It is difficult to tell of the experience which follows, but the student of Christian Science will readily see in it that acceptance of the truth made the overcoming of fear possible, even as in the case of disease, and that divine Principle is to be relied upon at all times.
While the Titanic was sinking, and during the whole time I was working at the boats, I held to the truth, thereby eliminating all fear. I do not pretend that any man can go down on a ship at midnight, in mid-Atlantic, and succeed in eliminating fear, without hard work. It was hard work, and yet the very conditions which existed on the port side were in themselves a demonstration of the workings of Truth, for not the slightest hitch occurred, and all boats were got away, the last one, which was a flat-bottomed collapsible, floating off the deck. Now it is proverbial that the last thing a sailor will think of is a life-belt; certainly no thought had entered my head of my own life-belt, and I was far too busy at the boats to leave them, even had I thought of it. And this is how I came to obtain my belt.
Murdoch had been appointed chief, I was first and Blair was second officer; in that rank we had joined the Titanic in Belfast. Shortly before we sailed from Southampton, Wilde, who was formerly chief of the Olympic, and who was to have been given command of another of the White Star steamers, which, owing to the coal strike and other reasons was laid up, was sent for the time being to the Titanic as chief, Murdoch ranking back to first, myself to second, and Blair standing out for the voyage. Now it will be seen why it was that Wilde, on wanting some articles which were received by the first officer in Belfast, came to me. I took him into the first officer's room and showed him where they were, and was on my way back on deck again when I heard Wilde say, "I am going to put on my life-belt." At that precise moment I was passing my own room door, facing which is a wardrobe, and on the top of this was my own lifebelt. On hearing Wilde's remark, I instinctively looked into the room, reached for the belt, and put it on.