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his almighty power, and effectually turn every soul unto himself!
Should this ever fall into the hands of captains, who, instead of being leaders and commanders to the people, in the ways of righteousness; are by permission, or setting a bad example, leading them to sin, I pray God to make you think seriously of your con. duct. Will it afford you comfort on your dying beds, and in the solemn hour, when you must lay aside all earthly honours, to meet your God? You hold responsible posts on board ships, and they are of a nature in which much good, either of a spiritual or moral kind, can be effected. Let me then entreat you, to reject the abominable philosophy of the world, which says that sailors are better withou' religion; and let me implore you to exert your
selves, to be as useful to your heavenly sovereign, as you are to your earthly king. Depend on it, there is nothing comparable to the satisfaction which springs from a consciousness of having been the means of doing good, either by our own efforts, or in giving countenance to others.
God grant you grace to imitate the conduct of the commander Christ Jesus, who went about continually doing every thing to promote the present, and eternal happiness of poor, ignorant, sinful creatures.
To the happy and privileged, few captains, who, like Moses, deem the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of this world, I would say, be
ye “ stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord ; for, in due time, you will
you faint not.” You fill situations, which make you the particular objects of remark and ridicule; but a more exalted Leader and Commander than you, suffered the greatest malevolence and indignities, in order to save sinners from hell. He left a pattern of meekness and forbearance to his people, which I hope you will always be influenced to copy. For your comfort, dwell on the glorious promises of the gospel, which assure believers, that God is not unmindful of what they do in his name, but will in another world feast their souls with joys that are unspeakable and unknown.
“ The Heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handy work.”—Ps. xix. 1.
“ Great God! the heaven's well-order'd frame
Declares the glories of thy name;
A thousand starry beauties there,
A thousand radiant marks appear, Of boundless power, and skill divine.”
I have before remarked, that no one enjoys such opportunities of seeing the wonders of creation, as a sailor; and while that remark in a great measure applies to the beauties of the earth, it is very applicable to the glorious próspect presented to him in the starry world. Frequently, nothing around him intervenes to conceal from his eye the smallest twinkling orb; and it is on those occasions, he feasts upon a sight the most comprehensive and sublime. He beholds millions of worlds, careering throughout infinite space; all subject to the greatest order, and all clothed in richest splendour; each performing the course appointed by almighty wisdom, and all fulfilling the purposes of unbounded goodness. Years upon years, they have appeared in the highest glory creative power could bestow; and till the heavens be wrapped up as a scroll, they will shine forth in undiminished magnificence.