WHERE ARE YOU GOING?
I shall never forget my last Sunday in Runswick Bay. It was at the end of September, and was one of those gloriously brilliant days which we get in the early autumn, when the sky is cloudless, when the air is fresh and clear, and when the autumnal tints on trees, hedges, ferns and brambles make the landscape gorgeous and extremely beautiful and fascinating.
The high cliff above the bay was a perfect study in colour that morning; I have never seen more splendid colouring, every varied shade of red and gold and green was to be found there.
‘Tom will be off to Scarborough,’ I said to myself as I dressed. ’What a grand day he has got!’
But I did not wish myself with him; no, I was both glad and thankful to look forward to a quiet and peaceful Sunday.
There were not many visitors still at Runswick, most of them had left the week before; but the fishermen came in great numbers to the service, and the green was covered with them when little Jack and big Jack appeared, hand-in-hand as usual. Duncan was in the choir, but Polly thought the wind rather cold for little John, so had remained with him at home. A good many women and children were present, however, and the bank was covered with mothers and babies, sitting at a little distance, lest the noise of the children should disturb the preacher or the listeners.
What was it that made me think of Tom just as the service began? Was it a shepherd’s plaid cloth cap, of the kind Tom wears, which I saw on the head of some visitor who was sitting almost out of sight on the seaward side of the bank? Such small things bring people and things before us sometimes, and my thoughts wandered to Scarborough for a few minutes, and I wondered what Tom was doing at that moment. I thought to myself how he would smile, if he saw me sitting under the old boat and listening attentively to an open air preacher.
But my thoughts did not wander long, for when the service began every word of it seemed to be for me.
WHERE ARE YOU GOING? I had worked the subject out in my mind before I came to the service, and had quite decided what line of thought Mr. Christie would take. I thought he would picture the two roads, the one leading to life, the other to destruction; and then I imagined that he would speak of the blessedness of being on the narrow road, and would dwell very vividly on the awful consequences of continuing to walk on the road leading to hell. But I found that my idea of what his sermon would be was quite a mistaken one.
‘Where are you going? My question to-day,’ he said, ’is addressed only to some of you; would to God it were addressed to you all! I speak to-day to those who have crossed the line, who have run into the loving Saviour’s arms, who have become servants of Christ.