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Sailor boy continued.

The captain's want of sympathy.

brought with them many pleasures and many useful results. She agreed, therefore, with a sea captain, a distant relative of hers, to admit her boy on board his ship. The captain became really interested in his new friend—said he would take good care of him, teach him his duty on shipboard, and help him on in the world, if he was diligent and faithful.

The boy looked with some dread upon the prospect of bidding farewell to his mother, to his brothers and sisters, and his quiet home, to explore unknown and untried scenes, and to encounter the dangers of a stormy ocean. He, however, bade all farewell, and was soon tossing upon the waters, feeling safe under his new protector. He soon found, however, that the captain had power, but that he had not sympathy. He would sometimes, in a stormy night, when the masts were reeling to and fro, and the bleak wind was whistling through the frozen rigging, make him go aloft, though the poor boy, unaccustomed to the giddy height, was in an agony of terror, and in real danger of falling headlong to the deck. The captain had forgotten what were his own feelings when he was himself a boy, or he would probably have taught this necessary part of seamanship in a more gentle and gradual manner. He thought the boy ought to learn, and his want of sympathy with his feelings led him to a course which was severe, and in fact cruel, though not intentionally so."

The captain never spoke to his young charge, excepting to command him. He took no interest in his little concerns. Once the boy spent all his leisure time industriously in rigging out a little ship complete. "This," thought he, “will please the captain. He wants me to learn, and this will show him that I have been learning." As he went on, however, from day to day, the captain took no notice of his work. A word or a look of satisfaction from his protector would have gratified him exceedingly. But no;—the stern, weather-beaten officer could not sympathize with a child or appreciate his feelings at all, and one day when the boy

The little ship.

The captain a real friend.

had been sent away from his work for a moment, the captain came upon deck, and after looking around a moment, he said to a rough looking man standing there, “I say, Jack, I wish you would clear away a little here--coil those lines-and that boys bauble there,--you may as well throw it overboard, he never will make any thing of it.”

Commands on board ship must be obeyed; and the poor cabin-boy came up from below just in time to catch the captain's words, and to see his little ship fly from the sailor's hands into the waves. It fell upon its side-its sails were drenched with the water, and it fast receded from view. The boy went to his hammock and wept bitterly. His heart was wounded deeply, but the stern captain did not know it. How could he sympathize with the feelings. of a child?

And yet this captain was the real friend of the boy. He protected him in all great dangers, took great care of him when in foreign ports, that he should not be exposed to sickness nor to temptation. When they returned home he recommended him to another ship, and where, through the captain's influence, he had a better situation and higher wages,—and he had assisted him in various ways for many years. Now this boy had a protector who had power, but not sympathy.

This boy however might have had a friend who would have sympathized with him fully, but who would have had no power. I might illustrate this case also, by supposing in the next ship which he should enter, that the captain should feel no interest in him at all, but that he should have with him there a brother, or another boy of his own age, who would be his constant companion and friend,entering into all his feelings, sympathizing with him in his enjoyments and in his troubles,-but yet having no power to protect him from real evils, or to avert any dangers which might threaten. I might suppose such a case, and following the boy in imagination into the new scene, I might show that sympathy alone is not sufficient. But it

The Savior.

His thirty years of life.


is not necessary to do this. All my readers, doubtless, already fully understand the distinction between these two, and the necessity that they should be united in such a protector as we all need.

The great Friend of sinners unites these. He is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God through him, and he can fully sympathize with us in all our trials and cares; for he has been upon the earth,-suffering all that we have to suffer, and drinking of every cup which is presented to our lips. He became flesh, i. e. he became a man, and dwelt among us; so that, as the Bible most forcibly and beautifully expresses it, "we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with a feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."

It must be borne in mind that our Savior did not commence his public ministrations till he was thirty years of age. Thirty years he spent-in what? Why, in learning, by slow and painful experience, what it is to be a human being in this world of trial. Have I a reader who is only ten or twelve years of age? Remember, the Savior was once as young as you,-exposed to such little difficulties and trials as you are. He has gone through the whole, from infancy upward, and he does not forget. You may be sure, then, that he is ready to sympathize with you. If any thing is great enough to interest you, you may be sure it is great enough to interest him in your behalf. He remembers his own childhood, and will sympathize with the feelings of yours.

