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Praise :- Psalm lxiii.
In Great Trouble :—Psalm lxxxviii., lc.; Isaiah liv. 2-10. The Book of the Lamentations of Jeremiah. I Corinthians xv. ; 2 Corinthians iv. 16 to v. 9; Luke xvi. 19-31; John xi.; Isaiah liii.'; Romans viii. 8-39; 1 Thessalo. nians iv.; 1 Peteri.; Isaiah xl. ; Philippians iii.; Job xxxiii.; James v.; John xiv., xv., xvi.; Revelation vii. 9-17; Matthew i., XXV.; Luke xii. ; Ecclesiastes xii.; 1 Peter ii.; Job v.; 2 Samuel xxi.; Psalm cxix., lxxi.
If a seaman by any just impediment do not receive the Sacrament of CHRIST'S Body and Blood, let him be assured that “if he do truly repent him of his sins, and stedfastly believe that JESUS CHRIST hath suffered death upon the cross for him, and shed His Blood for his redemption, earnestly remembering the benefits he hath thereby, and giving Him hearty thanks therefore, he doth eat and drink the Body and Blood of our Saviour CHRIST profitably to his soul's health, although he do not receive the Sacrament with his mouth.” (From the l'rayer Book.)
The Sailor's Life of Lobe.
LOVE TO GOD. “Thou shalt love the LORD thy GOD with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”—Matthew xxii. 37.
The Seaman should aim at making these words of the Psalmist true of himself. “Thy words have I hid within my heart that I should not sin against Thee :'or these others,“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way ? even by ruling himself after Thy Word.” Considering that every boy before he leaves the training-ship has a present made him of a Bible and Prayer Book, and that in every ship the Admiralty places a large number of these books for the use of the ship's company, it would seem that the Seaman had every opportunity given him of so studying the Word of God as to
be, indeed, able to "hide it within his heart," where it must get before it can do good to any man. And so it is. Whatever difficulties there are in the way of the regular study of God's Word are certainly not placed there by our rulers. But unless the Seaman does make a habit of reading his Bible, he cannot expect to know anything of that hidden meaning which God gives to those who have learnt to place it reverently, carefully, and frequently in their heart. How shall he “cleanse his way," if he is not continually “ruling himself after God's Word ? ” “ The words of the LORD are pure words," and that is just why they have such a cleansing power, that by them we can discern the difference between the pathway of holiness and the broad, muddy road of sin. There is so much room in the one, sin abounds so plentifully on every side, that it is often very difficult for the Seaman to distinguish the “ narrow way " which leads to eternal life. But GOD will shew it to him who loves His Word.
Does he want the courage or the inclination to sit down in his mess, and read his Bible? If it is courage he lacks, what will he do when he comes to die? Will he have courage then? If it is inclination that is wanting, he is indeed in a bad way; for if he is not inclined to read God's Word, he will not be inclined to keep them, and then, God help him ! for man cannot.
It is a good thing for a Seaman to read his Bible every day, if it be only one verse. In the dinner hour anywhere but in the mess, in the mess during the watch below, on the forecastle in the last "dog," during the stray minutes which can so easily be picked up when waiting for divisions, &c.—here are times when no work is going on and when so many men are simply idle. But, again, let him not stow himself away. The Seaman is to let his light shine before men, which does not mean that he is to “wave it about,” as has been said, but quietly to let it shine in the places which have been given him to live in. He will soon learn to hear God's words above the racket of the mess, above the idle jest and wicked blasphemy. But he must be in earnest, and he must be a little brave, only a little, for the difficulty from his shipmates will be much less than he supposes.
It is a good thing to have a routine for the study of the Bible, a routine even if we have time for no more than a verse. Let a man secure his verse in the early part of the day if possible, and then if more time is given him he can go on with his chapter. And what chapter shall it be? It is unwise to have no system, to open the Book at haphazard. This may do for one who seldom reads, but not for one who wants to study the Word of GOD.
No better rule can be adopted than that laid down in the Calendar of the Prayer Book, where for every day in the year four portions of Holy Scripture are given, from which he may make a choice, and by which he will be able to read the greater part of the Bible through in the year. He will never be at a loss then where to turn for his daily passage. Again, the