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CHAPTER IX.

THE DANGERS OF THE SEA.

“ Sailing was now dangerous.”-Acts xxvii, 9.

Waken, O Lord, our drowsy sense

To walk this dangerous road;
That if our souls be hurried hence,

They may be found with God.”

NAVIGATION has not only added many interesting particulars to our knowledge of distant countries, but it has made us acquainted with a great many dangers which exist in different seas. Charts are published pointing them out with great exactness, so that all mariners, excepting the careless and unconcerned, may avoid them. But after all that navigation has effected, there is not a doubt but numerous dangers exist unknown to us. Many persons have perished through them, and no one has escaped to tell the mournful tale of the rest.

This life may justly be considered a vast and dangerous sea, on which every soul is embarked for eternity; but ever since the fall, nearly all the world have manifested great unconcern for the dangers in it. Through the goodness and mercy of God, 'a blessed chart, the word of unerring truth, has been published, to apprize us of all our dangers, and tell us how we may steer clear of them.

The particular dangers which threaten man in his eventful passage through

this life, are unbelief, sin, and disregard of Christ.

Unbelief is a very damning sin : it robs God of his glory, and the soul of its peace. It is a cursed plant derived from hell, and was brought into our world by the devil, when he induced our first parents to transgress against God. We are all so prone to this evil, that nothing but divine interposition can save us from perishing through it.

Unbelief levels itself at the existence of God, the authenticity of the Scriptures, and the reality of a future state.

Poor, short-sighted man, because he cannot find out to perfection all the mysteries connected with the existence of God, thinks fit to disbelieve it. That he should be unable fully to comprehend one great and eternal Supreme is not to be wondered at, because the task is too mighty for a finite mind. God in order to be the glorious and wonderful being he is, must be past finding out.

Were he less almighty and incomprehensible than the Bible assures us, our adoration would not be so intense, nor our fears so profound. But though God is absolutely above the grasp of mortals, he has placed before us abundant proofs of his existence; and it is the highest glory of a rational creature to acknowledge that there is a God. It is only “ the fool hath said in his heart there is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity; there is none doeth

good.” *

I am happy to say that avowed

* Psa. liii. 1.

Atheists are not numerous; but would to God we never met with numbers who are dreadful Atheists in action, though not in sentiment !

As respects the authenticity of the Scriptures, we are more certain that they are of divine origin, than that Homer, Virgil, and other great men wrote the works attributed to them. Thoughmen impugn the veracity of the Bible, it cannot suffer in the least from their attacks, for it resembles the Cedar, them ore assailed by storms, the firmer its hold. Man willingly believes, and wishes the Scriptures to be a forgery, but he cannot prove them

He rejects them not because they deceive him or tell him lies, but because they deal faithfully with him and tell him the truth, which he does not like.

so.

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