« AnteriorContinuar »
Seeing that all our efforts were useless, the captain ordered the boats to be lowered, and with some difficulty all on board got into them. In my boat was the minister who had so affectionately watched me in my illness, and now he did his best to keep our courage up by stimulating us to put our trust in God. I saw before me a man who, because he loved God and felt that God loved him, had no fear of death, and I longed to have the faith animating me which supported him. 'You know, Peter,' he would occasionally say, 'what your good mother would tell you if she were here : "It is the Lord's will;" therefore let us be patient, and submit to it.'
"For three nights and two days we were driven by the sea and tossed, and no sail appeared in sight. The few provisions we were able in our hurry to throw into the boat had been exhausted, and we were not only famishing through hunger, but becoming maddened by thirst. One man in his delirium leaped overboard. It was a dreadful time; but it was one in which I felt an unusual calm. I felt that I had obtained mercy through the blood of the Lamb, and a peace which I had never enjoyed before took possession of my soul. Others, too, I have reason to believe, through the good minister's exhortations, fled for refuge to the hope set before them in the Gospel. Sir, we were saved, and in a day or two I was not only in my dear mother's cottage, but holding her in my arms, as my bitter tears fell upon her face. She lived three years after this, during which time I never went to sea, but supported her by what work I could get on shore. During those three years she was dying daily; but her one daily text was, 'It is the Lord's will, my boy; it is the Lord's will.' When she died I went to sea again, and for about thirty years experienced all the dangers of a seaman's life; but I had a faith now which I never possessed before, and could bear hunger, thirst, and shipwreck without a murmur. Five years ago my owners gave me a small pension, and I came back to this little town in which I was born. Almost every one knows my story, and I think it may have done something to encourage them to seek after the Lord."
As the old seaman finished his narrative I could not help reflecting upon the power of the Gospel to change the most rebellious hearts, and to bring the wildest prodigals to themselves. Reader, the Gospel which sent Peter Last not only home to his mother to crave her forgiveness, but first of all to his Father in heaven to say, penitently, "Father, I have sinned against Thee," has still the same wonderworking power. Jesus is still the same mighty Saviour to save you from your sins. They may be very grievous, very numerous, and in your own sight unpardonable; but go to Him in persistence and faith, and you will find that He is able to save unto the uttermost. Open the long-closed Bible; bend the knee that has long been unbent in prayer; cry to Him for mercy and for help, and you will find to your exceeding joy that with Him there is forgiveness, that He may be feared, and with Him is plenteous redemption.
©Iir Jasger's (gagle.
Turning down a dingle
Hummed among the sedge,
Leaning o'er the hatch
Jasper kept an eagle
In a shattered shed:
How he hung his head!
From his kingly eye;
That the bird would die.
"Listen, Jasper, listen,
Liberty is sweet;
Light, and summer heat.
Let him face the sun,
Glow till day is done."
Pity filled his bosom
For the noble bird; Jasper's pining captive
All his pulses stirred: He unbarred the wicket,
Shouting in his glee, As the chain he severed,
"Eagle, thou art free!"
But the kingly creature,
In its native grace,
In that gloomy place,
And a sun-shaft fell
In the narrow cell.
Then his eyes he opened,
Then he raised his head, All his feathers fluttered,
He his wings outspread; Up into the glory,
Higher still and higher Towered the kingly eagle
In a blaze of fire.
Jasper watched, and whispered,
"How am I like thee, Till the loving Spirit
Sets the captive free; Till the Sun of Mercy
Gilds me from above, And I leave the shadows
For the hills of love."
J. II. L a 361
[t a time when much attention is drawn to the Revised Version of the New Testament, it may not be uninteresting to our readers to see a specimen of the English Bible, as written five hundred years ago. It is taken from Wycliffe's translation of the Gospel according to Luke, and will serve to show how much alteration our language has undergone during the last five centuries.
It will show also, that although the way of expressing them was so widely different from our own, the great and blessed truths contained in the chapter are identical with those found in our later versions.
