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and that fadeth not away; reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God.”*
When done with time, those who have faithfully served their God, will enjoy a state of unutterable felicity and eternal glory ; but those who live in all the delights of this world, and in unconcern for their souls, will experience when they die, sorrow without end, and misery without diminution.
The above are some of the striking and most important truths declared in the compass
of God's word. They are invaluable, therefore should be esteemed; and of the utmost moment, therefore deserve our regard. But it is an awful truth, that man is quite blind to his own good; he slights the things which he ought to prize, and loves
• 2 Pet. i. 3, 4, 5.
those he ought to shun. The Bible is one of the greatest gifts God could bestow upon his creatures, and it was thought so once, when scarcely a copy of it could be obtained. Its value at one period was immense, and I have read of a large sum having been given for even one leaf of it: in the present day things are very different.
different. The Bible is circulated with great liberality, and no one need be without it; for the blessed volume is offered to us, almost without money and without price. While however it has become such a popular book in England, as to lead men to designate our country “ a land of Bibles ;” and while it is so common, that no family or individual would like to be without it, very few are sufficiently, or deeply interested in its contents, to study it with attention, or form their conduct upon its precepts. What abominable and dreadful hypocrisy! Who is there, if he were told that some great person had left him an estate, would be unconcerned to see the will, or know the nature of his claim? He would be considered a madman, or accounted a fool, were he to neglect such a precaution ; and is it not of primary importance, that we ascertain from the word of God, whether the kingdom of glory, the eternal inheritance of heaven, be really ours ? Undoubtedly it is ; but nearly all the world act otherwise. They presume upon possessing heaven, and never, till they come to die, enquire what title they have to it: whereas, they should be momently asking themselves
am I sanctified in heart; am I daily living as though it were my last; am I an heir of glory; and am I possessed of hopes which will support me in death? These enquiries should be made with great seriousness, for the soul is too precious to be trifled with, and eternity too important to be disregarded.
A mariner, when he is going a voyage, would deem himself unsafe, were he to put to sea without a compass, and having one on board, would give himself
for lost, were he to steer his ship without looking to it. But mankind, though embarked on a voyage which will either end in everlasting joy, or eternal woe, are wholly unconcerned, and think that they can do well enough without any guide. Awake, ye drowsy, foolish mariners of this
world, and open your eyes to the dangers surrounding you! Oh! how many dreadful shoals, and frightful rocks beset you; accidents and disease on one hand, death and hell on the other. If
you desire escape, consult the spiritual compass, and attend seriously to what it says, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, who will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Sailors! let me impress upon you the necessity of consulting the compass which I have described; it tells of mercy which you need, and of joys that you never knew. It is admirably suited to your condition, and by attending to it in your dangerous
* Isa. lv. 7.