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REMARKABLE ESCAPES FROM PERIL.
There are two facts connected with man's existence here which it is of the utmost importance that he should remember, but which he is strangely prone to forget.
The first is the extreme uncertainty of life, and his constant liability to death. In words at least men admit this truth : all know that life's thread is so brittle that it may snap at any moment; that the next breath we draw we may inhale deadly infection—that the next step we take may be into the grave. The pulse which beats as the author traces these lines may never beat again; the eye that reads them may be closed in death ere the page shall be turned. All this we acknowledge to be true : but how few really believe and act upon it! We confess the truth in words—we deny it in conduct and feeling; we feel its force in the case
of others, but we are insensible to it in our own. Men wonder that the soldier, the sailor, the miner, should so often lead careless lives, surrounded as they are by danger and death, forgetting the while that they live amidst perils, latent indeed, but no less real than theirs: “All men think all men mortal but themselves." We marvel at the insensibility of others, and are ourselves as insensible as they. “Go to now, ye that say, To-day or to-morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain : whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."
The other fact to which men are prone to be so strangely insensible, is their constant and entire dependence on the providential care of God, to guard them anidst manifold and impending dangers to preserve them in their exceeding frailty, and to sustain their lives till the "appointed time” for their departure shall have come. Around and “underneath us are the everlasting arms ;" but because we feel no sensible pressure, we forget their sustaining might. He “in whom we live and move and have our being is not far from any one of us,"