This plan of coming into our world and becoming one of us, and remaining in obscurity so long, that he might learn by experiment what the human condition is, in all its details, was certainly a very extraordinary one. It is spoken of as very extraordinary every where in the Bible.

You have all heard of Howard, the philanthropist. When he was thirty or forty years of age, there were, every where in Europe, jails and dungeons filled with wretched prison

Story of Howard.

Imaginary scene.

ers, some of whom were guilty and some innocent. They were crowded together in small, cold, damp rooms. Their food was scanty and bad,-dreadful diseases broke out among them; and when this was the case, they were, in a vast multitude of cases, left to suffer and to die in unmitigated agony. Very few knew their condition, and there were none to pity or relieve them, until Howard undertook the task. He left his home in England and went forth, encountering every difficulty and every discouragement, until he had explored thoroughly this mass of misery and brought it to public view, and had done every thing he could to mitigate its severity.

This was extraordinary enough, and it attracted universal attention. All Europe was surprised that a man should devote years of his life to a most arduous and hazardous labor, thus exposing himself to the most loathsome influences and to the worst diseases, without any prospect of remuneration, and all for the sole purpose of relieving the sufferings of criminals,—of men whom the world had cast off as unfit for human society. It was, I acknowledge, extraordinary; --but what would have been the sensation produced, if Howard could not have gained admission to these scenes, so as effectually to accomplish his object without becoming himself a prisoner, and thus sharing for a time the fate of those whom he was endeavoring to save? Suppose he should consent to this. Imagine him approaching for this purpose some dreary prison. He passes its dismal threshold, and the bolts and bars of the gloomiest dungeon are turned upon him. He lays aside the comfortable dress of the citizen for the many-colored garb of confinement and disgrace. He holds out his arm for the manacles, and lies down at night upon his bed of straw, and lingers away months, or perhaps years of wretchedness, for no other purpose than that he may know fully what wretchedness is. He thus looks misery in the face, and takes it by the hand, and he emerges at last from his cell, emaciated by disease, worn out by the gloom of perpetual night,—and his heart

The Savior.

Human sympathy.

sickened by the atmosphere of sin and shame. Suppose he had done this, how strongly could he, after it, sympathize with the sufferings of a prisoner, and how cordially and with what confidence can the inmates of those abodes come to him with their story of wo.

Now, we have such a Savior as this is. He has been among us. He has himself experienced every kind of trial and suffering which we have to endure. So that if we choose him for our friend, we may come to him on every occasion, sure of finding not only sympathy to feel for us, but power to relieve us. No matter what may be the source of our trial, whether great or small: if it is great enough to interest us, it is great enough to interest him for us. Perhaps some young child who reads this has been pained to the heart by the unkindness of some one in whom he had reposed all his confidence. The action which showed this neglect or unkindness was so trifling, that perhaps the little sufferer feels that no one can sympathize with him in apparently so small a cause of sorrow But Jesus Christ was once as young a child as you; he too, doubtless, had companions and friends, and if he did not experience unkindness and ingratitude at their hands, childhood was the only time of his life in which he was free from these injuries. He, doubtless, knows them full well; and there is one thing in which the sympathy of our Savior differs from that of every other friend-he judges not from the magnitude of the cause of sorrow, but from the real effect of that cause upon the heart which suffers it. If a child is agitated by a trifling cause, he looks at the greatness of the agitation and suffering, not at the insignificance of the cause. But it is not so with men:—they judge from external circumstances.

In all the greater trials of life, I mean those which come from greater and more permanent causes, we may confidently expect sympathy and fellow feeling if we come to the Savior. Does poverty threaten you? He knows what poverty is better than you,-for years, he knew not where to lay his head. Do you suffer from the unkind treatment of

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