Изображения страниц

Possibly this Magazine may get into the hands of an infidel: if so, let us affectionately urge you to examine the evidences for Christianity before you hunt after objections against it. Only deal with Christianity as jurymen deal with a common criminal-that is, believe her innocent until proved guilty, and we fear not for the result. But if, like Hume, you condemn Christianity before you have thoroughly examined and tried it, God may abandon you to your own unbelieving heart, as he did unbelievers of old, who, "professing themselves to be wise, became fools;" God, in righteous retribution, having "sent them strong delusion, to believe a lie; that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." Bingley.


CULLERCOATS is a small village on the
coast of Northumberland, about a mile
from the mouth of the Tyne. On the
morning of the 2nd of February, seven
brave men, five of whom were pilots as
well as fishermen, left that village with
the intention of piloting some vessels
into the neighbouring harbour of
Shields; but before they had crossed
the bar of Cullercoats Haven, a heavy
sea broke over their coble, which was
speedily upset, and then lay rolling
over and over among the breakers.

Sands at Tynemouth, and that of
James Stocks, ten days after the event
at the farther end of the Cullercoats

Two of the men dropped from its bows immediately, and were no more seen; three of the others clung for a considerable time to the boat, but eventually their strength gave way; the two others (James Stocks and George Lisle, jun.) supported themselves on the mast or oars, and were drifted towards the Long Sands of Cullercoats, where they sank in the presence of their companions, and one of them before the eyes of his affectionate wife, who ran along the rocks, and was with difficulty kept out of the water in her eagerness to attempt to rescue him. The body of George Lisle, jun., was found the next day upon the Short

The sea had risen to such a height that no boat could approach the sufferers; and their friends on shore were unable to reach them with the ropes and bladders thrown out for their rescue.

George Lisle, jun., was one of the best men in the village. Modest and gentle in his demeanour, but foremost in every good work: a main support of the sabbath-school; one of the leaders of the temperance reform; a man with an eye and a heart ever open to the temporal and spiritual necessities of his neighbours, and administering to their need as far as lay in his power. He was often deeply distressed at the wickedness around him-at the intemperance, the swearing, and the neglect of sacred things; and his prayers and labours were incessant, that the hearts of his neighbours might be turned from their evil ways, and that they might be led to the cross of Christ. Often, when he was out at sea, and his lines were cast, would he sit at midnight, and

[ocr errors]

muse like the fishermen of old upon the wonders of redeeming love, fervently praying not only that himself and all dear to him might be truly conformed to the image of their Saviour, but also that all might repent, and turn from their evil ways and live. Some pious ladies who visited Cullercoats two or three days after the catastrophe, found, upon entering the cottage of this excellent man, the wail of distress to be most touching. His beloved wife is left with five young children. She wrung her hands in anguish of spirit; for he was then lying a corpse, and the intensity of her grief had been increased, by her not only having been a spectator of his dying struggles, but also having witnessed the disaster that deprived her of a fatherin-law, a brother, and two uncles. The sad scene seemed ever before her. After becoming more composed, she related many interesting particulars of the solemn event. They rose early, she said, on the fatal morning, and had breakfast about six o'clock. She afterwards went on the beach, to gather up some small coals that had been washed on shore, and gathered three kraels-full. She was carrying her basket up the bank, when her husband saw her and ran to her assistance; and then said he would go and see about the boat, as Some of the men were talking of going to pilot some vessels in the offing. She begged him not to go if the sea were too high. He replied, "No, he did not mean to;" but came back and said the morning was beautiful, and that they had determined to go; and he asked for a neck-handkerchief, which she tied round his neck, and accompanied him to the gate. At parting he turned

round and smiled.

