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obedient, submissive, resigned to His will; how needful every cross, to call forth our faith in Jesus, so as to exemplify in a stronger degree the Christian character in our daily walk and conversation. Assured of His presence and faithfulness, we may go forward with the certainty that whatever may happen in our onward journey to the heavenly home, we have the promise sure and steadfast that He will give us restso perfect, so entire, so enduring, that all our sorrows will be remembered no more. The moment we leave the earthly scene, and enter the inheritance of the glorified, we shall discover the perfection of the Divine government in leading us in His own way, in hedging up our path, in His permissive and restraining providence, in the measure and extent of painful earthly discipline, in the tribulations of life, in the disappointments which have befallen us, and the perplexities which have harrowed and distressed us; we shall then perceive that all things have
worked together for our spiritual and eternal good.
A present God is a tower of strength, to help us to maintain in good earnest the conflict of life; to enable us to endure, patiently and meekly, the various sufferings which befal us; to strengthen and uphold us in our daily duties; to inspire fortitude when called to contend with adverse circumstances, and to render us superior to earthly care, by strong confidence in His all-sufficient promises. "My presence shall go with thee," is a never-failing source of consolation to every child of God, exposed as he is to incessant danger. "The Lord is our Keeper;" His eye is ever resting on us; and, girded with the divine armour, let us run with patience the race set before us, committing all to Him in simple faith confident that the well-springs of His love and mercy will never fail, and that in His keeping we are safe for F. S. G.
Tiverton, July, 1861.
How wonderful, indeed, are the ways of God to man! How infinite are His mercies! How divine is His compassion! Such are the thoughts which arise in my mind as I sit down to prepare, for the Christian's Penny Magazine, the career of my late lamented young friend, John Harwood, who forms the subject of this brief paper. John Harwood
was born at Pandon Bank, near
Newcastle-on-Tyne, in the year 1837. He was, therefore, just twentyfour years of age, when he was cut down like a flower that perisheth. His parents were both, alas! persons who had not at that time the fear of God before their eyes; and they, therefore, allowed their son to wander about amongst the bad characters who frequent the neighbourhood of Pandon Dean, instead of
early" training him up in the way he should go." How true is it that "evil communications corrupt good manners." John Harwood but too soon acquired the habits of swearing, drinking, and dancing at low publichouses. So matters went on until he reached his 16th year. It was then for the first time that he received an impression of how great his sins were, and how much he needed the blood of his Saviour to purge them all away. The means by which his conscience was first touched was the death of his father, which occurred just at that time. The family were very poor, and had scarcely money enough to bury the body. This sobered John not a little.
As God willed it, the circumstances of the case came to the ears of a godly young man, who immediately took that opportunity of speaking to John about the state of his soul. His words produced momentary conviction. John promised to come to the Sunday school, and for some time fulfilled his promise. Gradually, however, his attendance fell off. One thing followed another. He speedily went from bad to worse. Another year of his life so passed away. But, thank God! the turning-point was now nearly reached. The mercies of God had not failed. In the summer of 1854, a cheap trip was announced to Warkworth, a village forty miles from Newcastle. That cheap trip was on the Sabbath! Oh, what have not the directors of railways, who run cheap trips on the Sabbath, to answer for! That Sabbath morning was very fine. The doors of the
tabernacles were just opening as the pleasure train left the town. Alas, how few of the passengers were to return again! The train reached Warkworth in safety, disembarked its passengers, amongst whom-“the gayest of the gay"- -was John Harwood. That peaceful Sabbath was spent in riotous pleasure. Dancing was indulged in, also a carnal game called tursey was played. At six o'clock the train started upon its homeward journey. But only one quarter of the return distance had been accomplished, when the axletree of the engine broke, and the greater part of the carriages were thrown off the line. Six passengers were crushed to death! How many more of them were bruised and injured I cannot now remember. Amongst those who were rescued, uninjured, was John Harwood. He reached home that night in safety, but not to sleep. The live-long night, the question was forced upon him, "Why am I saved, and my fellow-passengers crushed to death? Am I more worthy than they? No! Oh, if I had been crushed to death, where would my soul be now? What must I do to be saved?"
