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The Sabbath Wrecks.
some of your blood, have embraced the stake for the sake of truth, and will ye profane the Sabbath which they sanctified? The Scotsman who openly glories in such a sin, forfeits his claim to the name of one, and publishes to the world that he has no part or communion with the land that gave him birth. John Crawford, hearken unto my voice, to the voice of your wife, and that of your bairns, (whose bringing up is a credit to their mother,) and be not *. of this gross sin.” But the fisherman, while he regarded not the supplications of his wife, became sullen at the words of the preacher, and springing into the boat, seized an oar, and, with his comrades began to pull from the shore. The thousand boats put to sea, and Mr. Simpson returned sorrowful from the beach to the kirk, while Agnes Crawford and her children followed him. That day he took for his text, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy;” and, as he fearlessly and fervidly denounced the crime of Sabbath breaking, and alluded to the impious proceedings of the day, his hearers trembled, but poor Agnes wept aloud, and her children clung around her, and they wept also, because she wept. But, ere the service had concluded, the heavens began to lower. Darkness fell over the congregation—and first came the murmur of the storm, which *} burst into the wild howl of the tempest. They gazed upon each other in silent terror, like guilty spirits stricken in their first rebellion by the searching glance of Omniscience. . The loud voice of the psalm was abruptly hushed, and its echo mingled with the dreadful music of the elements, like the bleating of a tender lamb, in the wind that sweepeth howling on the mountains. For al moment, their features, convulsed and immovable, were still distended with the song of praise; but every tongue was silent, every eye fixed. There was no voice, save heayen's. The church seemed to rock to its foundations, but none fled—none moved.— Pale, powerless, as marble statues, horror, transfixed them in the house of prayer. The steeple rocked in the blast, and, as it bent, a knell, untold by human hands, pealed on the ears of the breathless multitude. A crash followed. The spire that glittered in the morning sun lay scattered in fragments, and the full voice of the whirlwind roared through the aisles. The trees crouched and were stripped leafless; and the sturdy oak, whose roots had embraced the earth for centuries, torn from the deep darkness of its foundations, was lifted on the wings of the tempest. Darkness was spread over the earth. Lightnings gathered together their terrors, and clothed in the fury of their fearful majesty, flashed through the air. The fierce hail was poured down as clouds of ice. At the awful voice
The spectators were busied carrying the dead, as they were driven on shore, beyond the reach of tide-mark. They had continued their melancholy task for near an hour, when a voice exclaimed—“See : see —one still lives, and struggles to make the shore.”
All rushed to the spot from whence the voice proceeded, and a young man was perceived, with more than mortal strength, yet laboring in the whirling waves. His countenance was black with despair. His heart panted with suffocating pangs. His limbs buffeted the billows in the strong agony of death, and he strained with desperate eager. ness, towards the projecting point of a black rock. It was now within his grasp, but in its stead, he clutched the deceitful wave that No. 11.
The Sabbath Wrecks.
laughed at its deliverance. He was whirled around it, dashed on it with violence, and again swept back by the relentless surge.— He threw out his arms at random, and his deep groans and panting breath were heard through the sea's hoarse voice. He again reached the rock—he grasped, he clung to its tangled sides. A murmur moaned through the multitude. They gazed upon one another. His glazed eyes frowned darkly upon them. Supplication and scorn were mingled in his look. His lips moved, but his tongue uttered no sound. He only gasped to speak —to implore assistance. His strength gave way—the waters rushed around the rock as a whirlpool. He was again uplifted upon the white bosom of the foam and tossed within a few yards of the wailing but unavailing crowd. “It is John Crawford ‘’” exclaimed those who were enabled to recognise his features. A loud shriek followed the mention of his name—a female rushed through the crowd, and the next moment the delicate form of Agnes Crawford, was seen floating on the wild sea. In an instant a hundred plunged to her rescue, but, before the scream of horror and surprise raised by the spectators when they beheld her devoted but desperate purpose, had subsided, she was beyond the reach of all who feared death. Although no feminine amusement, Agnes had delighted in buffeting the waters from a child, as though she felt a home upon their bosom; and now the strength of inspiration seemed to thrill through her frame. She again appeared, and her fair hand grasped the shoulder of the drowning man! A shout of wild joy rang back to the deserted town. Her father, who was amongst the multitude, fell upon his knees. He clasped his hands together—“Merciful heaven!” he exclaimed, “Thou who stilleth the tempest, and holdest the waters in the hollow of Thy hand, protect—protect my child?” The waters rioted with redoubled fury.— Her strength seemed failing, but a smile of hope still lighted up her features, and her hand yet grasped her apparently lifeless burden. Despair again brooded on the countenance of her friends. For a moment she disappeared among the waves; but the next, Agnes Crawford lay senseless on the beach, her arm resting on the bosom of him she had snatched from a watery grave—on the bosom of her husband. They were borne to their own house, where in a few moments she recovered; but her husband manifested no signs of vitality. All the means within their power, and that they knew, were resorted to effect his resuscitation. Long and anxiously she wept over him,
