HE TOOK MY PLACE
An ungodly sea captain lay In his cabin In mid-ocean, death staring him in the face. He shrank back in the presence of “the King of terrors,” and the dread of eternity took fast bold on him,
Captain Coutts sent for his first mate and said: ‘Williams, get down on your knees and pray for a fellow. I have been very wicked, as you know; and I expect I shall go this time.”
“I am not a praying man, you know, Captain, so I can’t pray. I would if I could.”
“Well, than, bring a Bible and read to me a bit; for my rope is about to run out.”
“I have no Bible, Captain; you know I am not a religious man.”
“Then send for Thomas. the second mate; perhaps lie can pray a bit.”
The second mate was soon in the presence of the dying captain, when he said to him: ‘I say, Thomas, I am afraid I am bound for eternity Us trip. Get down and pray for me. Ask God to have mercy upon my poor soul!”
“I’d gladly do it to oblige you, Captain, if I could; but I have not prayed since I was a lad.”
“Have you a Bible then to read to me?”
“No, Captain, I have no Bible.”
Alas for the dying sinner! How awful his condition-on the brink of eternity without Christ!
They searched the ship over for a man who could pray; but they searched in vain-and for a Bible, but none could be found, until one of the sailors told the Captain be bad seen a book that looked like a Bible in the hands of the cook’s boy, a little fellow named Willie Platt.
“Send at once,” said Captain Coutts, “and see if the boy has a Bible.”
The sailor hurried off to the boy and said to him, “Sonny, have you a Bible?”
“Yes sir, but I only read it in my own time.”
“Oh, that is all right, my lad; take the Bible and go to the Captain’s cabin. He is very sick and wants a Bible. He thinks he is going to die.”
Away went Willie Platt with his Bible to the Captain’s cabin.
“Have you a Bible, my boy?”
“Then sit down, and find something in it that will help me; for I am afraid I am going to die. Find something about God having mercy on a sinner like me, and read it to me.”
Poor boy! He did not know where to read, but he remembered that his mother had him read the 53rd chapter of Isaiah just before be left home for the voyage.
Willie turned to that blessed chapter that so fully sets forth the love and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ in dying for poor sinners such as John Coutts, and commenced to read. When Willie got to the fifth verse–“He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him,” and “He was wounded for our transgressions, with his stripes we are healed,” the Captain, who was listening for his very life, realizing that he was having his last chance of being saved, said: “Stop, my lad; That sounds like it! Read it again.”
Once more the boy read the blessed words.
“Aye, my lad, that’s good-that’s it, sure.”
These words from the captain encouraged Willie, and be said: “Captain, when I was reading that verse at home, mother- made me put-my name in it. May I put it ‘now just where Mother told me?”
“Certainly, sonny; put your name in just your mother told you, and read. it again.”
Reverently and slowly the boy read the verse:
“He – Jesus – was wounded for Willie Platt’s transgressions. He was bruised. for Willie Platt’s iniquities: the chastisement of “Willie Platt’s peace was upon him, and with his Stripes Willie Platt is
When Willie had finished, the, Captain was half-way over the side Of his bed, reaching toward the lad, and said. “My boy, put your Captain’s name in the verse, and read it again-John Coutts, John
Then the lad slowly read. the verse again: “He was wounded for John Coutts’ transgressions, he was bruised for John Coutts’ iniquities, the chastisement of John Coutts’ peace was upon him, and with his stripes John Coutts is healed.”
When the boy finished, the Captain said: “That will do, my ]ad, you may go now.”
Then the Captain lay back upon his pillow and repeated over and over again those precious words of Isaiah 53:5, putting In his Own name each time; and as he did so, the joy of heaven filled his soul. He was saved. Yes, praise the Lord, reader, he was saved! Another poor sinner for whom Christ died had ‘received Him.” John 1:12. Before John Coutts fell asleep in Jesus, be bad witnessed to everyone on his vessel that the Christ of God-the man of Calvary-was wounded for his transgressions, bruised for his Iniquities, that the chastisement that he rightfully deserved had fallen on the blessed Substitute, and with His stripes-the stripes that fell on Jesus–he had been healed.
Beloved reader, do you know the peace that this great salvation brings? Have you taken your true place as a poor “ungodly sinner” before God, and trusted Him through Christ for pardon?
“If we confess our sins, he Is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”-I John 1:9.
“And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection. of the Lord Jesus.” -Acts 4:33. We have been born into a living hope, when we hear the Gospel (good news) of Christ’s death for our sins, and His resurrection In overcoming sin, death, wicked rulers. and the devil. Turn to Him.