She then went into her cottage, and the family were about to partake of some coffee, when suddenly they heard a shriek from the shore, and ran out upon the cliff on which their house stands. From thence they discovered a boat in great danger. Mary ran to the beach, and along the rocks, and there beheld her husband and another man struggling in the water, and drifting out to sea. George Lisle, jun., had lashed himself to the mast of the boat, and for a time was floating in still water. The whole village was in commotion at this time, and the people chiefly on the shore. They were making a great effort to get out the boats, and a coble was placed on a cart, to expedite its passage over the sands; but the cart was overturned, and, "Oh! then," poor Mary exclaimed, "it was too late-he got among the broken waves." They threw some lines to him, floated with bladders; but he could not reach them. He waved one hand, and then the other; but at last his strength failed him, and he bowed his head and died. The poor widow said the people held her back, or she would have thrown herself into the sea to try to save him. When the boats were launched, they could not get near the spot on account of the broken


This sad history was related with deep emotion, and many outbursts of most tender sorrow. "Had the Lord not seen meet" [to support me], she said, "I should have lost my senses; I should have gone distracted."—" Our hearts were locked together."-" As long as we were together, all was right; we have known what it was to want a meal, but we were always contented.”

"Oh! if I had my jewel again, I

that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble. He cometh forth

could live on bread and water."-" He was always good and true to me; but his appointed time was come, and they | as a flower, and is cut down; he fleeth could not save him."

also as a shadow and continueth not."
The hymn that was sung was selected
by George Lisle, and was also strik-
ingly appropriate :

How short is life! how sure is death!
Our days, alas! how few!
This mortal life is but a breath;
'Tis like the morning dew.

"Had we ten thousand worlds to give,
One hour we could not buy;
The moment we begin to live,

We then begin to die.

"All flesh is grass, the prophet cries,
For death is just at hand;
O that poor sinners would be wise,
And always ready stand!
"Perhaps before they're well aware,

He'll give the fatal blow;
Then let us now for death prepare,

And die to all below."

She also related that he went to a prayer-meeting the evening before the awful day. When he came home, he looked thoughtful; but she said to him, as usual, "What will you have for your supper?" "Oh, Mary," he replied, "I think I cannot take any to-night." "What is the matter?" she said, “you look dull." "Oh, no, Mary; but we have had such a glorious meeting. It was in the room where we lived when we first married, and where we lost the dear infant; and that came into my mind, Mary; and, oh! how earnestly I prayed!" All the neighbours who spoke of this meeting, seemed to have been impressed with George Lisle's fervent manner; and they said that he dwelt particularly on death, and that his soul seemed poured forth in very earnest supplication. One of them remarked that he twice repeated, "Lord, if it be thy will to call us suddenly hence, through thy mercy we are ready;" and his wife added, that, on his return home, all the rest of the evening his heart seemed filled with praise and thanksgiving. Mary Lisle also related some very striking circum-ture of a fine old pilot; brave and venstances connected with the last sabbath her husband spent on earth. He prevailed on his whole family to go to chapel in the afternoon-father, mother, and sisters, all but one, who was left in charge of his aged grandmother and the very young children. The text was from Prov. xxi. 1: "Boast not thyself of to-morrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." There was also a prominent reference to the text, Job xiv. 1 and 2: "Man

A visit was also paid to Ailsie, the widow of the elder George Lisle. What an affecting scene was again presented! A loud wail of agonizing sorrow was uttered upon the entrance of her friends; for the poor woman had lost, by the fatal accident, her husband, two sons, and two brothers. The former was a noble-looking man, the very pic

turesome almost to a fault, liking to ride the waves for the very Eve of his profession; and at times making his family anxious by a determination to go out when they thought there was no absolute need for it. Her daughters clung to her with affectionate tenderness, and tried to comfort her; but she said, "Oh! but give me time-I must have time." In the corner of Ailsie's room lay her mother, a very old woman, more than one hundred years of age,

who has been confined to her bed for several years, and is able to do but little besides rocking the cradle of her great-grandchildren with a string. An event somewhat similar to the one that has just occurred, and by which a whole family were swept away, took place off Hartley thirty-eight years since; and this poor woman is the widow of one of the sufferers. On the present occasion she looked about the room with a sort of astonishment, as if hardly comprehending what 'was going forward, and then lay back and moaned.

The day after this interview, George Lisle, jun., was buried; when, to the surprise of those who attended the funeral, his mother had become wonderfully calm, and remarked to a kind friend who called on her, "Oh! Mr.

, I was not this way yesterday; but I prayed very earnestly all night, until three o'clock in the morning, for the Lord's help and strength, and now I feel quite different-happy and resigned. I've given them all up to the Lord's will; and I should like to be taken to the room above, where I may see my poor boy taken away! I can bear to see it now; and I have, this morning, been selecting the hymns I should like them to sing." Turning to one of the company, she remarked, "Mind you sing them nicely." She then repeated a great many passages of Scripture, remarkably appropriate to her own case.

