Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

HOW AN OLD SAILOR LIVED AND DIED.

135

[ocr errors]

66

For about ten years he was superintendent of the Old Sailors' Home and Refuge, and there is not the shadow of a doubt that he and his wife were faithful friends of sailors and much respected by a large number, as the grateful expressions from the lips of many, and written testimonials from a very large number of seamen, abundantly prove that their kindness to some

extent was appreciated by them. Such was his love for the Gospel, that he felt it was the great need of his brother sailors. Hence many times we have known him to fit sailors out with his own clothes and conduct them to the Old Bethel, after they had been delivered from the perils of shipwreck, that they might listen to something that would impress their minds, and comfort their hearts, when brought low by their distresses. We do not hold him up as a spotless character, or a model of Christian perfection, he had his failings. and no one knew them better than himself. To

say

he had no faults-no imperfections—would be, not to speak the truth. He had his weak points—who has not ? While he in common with others, was the subject of errors in judgment, his motives and intentions were pure, good, and right. It was while performing his last act of manual labour, fitting out the new Smack Atbaria,” that he was seized with a severe cold which produced inflamation. From this great hope was entertained that he would recover, as he had greatly improved, up to Tuesday, May 25th, when at 2.30 p.m., there was a relapse, and it was too evident to all his friends that his end was near. On being summoned to his bedside I was very anxious to know his state of mind and heart in reference to a change of worlds. I at once asked him what his prospects were, and what the ground of his hope was. He replied with that wonted energy which had characterized him through life :—“Safe in the arms of Jesus.” For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” 2 Tim. i. xii.

2 . “For to me to live his Christ, and to die his gain.” Philip. i. 21. “My Jesus I love

. Thee, I know Thou art mine, &c.

I asked is Christ precious to you now ? His answer was, “ Yes, Jesus is precious to me. He has been a good friend, and still sticketh closer than a brother." And then with great emphasis repeated, “ Jesu, Lover of my soul,” &c.

Being desirous of knowing what his feelings were respecting those he was about to leave behind, the question was put, and his reply was as follows: “I want them all to meet me in heaven.” When asked if he had any particular message for the sailors, he answered, “Yes, tell them I am going to be with Jesus ; to love Him, and meet me there,” Anxious to console him with some

promise, he was asked if there was any particular portion of Scripture or hymn 'that he would like read to him? He readily exclaimed, “Let us have one verse of 'How sweet the name of Jesus sounds,

,'" &c. On another occasion, his wife said to him, as his breath was getting troublesome, “You have a hard struggle, my dear.” With much energy he answered, “No, it is glorious," and expressed himself as best he could, “hath He not said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Heb. xiii. 5.)

A few hours before he breathed his last, I said to him, you are crossing the river. He replied, “Yes, and you are helping me." When told it was Jesus only that could support him above the billows, he said, “That is true, but you are helping me by your prayers, I shall soon be on the glorified shore.” A short time before he expired I said to him, It won't be long now. With much peace of mind he answered, “I am in the valley, but there is no darkness; it is all light. I shall soon see Capt. Richard (an old shipmate of his, whose end was peace, a few years ago). I will get him to join with me in keeping a look out for you.” Thus our departed brother finished his course with a full trust in Christ, and a calm reliance upon the faithfulness of God. Looking with joyful hope to his glorious prospect beyond this earthly scene.

Like unto a stately ship that has gallantly done battle with the storms, dangers, and tumults of the ocean for months, or may be years, returns safe to port, amidst the greetings and shoutings of loved ones on shore, that gives to her and all on board a hearty welcome. So with our old sailor brother, he had bravely faced the dangers and difficulties of life. He slipped his cable, and gallantly entered the port of glory, amidst the shoutings of the redeemed; and the music of holy angels as they strike their golden lyres afresh, and make the heavenly arches ring with the glad news that another son of glory has safely arrived home. Is it not written by the inspired fisherman, the Apostle of the Lord Jesus, "For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”—2 Peter i. 2. So was it with our departed friend, for the following was a favourite expression of his during life, and, so far as we know, quite original:-“It was no use thinking about getting a back seat in heaven, for so many had been living with a desire just to get there, just to enter within the pearly gates, that he was sure all the seats just inside were taken.” His aim and motto, as he often said, was for a front seat; to go right into the presence of the King. “He had no sympathy with those whose desire was to have as little grace as they could do with in this life, and just reach heaven at last. His object was to have a religion about which there should

IS NOT THIS BETTER THAN FIGHTING ?

137

be no mistake, either in life or in death, but that which would enable him to enter the haven of rest with a flowing sheet. We rejoice to be able unhesitatingly to state this was the case with our brother, for he could joyfully say:

*Into the harbour of heaven we glide,

We're home at last,” &c.
Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”

W. W.

[ocr errors]

THE BISHOP OF HURON EXPRESSED THIS THOUGHT

IN FAMILY PRAYER.

