Page images

preserve in his soul the love of Jesus. He is enjoined to walk circumspectly ; to watch in all things; to be instant in season, and out of season; to follow the Lord with full purpose of heart; to grow in grace, and to be always fighting the good fight of faith. These things prove that a Christian is not to be a passive character, but a laborious, active, and determined one just as much concerned for his salvation as though it depended on his own exertions.

6thly. As mariner's have often to contend with calms and light winds, so a Christian will frequently experience lulling and deceitful seasons. A few mariners are so fortunate as to make

with constant fair breezes; and a few, though very few Christians pass to glory, always enjoying the fa

their voyages

vouring breezes of God's love. A child of God cannot be in a more dangerous state than when his soul feels no gracious influences of the Spirit. It is a state requiring great watchfulness, fervent prayer, and deep humility; and it is one that bas been ruinous to many, and would be ruinous to all were they careless and unconcerned. The Lord tries his people in various ways, but he always has their good in view. Sometimes he withdraws the light of his countenance, takes away the enjoyment of his love, or withholds the sweet evidences of faith. At other times he leaves us to the impulses of our hearts, and suffers temptations to assail us. These things are to show us where our strength lies, and that we are only safe while God dwells within us. If he desert

us, we are poor creatures, lost in the dreadful sea of unbelief and sin.

Lastly, as careful mariners, though they may experience a variety of opposing winds, at last reach their wishedfor port; so sincere Christians, though they may be severely buffeted and tried, will in the end gain the blessed harbour of heaven. While this should encourage, it ought to warn. A Christian has much to endure in the world, but by casting his soul upon Jesus he will come off conqueror. Fierce and contrary winds now blow upon the believer, but the Lord is too good to allow his frail vessel to be tossed about, above what it is able to bear. The ocean he is traversing, is an exposed and dangerous one. Sometimes the winds of sorrow, the gales of spiritual distress, and the tempests of raging hell so frighten him, he momently fears that he will perish. The Christian must not however give way, but keep on his course, trusting to him who is a present help in every time of need. Christ, though he does not always manifest himself to his people, is a wall of fire round about them; he knows their circumstances, and is interested for their safety.

Our duty is to seek him, and rely wholly upon him. Let us then keep the eye of faith fixed on the great recompence of reward; and let us ever be seeking the fresh breezes of sanctifying grace; the glorious winds of ardent love, and the strong gales of almighty strength ; for with these we may joyfully trim our sails, and steer for eternity.



“Oh, Lord! how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of tny riches." --Ps. civ. 24.

“How strange thy works ! how great thy skill!

And every land thy riches fill:
Thy wisdom round the world we see,
This spacious earth is full of thee.”

Though every part of the world does not equally abound in the magnificent works of nature, yet there is no portion of it which does not present some interesting proof of the great wisdom and boundless power of the mighty

« PreviousContinue »