The parables of the lost sheep, the piece of silver, and the prodigal son, can never lose their beauty, however differently worded. The love of the Great Father to His wandering children is exemplified in Wycliffe's translation quite as forcibly as in any more recent revision.
Men and nations may die out, languages may change or become entirely obsolete; yea, heaven and earth shall pass away; God's word shall not pass away. And so long as it is God's word that we take for our guide, it matters not in what language we read it.
Luk. Chap. xv.
And Pupplicans and synful men weren neighinge to him ; to heere him. And the farisees and the scribes grucchiden: seiyinge, for this resseyueth synful men: and etith with hem. And he spak to hem this parable, and seide, What man of yon that hath a hundred scheep, and if he hath lost oon of hem: wher he leeueth not nynty and nyn in desert: and goth to it that perischide: till he fynde it? And whanne lie hath foundun it: he joyeth and leith it on hise schuldris, and he cometh hoom. & clepith togider hise frendis and neighboris and seith to hem be ye glade with me: for I haue founden my scheep that hadde perischid. And I seye to you so joye schal be in heuene on o synful man doinge penaunce: more than on nynty and nyne juste that han no nede to penaunce.
Or what womman hauynge ten besauntis, and if sche hath lost oo besaunt: wher sche teendith not a lanterne and turneth upsadoun the hous, and sekith diligently til that sche fynde it? And whanne sche hath founden sche clepith togedre frendis and neighboris and seith, be ye glad with me: for I haue founden the besaunt that I hadde lost. So I seye to you joye schal be bifore aungels of God: on oo synful manne doinge penaunce.
And he seyde a man hadde twey sones : And the younger of hem seide to the fadir, fadir geue me the porcioun of catel that fallith to me, and he departide to hem the catel. And not after manye dayes, whanne alle thingis weren gederid togider: the yonger sone wente forth in pilgrimage into a fer cuntree and ther he wastide hise goodis: in lyuynge lecherously. And after that he hadde endid alle thingis a strong hunger was maad in that cuntree and he bigan to haue nede. And he wente and drough him to oon of the cytesynes of that cuntre, and he sente him into his toun: to feed swyn. And he coueitide to fille his wombe of the coddis that the hoggis eeten, and no man gaf him. And he tumede agen into himsilf: and seide, how manye hirid men in my fadris hous had plente of looues: and I perisch here thorou hungur! I schal rise up and go to my fadir and I schall seye to him: fadir I have synned into heuene, & bifore thee, and now I am not worthi to be clepid thy sone: make me as oon of thin hirid men. An he roos up and can to his fadir and whanne he was yet afer: his fadir sigh him, and was stirid by mersy, and he ran: and fel on his necke and kisside him. And the sone seide to him, fadir I have synned into heuene and bifore thee; and now I am not worthi to be clepid thy sone. And the fadir seide to his seruantis, swithe brynge ye forth the first stole: and clothe ye him, and gyue ye a ring in his hand; and schoon on his feet. And brynge ye a fat calf and sleygh ye; and ete we, and make we feeste. For this my sone was deed: and hath lyued agen, he perischide; and is founden, and alle men bigunnen to ete But his eldre sone was in the feelde and whanne he cam, and neighede to the hous he herde a symfonye and a croude. And he clepid oon of the seruantis; and axide what these thingis weren. And he seyde to him, thi brother is comen : and thy fadir slough a fatt calf, for he resseyuede him saaf. And he was wrooth: and wolde not come yn, therfor his fadir gede out; and bigan to preye him. And he answerde to his fadir; and seyde, lo so manye yeeris I serue thee': and I neuere brak thy commaundement, and thou neuere gaue to me a kide: that I with my frendis schulde haue etun. But aftir that this thi sone that hath deuourid his substance with hoods, cam, thou has slayn to him a fat calf. And he seide to him, sone thou art euermore with me: and alle my thingis be thine. But it bihofte to make feest : and to haue joye: for this thi brother was deed and lyuyde agen, he perischide and is founden.