by the famous Ojeda, and fitting out two brigantines, he turned their prows towards the mainland, and cast anchor at Carthagena. Whilst here he was told by the Indians that some distance to the West there was the Province of Zenu, which was the general burial place of all the Indian tribes in the country.

Now as the Indians decorated their dead with their most precious ornaments, Enciso concluded that immense wealth could be procured by the digging for it, and set sail from Carthagena for Zenu to take possession of the place, and search for the hidden treasure.

But on landing at Zenu he found himself opposed by two powerful chiefs at the head of their warriors. Nothing daunted by this show of opposition, he at once proceeded to lay claim to the country in the name of Ferdinand, King of Spain, according to the form laid down by that clever, but avaricious, monarch.

The Indian chiefs listened attentively to the document which Enciso read, and had interpreted to them, and then, with very commendable logic replied: They fully believed that part of the document which declared there was but one God, but could not accept the Pope of Rome as His representative on the earth; and if this Pope, of whom they spoke, had really given their country to the King of Spain — well, he must have been drunk to do such a thing, when it was not his to give; and the King of Spain himself must have been mad to ask at the hands of the Pope that which belonged to others.

They also added that they were lords of that land, and would own no other sovereign, and if the King of Spain came there to take possession of their country, they would cut off his head and put it on a pole, as that was their usual mode of dealing with their foes.

Enciso, who himself related the story in his account of his travels, then threatened them with war and slavery. But they pointed out to him a row of grizzly heads on poles, and bade him depart from their land, unless he wished to be treated in like manner.

All this failed to impress Enciso. This was the country where gold could be taken in nets from the rivers, so he had been told, and here was buried untold wealth, and he meant to take possession of it. He routed the Indians, and searched the tombs, but gained little for his trouble, and was eventually very glad to take to his ships, and to get out of the range of the poisoned arrows of the Indians.

I have in my mind an expedition of a totally different nature to the foregoing — an expedition which contrasts strongly with it from start to finish.

God sent forth His beloved Son to claim the world for Himself; but there is this great difference between God claiming this world and the Castilian King claiming the Western Hemisphere. This world belonged to God; it was His, for He made it, but it had rebelled against His authority, and refused to own His sway. So He sent His Son — the Heir to win it back again. But all His ways in this wondrous mission were ways of tenderness and grace. He did not seek to subdue men by flaming sword and unsparing vengeance, but by perfect love He sought to win their hearts. He came to claim their heart's allegiance, but that was not all. In order to gain this He brought them blessings, the greatness of which could never have entered their most exalted dreams.

But men were dead towards God — dead in trespasses and sins. So that the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ was really toward the dead.
"We in death were lying,
 Lost in hopeless gloom."
But Jesus came even to where we were; and, blessed fact, He died that we might live.

He came, not to rob us, but to enrich us. Not to take from us this world, where all is marred by death; but to give us an inheritance in a land where neither blight of sin, nor shade of sorrow can ever come.

Oh, it is well with those who do not resist Him. It is wisdom indeed to bow to His claims and own Him as Lord.

But we do not see the world at large putting the crowns upon His brow, and laying their swords at His feet. Alas, the world still refuses God's claims and rejects His grace, and the only consequence of this can be — judgment.

But have you yielded to the Lord? If not, do it to-day. Let your heart become His kingdom — the place where He can rule without a rival. Haul down the world's flag — the flag of selfish ambition, or whatever else it is that has held you under its sway, and live henceforward for Him who died and rose again.

For this loving, living Saviour, the risen Christ of God, we claim you to-day.
"Follow Him,
 Say 'No' to self,
 And own Him Lord."

The Value of One Soul: A Deal Lifeboat Incident.

Is it possible that the great God above can care for one soul amongst all the millions of the earth? It is, for the One who came to tell us all we know of the heart of God said "Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents." (Luke 15:10.)

God desires that all shall be saved; but He and all His angels rejoice over one. Have they rejoiced over you yet?

The lifeboat men will save the whole of the shipwrecked crew if they can; if not, they will rejoice to be able to bring even one safe to land. An instance of this is to be found in the records of the Deal lifeboat.

