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THE BUILDING OF THE SHIP, AND REASONS AND CONDITIONS
OF THE VOYAGE.
It happened on a time that the King of the Celestial Country, moved with compassion for the people of this earth, resolved to establish a connection between the Celestial Empire and our world, whereby any that chose might lay up their treasures in that heavenly region, and at an appointed time go thither to enjoy them. To this end a grand ship was prepared to take passengers across the great sea that lies between us and the Celestial Country.
While the vessel was a-building, the people far and near had warning of it, and many looked on curiously, and some inquired into it with deep interest, for there were many communications from the King continually in regard to it, and holy men of old spake about it as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.' The multitude were very indifferent and unconcerned, but some would now and then talk with the workmen, and though it took many generations to finish the ship, yet from the time when the first orders were given in regard to it, and the first beam laid for it, all who chose might have an interest in it, might have their names set down as passengers, and might be just as sure of all the benefits of it, as any of those who should be alive upon the earth when the ship was launched and sailing.
1 2 Peter i. 21.
The Master Builder had all his plans perfect, and gave them for execution into the hands of persons in whom he could confide, and the vessel was a noble craft, as beautiful and grand to see as ever swam the waters. When the time drew near for the completion of the ship, the King said to some of his faithful seamen then living, “I tell you that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see the things which ye see, and have not seen them, and to hear the things which ye hear, and have not heard them.”2 And after the ship was under sailing orders, a record was drawn up of a great cloud of witnesses that had before obtained an interest in her by faith, whose hearts were fixed upon the Celestial Country, and it was said that they were even as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea-shore innumerable. It was added that these all died in
• Matt. xiii. 17.