gan to heave with the returning pulsation of his heart. “He lives!—he breathes!” she exclaimed, and she sank back in a state of unconsciousness, and was carried from the room. The preacher attended by the bedside, where the unconscious fisherman lay, directing and assisting in the operations necessary for restoring animation. As John Crawford began to recover, the film of death that had gathered over his eyes
began to melt away, and he gazed around in
bewilderment, but unconscious of where he was, and he sunk in a troubled sleep; and, as he slept, and his strength returned, he cast forth his arms, in imagination yet grappling with death. He dreamed, and in his dream, he shouted for help. He prayed, and in the same breath he blasphemed and reviled the trembling spectators that his troubled fancy still pictured on the beach. In a few hours the fisherman awoke from his troubled sleep, which many expected would have been the sleep of death. He raised himself in the bed—he looked around wistfully. Agnes, who had recovered, and returned to the room fell upon his bosom.— “My Agnes!—my poor Agnes!”—he cried, gazing wistfully in her face—“but where— where am I?—and my bairnies, where are they q" “Here, father, here !” cried the children, stretching out their little arms to embrace him. Again he looked anxiously around. A recollection of the past, and a consciousness of the present, fell upon his mind. “Thank God!” he exclaimed, and burst into tears; and when his troubled soul and his agitated bosom had found in them relief, he inquired eagerly —“But O, tell me, how was s saved?—was I cast upon the beach There is a confused remembrance in my brain, as though an angel grasped me when I was sinking, and held me." But my head is confused, it is fearfully confused, and I remember naething but as a dream; save the bursting awa’ o' the dreadful storm, wi' the perishing o'hunders in an instant, and the awful cry that rang frae boat to boat—'a judgment has come owre us!' And it was a judgment indeed! O Agnes! had I listened to yer words, to the prayers o' my bits o' bairns, or the advice o' the minister, I wad hae escaped the sin that I hae this day committed, and the horrors wi' which it has been visited. But tell me how, or in what manner, I was saved.” “John,” said the aged elder, the father of Agnes “ye was saved by the merciful and sustaining power o' that Providence which ye
rubbing his temples and his bosom, and, at length, beneath her hand his breast first be
this morning set at nought. But I rejoice to find that your heart is not hardened, and that the awful visitation—the judgment, as ye hae
weel described it—which has this day filled our coast with widows and with orphans, has not fallen upon you in vain; for ye acknowledge your guilt, and are grateful for your deliverance. Your being saved is nacthing short o' a miracle. We a' beheld how lang and how desperately ye struggled wi' the raging waves; we knew not who ye were, and when it was na in the power o' any being upon the shore to render ye the slightest assistance. We saw how ye struggled to reach the black rock, and how ye was swept round it; and, when ye at last reached it, we observed how ye clung to it wi' the grasp o' death, until your strength gave way, and the waves dashed you from it. Then ye was driven towards the beach, and some of the spectators recognised your face, and they cried out your name: A scream burst upon my ear—a woman rushed through the crowd— and then John —O, then "–but here the feelings of the old man overpowered him.— He sobbed aloud, and pausing for a few moments, added—“Tell him, some o' ye.” “O tell me,” said the fisherman; “a” that my father-in-law has said, I kenned before. But how was I saved 4 or by whom 4” The preacher took up the tale. “Hearken unto me, John Crawford,” said he. “Ye have reason this day to sorrow, and to rejoice, and to be grateful beyond measure. In the morning ye mocked my counsel and set at nought my reproof. True, it was not the speaker, but the words of truth that were spoken, that ye ought to have regarded—for they were not my words, and I was but the humble instrument to convey them to ye. But ye despised them; and as yesowed, so have ye reaped. But, as your father-in-law has told ye, when your face was recognised from the shore, and your name mentioned, a woman screamed—she rushed through the multitude—she plunged into the boiling sea, and in an instant she was beyond the reach of help " “Speak —speak on " cried the fisherman eagerly; and he placed his hands on his heaving bosom, and gazed anxiously, now towards the preacher, and again towards Agnes, who wept upon his shoulder. “The providence that had till then sustained you, while your fellow-creatures perished around you,” added the clergyman, supported her. She reached you—she grasped your arm. After long struggling, she brought you within a few yards of the shore, a wave overwhelmed you both and cast you upon the beach, with her arm—the arm of your wife that saved you—upon your bosom " “Gracious heaven” exclaimed the fisherman, pressing his wife to his bosom—“My ain Agnes! was it you!—was it you !—my wife -—my saviour !” And he wept aloud, and his children wept also. “There is nae
merit in what I have done,” replied she, “for wha should have attempted to save ye, had I not! Ye were every thing to me John, and to our bairns.” But the feelings of the wife and the mother were too strong for words. I will not dwell upon the joy and gratitude of the family to whom the husband and the father had been restored as from the dead. It found a sorrowful contrast in the voice of lamentation and of mourning, which echoed along the coast like the peal of an alarm-bell. The dead were laid in heaps upon the beach, and, on the following day, widows, orphans, parents, and brothers, came from all the fishing towns along the coast, to seek their dead amongst the drowned that had been gathered together; or, if they found them not, they wandered along the shore to seek for them where the sea might have cast them forthSuch is the tale of the Sabbath Wrecks—of the lost brave of Dunbar.