When the young man's coffin was lifted on the shoulders of the bearers, and as the company moved from the house, one of these hymns was sung, and the villagers joined the funeral band, and seemed much affected. A large company of fishermen and pilots followed the remains to Tynemouth,

where the clergyman met them under the archway of the Castle, and they were then slowly borne to their last resting-place, at the southern extremity of the ground, where the burial-service was read.


THE following is an extract from the Westminster Review, in the year 1775. Although a lapse of time of seventythree years since, I think the insertion of it in your very popular periodical, cannot fail to be deeply interesting to your tens of thousands of readers:

"One serene evening in the middle of August, 1775, Captain Warrens, the master of the Greenland,' a whale ship, found himself becalmed amongst an immense number of icebergs, in about 77 degs. of north latitude, on one side, and within a mile of his vessel. These were of immense height, and closely wedged together, and a succession of snow-covered peaks appeared behind each other as far as the eye could reach; showing that the ocean was completely blocked up in that quarter, and that it had probably been so for a long period of time. Captajn Warrens did not feel altogether satisfied with his situation; but there being no wind, he could not move one way or the other, and he therefore kept a strict watch, knowing that he would be safe as long as the icebergs continued in their respective places. About midnight the wind rose to a gale, accompanied by thick showers of snow, while a succession of tremendous thundering, grinding, and crushing noises, gave evidence that the ice was in motion. The vessel received violent shocks every second; for the haziness of the atmosphere prevented those on board

from discovering in what direction the open water lay, or if there was actually any at all on either side of them. The night was spent in tacking as often as any cause of danger happened to present itself; and in the morning the storm abated, and Captain Warrens found, to his great joy, that the ship had not sustained any serious injury. He remarked that the accumulated icebergs which had on the preceding evening formed an impenetrable barrier, had been separated by the wind, and that, in one place, a canal of open sea wound its course among them as far as the eye could discern. It was two miles beyond the entrance of this canal that a ship made its appearance about noon. The sun shone brightly, and a gentle breeze blew from the north. Capt. Warrens was struck with the strange manner in which her sails were disposed, and with the dismantled aspect of her rigging. She continued to go before the wind for a few furlongs, and then grounding upon the low icebergs, remained motionless. Captain Warrens immediately leaped into his boat with several seamen, and rowed towards her. On approaching, he observed that her hull was miserably weather-beaten, and not a soul appeared on deck, which was covered with snow to a considerable depth. He then hailed her crew, but no answer was returned. Previous to stepping on board an open port-hole near the main chains caught his eye; and, on looking into it, he perceived a man reclining back in a chair, with writing materials on a table before him; but the feebleness of the light made everything very indistinct before him.

The party went upon deck, and, having removed the hatchway, de

scended to the cabin. They first came to the apartment which Captain Warrens viewed through the port-hole: a terror seized him as he entered it; its inmate retained his former position, and seemed to be insensible to strangers. He was found to be a corpse, and a green damp mould had covered his cheeks and forehead, and veiled his open eye-balls. He had a pen in his hand, and a log-book lay before him. The last sentence in its unfinished page ran thus:-Nov. 14th, 1762. We have now been enclosed in the ice seventeen days. The fire went out yesterday, and our master has been trying ever since to kindle it again without success. His wife died this morning. There is no relief.' Captain Warrens and his seamen hurried from the spot without uttering a word. On entering the principal cabin, the first object that attracted their attention was the dead body of a female, reclining on a bed in an attitude of deep interest and attention. Her countenance retained the freshness of life; but a contraction of the limbs showed that her form was inanimate. Seated on the floor was the corpse of an apparently young man, holding a steel in one hand, and a flint in the other, as if in the act of striking fire upon some tinder which lay beside him. In the fore-part of the vessel several sailors were found lying dead in their berths, and the body of a boy crouched at the bottom of the gangway stairs. Neither provisions nor fuel could be discovered anywhere; but Captain Warrens was prevented, by the superstitious prejudices of his seamen, from examining the vessel as minutely as he wished to have done. He therefore carried away the logbook, returned to his own ship, and

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »