For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
Did you ever see a wreck? I remember being one winter's night in a little town on the coast of Wales. We were sitting by the fire, cheerful, and we heard, while there, a sudden noise: we looked out into the night; there was a deep fog over the sea; we could scarcely see the cliffs; the wind was very high; there was a drizzling rain; and suddenly we heard the scream of voices; then the boom of the guns over the water; then stillness; then the clatter of feet along the street; the life boat and the life buoy. Human life in danger. We thought we discried the dark mass heaving over the black billows, lit up by the ray of the guns and the blue lights; but the sound of the surf and the roar of the breakers carried all away; they carried her away. That night she struck on the rocks. I walked down in the morning to look at her lying on the beach. I could not help saying, "How human this is; how life-like!" There she lay — the pride and hope of her owners — stripped; masts, sails, shrouds, broken, ragged, torn, gone; and yet much had depended on her. She had been launched with many hopes and expectations. All gone — a melancholy wreck! The winds howled through as they lifted her ragged shrouds. She could not, as once she might have done, repel them and make them her ministers. The sun shone on her, through her cabin windows and port-hole, but awakened no answering glory oil her deck. She was a lost ship — melancholy type of a lost soul.
(E. Paxton Hood.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?