With the morning light he sought Mr. James, a Christian friend, who prayed with him until he was in a better frame of mind. For many days John was tempest-tossed, as a ship without a rudder; but at last, under God's mercy, Messrs. F. and P. were enabled permanently to direct John Harwood's thoughts to that Saviour whose 66 compassions fail not." At length John Harwood found "peace in believing," and he then joined the church under the
pastoral care of that "shepherd in Israel," the Rev. F. Stephens. For three years he maintained a Christian course. He became a teacher in the Sabbath school, and was one of the most active members of the town mission. His gentle manners, unaffected kindness, and sweetness of disposition made him a general favourite. Of him it might be truly said, that "he had many friends, and not one enemy."
But space fails me. I must hasten to the account of that fatal accident which separated John Harwood for ever from us on this side eternity. On the morning of May 18th, 1861, John proceeded to his daily work at E-foundry.
During the course
of that forenoon, some machinery became entangled. John put in his hand to rectify it. The engineman, without orders, set the engines going, and, in an instant, John Harwood's hand was cut off! He was carried home to die, for this accident in the end proved fatal. The arm was amputated, but mortification set in, and it was now, alas! seen but too plainly that John Harwood's course was run. Death, however, had no perils for him. Sudden death was simply sudden glory. He lingered some time; and during the course of his illness, numerous opportunities were afforded to us to inquire as to the state of his soul. One morning, after a night of intense anguish, I called early at his house, and was told by his mother that his sufferings had been, during the night, terrible. I entered the sick room expecting to see John's countenance wrung with pain. But, no! only perfect peace was there. I said to him, "John,
I might multiply many examples of conversations like the foregoing, but to what effect? They all tended to show how perfect was his submission to the divine will. On the morning of his death, mortification having decidedly set in, his sufferings were almost gone. I then said to him, "John, is all well with you ?" He said, Oh yes, all is well, Mr. Walker." "Ah, Sir," he added, "if I had been killed that Sunday on the railway, where would my soul have been now! Ah," he continued, "do warn all children never to go with trains upon the Sunday." I promised. Soon after this his mother entered the room. He caught hold of her, and said, "Ah, mother, I am nearly there," (meaning heaven). "How thankful I am that you have been converted and have joined the church. I'll meet you all again. Give my love to Mr. Stephens"-(his pastor). These were his last words. His last thought was thus given to his pastor -his last message was one of love. Of him it may, indeed, be said, that "he fell asleep in Jesus,"-so perfectly peaceful was his end.
And now, dear readers of the Christian's Penny Magazine, may I be allowed to repeat to you John Harwood's last words?"Never travel on the Sunday in railway
trains." Oh! we know not how near we may be to our end when we enter a railway carriage. We may readily quit it a corpse! Let us, then, all be prepared for the "great change,"
whenever it comes; and then, like John Harwood, to us sudden death will only be sudden glory.
The Christian Fireside.
CONVERSION OF A SHIP'S CREW.
ON our passage out, it had been laid upon the hearts of the chief officer, the carpenter, my brother, and myself, the only professors of reli gion in the ship's company of 22 individuals, to pray much for the conversion of the rest of the people. To this end I instituted public worship on the Lord's day for as many as would attend. Subsequently, we held a prayer meeting on Wednesday evenings; and ultimately, finding a disposition to avail themselves of these opportunities, daily service, or as it might be termed, family worship, was instituted and regularly maintained. Still, beyond a willing attendance on these means of grace, we saw no other result until our passage home, and in the neighbourhood of the Western Isles, when the following striking and most blessed incidents occurred, which exceeded all we had ventured to anticipate.
On Monday, May 20th, 1861, the mate having in the morning heard one of the boys threatening to revenge himself effectually upon another who had given him some offence, shortly afterwards found him in the long-boat, which being placed on
deck was in common use as a retreat and general lounge, opened his Bible and directed his attention to
the passage, Romans xii. 19, "Avenge not yourselves," &c., when the lad burst into tears, and began very earnestly to cry to God for mercy on his soul. The other lad
had in the meantime also entered the boat, and joined in prayer for forgiveness of his sins. One or two of the crew followed, and as they approached, each appeared to feel the power of the Holy Ghost, and to yield to His soul-subduing influ
This occurred in the forenoon. I was informed of it at dinner; and in the evening we held a prayer meeting. The two boys, Archie and Jack, and some others were present. A good influence rested upon us, but there was no outward manifestation. Jack prayed aloud; and both he and Archie were set free from the burden of their guilt.
