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ever failings there were. If John was cross or contradictory, Margaret would say to herself, "Well, the good man's tired out with his work. I'll get the children off to bed, and let him have his pipe alone in peace." Or if Margaret was fretful or impatient, John would pat her shoulder lovingly and say, "You're worried with the children; come out and have a bit of a walk with me, lass."
A walk together by the sea, under the crimson-tinted sunset sky, with the grey shadows of evening falling round, sent away all ill-feeling, and Margaret would return home thinking that John was not only her husband, but her friend also, in the highest and truest sense of the word.
There was another day more important to John than those on which their marriage and the birth of their children were recorded in the old Bible. It was the day on which John himself was born again. How well he remembered every incident connected with the day. He had been out fishing, as usual, but was obliged to return earlier than he had intended, on account of the stormy weather. There was a special service to be held that night in the church, and as he had nothing else to do, he went to it. The preacher, who was a stranger to him, was an earnest-hearted sincere Christian, and he spoke of the love of Christ, and of the great necessity of being at peace with Him, in a way that touched more than one heart among the rough fishermen before him. Never had the question of the Philippian gaoler been more earnestly asked than it was by John Adams, as he stood before the preacher after the service was over and the congregation had departed. There can only be one answer to that question, and the speaker's reply was the same as Paul's. Not all at once did John find peace. He had been a steady, honest, hardworking man, but now he saw that good works could not save him, and for some time he could only see himself as a sinner condemned before God; but after many days he realized that Christ's blood was all powerful to wash away his sins, and that he was pardoned. Then how anxious he
was that his wife should be a partaker of the glorious light that had shone into his own mind. God had prepared her heart, and she received the glad tidings eagerly. What an increased delight they had now in their children, when they studied to bring them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. When their youngest was taken from them, their grief was robbed of its sting by the knowledge that they had given their treasure into the hands of the Saviour; and though the mother's tears almost blinded her, as she gathered the first pale snowdrops to put into her darling's waxen white hands, they were without bitterness.
Another day rose up before John Adams, standing out distinct and clear in the vista of departed years. He had been sitting in that same room, and upstairs his wife lay unconscious on the bed, her spirit hovering on the border-land between life and death. The doctor had looked grave when John had fetched him for the second time that day. When he asked if there was any hope, he had answered, "I will do all I can; you must ask God to spare her." Then he passed up the narrow wooden stair, and left John kneeling on the red brick floor, looking through the diamond-paned window at the sea glistening in the sunshine. Would the sunlight ever bring joy to him again, he thought, if his wife was taken from him. Then he thought of the prophet Ezekiel, and how God had forbidden him to mourn when the desire of his eyes was taken from him at a stroke. He prayed earnestly for grace to be enabled to say, "Thy will be done," and he rose from his knees comforted. God was very gracious to him, and his wife recovered. It was with a deep and humbling sense of joy that they partook of the sacrament together, the first Sunday when Margaret was pronounced sufficiently recovered to attend. church.
John's memory passed on through long peaceful years, his wife growing day by day dearer to him, and he saw in her slowly silvering hair more beauty than when each stray sunbeam called out a golden gleam.
There was a time when their eldest-born, their joy and pride, had caused them trouble. The quiet western village was too quiet for him, and his father's daily toil on the sea too slow. He wanted to see large cities and other lands. He left his parents and his cottage home, and sailed far away. The mother and father waited and prayed, and not in vain. Long afterwards they received a letter from a foreign country, telling them of their son's death, of how he wished he could have seen them once again, just to say "good-bye." But that could not be. He died far away from home and kindred, but happy in the knowledge that his sins were forgiven him for Christ's sake. The page in the old well-worn Bible that recorded the births, marriages, and deaths of the family was well filled up. The ink was hardly dry in which, with a trembling hand, John had written down the date of his wife's death; one line was left, to record his own name by the side of Margaret's. As he thought over the events in his long life, the old man looked up and said reverently, "Surely goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my life," and soon "I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."
The stars grew faint and pale as the rosy flush of coming day broke in the east. By-and-by the light brightened into perfect day, and the anxious ones hurried to the cottage to tend and cheer the old man. No need to cheer him. God had called him to the rest prepared for him, and for him an everlasting day had dawned. As they laid him gently on his bed, someone said with a sob, "The dear old man and woman are together now; well,' they were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided.""
L. S. P.
The Wreck of the "Arctic."
ERE you ever shipwrecked?" asked a gentleman of an old sailor with whom he had been talking, as he walked on the pier of one of our seaport
"Off Newfoundland, sir. If you have a mind to listen to a yarn, I will tell you all about it."
"There is nothing I should like better," answered the gentleman. So the two sat down on a bench, and the old man began his yarn.
"It's four-and-twenty years ago now since I shipped on board the steamship Arctic, bound for New York. There is no need to say anything about the ship, except that she was strongly built and well found. There were over two hundred and thirty passengers, and one hundred and fifty souls belonging to the ship, officers and men all told.
"We left Liverpool on the 20th of September, and on the 27th were somewhere about fifty miles off Newfoundland. The weather had been foggy for some hours, and on that day we had not been able to see farther than half a mile or so, and sometimes not nearly so far.
"Eight bells had just struck, and I was going aft to attend to some duty, when the officer on deck shouted out, 'Hard a-starboard!' On turning to ascertain the cause of this sudden order, I saw a larger steamer than ours on the starboard bow, coming stem on towards us, under sail. The next moment she struck our bows with a tremendous crash that sent a shock through the vessel from stem to stern; but she herself seemed to have suffered most from the meeting; for, as she glided by and passed astern of us, we could see that about ten feet of her bows were literally cut or crushed off, and it was evident that she could not keep afloat long.
"Our captain ordered the boats to be lowered, and pull to the help of the stranger; but only one had started before it was discovered that our own ship had sustained a fearful injury.
"As soon as this was found to be the case the pumps were all set to work, and the ship headed in for land. Efforts were made to check the leak by getting sails over the bows; but all in vain, the vessel was doomed.
When this became known there was a panic among the passengers, and, in spite of all the captain could say, a rush