Beauties of Salathiel.
[I was sheltering myself behind the broken columns of the Grand gate, from the bitter wind which searched every fibre; and was sinking into that chilling torpor which benumbs body and mind alike; when a clash of military music and the tramp of a multitude assailed my ear. I started up, and found my miserable companions mustering from the various hollows of the hill to our post on the central ground of Mount Moriah, where the view was boundless on every side. A growing blaze rose up from the valley, and flashed upon the wall of circumvallation. The sounds of cymbal and trumpetswelled: the blaze advanced rapidly; and going the circuit of the wall, the helmets and lances of the cavalry were seen glittering through the gloom ; a crowd of archers preceded a dense body of the legionaryhorse, at whose head rode the Roman general and his chief officers. On this night the fatal wall had been completed, and Titus was going its round in triumph. Every horseman carried a torch; and strong divisions of infantry followed, bearing lamps and vessels of combustible matter on the points of their spears. As the whole moved, rolling and bending with the inequalities of the ground, I thought that I saw a mighty serpent coiling his burning spires round the prey that was never to be rescued by the power of man.
[But the pomp of war below, and the wretchedness around, raised reflections of such bitterness, that, when Titus and his splendid troop reached the foot of the Temple-hill, one outcry of sorrow and anticipated ruin burst from us all. The conquerer heard it, and, from the instant manoeuvring of his troops, was evidently alarmed: he had known the courage of the Jews too long, not to dread the effects of their despair.
[And despair it was, fierce and untameable: I started forward, exclaiming, “If there is a
man among you ready to stake his life for his country, let him follow me.” [To the last hour the Jew was a warrior. The crowd grasped their spears, and we sprang down the cliffs. As we reached the outer wall of the city, 1 restrained their exhaustless spirit, until 1 had singly ascertained the state of the enemy. Titus was passing the well known ravine near the Fountain gate, where the ground was difficult for cavalry, from its being chiefly divided into gardens.— I threw open the gate, and led the way to the circumvallation. The sentinels, occupied with looking on the pomp, suffered us to approach unperceived; we mounted the ... overthrew every thing before us, and plunged down upon the cavalry entangled in the raVlne. [The bravery of the legions was not proof against the fury of our attack. Even our wild faces and naked forms, seen by the uncertain glare of the torches, looked scarcely human. Horse and man were rolled down the declivity; the arrival of fresh troops only increased the confusion; their torches made them a mark for our pikes and arrows; every point told; and every Roman that fell, armed a Jew. The conflict became murderous : and we stabbed at our ease the troopers of the Emperor's guard, through their mail, while their long lances were useless. [The defile gave us incalculable advantages; for the garden-walls were impassable by the cavalry, while we bounded over them like deer. All was uproar, terror, and rage. We actually waded through blood. At every step I trod on horse or man; helmets and bucklers, lances and armor, lay in heaps; the stream of the ravine soon ran purple with the proudest gore of the proud legions. [At length while we were absolutely oppressed with the multitude of dead, a sudden blast of trumpets, and the loud shouts of the enemy, led me to prepare for a still fiercer effort. A tide of cavalry poured over the ground; a gallant figure, cheering them on, with his helmet in his hand, galloped in their front; I withdrew my wearied followers from the exposed situation into which their success had led them, and, posting them behind a rampart of Roman dead, awaited the charge. [It came with the force of thunder; the powerful horses of the imperial escort broke over our rampart at the first shock, and bore us down like stubble. Every man of us was under their feet in a moment; yet the very number of our assailants saved us; the narrowness of the place gave no room for the management of the horse; the darkness assisted both our escape and assault; and, even lying on the ground, we plunged our knives in horse and rider with terrible retaliation. [The cavalry at length gave way; but the 254
Beauties of Salathiel.
