Praying In Fair Weather.
The ways in which God saves those whom he wishes to deliver from death,
are sometimes too wonderful for our understanding. A certain ship was
overtaken in a severe and prolonged storm at sea. She had a noble
Christian man for a captain, and as good a sailor as ever trod the
quarter-deck, and he had under him a good and obedient crew. But they
could not save the ship; she was too badly strained, her leaks were too
great for the pumps, she must go to the bottom. The captain committed
them all to the care of the God in whom he put his trust, and made ready
to take to their boats. Just then a sail was descried, and, by signals
of distress, drawn to their relief. All on board were taken off safely
and put on the ship, soon after which they saw their own ship go down.
Now comes the peculiar part. The ship was soon overtaken in a dreadful
storm, was cast on her beam ends, and everything seemed to be lost. The
passengers were praying, and many of the old seamen were calling on God
to save them from the great deep. The captain of the ship had done his
best, but could not right the vessel, and all was given up to go down.
The captain, whose ship was lost, then asked if he might take his crew
and try to right the vessel.
"Take them, and do what you can," was the reply. He called to his men
and told them they must save that ship; he inspired them with
confidence, for they knew he was a true man of God. They executed his
orders with alacrity and care. They cut away the masts, and cleared away
the rigging, and brought all the force they could to right the vessel.
God prospered the efforts--the ship righted; they got the pumps at work,
rigged a sail, and were finally all saved. It seemed as if it was
necessary to put the captain of the first ship and his crew on the
second ship, that they might save it and those on board when the
terrible storm came.
Now it was particularly noticed in connection with this deliverance,
that the captain of the lost vessel did not make any ado in prayer, or
in calling on God, while the storm was raging; and knowing that he was a
Christian man, they asked him the reason of this. He answered them,
_that he did his praying in fair weather; "and then_" said he, _"when
the storm comes, I work_." He did not distrust God then, any more than
in fair weather; but he knew that God requires man to do all he can to
save himself, and praying might lose him his ship, when his own efforts
must save it.
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