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a loud explosion, and volumes of blinding steam came rushing up from the hold of the vessel.

The wildest confusion followed. The women shrieked; the children screamed, and the men rushed wildly about trying to find out the cause of the explosion. It was a heart-rending scene. In the midst of all, the engineer came forward, looking as pale as a corpse. He said that one of the main-pipes had burst, and, that unless somebody went below, at the risk of his own life, and turned a stopper in connection with that pipe, in a few moments they would all be blown up.

Then the screams, and cries, and confusion, became worse than before. People rushed to the bows and the stern of the vessel, so as to get as far away as possible from the explosion. Moments seemed like hours then. Again the engineer cried out those terrible words, telling the people that unless some one would risk his life to turn off that stopper, they must all be lost.

And here I must say that I think this engineer was very much to blame. What business had he to stand there, telling the people about the danger they were in, and calling for some one else to go and do what it was his duty to attend to? He ought to have rushed in, at once, himself, and have tried to remove the difficulty, or have died in the attempt. If I had been the owner of that steamer, I should have dismissed that engineer as soon as I had, heard of his cowardly conduct. Shame on such a man! The danger threatening might have come upon them; many lives might have been lost, and the vessel sunk before he would risk his precious life.

But it was not so with all. One of the firemen—a man of whom no one on board knew much-stepped forward, and offered himself for the dangerous duty. Seizing a large piece of canvas, he wrapped it quickly round him, and hastened down below. In a moment all was still. People held their breath with fear. Presently the sound of the escaping steam was hushed. Then the engineer and two volunteers went down to the engine-room. They saw the thing had been done on which the safety of the vessel and of all on board depended; and there, close by, they saw that brave and noble-hearted fireman; but he saw not them. His life was the sacrifice of the manly and generous act he had performed. The escaping steam had scalded him to death. The crew and passengers on board the

steamer were saved by that brave man; but he laid down his own life, that he might save theirs.

And this illustrates the way in which Jesus, the good shepherd, saves his sheep. But, after all, cases like this illustrate the love of Jesus only in an imperfect way. His love in being willing to die for us was so wonderful, that nothing quite like it was ever known. That brave fireman

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knew that he would have had to die in any case. If he had not nobly stepped forward as he did, to turn aside the danger that threatened them all alike, then he must have died with his companions. It was braver and better, therefore, that he should die for them, as he did, in making the efforts to save them, than that he should have died with them, having never made that effort. But it was different with Jesus when he undertook to save us. He need not have suffered or died at all, unless he had chosen to do so.

And then, it was not certain beforehand that the fireman would die, in doing what he undertook to do. There was a bare possibility that he might be able to turn aside the threatened danger, and yet not be killed himself. But it was different with Jesus. When he came into the world to save us, he knew that he could do this only by dying for us himself. There was no possibility of his doing this in any other way. This was the price he had to pay. It was not possible even for the Son of God to save us in any other way.

And then it was for his friends, his companions, and fellow-passengers. that the brave fireman was willing to die. But it was different with Jesus. We were not his friends or companions. We did not love him, or know him, or care for him. No; but as the apostle says,—“when we were enemies"—or "ungodly"-"Christ died for us." Rom. v: 6, 10. And Jesus may well be called the shepherd-"the Good Shepherd," because he saved his people—the sheep of his flock-by laying down his life for them.

And he makes use of his Word, the reading of it, the teaching of it, the preaching of it, and many other means, in order that his lost sheep may be brought back to him, may learn to know him, and to love him, and to be saved by him.

And now, if we look back over what has been said on this subject, we shall see that four reasons are given why it was foretold of Jesus that he was to be a shepherd to his people. He might well be called a shepherd, because he seeks his people when lost, as the shepherd does his sheep; because he feeds them, and cares for them; because he protects them; and because he saves them.

I will close this subject by quoting the lines of that sweet and simple hymn which speaks of Jesus as our shepherd:

"See, the kind shepherd, Jesus, stands

With all engaging charms;

Hark! how he calls the tender lambs,
And folds them in his arms.

Permit me to approach, he cries,
Nor scorn their humble name;
For 'twas to save such souls as these

The Lord of glory came.

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