Roman general, a man of the heroic spirit that is only inflamed by repulse, rushed forward among the disheartened troops, and roused them by his cries and gestures, to retrieve their honor. After a few bold words, he charged at their head. I singled him out, as I saw his golden eagle gleam in the torchlight...To capture the son of Vespasian, would have been a triumph worth a hundred lives. Titus was celebrated for personal dexterity in the management of the horse and lance: and I could not restrain my admiration of the skill with which he penetrated the dif. ficulties of the field, and the mastery with which he repelled or overthrew all that opposed him. [Our motley ranks were already scattering; when I called out my name, and defied him to the combat. He stooped over his charger's neck to discover his adversary; and, seeing before him a being as blackened and beggared as the most dismantled figure of the crowd, gave a laugh of fierce derision, and was turning away, when our roar of scorn recalled him. He struck in the spur, and, couching his lance, he bounded towards me. To have waited his attack must have been destruction; I sprang aside, and with my full vigor flung the javelin: it went through his buckler. He reeled; and a groan arose from the legionaries, who were rushing forward to his support: he stopped them with a fierce gesture, and, casting off the entangled buckler, charged again. But the hope of the imperial diadem was not to be thus cheaply hazarded. The whole circle of cavalry rolled in upon us; I was dragged down by a hundred hands; and Titus was forced away, indignant at the zeal which thwarted his fiery valor. [In i. confusion I was forgotten, slipped through the concourse, and rejoined my countrymen, who had given me over for lost, and now received me with shouts of victory. The universal cry was to advance; but I felt that the limit of triumph for that night was come: the engagement had became known to the whole range of the enemy's camps, and troops without number were already pouring down. I ordered a retreat; but there was one remaining exploit to make the night's service memorable. [Leaving a few hundred pikemen outside the circumvallation to keep off any sudden attempt, I set every hand at work to gather the dry weeds, rushes, and fragments of trees, from the low grounds into a pile. It was laid against the rampart. I flung the first torch, and pile and rampart were soon alike in a blaze. Volumes of flames, carried by the wind, rolled round its entire circuit. [The Romans rushed down in multitudes to extinguish the fire. But this became continually more difficult. Jerusalem had been
roused from its sleep; and the extravagant rumors that a great victory was obtained, Titus slain, and the enemy's camp taken by storm, stimulated the natural spirit of the people to the most boundless confidence. Every Jew who could find a lance, an arrow, or a knife, hurried to the gates; and the space between the walls and the circumvallation was crowded with an army, which, in that crisis of superhuman exultation, perhaps no disciplined force on earth could have outfought. [Nothing could now save the rampart.— Torches innumerable, piles of faggots, arms, even the dead, all things that could burn, were flung upon it. Thousands who, at other times might have shrunk, forgot the name of fear, leaped into the very midst of the flames, and, tearing up the blazing timbers, dug to the heart of the rampart, and filled the hollows with sulphur and bitumen; or struggled their way across the tumbling ruins, to throw themselves among the Roman spearmen, and see the blood of an enemy before they died. [War never had a bolder moment. Human nature, roused to the wildest height of enthusiasm, was lavishing life like dust. The rampart spread a horrid light upon the havoc: every spot of the battle, every group of the furious living, and the trampled and deformed dead, was keenly visible. The ear was deaf. ened by the incessant roar of flame, the falling of the huge heaps of the rampart, and the agonies and exultations of men reveling in mutual slaughter. [In that hour came one of those solemn signs which marked the downfall of Jerusalem. [The tempest, that had blown at intervals with tremendous violence, died away at once; and a surge of light ascended from the horizon, and rolled up rapidly to the zenith. The phenomenon instantly fixed every eye. There was an indefinable sense in the general mind that a sign of power and Providence was about to be given. The battle ceased; the outcries were followed by utter silence; the armed ranks stood still, in the very act of rushing on each other: all faces were turned on the heavens. , [The light rose pale and quivering, like the meteors of a summer evening. But in the zenith it spread and swelled into a splendor, that distinguished it irresistibly from the wonders of earth or air. It swiftly eclipsed every star. The moon vanished before it; the canopy of the sky seemed to be dissolved, for a view, into a bright and infinite region beyond, fit for the career of those mighty beings to whom man is but a feather on the gale.
[As we gazed, this boundless field was trans.