Seite:Marsh Hallig 1856.djvu/281

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281

THE FLOOD.

they praised the goodness and mercy of God. Every
thought that death was so near to all, entirely vanished.
And the sympathy of the pastor and his wife made
even them forget the common danger ; and had the
poor frame-work yielded to the tempest at this moment,
they would have been swallowed up by the flood in the
midst of rejoicings for the recovery of the child. When
their thoughts were turned once more to the dangers
which surrounded them, they were found to have al-
ready diminished. The storm no longer raged so vio-
lently, and grew calmer every moment. The waves no
longer threw such vast sheets of water over the ruined
roof, and were soon only rolling beneath it. But the
joy with which the new hope of life inspired them, was
greatly lessened by the tact that the supports of the
few joists and boards that remained, seemed now scarce-
ly equal to sustain the slightest shock, but trembled
even more violently than before, and seemed loosening
at every joint. As the water retired, large portions of
the mound on which these posts had rested, fell off,
making one side of the little portion of the garret that
remained, lean so much that it was only by clinging to
the rafters, that the unhappy company could prevent
sliding from the wet and slanting boards. But the sea
sent up a few more long, heavy surges toward the prey
which it left behind so unwillingly, and in its retreat,
undermined, so completely, the ground on which the
house-posts stood, that they were left almost entirely
without support, and the danger to which the pastor
and his companions were exposed, was now greater than
before. The higher their hopes of life had risen, the
more agonizing was the thought of falling a sacrifice at