IN a very small village, there lived a little Scotch boy named Jamie. His mother loved him and he loved his mother. This little boy wanted to be a sailor. His mother did not like the idea of losing her little Jamie, but he had read so much about sailors and about foreign lands that he said, 

"O mother, I do want to be a sailor!" and at last his mother said, "Jamie, you shall go." She gave him her blessing, and added: "Jamie, wherever you are, whether at sea or on land, never forget to acknowledge your God; and give me a promise that you will kneel down every night on shipboard and say your prayers. If the sailors laugh at you, don't mind; say your prayers, and trust in God."

Little Jamie looked up to his mother, the tears trickling down his cheeks, and said, "Mother, I promise you I will."

The boy went on board a ship bound for India. They had a good captain and some very good sailors, and when little Jamie knelt down at night, there was no one who laughed at him. He had an easy time of it then. 

But coming back from India, some of the sailors deserted, and the captain had to get fresh ones; among them there was a very bad fellow. The first night, when the sailors were gone to their berths, seeing little Jamie kneel down to say his prayers, he went up to him and giving him a box on, he ear, said, "None of that here, sir."  Now among the crew there was another sailor, a swearing man, I am sorry to say, but I think he had been taught what is right when he was a lad. He came up to this bad fellow who had struck the boy, and said, "Come on deck, and I will give you a thrashing;" and they went on deck.

Now I am not approving of the fight, but these men did fight, and the swearing sailor whipped the one who boxed the little fellow. Then they came back again into the cabin, and the swearing man said, 

"Now, Jamie, say your prayers, and if he dares to touch you, I will dress him."

Well, the next night Jamie said to himself, "I don't like to make any disturbance on board ship; I will say my prayers in my berth; I won't kneel down before the sailors, I will get into my hammock and say my prayers to myself."

Now was that wise? Was that fearless? But mark the effect it had on the swearing sailor. The moment he saw little Jamie get into his hammock without saying his prayers, he went up and took him by the neck, dragged him out of the hammock and said, 

"Kneel down at once, sir! Do you think I am going to fight for you and you not say your prayers, you young rascal?"

During the whole voyage back to London, little Jamie had, in that reckless, thoughtless sailor, a man who looked after him like a father, and every night saw that he knelt down and said his prayers. The little fellow began to grow industrious and to read. He said to himself, "Here is a swearing sailor who has reproved me because I did not kneel down boldly before the men." Well, he began to learn all about ropes and ships, and about taking latitude and longitude.

Now let me tell you a little of his history. Some years ago, the largest steam-ship ever seen, was built. You remember it the "Great Eastern." 

You know that she went across the Atlantic with the wonderful cable. 

Now who do you think was the captain of that great ship? They wanted the cleverest captain they could find in England, and they selected little Jamie. When the great ship came back, after fulfilling her mission, the captain knelt before Queen Victoria, who said, "Rise, Sir James Anderson;" and Sir James Anderson was none other than the little boy I have told you of.

 Home Visitor.


"Great Eastern"