The roaring tempest howled and whirled
And whipped the waves in frenzied curl,
Black undercurrents raced and swirled
In terrifying force.
The untamed gale relentlessly
Played havoc with the rolling sea
Whilst one ship battled fruitlessly
Against its dying course.
Masts cracked and splintered, smashed and fell
Beneath a foaming churning hell
And sailors heard a silent knell
And knew the end was nigh.
‘Midst fear and pain and toil, and fear
Each wonderfully found God near
And knew salvation, peace and cheer,
And Heaven close, nearby.
The Godly Captain, calm and still,
Was quiet in His Father’s Will,
And whilst the gale wailed loud and shrill
He sought alone a place,
And prayed for those they would not see
Again, until Eternity,
And asked God if, in kindness, He
Would s’rround each with His Grace.
The end was near, one final need -
To write a note with thoughtful speed
And pray that one would someday read
The letter it disclosed,
Sealed in a bottle and consigned
To stormy sea, it bobbed, resigned
To float till maybe man would find
The message thus enclosed.
A miracle occurred - else we
Would not have known the history
Of God at work on ‘The Glory
Of Hartlepool’ – the ship.
But two days from her sad demise,
Beneath clearer October skies,
The bottle to the coast did rise
And to the shore did slip.
Sometimes, in loving kindness He
Draws back the veil of mystery
Reveals the path we would not see
Unless He chose it so.
The note, the message clear indeed -
God saves all those who call in need -
Was found, so all may see and read
And come, this truth, to know.
For extra information on this true story .....
Copy of a letter found in a bottle on the Jutland coast, two days after it was written.
At sea October 19th 1862
My dear wife,
Before you get these few lines I shall be in Heaven. Our ship ‘The Glory of Hartlepool’ is just about floundering, the pumps both choked and John Hunter had his leg fractured with a sea breaking; we have had nothing but gales of wind and we are almost a wreck. But thank God we are all resigned to our Heavenly Father’s will. My men are all made happy in the Saviour’s love. They were all crying for mercy and they all found peace: the lad John Hunter’s was one of the brightest conversions I ever saw.
My dear wife, I have left you in the hands of the Lord: I know He will provide for you and the dear children, and I hope you will all meet me in Heaven. May He grant it for Christ’s sake.
In Heaven I remain, your loving husband,
(A friend, the Great x4 Granddaughter of John Loynes, displays a copy of this wonderful letter in her home where it has blessed, encouraged and challenged many.)
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