Looking out through his glass late one spring evening Richard Roberts, the brave captain of the boat, descried a new wreck upon the Goodwin Sands, and close to it a solitary man. He was running wildly about, afraid of standing still lest the treacherous sands should suck him in.

Only one man! was it worth while launching the lifeboat for his sake? The lifeboat men had no question at all about that, for as soon as the tide would permit there was a rush for the belts, and over the wild waves the boat leaped to the rescue. But to save that one man was no light matter. The night was inky black, and their eyes could see nothing. The waves roared over the boat, and, though they shouted and strained their ears for an answer, no voice could be heard above the noise of the sea.

They cast anchor and waited through the long night for the dawn. With the first grey light they caught sight of the object of their search. He was not more than four hundred yards away staggering towards the boat that had come to save him.

It was but the work of a few moments to get him off those deadly sands into the safety of the boat.

He was captain of a Norwegian brig which had run on the sands the morning before, and he had seen the six men that formed his crew drowned before his eyes. He had lashed himself to the windlass, and thus escaped the fate of the rest. When the tide fell and the wreck stood out of the water, he unlashed himself, and had for hours run up and down the sands, returning to the wreck again when the tide rose and night came on.

He received a British welcome when he reached the town of Deal, and, depend upon it, not one of the gallant lifeboat men grudged the labour and the hardships they had undergone because there was only one to save. Oh! the value of one soul none can estimate; the world is naught in comparison to it. For one soul, as well as for millions, Jesus died. For one soul He seeks to-day, and that one soul is yours.

Welcome Him, welcome Him now. Then over your one soul there will be joy in the presence of the angels of God.

Out of the Jaws of Death; A Shark Story.

SWISH-SH, swish-sh.

The swimmer started and turned. About a length behind him he saw a V-shaped ripple upon the surface of the blue waters, and beneath them a grey-brown object. The paralysis of fear seized him, and his cry of distress died in his throat! It was the shark.

What a fool he was to plunge into danger like that, and in spite of warning.

That shark had become notorious in Kingstown, St. Vincent, the bay of which town was its haunt, and many were the victims that had fallen to its rapacity.

The Governor of the island had forbidden bathing in the waters which it frequented, and had offered a large reward for its destruction. Knowing all about the shark, and in spite of his father's commands to the contrary, and his brother's entreaties that morning, this English youth had vowed that he would defy the monster and swim past its haunt. Now the folly of his daring confronted him, and certain death seemed to stare him in the face.

He was a strong swimmer however, and recovering from the first shock of fear he struck out for the shore but it was an unequal struggle, and every moment the dreaded shark gained upon the fast-tiring swimmer.

It is the old story. Retribution follows disobedience; sin puts those who commit it into the power of the foe. Had he but listened to those who were wiser than himself he would never have got into such terrible danger. In the beginning Adam disobeyed God, in spite of the warning of God, and he fell; he went astray and suffered terribly thereby. And we have all followed in the ways of disobedience and sin, for God's Word says, "All we like sheep have gone astray." So that everyone of us who have not yet been saved are in terrible danger. There is a foe who seeks to destroy the souls of the young as well as the old. "He goes about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." And if there were not a Saviour provided by God for us our case would be hopelessly terrible.

The frantic struggles of the swimmer, and the pointed nose of the shark protruding from the water immediately behind him were seen from the shore, and it was evident to all that he could not save himself. But amongst those who saw his danger was one of his father's slaves, a negro named Mungo; he was devoted to his master and loved his master's son, and, without a thought of his own safety, he threw himself into the sea and struck out to the rescue. He reached the lad just as the shark had opened his mouth to destroy him, and, seizing him round the waist, literally snatched him out of the jaws of death. The lad's life was saved, but he was terribly injured, for the shark had with that one snap severed his arm from his body.

Look out, young reader. Sin will leave its marks upon you. There are many who have been saved by the sovereign grace of God, but they will carry the scars of sin to the grave. The longer you stay away from God your danger increases; but not only so — the wounds of sin are multiplied, and the wounds of sin are terrible.

But how glorious is the news that comes to us from God. He proclaims the Name of His Son Jesus as the Saviour for all. Our sins had made us the lawful prey of the mighty destroyer; but Jesus came to snatch us from the jaws of death, and to put us for ever beyond the reach of the danger that threatened us. If you do but feel your need of His saving power He will save you, and that right speedily. He is able to do so, do not doubt Him.