Tuesday, 21st.-During the day they held a prayer meeting in the boat. In the afternoon, one of the seamen named Black came down to my room under conviction. I prayed with him long and earnestly. He was in great distress. While praying with him, I heard the steward in the pantry crying for mercy. At half-past six o'clock a prayer meeting_began. The 3rd chapter of St. John was read; the carpenter then prayed, and next Mr. Heans, the chief officer. While Mr. Heans prayed, his voice was drowned by cries for mercy. Jesus was in the midst of us; some crying for mercy, and others weeping for their sins against a loving Saviour. It was truly affecting to witness it, and to see the little boys and Jack kneeling over their shipmates and
endeavouring to point them to the Lamb of God. One of the men ran away, apparently afraid. Our prayer meeting did not break up till about 11 o'clock. Many were rejoicing in a Saviour's love. The steward and Deason, Mr. Daniel and the boy Bob, professed to have found a Saviour. All of them engaged in prayer, and all seemed to have the spirit of prayer, especially the boys. Hearing of their earnest and eloquent prayers, we remembered the word of our Saviour, "Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise." It was a glorious night, rich in blessing to all our souls, except poor Black, who was in despair; there was no mercy for him, he said. In the evening I expostulated with those who would not attend our meeting, entreating and warning them; but they did not come. During the time of our meeting, Mr. Heans went forward, sounding his wild notes of warning to the impenitent, while they still kneeled on deck and prayed.
Wednesday, 22nd, was set apart for special prayer. In the morning I went forward and expostulated with those who would not attend our services, warning them of the danger of resisting God's Spirit, and inviting and entreating them to come to our meeting. We began about 9 o'clock, and our meeting lasted till noon. There was a good influence, but no fresh cases. We met again about two o'clock, and on about four the spirit came down in rich effusion; two of those who did not attend the previous night, were now crying for mercy, and professed to have found a Saviour before we dismissed. Poor Black also found relief: thus were three added to our number. Of another ordinary seaman we did not feel quite sure. Praise the Lord, oh my soul, for His wonderful works unto us poor sinners!
Thursday, 23rd.-I got up shortly after five this morning, and knelt in prayer, but I felt I must go and get some of them down to pray with me. I went on deck for the carpenter to come; he was in the long-boat. I
went forward, and found the boat full, praying and praising, and the very man that ran away yesterday was engaged in prayer, having found a Saviour.
I found one of the men who did not attend our meetings. I told him he must come down with me to
the cabin to pray, and he came; also the carpenter. We engaged in prayer for him, and we were not long engaged when the steward brought another of the non-attendants. We engaged in prayer for him; and with humility would I say it, the spirit of prayer was poured upon us, and we soon heard the joyful sound of another sinner crying for mercy in the name of Jesus. The first that came down ran away. After breakfast there was another lad prayed for in the cabin, and of him I trust it might be said, 66 Behold, he prayeth." The meeting was still going on in the boat, and it had begun about one o'clock in the morning. I went there for a little while, and found there was a happy influence, but I did not stay long. I went into the forecastle, and found a man without hope. He felt he was too great a sinner to be saved. I endeavoured to tell him of a gracious Saviour, and prayed with him. I asked for his Bible, that I might point out a chapter for him to read, but he had none, having lost it in a recent gale. I invited him down to the cabin to give him a Bible. When we came down, we found a meeting going on of the boys and some of the men. I gave
this man a New Testament, and told him he had better stay where he was, and read it, and I went on deck into the carpenter's house. I found him praying; I joined him. After a while we went down to the cabin, and found the man who a little before had no hope, now telling all he had found a Saviour.
In the afternoon we had a meeting, and all were present except two Swedes. However, two of them ran away terrified, and nothing could induce them to come back. Mr. Heans followed them, and they ran from him terrified. I shall