Sent us for CHART AND COMPASS by Miss Smith. THE “BREADTH.”—As far as the East is from the West, so far hath He

removed our transgressions from us." THE “LENGTH.”_“I have loved thee with an everlasting love.” And,

Having loved His own which were in the world, He

loved them unto the end." THE “DEPTH.”_“But made Himself of no reputation and took upon

Him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men, and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even

the death of the Cross." THE “HEIGHT.”_“Wherefore God hath highly exhalted Him.” " That

where I am, there may ye be also.” “ To sit with Me

in My throne.” March 14th, 1881.

J. S.

:

IS NOT THIS BETTER THAN FIGHTING ? ENTERING the White House to be presented by our name sake Senator Matthews to Mr. and Mrs. President Hayes, we saw at the very entrance a Bust of the Right Hon. John Bright, M.P., bidding as it were a welcome to all large-hearted Englishmen. In future, visitors must seek out this table.

MEMENTO OF THE “RESOLUTE.”—The massive oak writing table made from the timbers of the old Arctic ship “Resolute,” as a present from the Queen to the President of the United States, has safely arrived at the White House, Washington, and is considered to be a splendid piece of elaborate carving and workmanship. It bears the following inscription :-“H.M.S. •Resolute,' forming part of the expedition sent in search of Sir John Franklin, in 1852 ; was abandoned in latitude 74 deg. 41 min. North, longitude 1or deg. 22 min. West, on May 15, 1854. She was discovered and extricated in September, 1855, in latitude 67 deg. North, by Captain Buddington, of the United States whaler, "George Henry.' She was purchased, fitted out, and sent to England, as a gift to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, by the President and people of the United States, as a token of goodwill and friendship. This table was made from her timbers when she was broken up, and is presented by the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland to the President of the United States, as a memorial of the courtesy and lovingkindness which dictated the offer of the gift of the Resolute.'

6

OUR SAILORS' HYMN-BOOK.

(See “Chart and Compass” Advertiser.) E are greatly indebted to Messrs. Morgan & Scott for per

mission to use the hymns composed by P. P. Bliss, as also for the picture of this sweet singer. During our visit to

Chicago on behalf of the Antwerp Mariners' Church and Institute, it was a great treat to receive the hand of fellowship from Dr. Goodwin, and to preach in his beautiful church. While standing in that pulpit our feelings were intensified and deepened by the remembrance that here dear Bliss, not long before, was the chief singer and leader.

[graphic][merged small]

P. P. BLISS, BORN 1838, DIED 1876. Look at his kingly face, and you see the expression of a kingly soul. Sometimes God puts splendid souls in very crooked and curious bodies. But even when it is so, how often we see the im

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

mortal soul transfigure the mortal body. Philip Bliss had a grand body, but a grander soul. The house however revealed the tenant. He was a child of nature as well as a child of grace. Nature and grace in him were one. He always said he never could remember the time “when he was not sorry for sin, and did not love Christ.” This rich nature was born poor, so far as money is concerned. When at his first Collegiate Institute he wrote, “A very pleasant place this is, and the people are very hospitable, especially the steward and his wife, which will be of great benefit if I can retain their good will and friendship, which of course I shall strive to do. I am a kind of choir-boy, but I am not ashamed of it. I saw wood, bring water, sweep rooms at so much a piece, and am resolved to earn every penny I possibly can honourably.”

I P. P. Bliss met D. L. Moody by accident. Moody thought it was a strange thing that a man like Bliss with so much music in his soul, and in his body too, should have wandered about Chicago for four years comparatively unknown. This speaks well for Moody that even at this time (1869), rough as he was, that he should have the intuitional insight to have, at this first chance meeting, properly estimated Bliss. We say to friend Moody, Well done, brother, this was a rare catch. You are a fisher of men.

Prayer-meetings and all other meetings were soon all alive when Bliss was present. Dr. Goodwin says that if he went into a cold, listless, formal meeting, he would break out at such times with one of his ringing songs that would go through all hearts like the blast of a bugle, and set everything astir. It is not two much to say that Bliss by a happy union of the natural and divine, in him (it was all divine). Inaugurated in many schools, in many churches, in many families, in many lands, a new era.

What do you mean? A Scotch elder fed and nurtured on the driest of theologies, trained in all that Sabbatic legalism, which is not rare in those uplands across the border, once told us that when he heard for the first time Sankey sing, “ Free from the Law,” &c., he received and retained a new revelation !!

We have only a few of Bliss's Hymns in our Sailors’ hymn-book. But

you will love them more if you read “ His life and life work,” published by Morgan & Scott. Prayerfully read this book and you will be purer, brighter, and holier Christians. We are glad to see that he wrote, “Whosoever will may Come," after hearing Harry Moorhouse preach from John iii. 16. It is also pleasing to remember that Moody himself owed much to his friend Harry Moorhouse. Dear little Harry is gone home.

Space will not admit even a passing reference to his different hymns, and the occasions on which they were written. But we give two.

« ÎnapoiContinuați »