THE LOSS OF THE CELLARDYKE BOAT, GARLAND.
On Sunday afternoon, funeral services were conducted in Kilrenny Church and in the Forth Street Hall, Cellardyke, for the men who perished in the late storm. In Kilrenny Church there was a crowded audience, many having to stand during the service. Rev. Mr Anderson chose for his text, 2d Samuel xiv., and 14 verse :—” We must needs die.” He concluded as follows: My friends and hearers—l need not say why I have selected this subject to-day. The reason is well known to you all, and I believe you are at one with me regards the fitness of it for the occasion. I have the concurrence of the nearest relations of those whose loss we mourn, for this funeral service. There is an awful sadness and solemnity surrounds the whole circumstance which has been filling our minds for the past ten days—the loss of a brave and a good crew. Cheerful and happy they left their houses, for each one of that crew was more happy and cheerful than another in his natural disposition, but alas! we were to see their faces no more. We see yet, as it were, that brave crew composed of all ages, from the grey hairs down to the youth of 16, who made his first but ill-fated passage to the deep sea, and among them were men who had only turned the years of ripe manhood and, humanly speaking, had reason to look forward to many years of comfort and support to their wives and families……………
Speaking in the Forth Street Hall, Cellardyke, to a large congregation, Rev. Mr Macalpine concluded as follows :—And now, brethren, I enter upon a most painful and pathetic part in our service this afternoon. Frequently in this hall, on week-days and Sabbaths, have we rendered such grateful acknowledgement as we could command to our gracious and sovereign Lord for the singular immunity from disaster and loss of life which this community has enjoyed. In recent years other neighbouring towns on the sea-board have been called upon to mourn the loss of brave and gallant men. Now, however, a dark and mysterious providence has overshadowed us, and to-day we can scarcely describe our feelings when we sorrowfully acknowledge that our congregation and town are so much poorer by this disaster, By a pleasing consensus of opinion it appears that the crew of the “Garland,” from their weight of character, the consistency of their life, their readiness to oblige, their assistance to and interest in your Y.M.C. A., and their devotion to personal religion, may be considered on the whole, one of the best crews in our fleet. All the men I did not personally know, but four of them—two belonging to a sister church and two belonging to this congregation—l knew intimately and well. The aged man—Adam Watson, was one of the fruits of the great revival of 1859, and bore during these years a life of consistency, although it might be a life that did not come much before the public view. Such a splendid trait in that life to find the old skipper not ashamed to own his Lord, and taking his crew with him to a throne of grace at evening prayer. Another of the crew belonging to a neighbouring congregation, David Watson, was a man whose uprightness and activity are known to all. His life was a burning and shining light. In nearly; every Christian agency in the town his presence was felt. Latterly in the Y.M.C.A., in the Mission School, and at open air meetings he seems to have possessed premonition that his grave wee to be a watery one. Three times before this sad gale has he been overboard- on one occasion nearly 40 minutes in the water, and do not some of you think that declaration “should I die in the next storm I am perfectly reedy,” was spoken on the lip of his watery grave? And can, you men, specially you young men, not recall his tender messages of God love and his earnest appeals for your salvation? Sorely “he being dead yet speaketh.” I have been told by a sorrowing relative that constantly he prayed for a revival of God’s grace upon our town. However, now that he has entered through prayer into praise, we believe his prayers mingling with ours may yet secure the blessing for which he and we so much long. A third we all knew and loved much. He was a member of the working committee of the Y.M.C. A. In all its services he was a hearty and helpful member. His simple and earnest prayers you cannot forget, and his modest and unassuming manner you could not despise. He was a close reader, a man with a clear head and a warm heart. One day in speaking with him on personal religion, I was surprised to hear him ask my opinion of Matthew Arnold’s phrase-” religion is morality touched with emotion;” and after explaining that this was the phrase of modern religious philosophy he said, ” Well I neither ken nor care, but the kind of religion I believe in is a morality made and sanctified by the Spirit of God.” So spoke that bright and happy Christian-James Salter. With another we were very intimate. And certain am I that many can bear-witness to the fact that of all the obliging men none was more obliging than our friend John Brown. His conversion took place in a neighbouring church a few years ago. His goodness was unobtrusive, his piety was unaffected, and his delight was to listen to addresses that were evangelistic. Just four weeks tonight, after our services he said “That’s what I like, an address that strikes and sticks.” With the other members of the crew I was not personally acquainted, two of them young men, and one a nice lad whose experience is deeply touching. Several times he asked his father’s permission to accompany the “Garland” in its deep trip, twice his father quietly refused, but yielding to his son’s solicitations, permission was granted, but poor boy his first trip was to be his last. Thus today we grieve for the loss of men in the morning, noon, and eventide of their days. And what I have said of the Christian worth and moral excellences of the men, as well as what you know of the character of the others, lead me to say further that our community can ill-spare such a fine, noble, manly, Christian crew. However, the Lord has need of them. In closing may I invite this very large audience to witness two scenes. The one is away across these tossing waters. You see seven men battling with wind and wave, doing everything that ingenuity and forethought could devise, until in despair they betake themselves, it may be, to their cabin, calmly awaiting their fate. They are fearing, hoping, sighing, and commending each other to the care of him in whose hands the sea is. And shall we say that, although no human eye saw their fate, the angels of God were present, surrounding the weather-driven boat, and cheering the brave men whom they were so soon to bear across the rushing flood. For surely the pathway to heaven is as safe and as short by sea as by land, and experience as sweet through the raging sea as through a raging fever. Methinks you hear them saying, “Good night” in the midst of the shrieking storm, but do you not hear them saying “Good morning.” on the threshold of glory. To different Christian denominations they belonged on earth, in different sanctuaries they worshipped, but today we lift our tearful eyes and see them in the one temple, in the one home, in the one Heaven, singing with one voice and with one heart “Unto Him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his blood.” The other scene is to cast a passing glance at the homes draped in gloom. It would be indiscreet were I a privileged visitor, to draw aside a veil so secret and so sacred as woman’s sorrow. But I may say, could you but see the pallid cheeks, the startled looks, and witness the strong womanly effort at a patient submission you could not grudge your sympathy and prayers. Finally. To all the lesson is painful as it is impressive. The old men who have weathered many storms may yet lie in a grave where no one but the eye of God may see; the young men dare not dream of old age, and the young may take but one step from the threshold of manhood to the portals of death. Therefore, the lesson to one and all be—” Be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, of Man cometh.