The Elements Overruled
"Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps: fire, and hail; snow and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling His word."
Psalms 148: 7,8.
A Mantle of Mist
Well known in the history of the Vaudois Protestants is the incident of the providential deliverance of a company of them by a covering cloud of mist that came down upon them, on an Alpine height, just as the hosts of Savoy were surrounding them. So, too, fugitive bands of the old Scottish Covenanters were more than once veiled from their pursuers. The heroic Peden, leading a flight from the dragoons on a hill called the Sandy, prayed, "Lord cast the lap of Thy cloak over old Sandy, and save us this one time." And "in this he was heard," says the Scottish chronicler, "for a cloud of mist intervened immediately betwixt them." If this were not a record of modern mission providences, we would be constrained to follow further the story of providences among these Scottish hills,
"Where Peden bold in flood and fold,
On mountain, moor, or glen,
All seer-like, bore salvation's cup
To fainting martyr men.
"Where Heaven's brooding wing of love,
Like Israel's pillar-cloud,
Them lapped in nature's misty tent
A prayer-woven shroud.
"Their home was off the mountain cave,
Their couch the waving fern,
Their pillows oft the gray moss stone,
In moorland dark and stern."
But the untiring hands of missionary pioneers have had their share of deliverances by the intervention of the elements providentially overruled. A covering mist was a mantle of deliverance to a missionary party in the early South African days.
Cato, the chief of the Amazulu, was raiding the border. Mr. William Shepstone, a pioneer of Wesleyan missions, was compelled to flee from his station at Morley. In Mr. Shaw's "My Story of My Mission" we are told:
"The station was not abandoned, however, till the enemy were within a few miles, and until Mr. Shepstone and his people saw several kraals in flames, marking their destructive progress. Hastily packing up their goods in two wagons, the missionary families and the people left Morley toward the end of October, 1829; and most providentially a dense mist or fog concealed their movements from the invading Amazulu, or there is no doubt they would have been attacked on their way."