But there are Christian associations where men and women do talk out their religion; and my advice to you is to seek out all those things, and remember that just in proportion as you seek such society will you be elevated and blessed. After all, the gospel boat is the only safe boat to sail in. The ships of Jehoshaphat went all to pieces at Eziongeber.
Come aboard this gospel craft, made in the dry-dock of heaven and launched nineteen hundred years ago in Bethlehem amid the shouting of the angels. Christ is the captain, and the children of God are the crew. The cargo is made up of the hopes and joys of all the ransomed. It is a ship bound heavenward, and all the batteries of God will boom a greeting as we sail in and drop anchor in the still waters. Come aboard that ship; it is a safe craft! The fare is cheap! It is a certain harbor!
The men of Ahaziah were forbidden to come aboard the ships of Jehoshaphat, but all the world is invited to board this gospel craft. The vessel of Jehoshaphat went to pieces, but this craft shall drop anchor within the harbor, and mountains shall depart, and hills shall be removed, and seas shall dry up, and time itself shall perish, but the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him.
All about mercy.
Benedict XIII. decreed that when the German: Catholics met each other, they should always give the following salutation, the one first speaking saying, “Praised be Jesus Christ,” the other responding, “For ever, amen,” a salutation fit for Protestants whenever they come together.
The word “mercy” is used in the Bible two hundred and fourteen times; it seems to be the favorite word of all the Scriptures. Sometimes it glances feebly upon us like dew in the starlight; then with bolder hand it seems to build an arched bridge from one storm-cloud of trouble to another; and then again it trickles like a fountain upon the thirst of the traveler.
The finest roads I ever saw are in Switzerland. They are built by the government, and at very short intervals you come across water pouring out of the rocks. The government provides cups for men and troughs for the animals to drink out of. And our King has so arranged it that on the highway we are traveling toward heaven, ever and anon there shall dash upon us the clear, sweet water that flows from the eternal Rock. I propose to tell you some things about God’s mercy.
First, think of His pardoning mercy. The gospel finds us shipwrecked; the wave beneath ready to swallow us, the storm above pelting us, our good works foundered, there is no such thing as getting ashore unhelped. The gospel finds us incarcerated; of all those who have been in thick dungeon darkness, not one soul ever escaped by his own power. If a soul is delivered at all, it is because some one on the outside shall shove the bolt and swing open the door, and let the prisoner come out free.