Imágenes de páginas

had no cause to speak of him, for I met none that knew the orphan sailor-boy. Only at times memory brought him up, and then when I prayed I remembered him.

Time and events rolled on, until, on a winter evening not long since, a Mr. M- sent in his card, desiring an interview; and a stranger stood before me most respectably dressed, though not in sailor fashion, and exclaimed, “Do you not know me? Have you forgotten me? Can you forget one that so much vexed you, D- M- ?' There he stood, a fine manly form; the well-known acute burning eye, accompanied by the sailor's boisterous fervid tones, soon revealed the once reckless, loving, and loveable boy. He sat down at my request, and the following was his narrative.

“He had finished his apprenticeship with high approval, as the document he carried testified. He had been for some years a common sailor, and twice had circumnavigated the world. During the last two voyages he had been mate in a first-class vessel. His love of knowledge never forsook him, so that he not only read books as he could find them, but he had acquired a considerable knowledge of some of the languages of Europe and Asia, and this not only by improving his intercourse with the natives, but also by purchasing grammars and dictionaries, and studying these at leisure hours on ship-board. He had also maintained his early and inveterate distaste for ardent spirits, and invariably pitched his allowance of grog overboard. Though he had twice been shipwrecked, and on one of these occasions verily believed that death was inevitable, he never once asked within himself, "What is to become of my soul ?' His cor

[ocr errors]

rect moral conduct, his abstinence and sober habits, his suc cess in his calling, and pride in attending to his duties, his devotedness to learning and his cultivated mind for a sailor, securing the admiration of merchants and others whom he met, these were his pride and confidence. He had no sense of sin, but the manner in which the Holy Spirit brought him to feel his sinful condition was striking. He was lying on deck, wearied, in a long-continued calm, while the vessel gently lay in the midst of a tropical sea. It was the Lord'sday. He had read all the books of every kind on which he could lay his hand. One of his shipmates, an Englishman, passing sluggishly along, he hailed him, asking if he had anything to lend him to read. The man answered that there was some pious book which his mother had put carefully at the bottom of the trunk beside his bible, and which she had urged him to read along with it when he could; but he added that he had never looked at it, for he did not like religious books, and he could not tell what it was about, but he might, if he chose, look it up and take it. The young sailor was delighted, provided only it was a book that he had not read. He found it. The book was James's' Anxious | Inquirer.' Before he laid it down he had read it all. That night he turned in as usual to his hammock, but not to sleep. The reader of Mr. James's work is at a certain point requested to lay down the book and pray; this, at first, he resolutely refused to do, yet something within him told him he ought. His early scriptural instruction, the scenes of the sabbath school, his mother's prayers, her dying appeals to seek the Lord and cleave to him, all came before the mind in an in


stant, and he could not drive them away. At midnight he rose from bis hammock, and knelt down where no human eye looked on him, and cried, "God be merciful to me a sinner.' The stout-hearted was now brought low; and while he trembled at the greatness of his sin, he uttered thanks that he had not been drowned on a former occasion, else be surely would have gone down to hell with a lie in his right hand. From that time he read his bible, and took it as a lamp to his feet and a light to his path. As soon as he came to the shores of England, he hastened to see me, his former teacher, to tell me of the Saviour he had found.

As he had earned a considerable sum of money, he set out next morning to the neighbourhood of his native place, where his orphan brothers and sisters were to be found. He repaid what had been advanced from the parochial funds for rearing them. He clothed them, gave each a bible, and left what was needful to support and educate those that were as yet unable to work. He put himself to school to study navigation, and he is now a captain in a merchant vessel trading from Liverpool to China. He is wont to have bibles in the language of the natives of the various ports at which the ship touches, and, with his own hands, distributes them as prudence suggests. One sailor at least from the British shores, instead of carrying pollution to the heathen, carries the bible in his heart and in his hand. Sabbath school teacher-day school teacher--mother-be encouraged; 'In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand, for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good."


“I WANT your boy in my shop,” said a shopkeeper to a poor widow; “I have had a great deal of trouble with boys, and now I want your Seth, because I know he's honest." The widow was glad, for it was time for Seth to be earning something, and she thought it would be quite a lift in the world to have him go to Mr. Train; and she knew he would suit Mr. Train, for Seth did well everywhere.

When Seth came home from school, he was almost as much pleased with his good fortune as his mother was; but neither mother nor son knew any thing about Mr. Train's store; it was in the lower part of the town, but his family lived near the widow's in fine style. Seth was to go the next Monday morning : and on Monday morning he was punctually at his new post.

The week passed away. When he came home to dinner or supper, his mother used to ask how he liked it. At first he said, “ Pretty well;" and then, “He did'nt exactly know;" then, “ Not very well;" and Saturday, he told his mother plumply, that he did not like it at all, and wasn't going to stay. “Why, Seth,” exclaimed his mother, grieved and mortified at the change, “are you so difficult to suit as all this comes to ? Do you know how important it is to stick to your business? What will Mr. Train say ?” “Mother," answered the boy, “ the shop is a grogshop; and I cannot stay there." The mother's mouth was stopped ; indeed, after that she had no wish to have him remain; but she was very sorry that the case was so.

[ocr errors]


When Mr. Train paid the boy on Saturday night, Seth told him he could not stay. The grogkeeper was surprised : “How's this,” said he, “hav'nt I done well by you this week ?" “Yes sir," answered the boy, “I never expect to find a kinder master•” “Do you find fault with the pay!" “No, sir,” answered Seth, "it is good pay ?” “Well, what's the difficulty, then ?” The poor boy hesitated to give his reason. Perhaps the man guessed what it was, for he said, “Come, come, Seth, you won't leave me, I know; I'll raise your wages.” “O, sir, answered the brave boy respectfully,

you are very good to me, very good, sir; but I cannot be a dramseller. I am afraid of the wages, for I cannot forget that the Bible says, 'the wages of sin is death."

Seth left: the man afterwards said it was the greatest sermon he ever had preached to him; and it set him seriously to thinking about giving up the business; but he did not, and his own family bore awful witness to the bible declaration. A few years afterwards he died the miserable death of a drunkard, and within six months his son, in a fit of intoxication, fell into the river and was drowned.

Is it not dangerous to tamper with the wages of sin on any terms?




THERE were merry hearts and smiling faces in a pretty little cottage just outside the town of L- when it was known that cousin James was coming. Little Ada clapped her hands and ran through the garden into the lane to meet

« AnteriorContinuar »