THE DERELICT

We had passed the doldrums with their characteristic rain and fog and fluffy winds, and had entered the southeast trades, a region of sunny seas and steady sails, well named "The Sailor's Delight." Lying in a hammock swung above the quarter-deck, the solitary passenger was dividing his attention between the pages of a book and the airy ventures of unnumbered flying-fish, startled out of their native element by the coming of this monster ship-leviathan, or by their better known enemy, the fierce bonitas, when a cry from the outlook, "Wreck to starboard!" centered all eyes upon the horizon named. The binoculars speedily disclosed that the object was nothing less than the hull of a vessel, a dangerous derelict indeed in this much traveled highway of the sea. As we bore down upon it, in obedience to the captain's crisp orders, we found the burned-out body of a fine steel bark, once the fleet mistress of the waves, but now their prey and destined perchance to be crushed to pieces upon the not distant ledges of Cape St. Roque.

It was a pathetically interesting object, for one could but think of the possible fate of its crew, of the contrast between the brave ship's promise and this its sad end, and how fittingly it symbolized that multitude of mortals who because of their physical or moral breakdown are found adrift, the sport of those so-called laws of degeneracy which in common thought rob their future of every gleam of hope. One is constantly meeting with men and women in homes and hospitals and asylums who in the fierce heat of pain or passion have thus been burned out, despoiled of all strength of body or of character, and left to think of themselves, perchance, as but derelicts upon life's sea, a burden or a menace to others. This aspect of the world-tragedy seems quite overwhelming sometimes, and unless one has a grasp of faith that is full and firm upon the significance of Jesus' words, "I am come that they might have life," he cannot escape the temptation to despair of the solution of so vast a problem.

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Editorial
PLENITUDE VS. POVERTY
May 6, 1911
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