We are familiar with scenes of shipwreck; the stories read in childhood and the stern facts of later years

bring them vividly before our minds. We see the gallant vessel, well rigged and fitted from stem to stern, sailing forth on her mission of transport or merchandise, moving along under favourable breezes, seeming likely to make the port where she is due; we see her overtaken by the storm admitting the water which gains hour by hour upon her, sinking lower and lower, finally going down beneath the waves. But sad as this story is, there is a far more profound and pathetic sadness in the history, only too often to be told, of the shipwreck of a human soul. Bravely setting forth on the voyagee of life, hopefully speeding on its course with helpful influences, promising to make its port on the other strand, we see it overtaken by the storm of some mastering temptation or falling into the irr3estible current of some adverse spiritual force, and it makes melancholy shipwreck; instead of reaching its Fair Have, it goes down into the waters of destruction. … They start on the voyage of life with that one chart in hand which alone can take them safely to their journey’s end … Then they come into contact with fascinating but unbelieving companions; or they meet with a number of specious but shallow objections; or they look, with foolish and cruel persistency, on the one side of the difficulties, neglecting to pay proportionate attention to the arguments on the other side; and the end is that the vessel of their faith breaks up and at length goes down. Trained in godly homes, our youths and maidens acquire habits of moral excellency, they enter active life, honest, pure, sober, reverent, prudent. But they encounter those hurtful and deadly influences, which after a while, if not at the first attack, lead them down to dishonesty, to impurity, to intemperance, to profanity … Usually they “make shipwreck of a good conscience,’ as the vessel is drawn upon the relentless rocks when it is caught in the strong current from which it cannot escape. Slowly, going further and further in the wrong direction, by every movement getting more at the mercy of the foe, the vessel drifts to destruction. … By how much the spiritual is greater than the material and the destinies of a human soul larger and longer than the fortune of a piece of human handiwork, by so much is the wreck of a soul more pitiful thing than the loss of the noblest bark that ever foundered on the ocean. … Sometimes, but very seldom, a sunken vessel is raised, virtue, piety, is raised up from the deep, and sails again on its voyage, and attains it port. Let none presume; let none despair. The Pulpit Commentary, Acts II p. 307-308, Acts 27:41, (W. Clarkson) Gold Nugget 267 A Sunken Vessel

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