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ears of the deaf, and makes them hear; he awakens the fears of the stupid, and makes them afraid; he softens the hearts of the stubborn and obdurate, and makes them feel. Many a Sabbath at sea has carried light and conviction to the consciences of the bold and stout-hearted, thrown them into the gall of bitterness, and made them feel the bonds of their iniquity. And here, he who thus wounds, also heals; he who kills, also makes alive. The Reprover becomes the Comforter; those who are thus cast down are led by him to trust in his grace. We have strong hopes of the conversion and salvation of seamen. The vilest among them is not so corrupt and degenerate, as to be beyond the hope of repentance and recovery. "Whosoever will, may take of the waters of life freely."

To those whom we have left behind us, the house of God is a refuge in the time of trouble. It is a sacred asylum; a place of protection; a shelter from the storm and a covert from the tempest. Seamen are sufferers as well as other men. They are used to suffering; and though it be uncomplaining suffering before men, many a tear trickles down the cheek of the hardy mariner when he is alone, and no eye sees him but God's. A Sabbath at sea is a delightful relief to the sailor, who is the child of misfortune and of sorrow. Trouble sometimes rushes in upon him like mighty waters; it drives him from his much-loved home, and his native shores, to seek a refuge amid the solitude of the wide ocean. He may have been the thoughtless and guilty cause of his own sufferings. And how well timed the relief, to find amid the quietude and subduing privileges of a Sabbath at sea, a little Bethel, where, with one of old he may say, "Why art thou cast down,

O my soul, and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise him who is the health of my countenance, and my God!"

The seaman often has a heavy and a broken heart, because lover and friend are put from him, and his acquaintance into darkness. He may be friendless and poor; or sickness may debilitate, and pain agonize him, and he may look towards the dark ocean as his grave. How sweet and soothing are the influences of this day of heavenly peace and mercy to such a man! and how, when such, or other adverse providences overshadow him, is he counselled to bear in mind that "These light afflictions are but for a moment," and that if rightly and religiously improved, they "work out for him a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory!" It is well, when we suffer, that we should feel that the hand of God is upon us, and that he is angry with us for our sins; but it is also well that we should feel that he is a “refuge for us, and a very present help in trouble." And this is one of the chief lessons of the Sabbath, whether at sea, or on shore. It is a sign of peace, an emblem of God's mercy to the suffering and lost, a standing sign and proof, returning once in every seven days, of the finished work of that Great Redeemer, who is the helper of the helpless, and who says, with such unutterable tenderness, "Come unto me, all ye who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." The cup of adversity goes round, and no class of men are exempt from tasting it. Some drink deeper of it than others; days of sighing and grief, and wearisome nights are appointed to them. And when God thus smites. us, it is vain to boast that we care not for it. There is no reason, no religion, no courage in this. But there


is courage, there is religion, there is reason, in looking to God, in trusting in God when he smites us. "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him!" We cannot hope too much from God. At what time I am "afraid, I will trust in thee!" O what a sweet and holy serenity often comes over the mind, as it is agitated with apprehension, and as it looks out on the blackened skies, and knows not how soon the storm will burst, or where the bolt will fall! The Sabbath at sea invites us to this repose. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper, the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil; he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out, and thy coming in, from this time forth and for

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There is still another claim which the Sabbath has upon seamen. They, like other men, are bound to live to some good purpose in the world. "None of us," saith the apostle, "liveth to himself." Wherever they go, whatever seas they traverse, whatever islands they touch at, and to whatever ports they are bound in Heathen, Mahomedan, or Christian lands, it should be their great object so to conduct themselves, that their influence shall be for good, and not for evil. Alas! how much evil have seamen done in our world! "The harp, and the viol, the tabret and the pipe, and the wine have been in their feasts," and they have "regarded not the works of the Lord, nor considered the operations of his hands." That great and dreadful name, THE LORD THEIR GOD, they have treated with impious irreverence; and with solemn oaths and blasphemy, they "have set their

mouth against the heavens, and their tongue has walked through the earth." Not a few of them have been examples of filial impiety and social insubordination; and had they been unrestrained, would have left no law unreversed, and no scene of confusion unrealized. Unreasonable anger, and furious and revengeful passions, have often led them to deeds of violence which have made them the dread of their fellow-men. Even now, after all the reform among seamen, if a ship-master is looking for men, he is sure to find them in the haunts of licentiousness. Plunder and depredation also, too often mark the course of the mariner at sea, and in foreign lands; while "their mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a hand of falsehood." Now, this is a dreadful influence to sail over and send round this degenerate world. Charity weeps over it, religion and civilization weep over it. And it must be changed, ere seamen live to the great purposes of their accountable and immortal existence. They little think how much they live for the weal, or woe of their fellowmen, and to what extent they hold in their hands the destiny of thousands. Every ship should bear a healthful moral influence to every land, and every seaman should be a light shining in a dark place. And what is so fitted to create and preserve such an influence as the Sabbath at sea? But for the narrow and shortsighted, as well as wicked policy of ship-owners and ship-masters, which has so profaned this day as to make it a day of needless, and sometimes augmented labor; and where not of labor, a day of mirth and glee; seamen might have been among the moral and more useful class of men. There is no speech nor language where their influence would not have been welcome, and

where it would not have been felt and gratefully acknowledged. Nothing but the Sabbath, the Sabbath at sea, can make seamen the ornament and honor of their race. Nothing else can save them from being corrupt, and the corrupters of their fellow-men, and make them blessings and blessed. Not until the Sabbath brings them under the control of new principles and a new power, will they become the living exemplifications of God's truth and love, the guardians of his holiness and the friends of their race.

"Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house, the place where thine honor dwelleth." Let us love it, and not the less because we find it here on the broad ocean. It is no splendid altar which we are able here to build, and no costly offering. But let it be the offering of grateful and contrite hearts, and it will not be despised. May the sacred fire burn upon it long and steadily; and may He who holds the winds in his fists, and the waters in the hollow of his hand, accept our sacrifices and give us his peace!

We are fellow-voyagers over the sea of life, and to the same eternal home. Let not the God of the Sabbath be dishonored here, nor his Sabbaths themselves testify against us! If we hope for God's blessing, let us keep the day holy to the end of it. Let us prize these seasons of worship, and fervently pray that they may fit us for that world where there is no temple, and where there is no more sea! Wherever we go, let us make it appear that the Sabbath is "our delight, holy of the Lord, honorable;" and by our exemplary observance of it, and cheerful performance of its duties, enjoy its blessings ourselves, and extend them to our fellow-men.

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