Mungo made for the shore with the wounded lad, and to the joy of the spectators landed him safely there. But he suffered for his loving courage. The shark returned to the attack, and before he could struggle to the shore himself he had lost a leg. But he — brave fellow that he was — thought this a small matter in the joy that he had in having saved his master's son. You will not be surprised when I tell you that Jesus had to make a great sacrifice in order to save sinners. The story is very familiar to you, and may have lost its charm; but I tell you there is no story so wondrously thrilling as the story of the love of Jesus. He sacrificed Himself. He gave Himself to death and judgment in order to destroy our foe and save us for ever.

"O, sinner, Jesus died for thee." Don't despise Him. For the sake of your soul trust Him, and none shall snatch you from His hand.

Mungo recovered eventually from his first encounter with the shark, and was able to stump about on a wooden leg. He determined to have another encounter with the shark, and destroy him if possible. Arming himself with a huge knife he rowed out in a boat, and drawing the shark from his hiding place by a tempting bait he attacked him with his knife, and eventually returned to the shore in triumph, dragging his dead foe at the tail of his boat. He received his liberty and a pension from the Government for his bravery.

Well, that is the end of the story of Mungo's victory. But we shall never come to the end of the story of Jesus' victory over death and Satan. Those whom He has saved will celebrate that victory in heaven for ever. They will never cease to praise Him there. May you be amongst that happy company.

God's Way of Deliverance; or, How the Sea Saved Leyden.

Many and great are the difficulties that often arise in the minds of those who are awakened to the need of their soul's salvation, as to how this can be brought about. They know that they are sinners — guilty, unsatisfied, and in Satan's power; but how God can deliver them and yet be perfectly righteous they cannot tell. And truly the matter is beyond the wisdom of men to solve. But God has displayed His wisdom as well as his love and power in the death of Jesus, and His death is the solution of all the difficulties. There we see our foes vanquished, our deep need met, and God glorified. The way in which the sea saved Leyden may help us to understand it better.

From October 31st, 1573, to October 3rd, 1574, with the exception of a few days only, Leyden was surrounded by a large Spanish Army and exposed to all the horrors of a siege.

King Philip of Spain was determined to make the city bow to his power, and the Protestants within acknowledge the authority of the Pope. But the people had tasted the liberty and enjoyed the light which an open Bible gives, and they were determined to resist the Spaniards, choosing rather to die than submit to Rome.

As the days passed into weeks and the weeks into months the distress in Leyden became terrible, for so completely was the city invested by the Spanish army that it was impossible to get provisions into the town. In consequence of this, famine stalked abroad in the streets, and men and women died on every hand.

The Duke of Alva, who commanded the Spaniards, sought by threats to make them yield, but they bravely replied, "when all our cats and dogs are eaten we will devour our left arms while we fight with our right, before we will yield."

He then tried flattery, making great promises if they would but surrender; but they had proved his treachery before and were not to be deceived, their only reply to his flatteries was, "The fowler plays sweet notes on his pipe while he spreads his nets for the bird." Ah! these Hollanders were not only brave but very wise, and Alva's threatenings and seductions alike failed.

How often the devil acts as did this Spanish commander, he often sends flattery and offers great benefits to people, but his end is always to destroy. He promised great things to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, and they listened to his promises and were caught by his flatteries, and sorrow, sin and death were the result.

He is still the same old deceiver blinding men's eyes, transforming himself oftentimes into an angel of light, but with always the same object in view — to hinder them from obtaining God's salvation and to destroy them for ever.

Beware young reader, sin may charm and appear fascinating and the world may display its attractions, but the devil is behind it. Look to the end and remember the answer of the Hollanders to the Duke of Alva's flatteries. The fowler plays sweet notes on his pipe while he lays the net for the bird.

Meanwhile matters were only growing worse within the city, and though William Prince of Orange, with the famous "Beggars of the Sea" Fleet, laden with provisions for the starving inhabitants, was but fifteen miles from the town he could not help them, for the ships could not sail over the land, and the Spaniards were well able to resist any attempt to land provisions.

