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all things, it will again be united to them, and in the bodies of the wicked will exist, to add to their everlasting torments; but in those of the righteous, it will shine forth in unceasing splendour, and hold joyful communion with millions of glorified beings, surrounding the throne of infinite perfection and love!
A ship is subject to leaks, which will, if unregarded, sink her: man is subject to sin, and unrepented, it will destroy him. Mariners daily examine their vessels, to ascertain whether any leaks exist, and they are always alarmed when they discover any. As soon as leaks make their appearance, mariners labour day and night to stop them; but should they find all their exertions fruitless, rather than perish, they abandon their vessel, though she may be laden with great riches.
Oh! how wise and prudent are men in temporal things! but, alas! how stupid and indifferent in those affecting their eternal welfare! Sin is the leak of the soul, which lets in the bitter waters of pain and misery; but man disregards this solemn truth, and, rather than seek to be delivered from sin, gladly cherishes it, though it will sink his never-dying soul into the sea of endless perdition.
Oh! how much ought every one to hate sin! It blinds the eyes, pollutes the tongue, and debases the heart. Sin never repented, separates the soul from God, and takes away all prospect of heaven. Where there is indulged sin, there is no hope, no happiness; it shuts up the soul in the prison of wrath, turns man into a beast, and ultimately sends him to hell.
Poor sinners, tremble at this, and be assured, that if you always love sin, your destruction will be more complete than that of the ship which founders at sea: such a thing is trifling compared to the evil which threatens you; for the loss of a ship is merely the source of temporal distress, but the loss of the soul is the cause of eternal damnation. Oh! think of these things; and "while the lamp of life holds out to burn," seek refuge in the blood and righteousness of Christ. Nothing else will do you good, save you, or prevent your ruin. Apply to the Saviour at once. Every moment you delay, adds to your danger; for "now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation."* Though your soul be in a dreadfully leaky, sinking state, do not despair, for Jesus
* 2 Cor. vi. 2.
came to die for the chief of sinners, and "his blood cleanseth from all sin."* Desert the vessel you have so long clung to; give up the base world; renounce your evil ways; and pray earnestly for divine help, lest it be said of you when you leave this world, "There go the ships." Oh! what unhappy vessels; they are laden with abominations, and freighted for the eternal flames.
Christians! this subject demands your serious attention: you are called to be more determined in your opposition to sin, than the toiling mariners to the leaks of their vessels. They strive hard to stop them, and are obliged to work continually at the pumps to avert their danger. Like them, you must labour continually against the leaks of the soul, because when once * 1 John i. 7.
they gain admittance, they make dreadful progress. Exert yourselves therefore every moment, and never think that you have done labouring, till the devil has ceased tempting, and your heart has left off sinning. But you will say, that such a thing will never be the case, till "this mortal has put on immortality." Alas! it is very true, and therefore calls upon you to be very watchful and determined. As long as ships traverse the ocean, they will be liable to leaks; and all the time we sojourn in this wicked world, we shall be liable to sin. The frequency of leaks makes mariners concerned; and our exposure and proneness to sin should make us cautious. Sometimes mariners luckily get into port in a leaky ship; but no one can reach heaven in a sinful state. Strive therefore mightily