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Submissive spirit.

Prayers of the young.

Deliverance from danger.

implied. The feelings however which, in this view of the subject, we ought to cherish, may properly be presented under the following head.

II. The duty of a submissive spirit in prayer. We ought unquestionably to bring a great many requests to God, relating to our daily pursuits. We ought to express to him our common desires, ask success in our common enterprises and plans. Young persons, it seems to me, ought to do this more than they do. They ought to bring all their little interests and concerns, morning and evening, to their Friend above. Whatever interests you, as I have already once or twice remarked, will interest him. Bring to him freely your troubles and cares, whatever they may be, and express all your wants. If the young can not come to God with their own appropriate and peculiar concerns, they are in reality without a protector. If however we are in the habit of bringing all our wants to God, we shall often ask for something which it is far better for us not to have. We can not always judge correctly; but unless we know that what we wish for is dangerous, or that it will be injurious, it is proper to ask for it. If we do or might know, to request it would be obviously wrong. David prayed very earnestly that his child might live, but God thought it not best to grant the petition. David did right to pray, for he probably did not know but that the request might be safely granted. Let us feel therefore when we come with our petitions, that perhaps God will think it best for us that they should be denied.

This is peculiarly the case in praying for deliverance from danger. Our hearts may be relieved and lightened by committing ourselves to God's care, but we can never feel on that account sure that we are safe. God very often makes sickness, or a storm at sea, or the lightning, or any other source of common danger and alarm, the means of


The packet.

You do not know
The next time

removing a Christian from the world. but that he will remove you in this way. a thunder storm arises in the west, it may be God's design to bring one of its terrific bolts upon your head, and you can not of course avert it by simply asking God to spare you. He will listen to your prayer, take it into kind consideration, and if you ask in a proper spirit, he will probably give you a calm and happy heart, even in the most imminent danger. But you can not be sure you will escape the lightning. The ground of your peace must be, that God will do what is best, not that he will certainly do what you wish.

From one of the small seaport towns of New England, a packet once set sail for Boston.* These packets, which are intended to carry passengers, have one large cabin. The berths (which perhaps I ought to inform some of my young readers, are a species of shelves, upon which passengers at sea sleep, one above another) are arranged around this cabin, and a movable partition which can be thrown open by day, divides the room at night into two parts. On board one of these packets then, a few years ago, a number of persons, ladies and gentlemen, previously entire strangers to each other, found themselves slowly sailing out of an eastern harbor, on a coasting voyage of about two hundred miles. They did not know how long they were to be together, what adventures might befall them, or what dangers they might share. They were however to spend their time in the same room, and as they were tossing upon the waves in the same vessel, a sense of common interest and of common danger brought them at once to terms of intimacy.

* These packets have long since been superseded by steamboats, and trains of cars. The passage is, however, allowed to stand as originally written.


The calm.

The Christian traveler.

The next morning there was scarcely a breath of air. The vessel heaved gently on the water, whose surface was polished like glass, though it swelled and sunk with the undulations of distant storms. In the tedium of waiting for wind, each one of the passengers and crew amused himself in his own way. Here you might see a cluster talking, and there two or three passengers gathering around a sailor who was letting down his line for fish. Others in various places, had their books.

A Christian traveler who was present, sat down upon the quarter-deck, and opened a little bundle of books and newspapers, and tracts, which he had provided for the

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Presently a gentleman who had been sitting for half an hour, gazing, for want of other employment, upon every

Books and tracts.

The long passage.

sprig of sea-weed or floating bubble that he could see, advanced to him, and asked, "Will you lend me something to read ?"

"Certainly, sir, any thing I have; but most of my supply here is of a religious character, and I do not know whether you will take any interest in it."

The gentleman replied that he should take an interest in it; and he selected a paper or a tract, took his seat again, and began to read. Presently a lady made the same request;-others looked wishfully toward the books, but hesitated to ask for them.

all within hearing,

Our traveler observing this, said to

"If any others of the company would like any thing I have, I should be happy to have them take it. I always carry a supply of reading when I travel, though I select my books, perhaps, too much to suit my own taste alone. What I have here is chiefly of a religious character, and it may not be so generally interesting on that account. You are heartily welcome, however, to any thing that I have."

The books and tracts were soon generally in circulation, the passengers were nearly all busy in reading them, and the time passed swiftly away. Our traveler became known as a Christian; and were I now upon the subject of Christian influence, I might describe many interesting occurrences which took place, the Christian acquaintances which he formed, and the conversations which he had with various persons on board the vessel. But I am going so much into detail in this story, that I fear you have almost lost sight of our subject, which is the duty of praying to God with the feeling that he will, after all, do as he pleases about granting the request. I must hasten to the conclusion of the narrative.

The com

The passage was an uncommonly long one. pany hoped to reach their port in two days, but after ten had

The approaching storm.

The storm increases.

passed away, they were still far from Boston, night was coming on, and what was still worse, the captain, who stood anxiously at the helm, said that there were signs of an approaching storm. A dark haze extended itself over the whole southern sky. The swell of the sea increased. The rising wind moaned in most melancholy tones through the rigging. The captain gave orders to take in sail, to make every thing snug about the vessel, and to have supper prepared earlier than usual, Because," said he, "I expect, from the looks of the sky yonder, that an hour hence you will not manage a cup of tea very handily."


The passengers ate their supper in silence. Their hearts were full of foreboding fears. The captain endeavored to encourage them. He said that they were not far from Boston. He hoped soon to see the light. If they could make out to get into the harbor before it began to blow very hard, they should be safe. Yes," said he, "I am in hopes to land you all safely at the T before ten o'clock.* Unless we

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can get fairly into the harbor, however, I shall have to put about and stand out to sea; for if we are to have a storm, we must not stay tossing about near the rocks."


The storm increased. Sail after sail was reefed or taken in, but still the spirits of the company were sustained by knowing that they were advancing toward Boston, and by the hope that they should soon stand upon the firm shore. great, however, was the pitching and rolling of the ship, that most of the passengers retreated to their berths and braced themselves there. A few of the more hardy or experienced remained upon deck, clinging to the masts or to the rigging, and watching with intense interest the distant glimmering of the Boston light, which had a short time before come into view. "We are not very far from the light," said the captain, "but it blows pretty hard."

*The T, a noted wharf at Boston.

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