« PreviousContinue »
and the renewal of intimacy. The wrong done may be so great, and it may be so strongly persisted in, as to make these impossible; or, again, we may have such a conviction that those who have offended us are wholly undeserving of our confidence, that anything like renewed friendship would be a pretence and a mockery. In cases like these, it seems as though we could do no other than accept the severance. Yet even then there should be no bitterness. On the contrary, there should be the spirit of loving forgiveness forgiveness which will prompt us to pray for those who may have wronged us, and to do whatever may be in our power to bless them.
But where reconciliation is at all possible, no pains should be spared to accomplish it; for think of the discomfort which is caused by estrangement; how it prevents the interchange of kind and loving service, and how it cannot but hinder Christian work and prayer. Nor should it be forgotten that anything of this kind is sure to be known more or less widely; and when professed Christians are at variance, how ready some people are to say, “See how these Christians can quarrel !”
Yet who is to make the first advance? You think, perhaps, that if you were to do so it might be regarded as an acknowledgment of wrong, or you are afraid your overture of peace might be rejected. Still, do it. Your estranged friend may be just as willing as you are to be reconciled, and may be glad to meet you more than half way.
And should peace be proposed to you, do not reject it. Life is short, and at any moment you or your estranged friend might be hurried into eternity. How sad it would be, as in the case we have narrated, for death to find you unreconciled !
But there is a reconciliation of far greater moment than any between man and man, and that is the reconciliation of the sinner to God. The Lord Jesus Christ died that He might make peace through the blood of His cross, and you have but to believe in Him to be at peace now, and at peace for ever. Do not delay a single moment to make that peace your own. The joy of life depends upon it, and the blessedness of eternity. “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
Light in Darkness.
I cannot see,
And that's enough for me.
I fain would closer cling,
Of Thine o'ershadowing.
I have no other guide,
No evil can betide.
The mountain track is steep,
Wilt ne'er forsake Thy sheep.
The way is long, my Father,
And very weak am I,
In Thy sweet company.
And let me hear Thy voice,
I always shall rejoice.
O never let me murmur,
Nor ask to walk by sight;
A “walking in the light."
And never let me question
That matchless will of Thine ;
Because Thy will is mine,
The reason oft is hidden,
Yet even now I prove
A chart of perfect love.
Of Time's uncertain light,
That all Thy ways are right.
And in the great “Hereafter,"
Where all is understood,
Were working for my good.
Eternally shall swell
LUCY A. BENNETT.
Ocean. It was discovered on the 2nd of July, 1767,
board H. M. sloop “Swallow.” It is four miles and a half in circumference, very fertile, and well watered, and enjoys a healthy climate, being in lat. 25° 4' south, and long. 130° 8' west. Towards the close of the last century it became the home of the mutineers of the “Bounty.” The tale of the mutineers is one of sin and sorrow, showing, indeed, that “the way of transgressors is hard ;” but showing, also, that " where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." It illustrates, too, the folly, and crime, and consequent punishment, of rebelling against just authority and healthy discipline.
The "Bounty" left Spithead in 1787, under the command of Captain Bligh, who had sailed with Captain Cook. Her destiny was the South Seas, whence she was to convey specimens of the bread-fruit tree to be transplanted in the West Indian Islands. The vessel reached Tahiti, and, after a stay of nearly six months, set sail with her cargo. Three weeks afterwards, however, when off Topa, one of the Friendly Islands, a mutiny broke out. Fletcher Christian, the master's mate, a young man of education and talent, but who was discontented with the strict discipline of Captain Bligh, persuaded twenty-four of the most able men, among whom was a midshipman named Young, to join him in his wicked enterprise.
Early one morning they seized the captain in his bed, and, without giving him time to dress, tied his hands behind him, forced him on deck, and consigned him, with nineteen of the crew who remained faithful, to the ship’s launch, into which they flung a few pieces of pork, some water and rum, one hundred and fifty pounds of bread, and a quadrant and compass. Their situation was desperate. After attempting in vain to secure help from the treacherous savages of Topa, where one of their number was killed, they steered away for Timor, an island to the north of Australia, nearly four thousand miles distant. They were forty-one days in their open boat, encountering storms and other perils, on the verge of starvation, yet putting their trust in God and solacing themselves with prayer; and when at last they reached Timor, they were more like spectres than men. They were received kindly, but four fell victims to their privations, and only twelve reached England.
The "Pandora," a ship of war, was immediately despatched to search for the “Bounty”; but though the vessel was never found, fourteen of the mutineers surrendered themselves at Tahiti. On her
home the Pandora was wrecked off the coast of Australia, and, strange to say, the crew also was preserved and welcomed at Timor. Lieutenant Thomas Hayward, who had been put into the launch with Captain
Bligh, was one of the officers of the “ Pandora,” and it is remarkable that he was wrecked and received the second time at Timor within two years. Truly “ The Lord is good, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy to all that call upon Him.”
But what became of the " Bounty" and the mutineers ? Fourteen of them, as we have seen, surrendered, of whom, on their return to England, three were executed, and the rest acquitted or pardoned. Of the other eleven, two, Churchill and Thompson, never left Tahiti. Churchill had been made a chief among the natives, and, fired with jealousy, Thompson shot him, for which the natives stoned him. Fletcher could not rest in Tahiti. His guilty conscience terrified him. Even when he was leading the mutiny it lashed him severely, for, when pushing off the launch, he said to Bligh, who implored him to have mercy," I am in hell, Captain ; I am in hell ! "
Leaving Tahiti, and taking with him, besides his eight comrades, six Tahitian men and twelve women, he set sail in the “ Bounty” for a safer place of refuge, and for twentyfive years he was never heard of. Then the history of himself and his associates became known.
Captain Cartaret, in whose ship young Pitcairn was a sailor when from the masthead he discovered the island to which his name was given, wrote an account of his voyage, and a copy of that book was on board the “Bounty.” Fletcher had read the book, and determined to make a settlement in the island. It was difficult of access, but that might make it a more secure refuge; they therefore landed all their stores, and then the good ship “Bounty," which had been the scene of the wicked deeds of these bad men, was burnt to ashes.
But though Pitcairn proved a safe asylum from attacks without, it was no defence against the alarms of conscience, and as the entire enterprise had been conceived and executed in sheer wickedness, it could not be expected to prosper. The same evil passions raged, and Fietcher was not the