A few years ago, at the mouth of Cleveland harbor, there were two lights, one at each side of the bay, called the upper and lower lights; and to enter the harbor safely by night, vessels must sight both of the lights. These western lakes are more dangerous sometimes than the great ocean. One wild, stormy night, a steamer was trying to make her way into the harbor. The captain and pilot were anxiously watching for the lights. By and by the pilot was heard to say, “Do you see the lower light?” “No,” was the reply; “I fear we have passed them.” “Ah, there are the lights,” said the pilot; “and they must be from the bluff on which they stand, the upper lights. We have passed the lower lights, and have lost our chance of getting into the harbor.” What was to be done? They looked back, and saw the dim outline of the lower lighthouse against the sky. The lights had gone out. “Can’t you turn your head around?” “No; the night is too wild for that. She won’t answer to her helm.” The storm was so fearful that they could do nothing. They tried again to make for the harbor, but they went crash against the rocks, and sank to the bottom. Very few escaped; the great majority found a watery grave. Why? Simply because the lower lights had gone out. Now with us the upper lights are all right. Christ himself is the upper light, and we are the lower lights, and the cry to us is, Keep the lower lights burning; that is what we have to do. He will lead us safe to the sunlit shore of Canaan, where there is no more night.
Brightly beams our Father's mercy
From His Lighthouse ever more,
But to us He gives the keeping
Of the lights along the shore.
CHO.—Let the lower lights be burning!
Send a gleam across the wave!
Some poor fainting struggling seaman
You may rescue, you may save.
Dark the night of sin has settled,
Loud and angry billows roar;
Eager eyes are watching, longing,
For the lights along the shore.—Cho.
Trim your feeble lamp, my brother;
Some poor seaman tempest-tost,
Trying now to make the harbor,
In the darkness may be lost.—Cho.
P. P. BLISS.
D. L. Moody, D. L. Moody’s Child Stories Related by Him in His Revival Work, ed. J. B. McClure (Chicago: Rhodes & McClure, 1877), 121-22.