At length William fixed upon a seemingly desperate plan. It is well known that a large part of Holland lies beneath the sea level and that the waters are kept out by huge dykes. His plan was to pierce the dykes and allow the sea to overflow the land, in the hope that his ships might sail quite up to the distressed city.

The inhabitants were informed of his intentions by carrier pigeon, and eagerly did they wait, and earnestly did they pray that he might be successful.

They had looked upon the sea hitherto as their greatest foe, and untold wealth had been expended to keep it at a distance, now they realised that deliverance could only come to them by that which they had always dreaded — the inflowing of the sea.

How like our case is this. Death is looked upon as the greatest foe of men, and what will not men give to keep death at a distance; but it is the only means by which salvation can come to us. If we are to be saved from Satan's power, and have our souls satisfied with living bread, we must look to death. But whose death? Not our own, or that of any other mere man — but the death of our Lord Jesus Christ. Don't forget this. It is because Jesus died for us that deliverance comes within our reach.

The dykes were cut, but the ships were long in reaching the city, for a strong east wind was blowing which kept them out at sea. This made the Christians in Leyden pray the more earnestly, and one night, in the midst of their pleadings with God, the wind suddenly changed, and blew quite a gale from the sea.

On came the flowing waters, not only bearing the ships laden with food to the starving citizens of Leyden, but also sweeping away from before the city the foes that had harassed them so long.

In the midst of the night a terrible crash was heard, and it was feared that the Spaniards had stormed the city's walls; instead, it was the now friendly sea which had broken down the wall and brought the ships right into their midst. "Leyden is relieved" rang through the streets as loudly as the feeble folk could shout. And this was true. The Spaniards had all fled before the advancing sea, leaving behind their ammunition and baggage, and the people of Leyden never saw them again. Nor did they forget to return thanks to God, who made the sea as well as the dry land.

And is there real deliverance for reader and and writer alike? Thank God there is. His wisdom is shown out in the death of Jesus, for He has taken that which was indeed our foe, and made it to be our way of escape. Satan's power is destroyed in the death of Jesus, for by dying he destroyed him that had the power of death, which is the devil, that he might deliver those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (Hebrews 2:14-15.)

We know now that He is raised from the dead and imparts to all His own people a new life, and instead of being miserable and unsatisfied they can feed upon Himself, the new food, which can fill the heart with joy and satisfaction. Those who feed upon Him can say, like a little Scotch boy said when dying, "Oh! Jesus is sweet, sweet."

Salvation Neglected or, The Wreck of the "Royal Charter."

Who, having seen a shipwreck, can ever forget the awfully terrible and soul-thrilling sight. To stand upon some storm-lashed shore and see out on the grey sea a helpless vessel struggling in the grip of the tempest; to see that ship go shivering helplessly onward to its doom, almost hidden at times by huge waves, then at length lifted high upon their crest and dashed upon the relentless rocks to disappear with broken back in the swirling waters. This is indeed a terrible sight — one that leaves an impression upon the mind which time cannot erase.

But more terrible by far is the shipwreck of a soul. To see those who have been created for the glory of God choosing the ways of sin, neglecting and rejecting God's offered salvation, this is truly saddening; for to choose the ways of darkness and sin is to reach destruction at last.

And yet this is the sad end of many, and there is a possibility that it may be the end of some who read these pages. Because of this awful possibility we continue to warn and to press upon you the great necessity of accepting God's salvation.

Salvation is needed by all. This is proved by the fact that God offers it to everybody, but all are not saved, for many wilfully reject or neglect the salvation which God offers. "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?" (Heb. 2:3) is a solemn question. Ah! there could not possibly be any escape, for none but God could provide salvation for sinners, and if His way is rejected there is none other.

The wreck of the Royal Charter on the night of October 26th, 1859, shall serve as an illustration of salvation neglected. She was one of the finest and fastest vessels afloat at the time, and was returning from Australia with a full complement of passengers. Many of these had made themselves rich at the newly-discovered goldfields, and were doubtless looking forward to enjoying their wealth at home in England.

All went well until the shores of Wales were sighted on the evening of October 25th, when a terrible hurricane began to blow, and the engines of the Royal Charter became powerless, with the result that she began to drift before the gale.

