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THE LIGHTHOUSE AND THE STORM.
could sit no longer, and so she took a light and began to climb the ladder. Poor Nancy felt giddy as she went higher and higher on her dark passage-her head began to swim, and she felt ready to drop ; but still she went firmly on, going higher and higher. At last she reached the little room; there was the lantern, but it was too high for her to reach it. Looking round, she saw a box ; it was heavy, but by hard pushing she at last brought it under the lamp. Still she could not reach high enough. What was to be done? She was just about to go down again in despair, when, in a dark corner she saw another box, which by great exertions, she managed to place on the top of the first one ; then mounting, first on one box, then on the other, she stretched her little arm until the flame of the lamp caught the wick, and it burst forth into a blaze. She was so glad when she saw the light streaming in all directions, for she felt sure it would reach the weary eyes of the poor sailors tossing on the mountain waves, perhaps not far from the fatal rock. And she was right.
That night Nancy's brother Robert was sailing home. The ship was driving rapidly before the storm. Suddenly the light from Nancy's lamp burst right before them, which showed them that they were so nearly upon the rock, that they had just time to turn and escape. Another few minutes and their ship would have been dashed in pieces.
The wicked wreckers were maddened when they saw the light, for their hopes of plunder were gone.
Nancy passed the night in fear and trembling; but at last daylight came, and she was right glad that no ship had been wrecked ; and her father, who was let go, soon joined her at the lighthouse. In a few days, too, came her brother Robert, and as they sat. together Nancy told him
of the stormy night, and Robert told her of his danger, and how he must have owed his life to her. Oh how glad and thankful was little Nancy now that she ventured up the ladder and managed to light the lamp !
And now, my dear friends, will you try to learn a lesson from this heroic little girl ? You may never have to light a lighthouse lamp, or be on the sea in a storm, but there are other lamps that require lighting-quite within your reach, if you would but try. The Bible is a "}ight to the feet” of many who are sailing to the shores of heaven. I hope it is a light to you. Jesus the Saviour is the “ light of the world;" all walk in darkness who do not know him. Do you ? Multitudes in England, in China, and in other lands, are in spiritual darkness and have no light. Why don't you help them ? You will never do them much good unless you have light in your own soul, any more than the girl could have helped the sailors by going to the top of the lighthouse without carrying a light with her. And yet this is the way that many people try to lead sinners to heaven. “The blind leading the blind.” Do not rest, my friend, until you secure this light for your own soul, and then “let your light so shine before men that others, seeing your good works, may glorify your Father who is in heaven."
SWEARING. A PROFANE coachman, pointing to one of his horses, said to a pious traveller, “That horse, sir, knows when I swear at him.” “Yes," replied the traveller, "and so does One above.” The coachman seemed to feel the reproof, and immediately became silent.
TWO SCENES FROM LIFE. A STEAMBOAT was making its nightly trip on the Hudson river. As it passed along, lights might have been seen on the nearer shore--there, from scattered houses, and here, from villages or towns at whose wharves the steamboat made her accustomed stop. Upon the deck of the boat stood a listless and gloomy man. He glanced sometimes at the lights on shore, and sometimes down into the dark waters which were surging and foaming beneath him.
One spoke to him, but he returned only a hopeless reply. He cared not whither he was going—he had no home-none cared for him. Such was his complaint. Yet there had been a time when he had known flattery and seeming friendship. He had been well known as an actor, applauded and successful. The theatres were thronged when he was to appear. Men's houses were thrown open to him. Money rolled into his purse. Now all was changed. His day of success was over. Those who had seemed to care for him once had forsaken him. The world had forgotten him who had ministered to her pleasure. He was homeless and alone.
The plunge of a heavy body might have been heard. With a gurgling sound the waters closed over it. The steamboat glided on as before, but a human soul had gone to its account. The man once applauded by the world could not endure her frown. He had sought to forget his troubles in a suicide's death. We seek not to draw aside the veil from the other world, but we find no Bible promise which comes to shed hope above the suicide's grave.
A storm was sweeping over the Atlantic. On the deck
TWO SCENES FROM LIFE.
of a sinking ship, almost within sight of home, a band of travellers awaited their fate. The huge billows dashed over the ship, and sweeping back again they carried to his last resting-place some immortal soul.
Sadness, terror, despair were written on many a face among passengers and crew. Within two days of land—this was the aggravation of their fate. They had deemed themselves almost at home. Already imagination had sprung with joyful steps to greet the loved ones whom now, alas, they should greet never again. Among that
of immortals on the verge of eternity stood one, solemn but composed. No child, no friend, was with him. His dear ones were even then awaiting his coming, unconscious of his peril. The hope of an earthly reunion with them was fading from his mind, yet was he calm. Death had come unexpectedly, perhaps, in the form which it had taken ; it may have seemed terrible. But for him death had lost its sting. He was a Christian
One stronger than death was beside him, saying, Be not afraid !
What means he could use for his own preservation were embraced. Yet did he not forget others. They who survived to reach the land tell of the stranger's kind thoughtfulness. They speak of encouraging words. They remember how the mother, entering the life-boat, received her babe from his hands. They recall how a relic of his love was entrusted to another, to be borne to a dear one at home, if the giver should never reach the sho They tell how his last moments were spent before he disappeared from their sight; how, standing on the deck of that sinking ship, with the wild uproar of the tempest around him, he lifted up the voice of prayer. Above the sound of the billows, above the noise of the storm, his
OUR FATHER'S PLACE.
voice fell clear on the ear. A huge wave dashed over the ship as the petition closed, and with the very words of prayer upon his lips the retreating wave swept him beneath the waters.
His last resting-place shall never be known till that time when the sea shall give up her dead. Yet looking out on the tossing ocean the mourner may smile with calmness, while hope whispers of peace. The dust of the believer is as safe in the depth of the ocean as in the turfed mound of the graveyard, where love plants flowers, and sheds over it tears; and above the believer’s resting place, be it on land or in the sea, float out on the air these words of Scripture promise, “ Them that sleep in Jesus shall God bring with him.”
Dear youths, which life had the better close? Do you say in your heart, Let me die the death of the righteous”? Then must you live the life of the righteous.
OUR FATHER'S PLACE.
Oh, who can fill it now,
That good, that open brow?
The first we've ever known,
As music's holiest tone.
Each eye is fill’d with tears,
The scenes of earlier years ;