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the ship was gradually sinking , as well as still on fire in parts which the water could not reach . " " Ellen .
" How dreadful ! What could they do now ?" " Anne . " That which has often brought present help in time of trouble . They united in prayer to that Being whose power is never found unequal to the aid required . " A ship is seen hearing down towards the Kent , and all are saved , except those whom fear or intoxication had rendered unmanageable .
" At the beginning of the tempest , " we are told , " the ship which came to their assistance was more than a hundred miles before the Kent , and after it had been beaten back by the storm , and received the sufferers on board , pestilence and famine would most probably have arisen had they been long at sea ; the wind , however , continued in the same quarter till they had happily landed in England , when it almost imediately changed . "
In the manner of telling this story , there is an evident attempt to suggest that the laws of nature are occasionally a little warped for a particular object—to answer , for instance , the prayers of good men . To say that these semi-miracles are without a shadow of proof , is not saying enough . To call
our attention to some special marvel , the immediate operation of Heaven ( as though there could be any agency but ih < it of Heaven !) is to teach us to overlook the common and unceasing blessings of life , as if they were unworthy of
notice , or as if they had some other source . It may be observed , moreover , that however extraordinary an occurrence , it is not " providential" unless we approve the result !—a method of classification much more likely to confirm our prejudices than to rectify our opinions and teach us humility . It is not necessary to withhold the " Sister ' s Gift '* on account of this story , ( indeed it would be useless , because the idea is so prevalent that a
child cannot fail to meet with it , ) but a few remarks from a parent it certainly needs—the more so , perhaps , as a tale in Evenings at Home ( Providence or the Shipwreck ) , which is likely to fall to the share of the same liitle readers , is objectionable by running into the opposite extreme . We can safely recommend the rest of Sister Anne's instructions as pleasing and harmless , conveying a variety of useful information , and well prepared for Sunday-evening amusement .
You murder one , —the gallows is your fate ; You murder many—and you serve the state ; A robber if some small misdeed you do , Commit gigantic crimes—a hero you ! Tell me , ye moralists of exalted station , Where , where begins the splendid transformation ? J . 13 .
Consistency . 697
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Oct. 2, 1828, page 697, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2565/page/41/