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Great Nights of the Bible (4 of 16)
The Night of the Shipwreck
Clarence E. Macartney
Breakers ahead! Breakers ahead! Breakers ahead!" That
cry, which seamen dread above all others, was the cry
that went up at midnight from the helpless waterlogged
ship that was driving toward the rocky coast of Malta.
After nineteen hundred years, the Island of Malta has
again been upon everyone's lips as the most bombed
area in all the world. Its yellow soil and the
beautiful blue waters that encircle it have been
strewn with the wreckage of the German and Italian
planes which sought to blast it into submission. But
it still stands today, a bastion of democracy and
A wreck is always a terrifying experience, whether it
be a train wreck, a carriage wreck, an automobile
wreck, or an airplane wreck. But most terrible of all
is a shipwreck, partly because of the prolonged strain
of agony under which shipwrecked people suffer. This
is the tale of a shipwreck, and one of the greatest,
perhaps the greatest, ever written. It surpasses
Victor Hugo's story of the wreck in The Man Who
Laughs, and Defoe's thrilling account of the wreck of
Robinson Crusoe's ship, and James Fenimore Cooper's
story of the wreck in The Spy.
A wreck by day is bad enough, but a wreck by night is
worst of all. Even when the sea is comparatively calm,
there is something about a dark night on the ocean
that is full of dread and menace and that makes one
shrug the shoulders in fear as one leans over the rail
of the steamer and listens to the sound of the black
waters as they go swishing by the ship. But how
terrible is the sea when there is a storm at night! It
was midnight that this cry went up on Paul's ship. One
night of a storm is bad enough, but this was a night
that had lasted for two weeks-half a month. It was two
weeks now since this large grain ship, tempted by the
south soft winds, had set sail from the Harbor of ...
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