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it shall please thee, oh! most glorious Father! to accomplish this, British Seamen will prove a real honour to their country, and the surest bulwark it can possess.
THE MARINER’S COMPASS.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my
path.”—Psa. cxix. 105.
Oh! the blessed compass to mortals given ;
By it we see ourselves undone :
The compass was discovered in the fourteenth century, and is certainly the most valuable thing a mariner pos
Before its discovery, voyages were performed with tediousness, difficulty, and danger. The ancients never thought of venturing far out to sea, or losing sight of the land. They were guided by the stars, or influenced by uncertain conjectures. But now, mariners boldly launch forth into the mighty deep, and fearlessly steer for distant lands. The compass is therefore a very useful and important instrument, as it enables men to proceed with certainty, and success.
The word of God, the Bible, is the great compass or guide of life, and of the utmost value to all men. By it we learn whatever concerns our present and future welfare, and attending carefully to what it says, ensures us a safe and happy passage to the haven of everlasting peace. Under the Old Testament dispensation, the word of God was lodged in the hands of the
priests of the sanctuary, and it may be said, that man then groped his way to an eternal world; but at the coming of our blessed Redeemer, all old things were done away; a new, and more glorious dispensation was established; the word of God was offered to every poor
sinner, and all were invited to rejoice, because light and immortality were brought into the world.
The word of God is an important compass, because, Ist, it points to God as the mighty author, and great upholder of all things. It declares that there is a God; a Being of boundless power, and perfect love. It exhibits him in all his glorious perfections, and places him before us in all the excellencies of his charater. It represents him as a merciful Being, always concerned for the good of his creatures, and constantly superintending all the affairs of the world. However the infidel may cavil at this compass, and the wicked may disregard it, many happy souls find that it is “a lamp unto their feet and a light unto their paths.”
This compass, 2dly, shows man his actual condition. It does not disguise our state, but faithfully tells us what it is, and what it will lead to. We learn from this compass, that there is “none good, no not one,” but that all have gone astray, and that all are “ dead in trespasses and sin.” It declares, that by nature we are enemies of God; in love with the world; slaves to evil; children of wrath and disobedience; afar off from God; lost to our happiness, and in the high road to hell.
While this faithful compass shows