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The Moral of Accidents.

The Moral of Accidents.

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March 20, 1864.

They knew not till the flood came, and took
them all away.*' — Matt. xxiv. 39,

March 20, 1864.

They knew not till the flood came, and took
them all away.*' — Matt. xxiv. 39,

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Aug 23, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE MORAL OF ACCIDETS.BY REV THOMAS T. LYCH.March 20, 1864.They knew not till the flood came, and took them all away.*' — Matt. xxiv. 39,BUT they might have known. ot thosepoor sleeping children, not those un-warned fathers and mothers and work-peoplewho were swept away by that great midnightflood at Sheffield, of which we have all beenlately hearing.* These knew not their danger,? The terrible inundation, of which the newspapers of the timegave graphic and harrowing reports, occurred only nine days beforethis sermon was read to the Congregation. On March nth, 1864,at nearly midnight, the town of Sheffield and its neighbourhoodsu£fered terrible havoc from the bui sting of the reservoir from whichthe town was ordinarily supplied. The water roiled a cataract uponthe sleeping villages in the valley below, into and through Sheffielditself, down to the Don at Doncaster. Within the space of two orthree hours two hundred and fifty human beings, from the man of eighty to the baby in arms, were drowned in their beds, or in trying4 FIRST SERVICE.«for there was none to tell them, neither was theflood that came upon them the flood of angry- judgment. They suffered in their innocency.Even if amongst them, as we cannot but fearfrom what we know of human nature was the
case, there were wicked men unprepared to meettheir God, it was not their sinful hands that letloose this flood on themselves and on theirneighbours. But the people of whom ourSaviour is speaking, though they knew not atwhat hour the flood would come, knew that itwould come, and how they might avoid the ruinthat was preparing.It is our SavtouTy He who through all theworld is to be called by that honoured and be-loved title. He who came not to judge the worldbut to save it ; it is He who here speaks of thedestruction that so long ago befell unrepentingevil-doers. They had been called to repent-ance, but they gave no heed to the call. Theyhardened their neck ; and therefore they wereto escape, or were crushed beneath the ruins of the houses in whichthey dwelt. It was estimated that property to the worth of morethan a quaiter of a million was destroyed by this terrible catastrophe.THE MORAL OF ACCIDETS. 5suddenly destroyed, and that without remedy.And the like judgments Christ assures us willbefall those who now live a negligent and un-godly life, if they will not receive Him when Hecomes to them in mercy.How great is the difference between thosewho know not, yet might have known, and thosewho know not because there is none to warn !Jerusalem knew not the day of its visitation,though Christ was Himself its Visitor, and spaketo it as never man spake. So Jerusalem, thatwould not yield itself to God, had to yield itself to the armies of Rome. It would not learn of 
Him who was as "the Rose of Sharon," andwould have made joy bloom in the heart of thecity ; so it had to be taught by a scourge sharpand strong, fashioned as of the thorns of thewilderness.But how frequent are the cases of calamitythat occur without warning, and that are noindex to the desert of the sufferers ! Every day,yes, and every hour, there are tears for someunexpected trouble. How much is there thatseems made but to be marred; how much.6' FIRST SERVICE.planned well, is thwarted by accidents which noplan could have taken into account ! We havebut to look into any sheet of those CommonScriptures of the people, the ewspapers, to findsad tales ; and many of them are as strange asthey are sad. And if we search these Scriptures,what tale is there so tragic, what suddendestruction so terrible, that we cannot find aparallel or companion for it in recent or informer records ? A few cases, perhaps, standout firom others as beyond rivalry, supreme interror; such as that hideous holocaust — wholeburnt offering — of girls and women at Santiagoa short time since. But if to-day we read of aboiler explosion, last year there was one toosadly similar ; if to-day of a wreck, the stormsof last winter furnished one yet more fearful. If to-day labouring men are buried in the dark mine, but a few months since others weredrowned or suffocated there. Accidents to life,to limb, to property are of daily occurrence.One day the light-hearted and light-footedskater falls through the thin trembling ice, and

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