Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Christian Navigation

A selection from a letter by the Welsh pastor, John Elias, to his son John, who had been struggling spiritually. His father wrote him about Satan’s devices and temptations. He encouraged him to look to Christ, the Captain of our faith, for help. The letter was written March 18, 1820.

It is not well for mariners to gaze in a dreadful storm, on the swelling billows, thinking that every wave they see will plunge them to the deep, and put an end to them. It is far better to be alive, as they are in such cases, and doing their duty with the helm and sails, and to lift up their hearts in prayer unto God, who governs the wind and the waves, and expect to arrive soon at the much-desired-for haven.

As to the warfare of the Christian, none are destroyed that look unto their Captain, depend on him, and follow him. And there is no shipwreck in the Christian navigation, when they sail according to the directions of the Pilot; he not only can, but actually does, in great kindness, govern and rule the sea.

You say that ‘in your fears, you do not love Christ, but rather despair;’ cry unto God then for help to love him better. Do not trouble your mind respecting the profession you have made of him, however poor, but rather pray that you may be faithful to him till death.

John Elias: Life, Letters and Essays, by Edward Morgan, first published in 1844, reprinted by the Banner of Truth, 1973, p. 207.

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