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A Handful of Stars by Frank Boreham

When he called for deliverance


Those

who have been similarly situated know what such prayers are worth. 'When the devil was sick the devil a saint would be.' Crusoe's prayer was the child of his terror. He was prepared to snatch at anything which might stand between him and a lonely death. When he called for deliverance, he meant deliverance from sickness and solitude; but it was not of _that_ deliverance that the text had come to speak. When, therefore, the crisis had passed, the text repeated its visit. It came to him in time of health.

'Now,' says Crusoe, 'I began to construe the words that I had read--"_Call upon Me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me_"--in a different sense from what I had done before. For then I had no notion of any deliverance but my deliverance from the captivity I was in. But now I learned to take it in another sense. Now I looked back upon my past life with such horror, and my sins appeared so dreadful, that my soul sought nothing of God but deliverance from the load of guilt that bore down all my comfort. As for my lonely life, it was nothing. I did not so much as pray for deliverance from my solitude; it was of no consideration in comparison with deliverance from my sin.'

This _second_ visit of the text brought him, Crusoe tells us, a great deal of comfort. So did the third. That _third_ memorable visit was paid eleven years later. Everybody remembers the stirring story. 'It happened

one day, about noon,' Crusoe says. 'I was exceedingly surprised, on going towards my boat, to see the print of a man's naked foot on the shore. I stood like one thunderstruck, or as if I had seen a ghost. I examined it again and again to make sure that it was not my fancy; and then, confused with terror, I fled, like one pursued, to my fortification, scarcely feeling the ground I trod on, looking behind me at every two or three steps, and fancying every stump to be a man.' It was on his arrival at his fortification that the text came to him the third time.

'Lying in my bed,' he says, 'filled with thoughts of my danger from the appearance of savages, my mind was greatly discomposed. Then, suddenly, these words of Scripture came into my thoughts: "_Call upon Me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me._" Upon this, rising cheerfully out of my bed, I was guided and encouraged to pray earnestly to God for deliverance. It is impossible to express the comfort this gave me. In answer, I thankfully laid down the Book and was no more sad.'

These, then, were the three visits that the text paid to Crusoe on his desolate island. '_Call upon Me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me._'

When the text came to him the _first_ time, he called for deliverance from _sickness_; and was in a few days well.

When the text came to him the _second_ time, he called for deliverance from _sin_; and was led to a crucified and exalted Saviour.

When the text came to him the _third_ time, he called for deliverance from _savages_; and the savages, so far from hurting a hair of his head, furnished him with his man Friday, the staunchest, truest friend he ever had.

'_Call upon Me_,' said the text, not once, nor twice, but thrice. And, three times over, Crusoe called, and each time was greatly and wonderfully delivered.

II


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