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depths; the crew are "at their wits' end," their foul is melted because of trouble. But instead of calling "upon the Lord in their trouble," that He might "bring them out of their diftreffes," they drink and are drunken. Still the waves and the billows go over them; at length a mountain wave dashes the vessel on a funken rock, fhe falls to pieces; the men cling to masts, spars, and broken pieces; despair fits on every countenance; multitudes from the fhore behold the catastrophe, but cannot fuccour. Lamentable fight!

At this appalling moment, when all hope is taken away of their being faved, the Life-boat is launched into the terrific ocean. Will not fhe alfo fall a prey to the watery monster? See! fhe lives above the waves; her gallant crew impel her forward; on fhe dafhes-fhe leaps from billow to billow; foon fhe reaches the wreck, and begins her work of mercy. Quickly fhe takes the drowning wretches from the drifting spars, giving back to them life and hope. Some, indeed, not yet fobered, will not be faved; others in the fame condition take the "life-prefervers for pirates, that have come to take and fell them for flaves, therefore refuse to leave the raft. No time is to be loft. All they can, they receive on board, and carry fafely into port, amid the acclamations of the multitude.

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O what is this but a picture of the goodness of our God in Chrift, in establishing his Church on the earth? The tempeftuous fea is this world, the wreck is man; the life-boat is the Church,

and the multitudes on fhore may represent the heavenly hoft, who look with intereft into the affairs of man's redemption. The world is indeed a "troubled fea," a tempeftuous ocean; it is raised into fury by the breath or spirit of the "evil one," "the prince of the Power of the air," who, having escaped from his prifon-house, the "bottomlefs pit," defcends in great wrath and fummons all the powers of evil to aid him in the deftruction of mankind. Here roll the waves of profanity-there thofe of impurity; here dafh with fury the breakers of Revenge-there rife impetuous the mountain billows of Pride; on the right are seen the rocks of Infidelity on the left the quickfands of Destruction, while the whirlpools of Mammon abound in every part.

Man, fhipwrecked by the first tranfgreffion, is caft upon this troubled fea, exposed to all its dangers; ignorant and helpless, he is "toffed upon life's ftormy billows." Wave after wave rolls him onward to deftruction; the whirlpool opens wide its mouth to "fwallow him whole, as those that go down into the pit." Is all lost? muft he become a prey to the devouring elements ? Ah! is there no eye to pity? no arm to fave? Oh, divine compaffion! "God fo

loved the world," that the Life-boat is launched: Jefus is in the midst of her! he guides her movements! his difciples form the crew; they encounter the storm that Satan has raised; they spring from wave to wave, from billow to billow,

"With cries, entreaties, tears, to fave,

And fnatch them from the gaping grave."

They take finners from off the waves that are bearing them on to death, and place their feet upon the Rock of Salvation. Some are too proud to accept deliverance; fuch are left in their fad condition.

To speak without a figure, the Lord Jefus Chrift has established his church upon the earth, for the falvation of men. This is the proper bufinefs of the Church, even as of the life-boat, to fave men; its facraments, ordinances, and various means of grace, all leading to Christ, the Saviour, are well adapted to do this; and when ufed aright, they never fail to enfure falvation. Believe, love, obey, "this do and you fhall live.".

And whereas the usefulness of the "Life-boat" confifted in having her bottom and fides hollow and filled with air, so the usefulness of the Church depends upon her being filled with the Holy Spirit, with the atmosphere of heaven; and as boats not made air-tight fail to be useful in the ftorm, and prove the deftruction of those who venture in them, in like manner Churches, lacking the atmosphere of heaven, being deftitute of the power of the Holy Ghoft, fail in being serviceable to the fouls of men, and fink into the "dead fea" of forms and ceremonies.

The Church of Chrift-that is, a company of true believers-being filled with the Holy Spirit, become inflamed with zeal, and animated with love for perifhing finners. The love of Chrif


constraineth them, for they thus judge: if Christ "died for all, then were all dead-and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him that died for them and rose again." In feeking to fave fouls, they seek Chrift's honour and glory, by establishing his dominion on the earth; daily the Church, influenced thus, makes efforts for the falvation of men; her grand effort is on the Sabbath-day. On this day, worldly business is laid afide; the Angel of Mercy rings her bell around the earth; the Ambaffadors of Heaven appear, and iffue their proclamation unto the children of men; life and immortality are offered without money and without price; Mercy is active on the earth. Fountains of living waters are opened in dry places; heaven's gates are thrown wide open, and streams of light and love iffue from the King of Glory. Every where finners, perishing sinners, are affectionately invited to escape from their fins, and take refuge beneath the fanctuary of the Most Holy; Wifdom" herself "uttereth her voice in the streets, fhe crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the opening of the gates; in the city fhe uttereth her words, faying, how long, ye fimple ones, will ye love fimplicity, and the fcorners delight in their fcorning, and fools hate knowledge? Nevertheless,

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"Millions are shipwrecked on life's ftormy coaft,
With all their charts on board, and powerful aid,
Because their lofty pride difdained to learn
The inftructions of a pilot, and a God."

As we saw in the cafe of the wreck, that fome actually refused to enter the life-boat, so it is with finners; alas! alas! that it is fo; they, too, are intoxicated, "drunken, but not with wine," fin has intoxicated them; they are beside themselves. Some will not yield their heart to God, and be faved, fimply because they will not; others do not believe the record God has given of his Son, and continue exposed to the damnation of thofe "that believe not.' Others again, mistrust the motives of the pious, who feek to lead them from the way of death, and think they want only to bring them into bondage; and as the mariners had power to remain on the wreck and be drowned, fo the finner has power to continue in his fins and be damned. Awful power! fearful refponfibility! and yet if man be not free, "how fhall God judge the world ?"

The Church, however, as a Spiritual Life-boat, continues her benevolent excurfions, and daily lands fome faved ones at the port of glory; and when she shall have made her laft trip, through that tempeft that shall make a wreck of earth, then shall arise from countless myriads the song of triumph and of praise :

"Bleffing, and honour, and glory, and power,
Be unto Him that fitteth upon the throne,
And unto the Lamb, for ever and ever."

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