To be so near an ugly lee shore and in such a gale thoroughly alarmed the captain, and he hoisted signals of distress. A ship carrying troops to Ireland hove to, and through the trumpet the captain of the Royal Charter cried: "Our engines are broken down; for what will you tow us into port?" The price was named. "Too much" was the answer. On being urged to accept the offered help, the captain replied, "I'll run my chance."

Within twenty-four hours the appalling news was flashed all over the country, that the Royal Charter had gone down off the coast of Wales, and with her 490 souls had been swallowed up by the insatiable sea.

They went down in sight of home, overwhelmed and destroyed when, humanly speaking, they might have been saved.

I had the story from the lips of a Christian soldier who was on the troopship that offered the help, and when I heard it my thoughts turned to many who, like the ill-starred captain of the Royal Charter are turning their backs upon salvation, and saying, "I'll run my chance."

If such should read these lines, I urge you to be warned. You have absolutely no chance of salvation and heaven apart from Jesus. Your danger is great to-day, and the longer you stay away from the Lord Jesus Christ the more imminent it becomes.

Do you say you cannot see any danger ahead? You have heard how that in the midst of the battle of Copenhagen, Sir Hyde Parker commanding the British fleet, signalled to Nelson, his second in command, to cease action and retire. When Nelson's attention was called to this, he put his telescope to his blind eye, and said, "I really do not see the signal." And many do not see the danger because they will not. They are wilfully blind. They have allowed Satan to put the scales upon their eyes. Nelson was wise, for he had his other eye wide open and knew that victory was in sight but for the sinner who closes his eyes to the truth there is absolutely no hope. This is Satan's work, but he not only closes men's eyes, but he has closed their ears too; they will neither see the danger nor hear the warnings. Thus Satan wrongs them now that he may destroy them eventually, and, they seem to love to have it so. As long as the present seems bright they care not though they be but a league from some dreaded reef.

But there is a Saviour nigh at hand ready and able to save all who desire His salvation. He can save the vilest: He can save to the uttermost. Past rock and shoal, through fog and storm, He will safely steer all who trust in Him and safely to the heavenly haven they shall at length be brought.

Not one of "His own" shall be lost. The famous "Cunard" line can boast that they have never lost a single passenger's life since the foundation of their company, and a wonderful record this is when one thinks of the fierce storms that rage upon the Atlantic and of the thousands of souls that they have carried; but the Cunard line is not infallible, and, though we earnestly hope that its proud record will be maintained until the end, one cannot say what may happen at sea.

But with Jesus we can speak with all confidence. The salvation which He procured at the cost of His own precious blood is a perfect salvation. In His right hand, as the living risen Saviour, there is omnipotence, and He can say with triumph of His own, "They shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." (John 10:28.)

He has said, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee."

So that we may boldly say "The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what men shall do to me." (Heb. 13:5-6.)

All saved! God be praised.

Huge cliffs of green sea roar down upon the lifeboat, burying her completely from the eyes of the watchers on the shore, and making their hearts stand still with fear; but again she rises bravely, shaking herself free from the embrace of the waves like a thing of life.

Onward she bounds shore-ward, and now the British ensign is seen flying from her peak, proclaiming the joyous tidings that "All are saved," and a ringing cheer breaks from the throats of the hundreds on the shore.

The cheering from the land warms the hearts of the brave lifeboat men and nerves their arms to renewed effort, and at length they reach the shore. Scores of ready and capable hands haul up the boat clear of the baffled sea. Cheer after cheer greets the saviours of the shipwrecked crew, and loving and sympathetic help awaits those who need it. All saved! All saved! God be praised.

"All saved!" Many will read these pages; shall it be said presently "All saved"? Certainly all who trust in Jesus will be saved. Will you be amongst them?
"Will your eyes behold through the morning light,
 The city of gold and the harbour bright?
 Will you anchor safe by the heavenly shore,
 When life's storms are past for evermore?

Suffer this one final appeal. To be lost for ever will be terrible, and you are in danger of it if unsaved. To be saved will be glory for ever, and this is God's desire for you. If to be saved is your desire, remember: —
"Christ is the only Saviour mighty to save,
He Who suffered once for sin and sank 'neath the wave.
He is the lifeboat, sinner, will bring you safe to shore;
All who trust in Jesus Christ are saved evermore."