Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come to you.…
What is necessary to render a journey, or a voyage, prosperous in the estimation of a real Christian? Is he satisfied if by it his temporal interests are advanced, if he enjoys worldly pleasure, if he meets with kind friends, if he be preserved from calamity, and return home with invigorated health? These are blessings which require his grateful acknowledgments to God. With these he ought to be contented, if this world were his home. But when he remembers that heaven is his true country, and religion his great business, he must feel that something more is necessary.
I. WE SHOULD SEEK MORE AFFECTING AND ADMIRING VIEWS OF THE CREATOR, AS DISPLAYED IN HIS WORKS. When our minds are employed upon the works of nature, it is generally only to make them subservient to our worldly interest, or to administer to our earthly gratification; and not to warm our hearts by the contemplation of that infinite power, wisdom, and goodness, which appear in the formation of them. If such conduct at all times is inexcusable and ungrateful, it is doubly so in our journeys, in which the works of God are presented to us in rapid succession.
II. WE SHOULD ACQUIRE A MORE DEEP AND GRATEFUL SENSE OF THE GOODNESS AND CARE OF THAT PROVIDENCE ON WHICH WE DEPEND. Though in God "we live, and move, and have our being," yet the majority of mankind think but little of this guardian providence. And even Christians, when nothing occurs to interrupt the regular course of their lives, are too apt to forget their dependence; but surely in our journeys we must, from their unseen dangers, feel that we need each moment to be shielded by the power of God.
III. IT SHOULD DEEPEN OUR CONVICTION OF THE VALUE AND UNIFORMITY OF THE RELIGION OF JESUS. The various objects presented to him will be calculated to produce this conviction. Far from home we meet with the disciples of the Redeemer.
IV. WE SHOULD EMBRACE OPPORTUNITIES OF ACQUIRING AND DOING GOOD. Sometimes even believers, during their journeys, have found their graces withering, because they neglected these means of spiritual improvement. Carefully guard against this. Let the Word of God not be disregarded. Let nothing interfere with prayer, Sabbath duties, etc. Be not ashamed to avow your attachment to the blessed Saviour. A word spoken in season may be the means of saving a soul.
V. REMEMBER THAT OUR WHOLE LIFE IS A JOURNEY TOWARDS ETERNITY. Frequently think, when far from home, that you are only sojourners upon earth; that heaven is your country.
(S. Davies, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.