Gloomy thoughts filled my mind as the good ship ploughed the grey waters of the Northern Atlantic: thoughts as to the state of things in the professing Church of God, the increase of worldliness, the departure from the truth of many in whom one had placed hopes, the lack of power in service and testimony, the few who seemed able to truly present the truth as they of old: all these things filled my mind, and upon them I brooded as I lay in the night. The ship rolled from side to side in a stormy sea, and the surroundings were suited to my thoughts. Thus the night wore on; then came the changing of the watch; the middle watch gave place to the morning, and as the bell chimed forth the fact, the voice of the quarter-master rang out "All's well."
The ship still rolled and pitched, and the darkness seemed deeper than before, but that call of the morning changed my thoughts; I remembered Paul's shipwreck, and how when things seemed their blackest the Angel of God stood by him saying "Fear not Paul." The ship on which Paul sailed went to pieces, but all hands came safe to land, and it would seem as if this divinely recorded incident has a prophetic bearing: every organization of men will fail as vessels of the truth, and all hopes placed in an arm of flesh will perish, but the work of God will remain, and every soul touched by His gracious Spirit and brought to Christ will come safely to land, to stand there in all the glory of the fulfilment of God's eternal purposes.
This was a heartening theme, and as I dwelt upon it my spirits rose, for the cheery "All's well" sang through my soul, and though I knew that no change for the better could be looked for in that faithless profession that has joined hands with the world that murdered her Lord, "for evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse" (2.Tim 3:13), yet the bright prospect of God's triumph in spite of all, shone as a light in the darkness. Our thoughts and faith must turn from earth to heaven, to the One whose hand has overturned the dominion of death and who lives now in all the power of resurrection life upon the throne of God. The darkness is passing, and by faith we can see the bright Star of the morning already shining, and we know that all is well.
When at last the dawn broke through the cabin window I took the Scripture Text Calendar to read the text for the day. It was this: "I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying to thee, Fear not; I will help thee" (Isa 41:13), and "He gives power to the faint" (40:29). It is thus that faith is strengthened by our gracious Lord, and as He holds the hand, and His strength is made perfect in our weakness, we will keep the watch and look out for the morning, "the morning without clouds;" cheering the darkness about us with faith's cry, "All's well."