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The Rescue From The Ville Du Havre, And The Loch Earn.





A remarkable illustration of God's mysterious way is found in connection
with the rescue of some of the passengers of the ill-fated French
steamship, Ville du Havre, which was sunk by a collision with the Loch
Earn, November 22, 1873, on her voyage from New York to France. After
the sinking of the Ville du Havre, with some two hundred of her
passengers, the rest were taken up by the Loch Earn, from which most of
them were afterwards transferred to the Trimountain. Others remained on
board the Loch Earn, where in consequence of its disabled condition they
seemed again in imminent danger of being lost.

On the 11th of December, while Mr. D.L. Moody was conducting a noonday
prayer-meeting in the city of Edinburgh, Rev. Dr. Andrew Thompson read a
letter from a Christian lady, the mother of one of these imperiled
passengers, which contained the following account:

"After the Trimountain left them, and they had examined their ship, many
a heart failed, and they feared they would never see land again. They
could not navigate the vessel, and were left to the mercy of the winds
and waves, or rather to the care of Him who ruleth wind and waves. Vain
was the help of man. The wind drove them out of the course of ships,
northward. You are aware that two ministers were left on board the Loch
Earn. One, Mr. Cook, a truly godly man, did all he could to encourage
their hearts. Every day, at noon, he gathered them together, and
earnestly, by prayer, strove to lead them to the Savior; and this he
continued to do till they reached England. The day before they were
rescued they knew that very shortly the ship must go down. The wind had
changed, bringing them nearer the track of ships, but they had little
hope of being saved. Mr. Cook told them of his own hope, that death to
him would be eternal life, and he urgently entreated them to put their
trust in 'Him who was mighty to save.' At the same time he told them he
had no doubt they would be rescued, that even then a vessel was speeding
to save them, that God had answered their prayers, that next day as
morning dawned they would see her. That night was one of great anxiety.

"As morning dawned every eye was strained to see the promised ship.
There truly she was, and the British Queen bore down upon them. You may
think that with thankful hearts they left the Loch Earn. One thing is
remarkable--_the officer in charge on board the British Queen had a most
unaccountable feeling that there was something for him to do,_ and
_three times during the night he changed the course of the vessel,
bearing northward_. He told the watch to keep a sharp lookout for a
ship, and immediately on sighting the Loch Earn bore down upon her. At
first he thought she had been abandoned, as she lay helpless in the
trough of the sea, but soon they saw her signal of distress. It seems to
me a remarkable instance of faith on the one side and a guiding
Providence on the other. After they were taken on board the pilot-boat
that brought them into Plymouth, at noon, when they for the last time
joined together in prayer, Mr. Cook read to them the account of Paul's
shipwreck, showing the similarity of their experience. _'What made that
captain change his course against his will?' but the ever present Spirit
of God"_.





Next: The Storm Made Calm.

Previous: Praying In Fair Weather.



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