Be Firm.

I REMEMBER of once reading of a man

who, upon his dying bed, gave this parting

advice to his son: "Always have a mind of

your own, and then stick to it." The son,

in after years, became the first mate of a vessel.

While they were out upon a voyage,

the captain was taken sick, and deranged,

which threw the command upon the first

mate. This displeased the second mate, who,

with the owner of the ship, wished to get the

command from him.

As they were sailing one fine morning, not

a cloud in the sky, the first mate had occasion

to go below to his chest. His eyes fell

upon a barometer, a rare thing in those days,

as they were just coming into use. Unbeknown

to the other officers of the ship, he

had bought it to test it. He saw that the

mercury was falling very rapidly. Without

informing the rest, he came upon deck and

gave orders to prepare for a storm with all

haste. The second mate and the owner of

the vessel were enraged at this order. They

tried to take the command from him; but

he thought of his father's advice. He told

them he was commander of the vessel, and

would be obeyed.

What enraged the sailors most, was, the

sky was cloudless, and there was not the

least sign of a storm, that they could discern.

Vessels were pacing them under a

crowd of sail, and should they be such fools as

to hang back to prepare for a storm? The mate

was stern. He would not be persuaded to

countermand his order.

Just before sun-down, clouds began to

arise, the wind began to whistle through the

rigging of the vessel, and before morning

they were in one of the most violent storms

they had ever known. As the storm ceased

in the morning, and they were in sailing rig

again, they passed numerous wrecks of those

that went by them the day before. Now,

said the first mate to the owner of the ship,

if I had listened to you, you see where we

would have been. The owner acknowledged

that he was right, and gave him full command

on the next voyage.

Children, in looking into our barometer

[the Bible] we see there is a terrible storm,

or time of trouble, coming, such as the world

has never seen; as Daniel says, "A time of

trouble such as never was since there was a


What is the condition of things in the

world now? I will try and tell you. It is

something as it was upon the ship while

there was one who saw signs of the approaching

storm, there were many who could discern

nothing but a pleasant sail. So it is now

a few have found, by looking into God's

Book, that his judgments are soon to be

poured out upon the earth (the seven last

plagues), and that Christ is soon coming to

save his people from these judgments.

While a few are looking for these things, the

great mass cannot discern the signs of the

times; but look for a long time of happiness

and pleasure here, and would try to dissuade

you from obeying the truth. But, dear

children, have a mind to obey God, to study

his word, then it will be well with you.

Like this faithful sailor, begin at once to

make preparations for the coming storm.

Begin to take in sail. Take a reef in the sail

of pride. Take in the sail of vain conversation.

Take in your streamers. Look well to

the rigging of your vessel. Have your main

cable, which should be made of faith, hope,

and love, fast anchored above, then with

your chart, and your eye upon the pole-star,

Jesus, you will soon outride the storm that is


Up, children, up at once, and get on board.

Soon the plank will be withdrawn from the

gangway (Jesus will leave the sanctuary),

our vessel will be far out to sea, and no man

can get on board. Who will go? Come, all.



Battle Creek, Mich.