The news spread to the neighboring houses, and other parents became anxious about their children, and the influence spread to the village of Somerville, and there was a great turning unto God; and over two hundred souls, in one day, stood up in the village church to profess faith in Christ. And it all started from my grandmother’s prayer for her sons and daughters. May God turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest He come and smite the earth with a curse!
Call to sailors.
One of the children asked us at the tea-table if we had ever preached at sea. We answered, No! but we talked one Sabbath, mid-Atlantic, to the officers, crew and passengers of the steamship “China.” By the way, I have it as it was taken down at the time and afterward appeared in a newspaper, and here is the extract:
No persons bound from New York to Liverpool ever had more cause for thanksgiving to God than we. The sea so smooth, the ship so staunch, the companionship so agreeable, all the circumstances so favorable. O Thou who holdest the winds in Thy fist, blessed be Thy glorious name for ever!
Englishmen, Costa Ricans, Germans, Spaniards, Japanese, Irishmen, Americans—gathered, never to meet again till the throne of judgment is lifted—let us join hands to-day around the cross of Jesus and calculate our prospect for eternity. A few moments ago we all had our sea-glasses up watching the vessel that went by. “What is her name?” we all asked, and “Whither is she bound?”
We pass each other on the ocean of life to-day. We only catch a glimpse of each other. The question is, “Whither are we bound? For harbor of light or realm of darkness?” As we decide these questions, we decide everything.
No man gets to heaven by accident. If we arrive there, it will be because we turn the helm, set the sail, watch the compass and stand on the “lookout” with reference to that destination. There are many ways of being lost—only one way of being saved; Jesus Christ is the way. He comes across the sea to-day, His feet on the glass of the wave, as on Galilee, His arm as strong, His voice as soothing, His heart as warm. Whosoever will may have His comfort, His pardon, His heaven.
Officers and crew of this ship, have you not often felt the need of divine help? In the hour of storm and shipwreck, far away from your homes, have you not called for heavenly rescue? The God who then heard thy prayer will hear thee now. Risk not your soul in the great future without compass, or chart, or anchor, or helmsman. You will soon have furled your last sail, and run up the last ratline, and weathered the last gale, and made the last voyage. What next? Where then will be your home, who your companions, what your occupation?